Saturday, May 10, 2014

Letter 5/5/14 Cinco de Mayo en Chile!

Hey fambam! 

Thanks so much for the great letters. I sure love reading them. I'm not gonna lie, your letters this week were a bit trunky, but as long as I'm not trunky I think I'll be ok haha. Earlier this past week I did an exchange with a missionary that is ending his training. An investigator asked him how much time he had in the mission, and he replied, ``Just 9 weeks.`` I chuckled and said that I had as much time left as he had already completed. He thought for a moment and then told me that I only have 6 weeks left. Aahhhhh!!! Not only is the time flying by too quickly, but my math skills are horendous! Probably my spelling too...

That's sooooo weird that Cameron is getting married. I definitely grew up thinking I'd get to be the best-man and actually BE at his wedding, but oh well. Give the goof a hug for me and tell him I miss him.

Yesterday while contacting we met a college student that told us he didn't believe in God. We had an interesting discussion for a few minutes, but he insisted that we leave because he had to study. Before parting, I asked his name, and he told us it was Christian. I laughed and said, ''Well that's pretty ironic!'' His face showed deep internal reflection as he replied, ''Yeah, I guess so.'' Interacting with so many people each week can be pretty funny.

Speaking of interacting, next Sunday we have Skype!!! Wow, I feel like we just skyped for Christmas. Anywho, we'll be at a member`s house to skype around 4pm Chilean time, or 1pm Las Vegas time. Think of some questions to ask!

This past weekend was our stake conference. Usually, our mission president attends stake conference and speaks, but he couldn't this time. So he asked me to take his place. The stake president gave me about 30 mins to do a type of training meeting and it was a blast!!! I talked about Elder Ballard's most recent General Conference talk of ''Follow Up.'' We did some practices, demonstrations, I showed videos, and testified. I think the coolest part of the whole thing was that I felt soooo guided by the Spirit in every aspect. I felt so grateful for the Lord's powerful help so that I could be a mouthpiece through which He could teach His children. The stake president told me afterward that it was ''espectacular!'' So I felt really great. I always love teaching in big group settings like that.

To drive home the point of follow-up of invitations to learn more about the gospel, I shared with them an experience I had at the beginning of my mission. During a Sunday-afternoon lunch with a member, we shared a scripture and the mom told us of a neighbor she wanted us to visit. We made contact with the Sandoval family, and for the next month the member family did an incredible job inviting their neighbors to FHE, accompanying us to lessons, bringing them to church, sitting with them in the classes, etc. This fantastic neighbor family of four was not just baptized, but truly converted to Christ thanks to their neighbors. Currently, Claudio Sandoval is the Elder's quorum president, his 21 yr old son is the young men's president, the mother serves in the primary, and the youngest daughter invited her friends to learn about the Restored Gospel too. In February, the Sandoval family was sealed for time and eternity in the Santiago Temple. Shortly after their baptism, they invited another set of neighbors to learn about the gospel, and the mother was baptized a few months thereafter. 

Follow-up, my dear friends and family, enabled all three families to be edified, uplifted, and more fully converted to Christ. A nearby family of less-active members was also reactivated during the process as they were included in the fellowshipping and FHE of the Sandoval family. The gospel is so true! It changes lives! It strengthens us and protects us! It's the best way to find true happiness, and it's the only way to return to live in the presence of our Loving Heavenly Father. What a wonderful opportunity and responsibility we have to share this gospel with those in need of the Lord's help. I love my Savior, and I'm so grateful that He has given me such a great chance to fortify my testimony and convert myself to Him during these two years. I know He lives, and I know that this is His true church restored in it's fullness. Have a wonderful week remembering this great truth! Love you!

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