Thanks for the fun emails and photos! Looks like everyone is keeping busy. It's definitely been a busy week here as well. We had interviews with our mission president which for most of the missionaries was their last time before President Martinez leaves. I'll be blessed to have one more in another month as I end the mission. Im glad I'll get to have that last interview with the same President I've had for the past two years.
Quick sidenote: Happy birthday Ben!!! Tomorrow you'll be 10 years old. Yeesh. Already in double-digits. Have an awesome birthday with a spiritual Chilean hug from me!
Other fun events: Tomorrow we have transfers. Hna Orellana ends her mission and returns to Peru. Why is that important? What's silly is that I was in her district when she started the mission 18 months ago and I had the pleasure this past transfer to be her zone leader as she ended the mission. Weird haha. Also Trina had mentioned to me about a Sister Voyles coming to my mission from Trina's ward in Las Vegas. This morning I got the phone call that I'm being transfered to a new zone where I'll be zone leader of Sister Voyles! haha small world. It turns out she's the only sister missionary arriving to the mission this transfer. I certainly was 100% sure that I'd be ending my mission here in Catrihuala but the Lord apparantly needs me for four brief weeks in Pitrufquen. I'm disappointed to not get to be here longer but I'll be companions with my dear friend Elder Trudeau. I was his district leader for many months while I was in Yumbel and then I became his zone leader for another 5 months while I was in Villa Obispo so I know him rather well haha. We'll have a great time. Next week I'll send a picture of us so you can submit him to be on the next GQ magazine.
Earlier this week we taught an 18 yr old named Patricio that wasn't really sure if he believed in God. We taught him about how prayer is a way he can know for sure. He accepted the invitation to pray and ask God to help him know if He really exists. In our next visit with Patricio we asked him how it went with his prayer. He smiled and told us that while he prayed silently he felt that he was truly talking with someone. He said that he felt that God was really listening to his prayer. Aaahhh the joy we felt!!! We continued to teach him abot the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to help him also develop faith in the Savior and understand how He helps us nowadays. The Spirit testified so strongly during the entire lesson. It was FANTASTIC to know that there are still people that are willing to humbly look for the truth. Patricio's sincere desire to know and obey was absolutely the key to him receiving an answer to his prayer.
I know for myself that God lives. I don't just believe it because my parents told me so nor because it's the happenin' trend. I know because I like Patricio have felt in my mind and heart that Heavenly Father listens to my prayers and answers them in His wisdom and timing. Christ lives. I know it. This is His true church with the only true priesthood power restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I invite everyone reading this to pray about it and humbly ask God in sincere prayer if it is true. If you are truly willing to obey the answer He gives you He will respond in His infinite love.
Elder Long :)