Man has it been a crazy week. Like really crazy. And it´s only been a week! So to start from the beginning. Me Elder Maser and Elder brown (who are all from Colorado) well, we boarded the plane and pulled off from the gate to head to Atlanta, and then our main source shut off. So we have to pull back in, got it fixed, took like an hour and then a storm hit in Colorado. So we waiting, and finally got up in the air, by that time we flew to Atlanta and they had a storm, so we flew to Tennessee, and waiting in the plane for 2 hours haha, in a really hot plane with frustrated people. We finally made it to Atlanta after everyone getting sick on the plane and throwing up (thankfully I didn’t, but was so close) and there we were, stuck in Atlanta, at 12 am, missed our connecting flight to Chile. But we were happy and just made the best of it. So we rebooked our flights, and this whole time I am calling missionary travel, in which they really didn’t help. We were not old enough to book a hotel through the airlines, and literally EVERY hotel was booked. So we were just walking and missionary travel told us to wait in the airport till our next flight, which would be 20 hours till our next flight. We were not about that life. So we meet our angel Christy Lynn. This 40 or 50 year old women, super Christian, who was like, I ain't having you 19 year olds stay at the airport! So she drove us around and by that time it was 3 am. We went to like 4 hotel and all of them were booked. By that time, it was super early in the morning, and we were just laughing. Just so funny, 3 missionaries lost in Atlanta, with this lady driving us around. She was so amazing though. She was praying for us out loud and just so sweet! My favorite quote from her, (I am not an angel Elder, just a believer.) So we three elders call each other Skyteam now. Taufa and Bellnap, they were awesome! So chill. Elder Taufa gave us ties. We went and tracked and it was burning hot and humid, oh and it was all in Spanish. So we were just lost the whole time, but the people were so humble. So awesome. They fed us, we went tracking more, taught lessons, and it was the missionary life! Looks like I got to spend a day in Atlanta, where I thought I would be called originally because I love black people. Looks like I did!
Finally we made it to the airport, and got on our flight and flew for 9 hours. It was a good flight, just super long and hey, I didn’t get locked in the bathroom like I did when I was little, so I conquered that fear! Haha, no but we finally made it to Chile and this member picked us up. He drove us to the CCM (MTC in Chile) and on the way just drove through the city (no speed limit really, we were just flying) and saw 2 dead dogs on the road, kind of sad. But we made it and they literally just threw us right in. No orientation because we missed everything the previous day when they did it. It was a little overwhelming, everything was in Spanish and I was just so lost! But happy none the less. I got my companion, his name is Elder Jenks from North Dakota.
Haha, the fire alarm just went off and all of the elders in the computer lab just laughed and refused to leave. We want to email our families!!! Everyone is typing like savages. Well, we just had to leave the building because of the fire alarm, and when they told us we could come back in the building, our district and the other one just BOOKED it back inside. That would happen to us!
The first few days have been SO long. SO long. And the CCM here, everyone is pretty much native, and we have like less than half white people. My district is all white people thank goodness, because we hear the natives talk and we are just lost puppies. It is SO fast Spanish here, SO fast. But we have picked up a lot already. I can pray in Spanish and talk a little. It feels like I am backtracking though these past few days, and not getting it. Just so hard to form sentences and to understand and to talk with so many tenses. The schedule here is kind of insane. Not kind of, but really insane. We live in a building right across from the temple, like right across. And we wake up at 6:45 am every day to what!? Church music. Church music just blasting over a stereo! It is like seminary with Danny all over again! Then we get ready, go to personal study for an hour, then eat breakfast, then exercise, in which we go to this park and play soccer, they have like cement or clay courts here with nets, it’s pretty fun, I such at soccer though compared to native and other native elders. But it’s good. Me and this other elder did splits and went running one time, SO nice. SO nice to just run. Then we come back, shower and get ready, and our day is packed till 10 pm. Strict schedule. Like the Provo MTC is nothing compared to this! It’s like the CCM is on steroids. But we are learning a lot.
We already have been teaching 2 investigators, Marco and Ishmael (our teachers just pretend like they are other people) but we have to do it only in Spanish. It is muy dificil. So me and my companion are teaching them and it has been hard! I wish I had English honestly. I wish so bad. We taught in English this lesson just for practice, man I felt like I was on fire! I loved it; I felt the spirit so much! But, apparently someone needs me in Spanish and here in Chile. Not sure who, or when, or anything, but just 1 person would be worth it.
Spiritually it has been a ride. I feel like I have spiritual highs one moment and the very next I could feel so low. On Sunday we listened to a devotional in English from Elder Holland, and man did I need that. I needed to hear that our sacrifice is worth it. That we are just experiencing a glimpse of what Jesus Christ experienced. We are barely on the edge of Gethsemane, yet he did it all. He did it all for us. When I am feeling low, or just frustrated with the language or my companion, I know that the savior knows how I feel. I know that I am only experiencing a glimpse of what he feels for us, and that really comfort me. Christ loves everyone. Literally everyone.
But I don’t know what else to say! It is really cold here, especially in the mornings when we have exercise! Really cold! We went outside and have been talking to natives here, and they are very loving! Just awesome people, yet sometimes we can’t say a thing or do not understand a thing because it is so fast! One time, we walked away and these people just laughed at our Spanish! But that’s ok! The Lord is on our side. Umm we went to the temple yesterday (Tuesday) and I really needed it. I love the temple! Sitting in the celestial room and just praying to God asking for help. I have never felt so close or prayed so hard and felt like he was listening. The food here is alright. The bread. El pan. Oh man, SO good. I have it for every meal, and thank goodness I can’t gain weight because I would be getting fat already. And we have soda here for every meal too. So if I come back chunky, that’s why. My district is great! I can defiantly tell a difference between people who just graduated high school and people who didn’t a really big difference! Some are prepared, some are not as much. I am so glad I went to college first. I learned so much and some people are really struggling with home sickness. Sorry mother, I am not as much! But I do miss it! Especially the Colorado mountains and air! The air here is kind of bad.
We will be here till August 25. Man that seems like so long! I just want to get out in the field and be lost even more! But my mission, Santiago Sur (South) is I think one of the smallest missions in the world besides temple square. So that’s cool! I heard our President is really great and it’s kind of Ghetto. Especially in one area, super Ghetto, so I hope I get sent their!
Life is good. Mi vida es muy bien. We have like 10 min breaks every hour to go to the bathroom or go outside and what not, and there is this sign across the CCM hanging saying Salvame, yo quiero vivir! Meaning save me, I want to live! With a picture of a baby embryo. So we say that when our break is done and we have to go back inside, into a basement room, with no windows, for the rest of the day.
That em mi vida en Chile! God is good. I know he will strengthen me and he knows how I feel. Being a missionary is hard, but it is worth it. I pray for you all so much! He listens to you, he knows you by name. He loves you with all his heart.
I love you all! SO blessed. So blessed. Pray for me with the language please! Love you!!!!!!!!!!
Elder Carney (La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias)