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!

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