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


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