December 6, 2010 Hello friends. This week was great. The work of the Lord continues to move foward! Who to talk about first? Beto...ya...Beto is the husband of three active members. Daniela is his wife, active, and his sons Kevin and Brandon who are active. We have been teaching him for the last few weeks, and the last two weeks we walked all the way to his house early in the morning before to church to pick him up. We told him the night before we would, but he didn´t actually think we would. His face was funny when we showed up at his door step all ready for church. But it paid off because he went. And the next week (yesterday) we did the same thing, and he came again! And in the last lesson we had with him, it was neat. He has been reading the book of mormon wherever we ask, and he really likes it. We had him read Alma 22 last, and he did. But the thing he doesn´t want to do is pray. We really stressed praying and how we can teach and teach and teach, but he won´t receive answers to his doubts and questions until he prays! But....he would only commit to reading. He didn´t want to commit to praying if he wasn´t going to do it. So our last lesson, we went over Alma 22. He really really really liked it. And we talked about the Holy Ghost. Hermano Catalan, the new ward mission leader, came with us. He is a returned missionary from Quito Ecuador, and his wife is also. She went to Antofagasta, Chile. He shared his conversion story with Beto and it was neat. Beto is ready...he´s ready to be baptized! We just need to help him through it and help him see that it´s the completely right thing to do. Jose Daniel is getting baptized on Dec. 26th! Whooh! And so is his friend Tonio.....maybe. If he can stop smoking. When we challenged them to get baptized, we taught them about faith, repentance, baptism, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and then I asked them if they will follow the example of Christ and be baptized on Dec. 26th. They said yes. And I was so happy! Then I told them that they would have to do something before they get baptized...and Tonio immediately said, "No! I´m not going to stop smoking! I won´t! Drinking yes, smoking no!" Hahaha. I was actually going to say "Go to church"...but now that he mentioned it....ha ha. Oh man. Good times. The coolest part was the end though...the prayer. Jose Daniel said it, and he prayed that Tonio would be able to stop smoking. Que bueno! :) It was way cool. And then Tonio told him thank you after. We gave him the church´s program to stop smoking. It´s weird to me sometimes while I´m in houses...I´ll mentally stop and sit back and think...wait...these people don´t speak English, yet I still know them so well and they are my friends! I think that´s part of the gift of tongues. Understanding people and their feelings without necesarily speaking their language. Pardon my spelling by the way, because words in Espanol are so easy to spell...everything is just how it sounds. But in English, everything is spelled differently than it sounds! Like necesarily...how do you spell that??? One thing that is really special about this work of the Lord is how we really are his representatives. Iris is a recent convert as of 2 months ago. Also her daugther Barbara 12, and son Alvaro 15, have been taught also, but they haven´t had the permission from their dad to get baptized. Alvaro is a little more hesitant about joining the church than Barbara, who really wants to get baptized, but hadn´t had her dad´s permission. We went to visit them yesterday and it was neat! Until yesterday, I had not actually met their dad, Richard. But I had heard about how he is stubborn and somewhat strict. When I met him yesterday he was not at all how I imagined. He has been out of a job for almost three months now, and they´ve had a rough time. Iris hasn´t gone to church for two weeks, and we were worried about her and tried to visit her several times but never were able to find them home. We found out that the reason Iris hasn´t come to church is because they haven´t had money. She is doing just fine. We talked to Richard and he was so nice and honest with us. Afterward my companion said he is a completely different person than the last time. They basically just poured out their hearts to us, two young boys. Every time I´ve visisted Iris she has cried and bore her testimony to her family, and she did the same thing yesterday too. She told her husband that she wants Barbara to get baptized because Barbara has a testimony and she feels it´s true. When she said that I knew right then that we had his permission to baptize his kids. He is a different person because of his wife, and the gospel in their home. We are hoping to start teaching him also. Towards the end of the visit he said we are welcome in his home anytime. What a turn-around in his life. Christ can heal any heart. He wants to, we just have to turn to him. I know this church is true. Something that Richard G. Scott talked to us about before I left the MTC is that pondering is not a waste of time. I have started trying to "ponder" when we´re walking or whenever I have time where I can think. Like getting ready in the morning, or getting ready for bed, or as I´m falling asleep. Pondering is powerful! Lately I´ve pondered about the restoration. The first vision...different parts of Joseph Smith´s life. My testimony of the restoration constantly grows! What am I doing here in Chile? Are you going to serve a mission? Is the church really true? Think about these things! I´ve thought about the first one a lot...because it directly applies to me :) And I know that I am in Chile for the truth that I need to share with these people. I know that because of the experiences that I wrote earlier in this letter, and many more countless experiences that I have experienced in my life and for the last three months! Hmm....any more parting words.... Just read the scriptures! They contain amazing things in them! Solutions for every problem in life you can imagine!
And I love you all!