Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Rafael Castillo- Week #27

Here comes the Blackout !!

Hello Moto

In case anyone was wondering, my blackout year is starting on Thursday. I will be gone all of 2009, hence I am physically blacked out from your lives, hence the term blackout. It is funny because 2007 seemed not so long ago, when I started BYU and everything, it has really flown by since then, and this past six 1/2 months have absolutely flown by. Those pictures were awesome! I kind of want you to send me the one of the family in front of the tree so I can put it in my album. Tomorrow we have zone conference, so we didn't get mail yesterday, which is annoying because I write letters today...but then get letters tomorrow that I could have responded to today. No, we are out working on New Year's Day and Eve, it isn't like la Navidad. The middle east situation sounds Second Comingish...also is everyone doing the prophetic challenge? In conference, President Monson asked us to pray for the areas of the world not open to missionaries, so we can preach the gospel there. Just a reminder. The death of Tobert Mulligan was a bit of a shock, but that still doesn't trump when you told me Bernie Mac died when I was in the MTC. Mom, don't worry about the garment thing, they are cotton polyester I think, but its all good, and I will start splurging on laundry. I splurged today and bought an American brand toothbrush. Oral B...only cost me 13 pesos. Elder Brett looks good, I wish there was cool places to take pictures in Castillo, but mostly I see dirt and dead dogs...just kidding, but I do have a story about that, we were walking in the street and saw a dog up ahead...then a black blur...then a crunching sound and yelping...then continual yelping and the poor dog squirming in the street until about 40 seconds later it died. The car didn't even slow down. We stood there and watched it as it tried to keep walking, but I think it broke the spine, then it died and we just kept walking...that is what the mission does to you...haha but no it was pretty sad.

So I guess you want to know how I felt after "the call" haha. I felt fine. I wasn't homesick or anything. Yeah, I probably could have talked to you all for a good 6 hours, considering I have done that with mom while I was at college, but the short call didn't put me in a bad place. I have a theory about homesickness. Homesickness isn't when you think about home, or want to be with your family. We are hardwired to want to be with family. Homesickness is letting that get in the way of what is more important, or letting it impede a more important progression...such as the SALVATION OF ALL MANKIND! So in short, no, the call didn't make me homesick, I smiled a lot after, and Elder Fox and I had a good time telling the other what our families said, but then the next day I was right back out to work, which brings me to my next point.

Yes, Elder González is senior companion, naturally, but basically I lead the area because he doesn't know anybody or anything in this area. Let's just say my first week leading the area was pretty boss. Not that I did it by myself, but there were a lot of miracles. We are currently carrying 4 indicators for the Estandarte, we did 28 lessons, found 16 new investigators, and did our 140 contacts, and that was with not working Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday. Monday was transfers, Tuesday p-day, and Thursday Christmas. Then the big news was after a 6 week drought of not having any investigators go to church (which is downright pathetic) we had three this past Sunday in Sacrament Meeting. Before you jump for joy though, they all have to get married because they are living in sin...haha...but seriously, nobody is married and it is just a bit frustrating. But still, I was pretty pumped up and thankful to Padre Celestial for blessing us so much this week. One of the people was some old man named Ramon, who is 74 years old, he has been living with his "señora" for 47 years, but they aren't married. He is still married to some woman from 49 years ago, but it cost too much money for a divorce, so he is waiting for the first wife to die, so he can marry the mother of his 6 children. Not too practical, but I admire his financial skills. When he showed up I told him I would take him into the Sacrament Meeting, and he grabbed my hand and said ¡vamos! he held my hand all the way to the pew, it was hilarious, and not to mention one of the best moments of my life. Then another woman there was Roxana, who has a set of twin daughters and another daughter. We found them on Wednesday, and they are already interested. The "husband" is too. Only Roxana came, to "see what it is all about" and really liked it, and we went by today to talk to her in passing to buy groceries and she canceled the appointment we had for tonight because she is taking her girls to mutual at the church...THATS WHAT I AM TALKIN BOUT ROXANA! Then we told her we would just meet her there and teach her in the chapel, with a member, and the Spirit, and the power and authority given us from God, also maybe cookies and dulce de leche. She said that would be fine, as long as it is Tapas cookies. Well time is up again, but I will be back to tell more next week. I am sending my memory card in the mail today or tomorrow as well, so be on the lookout for that. Elder Gonzalez and I made a Christmas present for you in the form of a video of us singing a Christmas carol. Enjoy that. I will tell more about him next week, I will just leave you with one of his characteristics...he is afraid of the dark...and that is not even a joke right now.

Love you all...and you, too.

Elder Sean

P.S. no, don't send me Ensigns, we got them finally, my MTC teacher is in one of the conference report pictures, GO HNO. CONDE



Sean called us at 12:30 p.m. on Christmas Day and we talked for 40 minutes. A funny story we wish to share with you happened a few days before Christmas. He and his companion were invited to a Peruvian family's house for dinner because they were moving back to Peru. They had a nice chicken dinner. After eating the chicken, the man of the house comes out with a big platter. There was an octopus on it. Sean said it was purple and didn't looked cooked. Only the tenticles looked fried. At first he was not going to try it, but ended up having some. He said it was very rubbery. He also said his favorite pastime on P-Day is to sit in the pench and relax in shorts. It is getting very hot in Argentina and thier pench has an air conditioner. Of course, the 40 minutes went by way too fast, but it was wonderful to speak to Sean. He sounded upbeat and happy. He didn't get invited to share Christmas Eve with any of the members, so they went back to their pench at around 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve. They did stay up until midnight and went out on their balcony to watch the fireworks. Some people were lighting fireworks across the street from them and some landed just about 10 feet from where he stood. Sean lives in a pench above a row of stores, so he really doesn't have any neigbors next to him.

Only 5 more months until the next phone call !!!

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