October 25th, 2010


So it was another good week. I can´t believe it is already Halloween time. To answer your question, yes, they have Halloween here. It’s interesting because all of the Catholics love Halloween, the Evangelics swear it’s the day of the devil, and the Mormons don’t know if they can celebrate it or not. Last year I remember someone asking me the following question, "Do you know what Halloween means in English?" Yea... it’s a holiday. "No! It means the birthday of the devil!" That’s what Halloween is like here.

So it was a good week. My companion is Elder Clark. He is from Mesa, Arizona. My companion has 3 cambios left. I won’t be here when he ends. This is my third cambio here and it is very possible I will change after this cambio and then have 4 cambios in my last sector.

So today we played volleyball and a little bit of Soccer with the zone. It was nice. It is a very nice day. I would even use the word Hot today. I think I got sunburned. We are really going to try and have a zone that is united this cambio. We have 4 brand new missionaries in our zone. That is a lot. There are 8 companionships in the zone and all of them expect 1 received a change of some sort last week. It will be a great cambio. We are excited and the zone seems to be very excited too.

This week we had a total of 15 hours in our sector I think. On Tuesday I was in the bus terminal all day long sending missionaries to other cities, receiving new missionaries and waiting for my companion. I was there from 9 to 5:30. I’m happy to say everything went well. There was a break in between buses and I just sat down and looked at everything that was happening around me. Sometimes I really don’t feel like I am in a foreign country thousands of miles away from friends and family. I had to remind myself on Tuesday that I was in Chile. It just feels like home. But then I started watching all the buses jetting in and out and driving around in that terminal and I thought... 'there would never be anything so crazy in the States.' I really love Chile. I think it is a lot like the United States. However, on Thursday I was working with a brand new missionary and he told me he was shocked when he got here because it was so different than the States. I didn’t really believe him. Mom and Dad, when you’re down here, then you can tell me if it’s different than the states.

On Friday we woke up at 5:30 am and we were down in Chillan for a leader counsel. On Sunday we were right there again, but Sunday was even better because I got to see Patricio and his wife and kids and everyone else from there including Adela. Patricio and Marjorie are doing great. Patricio is still in the Stake young mens presidency and is loving it! Marj doesn’t have a calling because she just had her baby. I was so grateful to see them . Then we got in the car and went to Tome with president and his wife. It was a great ride. I can’t really remember what we talked about. They gave us some snacks, crackers and peanuts, because we didn’t have lunch. They are a very funny couple. A very real couple. We got to the baptism a little late. They were there waiting for us. It was a great great great service. There were tears. It was so nice to see everyone. Matilde and Jose Luis (the son) were baptized. I baptized both of them. They were so so happy. Matilde happier than anyone. When I saw her I asked her... 'are you ready?' and she said 'I’ve been ready for a long time.' Oh it was so awesome. After the baptism, we sang 'Families can be together forever.' That was neat because I was able to think about grandma a little bit. I loved her. I love her. I hope everyone is doing OK up there. I am doing OK here. I know families are eternal. I truly believe that with all my heart. Death is just another stepping stone on the path to Exaltation, and another piece to the grand eternal plan. It is amazing the peace someone can feel having the gospel in their life. That is what I was thinking while we were singing the song.
And then it ended.... I had to say goodbye again. It was hard. There were more tears. I saw Camila and Danelia. They are doing great, going to seminary every day. Some people gave me some gifts and some pictures. It was honestly incredible....The president was in the car waiting for me for a long time because we were all taking pictures. My companion was there saying we gotta go, we gotta go. And the last people I said goodbye to were Matlide, Jose Luis, Jose Luis and Claudia. They were all crying, even the dad. That was pretty tough. It is in moments like that I wish you were here Mom and Dad. I want you to meet these people. I want you to feel the love they have. I want you to feel the love I have for them. There is so much I would like to happen.
Jose Luis said he is getting baptized. Actually get this... when President Humphrey walked in he shook Jose Luis' hand. Then, a couple minutes later, someone introduced Jose Luis to the president as the father of the son and wife that were getting baptized. President said... 'You’re the Father! I thought you were the Bishop!'  Jose Luis just smiled. I don’t think I will be able to go to their baptism. Jose Luis said Pres Navarro can baptize him and Claudia wants me to baptize her but who knows what will happen.
After the baptism we went to the mission house to grab a quick bite to eat. I have done my best to submerge myself in the work. I have felt the blessings that have come from that. I Love this work. I love my Savior. I have felt his comforting power. It is the same comforting power He offers to everyone through His gospel and His spirit -- they just have to accept him.

I love you all so much.
Elder Pitcher.
 This is from last week's zone activity

October 4th, 2010

Hey everybody
I'm still here in Talca and I'm doing good. This week seemed to pass by pretty fast and time in general is passing by very fast.
On Monday we started out by having a family home evening lesson that we are starting to do every week now.
Tuesday we did a mini cambio. Elder Cockrell came to my sector and worked with me, but even that was weird because we had to do a switch while we were switched so Elder Irigoyen and I could go and have a meeting with the stake presidency. We also taught a good lesson with Kathy and Tihany. They had a huge change in their attitudes and we really saw a miracle with them.
Last Thursday Elder Horton and I went to their house. When we got there the mom was kind of busy and stressed and to make a long story short, one of the first things she said to us was 'I don't want to keep going with this. I don't want to get baptized, it's just not for me. I was doing it to support my daughter, but now I'm just too tired and I don't want to.' Whenever I hear anything like this I know I've done something wrong or we haven't taught well enough or something. We listened to everything she said, and then we started to talk to her. We expressed the love we have for them and we taught them the covenant of a baptism and how important it is. When we finished she said, 'Wow, OK' and we left her some things to read in the Book of Mormon. They were both very good in reading and all that and on Tuesday in the lesson they had a change, and said they were ready.

So Wednesday morning rolls around and I'm at the house with Elder Cockrell still, when Elder Fishbeck calls me. Elder Fishbeck is the Senior missionary here in the mission. About 6'3", 65 years old, loves to talk loud and laugh. He gets there and the very first thing he says is 'Where am I puttin my air mattress?' He had come up to work on the house. And he was going to stay the night with us. So right then we all went to the Chilean equivalent of Home Depot. It was funny walking around there, four missionaries in shirt and tie and a big old man in jeans and a T-shirt. We had a big sheet of Sheetrock, we bought paint, Mud, tape, a lot of stuff. We went and started working in the house. Elder Fishbeck stayed the night, but at 9 o'clock we got a call from the APs who said they were coming from Concepcion and needed to stay with us also. And so instead of having us four in the house, we were 7 people. When we got to the house at 10, Elder Fishbeck was already sleeping, but we woke him up... However, he got his revenge. At 6 o'clock the next morning he snuck into our room and started yelling stuff... he actually jumped on one of the missionaries that was sleeping on a mattress on the ground.
Thursday, we also had interviews with the president. They were good. We taught his wife and the assistants while the president was doing the interviews. We really have some great missionaries in our zone, however, we can all become better teachers. Something that has always been able to help me in my teaching is teaching, talking, and testifying about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Everything has to do with the Atonement, but at times, I think people forget that. I believe many times people take for granted what the Lord Jesus Christ did for us. They have heard so many times that they just say, almost without gratitude or emotion, 'Yes, Jesus died for you and me' but it is almost as if they aren't listening to the words they are saying.
I truly believe, with all my heart, that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, suffered and died, and resurrected from the dead. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to serve him as a missionary. I firmly believe that he lives, and is literally guiding this work. It is such an amazing blessing to be able to be here in Chile. I love it so much.

Saturday and Sunday were just awesome. We watched conference in the stake center. There were a couple talks that I want to study, because they were just jammed packed full of doctrine. A couple things that really came to my mind this conference were...
I need to be more grateful. I have been given so much, and I need to show gratitude.
I need to write in my journal a lot more.
We are lead by a prophet of God. Thomas S Monson really is the living prophet of God. What he says really is the will of the Lord. I meditated in that a lot and it really got to me. We believe in Christ, if we want to follow him, we must follow every word that comes from His prophet's mouth. I feel so lucky that we have what we have, that we are members of the true church of Jesus Christ. There is not doubt in my mind about that. If anyone sincerely listens to our message, if they sincerely read in the Book of Mormon and if they sincerely ask God, they too will know that this is the only living church on the earth. I feel so lucky to have been born into it and to have the opportunity to be a small, small part in the building up of it.

I love you all, thanks for everything!!

Today our zone went paintballing.