Family! Thank you so much for writing! I loved the picture of the kitchen and the videos of Izaac. The kitchen looks great, and Izaac is so big now!!!
Dad! That's really frustrating about the kitchen lino and stuff. It makes me laugh how whenever renovations are done, there's always something that goes wrong!! Haha it never seems to run completely smoothly. I remember when mine and Mike's room in the basement was getting done and everything got kind of backed up and there were a bunch of problems. At least everything's gonna get figured out though. That's cool about the youth sacrament meeting. How many youth are there in the ward? Here in Coelemu there are 3 active youth. What kind of stuff did you learn about the simbolism of the temple? I'd like to learn some of that stuff. I just looked at some pictures of the temple on the church website. It looks incredible!! That's crazy it's almost done already. I'm excited to see what it looks like on the inside too. What's a Duclaw? You said Sammy hurt his Duclaw. I'm assuming it's a claw. Love you Dad!
Mum! I've been here about 3 and a half months. I really hope they leave me here, but we'll see what happens. In 2 weeks there are cambios unfortunately. That's shame about all the kitchen complications, but from what I saw in the photo, it looks like it was worth it! It looks incredible! You moved the dining room table into the kitchen too? Is there anything in the dining room now? I hope Jake doesn't quit piano. I'm grateful that I'm able to play the piano to help out here on my mission, but I wish I had practiced a little bit more before I left, especially the hymns. Izaac runs so fast!! I loved that soccer video. Congratulate him for me. He's so big now!! Hopefully your RS BBQ goes well. More or less how many activities does the relief society do every month? It's crazy that Becky and Caroline are already back from BYU. The time goes by so fast! I can't believe that the time I was at BYU has already passed by on the mission. Love you!!
Michael! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Sounds like you had a blast!!!! Dude you're so old. I remember we always used to fight a ton when we were in junior high. Haha now we're best friends. I'm happy we made an effort to get along better. The program we're doing is basically making the church the center of the community through activities and publicity. Also, we're focusing a lot more on less active members and recent converts. It's really good, but sometimes hard to get going. It's tough to encourage the members to participate, and sometimes tough to publicize the activities while in the meantime having the pressure of finding and teaching more people. I really like it though. Our goal is basically to strengthen the branch more as a whole. Coelemu used to be booming from what I've heard, but because of so many inter-member conflicts, so many people left the church and the members got discouraged and the branch has been dwindling. We're hoping and praying that we'll be able to give more life to the branch. I'm excited you can receive the Melchizedek Priesthood soon. It's incredible to be able to bless the lives around you with the Lord's authority. You're more ready than I was to receive it in my opinion. I bet you destroyed those exams, and you're gonna rock the Physics exam. Sounds like you had a blast at your birthday party!!! That would be so fun to go paintballing out in the woods. In my zone a few months ago before I got here, they had a huge zone activity and went paintballing with permission from the President. I was jealous I didn't get to be here for it haha. That's brutal you backed into a truck. Another one you said? Is this the second time? That's the worst feeling in the world. Remember when I made a hole in a Lincoln's bumper at Clearwash? You feel like your guts are just gonna fall out it's terrible. What truck were you driving? Dude, you didn't answer my question about your BYU professors! Who are they?? Are you stoked or what?? Love you bro!
Charly! I'm sure you did a great job with your exams. You're a genius so don't even worry about it. I'm stoked you get to go to EFY! You're gonna love it. I loved EFY. Why isn't it an overnight thing? That's so lame!! That's half the fun!! Oh well. Let me know how your exams went!! Sounds like you've got a pretty jam-packed summer planned. I hope it turns out well! How do you feel with the fact that Michael's leaving soon? It's crazy he's so old. Also, nice work with your piano Charly! I'd say it's worth getting to grade 8. Love you Char!
Jake! Nice work on your math exam my friend. I love how are my siblings are geniuses. I know what you mean, studying is super boring. Scriptures study is awesome, but I always hating studying for school. You should get into good habits though, cause it'll help you later on especially in university. That's cool you got to sing in sacrament. So you're quitting piano? It's your choice, but if I were you I would at least keep practicing hymns so you can play on your mission, cause you'll do it! Love you dude!
Kenna! That's so cool you had your birthday party! Sounds like it was really fun! That's so cool you got to to have petland come and hold all the animals. What was your favourite animal there? Were you scared of any of them? What's the chicken attack game? It's going great here in Chile. I've baptized 8 people. I love you Kenna!
Izaac! That's so awesome about your soccer game!! I loved that you scored a goal! How do you run so fast now?? I think you'd be able to beat me in a race. Love you bud!
Alrighty!! David's doing great. I confirmed him on Sunday, and he was really happy. He teared up a little bit. He's now getting ready to receive the Priesthood! His wife, Norma, finished reading the Book of Mormon. Basically, she read it in about 2 weeks. She loved it all, until she got to the end. She read Moroni 6 which talks about how people shouldn't be baptized unworthily, and she felt that 17 years ago when she got baptized, she did it unworthily because she did it just to do it instead of out of a sincere desire to follow the Savior. She got down on herself after that, and Satan jumped all over it. She feels really uncertain about everything. We taught her that in spite of the fact that perhaps she got baptized for the wrong reasons before, if she repents now, she can be forgiven and it's as if was baptized correctly. She's still not feeling to great though.
Yesterday we had 1 investigator in church. Her name is Sandra. She went over 2 months ago with Elder Arancibia and I, but Elder Silva and I lost contact with her a few weeks after because appointments kept falling through, and we hardly saw her anyway. She was incredibly hard and showed no signs of progress, but for some reason we felt that we couldn't just drop her completely. We saw her in the street last week and went to her house this week. She accepted a baptismal date, went to a Family Home Evening activity we had, and went to church. She still has a long way to go in her conversion, but at least now she's willing! I love how the Lord prepares people. We also brought 3 less-active members, one of which was endowed, and told us that she's now decided to come back to church for good. I really hope she remains faithful! We still need to keep working with her family.
This week was alright, but I felt like we didn't teach very well with the Spirit. We've set goals to improve, because that's our purpose. If we aren't teaching with the Spirit effectively, people won't have desires to change, won't keep their commitments, and won't experience conversion. We want to become more effective teachers, teaching more simply, unified, and to the point. Instead of trying each one of us to state different ideas, we're trying to stay together in the teaching, picking up were the other left off and teaching brief portions each one. We also need to have a firm commitment in mind, as well as looking for through the Spirit and knowing what the investigator's (or less active's) needs and desires are. Unless the Spirit indicates otherwise, we are going to teach the Restoration according to the person's needs, trusting that the Spirit will give us the words to say. We also want to plan so that every day we can get the most out of it possible, giving everything we've got every second, remembering always the importance of the time we have, and not wasting it in lessons that are too long.
This week on Wednesday we went and talked to the principal of a school, and went back on Friday morning to advertise our English classes. It was pretty good!! A couple 13 year old girls showed up and an older guy who lives out in the country that we invited on the street too. We're gonna visit the other schools and advertise a little more. I think we'll be able to see results, but we just have to keep being patient in advertising it. 4 people went to our study of the life of Christ, and about 7 went to our family home evening activity. We're thinking about maybe scratching the life of Christ class because not very many people are interested in it, and doing something else. Activity ideas would be greatly appreciated!
Today we're in Tomé as we came here for a zone activity. We rented a gym and played soccer inside. It was a blast. My comp is really good! We got up at about 6:00 this morning to travel here. It's nice to come hang out with the other missionaries, cause sometimes living so far away in Coelemu means that the P-Days are less interesting.
I really hope this week is a great one. I'm trying to be more worthy and dilligent to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost all the time. We're going to practice our teaching and trust more in the Spirit's guidance to be able to more fully help others receive the gospel and make changes in their lives. I know the Lord will be with us if we ask for His help and do all we can to deserve it.
I know this is the Lord's work. I love doing it so much! It's the best. I know the Lord loves us and will always bless us if we are faithful to Him. Sometimes it means waiting and being patient, or perhaps learning to recognize blessings that come differently than we hope, but they always come. I know Jesus Christ is my Saviour, and that this is His church. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and the Book of Mormon is a true book. I love this message, and I want the whole world to hear it. I pray that the Lord blesses me, and you, with success in sharing the gospel and bringing sould unto Him.
I love being a missionary!!