November 29, 2010

Hey Family
Thanks so much for the letters. You all sound great. That’s too bad about the cougs. Sounds like winter is there for you guys, it’s almost summer here. The truth is that it had been so hot in Talca for some time. I say had, because I’m not in Talca right now. I’m down in Concepcion.
It’s been a pretty crazy day. Well the truth is that it has been a crazy week. You asked me about transfers. Well I was transferred. On Friday I got a call from Pres Humphrey. “Well, Elder Pitcher, I’m calling you to let you know you are going to be called as my new assistant.” So I’ll try and let you know some of the things that happened from Friday until now.
About an hour after president called me, we went to a house to teach. The guy is awesome, but he isn’t a member still. We have basically taught him one time. Now, I had always tried to prepare my converts by telling them, “In some moment I am going to leave, but you don’t need me anymore. You already have the tools that you need to continue feeling the spirit and work your way towards eternal life.” Anyhow, when I was there in the house, for some reason they starting talking a little bit about that, that it was going to be sad when I had to leave. Then they asked if I knew when I had to leave (I had found out one hour earlier). I said yes I did know but first let's share something about the Gospel and then after the lesson I'll let you know when I have to leave. So we taught the Restoration. Previous to this, we had only taught him one time when we shared about the Plan of Salvation. So we sat down and taught the restoration, and then at the end of the lesson, he said, “So it looks like you’re not going to be here for when I get baptized Elder Pitcher.” That reminded the others and they asked, “Oh yea, when are you leaving?” I told them, “The day after tomorrow.” That kind of changed the feeling that was in the room, but the good thing is we were able to eat lunch on Saturday. After sharing with them, we made some other visits.

On Sunday Brother M arrived to the church basically in tears. His daughter was ready to get baptized yesterday, but after she spent the night at her aunt’s house, she came home in tears and said she didn’t want to get baptized, and then left again. The dad was struggling, he is so awesome. He had been inactive for about a year, but he has such a good heart, and he wants to do the best for his family. His wife didn’t even come with him to church, but he showed up on time with a white shirt and tie. The bishop gave me a couple minutes at the start of sacrament meeting to say some things. That was thoughtful of him. Then the primary had their program. It was actually very, very good. There were some great talks given by those little ones.
After, we had a baptismal service for Mady. It was a really good service. She is so awesome. I will send you a picture next week.
There was some great stuff that happened with Alejandro. I love him so much. I wasn’t able to say goodbye to Javiera.
At 5:00 PM I had to take a bus to leave to Concepcion. I was going with three others who are going home. The problem is, we missed the bus. Ha, ha. We waited for a taxi for 30 minutes, finally the neighbor saw us still there and said, “I’ll take you!" Really nice, that guy saved us (non member... but he knows the church because his cousins are members.) It was really, really funny when I was there at the terminal because no one knew what was going on. They didn’t know why I was there - because no one makes their change until tomorrow. We ended up getting a bus at 6:00. The funny thing is the bus we took at six got to Concepcion before the bus that left at 5, because that one made two stops along the way.
I actually taught a guy on the bus that has read the Book of Mormon twice, but told me he isn’t baptized yet because he can’t go to church on Sundays and he knows the sacrament is important. He was a really smart guy. Young and he had a little bit of money. It’s sad when people get the important things mixed up with the not so important things.
Then I got here to Concepcion.
I live with 5 other missionaries. Last night there were 9 that slept in the apartment.
Today, I’ve done a lot. I went to go pick up some sister missionaries.  I’ve been learning a lot. We had a meeting with president that lasted about an hour and a half. We have so much stuff to do. Tonight I have to go to the mission home and do some stuff with the missionaries that are going home. Tomorrow we are going to pick up the new missionaries, do a lot of things with them and get them off to their areas.  We have a Mission counsel with all the zone leaders on Friday in Chillan... Lots of stuff.... I am so excited. I am tired right now. I think its cause I got not great sleep last night on that air mattress. But I have got good news. I HAVE THE BEST PILLOW IN THE MISSION NOW!!!!!! I am very excited for that. So hopefully I’ll sleep well, but from what I have heard, I won’t be sleeping much.
I love you all. Oh yea, my new preparation day is Saturday, so I’ll be writing on Saturday.

I love you
Elder Pitcher.

November 15, 2010

Good Morning!

Hey everybody. Thanks for the letters. I loved them. I love hearing from you guys and finding out how you're doing. RPitch... looking good. It's weird when you said it was for Preference because here we are going into spring and spring for me still means April, not November, so when I read Preference I thought 'don't you mean prom?' I hope you had a good time Ry.

Its crazy to think that it is Thanksgiving. Last year I didn't even know it was Thanksgiving. I was with Elder Poma and I would imagine he didn't even know what Thanksgiving was. I remember we had a Mission Conference that day.  I found out it was Thanksgiving when President Chavez got up and said, "Happy Thanksgiving... I know you always eat turkey on Thanksgiving, but we are going to be eating the turkey's cousin, chicken." That was nothing new, because we always eat chicken and rice.... ALWAYS eat chicken and rice.

It's very possible I get changed this cambio. I don't want to, I love my sector and we have some great investigators that I love. I also love the ward. We have a great bishop... he is so awesome... and his wife is amazing also. He is 24 years old and she is 21. I haven't had a better relationship with my bishop here on the mission.

So like I said we have some neat investigators.  Mady is a 16 year old girl who is just awesome. She has gone to seminary a lot and she has been reading in the Book of Mormon. I asked her the other day if she knew that what we teach is true and she said yes. I asked her if she knew the Book of Mormon was true and she said yes. I asked her how she knew, if she had prayed or how she knew, and she said, 'I honestly haven't had to pray. Since the first time I entered the church I knew it was true, and every time I listen and learn more I believe more.'  It's very interesting that answer she gave. We always want people to gain their testimony by the spirit, and we always teach that if you read the Book of Mormon, go to church and pray you will feel that spirit and know it's true. But after listening to Mady, and meditating in what she said, I thought about a scripture in the book of John, when Christ said that his sheep hear is voice, and recognize it. She has shown a lot of faith in what she is doing, and it really is a pleasure to teach her.

Yesterday after church I was talking to Alejandro. He went on a mission, came home, but afterward had a lot of trials and ultimately stopped going to church. He had been away from the church for a lot of years. Not really 100% away, but he would go to church 2 times a year, or go to the activities. He is extremely intelligent. I really love him, and since about the 6th week I was here in Talca he has been coming to church. Yesterday after church we were talking and he mentioned how he needed to go home and open his internet shop. I said, 'What?' and he just got a look on his face.... he started explaining... he said how about 5 months ago he had to start opening on Sundays because his mom had some problems and basically he was paying for all his college studies with the money he made on Sunday. He told me how he had talked with the Bishop and was told 'Do what you think is best'. We talked a long time about obedience and faith. We talked about the scripture Mosiah 3:19 and how the Atonement can't take full effect in our lives unless we yield to the Holy Ghost. He told me how he always needed to be 'in control' - in control of his future, and understand what was going to happen. I told him 'Faith sometimes requires walking in the dark, not knowing what is ahead.'  He told us to pass by his house in the afternoon. When we got there we shared a scripture and he started to talk again, his internet shop wasn't open. He told us that when his sister asked him if he was going to open it he said no. She said 'But what are you going to do? What is going to happen?' and he said 'I don't know, but God does'.... I get teary eyed even writing this story to you. She ran and got her scriptures and shared with him D&C 82:10, you know, the one that says (mas o menos) 'I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.' He said, with swollen eyes... I don't know what is going to happen. I don't know if the things are even going to turn out good. They might not turn out the way I want them to, but God knows. I am doing what he wants.

I was thinking again, about the sins of omission, and how Hard and Difficult it is to repent of them. It is very hard, almost impossible, to make up for the things that you don't do. That is why it is so important to be obedient, always. Repentance is always there, but it isn't easy.....
I love the gospel. I love the plan of salvation. I love my family. I love the mission. I am so grateful for everything I have been given. I am lucky.

With much love
Elder Pitcher.
 A spider that we saw one night in the house - I thought it was kind of cool.
The baptism of Matilde a couple weeks ago
Patricio and his family and Adela in Chillan
Me in part of downtown a couple weeks ago... it was a holiday and so NO ONE was there, that is why I thought the picture was so cool... you can see damage from the earthquake still.