I hope everybody had a WONDERFUL New Years Eve and that you are all enjoying the first part of 2014!!!!! Whoohooo!!!! So I've heard a little bit about all of your guy's festivities for the new year but let me tell a little bit of ours. From my perspective, New Years Eve down here in Chile seemed like a bigger deal than Christmas....WOW huh. Seriously though, people completely bought out the stores, bought out the liquor stores, bought TONS of fireworks, and had so many pool parties, so many barbeques, so much music, and played so much soccer. Anyways, it was like nothing I've ever seen BUT, those were the worldly festivities so here's what we did: basically the whole day we were working and we were able to get a few lessons so that was awesome. Our district class was also on the 31st so we had some fun and everything. We were able to contact a lot of future investigators and so we are really, really excited about that; lots of prepared families, couples, and individuals. At night everyone was just partying so there was no work so we went home at about 9:15 instead of about 9:45 like normal. We got some good planning in and had some fun with Elder Lee and Elder Cottrell. We watched all of the fireworks outside of our window and took some New Years photos ... :) All in all, a pretty sweet celebration :D
So we didn't have the baptism for J. because she had to work in the morning on Sunday but everything is set for this Sunday; all the plans are ready, she is excited, we are stoked, and we are working with the V. family and the bishop this week to help her prepare. :) So the family with the three sons, the A. family is pretty good. The mom said she doesn't know if the dad is going to keep listening but ALL of the boys run up to us in the street and talk and stuff so it's really cool. We have a lesson with them on Tuesday and we are going to try and bring some members and invite the three boys to be baptized :) It should be REALLY cool =D We usually try and get about 15-18 lessons a week. Last week we got 16 lessons but lots of the appointments we had set up fell through so we think we can get up to 20 this week :) As for the things I wish I had known before I came on my mission: I wish I had known more about the most effective ways to do missionary work in our mission, how the people talked, and their customs. I wish I had taken with me Spanish scriptures marked up BEFORE the mission :) OH, and a freaking HUGE fan!! :D In my Valentine's Day package I would love a few things (1. a dog buzzer, ya know, like that little hand held thing that sends out a high pitched frequency that only dogs can hear. Yeah, I need one of those. Elder Kern and I were walking and almost got bit bad by a dog...luckily we had Elder Cottrells buzzer that he loaned us; otherwise, we would have been toast! 2. *Mini SD cards with music on them ... our phone can take them and if you put music on the cards, I could just use the phone as a player and use the speakers I have! Well there isn't a ton of sightseeing here but yeah, we are going to try and go to a few places :) One of my favorite scriptures to share with people is Moroni 7:12-13... I like using this when talking about the spirit and staying on the strait and narrow path. I still am way nervous to just talk to people and start up conversations.
So one of the coolest things that happened this week was yesterday. We were heading to an appointment with this one woman and her daughter (we found her daughter when we had that lesson with that huge group of kids) and we were bringing David. Anyways, we get there....NOBODY. UGH, that is the worst, but we tried visiting some other people with no real success. Anyways, I suddenly got a thought to visit a guy named H. who promised to come to church but when we went to get him, he wasn't there when we went by. Anyways, we went by and found out he went to church by himself but we didn't see him. I think he accidentally went to the other ward and just for sacrament meeting. He said he really liked it and he would definitely go again BUT, that wasn't the cool part. We started to talk about the nature of God and the mission of Jesus Christ and the atonement and our eternal potential and then he started telling us a lot of his problems, mainly about the guilt he has had from past mistakes and the lack of direction he has in his life. We told him that his sins could be washed away through Christ and baptism and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can fill the holes we have in our life. He accepted to be baptized and so when we go back and talk about the Restoration, we are going to set a date. After the lesson, I got a call from the woman with whom we had the first appointment. She said we could come back on Wednesday and that she was excited for us to come. It showed me that the hand of the Lord was in that appointment falling through and in the Spirit guiding us to H's house so we could help one of His sons. :) I really thought that was neat.
Well, that's about it for this week! I will send recordings, and photos next week because right now the USB isn't working on this computer. Anyways, take care, LOVE YOU ALL!!!
"It is not necessary for you to be called to go into the mission field in order to proclaim the truth. Begin on the man who lives next door by inspiring confidence in him, by inspiring love in him for you because of your righteousness, and your missionary work has already begun." - George Albert Smith