Monday, August 12, 2013

New Area.....

Elder Schwartz with "Nacho"

Dear Todos, 

Firstly, it is wonderful to hear that everyone is so busy with work and school and exercising and callings and service and weddings and everything.  Sounds like a really eventful week!

Well, changes (transfers) happened, and youre not going to beleive it, but I DID get changed... pretty crazy huh? I was only in Chilo√© for like 3 months!  Elder Packer is staying there and training, and I got moved to a part of santiago called "La Reina," which literally translates to "the queen."  Actually, it's one of the more wealthy parts of Santiago, so it was a 100% change for me.  Right now my companion is Elder Sandoval, from Mexico, and we are Zone Leaders together.  I am really excited and kind of nervous to serve as a zone leader, but I found this scripture in the Pearl of Great Price this past week that really stuck out to me, and helped me to get over my shakiness.  Here it is:

31 And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying:  Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?
 32 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good.
 33 Say unto this people: Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you.
 34 Behold my Spirit is upon you, wherefore all thy words will I justify; and the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course; and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me.

So this is when Enoch was called to be a prophet, and we all know how his story ends, that he was such a good prophet that his city got lifted up to heaven.  Well, I think that a lot of us feel like Enoch sometimes, like we are weak, not good speakers, that people don't like us, that we can't do what we are asked to.  But the marvelous news is that the Lord knows us better than we know ourselves.  He doesn't see us for what we are now, He sees us for the potential that we have.  And in this passage of scripture he gives Enoch great adivce, advice that I really needed to hear.  When we are called to do something hard, we never walk alone, and if we take the step of faith, the Lord will give us the strength and the power that we need to push forward.  So, I am trying the best I can to apply the message of this scripture into my situation right now.  I have been asked to do hard things before, and the Lord helped me get through those, so I know that I will be able to take on the task of being a zone leader, because I am not doing it by myself.

Anyways, this last week with Elder Packer was really good.  We taught lots of lessons.   Juana and Oscar are doing great, progressing well.  I taught them for the last time last night.  It was really weird saying goodbye to everyone.  I feel like I was just getting to know them.  The two and a half months in Chiloe passed by SO FAST.  I was able to do divisions (splits) twice this week, once with Elder Bills and once with Elder Hernandez, and it was a really good time with the both of them.  I was able to do two baptismal interviews this week too, and they're going to be really awesome members.  On Sunday I got to confirm Felipe as a member of the Church, and that was way awesome.  He is going to be the world's greatest missionary.  Anyways, I am sorry this email was so vague compared to the rest.  I'll be sure to fill my next one with lots more details.  

I love you all so much.  I know that this is the Lord's church, and I know that He wants us to be happy, and that's why I am out here in the mission -- it's because I want the same thing, and I know how people can find that happiness.  Thank you all so much for your love and support and prayers, and I'm looking forward to hearing from y'all again next week, 

With Much Love,
Elder Schwartz

P.S.   Chile's mail service went on strike 2 or 3 weeks ago, SO I haven't received ANY letters.  SO if you wrote me a letter and are expecting a response and have not gotten one yet, that's why.... I have sent responses to every letter that I have received so far.  Just an FYI.

Saying Goodbye to Alex and Carol

With Elder Clyde and his parents

With Elder Paxman

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