Monday, October 29, 2012

Power back on.....

Latest letter from Elder Schwartz is below:

Dear Family and Friends,

Its great to hear that the Giants did it again -- world series champs!  I just can't believe that a whole season of baseball has gone by.   I feel like it was just a few weeks ago when we were all in Arizona watching spring ball!   Wow, the time flies!  Its great to hear that everyone is keeping busy with the usual stuff. work, callings, exercise etc.  It's great to hear that the work in the Martinez ward is starting to pick up too.  It sounds like the baptism was a really special event, and Teddy Wells (actually, Oliver) spoke?  That's so cool!

I finally got your package this week and it came at the absolute perfect timing.  In this email that you just sent me, you said that I need to take care of myself or else I'm going to get sick.  Well, guess what, I got sick.  Thursday and Friday were both really rough days for me physically.  It turns out that I had a fever and I spent a good portion of those days in bed.  It feels so bad being a missionary laying in bed when you know that you should be outside saving souls, but fortunately the sickness passed quickly and I feel 100% now!  But thank you so much for the package; I absolutely loved it, and I'm going to try to send you my memory card for my camera next Monday if I can.  

This past week went by really really fast and I'm not totally sure why, but a lot of really neat stuff happened.  Last Monday right after I finished my email to President Wright and to you guys, Elder Garcia and I went on companion exchanges.  He went to our neighboring sector and I stayed here with Elder Anderson, a gringo who has been out her for 2 changes.  So, in total, he and I have 5 months in Chile between the two of us.  It was a little nerve wracking leading the sector at first, but Elder Anderson and I ended up having a really good time and visited with a lot of people, including Ramon.  On Wednesday morning we finally got our electricity fixed, after living a whole week without it.  Later, we had a really good lesson with Marjorie, who is going through a tough time.  She got hit by a bus, and although she didn't get injured super badly and didn't brake anything, but she was still suffering.  Fortunately she is feeling a whole lot better now.  I had the opportunity to confirm Marjorie a member this past Sunday in sacrament meeting, and that was quite the experience.  I was a little (actually a lot) nervous, but the confirmation went super well actually.  Before my mission whenever I thought about myself serving, I never thought about things like confirming people in spanish during sacrament meetings.  I sure am learning a lot of things down here in Chile. On Friday, we had interviews with President Wright, and that was hands down the highlight of my week.  That man is inspired.  During the interview, he challenged me to dedicate some of my personal study time to searching out "trials of faith" that I think that I might face when I get home from my mission, to identify those things and then find scriptures, or conference talks that help overcome those trials. Then I need to make a personal commitment right now, so that when I reach that trial of faith, I will be prepared and know how to get past it.  I thought that was a really, really good idea and I invite whoever is reading this to do the same!!!!!  Yesterday (Sunday) was a really special day too, and not only because of Marjorie´s confirmation, but for other miracles that happened.  On Tuesday when I was with Elder Anderson on splits, we visited this lady named Hermana Edith Garcia and she wanted to meet with us to talk to her about her 22 year old son who is really inactive,and hasn't been to church since he was 16.  It turned out that her son had just kind of gone through this near death experience where he collapsed in the street one night, and it just so happened that an ambulance driving by saw him and picked him up and saved him.  If the ambulance didn't drive by, he most probably would have died.  Long story short, he came to church alone on Sunday and I sat with him and talked with him.  At the tail ed of the meeting his Mom showed up, without knowing that her son was there, and I will never forget the look that she had on her face when she saw her son sitting there next to me in the chapel.  As she sat down next to us and she started to sob and her son put his arm around her to comfort her, it was an amazing sight for everyone who saw it.  So last night Elder Garcia and I visited with them and apparently right after church he set an appointment with the bishop to find out what he needs to do to get his patriarchal blessing and start his mission papers.  I'm writing really fast because I'm running out of time, so I hope that all made sense. If not, just ask for the story when we talk at Christmas and I'll be able to explain it a little better.  It's really amazing to see the ways that the Lord works.  I know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us more than we can imagine.  I know that we each have a specific purpose in this life, and that God has a plan for each one of us.  I know that the true Church of God and of Christ is restored on the earth today, along with His power, and I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to share the blessings of this True Gospel with the people here.  There are a lot of people out there who have no idea how much they are loved.  Thank you all so much for your prayers and your love and your support.  I love you and miss you all, and I'm praying for you too.

Until next week

With love,
Elder Schwartz
Nice to have clean shirts!

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