Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 28, 2011


Wow, last week went by really fast. Elder Torres and I are having a great time in Vilcún - the people are really receptive and love the things we teach them. This weekend we'll be having a baptismal service for Nancy and her son Jorge. This last week somebody from one of the local churches told them that we didn't believe in God and that what we had been teaching them is false, but Jorge stood his ground and told them that he knew it was true and that he wasn't going to change because of lies that they told him. Jorge has had a bigt change in his heart since he started coming to church and learning with us, and he realizes it. He's very excited to recieve the Aaronic Priesthood in a week or two and is very determined to magnify whatever calling he is given. I'm excited for them.

Last week my testimony of the Book of Mormon grew even more - one of our investigators, Jimena, that is also preparing for baptism tells us that every day she reads and has a spiritual experience. She told us that she had a doubt as to whether or not there were people on the earth still alive from the times of Christ and when she opened the Book of Mormon to read she read 3 Nephi 28, which talks about the three Nephites that were granted the blessing of staying on the earth until Christ comes again just as John. Jimena is fighting the addiction to cigarettes, but is making great progress and will be baptized very soon. I'm so grateful that the Lord has helped us find so many great people here in Vilcún.

Yesterday we had the last conference with President and Sister Swenson. They are leaving the mission tonight or tomorrow - the new mission president is President Martínez from Los Angeles, Chile actually. Many missionaries already know him; I've seen him briefly a few times. I'll probably see him two times before I leave - a conference in the next three weeks and for my last interview. So I won't get to know him too well at all. President and Sister Swenson are confident that he'll do a great job, though. We'll see within the next couple of weeks if he wants to change any rules, haha. Won't matter too much for me if he does, though.

The whole mission in white

Posterity of Elder Torres and me

It continues to get colder in Vilcún! The other day I found a surprise - my shower soap was covered in a thin layer of ice! We're grateful to have a gas stove to heat up our study room, haha.

Torres with his coat on backwards

cooking lunch

Well, that's about all I've got for this week. I'll look forward to hearing from you next week!


Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20, 2011

Hello, hello! What's your name! (that's what many Chileans will yell at you if you come here)

I keep forgetting that you all are in summer right now! Down here it gets really cold in Vilcún - we can actually see the Llaima volcano very clearly from the town. It hasn't snowed here yet, but it has rained quite a bit. I've actually started to go and work in the black shoes that you sent me about a year ago because my other shoes just have too many holes to be working in them while it's raining. At this point it's not really worth the trouble to buy a pair of boots - I don't have the money to do that either! Haha. But it's ok, I've got enough to last me for the last month. I mean...for the next two years! Didn't you hear? Missions are now 4 years for missionaries named Elder Vincent. It's a pretty cool new rule (that sounds cool if you say it out loud), I think.


E'Torres, Jimena, Mario, me, volcano in the background

My water-proof socks (our table hadn't arrived yet)

Last week we had our last training meeting with President Swenson - he leaves on the 28th of this month! So I'll be about two weeks with the new president (probably won't even meet him), and then I'll skidaddle. After the meeting President Swenson and Sister Swenson will take those that are leaving in July and August out to dinner at Ruby Tuesdays. It's been awhile since I've been in a restaurant like that! Yummmy, haha.

This week was amazing here in Vilcún. Elder Torres and I are really excited to be working and we do it very well together, so I'm happier than ever. On Sunday there were 24 people in church, 12 of which were our investigators (Nancy, Jorge, Luis, Natalia, Jimena, Mónica, Carlos, José, Daniela, Renee, and two of our neighbors that accepted an invitation last-minute)! Five of them have baptismal dates for July, so we'll probably be duplicating the number of members here in Vilcún in July. The people here are amazing - almost everyone lets us in (sometimes they think we're catholic missionaries or JWs haha) and is excited to hear about what we teach them. I really could not have asked for a better way to finish the mission.

Funny story:
About an hour before church yesterday Elder Torres and I decided to go out and visit some people to make sure that they were ok to come to church and everything, and we got into a house of some people we met a few days before...they had lunch on the table waiting for us! Apparently they had been waiting to celebrate father's day until we arrived! I felt bad that we had to pretty much wolf that food down and then RUN across town to open the doors of the house/chapel so that the people waiting outside for us could get in. Elder Torres didn't even have time to change into his suit, hahaha (I changed before we left just in case, played out well), so he went to church in just slacks and jacket.

Loading the car with stuff for the house

Donuts for the ride to Vilcún

The house-chapel in Vilcún

View from the second floor of our house

Hermana Herminia made lunch for us in the office

I am absolutely loving the last assignment I've been given out here. If I could I would extend my mission to be here longer. But as always it is what the Lord wants that is more important that what I want (Alma 29:1-3).

Well, that's about all I have time for this week. I'll get some pictures attached this week. Love you mucho!

Freddy, Carmen Gloria (pregnant!), and Darleny

Cutting down weeds to harvest potatos

Burning weeds and cutting up my companion

Getting a taste of farm life

Gotta get lunch somehow!

I'm Vincent, Elder Vincent


Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13, 2011

Hello there!

I'll have to make this quick cause I'm really short on time. We got back late from our P-Day activity and I don't have too much time, haha.

Vilcún has been AMAZING! The people here are so receptive and nice. This last week we got into 25 houses! Those are different houses, we returned to many of them more than once, so we were inside houses a lot. It is very cold here - it's close to the Llaima volcano. It rained just about every day all day this last week - perfect for me and my holey shoes! I'll have to see if I can get my hands on some boots or something. Or maybe I'll just use my black shoes that aren't dress shoes. If I polish them nobody will notice, right? Haha.

My companion, Elder Torres, and I get along fantastically. I've known him since I got to the mission so there wasn't a period of get-to-know-you things; we just got straight to work! It's been really great.

There are about 15 members here in Vilcún so on Sundays the leaders and their families from the Ñielol ward come out to support us. During the week they'll also be having the ward missionaries come out to work here in Vilcún - I'm glad the ward is excited to help out here.

This last Sunday we were able to bring seven of our investigators to church (Nancy, Jorge, Mario, Jimena, Luis, Margarita, and Ana) - we know we'll be able to bring many more this week! One of our investigators, Jimena, that had accepted a baptismal date couldn't come because she found her cousin dead in his house on Sunday morning. That was a hard hit for her because they grew up together. We were able to see a tender mercy in that situation, though. Just a day or two before we had taught her about the restoration and left her a chapter in the Book of Mormon to read: Alma 40. Perfect for what she needed in that moment. She told us that she read it and found some peace and comfort. Jimena is really excited to have us come back this week to visit her.

Today we went out to the country side to visit some investigators that I taught in Padre las Casas who are now living out here (Mario and Jimena). They are working on a farm, so we spent the morning helping them out take care of the cows and pigs and then we harvested some potatoes and cut weeds down in the field to burn them. Good old manual labor!

Shoot, I've got to get going. I'll send pictures next week. I love you all! Take care and be good! Enjoy that warm weather! It's freezing here in Vilcún, Chile! Until next week!


Sunday, June 5, 2011

June 5, 2011


So I don't have much time - we're busy taking care of all the elders and sisters that are leaving on Tuesday and on top of that we've got to get back to our sector to say goodbye to some people, so I'll just drop a quick note to let you know about my cambio.

I'm staying in the office!

Just kidding! Haha. Nope, I'm leaving

So I'm going to be sent down near Temuco again to a little town called Vilcún. As far as I know there have never been missionaries in Vilcún - it's part of the Ñielol ward in the Temuco Ñielol stake, and once in a while the missionaries from there have gone out to the town, but it takes an hour to get there so it's not the most efficient use of time for them. Anyway, so President Swenson was going to send me there to train (which I was REALLY excited about), but then he realized that Vilcún should be a branch within the next few months and so it wouldn't be the greatest idea to have the weight of that fall onto the shoulders of a new missionary. So now I'm going to open the sector with another missionary that go there at the same time as I did: Elder Torres from Santiago. We're already good friends so I'm really excited about it. As of right now there are about 15 members in Vilcún, and President Swenson has given us the assignment of getting the attendance up to 50 people. There is only one less-active person there, so it's going to be pretty much all us working with the members there to sky-rocket that place. I'm SO excited! The bishopric from Ñielol will be traveling out to hold meetings in a house (where we will also be living) which will start at 4pm, so it's going to be INSANELY easy to bring people to church. I couldn't have asked for a better set-up for my last 6 weeks. I'm just itching to get down there! If you have a map of Chile Vilcún is north east of Temuco. I learned the other day that Vilcún is mapudungún (that's the mapuche language) means ''lagartija'' in spanish, which means ''lizard'' in english. So I'm going to the town of lizard!

Other quick note - I bought a new camera this week, so I'll be able to send pictures and stuff. I have a bunch from this last week, but no time to send them.

Alright, we've got to run. I'll write as soon as I can. Tomorrow I might have time after our consejo meeting with President and I'll try to write, but if not I'll just send a letter next MONDAY. That's right, my p-days will be changing back to Mondays for the rest of my mission.

Alright, talk to you later. Love you!