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 go......it'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

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