Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas #2 of 2

Well, that was my last christmas in the mission. For those who weren't present for the skype call, this is what we did;

The day before Christmas Eve, Hermana Bluth, President's wife, gave us the job to go to all the mission delivering the missionaries' Christmas packages. Considering that it takes us 6 hours to get from north to south and 4 to get east to west, we had a lot of work to do. So we left early in the morning on christmas eve and delivered packages everywhere. Through the course of the day we had many "christmas miracles" that saved us time. Somehow we got back to concepción at 9:00pm just in time for our little Christmas party with President. When we got there they had some Delicious mexican food ready which was followed by Santa Bingo (with prizes). After playing games we ate root beer floats and watched "it's a wonderful life." We finally got home at 1:30am. It was probably the best Christmas Eve ever. in the mission at least.

On Christmas morning we got up, listened to some Christmas music, drank some homemade egg nog, and did some studies. We went to the office and ate way too much candy and stuff then each took turns skyping with the family. This year we only had 40 minutes to skype which was kind of lame but still a good experience. After everyone finished skyping we went home with the plan to build a blanket fort and watch a movie but everyone wanted to go to bed early so I stayed up and made sushi and it turned out really well. I ended up eating most of it that night.

On friday we went out to work in Andalué, the really rich part of town again. As usual, people were really mean but after walking away from a house that rejected us hard, someone who was hiding behind the fence called to us, so we came to her and she told us not to let the people in the house see us. we walked to the side a little bit and she told us her story. Her family is all baptists. However, her boyfriend is a return missionary and has told her all about the "mormons." She went to church by herself just to see how it is and she loved it. They even gave her a book of mormon which she then studied frequently. When her parents found out about all this, they threw away her book of mormon and didn't allow her to go to church. She has been secretly learning stuff on her own and hoping she could find missionaries and sure enough, on the way home from work, she saw us knocking her parents door.

Yet another Christmas miracle. 

This week we have a half pday becasue of Christmas so I won't be able to respond later today. Talk to you next week!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The stress of a Christmas Miracle

This week we had transfers. So it was the usual crazy schedule, getting up too early, going to bed too late. Loading and unloading suitcases a hundred times. During transfers there is a million things that go wrong and most of the time it seems that there isn't any solution. But in the end everything works out. Elder París left the office so now i´m the only one left from the original group. I'm staying one more transfer but after that I am going back as a normal missionary! As much as i´ve loved being in the office, I'm pretty excited to go back.

Wednesday was a day of life changes. In the morning we got up early to pick up the new missionaries from the hotel on the way there, the motorcyler in front of us was T boned by a small car running a red light. His body was thrown up in the air and my brain couldn´t process what I had just seen until it came crashing back down. We quickly stopped the car and ran to the man now laying still. Assessment: his arm was now a spagetti noodle, his face was severely cut from the glass, blood was coming out of his ears, and when asked what his name was, he could only groan loudly. I have always wanted to own a motorcycle but now i've decided against it. It's weird to think how this persons's plans and probably a large part of his life where changed in the matter of a few seconds.

To explain how the next life change happened I have to give a little back story. One day Elder Herron and I made some plans and found a little time to go to San Pedro to work. While I was turning lights off and getting my backpack I noticed a small paper on my desk with a name and an address so I stuffed it into my pocket. Later that day I remember I had the paper so I took it out and we realized we were on that same street. We looked for the address and when we gave up, we felt we needed to ask someone where it is. So we asked and a grumpy middle aged women directed us to some run down apartments. Run down is an understatement, I would also add "unsafe" and "sketchy." The door to get in the complex was locked so we went around the other side and the back door was open. After running into many spiderwebs we found the person, Vanessa. We taught her and she loved the message. Over time we taught her every once in a while and she was very smart but her family is all catholic and hated the mormons. When she told her parents that she was listening to us, they threatened to cut her off as their child. 

With time she became too busy to meet with us but every once in a while could go to church. She said that she would like to get baptised but if she did it, it would be in a long while and we coudln´t convince her otherwise. Well, that same wednesday of the accident we felt like we needed to call her so we did and she told us that she was going south for christmas on friday for a couple weeks but unwantingly allowed us to teach her later that day. We taught her something, I don´t remember what it was, the spirit was really strong and we challenged her to be baptised before she goes, in two days. She burst into tears and said yes. Later she told us that if she didn't do it now she wouldv'e just given up and followed what her family said, and not what God impressed her to do. On thursday she had her interview and on friday she got baptized. 

There was a ton of problems as usual, the font wasn't working and wouldn't fill up or drain, the person playing the piano couldn´t go, and we had to find buses for missionaries who just finished a conference. In the end, like usual, we got everything done. The opening song was "secreta oración" and the spirit was so strong. I couldn't help but think about how everything went perfectly, but how little we actually did. I look over at her and she was tearing up already. 

The best part about the baptismal service came afterwards when her cousin, who had been unsuccessfully trying to share the gospel with Vanessa for years, came up to us and told us about how hard she has worked to try help her cousin, how thankful she was for our help, and how happy she was to see Vanessa finally decide to do it.

It was a hard, exhausting week but watching Vanessa take this step was worth every second. 

On an interesting note, The two people that have been baptised in my time here are both named Vanessa and the people that baptised them are both named Daniel.

President has given us 45 minutes to do skype on Christmas so it will be a little complicated. 
Also, I got my package! It was awesome. Seriously, it had everything I wanted. Thanks to all those who chipped in.

I´ll see you all in a couple days! Inline image 1

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Conference

Well, some how in storm of endless to-do lists we got everything prepared for the Christmas conferences. The first conference was on wednesday and by a miracle we got everything done at 12:30 at night on tuesday. We locked up the office and piled in the truck and the battery was dead. We tried pushing it down a hill to jump start it but it didn´t work. We waited a little while to see if we could flag someone down to give the battery a charge but there wasn´t anyone. So we pushed the truck to the nearest gas station and eventualy someone had cables and helped us out. I was exhausted to say the least.

The next morning we got up early to set up stuff in the chapel. I had rented a bus to bring the missionaries from los angeles but the bus didn´t show up. After making a couple calls, everyone was on their way to Concepción. The conference was a lot of fun. Sister Bluth asked me to translate for her and it was  pretty hard. I´ve never had to translate anything live before let alone in front of tons of people but it turned out well. Our video/skit went really well. Not to be biased or anything but it was for sure the best skit there. If I can, i´ll send you the video.

The conference on Wednesday ended at about 6 pm. We quickly (at least we tried to make it quick) cleaned everything up, picked up stuff for the next conference, packed out bags, and drove the four hours down south. There wasn´t room in the truck so I rode with President and his wife. We had a lot of good conversations. We finally got to Temuco and slept on cold tile floor. 

The next morning we ran around picking up and dropping things off and finally got everything ready. The conference ended at 6pm and we started the four hours back to Concepción at 8pm.

On friday I tried to get things ready for transfers next week but there was a surprise baptismal interview in Santa Juana, and hour out side of Concepción. 

I´m more than tired but I can´t lie, it is a lot of fun. Like I said, next week we have transfers so it won't be getting less crazy for a while.

Today for pday we are going to celebrate the week by going to a fancy all you can eat buffet. I´m pretty excited.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Chickenpox

On monday morning Elder Medina woke up with Chickenpox. Being the last week before the big christmas conferences, we all had a ton to do and on top of that, one of us had to always be in the house with Elder Medina. All this week we took turns staying in the house. So with the little time we had to be in the office or out doing stuff, we were running and doing things as quickly as possible.

We still have to make a video about christmas to show everyone, make a slide show of the mission, plan a skit, and translate Sister Bluth´s favorite Christmas story book. By tomorrow night.

During the days that I had to be inside with Elder Medina, I have almost finished Jesus the Christ. I would highly recommend it to anyone who hasn´t read it yet. I also made a big list of all the scripture references that I´ve used during my time on the mission. I turned it into a nice little excel file and taped it into my BoM. I have waited my entire mission to do that and I finally had time this week. I am only now realizing how much you can do with just a couple extra hours in the day. I am also realizing how little time we normally have as missionaries.

On friday I had to walk around downtown Concepción with about one thousand dollars worth in Chilean cash and buy a bunch of books from a couple of guys in a parking lot. I don´t know how I keep getting myself into such vulnerable situations.

For Pday today we are going to get a head start on filming the video and pretend to know what we are doing.

Elder Thompson

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Giving Thanks

I don´t really remember what happened before thursday. I guess that is what happens when I forget to write in my journal.
On thursday we went to President´s house at like 10ish to do some stuff for him there. Afterwards everyone else in the office showed up and we had a big thanksgiving feast. Complete with turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, yams, stuffing, and endless bread (the Chilean touch). At the end, I don´t know how she did it but Hermana Bluth made a pumpkin pie with ingredients you can find here. Everything was amazing. It was such a blessing to be able have thanksgiving with President and his wife. 

Right afterwards we loaded up the van and headed down to Temuco to fix some beds. By the time we left it was already pretty late so we slept in Angol and continued in the morning on to Temuco. On the way down we would blast the three Nat King Cole christmas songs I have to celebrate the beginning of the christmas season. Luckily, the weather was pretty grey and rainy and it was colder down south so it felt like it was christmas time. 

The trip went really well and was really pretty but really exhausting. We got back later friday night and made root beer floats that we´ve been waiting all week to make. That´s basically everything. Thanks for all the pictures of snow and stuff. It never gets old.

Elder Thompson

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Traveling and Baptizing

A little bit of everything happened this week. 

The new office couple of senior missionaries came to the mission on tuesday. Unfortunately we didn´t realize we would need to make space for them untill monday afternoon. We quickly looked around the office for tools, tables, deviders and things, made a couple different plans, and finally remodled the office. It looks worse but it fits more so we settled.

On Tuesday we prepared for the trip down south to Temuco. 

On Wednesday we had the baptisimal inteview with Vanessa. We got to the Bishop´s house who was going to give us keys to the chapel but he wasn´t home nor did he answer his phone. So we went to the councelors house and the same thing happened, he wasn´t there and he didn´t answer his phone. That happened with 2 other families who have keys. In the end we didn´t have keys so we just walked to the closest park and they did the interview on the bench. It was a little weird but in the end, she passed the interview.

That night we stayed up late loading up the van with stuff for the trip. We again filled it until it literaly couldn´t fit anything else. 

On thursday we left early and headed down South through Angól, Los Sauces, Traiguén and ended up in Temuco. We got stuff done there and slept in house of Elder Anderson and Herron. It was going to be a little reunion party but we all have to do verification calls.

On Friday we had our baptism. The service started at 7:00 pm but we still had a bunch of stuff to do in Temuco. We got up early drove around, bought stuff, fixed beds, drove through Carahue and Chol Chol (really pretty, I recomend googling pictures of it) and finished doing repairs in Traiguén at 3:00. Normally it takes about 4 hours to get from Traiguén to Concepción so if there was traffic we would miss the baptisimal service of Vanessa. As worried as we were, all we could do is start driving. I don´t know how it happened but we got to Concepción at 5:45, just in time to take a shower, get in our suits and finish preparations for the service. 

The Baptism was the best I have seen here in Chile. Tons of people came, the talks were great, and everything was very spiritual. It even brought another investigator that came to tears. In a good way of course.

Today for pday we went to Parke Lota and looked around the musium for a while then went to some ruins of an old factory on the beach. The same ruins that, if you remember, I played paintball at about a year ago. Weird.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Swordfish

In the city of Lebu, most of the men who live there work as fishermen. They get in teams, go down south, catch a bunch of fish, then come back up to Lebu to process it all. One of the more rare fishes they catch is swordfish. When they take out the meat they are left with a giant sword thing which they then add a handle to and sell them for pretty cheap. During my entire time in Lebu I looked for one of these swords and couldn´t find one. Yesterday we were dropping off a washing machine and stuff in Lebu and when we were grabbing some lunch I found the place that sells them. It is a small hut right on the beach. Long story short, now I have one of the coolest, most hard core swords ever! And they only cost 15,000 pesos (about $30). Bad news is that it doesn´t fit in my suitcase nor do I think it´s legal to import it but I´ll see If I can send it in a package.

That's probably not that interesting for you guys but it was quite the achievement for me.

On wednesday we had an appointment with Vanessa to make sure she was ready to be baptized on Saturday. When we were walking up the stairs to the chapel an older man called out to us then ran up to greet us. He then continued to question me about "that blue book" that I had in my hand. We wrote down his address but he insisted on us teaching him right there and then. We entered the chapel thinking about how we could two things at once. While walking down the hall we found 3 of the single adults studying together in one of the rooms. I asked for their help and immediately they had their scriptures at the ready to do splits and help us teach both of them. That is one of the benefits of having 6 return missionaries in their early 20s in your ward.

The lesson with Vanessa was awesome. I would say it was the most spiritual lesson I´ve had. There is nothing cooler than seeing the results of real testimony building. But the next day when we tried to call her to set up some details with the baptismal service she wouldn´t answer. This continued until last night when she said she needs to wait a week. It´s kind of a bummer but we are all sure she will go through with it eventually. 

Besides that this week has been just as busy as the others. I don´t know what changed but all of a sudden it´s getting really hard to balance all the work in the office and the proselyting. We are having a ton of success in San Pedro but the office is getting really unorganized because we are never there. yet everyone still tells us that we need to be out of the office more. I´m just glad that i´m learning this in the mission where nothing that bad can happen. Well, not THAT bad.

Today I´m going to finish my BYU Provo/Hawaii application. Cross your fingers!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

La Locura 3.0

I was kind of worried about having to make that skype call but I´m really glad we could end up doing it. Thanks for getting it all set up and working. It makes me excited for skyping again in a couple months.

The second I finished the call, La Locura started. My old comp Elder Herron went back as a normal missionary and my new comp Elder Manscill came. This group was fairly small; 10 leaving and 14 coming in, but it was a lot more crazy. That might be due to the fact that I had to learn a new job and teach someone my old job or because we didn't prepare or make plans before hand. Whatever it was, we got it done in the end.

Durring one of the trainings with the new missionaries, all the Latin American missionaries would laugh at my Chilean vocabulary so I tried to avoid those words and I couldn´t think of any other way to say things. I´m going to have to learn spanish again once I leave this country.

We have already made two trips with my new comp. The first to Lota and the Second to Lebu. I just realized that those were both my old wards. In Lebu we had to close down a house. The missionaries had left about a week earlier and had just destroyed the house before they left. Luckily we were able to save some stuff and filled the back of the van to the point that we could literally not fit anything else in. Not even a toaster.

A couple weeks back we taught Vanessa about the law of the fast. She has accepted everything that we say but when it came down to not eating for 24 hours she said it was impossible. We told her that the only way to find out if it was possible was to try it. This week, without even telling us, she decided to try it. Afterwards she mentioned that she has no doubt it´s something god wants us to do because of how good she felt and how clear her mind was. As for now, She gets baptised next week!

I got the package! and it was giant! My comp and I decided to save it for when we make big trips, which we have to do a lot of.

For pday today we are just going to relax. We need it.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Día de Todos los Santos

This week has won the award of one of the craziest. Actually now that I think about it, there has been crazier but it was still pretty hectic.

This weekend we have transfers and we haven´t done anything to prepare. We also had every day full of appointments and our truck was having problems so we sent it in to get fixed. I never realized how hard it would be trying to juggle being a missionary with investigators and a ward and at the same time have to run everything in office. Sometimes I can only halfway do each job but in the end I do what I can do and it´s worth it.

It seems like the more money you have in Chile, the more english you know. Whenever we knock doors in the rich parts we almost always find someone who speaks english. The other day I taught my first lesson in Spanglish. I would start a sentence in Enlglish then forget a word and just continue in Spanish and the investigator would do the same. 

For pday today we went to the Cemetery in Concepción, which is giant. Today is "the day of all the saints" at least that is the literal translation, i´m not sure what they call it in english. But basically everyone, and I mean everyone, goes to the cemetery with flowers, brooms, and alcohol to communicate with their loved ones on the other side. We put a table out with some pamphlets about the plan of salvation and we just went around talking to people. Being that it is a national holiday and it was pretty sunny, most people were pretty nice so it was a fun experience. Plus, south american Cemeteries are very extravagant. The bigger, flashier, more catholic, intricate the grave, the more you love the person who died. Or something like that.

It looks like this transfer i´m staying but I will be training my new companion to work in the office. This time I could basically pick my companion so it will be a fun time.

As far as Halloween, it was a normal day. It´s not very big here but we still had some cake the color of a pumpkin that the senior couple made. I also bought Guava juice in celebration.

 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Last Conference

This week we had our last conference together as "the office team." We still have one more week before transfers but we are starting to point out the lasts. The conference was in Angol and was for only Hermanas. Angol at this time is super hot so it was a nice welcoming into summer.

We met a family of 3 this week that seemed pretty cool. We went back to teach them and it turned out to be one of the more interesting lessons of my mission. They loved talking about God and all that stuff but whenever we got personal to them or even mentioned that they would have to do something they just shut down. We talked it out and they are 100% set on not doing anything ever. One of them is 25 and she said that she once looked for work but she rather "live in the house with  her moms retirement money until she dies." No matter how we went about it, we could not find any speck of motivation in them. They just eat and watch TV and every once in a while go to the bank to pick up their money and they acknowledge it with complete contemptness. They were some of the saddest people I have ever seen, however they were very inspiring to me. If you want to be happy, do the exact opposite of what they are doing. 

On the bright side, our progressing investigators are just as awesome as ever. At least two of them are coming to church with us tomorrow.

We saw an older lady and her 15 year old son with a bunch of heavy bags so we asked to help and ended up helping them move. We came back the next day to finish the job and the boy kept asking about what he has to do to be a missionary. His mom then asked the same question so we talked about baptism and they got pretty excited. I´m becoming a fan of miracles.

For pday today we did a service project cleaning someones backyard. I´m not the best shoveler but I have to say that afterwards it looked good.

Alright, that´s it. Love you all!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Training

For the past couple of months we have been working on a program called el rescate. It´s something that almost all the missions in Chile are doing to be able to clean up the church record system MLS. We have been working with the founders of el rescate over skype to get it set up for a while and this week we finally started it in the mission. That means doing an hour and a half long skype training with each of the ten zones. We started on wednesday and have done about two a day. I didn´t realize how much planning, thinking, starting over, running trial groups, waiting, and training goes into starting a program. But now the ball is rolling and there is even more work to do. 

Besides that, we have been able to get out to work every day. Our investigators are still progressing and one of them went to church! Also that same sunday we ate lunch with one of the rich members in the ward. And when people in Chile are rich, they are very rich. For lunch we ate stake, potatoes and blood sausage which I had never tried before. I´m still not sure if I like it.

President Bluth invited us over to his house to eat a big american breakfast to celebrate Elder Reynolds' birthday. I forgot how good we are at breakfast in the states. I don´t think anything can compare.

That´s about it, talk to you next week!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Miracles Continue

Seriously, I don´t know whats happening but we have been seeing miracle after miracle. We found an 18 year old from Spain that "has been looking for truth for a long time" and she "want´s to follow christ and get baptized but just doesn´t know how she can be sure." She already read a big chunk of the book of mormon and was able to tour the chapel. 

Time after time we keep finding ourselves exactly where we need to be. I don´t know what changed but i´m liking it.

This week we also had to make a couple trips around the mission. The first trip we went down to Los Angeles but we took a shortcut on a dirt road that ended taking the same amount of time. On the positive side, it was absolutely beautiful going into the chilean countryside where most people only travel by horse and buggy (not an exaggeration). We got back a little late but were still able to teach an awesome lesson. That morning we were surprised with a flat tire. We probably should have expected that since it is a minivan. But, 2 and half hours later we were on the road down the coast. A road I think I have referred to as the chilean highway 101. I would suggest it to anyone going to Chile.

This week I have also started to get up a half an hour early to do exercises. A feat that I have never accomplished before.

For pday today we are just going to hang out in Concepción and maybe watch one of the church movies again. We´ll see.

Love you all! 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Gettin big

This week we basically acted as normal missionaries. We planed in the morning, called to confirm appointments, and went to San Pedro to visit people. Every once in a while we have been able to get out but there is always another project/emergency/deadline. This week we had nothing to do, so we just went for it. The first day we only had an hour and a half but we found three new people and set a baptismal date! The other days weren't as fruit full but equally as fun.

On wednesday we had to travel down the coast to help some missionaries move into their new house in the middle of the wilderness. It was tough on the minivan but really pretty.

Yesterday we were able to get our hands on a golds card. That means 20% off GNC products. We took it as a sign that we need to finally buy whey protein. I have been wanting to, but it is over twice the price down here and no one has that kind of money. Now that we have a healthy way to get the protein we need, we are finally putting the p90x videos to good use. You probably don´t care about any of that but it´s a big advancement for us.

That´s about it for the week. I put up the rest of the Antuco pictures on dropbox. Also, after today i´ll be using the windows thing that dad sent me instead of dropbox.

Love you guys! have a good conference!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Elder Thompsons mission address

Elder Paul Thompson
Castellon 1063  Casilla 3560
Concepcion, Bio Bio, Chile
Or Email at paul.thompson@myldsmail.net

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Antuco




For pday today we got up really early and drove to Antuco, which is like 10 minutes away from Argentina. It was hands down the most beautiful place I have ever been to in Chile and it probably takes second or third place from before the mission. Long story short, I only have 10 minutes to email.

This week we had transfers. Everything went pretty smoothly and only one person almost got deported. A group of 11 missionaries left and we got a group of 27 so the mission continues to grow!

We all took "the Bomb" together on wednesday and it didn´t quite have to effect we were hoping. We heard that it just flushes you out but instead it just made our stomaches hurt. Either way, we should be parasite free.

We went to a pueblito to do a baptismal interview yesterday and she turned out to be a witch. Her house was covered in old stuff and chains and she literally had a cauldron boiling over an open fire.

Alright, Thats all I have time for. I´m going to see if I can at least attach one picture from Antuco.








Here are a few more photos....



Los Volatines     September 18









Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fiestas Patrias

This week started out like usual. Lots of paper work, lots of traveling, and a ton of preparing for transfers. However on thursday we celebrated 18th of september, the Chilean fourth of July. But here, their independence day is way big. Even bigger than christmas. School is off for the week and people party so hard that at least 15 people die each day from thursday to sunday due to alcohol/drug consumption. 

We, on the other hand, decided to celebrate it the classic chilean way. We woke up early, did a our studies and went to the lake to fly volentines. I had forgotten how fun but how difficult it is. I learned that there is a difference between "kites for children" and volentines, they don´t mess around here.

After taking a couple videos and braking all of the volentines we went to the office to make hot dogs and watch a movie. Later that evening we went to the ward activity and ate lots of poorly cooked barbequed meat and watched everyone dance the Cueca. This week I am going to take "the bomb," a parasite medicine designed for gringos in south america so I should get rid of all the damage I´ve done so far. Then we finished up the night deep cleaning our apartment because it was too dangerous to go outside after eight.

It´s sad to think that it´s my last 18th of september that I will ever spend in Chile but my digestive system will be pretty happy.

Next week we have transfers again. this time there aren´t as many people leaving so it should be a little bit easier but there are still 30 people coming so not too easy. 

Wish us luck!

Elder Thompson

Ps. I´m putting a bunch of pictures on dropbox, check it out.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Operación Pino

This week started off pretty slow. Everything was pretty much done in the office so we had time to work as missionaries. On Wednesday we got a big package of new phones for the missionaries. The office elder from the other mission told us that when they got their new phones, the phone guy in santiago (Mr. Pino) messed up and deactivated like 20 of their old phones. So I emailed Mr. Pino and told him to be careful. But sure enough one by one people would call to tell us that their phone doesn´t work. When we lost about 15 phones to the "plague" everything went silent. People stopped calling to report that their phones don't work. We looked up online the check the damage but instead of only 15 phones not working, 70 phones stopped working. People stopped calling because almost none of the missionaries had phones. We quickly had a meeting to see how we could fix the problem and after thinking for a while, we realized that the only way to do it would be to split up and drive to every single sector in the mission to deliver new sim cards. We called it Operation Pino.

So I went with Elder Anderson and we chose the route through the coast and up through Angol while the other Elders went straight down to Temuco and Loncoche. We left at about 7:00 pm, bought some drinks, cookies and other unhealthy road trip food and headed down. After a full night of getting lost trying to find houses and pass out sim cards we finally got to Lebu at 12:30 and slept on the floor there. The next morning we got up early and got on the road. First stop was Cañete which was beautiful at that time of morning and the road from Cañete to Purén was even prettier. That morning we decided to make best use of the opportunity and stopped to look at views and took a bunch of pictures. I only wish the pictures could really capture how beautiful this country is. Sometimes it was just breathtaking. When it was time for lunch we bought a couple 2 feet long hot dogs and sat in the back of the van looking off a giant canyon with a cool looking bridge. 

We finally finished that night at about 12:00 again and went right to sleep. The next day all four of us were just exhausted. But 70 companionship's now have communication outside of their pueblitos.

Yesterday one of Rachel´s old companions came into the office to give me a package and it hit me hard that Rachel was home. Watching videos of Rachel was even weirder. It made the end of my mission a very real thing. It´s kind of scary to think about so I´m not going to do it.

That´s about it for this week, I´ll be putting a lot of pictures on dropbox today btw

Elder Thompson





















video

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Gnarls Barkley

This week started out pretty tough. There were the usual deadlines and an abnormally large pile of other things to do. But yesterday I think we were all rewarded for the work we did. We woke up and made the usual breakfast burritos. After getting to the office, we got a call from president who informed us that the elder that was going to leave the mission that day decided to stay. Then we all went to President's house for our interviews which were followed by an awesome Hawaiian haystack lunch. After getting some some stuff done in the office we remembered that we had to play something at the talent show that night. So we obviously chose to play "Crazy" 10 minutes before it started. We played and it turned out pretty well. They also made us play sound of silence again.

But besides that, the week was pretty bland.

I still can´t believe that Rachel is going home. I was going to write her about it but I realized she would never read it. Weird. Make sure to send me tons of pictures and videos of when she comes back. 

Scripture of the day: Luke 2:52.

It splits up Christ´s path to perfection into 4 main categories. Aka what we should do/the goals we should put to grow up and eventually become perfect.

hasta luego,

Elder Thompson
"Crazy"

Elder Zaballos

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Yogurt

I said a while back that I was making my own yogurt but this week I made it almost every day and it´s turning out really good. Plus, it can be used for anything. Fruit smoothies, mixed with milk, used as conditioner, or eaten plain. 

I also finally got my hands on an appropriate yoga video. I kind of don´t like it but I know I need it.

This week was spent doing the normal everyday tasks. We organized and made an inventory of our storage space. Now it´s probably the cleanest it´s been in years. We had a little time on Wednesday to work in our sector so we taught an English class, did a couple chapel tours, and knocked some doors. Some times I forget how fun it is to meet and work with a ton of different people. During the English class however, there was an old women who was probably 75 years old who would not stop yelling out random words in English then acting very self-impressed as if everyone else in the room felt the same. After class she came up to shake our hands and after an uncomfortable amount of time she got way too close and said "I am coming back next time for sure" as she winked. We are going to let the Hermanas take this next class. 

That´s about it for the week. At least from what I remember. Today for pday we are going to go shopping down town to use up the rest of our time.

Love you all!

Elder Thompson


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Seventy

This week Elder Zeballos from the first quorum of the seventy came to our mission for a series of conferences. The first conference was on Monday so we headed down to Temuco Sunday night and got there pretty late. After a restless night on hardwood floor we got up early to set stuff up. The actual conference was amazing. Hermana Zeballos was a very talented speaker as well. During the conference she wanted to explain something but wanted an apple to do it so we were told to find an apple. We hurried out to find a street vendor that sells apples without bruises or gashes and eventually found one and it didn´t have seeds which was the main idea. But she figured it out. 

That whole process of getting up early, staying up late, and sleeping in weird places continued until the last conference on Thursday that was held in our home town of San Pedro. I was informed the night before that I had to perform a musical number so Elder Durochet, the harmonica professional,  and I threw something together and I don´t think it turned out too bad. We finally got to the office at like 7 that afternoon absolutely exhausted and with a mountain of work on our desks. 

Friday was supposed to be the catch-up day but that morning we got Hermana Bluth´s new iphone in the mail and the day was spent running around Concepción figuring out how to get new sim cards for both President and Hermana Bluth´s phones with the same phone number. Finally that night we had it all done and we ran the new phones to the mission house and had a very relaxing 45 minute break while we ate cheesecake and set up their new iphones. It was an interesting process considering the quality difference between apple products and the Chilean phone service company "Movistar."

As fun as it is here, I think I am still loosing hair because of the stress.

I´ve been reading "Jesus the Christ" but this time using the bible, google maps, and "Bible Videos" as a reference. I recommend doing it like that.

Also, I can´t remember if I already told you guys about it but there is a speech about a study that was done that considered the differences between societies that donate/do charitable things VS those that don´t. The study was done to prove that you don´t gain anything by giving but no matter how many different ways the study was done, they only found the opposite results. In fact, it was so far in the other direction that on average for every 1 part that we give, we get 3 parts back. Families that give $100 earn $300 more yearly. Then it talks about why that is. The speech is called "Why Giving Matters." I would also recommend it.

Love you all. The church is true. And there is a lot to learn.


Elder Thompson