Friday, October 24, 2014

The Week of Pleasant Surprises

So this week was interesting to say the least. I can definately tell my Spanish is getting a lot better, but I still lack a TON. However I learned how to say sniper the other day, that was pretty cool (francotirador)
 Miguel and Jorge with Joshua
Thursday not much happened, did Divs with Elder Saldivia and we taught a couple of lessons to Margarita, and she got to know the members a little bit better in the ward, shes having some problems right now because recently she had been diagnosed with Uterine Cancer. Not fatal (as far as we know) but it is still bugging her a bit.
Friday, I did divs again (due to some complications in our schedule, I got to go on divs with Saldivia 3 times this week) and we taught some really good lessons. People for some reason, instead of asking to teach, if you just start teaching at the door they get super interested and ask if we can come back. So we taught this fun old lady named Gloria Gomez, and she invited us back next week. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and she mentioned that her son is a member. So well have to talk to him too when we get the chance. (However I know he has got this sick looking Yamaha in front of his house)
Saturday and Sunday we had a TON of meetings... This week was stake conference and we needed to be there for EVERY session. They had some interesting talks, but we could not find anyone on Saturday to teach. Things got better on Sunday because we ran into Margas, a man that Dueñas and Miller had reactivated and got him to commit to come to church. And also, a member family invited us over for ice cream! That was delicious...
Monday was weird to say the least. We went to the new area that just opened up and went to find some new investigators. We get to an apartment and the first door we knock on a little kid comes out and says "Come in! Come in!". We thought, ok! And walked in because we had thought we found some members that just moved in and liked the missionaries.
We were dead wrong. We walk into the house and the kids mom gave us a look like we were seriously not supposed to be there. Trying not to yell, she asked us who we were, what we are doing, and stuff like that. We had no idea what to do, so we answered all of her questions and then we began to start teaching the Restoration, mainly because my brain had stopped working in fear so I just did what any other missionary under pressure would do. Just teach. She really opened up after that and invited us to come back! She told us before we left that her son has a tendency to let random strangers in the house because that is what he thinks is the nice thing to do.
Tuesday... Wow, I finally got into Leo's house... He is a FANTASTIC MAN! He was loaded with a ton of questions, he knows why we are there, just a perfect investigator. We could teach the entire first lesson by answering the questions he asks us. "do you guys have the authority to baptise?" "so are you telling me that if I find out that the book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith was a true prophet?" just a really, really smart man. He took Bible classes with the Evangelico church and didn't like it, because he found some verses that contradict the Church's doctrine and the teachers couldn't answer it for him. So far he likes all of the answers we have given him. We then challenged him to read Nephi, to start from the beginning. "You know what you two, this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to read all I can about this Nephi fellow, and then I'm going to read all 4 of his books before your next visit." We explained that the last two were different nephis, but he didn't care. he still told us that he will read 1, 2, 3, and 4th nephi before we get back next Monday.
Today, well, we've been exploring the mall, that's all. Ive been loosing so much weight in this sector I had to buy another pair of pants that fit because the other pair that I bought 3 months ago was slipping as I was walking. Ill keep them just in case if I start gaining again...
Anyways, love you all! Until next week!
Elder Faber

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Unexpected Email.

I LOVE surprise emails from members of the area where Joshua is serving.  It makes my day to know that Joshua is healthy and happy.  This came yesterday.

Un placer saludarle , soy el Obispo Leon aqui estamos compartiendo un rico almuerzo con Elder Faber enviamos unas fotos para q disfruten tienen un hijo excelente y especial gracias por darnos la oportunidad de conocerle saludos para ustedes les amamos
This is the message through Google Translate.
A pleasure to greet him, I am the Bishop Leon are here sharing a meal with Elder Faber q sent some pictures to enjoy and have excellent special son thanks for giving us the opportunity to meet you love you greetings

Joshua  sent a basic translation with his next email. While Google translate is a helpful tool, it doesn't convey the message well.

so he wrote that he's sharing a fantastic lunch with us, you guys have a really good son, and he wants to thank you guys for the oportunity that you have given him to meet me. Then he said that he loves you guys.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October 8 and 15 emails.

Conference weekend was a severe blow to all of our lessons... Because the stake center is so far from our sector we literally have to stay there the entire day. If we wanted to go back, it would take about 20 minutes to wait for a bus, and then getting there takes about an additional 20 minutes. And seeing as no one really is feeding us, we have to pay for all of our lunches, which means that we literally have no money.
Oh conference... How do I miss English... President banned us from having our "greengo rooms" because a lot of stake presidents complained about all of the missionaries going into a room and "segregating themselves" from the ward. Listening to conference with just dubs is the worst thing on the planet. Conference itself is amazing, but when it's in a language that you are still learning dubbed by guys with insanely boring voices your brain shuts off. HOWEVER! We went to the chapel and downloaded all of the talks in English and we're having conference weekend every night! (it's like Star Trek reruns, but better!)
Haha, fun experience, we were walking through a park to get to our next cita when all of a sudden, we hear a very familiar song. We both turn around and see two insanely drunk drunkards singing the US athem. I looked over at Duenas and he said "Let's go talk to these fools". We went over there and had a super funny conversation. He went on about how rich the people are in the states, how he could take us both on in a fight in box... Their names where Jugo (juice in english) and Miguel.
We visited the Henriquez family and shared the "because of him" video that the church made about the Atonement. You guys seriously have to look it up. We had a super spiritual experience with them, and talked about Jesus and what he did for us. Pedro then told us that he needed that, and that he's planning on going to church so he can prepare himself to be worthy enough to baptize his daughter.
Service wise, we the other week helped one of our investigators, named Lily. She's really, really crazy and super stubborn. She knows the church is true but she really doesn't give a darn about us. Anyways, she did not tell us what the activity that she was setting up was, which was pretty weird. So we helped set up chairs, a really small platform and curtains to prevent people from looking in. We finally finished and asked her, "so what is all of this for?" When she answered, I wanted to burn the entire building down. "I'm going to do a strip club to earn money so I don't get kicked out of the house!"
I was so glad no one saw us running from that horrid place... We're probably going to hear about it when we visit her again.
We've been helping an ex bishop move into our ward. He bought a really crappy house, and now he's renovating it, but Chilean style. Which means the very first thing, before taking down the walls, painting, doing necessary repairs to the house, they immediately installed tile... After taking down walls and such, that tile has already been destroyed. And it was super expensive too. But we've been helping out with that.
We're working with a bunch of people in the apartment buildings plant a garden. It looks so bad out there, that a garden might actually look nice! We took out rocks and weeds (I couldn't help out with the weeds, but I did what I could). Hopefully it goes well.
Hehe, today we took a menos activo and showed him how to play basketball. He's American, born in the states, but has Chilean parents, so probably the only person that I will teach on my mission that speaks English fluently. Super antisocial, does not get along with ANYBODY, except me! So yesterday we told him, "we are coming over to your house tomorrow at 7 to play ball, be ready". He was super hesitant, told us he would be sleeping because he goes to bed at 6 in the morning and wakes up at around 4 in the afternoon. So we showed up today at 7! He hated us for the first hour, but he came around.
To finish, our bishop is super amazing... He went to the only place in Santiago (super far from the house, about 2 hours by subway) that sells greengo food, and brought us Cinnabon... Oh my gosh I love that man.
Hope it goes well for you guys!
Lots of love,
Elder Faber
If you missed Joshua telling about a dog named Tank who waits and watches out for the Elder's, this picture has Tank in it.

CHURCH! WE HAD A FANTASTIC WEEK! We had a lot of people show up! We managed to increase the attendence from 45 to 75 in 2 weeks! Most of the people there were our menos activo and investigator families, but THEY HAD A FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE!!! Timo Teo, the drunk that drives around a lot, showed up suprisingly... That was weird, but really cool. We took him to see the bishop, and they had a long discussion about how hes going to make goals to change his life and attend church more. He looks at us and sees how happy we are, and he told us that he wants to try the same thing. Then the Henriquez family showed up too, and Pablo (the dad) got along really well with the Elders Quorum. Natalia and her family really enjoyed church too, they said they liked how our church has activities and programs for every age group. Were thinking about putting a baptismal date this week. Hopefully it works out.
So we had Zone conference this week on Monday. That was super cool, they talked a lot about talking with everyone and the Cost of Disipleship.
This week we basically starved. Lunches fell through again. But we did a lot of service in the times that we were supposed to have lunch. I think my goal to loose weight on the mission is slowly starting to become a reality!
We went over to an investigator's house this week to eat food. Shes from Peru, and really loves to cook for us. So this week she cooked good food from Peru, and it was really good. Then she brought out this massive pepper that looked like an apple called "recoto". Dang.... I made the massive mistake and took a whole bunch of it because I thought it wasnt going to be super spicy. WRONG! I couldnt feel my tongue for a couple of hours.
Not a lot happened. We took up the advice from the conference and we talked to as many people as we possibly could and just taught. It was a lot more fun than we thought it would be. We were talking to a bunch of just punk kids and one of them said that he would come to church if Dueñas gave him his tie. So he did! Hopefully he keeps his end of the deal.
Love you all! Thanks for the support!
Elder Faber
Joshua with Martin (a boy who speaks more like an adult).
The recto pepper

Joshua's mission newsletter came yesterday. I can't read Spanish, but I always look for the pictures they have of missionaries providing service at the end of the newsletter. I watch for pics of Joshua, yesterday my perseverance was rewarded. Funny how a mom can see small pictures and still pick out her child. I believe this was from the service project where they moved beer from one place to another. Don't know for sure, because I can't read Spanish. Joshua is in the top pic third from the left. His companion is fifth from the left.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Interesting Service Project

Elder Duenas and Elder Faber

So... We had a fun service project this week.
What the police have been doing lately (which they should have been doing a LONG time ago) is that they are confiscating beer from the local stores called Almersons that don't have a license to sell alcohol. So they keep these this in super unsecured locations that are filled with rats and a whole bunch of fun stuff. The only 2 hermanas in my zone met with the guy that manages the entire operation and he asked if we could help him move all of this alcohol from the really bad location to another place that actually has a lock. So we did
16 missionaries moving about 50 plus gallons of straight beer and liquor were seen on the streets. It was super funny.
Best part is, a guy randomly walked up to our alcohol pile, took a box, said "permiso!" and ran off. Permiso power to the max!
Other than that, this week has been pretty good. We had a fantastic lunch with a menos activo named Pedro who is studying in one of the best universities in Chile to become a professional chef and work in the States. It was the most, delicious, elegant... too many words to describe this meal. AND I HAVE PHOTOS THIS WEEK. BBQ Turkey with ribs and mashed potatoes... And the desert... Best cupcakes I have ever had in my life... He's progressing a lot, we've been helping him with his English and his book of Mormon reading. He was baptized about 14 years ago but he never learned anything. We shared Pres Uchtdorf's talk about the man and the cruise and applied it to his family, how they have a potential beyond what they can imagine. It was super cool. Hopefully we'll see them at church.

CAMPO!!!! I finally went out of the city part in our sector to the campo! Dude... Just orchards and orchards... All green, super beautiful... Lots of allergies... All of the people we contacted out there thought that we were Jehova's witnesses, except when we give them the Restauration Pamphlet they get confused, because the Jehova's witnesses give 2 sided pamphlets printed on really crappy paper that just say read the bible, and ours gives a history of prophets, the apostasy, and the whole shabang. He was super cool though, his name was Miguel.
We had a fireside with our mission president this week in our ward. He talked about the history of the church and had some really, really cool stories. Almost every menos activos and investigators that we have showed up. Except for the people who the fireside was intended for, the active members who are slowly going inactive... It was to help animate the ward a bit more, but NO ONE SHOWED UP! However, the menos activos that came showed up to church! That was pretty cool. We're working hard with a menos activo called David Diaz, because he told us he wants to make the steps to become worthy enough to baptize his son. I'm super happy for him.
That's about it for this week though. As a mission we're reading the Book of Mormon from start to finish, and I'm finding some really cool lesson ideas. 1 Nephi 2 is really good for talking about making sacrifices to follow the mandamientos de Dios. Gotta love Lehi.
Love you all, have a great week!
Elder Lapiz (word play for the pen brand Faber Castell that they have here. Lapiz is pen in spanish)