Monday, December 24, 2012

Feliz Navidad!

To All, Merry Christmas! I hope you all are doing well and are excited for Christmas! Apparently I will be calling by Skype at 12 noonish tomorrow in our time here or 9 in Texas. Dad said that should work out. Anyways, this past week was great! Finally we had 5 investigators at church. It went really well, mostly because we gave the Gospel Principles class and we also used the second hour to do the first Aaronic Priesthood class that has happened here in at least a year. There is no YM presidency. Everything went well and I believe our investigators really enjoyed church. We are doing everything we can to help our investigator Marcelo, who is 17, to be baptized this Sunday. He has the desire and lacks almost nothing of teaching, but his mom is hesitant to give him permission so far. We´ll see how this week turns out! His little brother and sister also attended church with him this week and we also had an older lady named Nadia and a miracle named Maigdel. haha, yes, her parents did make up that name. On Thursday we decided to pass by some people on the ward list that nobody knows and we just so happened to find a family in the which there is a 9 year old daughter who hasn´t been baptized and they had a strong desire to return to church. So we set an appointment Saturday, and put a baptismal date with the girl and on Sunday the family came to church! They should be great. Anyways, I´ll be talking to ya´ll shortly so I don´t need to write too much, right? I'll also include a picture of the huge hill we climbed today, I guess I got pretty burnt- don't worry mom, I'm putting on sunblock at least once a day... haha. Anyways, love you all! Hope you have a great Christmas! I should be there for the next one! haha. Turns out Elder Sheffield and I are 5th cousins now that we did the calculations!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Casi Christmas

To All, Yet another week has gone by. My time is going by too fast! I've already been here for a third of all the time I'll have in Chile! Ahh.. but it has been pretty good so far. Turns out we received a response from Elder Sheffield's family if we were related thanks to the info that Grandpa provided. Here is what the grandparent's of Elder Sheffield sent him- It was fun to hear your new companion is a distant cousin. Your common ancestor is James and Sarah Adlaide Wilmer Sheffield. Their oldest son was John Heber who is your line and their youngest son was Franklin Lorenzo (also called Frank). His daughter was Erma with brothers Herman (your Grandpa Sherman worked for him at Southern California Univ), Ralph and Dean both of them we knew. Grandpa says he remembers her but did not know her as well. They were cousins to your great great grandfather Heber James (the one who had the island experience, and was Sherman's grandpa). Anyway, it is kind of fun to make the connection. As Grandpa says, You two Sheffields should really do great things. Haha, isn't that funny? I enjoyed it. We have a few great investigators that we're working with at this point, but they're all pretty much still struggling to church, though many of them have already received spiritual confirmations that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. Despite their struggles we have faith that they will begin to attend and be able to baptized in January. My favorite moment of this week was when we were teaching a family where the mom has been inactive pretty much since her baptism 30 years ago and so she is the only member in her family. Her name is Angelica and her daughter that is really interested is as well named Angelica so they call her "Malu" haha. Anyways in the lesson with them we read Mosiah 2:41 that talks about how we are blessed and happy if we keep the commandments and so we asked her a comprehension question after reading it and she responded saying, "it's so obvious! Everyone is unhappy because they aren't keeping the commandments! If we would keep the commandments then we're blessed and happy." haha- it was great. She already has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and committed to live the word of wisdom. She has a baptismal date for the 20th of January because she will be working every Sunday until the end of the year when her job contract ends. Other than that, we're really excited for Christmas and our calls to the fam! You'll only get one more and it will be the week before I get back I think. haha, perfect timing to make beach plans. hahaha. Anyways, I love you all and hope you have a great Christmas! I recommend the videos the church is making to help us have the Spirit of Christmas, which is the Spirit of Christ. Watch this one :) Love you!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Chilean Sun

Hello all, This week went relatively well. We have some great investigators and potential at the moment that we are hoping to capitalize on. We had district conference this week and so President Kahnlein came and talked and gave a training (although we never even got to shake his hand, lame.) and everything went really well. We ended up having two investigators go even though the conference was an hour away in a place called Los Vilos. This week I will be answering some questions received thanks to Hurricane Survivor (Nicole) how do transfers work there???? you just wait for your companion or do you all meet somewhere??? Well, I am a few hours out from the "mission base" as you could call it so it can vary, but they do do a meeting in ViƱa where President announces the transfers and then everyone goes out. I ended up just waiting for my companion here in Illapel and it was all very secretive and thus I didn't really know who my comp was until he arrived. Kind of weird in that regard. haha tell me about your investigators and stuff and the branch. Our best investigators right now are la familia Saldivar, Karina, and a new investigator named Angelica. The familia Saldivar is 2 parents and 4 kids between 10 and 18. Right now 2 of them have accepted a baptismal date, but the dad hasn't been all to receptive and is mostly absent from the home as he works far away in the mines. Karina is a great investigator and already has a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, but her husband won't listen to us and is mostly absent from the home as well and so we can't really teach her in her home and so lately we've just been having short contacts on her doorstep. :/ Angelica! She is great. We found her this week cuz we talked to her mom in the street and she said she was baptized in Vina about 25 years ago! So we went and Angelica listened as well (the current "husband" of the mother says he is atheist), and agreed to a baptismal date in early January. She is progressing pretty well, but currently she can only attend every other sunday for work until January. are there lots of sister missionaries in your mission? Not really I guess, but a ton are coming. Supposedly like 30 more by next june. I think we have between 15-20?? haha, I dunno. Americans or natives? Is this a preference question? hahaha, there are like 70% americans. Lame. what are your living conditions like? Uhh, decent? we have 2 orange trees and Chile is pretty nice. A lot of American imports and things that don't exist in Argentina. We can drink the water and yeah! Anyways, outta time. Love you all! Have a great week and enjoy this tidbit of scriptures! Doctrine and Covenants, D&C 58:2-4 "2 For verily I say unto you, blessed is he that keepeth my commandments, whether in life or in death; and he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven. 3 Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation. 4 For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand." Love!

Monday, December 3, 2012

A New Transfer

All, Well, transfers came and went and... I wasn't transferred! But Elder Stacey was transferred. I am now with Elder Sheffield from Ogden, UT. He seems to be a pretty cool guy and a great dedicated missionary. I'll be his second companion and this is his 4th transfer in Chile. Should be a bit of a change from being companions with Elder Stacey. I'm pretty excited. The Zone Leaders here in Illapel were also transferred and so 2 new zone leaders came to white wash the area. They have a lot of excitement. One is from El Salvador and one from Chile. I don't know if I mentioned it or not but a senior couple also arrived this week! Quite a few changes are happening here in Illapel and I believe that we are about to see a lot of results from the changes and our efforts. It was great to hear the members bear their testimonies on Sunday saying that they feel their prayers are being answered as the Lord makes these changes. Should be a great time to be here in Illapel. We also were able to help 3 young people attend church from the Saldivar family! The 2 younger ones seemed to really enjoy it. The mom still doesn't see the need to attend a church as she says she is fine praying in her home. Hopefully she will humble herself soon to be able to accept the true doctrines of Christ, the Sabbath day, and the Sacrament. Any ideas let me know :) Other than I'm getting excited for the phone call home, weird to think that the next call I make will be the week of me going home! haha, weird... We'll be able to do it by skype, hopefully I'll get more details soon. I'll for sure let you all know. Sorry about the pictures last time, the email thing told me last minute it was too big. Sorry, blame google. haha. Love you all! I know the Lord puts us in places where we can help others if we search for the opportunities and are prepared to follow his Spirit. Pray for some opportunities to serve others this week and pay attention so the opportunities don't pass you by! Love you all and appreciate all your support. First pic is of Elder Stacey and I being sad that he is leaving at the bus terminal Second is of Elder Sheffield and I Love!