I am so excited to write to you because close to a million things have happened this week. I was catching up on reading emails and I dont know if I will have time to write back to all of you.
As most of you know, I finished up my time in the CCM. It was so fun. I feel really privileged to have attended the CCM in Chile. the CCM only holds about 100 missionaries, so every missionary is pretty close. I had the privilege tambien to get to know the president of the CCM really well. I am going to miss it there. I had awesome instructors and I learned a ton from them.
On tuesday I woke up and I went to the mission office of Santiago Norte. There I met my mission president, President Essig. President Essig has about a week left as a mission president until we get a new president. nevertheless, I really enjoyed my beginning interview with him. He is really focused on his missionaries acting and becoming like Christ.
I also met my missionary trainer. His name is Elder Boelter. He is from South Jordan Utah. He has been out in the mission field for a long time. in fact, I am going to kill him (mission slang: I am his last companion). This is his last transfer, so I get to receive the maximum amount of missionary knowledge possible because he has the maximum amount of experience. Elder Boelter is way awesome.
later on Tuesday I arrived in my sector. the sector is called Simon Bolivar. right away I put my bags down and we went straight to work with appointments. One of our investigators is Fernando. He is not a member, but his wife is. He loves soccer a lot, and we talk about it every time we visit him. Soccer is huge here in Chile, especially when we beat esapana! today there is a game against hollande, and if we win, we've been advised to stay inside.
The people of chile are so nice. they speak so fast, but they have so much patience with me. They love to ask where I am from, and they love it when I tell them Im from Washington because they think I live near the White House. Everyone I have met here has been really nice. Unfortunately, I didn;'t know that taxi drivers dont like it when people close the taxi doors hard. I was in a rush to get in, and I closed it a little too hard, and he kicked me out of the taxi, and left me with some new vocabulary.
It was all good though, because that night I got to go to a noche de Hogar, and the family was so nice! We watched a mormon message with them and expounded more upon it, and they fed us these fried cakes called picarones.
I also had my first meal from a member. We had mashed potatoes and carne. It was really tastey.
on Friday we had more nuevo misioner training with the president. It was nice to see my friends from the CCM again. they are mostly serving in country areas in Chile. I am more in the city. Its kind of like a suburb where Im at. It was also refreshing to hear some english. Its beginning to feel wierd when I hear words in English. Spanish is coming slowly. It is hard to understand because de verdad, the people of chile talk so fast. tambien they have different words.
I had my first Completo the other day too. Where have completos been all of my life. they are seriously so good. one of the recent converts in the ward, hermana zuniga, sells them on the weekend. we had a noche de hogar at her home, and she made me one. it was tan rico.
The members here in mi barrio (ward) are awesome. I got to know a lot of them on Sunday. They are very involved in helping the missionaries with the work of the Lord. My first Sunday was awesome because we had the baptism of Hermano Fernando that day. The chapel is on the second floor of the church which is kind of cool. there were some great talks given and it was great to sing himnos en espanol. I didn't understand much of what was said, but I really did feel the spirit. if there was a sentence to sum up this week that would be it: I didn't understand much, but I felt the spirit.
That afternoon a peruvian family made us lunch. arroz y pollo con inca cola! (shout out to momma Williams). That night we had a member, Nacho, join us. we visited investigators and Nacho did a great job of sharing his testimony. it was so strong, and he was baptized 5 months ago.
I know that this church is true. I know that the gospel of Jesus Chist changes people. it helps us become more like our Savior. It helps us find happiness in this life, and it guarantees that we will be able to live with our loving Heavenly Father for eternity.