Monday, April 29, 2013

Crazy week!!!!

This week has been soooo crazy.  On Tuesday Elder Hancock ( from the MTC) and I left on a 3 hour bus ride to Concepcion for a new missionary conference. It was nice being able to talk to him because we´re really good friends now and we got everything out to each other. We arrived late at night, and when we got the house we were going to sleep in, we were told that our mattresses we were supposed to sleep in got stolen because the sister missionaries needed them more. Hahahaha of course! So me and Elder Hancock got to share a tiny L couch that had basically no cusion. The whole night our legs were just tangled with each other. It was awful hahaha. The next morning I got to meet up with all the new missionaries, including Elder Pachner and Elder Jensen from the MTC. It was so nice. Freak, I love Elder Jensen. I really feel like he is one of my best friends and we´ve only known each other since the MTC. But, he is most likely getting sent to the Rancagua mission. 2 areas of the Concepcion mission are getting moved to Rancagua when the new mission president comes in. The top 2 areas that is, and I´m one area away. The president still doesn´t know which missionaries will be going, and there´s a small chance that I might get changed there. If I do, I´ll make sure to get a picture with David Archuleta for you mom! That night I got to work in Concepcion with Elder Pepper, who went to Lone Peak. It is so much nicer than Linares, it´s crazy. We taught a few lessons, then I had the wonderful opportunity of sharing that great couch again with Elder Hancock for the night. I took a picture, but I don´t know if I´ll have time to send it. We had another day of conference the next day, where we got to eat Domino´s. Mmmmmm! Then as we were about to leave for the bus back to Linares, the zone leaders came up to me and told me that there had been an emergency transfer. I would be getting a new companion and trainer, and he was a native of Chile. He was from Antofogasta, and doesn´t know English. Elder Jensen busted out laughing when he heard this because he remembered how much bad luck I have. My new companion´s name is Elder Layseca, and it´s somewhat tough to communicate but we manage. I haven´t taken a picture with him yet, so I´ll get on that. We´re both relativey new to Linares, so we have to carry a map around with us everywhere we go. We do a ton of contacts, because we are trying to get more investigators obviously. Anyways, here is the crazy part. As me and Elder Hancock were getting off the bus and into the taxi, there were these 2 guys that were acting extremely funny. This guy kept closing Hancock´s taxi door he was getting into, and then I see him reach in his pocket and grab his camera, and try to run away. As Hancock grabbed him and told him in English to give him his camera back, the other guy pulled out 2 giant knives.Hancock was closer to them than me, and the guy put the butt of the knife on Hancock´s chest. Hancock backed away, and they took off with his camera. I felt so bad.. people are so stupid. It reminded me of when Trevor got a knife pulled on him when he was in New Joisey. Anyways I haven´t told you a whole lot about the other elders that I live with. Elder Rebollo is from Uruguay, and the other is from Texas. I went on a mini change with Rebollo like 2 weeks ago, and as I sat down to study Spanish like I always do, he was like what are you doing? I told him it´s my Spanish study time, and he got all mad. I told him the President told me in an interview that every day I have an hour to study every day for Spanish. He went off for like 15 minutes in Spanish about how prideful I was because he had been in the mission longer than me and he knew so much more than me. Turns out as I went to the conference and we went over our schedule, I was right. Then Elder Collins, is absolutely no help in Spanish. I´ll ask him questions like why is this word that way? Or stuff like that, and then he´ll be really short with me and explain it in Spanish. I´m like no bro, that´s not going to help. Then this morning, as I was getting in the shower, I had to light the heater thing with fire and turn it on. I asked him how to do it, and he pointed at the long directions in Spanish and said there´s the directions. They no duh bro I was asking you to explain how to do it in English because I can´t read those directions. It´s super frustrating but oh well. I love Tuesdays because I get to meet up with the other guys in my zone and they´re super helpful. One of the guys from Mountain View asked me who I lived with. I told him and he said, you live with those chumps? That sucks bro. Haha ugh my luck... can you believe it? Anyways yesterday was a really good day! We went to church, then after we went contacting for 2 hours before we had family home evening with some investigators. In 2 hours, we taught 5 lessons, with 5 new investigators. It was crazy, I swear every house we knocked on they let us in. I have to teach a lot during the lessons.. my companion will just look at me and then I have to take over. Sometimes I don´t even know where we´re at in the lesson but I just go for it. Then while in church a member came up to me and started talking to me. I pretty much had a full on conversation with him without really even trying. I guess he was just really easy to understand. People are obviously different when they talk. For example when old people talk, it´s nearly impossible to know what´s going on. While we visit the members, a ton of times they´re kid will pull out their English homework and ask for help. Most of the time it´s pronunciation. They have the hardest time with it it´s pretty funny. I never really thought of how hard English would be to learn. Anyways yesterday during out lessons, I just thought of how awesome it is to be able to just walk around and share the Gospel with everyone you see. You look at all the people and they just look so unhappy. It makes me feel bad that they have nothing to really live for. It sucks when people reject you and slam the door in your face because you know how much the Gospel can really help them. It´s crazy how much my mission has made me thankful for everything I have, and already strengthened my testimony. I´m so thankful for the Atonement and the ability it gives us to live with our families forever! Anyways, that´s really sad to hear about Tanner´s grandma. I got really sick to my stomach when I just read that.  I will be sure to write him an email and let him know I´m thinking of him. I love that kid so much! Okay just a few small things I want to let you guys know or a few random questions. I just went to the bank and I believe I withdrew 200 dollars from my checking account. I wasn´t sure if you guys had put any in savings, so I withdrew from checking just to be safe. Mom, I don´t think I packed my thermal garments... I might have to order some on the internet and have them sent to the mission home. I´ll have to see. Also, I will be able to Facetime on Mother´s Day.. how dope is that? The very first night that I was up with really bad stomach pain, I went downstairs to try and take some Tums. At nights, there are about 15 or 20 huge slugs that just come out of nowhere and chill on our kitchen floor. While walking in pain and complete darkness, I stepped on one in my socks! It exploded everywhere and my sock was soaked in slug guts. It´s no regular slug, they are GIANT. Like almost as big as my foot. Hahaha it´s nasty. Anyways the members here are super nice. They understand I don´t know a ton of Spanish so they help me! Sometimes they laugh at me but it´s all good :) Thanks so much Dad for the sports updates.. keep them coming! Also thanks to everyone else that wrote me.. it means a lot and I love you guys!  I love being able to share the Gospel with people who have problems that the Gospel can help them with. It´s a cool feeling knowing that I can help these people to be happier in their lives.  It´s been a really good week for me apart from the health problems!  :) so it´s all good! I am just trying to stay positive! Thank you guys for everything! Keep the Teagan quotes coming Robyn, I love them so much. I seriously was just laughing out loud in this public computer place as I read them. I love all of you so much and I´ll talk to you later!I leave you with Tweety Bird´s Seeds of Wisdom: Who do spiders think they are?  All they do is use people. Hey look I´m a spider, I live in your house and I don´t even pay rent! If you really think about it, spiders are such mooches. So ridiculous.

                                                                                                    Trempin OUT!!!!

Monday, April 15, 2013


Hello family! How is everything going? After an incredibly long flight, I have arrived in Chile! And guess what? It is NUTS! No matter how much I was told, I wouldn´t have been ready. Haha major culture shock. My first area is Linares, which is about 3 hours away from Concepcion. We first got there and traveled to the mission home which was about 10 minutes away from the airport. We met our mission president and wife, and they are super nice! Then we went to a church nearby, and ate and had a small testimony meeting. Us new missionaries had to go up and bear their testimonies in Spanish. Then after, we received our new companions/trainers.There were 2 possible white trainers from Utah I think, then two latins. Of course I got a Latin! My luck... but at least he knows English. Well most of it. He doesn´t know a lot of words. Like yesterday, he said it hurts when he drinks saliva. He meant swallow hahaha... I always have to tell him the right words. He grew up in Mexico, and then lived in Arizona for a short period of time. He´s pretty big... he´s like 250 pounds. And he snores so loud. It´s actually really frustrating because I can barely sleep at night. I live with 2 other elders.. Elder Rebollo and Elder Collins. Rebollo is from Uruguay and Collins is from Texas. Oh and by the way I don´t understand ANYTHING. Hahaha they definitely weren´t teaching me this Spanish in the MTC.  All 3 of them think it´s hilarious that I don´t understand them, so they just talk really fast and then laugh at me. It sucks because I feel so alone sometimes but it´s all good! My companion asked me yesterday if I take a long time to email.. I said yes. He was like why? I said because I send my family long emails and I email my friends. Then he said oh.. well we´re going to be quick because I don´t have any friends to email. I was like umm sorry but no. (Sorry no quotation marks or whatever I don´t know where everything is at on this keyboard) Anyways back to the culture shock. It´s crazy! There´s so many stray dogs running around, tiny and disgusting houses, and just weird stuff! Like you already know, the milk isn´t refrigerated. So nasty, but it´s whatever. When I first walked into my house, I was so shocked. It was tiny, spider webs everywhere, and just plain disgusting. I was like are you freaking kidding me? Linares is a biking area! When I first met my trainer he just started laughing because he told me how awful my bike is. I got to our house and shortly after we took of on our bikes.. WOW! I sat on my seat and I felt like I was sitting on a metal bar. The pedals were all loose and torn apart. Haha but since then we have fixed it up! You´re not allowed to ride bikes on the sidewalks here, so I have to ride on the small streets right next to the cars. I have almost gotten hit by cars like 4 times already but it´s okay Mom I¨ll be alright! :) The ward members here are really nice! They understand that I don´t speak Spanish yet which is really nice. A bunch of them try to talk to me in English but that just doesn´t work out haha. It´s so funny.. I ride around on my bike and so many people shout, ¨Hello. What. Is. Your. Name?¨ People always try to speak English to me! My 2nd day here my comp. had a baptism interview and I went on splits with a zone leader. He was from Paraguay or something and didn´t know English. We went contacting and as he shouted to a house for them to come out, his phone rang! As they came out, he left me all alone! I was like wow... haha so I started talking to them and introduced us and told them why we were here. Thankfully after he spoke back in a language I don´t know, the zone leader came back. He just laughed afterwards because I told him I needed help. The food here is definitely different. The second day, a member fed us a weird type of egg, hot dogs, and pasta. The 3rd day was some weird squash crap. After I choked all of it down, they asked me if I liked it. However, I thought they asked if I wanted more.. haha I responded ¨no¨. The 3 other elders were like yes yes yes! I was like oh yeah I did like it! Haha it was embarrassing. Mom you said you saw lots of mountains and waterfalls in the picture... ummm I don´t think you´re looking at Linares. It is actually really ugly. Apparently it´s the poorest area in my mission... of course hahaha. Oh and it gets sooooo cold in the mornings here. There´s no heat in the houses, so I sleep with shorts on, then my long pajamas, and a jacket. In the morning I am just shivering the whole time I study. Apparently it´s supposed to get a lot worse here in a month or so! We´ll see how that goes. We had church on Sunday and it was alright! Obviously I didn´t understand everything but it´s all good! I can understand a lot just not everything. Chileans speak super fast here.. a lot of the time my companion will repeat to me what they just said to me just a little slower, and I understand everything. Anyways I had to get up and introduce myself and share my testimony. I think I did pretty well! Then after we just talked to members and stuff.. a lot of the time I have no idea where my companion and I are going.. I just follow him all the time. I´ll ask him but he usually just keeps riding his bike. Like thanks trainer you´re awesome! He´s not a huge help with Spanish.. the other day I asked him if he´s taught English classes yet. He said no because he hates teaching people languages. I was like oh okay, well that explains a lot. It´s all good tho! I haven´t seen my friend Peter yet, but I think I will on the 1st of next month. His trainer is in my mission right now, and he is our zone leader. He is white and is super nice. Of course Peter got him as a trainer and I get someone that doesn´t like to help people with languages!  So I have a question, I get super hungry at night because we don´t eat dinner here. I´m not sure how much money lasts for how long yet, so I´m wondering how much it costs to withdraw money from the checking account at America First? Like if I go to an ATM here and withdraw money, how much is the international charge? Can someone please let me know..I want to buy some treats but I don´t want to withdraw money yet if it´s going to be super expensive. Anyways yesterday we went to go visit a new convert. Her house was soooo nasty. I can´t even explain it. We got inside and I had to hide my gagging. It smelled so bad. The 2 year old kid kept hitting me and pulling my hair. Did the mom care? Nope! Afterwards, my companion said there´s always pee everywhere and also poop from her kids. I didn´t see it but I don´t doubt it because that´s exactly what it smelled like. I always feel so nasty coming out of people´s houses because they don´t take care of it. Oh and mom, yes I do have hot showers thankfully. Like Jeremy knows, we have to buy like a propane tank to heat the water up. The bathroom is absolutely disgusting tho. Spider webs everywhere, and just stains of every kind everywhere. Hahaha I can´t even explain it. I´m just glad the members are super nice to me! They laugh because they know how fast Chileans speak and they wonder how anyone ever learns Spanish here. It´s really hard to adjust but it will just take time! I know everyone has told me give me time to learn the language, but usually how long do you guys think it´ll take? It´s so frustrating not knowing what´s going on! We have taught quite a few lessons but obviously my companion does it all right now. I help out with the contacts but when we get in he teaches the lessons. He looks over at me sometimes and I just shake my head like I don´t know what´s going on. Hahaha like I said it´s super frustrating. Anyways I can´t think of anything else to say besides it´s pretty crazy and definitely an adventure!  I´m going to try and send a few pictures that I have taken here and see if these computers work better than the MTC ones!  And sorry if this letter is confusing with punctuation or misspelled words, I haven´t gotten use to these computers. Every word on here has a red line under it because it´s in English! Anyways thanks for the letters and I love you guys so much! Until next week... Trempin out!!!!

Tweety Bird´s Seeds of Wisdom! Why are Starbursts called Starbursts? I mean if you really think about it and look at one.. they aren´t even shaped like a star. Even if you looked at it for 24 hours straight, it doesn´t burst. It´s a square, and it just sits there. Even when you put it in your mouth it doesn´t burst. What´s up with that? I have always wondered this.. am I the only one? I love you all and take care!
Me and my bike!
Half of our house
My companion-Elder Arroyo
A dog I saw with a bottom of a coke bottle for a muzzle! Haha I felt so bad..

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Less than a week left here in the CCM!

  • April 2, 2013

Hello everyone! How is good old Sandy? I am doing pretty well here considering it is P-Day! I am writing this at 5:30 in the morning once again, so let's hope I can focus :) That's sad to hear about Grandpa! Hopefully he can get better quickly! Last week I put Grandma on the prayer role, so I'll make sure to get both of them on it again when I go today! It's my last time going to the temple for 2 years.. so crazy! I'm so excited to get to Chile. I know I'll probably get really homesick when I get there, but I'm super excited to do something other than sit in class and listen to those girls ask question after question after question. The district 2 weeks behind learned Present Subjunctive the same day as us. They only have 2 hermanas in their district. That's the case with everyone, but of course not mine! You guys probably think I am exaggerating how bad it is.. but I'm not. Our teachers have talked to just the elders, and how they feel bad for us. They have written President Dittmar (Branch President) multiple times expressing their concern. It's not so much 2 of the hermanas, but the other 4.. oh my gosh. Hermana Bell & Mergenthaler are so dope! We always talk to them about it and they feel the same way. Bell is the one from Alta and M is the 21 year old from Montana. The other day while learning an important Spanish concept, our teacher let us have a water break. Heading back, we walk into one of the girls just crying. Guess what the elders have to do? Sit out in the hall for 40 minutes while she sits there and cries to the teacher.. during our Spanish class! Ugh I was so mad. We seriously almost just left and went back to our residence. This isn't the only time that's happened.. it's happened multiple times. One girl here has received about 12 blessings (no exaggeration)  because she gets this feeling that something isn't right at home and just starts crying and freaking out. Every day. Sorry it's just so frustrating because us elders could know so much more Spanish! Our day teacher took us aside one time and told us how we are better teachers than the hermanas. It made me feel pretty good! 2 of the girls started crying last week because they had a hard time teaching one of our teachers (progressive investigator). They were wondering how my companion and I had committed him to baptism already and they couldn't even get him to grasp the concept of Joseph Smith. We took like a half hour out of our language study to talk to them about what they could do better. It's just frustrating and I'm ready to be in Chile. Which brings me to my next thing that people have asked me about.. am I ready for the language in Chile? Hahaha probably not.. I can understand everything when people here talk.. but I know it'll be much different in Chile. They have a lot of slang words I here, and they speak really fast. I know it'll just take time while I'm there! I've been talking to Peter Morgan (the one in my mission) and he said he could possibly be training when I get there. Hopefully I see him or he's my companion that would be sweet! Very small chance but it's all good. Dad, I haven't heard anything from Gleason yet. I'll write Jay and ask for his email. I don't know anything about a picture the MTC took. Was it a set up one with a bunch of missionaries looking at the camera or did it just look like me in the background? Either way I'm pretty sure it's not me. I can't believe you guys already forgot what I looked like.. wow.. :) So Easter was really good here! We had our morning devotional at about 8 am and I was excited because I had front row and I got to pass the sacrament! But wait.. Trenton's bad luck kicks in again! We didn't have a Quorum of the 12 come.. it was Bishop Gerald Causse from the Presiding Bishopric. As disappointed as I was he still did a great job. I guess Elder Holland assigned him to come that day to speak to us. The kid that said the opening prayer in it is heading to DJ Teaskie's mission! The day before I got here, they had a Quorum of the 12 speak, and I will bet you anything another one will come on April 9! Hahahaha my luck ;) Gym is pretty much the best thing here! I love playing basketball with everyone in my zone. The 3 point record is 17 in a row here. Guess what? I got 21 in a row! But wait.. as we were all trying to break it.. the gym person just happened to be looking away as I broke it. So they won't count it.. even though I had about 6 people watching and rebounding for me. Wait a minute Trevor, what was that about all my good luck? Haha it's all good I'll break it this week! I tried again yesterday but I only got 9. I've been trying to break it with some guys in my zone.. speaking of which.. the district a week ahead of us just left! I really got so close to them and it sucks that they're gone now. They had 6 guys in their district, but I got to be way good friends with 3 of them. One of them went to Orem, one lives in Idaho, and the other close to Vegas! I will try and send pictures possibly. I guess you saw the pictures, but I was able to host Kayla on Wednesday! It was pretty cool.. I haven't seen her since which is really strange. If she's learning Spanish I should see her quite often. I have seen and talked to Madi Bernson quite a bit! She was Tanner's age and one of Tanner's good friends. I've also talked to one of my friends Jaxon Jefferson! I think he was supposed to go straight to the Peru MTC but for some reason that didn't work out. We planned to get a picture last night but I went to his residence and couldn't find him. Also on Wednesday, I was able to host this kid that was from Idaho. He drove a big SUV down and jammed like 15 people in it. He had such a hard time saying goodbye to his family, especially his nephews. It definitely made me tear up as I can easily relate to him. I have seen him around and asked him how he's doing now and he's doing pretty well! So the other day I was going a little crazy because I hadn't listen to music in awhile. I was on the computer for some language study, and I figured out how to pull up some EFY music! It was nice to listen to all the songs I love. I really like the song "Hold on, the Light Will Come." I listened to that over and over and it applies to everything here! I love it so much.. so dope. Anyways on Sunday, we were able to have a testimony meeting in the afternoon. I got up and bore my testimony in Spanish! There's also this French Guy in our zone that hardly speaks any English. I have no idea how he is learning Spanish when he doesn't even know English, but it's all good. He even got up to bear his testimony and he did a really great job! It's crazy how fast he is learning everything. Sunday night we had another devotional. I can't remember her name, but the CEO of Deseret Book came and spoke to us.
 So since I leave within a week, I better give you guys some details so I can call you guys!!! I'm so excited to talk to everyone it will be so nice. I miss everyone so much.. it's hard having such an awesome family because you miss them that much more! I love Monday after dinner because I get to read everyone's letters. Everyone gives me crap because I get so many Dear Elders that day. Thank you all so much.. like really. Anyways I will leave here on April 8th at 7:05 in the morning and arrive in L.A. at 7:55 am. Who is coming to see me at the airport? :) Haha then I leave L.A. at 1:45 pm and arrive in Santiago at 7:00 am on the 9th. I don't know how the time zone changes work but whatever. Then I leave Santiago at 8:45 am on the 9th and arrive in Concepcion at 9:55. I don't know what the situation will be with people having to work or what not.. but I figured calling from L.A. when I have that layover would work best. I'm not sure all the details yet as they haven't told us much, but I'm guessing I'll get to email one more time before I take off here to give you the final details. I'm not sure tho.. so if you don't get an email don't freak out! Can everyone let me know what their plan is? Is everyone going to be at Mom & Dad's or do I need to call everyone individually? Please let me know in a Dear Elder as soon as possible so I can maybe write a written letter home to make sure we have everything set up. I'm so excited to talk to everyone! Robyn, I laughed so hard when I read about Teagan controlling his own heart, and his snot on his shirt! Hahahaha yeah I can just picture the whole thing in my head perfectly. I love getting the notes from them.. they're always so funny and make me laugh!  That's awesome that Carter has that book memorized! Even my note.. what a baller :) I don't even remember what I wrote.. but that kid is so smart! Oh my gosh I just love my nephews so much. Hermana Bell & Mergenthaler wanted to see my photo album but I had forgotten to bring it that day. I pulled out my debit card and all the girls wanted to see them! They thought they were so cute! They all had to know their names and their ages, and which ones were brothers. Why do I have the coolest nephews in the world? Mom, thanks for the package by the way.. I loved it! The Dr. Pepper was amazing.. I always crave it so thank you so much! I can't think of much more to say, I'm just thankful for all you guys do for me! It's crazy how much a mission can make you be so much more thankful for everything, especially your family. Like I said, please let me know as soon as possible about what your guys' plan is for when I call home. I will most likely call from L.A. in between when I get there and 1:45. I think that is California time but I really don't know for sure. I know everyone can't wait around all day so let me know when you guys would like me to try and call home. A week from today, I will be in Chile! How crazy is that? Anyways I leave you all with Tweety's Seeds of Wisdom: Be careful in the shower. Never ignore some left behind garments. There's always that ever so slight chance that a creepy looking  kid will open your curtain, WALK INTO your shower, and grab his garments he forgot. I love you all family and I'll talk to guys on the phone next week! :)                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           TREMPIN OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
p.s. Happy soon Birthday to Robyn and Brinley! I love you guys so much!
p.s.s. Can someone give me Cole Morgan's email address? Thank you