Monday, 31 October 2011

FIRST CAMBIO - 31ST OCTOBER 2011

Family! So nice to hear from all of you. Thanks so much for all of your letters.

Mum! I´m glad to hear that everything went well with your Super Saturday! I bet it was stressful, but I´m sure you did a great job like always. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO YOU AND DAD!!! I hope you had a great day even though you were really busy. That´s so awesome that you had a friend at church with you!! Haha now she only needs to go twice more before she can get baptized hahaha. Have you introduced her to the missionaries yet? I hope everything goes well with Halloween tonight. It´s a recent thing here so it´s not very big yet. Oh and I hope you have an awesome trip to Vegas!! Sounds like your gonna have a blast. Oh and I got all the postcards from you and Dad. Thank you so much!!

Dad! That´s weird about the stuff with the BYU application. It seems like overkill for me, but I guess if it needs to be done, it needs to be done. That´s too bad abot work. I´ve never been there in the winter so I have no idea what it´s like with snow. I wanna watch that movie, it sounds interesting! How are things with the new calling? Are you busier now? Also, how goes converting Ward Tires? Who´s next for the baptismal font? I´ll answer your question about the food and economy later in the letter.

Michael. A snake is a girl who´s interested in the missionaries. She´s a super snake because she´s just super snakeish. It´s funny cause sometimes when we walk, there are some girls who just stare and Elder Navarrete and I are just like "SNAKE!" haha it´s funny. Snakes are bad. That´s crazy about Carl. I didn´t even know he had his mission call. They sent him out super quick, cause I don´t even think he had sent his papers in before I left. That´s sweet. I´m jealous that you get to go to Vegas, but as I´ve said before, Chile wins. Hahaha. Oh, and call those filthy pimps to repentance. If one tries to hand you his flier thing, knock all of them out of his hand, and tell him he´s going to face the wrath of God. That would be funny, but it´s true.

Charly. I hope halloween goes well for you! You never told me what Twister is, but I hope you have a sweet Halloween. Write me next week and tell me about it!

Jake. I don´t want you to stab me!! I haven´t baptized anyone yet, but we´re getting ready for a few pretty soon don´t you worry. That´s sweet about your trick or treating plans. I remember one time I went with Ben and Joseph our cousins and we got TONS. Keep your ears open for the houses that give out big chocolate bars and make sure you go to them. Also, go out a bit later, and sometimes you´ll see houses and the people leave their bowls of candy outside cause they can´t be bothered to answer the door anymore. Then you have free for all for all that candy. That´s pretty sweet about the mad hatter. Send me pictures!

Kenna. I heard you´re gonna be Rapunzel for Halloween!! Write me and tell me about your Halloween! Also I heard you did awesome in the Primary Presentation. Good job! And you´re becoming an awesome reader! Keep it up. When I come home you could show me all of your reading skills!!

Izaac! I heard you were picking your nose during the Primary Presentation you plonker! That´s funny. Haha I´m happy to hear that you told everyone what your favourite scripture story was all by yourself. I like Jonah and the whale too. So what are you gonna do for Halloween tonight? What are you gonna dress ups as. Write me and tell me about it!

To answer your question about the food Dad, we don´t eat dinner in Chile. We eat breakfast ourselves, usually something really small, then have lunch at around 1:30 at a member´s house everyday except P-Day. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day here. We eat once (eleven) at night in the house, which is also really small. Downtown Talca, which isn´t in our sector but we go there for district meetings everyweek, has a lot of older buildings that aren´t in use because of the earthquake. When I arrived in Concepción at the beginning we saw a ton of buildings that were destroyed from the earthquake. The economy´s pretty good, and as far as I know, everyone in the ward´s pretty well off. The houses are way way smaller here though. They´re so close together too. It´s a lot different, but I love it. Pretty much everyone has a fence out front with a gate, I think for added security, even though Talca´s pretty calm. Maybe it´s also to protect from dogs that poop on the lawn otherwise. There are so many dogs on the street, and tons of people have their own dogs.. It´s funny, because some are really nice and friendly, some are scared of people, and some want to kill us but are too scared to come close enough and bite us. Imagine Sammy´s barking all the time from like every 3rd house, but sometimes with growling and bared teeth. Also there are people with their carriage things that are pulled by horses that go around the streets trying to sell their crops from the country. It´s funny because the people go around the town with their megaphones trying to sell their stuff.

Today was our first cambio! The literal translation for cambio is change, but I can´t remember the English word for cambio in the mission sense. It´s when new missionaries come, companionships change, and people move. Elder Navarrete and I are staying in La Florida, and he´s now are District Leader. Our old District Leader, Elder Moss, went home today. His son (missionary who is training) Elder Moss is gonna have a step-father (new trainer) now. One of our Zone Leaders went too. I don´t know who will be the new one. The zone might change a little bit and our district might have the sisters in Constitution where we went last week. That means every once in a while we will have to take a 2 hour bus ride there and back so Elder Navarrete can do interviews or something.

This week we had a conference with the outside part of the mission and the President and his wife. I love conferences cause for one we learn tons of new things and how we can improve in our contacts, teaching, and study, but I think the most important thing is that it gets us super excited to go out and work. Elder Navarrete and I worked our butts off this week it was great. We were completely beat last night, but we´re happy cause that means we´ve worked hard. It´s interesting to see how our numbers improved so much since my first week. It´s great!! I´m excited cause it means we´re improving. This cambio we´re going to be reading through Preach My Gospel and doing the activities all at the same time as a mission. The President has given us a calendar of what we need to be studying everyday so we can become Preach My Gospel missionaries. I´m super excited. I have so much more to learn.

This week we were happy cause we had 5 investigators at church, and all of them are progressing towards baptism. For two of them it was their second attendance. We´re going to try and baptize Enrique next Sunday after church but we have a lot of work ahead if we wanna do that, and we have to make sure he´s ready. We have a lot of work to do this month, but I feel like it´s going to be a successful month.

Oh and by the way, in a week and a half we´re having a conference with the whole mission. We have to go to Concepción the night before. It´s gonna be a big deal. We don´t know what it´s about, but the President said all he knows is that someone is coming that when he enters the room we have to stand up. That means apostle!!!! I´m super excited!!! We´re gonna learn so much it´s gonna be great!!!

This week was awesome. We found 20 new investigators, and some of them seem really great. We had some pretty interesting experiences too. One guy showed us anti-mormon stuff. We tried to explain to him that if he really wants to know about our church, he needs to hear it from the legit sources. We bore testimony and tried to do a prayer with him, but he wouldn´t let us. I think he thought we were gonna do some weird curse on him or something hahaha I have no idea. It was pretty funny, but frustrating because we wasted a bunch of time at his house. Also, we went into this one house to teach and it was really weird. Only the wife and her 8 year old son were in the room. It felt weird. The son mentioned something about how he´s seen spirits or something before. Then another son came in about the same age as us. He just glared at us and refused to participate. At the end when we wrote down everyones names so we could come back later he refused to give it to us. Weird. Also, we were doing contacts in a place that we haven´t been to before because it´s so far away. We contacted one house, and it was really weird. When we said good morning she told us that there was nothing good about it. She said a bunch of other really weird things and was really rude. She didn´t let us in. We started laughing our heads off as we left because the people here are never like that. It was funny. A different lady was talking to us at the door, and with a smile on her face told us we were of the devil. She tried to preach to us, but told us things that we agreed on. After, she started contradicting herself and at the end told us with a smile on her face not to lie to the people. It was weird.

It´s funny when we do contacts sometimes because we tell people that we´re missionaries and they say, "Oh but I´m from a different church" as if we didn´t know hahaha. We say, "We know, we know the members of our church, and we´re here to talk to you about ours." Very rarely are the people harsh. Normally just jerks or old people. Occasionally when we say hi to people as we´re walking by they drop their heads and don´t reply. The majority of the time though, they´re really nice. Sometimes people start preaching to us about stuff as if they´re telling us something completely new, even though we believe the same thing. We hear people say all the time that they are Catholic but not active, and that religion doesn´t matter because all it is is different ways of worshipping the same God, and all of us are going to the same place. Lots of people are super passive. The majority of so called "catholics" don´t read the bible, dont go to mass, and believe something completely different to what their church teaches. The most frustrating thing is lazy people who don´t want to do anything.

Also the president apparently calls the people here Chinos (Chinese people) because in his business he would go to China, talk with people about something, and they would nod and say yes to everything with a smile on their face, but when it came time to sign the papers they wouldn´t do it. He says that Chilenos are like Chinos. So many people here agree with everything we say, but when we invite them to act they say no. I love to find someone who is legitimately willing to act on our message, and do so sincerely.

Oh and by the way I had to give a talk on Sunday. The Bishop called us on Wednesday to ask us to speak for 15 minutes each in Sacrament Meeting. I thought Elder Navarrete was kidding cause I was thinking, I can´t speak Spanish!! It went well though. I had to prepare the whole thing word for word cause I can´t just go on in Spanish without another person to talk to. I talked about the Atonement and how everyone here worships Jesus Christ and claims him as their Lord and Saviour, but we as Latter-day Saints have exclusive access to it because nobody else has the correct form of baptism. Elder Navarrete laid down the law as he spoke about how the God we believe in is a God that asks things of everyone. He´s not just some loving energy that asks nothing of us. He´s the same God that asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, who lead the Israelites in the desert for 40 years, who asked Lehi and his family to leave everything and go to the wilderness, and who asked the pioneers to walk for thousands of miles west. It was perfect for one of our investigators who was at church who knows our message is true but refuses to act on it.

I love being a missionary!! Every week is better and better. Spanish is improving tons, and I feel like I´m becoming more of an instrument in the Lord´s hands everyday. Keep praying for me, and know that I pray for ou every day. I know the church is true. It just is. There aren´t any if, ands, or buts. Joseph Smith was a prophet, the Book of Mormon is true, and we have prophets today. Jesus Christ is our Saviour, and He is at the head of this church.

I love you all and hope you´re all doing well!!

¡Chao!

Elder Blomfield