The Gilbert temple sounds amazing. Hopefully it isnt too run down come July 2015 haha. Sounds like more missionary work is happening out home than here in Chile!
We made the sugar cookies for a FHE last Monday and they turned out all right. The end result following the recipe was very liquidy. I think it was because we made substitute buttermilk. Also, we dont have measuring cups here with American measurements. Everything is in grams. So we just kept adding more flour and then some sugar and then more flour. The oven is also another story since it works off a gas flame. It doesn´t really have temperature control, but overall they turn out good. A little more buttery than sugary but still delicious.
Tell Ivory that I am having fun on the mission and there are not too many animals here but A LOT of dogs and cats. Sometimes they start following us in hoards and we have to drive to distract them and then run so they quit following. Also many people have little turtles for pets, so that is super cute.
Aspen: There is unfortunately no rain here in the dry desert, so I haven´t seen any rainbows. You will have to take a picture of one and send it to me:) I have met several kids your age. There is one girl that is about to turn 5 and she is adorable. She has dark hair and brown eyes, but her smile and goofiness always remind me of you. I will try to get a picture with her the next time I go and visit.
As far as the finances go, I get 80,000 pesos every month which is about 200 dollars. If we just buy food, it is more than enough for the month. We get around primarily on foot but there are taxis and buses that we can use. However, we just use those for activities that are outside of our sector. Our sector is about a 3 mile by 3 mile square, so nobody is very far from us. It's just the days where nobody has time to talk to us and we walk from one side to the other trying to contact different people that come to our minds.
That was all of Thursday this week. We had a member accompanying us, so we were super excited to contact as many of our investigators as possible. We had two set appointments and then a list of others we wanted to see and then our back up plan of people. We set out to work, and no one was home. Our two appointments got rescheduled for a different day and we went to every single one of the houses we had planned and thought about and not one was able to have us in. We walked the full length of the sector back and forth as people came to our mind. Up the hill and down the hill and then back up. It was terrible and the worst part was that our member got blisters on her feet! So sad. Luckily she is a YSA who wants to serve a mission, so she understood that some days were like that. But it was terrible.
The language is great. I was worried because everyone said that Chileans talk really fast, but so far it hasn't been too bad. I understand just about everything. They like to add "po" to the end of every sentence, though. It is super funny. Also they have a lot of different words for things, but luckily Hermana Castor helps me with that. My vocabulary is obviously more Mexican and Nicaraguan, but Chileans have made up their own words for things, so that's where I need the help.
We found an investigator this week that we hope is "golden". He (D) had been the taxi driver one day for Hermana Castor and her other companion, and wanted to know more about the gospel. It turns out they had an appointment for the day that transfers occured, so they never got to visit him and then somehow he got forgotten. However, we met him in the street and he still wanted to meet with us. He listened to the entire Restoration lesson and just kept saying that he wants to learn more. We gave him the Book of Mormon. And guess what? He loves to read so he said he would read any part that we assigned. He also said he would come to church! We left the lesson feeling really great about everything. Hermana Castor got the impression that he and his wife will be baptized. However, he did not show up to church yesterday. We are going to visit him either tonight or tomorrow and hopefully find out that he just had to work extra or something. He is such a kind sweet old man. D is our only promising new investigator, but we are constantly looking for more.
Luckily our young family, G and N, have not be able to leave town to go and pick grapes. They are waiting for some money from the dad of G to buy the tickets to Santiago. It is awesome for us because we have more opportunities to teach them! G asked us the other day to pray for her and the money and we said we would, but then when we left I told Hermana Castor that we cannot because we have to teach them first hahaha. So far our non-praying has been answered haha:)
Keep working with those less actives! We have such problems with them here. We become such great friends with them, we share our testimonies and visit often to give spiritual thoughts and FHE. They have testimonies but without a friend and connection in the ward, they do not see the purpose in going to church. We are always asking for people to go and visit them and become their friends, so as often as you can, meet with them and become friends.
I love you guys and love the pictures you sent!! Keep up the good missionary work. Good luck on the javelina hunt, Dad.
The picture is of the baptism this past Saturday. It was not one of my investigators, but one of the people is in my ward, so we attended. The older man is a baptism for the other ward that uses the building. There was such a strong spirit at the baptism. The girl who was baptized for our ward is 24 and has a 2 year old daughter. When she came out of the water, we were in the bathroom to help her and she was crying and crying. It was beautiful; she really felt clean. That is the point of all the work I am doing. Crying repentance to all the Chileans so that they too can feel clean, through baptism and then again in the temple. Aww it was such a good experience.
I love you all!
Excerpts from Letter To Bailee
All of the missionaries love the little photo book you gave me. It sits on my desk and they are always wanting to look at the pictures of you crazy people. Its awesome!
This week we had a lot of fun doing missionary work but we also had lots of disappointments. However, I think it should start improving soon. We are really focusing this week on contacting random people in the street to find new investigators.
The other day we went to visit a less active member and we felt the spirit so strong. We talked about Alma 7:11-12 and she was remembering one of the sacrament hymns that she loves. She then began to remember the song that was sung at her baptism which is Teach Me to Walk in the Light. Her less active daughter was there too (she is about 24) and that was the same song they sang at her baptism as well. We decided to sing it for them in Spanish and that really brought the spirit. I could tell that we were filling an emptiness. They were both happier and said that so many precious memories were brought to their mind. The mom told us at the end of the mini lesson, that she wants to come to church on Sunday and is going to try. We are going to pass by her house again to confirm, but it is amazing to see how the spirit works with people.
The mission is still awesome. I am getting more connected to the people since I am visiting and getting to know them more. Plus many of our investigators are new, not just old investigators from my companion, so I am starting at the beginning with them. They are all such great people, and I love them all instantly, it is sometimes funny,
I hope you continue doing welll! I love you so much and am so grateful for your emails.
Excerpts from Letter To Madison
The washing feet thing, I am not sure why it is a tradition. I think it comes from Jesus washing the apostles feet. So like they are the older, more experienced missionaries and are serving us. I am not sure. However, they don´t actually do anything!! It is just for the photo, they act like they are shining our shoes. My shoes really need a shining; I wish they would have actually done it. My companion is great. She is awesome at saying the right thing when people have super odd questions or comments. Like the other day we were walking and some guy asked me if I could teach him English. He then wanted to take me dancing and offered us drinks! Oh goodness. I told him we had to hurry and leave since we had an appointment to get to; however the word for appointment and date are the same in Spanish "cita". SO he asked if he could have a cita with me!! How ridiculous! I was like no we are missionaries and we teach the gospel of Christ, but my companion stepped in and offered him a pamphlet about the restoration and then said we had to keep walking. People are crazy and I am glad to have my companion to help me handle them haha.
I love you!