Fire in Santiago!!

Hola! 

El tiempo esta volando! Yo llevo SEIS MESES en la mision ahora! Que loco! Estamos muy contentos aqui. He aprendido muchas cosas esta semana y tengo algunas historias! I am going to get right to the stories because they are exciting! 

Well, as you can see from the pictures one very crazy thing happened this week! There was a huge house fire in our sector. It was not our house so no need to worry but it was close. Two houses down from the house that burned down is where one of our investigators live. We had just left to go out to work and we saw this huge cloud of smoke so we worried about where it was coming from and thought: “That’s where Carlos and Liz live!” So we ran over to the street and saw the house up in flames. Luckily it wasn’t their house! Basically, everyone that lived around there went to watch and help. Fire trucks and police blocked off our investigator’s house. Luckily, we got there right when it started and we watched it for a second. We also made sure that our investigators were okay. After we watched the fire for a while, the crowd got bigger and bigger and more police and fire people came. We then had to get out of there because as missionaries it is bad to be around big public disturbances. People sometimes can go crazy and sometimes might try to blame us because we are Americans and then possibly get violent. That would obviously be bad. Luckily that didn’t happen. 

It was also a sad and humbling experience because we knew the people that lived in that house. They all got out and didn’t get hurt but they were there in the street crying. Everything that they had was gone in a matter of minutes. I felt badly for them. That would be a very life-changing event. I thought of a scripture though that is in 3 Nephi 13: 19-20. It says: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” These people lost all of their worldly possessions. At any moment it could happen to anyone on of us. That is why it is so important to first seek for eternal treasures. It is important to focus on things that will last for eternity, like love in the family or the development of Christ like attributes. If we first seek the kingdom of God then these life-changing events will be bearable and we will be able to move forward with a knowledge that God is looking out for us and we will have a hope in life eternal. 

Another thing that you can see from the pictures is that we went to Santa Lucia. It is this hill in the middle of downtown Santiago with some amazing architecture. You can climb to the top of it and see all of Santiago. We went and did that last P-day. It was so cool! Also at the top of the hill we met this couple from Great Britain. They have Mormon friends and we talked to them for a little bit. I asked them if they have every investigated the church. The wife said very sternly, “All I need is Christ. I don’t need Joseph Smith.” I just smiled and said that’s great. It was a very interesting experience. I have learned that there are very few moments on the mission where your faith and beliefs aren’t tried or attacked. Satan will never give up or take a rest because the gospel is true. We talked a little more and the husband took a picture of us. Then they left and the husband yelled cheers! It was funny. Our Argentinian companion was confused! Here are some other little funny details……. Everyone asks about the Pope who retired and what we think about it (since we are missionaries I think they want our opinion). I guess he is the first Pope to step down like this. We always respond by saying that we believe men are called of God for forever and that by their fruits ye shall know them. That kind of sums it up!

Also, we were walking down the street one day and saw this big tour bus parked on the side of the road with one of the luggage doors open. We walked by and saw the bus driver taking a nap in just his underwear. He was big and hairy and it was pretty gross. A few dogs attacked us this week but yesterday there was a big one that really had it out for us. He would not back down. My companion threw a couple of rocks at it but didn’t really hit it and the dog kept coming back. So then I thought back on my high school football days and picked up a rock and chucked it. The rock took one bounce and nailed the dog in the ribs. It whimpered a little but it just got even angrier. So then we just booked it out of there. 

This week was super fun. It is still hot here. We are knocking on tons of doors. Next week are changes so I am most likely leaving for another sector and changing companions. Finally, we met a man this week named Roberto. He spoke English and knew a lot about our church and America even though he has never left the country of Chile. He spoke really well. We talked for a while and he bought us cokes at the Almacen down the street. We gave him a Book of Mormon and cleared up his doubts on the church. He was really interested in what we shared with him. The problem is that he is just up here on vacations right now. At the end of our conversation, we were leaving and in his funny accent he said “Remember, may the force be with you!” It was so funny. So that is my week and may the force be with you all this week! 

Elder Neser

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