Monday, January 28, 2013

Summer in Chile....Hot!

Here is Elder Schwartz's address in Chile.  Please send him a note if you get a chance.  Below is his latest email home and some photos from the last few weeks:

Elder Nathaniel Schwartz
Chile Santiago EAST Mission
Cristobal Colón 6824
Las Condes, Casilla 27.144
Santiago, Región Metropolitana

Dear Mom, Dad, Family, and Friends,


Whelp.... It was an interesting week to say the least.  We are still getting hit with the difficulties of the vacation season, but it's predicted that everything is going to go back to its normal pace this coming week as the members, less active members, and investigators start going back to work and their regular routines. Dad, IT IS SO HOT HERE!  It's hot and it's dry.  I'm getting nose bleeds left and right! (but I haven't ruined any of my white shirts yet).  It's rough stuff.  Last Monday it was overcast, so I decided not to use any sunscreen..... BIG MISTAKE.  My arms and my neck got charred!  Fortunately, a lot of members here have aloe vera plants, so they showed me how to cut them the right way to extract the goo on the inside, and I've been using that to ease the pain.  But other than nosebleeds, sunburns, and a lack of lessons, everything is great!  

We find out about changes (transfers) this coming Saturday night, and in all honesty, I'm super nervous about going, but I think that I'm going to stay here in Geronimo.  The next change is only three weeks long, because the mission is getting two groups of missionaries in February.  I think that I am going to spent Febuary here in Geronimo, but after that, I'll probably ship out, but that's just what I think; anything can happen.

Eduardo is still doing really well.  He's prepared for his baptism.  It has been such a blessing to see the ways that this gospel has changed his life in just a couple short months.  He is going to be a really great addition to this ward, and the members are helping him out and supporting him so well!  He has friends and he feels really comfortable in the ward here.  They really did an amazing job taking him under their wing.  I'm really looking forward to this Sunday, and not just because the 49ers are going to win the Superbowl, but because Eduardo is moving one huge step closer to our Heavenly Father.  I almost forgot to mention that this past Tuesday Eduardo came to our district class, and told our class about his conversion and answered questions.  It was SO SWEET, and we took some photos. 

Mail this week!  My zone is so mad at me for all of the mail that I get.... aha.  This Tuesday I got another package from Grandma (with the Giants shirt), AND a package from Uncle Jamie and the family with MY Brazil 2014 shirt. (I'll try to attach some photos.)  Mom, I still haven't gotten your package yet, but I have a feeling that Ill get it tomorrow.  Oh, and I got a WAY GOOD letter from my teacher from the MTC, Hmo. Brown, one of my heroes.

Thanks, Grandma!

Thanks, James and Diane, and Family!
Hey, now we ALL match!
Daniel and Edith are doing really well, also.   We had a lesson with them on Thursday, and we also talked with them for a while on Tuesday before his interview with the bishop!  He is now starting the long road of getting ready to serve a mission!  THE CHURCH IS TRUE PEOPLE!  It's changing lives left and right, and it has been such an honor for me to see it happen in this sector.  Hma. Julia is still doing well.  We actually taught a lesson to her son Rashid, ALONE, and that was some big progress, because when we started visiting them, he would leave because he hated the church.  But little by little, he's been warming up to us and now we are getting to some real progress.

With Edith and Daniel

These have been an amazing past seven months here in this sector.  I'm trying my best to keep my head up and my focus centered, and finish out these final weeks strong.  Thank you all so much for your love and for your support.  I know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and wants the best for us.  I know the church is true.  I love you, and I'm praying for you.  Stay safe, Stay you!

until next week!

Elder Schwartz


more b-ball

District class

Fun in elevators!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Dear Family!

This letter is going to be a little shorter than they rest because I am kind of short on time, AND I can't send pictures this week, because I forgot the cable.... Sorry, but you´ll get double the photos next week!  It sounds like you are all doing well, and that Phil is having a blast in DC meeting famous people left and right, and that Andrew is having a good, cold time at BYU.  When does his quarter end?  And it sounds like you both are having the normal busy weeks at the Schwartz home in Martinez!  Be sure to wish Will a happy birthday for me!  Oh, the 49ers are going to the Superbowl!!!!!!!!!!!  That's so exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!  That'll be a really good game...the Ravens are going DOOOOWWWWWWWNNNNNNNN!

This week went by really quickly for some reason.  Elder Garcia and I are actually doing really well with the number of lessons that we are teaching though.  Yes, there are still a ton of people out of town, but Elder Garcia and I set some companionship goals that have helped to push us a lot, and we are seeing the fruits of these goals almost immediately.  Next week is going to be kind of hard because a big group of like 30 people from the ward are going out of town to go camping together, but I think that we are going to be okay.  Yes, Eduardo is still progressing swimmingly.  He is really excited for his baptism next Sunday.  We are going to a baptism in a different ward with him THIS Sunday, and then the following Sunday it´s his turn.  So two weeks ago, we had a family home evening in the Jara House with Eduardo and his friend and a less active family and the girlfriend of a member of the less active family.  Well this week, she asked if she could receive the lessons from us, so now we are teaching her and that's been way fun.  Her name is Claudia, and she is 17 and we had a really good lesson with her and the less active family on Thursday.  

On Wednesday I did splits with Elder Bahr (my zone leader) in his sector, Vicente Valdez, and it was a really really good time.  I got to meet the Stake Patriarch, and we taught a lesson in a butcher shop.  All in all it was a really cool experience.  I want to be Elder Bahr when I grow up.  He' a really, really awesome missionary, very good with words, very smart, really good at connecting with people.  Every time I do divisions (splits?) with him, I learn a ton and I get this extra boost of energy and enthusiasm for the work.  It's going to be tough when i get transferred and he´s not my Zone Leader anymore.  He has been a realy good example for me so far in the mission.  Oh, speaking of transfers...NEXT Saturday we find out about changes, and like I think that I said earlier, I'm pretty dang sure that I'm going to leave..... which is going to be so hard, because I've been in this sector since July!  Almost 7 months!  Wow, the time flies.....

Anyways, that was pretty much my week in a nutshell.  Dad, I'm definitely going to take your advice and talk to President about what I should do for the whole 3 week thing, even though that's an eternity and a half away from now.  I love you all so much.  I miss you and I am praying for you!  The Church is true!

Until next week, con mucho cariño,
Elder Schwartz

And a little P.S. directed to momma....

Dear Mama!  The longer email is going to go to dad but I just wanted to tell you that 1. I love you and 2. I have not gotten the package yet, but I get mail tomorrow, so i think I´ll get it then, and 3. Yes I'm being careful with my stuff.  Burglary is kind of big here in Santiago.  I havent gotten robbed yet, and I don't plan on getting robbed, but last week some kids broke into the pension of the missionaries in the sector right next to mine, WHILE THEY WERE SLEEPING, and took their cameras and phones and stuff, so Elder Garcia and I are staying as alert as possible.  I hid all of my valuable stuff. 
I love you!  And I just thought that you would like to know that President Wright´s son Jordan served in the same mission that Andrew is going to be serving in, and he absolutely ADORED his time there.

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Mission Office Address

Walking with Elder Garcia
Below is Elder Schwartz's latest email and some photos from Christmas and later.  Please note his mailing address has changed.  The new one is in the body of the email.

Dear Family and all!

Thank you so much for the photos, Pops.  I really do love them.  They're funny and great and make me feel like I'm not all that far away from home.  Just so you know, I'm saving some of them to my camera chip and then getting them printed out because the ward members and investigators love seeing them, especially photos of the house, and Martinez and San Francisco.  It's completely different than the world down here in Chile.  Speaking of San Francisco, GOOOOOOO NINNNNNEEEEERRRRRRSSSSSS!!!!!!  There is a guy in my ward named Marco Reyes, and he is a returned missionary who served in Argentina.  He learned English almost perfectly from his companions, and he is HUGE and plays football, so he is giving me all of the updates too..... I have a feeling its going to be the Harbowl this year, Ravens vs Niners.  Be sure to get me a shirt when the Niners win ;D  Oh, and mom!  Thank you so much for sending the package.  I haven't gotten it yet, but I'm looking forward to it.  Speaking of packages, IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:  The mission office is changing locations because they are using the old office for the new MTC here in Chile. They had to make room for all of the gringos coming in, so the kicked us out..... basically that means that MY MAIL ADDRESS HAS CHANGED EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.  MAKE SURE THAT THE WORLD KNOWS.  MY NEW ADDRESS IS:

Elder Nathaniel Schwartz
Chile Santiago EAST Mission
Cristobal Colón 6824
Las Condes, Casilla 27.144
Santiago, Región Metropolitana

So, please make sure the people know that.  For the most part, this week went by really smoothly, even though there are still a lot of people out of town vacationing, and that makes it a little harder to find people to visit.  All in all, Elder Garcia and I are still doing pretty well finding people to teach.  The highlight of this week hands down was the lesson that we had with Eduardo on Wednesday night, because he accepted the invitation to be baptized on Febuary 3rd!!!!!!  I am 96% positive that Febuary 3rd is going to be my last Sunday in this sector and we are all really excited.  I actually just got off the phone with Eduardo 45 minutes ago, and he is still doing really well.  We have a family home evening planned with him tonight!  On Sunday night we had another family home evening with the Jara family, but this time with a different investigator, Natalia.  She is the fiancé of a member of the ward, and seriously, the Jara family are such studs.  The family home evening went really well -- they were great; it was like it was from a movie or something.  We are going to continue teaching Natalia when we can, but things are a little complicated for her and Jose right now, seeing how their wedding is in just a month!  


This week I got a really cool letter from Hma. Rachel Schwartz, my distant sister serving in the Mesa Arizona Mission. (Actually that is Phil's friend from BYU with the same last name).  She included this really cool quote talking about how the mission, is the MTC of our lives.  That it is prepping us for the real world, how to live and how to apply gospel principles in our lives.  That idea was really cool, and I really liked it.  And on Sunday, my Elder´s Quorum President Adrian Gonzalez and Hmo. Barrientos spoke, and they both talked about the influence that the mission had on their lives.  That really helped me to understand that I am not just serving my mission for now, but for the future too.  I hadn't really thought about that before.  Uhhhhmmmmm, what else?  Oh, Hma. Chechi made me eat half of a watermelon and I though that I was going to explode.  I'll try to attach a photo if I can.


The week ended last night at Hma. Edith and Daniel's house.  Daniel turned 22 years old, so he had a really cool dinner with his family and they invited us too, and it was super sweet.  I had the opportunity to talk to Daniel´s older brother, who served his mission in Salt Lake City, so we talked in English. That was really cool, especially when he told me about how much it meant to him and all of his family that Elder Garcia and I are helping out his little brother.  It feels great to be appreciated.

Oh, and last week, i said that I may be coming home three weeks later..... that might not be true..... I might actually be coming home three weeks earlier, so I can go to Spring semester of BYU.... I know that is forever away from now, but I'm getting emails from the AP's and the office elders, and they're trying to make us decide soon for some reason.  I'm going to talk with president when I can and keep you posted.... but I don't really like thinking that much about coming home......... :D

And pretty much that was my week in a nutshell.  Sorry that it wasn't as long or detailled as last weeks. I really didn't do that good of a job writing in my journal this week, but something is better than nothing, right ? :D

I love you all.  I'm praying for you all, and i miss you all! The church is true!  
con mucho amor,
Elder Schwartz

P.S.  I saw this really good mormon message today, so if you want to post it on my blog, please do...

Top Dog


Computer time 



Monday, January 7, 2013

Family Home Evening

The latest email and photos are below.  Also a link to a cool video.

Dear Mom, Dad, family, friends, everyone,

I would just like to start out this letter by saying thank you all so much for your love and support, the letters, the packages, prayers, and everything.  Even though I'm thousands of miles away, I can still feel your love very strongly.  It's good to hear that Andrew and Phil made it to their destinations safely, and now everyone is happily back in their routines.  Oh, and thanks for the photos, Dad.  I absoluely love, love, love getting photos from you guys.  It makes me laugh and smile, and it's great.

Guess what?  A year ago this month, I GOT MY MISSION CALL!!!!!  How weird is that?  It has been a whole year since I was sitting on the floor in my dorm at BYU, worried as all get out, opening my call.  Wow, the time flies....SO FAST.  This week went by well as usual.  It was a little harder because everyone is still out of town for vacations (remember, it's summer here....), so it has been a little harder to find lessons, but Elder Garcia and I aren't getting too down on ourselves.  We are trying to stay as positive as possible.  Monday, right after I finished my last email to you guys, we went to the Pino House to celebrate the New Year.  We had a really nice dinner and sang and talked and it was a good time, but Elder Garcia and I had to leave at 10:20 to be in the pension at 10:30 -- mission rules.  So, back at our place, we stayed up until midnight, did the countdown, said happy New Years, and then went to bed.  Pretty exciting stuff, but it was a little hard to go to sleep though because I'm pretty sure they were having a block party on my street....SO LOUD! 

Dinner on New Year's Eve
 Tuesday was good.  We had the regular weekly district class, and Elder Garcia ALWAYS does a really good job teaching those.  I got a REALLY COOL package from Michelle McNamara, full of candy and toys and a really sweet letter, so that was really cool :D  Oh, and then after district class Elder Garcia and I had to carry a huge box of copies of the Book of Mormon three miles to the Sister missionaries' new apartment..... after that, I was pretty much dead!  Tuesday was rough because nobody was at home, but at 8pm we decided to try to visit the Bishop´s house (he had just gotten in a car accident with his family, and their car got totaled, and they got injured, and it was all bad). They were home, and we stayed and talked with them pretty much the whole night, which was really, really cool for us because our relationship with the bishop was honestly really weak before that visit, but now I feel ike we have definitely broken the ice.  We plan to be visiting them and serving them a lot more in the future, which is amazing because Preach My Gospel even says that they key to missionary success in the ward is through working with the bishop. 
 Wednesday was a really really good day for us, because of one visit that we had.  We went to visit Hma. Edith and her son Daniel (I'm not sure if you remember him, but he is the one who almost died and is now coming back to church, and preparing for a mission).  Well, we visited them, and when we walked in their door, they were all upset, so they each asked for a blessing of comfort.  I'm not going to go into too many details, but it pretty much ended up being one of the most spiritual experiences of my whole mission, and now they are both doing a lot better. 
 Thursday was a good day.  Hmo. Jara (the member of the bishopbric that is stoked for missionary work) invited us to have a family home evening at his house and it went super, super well.  Eduardo came, and he brought his member friend/girlfriend.  A less active family came, and the son from the less active family brought his non-member girlfriend, and it really couldn't have gone any better.  Elder Garcia and i gave the lesson and shared the Mormon Message video "My New Life", which is SUPER GOOD.  Dad, you should put a link to it on my blog, please :D   We played games, and had a really cool spiritual discussion, and there was food, and it just could not have gone more perfectly.

Family Home Evening

Saturday, I went on splits with Elder Covarrubias, who is from Arizona, and is in his 3rd change.  It was a lot of fun.  Our companions had to go to a special District Leader Missionary Hotshot Meeting, so Elder Covarrubias and I did our studies and went to almuerzo together.  He's a good kid,   but then after almuerzo with Elder Covarrubias, I had almuerzo with Elder Garcia, and every house that we entered throughout the day, gave us more and more food.  I thought I was going to explode by the time I got to the pension at 10:30........ one lady gave us each half of a watermelon....... seriously.....
A miracle happened on Sunday -- Hma. Julia CAME TO CHURCH!  After 5 years of being inactive, she finally decided to go!  It was so, so, so, cool to see her in the chapel.  I almost couldn't beleive it. We did service at her house today, and she told us that it was a really good experience for her and that she saw a lot of old faces that she missed, and that she plans on going again!  So awesome!  We had almuerzo at the Barrientos house on Sunday (the family tht speaks English), and that is always a really good time -- they gave us root beer floats!  I was very relieved to spend some time with them, because normally by Sunday my brain is DEAD, but being able to speak some English with them helped a lot.
Annnnnd today, Elder Garcia and I woke up, and did the usual morning routine, then went to walmart (but it called Lider here because walmart is too hard to pronounce....).  Then we did some service for Hma. Julia -- we painted her living room with her son Rashid, and then had lunch with them.  Later we sent some letters, and now I'm writing you all!

Lunch with Hermana Julia and her son Rashid
Thank you all so much for your love and support.  I know the Church is true and that our Heavenly Father knows us each individually, that he cares for us, knows our needs and desires, and wants the very best for us.  Keep being amazing, until next week!

With lots of love,
Elder Nathaniel Schwartz

A Christmas picture

With Elder Garcia

Super Napping

Random Bathroom

Our Kitchen

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

...and Happy New Year!

Elder Schwartz has sent some new pics and a nice email message.   He always appreciates your letters. Thank you for all your support.  His address is:

Elder Nate Schwartz
Chile Santiago East Mission
Pedro De Valdivia 1423
29 Santiago, Region Metropolitana

Below is his latest email message:

Dear Family and Friends,
It was so great talking to you guys this past Tuesday!!!!!!!  It was so great to hear that you are all doing so well!  I really can't believe that 6 months have passed since I last talked to you guys!  I hope that you enjoyed your time in Palm Springs and got home safely, and that everyone is doing well getting back into the regular routine.
Ever since I got here, other missionaries have been telling me about how lame, or boring, or sad Christmas day is in the mission, but they were all WRONG.  I honestly had an amazing Christmas here in this sector, as Elder Garcia and I raced from one house to the next to visit member families and, of course, to eat.  Elder Garcia and I spent basically all day of the 24th and 25th in the houses of members, and it was great.  On Monday, we had a zone conference which was really cool.  A bunch of President Wright's kids were in town so we had a devotional and they all spoke about the Atonement, and told stories of their mission experiences and Christmas, and it was a lot of fun.  We sang songs and took pictures. 
The rest of the week went by really well too.  It was a little harder for us to have lessons because so many people were out of town, but we got by.  We had two great service opprotunities this week; the first was on Wednesday when we went to the Barraza-Salaz house and cut wood in their back yard. Then we baked this really good bread called ´´pan amosado´´ afterwards.  It's super easy to cook and I know how to do it now, so I'll bake it for you guys when I get home.  Seriously, it's SO GOOD.  And then the second service opportunity was on Friday when we painted a room in Hma. Manriquez' house.  It was like my 7th time painting in this sector, so I'm pretty good at it now.... aha. 
On Thursday night we had an AWESOME meeting with the newest member of our bishopric.  Hmo. Jara is his name, and we talked to him about how the missionary work is really struggling in this ward, and how we want to help the ward to get more involved.  He then pulled out his laptop and we started brainstorming and setting goals.  The man is really, really enthusiastic for the missionary work, and he told us that he is going to dedicate his Thursday nights to working with us, to go out with us and visit people, to have family home evenings, or whatever is needed.  It was a really, really important meeting for us, because NOW we have a voice in the ward for missionary work.  The bishop has told us again and again that he has zero free time to meet with us, and now with this new support, we feel like the ball really is going to start rolling here in this ward.  We are super excited.
On Friday in the morning i had the opportunity to go on splits with Elder Garcia!  The one from Peru!  That was super fun!  His companion and my companion went to the temple (because they hadn't gone yet this year and we only have one opportunity every year to's a restriction that I am not very happy about but, one that I have to follow....).  So they went to the temple and Elder Garcia and I stayed here in Geronimo and went and visited the houses of some families that he really missed, and that was fun.  He's a really good missionary, and was an excellent trainer.  I'm going to miss him when he goes home in June :(
Uhhhhhmmmmmm, and that's pretty much all that happenned this week.  I really don't want to write every single thing that I did on the 24th and the 25th because that would take a really long time, and I am running out on time.  So.... sorry, long story short, I spent the days with members, ate TOO much, and got really awesome presents from Elder Garcia, the family, members, and we had a really awesome district class on the 25th too, that Elder Garcia taught.   I WAS HAPPY, not homesick or lonely or sad; I was very happy and comfortable.
The Church is true!  I love you all! Stay strong, stay you!
Until next week, with love,
Elder Schwartz


Must be Elder Schwarz's glass....

District Photo

Christmas Presents for Elder Pablo Garcia
Christmas Gifts

Christmas Present for Elder Nate Schwartz
Claymation Nativity Creche...?

Christmas toys with a local family
Cooking bread

Some Happy Cooks