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

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