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.

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