Monday, May 26, 2014

Tree House Chillin

First of all Happy Birthday to my lovely Mother. You´re the best Mom. Second Happy Birthday to me:) Birthdays don´t exist in the mission... I didn´t even tell anyone except for the Mamita and my Comp and Elder Sargent. So it was a normal day of working hard finding people to change their lives! Both my Mamita in Tierra Amarilla made me a cake and we had a bonfire my last day and also My new Mamita is super super loving and made me a cake my 3rd day here in Antofagasta. The Chilean Tradition is to bite the cake after they sing and then someone pushes your head into the cake... It's my 2nd birthday and I have seen billions of Birthdays so I knew it was coming but you just gotta have fun with it hahah I love Chileans. Silly people. The cake got in my nose... It smelled real good :)

First of all Tierra Amarilla was the sector that changed me... I will never forget the amazing people-branch that changed my mission. It was really tough to say goodbye to some of my greatest friends. Like Andres, Ximena and Alleen, Mamita and all her daughters, Bastian, the dogs in the street.... Literally everything. I love that city so much. A family gave me a Tierra Amarilla jersey, It was the best gift I have ever received.. Other than the gift of birth, thanks Mom. *High Five*

Alright first of all my companion.... I can´t explain much... He is thee best missionary I have ever met in the existence of my life... He is going to be finishing his mission in 2 transfers so most likely I will be killing him... Not literally don´t worry... Missionary term for his last companion. He served in Bolivia for 3 months waiting for his Visa for his real mission call to Venezuela then his mission In Venezuela got shut down about 3 months ago so he was reassigned to THE BEST MISSION IN THE WORLD, Chile Antofagasta. It's funny he always tells me stories of his ¨First Mission¨ or ¨Second Mission¨ hahah. He actually extended his mission a month because he wanted to learn English... So we try to speak a lot of English in the pension for him. He is one of the best teachers I have ever met and he just has a gift for being a missionary. I honestly feel like I'm a new missionary again.

First of all being Zone Leader over 16 missionaries and also trying to learn the be at the level of Elder Choque. I feel honored but also like I'm not living up to my calling at times. I am not gonna lie... I was a terrible missionary before. Getting here and seeing how obedient, how he teaches, how he acts, is really just on a WHOLE new level of what a missionary should be. I am sooo excited to hopefully one day get to his level. He was Assistant in his last mission right before it got shut down so he really knows what he´s doing. I have never been so tired. So obedient, my legs have never hurt so bad, for how hard we are working. and it's only been a week. It's hard to explain of how my mind set has changed in seeing what potential I have as a missionary and how I haven´t been living up to it the past year of my mission. I know Elder Choque is with me for a reason. I am starting from scratch on how to REALLY be a missionary. I couldn´t be more excited. Elder Choque has 3 Siblings, 2 are return missionaries and he is from a place called Santa Cruz Bolivia. The same city where all my Bolivian Converts are from. He is awesome. We never have a dull moment together. Super super easy to get along with. I´ve got a lot to learn.

Also like I said I'm living with my BFF Elder Joseph Sargent. He´s quite the clown. It's awesome being with him. I'm sitting right next to him right now. It's so weird telling all the members that we were best friends growing up. We have a lot of fun together. He is a great missionary that just hasn´t had the success he deserves with the baptisms. But he has helped so many people. I love the kid to death. He is a great District Leader! 

Last week the mission had the sick opportunity to hear from a quorum of the 70, Elder Spannous. He is from Argentina and it was such an amazing experience. Too many things to write that I learned. But he did leave us with a challenge to read the Book of Mormon before September 1st marking all the things that talk about Jesus Chirst, the Atonement, and the doctrine of the church. He promised us with a greater testimony of the BoM and of Jesus Christ. So I started the Book of Mormon from the start, I'm on Chapter 15 right now. I can already see the difference from marking all those things. It really is another testament of Jesus Christ. I love that book so much. 

Here in our Sector we are on the hunt. We don´t have very many investigators that are progressing so we are doing lots of activities to find new people. Something we are focusing on is going to the Feria. It's like a yard sale except in the street and it's about 3 miles long of people selling clothes, food, random crap, and missionaries shining shoes for free and giving out free candy to hear about our message :) hahah it's super fun. We have found some really good prepared people through this and actually one of the people that we shined his shoes came to church yesterday. MISH. (Chilean word for cool) The Feria is a great place to find people. haha Elder Sargent and I got a Chilean Kiss (on the Cheek) and offered 1 Luca (2 Dollars) from an old lady who really likes to hear the word of God hahah it was super funny.

Our pension (house we live in) is on the 3rd story. We live above our Mamita, and recently they built a new Level for us missionaries. We call it the Tree House because of how small it is and how high we are and how freezing it is in the morning and just how much fun it is hahahah. The whole pension is as big as my room back in Tierra Amarilla. I can walk from one side to the other in 9 steps (I tested it out haha). All 4 of us sleep in the same room with our beds right next to each other and then our kitchen is our living room as well and then the bathroom. We actually have hot water so that makes me happy :) We are super close with the Elders living in the pension cause we literally do everything right next to each other. Elder Sargent and I have fun living with 2 Latins. Elder Sargent´s comp is from Santiago Chile. The Pension is right next to a busy busy street but I'm already used to hearing car alarms and big buses passing by. It's like the movies when you think of New York City... I'm living in New York! Our Mamita cooks soooo delicious! 

Our Sector is super super flaite, or in English terms, ghetto. Elder Sargent has had some crazy experiences here and there are very very bad living conditions for the people here. It is a very humble part of Antofagasta. The very most northern part of Antofa. There are lots of crimes that happen here and it's just super flaite haha I like it a ton. It makes for cool pictures. Our Sector is also a giant hill. We walk so much up and down the hill haha My legs are getting a burn! But it's all good. The Sector is right next to where I started the Mission, about 10 minutes walking I can be in my first Sector. I have already seen 1 person I knew from a year ago. It's awesome.  

Antofagasta is gorgeous the sunsets are out of this world. It's so gorgeous being right next to the beach. I love it here. It actually rained on Thursday for the 2nd time in my mission. Funny thing is the first time it rained in my mission I was right next door here a year ago in Antofagasta. It was actually raining pretty hard which sucks for the people here cause their houses just aren't made for rain. Lots of damage was done. But It's only water... I have fleas right now. The first night here and lately I've been getting bit sooo much I think they are in my bed.. My stomach is full of bites haha I think its kinda funny I hope I don´t die. I´ll spray my bed today.. Darn fleas... hahah

The ward is doing great about 80 people are coming every week, There have been some bad disobedient missionaries here in the past so we have gained a lot of confidence with the members and especially the Bishop lately. The Bishop is super super good very direct with the members, maybe too direct but he wants them to work. Now that the Zone Leaders recently started being in this Sector the Bishop has more confidence in us. Our investigators are awesome we have 2 that want to get baptized so bad they just have to get married first... Chile for ya... We are working hard with them to get them over to the government building and get them married. They are so prepared I love it. The Sector and the mission is great. Sorry this was a long email. Lots to say. Love you all so much. I'm happy. I'm excited to learn so much from Elder Choque, my new Companion. I'm a new Missionary!! 

Mom You´re the Best

Elder Paxman

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