Monday, December 20, 2010

La Navidad Ha Llegado!

Christmas time is here!
I can't believe that, it's crazy. It seems like yesterday when I was about to celebrate my first Christmas in Chile, and the second one is already here. This week was a better one for us, hallelujah, but it was still a tough one. I'll explain.

  So. We are still dealing with a drought of investigators here in the sector. We really only have three investigators at the moment, which isn't very much at all. We have Jennifer, who is gonna be baptized the 9th of January, and Victor and Gema. Jennifer is going to the beach next week with her family and there they're gonna practice with her so she can get over her fear of water, then she'll be ready to get baptized on the 9th.
  Victor and Gema. Man, we had some cool experiences with them this past week. Something not so good happened though. Oscar, they're 2 1/2 year old son, was on the second floor of a set of stairs near where they live, and fell off onto his face. Gema was there though and was able to take him to the hospital and let Victor know it happened. This event started some really crazy blessings though. So, Oscar was hurt pretty bad, and is still hospitalized. He messed up his face, he was bleeding and stuff after the accident, and he got pretty bruised up, Victor said he looked like a boxer after a fight. But miraculously nothing else happened, he didn't go unconcious, all the brain scans and everything showed no problems, but he has a very tiny fracture under his eye socket, but the doctors say its not a problem and they're holding him there til it heals. So. Victor and Gema were both pretty shaken up by the accident, Gema especially. We've been passing by almost every night since then (Thursday) to make sure things are going good and stuff. Victor is usually there by himself in the night, cuz Gema is with Oscar in the hospital. But it's been amazing to see a change in Victor since the accident. He told us that when Gema first called him and told him what had happened, that he prayed. He prayed and told God that if he protected Oscar and made sure that everything turned out good, that he would follow him in everything He needs. He then told us how outstanding Oscar is doing, considering the gravity of what happened. He said that the doctors are saying it should've been much much worse than it is, that it's miraculous that he was and is in such good shape already. Victor then went on to tell us what he learned from the experience. First he said, he knows for a fact, 100% surety that God exists. Second, that he believes and knows, that everything we've taught them is the truth, and third, that he is gonna do everything that the Lord requires him to do (aka stopping smoking, getting married, and finally baptized), from here on out. What a blessing. He went on to say something very very interesting and very true. Victors a super smart guy and he understands things very well. In this case, he understood why this accident happened. He told us "this wasnt an accident, it wasn't Gemas fault, it wasn't Gods fault, it was something that just HAD to happen. It had to happen so that I could realize the things that I now realize. It had to happen for me to know that I need to follow God. And now I know, and nothing is gonna stop me from not following Him." The Spirit was so strong in the lesson it was crazy. Victor and Gema were and are truly being prepared by God to receive this gospel in their lives. So soon we should start seeing more and more progress in them, and I'm so excited to see it as it happens.
  So yeah, we're excited for the things we have here in Los Platanos, but that's all we have. We have no other investigators. So, this whole week, we knocked. A lot. And we still didn't find anyone! It's pretty frustrating, but we're just gonna keep on going, we'll find something soon, I know it.
  Sunday we had the church activity for Christmas in the ward and it was good. It was the choir singing a bunch of Christmas songs, in the order from the announcement of the birth of Jesus, til his birth. As they were singing, the primary kids were going up to a little stage and forming a live nativity scene. It turned out pretty cool. And there were also a bunch of people there that weren't members, so we're gonna hopefully have more people to teach! Tonight we have a family home evening with a family and their neighbors(nonmembers) who went last night. More blessings!
  And that was our week. Keep praying for us and for success in finding people! We need it haha.
  And this next week is gonna be amazing. One word.....CHRISTMAS. On Thursday we got permission to eat dinner in a members house, and on Saturday afternoon, I'll be calling home to you guys. But not only calling home, we all got permission to video chat!!! So we'll all be able to talk and see each other on Christmas day. What a wonderful blessing. So I'm very excited for that. And of course opening presents haha.
  Hope you all have an AMAZING christmas. We'll be over here, sweating like pigs, because its blazing hot already! But it's alright. Love you all and have a gret week. ¡¡¡FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!
Talk to you Saturday! :D

Elder Aaron Mayberry

Monday, December 13, 2010

Good Stuff

  It was a good week. Not really a good week in terms of the mission work, but in terms of other things it was good.

  Our investigators are still the same. Jennifer is still afraid of water, but we sat down with her this week and we were like, when are you gonna practice and when are you gonna get baptized and made her make some plans so that she'll get baptized soon. She said that sheud get baptized this coming Sunday, the 19th, so hopefully she does. Her dad is gonna fix their little pool and they're gonna practice this week. So hopefully all goes well there and she can get baptized this Sunday. Gema and Victor are doing good too. This week we had "the talk", we talked about marriage, baptism, and the word of wisdom, all the things they need to change if they want to keep progressing in the gospel. And it went well. They are gonna start thinking about marriage, but they said they do wanna get baptized. So that's good. We've got lots of obstacles with them, but little by little we're making progress.
  We still haven't found anyone new here in the sector. Which is CHANTA. We're trying, knocking and all that good stuff, but we haven't found anyone. So it's making the work a little hard for us. But it's all right, hopefully soon we'll find a bajillion people haha.
  But the week wasn't completely bad. It was actually really good for a few reasons.
  On Thursday we had our mission Christmas activity! We started and went to a big plaza where a big bus was gonna pick up like, four of our zones. We got there at 8:15, right on time, but the dumb bus driver didn't get there til 9:30. So we finally got to the activity, where we had inter-zone competitions. There was an olympics, and then a soccer tournament. So it was fun. After that, we all got in the busses again and headed to a big chapel. There we ate lunch, took a picture as a mission, watched a video of the misson, then we listened to President talk about the birth and life of Christ. It was really cool. Halfway through Presidents talking though, Elder Erickson, my comp from the MTC says, Mayberry, come with me. So I do, and we go to the missions truck (which he has prmission to drive cuz he's one of the pensionists, the missionaries that fix problems in the pensions) and we drove off to the local grocery store. It was cool to catch up with him and reflect how long it had been since the MTC. Crazy. So we get back, President had already finished, but we got there just when everyone was going into the cultural hall because we were gonna watch a movie. We watched "It's A Wonderful Life". I had never seen it before but I really liked it. It's old but its still really good. After that, we all went home and that was our day. Me and Elder Russell made a new tradition called Churrasco Thursdays, where we make sandwiches called churrascos in our house every thursday. So that how we ended that day.
  The other days were good too. Saturday I did a baptismal interview and the guy passed this time ( I did one last week for the same guy but he failed cuz he had smoked).
  And yesterday we went to the temple grounds becauuse there is a display of nativity scenes from all over the world open to the public. So we went with a menos activo family and their son who isn't a member and it was cool. There was a bajillion people there and I saw lots of missionaries I knew and also lots of people from past wards that I knew. Good stuff!
  And that was our week. It was a fun one with the mission activity and all, but not too much progress in the work. We have ton of work to do this week, so hopefully it goes well and we have some success here in the BANANAS.
  Love you all, hope you all have a great week. Christmas is almost here!!
Elder Aaron Mayberry

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tis the Season!

Hello everyone...

  Well, I can't believe Christmas time is already right around the corner again. We're already in December and we're getting excited here for Christmas. I turned a whopping 16 months in the mission yesterday (crazy, two-thirds) which is unbelievable. But things are going great. Kinda...
  The work is going here. We still are having a lack of investigators, but we're looking. We just haven't found them yet. Those that still have are doing good. Jennifer, the girl afraid of water, is still afraid of water, so there's not much we can do there. We have to just look for a pool or something so she and her dad can practice some. And the couple of Gema and Victor are still really really good. This week we're gonna try to put a baptismal date on them, and also put a marriage goal. So hopefully that goes well. And other than that, we don't really have much, so a majority of this week will be dedicating to good ole knocking doors haha.
  I'm used to my sector now, and I like it. The name of the sector has nothing to do with the fruit bananas, there aren't any banana trees in my sector, nor anything remotely close haha. There's just a street called Los Platanos, and that's the street the church happens to be on, hence, the ward called the bananas. Na que ver.
  Nothing terribly exciting happened in the week to report though. Actually, i lied. On Wednesday we had pension inspections from President, so that was cool. He came to our pension, made sure everything was functioning and stuff, and that we were good. So that was a cool little visit.
  Church was good on Sunday. We had two investigators there. Jennifer and Gema. Victor couldn't come to church cuz he had to work. But we were happy to see some investigators there. And also some of the less actives we've been working with showed up, which is also really good. I also got some good news on Sunday, that Veronica and Vicente, two people I found in Pirque, got baptized yesterday. So that's cool news.
  And today me and Elder Russell went to a tourist attraction in the center of Santiago, in the heart of the city. Its a hill, called Cerro Santa LucĂ­a. I'll attatch some pictures. It was cool, we rode a lot on the metro to get there. It's basically an old castle up on a hill in the heart of the city, so you can see some good sights. And there's a cool feria (swap meet like plafce) and I bought some good stuff. :)
  And this next week we have our mission activity! So that should be fun.
  Well thats all I got for now. Hope you're all doing well. Summer here is about to kick into gear, so we're getting ready to sweat like crazy, haha. It's already super hot here and we're not even into the worst part. But it'll be good. Love you all and hope you have great weeks!
Elder Aaron Mayberry