Monday, September 8, 2014

Santiago, September 8, 2014

Hello Family!
So there were transfers! I'm starting in on my last one with my last companion, Elder Levi Vera from Grantville, Utah, despite the very latino name. He seems very awesome. I'm excited!
I know I've talked a little before about the difficulty of avoiding movies in the buses here. In the bus to mission leadership conference they put on a lot of movies, including Avengers. With the Elders it was a lost battle, however, the sisters stayed much stronger in avoiding watching it. Half of them were going home this week, so they talked a lot about what President told them in their last interview, that while they stay focused on the work, they should take some time to "plan their lives with purpose," as President Monson recommended to avoid falling apart when they get home. He suggested that they make a list of goals and resolutions of things they want to change when they go back home. Listening to them talk about that, I realized that I've already done a lot of that in my "trunky journal" that Craig recommended from the beginning of my mission. It's interesting to see all the things I've learned on the mission, and remember the experiences that I had that prompted me to put those things on the list. Makes it easier to focus on the work!
We went by Cristian's mom this week and talked very directly about her smoking habit. She committed to prepare for the 20th of September! When we talked to Cristian two days later, he said that from that moment on, he hadn't seen her smoke. It's going to take some preparation, but she'll make it!
During splits I went with a guy that recently moved here from Buenos Aires and wants to reactivate himself! Throwing yourself into the work is the best way to do that. We found a lady that had so many problems - a son with Leukemia, smoking habit, recent separation from her husband, etc. It's just great to see how the gospel can invite the spirit and hope into a life like that!
We found another great guy! He's a taxi driver, and we contacted his daughter looking for a referral. We never really got around to going back until he found us one day and told us that his daughter had commented that we'd gone by, and that he was waiting that we'd come back, but that we never did. The priority to pass by became much higher! He accepted to be baptized in the first visit!
Brother Suarez, the second counselor here is the only member in his family. The missionaries have worked almost unceasingly with his wife and kids, who are all older now. This Saturday, they went to a baptism! After the baptism, his wife came up and asked us when we were going to go by the house. What a change! A week ago they all seemed to want to disappear from the house when we got there, and now we have an appointment to go by on Tuesday! Little by little, the gospel gets to people!
Joaquin, the kid that got baptized this last Saturday gave his testimony shortly after being confirmed. It was kinda great. He's the one that found the Book of Mormon in his grandma's house and hasn't missed church nor seminary since. He talked about how happy he was that he could finally get rid of the title investigator that people put on him and become a member of Christ's church. It's amazing how quickly he prepared - seminary can work miracles. I love how in the church they invite you to really investigate deeply into everything, because like I heard while rereading a talk from Elder Perry recently, we're the only church that has the statistic of the more you know, the more converted you are, while in other churches, the more secular knowledge you have, the less likely you are to go to church. I love the knowledge available in church!
Anyway, it was a great week, but I'm sure this week will be even better, especially because Monica (the one that has all the kids that are drug addicts) is going to get baptized this week! She's really started to see little miracles in her family. Even though the situation hasn't changed much, she's grown so much in her faith and in her desire to get closer to God, and realized just how far away she's been from God. Again, the gospel has such a powerful effect on people!
Well, have a great week! Here's some pictures of Joaquin (a week after meeting the missionaries) and my new comp, Elder Vera.
Elder Willey

No comments:

Post a Comment