As the whole world knows, and as eyes all around the world have watched on their TV screens (except those of missionaries of course), thirty-three miners were rescued from a collapsed mine here in Chile. This is a very huge event here in Chile, especially because mining is such a huge part of the culture here (which I will talk about a little later). I must be my father's son, because I couldn't help but draw gospel parrallels when I thought about this event. Time is short, so I will only share one little piece of food for thought.
When the mine first collapsed in the three months ago, the miners were in utter darkness. They were trapped in the darkness, afraid, not knowing if their comrades had survived. My thoughts turned to the events in ancient America after Christ's death. How would it have been to witness and live through the tempests, earthquakes, fires, and whirlwinds after His cruxifiction? Then after that, to be trapped in a darkness so thick that a fire could not even be lit? For three days, the people lived in utter darkness. Then on the third day, when the darkness dispersed, the first thing that Christ says is "I am the light and the life of the world." How much more of a meaning that [declaration] has after experiencing life without light!
He is my light and I cannot live without Him.
This week, Jaun had his baptismal interview and he is good to go for his baptism. He will be baptized this next Sunday after church. I am so excited for him. He is the light in his family and will lead the other members to Christ through his example and desires to follow Christ. Our other investigator that was going to be baptized next Sunday--Fransisca--did not attend church yesterday, so she will have to wait another week.
In one of our appointments with Fransisca this week, we checked up on her commitment to live the law of chastity (something that is a big problem here in Chile). She told us that she had talked to her boyfriend, shared with him the pamphlet and section [on sexual purity] from For the Strength of Youth, and told him that she would be living this commandment of God. In our lesson we asked if she thought that he would like that and she said, "I told him that it was my decision and I want to follow Christ. If he can't live with that, then chao!"
I am so excited for [my cousin] Devin [who starts his mission next week]! The MTC is an incredible place and we missionaries are so lucky to have such a center to prepare us for the mission field. Devin is going to have such a wonderful time and I can't wait to hear about his experiences.
As I said before, mining has a huge effect on the culture here in Chile--in particular, on the family. Many of the men work in the mines. For their work, they are assigned "working tours." A usual tour would be "twenty for ten," meaning that they are gone for twenty days working in the mine and then home for ten days. Two-thirds of the time, the men are gone, living in the mines and working!
I am so thankful for this opportunity to serve and I know that God is watching over me and all of you.
I love my mission!