Monday, April 28, 2014

The Spanish is coming!

From this weeks email. I told him that he was a great example to me to leave on his mission, going straight to the country without knowing the language.

So, to answer your question, how did I get the confidence? Well, I didn't. Before the mission, I had a "meh" kind of attitude. I was told if I worked hard, I'd get a wife. It was as simple as that!
And then I got here.

Holy flip it was a reality shock. But then again, this is really good for me. I'm learning to adapt to a strange and totally new environment, without technology or shade or grass of any kind. I'm learning new practical skills that actually apply to me, instead of how to become better at playing Battlefield 3 or Skyrim. I'm finally put into a situation where I need to know who I am, what I believe, and why I'm here. It's helping me get a resolve to do better, and to push this fantastic work into progress. And it's not just because I got to the wars in Alma, which are pretty cool. Just throwing that out there right now.
I have come up with a language study plan that seems to be working out ok. There are 5 lines in my planner that are meant for "things to do" however, I've been using them for vocab that I hear often. I look in my planner often, so I get familiarized with the words and the verbs that I put in there. I'm also listening to MP3 files of the BOM in spanish off my player, and I'm constantly adjusting my lesson plans with new sentences that I want to memorize. It's harder to learn a new language than you think.
Also, one complaint about this place. The american fast food, well, it sucks. They will only serve what they have in stock. If they don't have it, they either make you order something else or go away. I WANTED A CRUNCH WRAP DANGIT!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 14 and 21 emails

Joshua wearing an Argentina soccer jersey.

I didn't update this blog last week.  I guess I'm happier because we got a few pictures this week. It always makes a blog post a little more interesting.

Caleb wrote to Joshua that he is planning on having TV and Movie  marathons after Joshua gets home.  There will be all three Hobit movies, Studio C shows, The Lego Movie, and Granite Flats.  Joshua responded that he looks forward to watching a "buttload of movies" with Caleb.  I'm glad that Joshua wants to spend time with his brother.  I think it made Caleb's day.

Joshua stated in this email: My spanish. Well, I think I´m getting better, but I´m learning super ghetto spanish. Like most of the words they use around here do not exist in the spanish language. They add ¨po¨ to the end of all their words and they seem to forget that the letter ¨s¨ exists. At all. It´s super weird, and they TALK SO FLIPPING FAST. I can´t think that fast! However, I think it is coming... Maybe. Also, if any of you who is reading this email has any language learning tips, LET ME KNOW PLEASE!! I think my brain´s melting...

Now the question is: will I survive through Fifa this year?

Speaking of! I got a counterfitted argentina jersey! Why didn´t I get Chile, well... I thought it looked cool and it has Messi´s name on the back of it. AND IT´S TARDIS BLUE!!!

Things are getting hectic... Soccer season just started, and the flete´s favorite team is Colo Colo, which is a professional Chile team. It´s like us and BYU, except fights and murders occur at the games. Everyone who can´t go stays at their house and gets very, very drunk. It´s rather scarry really. I´m learning how to combat drunks!! Haha, just kidding. They are so wasted that you could basically touch them and they´d fall over. And they basically listen to everything you say if you yell at them. It´s pretty funny really.

Here is a picture from last week's email.  I wasn't as impressed, but Joshua wanted to let us know how his tan is coming along.  It's just what I wanted to see: an arm and a leg!  At least I know that they are still attached to his body.  That is always a good thing. :)

Here is the update from April 14th's email - He wrote about his investigators, basically he's working with 5 couples right now. The main problem they are facing is what you find in many cultures, the couples are not married. They have lived together for many years and have children. I know Steve (Joshua's dad) saw a lot of that on his mission, usually it's an economic problem. I'm not going to add the info about them, I've read many things about Privacy laws and that it can cause a problem if they are published. Just know he's working... Here's what I feel comfortable in copying and pasting from his email.

We´ve been working with a TON of menos activos (less actives) and searching for more less actives. A lot of the people on our list haven´t been to church for 15 plus years. The Elders of that generation just went around baptising people basically, and didn´t focus on retention at all. Kind of sucks, but it´s interesting to hear what people have to say.

Other than that, it´s soccer season and the drunks on the streets have increased by a tenfold! I don´t carry more than 200 pesos on my anymore just because I don´t want to get robbed. Saddening yes, but unfortunately that´s how it´s going to work for a while. We found a lot less sketchy internet cafe, so I´m going to upload photos this week!
Anyways, I love you all, and thanks for praying for me. It´s hard, but I´m learning a lot and these life experiences will help me in the long run.
Also, everyone here is complaining it´s cold... It´s like 70 outside. It´s pretty nice actually!
A few more pictures of interest

Elder Norman, Elder Taborga, Elder Nichols

Monday, April 7, 2014

Time for an update!

It was good. Love Uchtdorf, as always!
So this week has been interesting... Today was my first cambio (change), but I still have Elder Nichols as a companion. For the past several weeks, I've been living with a companionship threeo, mainly because 2 out of the 3 of them were pulled out of venezuela because the government is basically collapsing and it's not safe anymore. And it's also impossible to get a Visa there now. Oh well. Alcaraz left for home today, and seeing as Castro had family in his sector and he was serving less than an hour away from his house, he requested a transfer. He went to Conceptcion Sur (also butchered that name. I'm forgetting how to spell things now...). We have a new guy in our house named Elder Norman (no relation to the Norman's), and he gifted me a TNG Star Trek tie!!!  I've only known him for a few hours and he figured I'd like it. He is now my best friend here!

 Nichols and I have been doing work around the ward, such as inviting people to Conference and to the Desert Night we had.  

And about that desert night... Yeah, I didn't make peach cobbler. What came out was this strange mess that looked like the stuff that comes off of car batteries. And it was gross, except for the peaches... So I made cookies instead! Except the oven is not that great and wound up destroying the bottoms of the cookies... Oh well, tasted better than battery corrosion. 

Other than that! I've been doing great! Very tan, probably have skin cancer by now, but I look freaking awesome!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Emails from March 31, 2014

First and foremost.  Joshua is in Santiago,  he was not anywhere near the Tsunami that occurred in Chile yesterday.  His Mission President, David Cook, sent out an email stating that everyone and everything was fine in the Santiago South Mission.

He found out that he is allergic to shrimp and avocado's.  He's not too happy about that, because he loves both and there are amazing hot dogs that have guacamole and tomatoes  on them.  It is currently avocado season in Chile and his throat swelled up while he was trying to share a spiritual thought at some member's home.

He had a baptism on the 29th. "The baptism went great! Unfortunately... I didn't have my camera because I was in charge of everything else while Elder Nichols did the baptism. But Juan was very happy, and he's thinking about going on a mission! He needs to wait a while so he can get the priesthood and all of the other things, but I'm super excited for him!"

"There's a guy who keeps trying to lock us out of an apartment complex because he hates us going in there. We have an entire building that we are basically teaching in there, but he locks the door before we get there, and after we leave. Luckily we have a member that lets us in. Interesting huh?"

"So, Spanish is still a foreign language, but I'm making do with what I have. I'm not perfect, and there are some grammar principles that I just cannot identify while they are talking, but I'm definitely learning more. I've found that Alma 26 is a big help! It's about how Ammon carried himself under stress while he was preaching to the Lamanites.

Other than that, I'm surviving, disappointed that i can't eat avacados or shrimp ever again, but I haven't been eaten by dogs or thrown into a furnace."