Sounds like this past week has been a big success for all of you. It sounds like you´re having a great birthday vacation down in southern California, Mom and Dad. I hope you make it home safely, and that you sent Grandma Moffitt and Walt my love. Various members of my ward wish you a happy birthday too. I told basically everyone that we visited yesterday about your special day, What an awesome experience that you had in the temple Mom! And I bet that your Spanish was great. My first experience in a temple session in spanish is one that I will never forget, being down here with basically all of my first ward in Geronimo --
these people really are special! OH MY GOODNESS MARISSA! If her call isn't a blatant sign to the world that mission calls are inspired, I dont know what is. That girl must be so so excited. And Arthur is already in Cambodia? Wow, the time flies so fast!. I bet he's loving it out there, that trilingual stud. Keep me posted on the process of Andrew´s call. (Andrew's mission application papers were submitted last week). I'm praying for that boy multiple times a day. How's Phil doing?
Well, as you have guessed, yes, there were some changes that happenned down here. To set the stage for the changes, I'll let you know what I wanted to happen; that was for me to stay here in Geronimo with Elder Garcia. In the mission, a greenie´s first companion is called their "Dad" and the new missionary´s second companion is called his "Mom". Elder Garcia trained me, so he was my "Dad", but sadly this morning we had to part ways as he got moved to another part of the mission as District leader. He´s going to go on to do great things. He was a really good trainer and companion and friend and I'm going to miss him a lot but I know theses changes were inspired, so everything is going to be all right. I'm staying down here in Geronimo in Zona La Florida but with a new comp, and youre not going to beleive this, but his name is Elder Garcia......so both my "Mom" and my "Dad" in the mission are named Elder Garcia. How weird is that! But really, I am super excited, and we are already getting along super well. He´s from Spain! My wish came true, I'm staying in Geronimo with Elder Garcia. He´s super cool -- I've talked to some of his old companions today and they all say that I struck gold with him as my companion. He´s been a member his whole life, and he only has 7 months left on the mission, so it is most probable that he is going to end his mission here in this ward. I am once again in an amazing situation, and I really couldnt be happier!
This week went by really well, but sadly I don't have my journal... again, so im going to have to retell it all from memory. Really, all that is coming to mind is two or three things that happenned. The first is a lesson that Elder Garcia and I had with a new investigator that we have been teaching, named Julio. We met him through a reference from a neighboring ward. Elder Garcia and I have passed by his house probably four times before, but either he wasn't home, or his wife said he was too busy, but this Tuesday we finally were able to meet with him, and we had a really really awesome lesson. He told us at the end of the lesson that he is going to have a lot of doubts and a lot of questions, but he wants to do this "mormon thing," because he knows that it's right and he knows that its what's best for him and his family. He told us that we are going to need to have patience with him because the shift is going to be hard, but he really, really wants it and it's so easy to see. So, we have lessons set up with him for the next several weeks and the NEW Elder Garcia and I are really excited to visit him. That was Tuesday. We did some service for Javier on Tuesday, too. Since he lives alone, and his house is a little- not well kept. So, we cleaned up his jungle of a lawn for him. On Wednesday I once again had the opportunity to teach English at the chapel, which I love, especially because now two more of the people that come to that class are coming to church on Sunday. They are Mario and Juan, so english class is not only fun, but the time is worth it too, which is something that I was worried about earlier on. Friday night we had a ward talent show, and both of our investigators named Javier came, and I learned one really important thing about Chile that night...... On the flyers it said that the activity started at eight, but here in Chile, everything starts at least 10 minutes later than when its supposed to. It makes being punctual really hard, especially when as a missionary, I like to show up ten minutes early. So, Elder Garcia and I showed up to this event with our investigators at 7:45pm, and the dang show didn't start until 8:50!!!!! Come on Chile! I felt so bad for the Javiers, but they both had a really good time. They both really like music, and there are some really really good singers in our ward. On Saturday morning right after exercises, we got a call from Jose Linco, our ward secretary to give us the buena noticia that Elder Garcia and were invited to give talks in sacrament meeting on Sunday....... My nightmare became a reality -- I had to talk in front of my whole ward for 25 straight minutes.....IN SPANISH....... But it actually went really well. I spent all of my study time that morning writing it out. The subject was The Atonement, by the way, not the easiest topic to give a talk on...... But Elder Garcia helped me out a lot and it went really well. All of my nerves left me as I was standing at the podium, and I just talked and smiled, and smiled and talked, and it ended up being a really good growing experience for me. The members were so sweet afterwards -- everyone knew I was dying of nervousness, but there is this thing that they talk about in D&C called the gift of tongues and IT'S REAL! TELL EVERYONE. Elder Garcia and I spent Sunday afternoon with Daniel (I'm not sure if you remember, but he is the kid who almost died; who was not active in the church, but is now preparing to serve a mission. He wants it to be a surprise for his mom, so keep it a secret.) We went with him to our neighboring ward, Vicente Valdez, where guess what, his sister is there as an active member. When SHE saw him at church all dressed up this week, she started to cry and get all excited and emotional. Watching this kid's progression really has been such a blessing. At the baptism, I got to see President Wright and Hma Wright for a little while, and they told Elder Garcia (old Elder Garcia) and me all about our changes and new companions and sectors, and that was really nice. And then Elder Garcia and I finished the evening visiting members of the ward eating, and Elder Garcia saying goodbye to all of them while trying not to cry. Today we had the changes meeting, and now I am here at the Mall with new Elder Garcia and a bunch of other missionaries from all over the place -- some familiar faces, but mostly new ones. I got to see Elder Matthews today, my comp from the MTC; he´s a sweetheart, doing big things down in the ghettos of Santiago.
Anyways, that's basically it. I'm still here in Geronimo, my first 4 changes of my mission, very happy, not stressed out, and ready to work, ready to lead this sector, and help light some lives.
I know that this is the true church restored on the earth today and that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us, wants to help us, and wants us to be happy. I know that trials come into our lives for a reason, that God has a specific plan for all of us, and that when we need comfort and when we need peace in our lives, we can receive those necessities through the grace of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that He is our Savior and I know that we can only return to live with our Heavenly Father through following His example and His Gospel. I am really thankful for this opportunity that I have to be here in Chile, in reality, sharing love and happiness with the people around me. Don't get me wrong, I miss home and I miss you all a lot, but I know that I am in the right place right now, doing Heavenly Fathers will. I'm praying for you all. Keep being amazing, keep me updated, and I can't wait to hear from y'all next week!
con mucho amor, tu hijo, misionero y amigo,