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 preside...how do you say it....dirigir....to 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!