Now that you have traveled around the mission, what is your favorite place to go and why?
- I love the drive north, it is very pretty. So when we leave from Viña we go by the coast till we get to La Serena. There are a lot of green hills and ocean views, so it is at least agradable.
- The other place that I like a lot is Quillota. It is in the interior of the country and is about 45 minutes in auto. They refer to it frequently as the California of Chile. It is very green and fertile. There are a lot of farms there.
- we have a gorgeous mission
- I consider the most difficult thing is to not be complacent. I have seen so many missionaries that get comfortable with where they are. They already teach well, or they speak well enough, or they don’t have any aspirations of doing better than they have done before. So I think for many it is that.
- For those that have the aspiration of doing better, many of them are not content when they get better or the process is slow. They want unreasonably. ( I sometimes fall into this category) They are too demanding of themselves.
How has that changed since you were new in the field?
- When I got to the mission field I felt a lot that the most challenging thing was being %100 obedient, because it is a pretty constant effort to do it. However, obedience becomes easy when one understands and believes the principles on which it is based.
- I also believed at one point that the hardest thing to do was to be constantly focused. But in the end that has much more to do with that we make [I left the awkward grammar rather than correcting “that we make” to “making’, as it seems to be a sign of his immersion into Spanish] sure that we have things to do at all times.
- I think it has really changed as I have realized what is at the base of the problems, complacency. I am thankful that the Spirit frequently makes me feel the desire to improve. It stresses me out occasionally but I keep getting better. Just because I have studied the scriptures or Preach My Gospel or I have already tried to develop some attribute of Christ I don’t stop trying to do it again, or to do it better.
Tell us about your week.
This week was very interesting. We had a zone conference in La Serena on Monday and one on Wednesday in Viña del Mar and a Conference with the Leaders of the Mission on Friday. So it was a week with a lot of work and a lot of moving around. But from those conferences come the majority of stories for today.
As it is I have one story that I will share to start, that way I am sure that I will finish writing it and that you will receive all of the laughs that you want for this week. My companion still hasn’t been able to get his licence to drive so I of course was designated driver as we went to the north. When we left on Sunday afternoon, we got to La Serena without problems and then had a wonderful conference on Monday. Our focus is sharing with the families and then getting them to the temple. So they really have been inspiring, fortifying conferences. Therefore, after the conference, we are tired as well. We didn’t see it as a good plan to drive back Monday night because I was already tired, and we weren’t in any rush. We went out [doing missionary work] with a couple of missionaries. We slept there; and then Tuesday morning at about 8:00, we left from La Serena towards Viña del Mar.
Anyway at about 12:30 we passed by what is called an area of control, where the Carabineros (police) stop cars and do random checks. Now, when we are driving I put the car in cruise control so that I don’t go over the speed limit and therefore not run any risks with police. But as we got closer to the area of control a carabinero made signals so that I should pull over. So I pulled over, rolled down my window and said
“Good afternoon sir, do you have your documents?”
“Of course. Here they are” and I passed her the papers that she needed
“And your licence?”
So I handed her my US drivers licence”
“Sir, do you know why I stopped you?”
“Random check?” which is what I thought. I know I wasn’t speeding, my lights were on and I used my signal lights to change lanes.
“No. You were in excess of velocity, the limit is 120 KM per hour and you were going 133.” – I would later learn that this was a lie. They frequently mark a car that is going fast and leave it on the screen to show to all the cars as pretext for stopping them.
“Is this your car?”
“No, it is of the church” – and I started to sweat bullets because, I have never been stopped by a police officer.
“Ok. Sir your papers are out of date.”
“Ok, what does that mean for us”
“Well, I am going to take the vehicle and take you all to the station in papudo (a small town about 20 minutes from the area of control). There you (speaking of me specifically) will be detained for at least 48 hours and if in those 48 hours you don’t pay the fine you will not be able to leave.”
I think I almost cried. It was so terrible to hear those words. But I just said “ok…how long ago did they go out of date?”
“Two weeks ago.”
“How long have you been in the country?” the carabinero asked
“A year and nine months”
“And how long have you been driving?”
“This time I am going to let you go, but go to Viña and get this taken care of the quickest possible.”
🙂 When I told president what had happened, he just said “There is a first time for everything.”
But I never hoped that my first run in with the police would be on the mission.
That was my grand adventure of the week.
Gelato. It isn’t nearly as good as the Gelato from Europe. But it is reasonably good.
Outside the lighthouse in La Serena with my companion and the mission nurse, who recently told me that I should be a doctor when I get done with the mission….
This was, my week and I enjoyed it a bunch.
As far as scripture study goes. I shared today with my companion my favorite scripture from the Book of Mormon, Old Testament, New Testament, and Doctrine and Covenants
So I will leave them with you.