Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Week 21

Hey. Super stressed out because I just had a very difficult conversation with this librarian here in Puerto Cisnes to get a password or something. Took a while; choppy communication. Haha.

OK. Puerto Cisnes RAINS. It just dumps it here. Yesterday was the first day without rain. Everything in my backpack got soaked. We use shopping bags to wrap our scriptures in and such. Crazy. My first day here I was walking with shoes full of water. And then I found out because my feet have been so wet that I have foot fungus. Looks like athletes foot. I’ve been using a cream and it is leaving. Phew.

The members here are GOLDEN. So close knit. There are about 30 that come to church. We taught the second hour class.

Here, the dogs eat rocks. They like it when we kick rocks to them. They chase them and then chew them. More with dogs: we found dog poop in our house, and after a thorough search, we didn't find any dogs.

The other day I totally cut a guys "grass" (more like a jungle forest floor) with a machete, and then we chopped his wood. The Lord is making me a man out here.
For some weird reason, I’ve seen a lot of people here with dinosaurs in their windows; like the little toy kind.

Cisnes is tiny, and so is our investigator pool right now. We are working hard with lots of contacts. The people here don’t have a problem letting me know that they would rather not. But my contacts are improving so much. I’ve made contact plans, so I actually have something to say. It is going well. But here are the weird contact stories of the week:
-One guy wouldn’t talk. We used our hands and signs. Reminded me a lot of that part in Walter Mitty when they are just doing a lot of pointing to communicate and all you can hear are their coats squeaking. We just left him with a pass along card. He had a backpack full of kelp from the beach. Weird.
-Another guy was pretty shafty. As I was asking him if he knew anyone else we could visit, he lost his patience and slammed the door and we hear him yell, “Chao no más!", which I guess translates in this situation to "forget you" or something more mean.
-We talked to a sailor. He was cussing like one too.
-A drunk guy called us swearwords as we walked past his house.
-A lot of people just shake their fingers like "nuh-uh" and we laugh because it looks like they’re a sassy lady trying to be like Beyonce or something.
-During a Chile soccer game against Uruguay, no one was answering their doors. We were calling "ahloo" at an investigators house so we could make a cita, and they weren’t answering. So I tried the Chile soccer cheer. I yelled "chi chi chi" but no one responded with the "le le le." We left.
-One house was playing the drums. They weren’t answering, so I drummed on their door and they still didn’t answer. Fun though.
While we were waiting for a door to answer, Elder Harris was leaning against the hand rail. The wood was so rotted that it broke, and he fell onto the grass. Super funny. He reminds me a lot of my cousin Christian, just with the way he laughs and jokes around. So that is a tender mercy. We laugh a lot about the contacts we do. Also I cut his hair this morning. After, he tried to trim his eyebrows with the hair cutter. He comes up the stairs and looks at me on the bed, and he is like "Elder West, I just shaved off my eyebrows." HAHAHAHA; I died laughing for about 5 minutes. I guess he tried it out a little bit, went too far, and then had to finish the deed. Super funny. He has also been with Latino companions his whole mission. So when we read the mission manual together in companionship study, he has a Spanish accent. And that gets me every time, too.
This one drunk guy let us into his house. He had a buddy there who was suuuuper tipsy with his wine. We sat down. The guy served us sopaipillas. He was talking about anything and everything, and the whole time he would pour some wine, drink, talk, drink, talk. After a bit he was pretty loose. He showed us pics of his family. One was of him surrounded by a crowd of 50 people after he had just split a huge knotted tree trunk in a wood cutting competition. His lips were puckered out and everyone was like "oooohhhhhh." Super funny. Then we saw in another picture that he had that he had an accordion. I asked him if he played. Before we knew it, he was playing the accordion for us and singing. We started clapping, stomping our feet, and providing backup vocals. Meanwhile, his drunken Argentine friend would change from clapping, to doing the robot, to merengue dancing, to chopping the table. Then he would repeat. We had a rolling time. Haven´t laughed so hard in a while. God is blessing me with these funny experiences.

We stopped one lady’s house to invite her to church. It didn't go well. We were testifying and sharing scriptures. But she was denying every effort. It was sad to see her deny the Spirit. She wouldn’t pray either. We went home sad that day. Then she came to church the next day. So that didn’t make much sense. But it ended up well.

But the best experience of the week came in one of my scripture studies. This week my mind has been at home a lot because Great-grandma West died. I was so concerned with my family; if they were comforted; how they were feeling; how my other family, who aren’t members of the Church, would take her death. I was super concerned. Stressed. I had two dreams where other siblings died. And the new sector stress was humbling me too. I prayed hard, and God answered. I followed the advice in Alma 37:37. I counseled with the Lord in all my doings. I knelt and let Him know exactly how I was feeling. I felt like I just needed to keep working and have patience. In my scripture study, I was reminded of the promise in Doctrine and Covenants 31:5 where it says if I work hard as a missionary, my family will live. The Spirit comforted me that the Lord is holding my family in his hands. Tender mercy. God gives us comfort according to our needs.

I love you all.

Elder West