Monday, September 28, 2015

My first 7 days in Chile

gracias to Maestra Silva
So this is officially my seventh day in Chile and I love it here! My first sector is called Cachapoal, right in the middle of Rancagua. We get almuerzo every day with members and its awesome! My favorites are the empanadas (mom I will try to get you some recipes). Chilean spanish is nothing like Mexican spanish. First of all, even the Latinos serving here ask me if I can understand spanish, and then they say, ``¿but can you understand Chilean?`` Chilean spanish is super fast, slurred together, and they add ``po`` to the end of random words. I guess they consider it a language other than spanish. I agree. Leaving the CCM I had a pretty good grasp of things, but now its back to square one. Some people here speak a little english. The most I have heard while doing contactos (tracting) is somebody yelling ``¡F*** you!`` repeatedly.
Elder Smith (my companion)
 with Elder Montenegro (on the left)

Elder Smith is a great companion and trainer. He`s only been out for 8 or 9 months, but he knows spanish really well and is such a great missionary. Somebody messed up on the living situations so our casa is about a 1/2 hour walk from our sector, but it makes the time go by faster when you have to leave 30-45 minutes early for everything. I guess they are trying to fix it, but I`m not that worried about it. Our casa has great missionaries other than Elder Smith. Elder Christensen and Elder Montenegro are with us too. They are great. 

Lunch today at a restaurant - called a churillana I think
Everything here is measure in ``Mil`` amounts of pesos, which is thousands. Our lunch today was 3.450 pesos (they also use a . instead of a , in numbers). We don't have very many investigators, mostly ``Menos activos`` who are less active members and we teach them. We also do A LOT of contactos. 
I guess packages usually get here within a month or two through the US Postal Service, and they said they haven`t had a package stolen yet (and its free to pick them up as well). 
Me with Elder Christensen 
We are focusing a lot on serving others in order to generate more interest in our message. We are going to go paint somebody`s roof this week, we changed somebody`s flat tire the other day, we keep trying to help people wash their cars, but they never want help, we are going to help somebody do yard-work this week, etc. I`m excited to do something good for an investigator sometime this mission, but first we need an investigator. 
There are stray dogs everywhere here. Its been pretty cold, but we get a warm day once in a while. The only lesson I`ve gotten to teach so far is the First Vision once, but thats ok. My spanish is getting a lot better, my biggest struggle is actually understanding. And the Chileans have told me that I speak like a Mexican. They have  a word here that is similar to saying, ``shoot`` or ``darn``. It is ``chupalla``, which is actually just a straw hat and I`m not sure why they use it but they do. My Zone is pretty cool too. We played soccer today, and some of them are pretty good!. They think its funny to try and talk to me in english. There`s an Hermana here that`s probably 6-3. We are currently teaching Elder Montenegro how to use english slang. Its funny because the Latino missionaries will be speaking spanish and you`ll hear them say ``fetch`` or ``freaking`` and you know an American Elder taught them that. That`s about it, but more will come! I love you guys! Until next time!

Love, Elder Sayler

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Made it to Chile!

Hey guys!

I made it to Chile safely after a long flight! I got my first companion, Elder Smith. He´s not a latino, but he´s really good at spanish and I´m sure I´ll learn a lot from him. My PDay is now on Monday so it might be a while. I love you guys!

Elder Sayler
With President and Sister Warne: La Mision Chile Rancagua
Dear Family of Elder Thomas Henley Sayler,
Sister Warne and I just finished welcoming the missionaries that arrived this week to serve our Lord in the Chile Rancagua Mission. Here is a photo for your family.
It is clear that these missionaries are very dedicated, that they love Jesus Christ, and that they have desires to share the gospel with the Chilean people. This work will make them happy, and the Lord will bless them for the service they give.
 The people here in Chile are very kind, and the missionaries have opportunities to share the gospel every day. Thank you for the support that you provide, it is very important to your missionary.
 Sister Warne and I love the missionaries and we will take care of them during their time here. We ask for blessings from the Lord for all of you.
 President and Sister Warne

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Mexico City Temple dedication and the coolest urinal I have ever seen.

One of my best friends
So last Friday was day 31 for my mission. That means that no matter what month we are judging by, I had been gone for one month ish. Elder Johnson (a large Hawaiian Elder) let us borrow his ukulele for PDay, and then for the rest of the week until about Tuesday. I miss my uke :(

On Saturday, Day 32, we got to watch the cultural celebration for the rededication of the Mexico City Mexico Temple.
I thought it was a nice touch :)
Everyone here has a Nacho bicycle
 On Sunday, Day 33, we got to watch the Mexico City Mexico Temple rededication. It was so hot and I was so tired. There was one point where 6/8 of our district was sleeping. When we finally got to the rededication prayer by President Eyring, I closed my eyes, bowed my head...and fell asleep. I woke up during "Amen". Total bummer.
Coolest urinal I have ever seen,
at the Mexico City Temple Visitor Center
Carvings on the side of the Visitor's Center
We had a class about the Holy Ghost. He's way more important to the Plan of Salvation than we give him credit for, I think. It´s pretty incredible when you realize his huge role. I mean, he is part of the Godhead, which means he´s just about as important as God or Jesucristo, but I think too often we take his gifts for granted.
On Monday, Day 34, Elder Burgess woke up with a kink in his neck. He held his head crooked all day. At the end of every Sunday devotional, they do a slideshow with pictures of all the districts that are leaving. We took our pictures on Monday. Elder O´Barr and I held our heads at an angle in the pictures like Elder Burgess lol. That day was also the first day any of us ever received mail. Elders King and Pemberton got mail.
We had to take a survey about ourselves that Hermana Morrell and Hermana Blake (we call her Herman) made for us. It was roughly 80% about girls and our preferences. It was pretty hilarious.
With the Christus in the Visitor's Center
On Tuesday, Day 35, we celebrated the Mexican Independence Day! Everything was decorated with the colours of the Mexican flag! That night was the last night for the rest of the Elders in our Casa, so we stayed up all night hanging out with them. I beat Elder O´Barr in "What Are the Odds" so he had to eat a cricket. Elder Zuccato had to eat a rolie polie (potato bug). We stayed up until 12:00 because that is when all of the Mexicans shout "Viva Mexico" but we didn´t hear anything. So we all shouted Viva Mexico and went to bed. We found out the next day that all of the Mexicans go to downtown Mexico City to shout and celebrate so we were nowhere near them.
On Wednesday, Day 35, we made a return survey for the Hermanas. We made sure there were plenty of stupid questions about boy preferences. Herman filled hers out and was really thoughtful and funny. Hermana Morrell said to figure out what the perfect proposal for her is, watch "The Bachelorette." <eye roll>
Street corner in Mexico City
Today, Day 36, is PDay. We went to the temple today. We were supposed to do a session, but we had 109 people going with us so they cut our trip short and took us to the visitor center instead. It was a little disappointing, but it was cool to see the visitor center. I found my first investigator today. We were on the bus stopped at the only stoplight in Mexico City and another bus stopped by us. We looked and saw this old guy looking at us, looking excited, probs because this is a bus full of white people in suits. I pulled out a card and showed it to him. He looked excited so we both reached out the windows of our buses to give him the card. He looked at it and was so excited that he started showing to the people around him. Then our buses left and I never saw him again.
Well, I found out this week that I leave Monday afternoon at 4:30. We have a 8.5 hour flight ahead of us to get to Santiago, Chile, and then a bus ride or something to Rancagua. I´m so excited! I miss you guys a lot!
I love you guys!

Elder Sayler

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Blisters, Diarrhea and Some Dude's Head

My name tag
So to start I´m going to apologize for the lack of pictures this week. I cannot send pics of me and my teachers because they are on PDay as well, so it´ll have to be next week (if at all). I also tend to share my packages with the roommates so all I would have for that picture is two Cherry Doctor Peppers. But I will send a pic of my name tag as requested, a few others, and anything else you want to see.

I really appreciate your questions because they give me stuff to write about hahaha. Please send as many as you want!

*I do not have permission currently to print out anything on the CCM printers, but once in the field I think I will be able to.
*If you would like to use the picture of me with the map for my plaque, you may, or I can take a different one. You are the one who has to look at the plaque every Sunday for the next two years, not me!
*Healthwise, I could be better. I´ve had diarrhea for the past 6 days in a row now...about 3-6 times a day and they only have awful 1/16 ply TP. I took my anti diarrhea pills last night and it helped!
All of the Rancagua bound Chileans in my District!!!

Our Classroom

*Funny story about the clothes, I don´t think I ever told you but the black shoes gave me the worst blisters I have ever had in my life. I don´t have to use bandaids or moleskin now (I used all of the bandaids in my firstaid kit lol), but I still have tons of dead blister skin gross stuff on my heels. Other than that, my clothes work pretty well. I splashed and stained a few shirts, but the tide stick got most of it out. I wear my brown shoes a lot more than I wear my black shoes, and I think its mostly because I have PTSD from the blister experience.
some dude's head

PS Elder O´Barr wants you to know that his sister´s name is Tamara, which is kind of close

UnPS, this week was a rather boring and uneventful week, but I will try to make it sound cooler than it really was. Last Thursday I was reading in Nephi and I came accross a scripture that I thought was interesting. In it, Nephi was praying and he committed himself and the rest of his life to the Lord, which I thought was interesting for him to say outloud because he was already a prophet at the time...but anyway I thought about it a lot and decided it was my turn to dedicate myself to the Lord so in a long prayer that night I prayed and told the Lord that I wanted to dedicate my entire life and being to him. Even now, as I write this, He is letting me know that he is proud of me through the Spirit. That was also the night that I realized that I needed to pray more sincerely in all of my prayers and my dedication has grown immensely since then. Fast Sunday I fasted that I would be able to quickly become an effective missionary through grasping the language quickly, recognizing and teaching by the Spirit, and also strengthening my testimony of the gospel. I´ve been reading the scriptures a lot more lately and now I study about 45 mins to an hour each day. We also had a great devotional about the enabling power of the Atonement that day. Then we watched meet the Mormons (we watch an approved church video every Sunday). It was my second time seeing it and I, again, wasn´t very impressed. Oh well.

The next day, Monday, Day 27, we were in the computer lab to work on TALL (our computerized interactive language study thing) and Elder Burgess fell asleep. We tried to wake him up, but he didn´t wake up, so we decided it would be funny to leave him in there alone, hide around the corner, and have someone else in the room next door wake him up for us. When he finally found us, he speed walked up to his companion, Elder O´Barr and got really mad at him. I thought he was about to hit him! But he took him inside to scold him about leaving his companion instead. While they were in there, Elder Hinton, Elder King, Elder Pemberton, and I walked away so that Burgess wouldn´t yell at us too. 

On Tuesday, Day 28, O´Barr and I sang in the choir again. It was the EFY Medley that everybody loves, but in spanish. Both of us sang with our zippers down again, just for fun lol. Yesterday was rather uneventful. The first line in my journal for Day 29 (I go by what day I´m on) is ´´Today was rather ok.´´ That was pretty much my whole week, too. 

I've found Jesus, have you?
Life at the CCM is different than I expected. It was interesting to see just how hard you have to try to have the spirit with you at all times. Its interesting how you can´t get away from all the crude jokes and humor, even in an establishment full of Mormons. I have learned that through prayer, I can become spiritually oblivious to such things. My testimony on the power of prayer has grown a lot since I got here.  My testimony in general has grown a lot since I got here. I know that God is my loving Heavenly Father. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer, and it is only through his Atonement  that we can be saved. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore His church and be a prophet. I know that he truly did restore the Book of Mormon and that it is truly the word of God. I know that God has called a prophet today, and his name is Thomas S. Monson. I know all these things to be true in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love you and miss you all.

Elder Sayler

Thursday, September 3, 2015

3 Weeks Left in Mexico City

Mi casa es su casa
Awwww how cute I am
Hey Mom - 

I´ll start by answering your questions:

Yes I´m getting super excited for Chile, partially because I´m excited to go and partially because I´m tired of the CCM!
Thank you so much for the package! I got it on friday morning! I guess there´s a way to send mail through the website too, and that only takes 2-3 business days.
I haven´t received any mail yet - no one has in our district - but I check twice a day (partially for me and partially because everyone yells at me if I don´t)
I will send pictures later, but I haven´t had time to take any yet. I should have taken pictures of breakfast this morning - it was tortilla chips soaked in watery red sauce with cheese cubes sprinkled on it. It was so bad.

So I brought my journal with me so that I could remember cool things about my week. There probably won't be very many things to say because most of it is like ´´i felt the spirit todayyy...´´ but here we go:

My physical aspirations in life...
So I´m having troubles finding a lot of cool things to write about. On day 12 we had a devotional and a bat flew around for a while. We came back the same day after we had scared away the bat for another devotional and this time a moth flew in. The moth was the same size as the bat. Someone caught it in their suit coat and tossed it outside. I've decided that that thing was big enough to be the mystery meat at dinner. On the same day we ate a big breakfast and went back to the classroom and played a game called "what are the odds" (madi should know it) long story short I ended up having to chug 1.5 liters of water in under a minute. I did it...then walked outside and threw up 6 times. Tender mercy of the Lord - I somehow kept my breakfast!!!!! Our roommate, Elder Burgess, talks in his sleep every night at about 11:40. Sometimes he sits up in his bed and looks at us. It's really creepy. Last night he just started laughing hysterically. Sometimes he has conversations with himself, he tells himself something in english and replies to himself in spanish. Last night I had a dream that I was doing timed laps on the Tour de France race. I finished the whole race on bicycle in 1 minute 68 seconds. I was about to do a timed lap in a Bugatti Chiron (to see which one is faster of course) but then the alarm went off so I only got to turn it on. The engine sounded really good in my dream though....I wrote a rap about our day at the CCM but I´ll just tell you in two years, gotta have some stuff to talk about when I get back ;) I was in the shower the other day and all the water in the entire CCM shut off. It was a bad start to my day. We are on a private well and something went wrong I guess. I sang with the CCM choir at a devotional the other day. We sang Where Can I Turn For Peace. Elder O´Barr and I sang and when we sat down, we realized both of our flies were down. Luckily, we sang in the back row so we´re all good. Yesterday was pretty uneventful. Usually my journal entries take up about a page, but yesterday´s was: ´´Today I ate some Chokis (mexican chips ahoy, 14 pesos for 20!) and got chewed out by Maestra. Overall, it was a pretty good day. PS tomorrow is pday´´

The mess isn´t mine, I promise. Top left is Elder "Sleep" Burgess,  Top right is
Elder Hinton, mi compaƱero. I sleep below him & Elder O´Barr sleeps below Burgess
I´ve been feeling the Spirit a lot more lately than I consistently ever have. My testimony is growing so much stronger. The reason there wasn´t a lot of stuff for me to talk about in my journal is because my journal is filled with all sorts of spiritual inspiration and lessons I´ve learned throughout the weeks here. I´m not going to type it all out for the world to see, but you guys can read it when I get back or I might send it to you guys, I don´t know yet. The Lord has blessed my life immensely and I know that I´m on the right path for me at this time. The CCM is hard at times, but I know that with the Lord I can do all things. I miss you guys, but often there´s so much to be done that I don´t have time to think about anything other than the gospel. I love you guys and I´ll send pictures later!

   This is where we write in our journals every night.
       Mine is the couch closest to the camera,
                 Hinton´s is across from me, 
  O´Barr´s is on the right, and Burgess on the left.

Elder Sayler

PS all packages are welcome ;)
What a tree hugger...
his dad would be so proud :,)

A la tienda!