Monday, May 20, 2013 Puente Alto

Map of Puente Alto area of Santiago Chile

Dear Family!
Thank you so much for the package and the emails and the love and everything; love it, love it, love it!  It's so great to hear that everyone is busy and that mom is now famous.  Hey, you haven't sent me any pictures from the whole ´´The Price is Right´´ thing, or if you did, I can't see them :(  Anyways, thank you so much.  (I actually did send some pictures of it; he must not have gotten them).
Yes, it finally happened! Elder Schwartz finally left his home sector of Geronimo de Alderete, and yes, it was very hard for him to say goodbye.  The bishopric gave me some time during sacrament meeting to say my goodbyes, and that was really sweet.  So right now, I am emailing you guys from a different computer in a different sector.  Right now, I am in a zone called Cordillera, which is in a part of Santiago called Puente Alto, and it is in a more... humble part of the city.  My ward is called Chilo√© and apparently the work down here is moving really fast.  My new companion is named Elder Packer; yes, he is related to the Apostle (he is like his great uncle or something) and he has been here in Chile for about 3 months.  He is my first companion that is a gringo like me, so it should be a really interesting time.  He´s from Brigham City, Utah, and he likes to hunt.  We live in a house with our zone leaders Elder Smith and Elder Schade, and I really haven't had the time to get to know them yet, but I am sure that they are excellent guys.  Oh, and I am a district leader down here too.  SO, that should be a lot of fun.  My whole mission world just got completely turned upsidedown, and I know that its going to be hard, but it should be a lot of fun, too.  Pray for me. 
The last week in Geronimo went by really well.  We got to visit a lot of people.  Yes, we saw the man and his 90-year old mother who sang to us.  We brought them the sacrament after church yesterday with three of the youth from our ward and that was cool.  Actually, I left my Book of Mormon in his house.  We came by that night to pick it up, and today I found a really nice note in it from the guy where he shared one of his favorite scriptures and then thanked us for coming to visit them.  That was really sweet.  We had a really good visit with Rodrigo and I am certain that the man is going to be a member, and he it is going to be awesome.  He has grown A TON.  It was hard saying goodbye to Edith and Daniel, but I know that I will see them again before I leave, but we all cried and it was a really bittersweet meeting.  I think that i would feel sad if I felt like they wouldn't be okay on their own without me, but I seriously know that all of them are going to be okay; Elder Sanchez and Elder Henderson are going to do a great job in Geronimo with their new companions.  Elder Garcia is probably on a plane right now going home......... it was really hard to say goodbye to Elder Garcia, seeings how we were together for 6 months, but it is his time to go home.
I just want you guys to know that I love you, and I am very excited for this upcoming change in this new sector, with this new companion.  It's going to be a whole new experience for me, and a whole new adventure.  Dad told me in an email a couple of weeks ago that a lot of really cool things are in store for me in this upcoming year out here in the field, and I know for a fact that those really cool things are going to happen here.  It's so awesome to know that Heavenly Father has a reason for me being here, in this place, with this companion, and I am eager to find out why.  I love you all so much.  Hold to the rod; the church is true, and I´ll give you all of the sweet details about this sector in next week's email!
with love,
Elder Schwartz

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