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.)