Monday, September 27, 2010

1 Week after the big party!

Hi everyone!

  So it's back to normal missionary work here in Chile after the big party. It was a pretty normal week in terms of stuff we did, things that got accomplished.
  This week did have some up and downs though with the investigators and stuff. Lets see. Catalina got confirmed on Sunday, so that was pretty cool. Sunday was a good day for us in the chapel though, we had 76 people, which is good just for a branch. We had a few investigators, the other elders did, and some inactives we've been working with recently also ended up going so that's really good. So it was nice to see some fruits to our labors this Sunday.
  Sorry, I'm having some writers block today, I can't think of anything that happened last week.
  Other investigators. We found a kid named Sebastian the other week, and he was super interested in the gospel, and we went by one day and his mom was outside and she asked us if we were waiting for Sebastian, we said yeah, and she said, don't wait anymore, you can't come to this house, his dad found out you were meeting with him and he isn't too happy..... So we were super disappointed about that. But oh well, the work goes on. We did receive some blessings in turn though, which was good. We found some people that were nicely placed into our hands, and those are always welcome. We did a lot of knocking this week, but we didn't have too much luck finding.
  We do have some good news though, tonight we get out new bikes! The mission bought four new bikes for us cuz the other ones were so broken, so we're getting them tonight finally. And this week that's coming should be a good one. I can't believe we're already gonna start week 4 of this change, it's going by so fast.
  But things are going great here in Chile. I love the mission and this work and seeing the gospel bless peoples' lives. Sorry for the short email, it'll be better next time. But yeah, love you all and hope you're all doing good back at home! I'll talk to you next week!

Elder Aaron Mayberry

Monday, September 20, 2010

Asado, Gallenas, Volantines, y mas asado!!

Hi everyone!
  So yeah, the huge party here has ended finally after four days haha. It was good, but mission work, like Ryan said, came to a complete halt. So that made this week relatively FOME, in terms of the work. Fome is lame, but I use it like an english word now. It just kinda comes out cuz it works nicely. I actually have a lot of silly habits I've picked up from the Chilean culture, which I'll probably still do in the states and people will think I'm crazy haha. I'll make a little list of those later. But yeah. I'll start with the work and then talk more about the party.
  So. First off, our investigators are doing ok. We've found a few that are progressing well, but the assistance at church was really bad. We only had one in church because of the festivities. Oh. I say assistance at church when it should be attendance, the word in spanish is assistencia, so all missionaries fall into the habit of saying the assistance at church. Anyway. We're teaching a few young guys and they are really interested in the gospel and I think they could see some good progress here in these next coming weeks. But other than that the week was rather fome, like I said. BUT....we had a baptism!!! Catalina, the brother of Mauricio and daughter of Mariela, the family me and Elder Sáenz baptized like 7 weeks ago, was baptized this Sunday. Woohoo! It was really cool. And guess who baptized her? Her own brother :D  Mauricio was able to baptize her because he's got the Aaronic priesthood, so that was basically one of the coolest things of my mission. Watching the convert I baptized, baptize his own sister. That's what the gospel is all about. Helping people change their lives, and I can honestly say I've seen a change in the lives of that family. What a blessing to be able to know them. I love the mission.
  Also, we went to the temple on Tuesday and it was super cool and amazing like always.
  And that's about all we could do this week haha. Because starting Friday, Chile as a country shut down, no one answered doors, everyone was drinking, and it was a gigantic party. Not much work was done becaused of it, but hey, we were all expecting it.
  So the party was pretty cool here in chile. It was the Bicentennial, the 200th anniversary of Chilean independence. And they threw a pretty big party. Like it says in the title, there was lots of barbeques, some fun with chickens, and flying kites, along with all the other great Chilean pasttimes during this time of year. So on Friday, we really didn't do too much in terms of celebrating. We did however help the familia San Martin in preparing for their big party, which lasted the entire 4 days haha. Our help was pretty interesting....we not really we, just Elder Mathews, Elder Deavers comp. He killed one of the 4 chickens that the San Martin's had to cook for the 18th. We were out back and they bring them out, and they just start breaking the chickens necks, it was actually quite interesting and I got it on video haha, and Elder Mathews wanted to try one, so they let him and he killed the chicken, no big deal. It was interesting. Then, our true selves showed out, as young 20 year old boys, and we took like a thousaand pictures of us with the dead chicken in different poses haha. Some people think we're super mature men but we really aren't haha. We're still young and like to do stupid things for no reason. But yeah, that was a lot of fun. And a note to Grandpa, I'm still going to eat chiken after seeing them killed hahaha. Anyway....Saturday, the big day. We were invited to eat lunch at a super rich members house and they had a huuuuge barbeque going, with all the types of meat you could ever desire. So that was delicious. After we got stuck in a HUGE traffic jam because apparently all of Santiago came to Pirque for the celebration, so we sat in traffic forever. And that was our 18th haha. Just a ton of eating and playing some Chilean games (I'll explain more later). On Sunday, we had the baptism, and after we went and ate with that family at the castle, and guess what we ate? Yup, more barbeque. And today, we had a zone activity here in Pirque where we played soccer, flew kites, and ate more barbeque haha. And I got to play some badminton on a makeshift court in the house :D So we ate really well these past few days. And that was how we spent the18th as missionaries.
  Now,  I'll explain some basic Chilean customs, foods, etc that they do here for the 18th. Food. They love their asado, and empanadas. They make empanadas de pino, which consist of ground beef, onions, half a hard boiled egg, and an olive. I'm not a big fan. But they also make empanadas de queso (cheese) which I love haha. They also drink lots of mote con huesillos, which Ryan already described. It's the juice, with oats at the bottom, and a dried peach. I also don't like it. But those are the only things really, I'm not as picky anymore trust me. :) Customs. They play lots of games and have their national dance, the cueca. It's an interesting dance that's impossible to describe to you over the internet, so I took a video and you can see it when I get home. Some games they play are, flying kites, playing with tops, a horseshoe like game, and like a relay race. On Saturday at lunch we did a relay race, and the first leg was a sack race, then get out of the sack and put a spoon in your mouth and balance a lemon on it, then go to a bowl full of flour and take out a candy at the bottom, and then go to a bowl full of water and take a candy out from the bottom (the last two without hands obviously) and then run to the start. Pretty fun stuff. They also have the tradition of climbing a huge pole to get to the top. It's fun stuff. We enjoyed ourselves.
   And that was basically how we spent our week. It was a lot of fun, and we also got some good spiritualness in with the baptism. All in all a great week. I love chile. Even though it's a lot different I've come to lov it and definitely plan on bringing lots of Chilean things and traditions home. Which reminds me. I said in the beginning I do some Chilean things now, I'll say a few. One is the handshake hug handshake, whenever you greet someone. I don't even remember how to greet someone in the States now and I find it really weird that they don't shake hands, give a hug, then shake hands again. So that's funny. I've also gotten into the habit of pointing at things with my lips. Instead of using their hands and fingers to point, a lot of Chileans when they wanna point something out or say where something is, just extend their lips out and point them at the object. I do that one a lot now. Also. There is a noise the Chileans make, when you're talking to someone in a conversation and you disagree or think they said something stupid or think their lying. Really this noise applies in a ton of situations. but its basically, daaaaaaaaah. I find myself doing that one too, mostly just cuz it's really funny. You might not understand but I know Ryan will haha. But yeah. Those are some Chilean traditions/customs I plan on taking back to the states. You'll all probably think I'm weird though but it's ok.
  As you'll see in the fotos, we have a great time living with a family. It's a really neat opportunity we have here in Pirque. They're great people and Luis, the dad of the family is a really funny guy. He isn't a member but he loves us like we are his own kids. He calls us all gringos, or gringitos and we have fun with him a lot. We're working on getting him baptized, all missionaries in the past here have tried, but without success. We'll see how it goes with us.
Yup. Así es. Esto es mi carta que les escribo para esta semana. Espero que todos tengan una semana bien buena llena de cosas bakanes y pulentos. Yo estoy tan feliz aqui en Chile serviendo al Señor por estos dos años. ¡Me encanta la misión muchisimo! Es la mejor cosa que he hecho. Les amo mucho. Espero que les haya gustado esta parte en español. Y ahora un poco Chileno. Wena cabro! Al tiro! El carrete fue rewena ¿cachai? y no solo pintamos monos, le dimos duro a la pega igual. La disfrutamos harto. Sipo. :D Love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Aaron Mayberry

1. The good stuff

2. Ward 18th party

3. What I ate for 4 days straight

4. Mauricio and Mariela at the ward party

5. The party of the San Martíns

6. Elder Deaver having fun with Luis

7. Us with the conquered chicken

8. Luis being Luis with the freshly plucked chicken

Good Stuff!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Como Estamos?

Hello everyone!

  Things are going great in Pirque. We're already seeing tons of good things coming from the 4 missionaries here. It's super excciting.
  Let's see, I suppose I'll start with the week and go in a nice little order. Cuz it seems like a lot has happened this week, but I cant tell if it has haha. So lets see. Monday, as you know was changes and I already told you all about that. My comp is Elder Costner and he's a cool guy. I promise you a foto next week, because I didn't bring my camera. We're doing good though. Tuesday was the fist district class of the change, and I had to give my silly class, which I'm not the biggest fan of doing-haha. But it went well. The rest of the week went kinda normal, except for a few interesting days. On Tuesday night we had our mission activity for the 18th of September and it was ok. The only good thing that came out of it was seeing all the missionaries and we watched an inspiring movie, "Hoosiers". It's an old basketball movie. It was good. And inspiring haha. But yeah. On Saturday we had our branch activity for the 18th and it was really good. We played soccer, ate tons of meat and did Chilean things haha. I took lots of pictures. And also, Saturday night, being Septermber 11th, we had to go in the pension early, because a while back there was a government overthrow on the 11th of september, and now its evolved into like national anarchy day, so all the missionaries went in early. I'm in the most tranquilo sector in the mission though, so nothing even happened. But still exciting I suppose haha. And that was basically our week.
  Investigators. I'll talk fast about them. So really this week we saw lots of progress with Mauricios sister, Catalina, and she's getting baptized on Sunday! So that's really cool. And guess whos gonna baptize her? Mauricio, my convert!!! That's like a missionary dream come true haha. So it's a really great time here in Pirque. Also, we had a really cool family home evening in the house where we live and we had a super spiritual lesson with the four of us missionaries teaching the husband (who isn't a member) of the hermana. And the day after, in the morning, he said to us, "gringos, give me a month and a half and I'll be baptized". So that was really cool. We'll just have to see though and make sure he stops smoking. So we'll see. But we're super excited. The four of us have some big hopes for the branch of Pirque now and we're really excited to get working and find more people and get this branch moving.
  But yeah. That was basically the week. Today, it was Elder Saenz's birthday, so we came up to the big mall and ate at a buffet haha. So I'm happy. Things are going great though, I love the mission and I can't wait for what's to come. The HUGE celebration is this week so it should be a fun one. I'll make sure to send a ton of pictures home next week showing the festivities of the 200th anniversary of Chilean independence. I'll be eating lots of barbeques and stuff and doing Chilean things. Should be good! I love you all and hope you're all getting back into the swing of things after summer vacation haha. My vacation still isn't for another 11 months but that's ok. Missionary work rules. I love it. Alright, gotta go, cuídense harto ya?

Elder Aaron Mayberry

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cambios, not so major!

Hello everyone!
It was a pretty good week here in Pirque, so that is good. There were also some big changes here with the cambios, but not quite as big as Ryans'. But it's still big haha. I'll start off with how our week went and stuff just to leave you all in suspense about what happened :)

  So all this week we continued with the capacitations with president and those went really well. But to be honest I was really tired of having to go all the way to where we went every day in the morning. But it's ok now because we're done. But I learned a TON and a lot of stuff that will help our investigators we have now, and the ones we're gonna find, progress in the gospel. So that's good.
  I forgot to mention a couple things last week though in the last email. First off. So there's a guy in the ward named Pablo, who just left for his mission a week or two ago. So the day before he left we were with him and it brought back tons of memories from about a year back, of when I was about to enter the MTC. It was pretty cool. But poor Pablo, he still has a whole two years left of his mission haha. It seems like it's such a long time! But yet here I am, with a year and a month already, which is crazy. I can't believe how fast time flies in the mission. It goes faster than normal, trust me.
  Another thing that happened last week was actualy a pretty traumatic experience. So lemme start off by remembering you of the pets we have in our house. Not our pets, but the pets of the San Martin family we live with. They have lots of chickens and two dogs. One of the dogs is a killer-haha. Not of people of course, but of some dogs. His name is Gary. So one day I was outside looking at the new baby chicks the family brought home and Gary comes out back. He's just walking around no big deal, until one of the chicks gets startled and made some quick movements and Garys instinct kicked in and he started chasing it! He eventually cornered it and got it and started eating it, meanwhile I'm yelling at it and trying to get it off the chick, but it was too late. Like I said, traumatic. Trying to heave the dog off. The poor little chick. Pretty interesting experience though, not something that happens everyday.
  Anyway, now to talk about better things haha. Our investigators are doing good. Yesterday was Stake Conference and it was good. Cata, the sister of Mauricio, the recent convert, is still going to church every week but still doesn't wanna get baptized. Alexander finally agreed to go to church this Sunday and he was all ready to go, but when the morning came his mom didnt let him...ugh! Those are frustrating experiences. But other than that we're looking and have some other people that we will see if they progress.
  Ahh. If you didnt know, Chile's independence day is the 18th of September. And its the bicentenial, I think that's how its called in english. 200 year birthday. So everyone is getting ready for the huge party. Everyones got their flags out, blasting typical Chilean music, and buying all the meat for the big barbeques. And the San Martins bought a few chickens to cook to eat in a soup and are gonna buy a pig to cook also haha. So it's pretty cool to see all the excitement. And we're gonna have a mission activity to celebrate this Thursday! So that will be fun. Still no word on what we're gonna do but it will be good for sure.

  And now the moment youve all been waiting for........the changes.
  Well I'm still here! But I have a new companion. His names Elder Costner and he's from New Mexico. He has like 10 months in the mission. But where's the big news, is probably what you're asking. Well, Elder Deaver is also still here in Pirque. There's 4 missionaries now! Which is pretty big news. So we got split up to bring in two new people. So it's interesting. It should be really good. The branch has been wanting 4 again so it can keep growing. I'm still district leader though, which is not that much fun, but what can you do? And also, two brand new bikes are coming to Pirque, hallelujah! We're gonna get the other two fixed this week and with the two new ones we'll all be ready to ride around the sector. So it should be good. This week should be a fun one.
  Well that's about it for now. I love you all and hope you enjoyed the letter. I'm attatching a couple fotos too for you to enjoy. I hope you're all doing great in the states. I'm loving it here in Chile, ready to enjoy another six weeks in wonderful Pirque. Cuídense mucho! Chau!

Elder Aaron Mayberry
1. Me playing with the chickens (I never knew they could jump)

2. The cool secret castle in the sector that barely anyone sees(but we're that cool that we can)

3. Me in front of the castle

4. Inside the castle that was destroyed by the earthqueake. A whole tower fell down. Look in the first picture you can tell. But thats why we have the hardhats haha, in case it were to fall down again :)