Monday, November 29, 2010

My first week with the bananas

Hello everyone,
It was a really good week here in Los Platanos. I'm getting used to my new sector, new comp, and things are going great. I've met a good number of the members and they seem really great from what I've seen so far, so that is always good. And they're willing to help with the work, which is even better.

  So. In terms of investigators here in the sector, it's going alright. It seemed like we had a ton of people to teach and stuff when I first got here, but upon further investigation, a majority of the people are going to be dropped. They don't really progress at all in the gospel. They just like our company and like to listen to us. But among those people we do have a couple really good investigators. We are teaching a girl named Jennifer, who is 9. Her family is recently reactivated in the gospel and she wants to get baptized. But the thing is, is that she was gonna be baptized a little bit ago, she passed her interview and everything, had the baptismal service, and when she was stepping into the water to actually get baptized, she freaked out. She had a panic attack and couldnt do it....shes scared of water. The good news though, is that the family is going to the beach this saturday and they're gonna practice with her so that she can get baptized as soon as possible. So we're hoping that goes well with them there. The other good investigators we're teaching and Victor and Gema. They're a young couple and the neighbors of a strong family in the church. They have a ton of desires to learn more about the church and they love our visits and learning more about the gospel. This week we are gonna try to put a baptismal date with them, and we're pretty sure they'll accept. But there's one problem............they aren't married. Oof. So somehow we're gonna have to overcome that obstacle so they can get baptized, but anythings possible right? I feel like they'll do it though. We shall just have to wait and see.
  So when I got here to the sector, after the first day my legs were dead haha. My legs weren't used to walking anymore! I had to get re adjusted to walking everyday, not riding a bike, so that was pretty fun. I'm excited to be here though in this new sector.
  My comp, Elder Russell is great. He's got all the energy and optimism of a new missionary, and that's exactly what I needed. So it's a lot of fun with him. We get along great and we're both super excited to just get to work here in this sector. His spanish needs some help though, but that is perfectly understandable cuz he's very new in the mission. But he doesnt even care if what he says comes out wrong or right, he just speaks and even through grammatically incorrect spanish, you can feel the Spirit as he talks. It's cool. Testimony builder of the Holy Ghosts role in this work and how he helps us so much as missionaries.
  Thanksgiving was also this week and it was really good actually! We ate a late lunch and it was essentially a thanksgiving dinner like home. It was at a super cool family's house, the family Saldaña. The Hermana loves helping the missionaries, and she also likes giving us things, aka a thanksgiving dinner haha. With the help of her daughter, who recently returned from a foreign exchanged student program in Canada, they made a typical thanksgiving dinner, turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and even gravy. And we spent the majority of the time speaking in English, cuz the Hermana knows it as does the daughter. So I lucked out again this thanksgiving and had a nice little meal.
  Church on Sunday was good. We had only one investigator in church, Gema, because at the last minute Victor was called to work. But it was good. I had to speak for like 5 minutes and introduce myself to the ward. This ward works really well. It's a big difference than in Pirque, because theres a lot more people and it just functions better.
  Speaking of Pirque, I was talking to Elder Deaver and heard some of the coolest news. So Mauricio, Mariela, and that family, and us the missionaries, on the fast Sunday before I left, all fasted with the purpose being that of Mauricio the dad being able to stop working on Sundays. He still hasn't been baptized basically for that reason, becuase he always has to work Sunday. And that was the thing they wanted most, for him to be able to accept the gospel. So we fasted. Fast forward to yesterday, and I'm talking to Elder Deaver. He tells me that in Gospel Principles class, that Mariela bore her testimony about fasting because next Sunday is the last Sunday that Mauricio (dad) is gonna have to work. How cool is that? The church is true, fasting works. That brought a great joy into my heart knowing that now Mauricio will be able to be baptized soon.
  And that's basically how the week went. We got lots of work ahead of us here in the sector, lots of finding to do, and people to teach. Like I said, we're excited. I love the mish and am so glad to be here. Hope youre all doing great over there. Take care and talk to you next week!

Elder Aaron Mayberry

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cambios, pero ni tanto

Hello everyone.
  Well, changes happened, and as suspected, I left. BUT, It's to familiar territory kinda. So, like a year back I went to my second sector, El Valle. That's the sector where I passed Christmas and the earthquake and everything. And in that time, El Valle I was living in the pension of the sector, Los Platanos. Why is this all relevant? Because now I'm in Los Platanos, living once again in that pension haha. So it's pretty cool, it was like taking a trip down memory lane when I walked into the pension today. And I'm gonna spend this Christmas in the same pension...what are the odds of spending my two Christmases in the same house? Sectors different, but the house isn't. And the funniest part is that the Christmas tree me and my comp bought last christmas is still here, so I'll get to use it again...

  But yeah. Here I am in my new sector, the Bananas. (that's what los platanos means). I'm excited. It was sad to leave Pirque, but hey, that's just how the mission is. Time to meet new people, a new sector, and change new peoples lives. My new comp is Elder Russell, from Colorado, and I'm officially his mom. A dad is the person who trains a missionary and a mom is the missionaries next comp after his first change. So yeah, this should be fun. Elder Russell only is on his second change, and I'm his second companion (hence, mom). But it should be good. I've never been with a comp with this little time before, so it should be a good challenge for me. I'm actually really excited to be working here though, in a new ward and stuff. And from what my comp tells me, we've got all kinda of potential here right now. So that makes me even more excited. I'm also district leader again, so we'll see how that goes haha.
  But anyway. My last week in Pirque was a decent one. The most notable thing was that Marianela received the Holy Ghost on Sunday, which is always a good thing to see. Also on Sunday, I went and said goodbye to some of the people in Pirque cuz I figured I was gone. So, obviously I went to my familys house, the family Cortes Perez, of Mariela, Mauricio and Cata, the family I got to baptize while in Pirque. It was cool to see how thankful they were that we got to meet so that they could have the gospel in their lives. The mission really is an inspired calling, like I feel that that family was waiting specifically for me. It's just another testimony builder that the church is true.
  And today was changes. So we left, got our changes and came back here. I'm ready to work here in this new sector.
  And that was basically the week. Nothing terribly exciting, and I can't really inform you about my new sector, cuz I haven't even stepped foot into it yet haha. Next week I'll have more info on that.
  Oh yeah, cool little side note. Remember a while back how I met an Elder from Whittier? If I didn't tell you, there's an Elder from Whittier in the mission. Elder Salinas. He was actually in Los Platanos while I was in El Valle a year ago. Well he heads home today, and he said he'd make a little stop at the house to meet you guys cuz he's so close haha. So keep an eye out for him. I'm attatching a picture too.
  And thanksgiving isn't celebrated here haha, so it shouldn't be too exciting. But word on the street is that a family in this ward might do something for us. We'll just have to see.
  Yup. Church is true, love you all, have a great Turkey Day! And enjoy some photos :D
Elder Aaron Mayberry
1. Chao Pirque

2. Once again, Pirque

3. Me in a chupalla(typical chilean cowboy hat) building a house

4. The new pets at the San Martin household in Piurque

5. Familia Cortés Pérez (some of my favorite people)

6. Me and Elder Ryan Salinas (the Elder from Whittier)

7. Me and my new comp, Elder Russell

Monday, November 15, 2010


  So yeah, this week, like planned, we had a baptism! Marianela got baptized, but I'll talk about that more later in the letter. That was easily the highlight of the week, but, unfortunately, the rest of the week was pretty uneventful.
  So lets see. The week was spent trying to ride to our invesdtigators and teach them, but a lot of times that didn't happen. We did some knocking, but also to no avail. So we kinda struggled to get lessons in this week. Our investigators, the few we have, are doing alright. Veronica and Vicente and Javiera are doing good. They accepted a baptismal date for the 5th of DECEMBER LAST WEEK. oops, caps lock. Anyway. Veronica and Vicente made it to church again this sunday, so that is always good. They liked it again, Veronica even asked us if her parents could come to her baptism, so that's cool cuz she's actually serious about getting baptized. And really, they're the only good investigators we have at the moment, everyone else we haven't been able to contact or they aren't really progressing. So, once again, we need to do a lot of finding this week.
  Our other good investigator, Marianela, got baptized this week! It was a really cool baptism, because she is really converted to the gospel. She wanted the remission of sins that comes with getting baptized, you could tell. On Friday we had her interview and she passed with flying colors, and on Sunday she was baptized. Our ward mission leader, Hermano Lopez (one of the best members I've met here in Chile) got to baptize her at her request. It was a super spiritual baptismal service too. Me and Elder Costner gave a talk together and Marianela even started crying. The Spirit was super strong. Then she was baptized and everything went perfectly. I'm gonna include some pictures for you guys.
   I did remember one interesting thing that happened this week. On Friday, our lunch fell through and one of the hermanas gave us money to go buy lunch. So we go to the supermarket, buy a barbequed chicken and french fries, and we eat. The other Elders had an investigator to teach that was gonna come to the supermarket cuz it was easier for him. But this investigator of theirs isn't your typical investigator. He's from the United States haha. He's an exchange student and he's living here in Pirque now. The funniest, coincidential part, is that he was investigating the church back in the states for like 4 months came here and wanted to keep investigating so he can get baptized. He even has plans to go to BYU after his exchange. So yeah, it was a pretty cool sight, 4 missionaries and another gringo in the supermarket eating and conversing haha. That was a nice little gift that the Lord gave to the other Elders here in Pirque. It's pretty funny just speaking English with someone cuz it's so weird. Cuz we never do it outside of other missionaries, so when we get to, everything comes out funny, haha.
  And yeah, that was essentially our week. Hopefully this one is a better one. And who knows what'll happen here this next week. Cuz the changes are next week already, it'll be wierd. I'm pretty sure I'm leaving though, I've already had 4 changes here. I don't wanna go, but that's the mission. I'll go where the Lord needs me to go no mas.
  Hope you all have a great week! Love you all and I miss you, and I'll talk to you soon!

Elder Aaron Mayberry

Monday, November 8, 2010

Good week and I turned 15 months in the Mission!

  Hello everyone! It was a good week here in Pirque. We've seen some good progress in our investigators so that is always good.

  I'll start off with some random stuff first. So yeah, this past week I hit 15 months in the mission. How crazy is that? The real countdown has begun and that's scary haha. Time is flying by at incredible speeds.
  Also this week I've seen the craziest weather of my life. On Saturday, it was the hottest day since last Summer and Sunday, the day after, it poured the entire day. The ENTIRE day. It was nuts! Burning hot to cold with tons of rain. Seems like the weather is confused here in Santiago. More about that later though.
  So yeah. Investigators. Marianela is gonna get baptizaed this next week! So we're super excited about that. I feel that she is anopther reason why I came here to Pirque. I've really felt that here more than in any other sector. Like the reasons exactly why the Lord wanted me here in Pirque. So it's super cool to see the blessings of the Lord and to see His hand in the work here. She's got a strong testimony and is ready to be baptized this coming Sunday. We also have seen good progress with our investigators that came to church last Sunday, Veronica, Javiera, and Vicente. First off they really liked church. Second, we were teaching them on Saturday, and they accepted baptismal dates for the 5th of December! So we are super excited about that. We're seeing all kinds of good things here in Pirque, but the big question is.....will I be here to see them??? We shall see...
  Anyway. So yesterday, Sunday, it rained the entire day like I said. And we went in the nighttime to a different sector to work there for a few hours. And lemme tell you, we got absolutely soaked. We were just walking straight through puddles because we were so wet already that it didn't even matter. But it was fun nonetheless haha.
  Also this week we had several capacitations with President and those went well. We reviewed the same material we went over like 3 months ago so it was a good refresher. I wanted to share some cool stuff I learned from President about the Book of Mormon. Some cool facts. In the BoM there's 337 different names. None of these names include the letters, Q, W, or X, and none start with F. Why is this relevant? Because in ancient hebrew, no names contained those letters. Also, in the BoM there aren't last names, just how it was back in old testament times. Joseph Smith could not have known these two things, and yet, he got it right. Another fact. Joseph Smith took 85 days to transloate the BoM, at 10 pages a day, by himself. The 47 translators that translated the King James version into English could only translate 1 page a day. Also, in the BoM, there are roughly 700 geographical references, none of which ever contradict the other. Just some cool stuff adds onto the testimony I have of the restoration of the gospel. Church is true.
  Anyway, it's time for me to go. Hope you're all having a good time over there. I sure am. I love the mission and and I can't express in email how much its truly helped me in my life and how much I've grown as a person, but especially spiritually. love you all! Til next week!

Elder Aaron Mayberry

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dulce or Travesura!

Hello eveyerone!
  This week was a pretty good week. On Tuesday we got to go to the temple so that was really cool, like always. I also got my halloween package on Tuesday which was a nice treat. On Wednesday we got to listen to a general authority, Elder Corbridge, from the Seventy. He's also in the Area Presidency here in Chile. But that was a really cool experience. He talked to us a lot about having to understand the gospel. That our investigators need to understand it, like really understand it, and they'll never refuse being baptized. So it was cool and we'll probably work on what he told us. He talked to us for a long time though, like a total of at least 4 hours. So it was good.
  Interesting news though, so all the elders that would be leaving at the end of the change are leaving a week early, so they can be home for Thanksgiving. As a result, President has made this change a week shorter, so now the change ends the 21st of November. Only a five week change, so the next one will be 7 weeks I think. Pretty weird. But we'll see what happens.
  This last week was very very strange in terms of weather. The beginning of the week was blazing hot, the middle was as cold as the winter with rain all day, and this weekend was once again blazing hot. Funny story though. So the day it rained, it was not cloudy in the morning when we left. So we took our bikes out thinking no big deal. We were on the way to an appointment and it started to rain, but luckily we were close, and we got into the house without getting very wet. We were in there a bit, and the rain had stopped. So we left, and of course, it began to rain like crazy again. And we were far from home. So we just decided to ride as fast as we could, to get home (it was nighttime too). So there we are, riding in the pouring rain for 30 minutes straight (normally like a 45 min ride). So we got home exhausted and soaking wet, and with mud all over our shirts and faces from the rain flying off the front tire as we rode. Those are the fun times in the mission :)
  Our investigators are doing good. Our baptism for the 14th, Marianela, is still doing really good. We had a family home evening with her last Monday and we're having another tonight. She's still doing amazing in the gospel and has accepted everything and is ready to get baptized in two weeks. She didn't come to church though, cuz she went to the South to visit her family for the weekend.(todays a holiday. Theres like one a month here). And we also had some nice progress with someone else finally! We've been teaching a family, of Veronica(mom), Javiera(daughter), and Vicente(son). And on Sunday they came to church! It was so cool to see them walk in because we had thought that they had let us down, but a few minutes after the meeting started they walked in and stayed almost the whole time. So that was really cool. It seems like they liked it a lot. We have a meeting with them on Wednesday and we're gonna see how they felt and stuff. But Sunday was really good cuz we got them to come to church for the first time.
  And yesterday was Halloween, but it wasn't really that exciting. It's still growing here into an acceptable holiday. There's kids that go out and trick or treat and stuff (the subject of the email is what they say instead of trick or treat), but it's just on a lot smaller scale. Also, the hoodlums like to go out and throw eggs at things, for example the buses as they go by. So that was last night.
  And that was basically our week. We saw some good things happen with investigators and are hoping to find some more this week, we're in need of it. Everythings going great here in Chile, I love it here and I love the mission. Hope you're all doing well! Til next week,

Elder Aaron Mayberry
P.S. I attatched some bike riding pictures for your enjoyment. The third ones my favorite :D