Called to Serve - Osorno, Chile

Elder Keenan Robertson is serving in the Osorno Chile Mission as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Elder Robertson left on July 16, 2013 and will return sometime around July of 2015. Missionaries have a limited time to respond to all the E-mails and letters they receive so we will include here some of his letters home so that friends and family can keep up to date on how things are going for him and his ministry among the wonderful people of Chile.

Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013

This week was really good; we started the week off awesome.  We taught a ton of lessons but by the end of the week it slowed down again.  We had six citas (appointments) Saturday and all of them fell through but one.  The one cita was really the only time we even talked to people.  It’s crazy ‘cause we probably contact 60 o(or) 70 houses in a day and probably talk to 5 o 6 people.  It’s crazy!  Our whole zone is struggling number-wise.  We don`t stop working though!  It would help if people listened a little more ha-ha.  Oh well, the lesson we had on Saturday was really awesome, it was with a menos activa (less-active) family.  It was awesome; I taught most of the lesson in half decent Spanish!  I realized I had been talking a ton so I stopped and looked at Elder Parsons so he could talk and he just said, “No, keep going!”  It was cool.  The spirit was cool ‘cause the lesson was really aw some and the spirit was strong and I don`t even know what I was saying most of the time!  Elder Parsons said it made sense though so that’s good.

I’m excited because I might get to watch conference in English!!!!!  Maybe I could get something out of it!  I’m guessing three temples in Utah!  President Monson is going to announce at least 20.  I`ve started working out a lot more rigorously in the mornings and it helps me feel way better throughout the day.  It’s starting to warm up so I’m hoping for basketball soon!

We had a super, super awesome lesson with our only real investigator ______ the beginning of the week and the spirit was so strong, his wife was in tears ‘cause she was bearing her testimony so much (she’s a member).  He was so close to accepting a baptism date but he just said, “someday elders, someday.”  We are working really hard with him.  This week we are going to focus on finding new investigators so I hope that goes well.  We teach a lot of menos activos and it’s been really good.  We usually have a few menos activos each week in church. The family I mentioned earlier has been coming a lot so that’s good.
The weather has been great here, still sunny!!!!  I smashed my finger good this week, that hurts quite a bit.  We chop wood for service a lot and it’s really fun.  Things are good here I’m starting to feel kinda healthy so hope I stay that way!  I’m pretty sure I’m definitely not going to gain weight ha-ha I always get a little sick after lunch and I don`t eat too much outside of that.  I’m excited, when I’m done emailing I’m going to go beat a bunch of elders at ping pong. :)

I think I’m going to buy vitamins, they are expensive but it will last almost a year.  I think vitamins will help just because I pretty much eat basically the same :) meat rice meat beans meat soup meat noodles and oil ha-ha.

For the fleas we just bought a bunch of spray, it’s called Tanex.  It’s like raid.  It worked pretty good.  They’re not nearly as bad.  Everything is super awesome we teach a lot of menos activos and a lot of them are starting to come back!!  Spanish is coming along really well.  I’m talking a lot more and that’s how I learn.  Tell everyone to keep sending emails I love reading them so much!!!!!  I’m just not good at responding.

Nos vemos!!! or in Chilean, No Vemo :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013

Well, the food finally hit me.  The human stomach can only take so much oil!!! haha  Not sure how Chileans are alive...My stomach was pretty upset for awhile but it seems to be getting better.

The dogs are crazy, haha, and i have have fleas!  We are going to try and buy some spray to kill them but all the missionaries I`ve talked to say they get them in the summer and they all die in the winter.  It's not too bad, thankfully, but they are annoying!  I have a funny dog story.  So on the street where I live there is this medium sized wiener dog that hates us but it's terrified of us.  So usually it stays as far away as it can from us.  But one day it got really close to us so we started running after it.  We chased it the whole street so it stays even farther away now! haha

The weather is still really amazing, it's nice and sunny.  The only bad thing is in the morning it is so cold!  When it warms up, we are going to start playing basketball with some other elders.  So I'm excited for that!

Thanks for the prayers!  I love prayer!  It helps a lot!

This week was super uneventful because we couldn't go out except to set visits.  Chilean holidays are just an excuse to eat and get as drunk as possible.  It was funny walking around and seeing people walking in zigzags down the sidewalk.  They warmed us about getting robbed but i wasn't too scared. :)

We meet as a zone every week and I think the zone leaders always have packages and letters and stuff so I'll get it on a Tuesday, just not sure which one.  Hopefully soon though, I'm excited, thanks for sending it!

Well, I think that's everything, I will try and start writing letters.  I don`t think it's too expensive.

September 16th, 2013

This week has been awesome, it’s been sunny!!!!! :)  Yesterday there was a rain storm that came out of nowhere it was tons and tons of rain and hail!  The streets were all flooded and it looked like it had snowed after!  But it only lasted for probably 15 minutes.  It’s been really sunny just freezing cold!  The catholic family hasn´t been there so we haven´t taught them again.  _______ is good he just isn´t sure about baptism.  This week is going to suck because it’s a huge holiday so I have to stay inside most of the week.  We have found a few people to teach but we have to wait until after el 18 de septiembre, it’s their Independence day and it lasts all week.  It’s cool seeing all the flags here.  It’s really neat!  It’s funny because, outside of septiembre, it’s illegal to have a flag outside.  In septiembre it’s illegal to not have a flag outside!  I was almost bit again by the same dog I told you about.  We were walking by the same house and didn´t see it so we kinda forgot about it and just kept going and it snuck up behind us and almost got my arm!  I’m pretty sure it’s possessed and hates missionaries.  We also have this dog that is really cool that’s been following us around, we call it cheesy, haha!  Yesterday these two dogs were coming at us and cheesy ran over and fought them both it was crazy!  Most of the dogs though on the street are nice and just scared of everyone; it’s the dogs behind the fences that are psycho.  

The language is good, I can understand a little and I can talk ok.  It’s definitely not what I learned in the MTC :).  Right before I left the MTC, President said the Spanish in the MTC isn´t spoken anywhere in the world!!! It’s super hard understanding Chileans sometimes because some of them don´t say their "s" so that makes it hard, and they like to mumble!

There is a siesta so we go out a little bit before lunch for an hour and then we have lunch for an hour and then more study time until 3:00 then we stay out from 3-9:30.  P-day we email, shop, and clean, and then just sit around ‘cause it’s raining, but today is sunny so we might go down to the river because sometimes there are sea lions, so that could be cool.  Every once in a while there are big zone trips but that hasn´t happened yet.  We run a little bit.  Lately we just stay home and do push-ups and sit-ups because it’s so cold in the morning.  We can´t play soccer :/ too many elders got hurt.  There is a Ping-Pong table in my church though!  Our heater is this dinky little propane heater that sucks.  It’s pretty cold most of the time!  But we have a propane water heater, so it’s all good!

Well everything is good, I love it here tons!  Thanks for the email.  I love reading everything!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

September 9, 2013

Chile is freakin' great I love it!  I mostly stay in the city, my ward has two pairs of missionaries. My sector is pretty small compared to the mission but its still huge.  We walk everywhere and we use these cars that are like taxis to get everywhere.  They are called collectivos.  Spanish is awesome I'm understanding a lot more and I can speak ok...sometimes :)  My address 965 Felix Garcia.  I think you might not find it though because lots of places have the same street names.  It's super small though, it's an add on to a house so it's tiny.  I'll send pics but its kinda dirty.  The elders before left it destroyed and we just haven´t had time to clean it up, that's what we are doing today.

The place where we email is far away from where I live so i don´t print anything off and its pretty expensive.  So when I got here I got a jacket and rain pants which are super awesome but I've discovered my "waterproof" stuff is only waterproof for up to 4 days of nonstop rain!! :)  It was crazy, for 4 straight days it rained non-stop and so then everything was soaked, thoroughly.  I got tired of the rain so the fourth night I said a prayer that the rain would stop and it would be super sunny and no clouds.  Guess what happened!!!!  I woke up and there wasn't a cloud in the sky!  It was awesome, specific prayers work!  Make sure you all pray morning and night! :) Personal and family prayers.  And read El Libro de Mormon as a family! 

The dogs are insane here!  They are everywhere and some of them, I think, are satan.  But he is a snake so they are as close as you can get!  I've gotten pretty good at the fake rock pickup ha-ha that scares them.  Sometimes they don´t get scared and so I really have to throw rocks. There was one dog we scared running one morning and it full blown-out attacked us!  We had to kick it and run back the other way 'cause it was so mad. 

Things are awesome here I can´t wait to go shopping cause I love the food.  We don´t get a lot of money so breakfast and dinner are usually super small with a huge lunch!  The food is awesome we get a lot of meat and veggies. 18 de Septiembre is coming up and its their independence day celebration.  They celebrate a whole week and Chile shuts down.  So that whole week we have to stay inside!!  We can go to members' houses so we have a couple citas(appointments) set up.  They eat lots of empanadas and alfahors.  Alfahors are these little pieces of bread or cracker with this super amazing caramel stuff!  Sooooooo good.  I'm going to come home fat! :) haha.  Just kidding, probably not.  Other than lunch and holidays I don´t eat much.

Last night on of our investigators was super sick so we didn't get to teach him but we gave him an awesome blessing.  I anointed him in perfect Spanish!!!!!!!  I studied and prayed soooo much, but it worked! 

Thanks for the emails.  Things are awesome here and it rains.... a ton ;) and that's a huge understatement!  I love it tons.  I pray for all you guys everyday!  Stay safe and I love you all!!!!!

(Elder Robertson hasn't been able to send pictures yet, we sent him a memory card reader and so hopefully he will be able to send some pics soon.)

Monday, September 2, 2013

September 2, 2013

Well my first area is Valdivia!  I'ts the second most northern part of my mission.  My sector is Angachilla II.  There are two stakes in Valdivia!  My sector covers half of a ward so there is a pair of missionaries for the other half.  It is awesome here!  My trip went good, the flights were pretty boring but the food was freaking amazing!  I didn't think airplane food would be very good haha, but it was!  Flying from Santiago to Puerto Montt was awesome!  It is so green here and I thought I was flying into a picture of Scotland!!!!  Sorry I didn't call, the phones in Mexico were all broken and in Chile it cost $41 for the first 5 minutes and $5 for every other minute, in U.S. dollars!!!  So it was too expensive.

My trainer's name is Elder Parsons, he's awesome, I like him a lot, he has only been on his mission for 6 months!  He's cool and he is a good trainer.  It's cool here, I love it so much!  The weather is cloudy and rainy but I like it!  It's pretty cool temperature-wise.  But summer is just around the corner so its warming up!  Today is the first sunny day since I've been here, which is awesome, I love the sun! 

Valdivia is a pretty hard area right now, we didn't have any serious investigators until yesterday and Saturday. Now we are teaching a man named _______, who has been investigating the church for over 5 years but missionaries have never taught the lessons!!  His wife is a member which is good.  He believes everything is true but he has his concerns.  They're a really cool family I like them a lot.  We also found a catholic family that is super receptive but some of their catholic beliefs are pretty ingrained into them.

It's awesome here i love it!  I'm so exhausted at nights and I'm asleep before my head hits the pillow.  My schedule is nice, I go to bed at 11 and wake up at 7!  The people are awesome here and I love them!  We don´t have a mamita (like a maid, common in Chile) here but the members feed us everyday for lunch.  I'm going to have to get used to the eating schedule here.  Super tiny breakfast and dinner and then a monster lunch.  The food is super great and I like it a lot!

For breakfast and dinner I'll mostly eat fruit, after I'm done emailing we are going shopping.  Fruit here is awesome you can buy a kilogram of apples for about .75 cents to a dollar depending on where you go.  And it's awesome 'cause they have so much fruit!!!!!!!!  I love it a lot! :)   

The language is coming slow but its alright.  I can speak half decent but understanding is tough!  I'm pretty sure everyone here speaks a different language ha-ha.

Well I don´t have a ton of time on the computers so sorry this isn't longer.  I'm not sure if i'll be able to send pics because of the computers where I'm at.  The USB ports are melted so you can´t put anything in :/ sorry about that! 

The area I'm in is pretty hard, but the members are awesome and my ward is super great!  The city is cool and I liked walking around this morning just looking at everything.  The food's great and I love it!  Fruit is so cheap here it's awesome! :) Studying the gospel and teaching people has been great!  It's hard but worth it!

It's awesome here and I love it so much!!!!!!!!!! :) Love you tons!

(We didn't get any pics from Elder Robertson this time so we threw on a couple of pictures from the internet of Valdivia)

Just got a picture of Elder Robertson with his companion, the mission president, and his wife.