This week was LOCO.
I´m getting to know investigators more, getting to know the area more, and getting to know Spanish more, which is all very good. This past week I felt a lot more comfortable with being a missionary, which was really good. A LOT of stuff happened that I want to write about.
Wednesday we had our first zone conference. I was really looking forward to it, until I remembered that it was all going to be in really fast Spanish, and I was a little triste. But, when we got there Presidente Urra had an Elder translate for me and Hermana Montandon (she´s the other white sister that I came here with and she happens to be in my zone, which is good because we´re best friends now, by the way), which was REALLY embarrassing at first, but then not that bad. Sometimes it was more distracting than helpful to have him translating, so he just helped us out with the things that were confusing. But, it was really good. It was really inspiring to talk about all the promises we have as missionaries and stuff. I can´t remember if I said this last time, but our focus for April, May and June is for every companionship to have five baptisms, so we talked about what we have to do to make that happen. We´ve had two (neither of them my work, obviously) and really hoping for three more this transfer so we can do even more the next transfer!
Thursday we had A MILLION APPOINTMENTS. We spend a lot of time running from appt to appt, which makes it hard to do our 20 contacts every day, but we had a plan worked out for Thursday. We went to Miguel first, intending about an hour long lesson so we could make it to the rest of our appts. We ended up spending two hours there with him, pounding him with scriptures and with the Spirit and waiting for him to admit that he knows he has to be baptized and to decide when. He never said it, it was awful. I don´t think he´s quit smoking, and I think he maybe just hasn´t quit because he is afraid of getting baptized or something. Crazy.
Anyway, we spent two hours there and ran to our next appt, half an hour behind schedule. We had a super good lesson with Consuelo and Sandra, a mother and 9-year-old daughter, who are all about the church and will probably get baptized real soon, they´re totally elect. Anyway, we were still there, later than we ought to have been, when I saw this WEIRD explosion in the sky. I don´t know what it was, but when we finally left, there were no lights anywhere and it was really dark outside. There were no streetlights or lights in stores or houses. The only light was from the cars hanging out in a massive traffic jam. We were way weirded out, and couldn´t even go to our other three appts because there was no way to get anywhere in pitch black darkness. And we were going to commit all of these people to baptism! We decided to go back to our apartment to see if we had gotten any calls from the zone leaders, and when we got to the area where we live, everything was totally normal. But we could see that in the other part of town there was still no light. We just did contacts and called the people to apologize for not coming. It was psycho.
Friday I had to go ARICA to try to get my visa. It´s 4.5 hours north by bus and TurBus, our mode of traveling, KILLS me. I got to my area super sick the first day because of that dang bus. Anyway, we leave in the morning, which a return ticket for that night. The office closes at 1 and wouldn´t accept us because of a series of unfortunate events. But they say we have to come back the next morning, which is Saturday. So, we all split up to work with the sisters there that afternoon, sleep on mattresses on the floor in their apartment, without pajamas, without blankets, without clothes for the next day. We got up super early on Saturday morning to be first in line and it´s not open. The woman just totally lied to us, not sure why. Anyway, we get back on that bus, disgusting, and arrive back in Iquique a couple hours before the baptism. Ridiculous. By the way, my companion and Hermana Montandon´s companion stayed back to work together because they already have their visas.
Sunday morning we had to pick up investigators in two separate places, so we went on splits. I was really nervous, because I don´t know the area very well, but it wasn´t super hard to find. Unfortunately, we were super LATE, because everyone was running behind, walks slow, the girl I was with wanted to stop somewhere else to pick up this less active member, etc. And I was giving a talk! I hope the Bishop wasn´t too nervous when I rolled in like 15 minutes after 10:00 am, haha. Anyway, my talk went well, everyone said my Spanish is really good (writing out a talk and reading it is so easy, haha), and we had three investigators at church!
That´s about it for my week. We don´t have any for sure baptismal dates right now (Miguel is loco) but I have a lot of faith that we will soon.
I hope you´re all doing well! Thanks for the emails. Tagg, congratulations on the new car, and Chase, hurry up and do your papers! And write me, crazy boys. McKay, I´m really excited to hear about how things are in New York!! Dad, I´m responding to your questions in a separate email. Love you!