This past week has been sooooo incredibly busy, yet oddly went by super slowly. Weird. But here we are, beloved P-day once again! Some updates of my recent activities: we moved houses because the owner wants to sell it. We moved into an extremely nice house (for Chile) of a member who is moving out of the ward. It's undoubtedly the nicest house in the mission, but the tradeoff is that it's waaaayyyyy far from our sector! So that will be interesting, but such is life. I also finished by 12 week training program and am now officially just an average joe missionary rather than a greenie being trained. However, the four missionaries in our house didn't get transfered. We're all staying together. Honestly, I was very disappointed because we need a change of atmostphere regarding roommates. The other two missionaries Elder Torres and I live with constantly fight and it's been disheartingly difficult to feel the Spirit when they are around. But the Lord knows best. He obviously wants all four of us to stay together and learn more about patience and humility. Woo hoo!
This week nearly every night I dreamed that I was home again. It's so weird to have such vivid dreams of home and family and friends and then wake up in South America several hundreds of thousands of miles away. I also dreamed about my beloved SPAC team! I miss those people! Send my love, please.
Quick request: how's it coming with getting the Schwann credit card, Mum? I know you're busy and I'm sooooo grateful for ALL you have done and continually do for me and so many others, so don't stress if it's still on your to-do list. I'm just hoping to get it within the next month or so that I can buy some rain gear and protect myself against these storms. When it rains here, it POURS. But the city doesn't have a very good gutter system, so all the streets flood. It's pretty intense--and quite the obstacle course to try to go tracting and cross a river to get to the other side of the street. I would consider trying to re-create Moses' experience with the Red Sea, but for some reason I feel like it's not quite God's will. Such is the life. Oh well, at least I know how to swim!
To answer Dad's questions: So far I've been asked just once to play a musical number for our latest baptismal service, but other than that we have a young girl in our ward that has a calling to be the pianist. She knows a good portion of hymns, so that's usually what we sing. In our humble little chapel we have an electric keyboard that we use rather than a piano or organ. It's not quite big enough for some of my compositions (in terms of having enough keys) so I changed it a bit to make it work. I've been asked to sing in the Christmas program, but no one has given me any further information despite the program being in a week or two. I'll let you know how that goes haha.
As far as skyping, Dad's proposal should work (9am Vegas time). I need to find a family who's computer I can use and coordinate with them and I'll let you know in my next email.
The pictures of the Santa race are hilarious! I've always wanted to do that. I'm glad you had a fun time. When Tyler was dressed up as the wolf mascot thing he looked like those creepy wolf creatures from The Village. Ha. But I'm glad you're all enjoying the holidays! I certainly miss all the fun music and festivities! There's a few people here that have little fake Christmas trees (usually about 3 feet tall), but other than that it's still just summer here. Weird o_0 We did have a fun barbeque with our recent converts yesterday, though. It had nothing to do with Christmas, but maaaaaannnnn was it delicious!!! We had four different kinds of juicy meats, potatoes, Chilean bread, beans, salad, etc etc etc. Ohhhhhhh it was good! Yay missionary work! haha :P
Take advantage of this wonderful Christmas season to help people remember the real reason for all the gift shopping and face stuffing. It's nothing you haven't heard before, but it really is such an easy way to bring up the Gospel. And don't just remind people that it's about Christ--I'll be surprised if someone doesn't know that; rather, take the opportunity to introduce the Restored Gospel. Talk about the Book of Mormon. Talk about how Christ still lives. Talk about His visit to the American continent (3 Nephi 11). It's great to remind people what He's done for us, but I invite you to ask them what they think we can do for Him.
Have a wonderful week! Read the Book of Mormon each day! Love you!
Elder Long :)