Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Hey everyone how are you guys doing? This week was pretty good, we had our usual activities and our lessons that we taught, and on top of everything this week there was an earthquake that hit near Santiago! Do not worry I am alive, so there is no need to panic.
This week has been really interesting for Elder Gates and I. This past week a ton of our investigators have stopped progressing or now do not meet with us, not because they do not want to, but because there family says not to. All I can say is that it has been a little rough seeing how the selfish decisiones of another can influence or destroy the salvation of someone else, and it is a hard thing to see happen. But, that means that Elder Gates and I are back to talking with more people in the street all day every day! On Monday we had a day of just walking around and tracting for about 6 hours just talking to people that we meet on the street trying to share the message of the Restored Gospel with them. We met some great people, and one of them, Christian, seems like a great lead and we have a lesson with him on Saturday. Things are moving along and going as they should in the mission. I also forgot to mention, but last week Elder Gates and I went out and had lunch on our P Day with my old investigator Rodolfo from my old ward! It was great to see him again, and because our mission is so small, the trip to meet up from the different ends of the mission was like 20 minutes hahahahahaha. He is doing great and is continuing to meet with the missionaries, I love that guy and I hope he makes the decision to get baptized soon!
This last Sunday we also had the chance to go to another chapel in our stake and go help them with a chapel tour they were putting on. Elder Gates and I presented a part of the tour that talked about baptism, and it was awesome because we got to show how baptism really lets us become a part of God´s kingdom on the Earth and for the eternities. He really does have a plan of happiness for each and every one of us.
So on Monday we had an earthquake! Elder Gates and I were walking on a narrow street in our sector and we were talking to people when all of the sudden we felt the ground start to move and we looked at each other and then looked at the area around us. All of the houses started to sway a little bit and there were signs and posters that fell off of people´s houses. The whole thing lasted like 2 or 3 minutes, but it was weird because it felt like the ground was almost a jelloish substance. It would definitely be cool to experience it again. But overall there was no real big or lasting damage to anyone or anything so that was a good thing.
The life is normal in Chile, everyday is sticking to the routine and doing the Lord´s work. I hope you all have a great week!
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Hey guys what is up? I am pretty happy right now becaue it is raining and cold, so that means we are leaving the hot summer and starting to head into the raining winter woohoooooo! This week was a little weird, I got to participate in some government programs and also got to be saved by using the name of a gangster here in the sector, so overall a pretty fun time.
Ok so about the people. Elder Gates and I are having some major success here and also some bad luck, but that is the way it is in the mission field. We have some amazing less active members and some investigators who are progressing very good, but the problem is the other half of the people we are teaching had some hard things happen this last week. From other family members lying to us and them about when they are home, to major problems at work it has been a little frustrating trying to find and teach people this week, but sometimes that is the way the mission goes. However, as I said we have some amazing people who are progressing amazingly. We are teaching a less active joven named Ignacio who if he keeps his goals will be able to get the Priesthood in three weeks and he is working to go and serve a mission! We are also teaching some Haitianos who are really receptive to the message of the Restauracion and we are teaching them and fixed dates for them on reading the Book of Mormon, coming to church and eventual baptism! Overall things are amazing and difficult at the same time, but that just makes the work more fun.
As you guys also know this last week was Easter and it was great. I encourage and invite any of you that have not seen the videos on mormon.org to go and watch them, they are great and teach us who is Jesucristo and how we can become more like him. Really good stuff.
Alright so the funny and scary story of the week, sorry mom, but do not worry this one is not too bad. So a couple of days ago Elder Gates and I were going to end the night but we decided to go stop in on a reference we got to see if we could come by and teach him later. Well the street we turned on to was full of dudes smoking and drinking, or in other words, a normal street. The guys started yelling at us and were trying to scare us, but then I remembered the name of a gangster we met, so I mencioned his name and they all quieted down and we shared some cards with them about Jesus and invited them to turn their lives around through Christ and then we left. It was a great night.
Overall things are great, the government Census passed by yesterday and we had to stay in the house and answer a bunch of questions so that was something new. The lady who spoke to us was shocked why we were here in Chile so young so we shared with her and it was good, we testified of the Christ. I love what I am doing and the things that we do everyday. No labor goes uncounted when working in the work of the Lord, and I am happy to be a part of that. Take care and have a good week!
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
This was a crazy week! It felt like this last week there was so much going on and so little time to do it all, I felt like I was running around like a crazy person. We had service projects, an open chapel, lessons to teach, classes to prepare, and yes we had changes this last week. I am no longer companions with Elder Gowers, I love the guy and I will miss him, but I am now with Elder Gates! He is actually from the same group as Gowers and they were companions in the MTC, so it was fun to meet him at the change meeting.
Ok before we dive into everything I will start with the people we have. So about two weeks ago we went to go visit a member at their house late at night right before going home and I felt prompted to talk with his neighbor across the street. It turns out they are awesome, and they have 3 kids who all speak a little bit of English because the family has friends in Florida. We have gone back and are teaching the kids of the family, they are super receptive to the Gospel and they are all reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish and English, so I am very excited to see the progress of Max, Yulliana and Nicol! Yesterday as well, Elder Gates and I went to find a Haitian reference that we recieved and we met the guy and started teaching him. It turns out he is super receptive and has been looking for a way to communicate with God for a long time now, so our first lesson with him was all about God´s love and prayer and he accepted the invitation to come to church and see what it was all about! Overall the people are great, and are eager to learn about Christ.
This Sunday in our ward we had an activity where all the members came to the church, along with a ton of missionaries and we setup the chapel in a way to expalin different topics about the church. We then invited people who were walking by in front of the chapel inside to come a take a look. We gave them the tour and talked about various topics; baptism, the Book of Mormon, the Priesthood and so forth, and then we shared about the Easter initiative of the church. We were able to talk and meet a lot of people, and many of them want us to come by and meet with them, so we are excited for that as well!
Ok so funny/disgusting story of the week. On Saturday we met up with the zone and we went to a really ghetto apartment that is in our stake boundaries. The city of San Bernardo asked us to come and clean up a hoarders house because it was disgusting and bugging all of the neighbors and the people. Let me say, this house was disgusting. If anyone has seen the show on TV about the people who just hoard stuff without stopping, this house was 5 times worse. We walked into the apartment with facemasks and gloves and the floor was covered with old food, trash, clothes, wine boxes and bottles, and yes maybe there was human and animal waste everywhere. I will not go into details but it was the crappiest job I have ever done in my life no lie. We were there for 4 hours taking out the stuff, and there were spiders all over the walls and in everything, so we were trying not to get bit as well. It was gross, but in the end we finally got everything all cleaned up.
I am doing good, I am loving the mission and all the challenges that come my way everyday. I know the Lord lives and that He has a work that we need to do in order to help His children. I am blessed for everything I learn everyday and all the blessings that I see around me. Love you, do not forget to write!
There was a gorilla selling hamburgers in the store today
Pancakes with icecream
Elder Ebert left as well this change
This is a normal looking street of my sector
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Alright so I will explain the title of the email later, but basically I am 100 percent sure no one will mess with the missionaries in our sector hahhahaha.
This week was a really great week, for those of you who do not know we had a world wide broadcast where church leaders talked and spoke to us for two days on Saturday and Sunday. It was amazing to feel the spirituality of their messages and the Conference comforted me because I know that God calls his servants to work here on the Earth, and these servants gave us counsel directly from Him this last weekend. If you did not have the chance to see it, I would highly recommend visiting lds.org. My favorite message was definitely the one by President Monson in the Priesthood session about charity, it really teaches us how to better love others.
That being said it was a great week this week, as always we had some ups and downs, but overall I really enjoyed the work we were able to accomplish.
As always with the people. This past week Elder Gowers and I had a cool story I would like to share. Last week I think I mentioned a man that we contacted while we were looking for another person, well we went back to his house and had a lesson with him. His name is Ricardo, he is 60 years old and comes from the South of Chile. He lives in a rough situation at his house. He lives with his wife who is almost deaf, and their son Christian who has some mental and physical problems, so Ricardo has to work almost 90 hours a week to support his family, but he loves us coming by to visit. We had a lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel and how Christ´s love for us is something that will never cease to exist. He then told us he knows our message is true because of the Spirit he felt, Elder Gowers and I are going back today and we are going to invite him to be baptized. We have had a little bit of a set back with Nevel and his baptismal date, he wants to wait until is family from Haiti gets here so he can talk to them, but he continues to come to church and read the Book of Mormon, so we are still excited for his progress.
Overall things are great, and now I will explain the funny moment and the title of my email. On Saturday Elder Gowers and I were going to an appointment in between Conference sessions and we stopped and talked to a guy on the street who called us over. He looked like a total thug who just wanted to rob us, he had a cigarette in his hand, his reggatone music playing, and his pants really low. We talked to him and he said that we were really cool and that we are friends now, so he would "watch out" for us in our sector. His name is Bastian. So moral of the story is, make friends with the drug dealers so none of the other gangsters want to pick on you hahahahha.
As always it was a great week with some great people down in Santiago. We had interviews with President Gwilliam this past week and it is always nice to get some spiritual upliftment and be able to talk with him. Things are going good, the weeks keep flying by, there is so much to do in so little time to do it!
Capture the flag paintball
The Condell and Balmaceda house
This is Elder Brown, I read his blog like a year ago before I left on the mission, and now he goes home soon
This is a view of our back porch