Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 20. Me voy a Cisnes!

This week...
Every day at noon the bomberos (firefighters) sound an alarm. Sounds like we are about to get bombed.
For my birthday Elder Watson made me a Mickey Mouse pancake (cute), and Elder Lawton bought me a pan con chicharron. I bought two berlins [jelly filled donuts] and we ate them at lunch. Then we knocked doors all day! But it was a really good day, and I enjoyed it a lot. Forgot my camera so next week = double pics!
This week we needed to buy more gas. They sell them in metal containers and you call for them. I called for like my second time, and I was leaning on Elder Watson and Elder Godoy for the vocab because I don’t speak Chilean gas company Spanish. They were giggling with every word I said. Then after the call they exploded laughing. I basically told the guy on the phone that "we need a 15 kg balloon of gas right now you slave." Haha, love those clowns.
There was this one door contact that lasted for like 20 minutes and he was going on and on about everything anti-American. He said we are super racist. He said he is brown, Elder Lawton is white, and then he called me yellow. Haha. He was short, fat, and super animated with every gesture. Then he talked about Barack Obama, and I lost it. I turned around and laughed so hard. The guy kept talking to Elder Lawton while I fought to not laugh. That made my day.
Elder Lawton and I were at a gate and calling for someone in the house *aaloh. No one came. But there was a big dog in our face. We started talking to the dog in Spanish. It went like this: "Hey, how is your day?" Bark. "Bad? We are sorry." Bark "Is there anything we can do for you?" And then the dog ran away from us. We both said at the same time "Have a good day." It was super funny because we had been getting shafted all day long, and the dog contact went just like every other human contact.
We had one contact where I understood about 5%. Then I was talking two days later with Jose for about an hour in Spanish. I’m living a bilingual paradox. Elder Lawton said the guys were speaking weird and it was even hard for him to understand them so that made me feel better. I’m basically fluent, woot woot. The Lord totally has calmed my fears looking back on my pre mission language fears.
We talked to a 96 year old woman who was pulling nails out of wood and picking up garbage. Wow.
The district mission leader spoke to us at zone meeting. He switched the labels of a can of tuna and a can of strawberry and had two missionaries pick which one they wanted to drink. They were fooled. Then he compared that to his mission. He said that the truly sweet results are found in what first appears to be hard work (tuna). It was powerful.
After interviews with President last week, the zone leaders told me I will be having a two week intercambio [companion exchange] in Puerto Cisnes. My bus leaves in like an hour, so I gotta be pronto. But Puerto Cisnes is beautiful, and tiny tiny. The work there is HARD and it is easy to get disanimated. President said that Cisnes needs an Elder West. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve with all the enthusiasm I can muster in Cisnes. It’s a four hour bus ride. There are like 2,000 people there.

One guy stopped us on the street and told us he wants to feel closer to God. We have a cita with him this week. Another guy with 15 years [15 year old] told us in a lesson that he wants to be on the right path because his family isn’t religious. We are finding a lot of prepared people here.
One day I felt like we needed to pass by the house of some former investigators. On the way we ran into a recent convert who we found the other day. (I felt like we should knock the house and we did and we found her.) She has 4 months in the church and just moved from Concepcion. She told us when we ran into her again that she moved more into lower Coyhaique. She will now be with the hermanas. It is cool to see how the Lord guides. He didn’t want that sister to slip through the system and not be back at church.
The other day I was organizing our area book and I saw all the people we have taught here and all the new people we have found. I saw the fruits of our labors. It felt good. We are growing this part of the vineyard.
We passed by the house of Hermana J. to pick up our lunch. I shared Mosiah 2:17 with her to thank her, and she had tears in her eyes. It was so tender to see that the Lord communicated to this hermana through me (a complete rookie) something that needed to touch her heart. I’m so grateful to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands.
I heard that Great-grandma West died. I cried. I love her. Mosiah 16:1-7 talks all about the bad things that would be if there was no Christ. I LOVE verse 8 because Abinadi totally lays his testimony out on the table. Verse 8 begins with "But" and in the following verses he testifies of Jesus Christ. I know we will see Great-grandma West again. Moroni 9:25-26. I am praying for you guys.
This week we have tried so hard to do all we can to leave the house on time. As we have, looking back I realized that as we have been more and more obedient, the more I am enjoying the work. I love obedience. It only brings happiness.

Elder West

A picture of Puerto Cisnes from a travel website (