November 1, 2011
This week was great. It was intense! Towards the beginning of the week, many things happened pretty close together. It all started with my companion losing his wallet! We ran around Santa Barbara (literally) trying to find it and we eventually did find it on the bus that we were one earlier that afternoon. To be able to get the wallet of my companion, we had to kick it cross country style across Santa Barbara, because we had to get to the bus terminal before the same bus we were on earlier took off again. By the time we got there we were drenched. It has been really hot lately here so that didnt help. For a few hours, my companion was one scared boy! His credit/debit cards were in there...finally when we found it he was so relieved so that was good. I thought about our Heavenly Father. How sad and worried He is when one of His children are lost. I know that he mourns and worries for that child. I thought of the joy that my companion had when he found his wallet. How happy he was can compare to how happy our Heavenly Father is when we come back to him (repent and change our lives) If my companion can be so happy about finding a piece of leather with a few plastic cards inside then our Father must be indescribably happy when we come back to Him.
Right after this happened we got a call from the zone leaders with a special announcement. They said that President Martinez has prayed a lot and had a revelation that there are people who we are teaching who are ready to receive a remission of their sins through baptism by water and by fire, who dont have the sufficient amount of church attendances. In missionary work today, generally an investigator must come to church at least 3 times in order to be baptized. He said that there were people in our areas who didnt have 3 attendances but yes, should be baptized to receieve the remission of their sins. They challenged us to go to all of our investigators who this applies to and challenge them to be baptized this weekend. So we to work right away. We went to Margaret's house, who was planning on being baptized in another week or two, and we challenged her to be baptized. We told her about what had happened and the revelation that our mission president had received and we challenged her to get baptized the coming weekend. She was hesitant just a second or so and then something came over her like, "yes, this is what you need to do" and her expression changed and she said, "yes! I will!" and she got really really excited. We had her break three cigarettes in half and stomp them into the ground hard and she commited to never smoke another cigarette as long as she lives! Russell M. Nelson said in this last general conference "The greatest compliment that can be earned here in this life is to be known as a covenant keeper." Soooo true! I am glad that Margaret has decided to make this covenant with her Heavenly Father.
We had a family night for the ward on the same night as all of these other things happened as well. We ended up having to kick it one more time cross country style to get a key to the chapel that we needed in time for the family night. The family night was great. We watched the Joseph Smith movie and we had so much food that we couldnt even eat it all. It was one of the most successful activities I have seen here! Very exciting.
Me and Elder Barton traveled up to Concepcion his week for a special trainers/trainees conference. It was great and at the end of the conference President Martinez told us that the whole mission will have a conference on the 10th of November with someone very special! He said that when our guests arrive, we should stand up and wait until he sits down to sit down. And at the end, we must stand up and not leave or move until he has left. (that means one of the apostles/prophets is going to come) I am very excited! Elder Scott was President Martinez's mission president so it could possibly be him?
On the way home from this trainers meeting, we were sitting on the bus next to a girl and we started talking to her. Her name is Evelyn and she's 19 years old. She asked us some questions about our message and about life and we shared quite a bit of the gospel. By the time she left she had been touched at least a little bit by the spirit because she said that she wants to learn more about our religion now and come to church one day. We asked for her number to pass on to the missionaries who live in Renaico (where she's from) and she gave it to us and then got off the bus. Right then I called the missionaries in Renaico and gave them the reference and Elder Montalban told me yesterday that they called her and talked to her and she came to church on Sunday!!! I was so stoked to hear that! It made my already-good-day even better!
Margaret was baptized and confirmed and it was very neat. We found her two and a half months ago and she was one prepared by the Lord to receive the gospel. The best part was that my companion was able to have his first baptism! It was so good to see him in white and wet.
We went to Quilaco, a little town outside of Santa Barabara, on Sunday for lunch with a member family and on the way back the bus broke down and it wouldnt move. As we were sitting I got the impression, "stand up, open your mouth and preach the gospel!" I was thinking....oh geez...not now...I'm tired... but I knew that we had to do it, so we stood up and we said that we had a message to share and an invitation for everyone. We shared a little about our message and bore our testimonies and invited everyone to church. It was a little nerve wracking but it was great! Afterward there were three people who we started talking to and they were somewhat interested. They all live in towns really far away though so that's a bummer. The gospel will reach them more accessibly one day!
The last major event that happened this week was the giant mission activity that we had in a town called Renaico (randomly the same town where the girl we talked to on the bus lives) We all went to a stadium and we played futbol, volleyball, american football, and ulitmate frisbee. We also played a bunch of games and did some great activities. One of the highlights was when President Martinez told all of the men missionaries to meet in the middle of the soccer field and the sister missionaries went with Sister Martinez. We all came and sat down in the middle of the field and we were burning up because it was really hot. President Martinez had us all be silent and close our eyes because he was going to supposedly tell us a secret or something. He said on the count of three he was going to say something quietly so we had to listen for it, it was really important, then he went "one"...."two!"...."THREE!" and all of the sudden something just started drenching us all from all sides and we looked up to see all of the sister missionaries throwing water balloons at us. It was a pretty good prank I have to admit. I was excited for what the secret was going to be. It felt great since it was so hot outside.
There were many other funny things that happened like crazy little kids on buses yelling "HELLO!!! HELLO!! HELLO!!!" and squishing our cheeks and stuff like that :D One crazy man on the street passed our whole zone on the street and started talking to us. He kept talking about Chile and his country and money and stuff. The funniest thing he said was "Yo no soy malo! Soy Chileno!"
Tender Mercy- One the way back to Santa Barbara from some sort of meeting, I was looking out the window pondering and it just hit me, "I am completely broke, out in a town in the middle of Chile, on the opposite side of the world ............I love life!!!!" That was about what my thought process was. :D I had a confirming feeling that this is exactly where I am supposed to be and exactly what I am supposed to be doing at this moment in my life. Even though where I am and why I'm here would be, to normal people, completely insane, it is so awesome to me! The fact that I am in the middle of a foreign country is so special because of what I am doing. It's so....I dont know how to explain it. Its so amazing....or just delicious, desirable, the feelings I have felt here. I am so lucky to be where I am right now!
(mom, I am not broke anymore, dont worry. ha ha)
-Me and Elder McConnell. Lake Point, REPRESENT! (which we really didn't get... trying to get dallin to try again)
-My zone, Los Angeles South! Our shirts were the best!
-Another of baptism
-Zone meeting we had outside (it was a first)