Tuesday, 17 April 2012

MINI MISSION - 9TH APRIL 2012


Family!! I love getting your letters!! I'm glad to hear you had a good Easter.

Dad! Your eye got that swollen?? That's nuts!! I think I inherited your allergies a little bit cause my eyes get red and super itchy after touching a dog or a cat and then my eye. That gun show sounds cool. Where did you go? I dunno why you bothered going when you could have just asked me for a picture of my biceps. Do you like singing in the choir? That's sweet about Andy!! Make sure you pressure him a ton. They've gotta get their butts over here to Canada, and it's gotta be in Calgary. Preferrably in our ward. What kind of stuff will you be talking about and looking at during your trip to Texas? Whereabouts in Texas are you going? How's that well they found doing? That's nuts about the floods near the cabin. A hole 150 feet deep?!?! That's huge!! The cabin's fine now, but is it in danger? That's insane! That's funny about David Archuleta. Maybe he'll come here!! Haha that would be awesome. Thanks for the pictures of Jojo's family! I'm so happy for them, and I'm sure those missionaries are stoked out of their minds! Thanks for sharing your testimony Dad, I really liked it. I'm grateful too for the choice you made to follow the Spirit. I love you.

Mum! I have attached the tax documents and everything's good. I'm glad you like receiving my letters so much!! Hahaha my hair is really blonde. I stand out like a sore thumb all the time. People always yell hello at us and other stuff too. It's pretty ridiculous. A couple weeks ago, some annoying little girls kept giggling while I was writing home, and kept trying to sneak a picture of me. In the end, they just asked and took a picture saying it was for a school project. The next day we were talking to some other kids, and turns out my photo is now on Facebook with me being labeled as a gringo. It was funny but pretty ridiculous. All the other Elders in the zone laughed at me hahaha. People call me a gringo, but gringo refers to people from the US and comes from when the US was at war with Mexico. The Mexicans tried to say "green go", referring to the green uniforms the US army had, and now the word gringo has stuck. I tell people all the time I'm not a gringo and they are shocked as I tell them I'm from Canada and born in England. When people yell gringo at me, my comp taught me to yell Peruvian at them so I can get back at them for assuming I'm from the States. Later, I found out that's pretty offensive to Chilenos cause they typically hate Peru, and my companion was messing around with me. Luckily I only said it a couple times at people I already knew. You had a lot of people over for Easter! Sounds like it was a lot of fun though. That's too bad about the burn in the counter! That's really great about Laura! Send her my congrats. That book sounds cool!! I'm gonna try and implement those things to help me gain the confidence of the people here more. Do what you said, invite that guy to read the Book of Mormon!

Michael! That was weird they didn't announce any temples. I noticed that too. They have an announced temple in Concepción, but there hasn't been any progress on that as far as I know unfortunately. When I said work, I meant missionary work. Like teach, do contacts... work! The members are incredible here, but as in all Chile, there are tons of less actives.  Dude good job on making the soccer team!! I knew you would. That's sweet about giving out that Book of Mormon. Nice work. I know Maeser Hall!! You're gonna have such a blast at BYU Mike. Good job narrating the Easter program! Did you have to memorize stuff or did you just read it? We as missionaries didn't do anything different for Easter, but the customs here are pretty different. To answer your question, Read Alma 32. It's awesome and talks about how to develop more faith. I love verse 16 too, it's good for investigators. So soon til you go to BYU!!! Make sure you enjoy home before you go, because once you leave to university, life will never be the same again. Love you dude.

Charly! What are you doing for the school play? I loved being in the school plays. It was a lot of fun. So you didn't end up doing anything for the talent show? That's a shame. I'm jealous that you had root beer floats. We don't have root beer over here in Chile! It's a shame. I hope everything keeps going well in school and in church and everything! How's it going with your Personal Progress?? Love ya!

Jake! That's good you're improving! Soon you'll beat Dad. Sounds like you're kicking trash in school practices! Have you played against other schools yet? That's good you recognize that eggs aren't the meaning of Easter. The true meaning of Easter is Jesus Christ. I'm so happy for what He did for us. Without Him we wouldn't be able to do anything! Love you!!

So this week was pretty awesome. Here, they call it Holy Week. Last Sunday, there were TONS of people outside buying these branches that are supposed to be used to bless your house or something. It's in memory of the branches that all the people waved and layed on the ground when Jesus entered Jerusalem. It's also not called Good Friday, it's called Holy Friday. Another tradition is not to eat meat during the week, and to only eat fish. I think that's something to do with that back in the day, only rich people could eat meat. I'm not sure if that's a national tradition or a religious tradition though. Also, some people basically don't have parties, don't work, and dedicate more time to the Lord. For some it's like a week, or a few days at least, of the Sabbath Day. Unfortunately, those are the only days that people keep holy!

On Wednesday at about 11 at night, we found out that the next day we were going to have a mini mission. Two Priest-aged youth were going to accompany all the missionaries in a few stakes around here. We found out the night before (because they forgot to tell us beforehand) that the next day we had to be in Penco at 1 in the afternoon. We had to change all our plans, and the Branch President (who also recently found out) had to keep them in his house and fed them breakfast and once, but it was pretty cool. They were our companions for a few days. My companion was called Matías Figueroa, called Hermano Figueroa during the mini mission. Elder Arancibia's companion was called Hermano Martínez. Hermano Figueroa is 16 years old from Chillan. We had to do a bunch of travelling so lost a bunch of time on Thursday. We studied together and practiced teaching during our study time in the mornings. It was like training a new missionary. I realized how much progress I've made as a missionary! Hermano Figueroa was awesome. A really senstive and spiritual guy. I learned a lot from him about loving everyone and following the Spirit. We practiced inviting people to baptism a bunch which was really cool.

On Friday, we went to a little town called Ranguelmo about 20 minutes from Coelemu, while Elder Arancibia stayed in Coelemu with his comp. It was pretty good, but we were only there for about 2 hours. On Saturday, we went after lunch at about 4 o'clock, and were there for the whole day. It was incredible! I think it's been years since missionaries have gone to Ranguelmo. Between the two companionships, we taught 7 lessons in about 4 hours, all of which came from doing contacts. We found 9 new investigators (those are the ones that we are going to keep working with because some didn't show sufficient interest to want to progress), 8 of which accepted a baptismal date. The mission standards are 10 new investigators every week, and 8 have people with a baptismal date at the end of every week. We did the work of one week in one day in that sense. It was incredible!! Ranguelmo is an incredibly Evangelical little town. Even more than Coelemu. At the end of the day, Elder Arancibia heard people talking as they came out of their church meetings about a russian (what they use to describe blondes) with some other guy who had come into Ranguelmo. After one day, it seems like the people are already taking notice of us. It felt so cool walking into the town. It was like opening a new sector in a place that hadn't seen missionaries for a long time. We went in there thinking, "it's time to put an end to the apostasy here." We have the vision of one day opening a branch there. I'm so excited. With Hermano Figeuroa we felt the Spirit so strong, and I'm so pumped to work more over there. Unfortunately, no one went to church again this week... I don't blame the people that we found on Saturday for not going because it's really short notice, but this week we are going to focus completely on getting people to church. We're going to talk about it in every lesson, study the doctrine, and follow the Spirit.

I felt the Spirit really strongly this week, and felt the Lord's love. I trust more in His Spirit. Pray for us this week. It's been a huge learning experience, especially as I've thought about the Easter season and the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Saviour. I know the Lord will bless us, but I need to do my part.

I know this is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, and His true church. It's nothing less!! I love sharing this message. I'm developing a passion for talking about the restoration and the first vision. I just love it so much!! I love the Book of Mormon, and I love the Lord. I can't wait to work more in Ranguelmo and see more miracles.

Thank you so much for all your support and love. I love you all!! I hope everything is going well.

¡Chao!

Elder Blomfield