Hey family and friends! First off, just so you know, next week, I will not be writing an email. We are going to do a mission "internet fast"...so when I dont write dont worry....I will write a hand-written letter.
This week was amazing. I went to Concepcion and we all went to the mission home and I found out who my new companion is. His hame is Elder Mitchell Barton from Provo, Utah. He is way awesome! He is studying art at BYU so finally I may learn how to draw!
One of the first lessons we had together was with Adrea, the friend of our investigator Margaret. We actually taught both of them together. We started talking about the Holy Ghost, and how that is the goal in this life...because through the Holy Ghost, we are able to have the peace that we need and when we have the spirit, everything else fits into place. We asked Margaret how she has felt in the last 3 or 4 weeks of knowing us and sharing with us. She said it has been a complete change for the better. She has basically changed all of the bad aspects of her personality around. She has really put Ether 12:27 into action. We asked Andrea (her 20 year old lonely depressed single-mom friend) if she has noted a difference in Margaret in the last few weeks and she said "wheewww!! yeah! complete turn around!" and then we asked how SHE has felt since she has talked to us every now and then. She started bawling and bawling and she said that she feels really good. She feels like when we are there all of her problems just go away and she doesnt have any worries. We asked her if she would like to have that forever through baptism, and receiving the constant companionship of the holy ghost and she said yes. She will. And same with Margaret. (when we planned the lesson, we planned that I would indicate to my new companion when he should extend the baptismal invitation) so I nudged my companion who didnt understand anything in the conversation and in his broken spanish he invited them to be baptized. They both commited to. Margaret on the 24th and Andrea hopefully in the first part of October. After we talked a little bit about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and my companion bore his testimony about how important Jesus Christ is to him in his life and as he did so he started choking up and he started crying. It was awesome. A lot of action going on in his very lesson ever! He makes someone cry, he cries, he invites someone to be baptized and they accept, AND after that lesson, we helped them paint the house a little bit and they gave us completos (hotdogs with tomatoes, avocado, and mayo) and cheese and meat empanadas. It was really neat for him to have all of these experiences happen in his first lesson. Welcome to missionary work! :)
We also have taught Daniela, an investigator who is the girlfriend of one of the branch president's sons. She has been changing a lot for the good...as in, she has softened up a lot! At first she had so many doubts about everything (which isnt a bad thing) And through the Holy Ghost she has come to feel that this gospel is right. I know that that is the real way we know all truths. When I see examples such as Andrea and Margaret and Daniela, I gain an even stronger testimony that the Holy Ghost is real. It really can come and dwell within people and change hearts....if you just let it.
Satan does a really good job of helping us forget when we have had very real spiritual experiences...but I hope everyone remembers back to the moments that they knew without a doubt that God was there...that the gospel was true.
It has been pretty cold here. It cracks me up because my companion left the united states in the middle of summer and heat...and he gets here in santa barbara and its freeeeeezing cold. with tons of rain and even hail. :D
Here in Chile the biggest news is that an airplane with 21 people on it was lost before it landed at its destination (Fernandez Island) in southern chile. Among the 21 people were celbreties who people loved and admired and many important people economically. These thinks make you think about where we are going to go when we die. I know that we will live after this life. That is why Christ resurrected.
We were tracting yesterday and we met these two religious men who had a lot of questions about our church. We taught the restoration to them and in the end, I asked if they knew people who need help of some sort....maybe a recent death in the family or a new baby.....the older of the two men, Luis, started crying...and his son Jorge told us that Luis' (his dad in law) wife just died 15 days ago. We asked if we could come in to say a prayer of peace for them and they let us and after we prayed the spirit was so strong in the house, and we left the peace he needed in the house. It was a really neat experience.
Well, goodbye for two weeks. Pray for the families of the 21 tragic deaths. The gospel is true.
Tender Mercy- I realized that shortly after I was made senior companion this week.... I could understand everything that everyone says. I know that this is a miracle and that the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues is real. I also was reminded of something that my mom told me about two of my uncles who told her that the moment they became COMPLETELY fluent on their missions was the moment they were made senior companion. (because my mom asked them how long until they were fluent on their missions) and now you can add this story to it as well....the gifts of the spirit are real. Our capacity is expanded when we need it, if we are keeping the commandments of the Lord.
I am going to complete a year this week.....aaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!
Bye everyone :)
-Me and my old companion, Elder Cottrell, and Margaret with her two boys.
-Us with Patricio and Alejandra and Luz and Pancho. A really awesome family here who have done so much for us and we have seen many miracles happen in their lives since we got here (we got them married! they have reactivated completely!)
-Another great family, the Figueroas. They are one of the strong families here in Santa Barbara. Their two kids, Monica and Jose and Monica's son Ignacio have reactivated since we have been here.
-Me with my son and my parents (in the mission) :D Meet Elder Barton (awesome). With President Martinez (amazing) and his wife (amazing)