Sunday, 17 February 2013

11 FEBRUARY 2013

Family!! Thanks for all your letters!

Dad! I'm so jealous of your cruise. Sounds like the weather is crazy up there. That's such a blessing that everything worked out!! Heavenly Father answers are prayers. That's really awesome about that taxi driver!! Nice guy. I think I saw Les Miserables before the mission once, but it must have been a different one. My comp is big into musicals and stuff so fills me in on all that. Sounds good! That's so funny about the handgun ammo hahaha. Nice job. That would have been bad news if they would have thought you were stealling it hahaha. Love ya Dad!

Mum! It's gonna be weird having a new comp in a couple weeks. He's feeling pretty overwhelmed about the mission ending. He says it's not that he wants to go home or anything, it's just that there are so many big things on his plate, and it's such an overwhelming feeling knowing he's about to take a step into a whole new phase of life without having a clue what to do. To make it worse, he's starting at BYU the day after he gets back, and is gonna be rooming in Heritage, maybe with freshmen. Not the ideal setup. I dunno about the soccer fans dying. I haven't heard of it. What team were they from? That's too bad about your tooth. That's good that Brother Spencer could fix it so quickly though!! Love ya Mum!

Michael! I'm so sorry about having to wait for your call haha. I think I'd just open it. When are you expecting to get it by? That was a pretty funny story about the drunk guy. I kinda wanted to hit him. Midterms are pretty stressful. Who are all your professors? When I read your letter, I thought you were saying you went on a date with a girl name Blake. I thought, what a shame. hahaha. I never went to nickel city, but I heard it's a blast. My comp is missing his brother by a week. I asked to extend, but we'll see. A lot of people are very driven by their emotions and external circumstances, so they say they want to get baptized, but when something pops up or they wake up tired on Sunday morning, they choose not act. Not always obviously, but it's a dominating trend. Here, the people are more receptive, but less commital. A common saying in Spanish is "si Dios quiere" which means "if God wants." Basically they leave it up to external circumstances and don't take control of their own situations. That's probably the biggest challenge with the investigators. I've gotten along well with almost all my comps. A couple have been more difficult, but overall everything's good. Trent's leaving already?? Crazy. Love you bro!

Charly! You've got to fill me in on everything in the cruise. What are you gonna do about the tests your missing? What kind of stuff are you doing on the cruise? How long are you gonna be there?? Are you nervous? I bet it's gonna be so much fun. I'm super jealous. Love you!

Jake! Sounds like you had quite the craziness happen in the airport. I'm glad everything worked our alright! Are you stoked or what? You have to tell me all the stuff you can do on the ship. Will you have internet access there? That wood town sounds pretty cool. I loved wood shop in Junior High. It was so fun. It was probably my favourite class. Love you bro!

This week was pretty crazy for us. We are super excited for all the new missionaries, cause the zone has got a huge boost of energy, and the unity is way better, but in spite of everything, it was really hard for everyone to find new investigators this week. We feel like everyone worked harder and we all tried to use our time wisely, but we struggled throughout most of the week to find new people. It was pretty tough, cause it put a stop in the progression of our whole zone. We've made plans this week, though, to improve that and see some more progression. Pray for us as we try to find new families to teach!

This week we saw some huge miracles though, especially on Sunday. Paola, Stanka's sister, and Sebastián's mother, has finally set a date to get married with her partner Patricio. They are getting married on the 20th of March. On Friday we invited her to prepare to get baptized on the 23rd, but she rejected, saying she didn't want to do it quite yet. She loves the church, but is a little hesitant at times to make big commitments. She used to always make up excuses to not go to church or not not read or whatever, but she's doing way better now. Anyway, her future husband works in the north of Chile in the mines. Anyway, he wasn't gonna come to church this weekend cause he had to do some work in his house, but as his family was getting ready to go to church, he felt this urge to go, considering how he always talks about how he likes our church cause we focus on the family, but that he wasn't going to accompany his family to church. His family all left, and he got up, showered really quick, and took a taxi to church. He walked in late and surprised everyone. It was so awesome. In the afternoon we went by, and they had tons of great questions. We taught a bunch of the Plan of Salvation and focused on eternal families. They had questions about infant baptism cause Paola wants to baptized her baby in the Catholic church just out of tradition and to get into Catholic schools, and they had questions about marriage and everything. It was a really powerful lesson, and both accepted baptismal dates for the 22nd of March. It was so incredible. They are awesome. Blessings!!

Yesterday was Elder Cardinal's birthday, so for our lunch some converts invited all of us 8 missionaries from Linares. We all ate pastel de choclo (something to do with corn) which is a typical Chilean food. It's delicious by the way. It was sweet. For his birthday, I gave him my Canadian flag. He's the most patriotic American comp I've had and it's hilarious. He worked with Elder Navarrette who told him for some reason that I don't like the States even though I do, so even before I knew Elder Cardinal he didn't like me, and when we met and I stuck my Canadian and British flags up in the house it really made him mad hahaha. Now we get along great. We always battle about it just like I did with PJ at BYU, so I figured he'd like the flag hahaha. It was great. Also, it was Rodrigo's birthday last week so I gave him my Canada tie. He loved it.

Anyway, this week that's coming up is gonna be great. Yesterday we saw some miracles, and are hoping to see more as the week goes on. Please pray for us as we try and inspire our missionaries and help them all reach a higher level of dedication and conversion. Being a missionary is the best thing ever. I love it!! This morning I was studying about the Priesthood, and it was great. It was cool to understand how hugely important the Priesthood is. It's the power of God. It's cool knowing that I'm authorized to preach the gospel and change people's lives. I want to trust more in that authority. As long as I'm dilligent and obedient, the Lord will bless me with power. And that's how it is with all Priesthood holders.

I love being here. The church is true! It all is true. I love it.

Love you all!!

Elder Blomfield


Family! Thanks for writing! Hope you all enjoy your cruise coming up!

Dad! That book sounds cool. I'm starting to understand how important service is. All the general conference talks talk about service pretty much. It's something so important that sometimes I feel gets left aside amongst the other principles of the gospel. It's true about the hastening of the work. They are talking about that in the mission too. I love how things are moving so rapidly. That's great about the temple trip. Sounds like our ward's doing good. That's so cool you bought a hand gun!! What made you wanna buy it all of a sudden?? Where can you go shoot it? That's too bad about Charly, but why is the cast so huge?? How are the Flames doing by the way? Everyone will be in my prayers. Love you Dad!

Mum! Stanka's doing good. It seems like she's taking on a more pro-active attitude about the gospel which is great. Her and Rodrigo were really interested in Gospel Principles class this week where we learned about family history and temple work. It was great. The branch here is great. We have cambios this week, but I'm still with Elder Cardinal. He dies in three weeks. I for sure wanna maintain contact with him. We have such a blast it's ridiculous. We've learned tons together. He's a great friend. He went to BYU before and is going after too. That's so funny about Charly not wanting to wear the cast. My story was way worse hahaha. I love teaching. It's one of my favourite things to do. That's so great you're learning piano!! I love it. I hope you keep it up. Get Dad on it too! I'm excited to read those books. I still think it's cruel and unusual punishment that you're gonna make Michael wait to open his call haha. Love you Mum!

Michael! Ya Sebastián was the teenager. He's so awesome. He's gonna be a great missionary. My branch rocks. CONGRATS ON YOUR PAPERS!!!! I'm still prayin you come here, Chile is way better. Sorry. I remember how you felt. I got my call on reading day right before finals, so it was pretty distracting for me. I was probably the most obnoxious person ever about my mission call, making sure everyone knew when I was gonna get it. Then with the accident in the tumbling gym and stuff, it was quite dramatic. Helaman 5 is incredible. Can I give you another suggestion that might take first place? Mosiah 4. (well really, all of King Benjamin's speech from chapter 2-5.) It's up there for me. I'm so excited for you. I talk to my comp a ton about how incredible the mission is. It really is the best thing ever. I wouldn't change it for the world. You'll love it. You just need to learn Spanish man. Love you bro! Take luck as well.

Charly!! That's so funny about your finger haha. What do you mean you refuse to wear it outside of the house?? That's ridiculous!! Who cares what everyone thinks. You'll regret it later when your finger bugs you your entire life cause it's all bent funny and sensitive. I'm so jealous of your cruise! It'll be so fun. Love ya!

Jake! That's awesome you got to go to the temple. I always love going. Did you enjoy teaching?? Teaching the gospel is the best thing ever. You'll love it when you're a missionary. What are some things you learned as you prepared and taught your class? You should send me a video of your kendama thing when you get it so I can understand what you're supposed to do. Love you!!

Kenna! That's too bad you don't get to go on the cruise, but it's ok, you'll have fun at home. I haven't been on a cruise yet either haha. Sammy's 10! He's gettin so old!! Is he still grumpy?? Don't tell me when I'm coming home!! Love ya!

So we have cambios today. I'm staying, as is my comp, but the rest of the zone had an overhaul. I'm really excited for the changes. Elder Fuller, who has only been here 1 cambio, and who was one of our district leaders, is leaving. My son, Elder Silva, is coming to be Elder Nielson's comp and live in the same house with me. I'm so stoked to live with him again!! It's gonna be a blast. One sector is getting whitewashed, and a bunch of other changes are happening too. We're getting some awesome missionaries who are coming in. I'm so stoked to work with all of them. Things are looking great! Just when things started getting better we got changes haha.

So this week we took some more dramatic means with fixing the problems in the zone. There were so many unity problems in one house that had been building up and dragging everyone down. We tried tons of other things but nothing was working and it was really dramatic. A bunch of people got really annoyed about stuff, so we just went in, and openly talked with the four of them. It was kind of intense, seeing as a lot of problems had been building up for quite a while, and the worst is that it wasn't just a couple of behavioural issues, it was more deep-rooted attitude problems. We tried to help fix the problems and commit to all of us do better and leave the bad stuff behind. It was great, because we could finally get all the problems out in the open, address them, and fix them. Most of the sectors had way more success after that. I'm glad the Lord helped us. We were really on our last limb with that cause we had no real options on fixing the problems beside from that.

This cambio I've learned a ton about how to deal with problems, and how to be a leader. I noticed that at times I would get frustrated with the problems and not have the best attitude, but now I've learned that that doesn't work. Going into this we knew it was gonna be a big trial with lots of lessons to learn, and we feel like we've progressed a lot. It seemed almost like a practice for parenting in some regards. Some missionaries had ridiculous attitudes about silly little things and made problems out of nothing, blaming everyone for everything. Elder Cardinal and I talked about it after, and decided it must be similar to being a parent, because even after working really hard to help their children, out of no where the kids freak out about some random problem that they've invented and the parents don't really have any other choice but to try and cater to their needs and show them love, even if their kid is being completely over-dramatic and ridiculous. It was pretty interesting.

This week, we had Teresa in church. She's Stanka's mother. She's really good and has lots of desires, and is quitting smoking. Sometimes it's a little difficult to help her understand stuff cause she get's distracted sometimes, especially when her daughters are present. I think she'll get baptized soon though, cause she's got a lot of great desires.

A funny story... Last week a bus hit me on my bike. It wasn't bad, it was just the driver was being impatient, and as I was riding on the edge of the road it drove up and bumped into my elbow. It didn't hurt and I didn't fall or anything, but it was still pretty close haha. Another one. Last week, some drunk guy followed us around for like 20 minutes knocking on doors with us and being ridiculous, saying things that didn't make any sense. Yesterday, we were walking home cause my bike tire was flat. Some drunk guy tries to say hi to us but we just keep walking (they always do that and just do stupid things and waste time). He follows us, grabs my backpack and tells me to take it off, saying he had a gun and was gonna shoot me if I didn't. He obviously didn't have a gun so we kept walking but he wouldn't let go of me, so my comp pulled him off me and pushed him away. It was pretty hilarious. There are SOOOOO many drunk people here.

I love being here. It's the best. Even though the drunks are ridiculous, there is nothing better than finding incredibly prepared people who hear and accept the gospel. Sometimes it's frustrating when they don't act even after an incredibly spiritual lesson, but that's part of agency. It's just sad that people use it poorly. I'm grateful that I've been blessed with a deeper conversion on my mission and I've been able to learn and to grow. I love the mission so much. I can't believe people make the decision to not go on one, and I don't understand how people can leave the church. It really breaks my heart. How can we forget what we've felt?? How can we just deny all the things we've experienced?

Anyway. Love you!


Elder Blomfield


Family! Thanks for writing!! Pretty everyone send me emoticon thingies haha. By the way, I wanna lay a ground rule for writing me. No one is ever allowed to mention how much time left I have in their emails. Sound good? Haha just preventing future problems.

Dad! I dunno if you could expect Michael to wait to open his call. I think if I had to wait any longer than I did I would have just opened it. That's so cool about your convert. I wanna maintain contact with them. It's a lot easier with Facebook now. Michael doesn't have to apply for that scholarship if I remember. I'm pretty sure it just applies automatically with your grades. Something I haven't done much in my mission is use family history. We've set goals to use it more in our finding efforts this week. Hopefully things go well!! That's really cool about your uncle Ben.
Love you Dad!

Mum! Time passes by way too fast. That made me laugh about the guy banging his head too. My comp almost died laughing. Sebastián did get baptized! Conference was awesome. It was cool seeing a bunch of other missionaries I know. I'm impressed with how Jake and Charly are handling things too. They're awesome. We're the best family ever. That activity sounds massive. Something like that here would be incredible. It's tough to get 30 or 40 people out to an activity in our branch. In Coelemu it was tough to get 5 people. 500 is nuts. I'm so jealous you get to teach the Plan of Salvation. I LOVE teaching that. This week I've really come to have a great appreciation for it and I feel like my eyes have been opened a bit about it. It's really the greatest knowledge we have through the Restored Gospel. No one else understands that like we do, even though they may have some small idea of different parts. I hope you have a good experience teaching it. Keep in touch with Scott if you can. If you could look into Liberty Square which is where he's living that would be great. I would love rooming with him. I'm jealous of your cruise!! By the way, if you could send a couple packs of EAGLE scripture markers, (big packs with like 12 colors from Deseret Book I think) that would be great. I'm running low. Love ya!

Michael! I'm so stoked about your mission call. I'll pray so you come to Chile. It really is the Lord's time. Are you reading Preach My Gospel? I hope you do well with your grades! I'm sure you'll do a great job. Is the tutoring a job or a service thing? Are you in American Heritage? Do you have to do 10 service hours? Are you doing TOPS (I think that's what it's called)? Way to go with the leg-shaving bud. Sold you're dignity for a nickel. I think the biggest difficulty that missionaries have is pride. When we refuse to receive counsel, be directed, or to be obedient, our progress is limited. Also, taking initiative and wanted to improve is important. I think learning to apply faith is also incredibly important. I'm studying faith, the atonement, the Spirit, and the Priesthood right now. They are all intertwined and through those things we can work miracles in the lives of others. As we gain a deeper understanding of those doctrines, our behaviour changes and we become more like Christ. Just always keep your head up and try to do your best. Give my congrats to Tanner. Love you bro!

Charly! That's so cool you're going on a cruise. I'm so jealous!! You're gonna have a blast. That is pretty crazy that Joseph is old enough to get baptized. How was the dance? How were the boys at the dance? Got your eye on any of them? I'm glad you're liking Sunday School. Seriously Char, studying the gospel is the greatest thing ever. I wish I could spend more time reading the scriptures every day. 1 hour isn't cutting it!! Love you Char!

Jake! That kendama thing sounds pretty cool. What made you wanna buy that? Nice job with soccer!! Sounds like you're tearing it up! I'm jealous about going to Moroni's Quest. I didn't get to go!! They had us convinced they were gonna re-do it a few years later but I missed it. Oh well... A mission's way better anyway. How goes you're scripture reading? What have you learned this week? Love ya!

Kenna! That's so awesome about all your goals. In the mission I've learned that it's really important to set goals. Sometimes it's difficult though when we don't look at our goals after. I think it's important to always review our goals so we can remember what we have to do and make plans to do it. I hope you do a great job! I saw the picture too!! You're so awesome. Love you Kenna!

Izaac! What is alligater day? Or thumb day? Thanks for writing me!! I am not excited to come home. I'm excited to see you guys but I never want my mission to end!!! Good job skiing and playing basketball. Love you!

This week was great in some aspects and very stressful in others. Sebastián got baptized my his uncle Rodrigo. It was incredible. Rodrigo, by himself, decided to fast the day before to prepare for the baptism he was going to perform. He's really progressing a lot. We're trying to help his wife Stanka progress at the same rate but she's more stubborn and in some ways holds him back. She goes to church, but doesn't stay for the 3 hours. Also, she never likes praying in front of others. We want to help her get as into it as her husband is. Sebastián was really happy. He's gonna be a great missionary.

We also had an awesome activity this week. We organized a dessert and karaoke night on Friday, and a bunch of people came. It was quite a hit. A bunch of investigators came too and it seems like they all enjoyed themselves. It was a great way to socially strengthen our converts and investigators, and it helped us gain the confidence of the leaders and the members. I love our branch, it rocks. It's been my favourite branch/ward to work with. There's tons of energy with missionarywork, and the leaders are supportive. We feel like we're all working on the same team, whereas in other sectors it sometimes feels like the local leaders don't show as much enthusiasm about new converts being baptized and about the task of retaining them.

Today we had Leadership Counsel which was pretty intense. Most of the zones in the mission did not have good months. Almost no one reached their monthly goals including us. President came down pretty hard on all of us, but we needed it. We've had some serious problems in our zone with the missionaries, but we've been drowning ourselves in the problems more than having the positive attitude and the faith to make solutions. We got some new monthly focuses like focusing on dilligence and reaching the standards of excellence with our key indicators. It's always cool to see how the President receives the same inspiration we do. Always, some of our problems our addressed in conferences and counsels. It's a testimony to me that this is the Lord's work and that the Spirit is really there. I personally felt pretty bad, cause for this upcoming month we aren't looking to great either. In our sector we have a bunch of people, but they all have big challenges with the word of wisdom or they aren't married yet or something. We need to have the faith that the Lord will work miracles with them. Pray for us!!

This week I've had a renewed desire to learn more about the gospel. I wish so bad I could just stop time and study the scriptures more. I wish I could read them for 10 hours a day, but there's never enough time. I really wanna make a dedicated effort to studying the gospel intensely for my whole life. I just love doing it. It's the greatest thing ever. I remember reading the scriptures before the mission just to read them. Sometimes I would only take 5 or 10 minutes a day doing it. I can't believe that!! I feel like if I only did that though I would die! That's one of the greatest blessings the Lord has given me on my mission - a greater thirst for knowledge. I've got a lot to learn. It's so cool how the Lord molds us and shapes us. I feel grateful for the humbling experiences I've had out here and for the opportunities to learn and grow. I think about what the Lord has in mind for each of us and it makes me so excited. I realize how much I need to improve the more I learn, but I know that through the atonement of Christ, we can all change.

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! It's so great. I think these last couple days have been some of the most stressful in my mission, but through stress we grow. I'm grateful that the Lord puts the limits on these trials so they don't overcome us, and I'm grateful that he lets them be strong enough to let us grow. The District President here said something interesting. In school, we learn the lesson and then take the test, but God does the opposite. He gives us the test and then we learn the lesson. It's so true.

I love you all. I know this is the Lord's work!! He's in it with us. Thanks for all you do. Keep praying for our investigators and our missionaries, and keep sharing the gospel!!


Elder Blomfield