Monday, October 26, 2015

Empanadas, $40,000 and a Puppy

Hey Mom and everyone else who reads the blog!

With Elder Montenegro on his last day here :(
Chile`s been good to me this week. We finally are beginning to see the fruits of our labours. Today I`m in the process of making pretzels. The dough looks good and its rising right now. So about that package, I have a few requests: My Ipod with tons of music (the mission rules say motab and any church approved music so I guess David Archuletta and BYU Choirs singing about church stuff) (I`d appreciate as much of anything as possible) (make sure Dad`s church playlists are on there too) also a charger chord, wall charger with USB plug in, Mike `n Ike`s (Christmas) and one or two of those huge Snickers bricks that are like a pound or more of Snickers. That`s pretty much the essentials other than photos of everyone of course, but anything else is welcome! 
So anyway back to the mission life...its going really well. I tried to make pretzels last week, but all of our levadura was dead so I had to go buy more today. Oops levadura is yeast. 
Yes of course I bought Dunkin`Donuts, it was like $7,500 or something like that, but I thought it was worth it. Today I took some money off, about $40,000. $20,000 went into my emergency cash fund so don`t worry, I`m not wasting it. I just needed to buy food because I keep eating so much. 
We found a new investigator this week. His name is Helmuth. We have been looking for him again for about 3-4 weeks now. We finally taught him all of lesson one and he`s super interested, its great.
The next day we had a zone meeting and taught the Familia Zuñiga, a less active family who wants to go to the temple.
We made candle holders for Hermana Molly
 and I`m not going to tell you guys which one I made
Thursday was my official one month in Chile! One of the Elder`s in our casa left on a special transfer, it was pretty sad... Elder Montenegro is gone :( He was replaced by Elder Perez who is pretty cool too though. We had the best lunch ever that day too with Clementina Galarce. All it was was Chicken and a great potato salad, but she made extra for the Elders and kept feeding us. It was the best.
 Then we had a service project at Hermana Molly`s house. We decorated candle holders for some stake activity.
Washing a car, and yes, I am holding
 the most adorable puppy in the world
 The next day we did some service for Hermana Valenzuela. We were going to climb on her roof and wash her windows for her, but she changed her mind and we ended up washing her car lol. Well, I guess service is service. We also played with her adorable puppy. 

Making Empanadas <3
And that night we went to a recent convert (se llama Francia) `s house to teach a lesson, but ended up learning how to make empanada dough! The next day we went back to learn how to fill them and we bought two and they were the best empanadas in the world I think. After our lunch we helped two other Elders in Manzanal to teach a lady and that lesson took 3 hours. She`s an interesting lady. She claims to have seen the heavens open and see Christ and Angels. She also sees ghosts and other things haunting her house. I`m not sure I don`t believe her. 
Eating Empanadas <3<3<3
Then we went and played soccer with our investigators. Sunday was a great day too! We went to church and Francia was there, but also her less active son and inactive husband. He told us the day before that he had a dream that he looked in a mirror and saw the Savior suffering and so he decided he needed to come back to church. It was super cool because we`ve been trying to work with that family for a while now. We have a family home evening with them this week. 

I almost died on our way to lunch today.
Luckily, I ducked at the last second...
After church we found a less active member named Jaime that we have been looking for for about two weeks and he is super excited to change his life around to come back to Christ. The spirit was super strong in that lesson. Then we found a future investigator that we had contacted earlier that week, and it turned out he was an inactive member who we are hoping will come back to church soon. That was pretty much my week. Things are starting to pick up. We keep finding new investigators and we keep getting new references, but these blessings take a lot of work to receive them, so we keep working hard and with faith. Well that`s about it for this week, I guess I`ll email you guys next week and Skype at Christmas. I love you guys.


Elder Sayler

Monday, October 19, 2015

85 - The Number of the Week

¡Hola Familia!

What is quite possibly the sketchiest house in the world...
Elder Smith wouldn`t let me knock on the door to talk to whoever lives there
Yes I am still crazy hungry and thirsty, we went shopping twice last week just to supply food. I went through two dozen eggs and two loaves of bread. Now I`m running out of money. I have to call the bank today because I can`t take money off my card :( Anyway this week was pretty good. It was mostly sunny and warm except today is raining and cold. I have to buy some pants for P-day because the ones I brought just aren`t cutting it. They`ll probably end up being like man-capris because of how tall I am. 
        Elder Smith during our study program called 
           DOCE SEMANAS!!!!          I hate it so much
So last Monday we found somebody pretty interesting during contactos. We found a guy who told us he was an atheist and he had some unique views on life. Then we learned that he was also a communist who was hoping during the communist regime to someday become president. We gave him a Book of Mormon and talked to him for a bit.
 The next day we went back to our new investigators, Antonio and Marìa. The were really sad because they had just returned from the doctor`s and learned that she has Alzheimer`s. They`re 85. They let us in and they talked for about an hour and we listened. Then we talked a little about the Plan of Salvation and we gave them a pamphlet and left. 
After 4 weeks, I finally met one of our investigators, Mariano. We taught him some English and a little bit of the Plan of Salvation as well. That was pretty cool.
The next day was really cold and rainy. We were soaked and taught some less active members named the Zuñiga family. The were making sopaipillas and they were super delicious. They didn`t give me the recipe after I asked though. 
The mountains from our apartment, but zoomed in
A view from someone else's window
Have you guys seen the pictures those kids drew of conference? Two kids at conference drew pictures of President Monson speaking and they both drew two angels next to him. That is pretty cool, you guys should look it up. One day we went out looking for a reference and we came across this weird guy. He was about mid sixties and had really sweaty hands and no personal space. He talked to us for a while and asked us if we had any American things on us (and that was weird). Then he asked if he could take a picture with us. He told us to follow him. We followed him thinking that he wanted some scenery or something in the background. We ended up in a professional photography studio and took pictures there. That was pretty weird. 
Some of our less active members that we are working with dropped their goal to go to the temple. That was pretty sad. 
We had a lesson with a recent convert named Francia with the Hermanas. That was a fun lesson because she served us once, which is pretty much a small dinner. Someday we are going to go over there and make empanadas with her. 
We found another potential investigator the next day. His name is Luis. He too is 85. He was really interested in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. 
On Saturday, all of our meetings fell through and we accidentally found two new investigators. They are Manuel and Ines and they are both 85. What luck. After that we got stopped in the street again to take some pictures and some random kid gave me a flower to give to my mom. So I have a flower for you mom. That`s about all that happened this week. Yesterday all of our meetings fell through and nothing really happened. Well I hope you are all doing well. I love you guys and will see you guys soon...ish. 


Elder Sayler

Monday, October 12, 2015

$15,000 Grocery Bill, Sports, and a Police Car

Hey Guys (and Mom)
Found a police car:
 its a minivan with steel grates on the windows

So this week has been pretty good. A lot went on. We bought empanadas and stuff for lunches and stuff. We got to try artichoke for lunch. I wasn´t as appreciative of it as I should have been, but I hid it really well. I got my first in-field haircut and I think it looks pretty ok. 
We are working with a recent convert about going to the temple soon because her 1 year just expired. Then on Tuesday all of our meetings fell through. I caught a cold. We didn´t feel very productive that day.
My room: I sleep top left
One of our two baños,
 this one is about twice the size of the one I get to use
 On Wednesday we had a zone meeting. Elder Smith and I were supposed to prepare quick testimonies about enduring to the end and temple work, but then we learned during the meeting that we were supposed to teach for 10-20 minutes. Luckily the spirit was there and it went really well. We had divisions too. I went to Manzanal afterward with Elder Montenegro. We had a lesson with a possible future investigator and afterward he invited Elder Montenegro and me to his house to have french fries and play playstation. That was a first. We couldn´t though :( After that we had a few lessons, but nothing really great. 
On Thursday we found our first actual investigators!!! Their names are Antonio and María. They are about 85 years old, but super nice! We talked to them outside their gate for about 20-30 minutes and then they invited us inside to learn more. They showed us every room and picture inside their house for about 20 minutes. Then we taught for another 20-30 minutes or so. It was long, but great. That night I got to go to bed a little earlier.
On Friday we got called out by the Hermanas early to help them teach a male investigator that they couldn´t enter his house without us. That was fine. Then we got to and from lunch late. Elder Smith got sick so we had to run home. Then we talked to a member at the chapel for a while. Then all of our meetings fell through. Then we played sports with some of the members and investigators. That day felt really unproductive.
Elder Smith in his natural habitat
On Saturday we had to give the Stake YM President some testimonies about why we came out on a mission. We had to take a collectivo (type of taxi) there and back because it was so far. That was a lot of money. Then we started our fasts. All of our meetings fell through again and we didn´t have anything productive so we just knocked doors for a while. Then we had another sports time with the Hermana´s investigators that we had committed too. Afterward we were all dying of hunger and thirst. 
kitchen <3
Yesterday was a great fast Sunday. I bore my testimony in spanish to the ward and it went pretty well. I think my fast triggered another growth spurt because I can´t stop eating and drinking still. I ate all my food yesterday so now I have to do a lot of shopping today. Yesterday I ate half a chicken, 4 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, two bags of top ramen, 2 liters of water, half a liter of piña juice, a glass of milk, a roll of oreos, and more. This morning I can´t quench my hunger or thirst either. I already drank a liter of water and ate a huge bowl of oatmeal. I have a huge shopping list for this week... (mom's reply: If the hunger doesn't slow down in a week I would be concerned about a tape worm - if you start to lose weight tell your presidente (especially after that bout with diarrhea in the MTC as that can be a sign of getting one)(and Thomas emailed back: I dunno about a tape worm, I just have a ravishing hunger that can't be tamed! It's ok though I spent $15,000 on groceries just now so it should last me the week -lol.)  
living room :)
We found another potential investigator yesterday too, but he lives in Santiago :( Anyway, that was my week. Life´s good, its just starting to heat up and get sunny down here so that´s good :) I love you guys, and I´ll write again next week!

Love, Elder Sayler

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Floating Manhole Covers, Warts and Broken Lamps

One picture from day one of me and Elder Smith :)
I`m going to start getting recipes for the food down here because it is soooooo good! The weather down here is spastic, some days really hot and others really cold and rainy. We will get to that later though. I have to apologize because I haven`t had any chances to take pictures this week so this is going to be the first (and hopefully only) week that I don`t send pictures (please forgive me). Anyway, I`m glad to see you are all doing fine!
Now to the stories. I brought my journal today to help remind me what happened. We went on divisions last week again. I went off to be Elder Remon`s compañero in Machali! It is so beautiful there, its all hilly and not so much big city and I loved it. We taught some lessons about temple work and the Plan of Salvaciòn. We had a member with us that is fully active, but when we started teaching resurrection, he started teaching about how he believes we will be resurrected and reincarnated and that was a little awkward... Then I got sick. I totally lost my voice for about four or five days. I couldn`t talk at all, it was awful. I felt mostly 100% ok other than my voice. The members started giving me honey (miel) and lemons to put in herbal teas and stuff. That actually was a huge blessing and helped a lot. It was difficult to teach, but the Lord found a way and blessed me when I needed it most.
 We have some recent converts that we are teaching, Francia and her 15 year old son Maxi, and their daughter (17?) Javiera is investigating. We have been teaching awesome lessons with them. 
On the 1st it poured and poured. All the streets were flooded. We were walking our daily half hour walk to our secor for lunch and our path was blocked by a TON of water flooding the way. I saw a manhole cover sticking out of the water and decided to go for it. I jumped on it, and it turned out it was floating and it dumped me in the huge puddle. We were 40 minutes late to lunch because I had to go home and change. It did stop raining after that though. -ugh that was the worst day of my life. I also keep hitting my head on doorways and people lamps and stuff. I broke one of the lamps in our casa the other day on accident...

That day we also got a call from the Hermanas that said we were going to sing at a funeral the next day, and I still didn`t have a voice. The next day the four of us sang `Mas Cerca Dios de Ti` a guy in our ward`s cousin`s funeral.
 We had a slight medical emergency after lunch and so we went to the nurse (Elder Smith has a huge wart on his finger and we had to go get some liquid nitrogen to burn it off :) ) and then all of our lessons fell through. So we ended up teaching the Hermana`s investigator with them. His name is Patricio. He`s like 17 and the perfect investigator. He`ll get baptized. 
We got to play soccer afterward and that was fun once I learned all the court soccer rules. Then came conference the next two days. Conference was awesome! It was super spiritual and I learned so much. Elder Holland temped me to break mission rules and call my mom, and Elder Bednar tempted me to call my dad (lol chistoso). After the last session we met a guy with the Hermanas and we Bible bashed for about two hours until we had to go home to meet curfew. Pretty much a great day. That`s pretty much my week. I felt the spirit a lot and my testimony grew. I`m getting a ton better at spanish. There are still people that I can`t understand (lots of them), but I am understanding more. Its also getting easier to teach by the power of the spirit. Overall, so far its been a great mission. I love you guys and promise pictures next week!


Elder Sayler