Firstly, my shoes. If you remember, I was sent with 2 pairs of shoes from missionary mall, both of which were guaranteed that if they did not last the two years, I could send a picture to them and they could give me a new shoe. Well, one pair, under the brand-name “Propét” died a few months ago. I am still using them becuase they still protect my feet fine, but I have holes in the bottom. It is possible that they can be used to get Ethan a new pair of shoes. The other pair that I have, “Dansko” are lasting really well. I would suggest that when he goes to buy shoes that you don’t buy anything by “Propét”, and instead buy “Dansko”. My “Propét” lasted me 1 year 6 months using it every other day, which is pretty good, but the “Dansko” have lasted until now and still are water tight.
It has been pretty fun to live with Elder Call. He is a very cheerful missionary. He is always in a good mood, always willing to help or to talk. We sit around in our free time occasionally and chat about Utah and skiing and whatnot.
Our proselyting area is big, but not that big. It is very spaced out, and does not have many streets. It also has very few people walking around in the street during the day, leaving us with very few people to be able to contact. It is also on the mountain, which in Santiago means that we have the richer neighbourhoods within our proselyting area. I am actually not 100% comfortable sharing with the people from those houses. They act differently than the people down below, and even though they are still good people, I am not sure what to say all of the time. The economic level in the richer part of Santiago is similar to the middle-upper class in Calgary, and the very richest is similar to the very richest in Calgary.
There is very little going on here in El Labrador. When I came, the missionaries did not have too many investigators. This can be understandable, as I left my area very much like that. What worries me is that there are some things that are happening that aren’t exactly following the spirit of obedience. The 4 of us eat lunch together. We have a family home evening together without an investigator. We aren’t contacting (my companion told me that before, they contacted 50 people as a companionship a day, but that is not something that changes day to night, so I kind of doubt it). They are resistant to obeying the little rules that President has given us, like not using a backpack or making sure that President always knows where we are on P-day. A couple times, I have been surprised and a little disappointed when my companion started making fun of me for doing my best to be obedient with things like following the new schedule that we have been given or trying to eat lunch with less active members as we have been asked to do on a number of occasions. It leaves me with the doubt: if there is little progress going on in this area, is it possible that there was also little obedience in this area? Time will tell. I asked the zone leaders to see the numbers of the last change to see more or less how the last change looked.
This is not just a problem in my area (although this a weak ward in the stake), but in the whole zone. Perhaps there was a reason that there was some kind of change that happened in every companionship except for the zone leaders a week ago.
There are a couple of people with baptismal dates. One is named Victor, who is a 17 year old kid living in a poor part of the area that has problems with everything in the word of wisdom. The other is a referral from the mission headquarters that immediately received us in her house, calmly accepted every commitment, and agreed to be baptized, come to church and read the first pamphlet (every time that she said “yes”, I became a little more stunned. It is kind of weird when people want to listen to us and are willing to make changes in their lives). Their names, respectively, are Victor and Evelyn.
Love you all. I am always happy to hear about everyone’s progress. I pray for you.