January 25, 2010

Well another week has come and gone… lets see…

Last Monday the baseball game went good I guess… they don’t know how to play baseball here. They play with 5 bases and it’s a square -- weird. Anywho we didn’t play for that long, I actually never even hit. It didn’t really complete the purpose we had and I actually think that I'll never play baseball again with investigators just cause it didn’t work out really great. There is one kid named Ariel that we would like to teach, but who knows what will happen.

Sooooooooooo…. Sergio… We didn’t get to see him this week. We passed by twice but he wasn’t home. We called him on Saturday about coming to church on Sunday and he couldn’t because he was working. That means that his baptismal date isn’t set for the 7th anymore.

We had 7 investigators in church yesterday, but a lot of people who are close to baptism didn’t come. I don’t think well have any baptisms this next Sunday, but I hope the following Sunday yes.

Oh, Santiago came to church yesterday. We passed by his house and he wasn’t there. I left him a note that said see you in church tomorrow… he came… he showed up late and he couldn’t stay for the classes afterward, but he came. Yesterday the teacher for the gospel principles class didn’t show up so I taught it…. It should have been chapter 3 about Jesus Christ, but I felt like I should teach about the book of Mormon. My, how I love the Book of Mormon. It’s the most incredible thing in the world. It is also one of the greatest blessings God has given us here on this earth. We are trying to figure out how to introduce the Book of Mormon quicker and more efficiently in our contacts and lessons. ;As I’ve told you before, our focus here isn’t really the restoration; rather it is repentance and baptism. We talk about that with every one, however I feel like in the near future we will be moving back to the restauracion un poco… we'll see what happens. I just love the fact that we have the Book of Mormon. I feel so grateful for it.

What else…. Life is good… I’m very happy… I had a dream about Grandpa Stu last night. I have met so many people that remind me of Grandma Renee, but more that remind me of Grandma Beryl. It is amazing how much members of the church are alike… doesn’t matter if they live in Utah or Chile.

Oh, so get this… There are these things here called Alfajors. They are chocolate covered cookies with manjar in the middle… they have the ingredients on the package and well they have them in Spanish but also in English… but I don’t know if the person who wrote them in English actually understands English very well because the number one ingredient that is bold says GREASY MATTER – 14.25%... Now I’m not sure if I’m getting fat because of the bread or because of the Greasy Matter that I’m always eating.

The graffiti is pretty cool, I’m covering a cool part of it... its hard because we can't take pictures on the street when others can see us... I had to wait about 2 months to get that picture.

Love you. Have a good week... peace gringos... preach the peace

January 18, 2010

Hello hello -

I hope everything is going well for you all.  Everything is well here. We didn't do anything today.  We were going to go to Concepcion to get my companions ID, but when we called the zone leaders to get permission they said they would need to call the assistants and then call us back, but they still haven't called us... no big deal, I didn't want to go there today anyway.  At 4pm we are going to play baseball with some guys.  Some kids in the street always ask us when we're going to play soccer with them.  We can't play soccer, plus it just wouldn't be the smartest thing to do as missionaries.  Anywho, one day I said joking, "I don't play soccer I play baseball" and they said, "OK lets go play."  They don't even know what baseball is I don't think.  That was last Wednesday.  We told them we would play Monday, preparation day, but we still didn't think we would.  This last week we had interviews with the president and my companion asked him if we could.  He said yes... I was surprised because I wasn't going to even play, but when my companion asked him I said, "OK if you want to play, lets play." We were walking yesterday and all of a sudden three kids came out of a house and said, "We are playing tomorrow, right?" We told them yes....we´ll see how it goes.

We had some cool things happen this week but I didn't write them down so I can't remember what they were...  (plus I haven't written in my journal for about 5 weeks!)  We are finding a lot of good people and so we have to be good about remembering them all and passing by all of their homes to find out who is going to progress.  Yesterday we searched forever for an address. When we finally found it they let us in and we taught the dad.  His name is Sergio.  We found out his son is 15 and was baptized about a year ago in Santiago (speaking of Santiago I hope he is doing OK... we haven't passed by in about 4 weeks) They moved here to Chillan and his son hasn't attended at all here.  He told us how he was about to be baptized, but he couldn't stop smoking. We taught him about repentance, remission of sins, and the Holy Ghost. I thought I was being kind of bold when I pulled out a calender and said OK lets make a plan right now.  How many are you going to smoke tomorrow?  I thought he would say a number and we would work on it until it was down to zero by the end of the week. He just said none.  I'm just going to stop doing it.  The spirit was strong and I know that's why he said that, but I sure hope he can do it.  He wants to get baptized on February 7th.  We´ll see what happens.  I know he can do it.  He knows he needs to stop smoking, not because its a rule for the church, rather because it's a commandment from God.

Yesterday we just had sacrament meeting because they had elections for the president. Chile is socialist country. Everyone loved the socialist candidate that was running, however the the republican won! CCHHEEHOO... The attendance at church went from about 145 to 110 yesterday because of the elections.  Here in Chile if you register to vote you HAVE to vote. Because of that, many people don't register.

We have found some good people... we have a family that I love...Walter, Alejandra and Camila. We tried to do a family night activity with them yesterday but the sister of the wife had a problem with her husband and the husband of Alejandra was still working so they couldn't come... we still did a home evening with The families Alarcon, Carrasco, and two people we reactivated. We talked about prophets.  We are so lucky to have a prophet.  We are the only people in the world that have prophets and we are so lucky for that. 

We also found this other girl that moved from Santiago about 2 weeks ago. She was being taught by the missionaries there, but she had to leave...she had to leave so fast she didn't even say goodbye, they didn't know where she moved to...we found her.  Her name is Marisol.

Everything is going good. I got a letter from the Ashbys and the Elzeys this last week. I love letters more than anything. The Elzeys cards were AWESOME.  I was telling you guys a couple weeks ago how much I love them, Rob and Lee Ann... they are so awesome.   And Caleb... what?!? Caleb is big... I saw a picture of him and Jessica and I thought ‘Oh, Jessica has a boyfriend’, but no no no it was Caleb!!! That was shocking....

I hope all is well for you all... love you

January 11, 2010

Hey wonderful family-

I hope every thing is going good.  It is going well here.  Today is an overcast day, it’s not hot at all, its good.  This morning we woke up and were going to go to the mountains with someone in our ward.  He has a cabin there.  We walked to this place and met him but his jeep has a bad brake fluid line.  We went to try and fix it but we couldn’t, so I guess we’ll go next week.  This guy is just a young guy.  30 years old.  After he served his mission he went by himself and lived in Utah for 5 years. He got there not knowing anyone or any English... crazy.  I like him.  He is going to move back to Utah with his wife sometime.

When I saw the frowny face in Dad’s title I knew it was about Dusty.  That really stinks.  I was able to hold back the tears when I read it though, so no one else knows.  I just kind of feel hollow and empty.

Coyquen B is doing well. Not as well as I’d like, but its our own fault.  We only had 2 investigators in the church yesterday, but it was a huge assistance.  154... that’s a lot.  Fernando came, yes.  We are working to get more investigators. Elder Higham and I have actually found a good amount of people; we just need to focus on them a little bit more.  I feel like we were a little too spread out this last week so we are going to focus a little bit better this week to help some investigators really start to progress. I can't remember what I told you guys last week, but we found a family that has actually been through the temple and we need to start working with them a little bit more. There is also a family of Walter, Alejandra, Camila, and a little boy.  They are pretty awesome, but it's going to take a lot for them to be baptized, but I know it can happen.

I got a letter from the Ashbys on Tuesday and one from Megan on Tuesday and Thursday.  It was very nice to hear from them.  We have interviews with the President this Wednesday so he, his wife and the assistants will be coming.  Last Thursday we went to Concepción for a conference.  I got to see Elder Law!   He’s doing great.  He is now just recently in his second sector and he is companion mayor also... actually everyone in my group is I think.  My MTC district was incredible and they are all amazing.

That's all for this week.

January 4, 2010

Elder Higham - Nate - Elder Bravo

Life is grand here in Chile... I'm still in the same sector, I'm still in the same house, but there are now four people in the house.  My companion is Elder Higham.  He's from Logan.  He is awesome.  He's got a desire to do the Lord's work in the Lord's way.  He speaks Spanish better then me. Its funny because sometimes I'll be talking to someone on the street and they won't understand me so I just say listen to my companion, he speaks better. The Lord likes to humble His children.  I feel like we´ll get a lot done together.  Elder Poma is now training Elder Matney from Ohio.  Elder Matney is incredible.  I have learned so much from him in just one week. He can't speak a lick of Spanish, but he's so brave, humble, loving, patient, and he truly finds the good in other people.  He's also hilarious... he's a farm / country boy I would guess and it is just funny to listen to him speak -- Spanish or English.  We now have two bunk beds in our room and Elder Higham and I are studying in the kitchen in the mornings.  Tuesday when we did the transfers I was able to see Elder Bravo and we actually went with one of the members of the ward in his car and he took us to a lot of the converts homes.  We then returned to the bus station and my companion was already there.  We have technically opened the new sector so that means that we started with nothing... however we talked with a lot of people this week and we passed by the house of some old investigators. We had 5 investigators in church this week; Walter, Alejandra, Camila and two kids from a part member family.  We could help them get baptized, but I don't think the dad wants it. 

Nate, Hans and Patricio

We found an inactive family that has been sealed in the temple.  It hurts me to see those inactive families, it really does. They have a kid named Ariel who is 20 years old and he needs to serve a mission, but stuff happened in the church a while back so now no one in the family goes to church. I hope we can help them return. Speaking of return, yesterday in church Fernando came.  You guys don't know Fernando.  He's a member and actually a high priest. He was living with a woman and we started teaching her. To make a really long story very short, one day he got very mad and basically kicked us out of his house. This was about two months ago.  We hadn't seen him or his girlfriend since then.  Yesterday he showed up in church.  I gave him a huge hug.  It was after sacrament because yesterday my companion and I did the sacrament, we were walking to our seats as he was walking in and I gave him a big hug and then he squeezed me even harder and then he gave me a kiss and started to tear up. We didn't even say one word.  It must have taken a lot of humility and courage to return to church how he did.  I was SO happy.  I know it can't really compare to the prodigal son, but in my heart and mind that's what it felt like... I was so happy.

Nate and Hermano Adam
(He is an incredible example. The man can barely walk but he still rides his bike to church every Sunday.)

So with four missionaries we seem to have fleas now. I always tried to keep the house decently clean and was careful, but now I guess we have fleas.  This morning I was getting in the shower and I saw one on my arm. I wasn't sure what it was until I reached to grab it and it jumped away. Elder Matney and Elder Higham have shown me their flea bites - ha ha ha - they are bad. Don't worry, my skin seems to be too tough for them. Either that or they just have a profound respect for me because I still don't have bites.  Even the one I saw chillin' on my arm for 10 seconds didn't bite me. Spiders are coming in abundance, too.

Everything is really good here.  I love life... I love you guys.  I got a letter from aunt Em this week and a package from Kathy Hall... that was a very pleasant surprise.  I love her.  I hope everyone is doing well.

Until next week.....