First things first...Hayden has been gone one month! I can hear the giggles from all you returned missionaries and missionary families. But...to us a month is a big deal. I remember having a conversation with Hayden on this very topic before he left. It went something like..."You can do this Hayden! Imagine you have a six-foot-sub sandwich to eat. You aren't going to eat the whole thing in one bite. You are going to take one bite at a time. Think of that on your mission. Little by little you are going to "eat" away at the days. One week will become two and two weeks will turn into a month and so on..." Well, he has eaten a month's worth of his six-foot-mission-sub-sandwich!
He had a lot of great stories to tell this week. Read on...
"Hello familia y amigos!
Como estas? Wow, I am fantastic at Spanish. Haha! I hope that you have all had a great week with school and what not starting up! Yes, I just had to retype week because I spelled it weak. My English has done been begun to hit the road. However, it is pretty amazing to see how quickly we are able to progress in Spanish. I have definitely had a lot of help from the Big Guy upstairs. This brings me to my topic this week. The week of firsts.
I had my first dream in Spanish, and my roommates tell me that I talked the whole time.. So that was a cool experience. Maybe I will be that awkward missionary who can't speak his native language after all..
Another cool first was I got my life threatened for the first time! Haha! Through a mixture of charades and fast Chilean mutters.. This guy told us that we need to hang ourselves, he was going to stab us, and that we love Satan.. Ok it wasn't really that cool. The dude was 75 and walked with a cane. He was also like 5 feet tall.. Nonetheless you could say that I have survived a big time assault. Oh, did I mention he was also behind a fence?
I also had the pleasure of a Chilean first. I survived an earthquake. I was just sittin' there doing something or another then whaddya know? Everything started shaking. My district failed every safety drill we have ever had.. We kinda just sat there and laughed while all the pictures and stuff were rattling.. Apparently the earthquake was in the news back in the states. You all know a survivor.
Every day brings a new first of some sort. One morning this week I was our for a run to one of the tallest buildings in South America.. This dog followed us. Then it got hit by a car. Poor little perro.
Anyways, life is good around 5,000 miles South. I am humbled each and every day to know that I get to do the Lord's work for these amazing people down here. They are amazing and I am able to learn so much from everybody I meet. If you get a chance this week, watch the Mormon Message, Because of Him. It is awesome. It pretty much sums up the reason I am out here doin' what I'm doin'."
Have a good week my friends,
Hayden will be out in the field before long. We are looking forward to hearing where he ends up and who gets to be his senior companion/trainer. We are proud of him and his hard work. We miss him like crazy and pray for him constantly. Thanks for all your love and support. Now...I think I'll go make myself a sandwich.
A view of the Andes Mountains. (Remember it is winter down there.)
The Santiago Temple at night. I believe this view is from the MTC. (I could be wrong.)
Hayden being Hayden...