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,
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!
Joshua with Martin (a boy who speaks more like an adult).
The recto pepper
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.