June 28, 2010

Dearest Family -

I can’t express how much I love you and miss you. I feel like I have the best family in the world. Dad, I hope you had a great Father’s Day last week and Mom, I hope you had a great birthday. I had forgotten it was your birthday until the 15th of June. I showed the picture of our family to someone and they said, 'Wow! Your parents are so young! How old are they?' It was then that I realized, ‘Wow! It is already June, and it is almost the 18th.’ I love you guys. I love showing the picture of our family. Wow I love Grandma and Grandma and Grandpa. I was actually thinking about Grandpa Kay yesterday because I thought of my 10th grade health teacher, Ann Johnson. Grandpa, or maybe Grandpa Morgan, baptized either her or her parents - I can’t remember. I love my brothers and sister.

We had a conference last Thursday, the last one with president Chavez. I will miss him, but that’s ok. It just kind of stinks I’ll probably never see him again. I’m excited for the new President. At lunch on Thursday we all went up and shook their hands and gave them hugs. We hugged Hermana Chavez. So many people thought that was so weird, but it didn’t bug me at all. I love those two.

Oh yea, I forgot to tell you I’m a district leader now.

I have learned and grown a lot in these last two weeks. I have learned a lot about learning and teaching line upon line, precept on precept. I have learned a lot about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I have learned a lot about the plan our Heavenly Father has prepared for us.

I love learning and studying. I really need the Word of God.

Our Heavenly Father loves us more than we understand. I remember you always telling me that I don’t understand what you two feel for me, and I won’t until I am a parent and become what you already are. I believe you 100%. I also imagine that we won’t comprehend His love until we become as He is. I love the scripture in Mosiah 4:9 that says we don’t comprehend what He does. He does understand. For that, we have to follow Him. His plan is that we follow His Son. It is the only intelligent thing to do. Any other form, any other way, is madness. The other day I was reading my notes from the MTC and they provoked a thought I had when I was there. It’s something that you have thought about before, but it’s always good to think it again....

If what we say is true really is true, then we must dedicate our entire life to this work. We must obsess over it. If God really is our Father, If Jesus of Nazareth really is the Savior and Redeemer of this world, if Joseph Smith really was called by God to restore the fullness of His Gospel, if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints really is the True Church, the only intelligent thing to do would be obsess with advancing His work. We would need to dedicate our lives to it. Dedicate our lives to follow his plan....

Here is the kicker....

It Is True.

There is a God in the heavens. He is the Father of our spirits. The boy from Nazareth named Jesus really is our Savior. I still don’t know how He is, but I know He is. Because of that, we owe Him everything. We owe Him our lives. As we know, and as the prophets have taught us, He hasn’t asked us to give our life for Him by dying, He has asked us to give our life to Him by living.

I have gained a new love for our Savior, Jesus Christ. He really is our Master. He really lives. This really is His church.

Elder Pitcher

June 21, 2010

I am so sorry, but I can’t write anything today... I went to the dentist. This will be the worst email ever, but I have to tell you your prayers are working for Claudia. Thank you SO mucho. I love you all. I think about you always. It is raining, and its not stopping but that’s ok :) I don’t need a jacket, but either pair of the pants would be awesome. You decide. I trust you.

Love your son...
Elder Nathan Pitcher.

June 14, 2010

Hello Gringos
(that is what everyone says to us in the streets here)

I love grandpa Stu. Goodness I do, and I miss him. We went to a home center place today and it reminded so much of Home Depot... because of the colors. It was almost a mix between Home Depot and Griggs (yes... the famous Griggs). Because of that I was just thinking about gramps. I went and bought another rain jacket. The one I have now is a good jacket, but let me tell you... I bought it because it wasn’t the most expensive of them all -- I wish I would have bought the most expensive now! It works OK, it is water proof and stuff, but the hood is really bad. And that stinks because no one likes a water head when it rains. Yesterday it rained and the hood was just giving me problems, big time, so what did I do? I went to the store and bought one of those heavy duty jackets... you know - The Deadliest Catch style - or, McKinnis orchard style... no, I didn’t buy the yellow color, but its one of those that goes almost to my knees... so, walking around in that and big rubber boots (McKinnis orchard style) I only have a small portion exposed to the water, that would be the leg area... The rain is starting, and I don’t think it is going to stop anytime soon. But that’s OK. I really like the rain. It gets me excited. Plus, if it is raining really hard and hitting the ground and making a lot of noise that means I can sing songs out loud and no one will hear me. However... rain and cold are difficult together.

Oh... they called for transfers today... I’m staying, however, Elder Findlay is leaving, I really, really, really like Elder Findlay (he’s from Seattle) Plus, I have gotten really used to his feet because the position of the beds put his feet about 6 inches from my face. So who is coming? Elder Bird. Who is Elder Bird? The tallest missionary in the mission...probably 6’ 6”ish... so we will see what happens :) Elder Findlay and a missionary from my neighboring sector are going to Chillán. Elder Cutler (from the sector next to me) is going to Coyquen... he will be a companion with Elder Higham... What a good guy Elder Higham.

So... yesterday Camila and Daniela got baptized (two sisters) that are pretty awesome... they are just Mormon girls... We taught them for about 7 or 8 weeks... it was a good service... they had a lot of their family there (none are members) I baptized Camila and it was funny, she got really, really nervous right before entering the pila bautismal and when we were standing there in the water before the baptism she was very, very nervous. She did great though... Hna Solange was right there to help her when she got out... Solange is awesome. Daniela did great too. They then invited us to eat lunch with them and all their family. We figured we would go because it would be the only time we could see all their extended family together. We canceled the lunch we were going to have and we went with them. It was a good lunch. They have a great family. I wish they would listen to us.

Jose Luis and his family.................................. They are so scared - they are just confused.  The problem is the kids I think. Claudia is 15 and José Luis 24. The parents are so worried. The kids are so confused. Claudia just doesn’t believe that so many people could be wrong in other churches. She doesn’t believe that there is only one church of God. That is actually a big problem down here. That and also people just don’t want to admit some times that there was something more for them. Like, it takes humility to say, "Wow, I need to change my church because I need to be in the church of Jesus Christ." Matilde is ready. Not because she understands, but because she has felt the spirit and that is enough for her. The dad wants to understand more. I think so he can explain it and prove it to people. We are walking a fine line right now. We could fall off either side of the sword. We just have to keep helping them feel the spirit. The problem is Claudia says she already got an answer to her prayer that said she is fine where she is. Keep praying lots.

We have a TON of investigators that are just starting right now. Lots and lost of potential. I’m excited for this next cambio. I am very grateful to not have changed, and I love this work.

Elder Pitcher

PS - I love you all... see ya in 11 months (wow... only 11 months... scary!!!)

June 7, 2010

Good morning my dearest family
Mom... I love you so much. So much. wow.

Everyone sounds to be doing great. I'm sorry to hear that you couldn't go to the activity with Chyrl and the family. I love that Aunty C - always doing things like that, I think its so awesome. I'm still using the laundry bag she gave me when I started at BYU. I love her. I'm glad Aussy and Ryan went to the priest camp. I always loved those.

Dad... guess what the guy right next to me is playing... Call of Duty :) He is on the Harbor map

Ok... so its hard to believe that another week has come and gone. Time flies, but at the same time it seems like last week was so long ago. This week we had 7 investigators in the church. Jose Luis and his family were there. They are doing well. Yesterday in the Gospel Principles class we taught chapter 16. It was cool because it even touched on the work and ordinances for the dead that they did in that time. He is having such a hard time accepting anything more then the Bible. Soon, he will realize that our church is not based on a book... it is based on revelation. As soon as he understands and accepts that, it will be great. However, yesterday he understood the Apostasy a little better and said, "Wow, so what happened to the millions of people that lived in that apostasy... they wont be saved?" We said, "Another day we will talk more about this.." They will be Temple Hounds after they are baptized. :) :) :)

This Sunday we should baptize two teenage girls. Oh I love them. Camilia is 14 and Daniela 15. I like to ask people to write me a letter about why they want to get baptized, before they get baptized. They did that and wow, I loved what they wrote. They truly just want to do what God wants them to do. Their mom also wants to get baptized, but she doesn't know how she can do it - because of her husband and her mom. We will see what happens. They need prayers.

We have a lot of other investigators... a lot. I hope I don't get transferred next week, but who knows what will happen. Yina (Gina) is a girl that we are working with, she is 26 and she has a 5 year old girl. She lives with her parents (everyone lives with their parents here) her dad was baptized a long time ago but doesn't go now, but I know he has a desire to change. He is out of the house 9 days and in 5 days. A lot of people have to work like that here in Chile. But Yina is awesome. She says the churches just make her mad, but she is working and progressing with us. She is different. She has like 5 rings in her face, but she is so awesome. She has just become so confused with the world, but I see what kind of heart and mind she has. I hope we can help her.

And we have a lot more investigators to, I could talk for a long time about all of them. The thing is, there is so much stuff for them to learn... too much stuff for them to learn... and because of that, they just need to feel the spirit. We can't teach them everything they need to know, but the spirit can do the work. The spirit can change them. When we try and depend on our own skills, we fail, and will fail every time....The spirit is something we always need. I remember in a General Conference not too long ago someone said that 'it is hard to obtain and maintain the spirit, also that it is hard to receive personal revelation. If it was easy, we would become weak.' I thought about that yesterday in church. It was a pretty noisy sacrament meeting, but a sister got up and shared her testimony, because of that, I wanted to get up to share mine. So I did. I could feel the spirit. I could honestly feel that burning inside my chest. After I got back down and began listening again, I listened more attentively, and the burning was even stronger. The testimonies were awesome, and the spirit was strong. I then looked at the people that were surrounding me... some of them looked like they didn't even want to be there. I thought this meeting was incredible, and others thought it was boring. I could feel the spirit so strong, I didn't want to be in a different place. And people in the same meeting looked so bored. I thought about the spirit as Fire. How fire burns things. A fire can not burn something that has already been burned. If someone feels the spirit, and feels that burning sensation, it is a great feeling, however IT WILL BURN OUT. To feel that burning again, you will have to work even harder, be even better. It can only burn if it reaches a new level. We know that the spirit purifies us... how can it purify something that it already purified? Impossible! If we want to to purify us more, we have to be even better.

I know its something very simple. Something that you already know. But it just kind of hit me yesterday. I feel like I understand a little better why it is so important to always have the spirit. Why, if we have the spirit, we will have Eternal Life. Its because we will be progressing, Always moving to the next level. We need to have the spirit, because that means we are progressing, if we are doing that, we have done all we can do. If we have done all we can do, The Lord will say, 'OK... thanks for trying your best... let me make up the rest'
I love you guys lots... lots lots lots.
Elder Pitcher