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

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