Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31, 2011

Ok so here is my weekly layout for this past week:
We had our zone conf in Cañete cancelled because we had a surprise conference with Pres. Amado on wed the 26th so I thought that would be a fun b-day present. We went up to Concepcion Tuesday at 6pm because the conference was super early and there are no buses from Lebu to Concepcion that early because it’s about 3.5 hours away by bus so we slept that the assistants and office elders house, that was fun, saw brimmy
My birthday of course! Had the conference and it was soooo long and only in Spanish (surprised?). It started at 9 and ended at 5pm, so yah that shows you how long and I started getting a fever that night at the conference and on the bus ride home. So I went right to bed and didn’t work the rest of the day, not that there was a huge amount of time anyway.
The fever continued and hit103 so I was in bed all day and I did not leave the house. Goddard went on splits with a priest and left one with me, he was on his lap top and I slept so it worked out. Momita planned a huge b-day for me with the other elders in the zone, with a meal of cheese and chicken empanadas which are my favorite chileano food so I had 2 of each in bed and the elders came up and gave me a blessing.
Same as Thursday pretty much, stayed in bed all day and slept because I was crazy sick. Fever still 103. Throughout the few days I had been calling sister Swenson and she had been telling me ibuprofen and sleep so that was my medication.
Here were my symptoms that I had Thursday-now:
Fever, awful headache, achy, no energy at all, and a cough that each time causes my head to hurt.
Saturday I was in bed until the baptism, got all the strength I could and went off to the first baptism of my mission. Her full name (which is long and normally chileano names are long and hard to say) is: Catalina lircay (lir-kie) pinto Colileo. That was tough. Goddard baptized Sebastian. It was fun. All 4 Lebu elders baptized.  I had very little energy so I went with Elder Steele to his newly baptized family (mom and daughter) and Goddard went on a split with the branch president.
Still sick but went to church.  We only had 2 investigators come, Goddard was mad the 2 families didn’t come again this week. My new comp and I will have to really work with them. We went home because I had no energy and Goddard needed to pack to go home.
Still a bit sick.  Called Santiago doctor and he prescribed me some antibiotics, sounds like I have a weird chileano fever virus. My fever is down but yah, still feel weak. We are in Concepcion because Goddard has his exit interview and I have to be here tomorrow to get my new comp (yes combios are on Tuesday not today so all I know about my new comp now is his name).
But yah fun week right? Sorry it was such a late email we have been everywhere for Goddard and have not had the time.

About my new companion:
I’ve heard he liked to hit people on the back of the head when they say stupid stuff
That he likes to build ships in his basement
He never locks the doors to his house
Get it yet...?
He has some friends named Tony... and Ziva...

Hahaha his name is Gibbs! I heard that and thought of NCIS so I needed to make a joke.

Well hey that’s been my week, hope I got it all down for you, lots of bus rides.
I love you all, I’m helping someone at the office learn Photoshop so I need to get going.
Love you all!

Monday, January 24, 2011

January 24, 2011

Transfers are this Saturday—anxious to know what will happen.  So there will be some news next email.  Who will be my new companion?  Will I be transferred?

We had 9 investigators in church Sunday and 6 had baptismal dates, but we could have done better.  Two families of 5 people were going to come but went to the circus Saturday night and got food poisoning. Oh and funny note, when Chilean’s get sick, they always go to the hospital right away, even for just a sneeze, and get a shot. I have no idea what, probably a pain killer or muscle relaxer, but that’s what they do. So unless I say a family went to the hospital with something serious, it’s just because a bug flew up in their nose, they sneezed and thought they were "sick" and went to the hospital for a shot.
My week was a lot of working with families. We need those 2 families to go to church. One would have and are golden. They told us that they have wanted to stop smoking for a while but just never had a reason to, and now they have a reason. They have seen all the Mormon videos out there because they have asked for all of them from us, haha. They also think tea and coffee is bad for you, how many non LDS people think that? Ummmm, no one. Now just go to church so I can dunk you! Just kidding, but you know what I mean.

Some weird things that happened to me this week:
I got a kiss from a drunk guy on the back of the neck, for like 10 seconds.
An investigator started breast feeding during a lesson, and because Chileans have no shame, it was all very visible.
A dog played fetch with me, but didn’t use a toy, used a rock.
A cat climbed through the window and got under my blanket and started sleeping with me that scared the crap out of me in the morning.
That’s about it, weird huh?

I’m getting scared because I have a feeling I’m getting a Latin companion this time, I was soooo blessed with having Goddard.  He was amazing, still is, but you know. Taught me all I needed to know about the culture and being a successful missionary.  A native companion can help me with the language, so that is a good thing but it will be different.

Well that’s been my week.  Next Monday will be filled with lots of new news so I’m scared but excited at the same time!

Love you all!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

January 17, 2011

We went to Concepcion today which is out of our mission technically but it was fun.
There was actually a mall! And a McDonalds, which I got a big Mac and looked like the biggest gringo ever! It was so awesome, man I love being American!

I got new shoes because the church ones just keep blistering my feet. I got Nike free´s because my p-day shoes feel like comfy slippers so I wanted something like that. They are all black, but they were approved by the mission president so I’m OK.

I’ll still wear the church shoes but on days where we walk less or have a good amount of appointments.

In Conce (short for Concepcion just an FYI if I keep saying it) there is a store called Lider´s and it is owned by Wal-Mart so they import American things that you can’t find in Chile like BBQ sauce, peanut butter, Mac and cheese, and other stuff. It’s called the gringo section and there are always missionaries from our mission and the other one there because they miss USA stuff (which is why I had a big Mac at McDonalds)  By the way, they have this big Mac here but its 2 chicken patties not beef. My comp tried it, it looked too weird for me so I got the "beef" one. Do they have that in the states?

We saw a lot of buildings still just toppled over from the earthquake almost a year ago, they just have no money to rebuild so they leave it, kind of sad.
I took a picture of the Bio-Bio River, and if you Google earth it its huge right? Well like the river here in Lebu, because of the earthquake, it’s a lot smaller and there are parts where you can see just dirt. Kind of sad.

I hit the big 20 soon which is a scary thought! And that’s about all the fun news I have.

For dad, the demographics of the area (which by the way is less fun for me to write about):
The branch (not ward) is OK. They are warming up.  The branch president  tells them to warm up to the investigators and stop being like stiffs all the time. And we FINALLY have branch missionaries so we will be training them this week and all that jazz.

Ooohh, the states have it good, because no one here has heard of Predicad mi Evangelico (Preach my Gospel) and no one has a copy. So we are in the process of getting all the branch missionaries one and teaching them how to teach the 1st lesson. It is kind of like the MTC for them, except more fun because I’m here.

We had the spawn of Satan children at church Sunday (a new investigator was sick so we took her kids one is 9, one is 8, and one is 7.) they don’t know how to whisper and were beyond annoying and bouncy. We had to sit with them in the hall for the last 15 minutes of Sacrament meeting because they were too distracting. But we have 6 baptismal fechas (dates) so hopefully they will all go through. I think they won’t stay because they weren’t commitments; more hey want to be baptized on the 31st? Uh sure why not type of deal.

But yah that’s it. Our zone is the best in the mission for attendance of investigators, baptismal dates and baptisms. If we are the best at the end of the month in totals the President is going to come down and work with us, go on splits. Which would be awesome!

Anyway, that’s the branch and all. I still can’t be alone (cornered) in church because people ask me questions I say "no intiendo" (I don’t understand) they roll their eyes, utter under their breath and walk off. Great moral booster. But hey, if they went to the USA, they would know nothing at all, so I just picture that person in the USA not knowing anything, it’s bearable.

Anyway, I love you all so much, thanks for the thoughts prayers and emails, I love getting them.
Love you all
Elder Kyle Allen

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 10, 2011

OK, so today I’m in Cañete, because my comp has to go to Santiago to get a new passport. The Chile express (one of the Chilean mail services) lost his passport and he goes home in 3 weeks. So I’m with a zone leader (because they lost the other zone leaders as well) so I’m zone leader for a day, woot! Don’t worry about the mail though; the only sketchy mail is Chile to Chile. USA to Chile and Chile to USA is OK, if you send it to the office. So I’m not sure how the pouch works but everyone gets the packages sent to the office.

Oh and I have over 100 flea bites, no joke. They are bad. Soooo gross and itchy.

Here is a picture of a shower hut I found. Yep, it’s a community shower hut in this one neighborhood. Weird and creepy, especially because the Chileans have no boundaries. I’ve seen so many people breast feed in the open, and walk out of the shower hut with very little on.

This is an activity we did at the church to get more investigators.  It was fun. 

You have asked so many questions, so I am just going to answer them for my letter this week.   

How is the food?  Well, there is a lot and a lot of bread, I don’t know how much I’ve gained already but I’m sure it will be a lot because we eat a ton, our Momita spoils us for sure.

Still feeling good?  Define good, por favor

Any stomach problems?  Yes, we frequent members houses a lot while on our normal working day because we always need to pee for one, and I had some shell fish one day that forced me to the bathroom to puke. Yep very gross even when it’s cooked. Tasted like dirty pork fat.

How was Church on Sunday?  Ok, we only had 3 investigators at Church, 2 are sisters (11&8) and their mom is an inactive member that has had us over a few times while she is completely drunk. Never felt worse in my stomach then those visits. The 3rd was an inactive member that we are reactivating the mom. The 2 kids we normally have didn’t show up and weren’t home for our Saturday appointment.  Their mom is avoiding us soooo, not good at all. We also have 1 teenager, and some others I just don’t know their names/we just met them last Saturday.

How is your clothing working out?  Good, dirty quick but good.

Are the shirts getting clean?  Yes, once a week by our Momita

How are your feet?  Very bad, it was a week of blisters, no matter what shoes I wear I get them, even the nice timberlands. I’ve been wearing them for 2 weeks now, they are broken in and I keep getting them. I’m going to talk to the president and see if I can get a pair of black tennis shoes to wear instead.

Give us some information about the ward (or branch) you are serving in.  How have you found the members?  They are ok, not really willing to help missionaries that much, and they aren’t very inviting to investigators, in general, but there are a few families that are awesome and we love them/  They help us a lot and that have children that help us all the time.

Give us an idea of how you spend your days.  Is it a mixture of teaching and service?  A few lessons a week, no service yet

Do you tract?  Yes, that’s pretty much every day all we do. Lots of door to door stuff, but there are fences everywhere so it’s more fence to fence. We can’t enter the fence unless invited; it’s the polite thing and nice thing, so we yell from the gate.

How many lessons are you teaching per week (on average)? Not sure, probably 6-10. Not much because we are opening the sector. Lebu 1 (the other Lebu) brought 10 investigators to church and 8 of them had baptismal dates. That’s why we want Lebu2 to stay open, because they are doing amazing in their now much smaller area.
Love you all, Elder Kyle Allen

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Monday January 3, 2011

Ok so about the earthquake, it was fun! Ha-ha I was thrown from my feet, it was awesome. We were in the house about to leave for the day, I was thrown onto a bed, but still thrown, and no aftershocks that we felt. Everyone lost power for a while, no real damage. We didn’t get it the worst but we have been on earthquake watch lately so it was bound to come, there will be more soon the people keep saying, it’s crazy, just crazy.

Some Elders have to eat from members and investigators but we have a Momita that makes us food, and that’s part of the living cost which is awesome because she makes good food and it’s always safe and she cooks around our likes and dislikes. For New Year’s some other Elders ate intestines with like a pudding stuffed inside and all but threw up. One of the Elder’s is now sick and I’m sure it’s from that.  That’s a food horror story, apparently it’s an expensive delicacy here, and I hope I never come across that sickness.

The language is still so hard to understand them, they talk faster then I’ve ever heard in my life and the slur and it’s very, not amazingly Spanish.  My companion does all the talking but he is great and leaves in 5 weeks, for home, so he is a great elder, he has been zone leaders, is the district leader so he is teaching me how to be a better leader as well which is awesome.

Everyone we have met here is soooo humble! It’s great; the members are so nice and willing to help with anything.
In the pictures I sent there is a dog, and there literally are no boxes under him! he is on that thin piece of wood holding the fence together, it was crazy cool.
There are cows on our walk way to the neighborhood that we do most of our work in, which is weird.
New years is a bigger holiday here than Christmas so I got some pics of the fireworks.  New Years and the day after were impossible to work, no joke.

ummm our baptismal date with the 2 kids changed because the boy didn’t want to go to church so the mom said they weren’t ready, they ended up going to church but we moved it back a week anyway, so it’s the 15th of January

It rained a lot today which was crazy, I was drenched but the week was hard, it was great to relax today. very great.  I really needed it bad. The work is hard just like the language; I’m just hoping everything will click soon, because I feel so lost some times!  but hey, I’ve been blessed in my life so far, eventually I will be here.

Oh yeah and kids are punks! they use English just to swear and I hate it!
Anyway, I love you all, thanks for the prayers, the work is hard but no one said it would be easy.
Keep safe, stay classy, bye till next week, Love Elder Kyle Allen