Thursday, August 21, 2008

Weekly Email #7 - Lots of Good News!

I'll let him tell you in his own words, of course.

-"12 days to go til Chile!!! Dulce! (sweet, although I'm pretty sure that wouldn't make any sense if you said it to a native spanish speaker... oh well) We get our flight plans tomorrow!!!!"

-"We finally had an Apostle for Devotional! Elder Oaks came on Tuesday night! It was pretty funny because somehow everyone knew an Apostle was coming. At 6:15 there were already hundreds of people lined up for the devotional. I found out around 5:15 it was going to be Elder Oaks b/c when Elder Low and I went to choir practice, the tech room at the top of the gym was open and one of the screens had the teleprompter showing and it said, "My dear fellow missionaries, Sis. Oaks and I are so happy to be here with you tonight..." It was pretty funny... also they had the teleprompter things up that they had at General Conference, you know the glass panes at an angle that they read from? So that kinda let us know someone important was coming, too. He spoke to us about the sacrament, and the importance of always having the spirit to be with us. He said that as we all know, every member a missionary, but we shouldn't forget every missionary a member. It was a really great devotional."

-"So we are now officially the oldest district in the zone. District E left on Monday and Tuesday. It was sad to see them go, since we knew them the longest since we've been here. Elder Lee and Elder Waites were the zone leaders, and when they left President Evans had to call new zone leaders, and on Sunday he told Elder Low and I that he felt that the Lord wanted us to be the zone leaders. He said he thought it was kind of strange since we would only be here for two more weeks and then he'll have to get two new elders to do it, but he felt that it was the right thing to do."

-"Elder Low and I definitely had an interesting first night as zone leaders. On Sunday night, somebody burned popcorn in the basement and the fire alarm went off, so we had to evacuate the building and make sure our whole zone got out, which at the time was about 38 elders. Then, around 10:35, when we were finally back in the building, getting ready to get to bed, we found out that we were missing 3 elders from the zone. So Elder Low and I, along with Elder Waites (one of the old zone leaders) had a prayer and looked for them in the building, then headed up to the main office building to look for them there. Then Sunday night and Monday morning Elder Low and I had to check out the elders from district E who were leaving. And the last 2 nights during the time when we're supposed to be getting ready for bed, we've had elders lock themselves out of their rooms so we've had to go to 1M and get keys to get them in...nice. So yeah being zone leader is pretty interesting, it's a bigger responsibility then I thought it would be. We have 30 elders in our district and 3 hermanas, so it's not too many people. Elder Low and I have just been praying a lot for guidance and trying to be friendly and set good examples for the zone. So the next two weeks should be pretty interesting."

-"Spanish is coming along great, but i've heard that it's way different in Chile. Elder Mawhinney got a letter from his friend who is in our mission and he said that he can't understand the Chilenos, and they can't understand him, even though he's speaking correct Spanish (Elder Mawhinney said his friend is way smart and was really good at Spanish). It's just different the way they speak it out there. So I'm a little nervous, but just a little. I'm way more excited then I am nervous. I can't wait to get there and rely solely on the help of the Lord and that's when I'll be an effective missionary."

-"Elder Low and I have had a lot of T.E. (teaching evaluations) where we teach to a teacher who pretends to be an investigator, and they've been getting a lot better. Elder Low's Spanish has improved so much. It's amazing how much we've learned in only 7 weeks. Last night our teacher, Hermano Jensen, told us that what we've learned in 7 weeks would take about 4 years in high school. It's amazing seeing the gift of tongues at work in my everyday life."

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