Monday, October 28, 2013

Loving Chile

Elder Schwartz and Monkey street art

Dear Everyone!

Dad, thank you so much for the email and the photos.  It looks like the ward Halloween party was a hit!  Like I said in my email to mom, our ward party is on Wednesday.  YES, they do celebrate Haloween here in Chile, pretty cool huh?  Its great to hear that you are all keeping busy, and it sounds like you're using your time very wisely.  It makes me really happy to hear that you are spending so much time helping the missionaries.

This week went by really fast for Elder Sandoval and me.  We were really busy, which is great!  Claudio and Mercedez are doing awesome!  We visited with Mercedez a few times this week, but we had kinda lost contact with Claudio for a while.  Actually, yesterday was the first day that we talked to him in about two weeks, but from the conversation we had with him, he is doing really well, and we are going to be teaching him tomorrow.  He found a job through the church job search services actually, so that was a miracle.

This Sunday was stake conference which was really cool.  The talks were awesome, and President Wright was there too and he and Hna Wright spoke too.  They did an amazing job.  A less active member that we have been teaching for a while named Jessica came, so we were really stoked for that.

I think that for me the highlight of the week was the opportunity that I had to go on divisions, twice!  On Tuesday I went to the ward Violeta Cosiño, and I spent the day with Elder Bushman (Todd Baer's second cousin), and, man, he is so cool!   The kid is a total stud!  He is basically in the same boat as Andrew, training and District Leader, and he has 6 months in the mission, and his spanish is SO GOOD.  It was a way good time.  We get along really well, so we had lots of fun.  He actually reminds me a lot of Andrew.  And with Elder Bushman, we taught this one really awesome man that I'm probably never going to forget.   We visited a brother whose wife has cancer.  He goes to church almost every Sunday, but just for sacrament meeting, because he can't leave his wife at home alone for very long.  We visited with him and shared a scripture and just as we were about to end the lesson, he says to us, "Elders, I have just one word of advice for you.  When you go to the houses of investigators, or converts, or less actives members, or whoever -- teach them about the importance of faith.  Help them understand what it is and why it's important.  Because if these people have just a tiny bit of faith, they'll be able to overcome everything.  Just like the scriptures say, if you have the faith like a tiny mustard seed, it can move a mountain.  A little bit of faith can make miracles much bigger than moving mountains -- it can comfort and bring peace to the life of a man who has to send his eternal companion off into the next life."  That hit me really really hard.  We ended the lesson with a kneeling prayer, that I had the opportunity to offer.  He thanked us both a bunch for the visit, apparently no one from the church had gone to visit him for really long time.

On Saturday I got to do divisions with Elder Pagalo from Ecuador in the ward Alvaro Casanova, and it was also a really, really good experience.  What I loved about being with Elder Pagalo is that he asks AWESOME questions durring lessons.  I wish that I was as good at asking questions as him.  We had a good time together.  He has been in the Alvardo Casanova ward for more than a year!  Could you imagine?  But he is still doing a really good job, not letting his lengthy time in the area affect his ability to work.

Today was a pretty easy day.  Elder Sandoval and I spent the morning with the missionaries from the zone and we played soccer.  It is Elder Sandoval's last p-day in the mission.  This is his last week.  I'm just going to try my best to send him home on a good note and make this week the best week ever.  That's my plan at least.

Thank you all so much for your love and support and prayers and everything.  I just finished a major writing session for all of you that have written me -- so expect your responses soon.

I know that the church is true and I am so thankful for the time that I have to share its blessings with the people here in Chile.  It really is a treat.

Until next week, with much love,
Elder Schwartz

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