Monday, November 5, 2012

Keeping Balanced.....

Here are some pictures and the latest email from Elder Schwartz:

A little farm in the middle of an urban neighborhood.

My Carnet, which is my visa here, and its pretty cool, because it means that I'm basically a Chilean now.

Elder Anderson and me and Ramon's family.  They made this banner for us.
Elder Garcia and me and a member of the church.  Elder Garcia's camera just fell on the ground.

Dear Family¡¡¡¡¡¡

Its so good to hear that everyone is doing so well.  You have to keep me posted for when Marissa gets her call.  I'm so excited for her¡¡¡¡¡¡ I sent her a letter a couple weeks back about her being a missionary and I hope she got that.   I'll keep my eyes peeled for the LDS lady from Walnut Creek who is moving down here.   Odds are that she's going to live in Las Condes, which is like the Beverly Hills of Santiago.  That's where all of the Americans live.  It's great to hear that you are all spending so much time with your callings.  The Halloween dance party sounds like it was a hit.  We really didn't do anything special here for Halloween.....   I can hardly believe that Christmas is just around the corner.  I feel like it just happened¡¡¡

This week was was really, really good, and went by really, really fast.  Sadly, I don't have my journal again, so I"m probably going to forget some of the cool stuff that happened this week.  As of right now, I can think of two highlights.  The first was when I had the opportunity yet again to lead the sector in splits, but this time I went with my Zone Leader Elder Bahr from North Dakota.  It was an awesome experience, and it's not even like anything really amazing happened, but there was just a really good spirit about the whole experience.  I really did learn a lot from him, about how to connect with people, and how to ask for referrals. He really helped me out a lot, and it was a nice change of pace to speak in English a little bit.  While Elder Bahr and I were together we ran into this guy with his family in a park doing this thing called "slack lining" and its kind of like walking on a tightrope, but closer to the ground and you can jump on it and stuff I guess.  We talked to him for a while, and that's what the pictures are from.  Elder Garcia and I are going to visit him tonight¡¡ 

 Also, when Elder Bahr and I were walking back to the pension around ten, we passed by this guy and we said hi to him and he didn't say hi back, and we just kept walking.  That's usually what happens so I didn't think much of it, but about ten seconds, later Elder Bahr turned around and started literally running back to this guy.  I was a little confused,  but I followed and it turns out that this guy is: 1. A baptized member of the church,  2. Speaks fluent English, and 3. Is from California, and now Elder Garcia and I are going to visit him tonight too.  I am still stunned that Elder Bahr was able to follow that prompting and run back to this random guy in the street.  I'll let you know how that progresses.  The other highlight of the week was last night when Elder Garcia and I had a Family Home Evening with special guests President and Hma. Wright.  Elder Garcia and I have had this idea planned for the past week to have a FHE with Javier in the house of a member family with President Wright there too.  We set the date for last night at 7:30, with the Pinos, and we have been talking to Javier about it all week and he was really excited for it and President Wright said that he could come and everything seemed perfect.....untiiiiiilllllll, Javier didn't meet us where we were supposed to meet at 7:15.  We waited until 7:30 and checked his house and ran basically around our whole sector but he was no where to be found.  So, at 8;00 Elder Garcia and I finally arrived at the Pino house where President and Hma. Wright were waiting for us, and I felt so bad showing up a half hour late and even worse without our investigator.  I was out of breath from running, and I felt just awful, but very quickly my feelings shifted as President Wright gave me a big hug.  I'm pretty sure that my stress was evident in my face, as I'm not too good at hiding how I feel.  I think everyone knows that......  But the lesson and the  Family Home Evening was amazing.  President Wright taught about successful marriages and that marriages should be covenants and not contracts.  It was kind of exactly what the Pinos needed to hear, as they are going through economic struggles right now, and that's been hard on all of them.  But most importantly, as President and Hma. Wright talked about marriages, and what a successful marriage is, or what a successful marriage needs, all that I could think about was you, Mom and Dad.  He dropped a really good quote from General Conference, I think:  "If you want to do your children a favor, love and respect your spouse."  The more I thought about that quote, the more it made sense to me.  Thank you for giving me that gift, mom and dad.  Thank you for showing me how a marriage works and giving me a goal to aim for for when I am older.

ALSO, this week I got letters from Randy and Serena, and last week I got letters from Troy and Rachel and Hannah.  Five of my friends in  two weeks¡¡¡¡¡¡ It was way cool to hear from them and it sounds like they are all having a really good time in their parts of the world.

I am sure that a ton more happened this week, but I can't remember it all, and I am always pressed for time when writing these emails.   Dad I have a quote for you to implement for when you are putting  these letters on my blog.  It's the same thing that President Hallstrom (visiting General Authority) said to his translator when he was here at our special stake conference: "I want you to say (or in this case, type) exactly what I am saying, but ten times better."

Elder Garcia and I are still doing really well, we are getting along just fine, 18 weeks and still strong, whowouldathunk.  Hes helping me out a lot, and it will be weird to have another companion after him, we have this thing down¡  I was very blessed to have had him as my first companion, he has been and still is a really good trainer, very obedient and very fun, a good way to set the tone for the rest of the mission, as a convert to the church he has a very unique testimony of the gospel that i absolutely love to hear, and its always fun living with someone from another country and culture.

Today was a really good P-day.  I got the Suit.  I'll be sure to send you a picture of it next week.  It's way nice.  Later, we had a district activity; we went to an all-you-can-eat buffet¡¡¡¡¡ and now I'm writing you.  Oh, and "Changes" are next Monday, so my next email could potentially be from another sector or with another companion.  Exciting stuff, huh¡¿¡

I know that this church is the only true church on the face of the earth today.  I know that this church contains the fullness of the Gospel and the power of God.  I know that we are being led by a prophet and apostles called by God in these days. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us just as much as he did for the people of Ancient Jerusalem and America, and for this cause he has given us prophets and apostles to guide us.  He wants us to have happiness and success, because we need the guidance that comes from them. The Bible alone is not enough; the answers to the problems of the world today can not be found alone in the Bible.  I know that my mission assignment was inspired of God, and I know that Heavenly Father has a purpose for why I am here.  I know that families can be forever, and I know that people can come to know that this church is true through reading the Book of Mormon.  Elder Garcia and I talk and talk with people all day about the beliefs of the church, but the only way someone can really know if it is true is through action; one has to read, one has to pray, one has to show his desire to know through action.  Thank you all so much for your prayers, your support and your love.  I cant wait to hear from you again soon, and keep being amazing.  I love you all. Stay safe.  Until next week¡¡¡

Con muchisimo amor,
Elder Nate Schwartz

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