Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year (Baptisms and Ties)

January 5, 2009

Happy 2009! Whoa, I still can't believe how fast last year flew by! But, I've decided that this year is going to be the best year of my life. No joke. :)

Okay, first of all let me explain some of the photos:

The first two are from our baptism this past Saturday. We baptized a young woman named Joaquina who has been coming to church for 3 years or more! Her Grandpa, Hermano Aguayo, baptized and confirmed her.

The next photo is of my companion and his ties. How crazy, eh? I guess after two years, we missionaries tend to collect a lot of ties since that's pretty much the only thing we can buy for "fun."

Next, I have some pictures from last week that I don't think I sent from the beach, the caves, the Chilean flag on top of the Morro, the barbeque, etc. It's my companion, Elder Cañellas, who is cooking the asado and Elder Sommermeyer at his side. The Missionaries in the final picture are as follows (left to right): Elder Suasnaba (our zone leader), Elder Sommermeyer (our district leader), Elder Hansen, and Elder Silva. What great missionaries! :)

Bueno, entonces voy a escribir un poco en Castellano (Español) porque no quiero pensar en inglés. Loco, ¿no? Si mi inglés está empeorando, ¡no se preocupen! Creo (espero) que esto sea una buena señal. Esta obra misional es asombrosa. Mi Español está mejorando un poco cada día, y aunque cada día es dificil, estoy aprendiendo mucho mas paciencia. :) Mi meta por este año nuevo es olvidar inglés para que la llamada en el día de Madres sea muy incomodo! No, en realidad inglés es bueno, y vamos a empezar clases de inglés este miercoles para encontrar más investigadores y ayudar a las miembros también. ¿Tienen más ideas para encontrar y enseñar más? Papá, ¿Qué hizo en su misión?

Okay, time for English. This week has been really great. My first cambio in the mission is over! Can you believe it? For my second cambio, I'm still with Elder Cañellas, but our zone was changed. I'm not quite sure how that works...

This past Sunday was kind of fun. It was fast and testimony meeting, and for some reason the pulpit in our chapel can't move. So, when there is a member who is really short, he or she can't see over the pulpit! It's pretty funny, especially because there are a lot of shorter individuals here in Arica.

I gave some of my first blessing in Spanish this week also. I was able to administer one annointing and one sealing of the annointing, and it was pretty hard! I think that's something I still need to practice. It's even more difficult because we need to speak in the familiar "tu" form for blessings, but I never practice tu except for in blessings and prayers. I need to start practicing it more!

This past week, I also had the opportunity to have a companion exchange with Elder Hansen, a gringo missionary with five months in the mission. It was kinda fun because he didn't know my area, so I had to take the role of senior companion! It was tough but a great experience to test my language skills, my orientation skills, and my leadership.

New Years was awesome also! We set the alarm and went and watched some fireworks (fuegos artificiales) on a little hill next to our apartment (Pensión). I still can't believe it's 2009 already! Where does the time go?

Oh yeah, before I forget, I haven't received the package yet, but that's probably because it's sitting in Antofagasta. It's a long way to come here to Arica! We usually get packages delivered every week or two, so I'm crossing my fingers for tomorrow! :) Oh, and if it is possible, could you dearelder me some recipes? That would be nice. Especially recipes for breakfast. We have pancakes every morning, but we're starting to engordar, so we need some more ideas. Thanks

Well, I hope you know that I love you and that this missionary work is amazing. Thank you for your letters and support! I love you so much, and I'll see you in a couple years!

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