Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March 1, 2016- I saw Elder Williams!

The first part of Seth's email this week was answering a few questions I had asked him.  

I mentioned that the kids were back in school this week after a week off for midwinter break.
Oh yeah I hated going back to school too, but we're happy when the kids in Santiago go back to school because the kids here all wear uniforms which is much preferable to the summer "clothing" (not a lot of clothing) that people like to wear.
What is a typical day like for you? A typical day is as follows- I wake up at 7, exercise for 30 minutes, then I eat eggs and cereal for breakfast and I shower. As soon as I get ready, (8:30) I start my personal study and then at 9:15 we start companionship study. At 10 we have an hour of training and then at 11 we study Spanish. From 12-9:30PM  we are out of the house working with the exception of lunch (1:30) and once, which is essentially a break, from 6-7. Then we plan, rest, write in journals and such until 11 and then we go to bed. The 8 hours of sleep are far more than my body is used to but I'm getting used to it ;) 
What do you do on P-Day (preparation day)? On p-days we usually play soccer, buy groceries, and then write our families, but today we decided to go hiking up Cerro Renca (right next to Elder Williams' sector!) It was me, Elder Smith, the Elder that Elder Smith trained a few months back (and his companion), and Elder Williams and his companion! It was awesome and way fun to catch up with Elder Williams. It seems like he's doing super well and he was glad to hear that all is well in Bothell.
Me and Elder Williams
At the top of Cerro Renca
Cerro Renca - the hill we climbed on pday
Me and Elder Smith
How are things going with your companion? My companion is super cool! He's super relaxed and easy to get along with, but at the same time he's obedient and focused on the work. I'm sure it's super hard to be almost done with the mission and to be having to decide on stuff for college, but he's handling it well.

Did you use your debit card? I did use the card to buy a Ukulele! I want to play it at night to unwind!

Here are some highlights from my week:
  • On Wednesday we visited a guy named Mauricio who thought he was a prophet. In the middle of the lesson he told my companion to stop, someone wanted to talk to him... He started saying that he was God and that he was calling Mauricio to be the final prophet. We both felt really weird the whole time, and actually even for a few hours after the lesson.
  • We started on a plan to read the Book of Mormon every night at 9 with one of the families. They're a super good family, but we want to help them build good habits.
  • On Thursday we had interchanges (not exactly sure what they're called in English). I was with Elder Sousa from Brazil and it was super cool! He's my Zone leader and he only has like 3 weeks left in the mission! I definitely learned a lot from him.
  • Believe it or not I taught the Restoration lesson for the first time this week (I taught it 3 times this week) but the very first time the lesson was two hours long. They recommend lessons don't take any more than 40 minutes (whoops).
  • Also on Wednesday we had a conference with Elder Bednar and all the South America missionaries. It was super good and he told us that we shouldn't take notes on what he said, only on impressions and what we feel.
  • On Sunday we talked to a Jehovah Witness and he told us he wanted to convince us and then he gave us some book about how to achieve eternal life.

Overall I'm doing well! There are hard moments at times, but every week I become more and more comfortable and I trust that someday Spanish will feel a little bit more natural. I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Elder Birrell

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