Monday, December 14, 2009

Elections in Chile!

   So this week was election week here in Chile. For the president. Twas pretty interesting, but I shall get to that a little later.

   The week started off pretty amazingly. We had conference of the zones in the north of the Mission. That's when we get to listen to President Laycock speak to us. But we had a special treat this time. Elder Amado from the Quorum of the Seventy came and spoke to us. He's the Area President here in Chile. And it was super good. He's a great speaker. He spoke to us for a pretty long time. We got there at 9 and President Laycock and his wife spoke, for probably a grand total of 45 mins then handed it off to Elder Amado, who spoke until lunch at 1. Then we resumed with him after lunch at 2:30 until 4:00. So we got about 5 hours of this General Authority and it was very worth it. He talked a lot about the Savior because of the upcoming Christmas season and it was really cool. Put a whole new view on the idea of Christmas and why we celebrate it.
   So then the week went on and we have seen some progress with some investigators. Alexis is still a stud. We had an amazing lesson with him with a member family. Well not quite member family. Investigator family haha. The family Mansor is their name. They have been investagating the church for the past 6 years! But we basically count them as members cuz they're some of the most faithful in the ward. The only reason they haven't got baptized is because the mom and dad aren't married and can't get married until the dad gets officially divorced from his ex-wife. Which is a whole other story here in Chile. Gimme a second and I'll explain- haha. But the dad is working on the papers and once they get officially divorced they can get married and then baptized. It'll be really cool when that happens, whenever it does. They're an amazing family. They have two twin daughters who are 12. They look pretty similar. But that whole family is super funny and we play jokes and make fun of each other every time we see them, just cuz that's the kind of people they are. But that lesson went super good with Alexis. He really benefitted from talking and hearing the testimonies of normal people, normal converts, not just two young gringos in weird clothes. So he said after that lesson that he was going to get serious about getting ready for a Baptism and praying and stuff so that's real exciting!
   About the whole divorcing thing in Chile. It is actually a GIGANTIC obstacle we have as Missionaries. Because in order to be baptized, the investigator needs to be married to his or her significant other. But here in Chile, it takes a LOOOONG time to get divorced. Like it's a huge hassle. So the people don't even bother getting married in the first place cuz they don't want to have to go through with the divorce process if the relationship fails. So basically no one is married here and everyone has kids and is living together haha. Makes it a little more difficult for us. Culture is so different here.
   Sorry about that little side note. Back to the week. So nothing too exciting happened here until Sunday. Sunday was a pretty weird day. It was presidential election day here in Chile. And they've got some weird laws here. First off, if you're registered to vote, its mandatory that you do so. Like you HAVE to haha. And another weird thing is that they are segregated. Women go to one place and men to another. Don't ask me why, Chileans are just weird like that. But yeah, they voted for president yesterday. The president has a four year term here, too. And a man named Sebastián Piñera won. I dunno his stances on anything but he's from the right. Oh yeah, another interesting thing is that on election day, people can't officially meet together for more than an hour, so church was only an hour long. And I gave a talk haha. It went alright I think. There was fewer members than normal though, only 47. As opposed to the normal 70-80. I was expecting like 10-20 yesterday though haha.
   So yup, that was my week. It's getting pretty exciting as we near the Christmas season. Everyone here is putting up their trees and decorating their houses. One interesting thing is that with their nativity scene, the people here don't put Jesus in until midnight on the night of the 24th, signifying that Jesus came the 25th. Pretty cool tradition if you ask me. But yeah, this holiday season remember the real reason why we celebrate Christmas. Contrary to popular opinion it isn't because Christ was born, but it's for all the PRESENTS!!!!! Just kidding. Remember Christ this Christmas season. Why do we even celebrate Christs birth? Why is it important in our lives? Because Jesus Christ means everything to us. He suffered for our sins. He made it possible for us to return to the prescence of our Heavenly Father one day. As Elder Amado put it, He did the thing that none of us could do for ourselves, He attoned for the sins of every person that is living, has lived, or will live. Christ dwelt with God before this life, and He was born so that he could come down to our level, the level of human beings, and then carry us back up to the presence of the Father. This is why Christ's birth is such a significant event. Because He is our Savior and Redeemer. So remember that fact this Christmas season, remember our Savior Jesus Christ and all that he has done for us. I love you all and hope you are all having an amazing time and finding success in all of your endeavours. You are always in my prayers. The Church is true.

Elder Aaron Mayberry

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