Sunday, 18 March 2012

COELEMU - 12TH MARCH 2012

Family! So great to hear from you all. Thanks for all the pictures and everything too!! Thanks also to everyone else who sent me some letters!! I got something from the Lloyds and from the Biggs, and also an email from Grandma and Grandad Steward. Thanks so much to everyone!

Dad! That's awesome about that stake conference! Too bad you didn't get to see Elder Cook in person like I did hahaha. That's so cool that JoJo's going to the temple! I'm so excited for him. I remember when he talked about his experience doing baptisms in the temple and he said it was like heaven. Going through the temple completely is even greater. That's awesome that Grandma and Grandad are going to Mexico! They'll have a blast. I'd like to revisit after my mission to be able to talk to everyone in Spanish! Those pictures are awesome. Looks like you had so much fun, especially the elephant ride!! Mum! It is really cool that you've been able to visit so many places in the world. I think the Lord has really blessed us as a family. I have the best family in the world. I really am grateful for all that you and Dad have done for me, physically and spiritually. I've seen a lot of people and families who really struggle to stay active in the church here, and it makes me so grateful that you and Dad have been so strong. I think the sadest thing I can imagine would be if our family was broken up or if someone fell away from the church. That's interesting about those promises from Elder Cook. Let me know if you find anything out about that! I know what you mean when you talked about feeling the Spirit in our churches and temples. There's just a warmth that's felt, which is the Spirit. That's what I love about our church. It isn't based simply on tradition or on emotions, it's really the Church of Jesus Christ. By the way, still nothing on the package.

Michael!  I'm really proud that you've decided to set standards for yourself. There are so many people nowadays who don't do that, and it's really a shame. It's important to understand that obedience to the commandments brings happiness, and aren't simply restrictions. No matter what anyone says, obeying the Lord is always better. That's nuts about Jarin!! I bet that was a pretty intense experience. It's good they managed to help two of the people, but it's sad one of them didn't make it. That's so awesome about Shane!!!! Congratulate him for me. Sharing the gospel is great. Get the missionaries over to Josh's house.
P.S. - My tooth is still dead, but I forgive you.

Charly! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! WHAT THE HECK YOU'RE ALMOST 14!!! That's not ok. You're so old!! Going to the dances now and driving... That just sounds like problems waiting to happen. Hahaha I'm so excited for you. Have you been studying to take your learners test?? Good luck!!! That's too bad about your braces, but you'll be happy later on for having had them.

Jake! That's too bad about your eyes. Having to wear glasses is kind of annoying, but it isn't too bad. I remember when I was 14 the same thing started happening to me. You got a black tie? Awesome. I'm excited to get mine too!! How goes young mens? Are you working on your Duty to God? How goes Junior High?

So I'm in Coelemu! It's WAY different than Talca. It's tiny, and super quiet. It's a lot prettier though. The branch I serve in is tiny. This week, 24 people went to church, including us. It's crazy. My companion is Elder Arancibia. This is his third cambio in the mission, and he's awesome. He's from La Cerena which is up north. Yesterday we had a confirmation, and we have someone else lined up for baptism this upcoming week. Pretty good way to start of a cambio!! The only problem is that we don't really have anyone else who's progressed. This past week wasn't too hot as we lost a lot of time with the cambios and doing a companionship exchange (the zone leaders live an hour and a half away). In our zone we have two districts. In my district, the zone leaders are acting as district leaders. I already know one zone leader, Elder Daines, cause he lived with my old zone leaders before in Talca, and the other zone leader, Elder Braken, was Elder Nogales's previous companion. They are awesome.

We had a minicambio last week (comp exchange) to do an interview for Ana Muñoz who was gonna get baptized last week, but she doesn't feel quite ready. She's gonna get baptized this upcoming Sunday if everything goes well. It turns out the missionaries hadn't finished teaching her everything, so we're gonna get on that this week. For the minicambio I went to Tomé which is close to Concepción. It's gigantic with tons of hills and it's on the coast. The zone leaders aren't companions, so I partnered up with Elder Braken's companion who's in his second cambio, Elder Diaz (from Colombia) for the day. It's weird thinking that I'm not one of the newbies anymore. It's really sad actually. The upside is that I look at my progress in organization, teaching, language, and dedication, and I feel like I've improved immensely.

In Coelemu, there are tons of Evangelicals, with your fair share of Catholics too. Apparently some people won't even read a pamphlet we leave them without asking permission from their pastors (In Spanish, pastor means shepherd, I had no idea). We can tell where the pastors live because their houses are gigantic and they have tons of money. It's interesting in lessons when we pray and the people are talking saying things like "amen Lord" throughout the prayer.

In church, we bless the sacrament, and I'm playing the piano, or rather the keyboard. There are only 3 members with the Melchizedek Priesthood - the Branch President and his two counselors. There are tons of less actives here (like in all of Chile), and we're trying to help them out. The branch needs a lot of help because there is no leadership, and because there are so few faithful members. I'm so excited though because we're gonna have a ton of success here, I can feel it. We're going to help this branch grow, and the Lord is going to bless us. It's gonna be a completely different experience, seeing as we have to be the blood of the branch.

Basically, this is going to be a GREAT sector. We are going to work hard, pray hard, and love the people. I love being a missionary so much. My testimony has grown so much, along with my love for the Lord and my dedication to serve Him. I'm going to do everything I can to help Him here. This is His work, and He wants us to have success, so we're going to have it. I know that this is God's church. Everything just makes so much sense when we have the Spirit!! I love life, especially as a missionary. The Lord blesses us so much.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support everyone. I hope you're all having the chance to share the gospel too. I love you all so much!!

¡Chao!

Elder Blomfield