Well, this week was better than the last. And faster. I am now almost down to five months left and trying to work hard for all of it. Last week I got a big boost of energy to finish big. Thursday we had a zone conference with Elder Corbridge of the 70, who is in the Chile Area Presidency. It was obvious that he had no prepared talk. It was all based on our questions, comments, and the Spirit. But it was the best conference of my mission. He talked a lot about the importance of the Holy Ghost, which is the greatest thing that a man can have in this life. He said that the greatest trial in this life is when one does not have the Holy Ghost in his life, which happens when we sin. But thanks to Jesus Christ and his Atonement, we can be clean of our sins through faith, repentance, and baptism by immersion by someone who has the authority. This authority was lost after the death of Christ and his apostles but restored through a modern prophet. That´s a basic lesson outline that he gave us, and I´m excited to use it. I learned a lot from him, took a lot of notes, and it gave me one last boost of Spiritual energy to hopefully last through the rest of the mission.
And it only gets better. He was on what´s called a "Mission Tour" where he talks in several missions. As part of the tour during the conference, he picks several missionaries to interview afterwards. He picked, along with a few sisters, me and my companion. It made me nervous because the assistant, Elder Andelin (who was my comp in the MTC), came up to me afterward and said that President wanted to talk to me. I thought it was because we got there late, having gotten lost. But he didn´t even talk with me; just sent me to Elder Corbridge. He said there was no purpose of the interview, just to get to know me and talk for a few minutes. We talked a little about my plans after the mission and he gave a lot of advice. Afterwards he talked with my companion. Elder Corbridge, several years ago, was the mission president here in Santiago North, and it just so happens that my comp´s brother served under him. So my comp asked for a picture with Elder Corbridge, who was okay with that. Elder Corbridge then asked to take one with me. Just the two of us. Having arrived late to the conference we missed the big group picture with him, but that doesn´t even matter because we both got a personal picture with him. It was great.
Carolina is doing well. We´ve had some real great lessons with her and I´m sure that she feels that this is the true church. She wants to get baptized, but the other day mentioned that she´s afraid that there are some things she´ll have to change. I think she has heard of the Word of Wisdom before because she mentioned wanting to know "What I can and can´t eat." So what we did is we pulled out the six pamphlets of the lessons we teach before baptism. We showed her all and said "Look, you already have these 3, you just need these others." We gave her those three pamphlets and explained that we will be teaching her all of that before the baptism. Tonight we are going to teach the Word of Wisdom. We have seen coffee at her house before, so we bought some Ecco, which is a coffee here in Chile made of wheat, that is healthy and approved by the church. I don´t think she´ll have a problem with it. She should get baptized this next Sunday, along with Nicolás, who is 10. Felipe, 18, isn´t home as much and it´s harder to teach him. He also didn´t come to church yesterday. So we´ll end up baptizing him in December.
Time for the funny story. Well, not way funny for me, but a typical mission story. We were walking down the street the other day, my companion to my left, and on his left a car. Suddenly he started running, and I had no idea why. Then I first heard, and later saw the big German Shepard coming out from under the car. So I took off like a bullet. I ran for a while then looked behind to see where he was. He was inches from my back leg, so I pulled off my backpack and swung it at him. I´m sure that if I had looked back two seconds later or had not taken off my backpack, he would have gotten me. I got him just in time. Then he went after my comp, afraid of my backpack, getting between us. But my comp was too fast, so he came back to me. I squeezed between two cars and kept running. He finally decided that we weren´t going to bug him and let us go. But we kept running till we were sure he wasn´t following. My heart was racing and I had a huge adrenalin rush. It was quite the experience. One I wouldn´t want to relive but one that will be fun to tell in years to come.
Well, I´m out of time for now. This last week was a good one, and this next one shows hopes of being even better.