Saturday, October 29, 2016

Week 18 - the one where I got sick

¡Hola cada persona! ¿Como estamos? I hope all of ya'll are doing awesome and you guys had a great week up there in the incredible US of A. Halloween is just around the corner and you all better have youre costumes picked out and your candy bought. I´ll be out there on the streets knocking on doors as well, only difference is i wont be saying "TRICK OR TREAT", I´ll probably be saying something along the lines of "Hola Vecino/Vecina somos misioneros de La Iglesia de Jesucristo de Los Santos de Los Ultimos Dias y tenemos un mensaje para usted que sabemos puede bendecir usted y su familia" more or less...and hey who knows what will happen after that, maybe I´ll recieve some candy if their in the mood haha. 
Anyways on to the week...

So this week was kind of a slow week and most of that is contributed to the fact that i got an annoying cold this week because the weather has been all over the place this week and its flu season here as we´re entering spring. Anyways because mother nature decided to be annoying i recieving a solid fever, headaches, and all the awesome symptons of a cold for about 2 days where i was basically in bed all day. but dont fret because im all better know and im back at it. 

So this week was the end of my second change here in Chile and oh man did it go by fast. soooo much faster than the first change. But nothing much has changed, same sector, same companion, this is my companions last 6 weeks here in the mission and then boom on a flight to Mexico. He´s rather excited but he´s grown super fond and attached to Chile. it'll be bittersweet. Anyways Elder Garcia was called District Leader and so thatll be something different for the coming weeks. Lots of intercambios and fun times. 

As far as the work as going, we unfortunately had to let go of a few investigators because they just refused to progress or go to church, had no idea that was so hard. But hey no worries we're pumped we´re gunna find a whole bunch of new people to teach and slowly baptize every person here haha. The Lord will direct our efforts as long as we work hard and have faith. The mission is a gigantic test of faith, faith that our family back home will be okay, faith that we will be protected from danger, faith that we will be able to speak a different language, faith that the Lord knows what He´s doing and that He knows whats best for us. 
if any of you feel like youre lacking a little bit of faith theres this quote that i absolute love and its basically just saying Be Happy.
"Sometimes its better to not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe and have faith that everything will work out for the best."

So there ya have it, dont worry, as long as we´re doing what Heavenly Father wants of us, He´ll take care of the rest. He knows best.

The Church is true. Sending my best to all of you this coming week!

Until next week, 
Elder Carlos Cabrera

Facts of the week:
1. apparently if your hair isnt like basically black here in Chile youre considered a blondie. Never have i been called Blondie so many time in my life
2. Just because i wear a shirt and tie every day does not mean i have a ton of money, i swear people think we´re here just to give out money to drunk beggars all day long
3. The streets here are so narrow and unorganized i have no idea how cars are able to pass one another on the same street, the use the sidewalk...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Week 17 - The one with all the blessings

¡Hola! The time has come again to write all you wonderful people and let me say how nice it has been to recieve some emails from some of you. It´s so refreshing to hear about things going on the other side of the hemisphere haha. I hope you all had a great week like I did and i ould love to hear from you guys when you have the chance! shoot me an email! So onto the past 7 days...

so this week was kind of all over the place like i know i experienced a whole bunch of different things but now that im sitting in front of the computer it´s hard to recall them. So lets see what i can recap...we had a lot of lessons, knocking on doors, a lot of times we were bailed on for appointments (not upset though), we were just all over the place this week. sorry i dont have too many funny stories or anything overly significant to share this week. we´ve been screamed at by drunk people, we´ve been chased by dogs, we´ve walked for miles in the cold rain, and ive accidently stepped in more dog poop than i´d like to admit to this week. I hope youre all getting a feel for what my daily life is like by now haha.

One awesome experience that i do want to talk about is the fact that i´ve had the opportunity to give a blessing at least once every day this past week. It has been such a neat experience, we´ll be eating lunch or visiting a member and then all of a sudden we´ll be asked or called to go gie a blessing to someone. There´s so many sick people right now and so little number of people who have the priesthood authority to give blessings so i gues its up to us haha. I´ve given a blessing to every type of infirmity this week:headaches, common colds, knee name it! and this pastthursday i think we were visiting this inactive family who is starting to come back to the church and all of a sudden one of the daughters who is in her 30s asked us if we could give her a blessing. Her father isnt worthy to give blessings yet and her husband isnt a member of the church. we asked what she needed the blessing for and she tearfully told us she has uterus cancer. I could tell it took a lot for her to open up to us like that and i could tell she has the faith necessary for us to perform the blessing. So we went along and gave her the blessing and let me tell you i could feel how sick she was, i could tell she needed the Lord´s help and i could tell that she had the humility and the faith she needed to finally ask for help. The Lord is ready to help all of us, he´s just waiting for us to ask. I´m so grateful for the opportunity we have to ask for help, im so grateful for the access that we have to priesthood blessings and most of all im grateful for the Priesthood authority that we have on the earth to act in the name of Jesus Christ and administer to those that need our help. Becuase we have this Priesthood authority which is the power of God himself to act in his name, we have the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth, it has been restored using such proper authority and that is what makes the difference between every other church on the earth and our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The church is true. 

Well thats all i have to report for this past week but stay tuned to hear more adventures of Elder Cabrera taking on Santiago, Chile. i send my love and best wishes to all of you and our families. Until next week.

Elder Carlos Cabrera

Fact of the week:
1. Chileans love mayonaise and im actually convinced they can put it on any type of food item and think it makes it better, id have to disagree...
2. Apparently in Chile when you want to buy like a 2 liter soda bottle you can not buy it without having an empty 2 liter soda bottle to exchange becaue here when you buy the soda bottle youre only buying the soda within the bottle as opposed to the US where when you buy the bottle youre buying the bottle itself as well. so my question does one begin to buy soda in chile if they must always need a bottle to exchange...i see faults in that system

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Week 16-carabineros, technical difficulties, climbing mountains and mas

¡Hola Amigos y Familia¡ Here again is your favorite missionary in the Chile Santiago North Mission (or at least i hope i am). Before i get started i hope you all are well and you had a splendid week. So on to the events of the week.

So this past friday we recieved a phone call from an unknown number saying he is a missionary who arrived to Chile last night and he needs our help. So we arrived at this random address to find Elder Santiago, a peruvian missionary who served 2 years in Bolivia, he has finished his 2 years and instead of returning to Peru he chose to come to Chile to live with his mom. Except one small issue, he hasnt been released from being a missionary. For those that dont know when a missionary is about to leave on his mission he is "set apart" or ordained a missionary by a leader in our church called the Stake President. And so when one returns home after his/or her service is up they have to be "released" from their missionary service which results in them taking off their missionary plaque and becoming a normal person again. So hence this Elder Santiago, now called Frank, had to spend the entire day with us being a missionary until that night when our stake president could meet with him to release him. was quite an interesting experience walking around in 3 with this basically dead missionary haha. 

Another highlight of the week actually took place today during our Pday when we hiked this mountain called Cerro San Cristobal. It was awesome it has this huge statue of the Virgin Mary on top and its very well known throughout Santiago. It was a blast always nice to mix things up and do a bit of hiking and sight seeing. Sometimes its still weird to think im in Santiago, Chile. Sometimes when youre just going about your business you forget where you are in the world. After more than 2 months here i still have my moments where i say "Wow im in CHILE!" haha my comp gets a kick out of it. 

As far as the work is going here we´re slowly finding more people interesting in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we found a wonderful family who now has a date to be baptized, well at least there parents do, i hope all goes according to plan and i hope they continue to read the scriptures, pray and develop their personal testimonies of this gospel. i know it will change their lives for the better if they do. This Gospel changes lives, it brings families together, it brings joy into a home, and it gives people the opportunity to better their lives forever here on earth and the life to come. 

Thats all for this week, take care, love one another, and remember...theres someone in Santiago Chile thats thinking about you.

Elder Carlos Cabrera

Facts of the week:
1. Chileans love to talk about their soccer team when they win, but even more so when they lose. Chileans critize their own team more than probably other countries do.
2. For gringo missionaries, what they dont tell you is that not only will you serve as a missionary but a translator as well. i swear ive translated every type of homework assignment this week, i should start charging...
3. if you have food in your hand while walking down the street, make sure to keep your hands high, or else you will lose it to the army of dogs that are ready for their lunch. Lesson learned.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

WEEK 15 in the Mission!

¡Hola Mujeres y Caballeros! ¿Como le ha ido? Ive decided to count not just the weeks in the field but the weeks from the CCM as well so dont be alarmed since the last group email said week 8 haha i didn't magically just live 7 weeks in one, even if it might feel that way haha. I hope you are all are doing well. Now onto the week...So this past wednesday we had what we call Zone Conference which occurs every 8 or 9 weeks and its when all the missionaries in our zone and maybe 1 or 2 other zones come together to talk with our mission president and talk about announcements we have, introduce new missionaries (including me) and talk about the progress we are having in our areas of proselyting. It was a blast i got to see some buddies from Mexico, my best buddy Elder Johnson who's assistant to the president, and just hang out and listen to our inspiring president and his wife. AND THEN, this past weekend we had the opportunity to watch General Conference which is live broadcast from Salt Lake City in which our Prophet Thomas S Monson and his apostles and general authorities have the opportunity to address the church and its members and provide counsel, messages of inspiration and further insight about topics that they feel inspired of the Lord to speak about. It is really a cool expereince and it happens semi annually, the first weekend of April and October. I was blessed by feeling the Spirit very strongly this past weekend while listen to the words of all those who spoke, and a neat part was that i got to take a break from spanish for a bit and watch it with my fellow gringos in our native tongue haha. Hallelujah Besides that we´re just going about our business as Representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know this church is true, i know this is the same church that Jesus Christ established during His earthly ministry. We are here on the earth to learn, to progress, and to obey the commandments of Heavenly Father so we can return to live with Him again. If you don't believe what i believe, please at least take the time to listen to what we believe, it might surprise you, what's the harm in knowing? I hope you all have a wonderful week and i send my love with you all from Santiago.

Facts of the week:
1. When you ask a person in Chile how they are, they will give you the truth no matter what the answer is, great, fine, okay, terrible and everything in between. When we ask that question in the US, the answer is always "good" even though we know its a lie sometimes
2. People are more interested in the fact that we don't have tv, music, or video games than they are about the message we are here to share about Jesus Christ. Apparently that is more worth wild information.
3. Chilenos love to nickname foreigners based off of soccer players,my mexican companion is named "Chincharito" a soccer player for Mexico, a few Chilenos have decided upon the name "David Beckham", I'm not complaining one bit....