Monday, 26 November 2012

CAMBIOS - OFF TO LINARES - 12TH NOVEMBER 2012



Family! Thanks for writing me. I still haven't heard anything from Mum this week, and I got two of the same email from Dad. So today there's cambios. I found out I'm out of here unfortunately. I'm going to Linares, replacing my dad, Elder Navarrete, as a zone leader out there. He's actually gonna be an assistant!

Dad! That's a shame about the election, but oh well. Hopefully things don't go down the tubes! Did you read the First Presidency statement on it? It's super neutral. Love what you said about Canada though, I'm definitely glad to be Canadian. Everyone here automatically thinks I'm from the United States, but I correct them as much as I can hahaha. Sounds like a fun hunting trip. Too bad you didn't get anything though. That sounds like a great idea for a ward activity. That would be awesome! Did you see any results from the Luau? Did you always live with just your companion, or did you sometimes live with more? That's such a cool story about Joyce. It's sad to see when husbands a lot of the time impede their wives or children from being baptized and following the Saviour. This one little kid, Felipe, who's brother's a member and who's family lives with a member family, was gonna get baptized this upcoming weekend and his mum was all good but the dad didn't want him to. Quite a shame. How's Joyce doing now? Ross has long hair?? Say hi to him for me. I'd like to see a picture of that haha. I haven't heard from anyone else for a while, just the fam, but I also have to respond to a few letters. I struggle to find the time, since the only time we can write letters are on P-Days, and the time is really cramped, even when we get up earlier to get everything done. Thanks for the mission stories Dad, I loved em. Send me some more! Also, I loved the pictures and the video. Thanks!! Love ya!!!

Mum! I hope everything's going well seeing as I haven't heard from you. I feel pretty sad about the cambios but it still hasn't really hit me yet that I'm leaving. I'm gonna miss this sector and my comp a lot. Love ya!!

Michael! The laptop is still busted?? How long has it been now? Are they giving you a rental for free or what? That's ridiculous. I bet you had so much fun in Vegas. Did you take any pictures?? Send me some! What stuff did you say when you knocked doors? Haha you just needed a nametag and a Book of Mormon in your hand and you'd be as good as a missionary. I like that testimony experience. Hear it's pretty funny, cause the Bishop specifically says every fast Sunday before the testimonies that it isn't an opportunity to share stories and experiences, but pretty much everyone that gets up shares stories anyway. It's like that everywhere I think haha. I think mixing that with American patriotism would be quite the hoot hahaha. I hope you have a good Thanksgiving! Have fun my friend, but don't mess around too much. Make a better use of your time at BYU than I did! My comp is great, but now I'm getting a new one! I don't think I'll be comps with Elder Hague.

Charly! None of those teachers you mentioned were there when I was. I feel so old now hahaha. What book are you studying in Seminary?? How many scripture masteries do you have memorized right now? Motag is a blast. I wish I could have won haha. Charly!!! You can't use that as an excuse saying you think no one will come!! You know how many times I hear that as a missionary?? You gotta open your mouth and invite your friends!! Remember how my friend Patrick came to early morning seminary?? Try inviting someone and see what happens. Nice job acing your tests you genius. You're doinga great job it sounds like. Haha my hair is pretty blonde cause of all the sun. It's not really good though for a missionary in Latin America. Love you Char!

Jake! What was the cool trick you did while sledding? I forgot there's snow over there now. It's hot here so I can't even imagine there being snow haha. Sounds like you had a successful trick-or-treat raid. I loved doing that. Go on your mission when your 18. It'll be so much better. Love you Jake!

Family!! I'm bummed about cambios, but it still hasn't really hit me yet. I'm gonna miss La Pradera here in Chiguayante. It's such an awesome sector and such an awesome zone. I'm sad too cause Juana's getting baptized on Saturday and I'm not gonna be here! It's a shame, but I guess the Lord has other plans! I'm gonna really miss my companion Elder Gómez. We had such a blast together. We got along really well, had a lot of fun, and had some great spiritual moments together. He is very humble and positive. He's only been a member for three years and has had some serious difficulties in his family, but is one of the most dedicated missionaries I know. I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to serve and learn with him. We were very blessed.

This week, Chiguay, the sector that has been struggling the most in the zone, and has been struggling like that for a long time, long before I ever got to Chiguayante, is tearing things up!! We're really happy cause the President told us to focus on helping the weaker sectors as leaders, because be strengthening them we will strengthen the whole zone. They had an excellent week and I'm so happy for them.

Juana is just blowing my mind every day more and more. She's 68, lives alone with her dog, and always gets to church with hardly any supervision or encouragement on our part. She understands the gospel in such a plain and simple way, and as she learns about the commandments, she keeps them! For example, on Saturday we taught her tithing, and on Sunday she brought her tithing with her to church. She's so incredible!! A sister from church has also been a great help in fellowshipping her and helping her feel comfortable. She's so excited to help Juana all the time. We've seen the fruits of working with members with her. I'm that I won't see her get baptized, but tonight I'll get to say goodbye.

I feel like this cambio, the biggest thing I've learned is the importance of being converted to the Lord. I think so often as members of the church we easily talk about how we know that Jesus Christ is our Saviour and that the church is true and everything, but being converted to the gospel is so much more than just having a testimony of it. Conversion is when our actions go with our testimony. It is when our testimony spreads from our minds to our hearts and our very nature changes as children of God. Doing the right thing becomes a quest instead of a chore. I'm grateful that the Lord has given me an opportunity to change. I think everyone is at different stages of their own conversion, but the important thing is that we can keep moving forward and improving. Before my mission, I made a lot of mistakes. Even if they weren't very serious, I think just my general attitude and outlook wasn't what it should have been. I think that a lot of the time I obeyed, but maybe not out of heart. I feel like the biggest change I've had in my mission is how my desires have changed. I still have a heck of a lot to improve, but the conversion process is so incredible. I'm grateful for the atoning sacrifice of the Saviour. He allows us to change in spite of all our imperfections. I love serving Him and wouldn't change it for the world. I wish I could be a missionary forever.

I know this is the truth. I love this gospel. Jesus Christ is our Saviour. God is our Heavenly Father and He loves us. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. This is the true church of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is true. If anyone has any doubts about being a missionary, DO IT! There's seriously nothing better. No sacrifice isn't worth making.

Thanks for all your support and prayers. If anyone has sent me a letter or anything but I haven't responded yet, remind me to do so!

Love you all!

Elder Blomfield