Thursday, December 4, 2014

Letter 47: Last Thanksgiving

Dear mom,

Man I'm so hungry now after seeing the pictures of chuck-a-rama and everything haha seriously! I miss the cousins and all too haha but it`s all good, next year. I always hated the endings of holidays when everyone went back to the same old. Being together with the family and the cousins was always the best. Then again...I was never the one preparing all of the food and all haha so I`d imagine you`re a little relieved now! Haha to be honest I didn`t even realize Thanksgiving had passed by until was just another normal day. :)

I wasn`t able to read dad`s response but I read it today and it`s true. The update with my companion is the today we have interviews with President Kahnlein. We write him a weekly letter every week and he ended up calling me on Thursday and asking me what was going on with my companion, so I told him. He told me that he had put this Elder with me because he knew it was going to be difficult. He also said that he trusted me completly and that he wanted to interview my companion and I. So that`s what we will be doing today! Basically it`s been one of the harder weeks of my mission, oh man. I know that deep down he has good desires to serve but he just isn`t prepared. He comes from a small town in the Amazon and has some challenges with social skills. This week i`ve seen that he is always either very serious or laughs at everything. It makes it difficult to teach to work but that`s what i`m going to have to work on this change is to help him. My leaders know and i`ll see what president says but it`s just something I have to pass for. It`s interesting because we talked yesterday in church about crisis or trials and how they are what help us to grow. Really it depends on how we react, we have to rely upon the Lord but I know that he expects us to use our mind as well and do works. This would be the example of a mini ¨crisis¨, but my goal is to keep going and hopefully help my companion. 

I really like that qoute. It`s amazing how much can change with attitude or with a kind action or word. Sometimes we don`t even realize how much we have helped someone. It`s like you say, the day to day determines who we will become. I`ve found the the bigger events or the ¨once in a whiles¨ really don`t change who we are inside. Our choices on how to act everyday will determine who we become. President Monson said ¨A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, watch your step¨. We should always be aware of what we`re doing. Sometimes it`s so hard to let the saviour into our lives completely and it`s because we don`t trust or we have trouble giving up worldly things but I know that the more we let Him in our life the happier we become. Sacrifice will ALWAYS bring a blessing. I`ll try to stay positive and grateful I promise, i hope that you can do the same. Know that you and the family are in my prayers and that I love you all! I know i`ve said it before but I really do have the best family, (and you have the best son ever, me) haha but seriously, I miss you all. Thanks for all you do mom, enjoy the rest after a busy Thanksgiving!

Love, Elder Barton

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Post 46: Trainer

Dear mom!

Oh how good it is to hear from you. Honestly sometimes I just need to hear from you and the family to feel a bit better. So the transfers came and.............I didn`t get transfered! Elder Huertas ended up getting transfered can you believe that?? Hahah By the end of this transfer I`ll have been here for 6 months. So my new companion is Elder Canales from Peru and I`m training him. He just got here and this is his first area. To be honest when I got the call I was pretty dang excited and a little nervous too. But....complications appeared out of the nowhere haha as always. When you think about a new missionary you think of someone who is ready to go to work and be obedient, well that`s not the case with my new companion. Gahhhh why?? My first son is so hard already -Sighh-. It`s weird because every single day i`ve had to tell him to get up over and over, he arrives to studies late everyday, doesn`t want to help plan, doesn`t like to stay focused in studies etc. I think you get the point. I`ve tried to be all nice and use please and everything and then I went to being more serious and firm but his reaction is the same for everything he just kind of laughs and basically says stuff like ¨no elder hahah it`s okay....or Elder don`t be a ruler/square (someone who is ¨overly¨ obedient) etc. Needless to say it drives me insane and were not even a week into the transfer. So THAT`s the bad news but the good news is that...hmm what  is the good news? Our investigators are progressing slowly but surly. Elder Morales my DL stayed too, so hopefully he can help me out a bit as well. Anyway that`s kind of the update of the situation in the mission. I MISS ELDER HUERTAS! Elder Huertas and I got along so well. But what`s done is done I just have to accept it and do my best. It`s the hardest thing to try and teach someone or be the example for someone who doesn`t want to listen. I`ll keep you updated on how it all goes.

Wow Thanksgiving already!..You`ll have to save me some apple pie. Seriously I`m getting pretty hungry just thinking about all the thanksgiving food. That`s awesome that Steve and his family are going to go up there though, that means...CHUCKARAMA! Two thanksgivings are always better than one. But all in all sounds like things are going really well there. Work is busy and the family is all doing great. Trevor arrived at this base and all. Plus the most important thing is that it`s Nichole`s and Bridger`s birthdays!! Give them a hug from me. :)

I can`t believe all of them are already returning home? I didn`t even realize either that so many left right around the same time. I`m really excited to talk with you guys next month too, it`s going to be the best! It`s lame that Trevor won`t be there though (or will he?). But for real i`m going to have to practice my English a little bit before with the other Gringo elder in my district. I have been with latinos since MARCH. I don`t know whats up haha, Nichole asked me if I was the only Gringo in my mission. You`re right though, even though right now is pretty hard I need to be grateful and keep working. Yesterday during church it was awesome because I felt really down because of all that is happening and the lesson that was given in priesthood helped so much. They talked about faith in Jesus Christ, works, and tribulations. Just keep me in your prayers please, I`m going to need a lot of patience and faith to keep working hard and truly trying to help my companion.

I love you so much! Miss you a ton as always but I know you`re in good hands as well as the family. Thanks for all you do and enjoy Thanksgiving! I`ll be sure to get the things I need. Thanks mom!

Love Elder Barton

Monday, November 17, 2014

Post 45: Benjamin's Baptism


So sounds like your trip to Georgia went really well and that the weather cooperated. I loved to see those pictures! Haha especially of Bridger dressed up his army get-up. You all looked so snazzy too in the pictures, I come from an attractive family, just sayin. I`m jealous you got to visit that museum seeing as how I love history. I feel like learning about the wars we have had and the sacrifices that were made really make me appreciate our country more. Sounds like the best part of all is that Trevor is home with you guys right now. You should just have a Thanksgiving feast early before he goes, haha I agree that`s lame he leaves right before thanksgiving but it`s true, we have no control over that. Take advantage of your time with him!

Well as you know transfers are a week from Wednesday on the 19th. I honestly have no idea what will happen but it`s probable that I'll be heading out. What I`m hoping...I don`t know, I love it here and I love the people I`ve come to know. This area has had so many trials and things that have happened but through it all my companion and I have overcome them and stayed strong I feel really good about that. I`m hoping that I stay, but it`s like that whole thing with Trevor, I have no control haha. 

Yesterday Benjamin got baptized and it was an interesting experience that`s for sure! So we arrived at the church an hour early to start the baptismal font and the church was FILTHY! No one had cleaned it on Saturday so we went to work cleaning everything and I had a feeling to call Benjamin so I called him and he was in a pretty bad mood. He lives by a building that is a place for dances and they had been playing music all night long and he hadn`t slept. Long story short he wasn`t very happy and we went to his house to see what we could do. On the way we were really doubting ourselves like if we should go through with the baptism and everything. Everything seemed to be going wrong and Benjamin didn`t seem so excited for his baptism. So we stopped an prayed basically asking for guidance and saying that we were going to try and go through with the baptism but if it wasn`t supposed to be then let us know. We arrived at his house and got everything ready and as we walked with him back to the church we listened. He was able to vent to us and we started to ask him how he felt about his baptism and all. We ended up arriving at church about 15 minutes late. During the sacrament my companion and I were able to both receive the answer ¨yes¨ to go through with the baptism. During the course of the classes Benjamin`s attitude changed completely and he said that he was so sure of what he was doing and he knew it was right. Right before his service his mom and aunt showed up (beforehand he had said they didn`t want to come seeing as how they were catholic). They arrived and you could see that Benjamin was happy that they had come. After he was baptized he was able to have a few minutes to talk in front of everyone about his experience. He said that he had never felt anything like what he had felt in the church and that was ready to make any sacrifice necessary to continue. His mom and aunt were able to feel the spirit as well and we gave his mom a book of Mormon. All in all it turned out to be a wonderful day. :) There is always SOMETHING that happens before a baptism like the last trial before the blessing. Alejandro and Lorena attended his baptism and loved it too. We were able to visit with them yesterday and during this past week and they want to get married and baptized. It`s amazing because they have felt in their hearts that it`s true and now without us even having to say anything or motivate them to do things they just do them. We went to their house this past week and  sat down and we had planned to talk about temple marriage and before we said anything they both said ¨okay, lets talk about marriage!¨...hahah my companion and I just looked at each other like...yeah! 
So things are going well here in San Franscisco de Limache. The members are starting to help more and more and I feel happy. I know that there are still a lot of things I can do better and that I need to learn but I feel really blessed to have the Spirit in my life always guiding me. In this moment God doesn`t expect any of his children to be perfect, he just expects us to keep going, to keep trying. I think that`s why so many people get discouraged, it`s easy to focus on all of our faults and weaknesses. But it`s like we talked about weeks ago, if we only focus on those things that`s what our life will be. We should focus more on the love of our Father in Heaven and the power of his son`s sacrifice for us. With them everything is possible.

Well to answer some of your questions...they don`t decorate a lot here for Christmas (it kills me!), and it`s super hot during Christmas so I don`t ever actually feel like it`s Christmas time haha. I`m feeling healthy for the most part. Something weird happens with my vision. Sometimes there is a black dot there but it only appears when I moved my eyes from one side to the other and the dot appears and fades away....soooo I have no idea what that means? Plus I found a brown fleck in the blue of my eye..don`t know if that`s related or if I just never noticed it.  My tooth is fine but one of my molars has been hurting a bit. One of the most interesting things I have ate lately is a whole artichoke...leaves and all. I thought they were joking but nope. You dip the leaves in limon juice and then eat the heart too, that was pretty weird. Oh how I miss your food!  

I love you so much! Thanks for the email and for the pictures, I love to see them. Have a great week with Trev!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Letter 44: Investigators

Dear...recipient :p

And October is.....almost over! Time is kind of a weird thing in the mission, the months just seem to keep passing by. Yeah I`ve heard that the weather is really nice there. Here it is getting pretty hot now. On Friday we had a day of about 34 degrees C...I forgot how much that is in Farenheit, but it feels so heavy with the humidity! Can`t same i`m terribly excited for summer but hey, I can`t change it so I`ll just have to accept it. Yeah the interview went really well and the next time I talk with him will be in December. I email him every week and could mention something but I don`t know I think in an interview would be better, what do you think? I promise to let him know!

That`s so exciting about Trevor, I bet he`ll be happy to finally see you all again! He told me that word has it his first assignment is going to be in South Korea WHAT! That would be pretty crazy. But anyway tell Bridger flying is awesome. Did he come with us when Uncle Monty let me and Brock fly the airplane? I don`t remember, but that was the coolest thing! Then when he told me that I was going to land it, I thought we all were going to die. Good thing we didn`t eh? Haha.

Man I wish I could have seen his superbowl! That`s too bad they lost by just a touchdown but I bet they played hard. Tell Bridger congrats! I bet that he is going to be taller than all of us kids when he gets older. Everyone here says that if you play basketball you grow...I don`t know what happened to me.

Esther`s story is a good one. It would take some serious courage and trust in God. You`re in the primary right? What age do you teach? Job another extreme story, it`s interesting how God teaches us with extremes. I think that it`s to leave out all doubt or leave out the question ¨to what point?¨. I`m just grateful that i`m not asked to pass through what Job passed through. Good luck with your class this week! Yeah we have been giving him scriptures to read and calling him for a few minutes everyday. He is a lot more motivated. His family keeps going to church on Sundays and all. Actually they said something really interesting. His wife said ¨I just want a miracle, I know God is a God of miracles and I need a miracle now. I told my husband that if God saves him i`ll give myself in service to the church and stop holding back¨. I hope that in our service to God and the church we never find ourselves in a moment of crisis regretting not having given our time and attention to God and the church. It doesn`t matter if the leaders aren`t ideal or if someone offends us, we know our responsibilities. It made me said to hear her say that but at the same time sometimes it takes thigns really big like this crisis to make people realize what they need to do.

This week has been really good. Alejandro and Lorena came to church again yesterday! We are so excited and happy for them, honestly they already share a lot of the standards we have and participate a lot in the classes. We only teach them on weekends because of their work but this Friday we are going to extend the invitation to be baptized. He is a phycologist and she is a nutritionist. They both are really good people and have sincere desires to know the truth. It`s been a great opportunity to teach them and hear and answer some of their questions. Pray that all goes well :). We have done alot of walking lately haha, but that`s nothing new. We have found a couple of new people to teach, one guy named Miguel that has millions of questions! Hahah we taught a lesson and it was basically just asking and answering questions, but the good thing that it`s a real desire to learn, not just questions to make a conflict. 

My suits are navy and gray. I still haven`t been able to get new shoes but i`m going to look again today, no worries. The chips did just find in my last package surprisingly haha, just a little smashed. Yeah Trevor is awesome! 

I love you guys so much. I hope you know that. I hope that this week goes great for you all and that you keep enjoying the good weather! Thanks for all of your support and love. I love being able to hear from you all every week. It`s true that life has a lot of unexpecteds, i`m sorry to hear about Bryce. Love you mom!

Love, Elder Barton

Monday, October 13, 2014

Letter 43: Staying in San Fransico de Limanache

Dear mother of mine,
Well it`s great to hear from you! I seriously love Mondays because I can always count on hearing from you and the family. I did get Trevor`s email and man did he get me laughing with the qoutes he gave me (my companion probably thinks i`m weird hahah...nah impossible). But more than that he is still killing it out there. Everyone now saluting him as ¨Sir¨, haha dang. It`s good to know how he is doing AND that he will be home for Christmas, the best part!
So transfers happened and my companion and I are both staying here in San Francisco de Limache! I get along really well with Elder Huertas. Honestly this past transfer has been a bit harder in terms of ¨success¨ and sometimes it`s makes me ask why? But as Trevor was telling me we just have to keep working and making ourselves better during these times and I feel that that`s true. I`m excited for this transfer and hope that it`ll go well! We actually didn`t have interviews with President just yet, we will have them on Thursday and i`ll be able to talk with him then.

So this past week has been pretty good. We were able to teach a lot of less active members and find a few new people to teach. It`s crazy because some days we have like 5 appointments set and one by one they don`t work out. Hahah but that`s just part of the mission. This past Sunday we had Stake conference and our stake President was changed. Elder Zeballos of the seventy and Pres. Kahnlein attended and both spoke. It was a really good conference and something that they said really stuck with me. They said that our job and priviledge as members of the church is to invite...that`s it. It`s so easy. We aren`t exactly responsible for if they accept or not but we have to at least invite others to come unto Christ. Other than that i`ve been thinking about conference still, I think i`m going to start listening to talks every Monday as I write so I can keep them fresh in my mind. An elder with about 4 months in the mission arrived in our district and Elder Silva (the brazilian), left. I was able to do an interchange with the new elder (Elder Henderson), and guess what?? He`s from Mapleton! Hahah it was pretty great. He is seriously one of the nicest people I`ve ever met. I sat there thinking wow...this kid is too nice and says thanks for EVERYTHING. I don`t know him super well but I do know that he has a love for others and it`s a great example for me. It will be good to get to know him and have a great transfer. But that`s about it for this week, my companion and I have been talking a lot about what we can do better and about the things that we can improve and how we can better follow the spirit. I think that really striving more to hear the spirit we will be able to be guided more in this work and be led to the chosen of the Lord.

I was thinking the same thing mom, time really is going by fast. In a several weeks i`ll be able to count the months on my! Not to mention i`m really excited to talk with you all on Skype for Christmas. It will be a great time. What do I want for Christmas? Hmm. That`s kind of hard, I have been thinking about a new camara because mine is kind of...lame haha. Some new ties?..umm socks. What else could a missionary in chile need? Maybe if you find something awesome to repel fleas (seeing as how summer is arriving here we are going to have a lot more of those). Obviously delicious treats :) annnd I will keep thinking. Do you have any ideas? Either way, the best part will be talking to you all!
I still have never had to speak in sacrament meeting at church while i`ve been here (so no, i`m not going to return an awesome sacrament speaker haha), but yes I do teach a lot. The second hour we have a class called Prinicples of the Gospel and for some reason, it doesn`t matter what ward i`m in, the person who has the calling to teach it doesn´t show up often, so we end up teaching it. :) But I like to teach. 

I`m going to go look around today for some new shoes and all. Thank you! But anyway time is running low so I just want you to know that I love you so much! I`m so grateful for you and the family. the support that you have given me has helped me so much. I miss you all! I hope you have a great week and I can´t wait to hear from you again!
Love Elder Barton
P.S. Tell Bridger GOOD LUCK with his superbowl! ;) haha
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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Letter 41: Rubi Staying Strong

Whuttup momm, Jk, Dearest mother,
Hahah hey! I have to agree General Conference was amazing. More than anything it recharges the the batteries and gives me a ton of motivation and inspiration, it definitely is a blessing to have a living prophet, apostles, an inspired men and women. I think one of my favorite talks was Elder Bednar at the end. Talk about how it applies to me now, sometimes as missionaries I think that we have a lot of pressures and things that they require of us and it can be overwhelming but in reality I just have to remember why I`m here...I want to give to those what has saved and healed me. There were a lot of good talks and it seems like this conference they were all pretty clear and direct.
Jazmin went over? That`s awesome! Yeah she has been writing me too and it seems like she is doing really well, she is happy and I know that she is being blessed.
Well the situation here in San Francisco de Limache is a little hard at the moment for a few reasons. My companion is pretty discouraged because he has had much success in about 5 months. He feels pretty discouraged too that he will be 24 this month and he thought that by now he would be a super good missionary that good basically do everything. In other words I think it has to do with what we talked about a little while ago, the things we focus on will be bigger. I told him that this morning that we need to look at all the good that is happening, especially after this general conference. He feels a little blah also because we have interviews next week I think and President isn`t usually very ¨soft¨ on those who haven`t baptized. I explained that hey, that`s his job, is to make sure that the work of salvation continues. Maybe he doesn`t do it the way that we like but he shouldn`t worry. Success will come as we are faithful. Yesterday my companion and I received a call from a lady named Rubi who got baptized in July. I answered her call and she was in tears. She had arrived at the chapel and no one was there, no one had explained that the conference would take the place of regular church. She began to say how alone she felt and how her financial situation was so tight that she just couldn`t continue on. She then said that it would be better if she just went home and didn`t go to church anymore. As you can imagine at that moment I was praying that I would say the right thing and I told her to stay there and that we would go and meet with her right now. So we left and went to a little park by the church and began to talk to her. I prayed along the way that we would be able to say the right things to her. When we arrived we talked for a few minutes casually and I was able to share an experience with her that made us both cry a bit ( i honestly don`t normally cry when I`m teaching, but this time was different), I was able to understand how she felt and I don`t know, I just felt compassion. My companion shared Joseph Smith`s experience in jail where he spent the winter and endured a lot of affliction and how the Lord says that our afflictions will be but a small moment, and if we endure them well, God shall exalt thee on high. Long story short she was able to trust in the Lord and go to the conference and continue on. I made the point to my companion that what he shared with Rubi is exactly what he needs in this moment. I know that it`s hard when things don`t work out the way you want (trust me! I know!), but in the end we just have to keep being faithful and strive to be happy.
Speaking of which we have transfers this Wednesday! I`ll be sure to let you know what happens of course. I have no idea what will happen so it should be interesting. 3 short months and we will talking on SKYPE, don`t worry i`ll practice my English this time so that I can speak more fluidly haha. I will look around her for some shoe shops, I have found a few but i`ll look more into it and if I find a good pair ill get it. I think it will be better too rather than risk them getting stolen. As for starting school in August I really do think it would be a good idea as well and I`ll talk with President about it and tell him all the information. Obviously it`s not something of having everyone just wanting me home but several months of idle time isn`t a great idea, i`m pretty sure he`ll be supportive about it. 

Trevor emailed me but it was short. His training looks so awesome though! I`m happy he could watch the Conference too. Speaking of which MAN I miss the crepes! Hahah i`m going to eat so many when I get home, seriously. Well mom, I sure do miss you and the family. I love you guys so much and have really thought and acknowledged how much of a blessing it is to have such a loving and supportive family.
You are the best! Love you!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Letter 40: Independence week BBQ!

Dear mother of mine,

Hey! Seriously it does feel like forever since we have heard much from each other. The pictures from your vacation look amazing though, sounds like you had a great time. We will have to do something when I get home ;) hahah. I think one of my favorite vacation spots is our traditional San Diego, a lot of good memories there. It`s true though, there is just something about home that you can`t replace. Hahaha that`s funny that you mention the drivers and the craziness of the roads..I thought that is how Chile was going to be but it`s crazy because they are wayyy overly safe. Like as a pedestrian it drives me crazy how cautious they are haha. But hey I guess it`s a lot better than almost having to be really careful in the streets! 

This week we have had zero new investigators. Actually this week was the their independence week or in other words the week where everyone drinks and eats barbecue and just wants to party haha. So I can`t say it was a very successful week. However we still were able to teach some people and have a good time. Actually our ward had an activity for the 18th and it was awesome! I`ll send some pictures but it was great. I learned how to make empanadas (which included chopping a ton of onion and crying), and then we played a bunch of typical games of Chile. But they were just normal what we did in elementary school for field day such as tug of war, sack races, etc. but it was still fun. They did some traditional dances of their country and that was pretty fun to watch, my companion took video of a lot of things so we`ll have to watch them when I get home.  For the first time in forever I ate barbecue! So as far as food goes it was a good week.

So as to your list of questions I`m just going to answer them one by one right now so I don`t forget..
-My favorite thing to eat here is probably a good empanada.
-Yes I have thought about school and I think it would be a good idea to start it in August. I have to talk with President but from what I have heard from other missionaries is that for educational reasons you can go one month before the ¨release date¨. I think it would be better to get home and just start instead of having a few months of waiting. But I don`t know, what do you think?
 -I think I`ll stay for another transfer but I have no idea if Elder Huertas will stay or not. 
-Things are fine with my companion, we get along pretty well so there aren`t really any problems there we just want more success!
_-There are no signs of going to the temple sadly, man do I miss it!
-Some of my pants are kind of dying..but nothing to bad. I`m a 30-32
I hope I didn`t miss anything! Oh and it`s been a while since we have had interviews with President so we should have some soon. The transfers come the 8th of October right after General Conference. Speaking of which I am excited to hear the General Conference! It`s going to be a good one (like all of them haha). I`m trying to think of some questions or things I want direction with in my life to be able to have in mind as i`m listening. What about you?

I have seen a lot of blessings in my own life and in the life you you guys too. It`s good to know that the Lord really does take care of us when we do what is right. I have to say I have learned a lot through this past year in the mission and I wanted to share with you a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 135:5.After Joseph Smith had died and they were recounting the experience how Hyrum had put corner of a page turned on Ether 12. It really struck me as I read it this morning. It basically says don`t worry that the gentiles (all of those not of the church), don`t have charity, that has nothing to do with you, you have been faithful and you will inherit the kingdom of God. It says something like that..I read it in Spanish. But I have found that at times I get discouraged in the mission for lack of success or for when people don`t want to hear our message and I have come to realize that it doesn`t matter because i`ve been faithful. I want to continue to be faithful and I know that your support as my family has been essential in helping me do this. I know God put me with you all for a reason and I thank him everyday for it. I love you so much!

I truly do miss you as well but it no time we`ll be together again. In the meantime I will keep working hard and striving to do whats right so all can be blessed. Thanks for all you do and know that it doesn`t go unnoticed. Have a wonderful week! And save some pumpkin roll for me ;)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Letter 39: Darko's Baptism!

My dear wonderful, beautiful, and youthful motherrrrrrr!

Well a lot has happened this week! But first of all it was amazing to hear about your trip to Trevor`s graduation. Missionaries coming and going eh? Sounds pretty exciting haha, Will is back, I heard Dallin is back too. And to Argentina? Supposedly they eat pretty well there so he might end up gaining a bit of weight haha, a lot of barbeques and pasta! I miss your Sunday dinners thats for sure, yesterday I ate some noodles with red sauce, it was pretty...good. Hahah oh man, the mission, too good. Don`t worry, soon you will have GRANDKIDS to fill the house as well haha. Also that`s super exciting about your trip to the domincan republic, i`m excited to see the pictures when you go. I heard that they speak really fast..but then again you will be at a resort so youll be speaking English. Or you could learn spanish and we can talk when I get home. 

Okay well this week was full of adventures! First and foremost we had a baptism! Darko got baptized on Saturday at 4:00. It was great to see how many people came out to support him despite the rain (when it rains hardly anyone leaves the house). Here is a little shortened version of his story. Okay, his friend at school invited him to go to church one Sunday and he went. He told us how that day changed everything. He had been into alcohol and stuff not so great and he told us how after he went to church he changed, he stopped doing those things. Well he attended church there for about a month and a half and his friend (lela) sent us his address and everything though the other missionaries there. After 2 weeks we finally found him and started to teach him and MAN he had so many questions! Over the course of about 3 or 4 weeks we taught him everything, answered all his questions and helped him feel more sure about baptism. I remember the lesson where he decided to be baptized, we red Ether 12:6 and he sat there thinking for a good 15 seconds then told us he wanted to be baptized. The young men and young women of the ward accepted him completely and befriended him right from the start. Actually the young mens pres. baptized him and two of the young men were the witnesses. It was a really special day. Darko`s friend that invited him ended up coming with her family and got pretty emotional during the service and started to cry. All I could think is how her one small action to invite him to church completely changed the course of his life. How amazing it is to me that she decided to act and have the courage to open her mouth. Darko`s mom, aunt, and uncle came to the baptismal service as well and were moved. Overall it was a great day and i`m thankful for the opportunity I had and have to teach him and get to know him. Anyway, we left the chapel and were walking with our umbrellas (it had been raining off and on all day). We contacted a few houses and were walking down one of the main roads (which means lots of powerlines),  and all of a sudden the buildings next to me begin to shake and I hear a lot of trembling. Finally it dawned on me, earthquake! At first I ran for the wall of a building to get cover or something, i`m not sure what I was thinking but then I realized hey...buildings can fall. So I ran with my companion to the edge of the street and as my mind is racing I remember hearing something about get away from powerlines. As I thought that I looked up and was right under some powerlines that just happened to start sparking and all the lights went out. Then it stopped and all you could hear were car alarms and people yelling or crying. If I remember right it was like a 6.4, relatively small for Chile but for me it was huge haha. We went to our pension to see that everything was alright and there wasn`t any light, the electricity had been cut for our house and several blocks. Well to make things short we went to a members house and stayed there for a while. There were a few aftershocks during the night that woke me up and the light didn`t come back until Sunday night. So that was a pretty crazy experience. No worries though, i`m alive :)

We have Transfers this Wednesday and i`m pretty sure i`ll be staying here but I have no idea if my comp is going to go or going to stay. I`ll let you know what happens. The weather here is getting hotter and hotter already! Well minues the days that it rains. It`s kind of like Utah weather here, one day is super nice and the other really blah. But we are going to be warming up here pretty soon. I`m still very happy with my area and with my companion, obviously there are trials with every comp. and every area but there are also a lot of blessings. I can`t believe that in about 2 months you guys are going to have snow! I feel like you just barely came out of winter. Time is passing pretty quickly, I hope you have a great week and enjoy your last little while of warmth! Haha Trevor is the best! He wrote me and i`m going to forward this email and right him something right now. I love you mom! Thanks for all your love and support!

Love your favorite child, Elder Barton!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Letter 38: Sushi Snatcher

Hey mom!
Ah thank goodness that the letter got there in time! I was also worried because my receipt said that is was going to go to Germany!  Trevor`s squad is the top squad? No surprise there haha, I feel like he just excels at stuff. You`ll definitely have to fill me in on everything and how his experience was, well i`m sure he will be emailing me too!  He baptized 2 people?? This whole experience has been such a blessing hasn`t it? I feel like things are just looking up and that`s always a good feeling!
I`m hoping that everyone will be there when I call for Christmas but we`ll see what happens. Grandma and Grandpa, I have written him a few times and he seems to be doing well. I bet he loves the visits too! I have so many good memories with them, I remember that is was Grandma that really taught me how to read a lot better and would always take us out to get breakfast on Saturdays. Hey I actually had a question about your dad, he was a convert right? And if so, do you know the story??
Things are going pretty well here! I like my area and my companion and I get along really well! Hahah man, I haven`t laughed so hard in all of my mission. It`s great because we both are learning more and getting better but we can still have fun. Darko is coming right along with the baptism. He is so smart! It was funny because almost every lesson we have taught him he knows so much already! The other day we taught him about tithing and I asked him what he knew about it, he basically explained everything that we were going to teach him. He is one that has been prepared! It`s all thanks to his friend too, she invited him to church about 2 months ago and now he has progressed so much. Small acts really do make the difference! We have zone conference coming up this Wednesday. This one the president won`t be there but our zone leaders will be directing it. Here`s to hoping the package arrived by some miracle! Well other than that we haven`t really found any new investigators, that`s our challenge here! Blah, but it`s all good, we`ll keep working.  This past week we did a kiosk thing. It`s a stand with a question like ¨will I be with my family after this life?¨, stuff like that, and we stand by it for 4 hours everyday and basically wait for people to ¨look interested¨ and then we contact them. It`s probably been one of the most interesting experiences on my mission hahah, or in other words, funniest experiences. People say the weirdest things mom, seriously. Some guy came up and tried to force me to buy a necklace, then some guy came up and started to recite poems that he wrote about the fall of the united states. Hmmm, a lot of other things, but you get the idea! We have had a bit of success though. I think what the stand lacks is stuff to give out, to interest the people.

Sounds like things are moving right along at home! That picture of Bridger is awesome haha. Seriously I`m going to arrive home to a completely new home!   OH hey! I remembered a funny story, so last Monday we went to get sushi and we sat outside to eat it right? Well this lady comes along and asks for money, my companion gives her some and then she looks at my sushi and snatches one right off my plate and then just walks away! Hahah oh my gosh, I couldn`t believe it. Anyway, the sushi was great, thank you!  Love you so much mom! Have a great week okay?
Love your favorite child!

Letter 37: UFO's

Hey Mom!
Well my new companion and I are getting all ¨used to each other¨ Haha. He is an awesome guy and we actually get along really well! We found 3 new people to teach this past week which is great! One of them is named Darko and he is so interested in the gospel! He told us that he already knows baptism is something essential and that he really just wants that conviction that this church is true, so in other words, he will most likely be baptized soon. The good thing too is that we have young men in this ward who help and are active in inviting him to come.
Kevin is gone! Man I bet he is going to enjoy it. The begining is always the most interesting. I was telling my companion the other day that now its a little more boring because I know the language haha, like this thing I was struggling with for MONTHS now isn`t an issue. Then again, it`s a relief as well.
I feel like that whole thing with fireworks in the mountains happens all to often. You would think that people would learn by now. Sounds scary! I remember that fire in our old house that was on the mountain and watching it during the night. Crazy stuff! Hopefully they are able to put everything out. It`s weird to think that it is summer there!
Hey I sent a letter to Trevor today and I paid more so that it will get there faster! I was thinking that if it gets there in time you can take it with you to Trevor`s graduation and give it to him there. I will also write you a response to his scanned letter so you can send it as well! Man he is doing so well in his training. I seriously am so proud of him.
You`re so lucky! I bet it`s going to be beautiful there! And obviously you will have to take some pictures and send them along. We really have been blessed with a beautiful and loving family haven`t we? I truly am grateful for that. You already know, but being out here has helped me to appreciate that even more in my life. I miss you guys a ton!
We are working hard mom, no worries haha. Actually I feel like I've arrived in crazy land. Why you may ask? Because I have heard like 4 different people tell stories of the UFO`s here! Haha some guy told us how a red light came down and scanned him. What`s worse is that there is a member family who talks about it too! Oh my gosh...I`m just hoping that no one else talks about it. Other than that though, I love the ward. There is a canadian family who lives here who talks to me in English which is pretty awesome. The daughter is putting in her papers to go on the mission! It`s true that it was hard to leave Los Vilos and all but I haven`t felt as sad as I thought I would. I`m pretty sure it`s because of the work, we just keep at it and it`s also the fact that God calls me where he needs me so this is where I need to be. My companion and I were talking this morning about how we have felt about all of the rejections we have gotten in the mission in comparison with those who have accepted. In the end we came to the conclusion that it doesn`t matter how many reject our message, our purpose as missionaries it to give people the chance and to deliver the message, we are doing what we have been called to do.
Well other than that there isn`t a whole lot to report! I love you and I hope you all have a great week!" I`m sure the boys  are just all to excited for school to start soon haha. Be safe with those fires!

Elder Barton

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Letter 36: Transfer to Limache, Sanfransico

Well looks like I'm in a new area! Man it really was hard to leave my last area but I was able to say my goodbyes and everything. I will continue to write letters to the people there as well. Alright on Wednesday I went to Viña (i was the ONLY missionary in my zone to go south haha it was super lame). I am now in Limache, San Francisco! After 10 months in the mission I am now in the south. It is pretty different here, especially because everything is pretty green and there are a lot more people than in Los Vilos! My new companion is Elder Isabel and he is from Mexico and a convert of 2 years. We get along pretty well, he and his other companion just baptized a mother and her daughter here (looks like they spent all of their time doing that because we have zero investigators now...haha), which is awesome! This area is pretty nice and the view reminds me totally of Utah! It`s a valley with mountains surrounding and some parts just totally remind me of home.
So far I'm loving where I`m at. We have a few challenges in this area which are no investigators, the area folder where we keep all of our records of the people we teach hasn`t been updated in 3 months, and the ward needs a bit of a jumpstart to get things going again. Despite these things I'm hopeful for progress and from the things I learned in my last transfer I know that we can improve things here a bunch! During our change meeting in Viña the president`s wife spoke about how when the people reject us it`s okay, we didn`t come for them, we came to look for those who are ready to accept our message. This is pretty true, so instead of getting discouraged after a day of rejection I`m going to try harder to keep motivated.
Yesterday I met a lot of ward members, there are about 60 that attend. The chapel is beautiful! (Palmira Romanos is the street if dad wants to know haha). I like my ward mission leader, he is 24 and return missionary. We have young men here which is great! Overall I'm happy to be here and excited to get to know the members more.
Hmmm what else..oh yeah so we are in winter here right? The other day is was sooooo hot! It was the weirdest thing is was just one random day with a bunch of heat and now it`s cold again. We have several hills in our area that just kill me when we have to go up them haha. Our area is HUGE by the way, I really want to have bikes here, it`s be way more efficient, but we can`t have them so...looks like I'll be walking!
Wow! Our house already looks pretty different but nice! Good taste! Oh hey, you better not have gotten rid of the lazy boy! Everything looks really nice and it sounds like you guys are staying busy and having a good time. I love to hear from you and the family every week whether it`s been a great week and I can tell you about success or whether it`s been a bad week with zero success, I'm grateful that you all write, support, and love me. I sure do miss talking with you! Mom remember how I would always give you good night hugs? I think that is one of the things I miss most. I miss my mama haha, but I'm happy you`re good and everything. I`ll be sure to send some pictures of the new companion! I love you so much! Thank you for all you do for me, i hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Letter 35: No more soccer = more people will listen!

Hey mom!

Happy Monday to you too! Yes the Chileans actually are really happy that Argentina lost hahah. So many people have been bothering my companion about and even though it´s funny I feel bad. He´s been a good sport though so it´s all good. It is crazy how worked up they get sometimes, we went to eat some completos the other day when Holland was playing and they showed the same thing when they lost, a lot of tears. But the best part is...drum roll please...No one is going to be too busy with soccer to listen to the missionaries! Woooo! Hahah seriously, you´d be surprised how much of a problem that is sometimes.

That´s so good to hear that Trevor is doing awesome at basic training. Haha that´s just like him to get such high scores that he got to call home! His letter was awesome too, he was good enough to include some hilarious qoutes from our childhood. He sounds like he is killing it out there and has improved a ton! He already graduates the 12th of August?? Time really is just flying by.

A lot of physical changes in the house, you should take some pictures so I can see! Sounds like you guys are just going to work there. It´s true, changes are this Wednesday and i´m getting change to.....I still don´t know haha. I will know Tuesday. I´m a little anxious (as always) BUT I trust that I will go..or stay..where I need to. We had another baptism on Saturday! Schlomit got baptized and then confirmed yesterday. I was able to participate in her confirmation and it was great! The service went really well and she is now a member of the church! We went to visit Bernardita and Felipe yesterday. They left for vacations a few days ago to puerto oscuro, it´s about 40 minutes away. So yesterday we took a bus there and were able to see where she grew up and meet her whole family. We ate some delicious homemade bread and were able to talk for a while. The best part is that we taught them about temples and put goals for them to go as a family (or all those who are baptized). It was amazing to teach them and see them have the instant desire to go to the temple and to be sealed. I know they will be so blessed and they continue in the church. I´ll be sad to leave them if I end up going but i´m so grateful to have met them. 

The weather is ¨cold¨ but it´s never ridiculous or anything. It would be like our fall a little bit, just with more rain. I haven´t got shoes yet! I went to a good store and they didn´t have my size. But maybe with the changes I will have a better store near by, we´ll see. I promise to keep looking.

Wow you have a busy month coming up in August! Sounds really exciting. 25 years?? Man you guys are getting old ;) nah just kidding. I have never heard of the Domincan Republic as a vacation place, but that´s cool! You´ll have to let me know wher eyou end up going. Be sure to take pictures of Trevor´s graduation. He will probably be ripped by the time he is done.

All is well and good here so no worries. It´s been an interesting transfer but i have learned a lot I feel like. I can´t believe it´s already almost 10 months! And Hunter Brown completes his year mark this month! Wow. Before you know it we will be talking on skype again! I love you so much! I hope you have a wonderful week! I´m always praying for you all. 

Love Elder Barton

Friday, July 11, 2014

Letter 34: Birthdays and Baptisms!

Hey Mom!

I can´t believe I´m 19. My last year of being a ¨teenager¨, pretty sure I thought this day would never come haha. I had a pretty good birthday for several reasons! On wednesday after our district meeting my district (Elder Bush, Elder Morales, Sister Frandsen, Sister Sosa, and the Schramm couple), sang to me a brought out a dessert with candles! It was pretty awesome because instead of a cake they brought out this dessert roll that looked like the pumpkin roll you would always make for me (but no, it did not taste nearly as good haha). On Thursday we worked as normal and were able to teach Bernardita and Felipe and afterwards my branch mission leader took me out to buy a frozen pizza, chips, and a drink. So all in all it was really good! Of course I missed you guys and all, but I felt happy and like I wasn´t alone or anything. Okay, so as for birthday presents I think I got the best birthday present which was.....FELIPE AND BERNARDITA GOT BAPTIZED!!!! They were baptized yesterday after our church meetings and it was so spiritual. Felipe wanted me to baptize him so I was able to do that while my companion baptized bernardita. Bernarda´s sister is a member and was able to speak on baptism and the holy ghost and wove in the eternal family. As she spoke she started to cry and so did Bernardita. After we baptized them both and after we had changed and everything Felipe started to cry. Man, that kid is just super sincere and can feel the spirit. I gave him a hug and told him congratulations and all. Overall it was a really good day! I felt really happy to be able to be an instrument in the Lord´s hands. These two baptisms came from Him and they were prepared before we met them. Their family was able to attend as well and feel the spirit, especially who mom who is catholic. Overall it was an amazing day! I will be sure to send pictures.

More than that we had interviews today with President Kahnlein! Bum bum bum....No just kidding. It was pretty good. Actually we got the call last night that he was going to be there at 8:45 in the morning! So we did some mad last minute cleaning and got all ready haha. The interview was actually very edifying. He was happy about the baptisms and some of the personal goals that I set for this change. He also said ¨hmm, three transfers already in Los Vilos..thats a lot of time, maybe its time for a change¨. Also he told me he was grateful to have me in the mission and that I have never made a problem for him. He was really motivating and kind this time, it was nice. In other words, it´s probable that I will be heading out to a new area this change, we´ll see! By the way, transfers are the 16th of July.

Okay funny story, I´ve told you my comp is a little...different haha. Well yesterday being the fifth sunday we had a meeting with everyone except the primary for the 3rd hour. Us missionaries were to give a training on home teaching each taking about 20 minutes. Well Elder Bush and Elder Morales take about 30 minutes and then we go up for our turn. I kid you companion talked for 20 minutes with out giving me a change to talk! Can you believe that?? Hahah I looked out into the congregation and saw people kind of laughing because they knew what was going on haha. My district leader finally caught his attention to give me time and we had 10 minutes left for the sisters so I just gave my testimony. Afterwards my DL told me to talk with my companion about it. Hahah so I talked about it with him and we a little ¨discussion¨} about that and other things that have happened. All in all, we are doing good! 

Chile is super sad that they lost and I am still able to brag that the states are still in it! I hope that it lasts. That´s awesome that you guys went ot see the Thunderbirds! I thought they didn´t fly anymore because of cutbacks? But anyway, I want to see photos! I remember going to an air show once and having to throw away my pocket knife :( but it was ridiculously cool so it was worth it. You will have to take pictures of the parade and fireworks this week. It was awesome because they celebrate Saint Peter down here or something and did fireworks the other night so I felt a little more like it was  July. The weather is cooling down here big time, I still haven´t bought my shoes because the quality here in Los Vilos is sub par...hahah. When I go to Illapel or Viña I will buy some I think.

Well I hope Trev gets my letter soon. I can imagine that he wants to get some mail (I know how he feels! Haha ). But I pray for him everyday and know that he is doing well. I also pray for you guys everyday too and know that you are all well and blessed! I know, it is hard to not see eachother for so long but we will see eachother at Christmas! And then a little time and i´ll be home already. Its very true what you said though, push through the hard days because they won´t last and then soak up every good minute of my mission because one day I will be home. I sure do miss you all though! I miss joking with you and talking with you and your delicious dinners! hahah

Alright mom, I hope you have a great week! Please take pictures I will send you some of mine right now! Love you!


Friday, June 20, 2014

Letter 33: Basketball, soccer, and new companion.

Hello Mother!!!

The transition is made, sounds like it went well! Brock is 16 years old!! Wooo!! Now you can have him do all of your grocery runs hahah. I miss the good foood! You will have to send me pictures of the birthday-Father´s day. And yes they do celebrate Father´s day here, I got a ¨happy father´s day treat¨ in church. (they had extras and said I would be a future father¨. Yes South America is absolutely CRAZY when it comes to soccer. On game days it is almost impossible to teach people and every time Chile scores the entire city yells ¨GOOOOAAAALLLLLL¨¨, so the bright side is we always know who wins haha. You guys had Art City Days?? Hahah mom, your story of the zipper made me laugh because I can imagine it happening! You and Nichole always seem to have something happen you go on rides haha, I imagine that the people who saw you as you got off might have had second thoughts about getting on hahah! At least it didn´t make you sick though, that´s what always happened to me in the space ship one! 

I feel so grateful that Trevor is going through this experience. It sounds like that phone call was really spiritual and special. It makes me so happy and relieved to hear that even though it´s hard there, it´s a good hard, and he is learning a lot it sounds like. I pray for him, and for you all every single day. I know that God is watching over our whole family. Sometimes it can be hard to ¨keep the faith¨ with certain things, but as long as there is faith, there are miracles. I know that Trev can do this and I know without a doubt the Lord is helping him every step of the way. You know, I think the mission has really made me grateful for an eternal family, and having been born in this gospel. I see many families who haven´t even thought of the idea of an eternal family but we have been sealed and are so lucky and blessed to know that.

We had a conference this past Tuesday as a WHOLE mission (which was great to see all my missionary friends), and Elder Robbins came. He is in the presidency of the seventy and lives in Springville! We all got to say hello one by one as missionaries and I told them I was from there too. We were able to do a question and answer session with Elder Robbins, President Kahnlien, his wife, and another seventy from South America and his wife. There were several things that caught my attention and I have been working  to set goals to improve and do better. One of the questions was about sealed families and how if a child is strays from their covenants, is the sealing broken? The answer is no. In fact, there is quote from Joseph Smith and though I can´t remember it word for word Elder Robbins said that with the power of the sealing, the loving arms of the Lord will always reach out to members of the family that have strayed. What an amazing promise. Other than that we talked about how to be better missionaries and be REAL missionaries, not robots (and believe me, there are missionaries that have no idea how to be themselves), and to use our minds. God has given us our minds and expects us to use them. I loved the conference. Our mission president asked if our mission was an obedient mission and Elder Robbins said that you can feel when a mission is obedient and when it isn´t and that we have an obedient mission and blessing will come with that. So we are doing good and on our way to improvement!

Well my new companion certainty is...different haha. He is a good guy but lacks social skills. When he first arrived he did some really weird things, I had tried to call our investigators and he told me no. He also tried assuming all of the responsibility of the companionship and just honestly was a little prideful. Well, I had just about had it with that and wasn´t going to have a change like that so I talked with my district leader and we got everything resolved. We get along well though no worries! He does things that I find a little strange and what not but hey, that´s the mission! I have to get used to thing and learn to work with the comps that I get. The good thing about us is that we teach together really well! I´m happy for that and happy we will be able to continue improving.

Okay, the family that we are teaching left for some relatives this weekend and get back late last night so they couldn´t go to church BUT we still have a lot of hope! Bernarda feels like the goal for her baptism is a little soon but we are going to teach her the restoration today and commit her to pray about Joseph Smith. They are a great family and i feel like they're going to get baptized it´s only a matter of time. I really just want to teach them in a way that they can feel the love of God and know this is the truth. I will keep you updated!

Today we played basketball with the other elders and Elder Schramm (the marriage missionaries), we played gringos vs. Latinos and OBVIOUSLY we won. Hahah it was like 50 to 12. So next week we are going to split up the gringos and play a bit of a fairer game. We played with an investigator too, his name is Jaime. His family are members but he has taken a little more time. We had a family night with him last night and looks like he will be getting baptized the end of this month! He is an awesome guy. We are teaching him as well as the sister missionaries. So hopeful with this double effort we can do it! haha.

Okay well, I'm going to get those shoes today then because it looks like it´s going to rain for 3 days this week. (let me tell you, when it rains, NO ONE lets us in). Hahah it´s basically just a test of enduring to the end of the day because everyone tells us to go home and go to bed. But yeah, i don´t want to ruin my shoes so I will get some today. Thanks! Tomorrow is Elder Bush´s birthday! I think we are going to celebrate our b´days together so that should be good. Seriously I am so happy that he stayed in my district, we are pretty much best friends in the mission. We keep each other sane on those harder days hahah.

Well I truly am happy that you´re all doing well and had a great week! I can´t believe how fast time is going by, I'm already almost at 9 months! I love you all so much! Be safe and have another great week (enjoy that wonderful summer weather!)

Love Elder Barton

Letter 32: New Investigators!

My dearest Mother (and fam)

Trevor is officially off to the military! Wow, I´m so proud of him. I don´t think I have ever met someone with as much drive and determination as he has. Well, I must say if feels really weird knowing everyone is kinda moving on to the next steps in their lives. How do you feel about it all? I think your description of ¨bitter-sweet¨ pretty much sums it all up. But don´t worry mom, we will all be together as a family again in no time. Not only that but you might have grandkids soon! (don´t tell Nichole I said that).  Sometimes I just wanna slow time down!! This whole growing up thing is a little rough sometimes. But anyway, awesome that he is out there and will be done in august! I was able to get an email from him this last week and today. He said some things that I really needed to hear (read) and I feel better about the whole thing know.
I´m soooo jealous about your birthday meal for him! Oh my gosh, you had me at should send me the sauce recipe so I can attempt it out here one day! Sounds like his birthday was a success...he is 24 now right?? Also, he looks pretty ripped in the pictures. And Brock looks taller.

Hey that Maleficint movie looks crazy! (I saw a commercial down here). We´ll put in on the list! Haha

Chile is good. I think with every week come different blessings and trials whether they be big or small. Something I love about the mission is being able help people, and through service develop a genuine love for the investigators. Elvia is someone I'm going to remember forever. We have had some of the most spiritual lessons with her and have seen her just break down and cry in her prayers asking for help and to keep her family together. Sadly it looks like they might separate. She told us that she doesn't want to marry Luis but through everything that has happened I have been able to see her grow. I have seen her change. It´s amazing to see someone grow in their faith and love for God. She will get baptized someday, right now she can´t, but one day she will and with luck I will still be here!

This week we found a few new investigators! We were teaching a recent convert and her nephew was there. He is 10 years old and we taught him as well. We ended up finding the house he lives and asking his mom for permission to teach him. She said yes AND even committed to come to church with us and they both came yesterday! We were able to take Felipe (the boy) to our branch family night and he loved it, then we brought him to English classes. Every time we teach him I think of Bridger, they don´t really act the same but they are both 10 and for some reason it just reminds me of Bridge haha. So we are making progress in several areas!

Let´s see...stories. Well, last night some teen-agers shot at us with that was pretty not cool. They had terrible aim though so no worries. Oh yeah! Finally I bought a voice recorder and am going to start writing in my journal again as well as voice recording. (it was cheap so I didn´t have to use our card). We are going to have transfers this Wednesday and it´s most likely that Elder Gonzales is going to head out. But as always you just never know. I´ll be sure to keep you all updated! It´s kinda sad knowing that our district is going to split up, but I'm kinda hoping that I get to train! I don´t know why, but I want to. We´ll see.

Ah, that story about Bridger bearing his testimony makes me so happy. I can just imagine it too. I wish you could have filmed it! But I am too, so grateful for eternal families. I am so grateful for an eternal perspective. Sometimes it´s hard to maintain that perspective, but it is something engrained in me. Every time I seem to stray or think in a day to day perspective I get drawn back to the fact that I have an eternal family and we have such potential! I´m grateful that I have the opportunity to spread this message with the people here in Chile. Maybe many won´t listen, maybe many won´t be interested, but for those who are willing to accept this gospel will know a happiness and purpose that they have never known. How amazing it is to be a missionary :) I love you all so incredibly much! Don´t ever forget it and be safe and happen! I love you. Be strong this week! I know there are many changes...but it´s all okay. Our life IS eternal, this mortal life will separate us physically many times, but we will be together an eternity.

Thank you for all of your support and love. I truly am so grateful for your prayers. I promise that I feel them!
Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Letter 31: Wedding and Twitching Eyes


Well she is now officially married (I hope it´s facebook official as well...), and it sounds like everything went really smoothly. Sounds like it was a beautiful day and many people showed up to show their love and support. It really is kind of a bitter sweet thing, more sweet than bitter. I wish I could have been there, but i´m glad they are so happy! I love to see all of the pictures, and I love the colors haha. Everyone is getting so big I can´t even believe it. Yeah, definitely send me those pictures when you get them, I want to see more, especially the videos. 

My week has a word, challenging. Monday we were able to be in viña like I told you and we went to the mission offices to get money for the appointment and Pres. Kahnlein interviewed my companion and afterward asked to speak with me. He asked me to explain the whole situation and I told him everything that had happened and all that Elder Gonzales had told me. He then asked me how we were working together and I told him of the challenges we had. He told me to keep working and to endure to the end, and then talked to me about baptizing. I don´t know, sometimes I feel like there isn´t a lot of love from him. I know there are a lot of missionaries, problems, and things he has to take care of, but I feel like sometimes it´s all business, I don´t know how to describe, but it´s pretty hard sometimes. He asked me again why I hadn´t baptized and I told him I was trying. At the end of the interview I asked if there was anything I could do for him and he told me I coud fulfill my calling and baptize. I guess this week I have really just felt a lack of support directly around me. It is really hard for my companion to teach and to be a ¨people person¨, and we have had some difficulty getting along several times. I get frustrated when I can´t solve problems or when simply don´t know what to do. I feel a little discouraged at times when I am not baptizing. It´s just been a hard week, but i´m hoping this one will be better.

Anyway, on a better note, we went and got some sushi while we were in Viña. My companion enjoyed it and it was his first time eating sushi. I was able to see my old trainer Elder Hale and it was awesome to be able to talk with him for a few minutes. He is now the zone leader in Viña. I went to my eye appointment and the doctor said that my eye was a little irritated and that it was from being tired or I have tired vision...something like that. He said that I could buy glasses for reading but I read just fine so I don´t think I want to waste the money. He recommended that I buy some eye drops but the twitching has stopped so I think I will wait and see. So that´s good news. 

I was able to do interchanges with Elder Bush this week and it was a HUGE relief. We have kind of been support for one another while we have been out here. He is from Nevada and this is his first area so I´ve been here to kind of help him get through the harder times (i know what he is going through haha), but like I said we were able to do the interchange and we just talked for a few hours before going to bed. We talked about a lot of things but in reality, more than WHAT we talked about, it was just nice to talk to someone who understands a little bit more. (also sorry for the italics...I have no idea what I did hah). We have become really good friends in the short time we have been here. We were in his sector and we were teaching and the lessons we taught were filled with the spirit and just so....good. I don´t know how to describe it. It was an awesome feeling, we had so much unity and the people were able to understand really well. I think it was do to that we had more of a trust. I´m not exactly sure, but I sure hope my companion and I can establish that as well.

I still have the letter you sent me to open on my birthday, no worries! Although during the interchange my companion and my district leader decided to be tools and eat some of the stuff in my package. I wasn´t to happy but not much I can do now. I´m super happy they both arrived as well! The first one took forever but finally it arrived. It gets cool in the nights but the days are pretty warm like 60 % of the time. It´s a really weird climate here! I think I have sufficient bedding, I have like 3 blankets, I should be good. 

That´s awesome you were able to visit your Dad´s graveside and be able to think about him. I think I can understand a lot more how much you must miss them sometimes. That´s great they were able to make a memorial for all of the marines! The service they provide and the sacrifice they have given is truly a blessing. I miss grandpa too, he always had such a spirit about him. I miss that. 

I can´t believe either that Trevor heads out for training! One thing that I do know is that he is going to excel in his training and he is going to come out on top. He has such a gift and uses that gift to achieve great things. 

Well mom, I love you so much. I miss you too. I love you even more and I hope that you have a wonderful and less stressful week. Be safe and say hey to the family!

Love you!

Letter 30: Pre Wedding and Thriller

Hello Mom!

Oh my heck, I can`t believe she is getting married! (okay, lie, I can believe it), haha but honestly I`m so happy for everyone! MY SISTER IS GETTING MARRIED! Things just seem to be looking up don`t they? That`s always a good feeling. These past few weeks I`ve had several moments where I have felt sad that I won`t be there for everything, especially the wedding but I don`t know, I just feel good. I feel like you are all doing so well and blessed that I should be happy, it doesn`t matter if i`m there or not right now because I will be someday. I bet the temple was an awesome experience, I remember my first time and just feeling really good. I had an experience when I went through for the first time here in Chile and I remember just feeling a peace within me, and at that moment I couldn`t really understand it because I felt so much turmoil around me, but I think now more than ever, I understand. I feel like i`m finally feeling so much more confident in who I am, in what i`m doing, and more than anything, in God`s plan for me, and for us as a family. 

Well as for my companion, he is going in for an interview today. Oh..forgot to mention, today we are in Viña! I`m going to an eye doctor to check out my eye and he is going to talk with President today as well. I hope that all goes well. We tried calling President like 4 times and he never answered and my companion kind of lost the motivation to keep trying. Last night I suggested he call one more time, especially because we are in Viña today and he did, and finally he answered. So I will let you know how that whole situation goes down.

When we went to Illapel I was able to pick up some food from the grocery store but there wasn`t anywhere to eat, but it`s all good! Maybe I will be able to find somewhere in Viña today? Like a McDonalds! (that sounds so good to me, you have no idea hahah). We are going to be here till about 4 or 5 o`clock today. Our zone conference went really well (this one was just with the zone leaders, not the president). Oh funny story to go along with that, so there are about 22 missionaries in our zone and about 18 of us were sitting there before listening to the hymns playing from the zone leader`s Ipod and all of a sudden Micheal Jackson comes on, Thriller!! Hahahah everyone kinda looked up and started laughing, then the zone leader came in and was went bright red then told us that ¨we all have music we shouldn`t...¨...his companion about died. But the conference was good, we went over how to teach better, a little bit more simple and clear. We also went over how to extend good invitations. Things I already knew..haha just kidding, I can always learn!

As far as teaching this week, this might have been the slowest week in my mission, we had 3 lessons this entire week! Part of that was due to the zone conference and then on Thursday I had to go to Illapel again to do my visa papers. 8 Months into the mission and they finally are ready to start the process to I can receive my Chilean I.D. card. So we were there almost all day. But we need to be teaching more. Either we have to contact a lot more or think of some new way to find new investigators. But the work is going well! I can`t really complain, in fact even though it`s been a slow week, I feel good. I just want to have more success! Hopefully that will come with a little more time.

Oh! Both of the packages arrived! The one that you sent way back in March arrived on the 8th of May and the one you sent April 21 arrived the 2nd of May. But I got them both! First of all, all of the treats and everything look so good (I have only eaten a little of the cookies and cream and a few starbursts because I want to conserve it haha), but I loved reading the letters from everyone and the new journal! OH! Other really awesome story, they found my old journal!!!! I have no idea how because I lost it in the street but the zone leaders gave it to me at the conference. I can`t believe it, I thought i`d never see it again. Seriously, crazy. But anyway, that water bottle is going to be a life saver, especially in Los Vilos. I still haven`t opened the letters in my birthday package because I want to save them for my birthday, or should I open them now?? I don`t know, you tell me. But thank you so much for sending the packages they are awesome! Even though love isn`t showed through gifts and doesn`t hurt ;) haha.

Well sounds like you will be having a busy week with Nichole, painting, and cleaning up the house a bit. I have to say I`m definitely jealous of the weather, it`s starting to get pretty cold here in the mornings and nights. The days are okay but they are also getting pretty...CHILE...hah. But seriously, I miss the Utah`s climate. Be sure to send a ton of pictures of the wedding ! I love you all so much I hope that you have an amazing week!!