Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 30 - Going down to baptize penguins!

March 23, 2014

This week has been pretty amazing but it ended a little bitter sweet. Monday not too much happened. We cleaned and prepped for the move, went to Jumbo and emailed. After that we walked around, set up some citas for the week, did a little contacting and came home. 

Tuesday we had an amazing lesson with Freddy besides the fact that he just really doesn't want anything to do with the church... Other than that it was an amazing lesson.  We all did our part and the spirit was there, he just still doesn't have an answer and doesn't want to search for it either. Afterwards we tried to get a hold of Ingrid but she was in Puerto Montt. So we contacted, knocked a bit and then came home.

Wednesday was awesome. I absolutely love living in a house of four! So we woke up in the morning, packed, cleaned a bit and then hopped in one of the Cortes' vans and drove to the house. We unpacked and then I headed out with Elder Jones, one of the zone leaders we live with, to pick up my carnet. We picked it up so I'm officially legal in Chile right now. We then came back to the house and went to the mamita's right across the street. The food is so good, nothing but gourmet soups, bicstec (?) and fresh made juice. After that we had a correlation meeting, tried to get a hold of Ingrid and then when we went back to the fruteria to talk to Mauricio Cortes about some things, the zone leaders randomly showed up in one of the vans and told us to hop in so we did and ended up getting taken to papitos birthday party! We had a huge pichanga and partied till 9:55 when we had to walk across the street to get back to the house... oh a pichanga is steak, chicken, pork, and chorizo with tomatoes, avocados, olives, and cheese all covered in french fries. We then planned and gave juice until 11.

Thursday was also pretty great.  We went down to clean the house in the morning and found the familia Otay. These families are so amazing.  I just found out yesterday that the opinion of the Cortes family is that all the missionaries in the world should just have to rely on the ward families for everything. Of course it does help if you have the best fruteria in Puerto Varas, but still it's kind of awesome. Well we finally had a lesson with Ingrid, but Carlos was there so we didn't get much done.

Friday we just partied for the most part, nothing really happened.  I'll just skip to the cool stuff on Saturday.

Saturday we had a baptism with the zone leaders.  It was great!  Their convert Angela is so strong.  The baptism was amazing and they invited her cousins, an inactive family that we knew but had no idea that they were related.  Afterwards we headed to Papito’s where we ate these amazing mushroom empanadas I'm gonna try and figure them out today. Afterwards we went back to the house where I made the zone leaders some obra marvillosas to celebrate, they almost died.

At about 11p.m. the AP’s called with cambios and this winter I'm going (flying) down south to baptize some penguins at the bottom of the world! That’s right Punta Arenas baby!!! I've had so much luck with cambios!  I've hit all of the prettiest parts of the mission! Pucon, Villarrica, Puerto Varas and now Punta Arenas, Rio de los Manos! Now I get to say that I've survived a winter down in Antarctica with 90 mph wind and snow.  Woooh! Gonna love it! I'm excited and disappointed at the same time. I should have gotten an email with flight information last week but I didn't and the zone leaders we've been living with have known my cambio for about 2 weeks now. The biggest thing I'm worried about is my bag. I've talked to everyone that has been there and it's simply not that cold. The only people that suffer are the latinos who aren't used to the cold. It’s simply just not as cold as Utah. I'm still wearing a short sleeve here. More good news is that they've got gas heating and no fleas! (I told Hayden that memories fade and not to be naïve.  They use the term “arctic cold” for a reason!  It means it’s REALLY COLD!)

My new companion is Elder McDonald from West Valley. Elder Abarca just got promoted to district leader and he's staying.  My replacement is Elder Denis. He is from Frutillar, so I know him pretty well. I've heard that Elder McDonald is a really good guy.  Elder Campbell knew his trainer and had met him a few times.

Well I got to go, not much time left but I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!

Elder Washburn

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Week 29 - ¿Cómo andai microndai?

March 17, 2014

¿Cómo andai microndai?

It's been a pretty good week. I told you guys all about Monday and the amazing trip out to Saltos de Petrohue and other than some strange news Saturday, everything has been pretty normal.

Tuesday everything was normal, in the morning we got a call that district meeting was canceled so we got to tract in the morning instead. Not many Chilenos are awake let alone willing to listen to the missionaries at 10:30 a.m., so that was fun. For lunch we got some chaparitas from papito (hotdogs wrapped in pastry and deep fried) After lunch we took Hernan Cortes to a lesson with Freddy (Hernan or papa is the father of all of the Cortes clan) The lesson went great, very spiritual and when asked to pray, Freddy didn't even hesitate.  We couldn't find Ingrid after that so we contacted until we came home.

Wednesday morning we had a conference with Elder Pulsipher about the MLS/census program. So I got my 5th rundown on it. I still love it though, you never run out of people to visit and look for. It's great to be using it again. After the conference the Zone Leaders handed me my birthday letter from Grandma Layton, loved it as usual!  Lunch was this mix of beans, rice and chorizo that all of the mamitas seem to make. It's good with a lot of Tabasco. After lunch we went to Ingrid’s house with Eguardo Cortes the owner of the frutería. Ingrid our investigator is amazingly spiritual, has 3 children but is in a bad relationship. Her two older children are baptized and she's just waiting to get rid of the boyfriend so she can get baptized herself. Well Eguardo who lives the law of consecration was kind enough to bear his amazing testimony of the blessings of putting the góspel first. Such a great lesson! He then drove us down to the chapel for our meeting where we were going to meet our new Ward misión leader. Well Eguardo saw one of his vans from the frutería and told us he didn't need to ask who it was anymore...surprise! It's Maricio...Cortes! I'm telling ya this family is amazing! After a great meeting we all crammed into the front seat of the van and headed up the hill we got and headed to Joel’s house. Great news, he was there. Better news, we actually got to teach the plan of salvation this time. At first it seemed like our words were going in one ear and out the other but when we were talking to him about going to church he said his wife couldn't because their pastor got mad, but that he felt like he couldn't know if a "fruit" was bad or good if he didn't at least look into it and he had a really strong desire to come to church.

Thursday nothing happened. We walked around tried to get a hold of some investigators but nothing really happened. We did meet a really cool testigo missionary from Munich. His name was Florian and he was a really nice guy. He invited us to one of their reunions at the church that day, I got to admit I really wanted to go but we can't without direct authorization from the president, un poquito fome, but whatever. We came home, planned and I made some steak sandwiches and put it with some caramelized onions and garlic and some grilled bell peppers it was good.

Friday was great. We worked on the census mls site in the morning and got a ton of work done.  We came back for lunch and then got to work. We had a great lesson with Ingrid about fasting and then we had a family home evening with the Heim family. We watched and taught the restauracion and then ate completos and German pastries. We then went to Rafael Angulos house where we taught English and ate some more.  We came home stuffed so we planned and hit the canvas.

Saturday was filled to the brim. For the most part we worked on the census in the morning and now I've really got it down. It only takes 2 minutes per person now.  We then ran up the hill grabbed lunch ate it in 15 minutes and then ran back down to catch a bus with the zone leaders to Fresia. I got on the bus all right and sat with Elder Jones. First thing he asks me, “have you lived in a house of 4?” Well that was a weird question but I say “no” and he tells me it's going to be a blast... Surprise! I’m getting transferred or rather kicked out of my home because hermanas are coming. Doesn’t matter though the new place is huge and I heard the Papito, Patricio…. drumroll….Cortes is awesome and that and we're going to live with two other missionaries. So we then did a sick service project in Fresia, ate some delicious homemade pína cake and then came back where we got soaked and the story I sent my mom happened after that. I came back and made this monstrosity of a grilled cheese palta, marinated Philly cheese steak and palta grilled cheese sandwich. Most fattening delicious thing I've ever eaten!

Elder Washburn shared this experience:

So it was about 9:10, it was raining and we were soaked. We had exhausted every contact, new investigator, and menos activo that we knew and we were just knocking doors at this point. I was sick and tired of these garbage excuses people were giving us when I remembered an experience that Elder Jones our zone leader had shared with me on an intercambio about him and his trainer praying in the middle of the street during the diez y ocho. So I looked at Elder Abarca and said "how about a prayer?" He shrugged and we asked Heavenly Father to help us find someone prepared for this message. Well we knocked until we reached one of the last cul-de-sacs at the end of the street. But, we knew that we had to be there for a reason. The last house on the last street and we found him. Christian, a 21 year old kid who had been searching for the góspel his whole life, he had been born and raised in a church but was so tired of the hypocrisy and doctrine that he just couldn't relate to it.  So he went to the testigos, he tried the LDS church for a bit, and then tried Buddhism for a time before finally becoming atheist. We shared a few quotes we remembered from Elder Uchtdorf's “Come Join Us” talk, and bore our testimonies of our loving Heavenly Father.  He decided that he should probably give us another shot. We set up a cita for this next Thursday.

Elder Washburn

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Week 28 - "I'm a Washburn!"

March 10, 2014


Hey guys how are you doing? I just got back from a sick paseo to Saltas de Petrohue with all of the elders in the zone. It was amazing and I'm still trying to find a way to send photos so this might not happen but I can tell you right now that it was beautiful! We hiked around a lot, got soaked, the Zone leaders had to hold me back when I saw a pair of 60 pound Chinooks in the rapids. We had a lot of fun.  Even the 2 hour ride in a cramped van with soaked elders wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I would say it's been a normal week but it hasn't….it's been amazing! I started the week off with an amazing intercambio with the zoneleaders and we finished pretty strong with 8 lessons with members! Sure it's not the 20 we hear about in other missions. But going from a lucky 1 every two weeks to 8 in 1 was killer for me!

Monday after we left emailing we got straight to work and started tracting, We didn't have too much luck at that so we went to an antiguos house, Hector Pincha, he still really doesn't want to do much with us so he just started talking about how the Book of Mormon and the Bible were the same books with a few different names and randomly citing Luke chapter 1, the only chapter of the Bible I think he's read. After that we went out a little more and visited Ingrid and came home.

Tuesday was sick. The previous night we got a call right before 11 that we were going to have an intercambio with the ZL's.  We tried to get some citas fixed in the morning and tried to get my carnet out to Puerto Varas, which was a lot easier than we thought, so we went out to do some service, aka chop wood, that’s all anybody wants these days. After lunch we met up with the zone leaders and they dropped off Elder Jones, one of the previous companions of Elder Renshaw, Wise, Woods, and the majority of the older missionaries.  I know he's a great guy! Well after we planned a bit we went out to pick up Hermano Cortes to take him to a lesson with one of our antiguos, Freddy.  Well for the most part it went as usual, he's living the word of wisdom but doesn't understand why because he hasn't gotten his answer.

After that we made friends with a really cool biker dude and had a really good lesson with Ingrid. It was about 9 o’clock though and we had nothing to do and nowhere we hadn't been.  I knew we should stop by Joel’s but I had no idea where it was.  So Elder Jones asked me if I had faith.  I said yes, he then asked me if I was a little crazy, my reply "I'm a Washburn!" We knelt down and prayed in the middle of the street. I stood up and walked straight to Joel's house and was ridiculously disappointed because he wasn’t there! But I knew we had to be there for a reason, so I kept walking till I found a house that caught my attention and I went and gave my loudest Chileno halo and sat there waiting for a response. Well nada. Until when we were about to turn around Mateo comes out and we start talking to him before he leaves and well he gives us the life story of him and his entire family! Apparently his uncle was one of the pioneer members and one of the first stake presidents in Puerto Montt. His mom is a member and so are his brother and sister and his father was before he died and he isn't. I'm almost sure he's going to progress!  We came home to fajitas to end a perfect night!

Sorry guys that I only got two days in I promise I'll try to make it up next week.  I love you so much and I hope you have as good a week as I will!

Elder Washburn

Week 27 - Six Months Out!

March 3, 2014

Hey guys how are ya doing?

This week was a bit slow, but other than that it was great. Monday after I wrote you guys we went to Jumbo to meet with the zone leaders Elder Jones and Campbell. I found and bought an A&W Rootbeer, it was amazing! We then went out to Duncan donuts for lunch with them. It was pretty amazing to have some donuts, a Coke and a pastrami sándwich. We then all hopped into a taxi and headed to the Cortes' frutería where I grabbed some bell peppers, onions, cilantro, limes and about thirty eggs, which I've eaten all. It's amazing how much I eat in the morning. Well all of this was for the fajitas we had later, which where amazing. Other than that it was a really slow day. All of our investigators have disappeared or are busy. We can't find Joel and Ingrid is at the hospital in Puerto Montt with her brother. So it was a slow day but we came back and made some awesome fajitas.

Tuesday we had a district meeting so I woke up and started tinkering with the califont and while the wáter was running whipped up some "mexican" eggs. I got showered, put my suit on and we headed to district meeting. District meeting was pretty long so we came home a bit late for lunch. We headed out at 3 like usual and found and taught an inactive member with a ridiculously sad outlook on life.  We were teaching the plan of salvation and he asked us why life was so horrible. So I pulled off my tie and held it with my arms stretched and tied a knot in the middle and said this is our life. It goes on forever in both directions with a little knot somewhere in the middle. It's an annoying little thing, it's got it's twists and turns and it's messed up at times and we can't always make sense out of it. But, from an eternal perspective when we take a step back, it's just a bump, an infinitesimally small snag in the grand scheme of things in comparison to the eternities before and after. His view was that life was just a big knot and that's all he really wanted to focus and care about. We tracted a bit, taught Freddy and then came home.

Wednesday. Woke up and made omlettes. We headed out with the laundry and then tracted a bit and came in for lunch. After lunch we headed to the mirador to have some citas and knock some doors before our lesson with the Bishop. Everything fell so we ended up teaching some menos activos. Well the recent converts we were going to teach at 8 flaked out as well so we had a meeting with the Bishop about the work. It turned out that the last missionary before me had refused to work with the Bishop or come to executive Ward meetings and Ward counsel, which really bugged me because it destroyed the wards confidence in us. We then tweaked the Ward misión plan and the Bishop gave us some menos activos to visit and drove us home.

Thursday was awesome it was Elder Abarca's birthday and it also marked my 6 months out. Breakfast as usual was eggs, califont still a pain, and our investigators are still ridiculously hard to find but we had a noche de hogar planned at 8 so none of this mattered. Tracted and didn't find anything but at 8 we came to the noche de hogar to find a bunch of birthday decorations and a huge cake with candles! Well after Elder Abarca blew out all of the trick candles, Marisa shoved his head in the cake. Just as he got up it was my turn and he destroyed the cake. I'll have to show you guys the pictures next week, it was a really great night.

Friday I had an intercambio with the district leader in Frutillar which was an amazing experience. I'll have to write you guys about it next week though because I'm out of time again!!!! Dang it! Well I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Washburn