Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Week 36 - Cinco de Mayo!

May 5, 2014

Hey guys how are ya doing?

I have little to no time this week after setting up my skype acount so I'm going to try and write this letter as fast as I can! This week was ok, nothing too special happened but I told you I'd fill you in on my last week so hopefully this letter won't be too dry.

Saturday normal day until about 4:30 when we stopped by Sarah the woman I contacted last week. Her husband invited us in and we talked for a bit before we taught the restauracion. The mother and the kids paid a ton of attention and when we mentioned the Book of Mormon her son Gerardo's eyes got really big and he shot into his room to pull out a pristine Book of Mormon that he found in the street. We asked the family to read and pray and they gave us an enthusiastic yes. We then went on divisions with the priesthood quorums. I went out with Hermano Angel, he's 83 years old and a little nuts but I love him anyway! After a few houses failed we went to the pf family with the bipolar mother. Angel sang, started to talk about visions and then shared some poetry. I reeled him back into reality and we talked about the gospel after a prayer. The mom was in a good mood and we left before she threw a vase at us.

Sunday started daylight savings which means it's now pitch black at about 5:30. We ate lunch at Hermano Chito’s house. We had awesome churrascos the size of my head. We then tried to go tracting the new poblacion but after knocking on doors I felt prompted to go knock a house across the street with a green Toyota. A man in his 30's stepped out to tell us he didn't have time. I asked if there was a time that would be better and he waved us in. We taught him and his son (Richard and Nick).  After he told us about the doctrinal issues of the testigos de jehovah we then taught the restauracion and he bore his own testimony of the apostasy and that the problem was that no one was following the Bible. I agreed and said that’s why we have so many churches. Then he told us that all of the answers to the Bible’s questions are in the Bible and that it never contradicts itself... he told us the flaw of our church is the belief that the soul is eternal and directed us to Ecclesiastes which states the dead know nothing and he believes that they are dead (unconscious) until resurrection. I threw out a couple of verses in Corinthians talking about spirit prison and Christ’s declaration to the thief on the cross, that today he would be with him in paradise yet how in his statement to mar touch me not I have not yet ascended to my father would insinuate that there is another world before heaven and how that for the dead to be taught they would have to be conscious (I don't remember anything form the classes I slept through!  Joke, ha ha!) He looked at us for a few minutes and told us that he would have to study and think a bit because the bible doesn't contradict itself. I bore my testimony and invited him to pray about what we had taught. He said he  would and we set up a cita for next week. He's one of the only people I've ever met that knows something about the Bible so I'm excited to teach him some more!

 Pday we did the normal stuff and we found Costco brand at Zona Franke. We then went out with Hermano Orlando and while the man is unlucky (every cita fell) we finally found Jennifer, the girl we hadn't taught who has had two assistances and wants to get baptized. After we taught her the restauracion she asked us for a Book of Mormon! And told us she would pray. Wednesday was weird but I'll have to tell you guys all about it next week sorry!


Elder Washburn

Me kissing the Mapuche foot... I'll now come back to Punta Arenas

Elders Bustamente and Bosa

Week 35 - We Hate Intercoms!

April 28, 2014

Hey guys!

How are ya doing?  This weeks been pretty good I've found a lot of amazing people and we're starting to work a lot more with the members. After writing you this Monday we left for ovajero to play ping pong and f'útvolley, which is this awesome soccer version of volleyball the latins created because we can't play fútbol. We then left with Elder Hullinger and Rivera to Lider. Afterwards we came home, got changed and went to a reference that we got through the church. She didn't live there anymore but her daughter did and she invited us in. She's living with her boyfriend who is a prison guard. I can tell you now that they love their daughter more than anything! They’re flying her out to the big time Rush concert in Santiago! We then talked a little bit about his job as a guard at the prison in my sector. It's pretty small so I asked him if it was minimum security, he laughed and told me that until recently it was the maximum security prison for all of South America... I guess it makes sense if you want to get out you would have to fly or walk 200 miles across the frontera into Argentina. We taught them the restauracion and it was pretty good but they are the first active Catholics I've ever met and they were a bit skeptical on prayer.

Elder Gubler, Quezada, McDonald, Washburn, Rivera and Hullinger

Tuesday not much happened. We had district meeting and I solved a fun puzzle and was proclaimed a future AP. I doubt it, but it would be cool! Afterwards we set up a noche de hogar with Diana and contacted some great people. Walking down the river in my sector I saw an intercom on the gate of a house and while as missionaries we hate intercoms (it's easier to say no and it's always awkward) thank heavens for that telemarketing job before my mission.  Well it was really shiny and something pushed me to push it. Long story short, after a brief conversation, Sarah invites us into her home and tells us about her HUSBAND and two children and we set up a cita for this week!

Wednesday we had an awesome noche de hogar with Diana and her boyfriend a non-member friend and Diana's parents and grandparent. Halfway through the plan of salvation Elder Johnson called (MTC comp) but it wasn't our phone. It was Diana’s father's! Johnson then relates to me that I stole his member and that he had planned a noche de hogar with them. But Diana had invited her family. I guess when your inactive daughter calls to invite you to a family home evening with the missionaries it doesn’t matter what your plans were!

Thursday we spent the whole day planning for an activity for the ward. It was good and we taught the ward and invited them to teach their neighbors.

I've got a few awesome stories about Saturday and Sunday but I'll have to tell them next week so sorry! Love You all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Washburn

My new ferret friend! (it's stuffed)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Week 34 - The Weather Just About Blew Me Away!

April 21, 2014


This week has been interesting. It was my first Easter in a country filled with Catholics and Pentecostals….and well, I thought it would be a bit bigger or at the very least a bit crazier. I guess the most devoted evangelicos just can't beat the ads and movies of a commercialized American Easter. The weather on the other hand just about blew me away! My dad's advice "hang on there for the 60-90mph winds and the rain and snow and cold" became prophetic as winter finally hit the Antarctic. We still have sun but it doesn't come up before 8 am and sets long before 7 pm. But by the time June and July hit, it will rise at 10 am and set at 3-4 pm. We had snow Wednesday through Friday, but the heat from a sun unimpeded by a stupid little thing like the ozone melted it before it could pile up. I have to admit that I'm going to prefer the dark, to the blinding glare of a sun that just doesn't seem to do much. We finally started getting wind Thursday, probably about 60 mph gusts nothing strong enough to knock me over but enough to catch me off guard and push me around.

Monday we played basketball with the elders from our zone. It was interesting playing with the 6´7" giant of a zone leader named Elder Gubler. We then went to the mall with Elders Hullinger and Rivera and then grabbed some food. We came home changed and had a little contacting before we had an english/restauracion lesson with this really cool Chilean diver and SEAL. Amazing lesson and then afterwords they gave us once and some cake.

Tuesday, woke up exercised, showered, studied, etc and then went to the district meeting. We were way early again but Elder Rivera and Hullinger were there so we ended up writing with them. District meeting was all right. We then had lunch with Hermano Diaz our Lider Misional and then headed out to work. We went and picked up the bishop but our cita fell so we went to a pf family. We taught a short lesson and then asked to mother to read a short verse. This is when she picked up a ceramic vase, threw it at her older son, missed it and hit the younger. She then started screaming grabatos at the top of her lungs. The other son we were teaching un-phased said he would say the closing prayer. He did and we quietly slipped out and went contacting out in the snow.

Thursday was just a waste of a day it snowed and the wind knocked me around a bit.

Friday was amazing! I woke up, normal routine and we left out to do some contacts. We came back and had lunch with Hermana Norma, it was delicious fried chicken and pasta with fresh baked bread, empanaditas, rice pudding and some Chilean Mountain Dew. We then walked around for several hours until we had our cita with Vanessa a less active in the ward. It failed and so we went to Hermana Anna’s house to teach her grandson. After a good lesson she then asked us if we had anything to do that night. We replied no and she told us about her sister that lived in the campo. We hopped into a small red sedan and booked it up the dirt road into the mountains, it was a crazy drive but when we got there we see this amazing cabin with a gorgeous view over the ocean and the tundra below. Ya when she told us about her old sister that had a farm in the country I didn't think her old rich sister. We had an amazing lesson, Hermano Diaz is a great teacher and at the end she was crying as we handed her a Book of Mormon.

Other than that, not too much happened Saturday or Sunday.

Well I just want you all to know that I love you all! Have a great week I know I will.

Elder Washburn

Questions for Elder Washburn

Have you needed to wear your thermals yet? If so which ones do you like the best. Wool or synthetic?

         Nope not yet.

What is your ward like? How often do you have to speak or teach?

It’s ok. I've spoken once.

Do the members like the missionaries? Are they helpful?

         They are not very excited to work with the missionaries but we drag them along anyway.

What's your bishop or branch president like?

         The bishop is a pretty nice guy he just works a lot.

Who are your Zone Leaders?

         My zone leaders are Elder Quezada and... GUBLER!

Anything you need?

         Nope as always.

How do the Chileans celebrate Easter?

         It wasn't as big as I thought. I talked about it in my letter though.

What is your favorite sector that you've served in and why?

         I really miss Puerto Varas.  I was only there a cambio but I got really attached to the people and absolutely loved it.

What do you think the biggest obstacle is for Chileans to embrace the gospel?

I've been thinking about how many members are inactive. I think you need to find more active members who are like Blair. Just good people that are willing to give of their time to let their neighbors know how much they are loved and sometimes someone who is willing to tell things like they really are! Does your ward reach out to the community and each other? There is that talk by president Hinckley that talks about how every member needs a friend, a responsibility and nourishment from the good word of God.  I think a lot of these people feel like they were baptized and then abandoned.

Church attendance and tithing.  And ya, I feel the same way and there are a few like Hermano Diaz, our ward mission leader, but they work a ton and we just don't have enough of them. 

Week 33 - Mastercard Moment...

April 14, 2014

Hey guys!

How’s it going? Not much happened this week but luckily I promised I would fill you in on the last week.  Wednesday we woke up, I made breakfast and way too many tsunami jokes with the 4 other missionaries until they all filed out and headed to their own sectors and pensiones. We then got ready, studied and left for the Austral chapel for choir practice.  We got there about 20 minutes ahead of time so we waited awhile and talked to other missionaries who got there early too. Elder Rivera showed up and told me that everything was fine (he’s from Viña del Mar where the tsunami hit). We then ate lunch, which wasn't amazing but tan poco horrible and then came back home, studied, went out again and gave way too much juice with a crazy but active member. Then our cita fell with a menos activos so we came home planned and went to bed.

Thursday we bumped into and taught some crazy people. It almost should have counted as two lessons because we taught one family member and then the other walked in and we taught the restoration again. Absolutely crazy! It took almost an hour just to get through the first vision without them telling us about how they took their 140 old grandmother to church or how when they where in the Falkland War, that all the people eat their bread like we take the sacrament with little cups and everything!

Friday was fun yet very discouraging. We woke up studied and then went down to the Plaza de Armas to sing. When we got there we weren't alone, we couldn't help not to notice that we had a little old evangelico dude shouting repentance and random Isaiah quotes at the top of his lungs. After he was out of breath... I mean finished speaking, he came down to talk to all of the missionaries. He congratulated us for our service at such a young age and then tiropiso-ed joseph smith and told us that we best stop worshiping him to avoid la ira del señor... Elder Bustamente (sick name right?) wanted to kill the man but decided to bear his testimony instead, I haven't seen an evangelico shut his mouth so fast. Heck of a guy (the elder) he's still in training. We then invited the crazy old guy to sing with us. He agreed and our first song was the one about the first vision. The look on his face as he sung “Josè saw the God of love,” was priceless, definitely a mastercard moment... We then taught the crazy family that we met yesterday (once again not sure why) we found out that the mother was in a psych ward for 6 months, the son is on anti-psychotics.  Walking home after this lesson, Macarena's (our baptism for the 26th) parents stop in the middle of the road and get out to tell us that even though they're all practically active members that Macarena wasn't ready to be baptized and that they would tell us when she could start taking the lessons... that was a bit of a downer.

Saturday and Sunday were conference. I sat down with English speaking friends, ate Reeses pieces and York peppermint patties and watched 12 hours of English TV. I finished Sunday’s session feeling so trunky! After Sunday’s session we came home to work a bit. (Saturday we got home at 12 after priesthood session) We visited a less active and her boyfriend, she knows the church is true she's just flojo (relaxed attitude) and he’s an atheist and a bit more duro... great lesson though.

Monday we had a fun zone activity, emailed, and hit Abmagosh. I found a lot of delicious food that I didn't think existed here. Tuesday we walked 18.32 miles and only had 11 contacts.  We had some good ones but these were literally everyone on the street that day. You could say it was a bit nippy! The winter hasn't hit so it's usually in the 60's but the wind on Tuesday killed me, no crazy 100 mile stuff yet.

Wednesday was an intercambio. I was with Elder Johnson, the secretary not my mtc comp.  It was fun and we had an amazing lunch and a good lesson with a member. The lesson with member was with this return missionary named Oscar.  I'll have to write you about him some time.

Thursday nothing happened

Friday we had divisions.  I was with Elder Lopez from Mexico City. It was fun we just didn't get too much done.

Saturday we had our last interviews with the President.  I'm running out of time if you can't tell so I'll fill you in next week I love you all and Hope you have a heck of a week!

Elder Washburn