Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pangiapulli and Pucallpa

Saying goodbye in Mexico City


These last few weeks have been crazy! First, let me begin with the last week in the CCM! It was so much fun and so hard to pay attention! I wanted to get as much time with Bennett in as possible and study hard as well. There were still tons of pranks and fun though! Elder Padelsky ate a huge moth! I have a video of it! I'll try sending it!! On every Sunday everyone gets together to watch a movie! After the movie everyone sings goodbye to the elders who are leaving! They show a slideshow of all of the districts who are leaving! Bennett's group managed to sneak in circle signs in their picture! The whole auditorium busted up laughing. It was one of the funniest things I've ever seen!! 

Afterward we had a testimony meeting with all of the people who were leaving. Bennett and I both bore our testimonies. It was a very spiritual experience for the both of us! Luckily Bennett and I left on the same day! He left at 12:00 and I left at 4:00! It was so hard saying goodbye to him! I miss him so much already!! Calling everyone in the airport was awesome! It really gave me a much needed push! 

When we arrived in Osorno the A.P.s and our mission president were waiting for us with a huge mission flag! President Obeso came up to me and started talking about surfing!! It was awesome! One of the A.P.´s name is Elder Davis and he is from Temecula and knows Jake Billings!! He also knew me and several people from San Clemente!! It was awesome to see some familiar and friendly faces! It was super cold when I landed! We went to the mission home and had lunch with the president and he told us where we were headed. He told me I was going to Panguipulli! My trainer would be Elder Germann! The second he said that I knew that this is where I am supposed to go! We spent the night at a really cheap hotel and then went to the goverment building the next morning to work out our visas. After that we went to a nearby church building and met our companions. Elder Germann is the coolest! He is going to be a great trainer! He is from Austin, Texas and he plays collegiate golf!! 

After I met him we started to travel to Panguipulli! Panguipulli is in the North and is up in the mountains! It is surrounded by seven lakes and four volcanoes! I haven't seen any of them yet because the sun hasn't come out once since I've been here!! But we went to the bus terminal to start going to Panguipulli! The place was so hectic! I don't know how Elder Germann got up to Panguipulli but he did! First, we took a one hour bus ride to Valdivia in a semi nice bus! After that, we took a bus ride to Panguipulli! It took about three and a half hours during the middle of a rainstorm on a road under construction in the worlds dirtiest bus!! Haha! We got to Panguipulli at about 6:30! That night he just took me around and met some of the ward members! It poured all night! The next day was when all the real fun started! We started talking to our investigators!! We have about 15 investigators right now! All of them have baptism dates! It's really hard to keep track of this all because our area is huge! It's about 200 miles by 100 miles wide! 

I've invited two people to be baptized while I've been here already! I've never felt closer to the spirit. I invited Mercedes, who is the mother of another investigator named Yesica! It was super awesome! She couldn't understand me at first but, when I said it again she got it! Seriously, it was so awesome! I love this place! The branch is about 80 members strong, we got about 60 at church this weekend! Ten of those sixty were some of our investigators!

 The Spanish is so different here! It's super fast and hard to understand! And it rains every day! It's so crazy! I haven't seen the sun once since I have been in Chile! We live in a house with two Latin elders! Elder Bustamante and Elder Mayuri! Elder Mayuri's house burned down and he lost everything. His companion gave me the only thing he owned, a pair of slippers because he was finished with his mission! Some of his shirts have burn marks in them! He writes in a binder with a hole burned in the middle! I love them both! They are so much fun to have around and they help me with my Spanish so much!! I'll get better news for you guys next week! I love and miss all and I appreciate your support! I love you all!
Elder Sheppard

Arrival In Panguipulli
Stoking the fire


  Firstly, my area is Seanz Pena in the City of Pucallpa. NOW LET ME TELL ABOUT THIS FIRST WEEK.
Alright, here is all the crazy stuff. I fought off a pack of dogs with my umbrella, on Friday it rained so hard that our apartment flooded, this area is all sheet metal and on Friday it rained so hard that two houses washed away. My companion is Elder Gutierrez from Lima.  He doesn't speak a word of English! My Spanish is getting wayyyyy better also! It felt amazing to extend a family the invitation for baptism and they said yes! 
I came here  by a rickety plane, I taught the first lesson to an older lady and bore my testimony, then she showed me her dentures and which teeth she was missing in them...
I'm far down from Iquitos and I know why your friend said his area isn't hot. It is because his area was mountainous and it's in the foot hills of some mountains, THIS PLACE IS A FURNACE! WE WALK ALL DAY AND NIGHT AND I SWEAT BUCKETS! IT'S SO HOT HERE! This is the hottest zone in the mission and it kind of junglely and kind of dusty. We use these little moto carriages to get everywhere like in Thailand! We also taught a blind man who is less active and he said he would come to church.  So, we guided a blind man to church and the church was like a mile away! That was an experience! Also, I got to hear people pray for the first time in their lives! It was one of the most heartfelt prayers I've heard! Truly beautiful!  
I love you all, 
Elder Sheppard

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