Monday, October 29, 2012
Welp, After a full week here in Illapel I have a lot of stories to tell! Haha... This morning at about 5 am I heard my comp elder stacey get up and then I was sleepy so I don´t remember much but then all of a sudden he was like groaning and after like a minute he shouted "Elder Trayner, help!" So I got up and he was laying on the tile floor in the main room and I couldn't really see much else so I turned the lights on and he was laying next to a pool of blood! He told me he had fainted and I was just like... what?? haha... I didn't really know what was going on, so I got him a pillow and his blankets cuz it was really cold and cleaned up all the blood. He then tried to get up when all of a sudden his face went like blank and he just laid down again and was unresponsive. It was crazy! But after like 10 seconds he was responding again, but it was pretty scary. He said that he had fainted again. So he asked for a blessing and I gave him one and then I called the zone leaders to get the mission nurse's number. They didn't have it, but I looked it up in my folder they gave me when I arrived. I told her about it and she told me to give him some sugar water and get him back in bed. So I did and he took his time and then had to go the bathroom so he asked me to give him a bottle... hahahaha. so he did his business in the bottle and then I had to throw it in the toilet. Yuck. hahaha. Then he finished the sugar water and I carried him back in to his bed. It was all kind of gay.. but whatever, that's how missionary work is sometimes hahahaha. He is doing fine now, but he's got a pretty nice battle wound on the bridge of his nose and a few marks on his forehead. Hahahaha, I hope you all enjoyed that story. Hopefully you can get the photos attached. Other than that, we started out opening this area with 0 investigators, but we taught 11 new people this week, so that was good. The coolest people would have to be Victor, who is an English professor and is Adventist. He was really interested and we actually taught him the first time we met in English. Haha, he is super cool. After explaining the restoration he asked how Peter James and John could have ordained Joseph Smith if they were dead. Or basically his question was where it comes out in the bible that they had already resurrected. So we left him Alma 40 and we'll be talking about how the first resurrection already started right after Christ resurrected. Should be good fun. Haha We're also teaching a young couple named Lillian and Fabian that we met knocking. She expressed her desire to keep the tradition of baptizing babies in her family because they have a little wawita (baby in chilean), and so we talked about baptism and infant baptism and left Moroni 8 for her to read. When we went back a couple days later she told us she had really liked and understood it. Everything is going well and we'll be talking about the restoration soon. We also helped a couple of less actives to come to church that hadn't been in a looong time. It was exciting to see. There really isn't anything better than helping someone and seeing them start receiving the blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Other than that, everyone is excited for Halloween here. I can't believe it, but they actually celebrate it like us back in the states. Chile is very much more americanized than Argentina. Anyways, not much else to say or tell. Love you all! The first photo is a barbecue (asado) we went to with some members of the branch. Second is of Elder Stacey this morning.
Monday, October 22, 2012
Yo, So this past week due to the fact that we had the visit of Elder Oaks we had an early transfer and thus I'm writing today rather than tomorrow. I found out Wednesday night that I was getting transferred and then on Thursday I went to a meeting and met me new comp (see photo), Elder Stacey and found out we were heading to..... Illapel! Haha... it's a tiny little town about 4 hours north of Viña. Anyways, because of the meeting and traveling issues, I stayed in Vina until after the meeting with Elder Oaks on Saturday. The meeting with Elder Oaks was great. We started off by all shaking his and his wife's hands, and also President and Sister Arnold (Area President). It was a great experience. After that we got to hear from President and Sister Kahnlein and they talked about serving with all of your heart, might, mind, and strength. Then President and Sister Arnold spoke and they talked about teaching the basics of the Gospel and also about dedicating 100% of ourselves to the work. We finished off hearing from Elder and Sister Oaks who talked about revelation and he allowed us to share our experiences with revelation and then he expounded on the gospel truths we shared. It was a great meeting and I left feeling inspired to be more dedicated and to work even harder to bring to pass the salvation of God's children here in Illapel. I also learned a lot about revelation. I think a lot of the past few months the Lord has been teaching me about revelation. We arrived here late Saturday night and moved into our "new" apartment... there were old people there still taking their stuff out... it's pretty much a mess... haha.... so hopefully they get all their junk out soon so we can clean it up a bit. They said they would remodel the bathroom today... let's hope that gets done... haha. Then Sunday morning we managed to find our way to church and we arrived in the branch with our zone leaders. One is the 2nd counselor of the branch and the other the secretary. In the end between us missionaries we blessed and passed the sacrament, gave the talks (I talked about the why of missionary work). and directed the meeting as the branch president was sick and the 1st counselor is inactive. haha. There was an attendance of 27 counting small children and 4 missionaries. hahaha, we are excited to get to work and get the attendance up. There are a lot of less actives and the zone leaders have been working with the members at all and they don't have a good relationship with them... it should be fun! I'm excited. I love small branches. Anyways, time to go! Love you all! Thanks for your love, support, and testimonies. Share it with someone this week!
Monday, October 15, 2012
Everyone, I don't have much time to write today, but this past week was pretty rough, but I still have my head up. :) Transfers are next week so I think I'll write on Tuesday. Just so you know. I was sorry to hear about the passing of Pa, but I know we'll see him again. Death always makes us reflect on where we are and what our priorities are. It has almost been a year since the 2 missionaries moved on from the McAllen mission. That was an event that helped me see things more clearly and motivated me to be better. How grateful I am for the knowledge we have of the Atonement and the Resurrection. I appreciate all of your prayers on my behalf. I miss you all, but know I am well! I love this work and can't escape the feeling of gratitude that fills my heart, just being able to be here in Chile serving the Lord. Hope you all have a great week!
Monday, October 8, 2012
Dear All, This week was pretty good here in Vina del Mar and General Conference was great! We had a couple of amazing lessons this week. We are teaching an 18 year old named Jean Franco, we left him a Book of Mormon and the assignment to pray and when we went back a few days later he said he had received his answer. We knelt down and prayed at the end of the lesson and he gave God thanks for the answer he had received and he said "I testify that I have felt that this book is true." It was amazing. It is always great to see your investigators receive their testimony before your eyes. We also had an amazing lesson with an older lady named Roxana. She is probably about 60 or so, but she is very active. We only had the one lesson with her, but she talked about her faith and how she had overcome breast cancer. We talked to her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and about the Book of Mormon and a little bit of the Restoration. She had previously heard some good things about the church from a good friend that was a member that she had when she used to live in Santiago years ago. When we handed her the Book of Mormon she hugged it and was so happy. I marked her a few paragraphs in the introduction and also 3 Nephi 11 (we talked about Jesus Christ visiting the Americas). At the Sunday afternoon session we didn't see anyone until after it ended I walked into the chapel and she spotted me and came up all super excited saying how she had loved it! She is a very special lady with so much love and excitement for the Gospel. The Lord truly gave us a miracle this week. Anyways, I loved conference! I don't have my notes so I'm left to what's in my mind right now, but I loved the talk about having a testimony and being converted and how they are different, but how they go together. I truly have felt my conversion happen within these last 3 years, though I did have a testimony. Conversion takes living the gospel and having it change your heart and your desires to those of God. I love the Gospel, I love being a missionary, and I love my life! Mom and Dad- thank you so much for everything you've taught me and your amazing examples. You have raised a great family. Siblings- you all have inspired me so much and have shown me the way to or back to the path. Thank you. I love you all very much and I'm so grateful for these experiences the Lord is allowing me to have as one of His representatives. I truly have been blessed. I love you all! I hear Pa isn't doing well. I'll keep him in my prayers. I just want you all to know that I know this gospel is true! I have always truly known, but I hadn't really been living it until these past few years, which thus was impeding my conversion. I can truly say today that I have been converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that I have felt to sing of his redeeming love. I hope every one of you have felt that or can come to feel it, because it is the best thing that has happened to me. I also loved Elder Holland's talk. Let us be true followers of Jesus Christ. I don't have much else to say and I need to head to go sign some paperwork! I love you all! Have a good week and please write me about your favorite conference talk/experience. Love!
Monday, October 1, 2012
Dear all, I made it to Chile! The flights were long, but I had some pretty interesting people next to me on the flights so it wasn't too bad. haha. President Kahnlein picked me up at the airport and then we picked up the assistants from the temple in Santiago (they got a special exception to go because one is leaving at the beginning of next week) and then headed to the mission home where I proceeded to eat lunch with the Kahnlein family! Haha- it was really funny because I've never had a mission president with children. It's pretty fun. Then my comp came and picked me up. His name is Elder Rivera and he is from Guatemala. He is super cool guy! Another missionary (From Ecuador) and I arrived randomly this past week so they actually just put us both with the zone leaders here in Vina del Mar and we split the area until transfers in 3 weeks. Splitting the area didn't go very well for us just because it is all mountainous!!! My legs are really sore and I've got a couple gnarly blisters, but I'll be fine. haha. We're back to the good ole days of being late and running to the apartment. I'm sure I'll lose plenty of weight. I'll try and get some pictures of the giant hills we climb soon. They say it is worse in Valparaiso... haha... I'm sure I'll get used to it. The members seem to be super cool... I'll go ahead and answer dad's questions now. 1. What does the language sound like in Chile? They sound like Argentines but with no sh sounds. They use a lot of different words though, but most are for slang things. Other than that basically the same vocabulary as Argentina. Elder Rivera always laughs at my Mexican spanish because it is pretty much the same as Guatemala. 2. Any strange foods yet? Nope, I've only had 2 meals up until this point. One at the mission home which was cheese burgers and another with a member yesterday that was like a 4 course meal (they live in a really nice area)/ 3. Any signs of mountains or is it all flat like Texas? As I said, it's like all mountains. Or super big hills... whichever you prefer. But then you can definitely see the beach and everything. It's super pretty. Definitely a lot better looking place to go on a reunion visit than Buenos Aires... haha. Definitely nothing like the landscape of Texas. 4. What was your first Sunday like? It was good. They had me share my testimony- it went well. There are 10 missionaries in the ward right now actually with us 2 newcomers.. haha... so in that aspect this ward reminds me of texas, but other than here there are generally 2 elders in each ward. We just have 4 office elders, the assistants, and us 4. 5. Have you used any of the words you got from Elder Cañas yet? Haha, yup, I impressed many Chileans with my chilean vocabulary. All of them are very confused about how I speak Spanish so well. haha, I just say I lived on the Mexican border to make things simple. 6. What about all those ties, did customs let them in without a tax? hahahaha, yep. My roommates were bewildered when I took them all out. So funny. Mom- I forgot you put those dried mangos and nuts in my bag! I just hurried and ate them all on the flight to make it simple and not have any problems. haha. What else? I forgot how ghetto the housing for missionaries is down here. They say ours is one of the best. haha. I've successfully impressed many people with my Spanish. President Kahnlein gave me a "10." haha. The work is quite a bit different here, and they've been struggling. On average they've been baptizing about 60-70 a month. When I left Buenos Aires we were baptizing 130-140 a month and in McAllen about 70 as well. Soo, the mission needs some help and I'm happy to be here to be able to help out! In other news- i just realized I forgot my big coats and my winter boots... haha.... but it should be warm the whole time I'm here. Right now it is kind of chilly in Chile. haha... sorry... so we wear sweaters (stupid call packet...), but I'm just wearing short sleeves because it feels so great coming from texas. haha. I don't really know what else to say! I love you all! Hopefully I can send some letters out soon to the friends and everything, but it might take me a couple weeks to get settled and find the post office and all, and then I'll probably be transferred... haha. I appreciate all the letters, even though it seems mom and dad are the only ones who love me this week! haha, j/k, i just talked to most of you anyways. Love you all! Take care and thanks for your support!