Monday, 26 November 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY IZAAC!!!! LINARES IS AWESOME. BRINGS BACK MEMORIES OF GOOD OL' TALCA - 19TH NOVEMBER 2012



Family! It's great to hear from you. I'm glad everyone's doing well! I'm loving my new sector. It's been a great experience so far and I've learned a ton.

Dad! Good question about favourite companion. That's a tough one!! I've got along with all my companions. I've had some difficulties with some but I got along with them always. I don't think I can pick just one. The companions I think I've been closest to are Elder Navarrete who's my dad and a current assistant, Elder Silva my son, Elder Chilcote who I "killed" and was only with for 3 weeks, and Elder Gómez. I got really close to them and had the best times in my mission with them I would say. I hope Joseph enjoys the rest of his mission. I know it can be really hard sometimes, but it's all about attitude and effort. The Lord blesses us for those things. that's crazy about Hurricane Sandy. My comp, Elder Cardinal, told me about how he's worried that because of wickedness a lot of the powerful nations in the world are going to be destroyed. The Book of Mormon cycle is just repeating itself. A humbled people has prosperity, gets prideful, ignores God's commandments and denies His existence, and He humbles them through destruction. It's sad, but it's happened so many times before. That's awesome about Kurt's talk. It's interesting that he talked about how the mission changed him. I've actually been thinking a lot about that this week. The mission is the most incredible experience ever. I love how as we help others to change, the Lord makes us into new people. About that article you sent me, I can't read it. I can't go on another website. Maybe you could sum it up for me or something? That's so sad about the conflict in the Middle East. How has the missionary work been going with you Dad? Love you!

Mum! Still not sure about Juana. I should find out next week in Leadership Council. It's interesting what you said. Pride comes into play as soon as competition does unfortunately. I'm glad Grandad was such a good missionary. I wanna be like him, sharing the gospel in every opportunity possible my whole life. Say to congrats to Shauna for me somehow! That's awesome about her going to Australia. I think I have a friend in that mission. Love you!!!

Michael! Juana is incredible. I hope she got baptized on Saturday!! Hahaha what time are you going to bed on average? Why do you get up so early? Nice work with the grades my friend. Remind me, what classes are you in? What will you be taking next semester? Sounds like a fun ward activity. BYU was such a blast. Is your Bishop a cool guy? I loved my bishop. His name was Bishop Brockbank, and his nephew's in this mission! With sharing the gospel, just don't worry about what the people say! Just treat it as something natural. It doesn't have to be forced. How goes your Preach My Gospel study by the way? Have fun on your Thanksgiving break!! Behave yourself! Love you!

Charly! I'm glad your liking seminary. Do Beaverbrook proud!! Nice job in the playoffs!! Dad sent me some pictures. Do you really like volleyball? I like it, but I'm not that good. After being in South America though, I love soccer tons and have gotten a little better haha. How did human fuseball work? When do you go on Christmas break this year? Love you Char!

Jake! Nice job in your soccer game. I think it's important that you have patience with the people you play soccer with. Not everyone is at the same level, so don't get upset when they aren't perfect. I hope Izaac liked his gifts!! Do you play with him a lot? Make sure he has an awesome day.


Family!! I can't believe Izaac's so old! I've been telling a bunch of people that he's turning 5 this week. A lot of people think it's pretty crazy how our family's so big. I'm so happy for him!! From the videos and pictures you've sent, he's grown a ton! I'm so happy for you Izaac! What gifts did you get?? What did you do? I can't believe how fast time goes.

This week has been great. It's been pretty crazy trying to adjust to a new sector and a new zone, but overall it's been a good experience. It's been cool to see some missionaries I know here in this zone. It was sad leaving my old sector, but it's a whole new adventure here. It reminds me a lot of Talca, where I was born. It's really hot here and there are way more catholics. In Coelemu and La Pradera in Chiguayante most people were Evangelicals. It makes things a little different. I had forgotten what it was like to get so many solid rejections in a day haha. It's nothing compared to other missions I know but it's interesting. Normally people make up excuses, but the number of door slammed in the face has gone up a little. It still doesn't happen very often but it happens more here than other parts. It's really hot here too.

A huge blessing though, is that we have bikes here. It's sweet. My bike is junk, but it's better than walking. My tire was flat when I got there.  Also, my brakes don't work. I've been using my feet to brake on the ground for the meantime til I get em fixed. I accidentally crashed into someone a few days ago cause I couldn't stop. Luckily, I haven't got hit by any cars yet hahaha. One day a bus was in front of us so I tried to stop the front tire using my foot, but my foot got stuck in wheel and broke a spoke. The bike stopped instantly though, so luckily, no harm done to me, just a sore toe.

Linares is a district with 3 branches. That means the Mission President is in charge of it. Each branch has 4 missionaries in it. When I say branch though, it's only a branch because this isn't a stake. The attendance this Sunday was 163 which is huge. My branch is Linares 2. The other branch is Linares 1, and the other one is a small town called Longaví. Remember when we did that big branch building program in Coelemu? It was based off the model of Longaví, a dead sector that got a new Branch President and future assistant that worked there and turned it around completely. Now it's growing and had about 70 attendance which is more than double from a year ago. The zone rocks.

I live with 3 other missionaries. Elder Nielson, Elder Cardinal, and Elder Abbott. The house is pretty sweet. I love it. There are some different styles of working here in this zone that I'm adjusting to, but with Elder Cardinal, my comp, we're trying to put our ideas together. I'm trying to get the zone to be more strictly 100% obedient. Elder Cardinal and Elder Navarrete had some great ideas that they did together to help the zone too which we will follow with like visiting the missionaries in their houses to animate and inspire them, and also by taking a set amount of time every day to discuss and make our zone plans. They were really focused on the zone's needs which I love.

Elder Cardinal is from Utah. Big surprise hahaha. The cool thing though is that by birth he is Russian! He was adopted when he was about 3. He's got 3 brothers and sisters. His family's loaded it seems like haha. I've learned a lot from him. He's got 3 cambios more than me in the mission. He's great at using his time wisely when we're out proselyting, and not wasting time with people who don't have sincere desires. I've learned a ton from him and I'm excited to be his companion. I think things are gonna go great!

This week we should have two baptisms. It's a married couple. Their names are Rodrigo and Estanka (croatian name). They are awesome. We could hardly see them this week cause they had visitors, and I was a little worried cause they need a lot of teaching still. We taught them on Sunday, and Estanka basically told us she didn't feel like she knew enough to get baptized. I was worried, partially because the zone goal is weighing on them, and also because I didn't know how their conversion has been. The ward mission leader taught with us though, and pulled at Acts 2 which was awesome. Peter is teaching a bunch of people and they feel something. They ask him what they should do, he tells them to get baptized, and three thousand get baptized that same day. Tons of knowledge isn't a requisite of baptism, just desires, feeling the message is true, and worthiness are required. Estanka changed her mind and seems really awesome. Also, the ward mission leader helped a ton to help them understand tithing. We also had a couple other people in church on Sunday who have a lot of potential. Evlavia (I don't know everyone has weird names here haha) is like 60 and can't read, but is already decided that she will attend every week! Victor, another guy, went to church off his own desires, and was taught by missionaries before but because of work stopped doing so.

Interesting stories this week. Someone had a seizure in church in the middle of sacrament meeting which was pretty scary, but luckily everything was ok. On Thursday, we went to lunch in a market where members pay for our food sometimes when they can't give us lunch in their house, there was a fire. One of the propane tanks in one of the kitchens lit on fire. People started running and screaming, there was someone jumping out a window, and several women were crying. In started and stopped in about 1 minute. It was pretty dramatic. Also, on Thursday we had to go to the Civil Registry for another missionary, and some snakes followed us and asked to take picture of us for a school project, but confessed it wasn't for that afterwards. We told them no. Pretty funny.

I'm so excited for these new opportunities to learn, grow, and serve. Being a missionary is the greatest thing ever. I love it!! I would love to stay here longer. I know the Lord will continue to bless us if we strive to be humble and as we strive to accept and do His will. I can't wait for this week. It's gonna be great. This zone is so awesome.

I love you all so much!!! Thanks for all you support, and once again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY IZAAC!!!!