Monday, November 25, 2013


Like I've said before, time is a different thing on the mission. I still feel like it should be the middle of summer back at home. It`s not that time moves exceptionally fast here, but it just doesn`t seem to progress when i`m not there. That being said, I can`t believe it`s almost thanksgiving. The next thing I know, we`ll be skyping on Christmas.

This week we had a baptism. Her name is Sonia and she has 3 kids. Just because there have been so many splits in the past month, she was basically everybody’s investigator. The baptismal service was classically rough. One of her kids backed out, nobody bringing food showed up (there were 5 of them) the person giving a talk bailed the night before, and the husband had to leave town for work. With all that, she and one of her kids are now members and happier than ever. From what I hear, it`s close to impossible to have a baptism run smoothly. I wonder why.

Peaches are starting to be in season. Oh man.

This week has been a lot of work with church organization. Well, this whole transfer has been but especially this week. I went on a split earlier this week and we found a giant castle/house. It`s probably the biggest house in lota. We decided to knock it and the most crazy, happy, energetic guy came out and now we have another appointment set up with him today. I`m excited to see where this goes.

I sent some letters, you`ll have to tell me when you get them, or if you get them.
I also found out that it only costs about 450 pesos to send a letter to the states which is about dollar. So get ready for tons of letters coming your way.

That's about it for this week, keep me updated on holiday-y stuff!

Love you guys

Monday, November 18, 2013

Getting Sick

Not me but elder Kelly from the house got sick this week. And when someone gets sick, the sector really takes a hit. But I can`t complain about that because poor elder Kelly lost 10 pounds in 3 days from being so sick. Basically all this week was taking turns staying in the house with him so it was like one big split. It made for an interesting week.

As a service activity this week, we went to the beach and cleaned up garbage. After it was done, we walked home because there aren`t any busses, or really any roads, but we found a really cool part of the sector which looked like a mix of an old western town and a beach town. I took a lot of cool pictures but my card is being weird so it might be a while before I put them up.

I was reflecting on my time as a missionary and in all the time I have been here, I have only taught about 15 lessons. Most the time we are trying to find people or working with the branch. I was trying to figure out why that is, because the surrounding sectors all have like 5 people per companionship with a baptismal date. Then I found out that Lota is the communist capital of Chile. Considering how strongly uncommunist the US is, we gringos are not really accepted here. On top of that, 90% of the people here are part of the evangelical church. I don`t know how that church does things in other parts of the world but the pastors here tell the people that we missionaries are evil and that they should never talk to us. That explains why some people have an irrational fear to talk to us. But despite all this, we have 2 awesome progressing investigators. The other elders in our house are going to baptize the coolest family ever aswell. Talk about miracles.

I`m going to start sending physical letters now that I have supplies, so be ready for that.

Today we went to a town called Arauco and hiked around then played music with the missionaries there. It was a worthy Pday.

Love you guys

Elder Thompson

Sunday, November 17, 2013

week # something

Sometimes I forget I’m on a mission. The last couple of months went by so fast and I thought I hadn’t accomplished much but our zone got new missionaries and I realized how different I am. I have changed afùl (Chilean for "to the max"). It`s really easy to lose yourself in the work even when you don`t have anyone to teach. Then all of a sudden, you have been in Chile for a while. Moral of the paragraph is that time is weird in the mission. I have always heard that but I never really understood. 

This past week we have been working afùl (it`s a very useful word) with church organization. My comp and the zone leaders are going to Concepciòn this week to present our plan to the president and hopefully it will change the world or something because we have put a lot into it. 

For pday today we went paintballing in an old broken down factory with the zone. It was probably one of the more hard-core things I have done in my life. It was only the equivalent of 10 USD for everything. I wish I took pictures but I was a little distracted. 

Elder Holland went to San Pedro, a town just south of Concepciòn and officially announced that a new temple is going to be built in Concepciòn. This is going to help so many people! 

That’s all that really happened this week. I`m going to start carrying my camera in my pocket and take tons of pictures of everything so I don`t regret not doing it.

Elder Paul 

The usual door to door Halloween

I got the package last week! It`s perfect and it came surprisingly fast. I forgot how awesome Archie McPhees is.

The package helped make up for how long of a day it was on Halloween. When we were doing our planning, we realized that we have nothing to do. So the entire day we just contacted on the streets and didn`t have a single person who was even slightly interested. Halloween here is over shadowed by the anniversary of the evangelical church and they are generally very "in your face" people. So out in the streets was probably not the smartest place to be.

 I`m getting to the point with my Spanish that I can express most basic ideas but it`s still really bad. So people no longer think that I’m just new, but that I’m stupid or just bad at Spanish. I have had 2 people in the past couple of days tell me straight up "wow your Spanish is really bad." They aren`t wrong but it turns out that their are a lot of people who are just racist. And it`s not racist in the joke making way but there are people who genuinely hate us as if we killed someone they loved. I`m starting to understand what people yell at us in the streets and interesting how that is socially acceptable.

People point with their lips here. they pucker up then point their face in the direction of interest.

To answer some of your questions, we write emails in a "cyber" which is a room with a bunch of computers in it and you pay by the minute. My companion is Elder Cannon, from Utah. I have no idea where I’m going to be for Christmas. I could be in a big city, I could be up in the mountains. I`m hoping that I stay here in Lota for Christmas because I already know all the Ward members. And they are cool.

Speaking of, there is someone in our Ward who is studying environmental law which explains enough about her. She cooked us a vegetarian meal, showed us these cool teas and talks about all the cool places to go bike camping. It reminds me of home.

We found this guy the other day who might be the coolest Chilean. He went to Santiago to make it big with his grunge band and did just that. But he got swallowed up in the lifestyle and before he new it, he couldn`t even play music because he was killing himself with drugs. So he stopped, gained 60 pounds back, packed up a bag and the equivalent of 50 dollars and walked south for a few months. Now he`s back and is trying everything he can to become a better person. And that is exactly why we are here as missionaries. To help people have the tools that make that a lot easier.

For pday today we went to Concepcion again and bought stuff. I think next week we are going paintballing in an old Factory.

All right, that’s all I have this week. Love you guys!

Elder Thompson