Troy’s Letter: November 15, 2010

15 11 2010

Ovalle, Chile

Hey family!

So here I am in OVALLE!!  Still in the north, just right under Coquimbo.  This week has been absolutely ridiculous and I can’t believe I’m already writing you all again.  I have to say that you sent very awesome letters today.  Taryn’s letter was the best by far.  I spent twenty minutes going over it and remembering hikes and adventures that I had in Provo.  Very well done, Taryn.  Savannah, you are just straight up embarrassing with your Harry Potter.  Mom I’m glad to hear that you’re feeling better.  I have been praying for Grandpa Nolder.  I’m sure everything will turn out for the best.  Dad, I love hearing from you.  It gets me stoked for the mission.

So, OVALLE—haha.  This place is sweet, but soo, soo hot.  I’m no longer right by the ocean, but it’s gorgeous.  I took the bus ride by myself because I was the only one coming out this way.  It was like an hour and a half bus ride and we drove right through the Andes Mountains.  It was amazing.  I took a video of all the mountains and everything. Ovalle is a city right in the valley.  On both sides are the tallest mountains ever. It’s a small little village—not really a city.  It’s a lot of fields and agriculture down here.  Gorgeous, but definitely hot.

Ovalle

I’m super stoked though.  My comp, Elder Vargas, is pretty new in the mission.  This will be his third change and he has a lot of potential.  He is a really hard worker.  He reminds me of an unstoppable Mexican ant—haha.  Now I just have to teach him to work not only hard, but also intelligently.  We have had an awesome first week together and we are already really good friends.  This change is going to be sweet!  I was super blessed to be put here.

This week we already have a baptism on Saturday!  A return missionary, Guillermo, who was less active but is now reactivating, is going to baptize his wife Vanessa this Saturday.  I’m so stoked about it.  I’ve only known them for a week but I already love them both.  They’re both so awesome.  Then the week after, we have another baptism—Pablo, an 18 year old kid, who has been going to church for two years and waiting to get baptized because his parents didn’t want him to.  He’s a sweet kid and I have a feeling that he could be an amazing missionary.  We also have two other investigators that have a baptismal date—Nilda, a 50-year-old woman who lives out in the middle of nowhere—haha.  On Saturday, Elder Vargas and I also met with Mauricio, a 28 year old family member of some recent converts, who committed to a baptismal date.

This week was awesome.  I did my first interchange as District Leader with Elder Purnell.  I showed him how to talk with everyone in the streets and be creative in finding new investigators instead of just knocking on doors.  I also had my first baptismal interview!  I interviewed Robinson, an investigator of the zone leaders, who is also getting baptized this Saturday.

A sad moment for Elder Lloyd and me as we learn that our companionship has come to an end...

The ward here is very, very small and mostly consists of really old people—haha.  The branch president asked me to give like a 15-minute talk in Sacrament meeting about the retention of new converts.  It was sweet.  We just have to bring a bunch of ÁNIMO (excitement) for the work here.  We’re going to work on a lot on reactivating priesthood holders and get this branch on its own two feet again.  Ovalle is really small and this place hasn’t had a lot of success lately.  I have a lot of faith for Ovalle.  I’m doing my best to motivate the crap out of all the missionaries here.  It’s so amazing how when we change our attitude the Lord blesses us so much.  My district is awesome and we are totally going to turn this place around.  The mission is going to look at Ovalle in a couple of months and be like whoa!  What happened to Ovalle?!

The best part of everything is that Elder Hughes is my zone leader now!!!  Haha! We were both junior comps living together like three changes ago and now we are zone and district leaders here in Ovalle.  We are going to bring back the ÁNIMO!  Haha!  I love the mission and I’m so stoked to be here and see changes and miracles.  I love you all.  There’s a lot more to say but it will have to wait for next week…

Love, Elder Teeples

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