Man, each week goes faster than the last one! I have very little time to complete a year, and I understand that it goes even faster after that. Not good! But it has been a good time, and I´m learning a lot. The last week, although fast, was good. We found a lot of new people to teach and had a lot more lessons than the other week.
I don´t know if I´ve talked about some of these people before, so here´s an update-ish.
Adela is doing great. She´s been reading in the Book of Mormon from the beginning. The other day we passed, and she was sad because she had left her book at work and couldn´t read it. We gave her another one to borrow till she could get hers. She was way happy. The sad thing with her is that she couldn´t go to church yesterday. She really wanted to, but Saturday they called her to work Sunday. She was really sad, she said she really wanted to go. But Wednesday she´s going to quit her work, which she doesn´t even like anyway. So then we´ll have more time to teach her and help her progress. We´re going to take her to General Conference this week. That´ll be great for her.
We´ve been visiting an inactive, Daniela. She´s 26 and has a 2-year-old girl, but the "dad" (they´re not married) left. He visits for an hour every other day. She wants to return to the church. The other day her mom, who before didn´t want to listen to us but is nice, said that she´s never really understood the importance or story of the Book of Mormon. So we started teaching her. We´re hoping to be able to activate Daniela and baptize Margarita.
Friday we had a zone conference and a Family Home Evening with the ward, so we had about 2 hours to work. We knocked doors in a street and found an old man, Rolando. He is really sick and goes to the doctor every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. At first he was slow to understand us with big pauses between our questions and his answers. But Saturday was better and yesterday even better. He believes in God, but told us that he´s not really religious. He just wants to be finished with his sickness and die. But he has progressed quite a bit.
On Friday we had zone conference. It was really great. We learned a lot from President May and the assistants. The big letdown, like always, was the food. In these zone conferences, the food is usually good, but small. We´re always hungry after. This time it was worse. It was "aji de gallina," a Peruvian food. But Elder Rasmussen said that it was nothing like it. He´s half Peruvian, from his mom, and she´s cooked it before. It really wasn´t all that good. Yesterday we ate lunch with a Peruvian, and she made the same thing. It was a whole lot better. I loved it.
After the zone conference and a couple hours of working, we had the FHE with the ward. About 25-30 people showed up. We didn´t have investigators, but the other Elders did. We had a couple of inactives. It was a good FHE. The ward mission leader gave a lesson about Lehi´s dream, then we played a game and had refreshments. It was great. Daniela went and enjoyed it. She found a lot of friends, some she had known before and some new ones.
Something fun. There´s a family here, Fuentes, that we have lunch with every Tuesday and Wednesday. They all work, so she leaves food out for us and we warm it up. We have a pair of keys to the house to get in. Their 30-year-old son, Juan Carlos, is way funny. And he speaks great English. Why? Because he served in the states. Where? Ogden North. We were talking about it and he started listing off places like Preston, Soda Springs, they lived in Smithfield. He didn´t remember Grace, but that´s not too surprising, its been ten years. But still, that´s awesome that he served in the mission where I live.
There´s a recent convert here, a teenager named Italo, who took pictures of an asteroid last week. Some people from a TV channel that President Piñera (the President of Chile) owns came to talk to him. They offered him about $200. We told him he should ask more. How lucky!
Last Monday Elder Rasmussen and I bought paddles and balls for ping-pong. We have some keys to the church, and a couple days we went at 6 am to play. I´m not very good, but he taught me how to play and do some tricks. I´ve gotten much better, and it´s actually fun. I´m discovering all sorts of new sports here. Ping-Pong, soccer, what next?
Speaking of soccer and ping pong, we have a zone activity today to celebrate the zone goal for baptisms in March. We´re going to play soccer and ping pong. And then have a huge asado, aka barbeque, with tons of meat, and ice cream. Mmmmmm! I´m excited.
Last interesting experience. We visited a family last night. They´ve gone through a lot of problems but really have a lot of faith. At the end of the lesson they started telling us about dreams they´ve had. For example, the one son, a week before the first huge earthquake here, dreamed about the earthquake. He feels bad that he didn´t say anything and then all the people died. There´s not a whole ton he could have done, but he still feels bad. His dad had a dream several months before the attack of the twin towers. He said he didn´t know if it was something from God or not, so he prayed and asked (still in his sleep) and saw a bunch of smoke that formed into the face of God. Pretty interesting. Elder Rasmussen talked about a dream he had that his cousin died and his mom came in his room at 6 am to tell him. Then he woke up relieved it was a dream. A week later his mom came in a 6am to tell him his cousin died. He thought it was another dream, but this time it wasn´t. It made me think about dreams and how they sometimes have significance and sometimes not.
There was another earthquake last night at almost 5 am. I haven´t heard where or how big. But it felt pretty big for us. I was sure it was going to get bigger, and was almost ready to grab some slippers and a sweater (it´s freezing at night) and run outside. But fortunately it died down and we were able to go back to sleep.
Well, that´s all for this week. I´ve been having a lot of experience--good, bad, funny, sad, etc. I´m learning a lot and am really grateful for my time here in Chile.