Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas in Manhattan

Alrighty, so as of today I have officially finished three months of my mission service, which is ridiculous.  Where has the time gone?!?!  I'm really starting to understand what people mean when they say that the mission goes by too fast. 
Anyways, this week has been great as well.  I don’t remember what I said in my last email, so excuse me if I repeat some things.  We recently had to drop our investigator because she would consistently set and break her appointments, so unfortunately there's nothing we can do really.  We’ve told her to call us when she has some time.  I wish there was a way to force people to use a calendar rather than living day to day.  But unfortunately everyone has their agency.  Since we've "dropped" our investigators we've been focusing on trackting a lot, and we've found a few really cool people, one of whom seems pretty excited to meet with us, but she runs a daycare out of her home, so we can’t go there when the kids are there, and that in itself is pretty unpredictable.  Her name is Sibelis.  We don’t really know anything about her yet, but I'll keep you posted.
Manhattan was also really cool, we met brother Fischetti (the member that took us down) at our church building, and then he took us around Manhattan a little, and then home.  The Temple is really sweet, although rather small.  The building itself is big, but the rooms don’t fit much more than 40 people total.  You could fit like 6 of the rooms in each of the Cardston rooms.  Afterwards we went to the Rockefeller Center and saw the tree.  It's so big, and the crazy thing is that it doesn't grow there.  They bring a new one in every year, and tie it to the surrounding buildings.  It’s right across the street from Saint Patrick's Cathedral  And just off of 5th Ave (which is where all the rich people shop).  And I'm not just saying that.  Brother Fischetti was telling us a story where he walked into a jewelry store on 5th Ave, and after he entered, an armed guard closed and locked the doors.  He then looked at a pair of really small inexpensive looking ear rings, that turned out to be $5000.  Ridiculous eh?!?  After that we left and on the way home drove through Time Square.  Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures.  They have it closed off to traffic pretty much except for driving across it.  No one can drive through it anymore.  So yeah, our trip to Manhattan was great.  Also, I can’t wait to serve in the city.  I hope I can serve in North Manhattan sometime. 
During a recent youth Temple trip, Brother Fischetti challenged the youth to try go outside the Temple and give away a pass along card.  One of the young women went and gave it a try to no avail.  After that he gave her a 5 dollar bill, and told her to try and give that away.  And once again, she couldn't do it.  Figure that eh?  People are too busy there to even bother stopping to take a free 5 dollar bill.  I know, it's crazy!!
Yesterday we I went on a split with my Zone leader.  He is from Hawaii and also going home with my companion.  His name is Elder Otuafi, and he's pretty trunky (Dad will know what that means).  He's been serving for 25 months so far.  And he has served in two different missions.  He started out in Guatemala, and got sick after 8 months, so he had to come here, and now he's spending his 3rd Christmas in the field.  During our split we went to a Peruvian Members house for FHE, and I taught the lesson in Spanish.  I was pretty amazed by how much I could understand them.  The biggest thing I think right now is expounding my vocabulary.  Also, they said that my Spanish is very good, and that I don’t have a "Gringo accent" which definitely is a good thing.  The daughter of the family was amazed by how well I can rrrrroll my rrrr's, which just comes naturally to me.  I guess I was born to speak this language.  She was saying that I speak with a Chilean accent.  And that I look like I could be from either El Salvador or Argentina, which I think is funny because we come from German decent (although so did the Argentines).
I got your gifts yesterday.  I've stuck them all under our tree, and the star thing I put on the top.  And I'm ready to open them on Christmas morning.  It's so hard to wait, especially when most of the missionaries tend to open their gifts early.  So I'm trying hard to resist the temptation to open mine too.  Elder Maldonando did open his gift though, and he says thank you.
Also, I've been talking to some missionaries about sending my memory cards in the mail, and they were saying that if you plan on doing that, it's a good idea to back them up somehow.  Elder Maldonado suggested that I buy a Hard Drive.  And before I send my pics, to transfer them to that.  So I was wondering if you could send me my hard drive sometime in the future.  It's not too important, but just a way of making sure I don’t lose any pics if it the SD card gets lost or broken somehow in the mail.
That’s all for now though.  I love you all, and I look forward to talking to you on Christmas.  4 o'clock should work great.  Our Mission Christmas thing ends at 2, so we should be home by then.
Love, Elder Dilling

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