Monday, March 9, 2015

Drastic Change

Drastic, such a good word choice Elder Gunnell, looks like my english isn´t quite as bad as I thought it was. :)
So I am surely convinced that I had the most drastic and big change this transfer. Keep in mind that I was in my little town, Catemu, without stop lights and a couple stop signs, hardly any cars and just a whole bunch of small houses. Wanna know where I am now? I am in the HEART of Santiago!! And it is the most FANTASTIC thing in the world. Haha it is sooooo sweet here. I mean I have been here for like a couple hours but it is still so cool. When I say the heart of Santiago I mean right in the dead center. We live right by the Plaza de Armas which is the biggest plaza in Santiago. All the government buildings are here too. I don´t know how it will be to work here as a missionary because all we have in our area are departments and so we can´t go knock on doors to make contacts or things like that because the gaurds down below won´t let you in unless you are visiting someone specifically and if that someone says it is okay. So the Sister missionaries who were here before said that we will do a lot of contacts in the parks and plazas but it is still hard because most the people that are out and about are from different countries so it is super rare to find someone and then actually start teaching them, but I have faith! 
I am almost certain that we will get lost for sure but there are millions of people around so we can just ask and ask and ask until we find our apartment again or something. Oh! My companion! My companion is Elder Richards from Las Vegas, we were actually in the same district in the MTC! Which is pretty neat! I think it was daring of the President to send two somewhat new missionaries to a new area that neither of us knew but that just makes it all the more exciting! Haha we are going to learn a lot I think because (since we are still somewhat young to this whole mission thing) we both don´t speak amazing spanish and we have always had an older companion who could do all the talking or take charge in the lessons and now we just got eachother. I am wayy excited to see how it goes! I am certain it will be hard but I think I am ready for a challenge... I hope.
When ended up getting the apartment just fine from the Mission home. We took a taxi and he dropped of us like a block from the apartment building. We were struggling a little bit with our suitcases and there was this big black guy near and he was like, ¨Hey what´s up man?!¨ in English and just grabbed two of Elder Richards´s suitcases and asked where we needed to go. He told us he was from Haiti and had lived a lot of his life in the US and now here. I asked if he spoke spanish and he said, ¨yes very well¨. I was like, ¨maybe you could help me out cause my spanish isn´t too good.¨ Then he asked, ¨Well are you trying your best?¨ I said yes and he said, ¨if you are trying your best you have nothing to worry about, you will be fine. That´s all you can do is do you best and it will come.¨ Then we got to our building he shook our hands and left. It was a good little reminder because as much as I am excited, I´m a little nervous/scared too but I know that God is right by my side.
This last week was a super busy week with the activity we had. It was one of the best church funcioned activities I have seen in a loooong time. I am pretty sure there was around 100 people there and that is more than we ever have a church. It was a huge hit with all the dances from the countries, the presentations, and the food! It was killer trying to make all that food... Making that many cinnamon rolls and homemade rolls takes FOREVER especially when you have such a small oven, kitchen, and so little bowls, pans, etc. The branch helped out a lot because a lot of people lended me pans so I could cook everything. I was super glad it all turned out good and the people like it all! I have got to say thanks again mom for the recipes and teaching me to cook. The mission is making a little recipe book soon so I will send you a couple of recipes from there so you can make a couple Chilean dishes!
It was soo very hard to say goodbye to the members of that branch and to Adela, and Carolina and her two little girls, and all the people that we have spent time with. I can honestly say I love them. I really do hope the best for them. I met some of the strongest most faithful people there in Catemu and Llay-Llay and they will forever be examples to me. All day Sunday we went and took pictures and said bye to everyone. It was sad and a couple people cried. I´m going to try to send little notes here and there to some people.
I would send some pictures of where I am at but there aren´t any USB ports in this internet cafe so I´ll try to get them to you another time. If you want to look up my apartment building we live on the corner of the street Teatinos with the street Rosa(s) I don´t remember if there is an ¨s¨ or not. 
Tonight we are going to try to meet up with the Bishop(weird I have a bishop again, not a Branch President) and the Mission leader of the ward and if they can´t today I think we will try to meet some of the recent converts and basically just kind of get our bearings here in the middle of this massive city.
Let Trevor and Tylyn know that I wish I could be there and that I hope everything goes well!!

Elder Gunnell
 Cultural activity!!! It was a blast and soo fun! The relief society went crazy on the Brazil stand. 
 In our stand we had the poster Elder Bennett made and some balloons than I made 166 cinnamon rolls, 125+ rolls, and a huge `ol thing of homemade chicken noodle soup. It was way fun to say the least!

The Brazilean dish. Dinner and a show!

We also celebrated Elder Bennett`s and Martina`s birthdays with homemade apple pies and ice cream!

I ate bunny for the first time this week too! The table is a table that the brazilean lady made for her husband it`s pretty

Two Things I never thought I would do on my

March 2, 2015

1. Understand Portuguese.
2. Be in charge of making the deserts of a wedding.

Before I get into those I want to share a little about a fun little family home evening we had last Monday! We taught a family that are less active but we visit them a lot(they have the little boy that looks a like Drey but with black hair) anyways we had a really good activity about the atonement of Christ and then I taught them how to make homemade personal ice cream! Haha it was such a blast and they loved it! We finally got Christain (12 years old) to come to church again with us yesterday so that was really good!

Now to explain the understanding portugese thing. We had contacted a man when we were trying to find a house. He said that we could come by another day so Tuesday we stopped by their house and a woman came to the door. We said we were looking for Jaime and she said okay hold on a minute, but she said it with a super thick accent. So when she went to get him Elder Bennett was like dude she has got to be from Brazil. I had no idea, I just knew it was spanish with some sort of accent. Later on we got to know all of the family. Well the three of them Jaime(dad), Liduina(mom) and Luna(daughter). The mom is actually from Brazil and speaks hardly any spanish. We talked to her more than anyone else that day and I can tell you that the gift of tongues is real. I have a hard time understanding spanish and I have never once studied portugese but somehow we could understand her and could answer her questions and everything! Who knew we would find someone from Brazil in this little town of Catemu?! Tonight she is going to make us food from Brazil and I am going to make something the US to share!

Now for number two. I don´t remember what day but I think it was like Tuesday or Wednesday. One of the sisters in our Branch called me and said there was a problem with the wedding of two people in our branch and that a lot of the plans failed so she asked if I could be in charge of making all the deserts for the wedding. I gladly said I would love to do it:) So I made a huge ´ol list of the things I needed and then went and got them. I spent that whole day cooking, it took me longer than I thought but I finished in time!! It was a blast! And I felt pretty good when all was finished and set up looking pretty! Haha anyways I made 60 strawberry shortcake cupcakes, 48 salted caramel chocolate cupcakes, 3 pans of cookie dough brownies(the people are in love with brownies here), 3 chocolate fudge strawberry cakes, and like 80 or so sugar cookies. It was fantastic. Then some members came in a car to pick us and everything up and then when we got to the church(where the marriage was at) I was able to help the chef guy finish off making the dinner part of things! So all in all that was a way busy and fun day! The bummer was that we had to leave at 9 at night and they started at 8:30 so we actually didn´t get to eat anything! I was hoping that everything tasted good! But a couple people at church told me the things were tasty so I guess all went well!

A little update on the family that was coming to church and everything, Nelson, Cecilia and Patricio. They are alright. They don´t want to commit to anything and I scared to get out of their comfort zone which I understand but I want their wonderful family to have what my family has, an eternal family. So I will not give up on them. We are going to do more service for them tomorrow morning. I´m hoping that one day they will be able to feel our love enough and realize that all we want is the best for them and the best thing they can do is make covenants with God and take a step of faith outside of their comfort zone so that they can receive so many more blessings.

Thank you for all your support and love! Also a big huge shout out for Court and her call to Mexico! 

Elder Gunnell

P.S. This next Monday we have transfers! I don´t know if I will stay or go but whatever happens I know it will be good for me!

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