This internet cafe smells like weed.

The title of the email should explain a lot. Makes my head hurt… It’s one of the bad things about Chile…the stuff is everywhere. 

But this week was one of those weeks where a lot of great stuff happened. Looking back on the week I feel like it was actually two weeks because so much happened. 

Well to start things off, I was in a trio for part this week. A missionary in my ward went home so we had to take his companion in with us “indefinitely”. Which luckily only turned out to be a day. Being in a trio is a very weird experience. It’s different to contact people with two other comps and the teaching cycle gets kind of messed up. But we managed and the new missionary that got here is super dope… Elder Santos (de los ultimos dias) from The United States of Brasil.

Also this week I had to give the gospel principles class. This isn´t something new for me because I have had to give the class before. And with the manual it is actually really easy to do. But every other time I have taught I had at least an hour to for the least read the book. But my preparation this last Sunday was that they did a prayer to start the class and then the resident of the class told me that I had to teach (he also asked me what class number we were on so I really could have taught whatever I wanted to… I played fair). The class was gifts of the spirit. And it was actually super awesome that I got to teach the class because the family that is going to get baptized this next week was there, so I got to direct the class in a way that would help them more personally (don´t worry I made sure everyone participated). 

But yea the family that should get baptized this next week is the Family Gatica (only the dad has that last name but thats what we call them). But the dad is Luciano the mom is Jimena and the son is Abiel, they also have a daughter who is three that is Luciana. Elder Martinez and I found them and they have accepted everything that we have taught. Including that Jimena gave up tea and smoking in FOUR DAYS… And they are super awesome! I love that family. 

They gave us a dinner this last Saturday which was pretty awesome. They made two chickens… that were stuffed with meat, sausage, ham and cheese. It was the best food that I have ever had here in Chile. (I took a picture it was so good!) 

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Chicken, meat, sausage, ham and cheese at La Casa Gatica

But yea that was the week. More happened but Im terrible for remembering things… Next time I guess. 

Spiritual thought:

Nephi made large and small plates when he was writing the history of his people. The large plates was the history of the kings and wars and other things like that that happened to the people of Nephi. The small plates were the things that happened having to do with the ministry unto the people of Nephi as well as the revelacions received by the prophets in the Americas. 

Our mission president (Prez V-Dawg Videla) always talks about this. With everything that happens to us there are things for both plates. The story that happened… or the actual physical events that took place. And the things that we learned from the experience. He always says at the end of a zone conference “now what was learned today that wasn´t talked about”. Which is super cool because he doesn´t expect us to write notes of every detail of every class, but on what the spirit tells us specifically that we can do with the information received. 

Like Nephi we need to remember the events of both the large and small plates. But Nephi put more importance into the small plates because they are what makes a difference in the lives of those that read the book of mormon. 

Just a thought. 

Elder Rusick 

Soy Elder Rusick y mi compañero de… anywhere but Argentina

So this week what happened was that Argentina beat the US in the Copa America. Chile also beat Colombia. So Chile played Argentina Sunday in the final. All week people were talking trash to my comp about the year before. He handled it pretty well and always said “we`ll see whoever is better Sunday”. And then.. Chile won. And everybody,,, EVERYBODY had to say something to my comp. It was pretty sad to see adult members talk so bad to a missionary just because of a soccer game and he was from the other side. But life goes on and we keep working.

We saw some pretty awesome things happen this week. We had a stake conference. And normally the stake center is here in San Felipe in one of the other wards here. But its closed for maintenance. So the next biggest chapel is in Los Andes (still part of the stake but in a different city). Like a good 45 minutes away. But we still were able to bring 3 people. Luciano and his son Abiel (Jimena couldn’t make it because her sister was staying with them that weekend) and Diana (a family from the ward brought her). SO it was pretty awesome to have a couple of people go to church this last week and hear a general authority talk even though it was a good drive away. 

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Companiero Matching Ties

But other than that it was a pretty normal week. a little slow because my comp has to learn the sector and all that and because we had to travel a bit for the conference Saturday night and Sunday morning. But we still got work done. We are in the act of finding new people to teach which is alwas fun. 

Spiritual Thought:

The Elder Krasnoselsky was the General Authority that spoke at the stake conference this week. He spoke a lot on the importance of the missionary work of members. (or better put the work of salvation in its five parts: the missionary work of the members, retaining of converts, reactivation of less actives, family history and temple work, and the teaching of the doctrine of Christ). But one thing that I loved that he talked about was that we cannot have fear to open our mouths and share the gospel with people. There are a ton of scriptures that talk about that the words will be put in your mouth … if you open it. 

But he talked abouyt everything starts with a good invitation. 

So I INVITE all of you to invite someone else to participate in something with the church (I feel like a missionary that just left the MTC but oh well..) 

Ya? ¿Lo haràn?

With love 

Elder Rusick

CHE

So here we have the start of a new change in the mission chile Santiago Norte. Lots of things have changed. We only have 176 missionaries in the mission (this time last year we had like 220) so sectors have been closed or put together and they put a couple of the zones together. We´re a small mission now. But also here in San Felipe we had some changes too. Elder Martinez left… And Elder Sanchez has arrived. He´s from Santa Cruz…. Argentina (CHE) . 

Elder Martinez … and Elder Sanchez

He´s really cool. He just finished his training. So he´s got a good three months in the mission. He just got here to his second sector and I will be his second comp. Oh yea and he’s my first latin comp. ¡¡¡¡POR FIN!!!! only took 378 days here in Chile to get a native Spanish speaker as a companion.

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Zone Volleyball Game

I don´t know how many of you are familiarized with the accents of south american Spanish speakers but the Argentinos have to be the most famous. Every time there is an “ll” or a “y” the pronounce it with a very distinct “SSHH”. And the Chileans aren´t a huge fan of it … they´re actually not big of fans of the Argentinians in general.. But I think its awesome.

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Zone Selfie

Also The US is playing Argentina in the Copa America tonight… Companionship rivalry…. (pray for a tie..)

Spiritual thought: 

3 nefi 14: 24-27

My comp shared this last night and I really like it. 

THe wise man builds his house upon the rock. 

The foolish man builds his house upon the sand. 

When the rain comes, the house on the rock stays up, and the house on the sand falls. 

He who listens to and obeys the word of the Lord and the principles of the gospel builds his house on rock… He who does not builds upon sand. 

Rain and wind (trials) will always come, if your house (testimony) is built on rock (follow the teachings of the savior) it won´t fall down.

Elder Rusick

Does the choir count as fellowshipping?

So this week in San Felipe was pretty missionary-like. We contacted people. We taught people about the gospel and the restoration (spell check?), and we even brought people to church (best family ever). But yea thats about what happened. But the family that came to church is awesome, its the family that I was telling ya’ll about like two weeks ago (Luciano, Jimena and their two kids Abiel and Luciana… the mom Maria couldn’t make it this week). But they´re awesome. They didn’t go last week because they were all sick but called us specifically to let us know that they would be going to church on Sunday either way this last Sunday… and the did (Don´t you just love it when people tell the truth?). 

But yea so they went to church… Loved it. But one of the hermanas from the Soc-Soc (sociedad de socorro.. or the releif society) asked if they could sing. The wife, Jimena, said yes. The family is now part of the ward choir… I love this family and also I love the small acts like that that the members can do to help those friends that are investigating the church. 

But other than that the week went pretty normal. 

Peanut butter and Nutella with bananas on toast!!!!

One thing though. So a new law was released here in Chile and everyone that rides a bike after like 6 at night has to wear a shiny orange reflector vest. And we happen to ride bikes after 6 at night. So we have to wear shiny orange reflector vests. Which isn’t bad, they keep us safe. But as if we didn’t already stand out enough, and the people didn’t already think we were weird enough. Now we have brightly colored jackets…. But it is how it is. 

Spiritual thought:

In the first chapter of book of Alma we read of the persecutions that those of the church had to go through by the hand of those that were not a part of the church. And in verse 25 we read:

Now this was a great trial to those that did stand fast in the faith; nevertheless, they were steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God, and they bore with patience the persecution which was heaped upon them.

We read of the patience through sufferings that the members of the church had. That they were “steadfast and immovable” in the commandments and their duties. 

It goes on to say that the kept on with their callings in the church, like teaching one another and visiting the sick and giving to the needy. And with that slowly the began to prosper. and in their prosperous circumstances they remained humble and never forgot those in greater need. 

Exercising the patience in trial is part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And as we put in our best effort to do so we begin to prosper spiritual and temporally. (I would say mostly spiritually)

Elder Rusick 

When the dog bites When the bike breaks I simply rememebr my favorite things

First week in San Felipe is down and out here is waaaay different than Santiago. It would be like the difference between LA and some back woods town in Alabama. Like the people is Santiago speak some pretty bad Spanish, but here in the mountains its like have a bunch os peanut butter and mashed potatoes in their mouths when they talk (also a lot of them are mission at least one tooth…. AT LEAST, some (most) are missing a whole row of them. But the bad speaking is made up for because I can already tell that the people here a little bit more receptive than those in Santiago. Also the are a bit nicer,m they talk with us more and stuff like that. 

A ride in the country

But the sector and the work therein is going pretty good. Theres a lot of really good people that they already had here. And we also could find a bunch of new people this week and help some people progress a little bit more toward that ultimate goal (#getwet). 

One of the cool things about this sector is that it has some city parts (but its cool because its a smaller city called San Felipe (available on google street view)), but also we have way out there into the mountains. So every once and a while we take the bikes for a ride and we go out there and talk to the people and see how there doing. 

Since I mentioned the bikes i feel like I need to tell this story. Well, its not really a story its just stuff that happened this week. So… we had to go to the downtown area of our sector everyday this last week (except monday and sunday). We went to get the bikes fixed 4 times, the gears, the changer for the gear, the pedals, the breaks…. everything. We even had to walk back an hour in the rain from the mountains because we had a flat and no spares ni patches… But thats just what happens out here on bikes, but I should be good for a while because I pretty much had to buy a new bike (menos the frame). 

I knoiw some of you counted that I said that I went five days of the week downtown but only went to the bike shop four times. Good eye. Okay so When we were in one of the pueblitos I got bit by a dog. It wasn´t bad but it was bleeding. So I called Hermana Videla, and she told me I had to go to the Emergency room. So we did. It took us like an hour. We went and then when we got there we found out that there is a SAPU (like a smalled emergency room thing) in our sector and that we even passed it on the way to the hospital. The dog bite wasn´t bad. It was superficial so I didn´t get the shots or anything. 

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Dog Bites Elder

But thats pretty much the week. 

Spiritual thought.

In preach my gospel in chapter 6 (atrubutos de cristo) I was studying about the charity. And something stuck with me that I read. Charity is equal to the faith, it carries us to action. Faith isnt faith unless we use it, a testimony isnt a testimony unless we share it and love isnt love unless we show it. 

Elder Rusick

Aire Puro y Bicicletas

So, as i told my family this last Sunday during our mothers day conversation, I got taken out of my sector… so did my comp… and the other two missionaries in the ward. WHITEWASH!!!!!. 

And with that I am in a new zone a new sector with a new Compañero. I am in the zone of San Felipe, ward san felipe, sector san felpie 1. And here in San felipe we are the zone that is furtherest away from the office (except for the island). It’s in the mountains and is pretty close to the border with Argentina. We had to take a bus for like 2 hours to get here (I know that thats not too far but in this mission it is…). So my sector is on bikes!(like all of the sectors in San Felipe). I am going to have to get adjusted to riding a bike again. But also in this sector we have some pueblitos which should be pretty cool to go and check out.

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New (ish) Bike, New Bike Gear

Today we are in the “downtown” of San Felipe (the city) to write and all that stuff. Its a small town. It reminds me oF San Luis Obispo, it actually kind of freaks me out because it makes me feel like I´m there. 

But my comp is Elder Martinez. he is 18 years old and has about 7 months in the mission. He is from Mexi… Florida (which I am going to say is closer to being latin than any of my comps from Utah). I will still go a full year with having a comp from the states, but at least he looks like he’s not from the states. 

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Elders Martinez & Rusick

He’s a big kid. He played guard and center (football) in his high school in Orlando. And after the mission he is going to play at BYU Utah or Utah state. So thats going to be a strong talking point for us. 

Other than that not too much to talk about. I´ll inform you all more about the sector when I know more about it… Its my second day here. 

With all the changes I didnt have time to prepare a thought. more next week. 

Elder Rusick

(my legs and but hurt from the bike and bike seat)

Hola Yankee… Oh uhh Im a Dodger fan.

So ummm, Yea Noemi didn’t get baptized… She passed the interview and everything but she didn’t feel read on Thursday because her husband doesn’t really support it because he says its too soon. So after some talking we established another date (first Sunday of June- Baptisms are on Sundays in chile after sacrament meeting so that the people go), that, with his consent, she would be ready to be baptized for. But she has a testimony of everything, she just needs to go to church a few more times and know a few more of the members. 

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P-Day Ready

So theres that… *open mouth, *insert foot….

But this week has been pretty good. Elder Rasmussen (he’s going to be Elder Ras now because his name is too long to spell). Bu yea Elder Ras (much better) and I had a pretty good time finding new people to teach. And we really had a testimony builder from a couple of things. Prez V-dawg (Videla) challenged the mission to find more new people (because the mission was pretty low in that respect), so Elder Ras and I prayed everyday at least four or five time to specifically find new people. And prayer, diligent seeking, faith and obedience payed off. WE found seven new people. Which isn’t a whole lot but it was more than what we had done previously, and improvement is always a good thing. 

S my dad has asked me to start writing about who we have lunch and dinner with. First off here in Chile dinner only exists one night a year (christmas eve) every other night it is once (11 in Spanish- no I don’t know why it is called that) but its pretty much just bread (a maraqueta to be exact) and whatever they feel like that day. And we don’t take once with the members unless they ask us too. We take once in the house at 6. But we have luch with the memebers just about everyday. Normally we just eat chicken and rice or carne with rice. But some of the other stuff we eat are: porrotos (beans- ina soup with noddles or in a mass of mashed corn), humitas (mashed corn boiled in its own husk), pastel de papas (mashed potatoes with meat, onions, egg and olives), pastel de choclo (its pastel de papas but with mashed corn instead and sometimes it has chicken instead of carne), Cazuela (soup with carrots, and ear of corn (like half of one) and chicken leg, potatoes), Cherkycan (I dont know what it is but it is one of the most delicious things ever), sometimes we have an asado (Spanish for barbeque- but were not that lucky), and then a lot of pasta and food that is generally found in US. 

That would be my info on the lunch situation here in Chile. Sometimes they serve watita (stomach) but I havent had to eat it yet. Ill be sure to inform y’all next time I eat something new. 

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Is it apostasy to cover the BoM in Gold?

Spiritual thought:

“I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I wastaught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.”

I have read that so many times, but I have never been able to come up with a thought for it… until now. The “mysteries of God” in he guide fr studying the scriptures is defined as truths of the gospel revealed to men by the spirit. SO how did Nephi come to learn the mysteries of God. (I am reading the Book of Mormon again looking specifically for every situation that helped someone find the mysteries of God). But here in the first verse it says 1. he was born to goodly (noble and faithful) parents and he learned from them, 2. he passed through affliccions that tested his faith as a young boy, trials that soon helped develop him into the great prophet that he would become 3. he was favored by the Lord, and it explains later in the BoM that he was favored for his obedience (! nefi 3:4,5). 

Boom mind blown. 

Elder Rusick