Monday, September 1, 2014

First Baptism! - An 8 Year Old Kid

I personalize emails and it´s more frustrating for me when I write everyone and send you quite a lot of information and don´t get anything in return during the time when I am on.... I try to keep them brief that way you can give me more information as well.

I really haven´t had fried breads here. There is a lot of things that are really good. 

We had a Baptism for an 8 year old kid in the Branch whose mom is less active and we have been teaching them. We technically have the Baptism personally, but it doesn´t count for the mission. We have taught him a lot during this change and things are going really well overall. I was a little frustrated because another one of our baptismal dates fell through. We are having a really hard time getting people who are investigating the church to attend. We have had 2 investigators attend this entire change. We are working with them to get their baptisms ready by teaching the lessons, but Chilenos are work-a-holics and they are so hard to have lessons with because they are so undependable for appointments. We usually have 2 or three plans for every lesson.

Things are going well for me. I am doing just fine. Thanks for your concern and the food honestly doesn´t bother me. I´ve had shrimp, peppers, and tomatoes and honestly each of them hasn´t bothered me in the least. Most of the time I’m just happy to have food to eat when we go visit people. I am eating when I can, but overall it isn´t like before the mission and I´m only losing weight because my body is used to burning the same number of calories and I´m not eating like I could before. 

I haven´t received anything yet because like I explained pouch comes every 2 weeks so it should come this Wednesday when we have District meeting. We get it every 2 weeks. Don´t stress too much. I am doing just fine and I know that you worry about me and I understand your worries, but honestly I can handle anything that comes my way. I am handling money just fine and everything. I don´t run out and I usually have more food than everyone else and more money. I am frugal and I choose wisely so I am doing great and I have found souvenirs and other things, too. Don´t stress. I am starting into Mate’ and I might have to ask Curtis about his experiences and what he recommends for me.

Sorry that you didn´t get answered first. I answer the emails from the bottom up. However they came in. That way I have the timeline in my head. I know about how long ago each email was and then I can reply in context of when people wrote. Thanks for your patience and today you got a lot more that came in first and many of your emails from last week came in after I had gotten off. I´m sorry I am doing all that I can to make sure that you have emails to read and that I write my President and work on Family Search as well. Thanks for all that you do and I can´t just magically make the computer have all of the text appear. If I could this would be so much quicker. Love you Mom! J

Sounds like a crazy time and why am I just hearing about Lisa almost a month after the fact....? (Braxton's cousin Lisa had an accident.  It wasn't a month ago.  Braxton must not have read my email very carefully.) 
Thanks for everything and sorry that things are frustrating. The mission can be for me at times too. I´m doing good.  I don´t know about families I could help currently. Practically everyone. And we don´t have the types of ATM´s that don´t charge extra so every ATM charges like 8 dollars per transaction.... It´s a little frustrating. I´m doing fine and there are a lot of poor people where I am serving. The West and South missions are the poorest and The East mission is the richest. We went to a few places today outside of our mission for our Zone with permission. We went to Santa Lucia you should look it up. I may send some photos if I can get them to work today.
This is a photo of Santa Lucía Hill viewed from San Cristóbal Hill. 
This link has information and photos of Santa Lucia Hill. 

There are rules in the Missionary Handbook about not revealing personal information about other people. That´s why I generally don´t share anything. I keep it vague and confidential. Sorry... I will try to send pictures if I can today.

I can´t send photos this week as well, but I may be able to figure it out in the last couple minutes.
Congratulations on your baptism. Do you have another one this week?

I would have, but she didn´t attend church so her date is gone. We will have to reschedule the date, but it´s a little frustrating. We start teaching people and then they find jobs that take up all of their time. We haven´t taught her this past week and it has been difficult. She is a friend of a recent convert, so we should be able to meet with her soon hopefully...

I understand.  It is hard when things you plan fall through, but I think all missionaries go through this.  It is just human nature and it is hard to change old habits and routines.  Most people have to take care of their basic needs of food and shelter before they can think about their spiritual needs.  Unfortunately, if the people are poor, they will have a lot of those basic needs to deal with.  At least they are hard-working people and not idle.  That will be a blessing to the church, when you can get them to join and be committed.  Keep on trying.  Don’t give up on them.  Try not to judge.  Just love them into the church.    

I know and that´s what I do is testify and invite. Things will come along.
Just a heads up that you don´t know. My date for the end of my mission is May 31st, 2016. I have known this date for probably a month and a half. Sorry I haven´t shared it. Just a lot going on. Don´t worry too much. Time goes quickly and I am nearly 2 and a half months in, but for time my mission ends in less than 21 months, so calm down. I´ve been in the sector for more than a month. Time goes fast and it doesn´t feel like it has been this long. Relax I´m doing all that I can to share and I love you and know that you are doing all that you can. Keep working through the challenges. We have them so that we can grow! Like a tree in the wind that was talked about in the past conference. By the way I read the entire Ensign about conference in a week and a half. Also I read all of Alma this change in Spanish and am in Helaman now. I started in the CCM in the last Chapter of Jacob. All of this has been in Spanish. I am doing really well and the time is great. I haven´t started marking my scriptures yet. I want to work on understanding better before I begin a marking system for my scriptures, but I know that it will go well. Thanks for the love and support!

One of the other missionaries in your group had posted the release date while you were still in the CCM.  I think it was Elder Christiansen.  I was reading his blog.  So I have known for a long time, but that doesn’t matter at this time.  You have lots of time to be a wonderful missionary.

I don’t worry too much and I am probably more relaxed and calm than you.  I know you are in the Lord’s hands and even when I hear sad things about other missionaries that have died while serving their missions or earthquakes or tsunamis that have hurt missionaries, I am okay.  I know I placed you in the Lord’s hands and He is taking great care of you.  I know He can see you and if He wanted to or needed to, he could pluck you out of the middle of a storm and place you somewhere safe.  I don’t worry about you dying or anything because your Patriarchal Blessing is amazing and gives me comfort.  You have so much left to accomplish in this life.  My Patriarchal Blessing also gives me comfort.  It says that I will live to a ripe age and that I will see my sons and daughters grow to maturity, obeying, honoring and sustaining the gospel.  I know you think you are all grown up, but I still think of you as my little boy and I don’t think you or Clain are yet grown to “maturity” and I don’t feel very ripe yet.  I think I have many, many, more years to live and work on this earth.  There are so many more things I can still accomplish.  So I expect on May 31, 2016 we will be standing at the bottom of the stairs at the Salt Lake City airport waiting for you to come down the escalator.  And this time, I just may break loose and run across the room and tackle you with a giant hug, just to embarrass you!  I look forward to that!  But I don’t want the time to go too fast, either.  Enjoy every day and enjoy this wonderful time in your life.  It will change you and make you a better man for the rest of your life. 

That is exciting that you are reading so well in Spanish.  We have been doing terrible at scripture study since you left.  We need to get back into a regular routine now that school is going and make sure we get scriptures and prayers done every night.  I am still reading in Alma. 

Today I read 6 chapters in Spanish. Things are good and it may be a day or two after depending on the flights and everything, but it is approximately correct.

That is great.  Six chapters is a lot, especially in Spanish. 

No problem on the date.  We will get the final flight plans when it is time.  We had wondered if you would come home before your two full years or if you would come home six weeks later, because your two years falls halfway between transfers.  That changed because you spent only six weeks at the CCM instead of the nine weeks that they spent earlier.  

I´m out of time. Sorry I can´t get photos sent this week. Sorry.... I am having a hard time with drives and computers lately. I will figure it out.

Ok.  I love you anyway.  Photos next week, please!  Be GOODE!

I´m trying in the last minute or two.

Sorry.... The drive doesn´t show up on the computer I tried another drive Elder Chuquel has and it wouldn´t work and now I´m out of time. Sorry.... I can´t get them sent. I have some really good pictures, but I can´t find a way to send them. I´m sorry. 

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