Saludos to the "Frozen Tundra"! I'm willing to trade...
Everybody pretty much guessed what happened with changes... I'm here in the mission office at least until the 13th of March!
It is kind of a relief to have been able to talk to President May ahead of time and find out a little bit about what might happen to me. As I mentioned the week after my "special changes", I was able to talk to President, what I couldn't mention until now (for the wide spectrum of readers) is what I was told in that little meeting. The whole change of offices and the end of year stuff kind of threw my non-trainee replacement for a loop and got everything pretty behind, so I was called in to clean it up and get things rolling into 2011. What I didn't understand until the meeting with President is what I was going to do after I got everything caught up... (that process took less than a week). Well, President told me that it was very possible (probable) that I would be staying in the office until the end of the change, and at least the following change to replace Elder Smith and train a new Historian. Well...
Changes took Elder Smith and Elder Driscoll out of the office along with Elder Andelin, one of the assistants to the president. Elder Smith is training one of the 3 new missionaries that arrived, and Elder Driscoll is far away in Los Andes. Also Elder Fischer is the new assistant along with Elder Romero (still here). The rest of the changes are like I told you last week, Elder Taylor the secretary & Sister Taylor the medic... Elder Taylor is also district leader of the office...
This change has started off pretty interestingly! I can't honestly say that I'm excited to see what other unfortunate events might come our way. Monday & Tuesday morning went off without much of a hitch, the normal changes and the reception of 3 new missionaries. Monday night, however, marked a pretty big event in my mission... Hermana McNeil, who arrived in Chile in my group, went home; that may not sound significant, but it now means that there are no sister missionaries in the Chile Santiago North Mission who have been here longer than I have. I FEEL OLD!!!
Tuesday afternoon brought about an emergency that was far from pleasant. Against the order of President several sister missionaries, last change, had become adoptive mothers to several kittens; with the changes on Monday a sister arrived who is highly allergic to cats, thus began the fun. We had to get rid of the cats and clean the apartment from head to toe all within the afternoon on Tuesday, Elder Gibson did most of the dirty work though. But the disfortune doesn't stop there... Elder Taylor & Elder Young left after a little while to pick up several additional cleaning supplies from Lider and we found an interesting surprise out front of the apartment complexes. Somebody had broken into the passenger side window of the van and stolen several things from inside, the stereo panel, my PIN drive, and a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses. Naturally we spent the next hour waiting on the carabineros (cops) and filling out a bunch of police reports that I don't have a clue about... Oh what fun!!! With the luck I've been having this year, I would be the responsible party for the car at that point and naturally got to deal with all of the "business". Now we're enjoying driving around in a little Toyota Yaris for a couple of days while the van is being repaired. (A Toyota Yaris that I almost wrecked this morning because somebody stopped in the middle of the highway in front of me without warning or reason... smoke was coming out of my rear tires because of how fast I had to stop). Fun times, fun times!!!
Sounds like the winter weather has been exciting during the last couple of days. The Taylors' family said that they've had snow-days for 4 days this week... and apparently the Super Bowl will be played on ice tomorrow at Cowboy Stadium, they might ought to pull out the ice skates to make it a little easier to move around! And it's great to know that the groundhog didn't see his shadow and thinks that Spring is right around the corner... I'm pretty sure he'll get the prediction wrong this year just like he has for the last 20!!! I can't even fathom a 4°F windchill... I'm sitting over here with 90-somethings and very little humidity, it's killing me!!! (Luckily I've got AC in the cars & the office). How's the wood-burning stove working for ya'll this year?
The assistants are completely convinced that fulfilling our assignments in the office is not part of the mission experience. I'm getting sick of hearing the phrase "you'll only be able to wear your missionary plack for 2 years (or "you'll only be able to share the gospel for 2 years..."), but you'll be able to work in an office for the rest of your life". What do they think we are doing here? The last I was informed we were doing missionary work while we were in here too, and it was a special assignment from President May and The Lord!!! I'm pretty much up to here with hearing it from them! Luckily, our district leader, due to the nature of this change and our trying to prepare everything for the new office, is now in charge of all proselyting efforts as well as our work in the office for this change.
I'm running on very little sleep right now! Elder Gibson and I were at the office until about one o'clock this morning working on putting together several notebooks for zone conferences next week, another last minute project that was just introduced yesterday morning and is taking forever. This morning we woke up early to take a missionary to the doctor and to open a new house up in San Felipe, for Elder Driscoll. Oh what fun!!! I slept maybe 5 hours and this week has not had a normal schedule at all. I'm currently working on quite a few big projects for my position and I'm doing my best to help Elder Taylor with his new position that he has assumed without training as the mission secretary... looks like my ability to learn by listening is finally paying off in the mission office setting (good thing I was around the secretary for about 7 months)!
I sincerely hope that my interesting week has come to an end and that I can get a little bit of R&R (I doubt highly that either of those will prove true). ¡Hasta la próxima! ¡Les quiero mucho y les extraño demasiado!
¡Todo mi amor y cariño!
-- Élder Todd