Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Week 17 - Feliz Navidad

December 23, 2013

Dear family,

       I've survived another week in Chile. Surprised? I am! From the Christmas party asados, the week without steak (I'm actually going on two now) and the fact that I'm just about to go to another breath taking trip to Ojos del Caburgua with the Biggs! My life is so HARD! Jk

It's been an interesting week since last Monday, I've been trying to get to know Elder W____ and I'm still trying to show him the area and how things work around here. We taught some lessons but the majority were on doorsteps and in the street so they were just for numbers, which I really hate. I think Elder Holland put it into better words when he said, "the people you teach are the children of God, our brothers and sisters not a Baptismal statistic hidden behind a face." I get planting seeds but when you’re doing it just to make it look like the area's not dead just kills me! We did meet one good person though on a doorstep, and he really made the week worth it. His name is Sebastian and when he stepped out I'm not going to lie, the tattoos, swastika, and the crucifix he was wearing really seemed to clash and it kinda threw me off... Turns out he's an inactive 20 year old who loves to climb and is a sponsored triathlete. He loves Utah and really wants to become a guide in Zions. He also really misses the church, and while his father hates it, he and his family want to come back. He also wants to become a missionary, because he feels like it's the right thing to do. I think I'll have to reactivate him first but it sounds great to me! Other than that we've been trying to get a hold of Sergio and some other investigators who have just seemed to disappear. We also got Olga to come to church again and we blessed her son and stepchild? I don't know she's in a weird/depressing situation. She lives with her ex-husband and his wife and son. This would already be pretty weird except for the fact that they're all living with her (Olga's) Mother! Either way I'm thinking this time she'll stick, or at least I hope so!

Other than that I went to my first asado! It was for the Branch Christmas party and I learned a few things about BBQ! The Asadores (bbqs) are huge 55-gallon oil drums, cut in half with an interesting two tree adjustable rack height system.  The charcoal is home made and you can tell that it is made out of random sticks and branches in someone's back yard! We cooked about 50-60 chicken thighs and they were amazing and perfectly cooked by hermano Puentes, this amazing 70 year old Argentinian member who we go over to lunch for quite a bit of Sundays, although it's usually fried chicken. The next day, (Sunday) we went to church at 9:00 for the Executive Priesthood Meeting. We were it, so I had some more personal study time. We went to sacrament meeting, and hermana Fuentes (our abuelitta) was crying. Turns out that her brother died and that she wasn't invited to the Christmas dinner. I tried to help but there really wasn't much I could do. After church we went to the Puente's house in their flat bed. Not much has changed, the food is still amazing and the home is the prettiest I've seen here, even compared to the rich homes. They did get some new puppies though. One of their dogs named Mancha had them. I told them that they should name one of the puppies Don Quixote (Don Quixote de la Mancha!) only sister Puentes got that one!  Lunch was great. We picked cherries and ate fried chicken with the Puentes and the Molinas and finished off with some of the best watermelon I've ever eaten. We came home and started to look for investigators and didn't find anyone but we bumped into Jesse who was just leaving to go hunt some rabbits with his daughter on his property. He's doing pretty good and has watched some more of Uncle Bengt’s stuff. He still loves it. We went home, went to bed and now I'm here! It’s been a good week, can't wait till Christmas! Love you guys!

Elder Washburn

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