Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dorsal 1 - Week #9

Happy Father's Day!... and Juneteenth! (a little late)...

Howdy all! I can't believe that last week I forgot to mention happy father's day, I even had it written down, but my mind has been kind of a mess this last week. I've had a hard time remembering things this past week, and it caused us a little lost time and a couple people to be not too happy wit me... oh well!

Week 2 of training went off without much of a hitch, we had a training meeting (Fase 1) on Friday. When we entered the mission home Friday morning the fact that President & Hermana May are almost gone hit me pretty hard. Almost all of the family pictures and keepsakes were taken down and replaced with gospel art and there was a crew that was there working on repainting the whole place. It was, however, interesting to see how the oldest Church owned property here in Chile looks brand new on the inside... President & Hermana May leave on the 28th of this month with President & Hermana Essig arriving the same day, that means that these next 3 weeks are going to be very busy with training meetings, zone conferences, and interviews... Yuck!

I didn't know what Dad got for Father's Day, but I'm sure the GPS was really handy for the trip to So. Cal. Before I left the office I had the task of programming a GPS with all of the chapels in the mission for when the Essig's arrive... I can't say it was fun to program, but it was fun to test out; unfortunately the GPS in Chile are missing a few streets and don't normally take you in the easiest route to follow! But I'm glad to hear that the whole trip went down without much of a hitch!

It's exciting to hear that the house is well on its way to being completely moved! You've got a big task of having everything ready within 2 weeks for Aunt Katie's visit. Who is Destiny? Either way, I hope you can get some time off to spend with them and show them around the thriving metropolis of Lufkin! (If not I guess Ryah will have to do it). At least it will all be organized by the time I get home, except my room of course...

Sounds like Youth Conference is going to be a blast; you'll have to let me know how the performance goes! I wish we had done something like that while I was in the youth program, but at least Ryah is getting to participate. Best of luck to all who are participating!

I'm sure Mom is "patiently" counting the days until the end of August, but she's not the only one... There is a member in our ward who informed me on Saturday that I'll be home in 73 days, that means it is only 71 days from today! But who's counting?...

Hope that the firefighters can get the crazy wild fires under control before too much more damage is caused. The weather isn't conducive to helping things here in Chile or back home! We've had lots of rain over about 2/3 of the country and it has caused some pretty good damage along the coast!

I feel like I've taken a long time to write a little bit this week. We stayed pretty stable in the work and I've just been a little out of it, not sure why! I'm having a hard time focusing today too, but at least I'm in a Ciber (Internet place) that plays good music (right now "Sweet Child of Mine")!

Love ya'll and miss ya'll more everyday! Time is flying!


-- Élder Todd

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dorsal 1 - Week #8

Hey, hey, hey!!!

Week 1 of the 12 week training period has come to an end and I still haven't pulled all of my hair out... that's progression! Right?

This last week was a rather interesting one, to tell the truth! Monday I was on exchanges with Elder Wilkes working in both of our sectors, since we share a ward, so that turned out to be kinda frustrating juggling our time. Monday feels like it was a year ago though... Tuesday we had to be in the mission home at 1:30 PM to meet our trainees. In our meeting with the other trainers I realized that only one of them, besides me, has over a year in the mission! I felt/feel really old! At around 4:00 PM we left the mission home with our new companions. My companion is Elder Fuentes from Lima, Peru. He was baptized the same day that I was set apart as a missionary!!!

It is interesting being with a brand new companion, but this week was great! I've really come to notice the advantage that the Latino missionaries have compared to the North Americans, they get here and they can still speak the language... isn't it great!!!

Sounds like the trip to California for Dad, Gabe, & Ryah has turned out fairly interesting up until now! I can't believe Ryah is driving Grandma's car back alone; if I could have gone on the trip that would probably be me... I'm sure Ryah would beg to differ. It is kinda hard for me right now to fathom 1 week of almost pure travelling! And with car troubles and everything... Wow! It is excellent that they found them when they did and not when they were in the middle of the next 23 hours worth of pure desert! And they got to spend a little bit of extra time with Aunt Kristen too.

This week has brought a lot of action on the homefront, from the sound of it. Truck repairs, car repairs, moving, cleaning, packing... I can't really say that I've missed it all too much, but then again I don't think that there is one of those that I haven't done in the mission! (We can thank the mission office for that one).

We are currently teaching about 21 people here in our sector. A few of them aren't progressing very well, but the rest have some real potential! This week we put the daughter & "son-in-law" of Marisol with a baptismal date. They've still got the challenge that they have to get married first, so they won't be baptized until November, but they will be baptized!!! (I'll still have converts after I've been out of the mission for more than 2 months)... LOL. A lot of the people we are teaching are family members of active members, and for many recent converts as well, so we are seeing a lot of progression with them. It's kinda sad that it took me until now to really recognize how much more efficient missionary work is when you are working almost completely with the members.

Yesterday was Ward Conference here in Dorsal, that marked the first time in a year that the stake president has participated in the entire block of meetings in our ward. The theme of the conference was based on the scripture in John 13:14-15, "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." The focus was towards those who are not currently serving in callings and those that are serving and are not "magnifying" they're callings at this time, that means that the entire conference applied to about 90-95% of the ward. We've all got things that we can improve, the upside is that I've seen a lot of changes in the last 7 weeks here in this ward... we are definitely on headed uphill! Slowly, but surely! I love it here in Dorsal, but lots of time it looks like this ward gets the short end of the stick when it comes to anything concerning the stake! I'm excited to see the changes here in the coming 11 weeks (yes, I said it) and even after I'm back home. There is still lots of work for me to do in the little time I've got left!

Time is winding down here in Chile, but the mission is still here... better make the best of it! Hope everything is alright with Grandpa and that Dad & the crew get home safely today!

Love ya'll!

-- Élder Todd

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dorsal 1 - Week #7

Howdy All!!!

Last night brought around one of the most dreaded nights in the mission for many missionaries... CHANGE NIGHT!!! Fortunately I didn't have to wait until 1:30 AM for either of my 2 phone calls that I received. We were in a "family home evening" type thing whenever President May called... yep, I've got a new assignment! I'm still in Dorsal 1, and almost definitely will be until I finish my mission, and tomorrow I will be receiving my last companion in the mission home. I'm training!!! Tomorrow we are receiving 8 new missionaries, 6 Latino Elderes & 2 Hermanas "Gringas". The Missionary Department recently implemented a worldwide training program for new missionaries that encourages the mission presidents to keep the new missionary with their trainee for 2 changes; that means that my new companion is going to be sending me home in 2 changes!

From what I can tell the mission didn't get to awefully mixed up this change. We did have a few surprises, but nothing too out of the ordinary. Elder Brunt is in Lo Ovalle 1, where I was before, so I'm very excited for him. He's going to do great!

Sounds like this coming week is going to be action packed! I can't believe how quick the trip to Cali is going to be, but it is exciting that Ryah is going to be driving a lot of the way there and back. And we'll be adding another car to the Hendrickson auto collection... And shortly after the trip you'll be working on moving the house, that is very exciting! If you move too much of the kitchen you won't be able to cook... Mom, you should try to enlist the help of somebody, or that is going to be a lot of back and forth for you. It's also exciting that Dad is going to get to see Randy, we haven't heard from him in a while... and Uncle Matthew might be coming to Texas! Too bad I won't be home...

Bad to hear that Grandpa Gene had a wreck, good to hear that he is mostly okay! My prayers are with them.

Gabe finally wrote me and told me that the face of the ward is changing again. He couldn't remember the name of the new family, but oh well! I can't believe that the McCabe's and the Drake's are gone. I don't imagine that the Reese family is too far behind them, are they?

Mom, I've got excellent news!!! You've only got to worry about the Monday e-mail for 11 more weeks! LOL!!! Elder Moore, who is now is San Pablo and currently is sitting next to me, said the same thing... It is wild to think we'll both be heading home so soon!

Sounds like Dad had a pretty hairy weekend in the ER! I miss the daily stories, but before too long I'll have some of my own.

Yesterday we had several investigators in church, and Mario & Marisol were confirmed. Mario was also ordained to the office of priest in the Aaronic Priesthood, and Mario & Marisol were called to be the secretaries in Young Men and the Primary, respectively. Also their grandson, Martin, was presented. Church was pretty good and I'm super excited to be working with several of the family members of Mario & Marisol, they'll be baptized before long.

I'm currently the acting ward membership clerk (secretario de barrio) for the Barrio Dorsal. Both of our clerks are inactive, so I'm helping out when I can with the records and trying to get the whole me that previously existed cleaned up... so far so good, because the mess "previously existed". We are working very hard on turning into this ward into a very well-oiled machine! And so far the relationship that I've got with the bishop has played a pretty key role... simply put, he love us!

I miss ya'll and love ya'll! The clock is ticking, but I'm going to tell my new companion that I've only been in the mission for a little over a year... LOL

¡Muchos abrazos y besitos!

-- Élder Todd