July 26, 2010

Greetings from Tomé for the last time.... :(

Yesterday the elders from Dichato came over for a baptism in our church because they still don't have water in their church building. The assistants to the president came to the baptism because they had done the interviews a couple days before. Before yesterday, I was sure I was leaving Tome. I didn't want to leave, but I felt I was leaving. However, while I was talking to the assistants yesterday, I really got my hopes up that I was going to stay one more cambio.  We were talking about some of the investigators. The way we were talking, I started to think, 'maybe I'll be staying..' but no... it was not meant to be. Last night I went to the Navarro's house to say goodbye. They left to go to the temple today, really early, so I knew yesterday that if I was going to be leaving, I wouldn't be able to say goodbye to them today. I went over there and gave them the gift from you guys. I said, 'my parents wanted to thank you for letting me use your telephone to call them two times.' As we were talking, the eyes watered up on everyone, but tears didn't fall. They are an incredible family. She showed me where they would be putting the picture. They have a pretty painting of horses in their main room, but she said 'this is going right there'. President Navarro said 'this is my favorite picture of Christ'. They said to tell your parents thank you a thousand times, but I said 'hey... when they come here for the temple dedication, then you will be able to tell them for yourselves'.

There are so many people I want you to meet. Mabel Cuevas is one of them. Oh, how I love her. We have all had crying moments together. Yesterday, after sacrament meeting, we had another strong moment. Hermana Solange Navarro gave a talk about missionary work. She talked about the talk that Elder Rasband gave in priesthood, her mission, and the missionaries this ward has had. Afterward, Carlos (18 years old, was inactive, now is coming) came up to me and gave me a huge hug. He started crying because he knew I was probably leaving. He started crying because we had talked so much about the mission and the Hermana Solange had just given an amazing (AMAZING) talk about missions and it was tough. The other two teenagers are Sebastien and Ivan.  I'm leaving them all ties. It is so hard thinking that I might never, ever, see them again.

On Saturday it was about 9pm and we were walking in the street. I kind of needed to use a bathroom - not really, but it was a really good excuse to get into a house. We were walking and we passed a house. We walked about 20 yards and we felt like we should turn around. We yelled... they answered the door... I asked for their bathroom. It was the first time the person didn't say 'obviously come on in' ... The lady said... WOW... uummm... and come in. After I was done we were talking a little bit and questions started coming out... more and more questions, we started to teach. We taught about the Atonement and it was a good lesson, we are going back, or should I say, my companion is going back. We actually just saw the lady here in the Center and she said when are you coming back? All because I felt like I needed to turn around and ask for the bathroom.

Jose Luis Oportu and Matilde, Jose Luis y Claudia.... I love them. They feel this is the church. They are just scared to death. Yesterday, in the baptism, Claudia actually said to her mom. 'why don't you just take advantage right now since the fount is already full'...... I think the kids are waiting for the example of their mom... but the mom is waiting for the support of the dad. I feel bad because I just didn't do enough. I know there was a little more that I could have done to help them. I love them a lot. They are a great family. I hope that Elder Valderruten will help them get into the water. They are so awesome. Jose Luis actually said to us, 'When I feel this is all true, I will be in the streets preaching with you guys'. I hope and pray Elder Valderruten and his new companion can baptize them. Oh yea, Yesterday in relief society, Matilde actually told all the Hermanas that when Elder Keller and I were there teaching them, and when she started reading the Book of Mormon, she felt it was all true really fast. She told them, 'I'm ready to get baptized, I Just want the help of my husband'. All the Relief society is now praying for him, too.

Oh. So maybe you want to know where I'm going. I'm going to Talca. It's about 4 hours away. It's very cold there. My new companion will be Elder Jensen from Utah. We will be the zone leaders there in Talca. I will be going up there with a couple people, Elder Nelson (got here with me) and Elder McDonald, and Elder Casperson (in my district right now) all of us will be on the same bus going up there I think. We will be living in a house with 2 other missinoaries. Elder Irigoyen and some Elder from Chile. Elder Irigoyen was my district leader in Chillan. He is a good missionary and I'm excited to be with him. His companion is ending his mission this cambio, and he is ending in three cambios. He already called me and told me how excited he is because he said 'you'll be up here to make sure I finish my mission strong' We did a lot of really good things together in Chillan. Depending on how long I'm in Talca, I might see the death of 3 missionaries. My companion has 3 cambios left too. So either all three of them will be hard workers, or all three of them will be trunky and lazy... we'll see what happens :)
Today I will be going to Conce to finish the tooth. I hope that we can do everything today because afterward I will be 4 hours away in Talca, so we'll see what happens. From what I've heard, Talca is cold so we'll see how it is.

Tell Matt, Bishop Ok and Terry I love them.

Please tell Jake Tay, Andy and Meg that I have had letters to send them for a long time, but I will have to send them next week. Love you all. I got a letter from Ben Felix :) I need to write Ty Brown. I also got one from Kevin M... he is such a good guy. We are so lucky to have the friends we have. Keep on progressing and keep on saving money for the temple dedication trip :)... I'm going to call it right now... when they do the ground breaking Elder Holland is going to come and I'm going to meet him :)