This week was totally and completely hectic. Elder Allan F. Packer and his wife came down to Punta Arenas along with President and Sister Obeso. Elder Christiansen and I were running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to choose a chapel, clean and prepare it, organize a lunch for 24 people and transport it to the chapel (all under 70 dollars,) make sure the missionaries arrived on time, and try to be ready ourselves. Also Christiansen and I are on a pretty strict diet and are waking up at 6:00 ever morning to try and break a good sweat and get a jump on the day.
So Tuesday Christiansen and I prepared a 2 hour meeting where we taught the missionaries how to properly do the daily interviews that we do with each companionship under our responsibility over the phone and answered all questions concerning the visit of Elder Packer. We then shoveled down some lunch around 4:00 and went to one of the chapels in northern Punta Arenas to get plates, bowls, and silverware for the lunch and figure out how to get it into a taxi and over to the Austral (our chapel/ home base). We got it there then went straight back to Ovejero (the other chapel) for our weekly meeting with the stake president to discuss the needs and missionary work of the area. We then met with the stake relief society president to organize a group of sisters to help serve the lunch. We then tried for half an hour to catch a bus back to the house and made it just in time to go to bed.
Wednesday we had meetings all morning with several districts in our zone and we made sure what we had been teaching and applying in the zone was being correctly taught to the other missionaries. We then went and visited the less-active member family that had agreed to prepare the lunch and came to an agreement on the menu and gave them the budget money so they could start buying ingredients and food. We went and visited our relief society president and made sure she had been in contact with the stake RS president and coordinated the building reservations and other details. We were eating lunch around 5:00 when President Obeso called and told us the menu wasn’t what he wanted to eat and that we now had 20 dollars less in the budget. So we booked it over to the less-active family and changed the menu and reorganized what was possible with the money we still had available.
We had just finished that when we got a call from a district leader telling us two of his missionaries had been fighting so we went and figured that all out and then got home in time to call the assistant and give him our weekly report. Then called all of the missionaries to coordinate their interview times with president.
Thursday, more meetings, confirmed lunch and all the necessary help, and Christiansen and I cleaned the chapel. That’s when the assistant called us to confirm that we had everything ready. We were so proud and confident answering all his questions...until he asked if we had acquired a projector. The one that Elder Packer needed because the whole presentation was electronic? Yeah, that projector. Awesome is the word that comes to mind. So we started calling everybody in Punta Arenas and eventually found one, took a taxi to go get it, and spent an hour trying to figure it out and the best place to put it.
Friday everyone got there on time, and Elder Christiansen and I had an interview with Elder Packer and President Obeso concerning the zone and what they hoped to accomplish with the meeting and what was expected of us after they left. The first half of the conference was awesome and I especially enjoyed sister Packer´s comments on obedience and how important the Spirit is in missionary work. Everything went smooth...until the lunch didn’t show up. It came like an hour late but Elder Packer was awesome and improvised with a spiritual wisdom bomb and blew all of our minds. We ate and then finished up the conference. Christiansen and I had another interview with Elder Packer and President and we then cleaned the chapel once again. After we went and taught our first lesson of the week and did some tracting.
Saturday we had personal interviews with President Obeso, which happens every 3 months. I was the last interview and it was such a spiritual experience. President told me that I had progressed so much and congratulated me on how far I had come. He said that he didn’t say this to very many missionaries but that I had captured the vision and that I just understood. I don’t know exactly what he was talking about but it felt good. He had a lot of really nice things to say and also expressed the amount of trust he puts in me and the results he expects from me. You should never bask in your own glory but sometimes you just need to hear stuff like that and it felt so good. Afterwards, I got to call Elder Greenwood on Sister Obeso´s phone and talk to him for a few minutes. The punk is doing grand and his Spanish is coming right along. The kid is frustrating, but I really really miss him. He is going to go far and be the assistant one day.
Well Sunday was cool and got exciting when a bunch of drunk girls came to do some worshipping. Definitely one of the more memorable sacrament meetings / Sunday school classes in the history of ever.
I love you all. I am now going to go into hibernation and recover from the week.
Elder Aidan Rich