Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31, 2011


Ok, so I only have just a minute. But I figured it would be good to tell you why I might not be able to write today.

I've....been called to the office to be an assistant to the president! So yeah, I'm back here in Concepcion, driving a ford truck...the works. Haha. Our P-days here are Saturdays. I'm not sure if I'll be writing on Saturday or before that, but thank you for the letter! I love you all and will be writing as soon as I can!


Monday, January 24, 2011

January 24, 2011


You are now recieving a letter from an elder who now has NO MORE PAPERWORK TO DO IN THE GOVERNMENT OF CHILE!!! Wooooo! This morning I applied for my second carnet (id card) and I'll pick it up next week. I am officially an old fart in the mission. But that's ok, I still have 5 1/2 months to enjoy the mission.

The weather has been a little weird here for the last week and a half. We've had really hot days and then the next day it's raining, haha. But that's ok - it's nice to get some refreshing showers every once in awhile. I keep waiting for it to get hotter, but I'm realizing that we're already in the middle of summer and this is about as hot as it's going to get. Cool beans! I'm not suffering, hehe. Just getting more tan. And that's getting more dificult as well because we have so many people to teach that we're really just running from appointment to appointment without spending too much time in the sun. We'll just have to spend some time at our missionary pool to get some tanning done....oh yeah, I didn't tell you about our pool! It's an indoor pool with a nice vinal floor. The cool thing about this pool is that it doesn't fill up from the bottom, but rather from the top. It doesn't get too deep because the water just goes down the drain after falling on you. We do have towel racks, though. And a sink...and a toilet....yeah....our pool is our bathroom....haha. I'll bet I had you going for a minute there. Hehe.

We had an awesome teaching experience this last week. We took the bishop with us to teach Maikel's family. The lesson was based on 1 Nephi 8 (Lehi's vision). The bishop gave an awesome testimony about how the gospel has blessed his life (he was baptized in 2000 at the age of 22 or 23 and was married about 3 years ago - he's really young). Maikel's dad said (before we taught him about the Word of Wisdom) that he's already trying to quit smoking, that he really enjoyed church, and that they can't let Maikel go to the Celestial Kingdom alone while they stay behind with something else - they have to go together! This family is amazing and I love them so much. I hope I don't get transfered next week! Maikel is going to baptize his family next month, I would love to be here to see that.

This Friday we're having a mission conference with Elder Amado (the president of the area presidency of Chile) - the assistants called me today and asked me to...umm....not do you say direct? Yeah, that works I guess. To direct the meeting! So I'll get to sit next to Elder Amado on the stand, haha. They better not be doing this as prep to be assistant next cambio, I don't want to do that just yet! Give me another cambio here in Maquehue, President Swenson! The zone is on fire here - everyone is bringing people to church, and most of the sectors are helping people enter the waters of baptism. The missionaries here are just full of energy and they're all friends of mine. I'm praying to be able to stay here another cambio!

I want you all to know that I love you very much and I pray for you every day. Out here in the mission field I've really come to have a love for the Gospel - and it feels great to not have to depend on somebody else for this testimony. Being a missionary has put me through the fires of purification (if anyone knows about metal-working then you'll know what I'm talking about: when metal is purified it is torched, hammered, and pounded into its perfect form) - I've had to learn how to stand on my own but at the same time be interdependent with my companion. The promises that God has made to us are REAL. However, He will not force us to recieve those blessings - we have to diligently search for them. At times, yes, it is very hard. Life was not meant to be easy, it's a test to see how much we do love our Heavenly Father. Purify yourselves - push when you don't feel like pushing. Read your scriptures when you don't feel like reading. Go to church and search for the blessings that God has put there. Men and women are not perfect, but God is and His organization here in the earth is as well. He loves us and wants us to be happy - let's not let the opportunities we have been given pass us by. God needs us just as much as we need him, so let's do our part!

Well, time has flown by again - we've gotta run over to the chapel for an activity with some members and investigators. I love you all very very much and can't wait to see you again. But I ain't trunky! Take care and READ TALKS FROM GENERAL CONFERENCE! There are message there for everyone.


PS. I believe I left a list of the classes I needed to be registered for in a big envelope - hopefully that's not lost. Let me know if you find it - and please do find it this week! Haha.
PPS. I'm glad you liked the gifts :)
PPPS. I got a liiiiittle lazy with pictures this week. But I do have 2 good ones for all y'all. I'll get better for the last 5 1/2 months, I promise!

Dr. Pepper finally came back to Chile!

Now I know why Mom always cried

Monday, January 17, 2011

January 17, 2011

Heyo familyo!

How's that cold treating you up there? It's hot down here today, but all weekend it rained. Saturday night was the worst - it was raining really hard and I woke up at about 2 in the morning because some cats were...making little kittens outside of our window. And if you're not familiar with that sound it sounds like someone is torturing them. So that woke me up and then they just kept at it and at it for what seemed like an eternity and the next thing I knew it was 7 and time to get up. All day yesterday I felt really sick, so we arranged some splits and I stayed at a members house all day and slept while Elder Sanchez went out and worked with a young man from the ward. Stupid cats! This morning was great though - we played a game of soccer against our rival zone - Temuco Ñielol. We lost by one, but only because they brought members who play in soccer clubs and we were only our 85% gringo zone, haha. That's ok though, we had a good time. We even made a flag (pictures to be included)!

Temuco Cautín soccer Flag

The work is moving along amazingly here in Maquehue and our zone. This last weekend a boy named Robinson got baptized, and we finally got his father to come back to church! And on top of that he (the dad) brought his girlfriend to the church and she ended up being really receptive and wants us to come over and teach her more. So we're happy to be seeing fruits of that. Maikel's family also came to church and loved it! His mother, Gladys, and his little brother, Sebastian, have already said that they would like to be baptized by Maikel - he was ordained to the office of a priest yesterday :). It'll be really cool to see a convert baptize his family. I really hope President Swenson keeps me here another cambio so that I can be here to see all of the cool things that will be going down in the next couple of years. We're also reactivating two mothers who want to return to the church and baptize their children from ages 8-14. So we're happy to be helping them with that. Mario and Jimena are getting closer and closer to being able to be getting married and baptized! By the end of this month Jimena should have all the papers necessary to go to the judge and file the divorce - supposing that there are no objections from the ex-husband the divorce should be finalized in about a month. Jimena doesn't think there will be any problems - yes!!!! Oh yeah!!! FREDDY IS GOING TO THE TEMPLE TO BE SEALED TO HIS FAMILY THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you don't remember he's the man who got baptized at the waterfall. I love him and his family so much - I can't explain how happy it makes me that they're finally going to the temple! He's definitely going to be a stake president someday.

Robinson's baptism

Ok, so I was reading more of the General Conference talks this week and was very impressed by the talk Elder Neil Andersen gave: Never Leave Him. It talks about how we can stay close to our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ and the danger signs of ''offended'' and ''ashamed''. I encourage you all to read it - I hope it can help you in the way it has helped me. I love the word ''choose''. Our Father in Heaven gave us the ability to make our own decisions in this life. That includes how we react to problems we meet in the course of our lives. This talk is very inspiring and uplifting - read it!

What's this talk about the tabernacle burning? I hadn't heard anything about that. I just checked it out on That's crazy. Maybe it's the Lord's way of saying His tabernacle needs an elevator *dun dun CHEEE*. No use in crying over spilt milk, right?

This coming week we're going to try to organize a zone trip to the Llaima volcano. It's about an hour away from Cunco, which is about an hour away from Padre las Casas, which is about 15 minutes away from Temuco, which is about 4 hours away from Concepción in bus, which is about an hour and a half away from Santiago in plane, which is about 13 hours away from Salt Lake in plane, which is about 45 minutes away from home in car. So really we're only going to be about 20 hours away from each other! Not so much, huh? Hahaha. If we end up going I'll be sure to take lots of pictures.

Well, I'm just about out of time for this week. Thank you for all the updates! I'm still waiting for letters from the rest of the family, btw! Love and miss you all very much!

18 months

Temuco from Padre las Casas


Monday, January 10, 2011

January 10, 2011

Querida Mamá,

Oh my goodness I am going to die when I get home - cold doesn't exist here! Haha. Actually it does get pretty cold...but not enough to snow. Right now, however, it has been REALLY hot every day. One day it was so hot that it made me sweat so much that my backpack stained my shirt, haha. I got it washed, though, so no worries there. I hadn't washed my backpack in a little while anyway...and when I say ''little while'' I really mean not ever :) But yeah, it's been pretty darn hot down here - that's expected, though, considering we're in the middle of summer.

So I sent a box out for you all today - there's a little something in there for all of you. I hope you enjoy it!

Yesterday we had a really cool experience. Maikel Espinoza was confirmed a member of the church (we had to wait a week because the baptism was after church last week) - they randomly decided to have me do it, haha. I hadn't confirmed someone a member since I was in Cabrero, so that was a neat experience. Anyway, so after church we went over to Maikel's house to watch a video and share a message with his family. Maikel's girlfriend was there and she asked why it would be important for her to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet or not. So we talked about the Restoration with her (Maikel testifying of everything every step of the way! Go convert!!!!), which cleared a lot of things up and at the end she decided that she would have to ask God as we had invited her. On top of Maikel sharing his testimony of the Restoration his DAD also did something very similar! Haha, it was awesome. He said that before we started teaching Maikel he thought that the ''Mormons'' worshipped Joseph Smith, but that after he had taken the time to listen to us he realized that that was not true. He said that Joseph Smith was just a prophet that God called in these times to help His children find the way home. We invited the whole family (Maikel's parents, his little brother, and his girlfriend) to read the pamphlet of the Restoration and pray about it before the next time we come - they all said they'd do it. Maikel should be recieving the priesthood this coming Sunday so we're hoping to have him baptize his family in the next month or two. I love this work with all my heart.

This weekend a boy named Robinson will be getting baptized. He's the son of an inactive member and the grandson of a member couple that we've recently reactivated. He and his little brother (who has 7) are really happy to be coming to church and we're hoping that Robinson's baptism will help to reactivate his father, who is also named Robinson. He's actually a really great and receptive guy, so I'm confident we'll be able to do it.

This week I was reading Elder Richard G. Scott's message from the last General Conference called The Transforming Power of Faith and Character - this talk is AMAZING! Read it through several times and I hope you can all grow to have an appreciation for it like I do. And remember the 4 principles of a happy life:

- Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His program to acquire the power to achieve.

- Repentance to rectify the consequences of mistakes of omission or commission.

- Obedience to the commandments of the Lord to provide strength and direction in our lives.

- Selfless service to enrich the lives of others.

I remember that Elder Scott came to the MTC while I was there - his talks have always been very personally motivating and very inspiring for me. Study this talk!

Well, I'm pretty short on time - Elder Sanchez and I have to go to the government buildling to make him legal, haha. He took longer than he should have to register his visa. Last week he had an interview with the police of investigations and now today we're going to go finish up all the paper work. Fun stuff! *Note* ALWAYS DO YOUR PAPERWORK AND GOVERNMENT WORK ON TIME! Or you'll have to sit around for a long time, haha.

I think that's about it for this week. I got kind of lazy taking pictures again, but I did find a funny-looking lawn gnome while I was on an intercambio in Nueva Imperial. Maybe I'll include a picture of that, hehe.

I love and miss you all tons! For those of you who have not written me yet you have about 6 more months and that's it! So write me! Chaoito pescados! (Bye fish! -it's a Chilean thing)


PS. Sorry about the picture! It's the only one I have for this week, haha. I hope you can get a laugh out of it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

January 4, 2011

Hey howdy hey!

Well, I didn't die. That ''earthquake'' was just a little movement. I'm pretty darn sure the magnitude was made up for the actual earthquake last February - because if they're saying what happened the other day was a 7.1 then the earthquake last year was definitely more than an 8. I've heard it has to do with insurrance and stuff like that. Oh well. It is what it is.

I didn't have time to write yesterday because I was in a meeting with all the zone leaders and President Swenson until about 3, and then we had to go to the mission office in downtown Concepción to get all the stuff our zone needs, and then we took a bus back to Temuco around 7. Didn't get here until almost 12 so we just went straight to sleep. But anyway, here I am!

Consejo with President and Sister Swenson

We had a really good New Years here - we had lunch with a member who cooked a giant turkey (the same member where we ate sheep the last time). After eating a gigantic lunch we played around with his remote-controlled helicopter...those things are HARD to fly! We ended up getting it stuck in his neighbor's tree, haha. We did get it back, though. After that we worked the whole day until we went to Mario and Jimena's house around 9ish. There we cooked ANOTHER barbeque - they're called ''asados'' here. We left there around 11 (the mission had permission to be out until that hour) and made it back to our house just in time to wake Elder Laurito and Elder Lusk up for the new year, haha. Apparently they didn't have a place to go so they just went home and got into bed. BORING! I ran into the room screaming and pulled them out of bed and then we jumped around and stuff when it finally turned 1. Then after that we sat down and were like...what should we do........ ... ........ . . and then we went to bed, haha. I wasn't feeling up to another jenga tournament, so we just called it a night. The next day was P-day, but everything was closed so we couldn't really do much. Elder Sanchez and I ended up going back to our old sectors in Temuco to visit some people. Something pretty wierd that happened to us is that we both woke up feeling a bit sick...probably from eating WAY too much the day before, hehe. That's ok, though, it was New Years.


Sanchez cooking the meat


More food

New Years - Jimena, me, Sanchez

Maikel got baptized on Sunday! He was going to get baptized on Saturday, but his family and girlfriend (who are not members) wouldn't have been able to come so we changed the date last-minute. While we were changing into our baptismal clothes Maikel said, ''Next time I get to baptize someone, right?'' How cool is that? He's a great convert - now we're working on his family who have become really receptive recently. Our goal is to have him baptize his family and his girlfriend - that would be amazing! This sector is amaaaaazing, I've always loved Temuco. On the 15th we should have another baptism or two as well. So the work is moving along really well here :) Missionary man, missionary man, doing all the missionary stuff. Does he teach? Yes he does. He's got a white baptism tie. Watch out! Here comes missionary mannnnnnnn! (Ian should know the tune of that one)

Oh yeah, another cool thing before I forget. There was a family from Provo that came to our ward on Sunday! I don't remember the last name, but the mother is a convert who got baptized here about 30 years ago and all of her children went to Timpview! The youngest daughter even said she knows Cami, haha. What are the odds of running into a family of gringos down here?! The mom got up to bear her testimony and right away I knew that she hadn't been in Chile for a long time because her spanish was gringofied a bit. And then she said she was from Provo and I wanted to stand up and yell ''Amen, Sista!'' But not really... Maybe they'll get in touch with Cami when they back. The end.

Well, that's about all I've got for this week. We've gotta go do my companion's visa now...funnnnnnnn stuff. I hope you're all doing well and enjoying your vacations! And all that snow, hehe. It rained this morning down here but now it's nice outside. So I'm going to go enjoy it :-p Love and miss you tons!