Well, I started freaking out as I wrote the title for this email which is “LAST EMAIL AS A MISSIONARY.” Time has flown by soooooo fast. This week was great. It was filled with good byes and a fun birthday Family Home Evening. Some members made me a cake. It was pretty fun. Today for P-day I got to end my mission with a bang. We got permission as a zone to go up into the Andes Mountains and play in the snow. We left at about 7 am. and took a 2 1/2 hour drive in a shuttle bus. We played in the snow in a place called Farrellones. It was fun because there are a few elders from the northern part of South America and Central America that had never seen snow in their lives. Now I can check that off my list as another climate I have been in during my mission. Those climates/places are Downtown Santiago, Tropical island in the Pacific – Easter Island, countryside and valley of San Felipe, and snow in the Andes mountains.
I have had many amazing opportunities in my mission and I am so grateful for them. But more importantly than traveling the world I have grown and reached spiritual heights that I never knew before. Thanks to everyone who prayed for me. Thanks for those who read my emails or blog. I hope that your testimonies were strengthened and that you can catch the missionary fire and share with others. See you all soon!
THIS IS MY LAST FULL WEEK AS A MISSIONARY! How crazy! Last week was great. It was kind of slow because the World Cup was ending . . . especially on Sunday because it was the World Cup Final. We had a hard time getting anything done. All of the Chileans were excited that Germany won because Chileans generally don’t like Argentineans.
It has been cold here lately! On Saturday, we had a fun experience. We took Cynthia and Victor to the temple to do a temple tour. They are a couple that we have been teaching for a while and they have been attending church regularly now. The problem is that they have to get married. It really helped them to do the tour of the temple because now they are planning on getting married next month!!!!!!!!!! We are very, very excited!
Investigators always have the best questions. For example, Cynthia asked recently “so Elders, lets just say we get married civilly and then we get sealed in the temple here. After that, can we still get married in the Catholic church?” I slapped my face and laughed. Those types of questions make the “Gospel Principles” class super funny every Sunday.
On Sunday, all of the members were making appointments with us because they all want to have a “good bye” appointment with me. So this week we will be pretty busy. I think they are planning a surprise birthday party for me tomorrow. These are some of the things that happened this week.
This past week was awesome because finally I wasn’t sick! But since I really hadn’t been eating my stomach shrunk and I didn’t have an appetite. However, today I am fine. We held our first Zone Conference with the new Mission President. He is Chilean and really awesome. He is going to do a great job here. He also has a great sense of humor. He has changed a lot of rules and altered some of the ways in which the mission is run so everyone is a little confused but it’s going to be better.
On the 4th of July, we made brownies to celebrate. In Alma 10:6 Amulek says “I went on rebelling against God, in the wickedness of my heart, even until the fourth day of this seventh month, which is in the tenth year of the reign of the judges.” Amulek was referring to the fourth of July!!! Then in the scriptures an angel appears to him and then Amulek and Alma have a 4th of July BBQ! I was thinking about using that scripture to try and persuade the Mission President to let us have a 4th of July party. However, I decided not to.
We had a funny experience with one of our current investigators. She had a doubt that came into her mind that was like being thrown a testimony “curve ball.” I have heard this falsehood repeated before. She said that the other day she was outside and her neighbor came up to her and asked her if she was Mormon. She said no and that she was just investigating the church. The neighbor went on to say that she needed to stay away from us because the missionaries are actually “CIA agents.” She also explained that in the steeples of all of the Mormon churches there are satellite antennas that communicate with the USA. Our investigator told us that story and more things that her neighbor had mentioned and asked us if we really were CIA Agents! We laughed and said that we weren’t from the CIA. People have the craziest ideas!
Finally, Makarena was confirmed yesterday and is very excited to go to the temple to do her family history work! That’s so great! Things are going really well.
It’s been another great week!!!!!!!!!! Yesterday, Makarena got baptized!!!!!!!! It was very exciting for her and it was a great experience. I remember my first week here in Santiago, Elder Wortham told me before we went to visit Makarena that she was the girlfriend of a less active member. They really have come a long way since then, especially Makarena. She gave up smoking and has changed a lot. The baptism was funny because her husband Isaias baptized her and he had to dunk her three times because Makarena’s dress kept floating up. It was the first time that Isaias had ever baptized someone and that same day he blessed the sacrament for the first time in his life. He is 24 years old and when he was 14 he went super inactive until Elder Wortham found him a few months ago. Now he has a calling in the Young Mens and is super active.
Chile is very sad because they got booted out of the Soccer World Cup. I was pretty bummed too because it sounded like they had a good chance to beat Brazil. Oh, I should also give you the rest of the “RUN DOWN” of the week. In short, I had the “RUNS” and also couldn’t keep anything DOWN. Ha! I got the flu but this time it was the full on flu. On Tuesday, I started feeling tired. Then I woke up on Wednesday with diarrhea and I was really tired. Then at about 2 pm, I laid down and couldn’t get back out of bed because I ached and felt really, really sick. Then at about 11 pm I threw up and felt better afterwards. Then I woke up the next day and still was really sick so we went to the doctor and then I slept the remainder of the day. Then Friday, I went out to work for a little then we had to go back home because I was still very tired and I needed to rest. Then I felt fine on the weekend. So the week passed by really fast because basically the whole week I was sleeping. I lost weight but that is a good thing because now I am back to my normal weight. All of the missionaries talk about doing diets and working out 6 months before going home but the real trick is to just live it up and eat all of the good food you want and then get sick a few weeks before going home.
I had another funny experience this week because I contacted a group of “rockers.” They literally offered me every bad thing possible like weed, cigarettes, beer, pornography and more! I was so grateful to be a missionary and to have a testimony of the gospel and to be able to say no easily. These guys were pretty funny though. Not many other things to report this week because we were basically in the house the whole week.