Thursday, November 24, 2016

Welcome to Bulnes!

Welcome to Bulnes!
Last Monday was a day of goodbyes to my friends in Concepcion. People were good to me and gave me lots of food.

The next day, I arrived in my new area - Bulnes, Chile - a small town inland from Concepcion, where the summer weather is known to hit triple digits, the locals are known to dislike Americans, and the small branch is known as one that does not progress.

I am here to change that - the reputation and progress, that is, not the weather (though I wish I could change that).

The thought passed through my mind that I will, most likely, never be in a sector with exceptionally strong leadership. My job is to strengthen wards and branches where I can, to get them operating a little better.

Meet Elder Alvarez
My comp is Elder Alvarez from Colombia. A 5'7" animated dude with a lot of the same nerdy interests that I have. And, he's ready to get to work.

Good thing.
with Elder Alvarez
Because after being halted in my last area by Fuentealba's toe, getting back to work full days is such a recharge!

Don't have that many investigators right now, so the other morning we went exploring in a sector my comp has never visited.  We came to a house that happened to have a family of geese out front (mom, dad, and gooslings? goslings? - baby geese).  And the mamma goose started bearing her teeth and hissing at me.  What kind of demon bird is this?!  I'll tell you, it certainly makes for a great watchdog. When I went to take a picture of the crazy bird, an old lady came out of the house.

We began talking. She gave us a soda and said her name was Silvia.  After discussing a bit of the Plan of Salvation, she liked what we had to say and set an appointment to have us come back and teach her.

FĂștbol and the Plan of Salvation
Speaking of the Plan of Salvation.  That night we played fĂștbol with some community people. I decided to wear my Plan of Salvation t-shirt and teach it in less than 2 minutes. It was fun. My soccer skills have improved a ton since I've been in Chile.

The Little Service Project
Our service project this week was for our ward missionary, Hermano Munsalve. He's an interesting guy who asked us to simply "take out some grass." Sounded easy enough.

"take out some grass"
It was actually a job to clear out a 1/4 acre of bush that included chopping down saplings...without any equipment! I got pretty good at chopping down trees with a shovel.

Welcome to Bulnes
It may be hot (it's summer in Chile right now). I may be tired. A shovel may be my only tool to clear a 1/4 acre field, but I am looking at this situation optimistically and am REALLY excited to work here.

Happy Thanksgiving back at home, everyone. I am thankful for your thoughts and prayers.

Love you,
Elder Connor Nef

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