|Nonguen at night|
Wow, tomorrow marks 5 months as a missionary! Oh, how time flies.
Every time I sit here in this Cyber, the gratitude for all your inspiring letters and your messages melts all the stresses away and washes in the inspiration that I need to keep on going. I am so grateful for all of you. You are so important to me and I love all of you so very much.
All is going well in Chile. The work is progressing and we continue in our service and in our journey here in Chile. This week I have reflected on this great opportunity that I have to be here among my Chilean brothers and sisters. I love them so much. This culture is becoming a huge part of me. People always comment on some of the things I say, saying, ''that’s just so Chilean.'' The Chilean culture uses lots of different phrases and sayings and I’ve taken a lot of those into my vocabulary. I love being a part of this culture.
Through the hard times that have been passing I have learned to just look back and reflect on why I am feeling what I’m feeling, and why the things are happening the way they are. I like to think about the Savior and what he did in his life here on this earth. Regardless of the situation, he didn’t miss an opportunity; didn’t miss a moment to serve someone in need. I read a fantastic talk given by Elder Bednar this week. Its entitled ''The Character of Christ'' It was a talk he gave back in 2003 at BYU. I want everyone who gets this letter to read that talk. It is amazing. I gained a better perspective on how I can try and become more Christ like through charity and service.
The week was another hard one, but I’m learning how to just step back and enjoy the ride regardless.
We had a good p day and were able to prepare well for the week. After our morning we left to work for the afternoon. We didn’t meet with too many people, but we talked with EVERYONE. We could immediately see some blessings from that. We made a lot of appointments to visit a bunch of future investigators.
We had a fun district class in the morning role playing contacts. It was fun trying to practice how we contact people, and acting out the classic excuses everyone gives us as well as the strange people we meet. We had a good afternoon. We walked A TON. We went up the hills in our sector and walked all over the valley talking to everyone. Again we saw the blessings. We had a great lesson with a lady we found with her family. Her name is Nury. They are super excited and are very prepared to hear the gospel. She accepted everything we taught immediately. We found a lot of future investigators in the afternoon including an old couple named Fransisco and Enrequeta. Fransisco had a disease in his throat so he had to get that hole thing in the throat that allows him to talk. He has to cover it up and push out from his lungs to talk. Very interesting, but they were very kind and accepted to visit with us during the week. We met with the mission president and had a division to visit a lot of members.
We had a mini cambio with our zone leaders. Elder Sanchez headed to Andalien with Elder Ramirez and Elder Jensen came here to Nonguen with Elder Layton and I. Elder Jensen is a big guy and is on the BYU football team. I believe he is one of the linemen or something like that. We worked really hard and had a great time. It was almost like a vacation. Unfortunately, almost all of our visits fell. However we were able to meet a young guy named Manuel. He’s really cool and we had a great short lesson. We are going to continue visiting with him and his family. In the night we had a great division with a lot of brethren in the ward. I ran around with Luis Cabezas and visited Valerìa and Cesar. When we walked in they had been studying the book of Mormon. I was so happy to see that. They are doing well, but they are leaving for vacation for the next week or so. We will be visiting them a bunch this next week. We finished out the day well and got a good night’s sleep.
|Smoothies at the Ruminot's home|
Immediately after a great day and when things started to go good, Elder Layton got really really sick. At lunch he barely ate anything and we had to ask the Ruminot family if he could stay there to rest up for the day. They accepted and we left him there. Elder Sanchez and I worked the day by ourselves. We had a lot of important citas fall and we got a bit frustrated with that. We ended with having a family home evening at the Campos family. We had a good lesson about the Restoration and had a bunch of completos.
Again, Layton was really sick. We left him at the Ruminots again. Elder Sanchez and I had a really good day. We visited Miriam and Lidia, the Patriarch, hermano Rosa, Armando, and found a family up on Buena Vista. Armando has finally found excitement and has been getting better with sickness and with his family. We were able to have a good lesson about the plan of salvation. We are excited because he is still excited about the gospel. Our only struggle with Armando is for him to get that faith to be baptized.
We had a really long morning of service. We started early to help Diego Gonzales, (half gringo, chileno RM) put together his house for him and his new wife. We painted and cleaned up the yard a bit. After we had a huge project at Wladimir Aburto's to clear out a space by their house of debris and to move a bunch of dirt to that area. After that, I was completely drained and exhausted. We had a really delicious lunch with the Adrian family. We worked hard but didn’t have much success. We had a division with Hermano Ruminot and Elder Sanchez and I worked out in Lautaro. We tried to visit a bunch of people and contact everywhere but no one was there. It was disappointing.
We weren’t able to get as many people in church as we wanted. We got Armando to church and had a few MA's (less actives) and CR's (reactivated converts) show up. It was a good meeting and I learned a lot. We had some good lessons. Elder Layton was sick again and we had to stay in the house for most of the day and plan a lot. We were able to discuss a lot of our weak points and work out a plan to be much better. This week we are committed to be so much better in diligence to our goals we have set. We are inspired to work so hard this week.
We woke up early, had studies, cleaned the house, got haircuts, and headed here to the centro. We’ve had a good day and I got the shortest haircut of my life!
I’m learning so much about myself and how I can be a better person. I love looking to Christ's example for all of us. I love my savior and his mission. Now it is my mission to serve him and my Chilean brothers and sisters. I am truly grateful to be emerged in the Chilean culture. It is a part of me. With the help of my Heavenly Father and my Savior I am pushing on through every trial that faces me. I will not give up. The work will never halt till the savior brings it to a close. I’m grateful for the chance to be here in Chile at this time. I know that lessons await me around every corner.
I’m so grateful for all of you. You are incredible to me. Your messages are so inspiring. Thank you so much for all you do. I love you all. I hope all is well at home. Until next week!
|Elder Haws' sweet new electric charango|
|The second floor addition to the Mella's house|