Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Chad's Argentine accent in Chile, Rebecca preparing to leave Washington DC

October 14, 2013
Hello Friends!  
Time is flying here!  I am starting my 10th week in the field.  I don’t know how it can go so fast.  I don’t need a calling card, I have learned that the mission uses Skype on Mother`s day and Christmas.  I am doing well.

More than anything else, I have been learning patience.  My companion is a bit of a whiner, and sometimes it is frustrating when he does stuff simply to annoy you, or just makes jokes about you.  I really want to learn Spanish good, and he will start speaking Portuguese because he thinks it is funny.  I am trying to be patient. 

We are having some good success though.  We are going to baptize Abigail this Friday.  She has no living family that she is familiar with, so I guess we are baptizing an entire family.

Maria, baptized about a month ago, is staying strong.  She recently told us that her deceased husband was just about to be baptized, but there was a transfer of missionaries and the new missionaries in the sector must not have known about him.  He died about 20 days after the transfer.  When we passed by she knew who we were, and although she had been resistant to the missionaries in her home not much earlier, she felt that she should let us in.  She was hard at first, and I thought the lesson was going downhill pretty fast, I even started to put my scriptures away as I thought we were going to leave.  It is amazing how the spirit works, how the day before we found her, during our daily planning session, the spirit prompted us to tract in that area.  It is amazing that people really can change.   

Bishop, 4 years ago was an alcoholic, who said he would file for a divorce if his wife joined the Mormon Church. His wife knew the church was true, and she was going to join.  I don’t know what changed his heart, but he is an awesome person and I wish you all could meet Bishop Hidalgo.  To quote Elder Rees, assistant to the president who recently completed his mission ``You can lead a horse to water, but you can`t make it drink.  But you can make the horse thirsty.``  

My Spanish is improving, and I thank you for all your prayers in my behalf.  The vast majority of sentences I hear and speak are short and simple, so that helps.  When the sentence is longer and a little bit slurred with unfamiliar grammar I just say ``no entiendo``, or ``como?``  People tell me I have an Argentine accent, with the way I pronounce words that have double l, por ejemplo ellos.  In Argentina it would be pronounced ejos or eshos.  In Chile it would be pronounced eyos.  Alla, meaning there, would be aya.  The accent is starting to go away, but it shows up every so often.  I can’t think of anything else to put in the package.  Don’t be afraid of throwing in some candy and hand written letters from all 5 Idahoans living in Minnesota.  

I would like to sincerely apologize for being so hard to everyone for so many years.  Mom, I am sorry I hurt your feelings and made you cry.  Dad, I am sorry I hurt your feelings and made you cry.  Valerie, I am sorry I hurt your feelings and made you cry.  Lauren, I am sorry I hurt your feelings and made you cry.  Sam, I am sorry I hurt your feelings and made you cry.  I would like to apologize to Valerie one more time.  Valerie, I am sincerely sorry.  Ephesians 6:1-3 would have been good for me to read.

I love you all more than the number of grains of rice I have eaten here in Chillan,Chile.
Elder Withers

Dear Family,
Ha actually I am not near take off quite yet.  President hasn't even received any word on my flight plans, so I am still here workin hard!  We got a call from the mission office last Wednesday saying that church travel had sent me some urgent paperwork that needed to be signed, and that I need to get fingerprints again (ugh!).  We drove all the way to Burke, and about 2 miles away from the office....they called and said "nevermind" we don't have your passport yet, we will call you when it’s here and you can come back then. Bummer.  In order to get finger prints at the police stations here, they require two forms of ID.....and my passport is my other form, so we went all that way for nothing.  The mission office didn't know that, and they felt bad that we had traveled all that way, but they gave us a bunch of candy, so I guess it wasn't totally for nothing?  (:  My passport should be here by today or tomorrow, so we should be traveling there soon!  
Thanks for a Christmas package, you are the best.  Whatever you think looks good, I will probably like....so don't worry about the Christmas box....I will love everything.  I wasn't just sweet talking you about the skirt the first time, it really is my new favorite.

Out of the 6 missionaries in my MTC district, 5 of us have our visas.  And some of them have actual flight plans to leave on Oct. 22.........so maybe I will go then too!  That would be sweet, I will keep you posted though.   

Also crazy thing, my companion's best friend is serving in Concepcion...and my companion asked if she knew an Elder Withers....AND SHE DID!   An Hermana Jenna Snyder, is serving in the same ward as Chad.  Small world (:

Also cool to hear that you are having missionary experiences in Minnesota too.  The work is growing!

This week was wickedly cold and rainy.  It rained literally ALL WEEK LONG (we woke up to rain, it rained all day, we went to bed with rain), up until yesterday when the sun finally made an appearance.  We walked around in our rain boots and carried umbrellas, for what seemed like an eternity...but the sun finally came back, and it feels so good.  I have enjoyed the fall season too.  Seeing the leaves change colors, its all so pretty.  But I also feel lucky to have a ticket south for the winter.  I enjoyed all of summer, have had a nice fall, and am peacin out for winter to have another summer!  

Besides the adventure to Burke, this week really has been a typical, busy week.  We had a few dinner appointments with members, lessons with investigators, and a few meetings.  We are finally drying out too.  
I'm excited to go to Argentina.  This mental game of staying focused here in Leesburg is getting harder and harder.  The biggest transfer of my life is coming up though, and I am ready for it!  

Sorry that I don't have much more to write about this week.  It was a good one.  And also our investigators and members are awesome.  As time continues on, plans for things like Halloween, and zone interviews, and things well past Oct. 20.....I feel a little twinge of sadness that I won't be here.  This place is so fun, the missionaries are top of the line, and our president is so energetic and insightful.  If I never got my visa, I would be okay....because this mission has felt like home too.  

I know great things are up ahead!  Thanks for all of your love and support.  I love you more than all the rain puddles I walked through this week!

Hermana Withers

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