Friday, October 30, 2009

First Letter from Chile

¡Hola Familia!

¡Estoy en Chile! Ahora, I'm sitting in the mission home. We made it okay and will probably be out to the field by 4:00 local time, 2:00 your time. We proselyte cada día until 10:00, bed at 11:30, and up at 7:30 a.m. I'm loving the weather, it is just humid enough... they told us to say goodbye to the rain for about 6 months. I just got done with una entrevista con Presidente May y recibí a blessing. ¡Estoy muy animado! I'm kinda stressing about learning more Spanish and speaking it all the time.

I have to have an interview with Hermana May, and then a short nap, after which we meet our trainers.

Love you and miss you! ¡Nos vemos en 22 meses!

¡ Todo mi amor!

--Elder Todd Hendrickson

P.S. P-day is on Mondays

Arrival in Chile

October 30, 2009

Dear Hendrickson Family,

It was a great pleasure to welcome your son to our mission. He arrived in good health, is enthusiastic, and anxious to begin missionary work here in the Chile Santiago North mission. I have interviewed him carefully and find him well prepared, with a strong testimony, and a good beginning foundation in the Spanish language. I feel honored to be his mission president and know that the Lord has prepared many people here to receive the testimony of the restoration he bears. Sister May and I will treat him as our own son.

Your son will look forward to your weekly letters of encouragement and support. E-mail is a great way to communicate with him as he communicates with me by e-mail weekly as well. If you prefer to send letters, the church pouch system is the safest method. The pouch mail comes several times per week and is delivered to the mission office, where we either carry it ourselves, or send it with missionaries to your son as soon as possible. You can also send letters and packages directly to the mission office. The address of our mission office is as follows.

Misión Chile Santiago Norte
Forestal 2680, Oficina 32 Cajita 18
Conchalí, Santiago

Thank you for all you have done to prepare your son for his mission. Sister May and I will do everything in our power to help him have a wonderful and productive mission.

Sincerely yours,

Michael E. May
President, Chile Santiago North Mission

Saturday, October 24, 2009

MTC - The Last Days

¡Día de Preparación!

¡Dos Más Días!

Pues, as I promised familia here is another e-mail headed your way...yesterday we weren't sure we'd get it because the branch president said no, but it looks like the district presidency already had it unlocked for us today (WOOT!). Today is a busy, busy (yet relaxed) day, if that makes sense. We have p-day until 6 o'clock PM for packing and getting everything ready to go to Chile on Monday since we leave the MTC at 11:30 Monday Morning.

I did get the package, sorry it was kinda last minute but until I got flight plans it wasn't really neccessary and I didn't want to have to send much extra stuff home. I plan on sending a package today with a gift for you (Mom & Dad) and a bunch of the letters I've received as to avoid packing them (and anything else I decide to send). I'm sooo looking forward to being on the plane for over 13 hours...NOT!!! Luckily we have a night time flight so we get to sleep the whole way. There will be at least 24 Chile bound missionaries on that flight (13-Santiago North, 11-Viña del Mar) so our goal is to convert the whole plane on the 10 and 1/2 hour flight from DFW to Santiago. Ought to be fun!

Mom, just to answer your random question: the MTC has its own laundromat...LOL. And it is free (except soap and stuff).

I'm looking forward to Tuesday morning anxiously (some nervous, but mostly excited). I'm really hoping my trainer is a native (not sure why...maybe so I don't have an option but to speak Español). I'm mostly nervous about the unexpected, but it will be a good experience!

Shout out: I heard from Uncle John, so I'll try to get an e-mail back to him this morning. Just a notice to everyone using conventional mail. As of now it would be better to send any letters to me through either one of the 2 addresses in Chile or through (both take about the same amount of time).

Ryah: I didn't think I'd ever say this, but...YOU NEED TO LEARN TO DRIVE MY CAR (aka the Honda)!!! And I did write you on Wednesday (it is a handwritten letter that I sent Thursday morning). Send me your e-mail so I can write you that way too maybe... :D

Mom: Sounds like work is going good, I know you'll be able to get them all lined out eventually (I still can't picture you with technology though).

Dad: Thanks for forwarding the e-mail to the aunts/uncles! I'm hoping to hear from the all soon.

I miss you all and look forward to talking to you on Monday! I better get back to laundry/packing/all that other fun stuff.

¡Nos vemos en 22 domingos del ayuno!

¡Todo mi amor!

-- Elder Todd

Week #9 (the Final-ish)

Hola Familia y Amigos!

This is my last week in the MTC, I'm so excited/nervous/anxious to be out to the field! As of 11:30 AM on Monday morning I will be outside of the gates of this "prison" (figuratively) and headed to the crazy crazy world of a missionary. The whole district has gotten the OK to go to Chile (even my companion, whose MRI came back showing very minor abnormalities...nothing that will majorly affect his work) and eventhough we have two missions we all get the same flights. The 20 something of us headed to Chile (more than 1 district) and going to have all of those planes converted by the time we land! :D

Everything at home sounds super busy and exciting, lots of changes. And I'm sure the calling as bishop kinda surprised Bro. Adams yet again. LOL! And what about swine flu? We've got several in quarantine here and they are allowed nowhere for 7 full days, several are held from leaving for the field to (none of our zone is in "club med" though). I'm sure Amanda was not happy at all. Pues...

Mamá: ¡Felicidades! It is awesome that you got the new job...hope it turns out to be a good opportunity (however, don't freak out because of the amount of technology you will have to use). I can't wait to get to call you, I've got 500 minutes on a calling card so I don't think it will be a big deal to have to get you to call me back, and I'll be able to call from SLC and from DFW (with time left on the card). And I can't believe you just got a new phone and now you have another one...LOL. I unfortunately will not be able to call from Chile until Christmas, but when I get there I'll write a handwritten letter which will be scanned into the computer and sent electronically with a picture of me with the president and one with my trainer. Texas is going to make me trunky between flying in, laying over, and flying out...but I can't wait to be home for a little bit anyways. Oh, and my ring size...I don't know, but my class ring is in one of my boxes (the one without any clothes that is more boxy shaped...I'm not sure which one exactly, sorry!).

Papá: Wow! Your story really makes me miss being at home and hearing those every morning...keep the interesting ones coming though. I understand the whole being tired thing now as we go, go, go about 17 hours a day here in the MTC and el campo is going to be about the same...YAY!!! (kinda sarcastic, kinda not). I didn't know Ryah was actually getting to be a chicken vendor, but congrats to her...(I've got letters heading your way tomorrow). Good luck continuing with the house and keeping Gabe hard at work. And please don't laugh to hard at my letter, it is completely in Spanish and I suck with accents...LOL

So, one last quick story...yesterday we taught in the TRC again. We taugh the Plan of Salvation with Tithing as a commitment. Our investigator's name was Hna. Clark and she spoke really slow, but rather good Spanish. The lesson was filled with the Spirit and it was amazing how we felt at the end of the lesson. It was a great pick-me-up for the rest of the MTC and a good way to end out a fairly stressful week.

I love you all and hope to hear back soon. Enjoy the ability to respond quickly while it lasts (the next 3-ish days). I look forward to talking to you on Wednesday.

¡Todo mi amor!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

MTC week #8

¡Hola Familia!

Wow! It does not feel like I've been in the MTCfor 8 weeks already (MTC time, really 7 weeks). And it really doesn't feel like we should be getting travel plans tomorrow and leaving a week from Monday! The feeling is so surreal. I'll send you a letter tomorrow night after we have our flight plans and I'll answer some more of your questions then.

So, last Friday we had the Chilean ambassador to the United States visit our class while at the MTC. He was kinda intimidating yet down to earth at the same time (does that make sense?). The visit was about 25 minutes and he spoke almost completely in Spanish the entire time, except after he told us we needed to work harder. The last thing he said was that the language we are learning here is totally different than what we will be using in Chile (apparently Chile has the most slang, and aspirates their S's). He did kinda fill us in on a little more information about Chile that we would be figuring out in the coming months, but it is kinda good to have a heads up ahead of time.

Mom: ¡Lo siento! I forgot to mention that I loved the birthday gift, I've worn the tie quite a few times. And I've got no idea what would be good for Christmas as we were given Spanish escrituras when we got here. (I'll write more about that tomorrow too). That is awesome that we've had 3 convert baptisms in the last couple weeks! As we've had one prior to that in the past few years... And awesome about the good news in the e-mail today!!! Hope all works out. And what do you mean you are cleaning my room, I guess you and Belli are the only ones convinced it is my room (as I will never see it again). And by the way there was a method to my shoe box madness, they work well to ship stuff in... Wow, the house sounds like it is coming along! I can't wait to see it finished when I get back.

Dad: Wow, we got a missionary that is related to Aunt Connie, have you e-mailed her yet? And Gabe is taking the initiative to go out with the missionaries or at least work with them, that is good to hear too. I understand the squishy, we got rained on coming back from the temple today, so I felt pretty squishy too... I kinda miss the East Texas weather right now, but it is decent here (I can't complain too much). Still no bishopric!!! What has this ward come to! LOL. Have I been released from my callings yet? And I agree with the house comment, one thing does always lead to another.

So, these past couple of days have been interesting. My companion is having a hard time with health problems. He has prior back injuries and we've got him scheduled for an MRI in the morning to rule out a herniated disk. His pain has been back for about 48 hours, worse than ever. Keep him in your prayers! He is freaking out because there is a possibility that if it is herniated he will be reassigned to a different mission (stateside). Not fun at all.

All is well here and I'm starting to get anxious about going to Chile, a little bit is nervous anxiety but most is excitement. I miss you all and love you.

I love this work and the Spirit that is felt in it, even when we are getting bashed down by general authorities like on Tuesday night (more about that later). Love you all and talk to you soon.

-- Elder Todd

P.S. Tomorrow my companion and I "get" to leave the res. never to return...LOL. JK. Who knows how long we'll be gone though, so seeing the inside of a imaging center lobby might be the highlight of my day tomorrow. :D

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

MTC Week 7

Can anyone believe that I've got twice as much time me in the MTC than I have to go? I definitely can't and it is continuing to fly by!

Sooo, this week...Conference was fantastic!!! I got so much out of all the sessions, and it was amazing that we were "required" to attend all sessions (unfortunately that resulted in us sitting in the same room for 15+ hours this weekend). This whole experience is great. We are now officially the oldest District in our Zone with a district that came in today and one next week! Woot!

Dad: Sorry about last week's e-mail and letter, turns out I responded to almost everything anyways. That really sucks about the house, Mom didn't go into that much detail. It sounds like everything with the stake calling is working out better and that the ward/stake is surviving without me! LOL! As far as I've heard there is not much talk about H1N1 in Chile & so far there has not been one word uttered about a vaccine in the MTC for it. But I should probably get the Flu shot because I was sick when I could have the first time...oops! And apparently the flu wasn't a big cause in restricting MTC (just a good excuse) because they still have local visitors in and out of here all the time (dignitaries, BYU staff, volunteers, etc.).

Mom: Sorry in advance that I probably won't be able to break the Geenan stuff, fortunately I'm a long ways away for now and will be farther soon. That means I don't have to worry about spankings for a while! LOL! And what about my car!!! (Yes, I said MY CAR!!!) Ryah has been driving it for how long and has already run it into a mailbox! Hahaha! What a loser...jk. Sounds kinda familiar actually.

Wow! This time is flying. I've got just under 3 weeks left here, with travel plans arriving sometime next week depending on exactly when we fly out. I'm super excited to be headed to Chile, but kinda apprehensive about getting down there and not exactly knowing what to expect. You here all kinds of stories here in the MTC, but hopefully over the next few weeks with the Chilean Ambassador to the US & our teaching coordinator (who is from Chile) we can have some of the myths dispelled. This work is hard but it is so rewarding!

I miss everyone at home and wish them all the best of luck in whatever endeavors they are pursuing. Love you all!

¡Todo mi amor! ¡Besos!

-- Elder Todd