This week I was thinking a lot about confidence because it is a struggle I have sometimes. It is a struggle that a lot of people have often. We look at the accomplishments and achievements of other people and we begin to judge ourselves and lose confidence. This week was fast Sunday, and I prayed for an answer about how to feel more confident. My prayer was answered with a big feeling of peacefulness. The power of fasting is real.
During this week we had a great day planned with lots of different appointments and people to visit, but as the day went on every single one of the things we had to do fell through, and we arrived to the house a bit discouraged for how the day had gone. Not sure why, but I was thinking about the phrase, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you really think about it, there is beauty in everything! It is hard to see sometimes but it´s always there, we just need to learn to have grateful hearts.
This week we were able to have a special experience doing some contacts. We decided to talk to a man in the street named Jose and after about 20 seconds, he invited us to come into his house (something that rarely happens). We sat down, and poor Jose breaks out in tears saying that his girlfriend doesn´t want to be with him and he feels forgotten and alone and wanted answers. We talked to him about the sincere and real love that God has for him. It really moved me to see how humble he was and how he honestly wanted answers. It reminded me of the scripture in Alma 32 when Alma was teaching the Zoramites. "He beheld with great joy; for he beheld that their afflictions had truly humbled them, and that they were in a preperation to hear the word. If you feel like God is humbling you right now, he probably is trying to teach you something.
Life is good and Chile has a good soccer team. Things are great.
Love you all a whole bunch,
To explain the subject line, I complete a year in the mission today. A year ago today I started. I don´t like it, but hey it happened. I would like to think that the mission is going to last forever because I have been changed so much for the better, but all good things have got to come to an end right?
The last week we had some problems with running into the Sisters during visits with the members and over the limits of the sector, so we decided to try something crazy and take out the limit. For those of you that don´t understand, we have a ward, or area that is divided into two spaces. One of these spaces is the Sister missionaries´ sector. The other ours. Right now we have the whole entire 15 by 10 blocks shared between the 4. We did it with the intent to find more people to teach and my word did it work. We had a week full of miracles.
We decided to get ready by making a list of all the people that the missionaries had taught before that we didn´t know. We established a system of strikes. If we can´t find the person after going to their house 3 times, we take them off the list. We did the same thing with the contacts that the missionaires had written down. We went passing for these houses, contacting people in the street and trying to find less active members too and that is basically how we occupied the week.
The past thursday it rained here and we were out using this list in the street and got completely wet from head to toe. I have a wicked flu right now. I lost my voice, my nose was running super bad and I had a really bad cough, but the members that we visited gave me medicine and I am back to normal now.
We were able to find a lot of really good people which makes me psyched out. It is so nice when people have honest desires to improve their lives and they make sacrifices to do it. Here is a list of the people we found.
SERGIO: A 51 year old blond haired construction worker that lives with his wife Erika in the 19 floor of their department building. Sergio loves to play tennis and cook and he and his wife have been married for 16 years. Erika was bautized when she was young, and introduced the church to Sergio. Sergio has been going to church for almost eight months now, but never has taken the steps to be baptized. One day after sacrament meeting, we talked to him, and he invited us over to lunch. After the lunch, we taught him about how the true church of Jesus Christ, once lost is now restored and all the blessings we can have because of it. It was an incredible lesson. That guy is so ready and willing to take steps of faith and keep learning. We are going to his house every single saturday now
Nicholas and Livia: A young couple that just moved in to San Miguel four years ago. We found them through the list of people that we made. It was 9 oclock at night and we decided to try calling them to see if we could visit. We had never met them before. The answered right away, and told us they were home and that they would love us to come. Livia also was baptized when she was young, but stopped going because she didn´t want to make new friends when they moved. She and Nicholas are super great people and are really religious. We taught them about the love of God and the desires he has for us to be happy. We have a cita with them tomorrow.
Those are just two. There are some others, but I am running a bit short for time.
Yesterday we had a super spiritual experience that I want to summarize for you guys.
We were in the street going to a lesson with Benjamin, a youth that was baptized last november, and we felt impressioned to visited the family of the Relief Society President. We get to the house and the woman we were looking for was not even home, but her sister Carolina was. We asked her if we could share something short, she let us in, and we shared with her Romans 8:38 and 39 (a great verse. Go read it now). We testified about the love that God and Jesus have for her, and she started crying. She told us that she had been super sad lately because her health has not been the best and that she was going through some other family problems. She told us that we arrived just at the right moment and she needed to hear the the reasuring message that God and Jesus really did love her and were there for her. I can say without a doubt that the Spirit led us to that house. We need to do all within our reach to be worthy of the Spirit in every moment so we can be an instrument in God´s hands to bless others.
Life couldn´t be better. My cheeks hurt from smiling. Love you guys a bunch
This week was a hard week in the mission. The mission is doing a healthy food competition and they challenged was to not drink soda. I made it 3 days. An old woman got mad at me because I told her I couldn't drink her soda and I had to cave in.
I was able to do divisiones with Elder Mataitusi. He is an elder that finishes his mission in about two weeks. I was able to do various divisiones with him over the course of my mission and it has been great to see the growth that we have both had. We talked a lot about being yourself and spiritual gifts. He told me that I had the spritiual gift of being genuine. I was thinking a lot about spiritual gifts this week. The gift to recognize sin, to be sincere, to accept help. God gives us these gifts to help us get through life a lot easier. Telling someone their spritiual gifts is like the best compliment you can give someone.
This week I was able to find a new person to teach because of horse meat. You totally did read that right. We had a cita with a family on one of the streets in our sector, and when we went there, the family was not at home. We were a bit discouraged, but we saw a group of guys a little way down the road and we decided to talk to them. They were having a BBQ, and so obviously we started talking about meat. They told us that horse meat is the best meat ever to cook during BBQ. We talked to them for about 10 minutes, but after we could tell that they weren´t too interested and we started talking to two older women that were there. One of them told us that she had shared with the missionaries before and that she missed having God more in her life and that she wanted to have us start passing to see her. Her name is Valentina. I am super excited to help her and maybe eat some horse meat. You never know what could happen.
I also got to teach the gospel principles class this week which was an interesting challenge. Giving an hour long class about an important concept to 15 people in Spanish is not something I would have never thought I would be doing 2 years ago. I taught about the sabbath day and the class went really well. Everyone participated and I felt the Spirit.
Fun fact, the last time Rachel and I saw each other was 2 years and 4 days ago. Time flies so fast.
Try your best to smile this week. You don´t ever get time back so use it as best as you can. I love you all more than you can understand.
To be straight honest, I am not good at writing group emails. I am sorry to all of you guys that are still here and want to know how I am doing.
The week was full of lots of different things.
I was able to do two baptismal interviews to a man named Hector and to a women named Constanza. It really makes me nervous to have such a huge responsibility, but I was able to feel the Spirit super strong in the both interviews. It is really special to be with the person and talk about the gospel and read scriptures and to listen to their testimonies about things that they have learned. Both Hector and Constanza are going to be baptized this Saturday! Great news right?!!!
I also got to dance in an activity that my ward did. My mom will attach the video to this email so you guys can see it.
Keep reading the scriptures and doing your best to love your neighbor! Love you a lot more than my tiny emails express!
The last thing I expected to read when I opened up my email was that Marissa saved Childish Gambino from a desert island in Florida. My family is a very interesting family.
Mom I am going to start right off the bat answering your questions because I know I am horrible about keeping you guys updated.
How is the teaching?
I am not sure if this questions has to deal with how teaching is going in our sector or in a broader sense. But to make it brief, it is really fun for me. This past zone meeting we watched the Bible video about Jesus forgiving the woman that had committed adultery. If you really study the bible and Book of Mormon, it is really amazing the way that Christ taught. When the Pharisees approached him, telling him the woman should be stoned, he didn't respond right away, rather he kneeled down, calmly drew in the sand and let the situation calm down, then said that He among you that is without sin, let him cast the first stone. He addressed the Pharisees question, made them and the whole entire group think about their cleanliness and also taught them a lesson in only a sentence without getting mad or causing a scene. I am trying to do that with my teaching. When I teach the people, I try my best to listen to what they say and not think about how I am going to respond, but rather focus on the Spirit and the impressions that I receive. I try and teach simply and I try my best to answer their questions based on scriptures and personal spiritual experiences. It is hard to put it all together at once, but God blesses me with lots of chances to practice!
Have you found any new investigators?
Elder Gonzalez and I have decided to white wash the sector. If you don´t understand the words white wash, it means to start from zero. We slowly realized that the people we were passing for a visiting were not progressing and keeping commitments, so we decided to go back to basics and spend tons of time contacting in the street and knocking doors and trying to find prepared people. After all, it says in the scriptures that God will place people in my path, I just have to talk to them that pass me to be able to find that one person that is ready. How easy! Maybe I will go through a million people and never find a single one, but the people aren´t the only ones who are getting taught in this whole thing. I am learning a ton too. I love practicing contacts and meeting people.
Are the members in your ward good about referring their friends?
No. Members. You had your lifes changed by the gospel and recieve blessings every single day because of it. Return the favor. It is a commandment. "Every member a missionary"
The week was great.
I met a crazy dude from Denmark that spoke English and we talked about lots of things together
I cooked lunch (mejor dicho hice un sandwich)
We helped 2 families move. It killed my arms but I get muscles and someone got helped. Literally no loss at all
We practiced a dance for the talent show this friday
I got 2 letters from my family!
LIFE IS GREAT AND I AM SMILING LOTS
LOVE YOU ALL!!!!
This week has been a roller coaster. I am sorry for not writing a good group email last week. I will try to summarize this week.
1. I had to teach the third hour class at church without notice which was really fun. I taught about the importance of scripture study and it went really well.
2. I get super sick with stomach pains and headaches and it was super rough. We had to go to the doctor and now I am on a special diet until my stomach stops freaking out.
3. I turned 19! Feels weird being older, but great at the same time. The sisters from my ward bought me a cake and I bought myself a mate (look it up if you don´t know what it is) and some incense sticks. Personal study with mate and incense is the best
4. We made cookies with my ward mission leader Hermano Miranda and we discussed life. He lives on the 16 floor of his apartment building and so after we talked about the investigators that we teach, we ate cookies looking at the sunset. A great meeting if you ask me.
5. We did pendones with the sisters from our ward. Pendones is when we put a sign in a crowded area and contact the people that are walking around. I was able to talk to a guy named Enrique that is Catholic and I talked to him about the purpose of life and why we have problems. It feels great to be able to help other people understand things.
6. I completed 11 months of being a missionary! Seems crazy right? Time is flying by. I am almost halfway done and I feel like I started this morning. I love the changes that I have been able to see in myself. Now that I speak better Spanish and now how to teach people better than I did before, I get frustrated when they don´t want to make changes in their lives, but everyone has the power to make their own desicions. I have also been able to develop a lot of paciencia and a love for reading the scriptures that I never had before.
To put it really short, this week was super happy. I get discouraged and frustrated sometimes, but I know that God loves me with all my heart. I will never be perfect, but I can try my best to be Christlike and if I make mistakes I have the atonement tfo Jesus Christ o get me back on the right track. It makes me feel comforted to know where I came from, what I need to do here on earth to be happy, and what the outcomes of my choices will be after this life. Everyone that reads this, I know God loves you too. Let Him know it. Say a prayer of thankfullness everyday and especially when you are feeling sad. The more of ourselves we give to Him, the more He manifests Himself to us in our lives.
BE HAPPY! SMILE! SERVE SOMEONE IN NEED!
I love you guys more than you know
This week has been really interesting because Elder Anguita, my comp from Argentina, finished his mission and went home and I got to spend a whole day with Pres and Sister Gwilliam before our special changes. I am now with Elder Gonzalez, who left the office to be my companion! He is from Medellin, Colombia, has a year and a half in the mission and is a really good guy. He has a bunch of crazy stories about things he did before, and I am really happy for this change. He is really obedient and humble. We have been able to do a lot of things in the short time that we have been together and I feel like he is helping me to work to my full potential. I will include some pictures of him.
It was a super special experience to spend for that much time with Pres and Sister Gwilliam and see them in a more relaxed environment. We went to a temple session and after we went out to eat. During the session, I sat next to President Gwilliam and it was really cool to see his unique reverence and how he acted. You can seriously feel the goodness coming from him when you are close to him. I especially liked going to eat. To go eat, we had to drive through Santiago downtown and the people are terrible drivers here and we almost got in like 5 car accidents even though President was driving perfectly. Hermana Gwilliam would try and give him advice or tell him things and he would call her by her first name when he got frustrated and it was really funny. When we got out, President and Sister Gwilliam walked with Anguita and I and we talked about life and how I felt and it was really interesting to see how much she remembered about me even though there are 150 missionaries here in the mission. At the restaurant I ordered the "Mr. T" burger which comes with a half kilo of meat. Best hamburger I have had in a very long time. Those two are really special to me. Like a 2nd mom and dad. They love me for who I am and they just want to see me get to my full potential. Oh and we also found out that President Gwilliam had a Porsche before which makes him even more cool.
We had some great experiences during the goodbyes of Elder Anguita and it was cool to here some of the thoughts of the members. One of them, an older woman named Lucia told us that the most powerful thing that a missionary can do is testify. A missionary can be super funny and get along really well with the people, but the people can really see if they are a great missionary through their testimony and how they feel when the missionary is offering it.
We had a great testimony meeting this past Sunday. Without a doubt one of the best that I have seen in my whole life. I felt the spirit so powerfully. I feel such strong peace and love and I feel safe when people offer their testimonies. Such a neat experience to be able to listen to testimonies of our friends every month.
Super random, but my trainer, or first companion in the mission, Elder Gularte, came to visit Santiago this week. He came to visit me totally out of the blue one morning. It was super fun to see him again. He hasn´t changed at all. He still is super loving and is always laughing to smiling. He also has a crazy beard now.
Our finding and teaching has gone really well this week. Elder Gonzalez and I have hit the ground running. We have been doing our best to take advantage of the time in between citas and talk to people in the street and teach with the Spirit. It has been going really good so far. Just this last week, we found Roberto and Raul. Raul is a man we contacted on our way to correlacion. He has a cleft lip, so it was an interesting challenge to talk to him, but he is a really interesting guy. He and his wife teach a class to people that are addicted to alcohol and drugs and they are really religious. We were able to teach him about the Plan of Salvacion and the reason why were are here in this Earth and why we have problems and challenges sometimes. It went really well. I am super excited about Roberto too. He is a guy that we met trying to find a less active in an apartment building. He was leaving his house to go buy something, and we asked for his help finding the apartment of the woman because we were a bit lost. We started to talk about life, and he told us that he is retired and lives with his Mom that has health problems. We shared a few short things about prayer and again, The Plan of Salvacion and we set a cita to go back and we taught him last night. He told us that what we taught to him sounded familiar and that it made sense. He said that he would be baptized.
There is no question, no doubt, no fear, no problem that the gospel cannot solve. God does not want us to be sad or lost. He loves us so so so very much, if we apply the gospel in our lives we can feel a peace unlike we have ever ever felt before. Roberto felt like what we had taught him was something familiar because it is a truth he knew it in the pre-mortal life. I love the person I have become and how I feel living the gospel. Life is amazing.
Take care this week guys. I love you all very much
This week has been great.
It started to be cold again (finally). When we wake up in the morning it is especially freezing because not a single house in Chile has heating or air conditioning. Not a single one. It is all good though because I would choose the cold over hot any day. I just wish that we could have a thunderstorm or it would rain. Santiago weather is either super hot or super cold. Nothing in between. Literally nothing more than that.
The stuff you have heard about all the earthquakes is all true. It is very likely that before the next time I right you guys another earthquake will have happened. If not an earthquake, a temblor. The earthquakes are just like feeling turbulance in a plane. Everything starts to move and shake and stuff starts falling down. It is crazy. Look it up on youtube.
This week we found a really good family. We were looking for less actives and we ended up finding a girl in her thirties called Paulina. We knocked on her door around 8:45, and she told us to come in. As we talked to she and her parents, we found out that all three of them are members! We are really excited to reactivate them. We have been working a lot with Benjamin, a guy from Colombia and Claudio, a mechanic of heavy machines. Benjamin has a desires to learn and has accepted everything we have taught really well. We taught him about the BOM yesterday. Claudio´s mom is really sick right now, so we are teaching him about Plan de Salvacion. The both are progressing really fast. I am excited to see what all happens.
I had several experiences this week that I really liked. One of them was a service project that we did for a woman in another sector. She asked us to do was scrape the paint off of her house with spatulas so she could paint it again. It took so much work to scrape off the paint, and there were like 8 missionaries there so while we scraped, we talked about life and stuff that had happened to us and after about 40 minutes of intense scraping, one of the missionaries asked the woman how long she had been a member. She responded that she was not a member. The missionaries from the sector hadn`t told us anything and all of us just assumed that she was a member. After hearing that she was a member, I began to think about the conversaciones that we had, to try and remember if anything “not missionary like” was said. That is a feeling we should not have to feel as missionaries or as members either. True integrity is acting as Christ would all time no matter who we are around. One of the most important things we do. Watch what you say to other people this week.
Another thing I really loved was a división that I did with one of the asistentes from our mission. He is named Elder Allred and he is from Idaho. I really look up to him. He is one of my heros in the mission. After the division I was thinking about the traits of a good leader. To me, an excellent leader is confident and not afraid of what people might to do to them. They have a firm testimony, they know when to be serious and when to be funny. They are concerned about others and are good examples. We all should apply these traits everyday.
I think one of the moments that takes the cake for favorite moments this week was getting mail from Grandma Harmer. A little while ago, I asked her for some family history information, and I got the letter this past Friday. It was an envelope with a bunch of stories about our family and how the crossed the plains and became converted and other spiritual experiences. I loved reading and learning about my family. It is super important that we know where we came from and that we do things so that our great, great grandchildren or whoever it might be can know who we were and the experiences we had. Write things down! Keep a journal! Take pictures and save them!
Tiny moments this week:
1. We left the phone in one of the members houses after lunch so we didn`t have our alarm clock, so right before going to bed I drank 2 liters of water so I would have to wake up to use the bathroom during the night and not sleep in. It worked perfectly. I woke up without an alarm clock. A blessing if you ask me.
2. One of the members of the ward, Romauldo, that was inactive was reactivated 4 months ago. He blessed the sacrament for the first time in his life. He is a really loving man. He has problems with his knees and it is difficult to kneel. But he blessed the sacrament kneeling down even though it was extremely hard for him. Talk about being converted.
3. I learned the secret to feel the Spirit more and feel more confident; Chill. Before in the lessons I would always talk fast and try and fit lots of information into what I say, but this week I have been trying to slow down and make what I say more powerful and following the spirit. It has been great.
This week was super great over all.
I am super excited to talk to my family next week!
Love you all!
This week, we had a day that all of the citas fell through, so we were contacting people in the street and tracting, and we got the feeling to pass for a less active that lived close to where we were, and so we passed for there house, which is a Elderly Person Care home, and the less active was too busy to attend us alone because she was serving dinner to the old people. What ended up happening was that she sat us down with the old people while she was serving them, and we shared a lesson with the 9 super old people and her at the same time. All the old people had different religiones, and they asked us a lot of questions, but I was able to feel the Spirit and I feel good about lifting the spirits of some old people.
This week we had a church activity on Friday. Every single member had to take a plate of food to be judged by three judges. All of the members ended up bringing stuff. There was about 30 different plates and being good members or our ward, Elder Anguita decided to bring something too. Elder Anguita cooked Milinesa and I decided to cook Orange Chicken (the kind you always cook mom). Long story short, after all the judging was done, ELDER SCOTT TOOK THE CAKE AND WON THE WHOLE THING. That is right. 1st place. Out of a bunch of old women and moms and dads, an 18 year old gringo Elder won. I was so pumped. I won a glass bowl as my prize. One of the best days of my life for sure. The only lame thing was that the day after I was sick. I threw up twice and had terrible diahrrea. I am going to blame it on someone else´s food though. I was super sick for 2 days and had a really high fever, but after church on Sunday I was all better.
This week has been a lot better for me. I have been able to enjoy it more and have been a whole lot less stressed which makes me feel better. My comp and I have been getting along better too which is great.
Life here in the mission has been going really well. Elder Anguita and I have been looking for new people like crazy. We have been working a lot with antiguos and with less actives too. I use to get frustrated before about not being able to find good people and I judged my effectiveness as a missionary, but the other day in my personal study I read a verse that really impacted me. It is in Mosiah. It says that being an instrument in the hands of God is bringing people unto the knowledge of Him. What the people do with that information is in their hands. We just have to make sure we communicate it to them in the way that is right and with the Holy Ghost. Some missionaries never baptize and come home thinking they are a failures and wasted time, but the truth is, if they work hard to inform every single person they can about the blessings they can have through the gospel of Jesus Christ, they are not failures. Just like PMG says, hablar con todos.
This week I had divs with our leader de Zona Elder Mataitusi. That guy is my hero. He is really humble, really diligente, really smart and he works hard. During our divisions we talked a lot about obedience and why some missionaries come to the mission and get up late, leave the house late, and don´t do what they are supposed to do. It really is crazy how many people do it. We also drank a lot of mate (if you don´t know what it is look it up) and we got yolked together.
We also had lunch with our bishop, Obispo Sierra. That dude has the craziest life story. He is from Honduras, but he moved to Miami, met his wife, moved to Utah to study and then moved to Chile. He and his wife are really strong in the gospel and they have 5 kids and the wife just barely turned 30. The both of them are fluent in English, but don´t ever speak it with the missionaries. They speak it in their house though and the wife always says funny things in English. I love them. They help me a lot with my accent in Spanish! That is one of the things I am working on now. I have the grammar more or less down, I am just working on improving and perfecting my accent. The wife made me read a book about My little Mermaid. It was hilarious. I love them.
I think the coolest moment for me personally this week was a lesson we had yesterday. We found this less active man named Jamie. He is in his 60's and lives alone and doesn´t work because of sicknesses. We entered the house, and first thing that we noticed was just how poor he was. He literally had nothing. He served us a single serving bag or potato chips and a few cookies and a glass of coca cola and we started talking about the gospel and how it has affected his life. He told us that he has stopped going to church, but things that the missionaries taught him always stayed with him. We read 3 Nephi, Chapter 11 together, a verse every person and I felt the Spirit really strong. We were able to answer all of his questions, and I know the Lord is blessing me for being obedient.
I love life.
PS. Jones I played soccer today in a huge soccer field! I will send you pictures!
Be safe guys!