Monday, January 20, 2014

Week 21 -'s finally starting to pay off!

January 20, 2014

Hey guys!

It’s been another week, the Spanish is improving, the speed of the work...not so much. A lot of interesting things have happened this week so I'll just start from where I left you guys. After I emailed you guys we walked around for about three hours looking for Lapiz Lazuli (blue Lapis stone) for Elder Wise's family. We then went to Lider (Walmart) and went home. Left the house at 6 to proselyte. We bumped into a cool inactive family, they were impressed by my Spanish and asked me if I was braziliaƱo.  I felt kinda bad because I'm pretty sure my Spanish was awful enough that they thought it was Portuguese! Well it's better than being a gringo! Came home and our neighbors asked us if they could keep their dog here for a week, We called for permission and so right now we have a dog! She’s an Akita and her name is Safi. Woke up the next day and got showered and made sure the dog had water and started studying an hour early like usual. (Because of this I've finished the bible in 7 weeks!) Left the house to do some service but ended up meeting the Elders of Volcan in Central to buy bus tickets for the Zone Conference in Lanco on Wednesday. So I walked around Central with hedge clippers feeling like I was in a sub par horror film for two hours! Went to the service project and cut her grass. Went home for lunch and left again at 3:00.  We didn't teach anyone, but we bumped into an investigator's dad, who complimented my Spanish, I'm starting to wonder if it's not a joke!

Next day the Biggs picked us up at nine to head to the Zone Conference, it was a fun trip as usual and we didn't have any close calls this time! Got to the conference a bit early and talked to my friends in the zone. Elder Moreno and Rivera are both great guys that I've known from my first day here. Unfortunately Hermana Latham must have been transferred out of our zone. Great conference!  We broke at 1:00 for lunch and so we went with the Biggs out to lunch to a place Elder Gubler recommended. I got an amazing sandwich called a Churrasco: steak with carmelized onions, lettuce, and palta(avacado). Sooooo good! It turned out to weigh over a pound, maybe a bit under a kilo and was the size of my head.  Was it delicious? Was I doubted? Did I pound that thing in under ten minutes? Yes, yes and yes! Finished the zone conference with another skype meeting with Elder Pulsipher (the first one was only for the district leaders of Pucon and Villarrica). It was fun. I said goodbye to everyone and then went to the bus stop to wait for a bus home. I also just got the letter from Grandma Layton and absolutely loved it!

Next day we had weekly planning so we didn't go out for the morning. After lunch we taught Carlos.  The first thing he wanted to do was confirm his baptismal date! If we can just get him to church he'll be golden! Walked around a lot after that with no luck so we came home. 

Friday we worked on the census for the morning, came back for lunch and went to English. English was great as usual. Claudia, one of the Volcan sisters’ investigators ended up coming.  She's an English professor so she just came to practice. After English we talked to Guillermo, he now sells fruit on the corner by the chapel. We taught them and practiced Spanish. Got another amazing compliment, he told me I had a Peruvian accent! (they are the best speakers and are the easiest to understand) I've really been practicing hard and it's finally starting to pay off!

Saturday we helped Elder Biggs update MLS and then went to English at 5. Guillermo and Claudia both showed up so we just had them talk a lot. Guillermo's got a lot of talent for a year of English! Had a lot of fun there! Not much happened after though.

Sunday was great. We left for the executive priesthood meeting and that was as normal pretty boring because we were the only ones there, at 9:20ish everyone was there though. Average meeting we had a lot of visitors but hardly any natives showed up! Olga got a call for primary and so I now consider her full-on active, so happy! After church we went to the Lopez's for lunch and had an amazing meal as usual, baked Sierra, the same fish we went after in Mexico with Grandpa Layton, remember? Walked 45 minutes to Carlos's house in the boonies but he wasn't home but we caught a bus back.

And that was my week.  Hope you guys have a great one! I love you so much!

Elder Washburn

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Week 20 - Best Mexican Food minus the rock!

January 13, 2014

Hey family!

 How are you guys? Happy to hear that I survived another week? I guess I'll just start off where I left you guys. After I emailed last week, I went to a Mexican restaurant that I had seen a few times but had never eaten at, the Taqueria Azteca. Got to be honest, it's some of the best mexican food I've had. I got a Dorado taco which is essentially a fried fajita with guacamole, so good! After that we headed down to Lider (Walmart) and bought food. This week I went for avocados, cheese, and took a chance on some Walmart great value mint chocolate chip ICECREAM! No real chocolate there of course but it's still pretty good.  The big risk was getting it home when it's 90 degrees outside! We came home and got the weed whacker from Jesse, and then I "mowed" our lawn. After using the garden scissors for the last 3 months I can tell you what a blessing an electric trimmer is!

When I finished, I woke up my companion and headed out the door to teach. We ended up running into Liset around seven. Liset is the daughter of an evangelico bishop of a church with no name…. it felt good to be out of the rain... ok I miss music and hate the rain but still she's great! Not sure if I've mentioned her. She's very receptive and always has a lot of questions. I gave her a Libro de Mormon and taught the plan of salvation and then bore my testimony. She agreed to read and pray for an answer.

The next day we set up an awesome teleconference with a matrimonial (couple missionary) in ConcepciĆ²n, Elder Pulsipher. He gave us a new system to find members that links MLS with the Chilean census, so much for separation of church and state! Kind of feel like big brother now but it's so cool! During the powerpoint for the instructions, they showed a picture of Michael Carter with one of his converts. The Pulsiphers weren't too surprised to hear that I knew him though, the guy must get around... After that we taught Ines who told us another story that solidified my ever firm belief that God truly has his hand in our lives. She was 13 and working in Santiago to help support her family. She was walking home from work at about two in the morning because she had taken the wrong bus. Today this wouldn't be a problem but this was during Pinochet and she was out past martial curfew. As she was walking down the sidewalk, a door opened and a man grabbed her and pulled her inside. Not a moment later, a patrol drove down the street. She told us that if she had been caught that we wouldn't be talking to her today. She is so strong and has a testimony like none other. She believes the same things that we do but she thinks that those beliefs are catholic and not against her church. That and like any decent investigator, she's moving shortly.

The next day nothing happened but we went to the Lopez's to read the Book of Mormon and to grab our laundry. We asked Brother Lopez how his airsoft match that we heard about went, and it turns out he's a pro! He shows us his gun, which is made out of real AR parts and has an EOtech HOLO sight! Don't want to know what it cost! Either way it's cool and we were invited to join in for a P day. Still asking permission, but it would be awesome! We've been doing lawn care for the neighbors in the morning and taught Marilyn and Barbara on Thursday but we didn't have too much time and so it was really more of a conversation with a few invitations.

Friday we had a Noche de Hogar (FHE) as a rama (branch), we taught a short lesson on missionary work and the sisters did a game where we had to eat chocolate with a knife and fork and dress up. It was hectic but soooo much fun! The Biggs ended up coming and the first thing they do is present me a small pebble, I'm awkwardly staring at this small rock, and they tell me that the Mexican place I recommended was the best food that they have eaten in Chile, but that Elder Biggs found a rock in his food... well I guess the hard way...? I was so embarrassed! Oh well it made for a good laugh.

Absolutely nothing happened Saturday, but Sunday was pretty great. Church had a record attendance at 57 members.  After ward council we ate lunch at the Nevarette's and before we headed in we finally refound the Cuevas! Turns out that the father is an ex osorno missionary. They haven't been visited in the last 7 years they've been here because someone got their address wrong. Didn't do too much but we read in the Book of Mormon in  Enos. And now… well I guess I'm here!

I love you guys and hope y'all have a great week because I know I will!

Elder Washburn

Monday, January 6, 2014

Week 19 - It's Raining Roasted Ducks!

January 6, 2014


Well it's been a long week but I made it.  Not too much has happened since I last wrote you guys but I'll tell you what happened the rest of P-day last Monday. We headed out of the cyber and I went to Eltit to get my raman (or my twice imported noodles as I like to call them) and went to the Biggs and caught a ride with them to the Elders of Volcan's house to help the Elders clean. Well we got there and the Elders, who the Biggs were going to take to Ojos del Caburgua weren’t there. I jokingly offered that we could go in their place and they accepted! So we went to Ojos for the second week in a row with the Biggs! It was awesome! It's still amazing, gorgeous and still blue. I didn't take any pictures this time, but it's my third time and no matter how pretty it is it just doesn't change! Came home and headed out, knocked a lot of doors and didn't do much else.

Ojos (waterfalls) del Caburgua

Pucon countryside with the Villarrica Volcano in the background

The work here is really starting to pick up and so is the temp! We’ve had a couple of days in the 90's! A funny phrase to say here is "estan caillendo patos asados," its raining roasted ducks! I'd be a lot fatter if it actually was but it sure feels like it. We got a couple good lessons in this week. Olga the less active I started teaching with Renshaw is now active and she bore her testimony this Sunday which was just awesome! We taught a part member family that we found last week. Their son Guillermo isn't a member but is extremely intelligent. He reads and more importantly understands all of the doctrine and things we leave him to study. He's studying to become a pharmacist.  We also taught Barbara and her Mother which was ok.  We still can't get her mother to pray at the end of the lesson but that's gonna change next time. We finally ran into Sebastian this week. He’s still interested in the church but he some how lost his Book of Mormon. We met a cool lady who has had the discussions this week. We taught her on New Years Eve and she agreed to get baptized. Now we just have to get her to church, but I've got a lot of hope for this one. We walked around a lot and got invited to an asado on New Years Eve. We were only there for 5 minutes but I had arranged an appointment and would have eaten my weight in venison if I hadn't been forced to leave! We went to another asado yesterday at the Puentes’, it was fantastic! The house is still beautiful but it's the land it's on not really the house itself.  I took a picture of the grill, it's pretty awesome. He cooked up 15 ribeyes and while latinos eat everything "negro" or well done it was still really good.

Well that was my week, still love you guys and miss you a ton but not much else is new!

Elder Washburn

Week 18 - "Fair Weather Mormon"

December 30, 2103

Dear Family,

How's life? I'm guessing the cabin's amazing as always. Do tell everyone hi for me! Things are going great down here it's even cooling down a bit and yesterday we had rain! Really not much happened since I talked to you guys on Wednesday. We bumped into an inactive, which he said was a miracle because he's only home 3-4 days out of the month. He also thought I was Chilean which I thought was kinda awesome. My companion is still angry because a different guy called him Uruguayan. Apparently they are white, ugly, and really hard to understand. He just still doesn't believe me that I'm positive that he didn't mean that. He was a decently cool guy, not really interested in the gospel but I just found out that I'll be here for the next month so I'll have another shot. Yup, found out that I'm here for another transfer ya... Other than that really not much happened this week, it was just really slow. We were supposed to have a lesson with Barbara and with the President but they both just kept canceling on us. So we didn't really teach anyone that’s likely to progress. Sunday was kinda depressing, apparently fair weather mormon is a literal term here. It rained yesterday and we had less than 50% attendance. But I know that I get to hear how you guys are doing today so I'm ok! Ya I'm sorry there’s just not much to write about this week.  Pretty boring letter huh? Still love you guys!

Elder Washburn