A New Argentinian Pope!

HOLA! 

Things are going great here in Chile! The weather is cooling down. More and more the Chilean culture is growing on me! I love the bread here. There is always fresh bread here that is really good and it is served at every meal. Also, unfortunately Coke is served all the time and it is growing on me too! 

This week, my companion and I went running every morning during our workout time. There is this small soccer stadium by our house and there is a track around it. I run about 2 miles everyday. I am going to keep it up because I feel better and it really wakes me up! This week my companion and I went to Plaza de Armas three times because my companion needed to fix his glasses.  This plaza is located in the center of Santiago. We went the day after the new Pope was announced and the plaza was packed with people. There is a huge, historic Catholic cathedral there. All of the people were in front of the cathedral talking and chanting. It was crazy. Also, because the new Pope is from Argentina, my companion (from Argentina) tells every single person about the Pope and his country of origin. I think that I have heard it a million times now! He is really good at using it though to start conversations with people. 

There is a Chinese “take-out restaurant” in my sector and my companion and I stop there and buy egg rolls sometimes at night before we go home.The food here is actually really good but a Chinese restaurant seems so out of place in the middle of Santiago. The people that work there are Chinese and can’t speak Spanish or English. This doesn’t make sense.  But their food is good! 

We experienced a funny door contact this week. My companion and I were knocking on doors in this block. There were four doors on each floor with two next to each other and the other two on the opposite wall. So I knocked on one door and my companion knocked on another door on the opposite side of me. We were waiting for someone to answer then the door next to my companion opened. We didn’t knock on this door so we were surprised and turned around to look. The guy came out somewhat angrily and said:  “what do you want?” He wasn’t wearing a shirt and had the hairiest stomach and chest ever. He was also not the skinniest man. But to make it even funnier, he had shaving creme all over his face and a razor in his hand. My companion and I just stared at him and I tried not to laugh. Then my companion went over to talk with him and he yelled that he was busy and slammed the door. It was pretty hilarious. On Saturday, we went to teach a lesson but the people weren’t there. But down the street, there where two kids playing what looked like tennis. They had some lines drawn on the ground with chalk and two pieces of wood (for rackets) and a tennis ball. So my companion went over and challenged one of them to a game. He played two games then I got up and played. Lets just say that my tennis skills are a little rusty (but I can still take on any of the Nielsens!). So we played a couple of points. Then the kid hit the ball to my off hand and I reached over to swing at it. I hit it a little too hard and the ball flew on the roof of their neighbor’s house. The kids were all bummed. I felt bad. But we were playing with pieces of wood in a narrow street and I was wearing a white shirt and a tie. So give me a break!! But it all worked out well in the end because then we taught the kids about the gospel and they want us to come back and teach them again. I am going to buy them a new tennis ball today, too! 

A spiritual thought: in church on Sunday, a sister gave a talk based on Elder Packer’s talk that he gave in General Conference about the atonement. I love the story about the lower lights. You should all go read the talk (http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/10/the-atonement?lang=eng&query=atonement+(name%3a%22Boyd+K.+Packer%22+OR+name%3a%22Allan+F.+Packer%22). But what struck me is that as members of the church, we are those “lower lights” to help those who are lost in the stormy seas find their way to the truth. There is a part in the talk where Elder Packer quotes a hymn. It says: “Let the lower lights be burning.” As members of the church, we need to make sure that our spiritual light is burning. We can do this by reading the scriptures daily, going to church and praying every day. If our lights are bright, then it will be easier for those that are searching to find their way back to the main light, which is Christ. I know that this gospel is true and that everyone needs it. That’s it for this week! 

Elder Neser

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