Hey everybody! This week was a good one because I was able to talk to you all on skype! It was great. I dont have a whole lot of time to write now because of it, but I just wanted to say that this week was really good...I have been getting to know Catrihuala, my new area. It is extremely looooonnnggggg so it takes forever to walk places. We are going to have to start working on certain parts of the area certain days. Elder Laird is awesome. He is a great guy.
This week we were able to teach several people who are pretty good. They are mainly youth who we are teaching right now...with just a few adults. The youth who we are teaching are very good. There are two young men of 16 and 17 years old who will make great missionaries soon, there names are Francisco and Josias. They both came with us to do service on Saturday so that was good...there is nothing like changing a boy into a man like service.
We were able to have a zone leader conference yesterday and it was very inspiring. We talked about real growth, and working on finding families and men more. I felt the spirit so much in the conference. President Martinez is a very inspiring man. He is a very INSPIRED man too. You can always tell that he is always praying and searching for revelation, and because of it you can feel the truthfulness and the power of the things he shares. Me and my companion put the goal that we are going to go to all of the men...the fathers and husbands of members of the church who havent accepted the gospel still, and we are going to teach them. We are going to pray and pray and have the faith that they will really be able to change. I know that we are going to see miracles in the hearts of these men. I also know without a doubt that WITHOUT FAITH GOD CANNOT DO ANY MIRACLE!!! If we have faith and if we ask, we will see all sorts of miracles happen. It has happened over and over and over again in the history of the world. But when the people have faith...amazing things can truly happen.
This zone is great. Today we had our zone meeting and me and Elder Laird taught everyone about real growth and the plan of attack that we have as a zone to be able to complete with our missionary purpose better. Zion is establishing itself here in Chile! In the zone conference President Martinez showed a video that they just recently did about the growth of the church in Chile since it first entered the country in...1956 I think. It is incredible! The early saints here worked just like the pioneers...maybe not with the covered wagons and handcarts, but they preached the gospel and were examples of the believers..It started with just one member here and it has grown to more than 500,000 members in a short period of time and it keeps growing! This church is a marvalous work and a wonder for real!
I love this gospel and I love being a missionary! I am still getting in the hang of things in this area so in future weeks I will have more information and more experiences.
I love you all!
Tender Mercy- The Lord always qualifies us when he calls us. He will never leave us hanging IF we do all that we can to magnify our calling and if we depend on Him. He loves us so much!
(From Villa Obispo)
-Me with my two Felipe converts. Two studs. Two future missionaries!!!!! I loves these guys.
-Me and the Cruces family! They are awesome! They were inactive when I got here and they had tons of problems getting back to the church...but they DID it!! He promised me before I left that he will never leave the church again. He suffered a lot when he did it. He is going to be a powerful man of God very soon! He is becoming one.
-The Hermosilla Valenzuela family. (Silvia, Nicol, and Felipe) They are the COOLEST converts!! I was so lucky to be able to teach them. They are an example for all active members...they havent missed a single Sunday since they started investigating the church over 6 months ago!!! This was a family who was very ununited and then was completely changed by the gospel and they are now extremely united! Such a beautiful miracle that happened in their hearts. Silvia told me that she is going to adopt me mom! I told her that I already have a mom, sorry...she still is determined though.
-Me with Soledad, recent convert.
-Me with the Kiger family, ex-ward mission leader, current 1st counselor in the ward. Baptized 1 1/2 years ago, AWESOME
-BEST FAMILY EVER!!! The Quezada family. They helped us so much! They are so actively involved in missionary work with us. She was our "mamita" also.. (the member who washed our clothes) The Sunday before I left he was called as the 2nd counselor in the bishopric. They both served missions. Him in Santiago and her in Bolivia.
-Ward activity. Talent show. We acted as Nephi, Laman, Lemuel, and Laban. I was King Laban. Elder Laird was Nephi.
-"Mi nombre es" is a Chilean television talent show....the activity was a mini version.
-The Cid Donoso family. The men in this picture arent members...we are working with Brother Cid and we have gained a lot of confidence with him. We have had some really successful family home evenings with them...on my LAST day in the area....he said that he thinks his time is getting closer to join the church! :D YEAH!
-Fran Cuevas with her mom. She is our investigator who we taught for all six months of my time in Villa Obispo! She wants to get baptized a lot, but her parents needed strengthening. Her mom has had a huge turnaround since I got here. She was completely inactive and she had returned a little bit to her old Catholic ways...Satan is very sly...but we were able to help the little seed of faith grow and now she has come several weeks in a row to church! Fran will be able to get baptized very very soon!
-Me with Brother Catalan. This guy is awesome. He has been a member for a long time, and has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. For a little while when I was in this area, he struggled a little bit with his testimony because he started reading some books that were a little anti-God and stuff, and we could tell what was happening. Luckily he didnt read so deep into it...It really scared me and I could literally see the result if he KEPT reading it...I could see the two paths he could go. I felt sad for the family...and so me and my companion started pouring out our hearts for him and praying that he could start reading the truth....the scriptures, and we focused on being his friend. Satan always wants to destroy us!, but the power of God is infinitely more powerful and wonderful! He stopped reading that junk and he stayed strong with his testimony. It was a very emotional goodbye with him! He is awesome!
-Two recent converts, they are AWESOME! Gladis Astete (Felipe's mom) and Alexa, the wife of a long time member who was inactive for a time, but they came back STRONG and are very active now!
-Me with John, Alexa's husband.
-The new bishop (Bishop Sanhueza) and his wife!!!!! He is a man who is very humble, very awesome! He got ordained two days before I left. This is a shirt that Brother Cruces made me before I left.
-The farewell that all of the members and recent converts did for me when I left Villa Obispo. I love all of these people and I am sad to leave! I will seriously miss these people so much............. that's life I guess!!!!