Monday, January 30, 2012

Otra Semana Morte el Polvo

Hola, mi querida familia!

I apologize, but this letter once again is going to have to be pretty short. It's the price I have to pay when I send lots of photos and re-read emails. Last week I watched the videos you sent, but there wasn't audio, but this week I got to hear them! It was so cool seeing the house, my nieces, the whole family and everyone so happy. What a blessing it must have been to all be together. This week I read (I admit, for the first time) the pamphlet on Preparing to enter the Temple. The thought of eternal families has been on my mind a lot recently, and how grateful I am for the Gospel that blesses us with power to seal families for eternity. I know for me, it wouldn't be heaven without my family.

Well, we had another wonderful baptism this past Saturday. Lidia Ines de las Mercedes Araya Espinoza entered into a covenant with the Lord and received a remission of her sins. Although it was a beautiful experience once again, it wasn't quite the same as last week, since we don't really know her all too well. When we got to Carahue, we found her name under Former Investigators, so we went and visited her in Puerto Saavedra. She had already met with the missionaries in Concepción before moving to Pto. and received all the lessons. She even had a baptism scheduled, but for some personal reasons it fell through. But we began to teach her and prepare her again for this month. After setting an ambiguous January goal, we weren't able to find her for a few weeks. Then one fine Sunday, she and her husband (who has been a member for a long time, but was inactive for a while) showed up at church and afterwards told us and the Branch President that she wanted to be baptized. So we set a date and arranged for everything. Since then, they've come to church every Sunday, and I have a feeling they're going to be very strong. Her husband performed the ordinance, and in a year they want to go to the temple to be sealed together along with their adorable daughter Clarisa.

Other fun adventures: This week we had a meeting in Concepción for ALL of the companionships in the mission that are in training. They said it was going to be a return and report meeting, but basically all we did was have lessons from the Asistants and then then teaching practices. It was so-so. but they did mention a very interesting statistic. Aparently, this mission is very very young, and within the next few months, more than HALF of the missionaries are going to be new (6 months or less). That means that we have a tremendous responsibility to learn a lot really fast. As far as I know, I'm still going to be training in the next transfer, but man would I love one more transfer with Elder Salas. I don't feel prepared yet. But I suppose that's how you have to learn. You can't do things you couldn't do before unless you do them.
I'll go ahead and explain the whole week. Basically this past week was one long P-Day. Monday was the real PDay, then Tuesday we traveled to Temuco for our District Zone meeting, after which we got ready to travel and headed to Conce. We arrived late and stayed the night in an apartment there. The next morning we had the meeting, after which we had lunch, and then headed to the mision office to pick up a package from Jennifer! (Jennifer!! The package was awesome! The cheez-its went fast, let me tell you, and the Golden Grahams went even faster the next day. And the images are awesome! I'm excited to gift them. Thanks bunches!) After that we headed back to Temuco, got there late and stayed the night in Padre Las Casas. The Next day, Thursday, I had a companionship exchange with one of the Zone Leaders, Elder Laurito until Friday afternoon. From there we had to prepare the baptismal font. ie. clean it and begin filling it so we wouldn't have to arrive at the church ridiculously early on Saturday. On saturday we had the baptism and a branch activity which took most of the day. Yesterday was normal. And that brings us to now! I'm excited for the next week to be able to work really hard and have the whole week. We've got a ton of stuff to do, and not enough time to do it in!
Other fun fact: I'm starting to think in Spanish now! Like officially! There will be times where I'm imagining conversations in my head or something and the words are in Spanish. It's super weird! I've also been having a lot of moments lately in our lessons where I'm speaking and explaining something and while I'm talking I realize that I'm speaking another language without trying or thinking. It kind of makes me jump a little. But it's super nice to be able to speak now and not have it be such a struggle (depending on the topic and who I'm talking to).

Wow, I realize this letter is pretty lame, especially compared to last week. But it was a pretty chill, quick week, and I'm out of time. I love you all very dearly. Jacob and Corey, it's good to know you haven't forgotten about me. I certainly haven't forgotten about you either and all of my friends back home. I pray for you daily. Now write me, fools!

Well until next week, I leave you all with my testimony that Christ lives, that there is no other road that leads to salvation than the one he has laid. If you haven´t read the Book of Mormon yet, or if it's been a while, read it! We like to talk to our investigators about what we call in this mission "most important thing." And that's the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's the reason we talk about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, The plan of Salvation and everything! Everything leads to the Gospel of Christ and salvation through baptism and the holy ghost. Without the Restored Church of Jesus Christ, His gospel is not complete. Without the Book of Mormon, we can't know fully of the ordinances of the Gospel. Without Joseph Smith and the Priesthood that was restored to the earth through him, we can't have the authority we need to perform those ordinances. I think in the next few emails I'm going to talk more about the lessons we teach. I want everyone who reads to know as much as the people we talk to about the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you all! Talk to you soon!

-Elder Wilcox

Fernanda and Andrea participating in the game at the end of our Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening), last Monday. 'Twas a silly game.
Some paisaje on the way to Concepción. I realized that the landscape in this part of Chile (between Conce y Carahue at least) is really quite boring. I'd love to travel more south or more north one day and see all Chile has to offer.
On a micro in Conce
The view from the apartment in Conce where we stayed Tuesday evening.
Two Elders from my District in the MTC! Elder Ratto y Elder Ferwerda.
Upon arriving back in Temuco after Concepción wednesday night, it was really late and we couldn't catch a bus to Carahue, so we stayed the night in the house in Padre Las Casas with the Zone Leaders and the Elders from Cunco. This is us eating incredibly delicious Churrascos. They're sandwhiches with some kind of meat, i'm not sure which, palta (avocado), mayo, and tomate. A very common junk food here.
Preparing the almuerzo at the Branch activity that we had on Saturday after the baptism of Lidia.

 Karaoke in the Church building haha 
The most incredible price for papas fritas anywhere. 500 pesos is one dolar.
This is for you mom. They were selling "Completos" I'm not sure what they really were.
This girl looks EXACTLY like Selena Gomez. I think it's her. 
With a giant duck think we found in Pto. Saavedra
In Pto. again
Reading the scriptures waiting for Andrea and Fernanda to arrive to their baptism
The view above Vista Hermosa, a neighborhood in Carahue
Again in Padre Las Casas with all the completos.
Almuerzo in Concepción after the reunion. We're eating one of my favorites, Humita, it's like mashed corn cooked in the husk. You open up the husk and eat it with tomato and sugar sometimes.
Eating Nachos in Padre Las Casas right before eating those Churrascos. I feel like I send a lot of pictures of food/us eating. I think I might be a missionary.
 At the baptism this past Saturday of Lidia with her husband and her daughter. Her husband baptized her.
All of the recent converts of January cooking together!
 Eating (once again) Choripan. Basically, it's a piece of longaniza, or Chorizo (sausage) in a piece of pan (bread), usually served with Ají (chilean hot sauce).
 In the house of Andrea waiting for Almuerzo (she fed us yesterday, woo!)
 At the table.

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