Monday, September 30, 2013

All the Missionaries Together

All our missionaries during Elder Zeballos' visit (Elder Schwartz is on second row from top and fourth from right side.)

Ahahaha, Dad I LOVE the old picture that you sent of the Truckee trip, awesome.

Truckee River circa 1977
This week went by well.  They always go by well.  Elder Sandoval and I DID spent a little more time teaching than walking and knocking this past week which is always nice.  We met this really amazing family, la Familia Torres.  They are next door neighbors to a member family and we started teaching them this week.  Well, I started teaching the dad English at least, but they have lots of questions and interests, and that's always good.  It`s been a long time since I have taught English too, so that was fun.

Also, it turns out that there is a sister in my district, Hermana Volkert, who has family living in Snohomish, and apparently she has met Uncle James and Aunt Diane?  

Claudio and his mother are doing really well.  We actually visited them this week with the Relief Society presidency.  I felt like i was teaching the lesson with Mom, ahaha, and it went really well.  Sadly Patricia (Claudio's mom) is a little sick, and actually she is going back to the US in two weeks to get some surgery, but Claudio is staying here in Santiago.  Claudio came to church this Sunday, stayed all of the hours and made some friends, so that was really cool.

DAD, The scripture that you shared in your email (about the Lord`s hand always being reached out to us), I shared it in a lesson last night because i just read it like two days ago!  Great minds think alike, I suppose.

Elder Sandoval is doing lots lots better, which is great because now he can eat everything!  (He was on a limited diet for the last few weeks, so he could only eat really light food, and if HE could only eat really light food, that means that I, his companion, could only eat really light food too..... so I am glad that he is back to normal because now I can eat all of the junk that I normally do, aha!)

Oh, also, I got the letter from John and Virginia on Friday, and I wrote a response and i will be sending it later this week, so it should be in Martinez in like a month or so. (Thank you, Chilean mail service!)

Sorry that this email wasn't very long or detailed; I just want you all to know that I love you and that I am very happy down here in Chile.  I love this time that I have to do the Lord`s work.  I am learning a lot, and meeting lots of amazing people every day, and I really do feel like every day that I spend here in Chile, my love for this work and this country grows stronger and stronger.  Thank you all for your prayers and your examples -- keep being amazing!

with love,
Elder Schwartz

Open House at the Chapel

Dear Everyone!

Well, it sounds like everyone at home is staying busy with work and activities. It's good to hear that everything is going great. Everything down here in the south side is going great too! 

To answer your questions dad, açai is a type of berry that they have here in Brazil that they use to make pretty much the best frozen yogurt I've ever had in my life.  Seriously soooo goood!  The temple session was good, it wasn't that weird doing it in Portuguese, and YES I got to see Elder Watt.  It was an awesome father-son reunion.  He's serving in a city called Santo André right now, which isn't in my zone.  Elder Steil is doing well.  We started doing a routine where we are only allowed to speak English in the house and Portuguese in the streets, so we can both help each other out.  My Portuguese is still coming along.  I can pretty much understand everything and I can almost say everything I want to say. 

Our investigators are all doing well.  All of them are progressing really well, and are making great strides towards baptism.  For example, we have this investigator, Eliene, who has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon, but her struggle right now is with smoking.  She set a goal to stop smoking by yesterday, so we are going to be following up with a visit today or tomorrow.  Just make sure to keep her in your prayers as she tries to fight this addiction.  

This week was also really cool for us because we had an open house at our chapel all day Saturday. The day started out with me teaching English class, and then right after the class ended, the students all went around on a tour of the chapel.  The members were so good and helped them all feel comfortable and welcome.  We didn't have that many people show up other than the people who were there for English class, but those who did show up were really interested and we were able to set up appointments to visit some of them later this week. 

Sorry that this letter was kind of short, but I'm running out of time, and I still need to write President Tanner.  I just want you all to know that I love you all, and I love this work, and I know that it is truly the Lord's work.  I know that if we have faith in Him and confide in Him, that everything will be all right.  Until next week!

Elder Schwartz

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Elder Schweppes!

The Brazilians can't say Schwartz very well, so they call me Elder Schweppes (after this soda).

The Awesome View

Dear Family!!!

First off, I'm sososososo sorry that I didn't tell you guys last week that we had our P-Day switched from Monday to Tuesday this week.  It was because we got the opportunity to go to the temple today!  I actually didn't know that they switched our P-Day, but sorry for the scare.  Thanks for all the updates on everything!  It's good to hear that everyone is staying busy.  Too bad about BYU though... :'(

I don't have a lot of time to write you guys right now because we spent pretty much all day there at the temple, but this week I have lots of pictures for you guys!  This week was really good!  I was able to do a division (split) with Elder Iorg, one of our ZLs (zone leader), and he came into our area and tore it up!  He is such a good missionary and he really was an example for me on how I can improve being a missionary.  And that same day we were able to go out with Junior again and visit his little twelve year old brother, Rodrigo, and we started teaching him.  We invited him to be baptized, and he accepted, so every day this past week we went over to his house and we were teaching him and preparing him for baptism.

Also this week we were able to visit a few of our other invistigators.  We had a really good experience with Paulo's Mom this week. She went to church with him last Sunday and we were able to have a lesson with her later in the week.  She really wants to change her life because she has problems with smoking, and drinking, and she wants to be a better example to her son.  We had a really strong spiritual lesson with her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it can help us make these changes in our lives.  We invited her to baptism and she accepted, the only thing is that she want's to be prepared and be done completely with the addictions that she has.  Another good experience that we had this week was with two of our investigators Tadeu and Claudia. They are husband and wife and one of their daughters was baptized but is less active right now and Claudia's sister's family are members too. It's fun teaching them because Claudia was a former Jehovah's Witness and they have all of these really profound questions and doubts.  It's good, because their questions show that they have a true desire to learn more, and they actually have a great interest in the things we are teaching them. 

Saturday I was able to have my English Class again. It was really cool because some of our investigators showed up and we were able to have Rodrigo's baptismal interview at the same time. Usually for English classes I start by answering any questions or doubts that people have, then we start doing little situation activities for the students to get them to practice using the english that they already know. We have activities for example: You're in a restaurant in the United States and you have to order food and a drink or something simple like that. Usually we have about 8 to 12 people that come to English class each week, and after each class we get their information and we do an interview where we teach a principle of the Gospel and invite them to hear more. 

Rodrigo was baptized by his brother Junior, who is a recently returned missionary.

Sunday was a special day because we were able to have Rodrigo's baptism!  It was a really beautiful service and a lot of the members of the ward were there to support him.  It was awesome because Junior gave a really sweet testimony where he talked about how before he used to tell people that he was the only member in his family, but now he has his brother to enjoy this Gospel with him.  It just made me think of my family and how grateful I am to be raised in this Church with my family there.  I'm so grateful for being a part of this Church. I know that it has blessed my life more than I can understand.  I know that it is God's true church here on the Earth and that this Gospel is the way to true happiness.  I know that this work that Nate and I are doing is truly the Lord's work.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and that he loves us so much that he suffered for all of us, so that we may return to live with our Heavenly Father again. 

I love you all! I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Schwartz

Eating Acai with Elder Steil

Monday, September 23, 2013

Celestial Zone

World's Greatest Zone according to Elder Nate Schwartz

Dear Everyone!

Wow, Pops, it sure sounds like it was a busy week.  It is great to hear that Mom is feeling well, and that's pretty big news about Phil going to Colorado -- it must have been a pretty big flood because lots of people down here are talking about it too.  Sad to hear that the sports teams aren't doing too hot -- that darn U of U........

Well, this week was a pretty strange one for Elder Sandoval and I -- there were lots of really awesome things that happened, but also lots and lots of walking.  The 18th of September is the day of Chile's independence, and basically the whole country shuts down for a week, and no one works and everyone vacations and barbeques.  SO, that being said, lots of people left town or were too busy to visit with the missionaries.  So, Elder Sandoval and I spent lots of time in the streets, but it's okay, not every week can be perfect.  

Even though we spent a lot of time in the street, lots of cool stuff happened, too.  One of them being the Zone Conference with Elder Zeballos, which was AWESOME.  We all took a picture with him and shook his hand, and I got to sit on the stand with him because Elder Sandoval was conducting the meeting.  Elder Zeballos and his wife gave AWESOME talks, and of course President and Hna Wright did a stellar job, too.  Hna Zeballos talked about how we need to be the missionaries that, when we get called to change areas, the ward we're leaving gets mad at President Wright for taking us out.  Basically, that we need to be outgoing, and that we need to have missionary enthusiasm and energy, because it's contagious!  She was really funny and a way good speaker.  Elder Zeballos talked to us about the importance of "Love" in missionary work -- that love needs to be what drives us.  We had the conference on the 18th (Independence Day), so we had a big lunch after the conference, too.  It was cool because I got to see four of the elders from my district from the MTC!  

Claudio and his mother are both doing great.  We woke up early on Sunday and walked to church with them.  They stayed for the whole three hours meeting block, and loved it.  On Sunday we also had a baptism, well.... the baptism of the daughter of one of our investigators.  Her name is Martina, and she is eight years old, and we are teaching her mom as well.  It was way cool because I got to take part in the confirmation.  I'll be sure to attach some photos from the service.

Martina's Baptism

On Saturday I had to do something that I have never done inspections!  Since this past week was the last week of the transfer (Elder Sandoval and I are staying together, by the way...... Elder Schade (zone leader from his last area) got called as the new Assistant -- SO EXCITED),  We dedicated four hours of our Friday to deep clean the apartments and then on Saturday the Zone Leaders (us) go to all of the pensions (apartments) to inspect them, and it's so funny how they rank the inspections.  If the pension is in ship-shape it gets the marking "Celestial", if it is alright, it's "Terrestrial" and if it's bad it gets the marking "telestial"  Ahahaha!  Fortunately, the majority of the apartments in our zone got celestial.

Elder Sandoval and Schwartz in their clean apartment

ALSO, It turns out one of my best buddies out here in the zone is Todd Baer's cousin!  How cool is that!  His name is Elder Bushman and he is a total stud, I'll send a pic of us together.

With Elder Bushman (Elder Todd Baer's cousin)

Anyways, that was basically the past week in a nutshell.  I am so thankful to be here in this sector with Elder Sandoval.  I am loving the Tobalaba life.  I know that Andrew and I are doing the Lord's work.  I know that the Church is true and I know that the doorway to that knowledge is the Book of Mormon, and like I said a couple weeks back I am in the process of reading it again.  I'm about halfway through the Isaiah chapters of 2nd Nephi, and every time I pick it up, I learn something new, and my testimony of its truthfulness grows stronger and stronger.  I am so thankful for that.
Thank you so much for your love and support.  I am really looking forward to hearing from you again nexct week.

with much love,

Elder Schwartz

Friday, September 20, 2013

News of Brazilian Being Called To Serve in Chile...

Dear Family,

I can't believe that it's already P-day!  This transfer is going by wayyyy too fast!  It's good to hear that all is well with you guys and that you all had a fun week.

I'm doing well. The Portuguese is still coming along, but I speak and understand way better now, than I did last transfer.  Elder Steil is helping me out a lot and in return I'm helping him with his English, so it's a good trade. 

A lot of stuff happened this week, so I'll try to give you guys some good highlights of my week here in Planalto.  So we did a lot of work with our investigators this week.  We are trying our best to prepare them for baptism and a good number of them are progressing.  We have been working a lot with this kid in our ward, Felipe, who has been helping us with his friend Paulo.  At first it seemed like he had no interest at all in our message, but recently he has been more engaged in our lessons and he looks a lot happier.  He even brought his mom to church with him yesterday! 

This week was really good also because our ward got TWO returned missionaries on the same day! One Elder and one Sister! And even though they have been home for less than a week, they have been a HUGE help for us. The returned Elder (Junior is his name) went out with us all day on Friday, and we went around visiting all of his friends and his family members who aren't church members. Having him with us has been a huge blessing for us!  If only every member of this church had the fire that he has, this work would really take off.  Junior kind of has a rough life too.  His dad is an alcoholic and really hates the fact that Junior left for two years. He's already stopped us on the street and yelled at us twice, telling us how upset he was that his son left him for two years.  It's kind of sad. But on a lighter note, we went over to Junior's house one night and his dad was there (still drunk), and he fed us dinner and kissed me on the cheek.  Elder Steil says that he already got kissed on the cheek three times by drunk guys in his last area so this isn't really uncommon here in Brazil...... buuuut anyways back to missionary stuff. 

I forgot to tell you guys, but on Saturdays I have been teaching English class for the past few weeks. It's awesome because so many people here in Brazil recognize the need to speak English, and everyone here speaks a little bit, so I get the opportunity to help them out.  But later on Saturday night, our ward mission leader, Guillherme, put together this awesome missionary activity about the history of the church for the whole stake.  There were members and non-members alike, and our zone got to sing "Chamados a Servir" (Called to Serve) for everyone.  And at the very end, a member of our ward got to open his mission call in front of everyone.  And you're not gonnna believe this, but he's going to the Chile Santiago East mission!!!  I have a feeling that Elder Nate will be training in a few months.

Well those are all the highlights of my week here in Planalto. I love you all! I can't wait to hear from you guys next week! The Church is True!

Elder Schwartz     

Sorry, no pics this week....I'll try next week....   

Independence Week in Santiago

Dear Family,

Well, I made the promise last week that I was going to write to my family first and save all of the other emails for later.  Thank you so much for the pictures, it sure looks like everyone is having a good time and that Phil especially is enjoying my clothing while im gone ;P (see below photo -- yes , It is Elder Nate's shirt).......  Everyone looks great!  It sounds like the past week was really eventful, awesome to hear.  But, mom got in a fender bender?  Uh-oh, but both Mom and the "Price is Right" car are okay, right?  And I read Andrew´s email -- a kid in his ward is going to my mission?  What the heck!  I'll be sure to keep my eyes open for a brazilian.

Bearded Phil (in Nate's shirt) with lovely Grandma

Welllllllllllll, this week was a really good week.  It went by crazy fast.  Oh, firstly, I am sorry that I wasn't able to write you yesterday.  I got my p-day switched on me, and I forgot to warn you last week.  So, sorry if I left you guys nervous.

Lets see, lets see...... The first really cool thing that happened this week was on Tuesday when I went on divisions (splits) with Elder McGetrick, the AP (assistant to the mission president).  I got to go to his sector and work in the office for a day which was really cool.  I got to spend some time with my old buddy Elder Miller, too. (Not sure if you all remember him, but we started the mission living in a house together in La Florida.  He is working as an office elder now).  It was way fun doing divisions with an AP, especially Elder McGetrick.  The man is a stud and a half -- a very good missionary, and an awesome example.  OH MOM, GUESS WHAT,  I found your friend Raquel Call (Zumba instructor who moved to Chile).  Well.... I haven't met her, YET, but I know what ward she is in, so next time I go up to Las Condes, I'll be sure to find her.  She is in the ward that the Assistants work in.  

Another really cool part of the week was the ward activity that we did on Saturday, September 18th. Here in Chile that is their independence day.  It's a really big, really important day here -- bigger than Christmas.  So, on Saturday we had a ward activity with music and dancing, and a huge barbeque, and games, and people were dressed up as cowboys -- it was a big hit.  Lots and lots of people came even though it was overcast and really chilly, so it was fun being there for a little while.  It helped me get to know a lot of the members better, and the barbeque was WAY good!

Saturday morning we had interviews with President Wright and that was amazing.  He helped me out a lot.  I have been kinda stressed out over the past few weeks and he helped me a lot in being able to refocus and calm my nerves and see what things are really important.  Tomorrow we have a big zone conference with Elder Zeballos of the Seventy (church leader), from 8am to 5pm, so that will be a lot of fun.  I am really looking forward to that, and our whole week's schedule was changed because of the conference and that's why I have p-day today and not yesterday.

Probably the coolest part of the week happened on Sunday when Elder Sandoval (who is recovering very well from his illness) and I were sitting in Gospel Principles class in Sunday School and the ward secretary came out and told us that someone was outside looking for us.  Much to our suprise the man waiting for us outside was Claudio, a man that we met contacting several weeks ago, and he and his mother came to church to talk with us.  They told us that they both had a long conversation and they felt like they needed spiritual help from Elder Sandoval and me.  So we took them into a room in the chapel, answered their questions, got to know them a little better, and set a date to visit them during the week.  So, we went to their house last night, and they are SO COOL!  It is so amazing to see the ways that the Lord has prepared them to receive the gospel and that it's something that they feel like they really need.  It's a lot of fun teaching them because they lived in Miami for over 30 years so they speak "Spanglish", but I am so excited to keep teaching them and help them receive the copious amout of blessings that this gospel has to offer.

In a nutshell, that was my week.  I know that this church is true and that testimony is growing stronger and stronger with every passing day.  I am so thankful to have the knowledge of this gospel in my life and the comfort that goes with it.  I love you all so much.  Thank you for your love and support, and I am really looking forward to hearing from you all again soon!  Keep being amazing!

Until next week, with much love,

Elder Schwartz 

More photos below....

BBQ a few weeks back

With Alex and Elder Sandoval at Johnny Rockets

La Cocina (kitchen)

Living Room

Me and Juanito 

The Desk

Pancakes with Pineda

Mine is the top bunk

 Elder Nate Schwartz was the recipient of a nice visit from Cousin Cindy Stephens, who finished her mission in an adjoining mission last year.  She was able to make a visit to Santiago to visit friends and while there, was able to see our missionary there....

With Cousin Cindy

Had some yummy lunch together...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Get Feeling Better, Elder Sandoval!

Hospital Blues

You guys are gonna kill me, but...........
I am literally all out of time, so this is going to be SUPER DUPER short (he says this every week, but the message is not THAT short)....... I am going to email you guys first from now on (I usually save the family email for last, but it looks like that method isn't working out very well.....)  Firstly, it is so great to hear that everyone is doing so well and that there are so many activities going on: weddings and visits and work and exercises. GREAT!
This week was good, really good actually.  Elder Sandoval and I are doing well.  We had a meeting with all of the Zone Leaders and President Wright on Tuesday and then we taught a three hour long class to our zone on Wednesday.  The President is putting a lot of focus on family history work these days.  I actually got to look at my family tree and WOW i have some family members doing an AWESOME job with our geneology....... I shared with our zone the life of one of my ancestors named Peter Hansen.  I found a little bio on him from the family tree.  Everyone really liked that.
Ward council was this week so it was a week full of activities.  We had a recreation night on Saturday and lots of less-active members and investigators showed up.  There were food and games and music and it was a good time.  We didn't stay too long though.  I brought the football and everyone seemed to really enjoy that; I taught them how to throw and play and it was fun.  
Sunday we had a WAY COOL ward council meeting centered on missionary work.  We watched part of the Devotional from July and talked and set goals and it was awesome!
But the craziest part of Sunday was the afternoon when we had to go to the hospital because Elder Sandoval was "throwing up uncontrollably".  It was pretty crazy; we went to the ER.  FORTUNATELY, he doesn't have a stomach infection.  They aren't going to have to operate or anything, but he has some bacteria and has to take lots of antibiotics.  Today he is feeling way better than yesterday, thankfully.
There were probably lots of typos in this lil' summary of the week -- sorry, I am writing it really fast.  I just want you all to know that I love you so much and I am so thankful for this opportunity that I have to serve my brothers here in Chile.  I read the conference talk "It's a Miracle by Elder Anderson this week, and it really did help to open my eyes and see that this work, really is a work of miracles.  ALSO, I started reading the Book of Mormon again, and I am learning SO MUCH.  READ THE BOOK OF MORMON!
love you all, 
until next week,

Elder Schwartz

Celestial Planalto

Drinking Chimarrão (pronounced: She-muh-how)

Hey all!

Another week here in Planalto aka the Celestial Kingdom!  It's great to hear that everyone is doing great and that everyone is having fun and staying busy.  Is it just me or is everyone getting married and having babies since I've been gone?

Elder Steil is doing well. He is a stud of a missionary. He only has three months on the mission and I only have four so we're both kind of new and teaching and learning from each other.  He actually speaks really good English which he said he learned just from watching a lot of movies and TV in English. He was pretty much raised in the church because his parents were converted when he was three, and he is also the first from his family to serve a mission, so that's pretty exciting.  

This past week has been good. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to keep in contact with all those people we met last week.  That's kind of the struggle here in Brazil.  It's really hard to find a day or time when you can catch people at home or when they're not busy.  Like for that family with a newborn baby for example, we passed by there pretty much every day this past week and we were only able to catch them once, and when we did catch them, they were really busy and told us to come back another day.  Or João Vitor, for another example.  We had those really awesome experiences teaching him and he loved church on Sunday, but he didn't show up for our appointment, and everytime we call him no one answers.  We're gonnna try to keep working with all of them because they are precious in the sight of God, and I know how much this gospel can bless their lives. 

However!  We did have another awesome experience this week with finding and teaching someone. During the last transfer, Elder Watt and I had a conversation with a 16 year old girl named Ruth who said that she had a male friend who is in our ward and she (Ruth) would love to hear our message, but her family belongs to another church, and her mom wouldn't allow it.  Well, this past week we met with that member, and he said that she (Ruth) left her old church, and she wanted to hear our message.  We gave him (ward member) a Book of Mormon and told him to give it to her and call us to set up a time to meet with her. The next day we passed by his house again to teach one of his neighbors.  When we stopped by his house to see if he wanted to go with us, we found him with Ruth, about to give her the Book of Mormon.  She said that she wanted to learn more about our church, so we had a lesson right then and there.  It was totally unplanned, but it was awesome.  The Lord truly does bless us as we work hard.  Even though we have been a little sad that our appointments keep falling through, the Lord always prepares something better.

I love you guys!  I just want you all to know that I know that this church is true!  God loves each and every one of us and he knows all of us personally.  I hope that everyone has a great week next week. I look foreward to hearing from you!

WIth Love,
Elder Schwartz

Making Chimarrão. Which is a drink that consists of an herb called erva which you see in the picture and hot water. It's really popular among Gaúchos.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Life in La Reina

Elder Schwartz and Elder Sandoval

Email from Elder Nate Schwartz from August 26th....

Hey everyone!

Dad thank you so much for the weekly update, it is great to hear that everyone is doing so well and that you are doing visits with the sister missionaries!!! YEAHHHHHH!!!!!!  Keep it up!  And happy late aniversary too :D  

Anyways, again I am running out on time, and I forgot my journal, so this is again going to be a shorter email... sorry.  ALSO, sidenote, I have been keeping a journal of every day of my mission so far, and I am very thankful for doing so.  I am now starting to see the fruits of that labor.  Because now, what I like to do is every night before writing in the journal, is I read my journal entry from the same day the year before, and it has been way fun seeing the progression, and it has helped me remember a lot of things that I forgot.  SO, if you arent keeping a personal journal, KEEP ONE!

I think I am going to dedicate the majority of this email to answering the questions that you asked me....

 Yes, the work here in this sector moves at a little bit of a slower pace than in my last sector, and our relationships with the members and the leaders and everyone is a little more ´´professional´´ than in my last sector.  It's a lot more business-like here.  We are teaching a few investigators, including one is named Mercedez and she is from Peru, and we are helping her and her boyfriend to get married.  She is really excited to get baptized.  Another is named Simon, and he is from Haiti and is learning Spanish (like me), so we are getting him a French Book of Mormon to help teach him better.  We do teach a lot of lessons, but the vast majority of the lessons are to recent converts and to less active members.  We have a list of about 1000 members and only about 130 attend church regularly.  We had 1 really good lesson with a member family and his neighbors.   We have less lessons with members here, as it's harder to find time ones with free time.  In this mission, Zone Leaders have several responsibilities:  we have to teach a three hour class to the zone once a month; we do divisions (splits) with the AP's (assistants to the mission president) and the District Leaders every transfer; and we do take weekly stats;  and we do have a meeting with the Stake President and President Wright every month.  Then after that meeting, President Wright does visits with us, which is really awesome.  And that´s pretty much it.  Elder Sandoval likes explaining that we are the parents of twenty missionaries, which is pretty true, because we get lots of calls from lots of missionaries asking us for permission to do things, and we have to think and make educated decisions, and worry about their well being.  It's a lot of work, but a lot of fun, too.

Anyways, I am sorry that this email was short, and not too detailed, but I love my sector, and I love this work and I love my companion.  Thank you all so much for all of the love and support, and thank you so much for the spiritual thought too, dad.  I have definitely realized here in the mission, that a person can receive a lot of personal revelation through the scriptures, and also that the wars going on today are a war in the mind and in the heart, and I am so happy to be able to have this time to help these people in that war.  

Until next week,

With much love,

Elder Schwartz

In the cyber doing emails home

Elder Nate Schwartz's email home from September 2nd....

Dear Family!

Wow!  The weeks just seem to be going by faster and faster!  Its so weird!  Everything is going really well for Elder Sandoval and I.  We had a pretty busy week, but it looks like this week is going to be even busier with lots of meeting and ward conference and Chilean Independence day is right around the corner.  Sometimes I feel like my plate is a little too full.  But I am trying the best I can to stay as positive as I can, and not get too overwhelmed.  

Firstly, on Sunday, Mercedez came to church!  Which was amazing!  Simon is doing well, and this last week we found a couple new people that we are starting to teach, so we are really excited for that.  It's always great teaching new people.  Elder Sandoval and I did go on divisions this week.  I went to our neighboring ward called Consistorial with and elder named Elder Pagalo from Ecuador. He is my district leader, and we had a really good time.  He is doing a really good job with his area.  One thing that I love about the mission is meeting so many different people from so many different places.  They all have something special to bring to the table.

Elder Sandoval has been kind of sick over the past few days, so we went to the doctors this morning to get him some pills, and he seems to be doing lots better now.  That is good because he seemed to be really sad that he was sick.  Elder Sandoval is usally a really animated and outgoing person, but he was a lot quieter when he was sick.  

ALSO:  Just an FYI, Chile´s mail strike has officially ended, so feel free to send me mail now :)  

Anyways, sorry these last few emails have been so bland, i really draw a blank sometimes when I get to this computer screen.  Everything is going well here in Tobalaba.  I am getting well adjusted, and Elder Sandoval is teaching me a lot, but I still have a long long ways to go as a missionary.  I love you all so much.  Thank you for your love and support.  I know that this is the true church, and I know that we do have a Heavenly Father who loves us and that through obedience to His commandments, we can draw closer to him.  

Love you all!

till next week,
Elder Schwartz