Wow has it already been another week? This past week was super fun. I feel like I am going to say that every single week because no lie, every week here really is great in it's own way.
Last pday, my zone had the special opportunity to go to the mission president´s house to eat pizza and play sports. It was so great to have American pizza. My president also let us watch Star Wars! I've probably seen it four times in my life, but it was so fun to see all the reactions of missionaries who haven't seen it yet. The thing I loved most about the whole day though was spending time with President Gwilliam and his wife. Both of them are so loving and kind. They are always smiling and constantly looking for ways to make other people happy. I love it when people have that character trait. I think it is one of the best qualities a person can have.
SEPTEMBER 11TH. So September 11th passed by without anything bad happening. We heard gunshots and police sirens from our house, but none of us were hurt and that is what is important. The house in front of us invited us to a BBQ with them which was super sweet! When Chileans BBQ, they go all out…hot dogs, steak, pork, chicken.... I think that every single cow was cooked that day. It was without a doubt the best meal I have had on my entire mission.
I wanted to tell you some things about my companion, Elder Gularte. He is a twenty year old dude from Montevideo Uruguay and is in his last change here in the mission. He is crazy in all the right ways. He was a zone leader and is a district leader right now. In my interview with the mission president, he told me that Elder Gularte is one of his most trusted elders in the mission and at first I was skeptical, but now I can totally see it. He cracks me up this dude. He makes every single day special and different and he makes me die laughing several times a day. The thing is, he does all of that, and we work super hard at the same time. This cambio he and I set a goal to work as hard as possible in all the ways we could have improved last change. He wants to go all out this last transfer and I am super pumped to do it with him. We leave the house right after lunch, so like 1 sometimes 130 and we don´t come back till 10:30 or later every single day. I love it so much even though it is killing my legs. There has not been a day this past week where I have walked less than 8 miles. I have multiple blisters on both feet, and I have the worst shin splints in the whole world but no pain no gain right¿ He is also a star at soccer. He is stinking crazy with any ball. Sometimes we will be chilling in the house after doing our daily planning or eating a snack before sleeping and from across the room a tennis balls will fly between my legs. Andrew, he nutmegs me all the time. We will be walking in the street and he will kick a rock through my legs… Just stuff like that. I love him so much and I will be so sad to see him go.
My house! My house is behind a house. It is small and doesn’t have any heat, which makes it really cold in the mornings but that will change soon as I have heard it is hot here in the summer. That is how a lot of the houses are here. All of the houses have huge gates with spikes on top. Through my whole mission I have probably only knocked on 5 doors. Instead we scream HOLA until they come to the door.
I was reflecting on this to say to you all in my email and I thought of something that I think is really important to me. My companion and I live together and are with each other every single minute, so we are very open about our lives with each other and he has told me some interesting things. Before his mission, he was a different guy. A good guy inside that did bad bad things. He was addicted to drugs and other trails and just didn't really have a plan for life. His life has totally changed through the gospel. I mean, look at where he is now. I thought about my life, and realized I never had any serious issues like that. I mean, obviously I did things that I regret, but that is not my point. I have known about the gospel my whole life but that does not mean I have to try any less. Feeling comfortable is a dangerous feeling. When we feel comfortable with ourselves, we let our guard down and we are more prone to temptation. We have to always be trying to do good things. Always! Don't stop for even a minute. It is hard to always follow the rules.It is hard to always make good decisions, but there is seriously nothing in the entire world that makes it worth it to sin. Nothing! The only way we can feel real lasting happiness is through following Jesus´ example.
As you all know, I love it so much here but one thing that still frustrates me is the Spanish language. I have gotten to the point where I can understand a lot, enough to where I can carry a good conversation, but there is still so so so so so much work to go. My companion can only speak Spanish so I am literally forced to say every single thing I want to say in Spanish. I want to tell him a story. Spanish. I want to tell him what someone told me on the phone. Spanish. I have to tell him something I want to do. Spanish. Spanish Spanish Spanish. It is a fight to learn the language with lots of sad and happy moments but every day I am getting better and better.
I found a scripture that I really like that relates. It is Alma 38:5. It says ¨As much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials and your troubles and your affliction. It doesn't mean that we just trust in God and He will do everything else, obviously we still have to do our part, but if we trust in God while we do our part, then all of our afflictions will go away. I promise that that is true. I have seen this happen every day here.
It hurts to know what is happening with Pres. Shanklin and his awesome family, but I know that whatever happens it is Heavenly Father's will and that helps me feel a lot better about it. They are in my prayers. I love you all a ton and hope you have a safe week!