Tuesday, February 16, 2016

First week in the mission field

My new home!
So the Spanish here seriously is waaaaaaay different and way harder. I can pretty much understand everything that other Latinos say, but the Chileans not so much. Chilean Spanish is funny though because I can tell that they borrow elements from English. For example, cachar means "to get it" so it's more or less coming from gotcha. Also my other favorite expression is dar jugo, literally "give juice" but actually means to be lazy. I definitely feel like I've been improving and that makes me super happy, but then there are other times when I have no idea what people are saying. When we're just contacting, I usually don't say much because I have a really hard time telling what people are saying, but during lessons I usually understand the people perfectly and I love it. I absolutely love teaching people the Gospel. 
We have a lot of people that we've taught in the past week, but our focus is on 3 guys and a family. One of the guys' name is Mario and he has been prepared by God to hear this message. He's received an answer from God and we haven't even taught him too many times. I feel strongly that he'll be ready for baptism soon and he accepted our invitation, but not only that, he told us that he was getting married in a couple weeks. We saw that as a potential issue since he has two kids and is living with his girlfriend, but we never even had to ask him about it! Another guy's name is Jorge and he's 78 years old. He also very strongly believes in the Book of Mormon and that Joseph Smith was a prophet and has a desire to be baptized, but he usually can't come to church because he and his wife are almost always really sick. He tells us every time that he doesn't know how long he has left to live, so I hope we can help him to the best of our ability while he's with us. We are also working with a 21 year old guy who lived in Utah for a year and got baptized there. He came back to Chile 4 months ago and hadn't been to church in 4 months until this past Sunday. He wants to go back to Utah and go to BYU, so we're helping him and teaching his dad as well. Finally, we're working with a huge family (three generations) with a couple inactive members, but mostly investigators. One of the girls (Emily) wants to be baptized but we want to make sure it happens in a situation in which she can at the very least get the support of her family. We have a lot more people we teach and help less frequently, but that's what I've been up to!

Our ward is super small (I think 54 people were there on Sunday) which feels so much different than home, but it's the same gospel. The members here are super nice, but at times don't quite get our purpose as missionaries and how they can help. My goal while I'm here is to help change that culture. We've also had the opportunity to give a good amount of service, including English classes, building a lady's roof, cleaning out yards, and we've also put on Family Home Evening's every Friday night.

The food here hasn't been too scary for the most part. We make our own breakfasts and then usually a ward member will make our lunch and we just go pick it up. I've eaten at the house of two families and I never had to use any of Bishop Jones' tips of how to avoid eating nasty food.

Also, fun fact, I just learned yesterday that we do in fact have hot showers. That was a fun surprise :)

I'm doing really well and I'm loving every minute, I just can't wait for the day when I can know what's going on!

Love,
Elder Birrell

2 comments:

  1. Kathy, My son is Elder Birrell's trainer and I found your blog! So happy that my son will be able work with your son! From what I hear he is very ready to be a great missionary and is a hard worker!!

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    1. Hi Lisa! I'm so excited for our sons to work together. I've heard great things about Elder Smith and I'm grateful Seth has such a wonderful trainer. I'm excited to see what they can do together!

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