Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Week 31 - I will miss Puerto Varas...

March 31, 2014

Hey guys how are you doing?

This week has been kind of nuts yet at the same time there’s not much to write about. Punta Arenas is sick. I can't really describe it. The city itself is beautiful, all Spanish and British architecture all mixed up and thrown together in random places. My sector is awesome. We've got all of the houses while the other missionaries have centro, so we’re always getting a ton of references from them. Also mine is actually beautiful. We have the largest sector and it's got a river running through the middle of it. On an average day we walk about 12-15 miles but we've had a max of 18. I absolutely love it here! The members are great and there are so many prepared people it's gonna make the work easy.

Monday, I went souvenir hunting and didn't really find anything, we emailed and then went to the Papitos to make mushroom empanadas, they were delicious. Afterwards I packed and headed out to teach Ingrid one last time which was a bit sad, but I know she'll get baptized it's just a matter of time. We then contacted a bit and then taught/had once with Rafael, came home and packed some more.

Tuesday was sad. Woke up and got ready for district meeting and finished packing the bag that’s getting sent by land. Left for district meeting, it was really random and vague. The zone leader eventually took over. We then signed everyone’s journals and had Elder Campbell’s funeral (missionary’s farewell party before he heads home). Mamita came in just in time for his testimony and brought an apple strudel. I then left with my bag and Elder Jones to send my bag on to Punta Arenas. Afterwards we went straight to lunch, it was delicious as usual. Headed back home, studied and packed some more and left to teach Freddy with Hernan Cortes. Absolutely nothing happened. He's not changing at all and he's sure as heck not praying for an answer. I felt horrible in the beginning but something told me I had given my all when I left. Said goodbyes/taught a few people. Contacted until 9:00. We went to the fruteria, said goodbye one last time and caught a ride with Papito home and had once with everyone one last time. Wrote in the book of missionaries and they gave me a sick hat! Came home, finished packing and talked and burnt an old tie I found in Villarrica to celebrate my 6 months out in the mission.

Papito and his great family!

Me and Hermano Cortes

Wednesday was amazing. Woke up at 6, got ready and left. Dropped off Elder Campbell, Williams, and Muiba off at the bus station and took a micro to Puerto Montt. Got there and waited for two guys from my group to show up, Rivera and Gibleyou. So I talked to Elder Soto (Johnson’s trainer) and Elder Smithson (Wise’s MTC companion). Both are awesome people. Smithson talked to me about Chaiten, a tiny island sector 12 hours from the mainland.  He showed me a video of a normal service activity down there...tearing down an old house.  He was kicking down some dry wall and the first 3 went perfect but on the fourth he kicked and accidently pulled off a wall flip! Rivera and Gibelyou didn't show up so we left for the airport. I checked my bags, an 11 pound carry on and a 40 pound "personal item" filled with books. Not exactly sure how I pulled that off but I did. Hermano Paulson walked in with two brand new hermanas from the MTC and then Rivera and Gibelyou eventually showed up. Got through security without a hitch and then got on the plane. The flight was amazing! The take off was good and I really can't describe the view. It was… well… indescribable... First we saw the Andes which were.. well tall.  I know you won't believe me but I swear that those peaks were dead even with our wings. Then I was lucky enough to be on the right side to see Patagonia, which is another world, it really didn't look like we were on planet earth. There were razor sharp snow covered peaks with fast turquoise rivers cutting through them and then miles and miles of windswept plains, absolutely devoid of life as far as the eyes can see. I really can't do it justice. The turbulence, however, when we came down to land was insane! Bags were flying all over the plane and I thought we were going to start barrel rolling. We came in for a landing and I looked at my watch to find that we were coming in an hour ahead of schedule. I don't really want to think about how fast that tail wind was but with everything it was the softest landing ever, didn't feel a thing, amazing pilot. gtg love you all!

Elder Washburn

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