Thursday, 22 December 2011

19TH DECEMBER 2011

Fam Jam!

So great to hear from you all. It´s great to hear that the family has all arrived from England!! I hope everyone has an awesome time. I´m super excited to talk to everyone next week!! I think I´m gonna call on Sunday by Skype around 2 or 3 Chile time. We´re just gonna have to find an internet place that´s open. I´m pretty excited.

Dad!! That´s too bad about your cold, I hope you get better before Christmas. I remember one year we were all sick and puking and stuff on Christmas. It kinda kills the excitement when that happens. That stinks about the thing at work!! Hopefully everything plays out alright. That´s awesome about those hockey tickets. I miss hockey. Everyone here is completely nuts about soccer, it´s pretty funny. We actually played today with the 2 zones in Talca. That´s too bad that the sister missionary left from the ward. I think I understand how that feels because there was a fear a couple weeks ago that maybe I was gonna leave La Florida and that would stink. I feel attached to the members and investigators and my companion so it´s gonna be hard when the time for changes comes. Tell JoJo thanks for the email he sent me!! I can´t respond right now but hopefully he has a good time in the Philippines!

Mum!! Maybe I will go and buy a camera, but make sure you take my money after to pay for it!! About the spiders, we found a whole bunch so last week bought a thing of Raid that kills especially spiders and fumigated the bedroom. I haven´t seen any more spiders in there since but I know they´re somewhere in the house, probably in the attic, just waiting to come down and kill us. Elder Navarrete is from Santiago, Chile. He´s pretty young in the mission too. He has about 9 months. He starting training me in his 5th cambio and in his 6th cambio he became a district leader. The President thinks really highly of him. We were worried last week because the zone leaders found out that the president was thinking about transfering him to another city to be a zone leader. Luckily he stayed, but I´ve gotta enjoy the 5 weeks I have left with him and then I´m pretty sure he´s outta here. That´s funny about Izaac. We´ve had quite a few experiences with out of control kids. One woman (the mother of an old investigator) had three little boys betweeen the ages of 2 and 5, and another son (the investigator) who was 18. The little kids would play and pee in the street without clothes on, climb all over us, and be completly nuts, but the mother didn´t do anything. There was an investigator at church this Sunday who had to bring her grandson because her daughter was too busy to take care of him. He was flailing around and punching Elder Navarrete in sacrament meeting. It was pretty crazy and we´re a little worried that it ruined her experience. Another family in the ward has a son who was throwing stuff at us during lunch, breaking things, punching a little girl that came over, kicking and punching his mum at church, and everything. It was pretty crazy, and those are only a few of the experiences. That´s great about Kenna. Next week she has to show me here reading and writing skills! That´s exciting about Becky too. I hope everything goes well with her. Thanks for not making chocolates by the way. I think that would kill be not being able to eat them hahaha. I just found this awesome mormon message that I was watching while writing this email. It´s awesome!
http://www.youtube.com/mormonmessages?user=mormonmessages&hl=en#p/c/4E784EC0770935C0/26/-cxHd773Ya0

Michael! Nice work on your essay bud. I bet you rocked those tests too. You have exams coming up soon too right? That´s good about Josh, I hope he´s doing well. Are you stoked for Christmas? I am. I think it´s cool because this year is gonna be the best Christmas ever. I get to talk to the family which is awesome, and I get to focus entirely on the religious part of the holiday. I don´t have to worry about running around buying things, I just get to think and teach about Jesus Christ. It´s a great privilege. Preach My Gospel is incredible. You will eat, sleep, and breathe Preach My Gospel on your mission. It basically tells us everything we need to do as a missionary.

Charly! That´s really cool about your project!! Send me a picture of it; it sounds really cool. That´s really creative. I hope your having a good time leading up to Christmas. That´s crazy about the basketball team too!! I didn´t know you could play basketball!! Nice work.

Jake!! Are you excited for Christmas? I´m so excited to see you and talk to you on Sunday. It´s gonna be awesome. How goes your scripture reading? I love reading the scriptures as a missionary. Everytime I open the Book of Mormon and start to read it I feel really peaceful and really excited. I hope you can keep reading the scriptures and start to love them.

This week was really good. On Wednesday we had to go to Conty to do an interview so we lost that day entirely. Someone offered us a ride home and we talked to her the whole time about the gospel. She seemed legitimately interested and now we have a pretty good reference for some missionaries where she lives. We also had a conference in a town called Linares about an hour south of Talca. We learned about planning, about how to be loving, and how to work with the ward. It was perfect for what we needed. I learned a lot. I learned that I need to be personable and loving with the people. We have to work to gain the confidence of the Bishop also so we can include the ward more in the work. We also had a huge feast. We each had half a chicken, a huge potato, and a huge chocolate bar with bread and a banana.

Also, all the missionaries in Talca sang in a stake Christmas devotional last night. I got to play the piano which was pretty cool. I´ve also played the piano a couple times in church.

Because of the trip to Conty and the other trip to Linares we lost 2 full days of work in our sector this week. It was pretty tough and we were worried about having no one in church, but we were hugely blessed. Despite that we had few lessons this week, we had 6 people in church. It was awesome. 4 of them are progressing to a baptismal date. 3 of them came for their second time and one of them, Jackeline, came for her fifth time. It was awesome. It´s been a testimony that the Lord blesses us when we do all we can to work hard.

Jackeline has no baptismal date because she had an interview with the Bishop last week to try and set straight some of her concerns about feeling accepted in the ward, and the Bishop told her that she doesn´t need to work with baptismal goals because she´s sick with depression and she doesn´t need to feel any pressure. It was a little bit frustrating for us because it basically killed her progress but we´re praying for miracles that she´ll be able to do it herself. We were impressed though because she insisted on going to church without us calling her and without us picking her up in the morning. She got to church all by herself.

Natalia and Camila are doing good and are friends!! Both are the same age and are new. We love seeing their progress in the church.

We´re working on helping the ward with missionarywork. The missionary program is completely dead in the ward so it´s been hard to coordinate with the ward. We´re working with the Bishop and it seems like we´re making good progress. I think he had some disobedient and not so good missionaries before. Also, some recent converts are struggling, which isn´t the fault of the missionaries, but all that has been difficult for a Bishop with a small ward of 80 regularly attending members, some of which aren´t very strong. I feel for him because I think he has a lot on his plate. We´re trying to focus on the counsel that Elder Cooke gave to us in the conference a while back of being "branch builders." We´re trying to work to strengthen and set goals with less actives as well as with our investigators.

I feel like my focus is changing more to the people rather than the numbers, and I feel like I have more charity now. I feel more like a missionary and more like a servant of Jesus Christ because I feel my desires changing from having numbers of baptisms to strengthening the Lord´s kingdom and helping people enter and progress in the pathway to eternal life.

I´ve also been thinking about the importance of Lehi´s dream in the Book of Mormon. As I´ve studied and pondered it, I´ve come to realize the grand importance of the word of God. If we hope to remain faithful to the end, and if we hope that our families and friends do the same, we have to feast upon the word of God. We have to hold fast to it with all of our strength. We have to love it and seek after it the most we can. We can´t afford to take a casual approach to the things of the Lord, or we will end up like those that took a casual approach in Lehi´s dream - lost in forbidden paths and drowned in the depths of the filthy river representing the depths of hell.

I feel my testimony and faith in the Lord growing everyday. I realize everyday that I have so much to improve with the language, my teaching, and with my attitude, but I know if I try, and if I have the desire to serve the Lord with everything I have, he´ll bless me.

I know that this church is true. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. We have prophets on the earth today who gives guidance that is so important. The Lord is reaching out more than ever through missionaries and through the media to call people to Him. There´s so much bad in the world, but there is so much good also. The Lord is doing His great work among the children of men that it talks about in the scriptures. His kingdom is growing, and we have the opportunity to take part in that growth. We have God´s truth. It´s magnificent. I know that Jesus Christ is my Saviour. He lives and loves us. He wants us to be happy, and we will find more happiness through Him than we could find through any other means. During this Christmas season we have the opportunity to remember Him, and turn our thoughts to Him. It is my wish that everyone can focus on the true meaning of Christmas. That we can forget about the consumerism and business that comes at this time of year, and remember our Lord, Jesus Christ. There is no greater gift than the gift that our Heavenly Father gave to us, which is is Son. I hope we can all take a little step to draw closer to our Lord; to leave behind the things of the world and hold a little tighter to the things of God.

I feel so blessed with the opportunities that I have now to serve the Lord. I am so blessed to have such an incredible family, such a great companion, and to have my calling as a missionary. I´ve seen so much the importance of the small things. Strength as individuals and as families come from God.

I love you all so much family!! Merry Christmas and I´ll talk to you next week!

Elder Blomfield


Sunday, 18 December 2011

AWESOME WEEK - 12TH DECEMBER 2011





Family! So great to hear from all of you as always!! I can´t believe it´s almost Christmas!! It´s pretty crazy. About calling home, I´m not sure what´s gonna happen. Since Christmas is on a Sunday, we can´t go downtown and pay to use an internet place like usual. We might have to call home the day before on Christmas Eve. I really don´t know yet. I hope we get more information this week. Either way, I´m super excited.

Dad! That´s pretty sweet that you went to Saskatchewan. What´s it like? I always imagine it to be a flat and boring wasteland. Where´s Prince Albert anyway? Sounds like the work Christmas party was pretty awesome. Was it a lot of work? That would be awesome to go to the Banff Springs hotel. That would cost a boatload normally wouldn´t it? That´s hilarious that Izaac´s shoveling and everything, he´s so funny. That´s pretty awesome about the Christmas Carol concert that you had so many people from work. Nice work! Which ones still need to get baptized?

Mum! Haha no Mum I´m not too fat don´t worry, and ya it´s crazy how it´s so sunny in December. I love it! Still pretty gutted about my camera. I have no idea where it could be!! Oh well. I guess if someone else has it now they might need it more than me. I have a question, when was your´s and Dad´s sealing date? It sounds like the house looks way different! You should send me pictures of everything! That´s pretty sweet that the family´s growing. People are just having babies all over the place! I´m excited to be able to have secret Spanish conversations with friends after the mission too. I think it will be fun to start blabbering on with Ross or someone and you won´t be able to understand me! We were crammed for time last week so I didn´t have time to call the bank, but I got permission to do it so I´ll try and do it today. I have know idea what´s gonna happen on Christmas but I´m really excited to have it here. I miss all our chats too, but like you said, I´ll have tons of stories to talk about when I get back! Thank you sooooo much for the money you sent me by the way... I needed it badly!! How did you do it??? Thank you!!

Michael! Dude. Sounds like you had a pretty awesome week. Nice work with the Christmas Carol thing, I´m sure you rocked it. Oh, and by the way I´m not gonna retranslate that thing i sent last week into English. You have to figure that out yourself! Do it on the computer or something if you need to. I miss all the fun stuff we used to do also. Hopefully we´ll get a little time between our missions to hang out a bit, but if not, it´s the Lord´s will and all will be ok. Any news on BYU yet?

Charly! I hope everything´s going well! Are you excited for Christmas? It´s weird cause all the people here are finishing school for the year soon. Since summer starts in January here, they have school at different times. I´m excited to talk to you.

Jake! That´s pretty sweet about your shoveling job! You´ve always been super business-like it´s awesome. You´re gonna make some good money! Just gotta work hard!! Maybe it would be a cool idea around Christmas time to look for some houses and shovel them for free to do some service. That´s doing missionarywork too! Remember Ammon in the Book of Mormon? He did missionarywork by serving others. You could do the same!

Kenna! Thanks for saying I looked handsome as a missionary. You look really pretty in the pictures I have of you. I´m gonna show pictures of you and Izaac to some people to show them how pretty you are and how handsome he is! That´s a pretty good Christmas list you have there! I´m so excited to talk to you in a couple weeks.

Izaac! That´s pretty sweet that you saw Santa. Why were you so scared of him? That´s so good that you love Lily so much! I´m good to hear that you´re so good in school. That´s important! I´m so excited to see you on Skype soon!!!

Alrighty!! This week was awesome. Unfortunately Jackeline didn´t get baptized, but Natalia did!! I never thought I would be able to say that. I think about how she was 3 months ago, and it´s incredible to see the change. I remember when she said, "I´m never going to leave my church!" and it makes me laugh. She was super hard, and we were super direct with her a lot, but she finally took the step of faith and got baptized. It was super hard for her because she taught the children in the Catholic church to prepare them for the First Communion. She then got her testimony of the Book of Mormon and wanted to be baptized. We thought she was good to go but then she told us she needed a year. She struggled to drop all of her traditions, but she finally got the strength to do it. She was so excited after her baptism and her confirmation. Her mother, who is super hard and refuses to do anything and was against Natalia´s baptism, actually attended the service! She also went to the confirmation yesterday. Natalia had a huge smile on her face and was so happy. She wants to read the Book of Mormon quickly so she can more effectively participate with callings in the church. Maybe she´ll get called to something in the Young Women´s. It´s cool cause her and Camila seem to be friends! We actually set a goal with her to finish the Book of Mormon before the next cambio. That means reading from 2 Nephi through Moroni in 6 weeks.

Jackeline didn´t get baptized. She passed her interview but´s worried about feeling accepted in the church. She met with the Bishop to try and help her with that concern. We´re a little concerned about her and some of the things the bishop said. She´s chronically sick with depression and it´s hard to know how to help her. We know though that with the help of the Lord we´ll be guided.

It´s so weird to have so much sun in December. It´s so hot outside and we´re always sweating. We saw a snow man figure in a window and it made us laugh because Christmas here doesn´t have snow!!

Also, have I told you about the corner spiders yet? There are quite a few. They are super poisonous and can kill people. We had a blanket from the bed on the ground and when Elder Navarrete picked it up he saw one of them right near his hand. They are a good inch or inch and a half wide. It´s gross. I hate spiders.

Anyway, I love being a missionary. There´s nothing better than being a servant of the Lord. I love finding people and helping them accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Then we get to watch the changes. I know this is the truth. The Lord loves us. Joseph Smith was a prophet, the Book of Mormon is true. The gospel is so simple when we really seek to understand it. We can really have the guidance of the Spirit in our lives. God listens to us and guides us.

I can´t wait to talk to you all soon!!

¡Nos vemos!


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

MY FIRST BAPTISM - 5th DECEMBER 2011

Family!! It´s so good to hear from you!! Sounds like everyone´s doing pretty good.


That´s pretty crazy about President Carter getting released. 10 years is a long time for a calling. President Craig is the new stake president? I don´t know him but that´s pretty cool. I guess I´ll be reporting to him when the time comes.

Dad! I think you should quit with your dreams about serving in the Philippines and start getting ready for Chile!! The Philippines is cool but Chile definitely wins. Have you ever been to Saskatchewan before? Why is that company meeting there and not in a real city like Calgary? What are you gonna do for your work Christmas party this year? That´s too bad about your toe, I hope it gets better soon. The weird thing about mine is that it´s big red with a bunch of pus but it doesn´t hurt to walk. I think the Lord´s blessing me a ton in regards to that because normally an ingrown toenail would destroy someone with all the walking that we do. That´s pretty sweet about Mary-Clare´s bridle shower and everything. I can´t believe she´s getting married so soon!! She still hasn´t written me mind you, and neither has Jane. I´ve asked Grandma and Grandad to get on their case for that but still nothing. Could you get me their email addresses so I can write them myself? Another question, is all the family that comes from England gonna be at our house on Christmas so I can talk to everyone? I hope so.

Mum! My toe is healing a lot which is good. I went to town on it and cut a bunch of the nail out. It seems to have worked as the swelling and redness is going down. Still no luck with the camera though unfortunately... That´s pretty cool what Becky´s doing with the bus training! I hope everything goes well with that! That´s a really nice story about the Sequoia keys. I liked it. It´s cool how the Lord helps us when we have real intent like it says in Moroni. Sometimes we want something from the Lord but we have to be willing to act. I´m happy that you decided to help others with the blessing that the Lord has given you. I also like what you did with the dance thing at school. Sometimes it´s hard for us to stand up for what´s right because we might feel uncomfortable. I hope all goes well with giving her a For the Strength of Youth and all!! It would be a great missionary experience!! Thanks for sending me the strap, I hope it works with my bag. 

Michael!  That´s pretty sweet about the Flames games, I´m pretty jealous. How are the flames doing right now? That´s pretty sweet about being accepted to BYU Idaho already. I guess they just took one look at your awesomeness and decided to accept you just like that. Awesome.

Charly! That´s pretty crazy about the lockdown. How long were you in lockdown for? What has happening in the neighbourhood? That´s cool that you like babysitting. I always loved babysitting at your age, especially if the people paid well hahaha.

Jake! So you told me about doing fast offerings. What do you think about passing the sacrament? That was my favourite part about being a Deacon. Sometimes I think we forget how important the sacrament is, but the truth is that without it it´s like we were never baptized! It´s like getting baptized again every week which is pretty awesome. I hope all goes will with fly on the wall. I loved doing that in Junior High. I think in Grade 7 when we did it we won if I remember right. About the paintballing, we will see who wins buddy.

Family!! This week was great!! Camila got baptized!! She got baptized in pretty much the shortest time possible. We met her exactly three weeks before her baptism. She progressed super fast and when she got interviewed the zone leader said she was one of the most prepared people ever. Elder Navarrete and I are super happy. She was a huge blessing because we had to do practically nothing for her to get baptized, just teach the doctrine. She kept all her commitments herself with very few problems. At the baptismal service she was really nervous at first but afterwards said she wanted to get baptized again because she felt so great. She is really shy but thanked us a bunch after. I got to baptize her too which was an added bonus. On Sunday, she arrived half an hour late to church because of some opposition from her mother. I was freaking out a little but she still managed to get confirmed and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. I´m so happy. Unfortunately however, Jackeline had to go out of town this weekend for the birth of her grandson so couldn´t get baptized on Saturday. Hopefully we´ll be able to get her in the water this upcoming week.

Unfortunately we only had one investigator at church this Sunday since Jackeline is out of town, Camila is no longer an investigator, Natalia´s son has chicken pox, and a bunch of others all had personal and very untimely problems. But hey, that´s one person progressing towards baptism.

I absolutely love being a missionary. I come home every night completely shattered, but I wake up excited the next day to go back to work. I feel so happy to have such an awesome companion. The mission president thinks very highly of him and I´m blessed to have him as my trainer. He´s really bold and direct and knows his stuff. We get along great. I look at some of the ward members here and their willingness to sacrifice in order to help us and I´m just so grateful. We get fed every single day except P-Day. 

On Sunday last minute before church we ran into a problem with an investigator named Ximena who can´t walk very well. She was waiting for a family to pick her up but the family had gone to Santiago. We made a few phone calls, and a member who was blessing his baby that day was immediately willing to help us after his baby blessing. We ended up going with another member to pick her up because he was ready quicker, but when we came back with Ximena the other member was outside waiting for us. Talk about service. Also, about Ximena. She has a baptismal date for the 24th of December!! It´s pretty exciting. She was my first investigator in the mission, and it´ll be so cool to baptize her. We met her my first day in Talca. We can only meet with her once a week and she can only very rarely go to church because of her work schedule, but she´s so awesome. She´s in 2 Nephi now in her Book of Mormon reading.

This week we are hopefully going to baptize Jackeline and Natalia. We visited Natalia with the Elders Quorum President who´s a recently returned missionary and with his girlfriend a ward missionary Nicól. We set a date for the 10th with Natalia so we´re really excited. She still hadn´t told her mother about her experience with the Book of Mormon and desire to get baptized, but did it yesterday. Now she feels more calm. I´m so happy to see the changes that she´s made and her change in attitude since the beginning.

A week ago we went to an investigating family´s house. Their little puppy had died that day and we helped them bury it in the backyard. It was pretty sad to see the kids and how upset they were... It reminded me of how I felt when our dog died years ago.

Something I learned this week is the importance of dedicating everything to the Lord. There´s always some excuse as to why we can´t do some act of service or fulfill our calling as much as we should, or as to why we can´t live a higher spiritual standard, but I think the Lord is truly happy with us, and we are truly converted, when we are willing to drop absolutely everything without restraint to do His will. I think it´s easier to do that as a missionary because we work all day everyday doing missionarywork, but I want to do that for the rest of my life.

Oh about the calling at Christmas, I still don´t know what I´m gonna do about that. We can´t go downtown and pay for internet since it´s on a Sunday, but maybe we´ll be able to go to a member´s house. The time difference is that I´m 4 hours ahead I think. I´ll probably call some time in the evening around 6 or 7 Chile time but I´m not sure yet. I´ll try and have more information next week. I´m really excited!!

By the way, I attached some photos and sent some others in other emails. Hopefully you get them alright.

Also I´m gonna try and call the bank if I can Mum, I got your email.

I love being a missionary. My testimony groes everyday through this work. God loves us and wants us to be happy. We can find that happiness through his restored gospel. I love sharing the truth and watching it change the lives of the people that accept it. I´m excited because I still have so much more to improve in the language and my teaching ability, but I know that the Lord will make me stronger.

Can´t wait to talk to all of you!!
 
Chao
 


Saturday, 3 December 2011

GOOD WEEK AHEAD - 28 NOVEMBER 2011

Family!!! So great to hear from you!! Sounds like everyone had a pretty awesome week!

Dad! That´s pretty sweet about your hunting trip. I wish it was like that the last time I went with you haha. Send me some pictures if you have some! I wanna see the unicorn haha.That´s too bad about your cell phone. I hate losing stuff. In fact, I lost my camera. I had it a couple weeks ago when I sent pictures but I don´t have it now. I hope and pray it´s in the house, I´ll be gutted if I have to buy a new one. What´s the new iphone like anyway? What´s the difference? Para contestar su pregunta, sí, hemos tenido progreso con muchos investigadores. De hecho, esperamos tener dos bautismos esta semana. Vamos a ver y por favor ore para mi. I can´t believe that it´s Christmas in a month either!! It´s pretty crazy. I think I´m gonna be calling on Skype from a computer somewhere. I don´t know when or where yet, but keep in mind there´s a time difference of I think 3 hours.

Mum! First off, so sorry I forgot to send those memories of Grandad!! I had them ready, but I remembered later that I forgot to send them. We were gonna return to the ciber to send them off but something came up with an investigator who arrived somewhere early so I couldn´t. I was pretty gutted. Even though it´s too late, maybe you could still give my 3 memories to Grandad.

1) Boot camp with Michael, Sam, Joseph, Ben and I. In the night when we were fighting in the basement and causing a ruccus, in the dark we saw a faint silhouette slowly and silently make its way down the stairs and stand against the wall. Luckily for us, we all saw it and watched silently. The sneaky Grandad Steward had come to spy on us and see what the problem was. Unfortunately for him, we saw him and had further evidence of his presence by the flashing of the light on the motion sensor in the corner. After a short time of spying on us, he made his way back up the stairs.
2) Math skills. When I was eight years old and he came to visit us in Canada, he taught me shortcuts in how to do math really fast in my head. At the time I was completely amazed and showed them to my Grade 3 class. Unfortunately I don´t remember any of them now, but I´ll always remember learning from him.
3) Acrobatic skills. Another time when he came to visit us in Canada, he taught us how to do handstands and cartwheels. Unfortunately, while practicing in my bedroom after his departure, I broke my foot as it smashed on my bed.

Thanks for checking my facebook and giving Scott´s dad my address. I need to write a bunch of people from university. Thanks for the missionary mall stuff too. About the strap, is there anyway to pay for a new strap or no? I don´t want you to go through the effort of sending me a strap and for it not to fit. I got the Christmas package! It´s really big and I look forward to opening it on Christmas, thank you so much!

Michael! I´m so happy to hear that you ate a habanero. You make me proud. Isn´t it fun?!? I dunno if fun is the right word but at least it´s funny. That´s good news about your speeding ticket and everything. I hope you´ve learned your lesson about speeding!!! Haha. How did you do in the swimming meet? You said it went well but how well? What did you do? I love going to the temple too. Wait til right before you go on a mission, it´s even better when you get your endowment.

Charly! That´s pretty crazy about school being til Dec 23, but that´s a good thing!! It means you have all that extra time after to use your new toys and everything. You´re right now the build up to Christmas is pretty sweet. Sounds like that fireside was pretty sweet. Are there lots of people at your school that do drugs or anything? How goes young womens?

Jakob! That´s pretty sweet about doing fast offerings. Do you like doing that? That´s crazy about the wind. What ended up happening with that sign that almost got ripped off the pole? I´m super jealous of all your awesome hunting stories!! Sounds like you´re becoming a pretty good shot yourself!! I think when I get back we´ll have to go paintballing to see who will really win.

Alrighty! I forgot to write about something cool last week. I experienced some mini earthquakes!! I had experienced a tiny like shake weeks ago but it was hardly anything. But one night when I was sleeping, there was an earthquake! They call it a temblor when it´s small here and a terremoto when it´s really strong. The first one was hardly anything, but enough to wake me up. The second one was a lot stronger and lasted for a few minutes. It wasn´t big enough to cause damage or anything, but it´s cool cause you can hear it. All the dogs started barking their heads off too.

What´s another interesting fact about Chile... There are always couples making out all over the place in public which is pretty gross. One of the Zone Leaders told me of a "chastity contact" he did which was pretty funny. The people here drive completely crazy without following speed rules or lane rules. What´s normal here would cause huge road rage in Canada. It´s funny to see people getting cut off all over the place and nobody even cares.

This week we had interviews with the President, and I´m happy because based on what he said it looks like I´m gonna be staying here in the Florida with Elder Navarrete for at least another cambio. I´m really excited. We did a practice lesson with one of the assistants that was really awesome. I really need to dig deep during the first lesson to find the needs of the person and give them the answer to their needs. We have to help them find the solution to their hunger, or if they aren´t spiritually hungry, we have to make them hungry. It was really cool. I got my scripture covers finally, and the look super cool! I´ll send some pictures that I took with Elder Navarrete´s camera. I took some money from my Wells Fargo card to pay for them. The cost in total 42 mil pesos which is about 90 bucks I think. Pretty expensive, but definitely worth it.

We normally have to go to Constitución every week for the sisters, and because of the travel costs it´s left us with practically no money. The travel costs are reimbursable but we haven´t had the time to submit the reimbursable forms yet. We should be getting more money on Wednesday, so we´re gonna try and scrape through until then.

This week we are going to have at least 1, maybe 2 baptisms. Camila, a 22 year old who we met 2 and a half weeks ago has been a huge blessing. She´s quite shy, but she, by herself, went into the stake center a few weeks ago and met the Elders there. She lives in our sector so we met her one day outside a grocery store and taught her a little bit outside. She´s been super receptive. She´s read everything we´ve left without problem and by herself goes to a member´s house for every lesson, normally arriving early. She went to church the day after we met her which never happens, and arrived half an hour early. She new the Bishop from before and two young single adults in the ward have been great at fellowshipping her. Last night we had a family home evening to which she arrived half an hour early also. We felt bad because she waited outside for half an hour because we were somewhere quite far away. She is great with all the commandments and she´s getting baptized this Saturday. Elder Navarrete and I realized this week how great of a blessing she´s been. With minimal work she´s progressed super fast. We actually changed her original baptismal date so that she could get baptized sooner. We kind of blinked and now shes already getting baptized. It´s been a great miracle, and a huge answer to prayers. I´m so greatful to the Lord that he placed someone in our path like her.

We hope to baptize Jackeline also. She´s about 60 or something and knows the family of the area seventy that lives in our ward. She´s had a ton of problems in her life and has had depression. At the beginning she didn´t progress at all and we were thinking about dropping her but she´s changed a lot. It´s nice because I feel like we are really helping her overcome all of her problems. She has a lot of questions all the time which is great, and if all goes well she will get baptized this week. Please offer some prayers for her.

Natalia has now gone to church 3 times so technically could get baptized this week, but has a date for Dec 10. She hasn´t smoked for 8 days now. We did a fast with her last week and she hasn´t smoked since. It´s incredible. She has a testimony but it´s difficult for her to act and get baptized. She asked us for a year and although she´s accepted that she can´t have that long, she´s still being stubborn about getting baptized soon. I think she´s getting opposition from her mother who´s a "Catholic" (doesn´t do anything with her church) , and it´s also hard for her to leave the kids that she teaches in the Catholic church. If you could pray for her too, it would be greatly appreciated.

A note about the religions here. There are a few Evangelicals and Jehovah´s Witnesses, but the grand majority of people here are "Catholics" but after their own manner. They don´t go to mass, they don´t read the Bible, and they don´t even know what their church believes. When Natalia learned about the law of chastity in church before she had a testimony she didn´t like it and thought it was too strict. She said her church adjusts for the modernization and the changes in the world with chastity. That made me furious inside. It´s terrible when people or churches are so passive about the commandments to only have more members and more money. The Bible is filled with stories when the people "modernized" so God destroyed them. Now is no exception. A lot of people dont realize that God´s laws, especially about the law of chastity, don´t change to suit the people. It´s also tough for the people to understand the concept of one true church, because most people just say it doesn´t matter as long as we worship God.

My ingrown toenail has been back for quite a while now with a vengeance. It was pretty much better, but I wore some bad shoes and it got bad again. I keep trying to do my own little self-operation every day and sticking cotton under the nail which seems to be working. Hopefully it gets better soon. I can walk fine but it´s just a nuisance.

Anyway, I´m so glad to be here. I love being on a mission. There are lots of cool experiences, and the good experiences always outweigh the bad ones. The church is true, and this is the Lord´s work. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet and the Book of Mormon is true. Thomas S. Monson is the prophet today. This is the only true church upon the face of the earth and the only one that has the authority to perform the ordinances of salvation. I know my Savior lives and loves me even in my hardest trials.

Thank you so much everyone for your prayers and support. I love you all!!

Elder Blomfield


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

PRETTY GOOD WEEK - 21 NOVEMBER 2011

Family!!
 
Thanks for the emails everyone!! It´s too bad that everyone´s sick... Being sick is a bummer. Elder Navarrete and I have had some kind of stomach problem for maybe a month and a half now. Every once in a while we just feel completely gross and have to go to the bathroom. It hasn´t been too much of a problem though.
 
Dad that´s pretty sweet that now you´re a High Priest! How many are in the High Priest group in our ward? What did you have to do for the youth conference? What happened in it? Hahaha I keep telling Elder Navarrete about my youtube videos. I wanna show them to him but of course I´m on my mission so I can´t, and I´m afraid to tell the members or investigators about it in case they think I´m crazy hahaha. That´s weird that it´s been 4 months already that I´ve been on a mission. I don´t want it to end ever, I love it too much. That´s good about Aries, I hope he gets baptized. What´s the deal with Anthony? Is he listening to the missionaries? That´s good about JoJo. I wish every recent convert was like him. That would be so awesome if Andy and Stephen moved to Canada. It´s a way better place to raise a family, and the church is stronger. Don´t worry though, I don´t have plans to live in the US. Living in the US when I could live in Canada would be like taking a volkswagen beetle when I could have a Lamborghini. It just doesn´t make sense. Thanks for always being the best Dad ever. You really are the best Dad, and I´m eternally grateful for all you´ve taught me. Also, loved the Spanish in the letter. Maybe if you practice some Spanish we could talk in Spanish when I get back! That would be sweet!! You should learn Spanish!
 
Mum! To answer your question, yes I think I´m pretty adjusted to Chile, however I´ve only really seen Talca and Constitución. Don´t worry about missionary mall, it´s no rush. When you do do it though, if you could also talk to them about if they could send me a new strap for my bag that I bought from there. I think I left the shoulder strap in Constitución a couple weeks ago. If they can´t do it for free, if you could pay with some of my money that would be great. That´s pretty crazy about the speeding ticket, you need to let me know how it goes! What is there to fight anyway? That´s crazy about the cold. It´s the opposite here. We get all sweaty cause of the heat and it tires us out pretty bad. I hope you feel better soon, being sick is the worst.
 
Michael! Sounds like you had a pretty sweet week!! Feeling the Spirit is the best thing ever. Sounds like the Youth Conference was pretty fun. What did you learn in the lessons? Where was the youth conference, and who was it with? I couldn´t agree more about your dancing comment. I love dancing too, and the crazier it is, the better. I don´t mean to brag or anything but my hips don´t lie. Testimony meetings are always really good too. Especially when the people actually bear their testimonies and don´t tell long stories or do a thankamony, cause that´s frustrating. Deep conversations about gospel stuff are the best too. I always did that with Scott my roommate in BYU. I loved it. How much is left in your BYU application? Hopefully you nab that scholarship. I bet you will. Have you done the scholarship application too? Anyway, I wish you the best of luck with that. I offered a little prayer about your speeding ticket, but with the time difference which I think is 3 hours, I bet you already finished with that.
 
Charly! I hope you start to feel better soon... puking is no fun, especially when it comes out your nose, although it is pretty funny for everyone else ;-) Love you!
 
Jake! That´s pretty sweet that you saw a bear so close up. How far away was it? I bet that was fun shooting the 22. I loving shooting guns. Haha that would be pretty sweet. I should have went to the houses and said "restored gospel of Jesus Christ and salvation or treat!" I think that would´ve worked well. How come you´re selling all your DS games?
 
Kenna! I heard you were sick! How do you feel now? I hope you feel better soon. That´s too bad that you had to miss school. How is school going by the way?
 
Izaac!! HHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPPPPPYYYYYYYYYYYY BBBBBBBBIIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRRRTTTTTTTTTHHHHHHHHHDDDDDDDDDAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can´t believe you´re 4 years old already!! How was your party? Did you get lots of presents? Did you have fun at Burger King? I know you love burger king. I´m gonna send you something with stuff for Christmas, but I think it´ll get to the house late, but hopefully not too late! I told an investigator about you so now you´re famous in Chile!
 
Alright! So this week was pretty crazy. I broke the shower on Wednesday which is too bad. It was twisted funny and when I put it back it just broke. Pretty sketchy. Now we just have water that shoots out of a hole in the wall. It still works but it´s pretty bad.
 
Something funny that I´ve noticed about being here. Little bits of apostasy in the church hahaha. One time we went to take the sacrament to a member and here they don´t cover the bread or water when they bless the other. Another thing is that they sing the hymns but with the wrong tune!! They have it almost right but I imagine because they don´t have a legit organist or let alone an organ (they have a piano like Grandma and Granddad Blomfield´s) that sometimes they sing a few notes in a song wrong. It´s funny. Last week during companion exchange, one of the zone leaders, Elder Glass, taught me that whenever you see for example, dogs chasing a car, broken or sunken sidewalks, horses in the street, people that have "brand name" shirts that have the English spelling wrong, or funny things in church, you put your fingers out one at a time on one hand as if you´re counting to five on your hand. Each finger is a word "We are in Chile now". I like it. I do it to Elder Navarrete all the time. It´s even funnier with him cause he´s Chileno.
 
This week we did another companion exchange. I was with the other zone leader Elder Gregory. I had a lot of fun in one lesson with Natalia when we ripped apart her cigarretes and threw them in the garbage. It was sweet. He also did an interview with Enrique, who keeps all the commandments, but he doesn´t have a testimony. Having a testimony isn´t a prerequisite for baptism but he needs one to be able move forward through the opposition of his family and girlfriend.
 
This week we had 5 investigators at church. We´re pretty happy about that. Sunday is always the moment of truth. President Humphrey says that if no one shows up at church in a week that week is almost wasted, because the definition of a progressing investigator is an investigator who has a baptismal date and keeps their commitments meaning goes to church.
 
This week I think we´re gonna go to Constitición again to do interviews for the sister missionaries. Conty is so gross. It´s on the ocean and because of the earthquake and tsunami that came afterwards, it destroyed pretty badly. There is a stench of a cellulite plant and everything´s so dirty. The city is on a hill so walking around is pretty crazy. The houses are uglier, the dogs are uglier, and Elder Navarrete said even the people are uglier hahaha. Although we lose so much time going there, it´s still necessary because the people need interviews to get baptized.
 
The language is coming pretty well. It´s cool that my blessing says I´ll be able to communicate things of the gospel early. I feel like I´ve been really blessed with that. I have a ton more to learn because it´s tough to understand other things and to express what I wanna say as directly as I want, but I´m progressing a lot.
 
I know the church is true. Without a doubt it is. I love being a missionary and seing people change and accept the restored gospel. Joseph Smith was a prophet, and Jesus Christ is the Saviour. He lives and loves us. The Book of Mormon is true. This is God´s work.
 
I love you all family!! I hope you have a great week!
 
Elder Blomfield

Sunday, 20 November 2011

BAD NEWS AND GREAT NEWS - 14 NOVEMBER 2011

Alright!! About my week then. So first off the bad news. The baptisms didn´t go through. Enrique got cold feet because his family and girlfriend don´t want him to get baptized, and he feels insecure. Also, Claudia couldn´t get baptized because she isn´t keeping the law of chastity. She doesn´t live with her partner but they have a  kid together and she doesn´t want ruin that relationship. She was so upset when she found out she couldn´t get baptized that she started to cry. She wants to work towards marriage though which is good, and be baptized after. It was quite a let down to be  ready with two baptisms that both fell through. Also, our numbers were pretty weak this week unfortunately. We only had 2 investigators at church. The night before we had 6 that were our sure investigators that were going to go, but one got sick, one had to clean at her church, one had an accident and had to deal with that, and one just flaked out. It was frustrating, but we did have the blessing of 2 at church.
Now for the good news!! I think I saw what was the greatest miracle I´ve seen thus far in my mission!! Natalia, an investigator that we´ve had since before I got here,  is a super active Catholic who works with the kids to prepare them for the First Communion. She has always been flaky with her commitments and has been really difficult. For three lessons in a row we were super direct with her. I wrote about her in the letter last week. During a lesson on Wednesday when I had the phone, she called me 5 times which is weird cause she never calls us. I didn´t answer cause we were teaching, but called her after. She said she had done some reading in the Book of Mormon and wanted to talked to us. We dropped everything and went to her house. She told us that she´d received an answer to her prayers about the Book of Mormon, and that she knew it was true. She almost started to cry when she was telling us her experience. She  only read the introduction and the testimonies before 1 Nephi!! She said she wanted to be a member of our church, that she believed in the prophets, and that she wanted to stop smoking and change to join the church. I was almost crying cause I was so happy. She has gone to church once (didn´t go this week cause she had to clean at her church ugh). It´s such a turn around from the girl who told us time and time again that she was never going to leave her church, and I think she even promised her mother that she wouldn´t get baptized. It was incredible.  After, she told us she needed some time so that her mother who doesnt like the church would accept it and so that she could finish her commitment to teaching the children in her church. She told us she needed a year. We thought, haha very funny, how bout 2 weeks. Last night we had an FHE with the Bishop and his family and 2 single adults in the ward, one of whom is the Elder´s Quorum President. We had a super spiritual experience in which Natalia opened up about how she felt uncomfortable about the church because she´s 22 and has  6 year old son, but how  because of her experience she wants to completely change. She told everyone her experience with the Book of Mormon. She also told everyone that she needed a year.  Nicól, the single adult, told her conversion story, Franklin, the other single adult told a story about his mission, and the bishop told his conversion story. The bishop was perfect because he told Natalia exactly what she needed. That she needed to act now to be obedient to God, and that it´s more important to follow the what the Spirit says than to keep her previous commitments. The Spirit was there super strong. She´s going to pray about her baptism. After her experience with the Book of Mormon, I´m confident that she´s going to get the answer that she needs to be baptized soon.
This week we also had the conference! We left here with a private bus full of missionaries to Concepción. All of the missionaries in the mission were in a chapel, and in came Elder Cook. We were so excited!! He taught us about how we need to focus on strengthening the wards and the branches. It was awesome. It wasn´t anything super different or amazing that he said, but it was cool because it was him. We all got to shake his hand too!! We also had a counsellor from the area presidency of Chile there. It was awesome. It  was worth the long bus ride and the most uncomfortable sleep ever on a bus full of 60 missionaries. We went back to Talca and went to work. 
I did a companion exchange on Friday where I went with one of the zone leaders and one of them came here with Elder Navarrete. I learned a lot.  On Saturday, we had some members come and help us clear out a forest that we had growing in the backyard. The plants were seriously like  3 or 4 feet tall because I think the missionaries haven´t touched it for the 3 or  4 years they´ve been here. It looks way better now. I love our ward here, they´re so awesome. 
Anyway this week was pretty awesome. Hopefully this upcoming week will be a little bit more successful in terms of numbers, and hopefully things will work out with some baptisms pretty soon.
I know this church is true. Joseph Smith was a prophet and the Book of Mormon is true. The experience we had with Natalia has strengthened my testimony immensely about this work and about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. It has a true converting power because it is the word of God. Jesus Christ lives and atoned for our sins. Through His restored gospel, we can have true happiness in this life and the life to come. I know it´s true.
¡Nos vemos!
Elder Blomfield

Saturday, 12 November 2011

AWESOME WEEK COMING UP - 7TH NOVEMBER 2011

Family!! So nice to hear from you.
 
Mum and Dad!  Sounds like you had a great trip to Las Vegas!! Thanks for sending me a package, I wanna send you something but I´m worried it might arrive late. I wanna send something for Izaac too cause his birthday´s coming up soon. I can´t believe he´ll be almost 4! That´s weird to think about Mary-Clare getting married. Are they going to the temple? What´s the plan with that? That´s pretty crazy that my blog has been viewed that many times. I have another SD card so I´m good with that. I don´t think I took a picture with Braedon Lyons, I think I only just saw him. Oh and Dad, I have no idea what the iTunes password is, I think it´s what you sent to me. That´s crazy about the winter. It just keeps getting hotter and hotter here!! It´s sweet. Have I told you there are palm trees here?
 
Michael! To answer your question about the thing for BYU, I don´t remember. Maybe something about Duty to God, or your grades (which it sounds like you are kicking butt in by the way), Chief Scout Award... I dunno. How´s the application coming along? Have you found out your ACT grades yet? I know how it feels to be tired hahaha. Don´t be stupid like me in BYU. Actually get some sleep. Sleep is nice. That´s sweet about your Las Vegas trip. I´m totally jealous. That sucks about those stupid pimps but I´m sure the rest was great. You went in a limo?!?!? Lucky!! And the magic show sounds sweet. How the heck did he make a car appear that´s insane. And of course, I´m jealous of the cars. That´s sweet about swimming. I love swimming. Why did Ben puke?? THat´s super awesome about Aries. I bet the missionaries are just stoked out of their minds!! I would be!
 
Charly! Sorry I had no idea what you meant by twister. I thought maybe you meant the twister game but how was I supposed to know!! Haha that´s pretty awesome though. Really creative. I heard you won an award for it?? Nicely done! Did you have fun at halloween? I know you didn´t get as much candy as Jakob but hey at least you got some! How´s school going?? You have Seminary next year! That´s sweet. Remind me, what classes do you have right now?
 
Jakob! How was your Halloween? I bet you had fun. Based off of Charly´s email it sounds like you had a pretty good haul. We bought some candy and gave it out to people on the street. It seems like Halloweens still growing here.
 
Kenna! Thank you so much for your email! What volcano are you talking about? I haven´t heard anything about any volcano. That´s so cool about your primary presentation. I wish I could have seen it! That´s cool that you got to dress up as Tangled with a long blonde wig. Have you eaten all your candy already?
 
Izaac! How was your Halloween? Did you get lots of candy too? I heard you threw a temper tantrum for Grandma you crazy boy!! It´s your birthday soon!!! Are you excited? Your getting so old!
 
Grandma and Grandad Steward! I think I forgot to reply to your email last week. It´s good to hear that you´re liking your new ward and that you have a new calling. I hope everything works out for Aaron and Amanda. The blessings that come from the gospel are incredible. Thanks for your prayers, I hope all is well.
 
Grandma and Grandad Blomfield! Haha Grandad don´t worry I have had a few slammed doors, but not too many. It happens so rarely that I laugh when people are harsh. Hahaha I liked your comment about the superiority of English. It seems the people in Chile haven´t quite figured that out yet as they`re still speaking Spanish hahaha. Grandma that´s funny about Izaac. He´s hilarious. That´s too bad about Holly, I hope everything goes well with her. That was really funny about how you showed up to church early because the clocks changed. Nice work, and Grandad, your secret is not safe with me. As you can see I´ve just sent an email to you which will be published on my blog for the whole world to see that you didn´t change your clocks. I can´t believe Mary-Clare´s getting married. That´s crazy. I hope all is well with everyone. Tell them all to email me!!
 
OK! So Enrique didn´t get baptized on Sunday, cause there was just no way he could be ready in that short amount of time. This Saturday we have two baptisms. We´re going to baptize Enrique and Claudia. We´re fasting today for them. I really hope that this goes through and that they will be ready. Your prayers would be greatly appreciated. We had 4 investigators at church on Sunday. Claudia and Enrique, and two others who now have attended twice. Hopefully we´re going to baptize them next week! I´m so excited to see the fruits of our labours.
 
This week is going to be insane. Because Elder Navarrete is now the district leader, we have to travel to Constitution which is about 2 hours away to do interviews sometimes. The districts in our zone changed so now it´s us with the two sets of sisters. We are going to Constitution tomorrow and because of that we lose a whole day of work in our sector. It´s gonna be super difficult but I know the Lord will provide for us. Also on Thursday we have the conference in Concepción. We have to leave Talca at about 1:30 at night to arrive in Concepción in the morning. We still have no idea who´s supposed to be coming, but we´re super excited. For that though, we lose Thursday.
 
Remember the family that claimed to have seen Joseph Smith? It´s a sad story. Basically they are recent converts with a completely distinct idea of God. Like the majority of people here, they believe that God doesn´t ask things of us. That he is pure love that dwells in all of us and just wants us to be comfortable. They think the church has been changed by man and don´t wanna go anymore. They are basically apostates. The Bishop has worked with them but nothing´s changed. A ton of people here who supposedly believe completely in the Bible believe in a completely different God than He who is described in the scriptures. They think that God doesn´t ask us to make sacrifices or follow a certain path. It´s interesting because the God who they claim to worship is the same God who punished the people in the Bible when they were wicked. It´s a very short-sighted view that many people have. They are believers but don´t do anything. It´s a shame to see the ignorance and laziness of a lot of people. It´s so awesome when we find people who really want to change.
 
We have an investigator that we´ve had since before I got here in Talca. She´s been flaky with her commitments, but understands our message. She just wasn´t connecting the dots with why she needs to act. For her to fully understand, we had to lay down the law a bit and say that either all of our message is true, or none of it is, and that if it is true, she needs to act or God will not be happy with her. I like to be really direct with flakey people because that´s the only way they do things.
 
With the language I feel like I keep getting better. It´s tough in the lessons because sometimes I don´t feel confident in saying something and it´s easy to sit back and let my companion teach the whole lesson, but I´m trying to improve on that. Elder Navarrete´s a great teacher and I´m learning a lot from him. I think if I just have confidence in the Lord and not worry about my lack of ability and just open my mouth. I know that´s what the Lord wants me to do.
 
I know this is the true church. It is the only church that contains the fulness of the gospel, and the only church through which we can have salvation. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and really saw God the father and Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is a true record that testifies of Christ. We have a living prophet today and apostles also. God loves us. Jesus Christ died for us so that we could have happiness in this life and in the life to come. Only through him can we find true happiness.
 
I love you all!! Write to me soon and keep praying for me!
 
Elder Blomfield
 

Monday, 31 October 2011

FIRST CAMBIO - 31ST OCTOBER 2011

Family! So nice to hear from all of you. Thanks so much for all of your letters.

Mum! I´m glad to hear that everything went well with your Super Saturday! I bet it was stressful, but I´m sure you did a great job like always. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO YOU AND DAD!!! I hope you had a great day even though you were really busy. That´s so awesome that you had a friend at church with you!! Haha now she only needs to go twice more before she can get baptized hahaha. Have you introduced her to the missionaries yet? I hope everything goes well with Halloween tonight. It´s a recent thing here so it´s not very big yet. Oh and I hope you have an awesome trip to Vegas!! Sounds like your gonna have a blast. Oh and I got all the postcards from you and Dad. Thank you so much!!

Dad! That´s weird about the stuff with the BYU application. It seems like overkill for me, but I guess if it needs to be done, it needs to be done. That´s too bad abot work. I´ve never been there in the winter so I have no idea what it´s like with snow. I wanna watch that movie, it sounds interesting! How are things with the new calling? Are you busier now? Also, how goes converting Ward Tires? Who´s next for the baptismal font? I´ll answer your question about the food and economy later in the letter.

Michael. A snake is a girl who´s interested in the missionaries. She´s a super snake because she´s just super snakeish. It´s funny cause sometimes when we walk, there are some girls who just stare and Elder Navarrete and I are just like "SNAKE!" haha it´s funny. Snakes are bad. That´s crazy about Carl. I didn´t even know he had his mission call. They sent him out super quick, cause I don´t even think he had sent his papers in before I left. That´s sweet. I´m jealous that you get to go to Vegas, but as I´ve said before, Chile wins. Hahaha. Oh, and call those filthy pimps to repentance. If one tries to hand you his flier thing, knock all of them out of his hand, and tell him he´s going to face the wrath of God. That would be funny, but it´s true.

Charly. I hope halloween goes well for you! You never told me what Twister is, but I hope you have a sweet Halloween. Write me next week and tell me about it!

Jake. I don´t want you to stab me!! I haven´t baptized anyone yet, but we´re getting ready for a few pretty soon don´t you worry. That´s sweet about your trick or treating plans. I remember one time I went with Ben and Joseph our cousins and we got TONS. Keep your ears open for the houses that give out big chocolate bars and make sure you go to them. Also, go out a bit later, and sometimes you´ll see houses and the people leave their bowls of candy outside cause they can´t be bothered to answer the door anymore. Then you have free for all for all that candy. That´s pretty sweet about the mad hatter. Send me pictures!

Kenna. I heard you´re gonna be Rapunzel for Halloween!! Write me and tell me about your Halloween! Also I heard you did awesome in the Primary Presentation. Good job! And you´re becoming an awesome reader! Keep it up. When I come home you could show me all of your reading skills!!

Izaac! I heard you were picking your nose during the Primary Presentation you plonker! That´s funny. Haha I´m happy to hear that you told everyone what your favourite scripture story was all by yourself. I like Jonah and the whale too. So what are you gonna do for Halloween tonight? What are you gonna dress ups as. Write me and tell me about it!

To answer your question about the food Dad, we don´t eat dinner in Chile. We eat breakfast ourselves, usually something really small, then have lunch at around 1:30 at a member´s house everyday except P-Day. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day here. We eat once (eleven) at night in the house, which is also really small. Downtown Talca, which isn´t in our sector but we go there for district meetings everyweek, has a lot of older buildings that aren´t in use because of the earthquake. When I arrived in Concepción at the beginning we saw a ton of buildings that were destroyed from the earthquake. The economy´s pretty good, and as far as I know, everyone in the ward´s pretty well off. The houses are way way smaller here though. They´re so close together too. It´s a lot different, but I love it. Pretty much everyone has a fence out front with a gate, I think for added security, even though Talca´s pretty calm. Maybe it´s also to protect from dogs that poop on the lawn otherwise. There are so many dogs on the street, and tons of people have their own dogs.. It´s funny, because some are really nice and friendly, some are scared of people, and some want to kill us but are too scared to come close enough and bite us. Imagine Sammy´s barking all the time from like every 3rd house, but sometimes with growling and bared teeth. Also there are people with their carriage things that are pulled by horses that go around the streets trying to sell their crops from the country. It´s funny because the people go around the town with their megaphones trying to sell their stuff.

Today was our first cambio! The literal translation for cambio is change, but I can´t remember the English word for cambio in the mission sense. It´s when new missionaries come, companionships change, and people move. Elder Navarrete and I are staying in La Florida, and he´s now are District Leader. Our old District Leader, Elder Moss, went home today. His son (missionary who is training) Elder Moss is gonna have a step-father (new trainer) now. One of our Zone Leaders went too. I don´t know who will be the new one. The zone might change a little bit and our district might have the sisters in Constitution where we went last week. That means every once in a while we will have to take a 2 hour bus ride there and back so Elder Navarrete can do interviews or something.

This week we had a conference with the outside part of the mission and the President and his wife. I love conferences cause for one we learn tons of new things and how we can improve in our contacts, teaching, and study, but I think the most important thing is that it gets us super excited to go out and work. Elder Navarrete and I worked our butts off this week it was great. We were completely beat last night, but we´re happy cause that means we´ve worked hard. It´s interesting to see how our numbers improved so much since my first week. It´s great!! I´m excited cause it means we´re improving. This cambio we´re going to be reading through Preach My Gospel and doing the activities all at the same time as a mission. The President has given us a calendar of what we need to be studying everyday so we can become Preach My Gospel missionaries. I´m super excited. I have so much more to learn.

This week we were happy cause we had 5 investigators at church, and all of them are progressing towards baptism. For two of them it was their second attendance. We´re going to try and baptize Enrique next Sunday after church but we have a lot of work ahead if we wanna do that, and we have to make sure he´s ready. We have a lot of work to do this month, but I feel like it´s going to be a successful month.

Oh and by the way, in a week and a half we´re having a conference with the whole mission. We have to go to Concepción the night before. It´s gonna be a big deal. We don´t know what it´s about, but the President said all he knows is that someone is coming that when he enters the room we have to stand up. That means apostle!!!! I´m super excited!!! We´re gonna learn so much it´s gonna be great!!!

This week was awesome. We found 20 new investigators, and some of them seem really great. We had some pretty interesting experiences too. One guy showed us anti-mormon stuff. We tried to explain to him that if he really wants to know about our church, he needs to hear it from the legit sources. We bore testimony and tried to do a prayer with him, but he wouldn´t let us. I think he thought we were gonna do some weird curse on him or something hahaha I have no idea. It was pretty funny, but frustrating because we wasted a bunch of time at his house. Also, we went into this one house to teach and it was really weird. Only the wife and her 8 year old son were in the room. It felt weird. The son mentioned something about how he´s seen spirits or something before. Then another son came in about the same age as us. He just glared at us and refused to participate. At the end when we wrote down everyones names so we could come back later he refused to give it to us. Weird. Also, we were doing contacts in a place that we haven´t been to before because it´s so far away. We contacted one house, and it was really weird. When we said good morning she told us that there was nothing good about it. She said a bunch of other really weird things and was really rude. She didn´t let us in. We started laughing our heads off as we left because the people here are never like that. It was funny. A different lady was talking to us at the door, and with a smile on her face told us we were of the devil. She tried to preach to us, but told us things that we agreed on. After, she started contradicting herself and at the end told us with a smile on her face not to lie to the people. It was weird.

It´s funny when we do contacts sometimes because we tell people that we´re missionaries and they say, "Oh but I´m from a different church" as if we didn´t know hahaha. We say, "We know, we know the members of our church, and we´re here to talk to you about ours." Very rarely are the people harsh. Normally just jerks or old people. Occasionally when we say hi to people as we´re walking by they drop their heads and don´t reply. The majority of the time though, they´re really nice. Sometimes people start preaching to us about stuff as if they´re telling us something completely new, even though we believe the same thing. We hear people say all the time that they are Catholic but not active, and that religion doesn´t matter because all it is is different ways of worshipping the same God, and all of us are going to the same place. Lots of people are super passive. The majority of so called "catholics" don´t read the bible, dont go to mass, and believe something completely different to what their church teaches. The most frustrating thing is lazy people who don´t want to do anything.

Also the president apparently calls the people here Chinos (Chinese people) because in his business he would go to China, talk with people about something, and they would nod and say yes to everything with a smile on their face, but when it came time to sign the papers they wouldn´t do it. He says that Chilenos are like Chinos. So many people here agree with everything we say, but when we invite them to act they say no. I love to find someone who is legitimately willing to act on our message, and do so sincerely.

Oh and by the way I had to give a talk on Sunday. The Bishop called us on Wednesday to ask us to speak for 15 minutes each in Sacrament Meeting. I thought Elder Navarrete was kidding cause I was thinking, I can´t speak Spanish!! It went well though. I had to prepare the whole thing word for word cause I can´t just go on in Spanish without another person to talk to. I talked about the Atonement and how everyone here worships Jesus Christ and claims him as their Lord and Saviour, but we as Latter-day Saints have exclusive access to it because nobody else has the correct form of baptism. Elder Navarrete laid down the law as he spoke about how the God we believe in is a God that asks things of everyone. He´s not just some loving energy that asks nothing of us. He´s the same God that asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, who lead the Israelites in the desert for 40 years, who asked Lehi and his family to leave everything and go to the wilderness, and who asked the pioneers to walk for thousands of miles west. It was perfect for one of our investigators who was at church who knows our message is true but refuses to act on it.

I love being a missionary!! Every week is better and better. Spanish is improving tons, and I feel like I´m becoming more of an instrument in the Lord´s hands everyday. Keep praying for me, and know that I pray for ou every day. I know the church is true. It just is. There aren´t any if, ands, or buts. Joseph Smith was a prophet, the Book of Mormon is true, and we have prophets today. Jesus Christ is our Saviour, and He is at the head of this church.

I love you all and hope you´re all doing well!!

¡Chao!

Elder Blomfield

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

1 MONTH - WEIRD - 24TH OCTOBER 2011

Familia!!! I´m so happy to hear about the baptism of Dennis! That´s so awesome. And Anthony and Aries are taking the lessons too?? That´s so exciting!! Get on Anthony in the shop too!! You definitely should write an Ensign article, that would be so cool! It really is a miracle how so many people have been affected by the message of the gospel. That´s cool that you´re doing the baseboards and stuff. The house is gonna look completely different in two years haha. I really hope all is well with Holly, that would suck if they had to put her down. Haha i hate Canadian winters, but at least you have the option to heat the house up!! Here we have two space heaters and we´re lucky compared to the other missionaries. I get cold at night sometimes but the winters are gonna be pretty brutal. I´m excited to hear about your friends who are going to church!! That´s really cool because the best investigators are member referals. They are more receptive, feel more comfortable in church, and are more likely to stay active. Keep working with her it´ll change her life!

Michael I hope you did well on your ACT! I´m sure you did. I hope you get the scholarship, but if you don´t, don´t worry about it. It´s nice but it´s not really a big deal. You´ll get accepted and kick but when you´re there and that´s what matters. We don´t have Día de los Muertos here en Chile but we do have Halloween. I dunno how big it is but I guess I´ll see. If they do, I think I´ll dress up as a missionary. Never wear your speedo, that´s sinful, and I´m super jealous that you get to Vegas, that´s awesome. I dunno if things have changed, but with BYU, I needed my transcript from BYU and the conversion of my percentage grades into the letter grades. Talk to your councellor about that. Then send that off to BYU. When I did it they just gave me the unofficial transcript up to grade 11 I think, and that worked fine. I don´t even think they ever looked at my grade 12 stuff, but I dunno. Just email them or call them if you have any questions. Just get it done quick!! I´m sure you´ll be fine.

Charly! That is pretty sweet that you got to go to a Selena Gomez concert!! I´m pretty jealous of that. You went to Beaverbrook too! You´ll be about ready to go to Beaverbrook when I get back!! That´s nuts. I love making ridiculous movies as you know. It´s always a good time. What do you do in service class? When I was at Wilma I´m pretty sure they did nothing except pick up recycling.

Jake! That´s too bad about your soccer game, but hey at least you got that far. Nickle was always known as the druggy school for us haha. How is there someone who plays on team Canada if he´s only in Junior High?? I hope things go well with the piano!

So I didn´t end up getting the operation. My toe doesn´t hurt or anything and it´s practically better. Just another blessing!! Today we´re in Constitución which is about a 3 hour train ride west of Talca. We went to the beach and played ultimate frisbee with our zone and another zone too. It was cool cause the sand was black and there was this gigantic rock with a hole in it. It used to have a cross on it that someone put there and it was called the Rock of the Church. There were seals on it too it was sweet!

This week we had 2 investigators at church. We had hope a few days before for like 10, but a bunch bailed. It´s ok though, because we still had 2! This week we´re gonna do contacts in an area that we haven´t contacted before because it´s so far from the house. I think it´s probably been a long time since missionaries have been in that part because our sector´s huge, and our house is near the lower limit. We´re gonna find a bunch of golden investigators this week I´m excited. Also, in the ward boundary, there are something like 800 inactives it´s insane. It´s a shame when that happens.

Last week the Bishop laid down the law with the Sabbath Day in sacrament meeting about how we should never watch TV, never play sports, should remain in our church clothes all day, and some other stuff. It was pretty intense, but I learned a lot. We should always be trying to improve our Sabbath Day worship instead of making excuses and saying that what we´re doing is good enough. He also talked about tithing. Unfortunately, it offended some recent converts who are bordering less active, who said that rules come from man, and not from God when we went to their house. They also said that tithing isn´t from God. Before their baptism, the wife had some weird experiences with visions and angels giving her the ability to heal people, and even healing someone who fell out of a window. It actually happened, it was confirmed by the Bishop´s wife. She also claimed that Joseph Smith was ministering to her and instructed her to be baptized. The problem though, is that now they are saying that God works through more than one way, and our church isn´t the only true church. The husband said of course he believed Joseph Smith was a prophet, but something to the effect that Joseph Smith told him that some changes have to be made in the church. It´s some pretty weird stuff, and obviously not from God. It´s weird because what they believe is directly contrary to what Joseph Smith, the one who supposedly appears to the wife at night, himself said about the church, about the commandments, and about who has the authority to receive revelation for the whole church. It´s basically apostasy starting to set in. We´re going to try and work with them, but it´s difficult because they get offended when someone teaches a commandment they aren´t keeping. It´s super tough.

This week was funny in church because a counsellor gave a talk in sacrament about respecting the chapel. I can´t really explain it, but it was really funny the way he did it because he did it all preachy with his arms waving around and stuff. Once when we ate lunch with him and I told him I wanted to be a lawyer, he told me that being a lawyer was not a career for members. When Elder Navarrete told him that some Apostles and Prophets have been lawyers, he had nothing to say. Some people, especially older people, are hilarious here cause they have their funny opinions.

One of the people we teach and who went to church has a daughter who is a super snake. It´s pretty ridiculous. Elder Navarrete says now that I have my first snake, I only have to fight a dog to be a full-fledged missionary haha.

This week I also ordered some scripture cases with cool personalized leather covers of gospel paintings burned in. I was thinking about what to get the family for Christmas, and was thinking of getting a cool poster thingy for the family that has the family name, and a drawing of the Christus looking down over a temple with the first names of the family underneath. If you want me to get it (I think it would be really cool), tell me and I will. Tell me what temple too. I don´t know if you want the temple where you were sealed Mum and Dad, or Cardston. Let me know!!

Yesterday Elder Navarrete and I were sick, Elder Navarrete to the point where he couldn´t go out to work cause he had such a bad headache. After lunch yesterday, we just had to chill in the house. It sucked, but at least we both feel quite a bit better now.

This week I gave 2 blessings in Spanish!! It was really hard, but I´m happy. It´s tough because I had the thoughts of things to say, but I had to translate it into Spanish using the tú (informal) form of the verbs instead of the usted (formal). We have to always use usted except in prayers and blessings. Both mean you.

Thanks for all of your prayers everyday. I´ve seen miracles with my toe healing with little trouble, and with my increasing ability with teaching and the language. I know the Lord lives. Jesus Christ died to save us from the effects of sin, and if we repent and try to follow him we can be saved. The Book of Mormon is the word of God, and the prophet Joseph Smith really restored the church and gospel of Jesus Christ in these latter days. We have living prophets today who lead and guide us. The Lord hears our prayers, and will answer them. If we remain faithful we will be blessed in so many ways.

I love you all so much and pray for you everyday!! I hope all is well!! Tell grandma and grandad Blomfield and Steward to email me!!

¡Chao!

Elder Blomfield


iMilagros - 17 OCTOBER 2011

FAMILY!! It´s so nice to hear from all of you!!
Mum and Dad it sounds like you had an awesome trip! I´d like to do that one day. I think Europe is so cool. About the pictures, I sent some letters off last week and stuck my SD card in it so it has the pictures on it. Sounds like everyone´s been super busy!!   That´s cool about your calling Dad!! How are the priests?? Are you more busy now?? You´ll be a great Young Men´s President. It´s too bad you never got to have a calling in the quorum that I was in, but that´s ok. That´s crazy about Dave Lyons too, it´s so cool what the priesthood is capable of. I haven´t had the chance to say a blessing yet in Spanish, although I´ve participated in some. I´m excited for the day when I´m called upon to do it in Spanish. I´m sure it´ll be a powerful experience.
Michael, sounds like you´ve been busy kicking trash at school, getting ready to kick the ACT´s trash, having fun with ladies, getting ripped, and prepping to be a missionary!! You´re gonna do awesome . That sucks about the tickets, but it´s also really funny. I laughed. Also, I´m excited to hear about motag. I failed to win (I have plenty of excuses believe me) but you have to do it for me. Do the Blomfield name well. Are you super busy with meetings and stuff with that?
Charly you wanted to be twister for halloween? What´s twister? I completely forgot about halloween and thanksgiving and stuff!! Theydon´t have thanksgiving here and I guess halloween isn´t so big. I was so happy to hear about your talk on Sunday!! I´m sure you did great. I´m similar when I give talks. I´m not nervous at all until right before when I´m sitting on the stand, but as soon as I start speaking, the nervousness goes away. I´m sure you rocked it.

Jake! What´s it like being 2nd counsellor?? I´m so excited that you´re a deacon. I don´t think I fully appreciated what it meant to be a deacon. It´s a big deal!! You have the Priesthood of God!! Do you know what that means? You can do things in His name!! It´s awesome, and it only gets better. When you become a missionary, you get to be an official representative of the church, and of Jesus Christ. You should do a study in the scriptures with Dad or something about what it means to have the priesthood. It really is a big deal. Also, make sure you have good friends in Junior High. People start to go weird like you said and do bad stuff. Stay away from it cause it´s so bad! I´m sure you´ll be great though, you´ve always been great.

I got all those letters and pictures this week!! Thank you so much!! It made up for the lack of emails hahaha. I was super excited. I was especially excited to see the photos of Ricky´s baptism. I´m so happy for him!! Tell him congratulations for me. And now Dennis is getting baptized?? That´s so exciting!!!! That´s sweet about the money that I´m getting too. Nice!! Oh and for Christmas, if you wanna send something it should probably be now. Toys sounds great!!! That would be awesome for investigators!!

The mission is divided into two parts, the inside and the outside. The inside is all the zones closer to Concepción, and the outside is the rest. I´m in the outiside. We had a conference with the outside part, so I got my mail. All the missionaries who hadn´t had the "capacitación", which was within 6 months or something, got to go. It was incredible!! President and Sister Humphrey came with the assistants and taught us these things that we learned in the MTC and study in companionship study called the Fundamentals or the 8 Simplified Lessons. I think they´re gonna be putting them into Preach My Gospel soon. They basically take the fundamentals of teaching and help us improve as teachers in different aspects. Like helping our investigators understand the role of the Spirit, the Book of Mormon, attendance at church, and prayer. Also we practice asking inspired questions to help them think about what we´re teaching. We teach people not lessons, and practice how we start to teach. I´ve learned so much!! It´s cool because before, the thought has always been that numbers don´t mean a thing, and that baptism needs to be approached with caution. First of all, numbers mean everything!! Numbers represent people, and the numbers we report (key indicators) help us know if we´re using our time wisely, and how effective we´re being. If we have more numbers, it means we´re teaching with more clarity, and we have the Spirit. Some people think that the reason they have low numbers is because the people aren´t ready for the gospel, or because they have a bad companion, or whatever, but those are just excuses. The way to have success is to work hard and do it right. The scriptures promise us that the field is white already to harvest, not brown already to plant. There are people ready for us, they just sometimes don´t know it, so we have to make sure that they do.

Another thing is baptism. Our purpose is to help bring people unto Christ, and of course we want baptisms, but there is a dominant idea that baptism needs to be approached with caution because we don´t want to be too pushy with the investigators. That´s wrong!! I´ve learned that. I never realized how important baptism was until now. It´s simple. The ONLY way people can really come unto Christ and enter into God´s kingdom. It´s blunt, but the scriptures say it. Also, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all that he did for us, accomplishes absolutely nothing in our lives without baptism. We can´t be cleansed from sin without it! For our investigators, it means that we have to paint the big picture for them. We have to say that if they want eternal life, they have to be cleansed from sin. To be cleansed from sin, they need to be baptized. To be baptized, they need to keep their commitments and live the commandments of God! It´s that simple. Our goal isn´t to get them to be members through baptism, it´s too help people repent and be cleansed of their sins through baptism, and in the process of keeping the commandments of God, they become members. For us as missionaries, that means that we have to be very clear and direct. We try and give the baptismal invitation the first visit if we can, because if they see the importance of baptism and set a date for a goal, all the difficult commitments they have to keep and commandments they have to leave become so easy and necessary when looked at with the vision of eternal life.

I look at all the greatest missionaries in the scriptures, and they never beat around the bush. They teach and address the needs of the investigators, and realize that the only true cure for their problems or path to eternal life, is through the gospel of Jesus Christ, and through a valid baptism. If we as missionaries can make the connection that for our investigators to have true happiness and eternal life, they need baptism, we can have so much more success. Our goal is that they are baptized and stay active. The scriptures say that perfect love casteth out all fear. If we love our investigators perfectly, we want them to have eternal life, and therefore want them to be baptized, and therefore we have no problem extending commitments to them, and being bold.  Of course we have to be sensitive to their needs and we can´t be overbearing, but we have to know off the bat who´s going to progress and who´s not. Sorry I´m being all preachy or whatever right now I´m just so excited!!!

Something else I´ve learned is that in order for us to find people to teach, we do contacts. We knock doors, talk to people on the street, and whatever. The goal is 140 every week. It´s a lot!! I talked about the importance of numbers before, but numbers mean nothing if they don´t represent true effort or results. If we show up at a door and ask them if they have time to listen to us, 99% of the time they will say no. We have to do meaningful contacts. Preach My Gospel says that when we contact, we need to start teaching right off the bat so they can feel the Spirit, and know how the message will bless their lives.

We´ve seen so many miracles this week. We had an appointment with an investigator that I hadn´t met yet, but when we showed up he needed 15 minutes to drive his girlfriend to work. I suddenly had to go to the bathroom REALLY BAD. We went to a house nearby that Elder Navarrete knew. The daughter of the people there was recently baptized with her partner (they split up to get baptized, and plan on getting married). Apparently the parents hated the missionaries. Anyway, the mother let us in, i went to the bathroom, and we started teaching her. She said it was a miracle because she normally is super sick and can´t get out of bed. She was wondering why she could that day, and said it was because God sent us two "angels" to teach her. The whole thing was a giant miracle!! Unfortunately she didn´t go to church even though she committed to. We´re going to work with her this week.

Another miracle. We had 6 investigators at church this week plus a few other non-members!! 2 of the investigators were brand new this week!! It shows how when we focus on a goal, like having investigators at church, we can do it with the Lord. We were ecstatic. Our prayers, fasting, and hard work finally paid off!! It was awesome. Unfortunately though, some others didn´t go who committed to go. We could have had way more. We´re gonna work hard this week to get them to go. Although he didn´t go, one has read all we´ve left him, and even went exploring lds.org by himself. Elder Navarrete and the district leader Elder Moss did a tour with him when Elder Combe (Elder Moss´s companion and I) were at the conference. He was talking about how he wants to teach when he´s a member. I´m so excited!! We have so much to do. We´re so busy all the time I love it!!

Language is getting way better. I´ve been super blessed with the gift of tongues I feel like. I can understand almost everything, especially in lessons, and can speak a lot better now. I still have tons of work ahead of me, but I´m happy. Elder Navarrete says it´s good because sometimes people take a year to really start their mission when they can really communicate in the language, but I´ve already started me mine. Thanks for your prayers, because Heavenly Father is answering them.

Journal writing is sooo hard because we literally never have time during the day. I´m going to try and catch up today, but with my doctors appointment, who know´s if I´m gonna have time. We´re always so busy!! I wish I had more time to write it cause I actually really like doing it!!

Something else that I´ve learned, is that I love being busy!! I´m completely burnt out every day, but I feel like I´m growing more than ever. It´s the best, even though it´s the hardest thing ever. I want the rest of my life to be like this. I feel like I´m getting molded more and more into a servant of the Lord. I love being a missionary.

I have a little question for you Mum. The members clean our clothes for us, and I´m worried I might be missing some. How many pairs of trousers, what kinds, and how many short and long sleeve shirts did I have from missionary mall? Also my belt is pretty much trashed. Probably cause I´m getting fat, but It´s almost ripped in half. It was junk.

Oh ya one more thing. I have an ingrown toenail so last week went to the médico to talk with a doctor. He gave me some drugs and without even flinching said I needed an operation after looking at my toe for like 10 seconds. I thought he was kidding. It was funny. I also thought he said that he wants to cut off all the red infected part, although he said it in Spanish so I didn´t understand it completely. Hopefully not haha. He wants to do it today and we have an appointment but I think I´m gonna wait a little bit so I can see if it will get any better. We`ll talk to him today. I´ve talked to other Elders who have had problems and they all said to wait a little bit. Tha mission secretary said to pray about it and see. Elder Navarrete gave me a blessing too so I´m not worried. The biggest thing is that I have antibiotics to stop the infection. Who knows though, maybe I´ll get an operation today, we´ll see. Don´t worry though everything´s good.

This week has been the best one yet!! I love being a missionary more and more everyday. This message will change people´s lives and bless them sooo much. It´s true. Joseph Smith was a prophet, and through Him, the Lord restored the true church of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know it is. Thomas S. Monson is our prophet now, and receives revelation from God. Heavenly Father loves us so much and really does answer our prayers. He wants us to be happy, and through the gospel of Jesus Christ we can be happy. Jesus Christ is our Saviour. He suffered and died for us individually so we could repent and be cleansed from sin. This is the truth, and this is His work. I know it.

¡Chao!

Elder Blomfield

Thursday, 13 October 2011

SEMANA TRES - 10TH OCTOBER 2011

Hola!

Man what a let down! I come to the computer after a week all excited to find out how the family´s doing, and I have no emails from any of you!! Now I have to wait another week. I hope everything´s good at home, and that Mum and Dad are having fun on their cruise. Oh well... By the way I have letters written up that I´m sending out today.

I forgot to say! Last week during conference they had a set up so that the missionaries could watch it in English. At first they couldn´t get it to work, so I watched a bunch of the first talk by I think it was Elder Ballard in Spanish. It was cool cause he did his own translation so the talk in Spanish was in his voice. Eventually they figured it out and all the English speaking Elders watched it in English in another room. It was pretty sweet.

Well this week we had no one come to church unfortunately. All the people who committed didn´t show up. We´re fasting today for our fast this month since I guess here they do it the week after conference, and they way everything worked out with stuff yesterday we`re doing it today. I´m fasting so that we´ll be able to have investigators at church next week. It´s frustrating because when people don´t go to church, they don´t progress, and people need to have to go to Sacrament Meeting a minimum of 3 times to be baptized. Our goal is to baptize 2 people this month, and a few people have attendance to the church, so I´m praying that we´ll be able to accomplish it. We´re doing the best we can, soI feel like either the Lord will provide a way for us to reach our goal this month, or this will just be a growing experience. This week we had tons of appointments that just completely fell through. We walk all over to an appointment that we have, just to find that the people aren´t home. We waste a lot of time walking in between places. I feel like next month will be really successful though because we have a lot of investigators, and this week we´re gonna visit all of them and focus on them attending church this weekend. We´re making an effort to pray for all of our investigators individually and I´m working on having the faith and hope that we will have success, and that the Lord will help me in this work.

I´ve made huge strides in the language since I´ve been here. I still rely a ton on Elder Navarrete, but I can understand lots more. We speak English in the house so Elder Navarrete can learn, and we speak Spanish outside so I can. It´s cool because now sometimes I can explain things in Spanish to him that he doesn´t understand in English. I´m feeling more and more confident in the Lord´s ability to bless me everyday. It´s funny, because there are some words that are really similar in Spanish and English, but some words are false cognates. That´s when a word in one language is similar to a word in another but has a totally different meaning. For example, I kept trying to write above that the investigators need assistance to the church to be baptized, because the Spanish verb that we use, asistir, or the noun, asistencia, mean to attend or attendance. It´s pretty funny. Also, embarazada, which sounds like embarrassed, means pregnant. It´s funny.

I think last week I wrote about how a lot of people here think that all churches are true because they help people draw nearer to God. It´s funny because every church thinks it´s the only true church, so if every church is true, they´re all wrong. Most people here are Catholic, although they aren´t active. When we do contacts, we sometimes talk about how through the power of God we can live together as families after death, and the people say, "oh yeah I believe in that too." Yesterday Elder Navarrete responded and said, but the Catholic church doesn´t believe that, and the person was surprised because she didn´t know. I think all churches are great if they help people draw nearer to God too, but there is only one complete truth, and we have it. It´s a shame how sometimes people are so passive about religion. If there is a life after death, wouldn´t it kind of be number one on your priority list to make sure you´re ready for it? Oh well. I know that we´re here to find the people that are ready for our message, and that the Lord will lead us to them.

This week we saw a miracle when we were doing contacts. In one house we found a lady who was just staying there temoporarily because she didn´t have a home. She started talking to us outside and started crying. Her husband cheated on her before, and someone that she lived with afterwards apparently beat her and tried to kill her, so she left. Apparently she tried to kill herself a few days before we found her. We found out she was baptized into our church years ago. We taught her that she was a daughter of God and that He loves her. Although I don´t know if we´ll see her again, I feel like Heavenly Father placed us in her path so that we could comfort her. What a miracle.

I´ve come to love the scriptures so much on my mission. Everytime I start reading them, even in Spanish, I feel a peace come over me. I´ve also had to rely so much on the Lord in this work. We can´t do anything without Him. He´s not just a helper in missionarywork, He´s the key. I have to make sure I always realize that it´s not me doing converting or teaching, it´s the Spirit.

Another miracle is when we went to an old investigator´s house that I hadn´t taught yet. Only the wife was there, and apparently she normally had nothing to do with the missionaries when they came. We taught her about the love of God, and I got to see the Spirit work through me as I told her how God knows her name and how Jesus Christ suffered her pains and afflictions individually. Apparently it really touched her. I´m trying to stop thinking about what to say and listen more to what the Spirit says, like it says to do in Preach My Gospel. Sometimes I really feel like one of the "weak things of the Earth" that it talks about in the scriptures, but I know with the the Lord I´ll be "the means of the confounding of the wise." I´ve been blessed so much already and I can´t wait to see the hand of the Lord even more in this work.

I know the church is true and that this is the Lord´s work. The Book of Mormon is a true record that helps us draw nearer to God. Through the prophet Joseph Smith, the Church of Jesus Christ along with the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ were restored to the earth. We have prophets on the earth today that guide us, and if we do everything we can to follow them, we will find happiness. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and suffered and died for us. He lives today, and will come again.

Lots of love!!

Elder Blomfield