Friday, October 5, 2012

Week 3 in Chile!

Well howdy do!

This has been one super crazy week. The most physically and mentally stressfull yet. Aparently one of the many wild dogs with fleas rubbed against my pants and transfered the bugs to me. I´ve had bedbugs ever since. Just from my left ankle to shin I have over 41 bites. Ha. I´ve heard that the only way to get rid of them is to burn the mattress and cothes and whatnot. Seeing as I can´t really afford to burn EVERY item of clothing I have, does anyone know a way to get rid of the little critters? Or am I just kind of screwed for the next 10 weeks?

Random thought: before I left I promised the Horton family that I would let the know if the toilets flush the opposite direction down here. Unfortunately, I can´t remember which way the flush in the US haha. But I can tell you that down here they flush counter-clockwise. Is that opposite as in the States?

Being a tall white boy with blue eyes and blond hair kind of makes me stick out. People love to try to practice their English with me, but I usually can´t understand what they´re trying to say in English either haha. Plus most of the English people learn is from American songs, so it never makes any sense--or it´s just something really rude. Probably one of the best was when Elder Torres and I were proselyting and a random little kid yelled, ´´juan two tree ford!´´ as we passed haha. My favorite, however, was during lunch with a member family. The 11 yr old daughter was talking about music, and asked if I listened to ´´Juan Direcho.´´ I don´t know much Spanish music, so of course I said no. She started flipping out like I had said the most obsurd thing in all of history. I had the thought to ask her about the song, ´´´That´s what makes you beautiful´´ by One Direction. Her response was, ´´¡Sí, cómo te dije, Juan Direcho!´´ hahaha. She couldn´t pronounce One Direction. Silly times! Speaking of inability to speak English, I´m starting to forget words. It took me over a day and a half to remember the English word ´´pamphlet.´´ But understanding the Chileans is coming along. To help illustrate my point: my Mexican roommate (who was obviously fluent in Spanish before his mission) was unable to understand the Chileans for the first few weeks of his mission also. They just speak sooo differently. Instead of saying, ´´¿Cuantos años tienes tu?´´ they say something that sounds more like, ´´Kaydadteen.´´ So ya...haha.

As far as investigators, this week has been wild. We´re teaching a family of a mother and two daughters. They´re progressing, and the two daughters are scheduled to be baptized October 20th. When we stopped by on Thursday, suddenly no one wanted to be baptized. That same day we passed by our other new investigator, a man who´s wife and family left him and he´s been thinking about suicide. He cancelled our appointment for that night because his niece died that day. Super rough. So we´re working hard and praying harder for these people. Lend us your prayers!

Tracting has been really difficult.All our appointments usually fall through each day so we spend the whole time knocking doors trying to find people to teach. Satan has gotten better at blurring people´s beliefs and making it so our message doesn´t seem distinct anymore. People think that they are fine simply believing and that since Christ already paid for their sins, they just have to try to be better-than-average and they´ll live with God and their family forever. The difficult part is getting people to actually listen so that we can explain the importance of our message and help them understand the differences. So the work is pretty slow right now with only four investigators (three of which are in on house) who´s lives are breaking lose, but we´re praying and searching for more people to teach.

We also work a lot with inactive members. One family in particular has some marital problems. Through talking with them, we found a small, yet powerful, indicator. Neither of them could remember the last time they told each other they loved one another. So here´s my advice/plea to you. Tell your family and friends that you love them. Tell them often. And then match your actions to your words. It´s such a simple way to strengthen and protect a marriage or any relationship. 

General Conference is this next week, and I hope you´re excited to watch and listen and learn from the prophets and apostles of God! Powerful stuff right there. There´s sooooo many people that don´t have that blessing. I don´t think I´ll get to watch it in English, so please pray that I´ll be able to understand in Spanish. General Conference is one of my favorite church events, and I´m actually kind of bummed that I won´t get to fully understand it this time. So take advantage of it up in the US!!! 

Much love,

Elder Long

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