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


I'ME ENCANTA CHILE - 3 OCTOBER 2011

Hola everyone!!

So another week is done here in Chile. I can´t believe how fast the time is going. It´s insane!

That´s awesome to hear about your cruise Mum and Dad, I hope you keep having fun. Remind me, where exactly are you going for your cruise? What do you do when you get off the boat? How much time do you have everyday? What do you do on the ship? Fill me in! Oh and if you tried to send me some kind of picture, it didn´t work.

Michael! Sounds like you had a pretty weird dream hahaha. Don´t worry, I´m still here. It sounds like seminary´s going pretty well, the old testament is cool. It has a lot of really cool stories in it, and I liked the talk this conference that said that we need to use all the standard works when we study, even the old testament. Haha I remember our super lame motag video. It was fun, but it was terrible. Make sure you win motag. That´s sweet about your guitarness. When you get back from your mission you need to teach me all your amazing guitar talents. Oh and for sure make sure you´re one of those EFY or BYU tools who can play 3 chords on their guitar and think they´re hot stuff.

Charly! I bet it´s quiet. Is it boring with no one in the house?? I always got super bored when that happened. The food here is super awesome. I ate something called a churrasco on Saturday which is basically like a giant burger type thing. Also we have completos which are super awesome hot dogs. I love the food here. Haha I´m glad you´re still enjoying my ridiculous videos. You should make some so you can show me after my mission!!

Jakob!! How´s junior high going?? Do you like it? it´s way different isn´t it? I liked junior high more than elementary, and high school more than that, and university more than that. It´s awesome how life just keeps getting better and better. And your a Deacon!! How´s that going?? Email me!

Thanks for the email Grandma and Grandad!! Hahaha I liked that little Spanish line you threw in there about English being the true language. Haha it would be so much easier to teach in English!! How´s everyone doing?? Tell everyone to email me!

Some more things about Chile are that tons of people have little stores set up at their houses. They´re everywhere, and everythings so cheap compared to Canada. A small bag of chips might cost 200 pesos which is about 40 cents instead of the $1.25 it might cost in Canada. It´s awesome. There are tons of taxi things called colectivos that we take everywhere too. There´s still tons of earthquake damage here too. We have one really nice recent convert that we visit sometimes who talks nonstop. She´s really nice but I can´t understand her! It´s really funny cause she has a one-way conversation with me while looking me right in my eyes but I have no idea what kind of facial expression I should have. Elder Navarrete just sits there and thinks it´s hilarious cause he knows I can´t understand. He says sometimes even he can´t.

Alright so this week! Right now we have 9 investigators with a baptismal date this month. The thing that´s really tough though, is that they´re progressing. The rule is that they go to church a minimum of 3 times before baptism. Unfortunately, everyone either didn´t pick up their phones or were too busy to go to conference this weekend. It was too bad, cause conference was AMAZING!! I get so excited that we really have profets and apostles!! I think sometimes we look over that in the church. We have a real life prophet!!!! I LOVED conference. It was like a giant feast and I felt the Spirit so strong. Of course the church is true.

Anyway back to the mission. We try to invite people to be baptized the first lesson. Before my mission that seemed way to forward but now I see it as a great opportunity. Our investigators need to know what our goal is for them, and how coming unto Christ through baptism will really bless their lives. If they have problems, we can address them. Something else I learned here is that our main job is to "harvest" not to "plant." We are here to find the people that are ready to accept our message, and although we will be doing some planting of the word in people, the main use of our time should be to work with people who are progressing. If people aren´t willing to progress, they may not be ready, and we may need to reconsider the use of our time. Also, something I liked about conference that I felt, is that we need to teach WITH the Spirit, not just having the Spirit as a helper. The Spirit is the real teacher, and our job is to follow it exactly and allow others to feel it. I like the scripture that says the people were angry because they couldn´t help but believe the words that I think it was Nephi in 3 Nephi said because of his faith. I want that for me. I have learned tons on how to teach better. How to ask inspired questions, how to guide the investigators through the lesson, and how to address the lesson directly to their needs. I still have sooo much more to learn though. I´m progressing with the language too. I can understand most of what everyone says now but not all of it, which is difficult when teaching sometimes because the one sentence I miss might completely change what it is I need to say. It´s coming though. I keep praying for that gift of tongues and I feel it gradually coming. Something else I like, is that we need to expect miracles. We´re representatives of Jesus Christ and as such we need to have faith that miracles will happen. For example we need to have faith that the Spirit will work through us, and that people really can change and be converted.

On Thursday we had an appointment but it fell through, and after talking with a ward missionary we saw, the investigator came out and said he actually could make the lesson. After that, all of our appointments were late. We tried to make it to one across our sector by taking a colectivo but all of them were full!! Anyway we were about to finish doing contacts (we´re supposed to do at least 20 a day) which was knocking doors at that time, and go home. It was the last house we were gonna do, and they let us in and were super receptive. It was awesome!! Tonight we have another appointment with them and we´re gonna invite them to be baptized. It was awesome because without all of those appointments falling through and colectivos being full, we wouldn´t have been at that spot. It was a miracle. It´s cool to see how the Lord blesses us so much.

Another miracle. We went out to go running one morning, but Elder Navarrete forgot the keys inside so we were locked out. We prayed. The people here sleep in way later, so the neighbours didn´t answer the door for a while. Finally someone did and we managed to hope the fence into our back yard. The sliding door, which ALWAYS has this bar thing to prevent people from opening it, for some reason wasn´t there and we could slide the door open!! It was incredible!! It´s never out of place but for some reason it was right when we needed it to be. It was amazing. The Lord looks over us so much and blesses us in so many ways.

I love the gospel. I know it´s true. I have it confirmed to me everyday that it is. We have prophets and apostles on the earth today, and we have the Book of Mormon!! Anyone who says the Book of Mormon isn´t true needs to really read it. It can change lives. It´s changed mine. Thomas S. Monson is the Lord´s prophet on the earth today, and he really receives revelation from God for us! I love this gospel and I love this church. Jesus Christ lives. He loves us, and suffered and died for us. This is His church. It´s so important and we need to share it. That´s why I´m here.

Tons of love!

Elder Blomfield