Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 12: Dieciocho happened, and cambios

I´ll begin with some less spiritual things: our neighbors got robbed, we had two guardian dogs follow us around everywhere, I´m working the companionship phone right now (AHHHHH), and Happy Birthday Christian.
For Sept 18, Presidente Obeso told us to go to the activity in Puerto Aysen. The drive there is beautiful. It made me think a lot of the countryside in Walter Mitty and Lord of the Rings. 

At the activity we played dodgeball, listened to storytelling, watched people dance the Cueca a lot, and ate like crazy. We even played basketball!!! I dunked it and the Chileans were like "woooooooooow!" For the food, they had three half barrels filled with meat. They had tons of potatoes, soda, beef, chicken, sausages, hot dogs, Chilean salad, and everything else. We said a blessing, then it immediately turned into a brawl. I thought we would have an orderly line with plates, knives, spoons, cups, and everything. But no, how you do it is you attack the table, eat with your hands, and fend for yourself. We had meat juice running down our chins, and our hands were covered in it too. I ate till I hurt. It was awesome.

Cambios are here. I think they are called transfers in English. ELDER RYAN IS LEAVING ME. He will be a zone leader in Rahue. My new comp will come Wednesday. His name is Elder Lawton. When we found out that Elder Ryan would be a zone leader everyone in the house went berserk. Elder Ryan jumped and hit his head on the ceiling (Chilean ceiling) and the light fixture dropped and shattered on the floor which immediately silenced our energy. Haha, so funny.
Familia Opazo in our rama [branch] is amazing. They hold family home evening every Sunday night with someone who isn't a member.
God helped me feel I´m being successful when I read in Preach My Gospel that a successful missionary loves the people and desires their salvation. God also helped me see that I´m enjoying success, even if it isn't in the form of baptisms, because Elena and Evangelista came to church, and Josaline wants to be baptized, and Jonathan and Veronica are returning to church, along with familia Ovando.
I love my mission because I get to fulfill some of my deepest desires. I get to help and love people. I get to help them feel God’s love.
Heavenly Father helped me see how far my Spanish has come. We visited a menos activo that I visited in my first week here. I can understand her now. Yeah, come at me Spanish! I've been blessed to see that. Sometimes I absolutely know the gift of tongues is real, and then sometimes God lets me see my absolute dependence on him.
The two things that I've learned on my mission so far that Heavenly Father is teaching me are: Family is everything, and the atonement is real. Before my mission I knew that Christ suffered for us and knows exactly how I feel. But I didn't really see a point in why knowing how I felt was important. I now know. It is because in my first two weeks in the mission, in my little Gethsemane, that’s the only comfort I had. There was no relief for me. I just had to drink the bitter cup. But the only thing that gave me comfort was knowing that Christ was feeling it with me. I love my Savior.

3 Ne 5:13

Elder West

To the family:

I’m sharing a blessing I got this week.
God knows what I need to do to be who I need to become. He knows how I feel. He loves me. As I am obedient and do all I can with learning the language I’ll be blessed tremendously. God knows my desires. My very strong desires. As I set goals and make plans he will support me in every aspect. He knows my desires to communicate, speak, teach, share thoughts, feelings, and all. He is so proud of me. Just like Dad. I was sent here to become who God needs me to become. I will have health and strength through my whole mission. As I lose myself in the work and do my best, my family will be taken care of. I don’t need to worry about that in anyway. They’ll be just like normal when I get back. The Lord will provide a way in all things.

I love you all so much.

Mom: thanks for updating me about Kevin and the family. I really appreciate your example to me. You have prepared me so much for my mission and for loving the people here. So many times I have doubts, or fears. And then I remember your counsel to me. I have a stripling warrior mother. I don’t doubt anything because I know you know it. I love you.

Dad: last week you told me you see me as a man now. That’s really all I could think about for a few days. That means the world to me. I love you so much. Thank you for the BYU updates. I need those. And yes, your disappointments sound familiar. More people listen to us than to you, but I’m hungry and putting on weight at the same time haha. I’m learning a lot out here. Thank you for your example. I’m humbled that I can help carry on the missionary legacy in our family. I want to help you complete your goal of this. I have remembered so much of your counsel and it has helped me. Thanks for always cleaning stuff. I’m like you in that sense out here. You’ve prepared me to be a man and mature for the mission. I love you.