Monday, 23 July 2012

ANOTHER MIRACULOUS WEEK IN LA PRADERA - 23 JULY 2012


Family! You're the best ever. Thanks for all the birthday goodies!! The chocolate was delicious, and my companion and zone leaders loved it too. The new shoes are awesome too!! I'm surprised the other ones have lasted so well as they have! Still no holes or anything! The voice recorder was AWESOME! Everyone was listening to the messages, although I think only Elder Chilcote, the gringo, understood. Also, thanks for the music and everything!! Also the Canadian stuff was also awesome. It's always good to get a little bit of a dig in with the gringos (United Stateseans) with my Canadian stuff. Loved the birthday message video too. Thank you so much!!! For my birthday, we worked, and had some pretty awesome miracles, which I'll tell you about in the letter. Also, last week I spent about $25 on stuff from the lds online store, like movies and stuff, from the credit card.

Dad! Elder Chilcote is from Utah, and Elder Morales is from Bolivia. My comp, Elder Durán, is from Santiago. I really like what you said from that John Bytheway message. I think it's important to find the balance between being friends with the people and teaching the doctrine. Missionaries who are only friends with their investigators don't see real spiritual progress, although the people may go to church and possibly even get baptized. The other side, as that really hard and cold missionaries don't gain the people's trust. I like that what you said too about Nephi. It's so important to see everything with a positive attitude. Negativity is basically a lack of faith and gratitude, and therefore the Lord cannot bless us as much. Negative attitude gives negative results. It's important to always look at life as the adventure that it is! We can sit and complain, or go out and act. I think one of the main things I've learned is the importance of just getting up and doing it when something needs to be done. I'm glad Dad that you've always helped inspire me to look for my own testimony. I always tell everyone how grateful I am for you and Mum. What you did for me was so important. What I loved is that you taught me correct principles, had rules, but allowed me to make my own choices. I know I didn't always make the best ones, but I feel like it helped give me the spiritual independence I needed. That's pretty crazy about Vicky going on a mission! What made her decide that? It was cool to read Ross's letter!! I bet he's tearing it up over there in Paraguay. They baptize a lot there. Chile is now in the South American area in the church and is no longer it's own area. Beforehand, the Misión Chile Concepción was the highest baptizing mission in the area, but now we're 13th! It's time to get on that and step things up. That's cool that Jordan got married! Congrats. Dad, you are the best. Love ya tons!!!

Mum! I'm so old!! I got both packages. Thank you so much!! Hahaha I'm glad you liked the interview. I talked a little bit too fast and was a little nervous haha. I'm working on clearing up my accent. The goal is that the people think I'm Chilean when I talk on the phone. It's happened a couple times, but there's still the odd time when someone doesn't catch what I say, especially if I'm tired, or when it's cold outside. For some reason when it's cold out it's hard for me to move my tongue around so fast hahaha. I know soon you'll see success as a member missionary Mum. Remember that no effort is wasted!! I think learning to recognize and obey the Spirit immediately are so important. It's hard, but now that you said that, I think that's what I would like to work on. Sometimes those simple little thoughts or ideas are impressions. The Lord knows where the prepared people are and knows what I need to say to them. He knows what you need to say too! I'm glad everyone had a blast at the cabin. Too bad everyone got sick though. Mum, reading your message for some reason just gave me a big umph to kick it up a knotch. This week we're gonna work our guts out. Thanks Mum! Love ya!

Michael! I celebrated my birthday with some investigators, one of which has the same birthday as me! As a district leader I basically help out the missionaries to reach their potential and to overcome obstacles. I call and take their numbers, do minicambios (splits?) and teach a class in district meeting every week. The members in this ward are great. It's really strong!! WAYY different than Coelemu. That's really sad about the Batman opening with that maniac!! Some people are so lost... it's so sad. Mike, you're gonna be a way better missionary than I am I'm sure of it. You're gonna learn from all my mistakes, and plus you're way smarter and more disciplined. You'll be great. YOU ROCK! Love you bro.

Charly! You found spiders in your bed? That's crazy!! Haha luckily they weren't corner spiders like we have here, or you'd have been in the hospital! So the new Spiderman is good? There are a whole bunch of advertisements about it here, and it seems like it's a pretty big deal! I don't really know anything about it though. I'm kind of cut of from those things as a missionary haha. You never told me why EFY isn't staying over night! Charly, thanks for sharing your testimony, and keep strengthening it!! You're awesome Char. Love you!

Jake! I know I'm so old!! But so are you. I'm glad you had fun in Idaho. I bet it was a blast. That's cool about Spiderman. Sounds like a bunch of really cool movies have come out or are gonna come out while I'm away! Thanks for sharing your testimony buddy. Did you go skiing and wakeboarding at Idaho? What was your favourite part? Was it a lot of fun with all the relatives from England too? Love ya Jake!

Kenna! That's sweet about your birthday presents and about your kneeboarding. Sounds like you're a pro!! Did you like doing it? I think next year you'll have to try skiing!! You're so old now I can't believe it. SEVEN YEARS OLD!! The time goes by so fast!!! Love ya Kenna!


I have to tell you something that happened last week on my first day in the sector that I didn't write last week. The sector we have is a little bit sketchy in some parts. For example, the other night we heard a gunshot in a lesson which was pretty interesting. On my first day, Elder Durán was telling me that the sector was a little bit dangerous. At night, all of the four of us arrived at the house, and the door was open. We slowly walked in, and suddenly two flashlights, those flashlights that strap to your head, came on, and these three guys started shouting at us and told us to get on the ground. One of them had a huge kitchen knife and the other one had a gun. I took out my wallet and handed it to them, and so did the other Elders. I thought we must have interrupted them while they were robbing our house. I had my hands in the air and my head down, and one of them stuck the gun to my head and told me to put my hands on my head, so I did. Anyway, they turned the lights on and told us not to look up at them. During this, Elder Morales was crying and Elder Chilcote was freaking out next to me saying, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!" To be honest, I thought they were being big wimps!! During the whole thing, I was all tense, but felt calm, knowing that there was no better place to die than the mission. Suddenly, someone laughed, I looked up, and it was a joke!!! Our 20-year-old ward mission leader, another Priest from the ward, and the ex-policeman investigator that lives right behind us, had faked the whole thing. The other Elders had handed them the keys and planned the prank. It was absolutely brilliant! I almost died laughing. It was the best. Quite a warm welcome to La Pradera.

This week was awesome. On Tuesday, I taught the district about the importance of the commitments in the conversion process and how our job is basically only to inspire them to do those things and not to convince them in a lesson. On Wednesday I did a minicambio with one of the Elders, and we put 4 baptismal dates together with a family that we found. It was pretty good! On Thursday, I did a baptismal interview and the person got baptized on Sunday. On Friday, we had a zone conference, and learned more about the importance of commitments, and how to basically put all the pressure on the investigators and help them understand that their conversion will only come if they do the things we invite them to do. It was pretty awesome. Also, I got a big chocolate bar cause it was my birthday haha. It was my year mark.

On Saturday, it was miracle-day. So we started off the morning by painting an ex-members house for service, then after lunch went to an investigators house who had her birthday too. Her name's Carmen. Her 20-year-old sister Nicole and her 15-year-old cousin Gabriela are the ones who are progressing though. Each has been to church more than 3 times. Unfortunately, neither of them really has been progressing towards baptism, and they haven't been reading or praying. Anyway, we ate completos (hot dogs with avocado and tomato) and some cake. MIRACLE 1 - The father's cousin, a gypsy, who left the house once when we came to get away from us, had stayed in the house to be able to speak with us. She's got pretty bad diabetes (by the way, almost all the Chile at least has a little bit of diabetes but the treatment isn't quite so advanced) and wants to draw nearer to God. We took her and Gabriela to a baptism that some sisters in the zone were having. It was great. MIRACLE 2 - Gabriela, who really wasn't looking good for her baptism, especially not for this week when she has her date for, felt the Spirit really strong in the baptism and is working now to get baptized this weekend. Pray for her!! She felt it really strong and completely opened up to us. She went to church yesterday. MIRACLE 3 - We've been working with a recent convert's husband and grandson. The husband, Jaime, smokes, and has been progressing slowly. Richard, the grandson, has been to church a bunch but hardly has any teaching from the missionaries. We had an FHE with the family and with Richard's mum. We taught about baptism and the restoration. The mum gave him permission to get baptized. MIRACLE 4 - He accepted to prepare himself for this weekend. We don't want to rush him, so if we feel that he's not ready, we'll postpone it. THE LORD'S BLESSING US!!!!!

Basically, it was a pretty miraculous day. WOO HOO!!! Also, I ate a ton. In church, we had 3 people that went. Gabriela and her friend Javiera (same as last week) and another non-member who's living together with a recent convert (don't ask me how she got baptized without getting married, I have no idea), and that's working on his divorce papers. It wasn't a really great day in church, as a lot of other people bailed out on us, but the Lord blessed us anyway.

We're really working on qualifying our investigators better this week. We have a lot of potential here in this sector, and I know the Lord's got people here ready for us!! We just need to work harder and be more spiritually in tune. I'm so excited to get out and work some more. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!! I KNOW THIS IS TRUE!! Keep sharing the gospel family. Love you tons.

¡Chao!

Elder Blomfield







NEW SECTOR - 16TH JULY 2012


Family!! So great to hear from you!! Sounds like you've had a pretty eventful week!

Dad!  I tried sending you a recording of last week's interview last week, but I'll give it another shot. I think maybe that's why the email didn't go through to everyone. I'll try sending it separately. Sounds like that camp was a blast!! I bet you're tired haha. In the river float did everyone go on tubes, or were there people in rafts or kayaks too? How do you like your calling? Is it a lot of fun? That's great that so many people enjoyed the camped and felt their testimonies strengthened. That's the greatest feeling ever, seeing that someone else's testimony has been strengthened. It makes you see that all your efforts are worthwhile. That's good that Ken went to camp! Get him baptized. That's awesome that Susana and Kamy are here! Say hi to them for me. I can't believe it's already Stampede time!! I remember the Stampede... I'm sure Michael's eye does too. I was thinking and talking with my companion this week about the importance of home teaching. It seems like here it's something that the people struggle to do. We were talking about the importance of it, and I came to understand why in the church people always stress it so much. I saw it like going and visiting someone, sharing something for half an hour, and leaving, when they're already doing ok. Now I realize that it's those visits which help keep people on track and can help bring back lost sheep. I started to think about my home teaching experience with you, and now I see the importance of it. I really am thankful to you for always being so diligent with that. From a young age it's one of the things that caught my attention. You always did your home teaching. Thanks Dad, I know that you've been able to bless people's lives through that, and you've set a great example for me. Love you!

Mum! The kitchen looks incredible!! It's been a long battle to get it done but it looks great!!! Can we trade kitchens?? That's funny about Maya and Lily fighting over Kenna. For some reason I can't seem to imagine Lily talking! She's too little!! I love how we still have that flyer route. How long have we had that route for now?? That's good that you had the opportunity to share the gospel with that contractor. It's so important that we leave a good impression on the people that we come in contact with. As a missionary, we are constantly wearing the black name tag and that with my blonde hair makes us stick out like a sore thumb, and we always have to behave as representatives of Jesus Christ. All the members of the church have taken the name of Christ upon themselves at baptism, and really we always need to act in such a way that the people will be attracted to know more about Christ and His restored gospel. Being an example of the believers is so important with missionary work. Still no news on the packages yet, but I think that soon I'll have em. That's crazy that Adam's coming back so soon!! Time goes by way too fast... Love you Mum!

Michael! A few people mentioned that they heard us on the radio which was pretty cool. We talked about basic stuff, and tried to focus it all on Jesus Christ, because so many people have the false conception that we worship Joseph Smith. I think Satan made up that lie, and even tricks less actives into thinking that. It's unfortunate because anyone who goes to church can clearly see that we don't worship Joseph Smith, and that Jesus Christ has always been the head of the church. I'm so happy you received the Melchizedek Priesthood!! It's so incredible. It really is powerful Mike. This week we gave a blessing to someone, and she got better almost right away. I've seen miracle after miracle as I've been able to give blessings, and now you have that authority! Live worthy so that you can have the power of the Priesthood. Read D&C 121 to learn more about the nature of Priesthood authority, and how to have the right to use it. It's really good. To answer your question about if the majority will go to the Celestial Kingdom, of that I'm not completely sure. I used to think that the majority would, but now I see it a little differently. First off, we have to understand the nature of the Kingdoms of Glory. The Telestial Kingdom will not be a place of suffering or punishment, but is a reward to those who kept their first estate but failed their second. If you read in D&C 76 you can see the requirements for each kingdom. Read it. Basically, from my understanding, the punishment comes before the resurrection. The people who go to the Celestial Kingdom don't suffer anything (except for specific and serious sins), because through the gospel of Jesus Christ, they have become cleansed of their sins, purified in their hearts, and through temple ordinances have made specific covenants and obtained specific knowledge necessary to live with God the Father in the Celestial Kingdom. The terrestrial kingdom people are good people who were blinded by men in this life, and who weren't valiant or diligent in following Christ and keeping His commandments. Afterwards, they can repent in the spirit world and live on Earth during the Millenium, but will not live in the Celestial Kingdom afterwards. They will, however, at the end, be saved from Satan's influence (hell) and saved from physical death. They will not, however, be able to live in the presence of God the Father. Only Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost will be able to minister to them. The Telestial Kingdom is for people who do not repent after dying, and who will suffer during the Millenium before being redeemed from death through the Resurrection. There will be a lot of those. D&C 76:109 "But behold, and lo, we saw the glory and the inhabitants of the telestial world, that they were as innumerable as the stars in the firmament of heaven, or as the sand upon the seashore;" Even they will be saved from death and hell at the end. D&C 19 explains what hell means, and how although it says everlasting and eternal punishment in the scriptures, it is more to express the intensity of the suffering than the length of time. Only the sons of perdition will literally suffer forever. I think that God's plan is a successful plan, but the blessings of exaltation in His presence are limited to those who are faithful and diligent in this life, and those who trust in Christ and repent of their sins. If everyone was going to be saved in the Celestial Kingdom, this life wouldn't be so important and neither would missionary work. 3 Nephi 14:14 "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." That's my stance on it. Feel free to ask questions haha, even though I don't know that much. You went skinny dipping? I'm glad I wasn't present. I'm glad you had so much fun at the camp!! Nice work saving the wayward tubers. I hope you have fun at the cabin!! That's cool that Mackenzie's going too! Have a lot of fun. Thanks for your testimony. You rock. Love you!

Charly! I'm glad you liked your camp!! Good job on winning funniest skit. How many young women are there in the ward? What kind of crafts did you do? Could you write me your testimony next week? I'd like to read it. I hope you have a blast at the cabin!!! Love you Char!!

Jake! What was you favourite part about the camp?? Did you go skinny dipping too? Was the water cold when you went tubing?? I love tubing so much. HAPPY BIRTHDAY NEXT WEEK!!! You're so old!! Next thing you know and you'll be here on a mission. Who knows, maybe even in Concepción! Is that a new ice cream size that they have?? Could you send me your testimony next week please? How goes your scripture study? Love you Jake!

Kenna! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! I bet you're gonna have so much fun at the cabin!! How do you feel with your birthday coming up?? I love you Kenna!!


So today there are cambios... My hopes have been dashed! I'm outta here... I'm really sad cause I absolutely love Coelemu, but I'm excited to have new experiences too. I'm headed to Chiguayante which is a zone near Concepción, and I'm gonna be a District Leader. I feel a huge responsiblity!! I'm happy that my son is so awesome though, and I trust completely in him to take care of the branch here. We've seen so many miracles together, and it's gonna be sad to split up and leave. The branch has progressed so much. Yesterday we had 5 less actives in church, with 2 investigators. We were so happy to see so many less actives come. One committed to go the night before, and when I called her in the morning yesterday, she said she couldn't go cause her mother was sick. I was gutted, but then when I got to church she was there and had pulled a joke on me!! Haha I was so happy. Another family also, that we've been working with forever, was gonna come to surprise us also, but slept in. The son came though, and we were so happy to see the fruits of our efforts with the less actives. We've seen such a huge change with the Branch President too. When I got here, he criticized us and yelled at us several times, and he along with all the members was discouraged. Now he respects and supports us, and when I called him to let him know about the cambios, he said some really nice things, and was sad that I was leaving which was nice coming from someone like him. Yesterday, we were so happy to see as he pulled in several people to interview them. Rosa Hernandez, who got baptized just before I got here, was called as the Relief Society secretary. Norma Rivas, David's wife, was called as the Young Women's 2nd counselor, and another sister was called as the 1st counselor in the Young Womens. To top it all off, David received the Aaronic Priesthood. It was such an incredible day yesterday to see the growth of the Branch. I haven't baptized much here, but I feel like we've seen a lot of progress with the growth of the branch. I'm so happy. My dream is to see David and his wife sealed as I finish my mission and go to the temple in Santiago, and to come back one day and see a flourishing ward in Coelemu. I know it's possible, and with my awesome companion taking care of it, I know it'll continue to grow. I love Coelemu so much, and it's gonna be hard to leave. I feel like such a vital part of the branch as a missionary, and it's a lot different in a big ward.

This week I learned a lot about faith. I love Moroni 7:33 which says "And Christ hath said: if ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me." Through faith, I can do anything the Lord asks. If we want to increase our faith, we have to diligently pray, study, and obey. I really liked what I learned, cause I want to have more faith as a missionary. Through faith, we can cause good things to happen in our own lives and in the lives of others. The Lord will then be able to work miracles in people's lives and prepare them for the restored gospel. Also, I'll be able to grow more. I think it's interesting how the Lord simply asks for a broken heart and contrite spirit. He asks us to be humble and moldable and then blesses us and strengthens us. I'm so grateful to the Savior for His great sacrifice and because through Him I can change and grow. I want to be more humble and trust more in Him so that I can be an instrument in His hands. Faith is manifest when we are diligent and positive in the hardest moments. It's easy to be positive and work hard when everything goes well, but it's difficult when things are difficult. I think my greatest lesson learned with Elder Silva is the importance of trusting in the Lord and the importance of maintaining a positive attitude. I love this work.

This week we got into a house and they basically just attacked us. It was a woman and her daughter. Both were catholics. The daughter, in her twenties, got all mad at her for letting us in and that we were being a bother and talked about how terrible the church is believing in something so absurd as someone seeing God and translating a "new Bible" and how we were a terrible church cause the chapel isn't open that much and cause we waste so much money on building nice buildings and how we don't do any humanitarian work. It was tough not to just "open fire" and completely attack her church, considering that everything she said against us can be said a thousand times worse against her own church. It was sad to see someone so hardened, but it doesn't change the fact that this is the truth!

I know this is all true!!! The church is true! Jesus Christ is our Saviour! Joseph Smith was a prophet, and the church of Jesus Christ is on the Earth once more! I know it!! The Book of Mormon is true!! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!

Love you all family, and I hope you have a blast in the cabin. I'll tell you next week what my new sector's like!!

¡Chao!

Elder  Blomfield


CAMBIOS - I'M OUTTA HERE - 9TH JULY 2012


Family!! So great to hear from you!! Sounds like you've had a pretty eventful week!

Dad!  I tried sending you a recording of last week's interview last week, but I'll give it another shot. I think maybe that's why the email didn't go through to everyone. I'll try sending it separately. Sounds like that camp was a blast!! I bet you're tired haha. In the river float did everyone go on tubes, or were there people in rafts or kayaks too? How do you like your calling? Is it a lot of fun? That's great that so many people enjoyed the camped and felt their testimonies strengthened. That's the greatest feeling ever, seeing that someone else's testimony has been strengthened. It makes you see that all your efforts are worthwhile. That's good that Ken went to camp! Get him baptized. That's awesome that Susana and Kamy are here! Say hi to them for me. I can't believe it's already Stampede time!! I remember the Stampede... I'm sure Michael's eye does too. I was thinking and talking with my companion this week about the importance of home teaching. It seems like here it's something that the people struggle to do. We were talking about the importance of it, and I came to understand why in the church people always stress it so much. I saw it like going and visiting someone, sharing something for half an hour, and leaving, when they're already doing ok. Now I realize that it's those visits which help keep people on track and can help bring back lost sheep. I started to think about my home teaching experience with you, and now I see the importance of it. I really am thankful to you for always being so diligent with that. From a young age it's one of the things that caught my attention. You always did your home teaching. Thanks Dad, I know that you've been able to bless people's lives through that, and you've set a great example for me. Love you!

Mum! The kitchen looks incredible!! It's been a long battle to get it done but it looks great!!! Can we trade kitchens?? That's funny about Maya and Lily fighting over Kenna. For some reason I can't seem to imagine Lily talking! She's too little!! I love how we still have that flyer route. How long have we had that route for now?? That's good that you had the opportunity to share the gospel with that contractor. It's so important that we leave a good impression on the people that we come in contact with. As a missionary, we are constantly wearing the black name tag and that with my blonde hair makes us stick out like a sore thumb, and we always have to behave as representatives of Jesus Christ. All the members of the church have taken the name of Christ upon themselves at baptism, and really we always need to act in such a way that the people will be attracted to know more about Christ and His restored gospel. Being an example of the believers is so important with missionary work. Still no news on the packages yet, but I think that soon I'll have em. That's crazy that Adam's coming back so soon!! Time goes by way too fast... Love you Mum!

Michael! A few people mentioned that they heard us on the radio which was pretty cool. We talked about basic stuff, and tried to focus it all on Jesus Christ, because so many people have the false conception that we worship Joseph Smith. I think Satan made up that lie, and even tricks less actives into thinking that. It's unfortunate because anyone who goes to church can clearly see that we don't worship Joseph Smith, and that Jesus Christ has always been the head of the church. I'm so happy you received the Melchizedek Priesthood!! It's so incredible. It really is powerful Mike. This week we gave a blessing to someone, and she got better almost right away. I've seen miracle after miracle as I've been able to give blessings, and now you have that authority! Live worthy so that you can have the power of the Priesthood. Read D&C 121 to learn more about the nature of Priesthood authority, and how to have the right to use it. It's really good. To answer your question about if the majority will go to the Celestial Kingdom, of that I'm not completely sure. I used to think that the majority would, but now I see it a little differently. First off, we have to understand the nature of the Kingdoms of Glory. The Telestial Kingdom will not be a place of suffering or punishment, but is a reward to those who kept their first estate but failed their second. If you read in D&C 76 you can see the requirements for each kingdom. Read it. Basically, from my understanding, the punishment comes before the resurrection. The people who go to the Celestial Kingdom don't suffer anything (except for specific and serious sins), because through the gospel of Jesus Christ, they have become cleansed of their sins, purified in their hearts, and through temple ordinances have made specific covenants and obtained specific knowledge necessary to live with God the Father in the Celestial Kingdom. The terrestrial kingdom people are good people who were blinded by men in this life, and who weren't valiant or diligent in following Christ and keeping His commandments. Afterwards, they can repent in the spirit world and live on Earth during the Millenium, but will not live in the Celestial Kingdom afterwards. They will, however, at the end, be saved from Satan's influence (hell) and saved from physical death. They will not, however, be able to live in the presence of God the Father. Only Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost will be able to minister to them. The Telestial Kingdom is for people who do not repent after dying, and who will suffer during the Millenium before being redeemed from death through the Resurrection. There will be a lot of those. D&C 76:109 "But behold, and lo, we saw the glory and the inhabitants of the telestial world, that they were as innumerable as the stars in the firmament of heaven, or as the sand upon the seashore;" Even they will be saved from death and hell at the end. D&C 19 explains what hell means, and how although it says everlasting and eternal punishment in the scriptures, it is more to express the intensity of the suffering than the length of time. Only the sons of perdition will literally suffer forever. I think that God's plan is a successful plan, but the blessings of exaltation in His presence are limited to those who are faithful and diligent in this life, and those who trust in Christ and repent of their sins. If everyone was going to be saved in the Celestial Kingdom, this life wouldn't be so important and neither would missionary work. 3 Nephi 14:14 "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." That's my stance on it. Feel free to ask questions haha, even though I don't know that much. You went skinny dipping? I'm glad I wasn't present. I'm glad you had so much fun at the camp!! Nice work saving the wayward tubers. I hope you have fun at the cabin!! That's cool that Mackenzie's going too! Have a lot of fun. Thanks for your testimony. You rock. Love you!

Charly! I'm glad you liked your camp!! Good job on winning funniest skit. How many young women are there in the ward? What kind of crafts did you do? Could you write me your testimony next week? I'd like to read it. I hope you have a blast at the cabin!!! Love you Char!!

Jake! What was you favourite part about the camp?? Did you go skinny dipping too? Was the water cold when you went tubing?? I love tubing so much. HAPPY BIRTHDAY NEXT WEEK!!! You're so old!! Next thing you know and you'll be here on a mission. Who knows, maybe even in Concepción! Is that a new ice cream size that they have?? Could you send me your testimony next week please? How goes your scripture study? Love you Jake!

Kenna! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! I bet you're gonna have so much fun at the cabin!! How do you feel with your birthday coming up?? I love you Kenna!!


So today there are cambios... My hopes have been dashed! I'm outta here... I'm really sad cause I absolutely love Coelemu, but I'm excited to have new experiences too. I'm headed to Chiguayante which is a zone near Concepción, and I'm gonna be a District Leader. I feel a huge responsiblity!! I'm happy that my son is so awesome though, and I trust completely in him to take care of the branch here. We've seen so many miracles together, and it's gonna be sad to split up and leave. The branch has progressed so much. Yesterday we had 5 less actives in church, with 2 investigators. We were so happy to see so many less actives come. One committed to go the night before, and when I called her in the morning yesterday, she said she couldn't go cause her mother was sick. I was gutted, but then when I got to church she was there and had pulled a joke on me!! Haha I was so happy. Another family also, that we've been working with forever, was gonna come to surprise us also, but slept in. The son came though, and we were so happy to see the fruits of our efforts with the less actives. We've seen such a huge change with the Branch President too. When I got here, he criticized us and yelled at us several times, and he along with all the members was discouraged. Now he respects and supports us, and when I called him to let him know about the cambios, he said some really nice things, and was sad that I was leaving which was nice coming from someone like him. Yesterday, we were so happy to see as he pulled in several people to interview them. Rosa Hernandez, who got baptized just before I got here, was called as the Relief Society secretary. Norma Rivas, David's wife, was called as the Young Women's 2nd counselor, and another sister was called as the 1st counselor in the Young Womens. To top it all off, David received the Aaronic Priesthood. It was such an incredible day yesterday to see the growth of the Branch. I haven't baptized much here, but I feel like we've seen a lot of progress with the growth of the branch. I'm so happy. My dream is to see David and his wife sealed as I finish my mission and go to the temple in Santiago, and to come back one day and see a flourishing ward in Coelemu. I know it's possible, and with my awesome companion taking care of it, I know it'll continue to grow. I love Coelemu so much, and it's gonna be hard to leave. I feel like such a vital part of the branch as a missionary, and it's a lot different in a big ward.

This week I learned a lot about faith. I love Moroni 7:33 which says "And Christ hath said: if ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me." Through faith, I can do anything the Lord asks. If we want to increase our faith, we have to diligently pray, study, and obey. I really liked what I learned, cause I want to have more faith as a missionary. Through faith, we can cause good things to happen in our own lives and in the lives of others. The Lord will then be able to work miracles in people's lives and prepare them for the restored gospel. Also, I'll be able to grow more. I think it's interesting how the Lord simply asks for a broken heart and contrite spirit. He asks us to be humble and moldable and then blesses us and strengthens us. I'm so grateful to the Savior for His great sacrifice and because through Him I can change and grow. I want to be more humble and trust more in Him so that I can be an instrument in His hands. Faith is manifest when we are diligent and positive in the hardest moments. It's easy to be positive and work hard when everything goes well, but it's difficult when things are difficult. I think my greatest lesson learned with Elder Silva is the importance of trusting in the Lord and the importance of maintaining a positive attitude. I love this work.

This week we got into a house and they basically just attacked us. It was a woman and her daughter. Both were catholics. The daughter, in her twenties, got all mad at her for letting us in and that we were being a bother and talked about how terrible the church is believing in something so absurd as someone seeing God and translating a "new Bible" and how we were a terrible church cause the chapel isn't open that much and cause we waste so much money on building nice buildings and how we don't do any humanitarian work. It was tough not to just "open fire" and completely attack her church, considering that everything she said against us can be said a thousand times worse against her own church. It was sad to see someone so hardened, but it doesn't change the fact that this is the truth!

I know this is all true!!! The church is true! Jesus Christ is our Saviour! Joseph Smith was a prophet, and the church of Jesus Christ is on the Earth once more! I know it!! The Book of Mormon is true!! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!

Love you all family, and I hope you have a blast in the cabin. I'll tell you next week what my new sector's like!!

¡Chao!

Elder  Blomfield


2 JULY 2012

Family! Thanks so much for all your letters, and thanks for the video!! It's crazy to see how much everyone has grown!! Happy Canada Day to everyone!!
Dad! Nice work with your soccer game getting a hat trick!! Are there tournaments and stuff in your league? What position are you guys in? Who's on the team? How did they trick you with Charly's license? No one told me what happened! Is the YM camp for all the young men or something? Have you ever gone to a winter camp? That's cool that Susana and Kami are coming. They need to just get on the band wagon and move over here already. Thanks for fasting for me, I really appreciate it!! I liked what you said about the importance of loving the people. There are times when we have to be really direct and bold when we teach, and unless we do it out of sincere love for the person, they will just get bothered and won't respond. I saw that this week with a less-active family that we've been working with for quite a while. They don't go because of problems with leaders and members. We've visited them a lot, but last night we were really intense and direct. We basically told them how sad we were that they were choosing not to follow Christ because a few people did them wrong. It was a really tense moment, but we did it out of love and it looks like we're really close with them. I hope everything goes well in Glenwood! What exactly are you gonna do for the camp? Love ya!
Mum! Norma's doing a bit better now. She seems a lot more happy. The couple had an interview with the Branch President this week (unfortunately the Branch President spilled the beans that we told him that she wasn't doing so well), and everything's good for David to get the Priesthood next week. We're so excited!! Then we'll get to bless the sacrament with him which will be the coolest thing ever. Sounds like the kitchen's close to being done now! That's crazy that so many people show up!! Here it's tough to get people to come. Any sign of rain and everyone stays in their house. Not very many people have cars, and everyone is scared to death of getting a little cold. It's kinda funny, but people here go to great lengths to avoid getting sick and sometimes don't let us in because their stove is lit and the change of temperature could make them sick supposedly haha. I suppose it's a little different here though because of the humidity. I'm excited to get that USB stick! Love you Mum!
Michael! That's so awesome that you're getting the Melchizedek Priesthood! It's incredible. Think about it, it's the same Priesthood that all the prophets have had. It's so awesome. If you read the beginning of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price and in Alma 13 you learn about the importance of the Priesthood and the great responsibility it comes with. I recommend you to read it! That's a shame that a bunch of the Priests aren't going to the camp, but it'll still be fun. What are Trent and Keaton doing now that they aren't in school and aren't in Priests? Hope you have an awesome camp bro! How are you feeling now that BYU is so close? Love you.
Charly! Nice job in your awards ceremony!!  You're a genius!! Also, good job with your learners!! What did you do to surprise Dad, you never told me. What questions did you get wrong, do you remember? I'm so happy for you though! Driving's a blast. I miss driving haha. Driving's so much fun, but I'm a little scared that you'll be on the streets now. Even though I'm here in Chile, I'll watch my step when I walk in the street haha. What are you doing for girls camp? I hope you have fun! Love ya Char!
Jake! That's fun you get to go tubing, that's so much fun. Are you excited to be a teenager soon? Not long and you'll be on a mission! That's too bad about falling on your ripstick and stuff. I hope your leg heals. What other stuff are you gonna do on this camp? How did you do in your awards ceremony? Love you Jake!
This week we went on the radio!! We're basically famous. On Tuesday and on Thursday we had interviews with the two radio stations here in Coelemu, and it was the coolest thing ever. I feel famous. Not many listen to the station we visited on Tuesday, but a few people heard us. A lot listen to the other station, and it sounds like a lot of people heard it! Basically, we just gave them some question to ask us, about our basic beliefs and stuff like that, to try and get rid of some of the false ideas people have about us, like that we worship Joseph Smith and all that garbage. It'll hopefully be effective at helping people open their doors more easily if they heard us and it caught their attention. We still haven't heard anything about the TV station though. I'll try and send you the recording of the first interview that we had. You won't understand a thing, but it's still really cool. Tomorrow we should be on the radio again.
This week we had some really high hopes with the sacrament meeting attendance, but unfortunately, a bunch of the members and less-actives we were counting on fell through. Also, we didn't have any investigators in church this week. I think what happened is we weren't very dilligent with finding new investigators this week, and like it says in Preach My Gospel, nothing happens in missionarywork until we find people to teach. We did most of our finding at the end of the week, which makes it a lot more difficult for them to go to church. We've repented of our lack of dilligence, and this week have set goals to improve and give it everything we can. We want to finish up the cambio strong.
Cambios are next week, but I just received a reassuring email from President Humphrey that he's gonna try and let me stay here. I really hope so, cause I love Coelemu. It's a tough sector cause there are a lot religious fanatics, and cause it's really tough to motivate the members and leaders, but I love it anyway. Basically, if we hope to see any growth here in Coelemu, it comes only from our efforts, and obviously from the Lord's help. We have high hopes for this upcoming week.
Something interesting about here, is how humid it is!! In the mornings sometimes it's below zero, and even though it's nothing compared to Canadian temperatures, the cold is a different kind of cold. It penetrates more because it's so humid. Topping that off with the fact that we don't use heating in our house, it can be pretty chilly sometimes! We're doing good though, we always just bundle up tons. It's so humid that we can't even shut the door completely cause it's swelled so much. Also, mold grows on absolutely everything. The shower gets mold easily, and so does the kitchen. Even blinds get mold. It's gross. Some of our food like our flour is a little moist, and our clothes feel a little bit moist sometimes too. People are always crazy about avoiding getting colds, I think because it can lead to worse things if it isn't cared for, like a pneumonia.
Anyway, I hope that next week when I write you I'll be able to tell you I'm staying in Coelemu, and hopefully we can succeed in making the church more well known here. Our Ward Mission Leader had a great idea of doing some big show thing here in Coelemu, by bringing in the stake choir and doing a big public performance to try and catch people's attention. I love the idea, and now we're looking into the possibilities of doing it.
I had a cool experience with the Book of Mormon this week too that I wanna share. I was praying a lot, putting to test the promise of the Book of Mormon as it says to do in Preach My Gospel. I know it's true, but I was looking for another spiritual confirmation to strengthen my testimony and help me teach about it more powerfully and with more conviction. I was reading and praying a lot, but didn't feel anything!! I was like what's going on! I knew I had to be patient so I kept reading and praying. In my personal reading I arrived at 3 Nephi 11, and as I read it I got my answer. Previously, there was a lot of destruction and the people heard the voice of Jesus Christ. Then, as they were gathered together, they heard a voice from heaven three times before understanding it. God the Father presented His Son, Jesus Christ. Then, a Man descends from heaven and pronounces that He is Jesus Christ. I know you're all familiar with the story, but as I read it, I felt a powerful witness of the truthfulness of what I was reading. I know it's true. I know it.
I love being a missionary, and hope it never ends. Thanks for all your letters and support. I love you all so much! I know this is the truth. My Saviour lives and loves me and everyone. He will always help us and be there to guide us. I love Him.
Keep sharing the gospel. I expect to hear a missionary experience from each one of you next week!
¡Chao!
Elder Blomfield