Hey Family and Friends!
I wasn't able to send a letter home this Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday because it was Chile's Independence Day which is a National Holiday and everyone is off work and no internet places are open.
Happy Independence Day 2012 Chile!
Chile's Independence Day (Fiestas Patrias) which is on September 18th is a time where all Chileans gather together and celebrate their country, culture and Independence. Celebrations of all things Chilean center on their Independence Day. Chile's road to Independence from Spain started on September 18, 1810. Chile celebrates the 18th of 1810 with great fanfare. The 18th, or "dieciocho," is celebrated during a week full of fiestas patrias ("patriotic parties"). This includes parades, dances, eating traditional Chilean food and music. Parades include huasos, the traditional Chilean cowboys, music and displays of national pride.
Independence Day parade with Huasos (skilled Chilean horsemen)
Chilean Independence Day parades also include girls in traditional Huasita dresses
Many of the celebrations occur in Ramadas which are temporary open buildings with thatched roofs traditionally made from tree branches. Ramanas feature a dance floor, music, tables and food.
A Chilean Ramada
Fondas, or refreshment stands, offer a wide variety of Chilean foods including empanadas and anticuchos (shish kabobs). There are frequent dance competitions with the national dance,la cueca, being the most popular.
The day after Independence Day is also a National Holiday. Armed Forces Day includes military and naval parades and events celebrating Chile's military victories including their Independence.
Armed Forces Day 2012 in Chile
This week has been tough in some ways and fun in others. Today Elder Weigel and I are fasting for our investigators and also for ourselves that we will be able to teach with clarity and power so that our investigators will recognize that what we are teaching them is true and that committing to live the gospel will bring happiness into their lives. Elder Weigel and I have faith that we will see success in the near future. Elder Weigel and I are writing quick updates home this week so we can get to work. I'll just tell you about some highlights and news with our investigators.
Logros for the week (Achievements):
investigadores con fecha bautismal 1
investigadores que asisten a la reunion sac 0
lecciones con miembro 7
otras lecciones 4
investigadores que estan progresando 0
referencias recibidas 9
nuevos investigadores 10
lecciones a conversos recientes y menos activos 5
As you can see, it was a pretty tough week. 13 lessons with all of the schedule changes wasn't bad and our referencias recibidas and contactadas were really good this week. The things that we really need to work on are getting our investigators to church and our contacts. It's hard for the people in Chile to commit for some reason. If our investigators went to church, we'd be baptizing like crazy! As of right now, we only have one person with a baptismal date.
Here's the update on our investigators...
Maria...We haven't seen her since the morning of her baptismal date two and a half weeks ago. One of the members in the Renca ward who's good friends with her is talking to her and helping her. We plan to visit Maria soon to see what we can do and how we can help her as well.
Victor...Found out he and his brother Amauri are illegal in the country because they haven't renewed their licenses to be here. Victor and Amauri can't get baptized until they figure that out as well as find a contract for work which we learned is going to take at least a month. That was really sad to hear. Now all Elder Weigel and I can do is just wait.
Flor...Whenever members go to look for her to bring her to church with them she never leaves the house. Elder Weigel and I have to have a pretty firm lesson with her this next week about the importance and blessings that come from attending church. We are still working hard with Flor.
The 11th of September was a pretty crazy day. We got back to our casita at 7pm when usually we don't get back until 10pm. Every 11th of September there's tons of protests, gun shots etc. By the time we got home at 7pm there was ruckus already starting to happen. Elder Weigel and I heard gun shots in the distance and had a power outage because the people knocked over a telephone pole during their protests. It was a pretty crazy night!
This past Saturday, the 15th, we had an awesome activity in the Renca Stake Center with the 4 churches in Renca.There's been a Stake in Renca for 28 years. It was a really well attended activity with dances, food and games. It was fun to watch the dances and eat a little bit of authentic Chilean food. We had a good time.
Elder Jenson's testimony in Spanish:
Yo quiero compartir mi testimonio con uds...Yo se que esta iglesia es la iglesia verdadera en la tierra y que tenemos la autoridad para actuar en el nombre de Dios. Yo he visto muchos milagros en mi mision y solamente he estado en Chile por 7 semanas. No hay coincidencias en la mision y viendo esos milagros ha crecido mi testimonio mucho. Yo puedo ver una diferencia entre mi testimonio del evangelio de Jesucristo ahora y antes de la mision. Leyendo en las escrituras cada dia por muchas horas ha cambiado mis pensamientos diarios y ha crecido mi conocimiento del evangelio. Muchas veces cuando yo estoy ensenando una leccion con mis investigadores, yo siento el espiritu tan fuerte diciendome que necesito decir a mis investigadores para que puedan sentir el espiritu santo y esta es la iglesia verdadera. Yo se que el libro de mormon es verdadero y que uno puede saber por si mismo si es verdadero o no. Solo tiene que preguntar a Dios. Hay una promesa en Moroni 10 que dice por el poder del espiritu santo, Dios contestara su oracion y decirle que es verdadero. Yo se que Jose Smith fue un profeta de Dios y que Jesucristo restauro su iglesia por medio de el. Yo se que familias pueden ser eternas por medio de la autoridad que se encuentra en la iglesia de Jesucristo de Los Santos de Los Ultimos Dias y can esa autoridad solamente se encuentra en esa iglesia. Dios y Jesucristo viven! En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.
***SURPRISE CHILEAN FACEBOOK FRIENDS!***
Our family received a surprise facebook request from the Caballero family in the Renca Ward Elder Jenson is currently serving in this week! The Caballero's posted the following 2 recent photos of Elder Jenson with their own captions...
"Today in Quinta Normal Park from Santiago, Chile. Elder Jenson dressing a cape... xD."
The Caballero family, Elder Weigel and Elder Jenson
"Elder Jenson are sharing scriptures with my family. He's a very good person and nice. We're happy to know his family. Look a picture in Renca Stake."