Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 18...San Sebastian Week and Transfer Day!!!

Hello everyone! I will start with telling you all about how the week went with it being San Sabastian. So, literally so many people came to Yumbel. Over like 200,000 people were here. Everyone had tents and they were selling anything you could imagine. It was all for really cheap too. So you know me, of course I went shopping and had to buy some stuff. I got a lot of watches, some speakers, and some other stuff.
With all the people being here, we had a great idea to set up a table and contact people and teach them what we believe in. So we made a sign that said, "En que creen los Mormones?" "What do the Mormons believe in?" and then we set up a table that had all the pamphlets and pass along cards. It honestly went so well. We did it all week. We contacted over 1000 people this week. It was a crazy week. It was so fun to see all the people who had interest in our message. We had so many people interested in talking with us. We got a lot of references for other sectors in the mission, and we also had a lot of success for people here in Yumbel. It was such a fun week to be able to teach the people about what we believe in. We had a lot of success this week. That was pretty much our week this week. It was a good last week of the cambio. 

Speaking of cambios, I got the news today about what is happening here in Yumbel. The news is.................drum roll.................... I AM LEAVING!!!!! Ya, I am leaving Yumbel.  I am super excited to get out and see more of Chile and meet more people, but I will always be a YUBELITO at heart. I have loved serving here in Yumbel. It will forever be my home. I have made a bunch of great friends here. I am going to say my goodbyes to everyone today. It is going to be a rough day, but it will be good. I love Yumbel, but going to my new sector will be a great experience. 
Hasta La Vista, Yumbel
My new sector is called Los Sauces. Los Sauces is actually the smallest sector in the mission, haha. So I went from Yumbel, the 2nd smallest sector in the mission, to now I am going to the smallest sector. It should be really fun. I actually love living in these small sectors. Everyone is so nice, and everyone knows everyone. My new comp is Elder Willham. He actually is finishing his mission this cambio, so I will be “killing” him. That will be the 2nd person I have killed in my mission. I don't know why I keep getting old missionaries, but it is super good, they have taught me a lot. I can't wait to meet my new comp and experience new things here in Chile. It should be a great week this week.


Well for my spiritual thought this week I want to share with you all a scripture. Well, first off this week I finished the Book of Mormon. I just want to bear my testimony that I know without a doubt that this book is True. This book will change lives. This book changed my life. I challenge all of you to read it. Even if you have already read it, read it again, because you get something new each time you read it. I have learned so much from this book. At times in my mission I have felt down and have had hard times, when I am having these hard times, I go and read out of the Book of Mormon, and every time I feel comforted and receive a witness that God is here to help me. I always receive an answer. This book will help any one of you through any situation. I testify that this book is the most correct book in the world today. It changed my life and I know it will change yours if you read it and apply its teachings. I just want to share with you my favorite scripture that I found while reading. I know I have shared this before, but it has blessed my life in every possible way.

 12  Y ahora bien, recordad, hijos míos, recordad que es sobre laroca de nuestro Redentor, el cual es Cristo, el Hijo de Dios, donde debéis establecer vuestro fundamento, para que cuando el diablo lance sus impetuosos vientos, sí, sus dardos en el torbellino, sí, cuando todo su granizo y furiosa tormenta os azoten, esto no tenga poder para arrastraros al abismo de miseria y angustia sin fin, a causa de la roca sobre la cual estáis edificados, que es un fundamento seguro, un fundamento sobre el cual, si los hombres edifican, no caerán. 

12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon therock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

 I testify that if we make Christ the center of our lives, if we can build our foundation of Christ, if we can always remember our Savior and follow his teachings… WE WILL NOT FALL!!!! I promise you that with Christ at the helm, we will not fall. We will have eternal life and we can overcome all temptations from Satan. I challenge all of you to put Christ at the center of your life and you will not fall. I hope you all have a great week!

I will miss my companion and house mates...
Elders Sotomayor, Cox, and Ehlen

Saying goodbye to my good friends......

all packed and ready to go!!

Elder Cox

Elder Ehlen

My companion....Elder Sotomeyor

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Week 17... Mission Activity!!!

My Zone
This week was a great week! It was full of many activities and so much fun!!  I will start off with the fun part. This week (Monday) we had a Mission Activity. Every missionary in the mission went to this activity. It was such a fun day. I got to meet up with all my CCM buddies and we got to talk and catch up. It was so nice. I don’t know what it is, but those guys are my best buds. I was only with them for 6 weeks and I am way closer to them than I am with anyone that has lived in my house or that is in my Zone. For real those guys are so awesome. 

For this activity, we all separated into our different Zones and we played games against each other’s Zones. We all got different colored shirts and we had chants and cheers, and we played games. We played ultimate frisbee, dodgeball, kick ball, volleyball, tag, and a bunch of others. It was so fun to get to see everyone and meet a bunch of new people. It was by far one of the best days in my mission, as far as like relaxing and having fun. It was a super fun day filled with games and action. 

For lunch we had homemade burgers and I was in heaven, because here in Chile they don't really have burgers, so it was so good. Presidente Bluth  surprised us with a movie. We got to watch that new Movie, "Meet the Mormons".  It was super fun. We just sat there and watched this movie. It was such a good video. When it showed the football part, I got a little trunky, haha. I freaking miss football. Oh and also when it showed Salt Lake and the airport, it brought back memories of when I left the airport in August. It brought back a lot of good memories. It was such a good day though. It was so good to see everyone and be able to relax. I loved it. But that was pretty much it for the activity. My district and I took pictures and it was crazy to see all the changes in everyone. It was a great day. I was so beat after that day.

This week, as far as investigators, was a super down week, because it is so hard seeing all the people you care so much about use their free agency and choose the wrong and not want to come to Christ. Sometimes it makes me feel like a failure, but I just have to remember to keep my head up and keep working hard. I learned that God sends trials so we can grow. I know God right now is preparing me for something in the future. He sent me to Yumbel to go through these hard times, so I can handle it in the future. God knows the Big plan and all we have to do is put our trust in him and things will work out. I really wanted to baptize in my first sector.

 Transfers are this week and I have no clue what I am going to do. We will see what happens. We are going to work super hard this week to get people progressing for the next cambio. It was a super hard week, but it was full of so much learning and growing. I have learned that when we have hard times, these are when we learn more and grow more. If times were always easy and fun, if we had no trials, we would never grow. I am really starting to appreciate trials. Ya, they are trials and they are hard, but if we just go full bore through the trials, putting our faith in God, we will grow and become a better person, and overcome these trials. It was a good week though. I can’t wait for this next week. Last week of the transfer we are going to work so hard.

So this week in Yumbel is going to be crazy.  Yesterday was San Sabastian Day. That is one of the Saints they have here. And this day is the reason Yumbel is here. So many people travel to Yumbel. Yumbel’s population went from 2,000 people to 200,000 people in one week.

Everyone comes here to sell things. All the streets are full of tents that are selling things for cheap. So we got to walk through and buy some stuff. It was so awesome.

Today we are actually going to set up a table in the middle of the street and start to tell people about our church. I am super excited to contact everyone. It should be super fun. There are literally so many people here. Yumbel is freaking awesome. I will let you all know how it goes.

So this week for my spiritual thought, I want to share this scripture:

 3 Nephi 27:11: "But if it be not built upon my gospel, and it is built upon the works of men, or the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they have joy for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are cast down into the fire, from whence there is no return"

 This scripture really hit me hard this week. This is when Christ visited the Americas and is teaching them. He says this, and tells them they need to build their Churches and their foundations on HIM!! If they don't they will fall. I know that Satan tries to make things look fun and sins look good, but they really aren’t. Satan is the master of disguise. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He makes things look fun, and I won't lie, you will have fun, it even says so in this scripture. You will have fun, but only for a season. You will only have fun for a little bit, and then you will know that you are following Satan and the real fun and happiness comes from Christ. I challenge all of you this week to look for the happiness that comes from Christ, and beware the things that look fun, that really lead to bad situations or bad things. Beware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. I know that if you all can build your foundations on Christ you will not fall, you can know when it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Build your foundation on Christ and you will be so much happier.

I hope they call me on a mission....
...when I have grown a foot or two!

Con mi amigo, "Nacho"

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Week 16.... 5 months down!!!

I am writing on a Wednesday because on Monday we went to email our families and the whole Internet crashed in Yumbel. Haha… The perks of living in the middle of nowhere. So now we have permission to write today. 
This week was a super good week for my comp and I. This week we really focused on the people that want to receive our message and want to progress. This week I was feeling super bold…haha. So we went to all of our 18 baptismal dates that we have, and I asked all of them if they really want to progress. I asked them if they were interested in listening to what we had to say. And if they were willing to do the commitments that we asked them to do. Now we have 8 baptismal dates! No, it was actually really good. My companion and I felt like we were wasting so much time on people who didn't want to progress. We would go and teach them, and they would be super good, they would say they wanted to listen and learn, but would never do what we would ask them to do. We asked them to pray, read, and attend the church, but they would never do anything. So, this week we went in and told them if they weren't willing to do the commitments, we were going to teach other people. We tried to be as nice as possible. I told them that we only have 2 years to preach this Gospel of Jesus Christ and we want to preach it to the people who want to progress and come into the only True Church. Then we would bear our testimony that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true Church and we would testify about the truthfulness of the Gospel. Then we would say if you ever run into missionaries in the future talk to them because they have a message that can change your life. And then we went on our way. Everyone was actually super cool about it. I was really scared to be that bold, but with the spirit we were able to do it. Now we have more time to focus on the 8 people that actually want to progress and we won’t waste our time on the people who don’t. So it was a good week for that:) 

Also, this week we had a Zone conference. It was super awesome. We had a big 3 zone, zone conference. I got to see a bunch of my buddies from the CCM: Elder White, Elder Hatch, Elder Parkin, Elder Galbreath, Elder Stevenson. It was super awesome! The President came and he told us of a new program we are starting to do. We are starting a new program that isn't so focused on the numbers. They have a theory that all of us are focusing on numbers too much, so now we are supposed to focus on the investigators. I really like the new scheme we are going to do. Because we will be teaching people, not numbers; The focus will be on the people and not the numbers we have. So that was pretty big news, but it was a super good conference. It was good to see everyone. 

Elder Parkin

Also this week I had a really spiritual moment. So for all of you that have been following what I have been saying with my investigators, this week was a huge moment for us. So Viviana, the Mom of Nico, who never really wanted the church, she said she had her church and she was fine, finally opened up to us. At the end of one of our lessons she opened up and said that she was scared of receiving an answer and she was scared of praying. Already right there she was receiving an answer. She was scared that her church was wrong. So we told her that the answer comes from God and she will be comforted. Then we told her we would come back on Thursday to teach her more. We told her to pray to receive this answer. So on Thursday we went back to her house and we had the Joseph Smith First Vision video: The Restoration video. At first, she didn't want to listen to us. Then we convinced her to come and listen. We started watching the video, and the spirit hit us so strong. The spirit filled the room when Joseph saw the Father and the Son. You could tell she was feeling the spirit. It was such a cool experience. We testified to her that God will answer her prayers, and just like Joseph Smith, you will have hard times, but you will be happy and you will Know The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true Church. It was such a good lesson. I have never felt the spirit enter a room with that much strength. I know the spirit was testifying to her that these things are true. I know she is receiving her answer. She is still trying to fight it, like she didn’t come to church, but it is a break through. We are going to continue to work with her and I know she will receive an answer and come to church. 

This week for my spiritual thought, I want to share a scripture: Alma 48:17 "Yea, verily, verily I say unto you if all men had been, and were, and ever would be like unto Moroni, behold the very Powers of Hell would have been shaken forever, yea, the Devil would never have power over the heart of the children on Men."

That scripture is so awesome to me. My challenge to you all this week is become like Moroni. Because of his faith and his love for keeping the commandments, he was able to do amazing things. He had so much Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. He put all his trust in his Redeemer. I know that if we can all become like Moroni and put all of our Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the very Powers of Hell will shake, and Satan will have no power over us. I hope you can all become like Moroni. That is my spiritual thought this week. I love you all so much. Have a great week.


Gigantic completos (hotdogs)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 15... Bring on 2015...Happy New Year!!!

Yumbel, Chile sunset
I can’t believe it is 2015!!!! That is so crazy that it is the New Year already. I hope all of you had a great New Years and were able to look back on 2014 that flew by. I am so grateful for all the events that happened in 2014!! 2014 for me was probably the hardest year I have ever had in my life. I am so grateful for all the ups and downs of 2014 because now I am here and I have changed so much. I hope all of you were able to make New Years Goals. I made so many goals for this New Year. I hope I can accomplish them. I realized that I am going to spend all of 2015 in the mission. That is super crazy. This whole year will be missionary work, and I cannot be more excited for this year. 

So this last week was a blast. We got to have New Year’s parties. We actually went to another missionary’s house and spent the night. Elder Loefke(California) and Elder Miranda(Chile) invited us over to their house, so we spent the night there. It was honestly so much fun.

We all pitched in on buying food and we had a feast!!!! We had a grill and we cooked up all sorts of meat!!! We had ribs, chicken breasts, pork, and we had a lot of it. We also had potatoes, rice, and salad!!! We all ate until we were dying!!! When I finished, I just layed on the ground and stretched out for a half hour. It was a super good New Years!!!! After we finished our feast, we chilled until it was midnight. When it was close to 12, we counted down. When it hit the New Year we all started screaming and went outside. The town siren went off and a bunch of people were in the street. They were all shooting off fireworks, so we watched them for a minute!!!! It was a really good New Years!!!! How was all of yours?? I hope they all went great :) 

So, about my investigators…This week was really hard for me, but also really good too. So at the first of the week, our investigator Scarlett really had a mishap. She was supposed to be baptized on the 17 of this month. She probably won’t be getting baptized now. I was so disappointed in myself. It was so hard for me. I honestly have not spent so much time thinking about someone else, than I have this investigator. She is literally always in my mind. I am always looking for things to help her. I was so excited to have her baptized. I spent a whole day studying for the lesson we had with her. I did practice lessons with my companions and thought it was going to go great. When we got to the lesson I was so nervous. I was like this is the lesson that will determine if she is getting baptized or not. And honestly, the lesson couldn’t have gone any more opposite than I thought. She had not been doing the right things, and she was not willing to change. After that lesson it really made me question if I was making a difference here. I see all my friends from the CCM and all of them are having baptisms, and I ask myself, “what am I doing wrong?” I spent that whole night praying, to know if I was making a difference!!! 
At that moment, I realized that I AM making a difference!! As long as I give it my all and work hard, I will make a difference. Maybe I am just planting seeds!!! It was honestly one of the most spiritual moments in my mission. I felt so good after that prayer. 
After that day, everything turned around!!!! Elder Sotomayor and I started inviting everyone to be baptized. Right now we have 17 people with baptismal dates. It is so crazy. I felt like every lesson we had, everyone accepted. This week was so amazing!!! All we need to do is get all these investigators to progress!!! It is crazy how God closes one door, but opens up so many more doors! :) 

I actually had a funny experience yesterday!!! So we went to this door to contact, and a lady opened the door. She invited us in. When we got in, there were 3 Evangelical Preachers and they just looked like they wanted to battle with us. I was like, oh crap, I don’t want to battle. But we sat down and started to talk with them. At first they started asking a ton of questions that I had no clue how to answer. My companion was trying all he could to answer these preacher’s questions. Then all of a sudden I got this impression to just stay simple and explain to them lesson 1. So I pulled out my pamphlet of lesson 1. I started to teach lesson 1. All of them looked at me and were so into what I was teaching. At the end of teaching lesson 1, I said this. "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only church that has the power and Authority to baptize in the name of God, "Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone that holds that Power?" Right then and there, the whole mood changed. They looked at us and they had no clue what to say. They lady whose house it was invited us to come back another day. It was so awesome. At first I was scared to say it because it was so bold and I didn’t want to look like I was trying to argue, but I got the prompting, so I followed it and it worked out. By far the coolest contact I have ever had on my mission. It was such a great experience.

So this week for my spiritual thought, I want to share a quote!!! This quote my mom sent to me in my Christmas package. So the picture is of this huge wave and storm…and has the quote that says, "Will you complain to God about the size of the storm...Or will you go and tell the storm about the strength of your God?"
I love this quote so much. All of us will have trials and afflictions in this life. We have the 2 options when these things happen. 1. We could go to God and complain, and say why me? Why do bad things always happen to me? Or, 2. We can face the storm head on with God on our side and blow through the storm. If you chose number 2, you will be able to accomplish your storm. With God on your side, you can accomplish anything. I hope all of you can remember to go to the “storm” with God by your side and face it head on, because you will not fall with God on your side.

I love you guys have a great week!!!

Dart gun war!!
Happy New Year!!!