Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 27, 2014 Its beginning to look a lot like summer....

Hey guys, so in a matter of 2 weeks... it has completely changed seasons here! When I first got here, it was pretty cold and windy and we wore sweaters all the time and a coat sometimes. Its getting super hot here though now. I would way rather be hot than cold though :)  I am already starting to get a GNARLY watch tan line, that after this summer is going to be an eagilzer, I will send a pic don't worry ;) Its great weather here though, even though we still have these massive hills to climb everyday and we get so sweaty. Luckily I have clean clothes to change into... because for the last 18 days I have not had clean clothes.  Okay well it had been 18 days since I washed my clothes in the CCM before we had the chance to wash them here. I was here for over 2 weeks before my companion finally thought we could find some time to drop the clothes off at Hermana Lagos´s house who washes our clothes. And we dropped them off monday and didn`t get them back until friday. And I only kept 1 white shirt and 2 pairs of underwear and 1 pair of socks, because I didnt think it was going to take 5 days to get the clothes back!!!! So I wore the same white shirt the same socks and 2 pairs of garments for 5 days.  Disgusting I know! I had to keep washing one pair of underwear in the shower each day and hang them up to try to wear for the next day, and keep alternating pairs. Its a blessing to have clean clothes now :)

So my companion and I have had the opportunity to give a few priesthood blessing lately. I always do the annointing, and he does the blessing. The first time I did it in English. But now I have started doing it in Spanish. I have the words memorized, and thats not the hard part. The hardest part is remembering the person´s FULL name for the blessing. Because EVERYONE here has 4 names. And its not like easy American names I am used to. Its like crazy hispanic names that I have the hardest time memorizing even just to say it ONCE! haha its great though. Speaking of Priesthood Blessings... (I guess there is a first time for everything right???) because this less active lady in Tumbes asked us if we could give her boat a Priesthood blessing. We were like, well we don't really do that... but we can say a prayer with you for the boat! Because her husband and son were going on a fishing trip and the boat had some problems with it. And this is a super small fishing town, that everyone depends on their boat for their income. because almost everyone is a fisherman there! So we walked out along the pier where the boat was docked, and offered a prayer that Heavenly Father would calm the weather for them that week, and that the boat would work properly according to their faith. And everyone was safe and the boat worked great she said.

Well my trainer Elder CatrĂ²n is super experienced and I know that there is a TON I can learn from him, and that I am here for a certain reason... but one thing that I have mixed feelings about are our role play (or practices) each morning.  These are super helpful because we can practice the lesson we are going to teach for that day, but I am always the one teaching him because obviously I need the practice. He pretends like he is some person with a specific need that I need to find and teach the lesson according to his need. He gets so "into the role" and I try my best to find out about his family situation, and work, and religious background, and stuff like that to find the need. After I struggle with the language and try to teach him something... he usually says after the practice, "okay, now why did that lesson suck so bad?" haha I`m like... well let me see maybe it was because I don`t speak spanish, and I can never find your need because he plays the hardest investigator EVER!!!  I feel so hopeless most mornings when we do this, but he tells me what I need to do better, and we repeat this about 3 times until we get it right, or he doesn't want to keep seeing me fail anymore, I'm not sure!  Its pretty frustrating, but the things is that I KNOW having him as my trainer I am going to learn some AWESOME lessons, and I am going to be a far better teacher because of it in the long run. He is a great companion. He just doesn`t have that much patience for when I ask a lot of questions, or have him repeat things because I don't catch them the first time. But its not that bad, my ability to teach, understand, and speak is improving every day!

We had Stake Conference this weekend. Saturday night was the adult session, and there were no more than like 50 or 60 people there. They just talked about like the statistics and numbers of members and less actives, and baptisms and everything in their stake. 2 hours meetings are hard to sit through normally... and when you can hardly understand them, its even worse!  And the sunday session the first speaker talked about scouting for 30 minutus, and the second speaker talked about Relief Society stuff for 30 minutes, then the Mission President and Stake President spoke. I can really understand almost every word that the mission President says, so I understand A TON of spanish, its just that these dang Chileans speak so freaking different! Sister Arrington spoke (in english) and gave a story of where her sister was in Africa for a humanitarian project. They were in a respiratory clinic thing and 3 ladies came in who were right about to deliver their babies. Apparently all of the doctors had left for the day or something, and they told her that if she had any medical training what so ever she was the most qualified for the job. She thought that surely someone else was more qualified, or that someone else would do it. But no one else could, it had to be her. She had a little training, but never on how to deliver a baby. She was so scared, and prayed to Heavenly Father that lives were at stake if she didnt do anything. She told him that she did not know how to do this, but knew that he did! She prayed for guidance and help to do it. She was guided and delivered all these babies healthy and safe. 

She related this experience to missionary work for MEMBERS. That it seams most of the time that we are not the most qualified to share the gospel with someone, or that SOMEONE ELSE WILL DO IT! ... but it has to be us! "Every member a missionary" We need to all get involved in the work of salvation, not just members. Anyway I really liked her talk. Also last night we had this program thing for members who came, and were all supposed to bring non member friends. It was a singing program, where all the missionaries in the Talcahuano Norte, and Sur zones sang and other people in the stake sang, and we passed out pamflets and pass along cards to people after. It was a fun program to be a part of. Well... I am really enjoying it down here, Its obviously SUPER DUPER HARD some times, and SUPER DUPER REWARDING at other times :)

One really neat thing I learned in the scriptures today, was reading in Alma 7:11-13 I have read these versed about the Atonement many many times, but learned something new this week. Not once in there does it mention our sins that Christ suffered for. It only talks about the temptations, the pains, the sicknesses, afflictions, infirmities, etc. And this that he would know how to succor his people according to the flesh. What I realized was that none of these things he suffered for were NECESSARY for us to be able to return back to Heavenly Father´s presence. Only the suffering for our sins was necessary, so why did he suffer for everything else as well? Yes to know how to succor his people. Because when you know EXACTLY how someone feels, you can help them PERFECTLY. But also... it all goes back to the Character of Christ! Turning OUTWARD, not INWARD! I love that message that Elder Bednar spoke on in the MTC. 
And like Neal A. Maxwell said, "There would have been no Atoning sacrifice, without the Character of Christ." I testify that Jesus Christ is our savior, and our redeemer. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Only in and through him can we be saved. Only in and through him can we be healed of our spiritual wounds. I love him so much, and I love learning of him through the scriptures, and the Holy Ghost of course.

Elder Bednar taught we should learn OF Christ, not only ABOUT him. That is what I am trying to do. Because I know by understanding more about Christ, this will make me a far better teacher, and missionary! well... another week has passed, I hope everyone is doing well back home. I am doing great, but just keep praying for the members here in Talcahuano, and all over the world! I Love you guys! Until next week :)

-Elder Hartvigsen

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