Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Chile has Record Number of People in Church, Argentina has Rain, Rain, Rain!!

Dear Family,
Well, I am happy to hear that all is well and that you have plenty of Halloween candy.  Our next door neighbors have chickens, and every morning their rooster starts up at about 5:00 am, periodically and loudly does his cock-a-doodle-doo until about 7:00 ish.  I have finally gotten used to it and can now sleep through it soundly.  

This week was not too crazy.  The work has been a little slower lately, with very few people to teach.  We will keep looking for new investigators, and once again the Bavarian village idea got slammed with other things.  I think we might just cancel some stuff this week to make room for it.  I read the first part of Luke 5.  I really liked it.  I recommend it.  Luke 5:4 is my favorite.  That is what we are going to do to find new investigators, “Launch out into the deep, and let your nets down for a draught”.

I hope you are all doing well, that you are in good health.  Oh, I forgot to say, that last week we hit an all time record for this ward of 208 people in church, almost getting the 210 we are aiming for.

I realize it is a short letter, but I promise next week will be a better letter.  
Thanks so much for all your prayers and support.

I love you all, more than the number of M&Ms that get chomped on the week after Halloween.
Elder Withers

Dear Family,
This week was pretty typical for me.  It was incredibly hot in the beginning.....so hot.  Like the kind of heat Argentina whips out towards the end of December, and I was sincerely nervous because we hadn’t even started November yet.....trying to imagine what December was going to be like wasn’t a happy or comforting thought....but it turns out that it was abnormally hot and humid, because a record storm was on its way.  We had intense heat and humidity for 5 days, and the epic storm started on Friday, and is still going strong.  It just barely stopped raining a few hours ago...but since Friday it has been raining on and off.........sometimes with a sharp whistling wind, sometimes with lightning and thunder so loud and powerful you can see water in a water bottle ripple and feel a cool chill run from your head to your toes, and sometimes the rain comes with a little bit of hail......but it hasn’t stopped until today.  And even then it is still cold with overcast, it is still going to rain....but at least it has stopped for a little bit right now! 

The weather was the most unhelpful thing ever in terms of church attendance.  We had 6 people show up, and they showed up soaking wet, I felt so bad for them (for only a minute) because I later realized that all sacrifices to be obedient bring blessings.  Even though they showed up wet and cold because they didn’t have a good coat or umbrella, and they had to walk in the thick and sticky mud (which is a tricky endeavor, you have to make a balance between walking and skating to keep from falling)...they made the sacrifice and got to the chapel....because they understand that the chance to take the sacrament comes but once a week, and it’s not optional.  We already promised that we would be there each Sunday to take the sacrament....so come what may.....rain/snow/mud/etc....we have to go!  We plugged the heater in so that they could dry off and warm up :) 

What this epic rain storm has made evident, is that the chapel roof leaks.  We had to put rags in random places to soak up the water, and also our apartment floods with such enormous amounts of water.  The door doesn’t keep all the water out, and so it seeps in from the under the door crack.....and gets everywhere.  We have been pushing water out of our apartment with a mop for days now, every few hours we have to do it again.  We have to pray kneeling on our chairs so we don’t get wet.  But in all reality it didn’t matter if we got wet or not while praying, because we got wet anyway when we went outside to work.....it was awesome.

My companion turned 23 this week, and for her birthday she wanted "completos".  Chad should know what they are.  Turns out they are just hot dogs, but apparently in Chile they love love love hot dogs.  They put whatever they want on them, and everyone eats them.  So we had "completos" and we also got ice cream to celebrate the occasion :)

What was really funny was watching kids try to trick or treat.  It isn’t a holiday that people recognize here, so all attempts to trick or treat basically failed.  A few moms or dads went out with their kids to try it anyway, with costumes like you would see in the states.....and when a kid knocked on a door, we could see them from a ways off.  We would watch as we kept walking towards our next appointment.  The kid knocked on the door, said trick or treat.....and nearly every house sent the kids marching empty handed.  I don’t know why they bothered, it’s not a tradition here.  But, oh well.  The United States has an incredibly powerful influence on the world, in so many ways.  Lots of people love the states, and lots of people hate the states, but either way lots of people try to mimic the examples or traditions we have.  

It really was a great week!  This letter is sort of a random mix of everything, I’m not sure if it is even entertaining to read...but it’s what happened this week and the thoughts that are running through my head right now.....so, there you go!  I am glad all is well with you.  It really is so nice to know that everything keeps on keeping on without big news, changes or problems.  I love you all so so so so so much!

I love you all more than how happy people feel when they are obedient to all of the commandments,
Hermana Withers

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