Aug 16, 2010

Hey... thanks so much for the letters. Everyone sounds great.

We are coming out of Winter. It really has been very, very nice here. I actually have sweat a little during the day, but at night its colder. The good thing is that it hasn't rained since I got here.

Vincent Ing is so awesome. I love that guy so much. man, I still remember where I was fishing and the moment that he called me and said that he was going to Texas mission... viet speaking... wow I miss him.

Lots of things happened this week.... Tuesday the president was here in the morning and came to the first part of our zone meeting. It was pretty neat to have him there. Every Tuesday we meet as zones (16 missionaries). What happens is we all meet together and my companion and I say some things then we split and the district leaders take their district and teach a little class. As missionaries, we are trying to teach better. When I was in the MTC, I heard Elder Holland say 'Missionaries don't know how to teach'.  I didn't believe that at the time, but here in the mission I affirm that it is true. Because we do not teach well as missionaries, the First Presidency gave us the new simplified stuff. To try and help the zone, my companion and I talked about three things we can always do so the spirit guides us throughout the lesson.

1 - Listen attentively
2 - Look the investigator in the eyes
3 - Give room for silence.

It's incredible how the spirit will tell you what to say after you have listened and while there is silence. We talked a little about these 3 things and then the president started to talk and he just took off from there. It was neat because we didn't have any clue what he wanted to say, but it was cool that we were able to talk about the same things.

Then on Friday the president was here again. He was coming back from Santiago I believe, and he wanted the leaders of the two zones of Talca to meet for a quick little meeting. There we talked about some things, but he gave us some news that hit me like a ton of bricks. Elder Law is going home. I couldn't believe it. I just put my head down and started to cry. He has some health problems so he is going home today.  Elder Law is incredible. I love him. I loved being in the MTC with him. He was an incredible missionary. He was so prepared going into the MTC, I learned so much from him. He was an incredible missionary here. I don't know why the Lord has giving me the chance to keep serving Him here as a missionary, but I am so grateful for it. I LOVE being here. I love being a missionary.
On Saturday, we went to the first counselor in the stake presidency`s house.  He has built a new house about 2 miles out of town. I know that sounds really weird, two miles out of town is nothing in the states, but here it is. That's a picture of us.

Our investigators right now - Danilo 22, Veronica and Karen (a mom and daughter),  Kathy, Kathy, Kevin, Richard (mom, daughter, son, son). Kathy and her family are great. We had a strong lesson with them about tithing. After the first lesson, they wanted to get baptized, but then someone told them about how much you have to pay the church in tithing and all that, and basically warped the truth. We went there with a couple that was baptized 2 years ago that has a strong testimony about tithing.  We explained to them what it is, and we let the members share their experiences, it was special. Also, we taught a guy yesterday named Osvaldo and his daughter, Camila. (wife was sick) It was the second time we had been inside the house, but the first lesson. By the end, he was very excited about baptism. The daughter wasn't, but we will see what happens.  I hope they progress, it is a family I will fall in love with. Danilo is doing great. He is living all the commandments we have taught him, but we believe he has a really big barrier with his family. He doesn't live with his family, but we believe there is a lot of opposition there. We had a good lesson with him on Saturday. Actually it was a very powerful lesson. We talked a lot about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of the Gospel. I know that Jesus is waiting for Danilo. The thing is, I know that Christ knows Danilo. Jesus Christ knows us. It is something that I cannot comprehend or understand, but I know it's true. He knows us, and like the scriptures say, he invites us to come unto him. He is waiting for us with arms wide open. We just have to do our part. I love being His missionary. I love helping people enjoy of the blessings of His atonement. Not only does He have the power to forgive us, but He truly has the power to change us. I know that He has the power to perfect us. I know that through Christ we can overcome the desires to sin, and He will change us so that we no longer have the desire to sin. I believe that is an absolute miracle. I love the invitation Moroni gives us at the end of the Book of Mormon.

32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy without spot.

I love you guys.

Aug. 9, 2010.

I love when You give me questions like this.

How is Talca?
Talca is great, I love it. I love where I am living, I love everything about it. We actually don't live in our sector, we live in the sector of the other zone leaders. I really, really like them.
How are your new responsibilities going?
The new responsibilities are fine. I really like being a zone leader. They are going great.
Sister Pierce said that you and Elder Pierce finally saw each other. How was that?
Yes... Elder Pierce is actually in my zone. We did a mini-cambio on Thursday and I was over in their sector with Elder Pierce to check up on some investigators and stuff. I will actually be over there again this week to do interviews.
Where is Tanner now?
Where Is Elder Christenson? Well, at this moment he is about 8 feet away from me. He came down here to Talca today to do some legal stuff. He is in the zone of Curico. It was nice to see him.
How do you like the rain pants? Tell me the truth.
They weren't what I thought they were going to be, but yes I like them. The thing is, it doesn't rain that much here in Talca ha ha ha but I have heard that when it rains it rains very very hard.
How much are you able to teach in your area? Are you going on a lot of mini-cambios?
Yes, we teach, but we also do a lot of mini cambios. For example, yesterday, I didn't do anything in our sector because right after church we did a change with the other zone leaders. My companion went with Elder Echeverria and did some stuff and Elder Irigoyen and I went to San Javier, the sector of the Hermanas in my zone. We had to do some interviews. It was pretty awesome. We ended up getting home very, very late actually.
I love teaching, and I love doing interviews. Yesterday it was great. We were with the hermanas and we went to the house of a girl that needed an interview and so i did it. We then went to Mario and MariaInes. They are an older couple and we had a good lesson. It was very neat because when we entered in Elder Irigoyen said "can we sing?" and the hermanas said yea we actually usually sing, and so we sang 'Conmigo Quedate Senor' or 'Abide with me tis eventide' and it was pretty powerful.  Then we started to teach. It was very neat because Elder Irigoyen and I were able to explain some things and answer some questions that they had. It was a very spiritual lesson. Then we went to Guillermo and Maria Ines. We entered in and we split up. I went with the dad and Elder Irigoyen went with the wife. I had a long interview with him, it really wasn't an interview because he isn't ready for baptism. But we talked and I taught for over an hour.  It was a neat experience, but I wish I would have relied on the spirit more... When I do another interview with him I will be sure to rely more on the spirit. Elder Irigoyen had a great interview with the wife. He said one of the most spiritual of the mission. Afterward the dad took us in his car to where the bus was because it was very late.   Everything that happened out there was good.
We are honestly always going to other sectors, doing mini-cambios and doing interviews, but I love it. We are still expected to have a normal sector for us. We have a couple really good investigators right now, Danilo is ready to be baptized this next week. He is 22 and I love him.  Also in the evening we have a meeting with The first counselor in the stake presidency to talk about the mission work here in Talca.
What ward are you in?
I am in Calle Larga ward. o sea... Long Street.

I really love the mission. I know this letter was kind of dumb, but I really don't have time today. There are some things we need to send to Concepcion but we left them in the house and so we have got to get going. I love you all so so much. 

Photos from last week
Church in Talca
Bus Station
Plaza in Tome
President Navarro and family