Tuesday, January 26, 2016

New Companion - Elder Agostinelli

I just finished reading all of the letters for this week. Just got a new companion yesterday named Elder Agostinelli. We are getting to know each other now. Things are going great.

I hope that Shara keeps doing well. Thanks for letting me know. I know that things are going to go how the Lord wants them to. I wish I could be there to help and support. I will be doing what I can from here. Thank you so much for the information.  I know that it is a hard process and there is so much that will happen.

I am doing well. It was a hard day yesterday to have a change in companions. Things are going well though. I am writing today because of the changes from yesterday. I really appreciate everything. Thanks for all of the help and always being here to help and support. I will focus on pictures next week. I need to take some more this week. We are going to work hard on a lot of things.

Hi Braxton,
I am happy to hear from you.  Are you still in the same area and still a District Leader?  How long has Elder Agostinelli been out on his mission?

I am doing really well. We are working really hard with Sebastian and doing our best to work more with Ronald, Claudio´s brother. Things have been going really well. We have a ton of work to do and there never seems to be enough time to accomplish everything that we are working towards. I have seen so many blessings and miracles worked through the Lord and His mercy. I really appreciate everything and I am sorry that I wasn´t able to write more. I am a little rushed. I am going to do my very best to get you more information and pictures for next week. Sorry. I really appreciate everything.

Elder Agostinelli is from Perú from Araquipa and he has 5 months in the mission. He is in his 4th change. He was in Republica in Avenida Matta for 3 changes. I will get back to you more as I get to know him better. I love you and let everyone know that I love them and that things are going really great. I really appreciate everything. Hermana Erthal and Hermana Vincent had changes as well and Hermana Collado arrived in El Sauce with Hermana Pizarro and Hermana Arajo arrived in El Manzano with Hermana Zanelli. Elder Allen and Elder Clegg stayed and I am still District Leader of the same District. I love you and will get back to you next week!

Thanks Braxton.  Have a really awesome week!  I love you and I am so proud of you.  Be Goode! 

Love always and forever,

I am still in the same area. I just answered the other 2 in my other email.

Talk to you next week love you!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Claudio's Baptism

Sounds like a lot of fun! I am doing really well. It was a really great week! Claudio got baptized! He asked to be baptized on Friday so we planned it in. It went really amazingly. There were around 15 family members that came to his baptism. It was really great. On Sunday, his dad, brother, and girlfriend came to church, as well for his confirmation. We are looking to see what we can do about baptizing others in the coming weeks. Sebastian couldn´t attend with us because he was at his Dad´s house this weekend. He wants to be baptized, but it is harder when he is gone every other weekend. We really want to get him baptized soon. He wants to as well. I will let you know more and get you pictures in a minute or two.

Claudio's Family at his Baptism

Temple Trip on Saturday

Hi.  Congratulations!  I am happy for you.  You are making great progress!

It has been a fun morning.  Crafts with Taylor.  Ray and Alex had toys all over the house.  I just made them clean up so we can have lunch.  The boys went out with Dad for a bit and came in wet from the trampoline.  Shara should be here soon to pick them up.

Sounds like fun. I can´t believe that today is 19 months in Chile.... It is odd, but time goes by quickly. There are moments when I feel like it goes by slow as well. Mainly with all the expectations that they put on us. Right now our zone of Peñaflor has at least 9 baptisms this month in the first 3 weeks. We are the zone that has most baptized so far this month. There are a lot of great things happening. We had 6 of the 9 recent converts from our sector at church. We are planning on getting Claudio the Priesthood this week and his temple recommend to go to the temple with him on the 30th of January before the Temple closes for maintenance. There are a lot of blessings and we are always busy. 

That is really great.  I am so happy for you. 

We are working hard and everything, but the pressure to do more and push ourselves even harder never goes down which bothers me sometimes. There are moments when leaders try to drive their missionaries into the ground, instead of loving them and not pushing so hard. I haven´t pushed any of them for more. I know that they are all there for the right reasons and that they are doing their very best. They can´t be asked to do anything else, but that. Sometimes that is what bothers me here and makes it hard to deal with at times.

I understand.  I know you always do your very best, so asking you to do more than your very best just doesn’t make sense.  You can only do so much.  You are wise to not push your District.  They are all doing their best as well and it sounds like your zone is doing awesome this change.  That is neat.  Thanks for the photos.  They are wonderful.  I will login to your Facebook page again soon and see if Sebastian’s request is there. 

I know that it is. I have been giving my information to more people lately. We have been working hard. We still have a lot of people with potential. The challenge that I will be extending to the District will be to baptize someone else each by the 30th of January. We have 2 weeks to pull it off. We are pushing to find something this week. We could have several. Maria, Juan Carlos´s Mom could, the Dad of Claudio could, Ronald, Claudio´s brother, and Claudia’s girlfriend, even though she lives in Melipilla.... She is here on weekends when she isn´t working at the Mall in Melipilla. I have talked with her a lot as well. She wants to be baptized, but it is a complicated situation, being that she doesn´t live here. She is here in our sector a lot though and if she is here on weekends, would be attending Church. She basically has her apartment in Melipilla and works there and spends all her time here with Claudio at his house when she isn´t busy.

Good luck.  I hope something works out for you.  If it is meant to be, it will happen.  I know you will put in the work to make it happen if you can.  I am happy you have so much potential in your ward right now.  You are Magnificent & Marvelous!  I am very proud of you.

Mom I am out of time. I love you and will get back to you on everything next week. I love you and hope that everything keeps going well. Thanks for all of the support and help that you provide. I love you!

I love you, too!  Have a super week. 
Next week may be hard for me to write.  Dad and I are going to the Provo Temple Open House.  Our appointment is about 11:30, so we will leave about 9:00.  Then we have an appointment with the Utah Retirement Office in the afternoon.  I will have to write from my phone, so it will be shorter and I may miss you if you write while we are in the temple. 

Second conversation thread.

Sounds great. I did write to Elder Correa and asked him to write to Carlos. I haven´t heard anything back from Soley or from Carlos yet. I am hoping that they get back to me. I really wish that I could get in touch more often, but I can´t. I have their phone number, but I am not allowed to call them, because they don´t live in my sector. I really worry about them a lot. I am supposed to be able to go the Temple with Camila and Guillermo in March. I am excited for that opportunity. I am happy that they are doing well. I can´t believe how blessed we have been here in the work. I have seen many blessings here in Padre Hurtado in El Sauce. The people are present and they are working to change their lives, which makes me really happy. There is so much to keep doing, but it is hard because there is always so little time in which to do it all.

I would like to finish my mission here, but I don´t know what the Lord wants for me yet. It could happen, but I would be here in this sector for 7 months. The most likely is that my companion gets changed next week. There is the chance that he stays 1 change more, but it is unlikely. For all we know, he could stay and I could leave. Things are unpredictable. I most likely will stay and receive another companion. I don´t know if I told you, but our change meetings are different now. The missionaries with changes go to the meeting only. They pick up their new companions and return to their sectors.

That is sad that only those with changes get to go.  It has been great for you to have the reunions each time there were changes.  It sounds like your mission president is putting things back to normal before he leaves and the new mission president arrives.  I guess that is good. 

I hope you get to go to the temple with Camila and Guillermo.  I am excited for them.  It will mean a change of clothing for Camila.  Hopefully she will be willing to make that change. 

I have not heard any more from Soley.  She does look at my posts and like them, but doesn’t comment much. 

I am glad that your ward members are helping.  I would love for you to stay in this area for the rest of your mission. I hope you get to train this time, but whether you do or not doesn’t make you a better missionary or lesser missionary.  You are amazing and awesome.  No matter what happens, it will be okay.  Make sure Elder Espinoza knows how much you love him.  I hope he has learned to be more responsible with his money. 

Claudio's Baptism

Nice!  He looks happy!

He was really happy! He shared his feelings with us through everything. He said that when he was baptized that he started crying afterwards, but it wasn´t noticeable because he was all wet. His Dad cried and was so happy for him. It was an amazing experience for us. We are working really hard here with so many people.

I talked to Sebastian, Claudio´s cousin, at the beginning and Sebastian is big into video games. At the beginning, he would offer to let me play the games and would show me his game systems and everything. He has quite a lot and even has a 3DS XL with the new Super Smash Bros. It was a tempting situation to have occur and he offered a few times. I came up with the answer to my problem right off the bat. I told him that we couldn´t play video games as missionaries and the focus of what we do. He understood, but was obviously sad because he hoped that I would play. I told him that after my mission I wouldn´t have a problem with playing, but through online. I told him to add me on Facebook and that I would be able to play in around 5 months. He immediately went and added me. It will be an awesome experience with him later on. Claudio and Sebastian really want to learn English, so that is something that we do with them as well. I am teaching English often and we are helping them to progress. They have the Book of Mormon in English and in Spanish to help them as well.

That is really neat that you have made such good friends with Sebastian and Claudio.  You will be a great influence on their lives.  I am happy for you.  Sorry, I am not writing much.  I am trying to feed lunch to the grandkids.  Tomato Soup of course!

Sounds like a handful. Tell Taylor that I hope that she is having a great time enjoying everything. I know that they are having a lot of fun learning and growing up slowly. It is a learning process and there is a lot to process.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Upcoming Baptism - Claudio

This is Ulices or Dario as he likes to be called.  He was the Ward Mission Leader in Braxton's last area, Bollenar.  He works on the church buildings.  He was at one of the chapels last week when he took this photo and posted it on Facebook for me to see.  

This is Juan and Elder Goode.  He is one of the recent converts in his current ward.  Braxton is teaching Juan's mother and several of his family members.  Juan posted this photo on Facebook for us on Sunday.  It was so fun to get two surprise photos this week!

All of the sisters in the picture you sent are from the Mission. Ulices or Dario works on the church buildings and I ran into him at my district meeting in Malloco. Juan is our retention. He is a new convert that got baptized last year in March. We are working to take him to the Temple. Our Temple trip that was for this last Saturday fell through. We are working to go this weekend. We have Claudio with a baptismal date for the 15th, because he wants his girlfriend to be able to come. So he is going to get baptized Friday. We are going to go by later today to verify the Baptismal Questions and set up his Interview. He attended church this week with Sebastian.

We had to talk in church yesterday. They told us we were talking 5 minutes before church and wanted 15 minute talks from my companion and I. It went well.

In the District, the Sisters from El Sauce have baptized 2 people. One was Diego. He didn´t get confirmed and he will need to be baptized again. He has some difficulties. The Elders from Manzano had a baptism this Saturday and he got confirmed so we have 2 that have gotten confirmed. We are working for this weekend. There aren´t other baptismal dates yet, but we are going to see what we can do about moving things forward. 

I have plenty of contacts and solution. I haven´t found a backpack yet, because they don´t sell them here in our sector.

I added Juan as a Friend on Facebook and then looked at some of his photos.  It looks like he has a lot of family he is close to, but I would guess he is the only member among them.  That probably makes it hard.  It looks like he works at a grocery store.  Does he attend church regularly and the gospel principles class? 

Has Sebastian been attending church?  How about the female cousin you were teaching?  

I think it is fun that all of those sister missionaries are together at BYU.  I guess that gives you good friends and roommates who have the same standards you do and makes it easier to live the gospel. 

Sebastian came yesterday! We haven´t been able to have Aileen come yet. Juan´s dad and sister are members as well. They are converts as well. We are working with his mom to have her get baptized. She has come 3 times with us so far. We are pushing towards it. Juan attends twice a month because he works 2 Sundays a month. We visit his family a couple times a week.

I bought this backpack. My other one got destroyed in 3 months at the beginning of my mission. I don´t like the backpacks that the mission provides.

I talked about Conversion and Jesus Christ´s Atonement and effect. I will share one of my experiences from the talk with you again when I get home. It went really well. I talked around 18 minutes and my companion covered around 12. We were shooting for 30 combined and he talked first.

Diego wants to, but he needs to make a few changes. He wasn´t quite ready because he fell back into some of his earlier challenges.

I may appear skinny, but I am doing fine. I eat like normal.... I tend to lose weight in the summer and when walking or biking all day. Things happen.

I am not worried that you are skinny.  You look healthy!  That is what I worry about.  I am sure I can fatten you back up when you get home and are sitting around all day instead of biking 20 or more miles a day.  As long as you have bright eyes and a happy smile, I don’t worry much about your health.  Exercise is good for you. 

I am happy you are making progress with Juan’s family.  That is neat.  Hopefully you will get to baptize his mom.  Then they can work towards becoming an eternal family.  It is tough when you have to work on Sundays.  I am glad he can come twice a month.  Hopefully Diego will overcome his challenges.  
I wish I could be there to hear you speak and share your testimony.  Of course I wouldn’t understand all the Spanish, but I would understand the feeling behind it.  I can’t wait to hear about all of your experiences when you get home.  That was nice of you to cover the extra time during your talk.  I know you are a great speaker now and the experiences you have had speaking will help you throughout the rest of your life as you serve in many callings.    

I hope you are able to find another backpack that will work for you for the rest of your mission. 

I know that you aren´t worried. I am doing great. I am loving the work. It is hard at times. My companion went through heat exhaustion yesterday and passed out in the street. It was almost 9:30 and luckily I was able to get him home. He wasn´t doing good in the evening and he is stubborn.... I had to command him to do things like drink water and use the ice. He was very frustrated because I wasn´t accepting no as an answer. He is doing much better now, but he had a fever and was not okay. I was able to get him drinking water, a cold shower, and icing his head to help before I let him go to bed. Even though I was late doing everything else in the evening, it was the most important thing. 

I am not worried about Diego. He can be baptized again if he puts in his part and the sisters are working hard to help him. Juan is great, but the family is a harder case and we are doing our best to help them. His family is the family with potential to baptize 6 more people.

I am happy that you are happy and still loving the work.  I hope these last few months will be your most happy time in the mission, though you always seem to be happy and smiling.  I hope you are smiling all day every day and not just for the photos. 
Thanks for taking good care of your companion.  That was the most important thing.  Make sure he drinks more water during the daytime, too.  It is hot there and you have to protect yourself from heat stroke.  Is he doing better today?   

I hope you are able to help Juan and Diego and their families.  That will help them through the rest of their lives.  They will act differently and make different decisions as members than they would without the gospel.  They will marry differently and raise their families differently.  Keep trying.  It will bless future generations if you can get them truly converted.   

That is the work that we have right now. We are working a lot more with the younger generation and the youth. We are trying to influence their lives more and help them to make changes now so that they can live happier. We are doing a lot lately. There is always something going on.

I am glad you are having a positive influence on them.  Everyone seems to love you.  When Juan posted that photo on Facebook, there are lots of comments and likes from people down there that I don’t know, but who know you and they all seem very positive.  You are well liked and loved by the people you serve.  I am sure your happy smile and positive outlook have a lot to do with that.  You have a special glow about you that will draw people to you. 
I met a couple of new elders in the foyer at church yesterday.  I said hello to them as I was going out to the car after Sunday School to put my laptop in the car.  They lacked any kind of enthusiasm.  They were sitting in the two foyer chairs, both hunched down with terrible posture, playing on their ipads.  I stopped and introduced myself to them on the way back in and told them I had a son serving a mission in Chile.  I asked where they were from and how long they had been out and through the whole conversation they just lacked any kind of enthusiasm.  It was almost like I was bothering them and they wanted me to go away.  It made me sad.  I know you would never act that way. 
The work you do with these people will change their lives for the better.  I am certain of that! 

It happens. There are missionaries like that. What bothers me more than anything is when Leaders look at the missionaries that are working hard and doing their best and they judge them without actually doing their best to actually get to know them. It bothers me when they put so much stress on us to do so much when we are already doing the best that we can. But I love the work. I just wish they wouldn´t stress so much over little things. If we acted like the Elders that you have there, in our mission, we would have interviews with our Mission President almost immediately. I don´t act that way and I won´t, but thanks for the update.

Maybe these new elders were just having a bad day.  I should have taken a photo of them and sent it to their mothers for them.  The sisters they replaced were so awesome.  I guess it was a disappointment to see their lack of energy.  I will have to see if we can have them over for dinner.  We don’t get the opportunity very often to feed the missionaries.  I think they have each ward do a month at a time and with all the wards in our stake, our opportunity doesn’t come around very often.  I know that is very different from where you are.

The thing I have learned from having all three sons serve is that the Lord has His hand in all of the things that happen.  He helps you to have the experiences that were meant for you.  He helps you to have the companions you need and to meet the people you need to meet and to serve in the areas you need to serve in.  I feel certain that you had friends in heaven that you promised to find and teach and they were placed in this part of Chile and now you are called to find them and teach them and help them come unto Christ.  It is a miracle that the Lord is able to arrange all of that in His great Plan of Happiness.

When we met with Clain’s Mission President in Oregon and again when we went to their homecoming address and when we went to his first Mission President’s homecoming, I was impressed with how well each Mission President and their wives really knew Clain.  I think they knew that being a leader would be a lot of stress on him that he wouldn’t deal well with.  He doesn’t like to be in the limelight and receive a lot of recognition.  He doesn’t like to stand out.  He was happy to just be a missionary and teach and work the best he could.  I was impressed that they knew he was easy to get along with and placed him with difficult missionaries on purpose because they knew he could help them to become better missionaries and if they couldn’t survive the mission with Clain, they wouldn’t make it as missionaries with any companion.  You heard the praise he had for Clain when we were in Oregon. 

You are a lot like Clain in your disposition.  You are easy to get along with and low maintenance.  You roll with the punches and just do your best and make the best of every situation.  That is what Jesus would have done.  That is the kind of man he was.  He didn’t cause contention.  He just dealt with what came his way.  He didn’t seek for positions and power and glory.  He was happy to be a servant and wash the feet of his disciples.  He didn’t care that it was a lowly servant’s job to do that.  He saw a need and he used it to teach his disciples a message of love and caring.

You have already served in many leadership positions in your youth and you already know how to lead.  You don’t need the title to be a leader.  People follow you because you are a natural leader.  It is a quality and talent you have developed in your character.  One of the most important lessons you have learned on your mission is humility.  It matters less where you serve than how you serve.  You are an amazing missionary and I know you are an amazing teacher. You are there to teach the gospel and I am glad you are having that opportunity.  You are planting so many seeds and even if you don’t see them reach maturity and see the harvest, you still had a part in bringing them to Christ. 

Be proud of yourself and happy with the work you are doing.  Love your companion and care for him as if he were your own brother.  Be energetic and animated and enthusiastic in all you do so that the members and the investigators will know you care about what you are doing.  I know you would never slump down in the chair in the foyer and act that way.  You have been taught better and you love the Lord more than that.  You know that your behavior makes a difference on everyone who sees you.  You are an amazing example to me.  I love you so very much and I am proud of you.

Continue to be humble and teachable.  You are meek and that is one of the most precious character traits one can acquire.  Few acquire it here in this life.  I can’t wait to throw my arms around you and kiss your sweet face, but I can wait.  You are needed in Chile for a little while longer. 

What matters the most is what Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father think of you.  Do your best for them and don’t let the little things stress you out.  Only our Savior truly knows what is in our hearts.  Your heart is pure!

Love always and forever,

This was a zone idea for 3 people who had their birthdays in 2 weeks of the mission last change. It was Elder Brook´s, Hermana Tolk´s, and Hermana Lopez all put together.  The Hearts were theirs afterwards.

That is nice.  We have been talking about this on the FB mission group.  Elder Buckley’s mom said he created it this year and it was a tri-fold with all the missionaries on one side and ornaments of all the countries that missionaries come from in the shape of a tree on one side and a scripture on the other side.  She posted photos of two of the sides, but she was worried about posting the missionary photos and was trying to get permission to do it from your Mission President. 

I can send it if you want. Here it is.

Awesome!  Thanks.

I hope that the details are fine. I remembered that you asked me about it, so I took pictures of it.

Thank you.  I appreciate your thoughtfulness.  What other photos do you have?

It is very nice.  Elder Buckley did a great job with it.  Thanks for the photos. 

It was also Elder Johnson from my group. They worked as a team.

That is nice.  Are they assistants to the President or just office elders?  How does that work?  How many are there that work in the office?  Who replaced Elder Chuquel in the office?

Elder Buckley was a secretary and Elder Johnson was a Financial Secretary/Pensionist. Elder Chuquel was replaced by Elder Prisbrey, who is my brother, who was trained by Elder Chuquel as well. Elder Buckley and Elder Johnson are Zone Leaders now.

Okay.  Lots of changes in the mission all the time.  I know Elder Buckley goes home in two weeks.  His mom is so excited!  Is working in the office something you have wanted to do?  Did they have you fill out a form about your skills and desires to work in the office when you arrived?  Curtis said they did with his mission.

No. We never had anything like that here. We just work and what happens with changes happens.

That is a fun photo.  It is at the home of the sister who sent her daughter out on a mission, right?  Are those her two sons?  Are those the shirts you wear to protect yourselves on the bikes?  To make yourselves more visible?

No these were gifts that they gave us. They are from marathons and other running events for Christmas. The son with the dog on his shoulder goes out to visit with us. His name is Cristobal. I gave him one of the Rubik’s Cubes. I gave the other to Sebastian our investigator right now.

Nice.  How old are Cristobal, Sebastian, Juan and Claudio?

Cristobal is 15 but we have permission to go out with him. Sebastian is 15 and we have permission from his mom if he wants to get baptized. Juan is 20, but older than me. Claudio is 20 as well, and older than me. We also go out with Gid, who is the Bishop´s son, who is 16.

Awesome!  But why does Elder Espinoza keep sticking his tongue out in photos?  I hope you don’t ever do that. 

It is a habit of some Latins for selfies and other things. I don´t....

Thank you!  I am so happy you show respect for yourself and others.  You are amazing in so many, many ways! 

Sadly, I am out of time and will have to get back to you next week. I love you! I am doing my best to write more and get you more pictures. I haven´t been the best about it, but we are working hard. It is exhausting sometimes and there are other moments when you just are exhausted but things keep going. Thanks for all of the support. I will get back to you next week! 

Yes, lots of things happen and I am happy you are willing to just go and do what the Lord asks of you and not feel bad that you might have missed an opportunity.  I still keep feeling that there are missionaries there that need to serve in leadership positions, because they have not had those experiences at home and doing so in the mission will help them to remain strong when they get home.  You will remain strong no matter what.  You don’t need to be in a leadership position to have been a leader.  You are a natural leader and others will follow your good example all the time.  You are strong and faithful with a vibrant testimony and very humble and teachable.  I am so very, very proud of you!!!  I am proud that you don’t see it as a status symbol to have served in the office or been an AP.    I love you Son!  Have I told you that enough lately?

I hope that every single night you drop into bed exhausted because you have given your all to the work.  I am happy with your letters.  I would love to hear more of the special spiritual things that happen to you, but I know it is hard to write about those. I hope you will share them with us when you get home.  I know you are having them every week.  Have a super week!  I love you always and forever.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Very Productive Week

Hey can you verify all of this information and get it back to me today?

I am on early to send in data as a District Leader. I will be back on later to write. Don´t stress.

Braxton sent a photo of a paper he needed to fill out that asked for contact information for Dad and I and our Bishop and Stake President.

We are not planning to come to Chile to pick you up.  Sorry. 

Father’s email  
Mother’s email
Home Phone
Father’s Mobile
Mother’s Mobile
Arrival Airport – Salt Lake City, Utah
City and State of Arrival – Salt Lake City, Utah
Ward – West Point 9th Ward
Bishop’s Email
Bishop’s Phone
Stake – West Point Lakeside Stake
Stake President
Stake President’s Email
Stake President’s Phone

I am not stressing!  I love you!

P.S.  We will pick you up from the airport in 146 Days!

A Mom shared this on Facebook and I thought you might relate.  (It was an article about a mission that asked the missionaries to read the whole Book of Mormon on New Year’s Day and had her missionary’s experiences with doing this.)

I just started reading the Book of Mormon again from the beginning.  My goal is to read it all before you get home.  Obviously, if this young man can read it in one day, I can surely read it in the 150 days from January 1st till May 31st.  I will try to read like Nephi and not like Laman and Lemuel.  We also started reading as a family again, but we are continuing from Helaman.  We made it one night and then Dad went to bed early last night and Clain came in from FHE and went straight to bed, so we failed on day 2.  We will try again tonight.  What are you currently reading?

I am reading in Jacob. I finished again and I am reading around every 3 months entirely the Book of Mormon. 

That is awesome!  That is about 8 times all the way through during your mission.  I should have done better while you have been gone.  I spent some time studying a couple of concepts, so I was looking up scriptures from all over and I have read a bunch of the conference talks and looked up the scriptures from those. 

I have been doing a lot of things and I would say around 5 so far, but I am working on it. I have to take time to prepare classes and other things so it is going slower this time. I am around a month in and only in Jacob. I am going through your letter and will get back to you on things.

The fact that you will be home in five months is a little more real today with you filling out that paperwork.  Keep working hard and finish strong!  You should be the most effective in these last few months of your mission.  You know the language and the people and how things work in the mission.  You are a strong leader and a great example to the newer missionaries.  Your testimony is strong and vibrant.  This will be the most productive time in your mission!  Life is Goode! 

I have been thinking about Elder Espinoza and his money problems.  You are the best person for him to be with to learn to manage his money.  You are a pro at doing that.  Don’t be critical of him.  Teach him this very valuable skill that you have.  I am certain that is why you and he are companions, so that he can learn from you.  Help him to understand how important it is to keep some money in reserve in his wallet.  Help him to plan his menu better so that he eats for a little less.  What techniques do you use to help you with budgeting and shopping?  Teach him those.  This is a Life Skill that he needs to learn and it will help him throughout the rest of his life, not just while he serves his mission.  This is something you excel at.  Humbly teach this skill to him.   

I understand what you mean this paper is generally known as the Trunky paper.... I knew it was coming but oh well.... Thanks for all the help.

We are working with Claudio and Sebastian towards baptism. They are really great. They have a ton of receptive family members. We have found that they have a lot of family in the area and have been able to share with many people. Karla has a sister that lives in our sector that we contacted before we realized that she was her sister. We were able to take Karla´s niece to church that is 10 with her. We won´t be able to baptize her because he parents are of another faith and let her participate, but don´t want her to change faiths. They aren´t very open to listening to us....

You have been busy.  I am glad Claudio and Sebastian are progressing.  That is too bad that Karla’s sister and her husband are not interested.  It would be easier for Karla and her kids if they had other family members who were also members to support them.  It must be really hard for them to go to family parties where everyone is drinking alcohol and to not drink like they have in the past.  From what I have seen on FB about Chile, alcohol seems to be a big part of their celebrations.  I see birthday celebrations for little kids and it seems the party and decorations are more for the adults than for the children.  They get into dressing up and costumes a lot.  Our parties would probably seem boring to them.  No dancing or drinking or costumes or silly games.  You have never had to face the challenge of having non-member family members or friends.  For the most part, everyone you have associated with has been a member.  It would be a different challenge to join where you are the minority.

I think the church policy is good to not baptize a child when their parents are of another faith.  If they are really interested, they will get baptized when they are 18 and it is really their choice and won’t cause stress in a family.   

We have a way of going about it, but it requires permission and a set number of attendances. For now we are planting seeds for her in the future. Karla´s sister never got married. She is living with her husband without marriage and they smoke and the oldest daughter does too. 

It sounds like there will be a lot of things against her being able to attend regularly.  Hopefully she will want to attend with Karla and her kids and that will be accepted by her family.  It will still be tough on her.  Any luck with Karla’s daughter?  Is smoking a big problem down there? 

A lot of people smoke, drink, law of chastity issues... Shopping on Sunday. There are so many problems. Karla´s daughter does not like getting up on Sundays early. She doesn´t want to attend church. We can´t really get anywhere with her.

We are working hard to find more people that are more receptive and have desires to progress. We pushed hard this week and found 19 new investigators and we had 25 lessons which is a lot. We aren´t using our Sundays in our sector. We were in Peñaflor working with them in a cosechon. We are doing our best to meet more people and plant a lot of seeds for the future while trying to help the people to arrive at the Ordinances.

Congratulations on your success.  That is a lot of lessons and new investigators.  I hope you are able to help a few of them make it to baptism. 

We are working towards that a lot. Thanks for all of the support that you have been giving to all of my converts and keeping me updated on everyone I really appreciate it.

You are welcome.  It is fun to have the ability to talk to them on Facebook and to see photos of them and their lives.  I wish we would have had that for your Dad.  It would have been nice to keep in touch with his converts and friends he made on his mission. 

I know that is the blessing of today. I am working hard with so many people but I can´t accomplish everything.

The Lord doesn’t expect you to accomplish everything.  Just do your best and it will be good enough.

Thank you so much for the updates. I will have to tell Elder Bevan about Elder Christiansen. He will be a little frustrated, but I will let him know. It is so odd all the things that are going on. Thanks for the updates about everyone from home. I really appreciate it.

So far, I don’t see a date or place for Kaden’s wedding.  I hope they will go to the temple.  I know they are attending a Singles Ward in Twin Falls, Idaho and he is studying Secondary Education at the College of Southern Idaho.  He works at Deseret Book.  Maybe you will be able to drive up for the wedding if they wait till summer.

I knew he worked at Dessert Book. He actually sells Hermana Tolk´s CD´s so we talked about that in The CCM. Hermana Kirkpatrick is the other sister that is there. They also talked about going to lunch after the mission the 3 of them. Thanks for all the updates.

Deseret Book is a great place for Returned Missionaries and will help him stay close to the gospel.  You can’t stray too far if you are selling LDS stuff all day, can you?  I wrote to Hermana Kirkpatrick a few months after she went home on Facebook.  I was hoping she would go back out.  I will have to look her up and see how she is doing now.  Have a super, amazing, magnificent, awesome week.

Karla showed me the Facebook message today. She offered us lunch on our Preparation Day. We were at her house around 12:30 here or 8:30 there, for lunch. I talked with her. Soley wrote me and asked me to write Carlos.

Carlos hasn´t been going to church.... Soley asked for my help. I wrote them both emails today. I am doing great. We have a teacher for Gospel Principles. 

That is nice that there are a lot of miracles happening in the ward. I will have to look into the work options. I don´t have a good control of Portuguese. I understand it, but I haven´t practiced a lot speaking it. That is cool about Elder Argyle. Sorry I always refer to my former companions by their titles. I am going to ask Elder Correa to write to Carlos as well. Thanks for the update on things from home. I am doing really well. I am just short on time.

That is fine.  I understand.  You are always short on time and I sent you a ton of stuff this week.  Hopefully it makes you happy and not homesick or Trunky.  I love you and think of you often, like every other minute. J  I fasted and prayed for you on Sunday and for Makayla and for our prophet.  I hope that helps you.  It looks like you had some great success this week.  Hopefully this week will bring lots of follow up lessons with your new investigators.  Keep on working hard.  You are loved and missed, but you are where you need to be at this time in your life.

I am sorry that Carlos has not been attending church.  I am sure you will be able to help him with your letter, love and testimony.  And if Elder Correa writes to him, it will also help him.  He knew you loved him and cared about him while you were in his ward.  It was probably really good that you were there for so long so that you could continue to help him after he was baptized.  Maybe Elder Argyle can also write to him.  You will be able to follow up with him when you are home and hopefully he will remember why the church was important to him and remember the feelings he had when he gained his testimony.  It is too bad that they moved, because that probably gave him an opportunity to fall away.  If he had remained in the first ward, they would have kept contact with him and helped him to feel he belonged.  Can you write to the leaders in the North Mission and have them contact Carlos and Soley again?  I hope Soley has been attending church.  Maybe if her parents visit again they will all attend church together.  I will pray for them. 

Thanks for everything I really appreciate it. I am out of time I will talk to you next week. I love you! We will see what the Lord has in His plans for this week and what we can accomplish.

I love you!  Be Goode!