Howdy hey! Ah man, I´m so filled with excitement after reading your fun letters!!! I´m ssssooooooooo jealous you got to hang out with my old folk dance teammates! What absolutely wonderful people they are. I miss them so much. I honestly believe SPAC was the best mission prep I could have ever had--I got to spend months with a group of solid RM´s and young women that were excellent examples to me and always raised me up. I owe so much to them. They changed my life in ways they´ll never understand. Bah, ok. But anyways how fun! I´m glad the show turned out well and that you packed the theatre! What a fun night it must have been. I remember always loving hosting the BYU Young Ambassadors and folk dance teams when I was younger. Thank you so much Mum and Dad for being so involved with BYU! I sure love that school and all the good they do in the lives of so many young adults--and the rest of the world too! How crazy that Whitney is engaged!!! Haha have her send me a wedding announcement! I had a pretty dang crazy week myself too. It was emotionally exhausting! But first let´s get some business out of the way. Mum, the Schwab card finally arrived. Yay! Is it only a debit card or does it function as credit too? Also, as I read the little manual, it says that the company charges the international exchange rate fee. Wasn´t the whole point of all that hassle because they supposedly DON´T charge that fee? haha ay ay ay. Well so this week we had two big power outtages two nights in a row. I don´t know what happened, but this little town gets surprisingly dark without street lights haha. We had to end our work early and find our way home by the light from the occasional passing cars. It was a fun adventure--twice! haha. On Tuesday after our district meeting, a man walked into the chapel and told us he wanted to learn more about our church. What a miracle that he happened to walk in when there were 17 missionaries inside...haha. Unfortunately he was just visiting from out of town, but it was still a cool experience to teach him a bit. This week I had several dreams that made me really homesick, so that was kind of a bummer. Normally I love seeing my family and friends in dreams, but for some reason it just made me super trunky this time haha. Lame. So I had to fight that off all weekend. On Friday, my companion completed a year in the mission! To celebrate, we made Tacos and had a little fiesta between the four of us haha. It was a blast. I had on my iPod the song ´´Jarabe Tapatio´´ from SPAC so we listened to that and celebrated Elder Tapia´s halfway mark haha. Fun news: my carpal tunnel is still progressively getting worse, and now it´s to the point where I can´t really grip things. I drop stuff all the time, including a few glass cups...ha. Oops. Shaking hands is still pretty painful, and it doesn´t help that as missionaries we do it a bajillion times a day haha. Bleh. So put that in your prayers please... However, there was one piece of good news to end the week. After a really rough week physically and emotionally, my companion and I were pretty frustrated and disappointed with the progress in our sector. It was 9:40 Saturday night, and we only had 20 mins left before our mission curfew. We thought about just calling it a night since it would take another 10 minutes to walk home and it´s better to be early than late, but we decided to visit one more person. We knocked the door of an inactive member we had found last week, but his 26 yr old nonmember daughter answered the door. She was surprisingly and refreshingly excited to talk to us and learn about the Church. She was anxious to read the Book of Mormon and even came to church with us the next morning. My campanion and I were definitely blown away. It was soooooo awesome! The only downside is that she was visiting from Concepcion where she attends college. Ha. But it was a great tender mercy of the Lord to have worked so hard for so many days and finally find someone actually interested in the Gospel. I hope all is well with the fambam! Have a wonderful week! Send me more pics of the PAC show when you get a chance! Love you! Elder Long :)
Hey Mum and Dad, So sorry I wasn´t able to write last week! The mission field has been INSANE lately with all these huge changes. It´s pretty cool to be a part of the revolutionary front to spread the message of Christ´s restored gospel in these latter days. On Tuesday I was transfered to Curanilahue, Chile (near Lebu), and my new companion is Elder Tapia from Mexico. Thursday evening we took a bus to Cañete, stayed the night, and took another early morning bus to get to Renaico for a mission-wide activity. It was a fun day, we received big news of new missions, mission zone changes, new missionaries, etc and then spent a few hours playing soccer, volleyball, AMERICAN football, etc. We had a lot of fun! Here´s where the story gets interesting: our zone of 17 missionaries took a bus back to Cañete, where we were then stranded without money. For some reason the money for the new month had not been transfered to our accounts, and we had no way to get home. Luckily we were able to spend the night in our zone leaders house (all 14 of us minus the sister missionaries), but we of coursed missed the opportunity to get to email home. We had a lot of fun with so many missionaries in a small Chilean house, but the power outages and lack of ANY money was slightly concerning....haha. But we´re alive! No worries ;) Only a few sore bones from sleeping on the cold wooden floor for two nights. Fun stories of living in Chile, eh? Unfortunately I don´t have time to give all the details, but maybe someday soon. As far as other news, my old roommate and MTC buddy Elder Townsend got called as a new AP (Assistant to the President)! He has the same time in the mission as me, so it took EVERYONE by surprise, including the president himself haha. The Lord sure directs our mission and must have a wise purpose in mind. Elder Townsend sure was wigging out, but I have complete confidence in him. I know the Lord has a great plan to work here. Bleh, I´m already out of time, but have a wonderful week! Love you! Thanks sooooooo much for all the emails! Elder Long :)
This is a super sweet letter from a lady in the ward where Tanner has been serving for the past 6 months. He started his mission here and the ward has grown to love him. He is being transferred but we still haven't heard from him yet.
Dear Sister Long,
First, your son asked me to tell you that the Preparation Day has been changed till next Friday, so please wait for his mail :)
Elder Long came today with two other Elders... He came to say Good Bye... right now all I have is tears :) but I'm so happy because my family had the opportunity to meet someone like Elder Long... he is SO great... you know it...
All I can say is "thanks" to you, to your family for raise such a wonderful young man. He has became a giant, he has such a powerful testimony and he had so beatiful words for us.
I'm also thankful for this last opportunity to tell you something about your son.
We told him that he has a home here in Chile if he wants to come back someday. He'll always have a family here and a safe place to stay.
Receive a huge hug from us and please tell your family that Elder Long has left a legacy of love and an incredible example of a sweet young man who loves is family, because when he talks about you, about his siblings you can see and feel how much he misses all his family but he knows that he's in the right place as a missionary.