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