Hola Familia y amigos!
man this week was crazy fun because we were spending it with some really cool people. One person that I want to talk about is Luis. Luis has been in contact with the missionaries for 15 years. during those 15 years he has really turned his life around. now, he is preparing to be baptized! he is so solid! when we visited the temple with him he told us that he felt the spirit really strong, and that he knows that church is true. He is already participating in the iglesia. In sunday school he actively contributes to the conversations, and has easily made friends with people from the ward. The reason why Luis is really cool to me is because he has so much faith. he is still working to gain a testimony of the book of mormon, but he already knows the church is true.
We tried to have a family home evening at his house last week, but only one person was able to make it. that is something that you will see a lot as a missionary: your plans will fall through. thankfuly the person that came, Romina, was a ton of fun, and really befriended the wife of Luis (se llama Carolina).
That same day we were coming out of a members home, and I saw a lady waiting in the gateway of her neighbor's yard. she had shouted "Halo" which is what you do to enter someone's house when they have a gait. the neighbor didn't respond, and so I went to talk to her about how I knew what she was feeling (rejection at the gate). She laughed, and when I came to shake her hand to introduce myself, she went in to kiss me. don't freak out because this is a common way that you meet someone of the opposite sex here, but as a missionary, we don't do it. unfortunately she kept going in and while trying to strain my head away, she kissed me on the cheek! It was funny for me and she was confused until I told her about the rule. she was really nice. her name is Patricia, and we set up an apointment with with her.
on Wednesday I got to do an intercambio! intercambios are when missionaries switch companions and sectors. my companion didn't really explain it to well, but about 5 minutes before we left the apartment, he said "oy by the way your going to spend the night there too". that's another thing you learn as a missionary: you role with the punches and go with the flow. I was with Elder Parker. Elder Parker is from Boise Idaho, but he loves the city of Seattle, and really wants to live there. naturally, we had a lot to talk about. we got to meet with some cool members, and teach a little. it was a lot of fun, because it felt like a fresh start. I really felt like a missionary then. I was initiating conversations with people, I was setting up appointments, and I was sharing the gospel.
your first 12 weeks in the field, you are assigned a trainer. the first twelve weeks is like trying to drink from a firehydrant, but I felt like the intercambio was like a quiz to see how I was learning, and Im pleased to say it didn't go too bad.
The next day I returned to my sector and learned a valuable lesson. when you are with someone, you need to be focused on that person and nothing else. Im not going to lie, sometimes it is difficult to stay focused in a lesson, especially if you don't speak the language amazing. sometimes your mind drifts to other things, like what you were supposed to do 15 minutes ago acording to your schedule, or how late you are for something, or if you are behind on your contacts for the day. if you don't course correct your thoughts, you don't listen to the investigators, and you cant help them. I know Fernando y Romina, who are recent converts said to me during a lesson "Elder Williams, por que esta preocupado"? I had not been in control of my mind, but instead I was thinking of another thing that I had to do that day. it is so important to dedicate your time to the people, by completly focusing on them when you are in their presence
on Friday night we had a family home evening from the barrio. Luis brought his guitar to the activity, and I got to play the guitar and sing teach me to walk in the light with my campionon. at first I was thinking, "am I allowed to touch a guitar"? thankfuly my campion assured me that it was ok. IT WAS SO AWESOME to touch a stringed intstrument again. the noche de hogar went great, and the hermanas in our barrio made brownies so that was a win.
the next day I had a really cool opportunity. there is a recent convert in our ward se llama Marta. she is an abuelita that truthfully reminds me of Grandma Jean (shout out to grandma Jean I love you). she has a son who is a percussionist in the most famous caumbia band in Chile. the Palasio family is huge here in chile with Cumbia music. Nelson, the member of the band, has two kids. Evans and Eveline. they are fraternal twins! they were so cute, but also a little sick, and so we gave them a priesthood blessing.
Sunday was crazy, because I gave a talk in sacrament meeting. I had spent 4 days preparing it, and I had it completly written down. Ive got some good news and some bad news. the good news is that the talk went really well, and everyone understood me and enjoyed the talk. the bad news is that everyone thinks I can speak spanish now. I can read spanish, I can speak it Ok, but understanding it when an abuelo without any teeth is talking to you is near imposible for me.
That night we were just wrapping up the day, and we decided to stop by the house of a contact. her name is Rosy, and we were expecting here to cancel because it was kind of late, but when we stopped by, we saw that there were 4 other people in the house, who all sat down when we came in to share with us. THIS NEVER HAPPENS. there were 5 peruanos there that took time out of their schedules to listen to us. we taught about the restoration, and realized that we didn't have enough books of mormon for them to read. It truly is amazing to see how the Lord prepares people to hear his message. It is a miracle for me when someone says "pasen" and lets us into their home.
It is such a huge blessing in my life that I have the chance to compartir the gospel with the people of Chile. I know that through the gospel of Jesus Christ we can return to live with our father in heaven with our families for all of eternity!
this week for our p day we drove an hour to the mountains to play in the snow! we had to take a really crowded car there, and it was cold cold cold, but a lot of fun tambien