May 24, 2010

Hello friends, family and anyone else

Another week has come and gone.  Time here is very weird.  I have said that many times, and I'm sure I’ll say it till I get home.  It truly flies by, but it seems like I have been in Tomé for a long time.  I received a letter from Patricio a couple days ago.  Oh how I love him and his family.  He informed me that he is the 1st counselor in the stake young men’s presidency (don’t know if you already knew that) and also that Marjori is pregnant.  I know I already told you that, but I just had to tell you again. I love that family so much.  I love everyone from Chillan, but I also love Tomé.  The members are incredible.  There are also great people.
We had two girls pass interviews yesterday, but we aren’t sure when they will be getting baptized because they are a little bit afraid. We have been teaching them and their mom.  They are all worried because the dad used to go to a different church and the grandma (who lives with them) goes to a different church.  The grandma has given them so many problems.  The girls are very ready.  They have come to church lots of times and they go to seminary almost every day.  The mom has only come to church once.  The girls are named Camilia and Daniela, the mom Janet.
Jose Luis and his family are doing well.  They came to church yesterday. They were there early.  We know they are very punctual, so last week we told them to get there at 10:20 because people just don’t show up to church on time here. Plus, in Tomé, Sacrament meeting is at the end, so lots of people don’t show up right at 10. Anyway, they were there at 10:00 yesterday with about 10 members, but igual, it was fine.  The principles of gospel class was taught by me yesterday. The teacher got there and told me she didn’t prepare it.  That was ok because it was about organization of the priesthood and I gladly taught it.  Jose Luis is blown away every time he learns more about the church.  Matilde is ready to get baptized because she has read the Book of Mormon a lot.  Claudia is awesome, but has her doubts because she hasn’t been reading always. The Book of Mormon is incredible.  I affirm what Joseph Smith said, that a man will get closer to God by living by its principles than any other book, (I have no clue if that’s what it says in English, sorry) Through the Book of Mormon, anyone can gain a testimony of Jesus Christ.
The Atonement is everything.  I love learning more and more about it everyday.  As a mission, we have a huge focus in it.  I love trying to help people understand it better, and learning more about it even as we teach them.   I don’t understand how He did it.  I just know He did.
He gives us a chance to overcome sin.  He gives us a chance to turn our weaknesses into strengths.  He gives us a chance to perfect ourselves. I love the invitation Moroni gives us at the end of the Book of Mormon - the invitation to leave all sin and worldliness to follow Christ.  Let us do that.  We have been baptized for the remission of sins, and now we have the blessing to participate in the Sacrament every week.  The plan that our Father has for us is so simple.  He sent His Son.  The Son did His part.  He has marked The Way. Now we have the choice to follow it - or to go some other way.  That is what is so hard to help people understand.  There is only one way.  We can’t blaze our own trail to Salvation and Exaltation.  We have to follow the trail that Christ has marked. To do that, we have to be humble.  That is something that we have been trying to help the people realize right now.  We owe everything to our Savior, Jesus Christ, and we can’t do things in the way we want to.  We have to follow the standards He has set, and it is incredible how simple it is.  It is not always easy, but it is simple, and that’s what makes it incredible.  I heard the quote that the gospel is simply beautiful, and beautifully simple.  That’s how it is.  I love you guys so much and I thank you for the example you have been, are, and will be.  I pray that we accept the invitation of Moroni.  I hope we truly evade all sin.  I hope we participate in the Sacrament every week, where we can renew sacred covenants and promises.
We were able to find some new people this week.  We were knocking some doors when we entered into one. The 27-year-old girl told us she didn’t believe in God.  Her mom told us her husband was baptized Mormon.  As we began teaching, the girl began telling us how she does believe in God, but that churches just make her mad.  We hope to be able to help her (and her mom and sister).  She is named Gina.
Jennifer is a young mom - probably 25, with a couple of little kids.  We taught her and it was good. She actually came to church for a little bit, but she had to leave early.  I hope we can help her too.  It is amazing what happens when people feel the spirit.  Jennifer knows she is in sin, and she wants to leave it.  She is living with a man that is married to someone else, but she says she is trying to fix it.
I love you all. The weather is good.  It’s getting cold.  Today we went to Punta de Parra again.  That was cool.  We did a BBQ on the beach.  I had a long talk with Elder Jaar.  I love him.  I don’t know why, but I love him.

Elder Pitcher