Monday, September 26, 2016

My Life is a Good One and This is an Amazing Experience

THIS WEEK WAS RAD! We had some baptisms in the ward and cruised up river to the coolest baptismal font y´all have ever seen! Walking around in farm country is the best! People always give fruit and sugar cane to us to eat. Walking through the jungle and talking to everyone about Jesus, my life is a good one. The rolling hills, mountains, reminds me of Lord of the Rings hahaah! Also, wild guinea pigs live here in the farms and mountains. Today for lunch we are going to eat guinea pig! It'll be a good time. We also received a service project from the devil himself. Friday we cleaned out some rain gutter that was like 7 feet deep!  It was terrible, 3 hours of good hard work but I'm grateful.  We got lunch and found some people to teach.

WE FOUND THE BEST FAMILY EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The husband of a less active gave us a reference to his distant family member, we went, they let us in! They are super amped and went to church and LOVED I! They are very humble and are practically walking into the baptismal waters.  ITS SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!! They moved to my area about 2 months ago and they live close to a bunch of members. We always passed by their house and we never knocked! BUT, WE FOUND THEM!!!!!! I'm stoked! We are going to visit them today and lay down a date of 15 of October. They just have to marry and they are super stoked for that, too! IVAN CHUMACEDO Y MERLY CHACON VILLALOBOS......PRAY FOR THEM.......

love y'all 


     This week was another awesome week here at the bottom of the world! I'm honestly having a hard time finding anything bad about the mission. The rain isn't so bad, the food isn't either! The people are so nice and the ward is amazing! The investigators just make you want to cry sometimes, they are amazing.  I really love every part of it, because I know that in the end anything I'm doing here will only make me a better person and bring me closer to the Savior! I lost the ability to serve a mission for a while, and now I'm back and I can't believe what I almost missed out on! This is an amazing experience.
      This week was ward conference! To start out the week we played soccer on Monday night! I scored a bunch, not because of any skill! I'm just high motor haha and I was playing against a bunch of 6 and 60 year olds! But you got to take it where  you get it. Am I right?! The next day Elder Mills and I had to head to Osorno to do stuff for our visas! We stayed in a super nice apartment with some really nice elders! NOT! I'm going to let you guess what the lie was, the nice elders or the nice apartment! Hint: cockroaches in your sleeping bag when you wake up! But, it was awesome because the next morning we got to meet our new president! His name is president Isom! He and his wife are so nice! They are from Wyoming and definitely gringos! He doesn't speak too much spanish and she doesn't speak any! They didn't receive any training from the missionary department, they received the call three weeks before they left! They saw a ton of miracles in being able to leave so quick! We had to take them to a few places around Osorno! He looked at me at one point and said that he had no idea what he was doing as a mission president and especially not here in Chile, I almost broke his heart when I had to tell him I didn't know either! haha 
     We got home on Wednesday night and we had another ward activity! It was dessert competition! I made those apple, blueberry and lemon ramekins that we ate every Sunday when we watched the Amazing Race and I WON, in the flavor category at least! Another guy won first place over all because his presentation was better, but the judge clearly said mine tasted better! My only response is that if it tastes good, who cares about the presentation! haha That night we got invited to a ton of family home evenings but only if I made that dessert and brought it. haha The next morning we had an awesome lesson with Andres about the word of wisdom! He also explained what was happening with his lawsuit against him. He showed us thew accounting sheets and was pretty amazed that I knew what he was talking about. GAAP baby!! He has been so swamped with this case that we haven't been able to share much of the gospel with him! He told us he still wants to keep sharing and that he believes in it all! 
     On Friday we had interviews with president! Our day kinda got shot because the interviews were at our chapel so we had to open it, wait and then close it! But the interview was awesome! While I was waiting for my interview I talked to Hermana Isom! She is super nice. She had a notebook with a painting of Monet's water lilies! She was amazed that anyone knew that, let alone what she described me as "a beach bum football playing man" haha During the course of the conversation it came up that I went home from my mission! The first thing that President Isom did in our interview was give me a big hug and said he was proud of me for returning! I guess Hermana Isom told him! The rest of the interview was so great! He is awesome and so ready to learn how to be a president! 
     On Saturday when I woke up my eye was swollen shut! So, Elder Mills and I spent the day at the hospital! One of my glands was being blocked by something so it caused my eye to swell! They gave me some medicine and it's all better now!
     Sunday was ward conference! We had about 50 people at church which was pretty big! After church we took the Sacrament to a member named Victor.  It was so amazing to see how much it meant to him that we came and brought it to him! He is so cool! He has a huge library with a ton of books! He gave us a  few to borrow! After that, Elder Mills and I went to visit a investigator named Patricia! She just had a baby! She asked us to bless it! It was a pretty interesting experience, especially in Spanish! After that, the father drove us home with his son and his son's girlfriend! The son's girlfriend wasn't feeling good . I was sitting next to her in the back and the next thing I know she was squeezing the life out of my arm and throwing up in her purse! haha It was pretty sad, but comical! This morning Elder Mills and I went to the coast again! We went to a small fishing town called Nieblas! We watched the waves and some fishermen dive for abalone for a good few hours! I miss the ocean! But, this week was awesome! hope yours was, too!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Howdy Familiares
 On Friday I received a call from the Asistentes to the Presidente and I went to the Hospital and translated English and Spanish for some American doctors and practicing students from Michigan State for more than 6 hours with over 100 different people who came in to get checked out and have free medical treatment. It was awesome to give such a meaningful service as this, because they really needed it!  

This week was a good week, Monday we went to Quistococha which is a nature park, zoo and lake all at the same time. It's in the middle of nowhere and completely surrounded by jungle.  It was sweet! The zoo is cool, the monkeys escaped out of their cages to come play with us ahahhahahahahhaha pretty nutty. We played futbol on the beach and volleyball, too . It was a good time with lots of crazy animals!

It was crazy working this week!  The heat was off the charts and it was blazing. But, we just bit the bullet and kept going on till we had to escape to the shade for a few minutes and then just head back out. The diligence was a pretty big thing for us hahah. We also saw about 500 clowns all from Canada come to our area to play with the kids there....pretty weird...they were a pretty rowdy crowd and don't like the Mormons too much! We had some good contacts. On Friday we woke up earlier and hiked to the river Itaya through straight jungle to fish at 4:45 in the morning.  It was cool.  We got some piranhas.

  This week was a week of diligence and improvement. Just being the missionary and doing all the things that they do. AND DOING IT HAPPILY! That's what the Lord wants. Taking the pride out of our hearts and letting humility and virtue fill the empty spaces. I'm also about to finish the Book of Mormon in Spanish!

How is everyone?

Jackson: This is two weeks of letters:

 Time is flying by! This week also felt weird in terms of time! Every day felt like it took a while, and BAM its Monday again! We met a ton of new people this week and saw a ton of progression in our investigators! My Spanish is still getting better! When I speak with Elder Mills in English sometimes it's hard to talk because I'm getting used to Spanish grammar! Which I don't feel too good about because I love the English language! It rained a ton this week, surprise! We wore rain pants and jackets almost everyday! My shoes and boots are keeping up great! We had a pretty cool experience with an investigator this week! His name was Andres. The missionaries taught him a while ago and hadn't been back! So, when we were reading through the area book, we felt an impression to go and see him! When we got there we asked him if he had been reading in the Book of Mormon! He said, "yes",  and that he was in Nephi! usualy when most people say this, it means that they read a page in the beginning! We talked for a little longer and then asked if we could give him a scripture to read before we saw him again! He went an grabbed his Book of Mormon and it turns out he had read all the way to 3rd Nephi!! He is almost done with the book! It was super cool to see he has a ton of interest and seems excited to learn more. Right after we visited him that night we went over to another family in Collico! We went to go see Mauricio and Janet! We asked them if they had read any of the Book of Mormon and they had! They both said how beautiful it was written and how it is so much easier to understand than the Bible!! We also taught another family who own a store on the corner near our house! We stop there every night to get a piece of pie before we head home! We had become super good friends with them and the other day we asked if we could share the gospel with them! We taught them in their store on Saturday morning which was kinda hard but they had a ton of questions and he had started to read the Book of Mormon He already had! Everyone is reading, which is great. We had a ton of progress this week but we were also turned down a lot. I read a talk a few days ago mentioning how God uses more than just the Latter day saints to get good works done. There are other people of God out there! As I read that talk I thought a lot of how I personally rejected other faiths in the past and how others reject us. I wondered how Christ would handle the situation. Christ would be charitable and listen because he knows that this means a lot to the other person, he would also listen because he would humbly admit that he can learn something from anyone, even of other faiths. With his beliefs firm he would discuss with the other missionary and see if he could learn anything from them. We have a lot of evangelico churches in our area and we get turned down all of the time because they, like many of us think that they can't learn anything from us and that they are the only people of God. Next time the Jehovahs Witnesses knock on our door, let them in and see if you can learn anything!! I hope everything is going well at home! I miss you all! 

This week's letter:
This week whirled by! We were really blessed with rain every day too! YOOHOO! We saw a ton of progress with our investigators this week! We went in to talk to Andres at his store and he told us he had read the whole Book of Mormon! It had only been three days! He had so many awesome questions. Most of his questions were about deep doctrine, he is really doing his research. We talked to the other Andres down in Collico and had a lesson with his family! He has read all the way up to 3rd Nephi and his family has read a few of the pamphlets and started to read the Book of Mormon! We also taught Matilde this week! She is the mother of our mamita, Hermana Edith! She read a few of the pamphlets and Elder Mills and I are gifting her a huge Book of Mormon with easy read print for her birthday that is coming soon! She told us that she is praying and knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that this is God's true church! Its amazing to see every one of our investigators receive answers to their prayers this week! We've been working really hard, and we are seeing huge progress in this part of the Lord's vineyard! We went to eat lunch yesterday with a hermana and her family this week and she asked to give the closing prayer! About halfway through the meal her daughter that was eating with us left to take a phone call! During the prayer she thanked the Lord that the missionaries were here to cast out the evil spirits that annoy her at night, and then in a tearful voice asked the lord why her daughter had left during the meal and that she missed it when her daughters cheeks were bigger and she used to eat more.  She asked the Lord to please help her get her big cheeks and appetite back! This same daughter is also going to get married her real soon, so the hermana asked for help when she has to tell her daughter that her fiance is going to die. It was a huge example of someone who truly talks with the Lord during her prayer, like a daughter would talk to her father! There were a few gunshots this last week in our neighborhood! We heard them at night, and the next day when we went to our mamita's house she said that someone had gotten shot in the leg and the guy who got shot came inside her house because it was raining and waited on her couch.  This is defintely not the United States. The members in this ward are awesome! They feed us very well, and always ask us to come over or to take them with us to lessons! Elder Mills  and I get along great!