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