August 17, 2014 (Week 11)

My comp and I have actually been talking through a lot of problems in basically the mature, thoughtful manner you and dad taught me. For example, I felt like that he was talking too much during companion study and personal study with the other two missionaries, and he took my criticism in stride, which impressed me.

We in reality are talking too much and aren´t being properly focused. One partial member family said that they originally thought when we were starting to teach them that we were only going to talk about our church, but we only talk about our church for a minute or two then spend a couple hours joking with them. Whoops. They are right, of course, and I brought it up with Elder See and pointed out that we may have more success if we focus on the gospel and keep our meetings with people under an hour.

In reality, it´s more like I´m sitting in silence and Elder See is talking for two hours. Chileans are just so darn hard to understand. They either speak with the power of lightning, and they don´t finish their words, and either way I just don´t have the vocabulary to keep up.

I do have a cool story about the gift of languages, speaking of not being able to understand anyone. I have been working really hard to master at least the regular forms of future, preterit and imperfect tenses. The thing about Spanish is every tense has it´s own conjugation, but they are definitely not interchangeable and I am having trouble keeping them all straight in my head. Because of all our meetings we had, yesterday we could only make it to two citas with investigators. The first one, we didn´t start with a prayer, and I couldn´t speak to save my life. Mind you, there was a three year old kid who was doing all in his power to distract everyone in the room, but I just couldn´t talk. But the second lesson we did start with a prayer, and during that lesson not only could I talk, but I remembered my tenses. This lesson was with active members who wanted to go to the temple, but that doesn´t change the fact that in this lesson I was speaking better in Spanish than I think I ever had before in my entire mission.

We are having success. One investigator, Jeremy, has a baptism date. That was really exciting, until he said he is also living with his girlfriend. Gosh dang it. I guess we are going to be teaching about the law of chastity and trying to get those two married.

Elder Mathewson

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