This week was filled with more “World Cup wildness”. So when Chile played against España (Spain), we had to go into our house early. People were yelling and screaming when Chile made a goal and blowing their air horns again. The apartment building shook with every goal that was scored. It truly sounded like the whole country of Chile was cheering. It seems like everyone is usually watching at least one of the games. We don’t get in to see a lot of people because they say that they are busy watching a game. However, there is a fun and exciting atmosphere here because Chile is playing really well.
We had success in church yesterday because a new family that we found went for the first time. It was very exciting because they had missed 3 Sundays in a row and we were about to give up on them but then they showed up. Also about 10 minutes before Sacrament Meeting started the secretary told me that one of the Sacrament Meeting speakers wasn’t going to show up and he asked me to talk. So I talked about following the spirit and being courageous when the spirit directs us. I gave the specific example of using the guidance of the spirit to invite people to listen to the Gospel and I challenged everybody to follow their spiritual impressions to ask their friends and family to share the gospel. It was really a great experience because Spanish was not a problem for me at all. I felt really good after giving the talk because I have come a long way. Other than that we worked hard this week!
This week was one that flew by fast again! We have just been working and trying to find some new people to teach. We found a new couple that had been taught by missionaries in another part of Santiago and then they moved here recently. So we shared a little of the first lesson with them on Monday and then we met with them again on Friday. The craziest thing is that the wife had read the first 96 pages of the Book of Mormon in that short time! It was awesome to discover this. They want to get baptized but they aren’t married. That is a huge problem here and probably in the whole world now. Nobody gets married anymore! They just move in with each other! Especially here in Santiago, it’s hard because they have to get an appointment to get married civilly and it always takes about 2 to 3 months. So it’s difficult for them to progress quickly towards baptism.
Ivan is doing great! He bore his testimony yesterday in church. It was amazingly powerful and he cried! Some of the coolest missionary moments are to see people really become converted and feel the joy of the Gospel.
It’s getting colder here. My companion is getting a lot better at Spanish and I think it is because he is getting more confident. We had a leadership council meeting the other day and I saw a bunch of Elders that I have been companions with or friends that I have made here in the mission and it was fun. It was also sad because some of them I probably won’t see again. Well, that was my week.
This week was great. It was filled with a lot of rain and it was cold but today the sun came out and it is a very nice day! I had a very, very interesting experience on Saturday in a baptismal interview. I have to conduct the interviews as District Leader. So we went to do one in “Galvarino”. The interview was really poorly coordinated in the first place. Finally, we all got together at the church with the investigator who was a young woman and I was going to do the interview. I asked the Elders if they brought the teaching record and a baptismal form. They hadn’t and then ran to their house to get it.
So I went ahead and started the interview. The investigator didn’t really know a lot of the answers to the questions I was asking. So at the end of the interview, the missionaries arrived with the paperwork and handed them to me through the door. I looked at them and was shocked. The teaching record was half filled out and they hadn’t taught all the lessons they needed to. So I excused myself for a second and went out to talk to the Elders. I kind of “pounded” them. I told them that she couldn’t get baptized because they didn’t teach her all the principles and she wasn’t ready. It was a huge mistake to be interviewing her for baptism at this point. So I went in and tried to nicely tell her that she could not get baptized. When I did she immediately burst into tears and then ran out and into the bathroom before I could finish explaining. So then I sat there freaking out, not knowing what to do and praying a lot.
Soon she came back and sat down. I tried to explain that she didn’t do anything wrong and that the Elders should have prepared her better for the interview. She just said that she never wanted to come back to the church and that she was mad at me. It was so insane! I felt so bad. So then she asked if she could leave and I told her to wait so that the other Elders could explain themselves. They did and we left. It was a great experience to learn that if you are going to do something you have to do it right and do it right the first time. If you don’t then it creates huge problems! So that night I called the Elders again and reminded them about how important it is to do things the right way. I also learned that from now on I won’t do an interview until I have seen the teaching record!
Besides that crazy experience, the week was great! Sunday was awesome. I learned a lot. It was Ward Conference and the Stake President talked about how we are like diamonds and we need two things to shine: a dark background or opposition in life and also good or heavenly light. He talked about how one of those lights from heaven is the Book of Mormon. I loved this example he used in his talk. I am doing great!
Well . . . this week was a first for me on my mission. I was sick the whole week! I am better today and feel good now. I really have been blessed with great health throughout my entire mission. I think I got sick because it is getting cold here and the last time I was in cold weather was like… NEVER! Ha! I dealt with a little bit of cold weather in Utah at BYU my freshman year but that’s basically it! During my mission, I have avoided the cold weather by going to Easter Island. So this time I could not escape it . . . my throat bothered me and then my stomach and I actually had a funny/embarrassing experience on Friday. Being part of a group of missionaries that are ending their missions, we attended the temple in Santiago and before passing the reception desk at the temple entrance I started to feel sick to my stomach so I decided not to go in and I just waited outside. But things got worse and when we were heading back to our apartment, we had to get on the subway. It was rush hour so it was packed with people. We were squeezed in the back of the subway and I was feeling more and more nauseous by the minute! Then I looked at Elder Wright and said that I was going to “barf “ and his words to me were: GO, GO, GO!! Luckily, shortly thereafter we arrived at a subway stop and I squeezed my way out and got to a trashcan to throw up. It seemed like there were hundreds of people watching – ha! It was a great experience – NOT! So then we decided to walk up the street and take a taxi home.
Then on Saturday, I still couldn’t keep anything down and so I stayed inside all day and that is the first time I have done that on my mission. Then yesterday I felt good enough to go to church and now today I feel completely fine. I am a lot skinnier because I haven’t eaten a lot but that’s okay because I need to start my diet to get ready to go home! So that was the week.
The other cool thing that is happening here is the “Soccer World Cup” and Chile played a few days ago. So we had to be in our apartment right when the game started and we were not allowed to go back out. It was so crazy because when Chile scored their goals, our apartment building literally shook. We opened the windows and everyone was yelling and blowing those stadium horns and honking their car horns. It was like all of Chile was partying! Then when the game ended people were yelling for hours and blowing horns again. It was pretty cool. All day long everyone watches all of the games. So we kind of have to work around that. A lot of people don’t receive us because a game is on. Even though Chile isn’t playing, Chileans are still watching all of the games. It is a fun experience though because it is exciting to root for Chile. The USA plays today. I hope that Chile keeps winning.
Finally, we had changes today. I am with my same companion but we received another companion that will replace me when I go and finish training my original companion. That is what happened this week!