Mom note: Just as an explanation:
CCM is the Spanish abbreviation for the Missionary Training Center
Pday is Preparation Day (missionaries get 1 day off during the week to do laundry, shop, email, etc!)
Santiago Sur - Spanish for Santiago South (the mission he is assigned to)
His District (group he studies with) at the CCM
His companion, Elder Jenks in front of the Santiago, Chile Temple
He and Elder Allred, visiting downtown SantiagoHola Mi Familia!!!
So to start off, I lost all grammar and everything, and the keyboards here are weird so I will try my best, but I hope somebody is editing them and putting them on my blog! Anybody doing that?
Where do I start off!? Que es Vida!? Umm last Pday was Wednesday, and now it is Tuesday (today) so I think it will be Tuesday next week. We just had 48 missionaries leave today to head off to their missions, it was crazy! So we get new elders y hermanas (Spanish for Sister missionaries) here coming to the CCM this week! It will be super nice to not be the new ones, so we are excited. We hope we get North Americans, more gringos (that what the natives call the white people) who we can just love and help! Because the first week, man is it a long one. Super long. So we are excited! But last Pday was fun! We went to this store called Leaders which is like a Walmart pretty much. Got some candy, then went to Paris, no not the Eiffel tower, but is downtown Santiago and just a lot of malls and shopping centers and what not. This Pday we went before we wrote our family, so we had 2 hours and I got a haircut, super short. I miss my flow man! Those were the days! They will come back for sure, thinking about dreads after the mission and just becoming a total hippie! But for now, I will settle with being ugly and having no flow. Me and my companion went with the hermanas to Paris, just took a taxi there, and got some stuff that we needed, walked around, AND...wait for it, had McDonalds!!! So good. An American burger hit the spot! All we eat here is rice, meat, and bread for DAYZ.
Last Wednesday after Pday which we get 2 hours to explore the city and do whatever, we ran into my mission president in Santiago Sur! President Cook and he was super cool. Super chill and we only got to talk with him for a little, but I am really excited to get to know him more and to just be in the field. The days here are long, but this past week went by a lot faster. 6 weeks in the CCM sounds rough, but hopefully it just flies by!
My mission, Santiago Sur is super ghetto apparently. Which I am really excited for! My mission is the smallest mission in the world next to temple square too we heard! All city, no country. We also heard that the area our mission is in has the highest crime and murder rate! So that’s kind of crazy!!! But I am really excited to go and just love the people with all my heart. I am excited to just serve people and teach people of my homeboy Jesus Christ.
I got sick this past week and so that was fun! Me and a couple of elders in my district did. Hermana Doll who is the president’s wife here at the CCM is just amazing! So sweet and nice and she loaded us up with drugs and she is just amazing! She remind me of you mom and I can TOTALLY see you and dad being mission presidents! I hope it happens, you guys would be amazing!
The days here are packed. We wake up at 6.45 am, go to personal study for an hour, eat breakfast, go exercise. Oh in which the white elders, the gringos, we TOTALLY dominate a lot of the natives! My soccer skills are slowly coming back, but its super fun! They have small courts everywhere in parks with nets, super fun! Then after we get ready for the day, go to class, and we have classes literally the whole day with 10 min breaks each hour until 10 pm when we head back, write in our journals, and lights out at 11. So missionary work is hard, and super tiring. And we speak in spanglish constantly, a mix of spanish and english, and yeah! Pray for me to learn the language por favor!
We had a talk on learning the language and the gift of tongues, and I have already seen it with myself. In two weeks I can pray in Spanish, say a lot of things, but man am I a gringo. Natives try to talk with us and we just laugh because they speak so fast and have NO clue what they are saying! But we try. Every day is a humbling experience. And all the tenses in spanish, don’t even get me started! SO LOST sometimes. But I keep on trying to stay positive! I am not learning the language for myself, I am learning it to bring others the truth and to bring others happiness. Happiness that is not temporal, but eternal! The mission is such a sacrifice sometimes, and it can be so hard. I can get so down on myself and so frustrated with the language. But this sacrifice is nothing compared to what Christ went through for us. And to be a direct messenger of Jesus Christ, is just amazing! I love the spirit that is here and how close I can feel it, and so many times a day.
On one of our breaks we went outside and went to the temple, because we literally wake up to it, it is right across from us. So we sang songs at night and it is just so cool. We are so blessed to have a temple so close to us. We had many talks and discussions about the temple, and I just love it! The temple is literally the house of God. It is so peaceful, so beautiful! And to be halfway across the world where you can’t speak the language or don’t know anything, the temple is right there and it is literally home. It is home, even when you are so far away from your actual one! I love the temple. Boom.
Our room that we have that my district is in, we call it the dungeon. It is rough. No windows, always cold, no life, no happiness exists in there. But we might be switching now that so many people left. Let’s hope because not seeing sunlight all day is rough! Our breaks we just go outside and soak up the beautiful sunshine, or cold, or pollution, kind of a mix of both!
Spanish is going ok. I just want to get out in the field! But all is well! Our district every night has this thing called circulo positivo, so postive circle at the end of the night because it is hard! Every day brings a new challenge. So we all share something positive with each other about the day or whatever, and our district is getting a lot closer with each other! They are amazing people. We are all different, and a lot of different things, but we are working hard together and for the same reasons, to bring others to come unto Christ!
I was overwhelmed with how many emails I got the first week. I felt so loved by everyone, I teared up hardcore! I miss all of you guys! Family and friends, and of course, the Colorado mountains! The Andes Mountains are pretty, but nothing compares to Colorado!
Spiritual thought. I want everyone to go read the last chapter of Moroni in the Book of Mormon. It is powerful. This is a dying mans’ testimony, and he is asking everyone to find out for yourself. Find out for yourself if this gospel is true. Find out. Do not do it for anybody else, do it for yourself. I love that! Find out for yourself. If you are struggling, hang in there. God loves all of his children, SO much. He knows everyone by name and he wants every one of his children to be happy. I pray for you all daily, so much! I am so blessed to have an amazing family and friends. I love you all!!! Cho!!