August 29, 2009 (Sprint clean-up)
Thanks so much for the emails! I really enjoyed reading them! We've been really great here in Antofagasta. I think we're finally getting into spring, but I can't really tell because it's basically the same as always -- perfect (even though it's dry and brown). We've been working pretty hard here in the office and over in our sector, and the work is going super good.
Let's see, first I think you all deserve an explanation of the pictures. Well, I think I told you about the whole incident with the crazy lady who speaks English and who was accusing the Elders of breaking into her house, poisoning her water, breaking her washing machine, etc, etc. We had to move the Elders out of the house immediately, and so this week we've been working to move everything out, close our contract, and all that fun stuff. We went over on Monday to clean out the house, and we got tons of help from all the missionaries. It was a ton of work.
As it turns out, the crazy lady fled from the city. But, she poisoned all the neighbors with lies about the missionaries, so we still had to move them. We found them a new house with one of the members, and it's all good now. The only thing is that now we have to pay about $200,000 pesos for all the repairs that need to be done to the old house they were renting (after a bunch of years, I guess things get pretty worn down, as seen in the pictures). The walls are pretty nasty, the floors are broken, and a lot of things need to be replaced. I'm letting the real estate company work with all that, and I'll just pay them the difference. We have a $120,000 security deposit on the house, so I shouldn’t have to pay too much more…
This week, we also had a random Jehovah’s Witness attend church. I think all returned missionaries know what kind of miracle this is. We started teaching him, and he is really receptive to the gospel. The thing I love about the Jehovah’s Witnesses is that they have such huge knowledge about the bible. So, we can use lots of bible stories to show the organization of the church and explain even more clearly the need for a restoration. So, when he gets baptized, he can be our new Gospel Principles teacher. :)
We also have a baptism today! I’ll be baptized Erika Oblitas. I’m pretty excited; it’s been some time that I haven’t had a baptism. It seems like there are many who are called to reap and others who are called to sow. I don’t mind sowing, but it sure is nice to reap once in a while. I really have grown to love the Chilean people and the culture down here in South America. I love the work and I am grateful for every chance that I get to help the people here have more faith and hope in their lives. I am especially grateful for all that you guys do for me and for your support – you don’t know how much it means to me! Thank you so much!
As for driving in Antofagasta, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. It scares me to death.
Well, that’s about it. Jacob, congratulations on your scholarship! You deserve tons of money for your crazy smartness. It blows my mind. Thanks Jess for your email! I really loved reading about all your adventures there in Houston. :) Y muchas gracias Jenny por tu email; me gustó mucho, especialmente porque por fin puedo entender todo. Esto es un milagro. ¡Estoy muy animado para hablar contigo en español y con mi sobrino y mis hermanos cuando yo regrese! Va a ser muy emocionante.