Monday, February 20, 2017

A Barricade or A Bump in the Road?

Sporting matching ties:  Elder Portillo, Elder Arismendiz, Elder Hershberger, and me

Fun Facts
-  Elder Portillo knows how to make ties!  He made us matching ties for our missionary conference.
Our resident tailor, Elder Portillo making ties

-  The really ghetto names in Chile might surprise you. Names like:  Brian, Jonathan, Tiffany, Jason, Charles, Stephanie, Jefferson, Kimberly, and Jordan.

-  The Young Single Adults out here love the missionaries, and are enthusiastic to join us in our teaching appointments. We love it!

-  One of our members has a green thumb and her variety of house plants proves it, but I'm not so sure she realizes the extent of her garden.

-  Chiguayante has some gorgeous coastal redwood trees (like northern California, where I am from). The Redwoods thrive here because Chiguayante is prone to morning overcast. 3/4 of the year, am clouds roll in from the Biobio river and blanket these giant beauties with moisture that allows them to soak in water from both sky and ground.

-  Chileans love fruitcake. It's much like what we know in the states. My comp took this funky-filtered picture of me holding some fruitcake that was gifted to us.

A Barricade or a Bump in the Road?
Work is progressing, but we have somewhat of a barricade to maneuver around.  Four of the eight individuals we are teaching regularly are teenagers.  We love young adults and teenagers because they seem to be more enthusiastic, open, and fun.  But their parents are not completely okay with the idea

One set of parents is atheist, another set likes what we teach but squirms with the concept of baptism, and one grandmother is Catholic, but does not believe the bible to be scripture. There you have it!

But, as long as these youth want to hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ, our goal is to keep teaching them, while being careful to respect the adults in their lives. Because, we certainly don't want to cause a riff in family relationships. Our job is to unite families - not divide them.

Let's just hope that this barricade turns out to be only a bump in the road.

Elder Arismendiz with his camera on the Biobio river
Jot it Down and Pray
This week has been one of added meditation for me.  During moments of contemplation, I have found that many individuals from home keep popping into my mind. Individuals who do not have the gospel. And, what's weird is that their names don't just flash through my mind - they get stuck in my head.

So, what I've resolved to do is pray for them. In fact, there is now a designated section in my daily agenda to write the names of friends from home that I feel need my prayers.  The way I figure it is that I may be called to serve in Concepcion, Chile, but my influence is not limited to this South American country. I can reach out in other ways.

And, who knows - when I return home, I won't have a name badge, but I can do my best to continue to be a messenger of light and goodness.


Until next week, Friends,
Elder Connor Nef

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