Dear Mom and Dad,
It was great to see you yesterday! I´m glad to know you are doing well. Enjoy Seaworld.
Fantastic week, it had its interesting moments (Elder S vomited everything he ate for a solid 24 hours after eating an uncooked hamburger) but ended pretty great. Other than Elder S getting sick, here are some other stories.
The R family. This week, we started helping them to stop smoking. In two days, T and L went from 15-20 cigaretts a day to 8. Then they kept lowering one a day. If all goes according to plan, they will smoke their last cigarett ever tomorrow! Their faith during this whole process has been incredible. Every single member of the family agrees that they have seen changes through the gospel--less fighting and disagreeing, less anger, more love, more peace. And once they stop smoking, more health and more money, as well! I love this job.
The adult daughter, K, said something that I loved during one of our lessons. "Una vez que you me bautice, voy a ser una mormona de las buenas." Once I´ve been baptized, I want to be one of the great mormons. And that coming from the lips of a woman that, a month and a bit ago, didn´t believe in anything!
We said goodbye to the A family this week (the gringo family who invited us over for hamburgers). Normally whenever we have lunch with someone we share a scripture or a hymn afterward, but this time they asked if they could share something with us. They then played and sang the A family song for us, which they composed one day when they didn´t feel like going down to the beach. It was pretty cute, the four tiny little kids pitching in to sing the chorus. They head back to Utah tomorrow after 4 months here in Chile.
Then Elder S got really sick, and it was probably an undercooked hamburger that they gave us. But they were such a nice family that Elder S keeps insisting it had to have been something else, since the hamburgers were fine :D
We had a Mini-MTC activity on Saturday. We forgot to take into account Mormon Standard time, so we were waiting around for quite a while before any of the kids showed up. But, with a little schedule adjusting to make it all work out, we had a great day--several classes, activities, meals, and a special devotional with President Gillespie, ending off with a few hours of splits with the missionaries. There were 10-15 youth there, and I think it was a good experience for them. The best part was when we were all telling stories after lunch, one of the Elders gets up to demonstrate exactly how epically one of his companions got knocked out playing kickball, and just as he gets to the climax everybody realizes that President Gillespie was standing there in the doorway. He laughed too :D
Last story of the week. We ran into someone on the street the other day named C. He had recently come to Quintero, but in a stopover in another little town on the road he was assaulted at 3 in the morning, stripped of everything he had, and left on the side of the road. He ran into us when he was looking for work. We met with him for the second time yesterday and, when we were talking about how crazy his circumstances are and how it must be God guiding him to the truth, he said that he already knew that, he already wanted to be baptized, and he hoped that we would keep coming and help him to do it.
This work is amazing. And it is true.
Viviendo el sueño,
Elder Jason Ray