To the GREATEST family on earth,
End of Week Two in Chile. Wow. So much happened in a week, it´s like Cassie says, "I have so much to tell you but when I get to the pen and paper, I go blank." So true. First of all, I´m glad to hear everyone is doing well. I´m happy Aleksi is reading her scriptures, haha. and praying. There is power when we pray. I feel it too, I pray so much more - and I prayed a lot before the mission. I´m relying so much on the Lord for help, courage, and comfort. But, I´m happy family. Mitchell wasn´t lying when he said missionary work, is work. Especailly when you don´t know what in the world anyone is saying. Stressful. Chileanos talk suuuper fast. But this week we made lots of progress with our investigators. We have three right now. Our district is struggling big time, it´s kind of small so Elder Broadhead feels like he's contacted everyone before so it´s hard to find new people to teach. But we have Ricardo with the baptismal fetcha, Rodrigo and his wife Karina. We challenged them all to be baptized the 25th of february and they all accepted as long as they got an answer that the Book of Mormon is true. Buuut they all didn´t come to church on Sunday (which they said they would) so now we have to change their baptismal dates, because in our mission you have to go to church three times before your baptism. It´s just the regla here. So that´s kind of sad. I´m a little stressed about not being able to communicate in spanish. I want to talk to everyone and I want to be myself, but I CAN´T because I don´t know what people are saying. I always start talking and then turn to Elder Broadhead to take over. haha. He´s a good trainer. But sometimes he´s really stern with how he corrects me. It kind of makes me feel bad. I'm really awful at this parents. I´m trying to be good but seriously....I´m an awful teacher and I get so nervous to speak spanish. sigh. Algun dia. Mom, the zone leaders called and said the package you sent me is here! I´m so excited, I´ll go pick it up right after this email. I love you! So you and dad both asked if there´s anything I need....haha...FOOD. I know when I was in the MTC I was like "don´t worry about food, I¨m good" but that´s when every meal was ready at my feet, now it´s all me and I want some grub! But for real. I get fed sooo so so much for lunch but by dinner time I´m starved, so this is what I´ve discovered is easy and good, Peanut Butter and Jelly. Yum. I don´t think I´ve made so many sandwiches in my life. I cherish each one. Maybe some nutrigrain bars, those are nice when I´m walking and need something to munch on. Trail mix. So good. Peanuts and m&ms and raisens. Also, I hope you´re sending me some shirts. I think I only have 5 or 6. maybe 3 short sleeves and 4 long sleeves? but whatever you decide is good. Cologne too. The Chileanos use soo much cologne so I want to fit in. hah, they do but it´s nice to feel like you smell nice even if you don´t. So today we went to Puerto Montt, a bigger city about 30 minutes away, to do some passport stuff. The bus drivers are CRAZY. It´s like the Night bus in Harry Potter. "Take it away Ern!" But for real. Whoa. I´m glad I´m alive. Also, speaking of Harry Potter - did I mention how EVERYONE says I look like him. Even the members, who are all super nice. I love the members here. For lunch we celebrated our tough week with some McDonalds, the most expensive meal of my life! gosh. But worth it. I haven´t had ice cream in like 2 weeks aka dying! haha. no. It was good though.
Aleksi: Living alone?! ahhh. I´m so excited for you. That´s so exciting. There´s a family here named the Cortez´s and they all live in the same neighborhood --- it´s like us in the future. They´re all grown up with their families. haha. One day. And I loved all those keys photos! Miss the beach and the sun.
Eva: "Is this some kind of joke to you?! Our parents war is about to become ours, FIGURE OUT WHAT SIDE YOU'RE ON!"
Mitchell: HAPPY 21ST BIRTHDAY! I miss you, you´re an amazing missionary and an amazing example. Thank you for all the advice and all the love.
Mom: Thank you for the Chesney photos, glad my baby girl is doing well. Miss her everyday. I´m glad you and the family had a nice weekend with Roya. Everytime I look into the eyes of the Chilenas I see you. Sometimes I have to try not to tear up. You look so chilena. Thank you for you support, your letters, your example, and your decision to be a member of this great church.
Dad: To answer your questions: My companion is good, he´s a little awkward when we talk to people but he´s a good trainer. We don´t laugh enough though. I´ll work on that. He does NOT get my sense of humor....I always say sarcastic stuff or joke around and he´ll always say ¨Que paso?" which is like "what happened? or Why are you laughing, nothing even happened" so...awkward...but whatever. The weather is rainy and cold and sometimes warm? AND it´s summer. Parents I´m going to DIE in the winter. I´m wearing a jacket right now and apprearently it´s the heart of summer? yeah. My area is like Hobe Sound. Just a small town on a huge lake with two volcanoes. And Dad, I just wanted to thank you for being a righteous priesthood holder and for giving me that great gift. I love you and am so greatful for your love and friendship.
Cassie: Everytime I laugh I can hear you. It´s weird, I miss you sister. I hope lacrosse is going well! Keep smiling. Be funny. Laugh.
Elder Bray: sorry my emails are so long. I only get 45 minutes and only get to send ONE email...so...feel lucky that you´re included. haha. Chile is good. I´m glad you´re doing well in Nicaragua! I don´t understand anyone either. Es la vida.
Elder V. : I´m glad you´re well! I´m in Chile! I´m in the field!
My companions birthday is on Wednesday. 21, just like my hermano. Tell me how all the photos come out. I sent them as the original files, which are huge. How did last weeks come out? Could you see them well. How do they look displayed?
I saw a dead dog this week. So sad. Quotes that make me happy: "DANG IT JIM!" "Imitation is a form of flattery, so I thank you." "Identity theft is not a joke Jim, millions of families suffer each year!"
Love you family. I have a testimony that this is the work of the Lord. It´s not easy, but when has anything easy been worthwhile? This is real.
All my love,
P.S. the photos: Bus station at Puerto Monte, Volcan Osorno right outside my house, Me in front of my house, A part of Colon. (Colon is a small area in our zone: Puerto Varas)
Love you family. To the moon and back!