El Dia de Joven Cambatiente (Day of the Young Combatant)

Hola como estan! 

This week flew by! I am dead tired because my companion and I worked really hard! We opened this sector this week, which means that both of us were new in the sector and had to find investigators and also locate members. What made things worse was that the missionaries that were here previously left some time ago and when they were transferred, they left things very unorganized. So my companion and I organized everything, cleaned up the paperwork, and went out to find people to teach. It was a very fulfilling week because we met pretty much all of our goals and now we have this sector rolling! We had some really cool miracles too! 

The coolest thing Elder Roberts and I have experienced though is our progress as missionaries. The two of us were companions in the MTC! So we both have almost 8 months in the mission and have about the same level of Spanish. We practiced the Spanish language and giving discussions in the MTC but now we are doing everything that we practiced together for real! It is so fun! 

So, first of all, I have a couple of funny stories to share. On our second day here, we were walking down the street and a drunken man approached us and started talking with us. Then he asked us for money. We have mission rules that dictate we don’t give out money on the street. So we told him no but he wouldn’t give up and kept after us. Finally, he let us go and we went on through the rest of our day. Then the next day we were walking through our sector to an investigator’s house and we saw the same man on the other side of street. He was walking in the other direction and he waved to us so we waved back. We then kept walking and turned a corner. As we were walking, we heard people running and someone yelling: “Hijo no! Hijo no!” We looked back and saw the drunken guy running towards us with two guys chasing him. One of the guys had a big shovel and the other one had a metal bar. They got closer to us and the guy with the shovel threw it at the drunken man that we met the other day. The shovel almost hit my companion and me. Then they passed us and the other guy threw his metal bar and hit the drunken guy in the leg. The drunken man kept running and got away. But then the two guys got in their truck and chased him. We don’t know what happened after that. It was so crazy though! They must have been really mad to decide to throw a shovel! 

Another day, we went to visit this less active member. We talked with him and got to know him. He is in a wheelchair and has diabetes. He also got his leg amputated because of his diabetes. We asked him if we could do anything to help him. (Whenever you ask that question you better be ready to do whatever) So he then asked us if we knew how to use drops. I was confused and then thought for a second while he went to his cabinet. I thought to myself, maybe he is going to have us put eye drops in his eyes? It turns out that is the help he needed. He told us that his eyes were really dry and he couldn’t put in eye drops himself for some reason. So then my companion hopped up and offered to do it. Neither of us had ever done it before so my companion just figured it out. It was actually pretty easy. The man was really grateful. 

We also saw a big dog fight the other day. It was a big German Shepard against a smaller dog. Everyone came out of their houses and was trying to stop the dogs. It was crazy! On that same street, there is a Saint Bernard so we are waiting to see the ultimate battle of the German Shepard vs the Saint Bernard! 

This week there were two holidays here: Easter and Dia de Joven Combatiente (Day of the Young Combatant).  I will explain the latter holiday celebrated on March 29. It is a day in remembrance of when the police force here killed two brothers, Rafael and Eduardo Vergara Toledo. They were anti-government, pro-Marxist protestors. I don’t know the whole story but that’s basically it. So every year now on this day the people protest. It is insane though because they cut the lights in the whole city and teenagers and other crazy people go around and rob and do other damage to the city. It doesn’t make any sense at all but that’s a Chilean holiday. So Thursday and Friday night, we were told to go home early and stay in our houses. It was fun because my companion and I had dinner and we played Ping-Pong in the house with this makeshift table we made and with some Ping-Pong paddles we found. We didn’t see anything crazy but we heard stories from the members.

So I have one super cool spiritual story. On Friday, we went to go visit some of the less actives in the ward. We went to see this one kid named Isaac. When we were close to his house we passed by this man leaving his house. He stopped my companion but I didn’t see him. I kept walking and went to a house that was four houses down. I looked back and saw my companion talking to this guy. So then I knocked on the door and talked to the less active member. As I talked to him my companion came over and told me that the guy he contacted wanted us to come in and teach him. I was surprised and said let’s go! So we went over and went in and talked to him. His name is Jose. We asked him if he had ever talked to missionaries before. He said yes. We wanted to know how much and how long ago. He said he has talked to missionaries about 10 times! We immediately thought about the area book that we have and how it lists all of the investigators that the missionaries have taught in the sector. We never saw one thing about him in the area book. We asked him if he had ever been to church and he said yes. We asked how many times. He said about 15 times. We said:  WHAT? Then we immediately went straight to the big question. I asked him if he would like to get baptized? He paused and thought and then said he would like to do that. It was so awesome and a miracle that we found him! He is ready and wants to get baptized. However, we have to help him stop drinking. It was so cool to teach him because my companion and I had practiced so many times in the MTC how to help someone accept a baptismal date and we had the chance to actually do it together! We were so excited to have found him! We had worked so hard this week and planned so much and the Lord prepared a way for us to find him! I have really learned that when we plan and work hard and set goals, God will help us fulfill our goals. I am having a great time and preparing to go out to Easter Island in about two weeks. I have been so blessed and am so excited! 

Elder Neser



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