week 10 – intercambios

Sup!
Don’t have too much time to write, and frankly I don’t have too much to write. We’ve been having less success this week with our investigators, but we do have a few news and a few futures we do want to get to in the coming weeks. We’re changing around a few things (my companion and I), and we’re focusing on contacts this week! A few days ago we were able to get 40 in one hour… BUT yeah so we’re striving for 200 this week. Our standard of excelency for the mission is 120, so we’re going to be working hard! Then some of them will become new investigators in the next week, then hopefully more baptisms can follow in December before I leave.
On Wednesday, we had our Great Exchange! As a zone, we all met up, and we were split from our normal companion and sent somewhere else within our zone. They never tell you whos leaving until like the day of when we all meet up, then they announce it, and we only do exchanges for 24 hours. My companion, Elder Wallace, stayed. Me? I went to a place called Cañete, and one of the Elders there stayed. Elder Watkins. He was born at the same time as me. So we had just finished 3 weeks of the mission together and they paired us together. WHAT? Dude I was freaking out… Especially because his Spanish wasn’t so great, and neither is mine. I was ready to take the challenege, I really thought I could use this opportunity to become a leader of some sort and learn a lot. BUT what happened was two APs, or Assistant to the Presidents came to our sector, Cañete 2, and split us up. So I was able to work with one of the APs, Elder Paris, who is 19 months old in the mission, and has been an AP for a long time. And as two missionaries who were working in a place neither of us originally were, with no plans, we decided to contact for the three hours we had together. We got 51 contacts in 3 hours. Just to put things into perspective, we usually get 80-100 a week, Elder Wallace and I. Our goal this week was 120. wow. So in the sector we worked at, there were two pairs of missionaries working, so together, we got 92 contacts, about 6 new investigators, and a few more references for other zones. It was so great working with someone as experienced and hard working as Elder Paris. I learned a lot in only 3 hours, and guess what? The next day when I returned to my own sector pretty late, and Elder Wallace and I only had about an hour and a half to work because we had to catch a late bus to go to up to Concepcion, where our mission office is, to go to a conference the next day. In that hour and a half, we got 40 contacts. WOOO and I think a few of them will be great investigators. Doing work!
The conference we had to go was the Return and Report thing that all missionaries do in their first transfer. I was able to see my buddies Elder Kirk and Elder Yamada again! I was able to see everyone else who was born with me, and we did some more practices, and had more wise words from the President. It was a great time, and I learned a lot.
No baptisms yet, but we’re looking at about 5 baptismal dates in the month of November! So we’re working super hard to make sure they don’t fall. Also, My first transfer ends Novebmer 2… Two weeks! Thats insane. In three days, I’ll have been in Curanilahue for a month, and on October 13th, I passed my two month mark since I left. Time really does NOT make sense on the mission. Each week it gets faster and faster…
Thank you for all your emails and prayers, I love you all!
Love,
Elder Lee
(PS – For those of you who were as confused as me when I first read this, when he says “he was born at the same time as me,” he doesn’t mean his literal birth. It’s mission lingo – not sure exactly but… it means either when they started the mission or started the mission post-MTC. So, that means they entered the field [e.g. concepcion] at around the same time.)
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week 9 – evangelists

Sup guys! Hope youre all doing well.

This week was a bit more successful than last week, but only because we found many futures. We couldn´t get in touch with many of our progressing investigators, so…. yeah.. But we are meeting them tonight so hopefully we can renew the baptisms dates.

There are two main stories I want to tell you guys. First, we met this old grandma named Maria. 90 years old, who has GREAT GREAT grand children. That is insane! And she was so healthy. She was watering plants, walking here and there, pulling the chair in and our, reading the Bible, and when we askedif we could say a prayer, she got on her knees!!! a 90 year old on her knees. Wow. Her faith is incredible, as shes read the Bible for the past 40 years, she has grown to know Jesus very well, or as much as she could with the Bible. We explained about Jesus´s coming to America after he was resurrected, and gave her 3 Nephi 11 to read. She knew Jesus appeared in other parts of the world, so we were happy to show her a written account of it. The next visit, she said she read it, other parts of the Book of Mormon, and didnt like it. She returned the book to us. When the book passed from her hand to the hand of my compañero, my heart sank. I watched her give up the Book, I watched her hand her salvation back. In the scriptures, we always read of how prophets mourned and felt pain when they saw people being wicked, or rejecting the word of God… I understand a bit more how they felt. I have learned to look at everything with the hopes of seeing them in the Celestial Kingdom, and when she returned that precious blue Book, it started to fade a bit… BUT. Her faith in Christ is incredible. I have no doubt that she will be taught in the Spirit World, and be converted, and become a faithful follower of Christ with the wholeness of the Gospel, and reach the Celestial Kingdom. But after this incident, I realized that Id much, much, MUCH prefer slammed doors on my face over people accepting us, listening to us, and then rejecting us. It hurts to see someone so close to true, true joy.

The other story is about a contact we met in a park. It was our second time in the park, and we had about an hour and a half until our appointment with an investigator, so we decided to talk to people there. The FIRST family we talked to, the father talked to us. He first asked us why we think the sabbath is Sunday. We explained because of the resurrection of Christ, how he administered the Sacrament on Sunday, etc etc. Then he went on a 53 minute rant about how he has analyzed the Bible, studied it, and found out the answer for himself. During this hour, we told him about the Book of Mormon, and apparently he has one, read a bit of it, and rejects the idea of the Priesthood still being on the Earth. We testified to him the trueness of the Book and our words, and he said that truth doesnt come from feelings. Thats true, but our truth came from the Holy Spirit, the best truth you can get, and the best source you can have. He denied that the Holy Spirit gives answers like that. I think we only said 3 or 4 things, and the rest was him talking. I kind of zoned out in the middle because I didnt really follow (I have to concentrate to listen and understand Spanish….) But after we said bye to him, we had to go to our appointment. ONE CONTACT IN AN HOUR. Our goal was 28 that day. An we had 1 contact in an hour. WE couldve gotten like 5 or 10 in an hour… Oh well.

The Evangelists are interesting. Very very very prone to Bible bashing, so we just let them rant while we keep a smile on our faces.

Other than that, the week didn´t offer anything new. We did discover a new pathway thats on the top of a hill that shows about a third of our sector, and it was beautiful. We took some pictures there! Speaking of pictures. for some reason, my camera wouldnt be recognized properly on the computers… So I switched SD cards, and it works now (foudn out just now). So theres only about 20 pictures, and all the pictures from the last 3-4 weeks are on my other SD card that the cmoputers cant read, but my DVD player and my camera can read. Bogus. ANYWAY. HEres the link to that. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0nuf04sdhy52vaa/AAD1SlY-lJSkHGOuBpAoighOa?dl=0

Food wise, I LOVE IT UGH. So good. So. good. The members are talented cooks. Chicken every day is the best thing ever. And if any of you outside of Chile get a chance to eat Sopaipillas, Pichangas, or Chorillana, GET IT. AMAZZZING.

Thats it for this week!

Hope you all are doing well, and thanks for your emails and support.

Love you all,
Elder Lee

Week 8 – Update on our investigators and a weird week

Hey guys! I dont have much time to write, so Ill make it quick.

For another week, the computer here wont recognize my camera. So Youll have to forgo another week without pictures… SORRY But hey when I do get it to work, it will be marvelous. Many, many pictures.

This week, was a little less successful. Well, the start was great. We reached most of our daily goals, contacting, meeting, etc, but the second half of the week was a mess. Didnt really get near our goal. Amongst the two companionships here, we had 12 lessons in total. In one week. Thats terrible… But we did contact a lot, and we have 5 new investigators, on top of our 4 strong ones. We have others that arent so strong, but we still want to work with. Amidst the terrible numbers that we had, we did find two great people. Juani, who has a very long, history with the church, but is super faithful, and Yerka, who is a mom of three beautiful children. She is just as faithful, and they both seem super excited to hear our message. Its amazing because both happened directly after terrible things in the day. One time, on an exchange, Elder Castillo and I walked around everywhere trying to get our appointments, but they all fell through. So we decvided, okay, in the last hour, we can either do 11 contacts, or try to enter one house. The first house we knocked on, a lady came out, almost immediately let us in, and she is Juani. We taught her about faith and prayer, (well reinforced cause shes super knowledgeable), and we have an appointment with her on Wednesday. Another time, Elder Wallace (my trainer) and I stopped by Natalia and Lorenas house (read more below) to try to teach them, but they werent home. Discouraged because we couldnt meet them all week, we decided to contact. The first home, once again, we knocked (rather, shouted ALO outside the fence, cause thats how they roll in Chile), was a nice lady who let us in as well, named Yerka. We have an appointment with her as well later!

Two of our strong investigators are mother and daughter, Natalia (Daughter) and Lorena (Mother). Natalia had a baptism date set on the 11th of October, but her Mother was a bit behind on the preparation. They said that if they do get baptised, they want to do it together, so we set them both for the 25th of October. So soon! We´re focusing a lot on them to make sure they´re preparing well. Lorena´s father is ill with Parkinsons right now as well, so its super hard to reach her, but she has asked us to give him a Priesthood blessing. That little act of faith made me SO happy, as I could tell they were really progressing.

Another strong investigator is Yaryxa. Pregnant, 6 months, and recently married. Her husband, Claudio, is actually a recent convert, and he just received the Aaronic Priesthood last week. We´re working towards the 25th for her as well, and the timing is perfect because Claudio will be able to baptise her! She is super timid, hates awkward situations, but she is an amazing woman. She has a ton of faith, and really wants to get baptised, so we´re working with her on taking the next step, walking the extra mile.

Our other is David, an 11 year old. Super faithful, super energetic, but Ive never met him. His mother really doesnt like it when we come around, but his Grandmother and Uncle (Who is the aforementioned Claudio) are members. We tried to catch him a few times when he is at Claudios house, but to no avail. Maybe soon we can catch him, because he, from what Ive heard, seems like a great guy.

Like I said, we´ve met so many new people to teach these coming weeks. I´ll obviously update you as we get along.

Today, we´re gonna get either Pichanga or Completos for lunch. CANT WAIT. Ill take pictures so that one day, youll be able to see them!

Hope you are all doing well, and I love you all. Thank you for your support!

Love,

Elder Lee
PS – Sorry about the nasty font (I’ll try to correct this later when I have time 😦 I know it looks ugly and it is slightly hard to read, but bear with me for now)