July 18, 2009 (I'm an old man now)
Hello my family! It has been another wonderful week here in the mission. And guess what? I'm 20 now! Crazy how fast time flies, huh?
Thank you so much for the emails and notes of love and encouragemente. I sure do appreciate how amazing my family is!
Well, first of all let me explain the pictures. First of all, I'm sending some pictures from the 4th of July that I neglected to send the past week. Sorry... We celebrated in the apartment of Elder and Sister Steed, the couple who work in the office with us. We had a great time with great food and decorations of the USA. It was lots of fun with us gringos (the Steeds, me, Elder Hansen, and Elder Shirley), but the two latinos (Elder Brandau from Chile and Elder Galli from Argentina) seemed a little uncomfortable with all the patriotic music and US flags.
That same 4th of July night, we took pictures from the balcony of our apartment. Isn't it awesome? I thought the pictures were nice.
I'm also sending pictures from my birthday. Elder Brandau made me a card, as did Elder and Sister Steed. When we got into the office, my desk was decorated with candy and a couple gifts. I got a tie and a Mission Chile Antofagasta tie pin from Elder and Sister Steed, as well as cookies and candy. Hermana Urra (the mission president's wife) gave me an awesome stuffed Armadillo and a bobble pen, and she also brought in a cake that we ate along with the candy and cookies. Today, for my P-day, were going out to lunch to TGIF Friday's. I'm pretty excited because I haven't eaten in a sit-down restaurant for my entire mission! I should be sending some pictures the next week if I remember. :)
This week has also been a little crazy because we're changing our entire system to the internet. It will be nice when we're all done, but the process is tons of work!
Oh yeah, I also started driving this week! How crazy to drive in the streets of Antofagasta. It's actually pretty fun. I'm driving a Ford Ranger, and there aren't really laws to driving. But, if you don't drive aggresively, you'll never make it to your destination. I'm glad I've had tons of practice driving aggresively in the roads of Albuquerque. :)
We also saw lots of miracles in our proselyting sector this week. The greatest miracle is to see one of God's children repent, make changes in his life, and become worthy to return to the presence of his Father in Heaven again. The experience of the mission is literally the greatest of my life, and so the greatest birthday present I receieved is the chance to testify of the truths that I know and help my chilean brothers and sisters receive the happiness that I have. That really is the purpose of this life, isn't it? :)