This letter was sent 6/28/2010
First off, although it´s exciting that Chile is progressing in the World Cup and all, it is SO HORRIBLE to be here after a game. I don´t know if any of you will remember or were there, but after BYU beat Oklahoma back in September, Provo was RIDICULOUS. The streets were lined with cars honking and everyone was running around and screaming and it was impossible to do anything but party. Welcome to Iquique (especially in the center) after every game. I couldn´t believe the amount of celebrating after Chile LOST last Friday. I´m kind of secretly hoping that it ends here with the game against Brazil today, because at least we can work. But we´ll see what happens.
This week was ridiculously busy and thinking back on it, it seems like about three months instead of seven days. Hermana Quiroz was really sick at the beginning of the week. We had ward conference, with activities every day. We attended Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Friday night, and Saturday morning. We watched both of the Chile games in the World Cup, we had interviews with the president, we had a baptism on Saturday morning, and we still found 6 new investigators and taught 12 lessons, which is an honorable week of work. We´re heading into the last week of the transfer with a baptism on Saturday and hoping to work really hard and set baptismal dates, find new investigators, etc.
Most importantly, we accomplished the 5 baptisms!! It was really exciting, and only one other companionship in our zone did. Only two zones of the ten in the mission baptized 5 people per companionship, but we had 260 baptisms in 3 months, which really is good for the previous records of our mission and this area.
Allison and Felipe were super happy, and yesterday we had ward conference, so the stake presidency was there and spoke in Sacrament Meeting and in the third hour meeting, and they kept referring to Allison and Felipe during all the talk and everything. I´m sure it was embarrassing for them, but I´m super happy that the ward is receiving them with open arms and I know they´re going to be really great converts.
[Editor's note: I decided to leave this section in because it demonstrates tough choices we have to make and the resulting consequences.] I have an embarrassing story and I don´t know if it should be made known to the world, so maybe Dad should edit this before putting it on the blog (you are posting my emails on my blog, right?). Every Sunday we eat lunch with members. Yesterday it was the Martins family. They´re from Brazil but lived in Japan for the last 18 years and moved to Chile about 8 months ago, for business related things. They don´t speak super great Spanish, and what they do speak, is with a HEAVY Portuguese (Brazilian?) accent. Sometimes we can understand them, sometimes no. But they have a car, so after church we get in the car with them, presumably to go to their house to eat. They´re all chattering away in Japanese or Portuguese or something (apparently those languages are really similar?) and all of a sudden they´re like "Can the missionaries eat in a restaurant on Sunday?" and HQ is like "No!" and they´re like "Umm... our oven.... yesterday we had to cook for 80 people... we didn´t make anything.... (a whole bunch more).... so we´re going to a restaurant. Can you?" and we have NOOOOO idea what to do, we just don´t say anything, and HQ gives me this look like "save me" but I have absolutely no idea how, and so they just keep driving and driving and driving, a million miles (it seemed) out of our sector, and we ended up at a Chinese food restaurant. We tried to hide our nametags the best we could and had the most uncomfortable lunch ever.
After lunch, when we left to work at 3:30 like we always do, we stopped by the house of Anyela, a girl in our ward who is studying medicine and always works with us on Sunday. We asked who we ate lunch with and we were super embarrassed but we told her and she was like "Okay I totally understand, what else could you have done?" and we just said we had no idea. Later when we came back to drop her off, her mom (it´s the family of the ward mission leader, by the way) was like "I made picarones, do you want some? Or would you rather we went to a restaurant to eat?" and we were really embarrassed and she was kind of angry that we said we didn´t know what else we could do. "Don´t tell me that you didn´t know what to do! If someone tempts you with something, are you going to say that you didn´t know how to say no?" Ugh. Maybe right now I can think of things I could have said, but seriously, in the moment, there was no other option. It wasn´t that we were really hungry and didn´t want to miss out on the chance for food! But we really didn´t want to hurt their feelings. Ugh, I don´t know. The only thing we can do is hope that it doesn´t turn into a huge rumor in the ward.
Anyway, that´s all I have for today. Next week I´ll know about transfers! Woo hoo! Love you guys.