Good week! Somehow I have a lot of stuff to write about and not a lot of time to do it in, so I´ll try to give the condensed version.
A couple of funny stories. First off, Friday I went on exchanges with our district leader. We were in a lady´s house getting ready to teach and she went to get us some water.She came in, gave a glass to my companion, then went out to get one for me. He looked at me and said ¨Elder, I´m fasting.¨ I grabbed his glass, chugged it down, and handed it backto him just before the lady walked back in with my glass. Then I tried to control my laughing while drinking the second glass.
Second story--yesterday at lunch with a family I hadn´t met before, I asked them what they thought about my accent. Their reply--I speak Spanish like I´m from England! I am so totally ok with this, I can´t even describe it. My goal now is not to speak with a perfect latin accent, but to speak with an Englateran accent.
Little bite of Chile for the week: Libigas. All ofthe hot water heaters in Chile are these nifty little insteant-heaters that run off natual gas, called colifonts. (Not as nice as north american heaters, even if it is instant). Because everyone uses this natural gas, there are a couple companies that drive trucks around with ready tanks to replace them if anybody´s shower suddenly turns ice cold. One companiy, Libigas, also blasts a jingle at full volume from all of it´s trucks. Usually about three or four times during studies one of the trucks will drive by and drown out the John Schmidt we were listening to. It´s pretty funny.
Something that missionaries are supposed to do every single day is ¨Talk to Everybody.¨ This means that if you see someone on the street, you assume they have been put in your way by God, and you go and talk to them, share a brief testimony, and ask to teach them more. Turns out this is one thing I can do, because I may not have a perfect grasp of Spanish or a whole lot of other missionary--knowledge (yet,) but I´ve got a willing heart and a big ole´ smile!
A few days ago, I got sick pretty badly, to the point that I was shivvering in about 70 degree weather. We came in early from the days work and I wrapped up in some blankets; when the other missionaries in our apartment got in, they gave me a blessing, that I would recover from the sickness and be able to work the next day. The Priesthood really is amazing. I have worked the rest of the week with nothing more than a few coughshere and there.
Story to end out: Anna. We had a lesson with Anna on Saturday, our only appointment before lunch. We went in with the plan to teach from ¨The Family: A Proclamation¨ because she was interested in families, but that changed pretty soon. She started telling us about how she felt distant from God, how she wanted to change her life to what He wanted it to be, and she had been praying that He would show her the way. And then there we were, offering exactly what she wanted--closeness with God, joy, peace. God answers prayers! And we got to be that answer to this woman. More details forthcoming in the next few weeks I hope!
I do love Chile. It is a beautiful place with wonderful people, and every day I thank God for sending me here.
Elder Jason Ray