Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 66 - God Miraculously Answers Prayers

December 1, 2014

Hey guys it's been a pretty good week.  The news about transfers is that Elder Roy's leaving and I'm training Elder Christiansen from South Jordan, Utah. I'm excited but it's going to be really hard training someone down here because we don't have as much time to work as we should with our callings and now with the extra couple of hours of training we're not going to hardly teach at all. But I'm excited that they put me with a gringo, it should be really fun, either way I'll see Wednesday when I get to go with all of the dying elders to Osorno to pick him up and go through a seminar for trainers. There really shouldn't be too many, with the tiny group thats coming. I'm surprised to be training at all during my mission, I just came during an awkward time. Regardless, it'll be fun!

I don't have too much time to write today, I really don't know where it all goes but I think I'll try to just share a cool story we had this week about how God miraculously answers prayers. So this Tuesday we had an intercambio after our district meeting with Los Muermos, which is another tiny little pueblito about an hour and a half away from Fresia. We left and hauled to the bus station to catch the only bus that was going to leave before 3. When we got there we found out that we hadn't missed it but that it had caught on fire on the way here (something that happens more often than one would think). Well we tried to hire out a collectivo (kind of like a taxi) but they tried to charge us 50 dollars for whats a 3 dollar bus ride, so we went home and decided that we were just going to have to wait a few hours. We went home and changed and then me and Elder Meneses decided to go and get the tithing done. For some reason I took a right turn and decided to head the wrong direction. I was about to turn around when a Dodge truck pulled over and a man who I'd never seen before hopped out and shook our hands.  He told us that he was a member from Osorno and loved to talk with all of the missionaries he sees. He told us that he was heading to Los Muermos and when we told him about our problem he offered us a ride! He took an insane shortcut and while I'm not sure how anyone in a Dodge Dakota could hit 80 mph on a gravel road he did, and we got there in about 30 minutes, A THIRD OF THE TIME it should have, and we ended up getting there before the bus would have. The Church is true, nuff said, name of JesuCristo. Amen!

Elder Washburn

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Week 65 - Why did the chicken cross the road?

November 24, 2014

Hey guys, how's it going? Things are going great down here and I'm loving the work! Now that I've had some time here in Fresia, I've had a bit of time to think about some profound questions of the soul that seem to be answered with every meaningful contact I make. For instance, "why did the chicken cross the road?" I've found that it's usually one of three simple answers

1. there was a pretty hen on the otherside...

2. the elders chased it across...

and last but not least....

3. to avoid getting hit by the bus!

Fresian Ferrari

Well I'm sure there are more answers but those are the most common I've seen here in Fresia. It's been a pretty good week so far and we've actually had quite a bit of success, considering all of the time we've spent on our branch callings this week!

Monday was pretty fun, we went down to Puerto Varas to pull out our ajuste money and to go to a zone activity. We made completos, played ping pong and basketball and just hung out till it was time to write and head back home. Afterwards, we spent the rest of the day contacting and trying to get a hold of some menos activos.

Elders in my Zone

Tuesday we traveled to Puerto Varas to have a district meeting. It wasn't as good as I would have liked, but to be honest I haven't given one for a little over a month now with all of the conferences and crazy stuff that's been happening over here, so it just wasn't as smooth as it could have been. Afterwards we came home had lunch with president and then went out to work. We tried to get a hold of our investigators but they had all disappeared! So we spent the time teaching people in the street. It's actually a lot funner than you'd think because about half of the people in the street are drunk! We always have a few laughs when they try to contact us.

Wednesday we spent most of the day trying to fix the internet so that we could send all of the changes, audits, tithing, fast offerings and porsupuestos from mls. A really nice tech support guy tried helping us but after about 4 hours we had to call it quits, we then went out and visited a few family's in the area and went home.

Thursday was a bit nuts. We woke up and headed straight to the church to meet up with the tech support guy so we could try again to fix the internet.  After a few hours looking at code, trying to break through fire walls and pulling out a whole lot of hair, we found out that someone forgot to pay the bill... We then got lunch and came back to spend a few hours changing el rescate and sending all of the changes in mls. Afterwards we taught Claudia, which was great, she had read a little bit of the Book of Mormon and had prayed about it. She's still thinking about baptism but I really think she will get baptized this next cambio.

Friday most of the day was spent helping out the primary with their activity. They actually brought out a lot of investigators and one of the few perks we have in Fresia is that we can play soccer during branch activities!!! So that was actually really fun as we're not normally allowed to play soccer at all down here. After a quick lesson with the people they brought, we headed out to teach a couple of new people we had found and tried to find some of our disappearing investigators.

Saturday we woke up got about half of our personal study in and then we went to Puerto Varas for the zone council.  This one took about 3 hours and killed most of us, still it was fun to see the other missionaries. Afterwards we went back to Fresia and contacted like crazy because it was the first day we had without any branch calling work. It was an amazingly productive day and it was great to walk in the door and collapse with that "I've done everything I could have, fantastic kind of tired!"

Sunday was great!  Our investigators actually made up about a quarter of the branch attendance and we were able to get all of them to every single class! Sorry guys I would love to write a bit more but once again I'm out of time! Love you all!

Elder Washburn

Cooking Fresia style!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Week 64 - Conference with Elder Nelson

November 17, 2014

Hey guys it's been a really interesting week.  We really haven't had too much time to work because we've just been getting ready for the branch conference and as secretaries that meant that we did practically everything but we still had a blast. 

Monday we stayed in Fresia, which meant getting the tithing in and cleaning the house.  Afterwards we went out and taught Claudia which was pretty awesome because after we talked about the scripture we had left her and invited her to be baptized, we forgot to give her another chapter to read. Luckily she stopped us before we got to the door to ask us for another one, it was awesome! 

Tuesday we didn't really do much.  We spent most of the morning trying to fix the internet in the chapel and packing our bags, because the zone leaders called to tell me that we wouldn't be having district meetings but that Elder Thomas and I would be going back to do splits with the Presidente Ibañez elders! So at 4 we left for Puerto Montt and got to the chapel at about 7-8ish and from there went out to visit my converts and investigators.  Unfortunately, Jonathan was in Santiago but luckily I found Marcelo and was able to talk to J. It was really sad to see J. The missionaries had dropped him in the 3 weeks I had been gone so he hadn't read, prayed, and worse was doing drugs again.  I gave some palos and tried to get him back on his feet but still it was really discouraging to see someone with such a strong testimony fall that hard. Afterwards we went to the house and Carlitos who had gotten his endowments showed up at the house at about 10 to visit.  He's doing great and is really excited to go out on his mission.

Wednesday was the conference with Elder Nelson. We woke up at 4 am and got to the bus station at about 5:30. I ended up sleeping the first 10 minutes and then my comp decided to give his seat to a drunk... it was an interesting lesson, he tried to convince me he was an angel and then told me he was going to hell. He eventually got off just before Osorno, and I just died laughing! Teaching a drunk with 80 other missionaries was just not the kind of experience I thought I would get on the mission. As for the conference it was absolutely amazing. First, Elder Viña and his wife spoke and then Elder Nelson's wife spoke, it was a really amazing lesson about Schindler's list and how we should never need to tell ourselves I could have helped one more if I had used my time wisely. Elder Nelson was actually a lot funnier than I ever could of thought (which was great after the Schindler's list lesson) and after a few laughs, he then flooded the room with the Spirit and testified of the importance of following up with our converts and never leaving them. In the end he decided to give an apostolic blessing to all of our familiy members. 

Afterwards I visited with the Biggs for quite a while and asked Elder Barney about Punta Arenas. Jimmy and Macarena got baptized and Elder Biggs finally ended up losing his tooth from the rock he found in his burrito from way back when. We came home and went out with Presidente Paillan to invite menos activos to the branch conference.

Thursday we had weekly planning, went to lunch and then washed and peeled potatoes for the branch dinner on Friday.  Thursday we also had an amazing lesson with Claudia and then set up for the "fashion show" for the relief society.

Friday was all spent prepping for the dinner and inviting people to the dinner. It was great, we just had way too much food for 10 people.

Sunday was amazing. Elder Wilhelm of the 70 decided to randomly pop in and preside and Presidente Obeso thought that he was one of the members and was just joking with him...funny stuff! In all seriousness, the talks were absolutely amazing and it was great to hear Elder Wilhelm talk about when he came down to open Fresia as a branch as one of the counselors of the Osorno mission, and how excited he was to see us growing and the vision he had of what we would become.

Well guys, a lot is going on I just have way too little time to write it all down. I love you all, have a great week!

Elder Washburn

Week 63 - Survived Dogs, Drunks and an Earthquake!

November 10, 2014

Hey guys how's it going?  It's been a bit of a crazy week out here in the campo, we've been chased by dogs, drunks, had a two man district meeting, and survived an earthquake! That really sums up the week but I guess you people are a little more detail oriented than I am so I think I'll just describe where I am, who I'm with, and what we've been doing the past week.

Ok I'm in Fresia, it's a microscopic town where they haven't bothered to give names on most of the streets let alone street signs.  It's a town of about 12000 but in all reality only 5000 live inside the city limits and the rest live out in the countryside and surrounding small towns where missionaries have never visited. So I'm with an awesome kid named Elder Roy, he's from Riverton Utah, extremely bright, speaks English and is a workaholic....all of which are GREAT in my book. We are in a district of 4...including us, which is a bit of a change from the last district but a whole lot easier. So before this Monday we were me, Roy, Menesses and Elder France (not his real name but close enough), but Elder France left, and we now have Elder Lawton.

Ok Monday was a bit nuts we ended up going to Puerto Varas which was awesome because I seemed to bump into all of my old buddies from Colon on the way there. So we got there and went to the chapel to watch 17 Miracles and eat pizza with the zone. The zone leaders pulled me to the side afterwards and told me that Elder France left for Osorno that morning to have an interview with Pte. Obeso because he wanted to go home...glad someone told me about that eventually. We then grabbed some groceries from Lider (because there’s not a single supermarket in Fresia) and left. We came home and went contacting and bumped into a lot of really good people and had a lesson with one of our best investigators named Gonzalo. He's got a great family and some adorable little girls. We ended up teaching them about the Book of Mormon and inviting them to read. It was a really good experience and he told us that he would love to read it and that just looking at it he thought it was true.

Tuesday we had the 2 man district meeting... we decided to throw it in the house because there really wasn't much sense in doing it at the church. It went pretty well, we essentially just had another weekly planning session and cleaned the house a bit.  As we were cleaning the kitchen the walls started to sway from side to side and there was a very large grating noise I can only describe as the sound of moving gravel. Turns out Fresia was the epicenter of a 6 earthquake, fun stuff, a lot cooler than it was scary!  We both were waiting for the after shock but it never came.   : (

Friday we had the zone conference which went pretty great.  It was good to hear from President and to see my old zone and district again. We talked to President about how our branch president wants to be relieved and then hopped on the 2 hour bus back to Fresia, We got there and started working and had a surprisingly effective day.  We bumped into a ton of menos activos and had two really fun lessons with drunks in the street one of them tried to "convince" me to give up my backpack but he was a little too drunk to stand let alone take it from me... funny stuff!

Saturday we went to Puerto Varas again for a zone council and sorry but I just ran out of time Sunday was great because the familia Bahamondez came out to Fresia to visit me! Apparently someone told them where I was and they have some family out here!

Love you guys have a great week!

Elder Washburn