Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Week 2012!


December 24, 2012

Hey everyone! Feliz Navidad!

We are here, now with Elder Ulibarri from Salt Lake (sorta) in Talca Centro, and life is good!
And busy. Here’s what’s been goin’ on this week.

So on Monday, Elder Conti and I ran all around Talca visiting everyone important before he left
for Longavi. He left Tuesday morning and about forty-five minutes later Elder Ulibarri got here.
He is a smaller guy from the States, went to Westminster for a year before the mission. He has
about six months left in the mission, and is district leader. He is pretty serious but a really good
guy--we are being very diligent and obedient-- I am learning a lot of rules that I never knew
existed before in our mission. Ha ha. Woops. We are also teaching a lot-- this week has been
kind of a test to see how well I know my sector and how well I can work with it. We need to plan
a little better to spend less time on the bike, but that’s really hard to do, and it’s a process. But
with that we are gonna start havin’ a lot more success as well.

Lots of crazy things have happened this week, especially with the end of the world on the 21st.
We got so many questions about that that it was just a little bit disappointing when absolutely
nothing happened. Actually, Tuesday night we had a blackout in the whole region and our
neighbors started going crazy! But it was good stuff, and they came back on fast. We have had
a lot of fun introducing Elder Ulibarri to the sector, and lots of crazy experiences this week. You
can definitely tell a difference with a gringo comp.

We found a great family our first afternoon with Elder Ulibarri. Elder Conti and I had asked the
wife for directions and then the husband let us in and told us his whole life he had felt guilty
because he had been chosen to serve a mission for some church in Rwanda then had gotten
drunk the night before and missed his flight. We are really excited to keep working with them, a
really great family. It was about time.

We are kind of in a hurry, but it’s so great to hear from everyone. Love the pics, especially of
Sam and Allie! Lookin’ good, Sam! ...

Something sad-- I just got a letter that was rejected from the US that I had sent to dear Alice.
That was really sad. I sent it in October and just got it back, so I’m gonna start that process over
again. I am really excited to hear more about Allie´s call and all that, and when she is going to
the temple! I miss the temple. I don’t like thinking about the temple too much-‘ makes me
homesick and trunky.

Our main man, Javier, came to church yesterday! Awkward a little, kind of a weird dude, but he
wants to get baptized and it is gonna change the man’s life. Hopefully the ward can really work
well with him. Also the family of Pilar, who were gonna come to church but ditched us at the last
second, are gonna celebrate on the 25th with us. Hopefully that is fun. Hopefully she will come
to church next week!

One last activity-- On Sunday, we went to sing, us six elders, in a populacion for this less active
guy, Jorge Nunez. I played the keyboard an we sang two hymns, and then he wanted me to
sing one solo. I sang Silent Night in English and forgot the words to the second verse. So I just
sang that. "I don’t know the rest of the words, but Jesus was born and that’s really good," or
something like that. Oh, well. No one understood anyway.

Excited to hear about Duke! And what Tom and Cars are doin’ well! Send my regards to family,
the Jacobs, the Hammonds I guess, Ben, and all that!
Gotta go, but see ya tomorrow!

Feliz Navidad!
Elder Brown

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 17, 2012


December 17, 2012
Hey Everyone!

So we just finished up this cambio this week! We have been really busy working with the ward, biking all around Talca, Chile, to find all the members of the ward that have died or moved or lie to us and say they don’t live there any more... all that good stuff. The ward really appreciates us, and the bar is very high for us here in this ward. We have lots of room to improve-- I am looking forward to the opportunity to try out being companero mayor for at least a few weeks-- I think Elder Urubali, something like that, who is going to be my new comp, is going to be district leader here; he has about a year in the mission, I think. These seven weeks with him should be great.

I have gotten four packages I think-- one from the Taylors, one from Gma and Gpa, one little one from Mom, and a big one from Mom. I wrapped them all up so it actually feels a little like Christmas-- but not really because it is really hot, we don’t have a tree; it’s really different and weird. But we have lots of things to do and a lot of work so no time to miss home.

This Wednesday we had our mission conference for Christmas! It was pretty neat-- about 100 missionaries there, the half of the mission. President and Sister Humphrey spoke briefly, there were some special numbers, we watched the video of photos from all the mission they had made which was really cool and funny, and then ate and got our packages. Ate a ton of chicken, rice, gravy, banana, and an AMAZING brownie. Its been a long time since I’ve eaten something chocolatey. That tasted good, at least.

We had a good English class on Thursday-- We compared the Book of Mormon with the Libro de Mormon, reading a Christmas part, Helaman 14:5-8. One guy got really mad-- said he was there to learn English, not about the Mormons, but whatever. His loss.

Yesterday we had lunch with the bishop--our favorite lunch. He lives outside of Talca, and always takes forever-- we never get back before 4, and we are supposed to start working at 3:30. But oh well. Not really anything we can do about that. But his sister-in-law was there, from North Carolina! She is very Chilean and is not very good at speaking English, even though she has lived there for 20 years, in Fayetteville, go figure. But it was fun to talk to her.

Lots of funny stories too-- and miracles as well. Elder Conti, who gets really offended whenever anyone confuses Paraguay and Uruguay, and I were in a part of Talca where all of the street names are names of countries. I was teasing him about Uruguay, oh woops, Paraguay, and he said the next time I said something he was gonna hit me (joking of course). But the next person we talked to told us the person we were looking for lived in "the pasaje Uruguay.... woops, Paraguay.... ah, it’s okay, they’re the same." It was hilarious. We both started laughing, and the lady had no idea what happened.

A sidenote-- Elder Call, who used to be in this sector, is from Rock Hill, South Carolina. So there ya go, Tom and Cars. By the way-- hope finals went well for all those studious students! Allie, Cody, Tom, Cars, anyone else who is in school and happens to be reading this!

Also-- The Story of The Negrita
Elder Conti, about six weeks ago, ordered a jersey of Paraguay from a store near our house. The guy told him it would be ready in a week. We came back, he said it would be ready in two days. This has gone on for about the past six weeks, each time with Elder Conti getting more and more frustrated. About three weeks ago, I told him that if his jersey was there the next day, like the guy said, I would buy him a negrita, a really good cookie thing they have here in Chile. He said that the Spirit had manifested to him that his jersey would be ready. It wasn’t. So I told him he could wait to buy me my negrita until it came. It never came. So finally, here we are with my negrita.

We have had a lot of good lessons and seen a lot of changes in the ward and in ourselves, but one experience sticks out from this week. Before the English class we met in the chapel with a member and Felipe, the boy from the streets that has had a lot of problems with drugs and is homeless. We had given up on him a little because he didn’t show to help us do service. But they showed up, and we taught about faith. He was having a really hard time understanding-- he has clearly been pretty damaged by the drugs. But we invited him to give the closing prayer, which he eventually did, and as he was praying, he just started to cry. It was a really powerful experience, and even though he didn’t come to church Sunday, hopefully he will continue to progress.

Love you all! Feliz Navidad! 2 Ne 19:6. I think. Go Handel. I mean Nefi. I mean Isaiah.

Elder Brown




All the bread we got one day from families. Dont worry, the next day someone gave us some marmalade. Apricot (damasco).


That sign says avoid disturbances. Like missionaries.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 10, 2012--with photos!


Hey folks!

Welp. Another cambio is coming to its end. A short one, only five weeks, so that the elders who are leaving can get home before Christmas! Fun for them. A little sad for us. But we are going to have a great time with all the activities comin up with the ward and everything here in TC! 

It will be weird going back to school again after the mission, but definitely not any harder. The schedule on the mission really teaches you how to use your time wisely- one mess up in the schedule and literally nothing else goes as well as you would like. 

So let’s see. Lots going on this week in Talca Centro. We have had a lot of people who we thought were golden just completely go off the deep end. One called us completely drunk and I talked with him for about 5 minutes how he just loves us but has different views of the Word of Wisdom and convenios and all that. Good guy, but honestly, the Chileans can be pretty frustrating at times. Chismosos, mentirosos, orgullosos. But it’s great to find those that want to listen to us and change their lives. We have a few that we are visiting that are promising, but it is still early and we will see. Really it all depends on if they can have enough faith to try to go to church. If they can just go once they are gonna feel something special there, and that makes all the difference. 

It’s us and Jardin del Valle in our district now- we had a minicambio this week again, me with Elder Silva again, but this time in TC. He is pretty tough to work with. Very quiet direct, but a good missionary. Didnt have a lot of success with him. Didnt plan well enough, and didnt get all the visits we needed done. But this week should go a lot better. We have some investigators that should start to progress. Ill share about two of them.

Javier has talked a lot with missionaries in the past. He is a real nervous guy that suffers from panic attacks. Lives with his parents, he is almost forty. I think he has troubles with smoking. He has gone to church once, and he wants to be baptized, but he has a hard time going to church because it makes him really nervous. Which is sad. But we will work hard with him and pray that he can have the faith and courage to do what he needs to.

Felipe is a young guy that was in Church on Sunday with a member. She found him on the street and invited him to church. He has worked as a clown in the circus but got into drugs and now lives on the street. He is a good guy, but seems like he has a hard time understanding, and we are pretty sure he can’t read, although he says he can. We talked with him at church, then visited him in the members house later in the afternoon. We are gonna look for a job for him, do some service with him, and really just try to save this kids life. It’s possible, if he is willing to just do it.

But that’s how it is. It’s all there- people just need to ACT! Super simple- like lookin at a snake on a stick, but still, for pride, or malcomunicacion, or other things, people who honestly need what we have won’t do anything! It’s sad. But we do what we can. I am learning lots of patience and I think I have learned a lot about the balance we need as missionaries with Elder Conti. Fun, but spiritual. Direct, but loving. Focused on our purpose of bringing others to Christ and helping them receive eternal life, rather than the darn numbers. And more patience. And probably above all, humility. Poco por poco thats startin to come too. 

We have been fixing the ward records all week- updating them to all the people that have died, moved, the houses that no longer exist after the terramoto, and all  the menos activos that lie to us when we ask if they know the member.

While we were updating that, we realized that Rayen Concha, a less active daughter of Fabiola, our favorite lady who washes our clothes, hasn’t been baptized. We are working on that, but Fabiola is really strict that she won’t force her daughter to do anything and she doesn’t want us doing it either. So we have to tread really carefully there. Jose our golden investigator who won’t keep the word of wisdom and doesn’t understand repentance is living in a house of all guys who yell at us. Drunks. Awkward the lessons there. 

We are having a mission conference this week- should be really neat to see everyone! Hopefully I see Elder Shumway! Keep me updated on all the mission calls- Awesome that Steph Tidwell is coming here! I met an elder Riley Greenwood today, the son of Ann Perry, the daughter of Peggy Wheelwright today. Had no idea I had a relative in this mission. Whoda thunk. 

Say hi to Allie and Ben and Thomas and Carson for me- they're all great and I hope things are going well as they finish up their semester! Game time! 

Well, that’s all for now folks. Check in next week to find what happens to us in our next transfer. Should be interesting. 99 to 1 says that Elder Conti is outta here. Me- I’m guessin at least one more. Probably two or three. Cause that’s how I roll. Kinda scary- but exciting!

Have a great week!
Elder Brown






This is me in front of a weird rock church by our house. The sign says they are preparing the saints for latter days, and talks about the same organization, apostles, profetas, etc. They are called "Hijos de trueno." Like James and John. Boanerges. Ha ah funny stuff.

Me with my Christmas packages! I took the liberty of wrapping them on up.

Me and Elder Greenwood. Good guy. Good at soccer too. He was just here for the day- not really sure why. But cool! 


Monday, December 3, 2012

December 3, 2012


December 3, 2012

Hey, Everyone!

Sounds like lot’s going on... not a ton of time to write but we are working better here in Talca Centro! Had an inspection of our house today (passed with flying colors) -- and we played tennis, too! It was great. The courts were all dirt, and I don’t think we were supposed to be playin’ on them... but hey, tennis is tennis. Borrowed racquets from a member and played with Elder Skyler Smith from St. George. Good stuff. Fun stuff.

Our fridge broke this week as we were cleaning it. So...workin’ on that one.

We baptized Sandra this week! She was so ready and the baptism was great! Both of us were in the font to help her out--she has had a stroke, and she has a hard time moving.

One experience that really stands out this week is when we were on divisions with the ward. I was with one hermano, Cristian Chamorro, and we were trying to visit a less active. Couldn’t find him but I asked him if there was anyone else we could visit, and we totally found a good investigator. He was really excited and it was great.
I’ll try to share more experiences, but we don’t have a lot of time today between playin’ tennis and having that inspection.

Let’s see--we don’t have any really great investigators right now--lots that could be great but we are just starting with all of them. We are working really hard, though, to get a lot of them in the church so they can progress. I am getting’ the swing of things here in Talca Centro--Elder Conti thinks he is going to leave this transfer and that I’m going to train. Don’t think I like that idea--going to be even more stress doin’ that. But it’s whatever. Better to be focusing on that than missing everything that’s going on at home.

I have seen President like three times, I think? At conference, our interviews, and a training we had on Thursday. Good stuff. Nice guy. Seems really relaxed with everything, which is kinda how ya have to be in Chile, I guess.

So we have been working hard this week. I got a letter from Tom and Cars! Sounds like things are great. Good to hear from them. Classic Tom quote: 'Forget UNC anyway, am I right?' Ha ha. And Carson in religion class with his Buddhist teacher. I’m sure that’s been interesting. I sent a letter to them, too--should get there by the time I get back to Duke. Hopefully.

We got cussed out this week by a drunk in the street, yellin’ at us that we lied to his mother. He had a really long white beard. Basically we got cussed out by the Chilean Santa Claus.

(About the photos from Carson, Tom, and Allie)
Wow, classic photo of Carson with a HUGE beard. What a man. And James! Good guy. Send my regards to him, as well. And great photos of Allie—I’d love to know more about those guys she is with... Na, just kidding. Great Christmas photo of them. In plaid. Lumberjacks. Tom with the pumpkin! Ha ha good stuff. And Molly Culhane... what dance was that? Looks like it was a party. Looks like Cars Daddy trimmed the beard up for that one. Well... looks like all is going good out there. Are Tom and Cars gonna visit Utah this winter?

What else happened this week. Had a good training session all Thursday morning with the president. It was about how to teach more like Christ. I’m really confident in Elder Conti and my abilities in teaching. We are doing well. Just need to keep working hard. Had a mini change with Elder Silva from Santiago this week, in Jardin Del Valle. Super hard two days—lots of walking really fast--taught like three lessons total. Super hard. I learned a lot, especially about optimism and keeping the good attitude! Really essential to the work. Havin’ fun!

Have fun in Hawaii, too. Send my love to everyone! And Maggie, too, even though she doesn’t write me. Punk.
https://mail.google.com/mail/images/cleardot.gif
Heard you talked with Al Sanchez! Good stuff! Awesome! Love that guy. He alone will make it hard to leave TC. Give my love to everyone!

Zach

P.S. Tell Carson to shave the beard! That thing is ridonk. He looks like the Chilean Santa Claus that cussed us out.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November 26, 2012


November 26, 2012

Hey everyone!

Sounds like everyone is doing really well and had a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Hard week this week in Talca. We have lost a lot of our investigators. We need to find a lot more people, through references from the ward, checking old investigators. We are in for some long afternoons and some long weeks ahead, I fear. We don’t really have any great prospects for December, besides Sandra. The future is as bright as our faith, as Pres. Monson dice.

For Thanksgiving, we ate soup. A little depressing. We have eaten a lot of artichoke and fried fish this week, strangely.

Saw a kid in the streets of Chile this week with a Duke shirt on! “Duke Basketball: It’s worldwide.” If you didn’t get that... repent. Ha ha, broma. Look it up on youtube.

Well, I think that’s about it for this week. Write me with questions; the days are really just starting to blur together here. I don’t always remember what to write. But we are doing relatively well, pushing forward, and I am learning a LOT about what we will change in the future, like patience, charity, having optimism, and moving forward with faith; also about the kind of missionary I want to be-- focused on my purpose and ready to walk the walk, not just talk it.
I like a quote that I saw in relation to the story of John Tanner, an early Mormon. An apostle, Neal A Maxwell, said that ¨Consecration is the only surrender which is also a victory.¨ Important to remember.

Love you all and send my regards to everyone!
Zach

p.s. I got some letters this week-- the latest was from Oct 20, I think. Got one from Ben-- how is he doing? I’m also sending some letters today-- to Allie, Tom and Cars, and Ben. What’s the news with all of them?

It’s hard to be here right now, thinkin’ about the holiday season. Easier when we are working hard and focused on the investigators. We helped Alejandro Sanchez hang some ornaments and stuff in his house-- and everyone has their Christmas stuff up. Should be lights on the houses soon! Fun stuff.



And just some silly photos... 
"Adrienne!"
(An investigator gave him a boxing glove)

"I wear many different hats as a missionary."


Monday, November 19, 2012

November 19, 2012: Darth Elder


November 19, 2012

Hey everyone!

We have been working really hard this week. They don’t really do Thanksgiving at all in Chile. But I will celebrate by myself if I have to.

We had a good, busy week with lots of appointments and new people to teach. I played the piano in the ward conference for the choir.

Good to hear about Duke basketball, thanks, Dad! Sweet that they beat Kentucky. If they win a natty champ while I’m gone, voy a matar un perro.

We have been working with menos activos all week and trying to get our baptisms! We hope to be baptizing Sandra this week! She was a reference from a member; she has had a stroke and she has a hard time walking. The baptism will be interesting-- should be a good week!

Right now I am with Elder Rhodes of Garland, Utah; Elder Conti went to Chillan for the day. We played some soccer this morning, but all in all it’s been pretty quiet here in Talca Centro this week. Not as hot this week, which was nice. But I think we might have a couple of long months in our future of hot and dusty days. Huzzah!

Starting to feel like I can really understand everyone, contribute well as we teach, help with all the stuff, voice my thoughts in Spanish, and, all in all, it’s really coming together. Weird to think that Christmas is right around the corner. Should be good.

Love you all and mande mis saludas a los de Duke! I’m going to try and write some letters today to Tom and Cars and Allie, that I’ll send next week, I think. We have to go to Cancha Rayada tonight to work! Elder Rhodes only has one more cambio than me in the mish-- he isn’t great with Spanish either--tonight should be lots of fun!

Also this week we had our Ward FHE-- lots of fun. We played a scripture chase game which was fun and ate some goodies we made. Elder Conti and I spent two hours that morning making a bunch of rice crispy treats out of corn flakes (no rice crispies in Chile) that the ward loved. The recipe is secret. It’s our go to--super easy to make.

I think we are going to try to play some tennis next Monday! Also, I want to try and make some chocolate chip cookies. I miss good American food. Ugh. For Thanksgiving, Grandpa is eating turkey for me, Grandma is eating pie, Rachel is eating vegetables I think--I need someone else to take care of the rolls, potatoes and gravy obviously, and whatever else good stuff there is. Add mayonnaise and oil to any of that and it becomes Chilean!

Lots of love,
Zach

Darth Elder Brown with Vicente

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12, 2012 (Week 16)


November 12, 2012

Hey folks!

Well, here we are in Talca Centro. Elder Conti y yo. Got our cambio noticias this morning! And... we are staying in Talca Centro. No surprise there. I´m really glad I get to hang around here for Christmas with this great ward and with Elder Conti! Even if it is getting hot in a hurry.

We heard about the elections on Wednesday from an hermana in the ward. One of our worse almuerzos-- she didn’t know we were coming. We ate tuna with tomato and pan, with a little rice. Starving for the rest of the day. Her house is just kind of a dark place-- kids are all living a tough lifestyle, she is separated, just feels dirty. And she just dropped it on us that 'el negro salió´(todos Chilenos dicen eso en vez de Obama). The rest of the week we have been answering questions about which I wanted and what I think and all that. We aren’t supposed to talk about politics at all so I just bite my tongue and say they both had good and bad things and kill the subject. Sad stuff, though. Sorry, Mom.

We had another baptism this week! Of Cristofer—finally! It was great-- his ENTIRE family was there-- like twenty Chileans running around in the capilla, none of them members. Wahoo for referencias! We have been working hard with the ward, as well-- trying to really make the work here in Talca a joint effort with everyone. I did the baptizing-- it was neat to pull out the ol’ blanca ropa and give the prayer in Spanish. He was really excited, and I hope he really stays strong in the Gospel all through his teenage years. Life is rough in Chile for the jovenes.

We have been working hard with investigators, as well-- we updated our big map with names of all our investigators and futures and members, etc., to help us plan our days more effectively. We are working better as a team, Elder Conti and I, and I am getting better at just relaxing a little and letting the work happen. It’s frustrating when we don’t meet our goals when we had planned well, or when we spend too long in a house, but it’s better to be charitable and always demonstrate amor than to let that frustration show. I have been working on that.

Had a minicambio with Elder Hernandez, one of our zone leaders, this week. He is from Peru and he is an excellent missionary. A great example for me. Very punctual, very good at controlling conversations, and he teaches powerfully and gets results. He taught me a lot about accountability-- how every goal we are accountable for, if we don’t meet them, and will feel pesar if we don’t get them. Also about planning better and getting more done. Fun guy, too.

We have been working hard and having a great time. I love Talca Centro-- the time is flying by, I can’t believe we are close to halfway through November! Wow! It’s a little sad to think of all the great family and friends and food and relaxing I’m missing at home but we are going to have a great Christmas with the ward, and I am learning so much, and I think am making a difference in many people’s lives. I hope at least a little.

Plenty of time to still enjoy the summer in Talca, love the sweat, the broken bikes, the fallen citas, the porotos, the huge lunches, the arta bebida (literally, my kidneys and liver and spleen and all of me are going to have huge health problems with all this darn Coca-Cola. I hate it), the people, the beautiful city, the good times with the ward and other missionaries!

I hope all goes well this week with everyone! Saludes a Alice, Ben, Tom and Cars, Hno Tonson, Bro Rogerson, Jordan and Han and Adrienne, and all the other Duke people!

Lots of love,
Elder Zach Brown

Elder Brown and Cristofer

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 5, 2012


November 5, 2012

Hola Familia!

I finally got some letters in the mail! Always good to hear some good jokes from the Taylors. Gotta love the mix between a hippi and a hobo. Some great Elliot humor never fails.

So I have started taking notes during the week so that I can write better emails. Here goes. Monday- P-day. Our funds ran out. Unfortunately, we did not receive more until Thursday. After the initial panic of what we were going to eat, we planned it out, got our haircuts, and then went to a member’s house. They gave us a bunch of food, without us even asking, for us to take home. We spent the next couple of days eating these weird cheeto things with mustard. Miracles. Turns out that happened like three other times in the week. We still haven't bought more food.

Did a minicambio with Elder Carter, a zone leader, in Independencia on Tuesday. Talked with this lady who told us the year before her husband and her had been planning to kill themselves and their children because they had zero money and lots of problems. But they pressed forward and now they have baptism dates.

Visited a less active that had two references for us-- it was weird. We spent way too long in their house because he kept asking us to show them things and stuff, awkward. But he was a really funny guy, and he really loved Journey, and wanted to show me all the songs on his phone, and if I knew all of them. It was funny. The Chileans love the eighties and John Denver. I’m not complaining.

Halloween was cool here in Chile. The Chileans have super ghetto costumes they throw on, and everyone just goes to get candy. Lots of people think it’s really demonic. I accidentally asked some really good folks about it (adventistas) and they gave us weird looks. Elder Conti told me later they see it as pagan and I need to be more careful. Woops. Just trying to make some conservacion. But we spent the night in Cancha Rayada with an Elder Zach Broadhead from Bingham-- we met a couple that had gotten married at 13 and 15 years. Awkward-- but they now are preparing for baptism!

We have had some cool experiences with investigators, as well. Met Sandra, who is gold. She walked to church this Sunday, about a mile and a half, even though she has had a stroke and still has a hard time walking. Really amazing. We knocked the last door of the night, turned out to be a member, and taught her husband Raphael with her and gave him a blessing. We came back the next day and he told us after the blessing he felt way better and it was great. Super cool. He was at church Sunday, too.

We had our first English class at the church this Thursday. Nobody came. Awkward. Everyone asked about it after though, and we were just like, uh, yeah, about that. Everyone said it was probably because of the festival this weekend-- oh yeah, huge party week in Talca-- Dia de los Santos on Thursday, Friday, Sat, Sun., everyone was partying and stuff-- so we are going to try again next week, this time a little earlier. We will see.

We have been working hard with the members as well. We work a lot with the youth and try to match our investigators to people in the ward that can help them. It’s really important that we animate the members about the work-- they are SO important. But we go with Germaine, Gabriela, Pablo, los gemelos Kandalaft, etc. All really friendly and helpful usually. We called them once and all the member girls were watching 'Crepusculo' marathon-- Twilight. Funny how some things just don’t change. Speaking of things not changing-- testimony meeting in the ward. Lots of people with very long testimonies. The bishop had to cut it short, but Mamita Fuentes pushed by and bore her testimony real quick. Funny stuff.

But the big news of the week-- Claudia Mundaca got baptized! On Saturday. The baptism had a few problems but it worked and was very spiritual. She even brought a friend! I played the piano-- I play a lot here, thanks Mom-- and she was confirmed the next day. Good stuff. She gave us a scare and didn’t show up to be confirmed til like the second they called her up. Phew. After church we had a great lunch with the bishop of Mexi food and torta de panqueque, tons of manjar. He had one of those marble games that Grandma and Grandpa have in Oakley where you jump and take it away, and I did it with only two left. The bishop was really impressed. I told him Kristy or Mare or someone claims they did it to one once, but he didn’t buy it. Not sure I buy it either. We then went to this missionary activity for the young people of the stake, and taught workshops on missionary service; it went well and got them pumped up to serve and to share the gospel.

Today was great, as well-- we climbed up to the Virgin statue with both zones of Talca, and had a barbecue of churripan, and Hermana Pulsipher made us all Texas sheet cake. Soooo good. I miss good pastries/desserts. All they eat here is fruit with cream or manjar or alfahor-- not much with flavor.

This week we have the baptism of Cristofer coming up-- we have planned it really well and put out lots of invitations-- way more than usual. It’s really important to his mom, and there are going to be a lot of nonmembers there. Hopefully it goes really, really well! He asked me to baptize him, even though I have a really hard time understanding them. They talk really, really campo. But I am definitely getting way better. Comin’ along.

Feeling pretty good about everything! Having lots of good spiritual experiences! I hope that the elections go well-- excited to hear! I hope all is well with everyone, Allie, Ben, the Jacobs, the ward, Duke people, etc.! Sorry to hear about the hurricane--we have answered a lot of questions about the end of days this week. Even members don’t really understand here-- Chileans are very superstitious and have some weird ideas some times. Getting super hot here, too-- summer is going to be pretty tough. Good thing we have a nice rainy winter to look forward to!

To end, a funny story: The bishop asked me a question at the baptism about something. I was pretty sure he said, “What is Claudia's favorite hymn,” to which I answered, “41.” Grande eres tu. Turns out he asked what her full name was. Pretty sure not that. Ah.

Love you all! Have a great week!
Elder Brown

Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29, 2012--Week 14


October 29, 2012

Hey, Everyone!

We have had a really crazy week. It being the last week of the month, all of the districts were wanting interviews with their investigators for baptism, etc, trying to squeeze in the numbers. I hate the numbers. I think way more often than not they take the focus off of where the work should be. But I´ll get to that.

Biggest thing-- the baptism of Cristofer did not happen. Yeah. It was a rough Saturday. We had been working hard all week, going to different sectors of Talca, interviewing, helping the elders in our district who are really struggling, and trying to fit in time to plan the baptism, daily contact with all our good people, find news, etc. We had planned it all out and the whole ward was ready to attend. But the only clothes we could get for him would have been too big on me. We took them to their house at eight o clock Saturday morning and thirty minutes later got a call from the mom, Carolina, a recent convert, that they wanted to wait. Elder Conti talked to her and then we went to visit them to talk. It wasn’t just the clothes, she wanted to invite more people, make it really special, and he was feeling sick, and she was worried what the water would do for that?.... lots of stuff. We talked with them for a while but her mind was really made up. He had asked me to do the baptizing and I was really excited. Really nice, fun kid, good family. She was really nice to me, told me that they wanted to do it on Nov. 10 and that she wanted me to still be the one baptizing. I was upset that it wasn’t going to happen but, to me, I think it’s what they needed, so I was okay with it. Plus, the sister will now have more time to get ready and maybe be baptized with her brother.

So we have been working hard to fix things and plan better and work harder, etc. We spent two hours this morning planning during p-day and spent last night talking about how we can improve as a companionship. It’s going to start with communicating better and staying more focused.

So Saturday was a tough day. But Sunday went really, really well. Gave a really good talk I think-- Church is really tiring. We have to look out for all our investigators there—first, that they show and we call them and go by their houses, etc, then I play the piano, then I had to speak. But it went really well and the ward I think really likes me. My talk was on conversion, and I really made sure that I gave it well with a lot of animation and excitement for the work. We have a really good ward but we want to do even more with them, get more references, etc. We are having our first English class Thursday. We will see how that goes. My talk was based on Elder Hallstrom’s talk from April conference and the three ways we can deepen our conversion in the church AND the gospel. I think everyone understood what I was trying to say, and I think I got everyone really pumped up to help us out with everything!

Other stories from this week-- lots of contacting, lots of walking. Lots of Chilean ensalada--oil, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, sal. Nada mas. Pretty easy and really tasty. Lots of good soups, too, rice with carrot, had some weird pizza the other day from a member, etc. Fun stuff. We have been having fun, too. Our ward mission leader, Alejandro, is the best. After our hard start to Saturday things got better but that night, when we got home, waiting for us on our desk were two pieces of lemon pie from him. He has a key to our house because he lives next door and lived with the missionaries for a while when his house was destroyed in 2010 by terramoto.

Also another crazy story from this week-- while in La Independencia on a minmincambio with Elder Hernandez, we were in the home of a menos activo, and we were teaching L2, the plan of salvacion. We had just wrapped up and it had gone really well, when the police came to the door and asked if this was the home of Nico so and so. The lady we had been talking to, really nice, started freaking out, and running around and left with them. There had been an accident, and he had fallen off a bridge or something and drowned. 16 years old-- her little brother. We talked with the neighbors for a while, one of who is a recent convert, a good guy. The mom lives with them too, but she is really old and sick and no one told her what happened. She was in a different room resting so she didn’t hear, I guess. But we came back by later that night, after talking with the bishop, Relief Society president, etc. The room was all ready for a big meeting, and Paolina (the sister we had taught) was there, and crying. Elder Hernandez asked if there was anything we could do. Amazing that we had just been teaching about the plan of salvation and what happens after this life-- the son of Paulina, died eight months ago. She was really thankful we stopped by. And that’s the last I heard of it. Really, really sad. A reminder to us of the urgency of the work, and the importance of always being prepared for anything, spiritually. Elder Hernandez felt really bad walking away-- he said they had been planning all week to visit that family more but hadn’t made it a priority.

It’s so fun to hear from everyone, see some great pics, and hear about all the stuff goin’ on at home. Feels so different- it’s a completely different world here. I’m doing well, feeling healthy and eating pretty healthy, and the language is coming along more and more each day. I love Talca and it will be hard to leave-- hopefully that won’t come for at least two or three more cambios.

I love you all and miss you all! Keep working hard in everything and being good examples of Christ.

With love,
Elder Brown

Monday, October 22, 2012

Week 13!!


October 22, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Good to hear from everyone. Bad news first: I have still not received any mail. Oh well. I’m not sure why, hopefully tomorrow. But they send it to Conce, which is three hours away, and then it has to come to us by the assistants or some other way. I just sent my first letter here to Allie; I was going to last Lunes but the place was closed for Feriedad or something like that, a holiday. Really a tough process--you have to go to a crowded post office every time, and Elder Conti never wants to, so I´ll send as much as I can but it may not happen too much.

I am starting to miss the good ol’ USA a little. It’s very different here. We met a very anti Norte Americano atheist that wanted to talk at us for about ten minutes about how everything bad is the US´s fault, how we are completely wrong in our beliefs, and how he knows Satan exists but God doesn’t. Strange perspectives...

Good news! After visiting the policia and the registro civil (imagine the DMV), I am now officially a temporary resident of the Republic of Chile. You can take that to the bank. It was funny, they were all really familiar with missionaries; they said 90 percent of gringos who register in Chile are missionaries. Ha ha.

A lot has gone on this week, and we have our first baptism coming up this Saturday! His name is Cristofer, the son of Carolina Batarse, a new convert. His sister is Mariapaz, she is still struggling. He is ten, and such a great little guy. Lots of fun. I think I have a picture of him on my bike that I’m sending. Also we have 12 new investigators-- six showed up to stake conference, which is way better than the two we had last week. It was nice to see some payoff for the week.

We have been walking a lot this week, and we walk really fast because we are always late. That’s what happens when we spend way too long in every cita. We have had some really good lunches with members, and some not so good. Ate some really weird pasta casserole, and then they made me eat seconds. Ugh. We eat pretty healthy, though-- a lot of fruits, vegetables, rice, and beans, also a lot of Coca Cola and juice.

We have lots of new investigators, and lots of people who reject us. We have a really great ward, all of who are really excited to help us, and to return to the English classes. I am giving a talk this Sunday on the work-- for 15 minutes. Hopefully that goes well. It’s important to have the ward backing you up-- all the best investigators come from them. I think this English class will help.

This morning we were watching the story of Gordon B. Hinckley and I really liked it. His life was pretty inspiring and his determination to try and be like Jesus is one that I am really trying more to take to heart.

Excited for another week here in beautiful Talca!

Hope all is well with everyone and that we get mail soon! Love you all!

Elder Brown

___________________________________________________________________

The missionaries have been teaching an English class to some of the members of their ward. Their flyer looked something like this:


¡¡¡CLASES DE INGLES CON LOS MISIONEROS!!!
Vamos a volver las clases de Inglés, para probar si ellos son eficaces.  ¡Estamos muy animados para dar esta oportunidad a los miembros del barrio y a MUCHOS NUEVOS INVESTIGADORES!
REGLAS:
-          ¡¡¡¡¡¡Cuando en la Iglesia, vamos a obedecer TODOS los principios de la Iglesia- NO café, té, fumando, etc!!!!!!
-          Las clases van a comenzar 20:00 hrs AL TIRO hasta 20:45 hrs. ¡Sea puntual!
-          ¡Traiga un NO miembro! ¡Por CADA miembro presente queremos un no miembro también!
-          ¡Venga preparado para aprender y divertirse!
La primera clase va a ser Jueves, 1 Noviembre, a las 20:00 – 20:45. Si hay preguntas, aplique la siguiente-
´´¡Pregúntenles los misioneros!´´ - Élder Russell M. Nelson

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October 15, 2012


Hola familia!

Estamos aqui en Talca Centro, y toda esta bien. Well, mostly bien.

We have a really good mission leader and bishop, though-- he loves to feed us. I have literally not eaten anything besides the lunches that the members feed us here for the past three days, and I still feel like I´m getting fat. It´s really rude if you don´t finish everything on your plate-- sometimes I feel like I´m going to die. I have had a few close calls. We had some bean soups last week that felt like we were eating buckets. And potatoes and mayonesa kill me now. But they have really good tomatoes and onions and lettuce-- really fresh, and the meat is always good. I attended my first asado-- a less active family invited us to their house Saturday and we proceeded to eat tons of meat and bread until I was about to die. Then they brought out a big bowl of ice cream for each of us. I finally manned that down and was seriously in pain. Then they brought out another. It was like Man vs. Food times ten. Seriously, after two years of this, those challenges he does will be easy.

The other day, I got lost for a second-- we were biking to who knows where, Elder Conti doesn´t really tell me the plan other than that in this block of time we are going to be contacting, so I was just following blindly when my chain came off. He was too far ahead, though, and couldn’t hear, so by the time I got down and fixed it, he was long gone. I just sat there and waited, said a prayer, and probably in three minutes he came back and started reprimanding me in Spanish. That made me a little mad, and what made it worse is that I couldn´t respond in Spanish enough to say it wasn´t my fault but it all worked out and we had a really good lesson right after that so whatever.

Elder Conti is really funny-- he is really, really bad with directions, and a lot of the time, out of nowhere, he will just start saying the funniest phrases in English. He has been singing this country song some Elder taught to him about, ´´Sara Beth is scared to death to hear what the doctor will say´´ about cancer or something. He just shouts it out—it’s funny. His favorite is to sing hymns with investigators. It’s fine with me—I’m starting to get beyond the point where anything is awkward.

We are having fun here-- there is a lot to do that doesn’t get done but I think that we have a good companionship and are gonna have a lot of success coming up, this week or the next. One of the hard parts about the mission is that most of the people who talk with us have a lot of really serious, really sad problems; it can be pretty depressing, especially when they won’t even test out the Atonement and our message.

Vaya con Dios!

Elder Brown

Monday, October 8, 2012

Another one! October 8, 2012

Zach was able to write TWICE on his first P-day in Chile, so for those of us who can't get enough: 


October 8, 2012, Part II

It is really cold in Chile right now-- it has been raining a lot, and I always just feel cold. Getting out of bed is really hard in the mornings because our linoleum floor is freezing. And I am on the top bunk AGAIN. When I am senior comp, I am definitely always going to take the bottom.

They have a lot of different food here at the stores-- they have this weird meat thing in a wrapping that is like spread. Tastes like refried beans. Not bad. They also eat a lot of manjar-- like dulce de leche. They also use a lot of weird words. ‘Al tiro’ is a really common expression. They add ‘po’ to a lot of stuff, don’t pronounce ‘s’ or ‘t’ very much, and they have funny phrases. We played a game with some cute little investigator girls, one that looks just like Sam Jacob as a kid, with black hair, where instead of ‘cookies from the cookie jar’ it was ‘who stole the sombrero of the maestro.’ Funny.

Everyone here likes to try and speak English with you-- they are all really pretty bad, but you just compliment them and tell them they speak very well and they get very excited and love you. It works. Ironically, I think that’s what they have all been doing with me and my Spanish.

The Chilenos are very, very friendly-- it is very easy to contact because you just say ‘Hola’ and people will say ‘hola’ back and it is easy to start talking. A lot of rejection, but we often meet people who want to learn more. We have had a few really rude people, or agnostic students, but they are definitely the exception.

There are a lot of good things to eat in Chile. So far the best thing we have had is some good pot roast-- but they always have good chicken, or pork once. Some good soup—really good bread but all the elders say don’t eat it. Rule of thumb in Conce mission-- if you don’t eat a lot of bread and don’t eat a lot at night after getting home, you will lose weight. If you do eat at night, you will stay the same. If you eat a lot of bread, you will get fat.

I'm really glad I have a native comp-- he understands everyone. It would be harder if he were a gringo and didn't understand everyone. He has only been in Talca for one cambio though. I think I will have at least two cambios here-- he thinks more. It would be great to spend my first six months in Talca Centro. The other areas around us are Cancha Rayada, La Florida, Jardin de Valle, Constitucion, San Javier, San Clemente, etc. But lots of people say Talca has been their favorite zone. It’s a bummer though-- I don’t like the bikes. I’d rather walk, talk with more people, and not get as muddy from the wheels and all that. We pay a less active lady from the ward to wash our clothes and then teach her -- win win!

Ciao!

October 8, 2012 (First letter from Chile)


October 8, 2012 (First letter from Chile)

¡Hola familia!

I am sitting in the upper level of a little mall in the middle of Talca, in an internet shop, and the computer is telling me that all of my words I am typing are incorrect. Ha. Joke's on them. THEY’RE NOT.

Super crazy week! Everything here is super great-- so, so different. I'll start with the very beginning-- I've heard that's a very good place to start. After talking with you for those two minutes in L.A., because of that stupid phone card, we boarded the plane and flew to Lima, Peru, where we had to disembark at two in the morning, then flew to Santiago, then to Conce. It wasn't that bad, except for that everyone around us was watching movies and it was very hard not to look at all of that Babylonia garbage. But it was fine-- we barely made our flight in Santiago, our bags barely tambien. But it all worked out and we finally got there. We were met by the assistants, the President and his wife, and the two senior couples, the Clawsons and the Kimballs. The Kimballs are getting trained and will be with us for the next year and a half.

We drove from the airport in Conce, relatively small, to the mission office, where they quickly started all our visa work and we had a quick interview with the President. He is very nice, and very easy to understand in Spanish. He really sounds like a gringo. We kinda hung around there for an hour or two while everyone got their visa stuff figured out. Then we went to the chapel in Conce and met all the trainers and ate Domino's Pizza and jugo. Then we had a brief testimony meeting, met our trainers, and peaced out to get to work!

Elder Conti is great! He is from Paraguay-- he was a professional soccer player there before the mission, is a qualified computer programmer, his polola (girlfriend) is a professional tennis player there, and his dad is a general. Elder Conti is district leader, and I am his first hijo. Oh-- and he speaks zero English. So we had about a three and a half hour ride up to Talca on this super hot bus, and when we finally got here at about eight went straight to work! My first lesson was to Carolina, a recent convert, and her two children, Mariapaz, 17, and Christopher, 10. It was great-- we taught the kids about the first lesson and they have baptismal dates for the twentieth of October. More on that to come.

Chileans don´t speak Spanish. In the mission office, I was feeling really good about myself-- there were two elders there from Peru and Guatemala that I could really converse with, and all of the other gringo elders had no idea. But depending on the person out here, it sounds like they are just mumbling vowels. They don't pronounce words PARA NADA. But I have been learning fast-- it helps that we speak next to no English. Elder Conti this morning while we were doing exercise started yelling at me 'for kor' or something-- with further searching I discovered he was trying to say 'fourth quarter como los jugadores de futbol americano.' Funny guy.

But since then, we have done a lot. We get up at seven-thirty each morning, exercise until eight, then study until twelve, then eat lunch with a member, then work, then come back at ten, plan for a half hour (which usually takes us more like an hour), then go to bed at 11:30. Busy days. We have a lot of lessons, but they fall through a lot. We are teaching Claudia Mundaca, but she has problems with ley de castidad. Christopher is super ready-- but Mariapaz is having lots of problems. We do a lot of contacting-- my first full day here we found a great family who we gave an LdM and taught the first lesson, but haven't been able to get back to. I think tomorrow night.

Hardest parts so far-- I can speak and say most of the things I want to say really well, and I feel like people understand me. I can understand now most of the Chileans, but sometimes there are a few that are really hard to understand. Most of them are super impressed with how well I speak, though, so that’s promising. Talca is super poor by American standards-- just streets of dirt, little houses with walls thrown up and stuff. Most people have tv, though, so they aren’t that badly off. We have had some great lunches with members-- they just stuff you full and we basically eat nothing for the rest of the day. Always starts with ensalada, then soup, then arroz y pollo, or some other meat, then a dessert. They eat mayonesa with EVERYTHING. Our sector is pretty big-- we have bikes-- my bike is super broken, the seat doesn´t work, the handle bars are twisted weird, the pedals are weird-- I spend most of my time just trying to keep up with Elder Conti. But we have had lots of good times. Our house has a study room, a little kitchen, a little bathroom, a little bedroom, and that’s it. It is pretty rundown. We cleaned this morning though, so now it’s a little better.

We were contacting and came across a little girl who Elder Conti thought was a member named Alison. The family wouldn´t let us in that day, but she stood there at the door and just pleaded with us to come back. 'Por favor, por favor.' It was the most heartbreaking thing I've ever seen. She can't come to church because she has no one to go with, and she is just in a bad situation. But we are going back on Friday I think. It´s so sad to see these people that need the gospel so badly but won't accept it. Really hard to watch, but I am really starting to love the people of Talca-- I never want to leave this sector!

Missions are much harder than I have ever given them credit. It is hard to be among all these poor, suffering people, but still be rejected. It is depressing seeing all the abuse, alcohol, and broken families, and all the evil out here. But I can't wait until we baptize Christopher and Mariapaz, and their Mom can finally get a little more peace. Anything broken can be fixed-- and I am starting to see that here with the families of Talca.

I love a verse from Jacob 2:8-- this was shared with me by a great friend from the MTC. Any wounded soul can be healed by the word, the scriptures, the hope it brings, the light and forgiveness. Interesting to note that one of the names for Christ is The Word.

We played some futbol with the zone this morning and then went to a fast food place-- I ate my first completo. Huge hotdog. Lots of mayo, avocado, y tomato. Not too bad. We are grocery shopping today, and all that. I'll try to send pics next time, but I’m not sure how that works. I hope everyone has a great week! I love you all! We are hard at work here in the best mission in the world!

Elder Brown

Friday, October 5, 2012

Elder Brown has Arrived!


Our very favorite Elder Brown, with President and Sister Humphrey. 
Elder Brown arrived safely in Chile on Tuesday, October 2.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Change of Address

Zach is leaving the Missionary Training Center and flying to Chile tomorrow, so please do not send any more mail to the MTC. 
His address (probably for the rest of his mission) is:


Elder Zachary D. Brown
Chile Concepcion Mission
O'Higgins 940, Oficina 502
Casilla 2210
Concepcion
CHILE

He would still love to get some letters!
Thanks everyone!

-Allie

LAST letter from the MTC! (Week 9)


September 29, 2012

Hey everyone!

This last week in the ol' Centro de Capatacion por Misioneros has been great. It's been pretty relaxed, just going to class, really just trying to ponder a lot, and it feels a lot more real knowing I am going to be down in Chile in a week. Super exciting. It’s been a little colder-- we have been whipping out the jackets though and studying outside-- nice and crisp. Keeps ya awake. Learned a lot this week, and the language is coming right along. I’m not worried about really being able to understand people-- we have had a couple Chileno speakers for TRC and they have been a little harder to understand than Mexicanos or Salvadorenos or whatever, but if I listen closely I can understand. It’s just I’m not quite able to put all my thoughts together as quickly-- there is kind of like an awkward two second pause after they say anything to me. Oh, well. It’ll come.

Today we have our p-day-- two hermanas left today, and one elder-- they were reassigned to Ogden and LA to wait for their visas to Spain. The rest of us pretty much leave Monday. Elder Clawson leaves Sunday night-- gonna miss the guy, real good kid. Weird to think we will be in different countries actually doing all the stuff we have been practicing and learning next week. I feel ready and everything, but it’s still just weird.

We are getting haircuts today- gotta look fly for the field. I’m thinking I'll just go with the ol’ mohawk.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO CANDACE!!!!!! Now she has a whole year of bad luck-- 13. Bummer.

Now letters are gonna take a lot longer to get to me! I'll send off one last round of letters today from the MTC, but after that, honestly, don't expect quite as many letters being sent. I'll just try to include more in my emails, maybe send off two or three each p-day, but from what it sounds like we are just gonna be super busy all the time.

I'm traveling down with seven elders-- I've met like three of them-- they seem like nice guys. Should be good!

From what it sounds like in letters, everyone's lives are workin’ out pretty well right now-- Maggie's got herself an hombre, Candace is actually enjoying middle school (who’da thought?), Rachel is Rachel, and Dad's biggest problem is that golf season is ending soon. He could come down to Chile to play-- I hear Concepcion has some sweet courses.

Well, that’s about it for this week-- here's a little spiritual birthday thought for the little un-- one of the stories they told in infield orientation yesterday was about this race in Australia-- a 540 mile running race that they run for eighteen hours, then sleep six, then run, etc, for 5 days. It’s really just a race for like superathletes who get sponsored by Nike and stuff, but one year this one old sixty-year-old guy in overalls and boots shows up. Everyone is laughing when he signs up for the race, and by the end of the first eighteen hours he is way behind. But when they wake up they see he has run all night, and he is in the lead. This keeps happening until he finally wins at the end with a new course record. His name was Cliff Young or something. So be consistent! Like it says in Alma, the small and simple things we do all the time are what keep us going and approaching that finish line, even if it is 540 miles away!

Well, there ya go. Peace out Provo.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Week 8


September 21, 2012

Hey everyone! So let's see-- not a whole lot has been going on this week. We were hosts for new missionaries on Wednesday-- it was fun but kind of sad. We stood at the curb and helped them unpack their cars and then showed them to their room and class and around and stuff. It was pretty awkward with all the crying parents and everything-- we were only supposed to give them like four minutes tops but some were just taking forever.

We appreciate all Mom's wishes to bake us desserts—although, honestly, all the MTC desserts are like the same thing she makes. Almost like those are just the Mormon recipes that I thought only she knew but apparently the MTC knows too, but they just can’t make it quite as well.

So let’s see... nada mucho esta pasando aqui, except we are speaking WAY more Spanish and really getting pretty good. The lessons are just like almost second nature now, up until the fourth lesson because we don’t usually get that far. We had an interesting devotional on Sunday from some high up person about the Book of Mormon musical and ‘the Mormon moment’ and the Church's response to it. He showed a clip of the musical during his talk. It was really kind of a strange experience but a pretty good talk. We have moved on to new investigators-- we are now teaching the hermanas in the district, all of whom are not exceptionally good at Spanish so it’s a little bit difficult. They teach us too in return-- we pretend to be different people-- one of the first days we were teaching them and talking about prophets, one of them asked 'Ustedes tienen una persona como la popa?' or something along those lines. Being elders in the MTC, we had learned from the first week here that 'popa' is the word for poop, not the Pope as she thought, so Elder Clawson responds 'Casi, pero no.' Close, but no. Pretty funny.

We still don't have our travel plans--hopefully we get them today. But I heard from Pres. Humphreys that we will be flying into Concepcion from Santiago, and I think he wrote we arrive the 2nd of October, so we probably leave here the 1st, I would guess. I am going down with Elder Erickson probably, who is serving in Rancagua, and he is the funniest, coolest guy ever so it should be pretty fun. He is a little bit behind in Spanish though, it’s pretty funny, and Chilean Spanish is even harder, so he will probably have a real fun couple of months coming up.

Ciao!
Elder Brown