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!