Monday, March 28, 2016


General conference (aka missionary Christmas) is THIS WEEK. WOOT WOOT!

Two things about Elder Ryan (my trainer): 1, He is writing to his family right now, right next to me. 2, His little brother is going to Dallin Jared’s mission on the same day, as well. Wow.

Last pday, the elders from the 2 zones here gathered into one house and we had an asado (barbeque). We made choripan. Best pday I’ve had in the mission.

The days are blowing by. I snap my fingers and then I find myself kneeling for my nighttime prayer again. Wow. 

A contact called us charlatans. I don’t know what that means. But I only know that it is a sophisticated insult, and I’m grateful that I have been blessed with the gift of tongues to the point of understanding those. 

I’ve been having of lower back pain. This week I’ve been carrying my scriptures in my hands to relieve the backpack weight, I’ve been icing my back every morning, heating it every night, and took some pills (mission nurse recommendation). It has improved a bit. They said it could be because I’m tall. IDK. The other thing it could be is weight gain. I weighed myself and I’m 200. So looks like I’ve only gained 10 pounds in the mission, woot woot! The mission nurse said the average weight gain is 12-20 pounds. 

This week we had a leadership council. They shared the parable of the sewers. Like the seeds falling in the path, in stones, in weeds, and finally in good dirt. I felt the Spirit tell me I just need to keep on spreading seeds. Keep trying. Don’t stop. Keep working. Just be patient with my current circumstances. The area. The progress. Everything. That helped me a lot. Elder Torres always said something that is helping me right now. He said "It’s not going to be easy, but it isn’t going to be difficult either". That applies so much to me right now. And I’ve seen it throughout my life. I just have to try. It won’t be impossibly hard. It won’t be so uncomfortably hard to the point of tears every time. Yeah it will require effort. But it is possible, and God always helps. 

We also had a zone conference with Presidente Obeso. I felt the Spirit give me a personal package of information. I felt it confirm to me what Presidente Obeso said that his own mission president always told him: "The most important thing I will ever do on my mission is deepen my relationship with my Father in Heaven and with Jesus Christ." It doesn’t matter if I teach 100 lessons a week or zero. I’m working on that. I know that is what I need to do.

To find more people to teach, we leave Saturday mornings in normal people clothes with an axe in hand. We go door to door offering to cut people’s wood for free. People are super receptive. Once they see we are there to serve them, they are friendly. They point us to neighbors who could use help, and they smile and laugh. Also, if I was a Chilean and 2 gringos, in normal clothes, with a massive axe in hand, and very obvious neck tans knocked on my door, I would open up too. We made a contact with a nice old lady. She talked with us for a bit, gave us a pear, and then we asked her about her family. She got emotional, and then with great heaviness in her voice, she told us about how all of her immediate family is dead. Her kids are grown up and have basically forgotten about her, and her husband is sick in the hospital. She feels alone. We testified of the plan of salvation. We plan to pass by her again.

The hermana that washes our clothes, went to the temple with her husband and was sealed to him. They were given a time in sacrament meeting to talk about their experience. They glowed. They were so happy. I could feel how they are enjoying the greatest blessings that God has in store for them. I miss the temple. I ache for it. I need to go. I’m learning to love the temple. For those of you who can go, please do. There are HUGE blessings in just going. I would give anything to just feel of the Spirit that is in the temple. I love it.

I just remembered that, in Quellòn, Eliacer and Nivia should have been baptized two days ago. I’ve been praying for them. I hope they made the decision.

On Sunday morning, I was feeling discouraged. I opened up to Luke 22. I read until the end of the book. It talks about Christ’s suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, dying on the cross, His resurrection, and walk to Emmaus. I felt the Spirit very strong throughout testifying to me of Jesus Christ. I know that as I come to know Christ better, and my testimony is stronger, I will be able to serve better in my callings and help others. 

We made a contact with a less active returned missionary. We set up a cita. In the cita, we planned to teach him the restoration, ask him for a reference, and then invite him to church. We taught him the restoration. It went well.  Then I was thinking, "How on earth am I going to invite him to church? He already knows that is the next thing coming." I didn’t know any other way than to just say it. But it would be really direct. As I was opening my mouth, Elder Smith asked if he could share a scripture. He opened up to Jacob 5:71-72 where it talks about the laborers in the vineyard. He read it and then told him, "We need you. God needs you." The Spirit was strong. I loved how Elder Smith invited him with so much love. Then he opened up to us. He wants to comeback so much.

Elder West

Jacob's attempt at coloring an Easter egg with vinegar and food coloring