Monday, February 28, 2011

February 28th

So things have continued to go well. Well, actually this week was a little harder. The summer vacation is coming to an end this week so everyone packed up their bags and left... again. I know that once school starts back up again (this week), we can finally start hunting our investigators down. We actually have some really great investigators who are progressing really quickly but, because this week was the last moment to avoid the reality that summer is over, we sat ackwardly in sacrament meeting, completely investigator-less (that doesn´t happen often but when it does... it isn´t a good feeling).

This week should be different. Our investigators are in town and they are really trying to get this ball rolling. I don't know if I have said this before but Cordillera is a sector much more difficult than San Clemente was but we are doing well and we have some people who should be getting baptized here during March. I will admit it is frustrating putting so much effort into finding and teaching and to not see any sort of visible result. For a long time, it even made me a little upset, but I know that all the work I put in is paying off and will pay off for years to come. Nobody will ever be perfect but I sure am trying to do what I am told. Do I always do it perfectly? Now, that is a question is like a double edged sword. Well, I try really hard and am finding out that I can push myself a lot further than I ever thought. We are seeing some blessing of the struggles and hopefully that will continue. This sector is known for being a little tough but I´m learning a lot and, if all else fails, at least my Spanish is improving. (That was a joke, things are going well and my Spanish is pretty kickin´)
So, if I didn´t explain before, we live in a house with another set of missionaries and, well, last week we got a greenie! Being able to talk and see what he is going through makes me feel old in the mission. It is also just fun the adjustment process. Those first few weeks are... interesting. 
I just hope that everything goes well with the house and that everyone is going okay. It is incredible that you sold it so fast .  Also, I would love to help Dad plant some trees in a few years. Everything will go fine with the house, it is all just a part of the process and it will all be worth it when it is all said and done. Things are great and here are another few pictures.
Love ,
Elder McNeil

February 21st

Okay so this week was about 100 times more relaxed than last week. I really love Chillán and things are going really well here as far as the work goes. So did have our special regional conference (I should probably keep it very clear that it was a satilite transmission) and the temple wasn´t even mentioned once, but it really isn´t important. We still got to listen to Pres. Packer and Elder Christofferson (who speaks incredible spanish). The temple will be build in its own time and I know I will atleast see something happen with it while I´m still here.
So I found a ciber with a card adapter that works so SURPRISE, I´m going to send a ton of pictures in this email.
So I´ve learned that the mission treats you well when you stop looking for "success" and just let things happen. It is good to have expectations but when reality comes along you have no choice to accept it, so why not accept it with a smile? This past week went really well, and we are getting things lined up for a few possible baptisms here soon.
  So here are some photos I´ll send more later too. Enjoy!

Elder McNeil


Saturday, February 19, 2011

February 14th

So it is terrible to hear about uncle Ken pancreatic cancer is a mean one so he will definitely be in my prayers. Also its sad knowing that you are already leaving that house. Hopefully the house will sell quickly and that things go well with the geologists. At least your talks went well and Kerri got to see what everyone is up to and what has changed in the last 18 months. Mom, to calm you down, things are going great. The Lord always provides for His missionaries and things are going fine. My comp is named Elder Stephenson and he is great. The culture isn´t particularly different than the States. The food is generally good and my investigators are doing exactly what they need to be doing.
So you may or may not have heard about the slight increase in seismic activity here in Chile this week. I don´t mention this to scare mom but to tell you how funny it is to hear how many people think that we (the white missionaries) are here with machines causing the tremors and are secretly assassins hired by the CIA. Actually, some of the big tremors made it a lot easy to get into houses and teach lessons because many people were afraid of another "big one". Also, I saw a wild parrot this week. Like an actual perrot. Aparently they migrate here this time of year and specifically like to hang out here in Chillán. That was really cool. Maybe if I see another I´ll take a picture to show how cool it is (they are an endangered species so they are still rare but cool). I´ll keep you filled in on my adventures.
So i am still trying to find an internet place with a memory card adaptor that works so I can send you some pictures. that is why for my birthday, I would really like a memory card adaptor that i can plug into a usb port. I´ve tried to find some here and although you can find them, it would be nice to have one that is less likely to catch fire or explode.
So there is a good chance that I will hear some sort of news about the concepción temple this week. I´ll let you know all the details as soon as I know them but we are having a special regional broadcast from SLC for the southern half of Chile (AKA the concepción chile temple district) and there are rumors of a groundbreaking here in these next few weeks.  If so, yall need to come pick me up from my mission so you can see what the temple will be like. Actually yall should come pick me up from my mission anyway. It might be the middle of winter when yall do but I promise you guys will love it.
Elder McNeil

February 7th

Well, I hope things keep going so well with Kerri home. She is probably freaking out still. Just keep me filled in on all the new toys she is getting, just so i know what to look forward to in a year and a half. Ha, okay well, I dont even really have time to think about that stuff but I hope she enjoys all of her new toys. I hope everything goes well with Mom´s calling and with all of the responsibilities that goes with that and that everything goes well with the house. Also, if you ever see the Stake president, let him know i appreciate the letter he and the stake presidency sent me, even though they only met me once.
Unfortunately, I dont have a lot to report about the work here in Chillán. This sector has proven to be a lot harder than I ever imagined. We are hoping that it is just because everyone has left town for the summer vacation but I have been working really, really hard and we have some real potential here. I know that as long as I keep at it patiently, we will get this ball moving but you know how frustrating it is for me to work really hard and see little progress. At least I have had some great stories to tell (read the email from last week pasted below). Well I am trying to attach some photos of some of my adventures but it doesnt look like this computer will let me so you may need to wait a little bit longer for those.
Today we made some great breakfast burritos with our district leader who is from California but is from a Mexican family so thing are going great.

Love ,
Elder McNeil

January 31st

So as I promised this is going to be a nice long email. I only had a really, ridiculously crazy week so I know you will enjoy every story that I´ll write. So Kerri is probably in the airport as I write this week makes me feel a little sick to my stomach. One day that will be me. I don´t want to sound like Peter Pan and the Lost Boys but I really don´t want to grow up! The time is already going by way too fast and there is way too much to do! To live will be a big adventure. Just a random thought, I have a few nicknames here in the mission. One of them is Peter Pan so the fact that I made that reference makes me laugh a little bit.
So you probably want to see the pictures from the waterfall. I would send them to you if I had the cable to my camera or an adapter for my memory card (possible birthday package item?). I don´t really have any crazy stories from the waterfall expect for the crazy ladders we had to climb to get down there. They were like the things you see in adventure movies that are only extremely dangerously looking but everyone seems to survive some how. I´ll send you the pictures when I can... whenever that will be.
Other than the waterfall I had some other crazy things happen to me. I spent a few hours Tuesday night having to chase down some escaped cows. There is a recent convert here in Chillán who owns some cows that escaped from his property up in el campo. We passed by to see how is was (he is 75 or so and we pass by every once in a while to share some scriptures with him because he is a fairly lonely man) and he said that he had to leave as soon as possible to take care of his whole cows on the loose situation. We got permission to help and I went up to the property with one of the missionaries who I live with because my comp had to stay and do a minicambio with the ZLs to get some interviews done with. When we got there we had to run behind the cows to get them startled and moving in the direction that they needed to go and then we had to run past them and up ahead to block of any sort of diversion from the path (Can you find a gospel principle in that?). I don´t know if you have ever had to run up a street with angry cows chasing you but it really is an interesting experience. We survived the adventure and now have another experience that I will never forget.
Unfortunately, I dont have any news to report about investigators. It isn´t that we don´t have any. We actually have a ton, they just aren´t progressing the way Kerri´s always do. I swear, there is something about sister missionaries that enchants the Chilenos. We are doing well and we are learning a lot about what we need to do to improve.
So there you have it. A fun filled week of adventure and excitement. I´m excited to hear from yall soon.
Elder McNeil