Family! Thanks for writing. That's crazy that the flyers era has finally come to an end. Such a long tradition...
Dad! Things are great with my new comp. He's really dedicated and has lots of great ideas. That's so cool about going to the temple for your uncle. I bet that was incredible. I'm so jealous you get to go to the temple and that it's so close. I miss going a lot! I wish I got to go to the temple here. That's pretty crazy about the pope. A bunch of people talked about it here too and said all kinds of crazy stuff haha. When do they choose the new one?? That's crazy about all that snow. It's so hot here! I hope you feel better soon!! Love ya!
Mum! I got your short little email just before I left last week. Are your teeth feeling a little bit better now?? I wanna see that it skit Dad did, it sounds really funny. Sounds like you had quite the party on Friday! I bet it was cool hanging out with everyone. I bet it's such a cool experience teaching the youth with that new program. I like it cause it's based more on the spiritual progress of the youth instead of just covering material. It really puts a lot of pressure on the teacher!! Have you seen the videos on it? They're really good!! I liked how it talked about inviting them to act. We're focusing on commitments in our mission. We're trying to help the investigators feel more the responsibility and to help them have their own spiritual progress. Hearing doctrine doesn't do anything really unless it's applied, and when people live the gospel, that's when the get a real conversion. I was reading some conference talks this week and family history is calling my attention a lot more. Before, I didn't really care much about it, but now it's something I really wanna do. Elder Scott gave a great talk on it. It's true what you said about FHE and family scripture study and prayer. It really makes a difference. I think more than anything it just helps us make those things habits in our lives, and helps us understand the importance of doing it daily. Sounds like Moroni's Quest is gonna be a blast. I'll look into my classes. Love ya!!
Michael! I hope you get my computer fixed soon bud! Haha what happened to it anyway? I hope you have a good week and keep prepping for the mish!! Love ya!
Charly! That's too bad about losing basketball... How did you manage to play with your broken pinky? What grade are you in in piano now? Are you enjoying it?? I find I like to play the piano more now where as it used to be more of a chore. I like playing in sacrament and stuff here. I played at the end of the adult session of district conference here on Saturday. Love you Char!
Jake! What the heck is a Baden Powell birthday party?? That's too bad about basketball, but good job in soccer!! When does soccer finish?? Sounds like the shoveling was crazy this week. Where do you shovel anyway? Love you Jake!
This week was pretty sweet. To start off, my new comp, Elder Arana, got here. He's from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and we finish the mission together. It's crazy cause back in Coelemu, he was my zone leader! Now we're comps. He's coming to die here in Linares, but I'm pretty sure I've only got this cambio left here, then they'll send me to die somewhere else. He's really awesome. He's got tons of great ideas and he's really dedicated. I've learned a lot from him. A cool thing too is that he's a convert of just three years. When he met the missionaries, he got baptized a week later. It's pretty awesome. His parents aren't members, but a couple of his siblings are. We get along great. A young missionary named Elder Scott came here to be comps with my son, Elder Silva in our house. He's pretty quiet but he's really fun. We have a fun time.
So to start off, we had an awesome conference here in Southern Chile. It was a satellite broadcast for our District Conference, and it was from Salt Lake. Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge of the Seventy who used to be a Mission President and later the Area President of Chile directed the conference. Elder Andersen of the Twelve was present, as was President Thomas S. Monson. It was so cool!! I learned a lot about how my desires and actions need to be placed in Christ, and how loving Him above all other things is so important. It was a really cool experience.
On Saturday night, the Priesthood and Adult Sessions of District conference were held locally. Elder Pulsipher, the first counsellor of the mission, presided over those meetings since the district functions under the mission. He invited my comp and I to go help him do a demonstration which was pretty cool. He talked about combining missionary efforts and member missionary efforts. He shared a talk from Elder Bednar that talks about how all the members typically pray so that the missionaries will find people to teach. He says that missionaries are full-time teachers, while the members should be the full-time finders. I love it. He then says that the members shouldn't be praying so that the missionaries do their work for them. It was great. Then he had us do a small example of how to effectively and comfortably share the gospel with a friend and invite them to share with the missionaries. It was really sweet!! Member work is so important but sometimes it's hard to get it going on a roll. How's your member-missionarywork doing back home??
This Wednesday we had Leaders Council in Chillán. We were expecting the Area Presdiency to be there on video conference, but for some reason weren't there. It was kind of sad, but the council was great anyway. We're focusing now on committing better our investigators to do things that lead to conversion. Commitment is often a big challenge cause people say they will do stuff but don't. A lot of the time, on Saturday night they say they'll go to church, but then we call or go by to pick them up on Sunday morning, and they aren't even there. It's so frustrating!! Also, we're focusing on having the vision to baptize. Something I've learned a lot about is that all the focus of the gospel, the Atonement, the Restoration, everything, is so that we can receive the remission of our sins and be endowed with power from the Holy Ghost. The answer to everyone's problems is having the remission of their sins. The only way to get that, is by applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ through His gospel, which was restored by Joseph Smith. It's really quite simple. I'm trying to relate all my teaching to the principle of the remission of sins, so the people understand the blessings they can receive and the purpose behind it all. Then they will also understand their need to be baptized. It's so simple but so awesome.
Mercedes is doing great. Her daughter, Isabela, is unfortunately deciding that she doesn't really want to change from her former life. We tried to save her and help her regain interest, but already decided not to go to church. It's weird, cause almost over night that changed. A lot of the time that means they talked to someone who told them stuff, or they realized the commitment that following God really is. Anyway, the older lady, María, who lives with Mercedes and went to church with her last week, is also doing good. Mercedes and María are both getting baptized this Saturday. We're so excited. It's been so cool to see Mercedes's progress. It's been really fast. It'll basically be a three-week baptism. At first she was kind of cautious about sharing with us and committing herself and did it more for her daughter, but that turned around really quickly as she opened her heart. She feels so much closer to God and has a testimony of the Restoration. Even despite her extremely humble circumstances, she was more than willing to accept the law of Tithing. It's been quite an incredible experience teaching her. I think perhaps Isabela just needed to show interest at the beginning so that Mercedes would take interest as well. I hope Isabela chooses to accept the gospel in the future.
We're working with some other people too. María Olga was someone who, due to travels, hasn't been able to go to church, but she had been progressing a lot. She committed to go to church this weekend, but on Saturday when we went by she started acting very weird, saying she only wanted to read the Bible and not the Book of Mormon, and that Joseph Smith doesn't even appear in the Bible and stuff. It was weird, cause beforehand she understood that stuff quite well and was really receptive to it. Her daughter gave a bunch of opposition but she always resisted it really well. Anyway, we taught her, and she seemed to have calmed down and committed to go to church and not to close her heart. She told us that someone had told her that we use the Book of Mormon to convince people, but then it becomes an antichrist. I've heart so much garbage that people make up. Anyway, we explained her that it wasn't that way and she seemed to be doing a lot better but then called us later on saying she didn't want is to force her to go. It's sad when Satan gets people like that.
We're working with Paola and Pato still. They're struggling to keep their commitments a little bit, so we're worried about them. At the beginning of the week, they were iffy about getting baptized this month and wanted to do it in April, just delaying it more, but then when the found out I probably wouldn't be here at the end of April, they wanted to do it the 22nd. Anyway, they didn't go to church this weekend, and they're struggling to read constantly. Pray for them, they need help!!
I'm excited for this upcoming week and the progress we're going to see. Keep praying for us down here in Linares. Thanks for all your prayers and support. I know this is the truth. Jesus Christ is our Saviour, and this is His restored gospel. I know the Book of Mormon true. I love being a missionary! I don't want to leave.
Also, congrats to Jess on her mission call! It's gonna be a blast!
Thanks family, you rock! I lvoe you tons. Keep sharing the gospel!