Wow, it seems like just yesterday I was emailing home! The time really does fly! I´m almost three months into my mission already, including the MTC. And I´m loving it!
I had quite the week this week. Wow! Where to start? Last week I think I talked about Gustavo and Cristian. Great contacts with a baptismal date, but probably gonna be dropped. Gustavo´s daughter has cancer, and he´s living in the hospital with her, so we haven´t seen him since last Sunday. And Cristian´s parents don´t want us teaching him in the house. We can do it somewhere else easily, but he never answers his phone, (we think it´s lost or broken) and when we stop by he´s never home. So I´m not sure what´s gonna happen with him.
But we found more prepared souls this week. On Tuesday we had an appointment to teach the first lesson to some members-something we´ve started doing; afterwards we talk about the importance of sharing the gospel with others and ask for references. We got to the house about 20 minutes early, so we decided to knock another street nearby. The first house we knocked on they let us in. We got to know them a little-Elva is the mom, and her 17 year old daughter is Karla. Karla is studying accounting. Then we said a prayer and taught lesson 3 with a date. And they accepted. We stopped by the next day to just to say hi (we´re supposed to try to make contact with investigators daily), and Elva said she´d read the pamphlet we gave them right after we left the day before. She was waiting right by the door when we got there, she was so anxious. She told us she was alone, though, and we can´t be in the house with a solo female. So we told her we´d try to return with someone else. We asked the wife of the bishop, cause he wasn´t home, but she has little boys and couldn´t come. So we called several people, but no one could help. Then we asked the bishop´s wife if we could bring Elva to her house, but that wouldn´t work either. But in the 7-8 minutes we had been calling people, the bishop had come home, and he came with us. It was a really great lesson. We taught lesson one about the restoration, and the Spirit was really strong. The bishop was converted and baptized at 15, and his testimony is super strong. I decided afterwards that the reason we couldn´t find anyone to help was because he was supposed to be there. He is amazing! Karla appeared out of a back room. She was sad because she had gotten bad grades and her parents harassed her about it a little. The bishop shared a story from when he was 17 and had the same experience. He was able to comfort her a little. She´s doing a lot better now. Elva and Karla both attended church yesterday(only Sacrament Meeting), and tonight we will teach them the Book of Mormon and watch the Restoration movie. They are progressing really well, except they haven´t prayed about Joseph Smith yet. We´re going to hit that really hard tonight about the importance of knowing that he was a prophet and hope the movie helps.
We have a 14 year old boy that we´re teaching as well: Bastian. There´s a member of our ward who is preparing for a mission, Dennis, and he invited Bastian to church and to hear our message. We´ve taught him lesson one and he has a date, too. He has prayed about Joseph Smith and said that he had an answer and believes that it´s true. That´s great! We´re really excited to continue to teach him, too.
Friday I had a training. It was for all the missionaries who arrived with me, in the mission home. It was great to see them all again, especially Elder Andelin and Elder Christensen. Lunch was wonderful, and the training was great. We received a little training from one of the assistants and a lot from President May. It was wonderful!
We´re teaching an English class. The first week we had no one show up, the next week 1, and this past Saturday we had 2. Slowly climbing. It is fun to teach, and at times feels like I´m learning English, too. I have forgotten a lot. We start and end with a prayer in English, and when I gave it I had to think a lot about what´s next, and accidently threw in a couple spanish words. Oops! But I guess that´s a good sign that the language is coming.
Which is true, the language is coming. Elder Rigby says I can speak better now than he could at this time in his mission. And the other day we went on divisions (there are two companionships in our district), and my temporary companion said the first time I spoke he thought I´d had more training that I actually have. I definitely have improved, and I´m able to understand a little better, too. The problem is I´m not speaking Spanish. I´m speaking Chileno Spanish. Elder Valencia, my temporary companion in divisions, is from Ecuador and he said when he first arrived here he had to learn some things all over again because of the accent. It is way different than normal Spanish. But I´m slowly getting better day by day.
Well, yesterday I had my first bad experience with a dog. Actually, they´re all bad. The dogs down here are annoying-always barking, fighting with each other, and really noisy. I´ve decided that after my mission I want a cat, they´re quieter. Or maybe a fish. Anyway, we were at a house waiting for the person to come. Usually dogs in the gate will bark a little, then just sit there, sometimes stick their head out so we can pet them. This dog did that, but when I went to pet him he had tricked me and he bit me. Fortunately I had fast reflexes, and it wasn´t too bad. Took a small chunk of skin out of the knuckle on my middle finger. But it only bled a little and doesn´t hurt. But I´m definitely gonna be more careful with dogs now.
Well, I think that´s about it for my week. The language is improving, the work´s going great, and I´m enjoying my time here. Elder Rigby is really great, and I´ve learned a lot from him. The mission definitely is the best time of my life so far. I´m learning a ton. It´s a great experience.
Love you all!