Happy birthday today Camilla! and....
Happy birthday Wes!!!
You both are awesome and I love you both. I cant believe it has been almost a year since I have seen each of you. Wes can talk and walk, what?!
well, this week was great. first off, we got news of transfers. the news is, elder cottrell is going to leave! (sorry, some capital letters arent working) he is going to leave to temuco. It will be sad to have him gone because we have become really good friends. we have had a lot of experiences here in santa barbara together. Well...my news is that I am going to get a new missionary here in santa barbara with me. I asked president martinez "what do you mean by "new?"" and he said "straight from the mtc!" Wow! I am going to train! It will be great. I am excited and a little bit nervous...considering the fact that I still feel like I am new here! but I know that if I trust in the Lord and keep doing what I am supposed to and if I have love, then everything will be fine. tomorrow I will go up to concepcion and we will all meet our newbies. I am excited to go back to the mission home...I havent been there since I started here in Chile. more information to come next week!
Ah...I figured out the upper-case. This week I have been full of pride....or....my mind has been thinking a lot about pride :D Because that is the great sin of the world. We just dont want to submit our will for God's will. But...like Mosiah 3:19 says, "the natural man is an enemy to God....unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirt and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord." This scripture talks about "yielding" which I think in this sense means listening and following...how often do we listen to and follow the Spirit? Or also...how often do we read and follow the scriptures?...how often do we listen and follow the living prophets? That is something we are trying to help some people here with. Some people have huge challenges in their lives and I know that the gospel will help them but they just keep rejecting it and they wont leave their pride! I know that we've all done this in our lives....we need something more. We are searching for something. What we need is the gospel! We need to start praying and reading our scriptures and going to church. That's what we need, believe it or not!
This week we had a baptism! Alan was baptized by his uncle Patricio. His baptism has brought a lot of miracles. His mom, who left the church years ago, came back and went to his baptism and left work to come to his confirmation also! (in sacrament meeting). We were so happy.
Funny story- for the last two Sundays no primary leaders have come to church....so I was able to teach primary this week and the last. I respect primary teachers a LOT more now :D All I know is that 1 room + 4 kids + 2 hours = crazy. HA!! But it was fun.
Here's a good story- We were in Los Angeles earlier this week and we passed a man on the street and started talking to him. He showed us his hand and it was pretty mangled. He told us that a dog bit it. He told us the story and it turns out that when it happened he was drunk. You would think this experience would be a good enough reason to stop drinking but nope, he told us that he is going to keep drinking! The blessings for keeping ALL of the the commandments are real!
Our investigators right now are: Mitsy, who I attached a picture of. We have been working a lot with her and her almost-husband to get them married so she can get baptized! she is the daughter of the branch president here. The only thing that is a little bit hard with them is that they live in Quilaco, which is a little tiny town outside of Santa Barbara, so its a long walk over there. We go there whenever we can.
Margaret, she is amazing. She is 24 years old and she is a "chosen" of the Lord that was really just waiting until a missionary found her. She has accepted everything we have taught her and is probably going to be my new companion's first baptism out here in the field because she is going to get baptized in the middle of September. I have seen a huge change with her since we found her only 3 weeks ago. The gospel really does change lives and it is the only way we can be truly successful in this life. She has two sons who are 5 and 3 years-old and they are awesome.
Daniela (19) and Rosio (13)...sisters. Daniela is in one of the pictures. She is the girlfriend of Ricardo, the branch presidents son. We randomly found Rosio, her little sister, in the street and she came to church and loved it.
Those are are main investigators. We have some more, but they arent progressing as much as these ones. Alan just got baptized...so he is no longer an investigator :)
A sad story from this week is that a man in our stake, from the town of Mulchen...died. A tree fell on top of him and he died the next day. There are sister missionaries in Mulchen and it was very hard for them. Sister Noxon and Sister Barlow. Sister Noxon has the same time as me in the mission and flew with me to Chile. And Sister Barlow is leaving tomorrow! So it was a sad thing to have happen at the very very end of your mission. The man who died was the ward mission leader in their ward and was basically the only member who really helped them. I called them the day after it happened and I told them a joke to cheer them up. I'll tell it to any of you who need a cheer-up. --
*In a pirate accent* What's a pirate's favorite letter?!?! ....most people say ARRRGGG!!! ("R") NO! It's "P"! Looks like an "R" but is missin' a leg!
But anyway, I brought this up to talk about the knowlege that we have about the plan of happiness that our Father in Heaven has for us. Not very many people know what happens when we die. But I have to tesitify to this question- When a man dies, will he live again?? The answer is YES. Yes, he will. Thanks to the death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Tender Mercy- Divine help that we receive as missionaries...in the language, in having strength each day, in teaching people, in finding people. This is truly the Lord's work. He just said, give me everything you have....and I will duplicate all of that and give you 100 times more. We are TOOLS... :D If we give ourselves to the Lord, He will increase our capacities to love, to be happy, to help, to work, to grow, to do everything... "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."
Bye bye for now. I love you all.
-Baptism of Alan, by his uncle Patricio (who reactivated and got married at the beginning of the month so he could be worthy)
-The branch president's wife (Agustina) and son (Ricardo) and Ricardo's girlfriend, Daniela, who is one of our investigators! She has great questions and wants to learn so much.
-Us with our investigator Mitsy and her basically-husband, Patricio, who is a member. Mitsy is awesome....all they need to do is get married and she is going to get baptized.
-Me and Patricio sucking up shrimp.
-Me and Patricio sucking up shrimp.
-Me with all of the mud shrimp that we got.
-Patricio and Elder Cottrell suckin shrimp.