Monday, May 25, 2009

May 25 Update

We were delighted to receive our first photos from Chile today! Elder Kenison is doing great and continuing to progress.

He had the privilege of returning to mission headquarters in Santiago last Tuesday for a special zone conference at the Santiago Temple; the photo shows him with President and Sister Jones, mission president, and his companion, Elder Mecham. They are standing in front of the Santiago Temple. Matt said this about the conference and the temple:
It was awesome! The celestial room is small but GORGEOUS!!! haha It's really nice. We also did sealings which was a really cool experience. We didn't get to do baptisms but we did get to see the font. It, like the rest of the temple, is amazing.
We asked about how the work is going, and what kind of things they do — working with members, less active members, investigators, "finding" activities, etc.. This was his summary of the activities:
we try to spend a little bit of time with everyone. except members. If we visit a member it's usually just for lunch or we just share a short scripture. for less active... there are actually a lot of less active members here so we've been trying to teach them as much as we can. but... most of them aren't interested. but we still try. if a sita (appointment) with an investigator falls through we knock a couple doors in the area. haha there are gates all over here. so to knock you stand outside the gate and yell ALLO! it's fun. haha
He's working hard on his language skills; it's been hard so far to understand much, since Chilean Spanish is pretty non-standard. But he's determined to do his best and persist in learning.

He also expressed his enjoyment of a new evening tradition — apparently the elders all enjoy drinking Maté every evening (see photo — click for enlargement). This is a Chilean tradition, so they are fitting right in. He loves his companion and the other missionaries in his apartment: "they're really cool." Apparently they tried to pull some greenie tricks on him, but he was on to them pretty quickly. He mentioned something about the word "caliente" which means hot in describing food, but "for people ... it means something else." He didn't give us any details, but we can imagine his companions trying to embarrass a poor greenie!

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