Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Feliz Navidad, Prospero Año y Felicidad!


I'm sorry this has to be brief as I'm running out of time, but oh how I loved your letters this week! Thank you so much for your Christmas insights. And thank you for sending pictures!! Woah! I know I've seen pictures of little Alexis before, but something about just hit me that Heado has a baby. She has her very own baby! And she's adorable by the way, very much Heather and Sam both. Those pictures where I was wearing a coat were from when I first got here. Since then it's warmed up a TON and it's quite hot during the day. The mornings and nights are still pretty chilly however. Much like Utah with the really broad temperature range, so I'm always prepared, wearing a short sleeve shirt, but with a sweater in my backpack for the evening. (I got a new backpack by the way family!) Can't wait to talk to you soooon! And the horse meat (Equino) was in-cred-i-ble, seriously.


Way to be an awesome driver! Now it's just on to trucks and four wheelers! I'm glad to here you're doing so much good with your primary children. I'm sorry that no one has said much about it to you. I know that can be really frustrating. I know, because you gave me that part of your personality ;) But the Lord appreciates you, and so do the niños, even if they don't realize it. Being here in Carahue, I'm realizing how much a blessing it is for the children here to be able to have the gift of music, even in a humble way, and how much skill in music they lack compared to many of the children in the states. You are doing a great work! I'm out of time! I'm sorry! I love you!


No worries. Thank you for taking the time to write me, and for your support. Love you. :)


Yes that's it exactly! You found me! Haha. And I was mistaken in my last email. I'm not in the short building. I'm in the one you described that's kind of angled-perpendicular. But that's me alright! Excellent questions!
My companion's name is Ignacio Andre Salas Something. He is from Santiago, born and raised, in the central part, I can't remember the name. I don't know a whole ton about him to be honest since comunication between the two of us is limited at best. We get along perfectly and everything, it's just difficult to really open up at this point with the language barrier. He didn't go to college before the mission, but worked to get money for it. He's been a member all his life I believe, but was inactive for about 7 or more years (the Chilean curse), until he met his girlfriend who helped him get back into the church. Since then, he became fully active and put in his papers to serve. He's been out almost 10 months, and I'm his first child. After the mission, he plans on studying to become an accountant. He is a killer futbol player and has taught me a few tricks hehe.
We walk everywhere. E-ver-y-where. Lots of walking, and lots and lots of big hills in Carahue. But good exercise! We do in fact always take buses to Imperial, Temuco, Puerto Saavedra and wherever. Members don't ever drive us, because I'm only aware of one active member family that owns a car. Having a car is the exception in Carahue. We email from an internet cafe in the central part of Carahue. We're actually not allowed to use email or computers of members. The only exception will be coming up for skype. That is so awesome that everyone's home now. I can just picture it. I hope you all have the most incredible Christmastime together, with the new baby and all! Woo! I love you, Dad


Thank you for once again sharing your spiritual insights with me. That scripture in John is awesome, and your first point made my eyes water. I mean the dust did, at that point when I read it. Stupid dust. Don't worry about your study week or not being able to send a package or anything. Seriously, I remember those crazy weeks, and I totally understand. And truly I wasn't expecting a package or anything anyway, so no worries :) Haha yes I'm doing the cool sign! I'm going to list a bunch of Chilean phrases you can use with your friends and teacher's wife.

Bacan - the word that goes with the sign, it's like cool, awesome, whatever
Seco - it's like "sick" in English in the good way
Fome - boring or lame. like "Que fome" - how lame or how boring
Chanta - it's stupid, it sucks. That computer is chanta
Flojo - lazy
Chachar - to grasp, understand. ¿Cachaí?
you may or may not know that Chileans have a different form of Tú in
addition to the regular, and it's more informal than regular tú. For
example, one says como estaí instead of como está
Chileans point with their lips, like in directions. They don't use
their hands or anything. They pucker and point with their lips
De repente - suddenly, or and then
Ya - is like OK or I follow you, or when used with more force is like
"enough!" for example "Ya po!"
Po is word of emphasis added to whatever word or phrase. It doesn't
have a translation. it's just like, sí po, or no po, or dígalo lento
Ni ahí - kind of like no importa, or neither here or there
Chuta - shoot, darn, dang, whatever
Arto - mucho
A ver - let's see (it), let me think
Okay that's all for now! More in the future!
Congrats on an awesome end of the semester!! Way to get good grades,
I'm proud of you :) Have an awesome time in Oregon!


WOAH!!! Congratulations!!! You're like...educated now! ;) That's crazy, you're all grown up and out to bigger and better things. I'm so so so excited and glad that you're considering serving a mission. I can't say the call or paperwork was ever intimidating for me, but not knowing what to expect and being a bit nervous in that respect is totally normal. I won't lie to you, missions are hard. I'm still a baby in the mission and it's dang hard. But I also know you, and you're more patient than I am. I think you would be an outstanding missionary, able to handle whatever comes your way.

The picture of me cowaring by the door is a demonstration of my desperate addication to cariocas. They're like oreos, but better, and ridiculously cheap, like 30 cents in America for 8 cookies. I eat tons.
So I spoke with this wonderful lady from the branch yesterday at Almuerzo (a bunch of the members of the branch and us ate together yesterday before beginning to set up the Church for the Christmas program), named Lily. Lily is Chilean through and through, born and raised. However, she has a fascinating story that changed my week. Lily had the blessing and opportunity to study in New Jersey at a major university (I didn't catch which), so we had a blast talking about New York, and her experiences there. She speaks wonderful
English as well, because she was part of some special highly selective language institution there. This particular conversation was in Spanish however, so I didn't catch everything that was said. But it turns out, she spent all of 21 years in New Jersey and New York, so she's spoken English longer than I have just about. As she started to share her experiences in New York with me with great animation, seeing concerts, eating great food, experiencing all there is to do in New York, she paused and asked me, you know why I came back to Chile?
Because of the people. She told me: In New York, I had everything. I had education at wonderful schools, I had a wonderful job and made great money and had marvelous opportunities. Here in Chile, I'm poor. But the people here have taught me lessons greater than anything I have learned in universities or big cities. For 21 years in the states, I was agnostic, and I wasn't happy. Now I remember the Gospel, I am an active member of the Church, and I'm happy. I came back because of the people.

This story moved me. The people in Chile are wonderful, and I can't wait until I can communicate better and be able to touch their hearts with the Gospel of Jesus Christ as they touch my heart with their love, kindness, and humility. This Christmas season, I'm tryring to remember what really matters. I'm trying to remember the blessings the Lord has given me. I don't need much. I just His love, and His beautiful gospel. I don't even need the language right now, if I have my testimony that He lived for us and died for us and continues to do
everything for us.

I desperately wish I had more time! I would tell you about the wonderful Christmas program we put on last night outside the church and the beautiful singing of the children and the Temuco Stake Choir with beautiful decorations garnishing the Church building. I would tell you about how I gave my first full length talk yesterday in Spanish about the influence of the Spirit in our lives, and how it actually turned out pretty well and I ended up talking for 20 minutes. That's the longest I've ever talked in Spanish. I would tell you about
the people we are teaching right now and their progress, but I guess it will have to wait until Sunday!

Sunday! We're planning on calling at about 7pm our time, which is more or less the same in Georgia. Prepare yourselves! Elder Wilcox's comin' to town.

Practicing some futbol
 Chilean goodies
 "demonstration of my desperate addiction to cariocas. They're like oreos, but better, and ridiculously cheap, like 30 cents in America for 8 cookies. I eat tons."
 On the set of the Carahue branch's Christmas program

 Elders' night in

I'm flying, Elder Wilcox!
District day by the sea

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