Thursday, November 21, 2013

Churrillana and stuff

Delicious Churrillana (french fries, meat, tomatoes, onion and egg)

Our midnight trip to a Chilean Hospital

Garbage still on strike


A real Goliath

Good district with the Mission President

Chilean play money

Letter home November 18, 2013

Hey fam bam,

Thanks for the emails! It´s always great to hear from you. Trina, give Tom a big hug on my part. He probably doesn´t know how much I´ve always looked up to him and your sons. 

Quick question mum: Do you have any more information about the trip to Peru next summer?? When will it be? Can you send me a list of medical vocab I can learn to be prepared? Thanks!

This week was quite the crazy week!!! I had conferences with President Martinez, trips to the hospital until 1:30am, found out that I´ll be coming home sooner than planned, and had some unforgettable exchanges. Caught your attention? haha. One of the biggest bits of news is that since I´ll be ending my mission the same transfer as President Martinez, our mission has been cut a month shorter than normal to accomodate a few scheduling things. So yeah, I´ll be ending my mission June 17th! Crazy. 

As far as the hospital trip, I only have time to give a brief summary. Very simply, I chose to do a sudden exchange with the missionaries in my district that live in Los Angeles. We had a good day, but as we were leaving our last house, we noticed a group of people gathered around a girl on the ground in the street. I figured she had passed out, but I went to go see if all was well. Turns out that the girl on the ground was one of our sister missionaries that had fallen and seemingly broken her foot. After a series of events, we were at last leaving the hospital at 1am and got to bed around 2am. Ha. It was actually a really fun adventure, though. The stake patriarch was he who gave us a ride in his car, so he waited with us the entire night despite it being his 63rd birthday. Sweet guy. The good news is that Sister Huaytalla didn´t break her leg, just sprained it really good. I´ll be sending a letter to Corey with a more detailed version of the story if you want to bug her about it haha. One thing I sure learned was that my desire to study medicine was more solidified. I hated not being able to help much more than make executive decisions and pay the bill. But all turned out well. 

While we were at the hospital, someone was rushed in on a stretcher having maybe suffered a heart attack or car crash. Couldn´t really tell. After a few minutes, the doctor came out to give the news to the family. Their cries and grief were truly saddening, and I couldn´t help but wish that I could just sit them down right then and there to teach them about the marvelous Plan of Salvation that God created for us so that we can all live together again. It sure got me thinking about how grateful I am for the knowledge that comes from the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. He sure loves us and has done everything for us so that we can be happy. It´s just up to us to open the door to the missionaries and open our heart to the Spirit so that we can know the truth for ourselves. I know that the Lord lives and really does guide His only true prophet Thomas S Monson. I know that the Plan of Salvation is real and that we can live with God, Christ, and our families together forever if we repent, are baptized, and obey God´s commandments. It´s worth it. I´m so glad that our sweet invesigator Suellen has learned of that truth for herself and has decided to be baptized this weekend. Giant miracle for Yumbel!!! Wahoo!!! I´ll send pics next week after the baptism. Have a wonderful week! Love you!

Elder Long :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

16 months in the mission!

Hey fambam!

Can you believe that today I complete 16 months in the mission? Ooooo. Crazy. I still feel like I´m pretty young in the mission and still learning everyday...ha. 

Well it was an interesting week full of a LOT of traveling! I had to travel to Los Angeles everyday this week--very expensive on my tiny little wallet! But it was worth it, because all the divisions and exchanges I did with the missionaries in my zone and district really helped. We started off the week with only 8 people with baptismal dates, and we ended the week with 16. My district is progressing despite several challenges this week. The first weird difficutly was that someone entered the chapel during our zone meeting and stole a bunch of wallets, IDs, cameras, cellphones, etc while we were in another room. bleh. Last night, two of the sister missionaries whose cellphone was stolen then went missing. Despite never being home late, they were nearly two hours late for curfew. We had no way to contact them without their phone and noone knew where they were. Needless to say, we were extreeeeeemmmeeeellly worried. After much, much fervent prayer, they showed up to their house having ''lost track of time''......Ha. So we were grateful that our prayers were answered, but I know President Martinez wasn't very happy about the scare they gave us. 

Yesterday in church, we had a decent little attendance of 30 people. As soon as it ended, despite our efforts to help people stay for the classes, only 3 members remained with us 4 missionaries. Even our branch president had to leave early to attend a meeting with Elder Jeffrey R Holland in Concepción. (fun fact: the Concepción temple ground-breaking ceremony will be in these next few months. Finally!!!) I got myself to thinking about how hard we are working to help this little branch in Yumbel grow and strengthen itself. Only three members at church is not enough considering the potential of this little town. We've formed plans and taken action to help the members of the LDS church become active in the Lord's missionary work, and I can't wait to come back in 20 years to find the large WARD of yumbel in their filled CHAPEL. What a blessing it is to serve the Lord. I know He lives, and I know that His work will continue moving foward until it fills the earth.

 Have a wonderful week. Love you!
Elder Long :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Nov. 3, 2013

Hey fambam! It´s a beautiful HOT Chilean day! We had a random really strong rainstorm during the week, and pretty much every Chilean is agreed that that was the last rain of the season. So look out summer heat, here we come! I´m already back to using my hat so my poor bald head doesn´t fry...ha. Meh. 

Sounds like you had a great week! My big halloween adventure was getting to do an exchange with my trainer Elder Torres, who has been one of the mission's APs for the last 7 months. He´s a great young man who has become a fantastic missionary. He ends his mission in January. There were a few kids that went trick or treating, but the best I could offer them as a poor missionary was my dirty socks. They kindly said, ''No thank you Elder.''

Random Chilean news: Stinkin EVERYTHING is in strike. It started with the mail, then the trash, then the government buildings, and next will probably be the power and water....ha. We´ll see. But it sure keeps things interesting!

Trina, thanks so much for sending me the testimony of the girl from your ward (Miss Nevada). It was such a great read and spiritual boost. Love you!

We had a rough week as far as teaching. A lot of our investigators decided they didn´t want any more. Even our best investigator who was soooo set on getting baptized this 23 of November decided that he wanted to stay Catholic as soon as he moved in with his girlfriend. It was definitely a heart-wrenching afternoon to watch Satan pull him away from the truth. But I definitely realized that my desire to help these people is a legitamate desire and not just me going through the motions. I´m not satisfied with just inviting people to come unto Christ. I want them to actually accept the invitation so that they can receive the forgiveness of their sins through baptism and live worthy of the gift of the Holy Ghost. It´s so much more than just a nice little message about God. I know that what we teach is the truth, and EVERY person needs to not just hear our message, but accept it and apply it to their lives. Christ lives and loves us, and only through Him can we be free from sin. I know it to be true, and I do my best to not get tired of saying it over and over to people that don´t always want to listen. 

Keep working hard in your callings. The Lord is so grateful and pleased when we do our best to serve Him and His children. I sure love you!

Elder Long :)