Elder Nate Schwartz is enjoying his time in Chile.
He loves hearing from all of you. Please write if you get a chance:
He sent an email this week and some photos:
What? It's December already? When the HECK did that happen? Time is going by so fast! I'm happy to hear that the transition from Thanksgiving break back to the normal routine went well for everyone, and I am SO EXCITED FOR MY BABY BROTHER TO GET HIS MISSION CALL THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!! They grow up so fast :´) I look forward to seeing him here in Chile in 4 months ;D
This week went by pretty well. Nothing too extraordinary happened, but it was great nonetheless. First, an answer to your questions Dad: the Mapuche are the native people here of Chile, the Lamanites, the Indians; they are the Inca's next-door neighbors. There is a really strong Mapuche history here; lots of mapuche pride, it's pretty cool. But when I said "Mapuche stuff" in my last letter, I was referring to ponchos, andes bags, wood carvings, pictures, jewelrey and little do-dads like that. And "onze" is a meal that we have here in Chile. The biggest meal of the day here is almuerzo (lunch); breakfast and dinner are both pretty small, or nonexistent, and then onze is the last meal of the day. It's like the before bed snack, where they have bread or little sandwiches or something small like that. People usually take onze as a family, and talk about their day and stuff, but its usually pretty late, like at 8:30 or 9:30 at night.
This week I had the opportunity to do splits with one of my Zone Leaders, Elder Martinez. It's always a lot of fun doing that. For this split, he came here to Geronimo and we had a good time. I definitely learned a lot. He shared this really cool spiritual thought in one of the houses that we visited. It was on Grace, about what Grace is, and it's role in our lives. A lot of people, both inside and outside of the church have heard this word grace tossed around, but not a lot of people know what that word truly means. David A. Bednar gave a really good talk on Grace, and he gave a really good definition, too, for anyone who wants to research it out, and I reccomend that you all do so :D
On Thursday we had suprise guests at our District meeting, President and Hma Wright! It's always a pleasure to see them, and it was interesting, because at the end of the district meeting he spoke to our zone for a little while, ALSO about Grace. It was kind of the theme of my week, and he shared Helaman 12: 24. It had the phrase "Grace for grace" in it, and then he spoke about how we need to give grace to receive grace, and give mercy in order to receive mercy during and after this life. So that's something that I'm trying to apply more into my life -- grace.
Oh, also Thursday is mail day, and my whole zone was kinda mad at me because I got 7 letters. THANK YOU ALL! Getting the love from my friends back home is so, so, so cool. Anthony Kirlwald, you´re an Angel and I love you. I once again did another major writing session this morning. So, those of you who wrote me and haven't gotten letters back, just wait, they´re coming, I promise.
Saturday was really cool because Elder Garcia and Javier and I were able to go to the temple and see a choir show that they are doing there, and Javier loved it! It was really cool; they set up this outdoor theater and they had a spectacular youth choir and dancers. People gave short little Christmas themed discourses, and the temple was all lit up with cool lights (it was no where near as cool as the Oakland temple, but still cool). There should be some photos of it attached.
Sunday was a really nice day. Elder Garcia and I got ready and left early for church to help to wheel Hmo Quiroz to church. Then, when we got there, much to our surprise.... ALL OF THE SEATS WERE GONE. They were all in storage because the youth of the other ward that uses our building had an activity Saturday night and no one bothered to set the chairs back up....... And now I understand why Dad made me stay late at all of those church activities to take everything down and set it back to normal, so things like what happenned yesterday DON'T happen. Elder Garcia and I had to set up all of the chairs for the whole ward basically by ourselves. Members started showing up when we were almost done and they helped us out. Eduardo came for the whole 3 hours and had a really really good time. He met some members and they got along super well, and he is excited to come back next week. Just like you said Dad, people who have friends that are in the church to help them are so much more prepared to receive the gospel. Really, the way things are looking, Eduardo seems like he's already a member. We had a really good leadership meeting about that yesterday, too. It was with all of the ward mission leaders and the stake mission leader and we discussed that the best way to help people to become interested in the church is through the members! THE MEMBERS ARE THE KEY TO THE SUCCESS OF THE MISSIONARIES! Go help your missionaries!
Anyways, there is more that I want to write but I am all out of time.....Drat! Thank you all so much for your love and for your support. I miss you all, and hope that you're having a wonderful holiday season. I am here down in Chile.
The Church is true!