This week was CRAZY! One of the craziest weeks of my mission. On Monday and Tuesday we went through the entire process of receiving new missionaries and sending the oldies home. On monday evening we had dinner at the president's house with the oldies and also a family of one of the old missionaries (because his parents and sister came to get him and tour the mission) We took the old missionaries to the hotel and then went to get them in the morning and went to the airport....then we waited and got the new missionaries. We went to the mission president's house and we taught the new trainers who would be training. Then we ate lunch with the newbies and then took them to the airport and we got all of OUR stuff and headed to Los Angeles where we would begin our journey.
OHHH...also, there was only one new sister missionary who got to the mission this transfer and her name is sister Nelson. Erica Nelson, from Riverton, Utah. It just turns out that she is one of Caitlin Ellis' best friends and she actually came to the cabin with the the Deaners before I left on the mission....so I had already met her. Anyway, she is an awesome missionary who will make a great difference here in a Temuco!!
On Wednesday we did interchanges with VILLA OBISPO!!!!!!!!!!! It was great. We set a baptismal date with Ana, the mom of Soledad, one of my most recent converts from that area. It was awesome. Ana wants me to baptize her. The coolest part is that we set the baptismal date for this month! She is so ready to get baptized...she has just been receiving a lot of opposition from her own husband and her kids. But...she is going to be ok!!! The coolest part is that I was with Elder Taverneir! He is one of my good friends in the mission...he started with us in the MTC, but then went home for some personal reasons...and was able to come back months later, and now is one of the most powerful missionaries I have ever seen!!!! He is awesome. It was a good interchange. I was able to visit with Vicente also...he is the grandson of Edgardo, another one of my converts. He is getting baptized this Sunday! It is going to be awesome!...well I say "he is getting baptized" because I am writing like it's last wednesday. In reality...he GOT baptized yesterday (Sunday) So that is awesome. And I found out that ALL of his family came! All of them! So that is awesome. Even his dad who didnt give him permission for a lot time came...and he was crying during the service! and his super catholic grandma who detested us came too! They were all happy. That entire family will soon be getting baptized.
As for the other days....we went to another area in Los Angeles, with the other zone leaders, then we headed towards the south. We set many baptismal dates with investigators with the missionaries here so that was good. We are trying to set examples in all areas of the work...in conduct and in the actual teachings. On Friday we had a big challenge...we were in Temuco and it was raining a TON! It was pouring better said. The entire day...and it was a challenge because we were soaken wet and freezing, but we stayed out their contacting the whole time and it was good. I was with Elder Sanchez, from Mexico...it was funny because he is brand new to the area so he doesnt know anything or anyone. The only option we had was to contact and to hope somebody would let us in. We did find three people who are AWESOME. They are three future converts. One of them was a man who really didnt want anything at first, he was joking around about the devil, and God and he didnt really have any seriousness when it came to religion...but we learned that his wife passed away and also a son passed away, so its been a big challenge for him. We got started talking a little bit about the plan of salvation and he softened up a lot and he changed from being a guy who didnt want anything to all of the sudden being really sensitive and REALLY REALLY nice guy. It built my testimony that there are thousands of people who need us! Sometimes its hard to see that when so many people reject you...but if we just endure in the rain...then we will find them.
In Temuco on Saturday we had a really cool experience. It actually happened with Jamie McConnell's old companion, Elder Attridge. Elder Attridge is an awesome guy! He is seriously one of the nicest, most loving missionaries of all time. He is relatively new in the mission too. Anyway, I went with him to do service for a lady who they had found earlier in the week who needed someone to clean their chimney of all of the carbon...or soot that builds up..anyway, we went by and she was there but she said that she didnt have the tool to clean the chimney, so we asked if we could just share something. She said yes. Her name is Yvonne and her ten year old son is Emanuel. She is one of the nicest ladies I have met in Chile. She said that she was baptized two years ago in the Adventist church but right after she was baptized she felt like she went farther away from God and she felt like the members started trying to control her. She said that they basically told her that they were her new family, so it made her have to start choosing in between the church and family. She has started to go back to the adventist church a little bit now...because she feels the need to come closer to God. We testified that this gospel is for the family and that it's purpose is to help families be closer and be together forever. We taught her about the restoration of the gospel and priesthood power to baptize. We asked that when she when she receives the testimony of the restoration of the church, if she will be baptized with her son on the 28th of January and she said "hmm...that's really soon BUT I know that God can make it happen if he wants! So yes!" NICE! We invited her to a baptism that evening with a family from Labranza, and they went! And they also went to the church yesterday!
The baptism of Labranza was great! I got to see many members from Labranza and they were all really happy and surpised to see me! It was awesome! I was happy! There was an older lady and a family who got baptized and the family had some opposition or a test of faith right before the baptism. Apparently right when they were preparing to leave, someone had an accident on their street so she had to drive them to the doctors office. A little baby had an accident...so as we were waiting in the chapel with all of the members and investigators...I got up and shared my testimony about service and how happy I was that this family was late because they were helping somebody in need. It was cool. I know that it helped the investigators there because it was a little awkward for them to be waiting for a while with nothing happening.
We were able to go to another little town, Carahue. Between me and my companion with the two missionaries from Carahue, we set 5 baptismal dates yesterday! It was awesome! My companion set the dates with a family of three and another person and I set a date with a man whose wife is sick in the hospital in Santiago. It was a good interchange. It's been crazy!
Tender Mercy- When I was in Villa Obispo and we went to the house of Soledad and Ana, we walked in and Ana was so happy that she started crying. She is one of the most loving people of all time! She is awesome. It was really humbling to have her cry of happiness that I was here...then later on in the week, they called me to confirm the time for the baptism, and she started crying over the phone again. She is the sweetest lady. Very sensitive to the spirit now!
I love you all,
photos next week.