Sunday, February 23, 2014

A wonder mission!

I return home on February 25, 2014.
I will be speaking in Sacrament meeting and reporting on my missionary experiences on March 9th at 9:00 am.  The address is 857 W 800 N, Orem.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

New Year post

It has been some time since the last post.  I am still in Gambino.  Elder Concha finished his mission.  I then served with Elder Catalan from Guatemala and am now with Elder Munoz from southern Chile.  The work continues to go forward and I continue to enjoy the work.  It has become hot, and tiring at times.  I would rather tire because of hard work, especially the Lord's work, than any other reason.  I also had an opportunity to be taught by Elder Holland.  That was a wonderful experience.  We continue to teach much with occasional success.  We do a lot of service as well, such as moving, remodeling houses, picking apricots.  I enjoyed pizza for Thanksgiving.  Christmas dinner was spent at a members for a delicious dinner.  Thank you all for your support and prayers.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A month in Gambino

Independence week was celebrated here in Chile  Tuesday and Wednesday were spent at a church building getting fat off meat and watching shows.  I really admired how they all get together and have fun, all day long from 11:00 am to 2:00 am early the next morning.  My companion and I got there around noon played games for a while.  Games included hitting a bunch of cans with tape balls, sack race, volantines (a kite), and playing soccer.  Lunch was great considering the amount of people; we had pork and rice with potatoes. The desert was one of my favorites, tuti fruti (a Chilean version of fruit salad but better).  Next was a little more games and then back inside for shows.  They were fun and entertaining, near 9:00 pm, they began to dance and as a missionary we can’t dance obliviously.  We helped clean up a bit and went home, filled with the classic empanadas de pino. The rest of the week was great and had plenty of spiritual lessons.
 Ana Zuñiga isn’t a member but her husband is the Elders quorum President.  Many elders have tried to baptize her with no success, so we decide to try.  The lesson we had with them on Friday I will never forget.  The day was going well and we had prepared two lessons and decided how we felt would decide how we taught. Right before we entered we said a prayer for guidance. As we went I and began to teach, I felt the spirit as I began to speak and it took over and words began to come out, it was very powerful and honestly don’t know how to describe it to you, but it was just a warm feeling and Ana began to open up.  After the lesson, her husband left us at the gate and said she had never been so receptive.
  Another was Mauricio and Gabriela; these two also have been visited by many missionaries and hadn’t ever progressed.  We taught them on Sunday.  We found his concerns and let him talk.  Mauricio opened up and began to share.  He said something that made us feel good.  He said that of all the missionaries we were different and let him talk.  In the end he promised to ask God if he should get married and be baptized, and said it with conviction.
  Also yesterday we taught Maria a 14 year old who said she wanted to go on a mission.  Now this lesson was great but funnier than anything.  After watching the Restoration movie we began to talk serious about her testimony and what not.  Then out of no where the member, Bro. Muñoz, said “Maria we invite you to the water the 12 of October..."  Maria didn’t know what that meant and looked at him funny as he had a serious very face.  I couldn’t help it and laughed as my companion sat there shaking his head.  In the end she accepted to be baptized.
Well the baptism went over great. Betty Villasagua is her name. It is a wonder to think that someone can get baptized so fast, she already seemed like a member. It was a nice ceremony with plenty of members and the spirit strong. In the past month and a half my companion and I have seen the ward grow. It’s great to find that we have trust with the members and have worked hard and see fruits of our labors.
It was another great week, I get a long great with my companion, and we teach so well together the best in my experience. I love it here in Gambino and am having a wonderful time, even though drunken people contact me and this week was a bit crazy with all the parties.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Good by El Salto, hello Gambino

After seven months in El Salto I am was transferred.  My new sector is Gambino, Zapadores.  It is almost right next to my old sector.  My companion is Elder Concha and he is from Chile.  He is 26 and this is his last exchange be for he goes home.  It was sad to leave El Salto.  After so many months I had made many, many friends.  There were a lot of good byes and gifts from the members and investigators.  I also really enjoyed working with Elder Pereira—we got along great.  I also became friends with many of the youth in the ward as we played soccer together on about every p-day.
After a couple of weeks I have easily come to really enjoy the new ward and my companion.  We came into the area together and soon meet with the ward mission leader.  He planned a meeting for us to meet the ward members.  We were very excited at their enthusiasm for missionary work.
One experience I would like to share is about Betty, a woman who had been searching for the missionaries forever.  She even went to the temple to ask and that’s when we were sent to her house.  During the very first lesson we found she had been reading the Book of Mormon and was in Mosiah!  She already has a testimony of the Book and the prophet Joseph Smith.  Sunday she came to church and was instantly befriended by the Ward members.  She accepted a date to be baptized.  She is a blessing from heaven.
The Spirit is strong here and the Lord has such mercy with me and blesses me way to much—more than I feel I deserve.  It is interesting to think how much I have changed and what I have left behind in my life.  I have had so many experiences that I remember that just testify plainly that the church is true.  In the end it all just makes sense, God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It has been awhile.

Well have had several baptisms since my last entry. And we continue to find people and teach the gospel. We have moved into a new house. It is great and big enough. We really only occupy one room. There is not much time to really enjoy it because we are always out working. I did have a fever recently. It is ridiculous how many times I get sick here. I am sure it is all the city smog. I continue to serve in El Salto, now over 7 months. I have a new companion, Elder Pereira is from Uruguay. He has been out for three months has it is wonderful to see his energy. Being in the same sector for a long time is interesting, and sometimes a little hard. Members and investigators get so used to you, and many times want you to spend so much time with them. Yesterday was a test of that, but I feel good when I say we need to go and work for the Lord. The mission is going well; we have others with potential to be baptized. We have spent so much time working on the ones we have, helping them get ready and all. We now need to refocus on finding new ones. That is how it goes, we find and teach and then find some more, I like it a little better to be honest. I feel great walking in the street and talking to people, it is different than running from one appointment to the next. Last week was ward conference. The Bishop, being who he is organized as he is, held a week long conference. Bishop Rojas is a very inspired person. Every day but Monday there was something in the church. We the elders went to the meeting on Wednesday. This meeting was “every member a missionary" and all were invited to go and share the gospel with everyone in the street. Sadly only about 6 people came....but those people are the strongest and went out with excitement. All were given flyers for the conference week inviting everyone. I, with my companion, went with Sister Reyes and Sister Aguilar. Sister Reyes talked to everyone and did such a great job! She was the first to talk and when she saw someone she went out of her way to go and talk to them. It was a great experience doing contacts in the street with the members. On Saturday we had a talent show, which went over well and the 5 elders did a little mission day skit. Sunday was the grand conference and we heard talks by both our Bishop and the Stake President. I was lifted up and had a great day at church. Today for p-day we played soccer with the young men and a couple investigators. Wednesday it was raining all day, and no one opened the door. Surprisingly I was happy, but really happy; it was just fun to be out knocking doors and working. This work is of God, it just has to be, what 20 year old boy goes out in the rain to preach? I love it! Friday was funny; we did a service by taking out the ceiling in a house. The ceiling was made of Styrofoam so we took a broom and just punched it all out. It got everywhere. We and the three children that helped us cleaned it all up. We have gone on splits with members almost every day this week. The mission is going great. Yesterday I had an interview with the Mission President. He lifted my spirits having him tell me I am doing a wonderful job.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Having great experiences

This past week we have changed where we live and now live in the Calle Uruguay.  It is part of a little building that a family owns and converted it into 4 apartments.  It is a nice little place, bigger then the last and in a good location.  It is all new and we will fix it up more.  We got new stuff from the mission to have all the supplies we need for the house.  Saturday we did a service project for a family that the other elders in our ward are teaching. They are a little poor and lived in a house that’s not the best ever.  We went there with the Bishop and started with the walls.  I was privileged with painting the ceilings...being one of the tallest and all.  The paint was a mixture of with quartz and when you paint the ceiling it tends to rain little white specks.  Soon a little bit of painting the white specks get all over you.  Needless to say my face, arm and jacket where spotted white.  The family seemed really happy with the work and like the loving Chileans I know they bought us some Coca-Cola. 
    Work wise we have been very, very busy.  First was the house change, which took time; and then we found the water heater didn’t work.  The water heater is a gas powered thing that cold water goes in and hot comes out, well this was not working.  So we had someone from the mission office come and look at it; that took plenty of time.  We have been greatly blessed with people to teach.  First story is a man named Angelo who lives with his girlfriend but is married to another.  Now I assume you know that he or she cannot be baptized.  Angelo, with his testimony of the truthfulness of the church has decided to move.  He happened to find a house in the ward!  He is sacrificing a lot to change and to follow the Savior.  He is a great person and has great faith.  He has a date to be baptized for the 21 of July.
   Another bit of experiences I have been having is the families we are teaching.  First is the Valdes family.  The parents are less active—well were—and we are teaching the three daughters.  Two of the three should be baptized this coming Sunday. They all love going to church.  What has impressed me is the father, Victor.  The other day, after a lesson, he asked for a moment and gave his testimony and thanked us for sharing the truth with him.  He mentioned that before he didn’t really understand what it all meant and told us he believed it was all true.  The Lord has blessed him with a firm testimony and it shows in his eyes.  Secondly, is the Moreno Hernandez family, a family of four that came to church yesterday.  They are very kind and have a big interest in finding their faith again.  All four have accepted a date for baptism on the 21 of July.  The past lesson was watching the video of the first vision and it impacted all of them.  The oldest daughter gave her testimony of how she felt it was true because she had a simple desire to continue to share with us.  They are great people and always love having us over.  Thirdly, and I’m sure have heard about them, is the Abarca family.  We baptized the daughter recently and are helping the boyfriend of another daughter get things arranged to be baptized as well.  It is always fun to visit them and see the diligence that the mother puts in to going church. She has a leg that is longer then the other and walks very slow but has gone to church the past four weeks.  Finally is the Pavez family.  The mother and son are converts but the step father has a different story.  He had a conflict a while back with an elder and when I arrived in the sector I was forbidden to even go near the area where they lived.  As of yesterday the man, Andres, has a date to be baptized and has gone to church at least two times.  I am seeing so many miracles here in Chile.  The Lord has blessed us and these wonderful people so much.  I am so happy to be part of the changes that I have seen these people go through. This Church is true and the Holy Ghost is true and it works within us to change us through the atonement of Christ.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

June update

We had a hard rain one evening and it blew some transformers causing the power to go out.  It has happened before.  The city’s (Santiago) power was still on and lit up the night sky.  We have had several families to teach, even some less active members.  The Bishop, Obispo Rojas, has gone with us to teach.  That has been great. 
One p-day, we had an activity and a birthday/going away party for two elders.  As always we played soccer and had food—this time prepared by a professional and it was soooooooo good.  I was the goalie and am getting better at soccer little by little.
Changes came on the 17th and I am in the same sector, El Salto, but with a new companion, Elder Figueora from Chile.  We get along fine and enjoy working hard.  We had two baptisms, Millaray Abarca and Jose Marambio.  We had a lot of people attend and most were investigators or less active members.  It was wonderful.  We are walking and talking and teaching as much as we can.  I am doing great and grow everyday, the spirit works through me and in me to strengthen my testimony. I’m blessed to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands.  I love it here in Chile and honestly don’t want to leave.