September 29, 2009 (Fiestas Patrias)
This week, I decided to just send a ton of pictures because I took a ton of pictures. It was an awesome week. The greatest miracle that happened was the baptism of our investigator, José Vidal. The baptismal service went really well, especially the music (Élder Brandau played the piano, I played the viola, and Élder Rivas sang "Families can be together forever"), and it was super spiritual. José was married in the morning and baptized in the afternoon. His new wife told me that she has only see José cry two times in their time together: when their daughter was born and after his baptism. It was awesome.
This week was also great because it is the beginning of Chile's Fiestas Patrias, or basically independence day. It is celebrated mainly the 18th of September when Chile started to gain it's independence from Spain's rule. It isn't really independence day, but it's celebrated this week. It's tough for proselyting purposes, but there is an abundance of food. In Chile, there's an average weight gain this week of 3.5 kilograms, or 7.7 lbs. Awesome, huh?
For our festivities, we called the mission president's wife and invited her to her own house for a barbecue. :) We (Élder Rivas, Élder Brandau, me, and the assistants - Élder Romero and Élder Shirley) went over the mission house and had a bunch of activities, like an obstacle course, bag races, coin tosses, etc. We watched a cultural event on DVD when the Santiago Temple was rededicated and learned a lot about the Chilean culture (and their national dance, the Cueca), and we ate a ton of meat. I'm sending a bunch of pictures from our little activity also. It was tons of fun! Today, we're going to be heading off to our ward party, so it should be great.
Our work here in the mission is going really well, and I'm especially grateful to be working again with Élder Rivas, my good friend. I really do love being here in the mission and all the many experiences I have had.
How's everyone doing at home? Is Jacob ready to be 22????? Wow, time sure does fly fast. :) I'm going to be sending a card to mom and dad's house because I don't have Jacob and Shauna's address.
I love you all so much! Let me know how everything is back in Albuquerque. My family is so amazing. Keep up being so amazing, and I'll see you in 1 year! (Can you believe that I'll complete 1 year in the mission in a week? Crazy!!!)