Hello! I hope that you all had a good week this week. Things in Retiro are just going as they have been. This last week was the last week of the transfer, and we were ready to face the end of it. It’s just left a bad taste in our mouths. It’s been a really slow going rough time for us here in Retiro.
During the last 6 weeks I’ve had to do a lot of soul searching because things just haven’t been going as fast as I have wanted them to. It’s been a really trying time. I know I need to be a leader here and kickstart this branch up, but it seems like everything is stuck and nothing wants to move. It’s frustrating at times when I want things to get better and they don’t. I’ve learned a lot about the atonement and how it affects us. It’s so important knowing that it doesn’t matter how many times we fall, it only matters how many times we get back up. It is my motto here in Retiro. It doesn’t matter if no one accepts our message or comes to church this week, next week will we rise up and try again.
We had a sweet p-day where we headed to Parral for the morning and played paintball. I was so sore afterwards. I got nailed so many times. I got at least 5 welts, and bad ones! We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping and getting ready for the week. It was fun. We had a so so afternoon where we really only contacted some future investigators, no one let us in.
Elder Hancock, our district leader came up to Retiro to spend the day working with me. We had a good lunch at home and discussed the situation here in Retiro. Soon, we were ready to go out and work. We ran all around Retiro and visited our investigators. First we had a visit with Pilar. We had a good discussion but sadly she doesn’t want to complete with commitments or go to church. We had to drop her.
Next we had an awesome visit with Carmen and Carina. We talked about the things that they have been learning, the Book of Mormon and about going to church. We finally got them to commit to go to church but as we were leaving they remembered that they were actually leaving for vacation this weekend. It was frustrating. We have hope they can go next week. We also visited Armandina and Daniela. We had a really cool spiritual lesson where we committed them to baptism. We knelt down in prayer and they asked Heavenly Father if this is the true church. The spirit was strong. They were leaving for vacation on the weekend too, but we hope they will go the next week.
We worked and tried to find more and more people to visit. We had a really good time. Elder Hancock is a really cool guy.
We did a lot of contacts and tried to find as many people as possible. It was a slow day and not much happened.
We had a slow day. We went around trying to visit our future investigators but they turned out to be busy. It’s hard. We call them and we try to set appointments, and they accept but when we come around they don’t want anything to do with us. So for the majority of the day we ran around and did that.
In the evening, we got together with President Uribe and Abarzúa and visited people. With President Uribe and his family we went to Copihue and visited a MA family and had a great lesson. There are a few MA's out there and we are going to start going out there regularly to visit them.
Elder Price went with Hermano Abarzúa and visited the Saldaña family. We met up again after and visited the whole Abarzúa family.
We had a regular day of work and eventually we headed to the chapel to practice for our choir number in our district conference. We got assigned to sing last Sunday and we picked 4 songs and practiced them. No one in Retiro can really sing so we had to drop the songs down 2 keys and go from there. It turned out really deep. It was a good practice.
We had to clean up our front yard because there are two dogs that are extremely determined to break through our fence and spread garbage all over in front of our house. Our neighbors have been getting mad cause there is always garbage in front of our house. We had to go and clean it up. We named the dogs Gimp and Lucy.
We had a good lunch with our branch mission leader, Luis Ivan. We had a really good plate of pasta.
We helped the familia Saldaña translate some English documents. We went out and contacted some people and soon enough it was time to go to conference. Our choir performed and we had a really good session. President Arrington gave a great talk along with other people from the district and some other senior missionaries.
We had a good morning session of conference. The chapel in Parral was PACKED. It was gigantic. We had the entire familia Saldaña, familia Sepulveda, Nicole, Veronía, and hermano Jorgé's wife come. It was great seeing so many people. We had a lunch with Alejandro and Evelyn (the investigators who just need to get married). We went around and visited the familia Bravo, and Miriam and Estafania. We finished out with a tough week. But we felt satisfied with what happened.
I hope everyone had a great Easter. It was Semana Santa this week, and here in Chile it’s a HUGE deal. Everyone celebrates the whole week. It is crazy learning about all these other religious and cultural practices. Everyone was gone this week and left for vacation. It was hard to find people who weren’t busy.
This week has been ok. It’s step by step here. Its great seeing all these little steps coming piece by piece. It seemed like everyone had left or was just more hard hearted this week for Semana Santa. It was a challenge for us, I’ll admit.
But we were able to have some serious progress with MA's we brought 8 to this conference. 2 whole families and a couple other people. It is amazing. I have gained a testimony that angels are working with us at this time. People really are prepared by unseen forces to move closer to the gospel. I am so grateful for our Savior and our Heavenly Father who are so willing to guide us to these miracles through our diligence. I am so blessed to be here. I am so excited to give this new cambio my best. I know that I will see many miracles here if I give it my all.
I love you all so much and I am so grateful for your support. I miss you and hope you are all doing well at home. I hope this week is fantastic! Love you and miss you. Until next week!!
Elder Ethan Haws