Hey Everyone!
This is my blog about all the activities and details about my mission. My folks are going to be updating it weekly, based on the information that I send them through my letters. My current address:
Elder Brigham James Merrell
MTC Mailbox # 138
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Monday: We got up this morning and weent to the Villa Acero chapel to
play soccer as a zone. The whole zone came! We played so hard there,
and my legs have been in agony all day. Elder Kemp is so awesome at
soccer. I was clumsily dribbling down the court and he swooped in and
stole the ball and I fell down, and as I was tumbling around, I was
laughing and telling him good job. I realized that a true friend is
someone who cheers for you, even if they are on the other team. I
thought it was very profound of me to think that. We went to FOOD OK,
the local restaurant, to eat our last lunch together, and say goodbye
to the employees. We have actually gotten to know them really well. We
tried to write the family but the internet cafè was still closed. So
we both went to get a haircut. There were only two customers in front
of us, but as it turned out, they were both getting an extreme
makeover. So we ended up staying for two hours. It was lame, `cause
(<-----just figured out how to do an apostrophe) after the first hour
we were like, "We waited an hour. Let`s just wait a little longer.
"But I got it done and I look sharp again. Daddy says he and mama
enjoyed their anniversaryWe said goodbye to Hna. Marìa and Hna.
Soledad. they really loved Elder Bernal. My favorite visit was with
the Soliz family. We had a lesson about being more like Christ. Then
we had empanadas from Colombìa with some really good pebre salsa. I`m
gonna miss Elder Bernal. He and I have been really good friends. I
hope he has a good time in Tirùa.

Tuesday: Today was a magical day. I mean REALLY incredible. I still
can`t believe what happened this morning. As we were getting ready to
leave, Elder Bernal realized he couldn`t find his wallet. We looked
for ten minutes before we found it in his suitcase. We got to the
terminal and Elder Bernal went off to Tirùa. It hurt, watching him go.
I really learned how to work diligently, even when things look bad. I
spent the day at the terminal with Elder Plmer. He`s from Blanding,
Utah. I know, sounds exciting. He`s now one of my close friends. He`s
almost as good as Lisonbee, but he will have NO equal. I heard people
say hi to an Elder Corliss. I went over and asked where he was from.
He said he was from Highland. His eyes went to my nametag and he
FLIPPED! He was like, "Brigham! NO!" And he started backing up and
freaking out. Turns out he`s ANDREW Corliss. He was my first Childhood
best friend. The kid who taught me to spiral a football. His sister is
married and has 6 kids. Elder Jacob Calaway is my comp. from
Washington (state). We got to meet some members with im. Our
companionshop is so great. We`ll get along so great. It was a good day
and we did about 20 contacts. I called Elder Lisonbee to seehow he`s
doing. He moved up to District Leader! He still loves me. I still love
him. He lived in Highland with Elder Corliss before the mission.

Wednesday: So today was our first Distrizona as a new zone. Elder
Steward brought his hacky sack that he`d had hid away in his suitcase
for all these months. I was a bit rusty, but everyone was still
impressed. THer`s an Elder Gonzalez in our District and he`s a jerk.
He`s like, "I`m gonna baptize `cause I want to. Not for this District
or Zone, but for me." I was like, "WOOOOOOOOW. You`re a toolbag...I
mean `not very Christlike." Anyway, after we got on the bus to go
home, Elder Calaway asked me if I was always so happy. I said yes. But
I`ve had to practice at it, and it`s worth it. Elder Calaway made a
cool observation. SAtan never makes us do obvious bad things. Just
little things. If satan were to change our object of worship, what
would it be? Jesus getting killed. That was a mind bomb that blew my
mind. We saw a drunk guy go screaming through a puddle. Then through
traffic. Then back through traffic. Elder Calaway told me he beats
himself up a lot. I think he`s such a great guy. At least he`s got
girl experience going for him. He`s really nice and jokes with the
people. He reminded me of me at the beginning of the mission. But he
trusts me and looks to me for strength. I looked back in my journal
and saw myself wishing for that, `cause I did it with Elder Barajas.
I`m so grateful for the changes the Lord and his spirit are making in

Thursday: The days here are steadily getting colder and colder. The
sun is so hot during the day, but the wind in the night is about 45 F.
Brr. We got up and did our exercises and studies together. I`ve gotten
a lot out of my personal study time. I enjoyed my time this morning
talking with Elder Calaway. We went to drop off the clothes. We had
our weekly planning session and it was really hard for me. Actually,
all of today was hard for us. There just aren`t people for us to plan
for. Elder Calaway is my first comp. that has a girlfriend. He REALLY
misses her. He`s getting really beat up about being away from her. I
can see the blessing of not having one during the mission. It took me
a few extra minutes to find our lunch. It was emarrassing. Merta
wouldn`t let us teach her because her cousing was watching TV. I was
like, "What does that have to do with you?" Chileans are weird. We did
contacts the rest of the day. I feel like I`m starting the mission
again. I feel a bit lost. I remember thinking I could only progress so
much as a junior comp. and also that the mission is like life. I
wonder if being a dad will be as disorienting as being a senior
companion. My comp`s really struggling with who he is and what he
wants. I`m glad I fixed my goals of who I wanted to be. I`ve prayed
for deliverance--to be delivered to where I want to. Lisonbee and my
comps. have been telling me thigns that I wanted to be. The mission`s
changing me! But being here is so hard.

Friday: So the mission has officially gone to the next level. Being
Senior Comp. is just really hard for me. We don`t have any people
besides Valentina and we found out we can`t pass by when her dad`s
home. He was home today, so we couldn`t go by and teach our only
investigator. Not being able to teach peole on the mission just makes
me feels useless. Being held accountable for that lack of lessons
makes me feel like I`m failing, and it`s awful. I`ve never been that
good at walking up to strangers and just creating a bond of trust to
talk about Jesus. We are just not able to find any new investigators,
it seems. I`ve read examples of missionaries in the Scriptures, and
I`ve examined Preach My Gospel trying to learn how to get new
investigators, but the people are so hard here. We just did contacts
all day. We talked to people in the streets and they would just hurry
away from us, saying they were in a rush. WHow can we talk to them?
I`ve tried being their friend, I`ve tried testifying in the name of
Christ, and I`ve tried offering service. And all of the members give
their references to the assisstants. I don`t know what I`m going to do
for 5 more weeks, here. I guess I`ll have to practice my contacts. I
have to be a good example for my comp. now. We`re getting to know each
other really well and helping each other out and to be better. P.S. I
saw a dog that was a boy AND a girl.

Saturday: Today was something that I needed. Supposedly there was a
Stake activity for all the Young Men where they got to leave with the
missionaries. We didn`t go, `cause we don`t have any investigators to
visit. Right when we were about to go, I made a cup of Ecco and
accidentally put too much sugar in. I liked the flavor, but when I got
to the bottom, I was dizzy from a sugar rush. I felt positively sick.
So I threw up a few times and felt worse. Because of disorientation, I
was forced to lie down until lunch. We ate with Hna. Teresa. She
REALLY enjoyed talking to us. She told us about her life, being
married to a non-member. It`s been hard for her. I felt a love for her
that I was sure was coming from Heavenly Father. When we left a prayer
with her, I tried to let her know how he loved her. When I ended, she
mentioned the blessing I had gen Hna. Wioleta that had made her cry.
Apparently, the whole relief Socity knows. Sheesh! We had a crazy
preacher (not a pastor) talk to us. Actually, my comp. spoke to him.
He wouldn`t listen. When I asked where he was from, (`cause he spoke
weird) his eyes got big and he pointed at me and said, "I say unto
thee. God loves thee!" My comp. was like, "What about me?" He said,
"He loves you too, but HIM," (pointing to me agian "He`s gonna have a
dream of Jesus." Then he slowly closed the door while still pointing.
It was funny. Then we had our ward FHE. Our eyes got big when our FHE
class started talking about Kolob and the garden of Eden. Some of the
assisstant`s investigators were confused. All of us missionaries were
just in pain.

Sunday: So today was the first day of May. I can`t believe it! So much
time has passed away. Today we had a Seventy come to our WArd. Just
ours. His name is Elder David Fereira. He`s actually from the WArd of
Hualpencillo. He spoke to us about a lot of things. I can`t remember
any right now, but I just felt so GOOD. I finally got it! I finally
got the whole mission thing. I want to be here. I thought of home and
I didn`t want to go. This is my life. This is normal. I want to help
people. It`s such a lighter feeling. I remember something the Seventy
said. He said that ANYONE who hears the Prophet is blessed--member, or
not. I discovered today, that my comp. likes to play pranks on drunks.
He did some fun things. So I tried it too. In the middle of a
conversation I said,"Someone just robbed you!" He started patting
himself and looking around for about 5 seconds before he forgot. We
completed with our 200 contacts. First week as Senior
companion=awesome. Fernanda called and said that she`d had a dream
about me, that I had been covered in dirty water and was all muddy.
She dreamed I was really weighed down and wanted to see how her
"hermanito" (little brother) was doing. I have been pretty depressed
because of the lack of investigators. I really appreciated that call.


Monday: today we went to the office and found that not one letter had
come for our whole zone. That was the first time it happened. We went
to use internet and write the family. Mama had written me an email,
noting that it sounded like I wasn`t feeling well. She`s always had a
fine-tuned "mother`s sense" that alerts her when the evil juju of the
universe decides it`s my turn in the batting cage. She said they`re
trying to sell our blazer to buy a Dodge pickup that won`t sling oil
all over the place. I also got a message from Grammy. she sent it from
her ipad, too! That made me want one really badly. In the evening, we
went by Hna. Marìa. We talked about the people/members who live in
Utah. Hna. Marìa is about 75 years old and she said that those people
are lame. She thinks it would be bad to be surrounded by members
because there wouldn`t be opposition. I tried to tell her that just
LIVING is a trial. No one escapes it. Then she went on about the Utah
missionarieis that left because their parents would disown them if
they didn`t. I`ve found that the reason for leaving doesn`t matter, as
long as you leave. God does the rest. At the FHE with the Soliz
family, I taught how to improve relationships with God, our family,
our fellowman, and ourselves.

Tuesday:As the last (zone) District meeting of the transfer, it was
seen fit by our Zone Leaders that we have a Zone breakfast. They
bought 90 eggs to made all the breakfast burritos. While we were
there, one of the other Elders gave me a letter from Alan! The things
he said to mejust connected with me on a level that no one else has
reached yet. When I talk with him, it is just so easy to trust him. I
feel like he`s my brother. I`m so grateful to have him for my best
friend. He pretty much PWN`d my heart in his letter today. We went to
lunch with Hna. Marìa. Elder Bernal had won the "rock, paper,
scissors" to decide what to have for lunch. We had mashed potatoes and
pork instead of completos, which is just as well, because it`s his
last week. The grandaughter of Hna. Marìa, Melissa, was there too.
Sheps really cool. but when Elder Bernal asked how she was, she said,
"fine" in a sad voice. When she asked him, he said, "I`m fine, but not
as fine as you." He was going for sassy sarcasm, but it came out
wrong. Later, I had a similar experience when I tried to explain that
men run around wearing little...barrier(forgot the right word in
english)...against the cold because they have girls to warm them up.
The translation they understood was "because they have girls to turn
them on." Woops. We went to the Esmeralda (means emerald) sector for
an interview. While there, I learned how to do a Rubik`s cube. I did
it 5 times before the interview finished. My brain felt bruised. Then
we jaywalked 2 freeways to get home. I imagined mom kiling me if she
saw me. But I lived. then we did contacts to finish.

Wednesday: We woke up this morning to a crisp autumn breeze and stormy
overcasts. We also had to go to the other side of the sector to lend
some service to a Sister in the ward. She had us chop off some
branches from a tree out back that had been blocking her sun. She
invited us in afterwards to have some sopaipillas and pebre salso with
a cup of ecco. While enjoying that piece of heaven, she told us about
her son, who`s serving in Peru. He says that there`s no nature. Just
cold grey concrete. How depressing it would be, to live in a place
like that! One of my favorite things of Chile is the land. There are
always rolling green hills and beautiful landscapes. We went to a
Pharmacy to buy medicine for Elder Fernandez, who is in Bernal`s
district. I measured my health while there. I`m the same height, but
I`ve gained 5 lbs. in the past two weeks. Yay! It said that only 1
pound was fat. LOet`s hear it for muscle (and a steady diet), people!
We had lunch with Hna. Rebecca Vasquez, and a member from Concepciòn
who rents a room there for college. We had a good time telling jokes.
But when we got back to the house, I got really dizzy...and clammy. I
tried to go out and work, but almost tipped over every time. I felt
awful. Our numbers are going to be awful. It`s getting so hard for me
to be happy. I`m not teaching anyone and no one wants to listen. Elder
Bernal told me not to be sad if my life isn`t a rose garden. I should
remember who wore the crown of thorns.

Thursday: Today wasn`t as wet as it was windy. Today both sucked and
blew. We got up to a particularly freezing chill and an ominous
overcast. It was a dramatically dark day (alliteration!). I did about
400 push ups through sets of 30 and I`m regretting it. But maybe some
good will come of it. When the time came for weekly planning for all
our investigators, I got depressed. We just don`t have any people. So
I helped Elder Bernal learn some hymns in English for a while. Elder
Gomez saw me being sad and said he had heard from a reliable source
that they might be closing the sector soon. I MIGHT get to leave
early. When walking in the whiplash wind (another alliteration!) we
wet our weather wear which we woefully wore (say that 10 x fast). The
wind blew against us at the beginning, but later in our journey it got
behind us and helped us. I likened it to our challenges. It can be
hard at first, but when we get our perspective right, it can really
help us. We went to Merta, but she was sick. Her granddaughter (also
Merta) let us teach her the 1st lesson. At the end, she understood
everything (I know `cause I quizzed her. Bwahahah!). She said she
doesn`t like to read, but said she really wanted to read the Book of
MOrmon. Then, we went by Marìa Poblete, the less-active that we`ve
been trying to visit EVERY SINGLE DAY since the first day and who
never answered us. After 6 weeks of hiding, she invited us in, all
smiles. She`s a bit crazy `cause she smokes and drinks tea and coffee,
but she`s nice. She really likes me. She says I`m funny. Thank you
Elder Montoya! Her daughter, Valentina, who`s not a member came in. We
were just inviting Marìa back to church. She asked her daughter if she
"wanted to go to the Mormon Church." Valentina was like, "yeah."
Sweet! She really likes us. Really. She tried to get our address so
she could watch movies with us. she`s 13. She also worships Justin
Bieber. Seriously. She knows the hour of his birth and how much he
weighed. Creepy.

Friday: So it`s EArth Day, and I think it went pretty dang well. The
first awesome thing was waking up to our snazzy gas stove. I read in
the November Liahona that I had picked up last pday. I read all of teh
talks from the Priesthood session. My favorite was by Elder Patrick
Kearon. He spoke of the sting of sin and how EVERYONE can be healed
by putting their desires at the feet of our Spiritual Physician, the
Savio Jesus Christ. I`m so thankful for the miracle of forgiveness.
And I was pretty much psyched to go our and tell it to everyone else.
Unfortunately, for the catholics and evangelicals (aka the rest of the
world) it was the Holy Week and today was a Holiday. Which wasn`t so
groovy because they were all out preaching and mainly crowding our
space. FORTUNATELY, it provided us with a TON of people that didn`t
have a door to hide behind. Bwahahahaha! Which was a really good
answer to prayers. Due to Leadership duties and sickness and
miscellanneous activities involving chipmunks and birds of prey (don`t
ask) we had 20 of our weekly 140 contacts done. We did 87 today. PWN!
And, this is the best part, we found GREAT People! Susàn heard the
missionaries 2 or 3 years ago and LOVED them! She doesn`t want to
change religion but wants to come to our church along with her kids.
She was really excited to tell her daughter about the FHE activities.
Lucky for us, there`s one tomorrow night. I`m so grateful for the Lord
for GIVING us investigators right when I needed it. Like the children
of Israel going into the Red Sea up to their necks before it was
parted. Alma 26:22 says that our people are given to us, not earned.
I`m thankful for my personal blessings.

Saturday: I`m feeling so many things right now. This morning we got up
late-- all of us slept through our 5 alarms... I don`t know why one of
them has 2 alarms. We huddled up in our blankets in front of the
heater, and we just...talked. It was nice. Bio Bio was going to have a
baptism today, but she came to our door (we don`t know who told her
the address) and said she had to go out of town for her son. We went
and did contacts in the morning as well as picking up our clothes. Our
afternoon included a lot of walking around, trying to find people to
come to the WArd`s baptism of Thyàre. We didn`t find anyone. But we
found a few references that the members had brought. Pablo was one of
them. He`s about 25 and has a leg handicap on both of them. He uses
special crutches or a wheelchair. He`s so cool. He swims ( I don`t
know how) and plays paralympic basketball in wheelchairs. He said that
he has a whle team of wheelchairs and wants to play with us. Sweet! I
challenged him to baptism when he gained a testimony of the BOM. He
acepted. We watched a lot of church clips after the baptism. One was
of a boy whose father died. I hate how being away from home gives me a
an orphan`s pain. I feel a loss that makes me feel scared. We found
out the transfers. Elder Hickman`s training here and Elder Gomez is
going to another part of this zone. Elder Bernal`s going to Tirùa!
WOOT! I told him all about it. Maybe not all of it. I don`t want him
to arrive depressed. Just kidding! Montoya said that they have 5
people with baptisimal dates (3 that I taught), and 9 attending
church.I`m staying here (it`s not being closed. 3 days ago, I would`ve
been depressed by this. Now I`m happy!) and Elde rCaloway will come
here and I`m gonna be Senior Companion! DOUBLE WOOT! There will be
more responsibility but I`m ready.

Sunday: Today was a really good day. We got up and headed out to pick
up Marpia Poblete and Valentina. As we were on our way over there, I
was praying so hard that they would bereak from the Chilean mold and
be up on time. They answered on the second knock and were just
finishing getting ready. I could hardly believe it! All of our
previous "investigators" had always staye din bed late. We all walked
to church and even ran into some other members and introduced them to
Valentina. She already knew some of them! We explained things to her
during Sacrament Meeting. Pablo slept in, but we`re gonna swing by on
Tuesday. Valentina participated in Sunay School and everything. We had
lunch with Hna. Cabrera. After lunch, while we were sharing a
Scripture, she asked us for some advice for her family. She said she
gets angry easily. Most of the things I told her were given to me by
Alan. I`m so thankful for him! We taught the Restoration to Valentina
before Elder Bernal said goodbye. It went really really well! She
finished a few of my sentences, she understood it so well. She`ll read
and pray about the BOM and she acepted a baptisimal date for May 14th.
And her mom`s gonna give her permission. Marìa Poblete gave Elder
Bernal a mini cactus as a gift. Funny. Elde rBernal realized he`ll be
in Tirùa when he has to call his family, which is awful. Just awful. I
thanked Elder Montoya for all the things I learned from him. thanks to
him, I`m able to be a better teacher. P.S. I asked Valentina if she
wanted to hear a joke. She said yes. I said, "Justin Bieber." She
didn`t get it.


Monday: Today was a super-fabulous-awesome day! And as such, I thought
it deserved noting. We got up and went to the office to get Elder
Hickmans and Elder Gomez s packages with them...because we had nothing
else to do. But when we got there, lo and behold! There was a package
for ME as well! (and it was the biggest) Inside was a ton of stuff. I
got some polos, fruit snacks (with juice inside), pringles, beef
jerky, hotamales, pop-tarts, popcorn cereals, shorts, and the Holy
Grail itself: Velveeta Shells and Cheese...with a captial "C." That s
about as good as life gets for a missionary, next to baptizing.
Included was an audio tape from Cassie (sister). It was so nice to
hear her voice ramble on. She told me of her life and her hopes and
dreams. I was delighted to find that the other side contained Devin
talking. At least, they SAID it was him. I really couldn t believe it
at first. Not only was his voice deeper, but all of his pronunciation
nuances (say that 10x fast) were gone. He anunciated very clearly. It
was disorienting. It was a long tape. It made me happy. The mission is
like a very slow time machine. I dig it. We did contacts in the
evening, and found two potential news. One even started reading our
"Restoration" pamphlet as he went in the house. We had the FHE with
the soliz family again. When we get there, they had already started
and the Bio Bio missionaries weren t there! The worst part was that
the Grandpa was scolding everyone for not fulfilling their goals. But
after he got done, I added my own counsel, so we weren t just visiting
furniture-warmers. After that, things were normal again. They`re
really great. We had rice pudding.

Tuesday: So yesterday, Elder Hickman got Disneyworld pamphkets from
when his family went. Elder Bernal said, "Who needs Disney World, we
ve got Chile World!" Then we proceeded on our halting journey in the
exciting buses with the extreme swerves and g-force acceleration.
Crazy stuff, that. At the District Meeting (not a Distrizona) Elder
Arjona gave (sold) me a brand-new triple for $22. Expensive! But now I
have HALF of my scriptures again. I realized that we finished our 4th
week today. I thought we were STARTING it. This transfer s flown by!
It rained a lot today. A TON! There was so much water that I couldn t
see more than 20 feet. And it blew a lot and it was dang cold. I would
have been in trouble without my gear. Elder Argueta left me a neck
tube and leather gloves. It made all the difference. The tube blocked
all of my face except my eyes--and they weren t bothered because they
don t have nerve endings in the cornea. Something interesting is how
the wind was always in our face--no matter the way we faced. We
visited a less-active member. She didn t want to come back because she
d had a hard life and a member had been a part of it. She wouldn t
listen to the scriptures. She said she couldn t return. I asked why.
She said she didn t want to. I asked a lot of unique questions I d
never asked before. They just popped into my mouth when they needed
to. She doesn t want to change now, But she doesn t want us to give
up. She said if our parents were here, she d tell them to be proud of

Wendesday: Today was a good day, and not just because I learned a
Spanish tongue twister about a painting hobo. I think I m used to this
sector, finally. The down side of this, of course, is that I haven t
taught an investigator in forever. All we have are the practices in
our comp. studies. We carried our laundry to the Sister that helps us
with that. We did contacts in the morning and then went to lunch. It
was rice and a lot of sauteed veggies and chicken. It reminded me of
chinese food, except it didn t have any seasoning! While we ate, Toy
Story 3 was playing. I hadn t seen it before because it came out after
I left. I really liked it. All of our appts. fell through again. We
walked around, talking to whoever would listen. While we were out, it
started raining again like yesterday. But today I didn t have my rain
gear. I had a thready sweater. Needless to day, I got a free way to
break the ice on my contacts: "Do you have any shampp?" Haha.
Actually, I was happier today than yesterday. I took it as a sign that
SAtan was trying to stop us from getting to someone. So we worked
harder and appier. Alberto wasn t home again. wE really need to talk
to him. In the night, we stopped by the church and the youth asked for
a ping pong challenger. They got PWN d! P.S. I saw a lady trying to
smoke in the rain. I thought it was so ridiculous that I walked by and
said, "You shouldn t smoke." She didn t even look at me.

Thursday: Elder Bernal woke up sick today. He started groaning about
his tummy anbd went to bed again. When he got up again, he went to
throw up. It was really funny, actually. He was really vocal. He would
make loud gagging, shouting noises and nothing came out. But he got it
out, eventually, he said he felt a lot better, and that something
white had come out. We spent the morning time cleaning up the house.
It really needed it. We had divisions with Cerro Verde because Elder
Bernal had to interview their investigator. I got to spend the day
with Aaron Cotrell. He is from Layton, Utah and pronounces his "t"s.
He is living proof that I m a bad judge of character. I was a little
nervous for the divisions, but we got along so well! Turns out that he
studied/majored in English and wrote 8, 900-page books before the
mission! I mean GOOD FRIGGIN GRIEF! He is such a good guy. He has an
honesty about him that lets me know that he is sincere just to be that
way. He gave me some pointers on writing, and I asked him a lot of
questions. He reminded me of Elder Oversby, but with more inhibitions.
All of our appts. fell through and he handled it well. We just kept
talking. We tried to testify to people, but they just wouldn t listen.
I just love meeeting good people on the mission! Elder Cotrell said if
we had been comps, it would have been his favorite transfer ever.
REally he talked and I just listened. It is just as well. It makes
sense to have bad comps. I have learned from my difficult transfers.
Cotrell knows Lisonbee, too!

Friday: So today was wholly unproductive. We left to Cerro Verde to
meet up with our comps. again. They have a dart board, and I played
with it while Bernal packed up his clothes from last night. My skills
were between "horrid" and "slightly above a 10 year-old s high score."
We had enough time to drop Bernal s stuff off at the hosue before
heading off to lunch with Hna. Marìa. She made egg drop soup and
lasagna. This was GOOD lasagna. I was stuffed after the first piece,
but she forced another one on me, threatening to take offense. So we
both shoveled down another piece each. As we left, Elder Bernal told
me that, although he had been feeling better for a while, that the
second piece of lasagna had been fatal for him and his belly started
hurting him again. He also started running a fever and he had
convulsions in his bed. I started doing things to help stabalize and
he eventually nodded off. I remember having confulsions when I got a
really bad sunburn. The day passed us as we stayed in the house. We
were "invited" (forced again) to come to a BBQ with the Soliz family
in Bio Bio (at risk of offending). While there, I practiced my
pronunciation with Bernal. I couldn t do it. I couldn t make the
difference between "y" and "ll." I was so frustrated I asked a member
for input. They tried and couldn t do the colombian accent either.
When I said it, she said I sounded chilean. For some reaason, I was
sent to Chile. I can learn to speak it, because I was called here. I
have the gift of tongues for Chile, specifically. It is a real
testimony-builder for me.

Saturday: Today was an interesting day. It started when we went out to
visit less-active members. We could not find a few of them, so we went
to Hna. Violeta on a random visit to ask for directions. There, I
learned something that had been one o fmy fears in the MTC: "How can I
follow the Holy Ghost?" Hna. Violeta, her daughter, and her neighbor
cecilia (Our investigator who has been avoiding us) all needed
blessings. I was chosen to bless all 3. After I blessed Hna. Violeta,
she stood up crying. She said I had given her what she needed. I had
told her that Heavenly FAther was pleased with how she is raising her
kids and blessed her with strangth to continue. She said that was what
had been worrying her. She said I was inspired. I felt very reverent
after that. I got frustrated later, when Elder Bernal kept saying
something to me, and I couldn t understand. I apologized for being
frustrated and he said, "Hakuna matata." He doesn t speak English, so
that was funny. We jaywalked on a freeway, today. We had to walk to
the other side of the sector at about 6:30. On the way, we decided/
felt like we should go by our 8:00 appt. early. We did, and she said
we had caught her right before her nap. On our way to the gangster
neighborhood a punk kissed his girlfriend. They both puckered up and
closed their eyes, but before the kiss, he opened one eye to see if we
were watching. We were. It wasn t anything romantic. We had missed our
8:00 appt. But we randomly found him in a side street and taught him
anyway. We didn t meet with Alberto this whole week.

Sunday: So today was a bit depressing. It all started when I tried
coughing up one of my lungs. I gave up after a while and settled for
merely wanting to die. Then my cough died down, and fate left me
fatigued for the rest of the day. On the plus side, I walked around,
sounding like Darth Vader. (Luke. I. am. your. ELDER!!!) In Church, I
was challenged with a leadership "obstacle." A sister came up to me
and told me of another sister that ahd done something bad. This put me
in a delicate situation. I didn t know her intention--if she wanted to
help, gossip, or to meaningfully hurt this other sister--and therefore
didn t know how to act. I couldn t ask what she expected me to do--she
expected me to act. I think my response was appropriate and was
something that I wouldn t have thought of a year ago. I asked, "What
are WE going to do to help her?" I hleped her feel recognized and
emphasized the fact that we were going to help the sister. This sister
eventually reasoned out that she should go to the person authorized to
hlep: the Bishop. I ve been practicing my pronunciation of my "ll" and
"y" sounds. I finally figured how to do it! I asked Bernal what else I
could work on. He said there wasn t anything. MAXIMUM PWNAGE!!! We
didn t have any investigators in the church, and all of our appts.
fell through. We found some boys playing soccer by the church. One of
the boys went to get a ball from the bush. He was crawling frantically
as we passed. I recognized him as Pablo, our old investigator (that we
never taught). I said, "hi" and he hid even more. I was so sad because
he WANTED to hide from Christ.