Tuesday, 4 September 2012

AWESOME WEEK - 13 AUGUST 2012



Family!! Thanks for writing me! Sounds like everyone's having fun at the cabin still. Can't believe Michael's going to BYU already.

Dad! How did your Texas trip go? What exactly did you do? I think that would be so cool for you and Mum to go on a mission. You should start learning Spanish so the chances go up of you serving in Chile!! Thank you so much for always praying for me and for my investigators. I know that miracles come because of that. Hey there's this awesome mormon message on the church website, www.lds.org/youth/video/stay-within-the-lines?lang=eng . You might wanna use it for your young men or something, it's awesome. How have things been going at work? What's been happening with the Filipinos that were going to leave? You still never told me any of the details about the jetski!! You gotta fill me in!! Thanks for all your support Dad. Love ya!

Mum! It is pretty crazy changing through companions so fast. I've learned a ton from Elder Chilcote, and we're having a blast. We joke around a lot, but when it's time to focus, we do. The day Elder Hague got here, the assistants came to do a baptismal interview for an investigator of the zone leaders cause we had so many interviews to do in the zone that day. In the interview, the investigator (now convert) who was awesome pretended that she didn't know anything about Joseph Smith and stuff, and pranked one of the assistants. The assistant they pranked is really cool and had done pranks in this sector when he served here so they knew he would take it well. We also tricked Elder Morales beforehand that that same investigator lost interest and didn't want anything more. It was pretty hilarious. I can still joke around in Spanish pretty well, although probably not as well as in English haha. About tithing, now we don't always wait til the end to teach it. We don't have to follow any specific order in the lessons with Preach My Gospel. My experience is that tithing hasn't been too much of a problem. That's so cool that Izaac can swim!! He's so big now. That's awesome about Kenna tying her shoes too. I love that video about Wilford Woodruff too. I know this is true. It's sad that so many people are casual about their salvation. I feel like apathy is Satan's greatest tool nowadays. Anyone who sincerely reads and prays about the Book of Mormon, will know that it is true. Are you gonna participate in the temple open house? Love ya Mum!

Michael! I love you man. I bet you're feeling kind of rough right now but it'll all be worth it!! I know how you feel, I felt the same. It's brutal leaving home and everything but you're gonna have an awesome experience that'll change your life. I hope you're holding out better than I did. I was a complete mess. You lost my jacket?? What jacket? If it's my nice black one you're dead meat hahaha. I didn't work with Rico very much. You got your knowledge test for the motorbike?? I totally wanna do that. That'll be so much fun to go on a bike trip one day. That's crazy that Ross is already back. A little shellshocked? I think I'll be completely lost when that day comes for me. Dude don't worry about leaving home. It's really rough at first but soon you'll make new friends, have new experiences, and you'll have a blast. Just make sure you keep studying and praying everyday to have the Spirit with you and to have some divine help. BYU will be a blast my friend. Go and tear it up like you always do. Love you tons!

Charly! Being an EFY counselor would be a blast. I loved EFY when I went. That's cool you get along with Rachel. I didn't know you hung out with her that much! Who else do you hang out with? Make sure you stay on top of your scripture reading!! You gotta give skiing a shot Char. Once you figure it out it's so much better than tubing and kneeboarding!! I wanna get better at wakeboarding in the future. It'd be awesome to be able to do a backflip or something. That's a future goal. Love ya!

Jake! Sounds like you got the jetski going pretty fast! Do you have any little welts from the airsoft wars? You have to ski!! Skiing's the best!! Nice work on pulling out some 360s though. That's awesome. There's a new green waterslide? You gotta tell me what it's like and get me a picture if it's possible. I wish I didn't have such a week stomach... I could never go on a lot of rides cause I would feel sick. LAME. Love you brother!

Alrighty! This week was INCREDIBLE. I'll start of with today while it's still fresh in my mind. Today we got up at about 5:30 to get to a chapel in Concepción for the leadership conference we had. It was both the Misión Chile Concepción and the Misión Chile Concepción Sur. I SAW ELDER WOOD!! It was awesome I'll send pictures. The Area President, Elder Arnold from the seventy did the conference. All the zone leaders from both missions were there as well as a few of the district leaders. I also saw some past companions, Elder Navarrete my dad and Elder Nogales my second companion. We learned a ton about leadership. We learned about obedience, about sacrifice, about effective planning, the importance of working with members, and everything. Looks like President's gonna be making a bunch of changes in the mission too, cause Elder Arnold suggested various changes that we have to do. I'm so excited!! We were gonna be emailing later on because we were going to do an activity with all the leaders after the conference, but Elder Arnold didn't want us to, so I'm writing now!

So this was one of the best weeks of my mission. We found 21 new investigators, and 15 investigators have a baptismal date. It was great! The Lord blessed us tons!! We found two gold mine families. On Wednseday I was on a minicambio with one of my missionaries, while my comp stayed in our sector. He found a family and taught the mother and two of the kids. On Friday we went back and another sister was there too. The brother and two sisters accepted baptismal dates. Yarelee is 17 and went to church with her 8 year old brother Hector and both have baptismal dates for Sept 1. They loved church. Luckily, there are a couple of pre-mission members that were more than happy to help her feel comfortable hahaha. Also, another lady named Yvonne came with her 11 year old son and her 3ish year old daughter. They got to church just as sacrament meeting was ending because she had to go to do some work in the morning. She doesn't have a job so takes any work she can. She's got some addictions so if you could pray for her it would be great. She seems really good but we want to be sure that her desires are sincere. Francisco and Catherine unfortunately didn't show up because they both woke up with really bad headaches. They're really looking good though. Catherine hasn't smoked more than 3 cigarrettes in a day since we taught the word of wisdom. She read in the Book of Mormon and felt that it was true. Her husband reads more than her, and although I think he still needs a little bit more in his repentance process, he prayed and felt that it was true as well. INCREDIBLE.

On Friday, we had interviews with President. We went to his house in Concepción which is really nice and fancy. It was so nice to sit on a nice couch haha. We learned about the importance of planning better, specifically for the lessons we teach. We've put that more in practice as we've prepared some really detailed and specific lessons for our investigators, and the Spirit is a lot more present. I think the key is to go with a prepared plan to have the goal of the lesson firm in mind, to know how to most effectively bring in the Spirit, and then to adjust the plan to the needs of the investigator and the whispering of the Spirit. By doing so, the Lord has blessed us.

On Saturday, we had some plans that fell through and felt inspired to go looking for new investigators in one part of the sector. My companion had garbage in his pocket he wanted to get rid of and made some comment saying we needed to find a garbage can because where there's a garbage can there's a family or something like that. Anyway, we go up a street, find a garbage can, call outside, and talk to a man named Hector. He's awesome. We felt the Spirit in the contact, and he let us in, I think because he liked the idea about eternal families. We talked to his wife, his son, and 3 of his nieces, all of which accepted baptismal dates except the wife cause she left before the invitation. It was such an incredible and spiritual lesson. They recognized the Spirit and seemed really impacted. They travelled yesterday though so couldn't go to church.

On Sunday after church, we visited Yarelee and met a bunch more of her family. We met her dad (he was a tiny bit drunk but really friendly - I think it actually helped us a little to gain his confidence more easily), 2 of her cousins, and her aunt. We watched the Restoration video, and followed our lesson plan, adjusting it to the needs of teaching an entire family, many of which were new investigators. The Spirit was really present. Yarelee expressed that she loved church, loved the Book of Mormon, and felt something special and unexplainable when the First Vision was shown in the video. It was incredible. They all committed to read and pray, and the 2 cousins accepted baptismal dates, one of which was really really interested. About 45 minutes after the lesson, we get a text message saying and I translate, "Guys thank you so much for appearing in my life and that of my family. Thanks to you I've felt things I never thought I would feel." We are so happy. The Lord is blessing us so much.

I'm trying really hard to help my district, as the other Elders and Sisters have struggled to see progress. I'm praying for inspiration to know how to best help them stay happy and excited. I want to be a stronger leader, and I think that today's conference has helped me a ton with that. I'm so excited to get out and work.

I love this message and I know it's true!! I love how the Lord is blessing us. Something the Spirit taught me today during the conference we had was the importance of following the counsels of our leaders. At times we think that the counsel our leaders give us are just what they think are good ideas, but we have to understand that the counsel us and give us ideas it is based on revelation. If we reject or refuse to act on the counsel of our leaders, we're rejecting God and His will. How can we expect to receive personal revelation if we aren't even willing to follow the revelation that came to our leaders? I want to be more exactly obedient in applying everything that we've learned, and I know that that coupled with our personal revelation in the sector will be the cause of great success.

I know the Lord lives and that this is His church. Jesus Christ is our Savior. His blood can cleanse us from sin and from pain and suffering. He loves us so much. He has called prophets such as Joseph Smith in our days. I know Joseph Smith saw the Father and the Son. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I love being a missionary!!

I love you all. Thank you so much!

¡Chao!

Elder Blomfield