Contact Information


Letter Mailing Address:
Elder Parker Spanbauer
Chile Antofagasta Mission
Casilla de Correo 70

Monday, May 25, 2015

Week 11 Vallenar

May 25, 2015

Okay, where do I start? So honestly, this week was really stressful. I am in week 6 now and I have a ton more responsibilities. I have to carry the cell phone, make and receive calls. I have to always be the person that initiates conversations at the doors of houses. It’s funny because sometimes when we just want to knock on a random door but don’t know what to say, we simply do this. "Hola, Buenas! Estamos buscando por Maria Araya... Conoce a ella?" (Translated for you noobs out there) Hello, good afternoon, night, or morning.... we are looking for Maria Araya. Do you happen to know her? Almost always they say no or direct us to a different house haha. It’s so funny. After that we simply say, we are missionaries de la iglesia...etc. After that we ask if we can pass by there house a different day and chilenos hate so say know so almost always say yes even though they don’t want to haha. We definitely take advantage of this. Anyway, it’s really scary to talk to people in a language you hardly know. There are some people I understand really well and others not so much. Last night I was extremely frustrated because I was being forced to do things I thought I couldn’t. The whole walk back to the house I was thinking of how hard this was. When we return the house at night, the first thing we do is plan for the next day. I was expecting Elder Leon to tell me to plan by myself but you know what he did? He said tonight we are going to do something a little different. We are going to have a companionship inventory. This is basically where we take a step back and express things we want to improve ourselves and things the other person needs to do better. Elder Leon basically taught me one of the most inspiring lessons I’ve ever heard in my life. He related my situation to the story of Pedro (Peter) in the bible. In this story, Jesus walks on water. Peter was the only one out of the 12 Apostles that had the faith to step out of the boat. As the winds began to pick up and the waves began to rise, his faith was weakened and he began to sink. Elder Leon said right now, I’m in the boat. He said the only way I’m going to experience miracles and have an extremely successful mission is if I leave the boat. (My comfort zone) I need to put myself out there and NOT BE BASIC like you always tell me dad haha. I will forever remember this lesson. I’m so grateful for my companion Elder Leon. I would be so lost without him. Oh! Another thing, we had a lesson last night with one of our investigators named "Nicanor". He is from Columbia. We invited him to baptism and he said yes!!! There is one problem, we don’t know if he knows how to read... It’s really hard for him to gain a testimony of the book of Mormon if he doesn’t know how to read. We are going to work with him and find a way to help him enter into the waters of baptism either next month or the following. Anyway, that about sums up my week! It’s definitely been a rollercoaster. I love you all!!! Until next week!

Elder Spanbauer


Elder Leon (Trainer)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 10 Vallenar

May 18, 2015

So this week was pretty eventful haha. We have had so many service projects this week in downtown Vallenar. I love doing service because its a break from walking allllll day and everyday. The service we did was boxing a bunch of food and necessities like toilet paper, dish soap, and just a ton of stuff like that. I also get to see everyone in the zone at the service projects so that’s fun. This week was awesome because I was able to communicate with my companion really well. I don’t know why, but my Spanish like improved over night. I’m not saying my Spanish is amazing but I can voice just about anything I need to say through actions or examples. I know the lord is helping me with the language. So we visited this elderly woman and I went in to give her a handshake and she grabbed me and KISSED me!!! (On the cheek) YUCK! HAHA. Its normal to greet people like that here but I was not prepared for that. Also, when we left her house, we were walking on the sidewalk and out of nowhere; a dog came up behind me and bit me!!! That’s right..... It BIT ME!!! En serio??? It ripped a hole in my pants haha. So that was an eventful night. This week my companion hasn’t been helping me plan at all. He wants me to learn how so that is stressful at times. So far I have done a pretty good job with it. We haven’t had the chance to teach the lady that I talked about last time because of all of the service projects. We visited a lot of less active members this week and most of them don’t even live where it says. We taught a homeless man in the street. Also, this week I was supposed to teach priesthood at church!!! I prepared a lesson and everything and I was ready to go and when we got there, they were like ´´Today Elder Spanbauer is going to teach us about chapter 10 in this book...´´ (I don’t remember the name of the book) I was like..... uhhhh..... I had no idea I was supposed to teach out of that book haha so I didn’t teach. Pucha! (darn) We also delivered the sacrament to a sweet little old woman. She was so grateful. Simple things like that are awesome experiences. I’m starting to be a little more involved in things like conversations at the door, lessons...etc. Anyway, that about sums up this week! Until next week everybody!!! Chao!

So not much new on our investigators. We had a lot of service projects this week so not a whole lot of time to teach. I believe the son of the woman who lost her husband is in prison. We haven’t taught her since the last time. Because there is no man living in her house, we have to have a member from the church come with us each time to teach her. As missionaries, we can’t be in a room alone with a woman. It’s a mission rule. Also, the picture of the spider that I had is gone along with all my other photos... but its okay, I’m sure there will be other spider’s hahahaha. I haven’t got the package!!! This sucks.... anyway, sounds like things are pretty okay at home. I hope mom feels better. Anyway, I love you all! Tell mom I love her and the girls. I gotta run.

Elder Spanbauer

Railroad Tracks Behind our House

Vallenar at Dawn

Breakfast of Champions!!!

Our Pension (House)

Our Backyard

Elder Leon Cleaning up

Our House is the Green One

Some people live like this, it's so sad. No roof over their heads

Random Graffiti Art

Downtown Vallenar

Vallenar at Dusk

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Week 9 Vallenar

May 12, 2015

Hey Family and Friends!!! I know I had the opportunity to Skype you guys this week and not much has changed since but there was a couple of things I forgot to say. So yesterday, a future investigator that we had been passing by her house for like 2 weeks straight was finally home! Her name is Maria. She is a single mom right now. Her son actually killed her husband. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.... its so sad. I know this gospel can help her and I can’t wait to teach her tomorrow! She seemed really receptive to our message! I really hope we can help her. Also, you know how I was told there isn’t any ´´creepy crawlers´´ here in Chile. THAT WAS A LIE!!! haha yesterday we found a HUGE spider in our house..... (ill send a pic) I don’t know how I am going to sleep! also, this week we did a ton of service projects for the church. That was fun because we got to play a lot of volleyball in-between truckloads. President Dalton and his wife visited Vallenar this week!! We had a conference with him and all the members here in Vallenar! Also, yesterday he interviewed everyone. He told me something that really touched me. He said... only through perfect obedience comes miracles. He told me that if I am following every single mission rule and commandment perfectly, only then I can honestly pray to my heavenly father and say that I have done all that I can. This was super powerful for me because I have been struggling with the language. If I am perfectly obedient, I know god will help me. So I know you guys think my Spanish is pretty good but that’s not true haha. I am definitely better than I was two months ago and I know I only have 2 weeks in the field. I have to keep reminding myself that. I know enough Spanish to get by right now. Let me tell you, having a Latino companion is such a blessing. I have learned more Spanish in these two weeks than in my 2 years of high school and mtc combined!!! The gift of tongues is real my friends. Today we are having a BBQ with some of the other elders and I think we are gonna play some sports! I can’t wait. Anyway, until next week!!! 

Also, I didn't get your package mom. I think I get it Wednesday from my district leaders. elder Leon is easy to live with. He is not really serious all the time, just when we study and teach. He is a good guy. Anyway, I gotta wrap things up. I love you guys so much and it was so awesome i got to talk to you guys via Skype!!! I honestly don't know what to do as far as pictures, my camera is saying it cant read any of the cards that I put in it now. I'll mess with it a little and let you guys know. 

Elder Spanbauer

Mother's Day Skype Call

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 8 Vallenar

May 4th, 2015

Hello everyone!!!! Como Estan? Things down here are amazing!!! The missionary life is sooo awesome! It is a ton of work but its so rewarding. Okay, where should I begin? So much has happened. So first off, we are struggling to find new investigators to teach so we have been visiting many less active families. Vallenar is a pretty good sized little city and we live pretty far from everyone else. We probably walk about 10 to 15 miles a day. Uphill and then down hill. Its exhausting but its so fun. We have been visiting with the Dominguez family. They are all members and had become less active. We taught them this last week and invited them to church and they came!!!! They are the most humble family I have ever met. They have a little girl that is 3 years old ´´mas o menos´´ and she is the cutest little thing hahaha. I'm really starting to get to know the people in the Rama which makes it more fun. I'm not just saying this because I feel I have to.... The people here are amazing. So a typical day for me is like this.... we wake up, then we work out for about 30min and then eat breakfast. My breakfast consists of a bowl of cereal with crushed oreos in it haha. Its so good so don't judge me. Then we shower and get ready for the day. We then have one hour of personal study and after that we go work for an hour. After that, we return to the house to study for two hours as a companionship. Next, we go eat at our mamitas house. The food she prepares is usually some type of soup with who knows what is in it haha. Its usually pretty good though. Then she gives us a salad. Now in Chile, salad is different than a typical salad in America. A salad can be raw potatoes smothered in mayo or simply tomatoes and onions chopped up in a bowl. Then after that, we eat the main course. It is usually rice and some type of meat. For example, today we had salmon!!! Ive eaten some pretty crazy meals but I always finish them because the people here don't have much and its a courtesy thing. Yesterday, I ate a whole potato!!! hahaha. Anyway, that's enough about food. After lunch we get one hour to study the language. After Language study, We work from about 4 to 10 at night. When I say ´´work´´, it simply means contacting, teaching, lots of walking...ect. haha. Then we plan before bed for the next day. On Pday, things are different. We wake up and go to the chapel in downtown Vallenar to play volleyball for a couple hours with a bunch of other elders. There are a lot of gringos in this area haha. Oh!!! the other day we were on our way to an appointment and there was a guy in the street with BLOOD all over his face. As we walked past him, he grinned at us. Elder Leon just kept walking and pretended like it was normal. Elder Leon is an interesting character. He is serious when he needs to be and super funny also. He literally doesn't know a lick of English so its really stressful at times but he has soooo much patience with me which I love. Next weekend president Dalton is coming to Vallenar to teach and interview us so that's cool. Oh, yesterday, Elder Leon and I were sitting looking over Vallenar for like 5min because our feet were dead and a guy walked up to us. Elder Leon was on the phone with another elder so I was like freaking out haha. Anyway, I was able to hold a conversation with him until Elder Leon got off the phone! The mans Spanish was really.... well..... Chilean haha so it was hard to understand him but I did it! Anyway, he wanted to know more about the church so we told him about it and he said that the missionaries could teach him more! He doesn't live in our sector so we don't get to teach him but either way, hes my contact hahaha. Anyway, that's about all I have time to write about now, Until next week!!!

Elder Spanbauer