Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011—Cecilia y Tamara

Another beautiful, great, wonderful week in the mission.


Last Monday we had a successful night after ending our P-Day.  We had a couple lessons including one to a couple of our investigators named Cecilia and Tamara.  About a month ago we were talking to people in the street and we talked to twenty-two year old girl named Cecilia and gave her a copy of The Book of Mormon.  In the following visits, we met Tamara, her seventeen-year-old sister and their mother, Cindy.  We found out that Cindy was baptized in the Church, but over the years, fell away from the Church because of her marriage and other life problems.  However, Cindy is very supportive of her daughters and is excited to come back to the Church.  Last week, Cecilia accepted a baptismal date and on Monday night Tamara did as well.  If all goes well (as I am praying it will) they will be baptized on the 7th of August.


However, Cecilia is a firefighter and she has firefighting exercises every Sunday morning.  Not only that, but she is now sick with pneumonia.  I pray that we will be able to teach her well enough that she will feel the need and desire to attend Church and make the necessary changes in her life.


This week we had to drop one of our investigators.  Last week we saw Carola going to church, but not to ours.  She was going to a church that had Mickey Mouse painted all over the walls—you see some pretty strange things down here.  When we saw that, it broke my heart.  After promising that she come to church with us, we see her going to the Mickey Mouse church.  We visited her a few days later.  (Actually, I was on exchanges in a different area and Elder Rowett was with another Elder.)  In that lesson, her husband came out and started yelling at her telling her very rudely to "get to work" and telling us to leave.  It was a very sad moment.  I pray that the Lord will soften his heart that we may share again with her soon.


This week among many spiritual experiences that strengthened my testimony happened during my personal studies.  I was reading in chapters nine to thirteen of Third Nephi.  I read about the darkness and destruction that followed Christ´s death.  Then after three days of darkness, the voice of the Lord is heard.  I imagined how it would have been to be trapped in that thick darkness, wondering who had survived.  I then read how Christ came down from heaven and the first thing He tells the people is "I am the light and the life of the world."  It struck me how true that statement is.  Three days without Christ—three days of utter darkness. I remember that I talked about this last fall, but as I read and pondered, I felt the light of Christ fill my soul and renew my testimony that Christ is my personal light and Savior and that it is only through Him that one day, I will arrive to the father.  I love my mission and the testimony and strength that I feel every day.


Life is beautiful.  I cherish every moment, I live for every second.  My only desire is to serve the Lord and by so doing, show my love for him, for all of you, and for all of my brothers and sisters.  I know that I have so much to do, so much to change; but I also know that I have come a long way.   I love you all so very much.  I love my mission!

Monday, July 4, 2011—In the End She Came . . .

[My brother] Dallin and [his new bride] Robyn´s wedding sounded absolutely heavenly.  The wedding was one of my favorite topics this week.  I was so proud to be able to tell all of the other missionaries, all the members, all my investigators and even people in the street about my older brother´s eternal marriage with his wife.  My testimony of eternal nature of the family has grown so much this week as I have testified thereof.  I know that there is no other place that I would rather be than where I am now.  I know that it was because my brother served a true, full, honorable mission that he has been thus blessed.  I want to some day be able to say to my wife, children, and Heavenly Father that I served with all my "heart, might, mind, and strength."


This week was a pretty busy week.  We had our usual missionary zone meetings on Tuesday.  Then in the afternoon we passed by a "future investigator´s" house.  Her name is Mary.  She is about forty years old and is the mother of two girls, but also takes care of her niece and her niece´s seven month old baby.  About a week ago, we were walking in the street and we saw Mary struggling to push a stroller up a hill.  Mary suffers from a muscular sickness similar to muscular dystrophy, and is slowly losing the strength in her legs.  Anyway, she was struggling up the hill, so Elder Rowett and I ran up to help her.  As we helped her, we talked to her and shared a brief message with her.  She accepted a Book of Mormon and an appointment.   


This Tuesday we went to that appointment.  We brought with us a recently returned missionary named Fank Vicencio and his mother Marcelina.  It must have been inspiration because when Mary and Marcelina saw each other, they greeted each other as the old friends that they were.  Also, Marcelina was Catholic (as is Mary) before she found the Church, so she was able to help Mary understand.  In that appointment, we testified about the Restoration and the significance of that for her family.  At the end we invited her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon.  We then passed by her house on Saturday.  We read more from the scriptures and invited her to go to Church.  She said that she would go (but she would need an escort due to her weak legs).


During the week we also taught Ancelmo, Carola and Cecilia (our three investigators preparing themselves for baptism).  Ancelmo definitely is doing a lot better and has felt the difference in his life that the gospel brings. 


With all the visits this week, we expected a lot of investigators at church yesterday.  In fact, I was fasting this weekend to be able to reach my mission goals and my goals for this transfer.  To be able to reach those goals, I would need investigators in church.  We had about six people who promised to go to church.  Sunday morning we passed by a few of them, but nobody was home.  Sad and exhausted (it is quite a hike from the valley where Ancelmo lives to the hilltop chapel), we began the church meetings without any investigators.  During the first part of the meeting, I prayed and begged that someone would show up—to no avail. 


The testimonies began and I listened with a broken heart.  These people, my brothers and sisters, needed to come to church to be able to feel of the Spirit of God and progress along the Path.  I thought of what I would do this week to avoid that problem next Sunday. 


Then at the end of the meeting, I got up to the play the piano.  We were halfway through the hymn when I noticed there in the back of the room; Mary was seated with her niece and the niece's child!  I was so happy that I got a little lost in the song and had to play by ear until I figured out where I was in the song.  My prayers had been answered.  Mary had come and had even brought someone else with her! 


I love my mission so much.  I have grown so much to come to know that I have so much to grow.  I love you with all my heart.  I am serving with all my heart, might, mind and strength because I love my Father in Heaven and all of my brothers and sisters.


I love my mission!

Monday, June 27, 2011—Ancelmo

This transfer is just flying by.  The first two weeks flew by because Elder Schiller and I bonded so well.  Now, another week has past rapidly due to the changes that have happened and the work that we have done.  


Elder Rowett and I are getting along really well.  He is from Arizona and came to the mission one transfer before I did.  We are actually "co-companions" which means that neither of us is the junior or senior companion.  However, that does not really mean anything because we work hard and do the Lord´s will just the same.  Elder Rowett is a great elder and an excellent cook.  Before the mission he worked as a chef and kitchen boss in many restaurants.  This week he has tempted me to break away from my diet by the smell of his delectable crepes, french toast and other creations.


Yesterday was a wonderful beautiful day as most Sundays are.  Armin attended church and was confirmed a member of the Church and received the gift of the Holy Ghost.  He asked me to bless him and confirm him.  What a humbling experience it is to see the change in this man and to be a part of that experience.  


This week we found a man named Ancelmo.  Something recently happened in his life and his wife left him with their daughter.  When we met him, he was extremely sad, even depressed.  He had done something wrong that caused his wife to leave.  However, he has the sincere desire to repent and be a better person.  He is truly looking for the Gospel of Jesus Christ-- the medicine that can heal any wound.  In our visits we have taught him about faith, repentance, baptism, the holy ghost, and keeping the commandments of God.  As we taught him, I could see a spark of joy and hope light up his countenance.  He has been humble and hurt for what he did.  Now, he is trying to repent and become a better person.  Last night, I asked him, "what can you do to show God that you want to change and do things the right way."  Ancelmo responded humbly and sincerely, "be baptized."  The Spirit was present in the room and taught Ancelmo what my words could not.  He has a planned baptismal date for the 24th of July.  What a great way to celebrate Pioneer Day! :)



Sorry the letter is short today, I had some work I had to do and my fingers are freezing making it hard to type, but next week you will for sure receive a lengthy letter.




I love my mission so much!

Monday, Jun 20, 2011—Rainstorms and Changes

This has been such a crazy week, I don´t know where to even start.


I´d like to start out with the conference that we had on Tuesday.  I love mission conferences.  They always give me so much excitement and energy for the work.  During the conference Presidente Gillespie gave us all a little fake diamond.  He then told some facts about diamonds.  He told us the proportion of dirt that has to be moved and dug before a diamond can be found (you can look up the data).  He then asked, "Do you think that the mine workers ever get sad or depressed?"  No, they know that something of great work is waiting for them, they just have to get to work and move the dirt.  We discussed how great the worth of souls are and the fact that we have to get to work and "move the dirt."  It was a rather inspiring comparison.  We all now have our little diamonds that we carry around in our pocket every day to remind us of the souls that we are looking for.


These last few days, the weather has been absolutely horrible.  It has been rainy, extremely windy and very cold.  The area has been on storm alert.  It was so windy and rainy that on Saturday the zone leaders called Elder Schiller and I and told us that we could stay in the apartment.  However, together we decided to leave and go work.  Within minutes, we were soaked.  Even though I was wearing three coats, a sweater, a long-sleeve shirt and thermals, it didn´t matter—we were drenched, cold and perfectly happy.


Even though the weather has been horrible, we have had so much success this weekend.  It has been inspiring to see how the Lord blesses us for our willingness to go work and be obedient.  Over the last few days we have found four incredible families who are looking for the truth.  Not only are they looking for the truth, but they are willing to do their part.


Saturday afternoon, we were making our way up and down a flooded street, looking for a house (the house numbers here have no order whatsoever).  As we wandered down the street, we heard someone calling out to us.  We turned and an older man beckoned us into his house.  In his nice warm and dry house, we taught him and his wife about the message of the Restoration.  We asked them to be baptized and they said that they would in a little bit of time. We have another appointment with them this week.


This weekend we had a baptism here in Las Torres.  His name is Armín Gonzalez.  Armin is an incredible man.  He found the church because of his girlfriend.  For his birthday she went to the temple and bought him all the standard works, pamphlets, and DVD´s.  He then found the missionaries. Last week we were teaching him about tithing.  I was halfway through the story about how mom and dad paid their tithing before the rent, when he interrupted.  He said, "Let me tell you why I should pay my tithing.  A couple weeks ago, I was smoking a pack of cigarettes every day.  That adds up to just about ten percent of my monthly salary.  Why can´t I just give that to the Lord to thank him for this beautiful Gospel that he has brought me?"  True and steady faith right there.


Now, today has been a pretty crazy day.  This morning President called and told Elder Schiller that there had been some changes in the mission and that he had to be at the office at twelve.  We spent the morning packing his bags.  I will miss him.  We bonded a lot and became like brothers.  I am now with Elder Rowett.  He is a good Elder.  I have been in the same zone as him before.  We will work hard and do the Lord´s will together.




Time to go now.  *** I love my mission!

Monday, June 13, 2011—The Spirit´s Whispers

Holi (Chilean way to say hola).


Yes, the fleas are still here.  The apartment here has carpeted walls, so the fleas now just jump from wall to wall to floor to me... but it is okay, I am used to the fleas and they seem to be used to me too...


This has been a wonderful week here in Las Torres.  I love the area.  The Las Torres branch is situated at the top of the hill "Forrestal" (one of the many hills that surrounds Viña del Mar) and is part of the Viña del Mar zone.  Fun fact, Elder Brady (my trainer, example and friend) is one of the zone leaders here.  My companion is a district leader which means that we will go on exchanges with the zone leaders often during this transfer.


I love my companion, Elder Schiller.  Elder Schiller is from Saint George, Utah and he was actually up at Provo studying at UVU when I was there at BYU.  He will finish his mission in March, 2012.  We get along really well and teach with unity and power.


This week I have loved seeing and experiencing the guidance of the Spirit in the work.  When we have the Spirit, we are guided to be at the right place at the right time and to say the right thing to the right person.


In one experience, we were passing by the house of a man we had talked to in the street.  He however gave us "oso" or rather "the bear" (the Chileans say that someone gives you "oso" when they "blow you off" or are not there for a scheduled appointment.)  In that moment, we felt prompted to go down to the end of the street and look there.  Now, that was not an easy task, for that street was carved into the side of the hill and we had to literally hike and climb to reach the bottom.  There at the bottom was a single little house.  We called to the house and a middle-aged woman came out.  After presenting ourselves, she told us that she was actually chatting on the computer with her LDS son who lives in Utah.  She was very interested and wanted to learn more about our church.  Her husband was not home, so we left her with a Book of Mormon and an appointment this week when her husband will be home.  She was waiting for us.  In that very moment when she was talking to her member son, we arrived.


Another experience:  This week we worked in the feria and were able to get some names and addresses.  We passed by one of them last night.  Her name is Susom and she is twenty-four years old.  If you looked at her, you could tell that she is sad and is carrying a burden and has been "hardened" because of her life´s trials.  We talked last night outside of her fence for a few minutes and then she told us that she wanted us to meet her mom.  When Susom opened the door to the house, there from the doorstep we met her mom – a pitiful little skin and bones woman who kept asking us for a drink.  She kept walking back and forth saying, "I am so thirsty, do you have a drink? Give me a drink please." Susom told us that her mother was alcoholic and that Susom spent almost all of her time taking care of her mom.  She said, "sometimes I wonder what´s the point of going on, death would be so much easier."  Elder Schiller and I were filled with love, compassion, and the Spirit as we beared witness that Susom is a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father and that He loves her.  We told her that He has a plan for her and that she can talk with God through prayer.  There on the doorstep of that little shack we bore testimony of the worth of one of God´s precious daughter.  As we spoke, Susom burst into tears and told us that she wanted to learn more and come to church with us.  I know that the Spirit of God told us to pass by her house at that time.  I know that he placed the words into my mouth and Elder Schiller´s mouth—he placed the words that Susom needed and was waiting to here.


Time is up.  I love you and pray for you constantly.  "For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers" (Romans 1:9).  I love my mission!

Monday, Jun 6, 2011—Transfers and Rainstorms—A Day in the Life

Mom asked me if my feet get soaked when it rains.  Luckily it does not rain very much.  In fact, my whole time down here in Chile, there have only been two rainstorms.  The second of which was yesterday.  Mom must have received some sort of revelation to know that it was raining down here. :)  It rained pretty hard and steadily all afternoon.  However, in the morning when we left the apartment for church, the weather looked normal, so Elder Boyd and I were taken by surprise.  By the end of the night, we were soaked from head to toe.  (It probably didn´t help that I enjoyed splashing in the puddles or that Elder Boyd took a nice slip in the mud pile).  Even though we were wet and cold, we still had a great day yesterday!  Just goes to show that it does not matter where you are or what kind of weather there is, God´s work will roll forth like the "stone cut out of the mountain without hands." 

Now, as I said it doesn´t matter where I am, I will do God´s work.  This last Saturday I got the infamous phone call from the zone leaders telling me to pack my bags.  Today I found out that I will be going to work in the ward "Los Torres" down in Viña del Mar.  My new companion will be an Elder Schillings.  I am excited to move to the third area of my mission and find the people that the Lord has prepared for me there.  I have enjoyed working here in Gomez Carreño with Elder Boyd.

Yesterday in church, the bishop had me start the testimony.  However, he asked me to bear it in a different way than usual.  He told me that he wanted to change the "tone" of the meetings and wanted this meeting to be extremely spiritual.  To start the testimony he had me sing.  I sang the version of "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" that I sang at my "farewell."  During the song, the Spirit manifest itself and by the end of the song there was not a dry eye in the room.  The testimony meeting was filled with the Spirit and we called all feel God´s love as we took turns testifying of him.


I know that God lives and directs this work.  I am nothing more than His tool—and I love it!!  I love my mission!

Monday, May 30, 2011—Me Encanta Ver el Templo [I Love to See the Temple]

What a great week it has been filled with the usual highs and lows of the missionary life. 

Firstly, we went to the temple!!! As I told you last week, we were going to go with Victoria and Marcelo.  I was so excited to be able to visit the temple with them and introduce it to them from the very beginning of their spiritual journey.  However, the morning of the temple trip, we called them and they told as that they were sick and could not go.  I was so sad.  They had to go.  I thought of how it would be in the last day when were are called to see if we will enter into God´s house and how some will be spiritually sick or out of shape and will not be able to enter. 

The temple trip was still amazing.  We arrive in Santiago at about 11:00 AM.  After waiting in the line for the 11:30 at the front desk of the temple (yes, there was a line) for about 15 minutes they told Elder Boyd and I that the session had been filled.  (Our ward´s session was scheduled for the 12:30 session.  We just wanted to do an earlier session so that we´d have more time).  We them went to the store and bought garments and other supplies.  However, the line there was incredibly long and we were in the store until about 12:25.  We ran to the temple, changed faster than Clark Kent and barely made it into the session.

During the temple I was thinking and praying a lot.  I was surprised by the fact that I understood everything in Spanish!  Well, I understood the translations of the words, but not the full meanings of the words.  However, one thing stuck out to me in particular.  Last weekend we had a mission fast.  One of the purposes was to find ways to be more obedient. As we fasted and when I was in the temple this last weekend I have thought a lot about obedience.  I know that I have to be obedient.  The Lord does not want an "average" missionary—He has enough of those.  He wants superb missionaries—missionaries that are diligent and obedient with exactness.  In the temple I was praying and thinking and realized ways that I have to improve in.  I know what the Lord wants of me and I promised Him that I will make the necessary changes in order that I can be exactly obedient.  As always Jesus is the prefect example of perfect obedience.  During the session, I realized how when the Father gives a command to Jesus or Jesus to his chosen servants, they did not complain or ask questions.  Rather, they simply respond that they will fulfill His command.  That is true obedience--no questions asked, completion of all that has been asked.

The temple was definitely the high point of this week.  Now for the lows...

We have dropped the four other investigators that had baptismal dates.  None of them are coming to church and are not keeping their commitments. I felt the pain as we left behind four investigators that had baptismal dates.  It truly pains me to see how close these people were coming to the waters of baptism and entering the path towards the celestial kingdom, only to not progress on the baptismal pathway.

We are now back to the ground zero of missionary work: finding.

Now for some cultural notes.

I have not talked about washing clothes yet.  Here in Chile, nobody has dryers and very few have washing machines.  Most of the people wash the clothes be hands and hang them to dry.  Luckily, we missionaries have mamitas who take care of our clothes.  However, as of the fact that we are in winter now and the sun is hardly ever seen due to the clouds,  clothes do not dry very well.  It is funny on the days when the sun does peek around the clouds, everyone rushes to hang up all their clothes.

Speaking of rushing, in the states, if you were to hear a friendly little jingle of bells playing songs like "Take me out to the ballgame" blasting through your neighborhood, you would (or at least, I would) come running to by an ice cream from the ice cream man.  I only made that mistake once here in Chile.  Here, instead of having ice cream trucks, we have gas trucks.  Not quite as tasty as ice cream.  Only the very rich people here have built in gas lines.  So, if you want to have a warm shower or cook on the stove, you have to have a gas canister to hook up to the stove or water-heater.  Those trucks drive around dropping off and picking up gas canisters.  So, if you ever come to Chile, you want fall for the tourist trap of flagging down a gas truck trying to buy ice cream! :)


I love my mission!

Monday, May 23, 2011—Marcelo and Victoria

Victoria and Marcelo were baptized and confirmed this week, but not easily.  Let me explain…  As I wrote last week, Victoria had to have a special interview with President Escárate.  We thought that he would just cover certain parts of the baptismal interview and that Elder Do Nacimento (our district leader) would do the rest.  So, last Sunday when Victoria had her interview, we did not have the proper baptismal document that needed to be signed.  President Escárate told us to leave the document in the mission office and he would come in and sign it.  We left the document in the office on Monday and called the office missionaries every day to see if President had come in to sign it each day until Thursday.  Every time we called they told us that he had not.


Then on Thursday, we called President Escárate and he said that he was up north and would not be able to sign it.  President Gillespie was also up north so he would not be able to take care of it.  We called him and after teaching us about being prepared, he told us that just this once, our zone leader could sign it.


Elder Boyd and I then went to the mission office to get the document.  We then went to the Registro Civil (the civil register?) to go find out the birth dates of Victoria´s parents and of Marcelo´s father.  It was pretty crazy, all we had to do was tell them the names, give them $750 pesos (the equivalent of about $1.50 USD), and then gave us their birth certificates. 


Then on Saturday, Marcelo and Victoria arrived about an hour and a half late to the baptism.  That was quite a scare!  We kept calling and we passed by their house, but in the end they came.  The baptismal service was short and sweet –as they should be.  I sang a solo.  Then I baptized Marcelo and Elder Boyd baptized Victoria.  Yesterday, they were confirmed in the church.


This Saturday, Elder Boyd and I will be going with the ward and Victoria and Marcelo on the ward temple trip!!! I am so excited.


However, because of that trip, we don´t get p-day today and my computer time is shortened.  I will write more next week.



This is God´s work and I love it.  I love my mission!

Monday, May 16, 2011—Answered Prayer

This week has been a good week and Elder Boyd and I are doing well despite bipolar weather.  Yes, the weather is bipolar and changes quicker than you can change your clothes.  Right now it is nice and sunny outside, but the past few days it has been foggy, freezing and not much fun.  We have worn our jackets, sweaters and gloves everyday this week.  Even more than that, the sun is fully set at six in the afternoon, so we still work for more than three hours in the dark of night.


I´d like to share a cool experience that we had this week.  However, to begin we have to go back a couple weeks.  There is a family who´s last name is Azocar.  We have passed by their house many times in the past few months, but they never have been home.  However, a few months ago, we finally found them at home.  They let us in and we were able to share something with them.  At the end of the lesson, we tried to set-up another appointment, but they were going to leave for a few months, so we just left them our phone number instead.  That was three weeks ago.  Also, Victoria (our investigator) was let go from work a couple months ago and has been looking for a job.  We have been helping her look as well.  In one of our lessons, we promised her that as she shows the Lord her desires to follow Him, He would bless her and help her find a job.  All of us have been praying that she could find a good job that wouldn´t make her work on Sunday.


Well, this Monday night we were in the apartment planning when the phone rang.  Brother Azocar was calling us.  I picked it up and he told me that he was the boss at a supermarket and needed workers.  He asked us if we knew anyone that needed a job.  He said that he just had a feeling that he should call us.  We told him about Victoria and gave him her number.  Tuesday afternoon Victoria had an interview.  Now we are just waiting for the results of a psychological test to see if she got the job.  Furthermore, if Victoria gets the job, Hermano Azocar will be her boss and he said he´ll work it out so she won´t have to work on Sundays. –Another tender mercy of the Lord.


Speaking of Victoria, she and Marcelo passed their interviews! Woohoo! They will be baptized this Saturday.  Victoria did give us quite a scare.  Apparently she had a pretty crazy teenage life in the 70´s and had to have an interview with President Gillespie.  He was in the north this weekend, so Victoria had an interview with one of his counselors.  She has repented of all the crazy things she may have done and is super excited for her baptism this week.  We have also talked to them a lot about the temple and they are excited to go to the temple with the ward on the 28th.  Elder Boyd and I are still waiting for permission to see if we can go or not.


Apart from Victoria and Marcelo, none of our investigators came to church.  It was really sad because we expected five investigators.  However, we just have to keep fighting, keep working diligently and we will see the fruits of our work.


I have told you a few times about my song "Return With Honor." Well, here are the lyrics in their current version:


Trembling hands and racing heart

I pull the envelope apart

A letter signed by the prophet of the Lord

Telling me, "you are called to serve"


Just two more months left to prepare

Two more months and I´ll be there

A worker and a witness of the truth

Bringing to all the good news


I´ll read my scriptures everyday

And constantly I´ll pray

That I can find my lost sisters and brothers

I will prepare today to return with honor


I can´t believe that I´m really here

When I look in the mirror

There I see His name pinned on my chest

To honor Him, I will do my best


Give every minute of every single day

If I get tired or think selfishly

I´ll remember having heard these words:

"Forget yourself and get to work"


"When it gets to hard to stand anymore

"Fall to your knees, call out to the Lord

"Serve with an eye single to the Glory of the Father

"And you will return with honor"


One more day before I go home

The past two years weren´t very long

Looking back it passed in the blink of an eye

But I used every second of my time


I´ve learned so much and come so far

Server with my might, my mind, my heart

My joy has never been so full

For great is the worth of souls


Clenched hands and pleading heart

I tell the Lord I´ve done my part

Here from my knees I cry

"Do you accept my sacrifice?"


Peace flows from heaven above

Wrapped in arms of perfect love

I hear the whisper of my Father

"My son, you have returned with honor"


Return with honor


I love my mission and will return with honor.

Monday, May 9, 2011—Tender Mercies

It was so wonderful to be able to talk to [family] yesterday. . . .


In my letters I have always talked about how "the witness comes after the trial of our faith."  Well, thus far, this area has been rather difficult or "trialing."  We work hard, we are creative and we are obedient but our efforts have not been very fruitful.  It can get discouraging at times (but only if you let it get to you— and I don´t let it).  Through all the trials, hard work, and prayers, I have thought about a few things.  One of the things that I have pondered is the Lord´s promise in Doctrine and Covenants 82:10 which says, "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise."  I have been looking for ways to be more obedient.  I have held myself accountable before the Lord to show Him that I have done, am doing and will do what He says.  By doing that, I knew that the Lord would keep His promise, in His due time, and bless us with success. 

I have also pondered about the phrase, "the Lord loves us enough to test us."  He gave us this chance to show our true colors, to increase our faith and develop His love.  Although, thus far the work has been rather slow here in Gomez Carreño, I have seen great changes and developments in myself.

This week we were able to see the Lord´s hand and His tender mercies in the work.  Last week we had two investigators (Marcelo and Victoria) who were preparing themselves for baptism on set dates.  They are doing well, but we have had to take the lessons slowly with them, so their new date is the 22nd. This week, we now have six investigators preparing for baptism. 

One of those, you already have met—Veronica.  Veronica was an investigator that Elder Lecaros and I had.  She was not ready at that time and we had to drop her for a while.  However, this week, we decided to visit her again.  This time, she was more receiving and accepted a baptismal date for the end of June. –A tender mercy of the Lord.

Also, we were able to set a baptismal date with an investigator with a woman named Nancy.  Nancy is another investigator from the transfer with Elder Lecaros.  However, she has been very busy and has not had any time for us until now.  This last week her work schedule changed and some family members moved out of the house, giving Nancy more time to listen to us.  Her late brother was a faithful member in the church.  Her love towards him has helped her develop the desire to learn more about the Gospel and accept baptism. –Another tender mercy of the Lord.

On the phone yesterday I told you about Teresa and Marionela. Their story is rather interesting… A few months ago, the Achupallas stake reorganized its boundaries, forming the current wards and areas.  When this was done, part of another ward was transferred to Gomez Carreño.  However, the missionaries were not told.  This last week, the missionaries in the "old ward" baptized an investigator from that area.  That is when the mistake was discovered, they had been working in our area for the last few months.  We had a meeting and they transferred the information about that area to Elder Boyd and I.  Teresa and her family live in that area.  Teresa already had date and this week we were able to put a baptismal date with her daughter as well.  I do feel bad for the other elders who were working in that area, but it had to be done.  After all, the Lord´s house is a house of order.


I know that the Lord loves us all very much.  He surrounds us with beauty and pours out His tender mercies to us.  I love you all!

I love my mission!

Monday, May 2, 2011—We Shall Talk Soon

¡Recibí su paquete! Muchisimas gracias.  [I received your package! Thank you very much.] Beef jerky, ranch dressing and fruit snacks never tasted soooooo very good.  Especially all mixed together! Okay, I haven´t tried that yet, but there is still time...


This week has been a rather hard week.  We were not able to teach very many lessons.  For various reasons all of our planned appointments one by one fell through.  Even Victoria and Marcelo cancelled on us (for legitimate reasons).  However, despite all this hardship, it was a good week.  Why was it a good week, you may ask.  Well let me tell you.  I love my mission.  Even though we were "rejected" I was still able to feel the Lord´s hand and His love.  I know that I did all I can and the Lord will accept my sacrifice.

Even though Victoria and Marcelo have cancelled our lessons this last week, they are doing very well.  They were not able to come to church yesterday (stake conference) because Victoria´s daughter, Brisa, (who works a night job) had not returned from work.  Victoria had to stay home with Brisa´s child, Leon.  When we called Victoria to see why she hadn´t come, she said that she was waiting for Brisa and that "Brisa needs to be more responsible so that Victoria and Marcelo can go to church and learn."  They are wonderful.  I love them so much.

My letter is short, for we [family] shall talk soon. 


I love my mission!