Monday, November 18, 2013

I want SOOO badly to believe the rumor mill

November 18, 2013
Angamos, Chile (elder Ramirez)

I want SOOO badly to believe the rumor mill

(This week’s letter opens up with a discussion I was having with Gunnar about last week’s friendly football game between England and Chile. I let him know it was his fault England lost because he abandoned his heritage and cheered for Chile. So you are getting a paragraph of football talk.)

CHI-CHI-CHI LE-LE-LE CHILE! CHILE! CHILE! Haha, well I did not actually see the game we got into a house right as it was finishing and heard the final score. I was pretty surprised by it to be honest. 2-0, I mean Chile is a good team, but come on, it is England. Yeah the celebration was good but people are way more excited about the amistoso with Brasil tomorrow. They are saying that one will be the real test, so we will see what happens. Chile also plays Germany here in a couple weeks.

(amistoso is Spanish for friendly. A friendly is an international match used for preparation for a large tournament. So the game means nothing (beyond national pride) is it doesn’t count towards anything. So Chile and England have both qualified for the next world cup and then scheduled a game with each other to get ready for the tournament. Also Gunnar is spelling Brazil the Spanish way too.)

So the rumor mill is running like crazy and the biggest one is that President finished the transfers 2 weeks ago because he wanted to spend time with his son who just got back from his mission. So if that is true that would be crazy. The most powerful rumor is that I am on my way back to Calama to be with a Chilean named Elder Spolman. The second most popular is that I will head to Arica Centro to be with Elder McConkie. But I do not have a lot of hope because all of the North American missionaries that are done this next transfer finish two weeks early so there is going to be a big special transfer on New Years day, so we will see what happens. I need to do something to excite me about the work here in Angamos. I am so restless here, looking for a new perspective and change of area. At most 6 weeks more, but that is a lot of weeks. Oh I want to believe the rumor mill that I am out of here in two weeks.

(Even though he is ready for a change I think he might enjoy Christmas in a ward that knows him)
I love this picture, not only the very pretty girl he is next to, but also the nonplussed girl to the left

So on Wednesday we had the most over-hyped and anti-climatic zone conference ever. Three weeks ago I ran into Elder Jimenez of the Seventy on the street and he told me about a conference that we were going to have with Elder Soares and Elder Zeballos. I started calling around to see if anyone else had heard about this and no one had. Congleton called me and asked if I had heard any interesting rumors lately and I told him about the conference. Well turned out to be true and I was informed that I was not to tell anyone because it was only going to be Antofa, Calama and the ZLs and that no one else was going to be able to come. It was so under wraps that my comp and I were the only elders outside of the office that even knew it was going to happen until the day before. Well the conference comes and . . . not as exciting as the build up . . . it was two hours in which they squeezed in prayers, hymns, Sister Dalton, President Dalton, Sister Zeballos, Elder Zeballos, Sister Soares, and Elder Soares. Then they left. Apparently they were only here for a short meeting the night before and President Dalton was able to convince them to do this short conference before they had to catch their plane. The good thing was that Elder Couch stayed with me the night before so that was really fun.

(His complaint was the speakers did not have enough time to really speak; they were all cut short to get everyone in the 2 hour block. Think about this – Gunnar was disappointed that a church meeting was over too fast. He’s changed.)

Today we had a district activity to go play beach volleyball. It was pretty fun, still do not really like volleyball but whatever. I also bought some shoes, have not really used them yet seeing as my other shoes still work alright. Very difficult to find size 47 here in Chile.

(Size 47 equals size 13 here in America. Not a lot of size 13’s in Chile.)

 When I say Gunnar is a District Leader, these are the missionaries he is responsible for, the district.

Well I love you all! Should be here for a little while longer.
Elder Peters

Monday, November 11, 2013

To Report

November 11, 2013
Angamos, Chile (Elder Ramirez)

To Report

Well this week I spent pretty much all my time rehearsing with the different Stake Choirs for whom I was going to play at the conference this weekend. So the big days come and no General Authority shows up. Needless to say we were all pretty disappointed. The conference was very good though. All three members of the Stake Presidency talked all about supporting missionary work and getting involved. Seeing as all three of them live in my sector I am thinking about visiting them this week and making them put their money where their mouth is. But we will see.

(There had been speculation one of the General Authorities was going to show up)

Gunnar & Ramirez

I am really hoping for a transfer. I am getting burned out in this sector, the district, the zone, the city, everything. I love Angamos for the members but success is so hard to find here. The district is so frustrating, the zone is almost worse, and I have been in Antofagasta for forever!! Last night the Zone Leader talked to me for 40 minutes about the district. He said we need more unity and that it all starts with Hermana ** and me. He then said "Think about it man, you have AT LEAST 9 more weeks there with her": WHAT!?!?!? You sound awfully sure about that Elder Packard. I swear if I get the call telling me that I am staying I am going to tell Elder Newman that that is great but I have already bought my ticket to far away from here. Sigh . . .

(Six months is forever when you are 20. I told him to look forward to being in the same job for ten years.)

My eyes are much better and as far as I know Elder Couch is still here in the mission, for now. I will see him again at Zone Conference Wednesday. Living in the pension with me are Elder ** and his companion **. 

(These are follow ups to last week’s letter)

Well I am not quite sure what else to say, it was a really boring week. I filled a memory card for my camera and I have moved on to another one so that is good. I feel like I am good for Ramirez in the sense that I always talk about my dreams and all the big plans that I have for my life and he is simply blown away by the fact that someone is that decided on what they want to do and what they want to be. He told me he always just thought about getting married and working a normal job and that is it. Not me. If the mission has taught me anything it is that I want to be someone. Not sure who yet but someone. Still working on the details. Well I should be here for a little while if you are around.


Elder Peters

(We have definitely hit those long middle days of the mission. He is slightly over halfway done but still has almost a year left. He is in the mood for a transfer and is getting a little stir crazy. He just needs to ride that wave for a little bit longer and then he will have a new area and then it will be under six months left to go. And as he cruises down the back end hill the speed at which his mission will pass will just keep getting faster. Right now he has been out forever and he has forever to go; hence the slight doldrums expressed in his letters. A perfectly normal phenomenon.)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sad , Sad, Sad

My mission trainer from back in the late 1980's, Mark Schenk, passed away this past week.

I am still sharing the lessons he taught me with my sons, especially Gunnar.

Mark & I (with President and Sister Garff) on my first day

Mark Sunderlin Schenk
Mark Sunderlin Schenk, 46, passed away on October 28, 2013 in North Haven, Connecticut. Mark was born November 2, 1967 in Norwalk, Connecticut to Larry Schenk and Lana Eldredge Schenk. Mark is the third of five children. He is a cherished son, brother, husband, father, uncle and friend whose unconditional love, generosity and compassion will be dearly missed. 
Mark, his parents and 2 older siblings moved to Las Vegas when he was 10 months old. Mark spent his early childhood playing with his brother Steve and dear friend J. J. Heaton. The family then moved to Frankfurt, Germany when Mark was 7 years old. While living in Germany, Mark was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Returning to the United States, they made their home in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mark attended and graduated from Brighton High School where he was an avid learner, involved in sports, earned his Eagle Scout and created lifetime friends and memories. Mark served an honorable mission to the Coventry England Mission where he grew to love the people and was dearly loved by many. He went on to graduate from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business Management. He furthered his education and zest for learning by attending the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) in Glendale, Arizona graduating in 1995 earning his MBA. Mark was an endless entrepreneur, successful businessman and highly regarded by his colleagues throughout his career. 
In 2000 he married Rachel Grove in the Salt Lake Temple. They have two wonderful children, Sara, Joshua and stepson Chandler Collins. 
Mark is survived by his parents, Larry and Lana Schenk; wife, Rachel and children, Sara and Joshua; stepson, Chandler Collins; his siblings, Lynda (Randy) Coombs, Steven (DeeAnn) Schenk, Tonja Schenk, Lara Schenk; nieces and nephews, Spencer and J.T. Timmons, Allyssa Bottomly, Conner, Kailee, Jake and Crew Schenk, Emilie and Sophia Bero; and many aunts, uncles and cousins. 
Funeral Services will be held to celebrate Mark's life on Wed. Nov. 6 at 11:00 a.m. at the LDS Church located at 2925 East, Bengal Blvd in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. A visitation will be held at the Cannon Mortuary 2460 E. Bengal Blvd (7600 South) in Cottonwood Heights, Utah from 6:00 to 8:00 Tuesday Nov. 5 and the day of the services at the church from 10:00 to 10:45 a.m. Interment will be in the Mountain View Estates Cemetery. 
Online condolences
Published in Salt Lake Tribune from Nov. 3 to Nov. 4, 2013

My Eyes are Burning

November 4, 2013
Angamos, Chile (Elder Ramirez)

My Eyes are Burning

Well the big news from this week is that I am fairly certain I burned my eyes. All weekend I have had incredible amounts of irritation in my eyes and it looks like I am constantly on the verge of tears. They are very uncomfortable and are making it hard to sleep, read, etc. My vision is not effected but it is just very difficult to keep them open and to read things. I spoke with the mission doctor today and he bought me some eye drops and says that in 5 days I should be fine. It has been very uncomfortable.
Today I went with Elders Newman and Congleton to go pick up Elders McCusker and Couch at the bus terminal. Apparently Couch is having some major issues with his back and that being home for Christmas is not out of the question for him. It sucks pretty bad, I mean he is my kid. Him going home would suck for him, for me. It would just suck. It was really, really good to see him again and McCusker, obviously, but I really hope everything is going to be alright. 

(Gunnar trained Elder Couch in Tocopilla)

BTW, the other AP (Elder Villarroel), cannot drive. Neither could Hertler when he was AP. So not impossible, the other one just has to be able to drive. Not really worried about that though.

(I was giving Gunnar a hard time that he could never be AP as he doesn't have a driver’s license)

Arica has 3 Zones, Iquique is split into 2 Zones with Alto Hospicio as another zone (The two cities are a 5 minute bus ride apart), Calama is a zone, Antofagasta is 3 zones, Chañaral is a zone that is basically a combination of small towns. Then Copiapo is 2 zones and Vallenar is 1. I would very much like to go to Arica but I could live without going to the South. The North is just way cooler. I miss the north of the mission just from my time here in Antofagasta.

(I think Gunnar just guaranteed he will be going to Vallenar this next transfer)

My companion stresses out a lot, especially when he makes a mistake. He seems to believe that the only way he can be happy is by being completely obedient at all times and that if he makes one mistake he loses it. I am working on it and he always tells me that he feels really good as my companion and is excited. Between my eyes and a pretty bad lactose reaction I had it was a pretty slow week and I could tell he was not feeling it. 

(Missionary work is a lot more than talking to people about the church)

Gunnar & Elder Couch

It is funny. All through the mission we meet Chilean high schoolers who all they do all day is play soccer and that is all they want to do with their lives. They have no future plans, no other thoughts, just soccer. They are somewhat few and far between but every missionary has met a few.

(I see that in the states with kids who just want to play a sport and their whole life plan is based on that. Or my favorite, they are going to be a video game designer so that is their excuse to play video games all day.)

Elder Ramirez

Well people are getting ready here and pumped for the Chile-England game. All very excited. We are getting ready for stake conference this weekend and the rumor is that either Elder Holland or Elder Christofferson will be at the Antofagasta Stake Conference but I will believe it when I see it.

(Both Elder Holland and Christofferson are members of the 12 Apostles. Elder Holland actually lived in Chile for several years.)

Love you,
Elder Peters


Picture was sent without comment

Monday, October 28, 2013

Plans for afterward?

October 28, 2013
Angamos, Chile (Ramirez)

Plans for afterward?

Last week I met an elder from Arkansas named Elder Cabrera. He is the Zone Leader in the zone in the north of Antofagasta and he is a really cool guy. We have only talked twice but we are already really good friends. Well he asked if I was going to BYU after the mission to which I replied, yes. He freaked. He has only two transfers left and he has already begun looking at classes to take and he is so pumped about it and talked my ear off about it. Talk about wanting to go back to BYU. I am so excited about going back to BYU after the mission and here in the mission it has really hit me about having to do work back in BYU. I cannot just sit back and do whatever, I got to lay it all out. So that is really the only plan I really have although I have had people invite me all over the country for that time when I get home. Plans October-December 2014: Work locally (hopefully I can just walk back into Hy-Vee but with my Spanish maybe something else, better, will open up), drop the mission weight (I went running today, played some good basketball, and did a yoga workout with one of the elders here who was a yoga fiend before the mission. I feel really good and can tell that I am thinning but am soooooo tired), catch up on movies and TV so that I am not as distracted at BYU, get the driver’s license ASAP, play the piano a lot, etc. I am pretty sure I will be sticking around for that winter but after that winter . . . no promises at how much time I will spend at home 

(I was talking with Gunnar about his plans once he gets home from the mission since school doesn’t start up again until January. I said the smart thing to do would be to work that fall and save some cash for school, but I was also trying to prepare Lisa if he decided to go out West early. Anyways it looks like he is finally catching the vision of how much time he “wasted” prior to his mission. It is amazing how much you can get done when you actually try to get things done.)

Elder Newman is the Assistant to the President (AP) right now, that is correct. The AP’s are also attending Angamos ward for church now as well so I will seem him every week. 

( I noticed in Elder Newman’s blog that he got transferred and had all the duties of an AP but he did not explicitly say he was AP. Newman is the Elder who also started in Iquique 6 months ahead of Gunnar, so Gunnar literally moved into the Iquique apartment the day Newman moved out.)

It is funny that you say Arica because I have had two elders this week tell me that they think I am going up to Arica Centro to be with Elder M (yes there is a relation) since I will have 6 months in Antofagasta after this transfer, but that is just speculation. 

(Gunnar presented one theory last week that he would return to Calama next transfer and I using the same “brilliant” logic presented an alternative wherein he goes to Arica. As he says it all comes down to speculation and we all love doing that. Elder M is from a well-known LDS family. )

Elder Ramirez, my new companion, is fairly new in the mission and he is a great guy, great missionary, loves to work hard, have fun, etc. but he lacks self-confidence. All of our comp studies have been focused in our purpose here, what it means to be a good missionary, and how you need to enjoy the mission. He has repeatedly told me that he feels way better in this sector than in his last one and is excited and ready to go. But at the same time he is having struggles a little.

(Sadly serving a mission is no guarantee from everyday problems.)

As far as a box a book and a puzzle (or two) would be great. Oh, oh, oh!!! A Rubik’s cube!! I learned how to do one two weeks ago and I am addicted. The sad thing is that Elder Hamblin took it with him so now I do not have one. My best time is 3 min 21 sec. I feel like it is pretty slow, but hey I just started. The candy is good but something interesting. Usually a lot of the stuff is kind of melted our was melted and resolidified in camino but I got a package from Carol Carolan (BTW thank her for that for me) which had a bag of Peanut butter and Pretzel m&ms (Love both of them) and they were not melted at all. I do not know if it was the packaging because she used the basically same type. I do not know.

(I was discussing getting his Christmas package together and what silly stuff he wanted; or any different foods. So a Rubik’s cube will be the center piece of the box. Interesting that given he is color blind.

And below Gunnar talks about the missionaries in that Iquique video I just posted this week.)

Hermana Morales was in my district in Las Rocas. She is a very cool girl but is also 29 . . . She is from Mexico (I mentioned she was a real cutie). Medrano and Sharp (and Perez, I think) are all finished with their missions and have gone home now. Crazy how that happens, missionaries that were so young when I got here are done already. Kennedy is in Chañaral right now and I have only met her one time. She has strong feelings towards an Elder in Arica, Elder **, and her feelings are well known throughout the mission. She was started in Angamos.

(BTW Elder in Arica not Jake!)
They both seem quite nice?? That is like saying "She has a sweet spirit" or "She is a covenant keeper" (I do not know if that has been said before, I thought maybe I made it up. As a way of making fun of my favorite general auxiliary leader Elaine S. Dalton). I can look up pictures of them from the church website, going to do it. 

(Gunnar is making fun of my verbiage here. Bothe the Hermanas seemed cute too. All the sisters are looking cute now-a-days. Either things have changed or I have become way more appreciative with age.)
Sucks about Cenneidigh. A whole year of recovery . . . wow. Well I love you all. Write me back with anything else!

(I let Gunnar know about Cenneidigh probably not going to Chile with us to pick him up as she has some bad foot problems that will require surgery and then 12 months of recovery; so no walking tour of Chile for her.)

Love you,
Elder Peters

(Gunnar and I got into a discussion of sports because I sent him two articles; one about game 4 of the World Series involving his Red Sox winning; and one of a Chilean player scoring a winning goal in league play in Europe. He really go into the football news and I made fun of him for changing, but then told him he must cheer for England with their upcoming friendly with Chile. His reply:)

Oh yeah I heard about that. Chile has got a really good team with two of Europe’s better scorers in Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez is from Tocopilla. His family still lives there. Eduardo Vargas is also quite good. I would say they are the second or third best team in South America behind Brazil and, maybe, Argentina. Argentina has a really good team but Messi does not play very well on the National team so they have to rely on people like Di Maria. But then again England is England. I guess we will see haha
(He has changed)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Saratov Approach - Theatrical Trailer

The scary side of missionary work - new movie based on the experiences of two missionaries in Russia back in the 90's.

Misioneros Iquique Chile 2013

Here is a video from Gunnar's first area - it is from after his time but features missionaries that are there now.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cambios (Transfers)

FYI – These are the remaining transfer dates for Gunnar:

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rumbo a Brasil 2014

October 21, 2013
Angamos, Chile (Said/Ramierez)

Rumbo a Brasil 2014

So we got transfers this weekend and I am staying here in Angamos for at least one more transfer. Elder Said however is heading all the way to the bottom of the mission in Vallenar. My new companion is going to be a Chilean who is fairly new in the mission. His name is Elder Ramierez and he is from Punta Arenas which is the far, far, far south of the country. 

(The distance from Angamos to Punto Arenas is roughly the same as New York City to Los Angeles. If you imagine the very bottom of South America where the little point is; that is where Punto Arenas is located.)

I will be the DL for both of the Angamos sectors and both of the Origenes sectors so that will be interesting. I know that both sets of sisters will work hard and put up good numbers but Elder S is going to be senior companion with a Peruvian . . . I am not hopeful for that companionship but we will see. 

(Elder S has a not so stellar reputation. This also means Gunnar has responsibility for 8 missionaries now.)

My new Zone Leader is going to be Elder Packard. He was with me in Iquique for my first three transfers. His parents are the mission presidents of the Boston, Mission. 

(That is where a young man from Austin is currently serving his mission right now.)

I am also fairly certain that I will be heading back to Calama next transfer because I have noticed a strange pattern in my transfers. Hermana Nuñez started in Iquique and the next transfer I did too. She then went to Calama zone and the next transfer I did too. Then she went to Antofagasta, the next transfer I did as well. Now she is heading back to Calama so I predict I will be back there for Christmas. I kind of hope so. I love Calama now that I have not been there in a while and I am getting restless in Antofagasta having been here almost 5 months, but whatever will be will be.

(Six months (next transfer date12/2/2013) is a long time in a missionary life. Calama is inland away from the ocean and about 7-9000 feet in elevation. It is where the zone leaders are for Tocopilla, his second area.)

So the really bad news about this week is that we got our water cut for about 5 days. Apparently we are supposed to pay for it but nobody told me and after 3 months of water I did not even think about it. So 5 days without shaving and I had a large beard. Also Elder Hamblin finished his mission and left on Thursday and so that was lame. I am going to miss that guy but he is in Arizona right now so I am sure that he is really happy.

Saturday night Eduardo got baptized. It was the first time since April that the Angamos Elders’ sector had a baptism. He is such a great guy and he gave his testimony after the baptism and it was so good.

I got three packages also. The other shirts package, the package filled with half bags of candy and a package from the Andersons so thank you everyone for that.

(When the month long mail strike hit Gunnar ended up with 5 packages in route. He got one the day the strike ended. One about three weeks ago, and finally the remaining three this week. He is all caught up. Now we need to start preparing his Christmas package for him so we have a chance of making it there for the holidays.)

Well I should be here for a little while if you need anything.

(I took advantage of this today because Gunnar has consistently emailed us at approximately 4pm his whole mission. Then these last two weeks he has gotten on prior to 9am and that has messed me up. Last week I was at least halfway done with my letter but today I hadn’t even started it yet. I am going to need to get on it by Sunday now to be safe.)

Love You,
Elder Peters

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

More on the concert

More on the concert

As you guys know I like to keep up on all the other missionary blogs I see and I found this account of last Saturday night from Gunnar’s good friend Elder Congleton.

Well then we went to a Baptismal service on Saturday in my old ward Angamos. It was a great service, I mean the best thing about being a missionary is seeing someone take the step to get baptized. So that is always great, then after they had a big ward talent show party thing. And it was our Preparation day so we stayed for the fun as well. It was great to see the members again and hang out with the missionaries there. Plus we got to laugh like crazy at some of the "talents". Elder Peters got up and sang with one of the bands there, it was the performance of the night. He rocked it and we were all yelling and screaming. It was a great time.

Let’s hope we get that video one day.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Another Day Without Another Dollar

October 14, 2013
Angamos, Chile (Elder Said)

Another Day Without Another Dollar

This week the Ward was planning this big activity for Saturday night called Angapalooza. It was going to have bands and comedians and other acts and things. We were asked to perform a few acts from a show called 31 Minutes, basically the Chilean Muppets. So we picked out a couple of songs from the show and spent a large amount of time this week practicing for it. It was really fun. We involved Hamblin and Sunderland and we had four really good acts ready to go for the show on Saturday night. So Saturday night we were all ready to go and everyone was outside for the show. They had a stage and food and some bands playing. A few bands played and then another one got up but shortly before they did they asked if I could sing for them. What song? I ask. They give me the lyrics to Come Together by the Beatles a song I had not heard in a very, very, very long time. But I get up there and then the office elders show up and the assistants and everyone is there ready for me to go. And so I did. I sang that song in front of the whole ward, a large part of the stake, and many missionaries with a live band behind me. It was so much fun. I loved it and everyone was freaking out. So the love of the ward, something I have been working on for a while, check. I have got it, 100%. Then I go and sing again for the show that we did and it was really, really fun. Ended the night with some McDonalds and it was a good time.

(He is going to see if he can get a video of it from some of the people who were there)

Then on Sunday we got our investigator Eduardo to come to our ward and everyone loved him. The Bishop announced his baptism by saying "One of the best investigators I know, a great man, a great husband, and a great father will be getting baptized next weekend. He is incredible so please everyone come out to support him." He then announced it at the beginning of the other two hours as well. That was not even the best part though. During Elders Quorum the President asked what sacrifices Said and I had to make in order to come on the mission. We each talked for a bit and then the president asked if anyone else would like to talk. Nothing. Then Eduardo, our investigator raised his hand and asked to speak. He began to talk about his life and family and then the incredible blessings that we, as missionaries, had brought to his life and to his family. That we had answered every question he had ever had and had given him the greatest gift of all time, the opportunity to be with his family forever and that any sacrifice that we had to make in order to get here was worth it just because of the change that we wrought in his life and his family. And you know what I believe him. I got so close to crying. After he talked everyone in the class wanted to talk and everyone wants to get to know him, visit him, have family home evenings with him, invite him to do things, the work. Everyone loves him. Everyone. He is unreal awesome.
So the Bishop here in Angamos has had a pretty bad relationship with all the missionaries for quite some time but now, mostly because of Eduardo I´m sure, he loves us. The Bishop wants to help us with everything. We earned his respect and now that he is behind us the whole ward is getting behind us. Things are starting to get really good here.

Chile had the chance to classify for the World Cup against Colombia the other day. They scored three goals in 10 minutes to go up 3-0. Then Chile stopped playing and Colombia comes back and ties 3-3. So now Colombia classifies for the first time in forever and Chile still has not. Chile plays Ecuador tomorrow. All they have to do is tie and they are in. Chile has a much better team than Ecuador, but they also have a much better team than Colombia so who knows. Even if Chile loses they can still classify if Uruguay loses as well.

(The fact Gunnar is up on AND has opinions about soccer is hilarious)

I got one of the packages the other day. The one with the book and the puzzles. I did not time myself but I do not think that it took me too long to do the 1D one. I finished the book already. Really liked it.

(For his birthday he asked for puzzles so I sent him a one direction puzzle I got from Savers. Plus he said he was interested in the Jack Reacher novels since seeing the movie on a bus so I sent him an old paperback. Basically a simple birthday package only 6 weeks late – yeah Chilean mail)

Well I love you guys, write back!

(unlike the rest of the time, Gunnar had his letter here by noon; so I had to scramble to write him.)

Elder Peters

Monday, October 7, 2013

The World is a Mess

October 7, 2013
Angamos, Chile (Elder Said)

The World is a Mess

Well that is the impression that I got from General Conference this weekend. The World is a mess. People do not appreciate women; the time when religious freedom will no longer be available is shortly arriving and all other sorts of apocalyptic predictions. Very interesting the conference to say the least. One of my favorite talks was Elder Scott when he spoke about making weak things strong and the covenant of the anti-nephi-lehis. I also very much enjoyed Elder Bednar's talk about tithing. Some very good points that he brought up.

Haha, probably the best part about conference for me was on Saturday morning before the first session. The Stake President and his wife invited us over for breakfast at10:30 in the morning and it was incredible. She made brownies, muffins, and cheesecake (all things that most Chileans do not know exist) and they were so good. She had pancakes, syrup, peanut butter, strawberries, sausages. It was unreal. Like we always say here in Angamos, the sector definitely has its benefits.

Thursday for my one year mark the four of us here all went to a Chinese buffet and it was really good. The Chinese buffets in the states are way better but this one was still really good. The only bad part was that I kind of felt like dying the rest of the day from all of the greasy food that I ate. While we were there we saw a news story about a submarine that emerged in a street in Milan, Italy. So that is crazy.

(Gunnar is getting old – the rages of fried food)

We had interviews with President this week and we talked about what had been going on in my district and how I handled it. He was very happy with me and he then told me that he really liked the fact that an elder and a sister did not get along. In fact he prefers it to elders and sisters getting along. So I think that I made some good headway with President this week.

(I can appreciate the Presidents wisdom on this. That has to be a huge problem to manage for him [elders and sisters getting along too well])

I still have not received any of the other packages but we will see this Tuesday at our zone meeting. And it was an old shirt that got covered in hot sauce.

(Small miracles with the shirt. He had just received a package of brand new shirts from us when he destroyed a shirt with hot sauce)

Well I do not have anything else to say. Pretty boring week. Love You guys.

Elder Peters

The computer cannot read my camera, it says that the files are corrupted. I hope not

(So now Gunnar has been out over a year now as he began his mission the first week of October last year. Time is moving really fast now.)

Monday, September 30, 2013

I am living in Chile! Like, What!?!?

September 30, 2013
Angamos, Chile (Elder Said)

I am living in Chile! Like, What!?!?

It is really weird but sometimes I will be walking around and I will have a very profound realization, like "I am living in Chile!" I feel like I should be past that feeling by now but it gets me a lot haha. Tuesday after District meeting we spent the whole time making posters for the zone car wash we were going to have on Saturday. Then we walked back to the pension and ate with the mamita. I have been really concerned about how we are going to find new investigators here in this sector seeing as it has been very difficult here lately. So on Tuesday Said and I had plans to go out and contact a bunch of old names we had in our area book all over our sector. We split up to go out with some of the youth in the ward and after walking all over the place all day, doing a ton of contacts, we met back up at the end of the day with nothing. Very frustrated I began searching through my agenda for any other references that we maybe had not contacted. That is when I came across a name that Elder DeGraw had given me a few weeks earlier. DeGraw is notorious for giving out the worst references so at the time that he gave it to me I paid it no attention. But now, a few weeks later and very desperate, I gave Eduardo Mendez a call. He told me that he had been very concerned that we had not called him and that he had been waiting for us. So on Thursday we went over to his house and the very first thing he tells us is that his wife is less-active and he wants to get baptized and then sealed in the temple. Wow. So we have a date with him for the 19th of October and he is very, very excited. So despite the fact that I am still very concerned with finding new investigators I am very happy about the discovery of Eduardo.

(Elder Degraw and Gunnar started out together in the same apartment and are great friends; he kids

Our convert here, Victor Vega, told us that he was moving back to Santiago and I was pretty sad about it. He was baptized the week before I got here but I very much consider him my convert. He is dating a girl in the ward and he told me that he has plans to get married in the temple next October in Santiago. So depending on where the dates fall that could be something I would very much like to do next year. See him get married. Apparently he is staying here until at least the end of October so that is good. He is a really cool guy.

Friday I went to the Civil Register to take out my Chilean identity card where they told me that my visa was rejected in Santiago. To tell the truth I was very concerned about this but after speaking to the mission secretary, Elder Chacon, he explained that all I have to do is all of my paperwork over again and that we will do it on Wednesday and he will help me out with all of it. So I am not getting deported, that is good. 

(I am always asking Gunnar for apartment shots including the bathroom.  I didn't really mean a close-up of the toilet)

Saturday morning we had a free car wash in the zone and invited everyone that was passing by. It was really fun but we were outside all day and I got pretty badly burned. But I am fine.

So I have still not received any of the packages that I am waiting on but whatever, I will just keep waiting. What else can I do. 

Yesterday we had lunch with my favorite member family here, the Salas Family, and this family always has a jar of green olives for me because they know how much I love them. So yesterday I ate the majority of a jar of olives with the help of their 7-year old daughter and one of the sister missionaries complained to the mom that I had eaten all of the olives and now they could not put them into the spaghetti. To this the mom said "Oh they were not for the noodles, they were for him because Elder Peters is our favorite child." Haha, alright I am okay with that.

Well I love you guys. I should be here for a little while so write back!

Elder Peters

P.S. The family in the picture is the Colque Family. We ate lunch with them and President Dalton on the 18th

(Not a lot to add to this letter except the number of typos I have to fix has dramatically increased)

Monday, September 23, 2013

One Year Left!!

With transfers being on a set schedule Gunnar should be done September 23rd next year.

18 de Septiembre

September 23, 2013
Angamos, Chile (Elder Said)

18 de Septiembre

(September 18th is Chilean Independence Day and the whole country celebrates for a week solid. That means parties all week long and most businesses are shut down for the entire week so everyone can go to the parties. It is really hard to get any missionary work done because everyone is just focused on the celebration. So while they do what they can, it is a very slow week for missionaries. And FWIW, this letter is delayed this week because Gunnar’s Grandfather had his appendix out on Monday [in town here], we had the sewer back up in our bathroom on Monday, and I threw my back out on Monday too. So a very full day and his letter got put aside.)

Well a lot of exciting stuff happened this week so I am going to start with Tuesday. Tuesday was basically just another p-day but we did not really have anything to do. Eventually we just ended up walking to the office along the coast talking and just chilling. We chilled in the office for a little bit before we headed back to the house. As we were walking along the coast we noticed some large crabs down on the rocks. I told Hamblin that I wanted to catch one. He kind of thought that I was joking. But then I jumped down on to the rocks and he asked "Do you really want to get this weird?" to which the answer was obviously yes! So after fighting for about a half-hour we were finally able to catch a decently sized crab. So we bring the crab home, boil it, and then we eat it. It was actually really good, a lot more meat then I thought it would have. Really good stuff. Tuesday night we go and play some basketball at these courts down by the beach and there were fireworks and everything. So that was really cool.

Wednesday we had district meeting and it was the first tag-team district meeting that Hamblin and I are going to have. The assistants were there and it was all chill and everything. During the district meeting Hermana C tells me that she invited President to our September 18th lunch that we had planned with a family here. Wow . . . We were invited to like 4 different places so out of pity we invited them to one of our lunches. Then they go ahead and invite President Dalton . . . cool. So we had a good lunch, tons of food, tons of meat and it was fine with President and everything. We were there eating the majority of the day.

Thursday we had to go sing at this funeral service in the stake center here. We were hungry so we decided to walk back through centro (the downtown) to see if something was open. We finally find this place and it is really, really good. Now there is a bottle with chili sauce in it and I want it. But it is not coming out of the bottle. So I squeeze a little bit harder and KABOOM. The bottle exploded and all four of us are covered in chili sauce. Also all the walls and chairs anywhere near us are also covered. So that was pretty exciting. 

Friday and Sunday night we had an open-house in our chapel with the entire zone because the big Independence day fair was taking place right outside of our chapel. We would invite people in to watch a short video and then share pamphlets and what not. It worked our pretty well and we probably had about 40 people come in each day.
So that was my week for the most part. Very interesting haha. 

Love you guys!