Monday, December 17, 2012

Almost a "Chilly" Chile Christmas!

Merry (almost) Christmas from Chile!

This week was quite the week! Besides all the people frequently asking us about the end of the world, our investigators are sure being tried. But with faith, fervent prayer, and hard work, we磖e pressing forward. A great quote I heard from a sister missionary in the MTC is, 创Work as if everything depends on you, and pray as if everything depends on the Lord.创 In this manner I know you磍l find success--no matter what your task at hand is. The Lord loves you. He wants to bless you. He wants to help you. But He also requires that we do as much of our own part as possible before He fills in the rest. Anyways, let me know how crazy the people in North America get the day before (and the day after) the world supposedly ends...ha. I磎 so sorry to hear about the massacre of the children and teachers in the U.S. How dreadful. Obviously I had tons of Chileans asking me about it before I had even heard anything about it. I have no way to get news other than from the Chileans themselves. It磗 amazing to see the responses of people from other countries about what happens in the U.S. 

This past week we had 4 baptismal dates set for upcoming weeks. Slowly but surely, these numbers dropped as Satan did everything possible to impede them from continuing on. Satan is really good at what he does. I can testify that he磗 real. He lives. He磗 powerful. And he hates you. One of his favorite (and extremely effective) tactics is getting us to forget that we磖e at war against him. He confuses us to feel that there磗 nothing more than this life. He cleverly lies to us through what seems like our own thoughts to try to convince us that God doesn磘 exist, Christ didn磘 atone for our sins, and we don磘 need to repent. It磗 a lie. We mustn磘 let him fool us. Christ lives. He磗 even more powerful. He loves you. And He WILL win. And if we磖e on His side, we磍l win with him. It磗 a promise by which God Himself is bound. Satan already lost, and he knows it. But he spends all of his time and effort trying to drag down everyone he can so that they磍l be miserable like him. But we have help. Trust in the Lord. He WILL help you.

Hardcore subject change: I got my SPAC book/package thing from Mum!!!! Waahooo!!!! I was practically giddy because of how excited I was to get it. I already absolutely love that book. SPAC tour really was the best time of my life. I love those people, and they have impacted my life so much more than they will ever realize. I loved their silly little notes! I磀 love to be able to send the team a letter--Mum, what address would I send it to? I also got a package from Denice! Aaahhhh so great! And so extremely generous. Thanks for being so wonderful, Denice. I know it wasn磘 cheap to send that package, but it means so much more to me than just the mere items inside the box. I love you :) I磎 sorry other aunts, but that scored some hardcore 创favorite aunt创 points... haha ;P

On Saturday we had our stake Christmas activity. It was quite somethin. The planning wasn磘 quite as well-done as it should have been, so the program lasted nearly three hours of choirs, an orchestra, etc. I mean it was a great activity, but it was just rather lengthy. Not to mention it felt more like an Evangelical amphitheatre performance in our chapel...ha. It was an experience I磍l never forget, that磗 for sure.

As far as an investigator report, we have two baptisms scheduled for this Saturday: Claudio Jr (20 yrs old) and Rosa Vasquez (80 yrs old). Sweet little Rosa doesn磘 always comprehend everything, but she has her days when she磗 more alert and understands better. Elder Torres and I have talked about delaying her baptism a bit so we can take things slowly, but yesterday during church she proudly announced that she wants to get baptized the 22nd of December. So that磗 what we磍l do. It磗 been great to get to work with her and help her see the light............that came out wrong... Haha but really, she磗 had an extremely difficult life of many hardships, and the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is exactly what she needs. Despite her old age, the Lord in His mercy has provided her a way to receive forgiveness for her sins and start anew. 

May the Lord bless you during this wonderful holiday season. He lives, and He loves you. I know it. I know it because I磛e personally felt His love and compassion for me when I磛e doubted or struggled. Trust Him. I磍l see you on the 24th for skype! Merry Christmas! Love you!

Elder Long :)

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