Sept 20, 2010

So we just passed the independence day here in Chile. Independence Day is bigger than Christmas I think. They have given them 4 days off from work and school, and they just love it. The holiday was special this year because they are celebrating the 200 year anniversary. The 18 of September is the day, but we had a big party as a ward on Friday the 17th. It was a big party. It started at 10 and the last people left at 11 at night. We got there at about 12 and left at 9:30 (we left a couple times in between to get investigators) There were games and there was food. Lots of food. Empanadas, Cazuela (its like a soup with chicken and potatoes, very Chilean) and barbecue.  One of the highlights of the night was when a group of teenage girls and boys came and danced the Cueca, the national dance of Chile. It is very neat, and when you understand the history of it, it is neat to watch the dance and understand what is happening. It is very cowboyish. Chile has a cowboy past, and it's almost all gone now, but they LOVE dressing up like Chilean cowboys and celebrating their independence. Chile is very different from all other Latin America countries in many aspects, and the national dance is very different too. I always thought about dances like the Salsa and Flamenco, But I found out it's not like that here. They dance a lot of Salsa in Columbia and the Samba from Brasil is very fast and hipmoving, but the Cueca is nothing like that. I know I will be finding a way to get down here with my future wife for a 18 de Septriembre and we will be dancing the Cueca together. I know, I cant believe I said I'll be learning a dance, but I really want to. I would also love to learn the Salsa that they dance in Colombia, The only thing is, that takes moves, and moves are what I don't have, but Elder Valderruten told me he will be teaching me the Salsa.

Saturday was a very tough day for the work because it was the 18 and everyone was with their families and a lot of them were drunk, but we still got some things done. In the night time we went to bed at 11 (regular time) and the house behind us had a couple people in the back yard. They were having some drinks and talking and just being happy. There were about 5 of them. However, at 1:30 in the morning I kind of was awakened by their music, but it wasn't that bad, I just went back to sleep. But then at 3:30 they must have turned their music up. I looked out from our second story bedroom and saw like 30 people back there. I woke up to a song by Shakira and I woke up thinking about Elder Jake Perry. Why? Because the song they were cranking so loud was the theme song for the Spanish world for the World Cup. Now I know that in the states, the World cup isn't that big, but here it is HUGE.. Bigger than big, and everyone and their dog was listening to that Shakira song talking about Africa. Naturally, every time I here the world Africa I think about my dear, dear friend.  And so when I heard this song at 3:30, Elder P was in my mind. I love him. Please give him a big shout out for me.

 Yesterday we taught some great lessons. We did a lot of door knocking and talked with a lot of people in the street. We got rejected a lot of times. Some people wouldn't shake our hands or talk to us, but we kept on going and we didn't get down. One of the last lessons we taught was one of the best lessons we've had in a long time. We walked past a house with a little girl jumping up and down and yelling. She was about 11 and she wasn't yelling because she was mad, just because she was having fun. We passed the house and my companion told me 'It looks like they are having a fun family night'.  He said it as a joke, but I said 'Lets talk to them!' and so we went back and we talked. To make a long story short, we got into the house. The man was drunk, but by some miracle he left after saying some choice words to us. The 11 year old girl was actually 10 and she is probably the smartest I've met here in Chile. She literally was finishing our sentences when we were teaching the restoration. After teaching about the First vision she said 'And after that he was called to be the prophet to make the church again. The only true church that has the power to baptize'. We invited them to baptism and the daughter of 14 was nervous, the mom was nervous, but the girl of 10 was like, 'obviously I need to get baptized in that church, and I don't care what my grandpa or dad tell me because I am going to choose this church because its true." (The grandpa goes to a different church and dad doesn't believe much in God). We invited them to a Family Night we are doing here tonight. I hope it all goes well.

I have to go get something to eat.

I love you all.