Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Greetings from the Coast!

Hola Familia

So my new area is super nice. It reminds me a lot of Duck Island, North Carolina, where we went on vacation, just not an island. We live rather close to the beach, less than a 7 min walk, so of course I had to take some pictures this morning to show you guys. It's super pretty!

Sorry! I got sand in my eye, and I didn't have a better picture!
The fields in front of the hills of sand, separating us from the ocean

The path to the beach

This is a normal road in my area. All the roads are sand roads. 
Super chill, vacation home style living here. 
We have to sweep the sand every day out of our house, It gets everywhere, haha!

My companion´s name is Élder Aguilera. He is from Viñas del Mar, Chile. He has an enormous personality. Like, you have no idea! I was afraid I wasn't going to get along with him at first, but we actually get along really well. 

He told me that his goal for this change was to not just get me talking more fluidly, but to get me a personality. Can you imagine someone saying that to you? I would have loved to see Ben's face when this was said! He told me that since were in a rather rich area you need a big personality to have any kind of success. 

Elder Aguilera

He´s right! We've been working on finding new people to teach. It's amazing how no one wants anything and he can just talk his way into their heart. I know stereotypes aren't good, but I've been told that the majority of Chileans are like that. Big personalities, fast talkers, and a little proud. He has a lot of characteristics that I would like to have, that I´ll be working on during this companionship.

The ward: The ward is super awesome! They are all super behind the missionary work here. The youth program is huge! There are 12-15 Young Women and 10-12 Young Men. And also almost 2 to 3 times we have family home evenings with members where they invite investigators. The ward is super supportive!!

Yesterday, I got to give an introduction of myself to the ward. Then, the Bishop came up to me 3 minutes before sacrament meeting started and asked me to give a talk--a 10 min talk on Diligence. 

Somehow it worked. I don't know how focused on diligence it was, but it was good. I talked about diligence in our personal lives (scripture study), family lives (diligently raising our children in righteousness; luckily I had a copy of Family: a Proclamation, with me), then I talked about our external lives (callings, missionary work, etc.). I some how worked that into an 8 minute talk. Miracles exist! haha!(Remember this is in a foreign language, and I had to think of all this off the top of my head.)

With regard to Flat Stanley, I received him today. I just opened it today so I haven't gotten to take any pictures yet. I´ll find something super Uruguayo (Pronounced oor-uh-gwyshz-o). William is in first grade, and his class recently read the book about a kid named Stanley who got flattened in an accident, so his family took advantage of his new shape and sent him in the mail all over the place. All the kids in Will's class were asked to send their flat person to somebody and then send him back with photos. The class is going to track on the map where all of their flat people have gone. We sent one to Connecticut to Uncle Jim & Aunt Cheryl for opportunities to be found there including photo ops with their pet pig. We also got an extra flat person to send to Ben, so he could take some pictures that would be unique to Uruguay. I am interested to see what Ben comes up with and how he explains to the investigators or ward members what Flat Stanley is and why he is including him in pictures.

The house I live in is super nice. It's a little cottage thing behind the house of a member. It's just me and Elder Aguilera, so it's not that big.

With regard to your questions, "do you have enough food?" and "are you starving?", etc. The answer is I have plenty of food and no, I am not starving. I am eating so much! i just lost some weight. Walking most places is probably causing the weight loss. It sounds like we have no need to worry when we look at the photos and see that Ben is slimmer than when he left. He looks happy and healthy!

Love you guys!

Élder Taylor

PS:  we are teaching, 

Ana Laura
Those three are a family

Gustavo and Melany.

Prayers are appreciated on their behalf.

My last zone in Maroñas

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