Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Week 13 - Shaking Hands with a Small Black Bear!

November 25, 2013


Ok, let’s talk about the important stuff first, the fly rod.... No, I'm just kidding! But the information you heard about only being able to take about 40 pounds of gear down to Punta Arenas, not true. You get one bag full and then the other gets sent by land. It doesn't get there for a few weeks, but it does get there, I watched Elder Johnson go through this. It was funny though because I'm not sure he had 40 pounds of gear to begin with! I'm chucking the rain gear they gave me though. I get soaked in that garbage if it rains like it did Saturday, the whole darn day!

Ok, now let’s talk about the fly rod. It's not really important and I was thinking you could send me the blanks for a rod. They sell them on Cabela’s site and it's a 6 or 7 piece rod not a 5. It's a build it yourself kit kind of thing. Just send me the cheapest guides seat and handle you can find with it. And I wouldn't just be fishing, every elder I've talked to wants to learn. It would be nice but I don't really need it.

Sorry, I wrote way too much about that garbage! Here’s your letter! Instead of those stupid little sentences that I send you every week (I'm still sorry about that). This week has been pretty good, haven't taught many lessons, but I think we might have found some new investigators. We tried to focus on inactives this week and had a little success but it seems like they've all disappeared. Well Tuesday was decent; we visited the American, Jesse. I'm not sure I've said much about him, but he's a fellow gun nut who's almost finished building his own CNC. We visit him every week and try to get some doctrine and short lessons into conversations but right now we're really just trying to be his friends and this week’s conversation went from the gospel to guns, horses, and Spitz dogs and specifically about his Norwegian Elkhound which has a really cool history. Something that might interest you, we talked a little about Alaskans having problems with huskies and malamutes reverting to wolves and forming packs, thought that was interesting. Had an English teaching appointment later in the week. I still think the irony of me teaching English is hilarious, but it went pretty well and we're starting to teach a little more doctrine.

Only had one day where it rained all day (Saturday) and it's starting to get really hot here. But this morning it's surprisingly cold! We were going to have a barbeque with the Biggs and the Peruvian elders today but we ended up going with Elder Biggs to fix a broken window instead. But the Biggs invited us to go out to dinner to celebrate Thanksgiving!

Almost forgot, two days ago I bumped into the biggest dog I've ever seen. It was a Mastiff German Shepard mix and weighed maybe 200 pounds! It’s paws were larger than my palms! I know this because after letting it smell my hand and a few snarls, it lifted up it's paw to give me a hand shake. SO SCARY! This thing was the size and demeanor of a small black bear! Anna would have loved it!

Well it's been an exciting yet uneventful week over here, but our numbers are increasing slowly but surely! Well I just want you to know that I love and miss you and the family. Have a great week!


Elder Washburn

Shaking hands with a small black bear!

Beautiful Villarrica!
My District
Lican Rey
Home sweet home!


Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 12 - Wedding Rings!

November 18, 2013


It’s been a really good week! We've had a few rainy miserable days, but we've had some hot ones too. It seems to be one or the other down here, very bipolar. Well I think I’ll start talking about my intercambio with Elder Gubler, one of our ZL's. We drove to Lanco with the Biggs and that in itself was an ordeal. As soon as we got in the car, the Biggs told us that they had just about died when a BUS ran a red light! Well not 15 minutes later we just about died again with them. We had to make a left hand turn. Usually this wouldn't be a problem but when you’re doing it in a 6 way intersection with a blind hill to your right and a random island in the middle, things get pretty hairy! We essentially had to do a U-turn while dodging traffic speeding down the hill. In the end we almost made it with out a problem until a car from our left was going up the hill and decided to run a red light. It was close but Elder Biggs decided to pull out and go straight. This would have been a good idea if there hadn't been an island. We dodge the island and gun it into the safety of another street. We then pulled a U-turn and made a right turn to where we needed to go. The rest of the trip went fine until a large rock takes out the right corner of our windshield. There were no cars in front of us and we saw it come from the OTHER SIDE of the freeway, where strangely enough, there were no cars either. I guess the rock just decided to throw itself!

Well we get to Lanco and the meeting goes fine, except for the fact that I stay in Lanco, but that turned out to be a blessing! The intercambio was pretty great! Elder Gubler is a great guy, we spent most of the time talking about Outliers, Bounce, Talent Doesn't Exist, and politics. The best part of all was that we taught a family home evening with a member present and the best investigator I have ever seen! We get to George (best investigator) and Carol’s house (Carol is a member). Well the first thing I notice are the rings. Let me explain, Elder Gubler had told me that George was the most prepared person for the gospel he had ever met but that he was living with Carol and that marriage or separation would be the biggest problem for baptism, and that he had assigned a scripture and had given them the Family Proclamation. Well when your biggest stumbling block between your investigator is marriage, it's a pretty big deal when they're wearing matching wedding rings! I didn't say anything and we moved on to ask him if he had read the assigned reading. He tells us that he has and that he also has started reading the WHOLE FREAKING BOOK OF MORMON! This is HUGE! Most investigators choose to be illiterate, they know how to read and they just won't. But this guy after one lesson is reading daily! When we asked him if he understood anything he said "not at first but I prayed and asked God for the ability to understand, and then I did.” HOLY COW! He hadn't even been taught about prayer yet. Well when we go over the Family Proclamation, he tells us that he really wants to start a family in the gospel and that he and Carol are ENGAGED! BEST LESSON EVER! TOTALLY MADE MY CAMBIO!

Well that went great as you can see by my EXCESSIVE use of capital letters. The rest of the week was ok.

Here’s some pictures of the international food activity that I couldn't send last week. The first is of Papito and Mamita  and the second is of the young men, two are the familita? no sè and the third is of the sisters.


Elder Washburn

Villarrica, Chile

Mamita and Papito!

The Young Men

The Sisters

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 11 - Hey!

November 11, 2013


Great week! You’ll be happy to know that your package has arrived and I'm enjoying it! Even the retainer and yes it fits fine. I don't really need anything. I'm wearing the shirt and I may or may not be wearing half a bag of Reeses on my face...Hey I'm not complaining or anything but it turns out that Lider has the great value peanut butter cups. The Reeses are definitely better but I can live with the other stuff. The only thing I can think I'd want from home though is a 6 to 7 piece fly kit or at least blanks to make one. There are so many streams and my companion would like to learn. Maybe for my birthday?

It’s been a good week like I said, we've really focused on inactive members and because of this, we've gotten in 5 lessons with them this week and one was even with a member! Total luck. We were sitting at the D__'s and we were about to read a chapter out of the Book of Mormon when we hear a knock at the door. In walks a member from the other rama Volcan! (branch in Volcan) Turns out he's Hermano D__'s father and was just stopping in for a visit. The lesson went pretty well. This Sunday, lo and behold, who walks in for church? Hermano D__! Unfortunately his wife and daughter couldn't make it but we'll take what we can get!

Well besides that we also had the international food activity that I asked for the scones recipe for. You’ll be happy to hear that it went fantastic! I’m going to send you guys a picture of Papito and Mamita. The scones however were almost the end of me. I decided to make a triple batch and tripled everything but the flour. Don’t ask me, I don't know how I did it! Well I fixed the dough and started on the honey butter, but the mess almost killed me when we came back home. The actual activity went great. We came a bit late but to no one’s surprise it started about an hour late (Chilean standard time).  After things got going it went great. So we were starting and we had totally forgotten to get music that's typical for our country (ours was the UK, the scones were American but they didn't know the difference and they liked them better!) Well Papito’s son just picked something for us. I about died laughing when the speakers started blaring Daft Punk's Get Lucky! After our scones we had some amazing Mapuche, Thai, and lastly the worst hamburgers I have ever eaten. But, there was real music playing and I can't possibly tell you how good that was!

Well we've been working with a few families. We have our only true investigators, Sergio and Karen and they have a little 6 month old. We also have the J__ family who are kinda sad. They live in a tiny run down shack, the grand father's in a wheel chair and the real head of the house is a single mother to a daughter with downs-syndrome and I believe the other daughters a druggie. We also have the D__’s (who I mentioned earlier), an inactive family that’s just great from the couple of times I've seen them. The father is a carabinero (uniformed Chilean national police) and the mother's in school. They have two daughters, one who was baptized last year before they fell into inactivity again… Our biggest problem isn’t the people it’s the members and the presidency.  They just want the missionaries to do everything and its not really effective.  Oh well, things are going great here.  I just can’t wait for the work to pick up!  Either way I’m loving the people and the work!

The weather this week has been cold and miserable.  Tomorrow is a zone meeting in Lanco, it’s the ugliest place I’ve ever seen and I “get” to stay the night and have an intercambio (split) with one of the zone leaders. I’ll make the best of it but what bugs me is that I don’t get to eat my own food when I’m there, I just get to starve!

Well it's been a good week and I'm glad to hear you are all having fun too.

Elder Washburn

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Week 10 - Baptism in our District!

November 4, 2013

Hey guys!

This letters gonna be pretty short I was too busy reading all your fantastic emails. Well this week has been pretty awesome! I didn't really teach anyone but we had a baptism in our district!  It was really funny, read Dad's letter about the amount of water in the font!

Excerpt from Dad’s letter:

Well Chileno is coming along. I've gotten to the point to where I can understand most of it, which is nice, except for the fact that I'm picking up on jokes about me... Oh well, that’s life! I'm doing great here and just saw my first baptism Saturday. It was a funny little ordeal. The woman was 7 months pregnant, like everyone I see here. When I asked Elder Renshaw if everyone here was pregnant he said, “no, just the women.” Well long story short, we almost didn't have enough water and her belly only went like a quarter inch under…. I’ve had a great week here I hope you’re having the same!

It’s been a pretty full week, we had the baptism, three English classes and a region meeting. The meeting involved everyone from Valdivia and up, at included at least a hundred missionaries, it was insane. The English classes have been going pretty well although we haven't yet really gotten anyone outside of the rama (branch) to go yet. Oh well, Elder Biggs is hilarious and I think they'll catch on soon. Well the elephant in the room was the huge day in Valdivia we woke up at 6:00 a.m. (shocking I know!) and headed to the bus station. We got on the bus and took a 3-4 hour trip down, I slept and read Jesus The Christ so it wasn't too bad. We got there for the "specialized training" to find out they're implementing a new stress management program. It seems pretty sound but a lot of what I read makes me think it will create a generation of wimpy missionaries. One of the chapters was titled, "Having Problems with Having to Work Hard?"  A little scared that people don't know what they're signed up for. Well that took till about 4:00 p.m. then we walked to the bus station and found out that the next bus left at 6 so we waited it out. It wasn't too bad, some how Elder Moreno had gotten his hands on a huge Costco jar of Jelly Belly’s that his friend's parents had brought down when they picked him up, sooo good! It would cost an arm and a leg to ship though!

Well it's been a good week besides not really having enough time to proselyte! I hope it was the same with you guys, busy but not stressful!

Love ya,

Elder Washburn