Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Merry Christmas everyone! Christmas this year was a blast, and it was definetley different than all of my other holidays at my house hahahhaa. This past week has been filled with great times and fun moments in remembering the birth of our Savior and also being able to appreciate His power and influence in our lives.
Ok so this past week was filled with mission and ward parties all week. Last Friday we had a party as a mission down in the mission office with all of the Elderes and Hermanas, so that meant that I got to see my old companion Elder Jones! It was great to catch up with him and talk with him, as well as some of the other friends I have made around the mission that I do not get to see very often. The party was great, we had a talent show, and then we had a present exchange, and we wrapped it all up with a Christmas devotional where we told the Christmas story with songs and scriptures. Overall it was awesome, and I cannot wait to do it all again next year! On Saturday we had dinner with a member family from our ward, and I loved it because this family is like my favorite people here in the ward, so it was good to relax with them and eat some cake. On Sunday we only had one hour of church, and the men from our ward sang a Christmas song, so Elder Topalda and I joined them too! And of course, later in the afternoon I got to talk with my family which was awesome, and also a little weird because I think my brothers voice dropped.
Overall I am so grateful to be a missionary and to be here in Santiago. During the last month of December I have really thought a lot about Christ and how when we do the things that draw us nearer to Him, we recieve more of his love and light in our lives, and we start to change. I am so grateful for His sacrifice and His birth. It is because of him that I can be saved from my sins and the the opporotunity to live with my family forever in a state of peace and joy with my Father in Heaven. I hope you are all doing good and that all of you had a Merry Christmas! Next time I write it will be January, so I will see you all next year!
3 Nefi 17
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Buena mis cabrooooooos! This week was actually a really weird week for us, there was a ton of unexpected things that happen, but it all turned out good in the end.
Ok so this week was a little rough with our investigators. Our investigator who was going to get baptized (Rodolfo) told us he did not feel prepared and ready, and he got cold feet an hour before his baptism. We had a talk with him and talk through his situation and then said a prayer to find out if he should get baptized or not, and afterwards he told us that he did not feel ready, but that he still wants to get baptized, but that he just has to do some more to prepare himself, so we pushed his date back three weeks. Right now we also have about 8 Haitian investigators who all have interest in the church, and they are all super awesome and want to learn more. But they are sometimes hard to find because their phones will not work, or they are stuck at work for a longer amount of time than normal. So this past week, we did not get to meet with any of them because of their weird schedules, but they all still have desires to serve and follow Christ and are still coming to the church. All in all things are still good and things are still progressing, it just hurts when you love people so much and want the best for them, but it does not happen, but we just have to keep working. Overall this past week was a testimony builder to me that we as missionaries have to be prepared for any situation and we have to accept Gods will in our lives too.
So the interesting thing of the week was that Elder Topalda had some pain in his knee and we had to go to the mission doctor last Thursday to get it looked at. The doctor sat him down and for almost three hours just massaged his knee. But this is not the nice kind of massage, this massage was rubbing an elbow super hard and fast on Elder Topaldas knee, I felt so bad because he was in a ton of pain, but afterwards, he was all good. Now I just know if I ever have pain in my knee I do not want to go the mission doctor hahahaha.
But as always, I am loving the mission, I honestly do not know what Disney is thinking when they say that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, because they are wrong, the happiest place on Earth is Santiago, Chile. I hope you all are doing good, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Hey everyone so this past week was a pretty normal week of work and heat, but I loved it. This week felt a little bit different because our schedule was thrown off because we had to go to the hospital because Elder Topaldas knee was bugging him, but overall it was a great week.
The thing that really marked me this week was the power of studies coupled with the chance to always open your mouth and talk to people. This week we had the opporotunity to travel a lot for various meetings and for trips to and from the hospital, so while we were in the bus and the subway I got the opporotunity to talk with people on our way to places. It is amazing how trusting people are with the missionaries once they know that our intenciones are good and that we have a message that can really help them. Having the chance to get to talk with people about their lives and how the gospel can bless them was great this past week, and it really stood as a testimony to me that we have to be witnesses of Christ in all times, in all things and in all places because people are always looking at our examples. This week we also spent a good amount of time contacting people in the street in our sector so that we can try and find more people to teach who want to hear the message about this gospel. It was long, hard work out in the sun, but in the end we saw our fruits as we now have some new investigators! The thing that I learned this week from all of the contacting we had done is that no matter who you are or what trials you may have in your life, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is always there to help you learn and grow.
The funny story this week happened yesterday as we were walking through a park. Elder Topalda and I were walking and all of a sudden one of the thousands of dogs in the street freaked out and ran after us. We stayed calm and just hoped it went away, but it was still barking at us. Finally it ran at Elder Topalda bit his pants (just the clothes not the skin) ripped a hole in them and then ran away all tranquilo. In the moment it was pretty freaky, but now looking back on it, we just laugh.
So, overall things are picking up in our sector, we have new people to teach, and our ward and the members are awesome. I love this church and everything that it has to offer us and all of the blessings it promises. My companion has a hole in his pants, we eat a ton of icecream, and the sun is hot, but other than that things are normal down in Santiago. I love you and hope you all have a good week, take care!
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Life is awesome! The days go by so fast I feel stressed out that we do not have enough time in the day to get everything accomplished that we want to get done. But, I will take busy days over slow days any day of the week. The mission had a change this last week, but I am still with Elder Topalda in the same sector, which means I will be in this ward for the first six months of my mission! I would not have it any other way, I love the members, investigators, less actives and all of the random dogs that live in our sector, and I would not change it for the world.
This week overall was a good week. Elder Topalda and I have been working hard to find and teach more investigators, or people who have never heard about the Gospel and would like to learn more. That means almost everday we are passing by references from members or other missionaries and we are doing a lot of contacting, in the street, on the bus or in the Metro. I honestly love it because we get to talk to so many different people from so many different walks of life everyday, and it is amazing to see how the Gospel can help each one of them in their lives, even though they are all different. This week in church we got a new bishop, our old bishop (Bishop Jara) was released and his brother in law was called as the new bishop (Bishop Villaroel). I will definently miss Jara, but I am excited to work with Villaroel because we have a lot to do to help him as he makes this transition.
On Friday we had divisions with our District Leaders, so I left Parque Combarbalá and went over a few wards to Brisas. During the day we were doing some contacting and we knocked on a door and we talked to a teenager who came to talk with us. Later his mom came out and we started to talk and during the middle of our discussion she stopped us and asked if we would like to come by in three days to have dinner with their family. I looked at Elder Guitierrez in shock because that never happens, and then we said yes and fixed a time to come back. That moment for me was a miracle that we were able to find this family and have them be so receptive to the gospel.
I am doing great, loving everyday out in the heat! There is no other place in the world that I would rather be right now, and I know that Heavenly Father needs me to help with this work for his children. I hope you all are good, love you!
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Hey everyone, how are you all doing? I hope you are all great and that you had a great Thanksgiving, I am loving life in Santiago, Chile. This week was full of divisions with other missionaries and work in the sector, it was great. Things seem to get better everyday, and it is amazing seeing the Light of Christ in all different people.
So this week was a great week to be a missionary in Parque Combarbalá, and I do not have a lot of time to share a lot of what happened, but I will share the highlights. So this week in our ward we helped to get a young man reactivated and we have started to help him serve his mission, and he is really excited to serve. His name is Elian and ever since we got to know him about three months ago he has improved dramatically in his testimony, and his entire countenance has changed as he has drawn closer to the savior. His story of overcoming his challenges to change who he is really impacted me and built my testimony that Christ lives, and he is waiting and helping us to come nearer to Him. We also have an investigator who is going to be baptized on Saturday named Rudolfo. Over the past couple of months, I can honestly say that I have not taught him a single thing, I have had the priveledge to be the tool of the Lord and I have seen him change by the power of the Spirit. He is super excited for his baptism and Elder Topalda and I are excited for him too because he has such a happy and grateful personality.
The funny story of the week happened yesterday in the afternoon. Elder Topalda and I were contacting people and we were crossing a street and we were stopped by an old lady who was waaaaaaasted, and I mean she was not even there, she was having a hard time staying on her feet. She started talking to us about the Spirit and how we need to be better people, all while she was standing barefoot on the blazing hot asphalt. She then put her finger in the icecream she was holding and touched me and got my shirt all stained noooooooooo. But its alright, after that she walked away and Elder Topalda laughed because I had a big patch of orange on my white shirt hahahahhaha.
So those were the big things that happened this week, I was out of the sector a lot this week on divisions with our Distict and Zone Leaders, but I had a great time learning and serving with them. Yesterday I had to go to Santiago Centro to go and do things for my VISA to stay in the country, and I went with Elder Scott from my district in the CCM! I hope you are all good and that you are enjoying the cold! I love you all!
Lucas 2:10 y 11
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Summer has officially arrived down here in Santiago. The weather is not too bad because it is not nearly as hot as it is in Arizona, but in the words of my companion, "Ugh hace cualquier caloooooooor". This week has been great, and I think it may have been the week with the most growth that I have seen on my mission, both spiritually and in teaching lessons.
Ok so lets start with the most important part as always, the people. This past week has been great working with the people in our sector, members, investigators and less actives. I really do feel comfortable in my sector, I feel like I know every street, person and dog by name (Knowing the dogs by name is pretty easy, I just call them all Spike). This week Elder Topalda and I really focused on getting all of the people that we are teaching to come to cjurch so that they can recieve the blessings of being gathered together in a body of believers. So, every person we saw we invited to church, and we even had an activity on Saturday as a ward where we went out and invited all of the less active people we could find to church, and the results we awesome. On Sunday we had an attendence of 81 people, which may not sound like a lot, but compared to the normal 50ish people that usually attend, it was a miracle. That Sunday we also had our ward conference (which is a special meeting with leaders from the local church area) so it was even more better that the people we invited showed up. Our investigator Rudolfo is awesome and he is progressing a ton in his testimony, and he is reading the Book of Mormon and I believe he will keep his date to be baptized in December. Last night we also found two Haitiano investigators that we had not seen in a while, and we also put a baptismal date with them as well, so things are really started to look up in Parque Combarbalá!
So this week since it has been really hot, we have been eating icecream in the day to cool off. We have a less active lady in our ward who sells icecream, so we usually pass by her house to buy some icecream and then we have a talk with her and her family. Today we also bought about 40 icecream bars for 3 dollars, so it was awesome and now our house is full of icecream hahahahah.
This week I have come to realize the importance of studying the Scriptures. Everyday we do our studies, and I am coming to love this time more and more everyday. The Scriptures really are the work and word of God and if we study them we can find answers to all of our questions and problems in life. I am so grateful to have that blessing and power in my life.
I am doing great out in the mission, just talking to hobos, teaching Gods children and trying not to get bit by the dogs! I love you all and hope you have a good week, do not forget to write!
2 Nefi 22:2
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Ok so it is really hard to start a conversation in English now, so I am just going to start straight into the email. This week was really great, I think it may even have been some of the best moments I have had here in Santiago. This week we also had some new experiences as well that were really amazing to be a part of.
There was a sad moment this week though that really broke my heart. One of our investigators and good friends from Haiti named Jacob moved to a different part of Santiago, so we can no longer teach him. We saw him one last time and had to say goodbye, it was tough to see him go, but I know the other Elders will end up teaching him good. We have another Haitiano investigator that is working for a baptism date, and his name is Willy. He is super sincere and humble and really wants to follow Christ, but he told us first that he wants to get married to his girlfriend so that he can be in good standing before the Lord. It was awesome because he really accepts the message and just wants to do the right thing! I think the best moment of the week this week was meeting iwth our investigator Rudolfo. When we first found him he did not believe a single word of what we were saying, he just only wanted to practice his English. But now, he has progressed in leaps and bounds, and when he came to church on Sunday he told me he wants to help in our ward activites! We had a lesson with him on Monday and we fixed a baptismal date with him for the first weekend in December, and he is very excited about it! It is so awesome seeing the change that happens in people with the power of this gospel.
The crazy story of the week would have to be what happened yesterday. Yesterday, Elder Topalda and I were contacting in the street and we came across a lady who started to talk with us. We had a conversation with her but we noticed she was having a hard time understanding, so we asked her if she was having difficulty understanding what we were saying. She then told us that she is almost all the way blind and she cannot hear at all, and the only way she knew what we were saying was by her reading our lips while we talked! She speaks perfectily because this illness is a genetic disorder that started to take place about 5 months ago. We taugtht her in the street through the scriptures and writing down notes for her to take her time to read. For me it was an example of a prophesy fulfilled that the blind will see and the deaf will hear until everyperson has the opporotunity to hear this message. God is preparing the way.
Elder Topalda and I are doing great, and I have learned so much from him about how to use the members and how to be more personal in our teachings. I am learning so much Spanish everyday as will, I love the challege and I love the growth that I have already seen, and I am so grateful for that. I hope you are all doing good, remember if at times life seems too hard to stand, kneel in pray to our Father in Heaven!
2 Nefi 10: 17
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
It was another good week down here in Paradise! Everything is running smooth down here in Santiago, my companion is great and my sector is absolutely awesome I love everyone there. Basically this week was just another week of work, and I got to experience my first earthquake in my life!
Lets start with the investigators and less active members. This past week was really awesome because we have finally started to get members from our ward active in our lessons and in the work that we are doing. I believe we had at least one lesson with every investigator and less active this week that had a member involved, and it is great to see the power of friendship that is within the church. This week Elder Topalda and I had a few meetings with a new investigator named Willy, who is from Haiti. We were teaching him last night, and the three other people he lives with also came down from their rooms to listen, so we ended up teaching 4 people at one time, which was really rare for me, I loved it. We also have another investigator called Rudolfo who I think I have mentioned before. He is an absolute stud, he is still looking for an answer to all of his questions, but he says he feels that this church is true. He is awesome, and it is amazing to see his testimony grow everyday.
This week was also fun because I got to help plan mutual this week with the Young Men. I recently got the calling to be a counselor in the Young Mens Presidency, so I get to work with the teenagers alot. I really enjoy that part of my mission because I have almost the same age as some of them, so I can relate to them a lot and I can urge them to help them get ready to serve missions. This week for mutual we played ping pong with the young men, so it was fun to be around them and to be in the Mutual atmosphere again.
Ok so the cool story of the week. On Friday Elder Topalda and I were in our church building doing some planning when all of the sudden the table and the lights started to shake. It was not strong or anything, the things in the room just moved and vibrated, but I experienced my first earthquake! It was nothing too big and there was no lasting damage to anything, but it was a new experience.
I am absolutely loving the mission, this is the funnest and most fulfilling thing that I have every been a part of and would not rather been anywhere else in the world sharing the gospel. Spanish is awesome, and I love that I get to learn more everyday! I love you all and hope you are all good.
2 Nephi 7
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Hello my friends! That is the phrase that I hear everyday when I walk by one part of my sector because this guy always yells it hahahhaha. We are planning on stopping by to talk with him during the week because he always yells at us. But anyway, this week was awesome, there were some weird experiences and some major spiritual impressions.
So last week was my first week with my new companion Elder Topalda, he is a great guy, but things are definitely different than when I was working with Elder Jones. I have taken the lead this week because he does not know the sector, and I have really been scheduling us to work hard because honestly there is a ton to do here and I love it! As far as our investigators go it was a great week. We finally found Jacob Jupiter, our Haitian investigator, and during the week he is working in a different part of town, so we can only find him on weekends. We had a lesson with him on Sunday just to catch up on how things were and he began to cry because he is having some troubles and life problems. The Spirit was really strong, and we shared the love that our Father has for us. We had a member in the lesson and he invited Jacob to be baptized and he said he will when he finds an answer! Our other investigator Rudolfo is progressing a tooooon. On Monday we had a lesson with him and we explained the importance of the Book of Mormon, and as we were talking we all felt very peaceful and the room got very reverent. We commited him to pray to know if what we are saying is true, and he did it and said he recived an answer! He said it was not strong, but that he definitely felt it is true, so now we are just working to get him a baptismal date.
All these lessons were great, but I think one of the most spiritually powerful moments I had on my mission was with a less active yesterday. His name is Juan and he has problems that he really wants to fix. We went to his house and just started to talk, just a nice conversacion. Eventually he told us that he feels lonely and that he feels weighed down by these burdens he has. He told us that the only time he ever felt truly happy was when he was baptized. He began to cry and we testified to him that the feeling he had was sent from our Father in Heaven when he was baptized. The Spirit was so strong I felt like I could physically touch it, like it was an object in the room, I have never felt so peaceful or more sure of anything in my life than when we were teaching him. I honestly love all of these people so much, and I want to do all I can to help them.
The crazy story of the week was that on Saturday we had lunch with a less active family in our ward. They started talking about past missionaries and showed pictures of when the missionaries baptized one of their daughters like 20 years ago. I could not believe my eyes. As they were talking they said one of the missionareis was named "David Woffinsomething", and they pulled out a picture of my uncle Dave! I always knew he served in Argentina, but I guess this part of Chile was part of his mission too. Uncle Dave I want to give you a shout out and say that the Moreno family that you worked with in Parque Combarbala is partially inactive, but we are working on reactivating them, and we already did it with Carlos. That moment was crazy, and it was a testimony to me that missionaries are called to serve in the world for a reason, and I think I found one of those reasons.
I love you all, I hope you are doing good! Read your scriptures, pray and go to church!
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
I love life so much right now it is amazing. This week was full of some big changes, and also some sad moments, but as always I am loving the mission. This week was a week of awesome food and learning opporotunities.
So this week we got our transfer calls, and Elder Jones and I had to end our time together, but I get to stay in my sector! Elder Jones is leaving to the zone just across the freeway, but we will not see each other as often, but I am so grateful for our time together. But with that being said, I got my new companion yesterday Elder Topalda from Argentina! He is a great guy with a funny and dedicated personality and it is great being with him because I get to practice my Spanish all the time now! It is definitely different speaking Spanish all day everyday, but I can already see the improvement and I am always learning. Because he is from Argentina Elder Topalda talks in a different accent, whenever there are the letters "ll" he says it like the "sh" sound so I was super confused for our first five minutes together hahahhaha. I know that we are going to see a ton of amazing fruits here in our sector during this change as long as we stay obedient and stay working hard!
As our investigators go they are progressing and working on reading the Book of Mormon! We have an awesome investigator named Rudolfo and he is really looking for an answer to know if this church is true, so we taught him the importance of reading and praying in order to find answers, and we left him the the commitment to read and he said yes! Rudolfo is awesome because he also helps me with my Spanish because he speaks really good English, he sounds just like a gringo. We also have another investigator with a baptismal date, and we have a ton of less active members who continue to progress every day. However, it was sad this week when we went to visit the Haitians. Elder Jones and I went to their house and they looked at us through the window and then did not answer their phones, so it hurt to see that they dropped us, but you have to respect people and their decisions. But overall, things are great in Parque Combarbalá.
So down here in Chile are things called ferias, which is basically a giant street fair where they sell everything you could ever want. One morning Elder Jones and I finished a morning contacting session and we were walking through the feria when we found... SHARK! So of course we had to buy some shark meat and see how it tasted, and let me say, it was probably one of the best things I have ever eaten. It was like a T Bone steak from the ocean, delicious. I hope Elder Topalda and I can find some more one day because shark is really tasty.
Overall things are great and going good. The work is progressing and I am seeing the help of my Father in Heaven everyday in my life. I hope all of you are doing good!
Sister Gwilliam posted this picture on Facebook. Grateful she can end the picture drought for now. Hopefully, the card reader will arrive soon!
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Wow how has it already been another week? Time goes by so fast here it scares me because I do not want to leave the mission hahahah. Anyway, this week was great, and Elder Jones and I are having a ton of progress in our sector, and I am learning new things everyday.
Ok so this last week has been pretty fun for Elder Jones and I to work with people in our sector. We have really been focusing on strengthening the young people of our sector, because we want to help them get on missions and to help them involve their friends in the gospel. One of the people we are working with is the only member in his family, so we are just making sure he has support from us and from the ward, his name is Alejandro. We went on divisiones with him all day on Monday and at the end of the night he gave me a scarf, which is awesome because a cold wave hit Santiago, so it is freezing cold now. One of our investigators is making huge progress, so I would like to fill you guys in. His name is Rudolfo and he is awesome, we met him by looking in our area book for old investigators, and we went and visited him and at first he was ni alli with us. But, we were able to teach him because he loves to learn English, so we taught him some classes and always mixed in gospel principles, and now he is actually investigating the church and reading the Book of Mormon and asking us questions! He is super sincere, and he is praying and reading to know if what he is learning about the gospel is true, so I am super excited for him, because I know he will get an answer! Overall a solid week.
So down here in Chile they have their own phrases, just like in the US we have phrases we say like "piece of cake" and I thought I would share a few Chilean phrases with you, as well as the translations.
Giving Jucie means goofing off
Goat Boy is a name you would call someone who is like the age of a highschooler
Painting monkeys is like being lazy and not doing anything
And down here in Chile they always say "po" after every thought they say, it is kind of like how in Canda people say "eh", so when Chileans watch Kung Fu Panda, it must be really confusing for them. (Lets see who gets that joke)
Things are going great down here, I am so happy and I look forward to everyday because there are always new experiences to have and things to learn everyday. I am grateful for the growth I have seen in myself so that I can become a better missionary in the hands of Heavenly Father. Love you all!
Mosiah 24; 14 through 18
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Well once again things were nice down here in Santiago, not much changed, the air is still full of smog, the people are always interesting, and the dogs are always barking, but I honestly love it all. This week was a great week of teaching and learning, and I am so grateful for every second that I have to serve the Lord.
Ok lets start off with our investigators and the other people that we are teaching. This past week has been really good for teaching, we have had a ton of powerful lessons where we teach and people agree to follow up on commitments to read the Book of Mormon, go to church, or keep the commandments. Elder Jones and I had a really good lesson with Jacob yesterday, we were talking and I felt the need to readdress his problem with getting baptized, so we talked and testified and for the first time Jacob said that he feels a change in his life! It has been so awesome to work with him and see his progress. Elder Jones and I are also working with an investigator who speaks pretty good English, so we have English classes with him and his friend and share and discuss Gospel principles. It has been great to talk and show them that we are normal people, because they have some negative influences in their life telling them stuff about Mormons, so it is good they can meet us and know who we are. Overall this week has been really good and a good time of teaching and learning how to testify powerfully.
Ok so of course, we have the funny moment of the week. So on Friday Elder Jones and I were walking in the afternoon and we were called over to talk to a guy and his friend. One of the men just wanted to fight with us and yell at us and call us liars, but the other one was very interested in us, so I distracted the guy who was yelling with some questions and stories in the Bible and Elder Jones talked to his nicer friend. That was quite an experience just getting yelled at for like 30 minutes, but it was good because we got to teach a great lesson on the street. But anyway, right after we left those guys we were approached by two more men and they started to talk to us and it wsa going great. We asked what they did for jobs and one guy literally says "I rob people, but it is ok because I have a family, so what I do is justified." We continued to talk with them, and then we became friends so it was good, now I think he wont rob us! hahahahah no but it was a really funny moment because he was explaining how what he did was OK because he does it for a purpose and not just for fun hahahahhah.
I am sad though, my time with my trainer Elder Jones is coming to an end, and it will just be weird to have a new companion, especially one that I get along with as well as I do with Elder Jones, but time goes on. But I am loving the mission, I am learning more about myself every day and I am learning how to be a better person and I have found my love for other people down here in Santiago. If there is one thing that I have learned for a surety, it is not Spanish or how to cook (I can make some dang good cereal) I have learned on the mission that helping others brings the greatest happiness that can be found in life. I love you all, keep in touch and do not forget to write!
Alma 7 I would recommend reading, it is really powerful
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Hey everyone how are things going? This week down here in Santiago was awesome and was actually a really spiritual experience and I loved the growth and the Spirit that I felt down here this week. And as always, this week had the funny moments with the people as well.
Ok so this week was super awesome because we had General Conference this weekend! For those of you who do not know what that is, General Conference happens once every six months and it is an opporotunity for the prophets and the apostles and other church leaders to give talks and to address the world in their messages, and they give help and guidance in what they say. Conference was awesome not only because I was able to learn for myself, but Elder Jones and I had Jacob, one of our Haitian investigators there with us one day! I really enjoyed that he was there and able to learn more about our church and the teaching, and all the talks about the Book of Mormon made me feel amazing and made me feel a new love and joy to serve. All of our investigators in our area are progressing down here, and we are teaching some great people. Some study English, and others have really good questions that invite the Spirit into our lessons, which is something I love. I have really learned that if we want to feel the truth of what we are learning, whether it be in the Gospel or in secular learning, if we teach the principle ourselves we learn so much more than just pure studies.
This week was also some new opporotunities for me too. On Friday all the missionaries in our zone took a missionary from the MTC (the training center) and went and taught with them for the day to show them what the mission life is like. I was paired with an Elder from northern Chile, and it was fun to get to know him and work with him, we had a great day and I got to feel like his dad for a day hahahhaa. On Monday I had divisions with my district leader Elder Anderson and I really loved that I got to know him better as we talked and worked during the day, he taught me a lot. Overall it was a great week of new experiences!
Ok so finally the funny story of the week. On Monday morning we were doing contacts with people in the morning and I was talking with this super nice lady. We had a good conversation about our families and about our lives and she actually said she wants the missionaries to come by her house and talk more. It was all super cool, and then right at the end of our meeting in the street she looked at me and the other missionaries that were in the street and she straight up looked me in the eye and asked me if we were gay. Maybe it is because I was wearing my gray and pink tie, but I do not know why she asked me that. One of the other missionaries overheard the question and after the lady walked away the missionary just started dying laughing and we both just laughed in the street for a couple minutes. So yeah, I guess you never know with the Chileans what they are going to say.
Overall I am loving the work down here and I love the people even more. I am really excited with the work we are doing, Elder Jones and I, and I have learned to love the mission more than I can imagine. I hope you are all doing good, keep in touch with how all of you are doing!
Mateo 10: 39
El que halla su vida, la perderá, y el que pierde su vida por causa de mí, la hallará
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Buena braco cochis ¿cómo estaí? Hey everyone, how are things going, is basically what that sentence means in Chileano, because if you look it up on the internet, half of those words are not even real Spanish words, just the ghetto Chilean Spanish. But anyway things are going super good down here, I honestly love the mission with all of my heart, meeting people and helping them with their lives is the best work that I think anyone can ever do. This week was really good, but as always in life there are the altos y bajos.
So lets start with our investigators. This past week we have been having way more success getting into houses and having lessons because we have been persistent in setting appointments and not letting the flojera win. We have had much more people to teach because of it, and we actually have a few baptismal dates for some old investigators who are interested again! We are going to meet with them three times a week until the 22 de Octubre when they will be baptised! Elder Jones and I have had some great lessons and discussions with other people, and overall I would say that the work in our sector is going pretty good. This Sunday we had a giant meeting as a mission where all of our Haitian investigators from all over came and we had a meeting in Creole which was pretty cool. President Gwilliam and Hermana Gwilliam were there as well as an Area 70, so it was a pretty big deal. However, our Haitian investigators are having longs hours at work, little money and a hard living situation, so that has been pretty rough this week. One of our other investigators sells these amazing sugar covered peanuts on a street corner, and everytime with talk with us he gives us some, his name is Ronald and I love him to death.
But yeah things are going really great down here, I do not think there were any super funny Chilean moments down here this week, except the usually getting hit on by girls, the people walking drunk in the street, and the dogs. The Spanish for me is really coming and I cannot say enough how grateful I am for that blessing, I can talk with people to help bless their lives and it is great. I honestly love being down here (except when it is super hot and we walk around all day, that part kinda stinks) and I love my companion Elder Jones, if he ever reads this one day, he knows that I love him. I hope you all are doing well, keep me informed with everything!
Matthew Chapter 5 is pretty swell
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
This week was awesooooooome, both with the people and with the fiestas and the food. Ok so since last week, nothing exciting really happened, we were just working in our area and contacting as normal. However, September 18 is the National Day of Independence for Chile, and the people go crazy with the parties and everything down here.
Ok so first things first, our work and the people. So this week was a lot like a rollercoaster because we had some ups and some downs. On the upside we had a ward party this Friday and a ton of our investigators and less active members showed up which was awesome. We also have been having some success by arraging meetings with old investigators, and we have appointmens to go visit them again. However on the other hand our Haitian investigators are not doing to good. They have not followed up on any of our commitments, so we had to give them palo, which is like a little stern talking to, and we told them about the importance of our time as missionaries and we love them, but they need to do their commitments in order to progress in our lessons. They took it pretty good, but we have not really heard from them since, so it was a lessoned learned in the power of agency that people have, and it was a hard lesson learned. But as always, Elder Jones and I are working hard, and it is so fun to be with him because he is like my best friend and big brother, I love the guy to death.
Yeah so about the 18 of September, it was nuts for like three days there was just non stop parties. The one thing I have learned really well about the Chileano people is that they love to party and they love to riot, so, these are my type of people. We ate a lot of empenadas and chorizos this weekend, and during when we were walking in the streets it was like a three day BBQ and party, I freaking love the Chileanos.
Everything is going good, I love the Elders I live with and for everything that they do to teach me how to be a better missionary. The Spanish language is really coming I have to say I have been really blessed with not having that big of a language barrier. I can say all of the ghetto phrases now so when I come back I am totally going to use them. And no Nico, you cannot start a Go Fund Me account to come down to Chile and fight me, I do not want to hurt you too bad anyways ahhahahah. But anyways I love all of you guys I appreciate your letters everyweek. I love this work and I love the gospel. I am growing so much in the gospel it is awesome to see, I love you all!
Moroni Chapter 7 is very spiritual, I think you guys will like it.
The boys of the casa
Hermano Belmar, he is super funny
Johnny Rockets with Elder Jones, Elder Shirrod and Elder Moore for P Day today
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
This week was so awesome, the people, the experiences and the danger. So a little background, apparently every year in Chile on September 11 it is basically the national day of rioting in Chile, and they are very good at that. Missionaries cannot go out on that day and they have to return to their house early on the day before because it is pretty dangerous because all of the flites just go crazy. But, it was really cool because we got to do some stuff that other missions do not, I will explain later in the email.
But this week has been a really great week for the missionary work, Elder Jones and I are having a ton of succes and the people seem to be popping up out of the blue. WE have started to teach people who we met in the street and others who were referred to us by the missionary office, and all of them are super receptive. One of the families lives right next door to the chapel, and they finally want to know more about the church and what Mormons do, so that was great news. And our other family lives next to a house that used to be the old missionary house where the Elders used to live before us, so they have a ton of experience with the missionaries. One of the boys in that family, named Renato, reminds me so much of my little brother Conner it is ridiculous, they have the same clever smile and love sports and video games, it is a little creepy how similar they are. Elder Jones and I are having a little difficulty with our Haitian investigators now because they are super tired after work they do not want to meet with us or read the Book of Mormon, so it is a little frustrating. But, we are working with them and if they can develope the desire to change, which I know they can, they will see miracles in their lives.
Ok, so about the crazy events of this week. First off, all the time we run into super drunk people all of the time just laying on the ground or walking in the middle of the street and they always ask us for money. I know that phrase in Spanish super good know because we hear it all they time, and every time Elder Jones and I always say, "Disculpe amigo, no tenemos nada, no tenemos plata." So I got that phrase memorized I think.
The big day this week was the 11 of September, and it is way different than how it is honored in the States let me tell ya. So down here it is actually pretty bad because all of the people just like to riot, and all they do is break stuff and light buses on fire all day, and it is very dangerous so we have to be in our house all day and then return very early the previous day becuase the rioting starts that night. So, on Saturday the tenth of September we went home early and then left again to go play soccer with the APs, do not worry we were safe and we kept an eye out for anything bad, but it was super cool to play with them. Then on Sunday the bad day we had to go to church in the morning, and it was not too bad, we just met people who were drunker earlier in the day, and after church we went straight home. That afternnon we had naps in our house and the that night we had a BBQ with the APs, and it was super awesome, we shared stories all night and just chilled, it was one of the best mini vacations ever.
I am doing good, I love the mission, and I love you all I hope you are all doing well! Love you and do not forget to write!
3 Nefi 20:23
Y sucedera que llegara el dia en que les sera predicada la plentitud de mi evangelio. (Sorry for the lack of accents)
This is Elder Guitierrez, one of my other District Leaders, we had divisions and he is super capo
We killed it on the soccer field
BBQ con los chicos
My board and closet with all of my stuff
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
STAR WARS. Well actually I have not seen the movie yet while I have been down here, we are going over to our Presidents house in about an hour to go watch it, and we will get to eat Papa Johns at his house too, so basically today is better than Christmas. This week was really good and full of brand new experiences for me which was awesome. And our teachings and investigators are making progress, which always makes me feel very happy for them.
This week was full of meetings at church and with our investigators. On Saturday and Sunday we had Stake Conference, which is where all of the wards in a certain area go and meet up, and it was good. But pretty much all day on Saturday we were in meetings and learning, so we could not accomplish much, but it was great to be able to learn from some of the speakers. On Sunday we had the general meeting of Stake Conference, and we invited a ton of investigators and they showed up! Our Haitian friends showed up and some of our new investigators that we invited, so it was a great experience. Monday was a great day too, a girl in our ward got her mission call so we went over to her house for the opening and she is going to Buenos Aires, Argentina, so that is really cool. And while Elder Jones and I were at her house we met her friends and other ward members who said they know people in our area we can go teach! We stopped by one mans house and he literally straight up told us he wants to be baptized, and I almost died of happiness. So, the work is good, our Haitian friends will be baptized next week, and we have a ton of new people to teach which is always a good thing.
I personally had some new experiences this week too. On Sunday at a members house I had my first sushi ever, and it is not half bad. I just wish my first sushi could have been from a nice restauruant and not a convienence store, but either way it was still good. Elder Jones had to go renew his VISA on Friday and we had to travel to downtown Santiago where they have the nice buildings and it was really cool, it was like being in New York. But, the trip took most of the day, so for lunch we went into the mall and ate... Taco Bell! It was so good, I think it might be better than the States, but yeah Friday was a cool day. And of course, I had another experience with drugs this week! Yesterday while Elder Jones and I were talking to a member in front of his house he told us to look over in the park across the street and all we could see was a teenage girl. The member told us that she is the biggest drug lord in our area of town and that she is super scary. We did not believe him at first but then he told us stories about how she has been in shootouts, almost died a few times and about how she pays of the Carabineros (Police) so that they do not come drive around and interfere with her operation. And we believe him because our area that we work in is super rough and we never see any cops, but now we know why hahahhahahahah.
Things are going good, we walk everywhere to get around because it is small enough to walk everywhere, but we take the Subway and the buses to go to places that are far away. Overall I love the mission, it is the most fun I have had in my entire life, both with helping the people and having fun with my fellow missionaries. It really is the best two years. I love you all, I love to hear about things happening at home, do not forget to write!
(I do not have a scripture, but feel free to go look up Alma 40, it is a great chapter.)
Thursday, September 1, 2016
How in the world has is already been another week? The time here flies by, the days feel long at times, but the weeks feel like days, if that even makes sense. This week has been very good and and have been able to see progress in everything that has been happening with the work down here in Chile.
So this week was a good week for our investigators. Our friends from Haiti are making good progress, and this week they had some questions that Elder Jones and I are answering, we are making sure that they understand. All of our Haitian investigators have huge hearts, and they are awesome, everytime I see them in the street they always yell "Hey Tagman!", because they cannot say my last name right hahahaha. Our Haitian investigators have a baptism date for next Saturday, so I am praying and working with them to make them ready for baptism! This week was also good because Elder Jones and I have a few new investigators that we are teaching and some of them also accepted the invitation to be baptized! We work hard everyday and I am absolutely loving it.
So a little background about Chile, the culture here is so much different than the US it is crazy. Our schedule is different than other missions because we have to wake up and go to bed an hour later because Chile is infected by a disease called laziness. Everyone here is so lazy it is crazy. So anyway, the people here also only eat one giant lunch for their meal of the day, so our lunch appointments are always a ton of food and it is a ton of beans, and if you know me, I hate beans. But, I am learning to love them. Chileans are so funny because all of them try to learn English so that one day they can go to the US, so everytime we are walking in the street we hear, "Hello, how are you?" I hear this probably twenty times a day hahahah.
Yesterday we had a meeting with a man from the church who is in charge of all of the missions in Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Peru and he was really inspirational. He made me want to work harder and he really helped me to understand our purpose as missionaries. I have found that when I am working I am much happier than when I am not.
There was a super funny incident that happened this week and I thought that I would share it. So the place that I am assigned to work in is called La Granja, which in English means The Farm. And it definitely is a farm, but not a farm that grows food, our area is a farm that grows all kinds of drugs. I have seen more drugs and drug deals down here than I ever even knew existed, and the Chileans have no shame, they do drug deals in the middle of the day right next to a busy road, it is awesome. But anyway, Elder Jones and I were teaching a lesson in the street this week, and we saw some guys walking towards each other with a purpose, which means that a drug deal is about to go down. So I kept an eye on them out of the corner of my eye to watch the deal. The guys met up and tried to make the exchange all smooth, but they dropped the little bag of cocaine, so it was just laying in the street. They yelled at each other and then one of them picked up the bag and they ran away. It was super funny.
But yeah things are great down here in Chile, I am loving life. Everyday our entire house gets up an hour early and runs a couple of miles, so it is a great way to start the day. Spanish is really coming along, I am able to understand almost everything, so now I am working on speaking! Life is good, for our P Day today we played soccer and basketball, and we ended up playing gringos versus latinos, the gringos won basketball, but sadly my fellow gringos could not pull out the win for the soccer game. Things are going good, life is awesome, I can see myself learning everyday. Love you all!