Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ella la Profunda...

Hey Family,

Once again a pretty quiet week in my sector. I hardly had any time to
work in this week because of having to travel to our Christmas
Conference (which in total took up 2.5 days! Leaving Tuesday night,
Conference Wednesday, Then traveling back to my sector on Thursday!
One of the problems of living in a sector so isolated from the rest of
the mission...) with half the mission, then traveling back and forth
between District meetings and having to help the Hermanas in our
district with baptismal interviews and actually doing the ordinance of
baptism because there wasn´t enough priesthood present to do it. So
our numbers this week definitely suffered due to that and more
importantly our investigators. But Elder Weiss and I have rededicated
ourselves to working determined and diligently solely in our sector
this week, especially to start preparing it for this next cambio where
I´ll be put in the position of leadership -- Something that up until
now I haven´t really experienced at all... There´s a blessing and a
curse to being Comp meynor (I really don´t know how to say that
position in English haha -- young companion??) The blessing is that it
is a stress free life. I just wait for my oportunities to speak and
guide the lesson on to the next point where the other comp picks up
the ball and does the rest. But on the flip side to that I haven´t
learned how to BE the companion in charge. Which worries me for how
this next cambio will be when I´m put in that position. So we have
decided to start from today to give me the chance to do so, 2 days
this week, 3 the next, etc.

This week I had a mini-revelation of how the members can help in the
missionary work without even having to leave to go out on splits with
us! I was reading back through the BoM from what I have read up to
this point and seeing the way that the Lord blessed HIS PEOPLE. When
they were righteous and obedient to the commandments they were called
by the Lord, through the voice of the prophet, "The people of Christ"
or "Zion". They were "blessed abundantly" and many people entered the
waters of baptism. So the thought came to me, that why wouldn´t this
work today also? If the members in this little branch are obedient and
a righteous people, doing all that the Lord has asked of them -- Read,
Pray, Go to church -- why then wouldn´t God bless his work in this
sector upon seeing that his followers are preparing themselves
personally and also to recieve more of his children who are wondering.
If the members are obedient (the missionaries also) the work of
salvation should, and will, grow tremendously because of this promise.
"I the Lord am bound when ye do as I say, but if ye do not what I say,
ye have no promise." D&C 82:10. Sometimes these little things seem so
simple and unimportant, but I know that it is by small and simple
things that great things are brought to pass.

In the spirit of Christmas I would just like to send my best wishes to
everyone. I hope that you enjoy this time of the year to think about
the love of your families, charity for others, having fun with your
new stuff, but most importantly the love that Christ has for us that
came to the Earth and knowingly gave up his own life, suffering all
the pain, and all the criticisms, so that we could one day return with
him and our families if we exercise our faith in this life.

Un embrazo,
Elder Mundell

Anciano Mundell!!!!

Hey friends and family,

Apparrently my mission president thought I needed to get in shape because the sector that I´m in now is pure HILLS! My legs are so HUUUUUUUGE hahaha, that my pants are starting to rip (and at least for now I´m gonna blame it on the walking and not that I´m getting fat). I wish I could tell you more about the place but I still can´t pronounce the name without stumbling over the letters -- Curanilahue. No, but the truth is that I´m really enjoying myself out here and see a lot of future potential work to be done here. And since I know that I´ll be here for AT LEAST another 5 months we´ve hit the ground running trying to find people to teach. 

A little side note... I´ve already had to force myself to eat fish. My 3rd day in my new sector and we got a huge fish almuerzo. It was miserable

My new compañero is named Elder Weiss and is just 1 cambio away from finishing his mission -- I make sure to do a good job of reminding him about how bored he´s going to be in 5 weeks when he´s sitting at home doing nothing.

So I´m running out of time and can´t think of much to say at this point but I need to finish by talking about this family we´re teaching right now.

They´re PASTORS of an Evangelical church here that at first let us in because they wanted to know why everybody calls the Mormons a sect or cult. And after talking to us and answering the question(s) he had for us, he told us to come back another day to keep talking. So we did, and you need to know that this guy is super super animated, just happy and excited non-stop energy -- his kids too. And yesterday we had our 3rd visit with him and explained more about the church and it´s structure and where it comes from and he started using Bible scriptures to tell us how he felt the church of God should be... Turned out he came to the conclusion that everything we were telling him sounded more and more like something he believed to be true. This guy is a absolute stud when it comes to the Bible and absolutely loves reading the Book of Mormon whenever he can.

Bueno, can´t really think right now but just know that I´m doing good -- Still loving it here in Chile (Hills and all)

Hasta proximo,

Elder Mundell

Chau Victoria

We put up the Christmas tree in the house of my Chilean Abuela and I got to put on the star
Hola mis amados fanáticos! Hahaha

Today I got the miserable phone call that I´ll be leaving my favorite first sector - Victoria, Chile. It sucks a little bit just because its RIGHT before Christmas and I was looking forward to spending it with some of my converts, but I knew it was coming... So now I´ll have about 3 weeks to meet the members in my new city and hope that at least one of them has a computer with Skype, so that I can make my Christmas call. It´s hard to think that I´ve already got 5 months on the mission, but thats the way it is when you´re working hard right?! Tonight I´m having my farawell and it literally feels like I´m dying here or something because after making all the phone calls this morning to invite everyone to the Despidida, they all sounded so sad that their missionary is leaving the city. My next sector is another tiny city in the north -- RIGHT NEXT TO THE COAST!!! So I´m at least excited about that.
Elder Overson is also leaving Victoria in a move called a "WHITE WASH" where the sector gets 2 completely new missionaries and start from scratch with the investigators we left and what we have written in our records.

This week we had the best week of teaching lessons since I´ve been together with Elder Overson. We found a woman who mid-way through our first lesson was super excited and ready to be baptized. She believed absolutely everything that we were saying and wants to start coming to church wth her kids this next week (aaaaand I´m leaving today.... Crap! Haha) 

I´m almost certain that I´m going to die in my new sector though, because if there´s anything that I absolutely hate with every ounce of passion of my soul IT´S FISH!!!!!! Can´t stand it. And where am I going? The coast of Chile.... So that´ll be pretty interesting.

 Okay, so the story with "The Gringo". We started taking pictures outside when the owner came out and asked us if we wanted a drink inside. The place is a Bar so Elder Overson was really hesitent and didn´t want it, but I was like "Yeah sure, why not!" and walked inside. Then when we were in there, we got a bottle of Fanta (FOR FREE! Way Cool!) and started talking to the owner and his mom and these 2 drunk Mapuchi dudes (the native indian people here) and I was just joking up a storm with these guys until they asked us if we wanted to drink with them. We told them that we don´t and then I went into the whole missionary introduction mode and taught a lesson! Hahaha I taught a Word of Wisdom lesson in a bar in Chile! How´s that for life experiences?! :D 
For those who don´t know what that is, the Word of Wisdom is the commandment that Mormons live to avoid using substances that damage or hinder our body´s normal capabilities -- like tobacco, alcohol, and yes also tea and coffee, for the purpose of showing respect for our bodies.

Love you guys!
Hasta proximo,

Elder CJ Mundell

Tres Tristes Tigres en un Trigal

Navidad has hit Victoria and the family of our District President
Getting the blood pumping with one of our families in the park
Tres Tristes Tigres en un Trigal... The deadliest spanish tongue twister that all the members make fun of me because I still struggle with it haha

But Hey party people!

As always I hope all is well.

For whatever reason this week has been very interspective and contemplative... I´ve had some really profound thoughts this week, both spiritual and just thoughts in general.
For example the biggest one that hit me was this feeling of people looking up to me as an example and realizing how the mission works in the minds of the members. I can remember my past experiences with missionaries in my home wards, and I guess I could never put it together, but I had a lot of respect and admiration for them. And now its really weird to have those same feelings put on me by other people. I feel like the same person that left on my mission, but obviously it hit me this week that I´m not really. Granted I still act the same, but people have this unconditional and predispositioned respect for me as a missionary. It came down to two possible explanations for this, either Chileans REALLY like to talk, or they want to talk because they feel like I can truly help them change or provide them with spiritual insight that they are looking for. I have no idea if this is making any sense up to now, but it was an experience that kind of hit me by surprise. The way that people can open up to 2 Gringos. Even though I´ve pretty much established myself as the missionary who loves to goof around with the members, at the same time they know that at any moment and when necessary I can supply them with a scriptural thought that fills the room with the spirit and love that their Heavenly Father has for them by sending missionaries to their little city. 
For example I gave my second talk in sacrament meeting this last week and at the start of my talk there were laughs and the members whispering back and forth, but then there was a clear moment where it became dead silent. By the end of my talk there were members who had tears in there eyes and I am confident grew stronger in their faith and felt closer and more loved by their Savior.

I´ll be sure to do something crazy this next week to share something other just just a spiritual thought and don´t think I´ve gotten too missionary on you all ;) haha

Love you all,

Elder CJ Mundell

This picture is HILARIOUS if you can see the face of my companion on the bottom side of the teeter-totter! Haha, let´s just say there´s a slight difference in weight.

Noche de ZUMBA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!