Chad’s Call, Christmas 2016
5:59 pm Chad is online. We call Bean and Rimo. And are trying to connect to Chad. Not connecting……. 6:00pm.
Calling Chad again. 6:02. His companion still has 10 more minutes. The connection is sketchy. We’re going to wait til his companion is done for a better connection. False alarm.
6:20. Trying again. Connects and we get Bean and Rimo on too.
Done. He looks great! He has very white teeth. And super smiley.
Chad: Is that a new couch?
M&D: You waited for everyone else to go first?
Chad: Yeah. We’re within walking distance from our house, so it was okay. My companion talks really loud. He kind of reminds me of you, Mom.
M: Oh… Good! Haha
Chad: I’ve just been sitting here waiting since about 1:00.
M: For breanna it’s late. Like 2:00am.
Chad: Oh wow! My bad. I didn’t realize it was so late there.
M: Were you able to give away the ties and candy canes?
Chad: They were great. Yeah, I was only able to give out a couple. But I plan to give away the rest.
M: How were the holidays different this year than last year?
Chad: We went and ate at more houses this year. We ate at like 5 houses.
M: Your teeth look super white!
Chad: I think it’s just a reflection…
Dad: We’ll get you to the dentist when you get home.
M: We were hoping to do a little open house for you. Is that okay?
Chad: Yeah, as long as people come..
M: They will!
Chad: Am I giving a homecoming talk when I get home.
M: Yep! The 12th or something like that.
M: I’m going to tell you really fast what I signed you up for….
Chad: (He’s not happy about the math and science courses….)
M: You can change it later if you want.
Chad: sounds good! Sign me up for morning classes.. like not too early though.
D: You need to meet your new niece.
Chad: Hi Evelyn! Bye Evelyn.
M: Do you have a question Breanna?
Breanna: Hiii! No, but I’m going to be there when you come home.
M: Have you had some baptisms?
M: Did you take pictures?
M: We heard you don’t eat hot foods there.
Chad: Yeah, I don’t eat spicy foods here at all. Some times I add hot sauce at home. But, not at all.
M: Do you want an elk permit.
Chad: ….. yes.
M: Lexi wants to know: Have you taken any pictures?
Chad: I have. A couple. I have like 30 pictures of my mission. Basically the ones I’ve sent you are all I have.
M: Lexi wants to know, What do kids there do for fun?
Chad: They color things. They are called ‘trumples’. The thing that spins. It took me three years to learn. They spin it and battle with it. I accidentally hit my companion one time and I was banned from it for a week.
M: do you know if you’ll be changed this week?
Chad: I don’t know yet. Tomorrow morning. I want to die in my area.
Kai: Are you going to get food there?
Chad: Yes, I get a lot of food here. Chicken, rice, greasy oily food. They take things here and cook it in oil then fry it in oil. Then give it to you.
M: Lexi wants to know, Have you taught any kids my age?
Chad: No… um. How old is she??? I’m teaching an 8 year old girl right now. I have taught some kids her age.
Tyler: Towards the end of your mission. What things do you do personally to not get trunky (sorry, BAGGY)?
Chad: It helps if you have a lot of people to teach. We’ve had some baptisms and more in January. That’s th best thing. That’s why I don’t want changes. I just want to stay and baptize them.
M: Which companion have you clicked with the most?
Chad: Elder Markum. He’s my best friend. I still write him every week. I love my companion now. He’s pretty cool.
M: Think about any companions that you’d maybe like to room with for Fallat BYU. Dave, get the selfie stick.
Bean: I have a question. A few months ago, did you feel the earthquake.?
Chad: I was sitting eating lunch. I thought my companion was moving the table with his feet. My glass was going to fall over. Someone screams really loud “There’s an earthquake!” and I realized that it was one. It was kind of anti climatic. I thought a wall would crash. But, we’ve had a couple of earthquakes that I’ve felt actually.
M: Breanna’s the one that told us about it on Thanksgiving. Then your mission pres posted and said that everything was fine
Chad: Yeah, it wasn’t too serious.
David What kind of food do you want when you get home?
Chad: Chicken enchiladas, sea food, smoked ribs. I have a large list.
Mom: When was the last time you spoke in church.
Chad: like 5 weeks ago. I spoke a lot more in my last ward. This ward, I've only spoke one time.
Mom Do you have to teach a lot last minute?
Chad: Yeah, I usually do.
Mom: What kind of things do you want to bring home?
Chad: I don’t know. There’s like your typical picture of El Salvador that you see all the time. But, there's a few things that I'm sure I'll bring home. I'll probably gather a few things in January.
Mom: So you guys all got my a nativity from El Salvador for Christmas.
Chad: Oh, Cool!
Mom: How do they celebrate Christmas there different from here?
Chad: Christmas here.. They eat make these things. There's like lettuce and mayo and cheese and stuff. I ate like 12 last night. They have firecrackers. They do those in the street. It’s a mix between fourth of july and new years. They do it at midnight. They all sleep in and not go to church the next day.
Tyler: Same in Chili.
Kevin: Yep. All night long.
Mom: How was the mission party? The shirt looked cool.
Chad: they took a bunch of pictures and put you in the front. They are kind of ugly. But, yeah they're cool. For the party we just played a bunch of games.
Mom: Which scripture prophet do you quote most often?
Chad: Right now I like to teach about Nephi. And Isaiah. And Paul.
Mom: whose house do you enjoy spending time at the most?
Chad: Where we eat at a lot. They are a great family. They have like 12 kids. A few are on a mission. Married and some younger.
Mom: Do they support you a lot?
Chad: They do everything for us.
Mom: How do the bishops support you?
Chad: The bishop we have now does. He does a lot of activities. Most bishops we have served with haven't done much.
Kevin: if you were speaking to a bishop, what would you ask him to do?
Chad: Biggest frustrating thing is in ward council when they don’t talk about investigators. It’s supposed to be about families and investigators. When it’s just planning for activities and stuff it’s lame. We just sit there. But, when they talk about families that need help and stuff. That’s the best thing. It doesn’t really happen for us.
Mom: Anyone you want to connect with before you leave?
Chad: Most of them are here. A few but they are far away.
(Chad speaking Spanish to his companion… really fast.)
Mom: I love hearing you speak Spanish.
Mom: Is the town used to your blonde hair running around?
Chad: they all make fun of me. People in the street shout things at me. I’m used to it now.
Mom: I can always pick you out in pictures.
Chad: I’m so white. I just burn. I haven’t gotten my tan yet.
Mom: Do you have a lot of snow right now Breanna?
B: Just that one big one. That’s all so far.
Mom: Anybody a question??? Any other stories you want to tell us?
Chad: No, I’ll tell you stories in person.
Mom: You have to tell stories in your talk and bear your testimony is Spanish. …
Tyler: Do you have a mission focus? A mission scripture? For example, on my mission, we had a focus to use the Book of Mormon mostly.
Chad: We use the book of Mormon and bear testimony of it. But not necessarily a focus. We use the BOM a lot just so people can learn about it. But, we use all scripture often.
Tyler: Have you run into different denomination preachers who have torn in to you?
Chad: Yeah, quite a few times they go at you with the bible. But, we just slowly walk out all cool looking. When I see people starting to fight, I just turn off the conversation. But, I defend myself if I have to.
Tyler: Do they have the people on corners that shout into microphones? Sometimes opposing churches on different corners yelling at each other.
Chad: Yep totally.
Tyler: Cool that sounds like fun.
Kevin: I know your mission pres isn’t from the US. But has your mission president started to prepare you for coming back? I just wondered what kind of advice he’s given you.
Chad: I haven’t talked to him about it much. It’s bad here too, most RM’s go inactive within a year. A lot are 30 years old and just don’t do anything. It’s pretty bad here.
Kevin: Just keep the faith.
Chad: Oh, I will.
M: Ecclesiastical endorsement?
Chad: When we get into January, I”ll make sure he’s done it.
M: Great. As soon as you can. Thank you.
Navy: Hi Chad! (waves)
Chad: Hi Navy! Heey!!
Dad: She can’t wait to meet you for the first time.
Mom: We can’t wait. We are so excited for that day. Any questions for us?
Dad: Will you leave all your clothes there when you come home?
Chad: Yeah, probably. They are all torn and everything. I don’t need them anymore.
Mom: We’ll take you when you get home and get you everything you need. Everyone asks about you. People you don’t even really know really. But, it is fun.
Dad: you never told me what phone you wanted when you get home?
Chad: new iphone.
Mom: not the new one!
Chad: I’ve waited two years mom. I want a good one.
Mom: we’ll get you one on sale... not the brand new one. Right dad?
Dad: I don’t know.
Chad: We’ll talk about this when I get home. I have 15 minutes.
Mom: What’s your housing there?
Chad: It’s a house. We rent a house. It’s smaller. Cement and brick. We have running water about 35% of the time. I shower with a bucket of water.
Mom: You’ll appreciate a nice warm shower.
Chad: Houses here are.. the roofs are made of sheet metal. They heat up and when it rains they make a lot of noise. It gets really hot.
Mom: Is it rainy season right now?
Chad: No, though it rained today.
Dad: How do you get to the airport?
Chad: From my house to the airport? The airport is about an hour away in San Salvador. The taxi will take us everywhere we’ll need to go. The last day we’ll spend a whole day with the mission president and go to the temple. We spend the day in the mission pres. home. There is four of us going home to the states. And 2 latinos that are going home with me. A few others are going home a few weeks earlier for studies or something.
Dad: When you speak it will probably be with a high counselor.
Chad: Make me speak last.
Mom: We’ll get it figured out.
Dad: Yeah.. about your room…
Tyler: Dad turned it into a shell reloading station….
Mom: Seriously, that’s not far off. We tried to preserve your corner.
Tyler: That corner has gotten smaller and smaller. Hahaha.
Chad: But I was kind of worried I wouldn’t have anything to say. So I prepared something for you guys. (Pulls out a white binder and we all laugh.) I wrote a poem for you guys… I hope that's not weird.. I wrote this last night at like 12 in the morning. Can you hear me well? Because this is pretty fantastic and I want you to be able to hear it all.
Here in El Salvador,
Another Christmas is here.
It’s not the first time talking to my family
Let’s hope this time I don’t shed any tears.
For 22 months, I have been on my mission.
I have seen ups and downs, miracles and blessings.
I have really tried to take seriously my commission,
I love this country and its people. They are a sight to see.
But a lot of people have died here. Sorry mom, I don't think you'll be coming back to visit with me.
The food here in wonderful, but the grease and oil abounds.
The papusas are so tasty; I’m sure you'll have noticed when you've seen I've gained all these pounds.
I have learned a lot of things here since at this country I came,
I have come to love and worship my Savior,
Oh the joy it brings to preach and (prepare?) His name.
A lot at home has changed. My siblings have married.
That's all in the past. Looks like I'm the only one single left.
I'm guessing you all have bets to see how long that will last.
There are now a lot of little kids walking all around.
Lexi and Kai, Navy and Evelyn. Mom, your grandkids sure make a lot of funny sounds.
Well, I am running out of rhymes. And I soon have to go.
It's been a pleasure talking to you guys. But, wait Mom, listen up. There's one thing you should know.
…. (We run out of phone storage and have to run grab another phone. We miss a few lines, but then…)
… But there's one thing I get to be the one to tell you.
That Jessie is pregnant and you're going to... (can't hear the rest because of mom's screaming..)
(Chad and Jessie worked together for a month before the Christmas call to have it be a surprise for mom and dad. Success.)
Chad: My time is about up. Yay. See you soon!
All: Bye! We love you!! See you soon!!
Chad: Okay, here I go.. 3, 2, 1. Bye!