Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Rocking 2016’s world!

I’ll start irreverent and then make it spiritual.
New Year’s and alcohol; wooooooooooot! Story time: within 5 minutes of leaving our house we had passed two groups of drunks. I saw a guy stacking crates of beer head high. People were walking down the streets with bags full of 12 packs of beer. Drunks who live by us had a Christmas tree outside COVERED in beer can ornaments and nothing more. They screamed rookie English at us. No kidding: on New Year’s, the drunks walked the streets like zombies. Some were passed out, others curled up in balls, others were doing the zombie street shuffle, some were moaning, some were quiet, some were shrieking. World war z. I’m not in Utah.
I now have 6 months in the mission, and the burnt orange ocean sunsets with docked boats and lush green grass are beautiful.
In a contact, I opened a person’s walnut with my teeth for her, haha. We also set a cita with a dude. Turns out he was a pastor. We barely avoided that trap. It has rained exactly on every p-day I have had here, haha. Last week, I was trunky after skype. But after a few days of hard work, it left for good.
The other day, we met a guy named Jorge in the street. He just came to Quellòn with only the clothes on his back trying to find work. We taught him lesson one in the street. Humble guy. We asked another contact (turned out to be a member from Castro) for a reference and she gave us 5! I can’t remember if I said, but Silvia went to Valdivia for vacations so her baptismal fecha [date] fell through.
We visited an inactive person as a reference from a member. She didn’t want anything and it was a little contentious. I felt to ask if we could say a prayer and if there was anything she would like us to pray for. I prayed for her family. After the spirit was there and we left as friends.
As we were walking home, we passed a bus stop. There was a guy. I saw him and felt I should talk to him but we were ending the day. We passed him by. I looked back and saw he was watching us walk away. I told Elder Weech we needed to go back and he said he had the prompting to talk to him too. We went back. He didn’t want anything. But we still talked with him. He was having a hard financial time and had a crummy Christmas. He looked super down in the dumps. I don’t know why, but I was worried he would take his life. We testified of God’s love for him. I felt the Spirit. We left him with a pass along card. Great experience.
We were teaching a less active family with a returned missionary member. Elder Weech and he were doing most of the talking because it wasn’t a planned situation and I was mostly quiet. Earlier that morning, I prayed and asked God to fill my mouth so that we could bless His children. I felt to share something. I shared Mosiah 2:41 and testified of the blessings of returning to church and my testimony of the temple and how much I miss it. I felt the Spirit super strong.
In our lesson with two investigators who are living together, we were teaching the law of chastity. Attacking the need. She wanted to be married because she has a strong catholic background. He didn’t see the point. We knelt with them to pray. They both took their own turn and offered a prayer out loud. During his prayer, I had the thought come to me to share my experience of running for student council and how I made that decision. After, I shared with them that I was considering running for class president back in high school, and it was a big deal to me. So I took it to God and the scriptures. I read Moroni 7 which President Packer nicknamed "the chapter of decisions." I shared that after writing down pros and cons, and praying, and then reading that chapter, the Spirit powerfully testified to me that it was God’s will to run. And it all ended out well in the end. Being class president was a great blessing. I left them with the commitment to do the same. God gives us personal experiences to help others. The gospel has real application in our lives.
Two days ago, we were knocking doors. It was pouring rain. We had had no success. We said a prayer and told God we were going to knock this whole street, and from that, we wanted 3 people to open their doors, and one person to accept a return cita. We prayed and expressed our love for the people of Chile and that we want to help them. Then we acted. In the end, 3 doors opened and one guy was OK if we came by later. Prayer answered. I know specific prayers are fulfilled.
Yesterday, we committed another person to a baptismal fecha.
Catalina and Claudia!!!! They came to church!! Claudia is the less active mom and Catalina is our 9 year old investigator. Claudia is dead serious about coming back. She is reading and praying and everything. In gospel principles class, she shared that it is scary coming back. But she does it because she knows it is right. She told her friends that she couldn’t do something with them because she had to go to church!! Catalina has a baptismal fecha of Feb 6. Last night we had a lesson. Catalina can draw so well and she made us Christmas presents. We gifted them candy. Claudia made us arroz con leche and chocolate. During the first vision part of the lesson, Claudia was crying. Powerful. I loved teaching Catalina. So fun. I felt like I was teaching my little siblings. We were laughing and learning. We have a family home evening with them tonight.
I love this gospel. Right now we are being blessed with more success. I love you all.

Elder West

Some more pics from Christmas