Family and friends,
After a month of being taught, Alfonso was baptized last Sunday and I had the privilege of baptizing him which was a very special experience for me. That man has repented and has honest desires to keep learning more and progress. I plan on staying in contact with him. He is working as a school bus driver right now.
I HAD CHANGES!!!!! Put more simply, I moved. I changed houses and companions. The part of Santiago I am living in now actually isn´t that far away from where I was living before. It is in the same county, or section (La Cisterna). The ward is called Los Nogales and is part of the Gran Avenida stake. The Gran Avenida stake is complied of 5 wards, each with about 70 in attendance. There are 14missionaries currently serving in the stake, 12 elders, and 2 sister missionaries. Our ward, Los Nogales, has 4 missionaries, my companion and I, and Hermana Fuentes (una mexicana) and Hermana Barbosa (una brasileña).
My new companion is named Elder Batista. He comes from the state of Sao Paulo in Brazil, which is 6 hours from the actual city of Sao Paulo. He is a big guy. He probably has about 50 pounds on me, but is a little shorter. He speaks with a very loud voice and is very charismatic. He loves to speak to me inPortuguese even though I have no idea what he says, (I´m learning more and more each day). He comes from a family of 4, that are all members of the church. His dad teaches institute in English through Pathways. We get along very well and he has really helped me personally because we keep each other happy and focused. We are probably going to be with each other for the next two changes, the end of my mission.
This area has a little bit of everything…houses, blocks, apartment complexes, calmer parts and more dangerous parts. It is everything I could ask for. There are a good amount of stores, and good people traffic in the streets which makes it easier to contact. If you want to see what my chapel looks like, look it up on google maps! (Los Nogales 9778, El Bosque). It is a pretty church building.
We are in a whitewash and zone leaders. For those of you that don´t know mission vocabulary, we are both new in the sector. Usually, one missionary stays in a sector to teach the other where everything is, and how to work the sector, but in our case, we are learning everything together. We have been lost many times, and we have to use a little printed out map to navigate our way around. We have tried to contact all the people the missionaries before us were teaching. That has been our focus the past week; to find those people. We already met the majority of them, but we have a few left. We have a teaching pool of around 5 solid people, with a few more not so solids, and finding others every single day.
While walking in the sector on divisiones with Elder Smith, we felt that we needed to offer service to an older woman, 55 or so, that was shoveling dry cement into a wheel barrow. We approached her, she denied our help, we started talking, and after a few minutes, she told us she was baptized but had stopped going to church for a few reasons. Thanks to following an impression to offer help, we now are teaching a family!
Love you guys very, very much!!!!
Have a great week!