Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Letter 27: Fighting for the right.

Hey mom!

Wow this week has been filled with things that happened. Also, side-note, I feel like my English is getting worse so I apologize in advance for all spelling and grammar errors haha. 

Okay, well everything started with the changes. I´m am still her in Los Vilos, for better or worse haha. Actually i´m really happy to have stayed, I want to be here for Elvia and Luis and their family. There is a lot of work to do there and I know they´re going to be baptized. I´m still with my companion Elder Gonzales. I was a little worried at first because I didn´t want to have another change like my last one (in terms of having to be the one constantly pulling and carrying) and so when I had interchanges for a day with Elder Benavente my district leader I just told him everything, how I was feeling, my worries, what I wanted to do better, and he was able to give me alot of good advice. We later got on to talking about our experiences in the mission, or in other words some of the difficulties we have had and some he said really struck me. He said there are many times in the scriptures we see the word Remember. How many times is the Lord, or the prophets telling us to remember? Remember the things we know, the spiritual experiences we have had, how loving and merciful the Lord is...Even if we are in dark moments, even if we are in obscurity and even if our hope is small and beaten, Remember the times when we HAVE had the light, we have felt the love of God, remember all of the times we have been guided and received inspiration! And then look forward the to times that will come. All of us will pass through these dark moments throughout our life, it´s part of the plan, but ITS OKAY, we only need to remember and look forward to better days. That is part of faith. 

We had interviews with President Kahnlein this week. It went well...he is a president that really likes to cut people or in other words, say all the things you are doing wrong. He always asks how we are and everything but i never feel like we get a good ¨hey, good job!¨ Hahah. It makes it a little difficult but that´s alright. We are here to improve. He made me promise to but a baptismal date with Elvia and her family and I promised, he told me to call him later in the night to see how it went. So we went that day and right as we arrived the family was just yelling at each other really loud and fighting so we weren´t able to enter (obviously) I had to call him and tell him we we weren´t able to do it. He told to not get frustrated and keep trying. And that´s what we´ll do!

We have been visiting and teaching Elvia and her family a lot lately. Luis left to work for another 20 days, but we took all of the pamphlets we have and a book of Mormon and marked several passages to read and all of the essential parts in the pamphlets for him to read while he is up there. He went to church with His son yesterday and is progressing which is great. But on Friday, the day before he left we passed by and Elvia was just in tears. She told us that she was going to move and the family was going to separate because of all the problems. At that moment Luis came out and after talking for a minute he asked us ¨isn´t there something you can do? Is there someone that can please help us?¨, as his eyes began to fill with tears. I have to say, I have never felt such strong feeling of sadness and pain for my the people I teach as I have with this family. We told him the yes there was someone that He and Elvia could go and talk with. We have a couple serving here in Los Vilos too and they are from The States. We told Elvia and Luis to meet us at the chapel at 8:00. We went to the chapel for our family night (we do family night in the church every friday), and talked with Elder and Sister Shcramm to see if they could please talk with them and offer them advice. They agreed and were able to meet with them for about an hour and a half. I called Elder Schramm later that night to see how it went. He told me that they talked a lot about the prayer and reading the scriptures together as well as individually, they talked about their own marriage and things they had to overcome, and they were able to feel the spirit really strongly. Elvia offered the first prayer and she by the end all 4 of them were in tears because they felt the spirit so strongly. I am so grateful we have the Schramms here, after the meeting they are both motivated and desire to try to stay together now and resolve the problems in the family. They have been together 22 years..and they were thinking about ending everything. Satan is working so hard to tear apart families. The sad thing is that all of this started a few weeks after we arrived, Satan knows that they are so close to baptism and later in their lives, the temple. We are fighting for this family Mom, and we won´t stop. We were able to have a lesson the day after their meeting with the Schramms and we talked about baptism and the book of Mormon. We committed them to pray specifically to know if the book of Mormon is true and to pray about baptism. They agreed and we were able to testify and feel the Holy Ghost really strongly. Elvia really opened up and told us how she felt so afflicted and so sorrowful because of all that is happening. It was rough to see her cry and hear it all, but The Lord strengthened us and put words in out mouths so that we could bring peace and direction. Yesterday night we went by to see how she was doing and she said something along these lines ¨you know, it´s interesting, I was talking last night with my son and he noted how we joke around sometimes and have a good time, but when we teach a speak the words of Christ, they aren´t the words of the Elders, there is something different about it¨, She then told us how she knew is was the Holy Ghost and that us being so young, couldn´t possibly know her situation and say the words she needed to hear without the help of The Lord. We told her that was exactly true, and that there is a reason we are here in this moment at this time, because the Lord cares about her and her family and He knows that this is what they need to unite the family.

I´m praying for this family everyday mom, I want them to stay together and to progress so much. I know that we can only do so much and the rest will be up to them. But I hope and pray they choose to do the right thing and rely on our Heavenly Father. Elvia went to church with us yesterday and the talks in sacrament were completely directed towards her! It was amazing. I sat there and knew the Lord had a hand in it. God truly takes note of the small things, of every one of us, and he is there to help us always. We are going tomorrow to give her a blessing of comfort and direction. Man, I want this family to succeed mom. I want them to be happy.

Anyway, on a much lighter note I don't know if I told you or not but, the water here doesn´t have actually has trace amounts of cyanide and mercury (no worries I buy purified water every week every since I found out), but I found a cavity on my molar so I called the nurse to set up an appointment and I was mad because I didn't want to ask you guys for any more money for dental stuff and so I was going to use some of my monthly money to pay for it. After a few days I went back to look, and it was gone! And no, i´m not going crazy, it really was there haha. So that was a mini blessing which was great. 

I´m super glad to hear you are all doing so well. That whole hotel trip thing made me super jealous! It will be a good day when I can eat American food again! Actually today we are going to eat with the Shcramms and hopefully they cook something delicious. I know, i´m a little frustrated with the whole mail system too! But hopefully  it arrives in May so I can finally read the letter you all wrote back in..January? Haha! We should be having another zone conference not this week but the next, so I´ll let you know!

That book sounds amazing! I love to read things like that and just think. And the awesome thing is that if we can feel the Holy Ghost, we know that there is truth to it. Well I love you all so much and i´m so grateful for your constant prayers and support for me. While your weather is warming up, mine is cooling down and it´s going to start raining soon! Speaking of which, that jacket we bought up by thanksgiving point is´s actually two jackets in one which is pretty sweet. We also finally received more blankets from the mission today after waking up from cold for a few weeks, so that will be nice as well. Man, I miss you guys but I´m way excited to Skype soon!!! Woooo!!! Hahah Love you!! Have a great week! Tell Nichole CONGRATS on graduating!! I await the pictures. Don't forget!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Letter 26: Easter thoughts.

Hello my wonderful mother! was a pretty good day! (Minus the fact that the member who gave us lunch forgot...haha), so we will forget about what we ate and pretend I ate ham and cheesey potatoes haha. We had some good messages focused on Christ and His life. I still haven´t had the opportunity to speak in church, but thats just fine with me haha! It´s weird that even though I´m not really nervous to teach people outside and in their houses now, I still get nervous to give talks in Sacrament meeting.  I´m glad that your sacrament meeting was a good one as well. In reality, despite all of the weaknesses that we have and the mistakes that we make, Christ´s atonement is there for every one of us.  The package STILL hasn´t come...I have no idea why but I will be waiting a few more weeks for the next opportunity. We have transfers this Wednesday already! This change has pretty much flown by. Who knows if i´ll be changed, maybe my comp...maybe the area..ahhh you know how I am! I hate sitting there thinking about changes that are coming..ESPECIALLY when I don´t know them haha. However I feel a lot more comfortable with changes now thanks to the mission. 

I have been thinking a lot this week about several things, one of those being the inner battles that all of us have. I don´t think I have ever noted how often our inner battles take place (big or small), as much as I have in the mission. They happen every day, and sometimes for long periods of time. We may be distracted with things throughout the day but after all is said and done, that battle is still going on. Obviously the two sides are what God wants, and what the natural man (or Satan) wants. I was thinking the other day on the changes, and the though came into my mind ¨I want an easy companion¨. I have a good companion right now and we get along really well, but this change has been a hard one to stay obedient, I let myself fall a little instead of building my companion up. A few weeks ago I started to change that and we have become a lot better. But that thought that came into my mind, I want an easy companion, just lingered and I realized that it wasn´t a good thought. The whole point of the mission is to learn and grow, and help others to do so as well. I want companions that will help me grow and become who God wants me to be. Have you ever wondered why it is so hard sometimes to put your trust in The Savior and in our Heavenly Father?...They are two Gods who want and work for our salvation, our happiness, and our families and yet we fall and don't live up to our potential because of our lack of trust. So that´s one thing i´m going to be working on and thinking about. To simply trust. There are a lot of unknowns in the mission and in life in general. But the one thing that is known, is that we have a Father, and an older brother who will never forsake us and never leave us alone. If we put our trust in them and do their will (which in reality should be our will as well), everything will be okay. I´m grateful for this Easter season and for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I´m so happy and blessed to have you all as my family. guys are the best haha. And although I wont be with you all for a little while, I look forward to that happy day when I see you all again. Oh..and we get to skype next month! Woo! But I want to thank you all for your support and prayers for me. They are needed an felt. I love you guys!

Okay, a little about the week. On the bright side, there haven´t been any other earthquakes or Tsunamis or fires (although yesterday there was a HUGE brown cloud behind the mountain and everyone thought it was fire but it was just a cloud). It´s probably just that we´re all a little sketched out now. Speaking of sketched out, I taught my companion that phrase. Hahaha. But we have been teaching Elvia and her family still, her daughter went to the hospital to have her baby. She was there for 3 days with really bad pains in Illapel, we sent the Elders who were there to the hospital to give her a blessing. She ended up not having her baby and is now at home waiting. We were disappointed to hear that Elvia possibly will be moving to Iquique...but we will see how that all works out. Luis leaves for another month Thursday. But we called the other Elders in Iquique and asked them to work with him and teach him there. It will just take some time! We are hoping and praying for the best. I had an interchange with the zone leader this week and it was a pretty good day. We had one appointment and the rest of the day was pure It was a long day, but good, we have a lot of appointments today, tomorrow, and wednesday. We were disappointed because not one of our investigators attended yesterday. We passed by their houses in the morning but no one woke up. It´s pretty frustrating, but we have to have patience. This week has gone by pretty quickly! 

This coming week we have interviews with President Kahnlein. This man is just full of the spirit. I always come away from the interview feeling motivated and better than I did before the interview so i´m excited for the chance (if not a little nervous too, you just have to understand that all missionaries feel this way about their president, i´m sure Trevor and dad understand haha). Your experience at Carrabas made me happy. I love hearing about experiences of service, things so simple can have big impacts. There are some good people in this world! I love you guys, I know that you´re all doing good things and that you´re happy. Be safe this week! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Letter 25: A slow week.

Hey Mom,

Well Chile sure does seem to be taking a beating. Sad thing is I feel like it isn´t over. But who knows, we will have to wait and see. The last time I heard there are about 2000 houses destroyed, but I'm sure you all are more updated than me. As far as I know all of the missionaries are okay there as well. For now all the missionaries in Valpo, ViƱa and those areas are helping with the clean up, relief, and reconstruction. There is supposed to be a big earthquake this Wednesday or today...that's what the researcher people said, but I don't think you can really predict earthquakes? I guess we will see. We hope that everyone is well there though, I can´t imagine how hard that would be, to lose your entire home and everything you have.  Today we had a death in our ward. A little baby got pneumonia and wasn´t able to make it. The family is obviously going through a hard time, but the ward is doing all they can to help. It´s at times like these that I can imagine how grateful they are to have a knowledge of the gospel and have a surety their child is is the Celestial Kingdom and one day, they will be together again. We such amazing blessings. I want to live in a way that those blessings will be brought to pass.

That´s great that Deanna had her reception and the wedding went smoothly. I loved seeing those pictures, looks like they found a beautiful place for the reception and that you all had fun! I´m sorry to hear that Grandma doesn´t remember people anymore...It makes me sad to think about. Memories of her teaching me how to read in school have come to my mind every now and then, how she would always bring the sour gummy bears as prizes too. I sure do miss that, she is an amazing Grandmother, despite some of our more weird experiences haha (such as the french toast that we could only cook 5 seconds on each side). I hope that all goes well there. 

I can´t believe either that in a short time it will just be you, dad, Brock, and Bridger at home...that´s crazy. I´ve actually had some difficulty thinking about that. It´s kind of hard to take in all of this change, especially being so far away. But I´m happy and blessed to know that all of you are doing well and are happy as well. 

We have our family of investigators that are progressing. Luis, the husband was supposed to come home last Saturday or Sunday but he had problems with his ride and so he might not even make it home. He works 30 days and 10 days of rest...if he doesn't make it home it will be another 30 days. It´s hard to hear that, especially when we want them to be able to talk about the marriage and put it into more progress. Both of them want to get married...but it requires that he is home. We just have to be patient there but they are coming along. Elvia´s daughter Macarena is going to have her baby any day now. We taught them last night and she was having contractions. Possibly we will be able to baptize Macarena and her sister Millaray soon. It really just all depends on if they feel ready or not. I´ll keep you posted. 

This week has been kind of a slow one. We haven´t been able to do a whole lot. It was our mission leader´s birthday and we got him a cake with the other missionaries and sisters. I heard some pretty crazy member told me that the Bermuda triangle was a portal to another universe (I had told her I like astronomy), and that there are random portals throughout the world. So that´s good to know! Also, there is going to be a lunar eclipse here on Tuesday and supposedly, if you are pregnant and touch your belly on a lunar eclipse they are going to be born with a mark on their face...Sometimes I just have to shake my head. ESPECIALLY when my companion agrees and thinks the same thing. But that´s just some random things. In all honesty Los Vilos is pretty hard area to work in. Some of the members compare it to Sodom and Gamora. It is hard because it feels like no one wants to change. There are a lot of people who just want their beer, their drugs, their way of life. Change is almost a taboo. Some days I just feel weighed down, I feel like I´m not making a difference.But I know that those feelings aren´t from The Holy Ghost. It´s something that I have to overcome and work on, to feel more positive and hopeful. I want to help people, I want to see people come to have  a deeper and more profound happiness, a joy. Its just frustrating when they don´t want that.

Something that I have realized on my mission is just how much I need to improve. Going on a mission gave me the title of missionary and representative of Jesus Christ. I´m trying to live up to these titles and truly become better. I want my mission to change me for the better. I want to be able to rely fully on my Savior. This change has been difficult to be obedient, ultimately it´s my fault, but it´s hard because my companion never gets up on time, likes to take his time and isn´t super focused on the mission. He´s an awesome person, but it is hard to stay focused and be obedient when the person i´m with 24/7 is having trouble. It is also partially my fault because I should be more direct and tell him that we need to be better. I´m going to start now, I just hope that all goes well and he takes it well.

I want to thank you so much for all the love and support you´ve given me. I have been SO blessed in my life and much of that is thanks to you and the family. ALL of it is thanks to my Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. I love you more than words can express, im glad you are all safe and doing well! 

Love you!
Oh..supposedly we get our packages on Wednesday, so we will see! I hope so! Also if you haven't sent the package off yet..maybe include and Hymn book in English and caramel apple suckers haha. If you can! If not that's fine.

Also, if you and the family could pray for me to be strengthened spiritually. To have a comfort and peace. I love you guys and am praying for you all. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Letter 24: Earthquakes and Tsunami's

Dear Mom,

Well, it´s definitely been a crazy week for several reasons. I will try my best to include it all in this email, if not...I'm sorry in advance haha.
Okay well, from beginning haha, so last Monday we had our zone conference like I had told you and something super ironic is that Pres. Kahnlein talked to us at the very end about emergencies and natural disasters and told us to get all of our emergency food updated and our first aid and all that jazz. So, my companion and I went the next day and bought all of our food. Later that night we were teaching Elvia and her family and were JUST about to put a baptismal date when her phone rang. Her husband, who is working in Iquique (where all the earthquakes have been) calls and tells her whats going on. She turns on the T.V. and we see the news and photos of people running and everything because of the Tsunami alarms. Needless to say the lesson ended there. Within a few minutes the Tsunami alarms were sounding and many people were running to higher ground. Luckily the house that we live in is in the safe zone and so is Elvia´s house. But it was incredible to see people filling the streets all running for higher ground with their backpacks, kids, and whatever else they could carry. Finally we were able to get in contact with our district leader (the phone lines were up and down) and we went to our house. After getting ready our stuff to leave we left and went to several members houses to see if they needed anything. We were informed that we had to wait until 2 in the morning to see what would happen. The wave came but it was super small, so nothing really happened damage wise, just a lot of scares. 
Well, the next day (Wednesday), after working and doing the usual we went to bed at about 1130, only to be woken up and hour later from the sister missionaries calling us! The first thing I heard was more sirens. Then they told us how they had tried to call our district leader but he wasn't answering, so my companion and I put on our p-day clothes and ran all the way to their house, banged on the door and no one answered. Luckily we have keys to their house haha, so we entered went into their room, turned on their lights and woke them up. Both of them were so confused haha, it was pretty funny! But we told them all that was happening and that YET AGAIN, the sirens were going off. Again, the wave ended up not happening and the sirens fell silent about an hour later. The next day in the morning an hour or so before we had to get up, we were woken up by an earthquake. Our house was shaking and you could hear it, it was crazy, but seeing as how we had another 30 minutes to sleep...we just went back to bed hahah. Later that night as we went to bed we had another mini earthquake.´s been a crazy week and a little bit tiring. But everything is fine here in Los Vilos. Apparently they´ve done some tests and research and they are still expecting a big one up north, supposedly a 9.5. If that happens we actually will have a tsunami. But all is well, we have all our emergency stuff ready. Oh yeah, not to mention I´m an eagle scout hahah, (we all know how well that worked out with my car).

After all of this we were finally able to watch and listen to Conference. And sadly no, I wasn´t able to make crepes because NICHOLE didn't send me the recipe, but seeing as how we learned about forgiveness in the conference I have already forgiven her hahah. I miss those crepes and Tri-tip, I had a feeling you would cook it. We watched it in the chapel as a Branch (it was pretty sad to see that only about 25 people came). But we were able to watch it in English, Me, Elder Bush(the new Elder), Sister Macey, and Sister Shcramm from the senior couple. One of the more disappointing moments was when we went to eat on Sunday the members invited us to stay at the chapel and eat with them instead of going to our house. They then left several times to buy drinks, chicken, and food. RIGHT AFTER WE WATCHED CONFERENCE. I have never wanted to face palm so hard in my life haha. Keeping the Sabbath day holy is one of the harder commandments to keep here it seems like. One of the members got mad and some the sister missionaries because when they came to eat at her house one Sunday she asked them to go buy something and they said no. But ANYWAY, that's not the point, I'll move on haha.  Seriously, conference is like Christmas here in the mission! Haha to see all of the other members gathered there and thinking ¨My home!¨ Also seeing Brother Shafer in the choir kind of tripped me out too. And then I saw Megan Larsen there too singing in the choir, I had to double take. It gave me a huge flash back to when our ward was able to go to the conference center to sing for general conference and Nichole went as well. The musical part of the conference really brings and adds to the spirit of everything. I love to listen to the words and feel the spirit that comes with the songs. That being said, the best part is hearing our Prophet and Apostles speak. They spoke about several things, but there a few that specifically stuck out to me, as i´m sure happened with everyone. I loved the talk on gratitude, and that it is the gateway to ALL Christlike attributes. What an incredible statement. What an incredibly true statement, it was actually pretty interesting because Sunday morning I was able to have several minutes to myself as my companion showered. I took advantage of this time to offer a personal prayer out loud (I don't do my personal prayer out loud often, although I wish I could), and wasn´t really sure what to pray for, so I just started being grateful. After a few minutes I felt like the spirit was guiding my prayer and by the end of it I just felt so good. I could feel how blessed I really was and how amazing the future can and will be. I truly am grateful for a Savior who has paid the price for me, but not just me, my family as well. I also loved how they talked about the family should progress together. How the really simple things like family prayer, scripture study, and family home evening will bring much more blessings and peace in our life. I know that this is true. I have felt it in our home (the times we have done it) and it truly is a protection. I have seen and felt in other homes where they don't do these things...where maybe they've never even heard of these things. You can note the difference. One other thing that impressed me was the talks on love as well. If we have love as well as gratitude, it seems that all other things will fall into place. One of the things i´ve realized in the mission is that I have room to improve on both of those subjects! Conference is amazing because it is such a spiritual boost. I´m excited to continue studying and reading the talks. 

Deanna is getting married?? Well that´s new. Congrats to her! Haha. If she has a kid by the time I get home what would that make me? Second cousins? Orr....Cousin Uncle? Something like that. How is Cory doing? What is he up to?

Yeah, sometimes it really does feel like I just wrote. It´s crazy how fast the time passes by and yet how much stuff has been packed into that time. I can think back to my first area with my trainer Elder Hale and it feels so weird. I remember thinking I would never be not new on the mission. I guess I´m still relatively new...but you know what I mean. 

Don´t worry, I will not be eating from ANY street stand here in Los Vilos...ugh. I now think about that anytime that I eat meat now. Maybe one day I´ll try horse without knowing it, they eat that here too. 

Anyway, I'll leave you with an awesome experience that I had yesterday. 
Elvia and her daughter were able to make it to the final session of general conference and loved it. They said that they felt really good and it was very beautiful. As we were walking them back to their home to teach them Elvia told us of a dream she had. She dreamed that she was baptized into our church and that later she saw her grandson who had passed away. She told us that he was smiling at her and telling her he loved her and ¨thank you grandma, I love you, I´ve been waiting¨. Wow, the first thing that came to my mind was the temples and work for the dead. We are going to teach it more in depth today. Elvia wants to be baptized, the only thing we have to wait for is for her to separate herself from her old husband and get married to the man she has been living with for many years now. They both want to and it will happen. In the mean time we will continue teaching them and giving them help and support. This family is amazing. Luis, her boyfriend, comes back on the 10th and we will be able to teach him as well. His son is sealed in the temple and has been teaching him and he has gone to church 2 times already. This family is ready and i´m so happy for them. I hope that they continue on this path.

Well that is all for this week! Oh, the package I´m sure is here in Chile...probably sitting in the mission offices waiting. The zone leaders go to conference this Friday I think? And then the Wednesday after that we will be able to get our stuff (this system is the worst, I know), but I´m sure it´s safe, so no need to worry! I love you all so much, I´m so grateful for you all as my family and I hope you are all safe and happy! Thanks for your unfailing love and support for me. 

Till next week! Love you!

Letter 23: Woof woof!

Hey Mom!

April 1st today! Whhattttt?? Its hard to believe sometimes. I cant believe that in June ill be 19? I'm with you mom, I don't want another birthday either! And Brock, you guys should definitely buy him a car (and no...he didn't email me telling me to tell you guys to buy him a car) Seriously I don't even feel that old at all. I'm aging far too quickly haha. I remember being like 5 years old and thinking that i would never be this old, or that is was so far away that I didn't have to think about it. This whole getting older thing is really weird to be honest. Isn't it kind of funny that when you´re young you think that everyone that is older knows everything, and then you get older and realize wow...I have a lot to learn. Hahah life. I´m really excited to see you guys in May as well! I cant believe that is came so fast as well, i still feel like we just talked which is a good thing!

Hahaha actually i´m pretty sure Edith is right about the food. Honestly before I left on the mission I thought the food would be really different and...flavorful? I mean obviously, south America, would think so. But nope, normally we eat chicken and rice..and sometimes barotos(bean soup), which is actually pretty good (minus the times I've found ants in them) haha. The good foods that they have here would be there Mexican completos. Its this sliced steak with hot sauce and guacamole, its pretty good. Anyway, my companion also says the the Peruvian food is way better, he has a cook book and everything so I'm going to make him cook me things, also I'm going to teach him how to clean up after himself before I go insane haha. Sometimes its annoying to be with a Peruvian because the Peruvians and Chileans fight ALL THE TIME....and so I have to sit there and listen to who is better between Chile or Peru when in reality I know the USA is the best hahahah. But tell Edith that that's a great idea and ill be sure to take her up on it when I get home.

Yes the senior couple is in my area and they will probably be here for all of their mission. Also from what I have heard i´m probably going to be here until July or August. The people who come here stay for 2-4 changes and President Kahnlein likes to keep the senior companion in the area for longer. So we´ll see how that goes! I'm glad to hear that you are staying busy and that business is going well right now. Also that Nichole´s wedding planning went smoothly and is already almost over. And yes, you have to take a ton of pictures obviously (to indulgences!!). 

I really like the branch that i´m in and the area i´m in. We just had a change in the presidency on Sunday. I felt really bad for the last president because his counselors were practically inactive and he had to do just about everything alone. Not only that but he had to work everyday out in the sea and sometimes with work he couldn't do the things of the branch without support from his counselors. I was actually pretty disappointed to see that the missionaries and a few of the members were making fun of him behind his back when I arrived here in Los Vilos. From what I was able to see he worked as best as he could with what he had. Now we have a presidency that should be much stronger, although the 1st counselor is less active, so we are hoping that this will reactivate him and that he will take it seriously. I love the mission leader that we have in the branch (not only because he reminds me of Cory) but because he magnifies his calling and does a lot to help us. 

Okay so we are teaching a family right now and they are just amazing. Luis and Elvia are the parents and they have 2 kids who are grown up Macarena and Manuel, and 2 grand-kids that live there with one on the way from Macarena. But we have been teaching them (minus Luis because he works away from a month at a time then comes home, BUT his son that lives where he works is a member married in the temple and has been reading the book of Mormon and principles of the Gospel AND attending church there!), and its been amazing. They are so interested and truly want to learn and progress. We were able to finish the plan of salvation yesterday. Elvia was telling us how she just wanted to sit there and think, and to know if it was true. Elvia was also able to give the finally prayer after the lesson and mom, my heart literally felt so happy but sad at the same time. She started to cry almost immediately and asked the Heavenly Father help her family stay united, that the problems they had could be fixed, that it was such a stress and she just doesn't want it anymore, she doesn't want the problems. My heart broke because I could feel her pain, but at the same time I felt so happy because they´re progressing and coming to know our Heavenly Father and that the answer to their problems we have. They are going to watch general conference and we are going to but a baptismal date for Macarena and then put a marriage date for Elvia and Luis. I'm so excited for this family and I really don't want to mess anything up, really we have to trust in the spirit. Speaking of which, I'm ridiculously excited for general conference! Its like Christmas for the missionaries. I've been praying to know what to listen for and to understand what God wants from me at this time. I think that really  if we prepare before we listen to their messages we will get so much more out of it. 

We had our zone conference yesterday with President Kahnlein and his wife. That man is just pure spiritual power, its amazing. We talked a lot about obedience and about the things that we can do to really be true missionaries. We also finished the Book of Mormon with the subjects of Faith, Repentance, Baptism, The Atonement, And the Holy Ghost. Now we are going to study and look for God and Jesus Christ, words directly from them, Prayer, Obedience, and Satan. Pres. wants us to really know our adversary as well as our Father in Heaven. If we know our adversary we can more easily fight against him, we can defend. It really is true, I've met people out here who believe in God but refuse to believe in crazy is that! Satan is teaching people that he doesn't exist so that they wont have to worry about anything. I'm excited to study these subjects and learn them. We also talked about the promise in the Introduction in the book of Mormon from Joseph Smith, That a man would get closer to God by following the teachings of the Book Of Mormon than that of any other book. He made the point that we cant just read it and learn things but we have to follow the teachings...or in other words APPLY it in our lives. That really is the hardest part at times. But the Conference was amazing, I always feel so motivated and spiritually uplifted afterwards. I want to be able to keep the spiritual highs that I get, its hard to do.

THANK YOU FOR REMINDING ME!!! I'm going to buy crepe stuff today (if they have it, we have one small supermarket and that's it). I will be thinking about that for sure though, about our Sunday crepes. The member have us over for lunch every day except P-day and sometimes we eat Once (or mini dinner) with the members or investigators if they offer it to us. The meals are....usually good hahaha sometimes I wonder what I'm eating. But its mostly the same ol things. Could be worse though! 

OH....story time. So I came to find out that there was a lady here a little while ago who was selling meat empanadas. Well after a while of selling them people were getting sick and had stomach pains. After finding out that many of the sick people had eaten from her they went to investigate and what did they find in her home? Carcasses of dogs and animals. The garbage men and also filed a report about finding a lot of bones in her trash. Long story short, she was selling meat empanadas of dog. So in other words I will not be buying anything from street vendors or from sketchy restaurants...ever. Also, turns out that they eat horse here, and no, I'm not going to eat it. Haha.

My tooth is all fixed. Sometimes it hurts, especially when something hot touches it. They did it really weird, so I'm probably going to have it checked when I get home. Sometimes I dream that my crown falls off again. But I'm really happy, doing really well! Im happy to hear that you and the family are doing good. Is it starting to warm up there? Is there still snow on the ground? Can you believe that the school year is almost over already?? Here in Chile is just started a few months ago. Its so weird to be here sometimes haha. Its still pretty warm here and we are enjoying while we can. Oh yeah, supposedly a tsunami is supposed to hit here in a few weeks. But all is well because we live high up. There are a ton of earthquakes going on here in Chile right now. And the Area presidency  has counseled us to prepare our emergency kits and reserve food. So we are going to do that today.

Well I love you tons!