Monday, October 28, 2013

Miracles and socialized health care

Oct 28 at 8:45 AM

When I’m with one of the elders in my house, elder Kelly, it`s impossible not to have success. We went on a split the other day and in that one day, we had two people come up to us and ask us if they can be taught. Neither of us knows of that happening with anyone else. Then by the end of the day, when we didn’t have any more citas, we decided do go to the edge of Lota, where the forest starts. Whenever there is a fork in the road we decide left or right and keep going. We followed a small train until we came to a big house and a big family that seemed way excited to listen to us. They gave us some bread that they cooked in their brick oven and sent us on our way. On the way home, we set dates with 3 more people. We aren`t sure why we are so successful together but we can`t complain.

The next day, my comp and I decided to go back to the house in the woods but when we got there, the house was covered in plastic. The entire house. The next thing I know, my comp is half way back down the trail and there is a pack of about 5 giant dogs charging full speed. I was always told not to run in these situations so in the moment when dogs got to about 5 feet from me I jumped forward and threw my arms up. It worked for a second and it stopped them but afterwards I froze because now that I have waged war, there is no good way to end it. I took a step back in my half frozen state and all I feel is the mouth of one of the dogs wrapped around my leg and a lot of pressure. I gave up and ran back down and luckily, the dogs wouldn`t leave the property so we quickly went home and did the best we could with dish soap and water. We called the mission office and they told us to go to the hospital. Conveniently, Chile has socialized health care so I just had to give them my name and they pushed me back into a room where we waited for a while until they called be back, without my Spanish speaking comp, and I explained to the best of my ability what happened. They gave me a shot and some pills, which I assume is for rabies, and told me to come back in a month.

Talking to some of the members here, it seems like everything is fine with what they gave me. So the biggest thing is just fixing my suit pants.

In other news, I got your letter. Thanks for the talk and the collage. Emily is probably going to be a famous collage maker at this rate. Also, I love the updates of everybody’s lives that I get every week. Keep it up!

That’s all for this week. As always, I love you guys! 

Elder Thompson

Ps. Don´t worry about the dog bite. I really am fine now.

pps. What is the name of the elder in our ward that knows me from the MTC?

Monday, October 21, 2013


I don`t think I have ever needed a break from something this badly before. Hopefully a whole transfer without a Pday will make me appreciate them more. Today we went to Parke Lota, the property of the Spanish guy who owned the big mine here. It was actually pretty ridiculous. We also finally got to go out and buy stuff. I bought a sweet sweater made of llama that everybody here has.

This is the typical schedule: 
7:00am- Wake up, eat, shower, get ready and stuff.
8:30am- personal study
9:30am- comp study 
11:30am-spanish study/planning 
1:30pm lunch
2:30pm Work
10:00pm return to house
11:00pm sleep

I haven`t yet talked about what we have been doing so here it is. Lota has 1,500 members but 90 actives members and about 30 less-actives. That’s bad. And it`s because the last mission president only focused on baptisms. He was darn good at it but bautismo is not the end. So our goal is to strengthen the 90, and activate the 30. We came up with a plan that has to do with visiting/home teachers and organization and if done right, will change the Lota branch. We ran our plan past some of the leaders in the branch and they were really surprised by how hard core it is. Then we set up a meeting with the branch president and he was totally on board with everything and basically put the branch in our hands. We are even technically the branch secretarios right now too. 

Besides that we also have a family of 3 that we are teaching. We found them when I was practicing contacts and they let us come over. When we came, the guy was waiting with juice and cookies and basically said, "alright, give me what you have" so we taught a quick lesson based off his questions and now he has a date to be baptized. I have never been in a better lesson than that. His family couldn`t have been more prepared. Except for the fact that the parents both smoke and aren´t married, that`s just a minor set back.

My Spanish is starting to get better too. I can understand about 40% now. In videos and radios, it`s like 75% but with chilenos it`s still 40. 

Chilean food of the day: monte con wasìo. It`s a peach drink with this grain stuff and a dried apricot in the bottom. It`s way better than it sounds/looks. 

Love you family. Thanks for all the updates of how things are going! 

Elder T

Monday, October 14, 2013

A whole new world

The mission is so much different with Elder Cannon. In a good way. We are working harder than I have worked so far. Things are really scattered though because we are still setting up for operation Alma (soul) which in short designates an companionship in each sector (us) to work with members, new members, and less actives. So all this week has been meeting with members to build up a member missionary force so that in a week or so we can do some serious work. It`s going to be good

Again, I didn`t have pday today because they called us last night and said we need to travel to Concepcion again to do visa stuff. I`m really hoping that I’ll get one next week because there is a lot of things I need to buy and stuff to prepare. Also, I am already technically over time so I can`t put up pictures again.

It is more common for people to be missing teeth than it is for people to have all their teeth. At least in Lota.

I found out why Spanish is so hard to understand. The Spanish here is not only really fast but it`s mixed with the native language of the Mapuche Indians. conveniently, they only mix words in and not too much grammar so people will still be able to understand me when I get back.

Today in Concepcion we got to go to a mall and eat a burger. Everything seemed big and clean. The burger was also super good. But with it all, I felt really out of place. Then I realized that that is how home is. I didn`t think I would be accustomed to Chile that fast.

Nate, I hear you`re driving now. That’s a weird thought. It feels like I was just in your shoes. Just remember that while you are learning to drive, everybody else on the road can just deal with it. Take you`re time and don`t stress.

Alright that’s all. I`ll send a better letter next week. I hope.

Love you guys

Monday, October 7, 2013

Conferencia genial

First, to explain the title, in Spanish, general conference is said conferencia general and genial means (roughly) awesome. So theres a little Spanish pun for you.

Like usual, I didn`t get a pday again today because there was a meeting at the mission office and we are already past our pday time so this will be short. I`m hoping that next week will be my first p day and i`ll actually be able to do stuff. 

Well, Elder Ramòn went home. The plan was to be with the other missionaries in the house in a trio, which I was really excited about, but the night before E` Ramòn left, there were some complications with incoming missionaries and I got a new comp. I have no doubt this was supposed to happen because he is seriously awesome. Very different, but really good. He is basically me, if I was a lot cooler. People actually make jokes about how similar we are and how much of a coincidence it is that we are together.

I`m with Rachel in the "this is the worst keyboard ever" boat.

After the meeting in Concepcion, we took the long way to the bus station and we found a guitar for about 20,000 pesos. And my comp straight up bought it for me. I protested but he just did it. That's about 40 bucks in USD. So now I have a guitar. I`m pretty happy about that. That's an understatement. 

Alright got to go. Love you guys, as usual. 

Elder Thompson