Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26 update

Last week, Elder Kenison told us about some new investigators named Wilson and Debora. It sounds like they are progressing well! Wilson is a less active member, trying to get reacquainted with the Church and introduce his family. Here is this week's update:
well Wilson attended church again. and Debora and their Daughter (Sofia) came too. haha we passed by and taught a lesson yesterday. :D when we arrived there were two hermanos (brothers) from the ward talking to them. then we taught them the Plan of Salvation to Debora and to Wilson's Grandma. (wilson helped teach). it was kind of funny. we taught about the resurrection. and elder Tucto said ''everything will be restored to it's perfect frame, so if you don't have hair, you'll hvae hair, if you're missing a finger you'll get your finger :D'' then Debora said ''¡QUE BAKAN! mire'' (that's awesome! look.) and she held out her hand and showed us that she had only about a half of her thumb (something we knew because it's on her right hand and we shook her hand haha) elder Tucto said (mas o menos) ''yeah so you'll get your thumb back." she then pratically shouted. ''i like this now'' :D haha we all laughed.
after talking to them for a bit we actually got Debora to commit to baptism. :D the grandma no because she needs some more time. haha so hopefully all works out. the problem, (but not really problem... more like issue) is that Wilson and Debora aren't married. so we'll have to do that first. then the baptism (hopefully Wilson will be able to :D) and then a year later they can be sealed to their daughter :D (hopefully if all works out. :D we're praying for it :D)
Later in the letter, he added two additional experiences with this family:
i have a thought that elder Tucto shared yesterday that i thought was cool. Wilson's grandma asked (but in spanish) 'if i'm baptised in the Mormon church will i have to attend the mormon church or can i attend mine.' in response elder Tucto asked.
'Hermana, if you want to go to Santiago or to some other place. can you take more than one bus at the same time? no. it's the same with the gospel. (only the difference is not all the buses are going to 'Santiago' only one)
Matt really seemed to like that analogy. Finally, this experience:
after the lesson with Wilson and Debora we gave Wilson's grandpa a blessing. the spirit was SO strong. haha I'm pretty sure that afterwards everyone was on like a spiritual high. haha I'm sure Debora went to sleep spiritually exhausted. haha with the church, the hermanos passing by (Hermano Moreno (elder quorum president) and Juica (elder) and later Hermano Salazar (ward mission leader) and Mauricio (just a straight up stud who has long hair haha) and then after that we passed by with a lesson. (the spirit was there for that) then the blessing haha it was AWESOME!!!!!
Another investigator was close to baptism, but needed some clarification about tea:
well Ayram had her interview for baptism. but didn't pass. :( we forgot to tell her that club tea was against the word of wisdom. we told her about red and green tea. but everything else was fine. she said that she'd stop drinking tea and prepare for her interview next week. luckily a chilean interviewed her (elder maldonado, i've sent several pictures home with him, along with the videos of us 'excercizing') but he knows that club tea is one of the most common thing here (something elder Tucto and I didn't know.) so next week she'll get her interview :D
No new photos today, unfortunately. But we have to add some details about this one from last week. Since he didn't include any explanation when he sent the picture, we asked what was going on! We recognized the sandwich as a "completo" — a Chilean hotdog covered with relish, avocados, mayo, etc. Here's the rest of the story:
well elder tucto and i found the bread in Lider (like wal-mart, haha it's actually owned by wal-mart) and he said. 'completo?' haha so we made one. (well two) 'i think we won' meaning, i think we've made the biggest. but we're looking for bigger. haha i ALMOST ate it all. the problem was the bread. haha and the fact that there were 5 tomatoes, 4 hot dogs, and 5 avecados on each one. haha and then mustard mayonase and ketchup :D haha i felt SO sick afterwards. also because i drank a lot of juice. haha but i couldn't finish the last little bit of bread. haha almost all of it
Yep, the boy's appetite has definitely expanded from those picky teenage years!

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19 update

Elder Kenison reports this week that he and Elder Tucto have been working with members to strengthen trust and invite help. It seems to have shown results in the way their work is progressing. They've also done a lot with strengthening inactive and part-member families.

This was fun:
one cool story is that we got a reference from the other elders (from the sector next to ours) they said that two people came to church that they didn't know. after getting to know them the elder's were dissapointed because they didn't live in their area but were still glad that they came. the people live in mine and elder Tucto's area. :D
we passed by. Wilson and Debora :D Wilson is a member inactive for a long time. he rides horses for his job. like races. haha it was kinda obvious because he's kinda small haha but he had a neck brace on. we asked him why. aparently he fell off a horse and landed on his head. he's been wearing a neck brace since the first of april. kind crazy. but luckily it got him thinking so he attended church. :D
the other chapel is closer so that's why he went there. but yesterday he came to the right one :D it was awesome! his 'girlfriend' was sleeping so she didn't come. their daughter Sofia 'tampoco'.
so this week we're hoping to talk to the girlfriend (who is NOT a member) to see if she'll come to church.
The rest of his letter was just answering questions. We're starting to get excited for the great and wonderful "Mother's Day Phone Call" which is now less than three weeks away! Wahoo!

We did get a few classic photos, with very limited descriptions. This first one said,
the famous completo :D i think we won with the biggest :D hahaha
A completo is a Chilean hotdog topped with relish, guacamole, mayonnaise, etc. All we can say is, what an appetite!! (We were also intrigued by the "Bruce Lee" poster in the background.)

This one said,
i saw this door and remembered an old movie. so Elder Tucto and I took a picture :D haha do you remember which movie its from?
We could only guess Harry Potter's closet under the stairs, or maybe a Hobbit cave entrance. We'll be eager to find the answer next week!

And finally, this is classic Matt — he loves sunsets!

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 12 update

Elder Kenison had some great news this week, and some great photos to share (after several weeks of doing without), which is always a joy for his family and friends!

The big news was two baptismal services. We asked if the baptisms he was expecting last week actually happened. He responded:
YES!!!!!!! it was AMAZING!!! we had so many issues come up. SO MANY! we could find a tunica for Jocelyn. the time kept getting changed. and everything. it was crazy. we wanted to have the baptisms at the same time but Jocelyn couldn't so we had hers at 9:00 and Aracelli's at 1 after church. it was AWESOME!!!
The first was for a young woman named Jocelyn. It appears from the subtle clues in the photo that Matt performed the baptism (click on photo to view larger):

He identified the people in the photo as Elder Tucto, Eduardo (the boyfriend of Jocelyn, a returned missionary, we tried to get him to baptise Jocelyn but Jocelyn said no don't know why.) then Jocelyn, her dad, and mom.

The second baptism was a younger girl named Aracelli. Matt wrote, her dad is the brother of the bishop. but inactive for a long time. but he's going to church now and hoping to be able to baptize his daughter :D i hope so too. Looks like that worked out!

This was the update about additional investigators:
well we have 4 other people with baptismal dates. one family of three, familia Martinez Paredes, they're really awesome. the Dad has a testimony and everything. but the mom and daughter are kinda struggling. they say they pray. but we don't know if they're praying sincerally. but the dad got his answer and wants to be baptised. the mom and daughter have a date, or a goal, and are still asking to see if they need to or not. so hopefully all is well.

the other fetcha, baptismal date , is with Ayram (aw-ie-ram) she's like 15. but she's awesome haha she's been going to church and mutual. reading and praying. everything. the thing that helps is that she lives really close to the church (like from the Melvilles to our church) haha but she's doing really great too :D

and there's Rosa. haha she doesn't have a fetcha :D ('fetcha' is just shorter than 'Baptismal date' haha) she was smoking a lot. like a pack of 10 cigarettes a day. and now she's down to like 3 a day. which is good. the only problem is it's taken since October. also there have been some struggles with a member. the member, a good friend of Rosa, says "the Word of Wisdom isn't important, just stop smoking and get baptized and then you can start again." so Rosa has been having a hard time. the thing that is keeping her going is that her son was really sick. like dying. and the missionaries passed by and gave him a blessing. and he got better (i don't know if instantly or over time but he got better) so she's been wanting to listen because she has an amazing testimony of the Priesthood. :D
This next photo was fun — Matt wrote, my attempt at french toast :( i miss ya dad :(

This photo was taken a few weeks ago at a mission conference. It shows Elder Kenison and Elder Poulsen, his neighbor and friend!

Finally, here are a couple of interesting pictures. I asked Matt recently if he can see the mountains east of Santiago. The maps I've looked at indicate that the high Andes mountains are not far from the city! And these photos confirm that suspicion. Matt did mention that the mountains are hard to see on many days because of the haze; but they look beautiful in these shots.


Monday, April 5, 2010

April 5 update

Elder Kenison reported this week that the work is progressing well in his area. He has two baptisms scheduled for the coming weekend, and other investigators progressing well. His report of Easter celebrations included this:
lots of people were gone. at like the catholic celebrations. there was like a 7 hour movie about the new testament. that played all day. LOTS of people watched it. it was nearly impossible to get into houses. but we passed by for some investigators.
He was able to enjoy General Conference in a nearby stake center! He reported:
we got to see it all. haha the sunday morning session we watched in spanish. because the stake president took the TV for mothers with little kids. but we took the TV after. there was NOBODY in the sunday afternoon session. kinda sad. i just wanted to say to all of them. GOD'S WORDS AREN'T PARTIAL (but i don't know how to say partial in spanish, let alone spell it in english. haha)
Elder Kenison reported being sick Sunday evening. It was interesting to hear how he dealt with the challenge; it gave him the opportunity to reflect on some things from the past and on the blessings he has, and he shared some wonderful and personal expressions with us that we very much appreciated.