Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Week 9: Desires and Houses

Thank you for your prayers this week. I could feel them. Especially after I sent the email last week.
There is a girl in our branch that looks so much like Camille Swenson. I did a double take.
In Chile, they pause for a breath between “Christ” and “amen” in their prayers. It is becoming a habit for me.
Dogs: Last week I said I heard dogs are like cats here. Now I have a testimony of it. I saw a German shepherd jump a fence as tall as I am 4 times in a row just cuz, and I’ve seen a lot of dogs on top of fences.  There is a dog that barks super mean at us every time we pass and he sounds straight up evil. I call him Judas.
It is getting warmer. It is becoming spring.
Elder Ryan and I are house shopping for a casa in our sector. It´s funny how just two months ago I still had to ask for permission to use the bathroom [at school] and stay out past midnight.... and now I’m house shopping in southern Chile. Haha. #growth
Yesterday we also found a guy whose grandpa is from Ireland. He looked, laughed, was as tall as, and spoke Spanish like and Irish guy would. His last name was the same as my companion´s. So cool. They bonded really fast and we are going to help him back to activity in the church.
I´ve really worked on my focus on the work this week and my desires. I poured out my soul to our Father in Heaven. I’m giving him my desires. After doing this, I’ve seen a change in my happiness. EVERYTHING we have is God´s. He has given us everything. The only thing that He doesn´t have is our agency, our desires. That is the only thing we have. When we give our desires to Him, we are giving Him EVERTHING. I encourage you all to align your wills with His will for you. Give Him your desires. It changes your life. And in the end, it is the easiest path to follow.
I´ve seen this be true for me this week. Yesterday we had a lesson with Pamela, a less active member. She knows that she needs to be praying, reading, and going to church, but she isn´t. She always feels tired. Her family situation isn´t happy. We taught her what we needed to. I shared John 14:21 and how if we want to feel God´s love in our life we need to keep His commandments. God totally helped me with my Spanish during that time. It was a miracle. We left as her family was scrambling out the door to leave somewhere. They were chippy with each other, the spirit wasn´t in their home. As we walked to our next cita I started to cry. Because I wanted her to read so bad, and I knew what blessings she could receive, and I felt so grateful for my family and that they are living the Gospel. Those were Godly tears for her. God has blessed me with the desires for his children that I have been praying for.
I love you all. I have taken immense comfort in the fact that I am sealed to my family for time and all eternity. I feel that covenant so much stronger as I am here on the other side of the world. I love you all.
Your faithful missionary,
Elder West

To the family:
Things are getting better. My Spanish is too. I can now understand what people are talking about most of the time, but I don´t know specifics, only the subject. I love you all.
Family home evenings are huge. Please make them a priority, the whole night. With games , food, lessons and time together away from technology. Everyone here in Chile is glued to a screen. And it’s sad to see them not interacting. I regret my screen time before my mission and how it kept me away from time I could have had with the family. I love you all.
Elder West

View of the mountains, the town, and a basketball court

At the home of a man they met this past week