Tuesday, August 30, 2016

One Month in Chile!

¡Hola Everybody! So in a few days will be month anniversary in the great country of Chile. Wow thats weird to think about. Half me is like wait i feel like i got off of the airplane yesterday and then the other half of me feels like i know every street and bus stop in the city of Santiago and i´ve been here for like 6 months haha. I know those are literally like polar opposites but go on a mission and you´ll know what i mean.
Anyways, this week was very interesting for me and i think the lesson that i learned this week falls under the patience category. It seemed like everyone and their mother was cancelling on us for lessons this week or they just weren´t where they said they would be..meaning their house. haha it´s extremely difficult at times because first off Chileans feel bad if they dont commit to an appointment with us so they set up an appointment for us to meet with them and then they just wont be there or cancel at the last minute. Second, it is so hard to get someone to go to church on Sundays and half the time the reason is just that they dont get want to get out of bed ahhhh. okay im good im good haha as you can see the mission supplies countless learning experiences on a daily basis so im just soaking it all up haha. 
As far as the spanish goes i´ve still got a million things to learn (apparently learning a new language isnt easy) but the members and the people that i talk to in my area say that my spanish is sooo much better than it was my first week here so thats reassuring haha. They could just be saying that haha. Probably. But yeah im getting my daily dose of patience with that as well so by the end of this experience im convinced i´ll be the most patient individual on the planet. 
Don´t get me wrong this week was awesome its always a fun time with Elder Garcia and today for Pday we explored more of Santiago i got my first soccer jerseys (of many to come), got a pair of cleats (we ball up a lot), and i did something american for once since ive been in Chile...i ate at Mcdonalds. Oh i never thought id miss that establishment as much as i have. So today was a great day and it topped off another week here in beautiful, thriving Santiago.
 Random facts of the week:
1. here everyone has a 9 digit phone number instead of the 10 digit numbers that we have in the States (I was so thrown off at first i thought we were getting stood up or something)
2. every week we play futbol in the ward for an activity for the youth (its a great way for investigators and less active members to bond) and i have been elected permanent goalkeeper because first off im the tallest guy there and i dont have half the foot skill that those Chileans have i swear its like watching FIFA
3. people consume Coca Cola and fanta here like 3 times as much as water which explains the extreme amount of diabetes here 

Thats all for this week i love you all and stay safe, be smart, and pray often.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Week 3 in Chile - Check!

Hola Familia y Amigos! It`s your favorite missionary in Chile here and i hope you're all doing well and are happy! So this week felt wayyyy faster than the week before so that's great news haha. It's like every missionary says, "The days are long but the weeks are short." and that has never been so applicable and for some of you that concept might not make complete sense, don't fret it wouldn't have made sense to me either before all this craziness haha. Anyways on to the week!

So this week was chalk full of events and activities! It was my companion, Elder Garcia's 20th birthday and his last birthday here in Chile. He'll be going home in December so we made sure he had a bomb last birthday. The members in our ward are awesome and they absolutely adore Elder Garcia so they put together a party with cake and snacks and he even got gifts haha it was a great time. My favorite ward member Hermano Mario (the man i wrote about last week) had a birthday yesterday as well! He turned 78 and he doesn't have any children and is a widower so we made sure he was able to spend the day with his other family. We visited with him for awhile and then that night the members put together a huge fiesta and everyone from the ward was there and i've never seen Hermano Mario so happy he couldn't stop smiling. It was so heartfelt because he bore his testimony and told us that even though he doesn't have his own family he considers his us his family all the same and he even called Elder Garcia and I his hijos. Whatta sweetheart. 
We had the opportunity to visit the Santiago temple this morning and it was amazing. Always love temple trips. So now i can officially say i've been to a temple in 3 countries now so after the mission i'm gunna try and add to that number. 
The work is really getting going here in Los Manantiales (my sector, it translates to "The Springs" just a fun fact). We have potentially 6 new investigators, 2 niƱas who just showed up to church this past sunday and we were just like "Well Hi! Welcome!" haha and then at the end of church there were two Haitian men outside the church building just looking at the building and so we talked to them in our broken French and they told us they want to learn more about the church and the Gospel and we were just like "Well that's what we're here for!" haha. And we found two others just contacting on the streets one is older woman who is a recent widow and she wants to learn more about the Plan of Salvation so boom there's a another and then last but not least a Haitian who just moved to Chile 15 days ago (he's newer than me isn't that crazy) and so we tried out some more french and my slow and clear spanish helped a lot too so we have an appointment with him but we gave him a french Book of Mormon and a pamphlet. It's amazing how many people there are ready or at least willing to hear our message, don't get me wrong there are plenty that walk the other direction when we come by or don't want anything to do with our message but all we're here to do is invite others to come unto Christ and learn his teachings. The invitation will always be on the table so take it or leave but my professional opinion...take it.

anyways i think that's all for this week but more adventures are sure to come so standby. The Church is true and i love you all.

random facts of the week:
1. there are a million dogs here but no bites yet (knock on wood)
2. Everyone says "Chao" instead of "Adios" here because adios is more of a permanent goodbye and chao is like see ya later...i dig it
3. People here eat tomatoes and avocados like it's nobodies busy

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

2nd week in Chile...check!

Hey everybody! I hope everyone is well and i want you to start off by saying i love you all! Entonces, this has been my second week in Chile and even though the week has gone by fast, i feel like i've done enough things in a week to suffice for like 3 months hahaha. The mission is a rollercoaster with plenty of ups, downs, spins and turns and it even slows down and speeds up. And this ride is gunna keep going for the next 22 months....talk about getting your money's worth.
Alright so highlights of the week, every week we go over to this members house who is 87 years old and he doesn´t know how to read so we spend time reading to him the scripture and then we discuss the scriptures with him. This is a weekly reoccurance and it´s one of my favorite parts of the week because first off, Mario is hilarious and second, i couldn´t imagine not having the ability to read the scriptures let alone read so it brings me joy to perform such a simple service to someone who craves the Gospel so much.
Another constanty reoccurrance is when we pass this botilleria (liquor store) and the owner´s name is Claudio and he alwasy talks to us for a bit. He´s awesome, he´s not interested in the church we´ve tried but he knows all about missionaries and what we do. Anyways he´s awesome everyone in the community loves him and he said that after the mission when i go home and come back to Chile to visit he wants me to stay at his house haha what a guy he calls me Chicano and he's convinced i look like Justin Beiber but thats just not true. All is well here in Santiago, my spanish is getting better everyday and im learning to have patience and to trust in the Lord. With these two things and hard work, all good things will come in time.

Random facts about chile:
1. Chileans eat 4 meals a day and the meal between lunch and dinner is called once and it usually consists of bread and this terrible version of hot chocolate called eccos which is composed of cereal grain and its terrible but whatever.
2. Chileans consume more bread in a week than any human being should
3. Chileans are terrible at speaking english they can´t pronounce anything for their life
4. There are tons of Haitians here in Chile and they speak creole and french so im learning a bit of french right now too in order to teach them,

im sure ill have more things to come but standby, anyways thats it for this week i love you all! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

First week in Santiago!

Hola Everybody! i feel like it's been forever since ive been able to talk to evberyone! Last time i wrote i was in Mexico CIty and now ive been in Santiago for exactly a week now!
 I have a new companion who is training me his name is Elder Garcia and he is from Veracruz, Mexico. He knows little to no english except a coupple phrases like "I dont care" "I win forever" "dont get angry" and "i need to go to the bathroom" hahaha its so funny when he speaks english. I'm in an area of Santiago called Los Manantiales and it's more or less part of the slums of the outer rim of the city. It's definitely been a change of scenery for me but it's me to develop a greater gratitude for the things that we all take for granted sometimes. 
Now onto the spanish, the spanish here in Chile is absolutely CRAZY! I'm convinced that it shouldn't be considered spansih a lot of the time. they talk so fast and they chop of words and they have their own chilean vocabulary that makes zero sense a lot of the time and they add -po to the end of everything for no reason at all. So much of the time when someone asks me something and i dont knwo what they said i'll just smile and say "si" if i dont know whats going on hahaha. Now don't get me wrong, I´m not a lost cause. I´m understanding more and more everyday but i´d say i´ve got some work to do before i´d considermyself fluent or even confident in this language but i know that if i work as hard as i can, the Lord will take care of the rest. 
Now I´ve only been an in-field missionary for week but my favorite part thus far has definitely been the service opportunities that I´ve had to help others. There´s this old lady in the ward here that makes bread for a living and she got sick so she couldn´t do what she needed to dfo in order to make her weekly income so we went over and did everything she needed us to do in order for her to have bread ready to sell this week. We also had the opportunity to help another family do some work around their yard which is actually part of a dumpyard so we helped them move materials that were invading their house area. It´s amazing how much people here dont have yet theyre able to still be happy and find joy in the things they do have.
Let us all be grateful for all the things we do have like technology, the houses we have, the heaters and airconditioners (which dont exist here) our cars, and most importantly our friends and family. For all things belong to our Heavenly Father and we should thank him everyday for what He is allowing us to borrow. 
Don´t get me wrong this is challenging at times, the language is hard, the adjustment is hard, going to sleep in winter without a heater is hard, but i know that this is where the Lord needs me right now. I love you all and i think of you all often. 

Until next week,
Elder Carlos Cabrera