I tried to think of a catchy intro... actually I focused on that for about half of the time I was writing this e-mail!
This last week has been pretty good here in the office. We've had alot of work, but one can't complain too much... after all it is work, and I knew that coming into the mission. As far as the sector goes, it looks like we're still going to be pretty dry for this weekend, but we've got high hopes and lots of faith in October!
The festivities of the 18 de Septiembre were pretty fun... We as a district were able to hit up Santiago Centro on P-day and we had a blast, it would have to be one of the most fun preparation days that I’ve had in a long time. When we first headed to the center we had absolutely no idea what we were going to do there, so we decided to see what was going on and grab a quick bite to eat. While we were eating at one of the completo stand things we saw, basically, a stampede of Chileans start running from the Plaza de Armas down one of the side streets. Elder Johns of course jumped right in there and was eager to run with them knowing nothing of why everyone was running. Elder Barrett and Elder Moore joined them as Elder Young and I finished eating and waited a minute to see what was going on. The excitement of it all pushed us to run as well and before we knew it everyone within sight was not only running, but jumping as high as possible to snatch what appeared to be bookmarks flying through the air. Turns out, it being the bicentennial celebration of Chile, the Chilean Air Force was dropping papelitos with quotes and statements about Chilean history from aircraft flying above Santiago. At the very same moment the same thing was happening over the other 14 regional capitals of Chile. It got pretty intense, but Elder Young and I decided to stay on the edge of the crowd to avoid getting trampled… turns out we got a pretty good haul with the bookmarks, bringing in about 30 each from running all over about 4 city blocks! We then decided to head to La Moneda, the Chilean Whitehouse one could say (the president doesn’t live there though), and check out the setup for the late night light show they were doing over the weekend. The setup was pretty sweet, but nothing was going on at mid-day. Also we were able to visit the museum located below La Moneda and see a little bit of the Chilean culture at its best. The day was wrapped up with heading back to the house, resting for about 10 minutes, studying, and heading out to work a little bit.
Unfortunately national holidays aren't too effective to do proselyting work, but Monday was a very mellow day here in the office with everyone still recovering from their long weekend. Also Tuesday was pretty chill as far as business as well, especially as far as missionaries go because there were enjoying their P-day.
So I'm pretty stoked about General Conference this next weekend... We will of course be attending all of the sessions which will take away from our P-day time. President May hasn't told us much about if our P-day schedule is going to change or not, but a few of the office elders that were here in April said that P-day was moved to Monday... so don't neccessarily expect a letter on Saturday, but y'all are more than welcome to write me any day of the week (every once in a while we have to check our personal mail accounts to make sure President hasn't sent us something important)!
I was able to do my second baptismal interview on Thursday night. It wasn't quite as rough as the first one because I knew exactly what to expect. So Circunvalación 2 will be baptizing Camila (10) this Sunday, it ought to be great.
I almost forgot to tell you about the activity that we had last night in our condominiums... Elder Moore and I, with a little help from the other office elders and the assistants, organized a movie night here in our condominiums. We kinda did it all a little last minute and ran into a few problems as we went, such as the sudden increase in wind, the sudden drop of temperature, and of course the lack of extension cords of a decent length here in Chile. If we had been in Texas we would have had two 100 foot extension cords within about 30 seconds, but here we had about three 4 foot long extension cords within about 40 minutes!!! (We are in Chile!!!) Finally one of the recent converts that just moved from Conchalí 14 to our ward saved the day with a 30 meter long extension cord that he borrowed from his uncle. All in all we had a decent turn out at the movie night, watching first "Finding Faith in Christ" and afterwards "The Testaments". We are hoping that a few new investigators come from this... I know there is at least one probable new investigators as I basically taught Lesson 1 to here during the movie!!! Hopefully we can do it again pretty soon with another movie and get a few more people involved.
Compared to my usually boring letters I'm pretty impressed with what I've gotten written today! Hopefully it will give you a little bit better light on how crazy the mission really is. I really do love it here! And the office is great, yes it is hard to not baptize sometimes, but we are working hard to do so!!! I was speaking with President May the other day and he was asking how the office experience was for me. I answered him that I really do enjoy it, perhaps I don't have as many baptisms here as I would in a normal sector, but I'm getting a little bit different type of experience working here.
I love this work and all of the blessings it has brought in my life. I'm excited to see Ryan getting ready to leave on the mission! Hopefully he gets his call pretty soon so it doesn't eat him up waiting to find out where the Lord would have him go. Keep me posted as far as that news goes.
The house seems to be coming along fairly nicely. I can't wait to see more pictures when you can get them to me (and OF THE FAMILY), and I can't wait to see the finished project. Also I did get my package!!! I opened the outer package and saw the wrapping on almost everything so I decided to wait until Monday to open all of that. The Skittles however did not make it through the end of the week, they weren't wrapped up so I figured they were fair game... LOL. The only thing about international shipping is that it has the dumb little customs label on it, so it gives the whole surprise away every time! But either way, I'm excited to see what's inside!!! I might even get to use it on Monday...
Say "HI" to everyone for me... especially Dillon since he told y'all to write it (he knows he can write me, right?). And send my love to the Stovall family!!!
Hope that y'all have a great week and that y'all enjoy General Conference from the comforts of home!!! (Blah!!!). Love y'all and talk to y'all next week!!!
-- Élder Todd