Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Crocs and Slugs

The happy hands club. Oh, wait. That's Napoleon Dynamite. The Helping Hands.

14 September 2015
Dear family and Hermana Fullmer,
I told Hermana Fullmer before she left that she was going to get an email when I stepped on a slug in the morning before turning on the light. Today is that day. Fortunately I was wearing shoes, or rather, crocs. I think it's time to let my mom in on the fact that I have been wearing crocs around the house. But they're mint, don't worry. They're just easy to slip on and avoid the spiders, slugs, and mold that our brick floor tends to have. It was an opportunity for me to learn some Portuguese words, "noho" and "eco". I taught Hermana Souza "gross," "ewww," "nasty," "ick," and "disgusting." Her favorite was gross. My favorite was noho, pronounced no show. We also had to buy a plunger to fix our kitchen sink this week and I remembered that Hermana Santander taught me that word. Full time missionary service provides language learning opportunities that high school and college language classes just can't. That was my week. I can't let you think that all of my experiences are cultural or spiritual, right?
Last week we went to Patronato and I bought several pairs of Indian pants. It's the souvenir I wanted from Chile. We'll see if I'm brave enough to wear them anywhere after the mission. Yoga class, maybe. Lounging around the house, definitely. Walmart, probably.
Today we are going to Santa Lucia. Hermana Souza has never been and I am excited to go back because it is beautiful.
We visited Yolanda for her birthday and gave her an English copy of the Book of Mormon. We sang Happy Birthday in Spanish, English, Portuguese, VanCott Clan, and Primary.

We're really excited about two investigators this week. The first one I already wrote a little about. We visited him this week with Matias Lucero, a future missionary. We taught the Restoration and had Matias teach about the priesthood. We talked about the Book of Mormon and our investigator was really fascinated by the history. He has a curious mind and marvels at the Book of Mormon. He reads a lot but still hasn't prayed. He's atheist and I think it is just hard for him to start talking to someone when he's not sure who is listening. He says that when he has had spiritual experiences was when he went fishing. Matias mentioned how Joseph Smith went to a grove of trees to be alone and we read part of the story in Joseph Smith History. Nature does provide a spiritual setting. We invited him to go fishing.  We're hoping to be able to teach his wife and daughter as well.
The second investigator we taught for the first time Saturday night. He's the one with a Smoke Like A Marley shirt who we contacted after the Adventist. We had talked about Joseph Smith and given him a copy of the Book of Mormon in the contact. He is also really curious but seems like he doesn't want to be told what to do. Our approach with him is going to have to be letting him read and discover some things for himself. He believes that all of the religions have something good and we agreed. They all have part of the truth. We explained the priesthood authority and showed him the picture from the pamphlet of Christ ordaining his apostles. He said he really liked that picture. We talked about how Peter lead the church after Christ's ministry ended and how later the apostles were killed. We asked him what happened to the authority if it wasn't given to anyone else by laying on of hands. He thought that was a good question and said, "I've never thought of that before. Does that pamphlet explain it?" We left him with the Restoration pamphlet to read and I hope he does. We're going to visit both investigators on Tuesday with Matias Lucero.
Someone fraudulent called pretending to be one of my relatives. People say that it is a scam by prisoners here in Santiago. Little did he know that I don't have any nephews, let alone Chilean nephews. What happens when one of these frauds calls a Mormon missionary? I started to teach a mini version of the Restoration and we had a good eight minute conversation where he tried to get information out of me and I just kept talking about the restored gospel and invited him to read the Book of Mormon online. Hermana Souza listened to the whole conversation and laughed . Afterward she said that I am the craziest companion she has ever had. She said that everyone in the mission thinks I'm "tranquila" but that all of the craziest moments of her mission have occurred since she got to Los Mares with me.

Tomorrow we have zone conference. I remember going to the last zone conference with Hermana Fullmer and thinking that after the next one I would only have one left and it would be my turn to say goodbye to people. I already had my last interview (besides the last day) with President this week.

Homework: I want Jacob's mailing address for a letter and a copy of my call letter if you can find it.

I love reading Jacob's letter. I've been remembering as I walk down the street that dog fights aren't normal and thinking about Jacob experiencing Chile for the first time. He had a funny line in his last letter about how a few weeks ago he had to ask permission to use the bathroom in school and now he is house hunting in southern Chile. I can't imagine having to transition directly from high school to the mission field without the college transition I had. It was good for me to learn to grocery shop without calling my mom and live with other people. I'm impressed with Jacob for making such a dramatic transition so fast.
I love you all! Have a great week!
Hermana VanCott

The river of filthy water and the great and spacious building.

Yolanda’s Birthday

1 comment:

  1. It's easy to see how the Spirit is working in your life. Your responses in various circumstances show courage and faith. We could all use a little more of both. You remain in our hearts and in our prayers. Love, The Durrans