May 3, 2010

I can’t believe it hasn’t rained yet. It is truly a blessing from God. Usually the rain starts in April here, but its May and it hasn’t been too bad. It is interesting to see how few people realize tender mercies from the Lord, such as delaying the rain for months after an earthquake, but instead they ask why would God let an earthquake happen.
That would be neat if the Jazz win, but they are playing the Lakers... no matter how good the Jazz are or how bad the Lakers are, the Lakers always win. (Elder Keller is a huge Lakers fan)

I love thinking about how busy your lives are. Enjoy it mom :) ... It will pass way to fast. Who cares about the basement and all that stuff. Remember what is most important. I remember President Monson gave a message about that. I would suggest watching the Mormon Message of it :)
That’s awesome that you are going to read scriptures every morning... you don’t have to read a lot... just read until you find something you need to change in the life. I love love love the scriptures.

The mission has been, is, and might always be, the best time of my life. I was lying in bed last night and I couldn’t go to sleep... (just like I was before the mission) It was about 1:30 and I was just thinking about how amazing it is to be here. How lucky I am. I started to get a knot in my throat when I started thinking that I only have one year left. I only have 9 more transfers. That scares me to death. I don’t want to leave. I had to get out of my bed and pray last night. I prayed for a long time. I testify that the power of prayer is real. I thank you for the prayers you have all offered for my well-being. I am extremely lucky to know the people I know, and have the friends and family I have. I have also had the best companions here in the mission, and the best sectors.

Another reason I was up last night is because we had transfers this morning. The elders from Dichato didn’t have much to worry about, but Elder Keller and I did.  It makes sense that he would leave, but after some things that the president had said to him, and looking at all the changes that needed to be made, we just didn’t know. It could have happened where he stayed and we would have another transfer (this is what I wanted), it could have happened where he left, and it could have happened that he stayed and I left.... so this morning we got a call nice and early - 7:30 - that was nice because it is horrible to have to wait to know the changes.

"Elder Pitcher... Your companion is going to Hualqui (Wall-Key) in Chiguayante (Chee-Why-Aunt-A). His new companion will be Elder Garey. You will be staying in Frutillares. Your companion is unknown because you will be getting a new one"

So here we are, Elder Keller and I, enjoying our last moments together. I Love Him. We have passed through a lot. We have learned from each other. We have never gotten mad at each other, not even frustrated with the other person. We have walked up and down so many hills. We have talked to a ton of people. We have been given death threats from drunks and we have avoided being kissed by girls (I have to admit, one finally got me... I have NO CLUE how - I was literally pushing her away). We have built houses for people and we have destroyed houses for people. We have loved the people, and we have been loved by the people.  I will miss him so much.

However, we will go and we will do.

This week Esteban Puentes was baptized. His mom has been a member for a long time, but has recently been reactivated. He is 11 years old. For a long time he didn’t want anything to do with the church. We were trying to teach his stepfather, he listened to us a couple times, felt the spirit, got scared, and said he didn’t want anything more. After that, Esteban wanted to learn. He has gained a testimony by the spirit. His stepfather is hard against the mom and him, he always gives them a hard time about the Book of Mormon and the church, but Esteban prayed, and he knows. He was baptized on Saturday and Confirmed on Sunday. President Navarro (cell phone guy) baptized him. That was neat. President Navarro is a STUD. Just awesome. And then yesterday the Dichato elders were able to baptize a Dad, mom, and kid. The baptism was in our chapel because Dichato still doesn’t have water or lights.

Jose Luis, Matilde, Jose Luis, y Claudia came to the baptism of Esteban. They are an incredible family, and things are just happening more and more for them. We found out its basically a miracle that we ever found them. They had their suitcases ready to leave; they were going to move to the very south of Chile, but for some reason they didn’t leave. We were talking to Claudia and her mom, and she told us that yesterday she was going to stop singing in the church choir. She is having problems with a lot of the teenagers in there church. She was scared to death about how she was going to tell the director of choir. They are still 'firm' in their church. They didn’t come yesterday, but they went to their church, however they are realizing more and more and more what we say. It is amazing how the Lord does his work. I remember 3 weeks ago the dad said, wow, well maybe if we get in a fight in our church we will be able to change to your church. 3 weeks later their daughter is leaving the choir because she doesn’t like the kids. Matilde, the mom, has 7 brothers and sisters that all go to the church. Her dad is a Deacon (lider) in the church. But they truly love God. They have so many doubts, questions and fears still, but they are progressing. Thank you for your prayers. I haven’t been able to express how excited we are about them, but we are so excited. They are awesome. Pray more and more please. Pray they have the courage to follow God. Pray they have the desire to follow God, pray they recognize answers to their prayers. Just pray, because we can't do anything without God’s help. This is His work, and it is His glory.

I love you all.... a lot.
Elder Pitcher.