Elder Millard with his mission president

Elder Millard with his mission president

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas from Elder Millard

Feliz Navidad!!!! This week has been Super eventful!!! So many changes and so many great things happening! So as you know, last week was my last week in Tierras Blancas Coquimbo. I have been assigned and called to work in the sector La Ligua B which is in the zone Quillota. The sister missionaries have been here in La Ligua for about 2 years but now they are putting Elders there. My comp and I are the lucky ones that get to move into this sector not knowing anything. haha. I´m ready and excited for the challenge.

My comp´s name is Elder Bustincio from Cuzco Cuzco Puno Perú. He is litterally the funniest kid i have ever met in my life!! So unique!! haha. Often times i wonder if he is serious with some of the comments and things that he does. haha A flawless comparison would have to be Mogley from the Jungle Book. haha. He is such a nice elder and we get along great! Always positive and always laughing. This change will be so much fun! I have started keeping a little list of all of the little quotes or comments that he makes. Elder Bustincio is a convert as of 5 years. He was baptized when he was 18 and he is 1 of 2 members in his family. His parents are not members but he decided to come on a mission anyways.

In my new pension, which is a house, we have all latins and one gringo (me). So far it has been a blast! Its kinda crazy though because none of them know any english so i´m on my own out here with having to speak the language. But i have come a long way with the language with the lords help. I´m so blessed to be able to understand and speak enough to be able to teach effectively.

So i´m sure you are all wondering... What did the elders of Chile Viña del Mar mission do for Christmas? Well to start off i´m going to explain what we did for Christmas Eve. On Thurs night, all of us elders from la Ligua had to travel down to Quillota because we had a Christmas devotional planned. Its about a 2 hour drive down there in bus. When we got there on Christmas eve eve, we slept in the pension of the elders that work in Quillota Centro. The devotional was So incredible!!! I was asked to play the piano so that was pretty cool! President Gillespie talked to us about Joseph Smith and elaborated on how he has done more for the salvation of man than any other save Jesus Christ. I learned so much! He was the prophet of the restoration. We also had a great activity where everyone was in their zone and they prepared a musical number. When we all performed, in the middle of each musical number, there was a narration and it depicted the story of Christ. I loved it! If you know me, Christmas is by far my favorite time of the year. It was so nice to be able to celebrate and ponder the meaning and spirit of christmas. They then fed us some Hamburgers, because we do not get those alot out here. Following lunch was a movie, in specific the Nativity! One of my favorite Christmas movies. Afterwards, it was back to la Ligua. When we got there, we met up with the family Palominos. They have been so nice to us!! They offered their house and invited us to spend Christmas eve with them. We had a nice dinner and then talked with them until they oppened their Christmas Presents. They open their presents here on Christmas eve (Noche Buena).

Then Christmas came!!! We had to wake up at 5:00 to be able to travel to Quillota. When i woke up, walked into our study room and opened some of the presents that the members gave me in my last ward. We got ready and then we were off to the Bus station. There were not very many people outside, just a few drunks that had a long night. But the morning really was so peacefull! I could not help but ponder about christmas in the silence and serenity. Eventually we got to Quillota and we had a fun activity with the zone. Ate some breakfast and watched a movie about Gordon B. Hinkley. Afterwards we did a White elephant and played some Dodgeball! Then it was time for service! We went to the hospital to sing christmas carols to the sick. It was such a good experience! We were all in Santa hats and we sang with tons of excitement and happiness. They were all so grateful! We traveled back to la ligua to the house of the Palominos. They prepared a bbq for us! All of us elders waited as our families would call soon!!! I was going Crazy!! haha. At 7:00 the phone rang... i said hello and the next thing i hear is a big cheer! haha. It was soo great to talk to the fam!! definitely not long enough and it went so fast haha. It was so wierd to hear all of your voices again... it did not even seem real! Well Christmas was a little different than normal but it was so great! One down one to go! ha.

This week we were able to meet the branch that we will be working in. They are great!!There are some great members and i´m so excited to work with them. There are tons of less actives that are still great members but just don´t go. So there is a lot of work with that! They did not have a pianist before so now i am the designated pianist. We also have some great investigators that we have found. Efrén, he is great! Super recetpive and plays basketball. We are going to ball it up one of these days. We also have Yosimí from Columbia. She is great as well! We talked to our next door neighbor yesterday and she let us come in and share something with her. The spirit was so strong! We are focusing on asking inspired questions, listening well for their needs, discerning, then teach them what they need. She accepted a baptisimal date for the 22 of Jan. There is tons of work to do here and i´m so excited to be here in La Ligua.

Sorry, this internet is quite possibly the slowest thing I have ever seen in my life, so I will not be able to send pictures this week! But next week for sure there will be double.

Love you all!

Elder Millard

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hola!!! Merry Christmas!!!! I really cannot believe that it is christmas time!!!! In my heart it is Christmas but what i see is completely contrary. Its all good though. So my christmas this year will be a little different than normal. Instead of all of this focus on temporal fun and excitement, i have the opportunity and pleasure to focus 100 percent on the true meaning of Christmas, the celebration of the birth of our savior and lord Jesus Christ. I have found that the people here are a little more friendly lately... pretty positive that this is due to the Christmas season. I must take advantage these next few days to find some great investigators while the people are still like this.
This week has been so ´´(Bakán)´´ or in other words cool/awesome! One really important piece of info is that I recieved a call on sat night that i will be leaving Tierras Blancas... Ah so sad! But I am So excited!!! But my experience here has been incredible. In missionary terms, i was born here, and now i am moving on with my mission life. I guess that makes me a teenager now... I have loved getting to know the members, the elders and all the investigators that we have found. I will never forget them. I will also never forget all that i have been able to do here. All that i have learned here will change my life forever. I´m so grateful for the opportunity that i have had to serve here in Tierras Blancas Coquimbo.
Yesterday at church was quite the experience. Elder Saldivar and i had tons of success with investigators coming to church. Just about everyone came which made us happy! Right before the meeting started, our branch president came up to me and said ´´Elder, all of our talks today are from teenagers, perhaps they will not fill up the time, so would you like to play a special musical number?´´ I gladly said yes! So i had about 10 min to think of a song and figure out what i´m going to do. I thought of one of my favorite Christmas hymns... Silent Night. That was the winner. It was kinda my little goodbye musical number and it went great!
Funny Story... So after sacrament meeting and sunday school, it was time for Priesthood class. But this time was a little different because insted of going to priesthood, the primary president came up to me in the hall and told me that the music leader of the primary had not shown up and that they have their Christmas musical program next week. (Mom i know you will appreciate this). She asked me to lead them in practicing the songs for this program. So here i am in front of the whole primary of about 20 kids, singing and leading these childrens hymns. Two of the songs i knew but the third song i had no clue how it went. Lets just say i made of fool of myself in front of all these kids trying to lead and sing this third song haha. I now have a strong appreciation and respect for the Primary Choristers.
We had the opportunity to do some sweet service this week. Marisol asked us to help paint her house so we were over there with our service clothes painting like nobodies business. I have gained a new love for service, in specific painting haha. It was a lot of fun to be able to help someone out and have fun while i´m at it.
I had my 6 month anneversary on Dec 16th!!!! So the other elders in the pension threw me a little suprise party!! Right after planning, they all barged in with a little cake and a candle that was shaped as a 6. It was so great, they all had masks on and were all congratulating me on completing 6 months of my mish! I don´t really know where time has gone, i am already 1/4th done with my mission! AHHH slow down. haha
Well i must go back to my P-day but I want to wish you all a merry merry merry Christmas! It is the best time of the year! Love you all.
I´ll let you know where i´m going in my next Email!!!!
Elder Millard

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mon, December 13, 2010 10:03:11 AM
Coquimbo week 17
Kenneth Millard
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To:Donna Millard

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Hola!!! Christmas is coming sooner than we know it! Lots of houses have lights and a tree! we are singing tons of Christmas hymns and all the decorations everywhere Its really playing with my mind because on the other side of things, the weather feels like its the middle of july haha. But its all good, it will be a fun new christmas experience. This week was great! We had a lot of success and are working hard. This next week is the last week of the change! Wow where has the time gone?
On Saturday, Johana was baptized along with a family of 4. The baptism was such a great experience! Everything went great and the spirit was so strong. The great part about it was that Matilde and Sergio were able to assist and they said that they loved it! They are now so animated for their baptism. The baptism was at 6 o clock a but as i have come to learn, Chileans are not the most punctual people so the baptism started at 6:20. haha There were some great talks on baptism and the Holy Ghost. We organized a great musical number where all the Elders sing the primary song ´´when i´m baptized´´ commonly recognized as ´´i like to look for rainbows, whenever there is rain.´´ Ah! i love that song so much. We had us 4 elders singing it with me on the piano and it turned out great! The baptisms went great! Kinda funny though... the mom´s tunic kept on coming up so she had to get baptized 6 times. Johana is super happy. On sunday they all recieved the Holy Ghost.
This last Sunday i had another opportunity to give a talk. This one went so much better than the last one haha. They are starting to get alot easier because i´m more comfortable with my spanish. Still have a long way to go. I talked about the power of prayer and how it can be a guide for our lives through the impressions of the spirit. I tied that all in with missionary work and how we can pray to know who we can start sharing the gospel with. They I talked about the power of inspired questions and Testimony to be able to share the gospel with these people.
Matilde and Sergio are doing so great! They both assisted the baptism and the next day assisted church. Sergio just barely got back from Valparaiso for cancer treatment. His health is a little unsteady but he is still super animated to learn more about the gospel and to recieve revelation through prayer that this is true. We are thinking that a reasonable day for them to be baptized would be the beginning of january... the 2nd or 3rd.
Well i love you all so much and hope you have a great week!
Love Elder Millard
(Pictures)... My christmas tree for the Pension!!!, Johana´s baptism, and Elder Saldivar taught me how to make some incredible Tortillas!!!! They are seriously Cafe Rio style. Cheap and easy. We also made some hamburger with taco flavoring and salsa to put in the tacos. They were incredible! They don´t eat tacos here, mostly just rice and chicken fish and some pastas. But i love the food here!

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Hola!!! This week has been so great!!! Getting hotter and hotter, which is super wierd considering its Christmas time. Just in case you were all wondering, Yes they do celebrate Christmas here. I walk around at night time looking at all of the Christmas lights on some of the houses. Some of the houses have their Christmas trees up and all of the stores are playing Christmas music (in english for some reason). I Love Christmas so much! Right before every lesson that we have, i insist that we sing a christmas hymn because i just love them so much. And its good to sing a hymn before the lessons to help invite the spirit. Its so cool to hear and sing them in spanish. It gives them a whole different meaning.
The work is going so great! Marisol and Mauro recieved the Holy Ghost yesterday ,on sunday in church, and they are so happy. They both will be great members. Mauro now has desires to serve a mission so lets hope that fire stays lit! That would be awesome! Marisol, as she has said before, has felt the biggest difference in her life from the gospel. She feels even better now that she has the Holy Ghost as her constant companion. I just love missionary work because we get a front row seat to see these people change their lives. It makes it all worth it!
So Maria, the sister of Marisol, asisted her baptism. A couple of days later, she said that she wants to be baptized. This has been a HUGE change as well. Through the course of teaching Marisol, we have seen Maria a few times. During this time, she was Super catholic. Her heart was closed, she did not want anything to do with the Church of Jesus Christ. But after assisting this baptism, she felt something and now has a huge desire to be baptized. We have been teaching her and she is accepting everything. This last Sat, we asked her if she would assist church with us on Sunday. She told us no because she had to go on a little trip with her family. We just promised blessings and we left the rest to the lord. The next day, about 30 min before church started, we left the church to go pick up some investigators that live close. To our suprise, right outside the gate was Maria walking inside to come to church! I was shocked. She was as happy as ever to be there. She was able to see her sister being comfirmed a member of the church and recieve the Holy Ghost. She also assisted all 3 hours which was great! Now that we have taught her our way to pray, she loves to pray because for her its now a conversation with God instead of somthing recited. She has a Fecha for the 19th, the day before changes.
Johana passed her baptisimal interview and she is ready to go for this Saturday at 6 o clock. Johana is so awesome! A 12 year old girl that lives with her 83 year old grandma and takes care of her. Her grandma is a member. She is 100 percent blind and can barely walk. So this last sunday, as we were going to help johana bring her grandma to church, we saw her rolling her down the street in a wheelchair all by herself. Now thats determination! Makes me so happy to see that!
I´m loving my mission more than words can express! Some days are hard, some days are long, but when you look at the big perspective, this work is the most important thing that i could be doing right now! I have seen and experienced grand changes in many peoples lives. The Gospel is true! We are all so blessed.
Love you all!
Elder Millard

Monday, November 29, 2010

More baptisms!

Hola Amigos y Familia!! This week has been Such a great week! I know i say that every week but this week was extraordinarilly great! Time just flies by when you are having fun preaching the gospel. It seems like yesterday that i was writing you the last email! Anyways, lets get to the good stuff!!
So yesterday we had 2 baptisms! One of the best experiences of my mission up to this point! All i can say is wow, the spirit was so strong! Elder Saldivar and i got there a little early to fill up the font with water and for me to choose a musical number to play and sing. Mauro and Marisol arrived about a half hour before the baptism to try on their tunics and get the perfect size. We then waited for them to change so we could take some pictures. The baptism then started. We had 2 talks, one about baptism and the other about the Holy Ghost. After the talks, i had the opportunity to use music yet another time. I chose to play I need thee Every Hour. (Señor te Necesito). During this song, i felt So strongly the presence of the spirit. I felt like i was floating! I really have a strong testimony of the power of music and the power that it has! After the song, Marisol was crying along with a few others in the congregation and you could just feel a peace in the chapel. After the song, Mauro and Marisol walked to the font to recieve the saving ordinance of Baptism. I was a witness for the baptism, and when Marisol looked up at me when she was in the water, she smiled at me and the expressions on her face just showed the pure happiness that she has recieved through the restored gospel. Thats what makes this time all worth it. Moments like this when you see the fruits of your labors in a form of changing someones life. I would not trade experiences like these for anything. After they came up out of the water, i got goosebumps, or should i say people bumps. ha. Ah the spirit was So strong! After they were baptized, we all went back into the chapel. They asked me to give another musical number so i played and sang Where can i Tun For Peace. Afterwards, we asked a few of the incredible members that were present to give their testimonies. This baptism has given me so much more excitement to just find teach and Baptize!
After the baptism, we witnessed a miracle. The sister of Marisol is very catholic. We have tried to teach her many times and every time she is so shut and does not want to listen to us at all. But as i have heard from Elder Salerno, we baptize to baptize. That does have some truth to it. Obviously it is not the sole purpose of the baptism, but from witnessing a baptism, its like a sample from Costco. once you try a little bit, you just want more and more! This was the case with Maria. She told us after the baptism that she wants to be baptized!
This week was thanksgiving! But as i sadly found out from the natives here in Chile, they do not celebrate it. But that did not stop me. Thanksgiving morning, i cooked up some pancakes and some eggs and ate so much food haha. A little bit later, we had a Gynormous lunch. So with the chileans not knowing that it was thanksgiving, i still ate a lot and i am still thankful for everything i have! I´m thankful for all of you back home for you undying support and friendship, for this wonderful opportunity i have right now to serve the lord, and for everything! I wish you all a happy thanksgiving, even though it was a few days ago. Its the thought that counts.
Elder Saldivar and i working super hard/ Owning/´´Sacar el Mugre´´ in Tierras Blancas. We have never had so many lessons with member, and we broke the record that i had for investigators assisting church. We had 6! We are really excited about that. The best part is that they are now starting to have great friends in the church! thats the key. The members are So important!! All of you.
Congrats Mike Tramell on your mission call to Chile! You will love it here! I send my remarks and grievences to you all for the loss of BYU football to the U. Sad story, Oh and Enjoy the Snow!
Well i Love you all so much and hope all is well back at home! Chao
Elder Millard

Monday, November 22, 2010

Falling off the top bunk...

Hola Familia y Amigos!! This last week was So great! Full of fun and excitement... well i guess that is to be expected since i´m on a mission and all! The weather is just getting hotter and hotter. I officiall have my hair tan line back and best of all, i have a missionary tan line on my neck!! I never thought the day would come! Coquimbo is so awesome and i am Loving my time here!
Our investigators are doing Spectacular. Marisol and Mauro both passed their baptismal interviews so its basically a done deal next sunday at 6:00 pm. (chile time of course.) BAPTISMS!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!! Thats what makes it all worth it! Leading someone on the path to eternal life!! They are both So excited and can´t wait for this great step that they are taking.
Joana is doing great as well! We just found out that Joselin and her are good friends from school and Judo. Funny story... so a little while back, Joselin broke Joana´s arm in judo so there was always a little tension there. But in school, they forgave eachother and now are good friends. It works out perfectly because they are both supporting eachother in going to church! Joana is progressing and so far so good for her fecha on the 10th of Dec.
So 2 funny experiences this week that i just have to share! So... i was on interchanges in a place called San Juan. I was with Elder Billanes (our district leader) from Peru. We were walking up this hill on the sidewalk. I was on the outside next to the road and he was on the inside next to the fence. Right next to him was a big wall that went up to his shoulder and above the wall was a fence. On the other side of the fence was a crazy dog that wanted to bite us. He was barking at us and following us along the fence. There are so many dogs in Chile that we basically just ignored him. and since he was behind a fence, we thought that it would not be able to do anything. Bad idea. Right as we were about to walk past the fence, the dog stuck his head through the fence and tried to bite elder Billanes. He got about 2 inches away from his ear!!! But thats not the worst part,.. as the dog lanced foreward, he kicked a big piece of dog poo onto my comps shirt! haha. There were 3 big spots where there was a buch on his shirt and there was also a bunch on his face! He was covered in it! haha. He humbly and quietly said... Elder, we need to go back to the pension. I was dying with laughter. He later stated that plan A for tomorow was to kill that dog haha.
Story no. 2.... Here i was, on that same interchange sleeping over at their place. I got to sleep on the top bunk in the room.. I was sleeping on my side so i was facing the curtain. I had a bad dream so i opened my eyes and to my horror, i saw a Huge spider about a foot from my face!!! I pulled off the covers and i fell right off the bunk bed! I hit my head on the other bunk bed that was in the room and i woke up the other elders haha. My bad! what can i say... i have Arachnaphobia. I was scarred for the rest of the night and i could not sleep haha.
We stopped by the house of Sandra Diaz to give a blessing. She has terminal cancer and has 3 kids to take care of. She has no money, barely any food and is really in a tough situation. We have been trying to help her out but as missionaries we cannot do much with temporal needs. But what we can do is help her with her spiritual needs. That is exactly what we did. She asked for a blessing and she asked me to give the blessing. I have never given a blessing in spanish before!! I was so nervous but i knew that i had the lord on my side and i have the Priesthood. The blessing was great and the lord blessed her with strength and faith throughout these trials, and through her faith, she will be blessed.
Well i am loving it here in Chile, the Lords Vinyard. Elder Saldivar and i are working hard. This is the lords work and i am so blessed to be appart of it. All of you back at home can be appart of this work as well! I cannot stress enough how important the members are to this work. We can all do our part! Love you all and i pray for you often!
Love Elder Millard

Monday, November 15, 2010

A crowded pension

Hola!!! Como Estái Po.... Thats basically how they say hi here haha. Anyways... This week was Great!! The first week of changes so there are tons of new fun things to look forward to. Elder Saldivar and i are working harder than ever here in Tierras Blancas. Loving my time here! Its great, now that i´ve been here for about 3 months, i fortunately know my way around so its a blessing not to get lost anymore haha. We had tons of success this week! I have never, in my mission up to this point, had more lessons with a member present. Its so key to have a member in the lessons because they gain friendships and it makes the biggest difference! Us missionaries leave areas but the members stay so its So important to have these lessons with members.
This change, since Coquimbo is so awesome, President Gillespie has sent 2 new missionaries up here so now we have 14 missionaries in this zone. As of right now, they did not have a place for these 2 new missionaries to stay so since our pension is the biggest in the zone, they are staying here with us! haha. Now it is Super packed in our pension! Its so much fun to have more missionaries here though. the cool part is that 2 of them are fresh out of the MTC. I suddenly feel extraordinarilly experienced ha! Its fun to see, through them, how i felt my first week in Chile. They are all great elders and we are having a blast! One is Elder Petersen from Spanish Fork Utah. Its great, everyone calls Utah ´´la fabrica´´. In spanish its the factory, or in other words, where they pump out missionaries! The other is Elder Wittle from Utah as well.
So Marisol, the mom of Joselin is doing So great!!! Wow but really, if you all could only have seen her before, and if you could see her now, you would not believe the difference! She is So excited to get baptized and so excited that she is finally happy. A lot of lame things have happened to her in her life but she is finding peace through the gospel and it is a joy to see! She has her interview this saturday and gets baptized the 28th of Nov.
Mauro as well is really excited for his baptism. He has the same date as Marisol, the 28th of Nov. and is progressing toward that date. The problem with Mauro is that it is So hard to find that kid haha, Its unreal how many times we try and find him and he is not there! But he is still coming to church and is still progressing and still has desires to follow Christ´s example and be baptized.
We had a great experience this week with putting another baptisimal date with a girl named Yoana. So there is a member named Mario that loves to help us. The family that he home teaches is not all members. So Mario invited us to come over to their house and teach them a little bit about the Book of Mormon because they had a few questions about it. The members that are there have not gone to church for about 2 years. But after the first lesson that we had with them, the members and this little girl Yoana were really interested in going to church this last sunday. So sunday rolled around and here they were. This old lady that has not come for 2 years and this little girls that this was her first time ever in a church. This sunday was special because it was the Primary Program. (Mom i thought you might appreciate this. It was so cute... yeah i just said the c word.) haha anyways, the program was great, the songs were great and Yoana loved it. We stopped by their house the same day at 7:30 and we talked a little bit about baptism. We asked her if she would like to be baptized and she gladly said Yes! We congratulated her and put a date for the 10th of Dec.
Ah I´m loving my mission so much! Chile is sweet and the people are great! Love you all! Cuidate mucho!
Elder Millard

Monday, November 8, 2010

Prayer is great

Hola!!!! So today is officially the last day of the change. We found out on Sat if we are staying or going and who our comps are going to be. So on Sat night, at precisely 10:26, we get a call from the zone leaders telling us the news! and here it is!! I´m.... Staying here another change with Elder Saldivar!!! I´m super excited to stay here another 6 weeks and to Rock Tierras Blancas with Elder Saldivar. This change in the pension, i was living with Elder Mackay from California and Elder Salerno from Argentina! They were so much fun and Elder Salerno is staying here for another change (my running companion), so that will be nice!
So as you know, my comp is from Mexico. This week i have learned first hand about some of the food the Mexicans eat. One gem is called Ahi! This stuff is incredible, in small portions of course. But, if you put too much, i am here to testify that your mouth will be on fire and you will have tears running down your face! haha He also showed me what a real tortilla is supposed to taste like! I feel sorry for the tortillas back in the U.S. because they are dwarfed in comparison to these amazing tortillas!
I am loving coquimbo so much!! This place is amazing and i am seriously enjoying every minute of it! I´m learning so much from my comp and we work well together. This week was a little bit different. For some reason, quite a few of the appointments that we had fell through so here we were, Saturday night, not knowing exactly what to do. It was a little late, we have been walking all day, we have been getting rejected all day... We decided to go to a quiet place and offer a prayer to guide us to a house that would let us in and that would accept the gospel. So we offered the prayer and we waited for a little bit. We both felt that we should go to this certain street. The first house on the street, we knocked the door. What do you know, we found a mom named Yisela and her little baby. We talked for a little bit at her door and she was So receptive! At first she asked if we could come back another time when her whole family was here. We said of course but we asked if we could sing a short hymn, leave a blessing on the house and leave... She accepted so we entered the house and started talking a little bit. After the hymn that we sang (Families can be together forever), she had tons of questions for us. We kept talking and gave her a Book of Mormon. She accepted to read it and pray about it. We then left a blessing on the house in the form of a prayer and were out of there. After the lesson, Elder Saldivar and i were So Excited!! A true answer to our prayers!
Funny story...so right after the lesson with Yisela, my comp was thinking and he said that he swears that he had seen her before. He thought for a little bit and then remembered that he had knocked her door before in one of his last areas in his mission, Valparaiso!!! So crazy, she just barely moved here from there and here we are, talking to the same lady that he talked to in his last area!!!
Marisol, the mom of Joselin is doing so well! The only problem is that she has to work so much. Its hard to find time for us to go teach her. But when we do teach her, she shows us every time that she is so excited and preparing for her baptism. This really is such an amazing story! You all should have seen Marisol about 2 months ago. She did not want to listen to us, and she did not seem happy. After we finally had the chance to talk to her, it was truly incredible how the spirit changed her and how she now has desires to change and be baptized. One of the lessons this week, she explained to us the story of how she was before and how she is now. She started crying expressing the change that she has felt! The Gospel is incredible!!
We found a few news this week so we are going to start working with them! One is called Jaime. He is a reference of one of the members in the ward. We visited him and he had so many questions about the church. A few of the members in his family are members and he has visited many churches searching for the truth. We gave him a Book of Mormon (the most powerful tool in the conversion) and he commited to read it and pray about it. We are also still working with a boy named mauro. He is going to be baptized for sure, its just a matter of finding him in his house haha. The problem with Mauro is that he is super shy and does not have very many friends. Pres Gillespie once said that in the first months while someone is investigating the church, in many cases, a friend in the church is more important than the doctrine. So that is the responsibility falls on of all of us members, to be friends with others in the church and uphold eachother.
Oh and a special shoutout to my Lil Sister Sheri!!!!!! Happy Birthday!!!!!!!! She is now 18 and i can´t believe it!
Love you all!
Elder Millard

Monday, November 1, 2010

talking in my sleep in Spanish

Hola!!! This week has been a great one! Second to last week in this change! Where has time gone? It seems like yesterday that i went to go pick up Elder Saldivar in the ´´Terminal de Bus´´ or bus station. I am really loving my time here in Coquimbo! About 1 hour ago, i was in ´´El Centro´´ in Coquimbo and we saw a Huge cruise line and a ton of tourists! We decided to go talk to a few of them and it was so wierd doing contacts in English haha! After this, it hit me even more that i am actually 5000 miles away from home in Chile!! I still find it hard to believe.
This last P-day, we went to the Cruz in Coquimbo! it was So awesome and had an amazing view! Inside the cruz itself is super Catholic and it was kinda wierd to be in a place with statues of Cardinals and Popes everywhere, but, obviously it was a great experience. I just can´t get enough of this place.
My comp was telling me the other day as we were leaving the pension for the day... he said ´´ Elder Millard, did you know that you talk in your sleep?´´ haha i said ¨´yeah i´ve heard that i´ve done it a couple of times.´´ Elder saldivar said ´´ Well, guess what, you were talking in your sleep in spanish!´´ haha Yeah!!! Thats pretty cool haha.
We had an amazing experience with an investigator named Marisol (the mom of Joselin). She has always been a little timid about this whole baptism experience and was not sure if she really wanted to go through with it. So Elder Saldivar and i decided to do a tour of the church and teach her a little bit of what we do, about baptism, and the restoration. So on Sat, she showed up right on time and we started the tour. We showed her some of the rooms where we do classes, we showed her some of the paintings that are in the church and explain a little bit about them. The paintings are great teaching tools. We then showed her the baptisimal font and she felt really good! We were sure to do everything we can to have the spirit testify to her of the validity of our message. We then went into the chapel and i played a little hymn arrangement to bring the spirit. After the tour, we talked and asked some inspired questions. After it was over we asked her to give the closing prayer. She stated that she is So grateful for this step in her life that she is going to take and asked for our Heavenly Fathers help with the preperation for her baptism. Miracles!! At first she was not sure, now she is excited and feels comfortable about coming to church. The next day, on sunday, of course she was there and she is now progressing and well on her way to her baptism on the 14th.
From being here in Tierras Blancas, i have really seen some hard situations. I have learned a lot of how things really are in the real world. All i can say to everyone is to Count your Blessings!!! The Lord really has blessed us all so much and we Really do have so much to be thankful for!
Oh and for halloween, we were Missionaries. Chile addopted the tradition of halloween about 10 years ago so on sunday, there were tons of little chileans running around everywhere in their costumes. Here they say ´´dulce o travesura´´. a little different from trick or treat but the same idea right? ha
We need a special Shoutout to my two big sisters Steph and Tiff!!!! Happy Birthday!!!!
Love you all! Chao
Elder Millard

Monday, October 25, 2010

An earthquake

Hola!!! Como estai po... yeah Chileans speak a little different. ha. This week was absolutely amazing!! A week full of hard work and Great experiences! So Elder Solerno, (the Argentine Elder living in our pension) and I have been running basically every morning. I always feel so much better after a good exercise. A lot of the time we run to the Beach, which is amazing by the way! Every time we drive to coquimbo, we see this big ole hill, almost a mountain and we heard that there was a Virgin Maria statue on top of this hill. So this week, Elder Solerno and i decided to wake up a little early and go run and climb this hill! It was quite the experience and my legs are feeling the Aftermath now. Its kinda funny though, We ran to the side of the mountain, which was pretty hard to get up. lots of plants and bushes to get across. Anyways, once we were almost to the top, we look to the side, and there is a nicely grooved trail meant for walking! haha. The weather is getting warmer and we are now starting to wear just white shirts. Loving it here in Coquimbo!
So this week, we have found lots of new investigators. There are two little kids in the family of Alejandra that are now interested and now have a baptisimal date for the 14th of Nov. Their names are Catalina and Kevin. We recieved a couple references from a guy in our ward named Mario. He is So awesome and does So much for us! We have a baptisimal date for one of them named Mauro, and we are working on a date for Alan. We found a new named Jonathan that has a baptisimal date. So we now have 7 with a ´´fecha Bautismal´´ (baptisimal date).
We had the Opportunity to go on splits with the Assistants to the president. Elder Heap and Elder Playtez. They are Incredible missionaries and they helped us out so much! I was with Elder Playtez from honduras. After being with them, i´m more excited to work harder and better. I learned so much about how to be a better teacher, and a few little things that i can improve.
So here i was Saturday night writing in my journal. Next thing i know, Everything around me started to shake and my chair felt like a massage chair. I felt my first Earthquake ever! it was actually really cool! Not very big but it was still powerful!
I am now dreaming in spanish a little bit!! The people in my dreams that are of a latin descent speak spanish and the Gringos speak English. I guess thats a good sign that i´m now dreaming in spanish! My comp Elder Saldivar is helping me out a lot with the language. He´s great!
This last sunday we had a district conference in Coquimbo. Everyone in the coquimbo district had to come down to Llano so there were a lot of people here. We had Pres Gillespie and Hna Gillespie here along with our Area presidency. The conference was great! I had the opportunity to be in the choir. Lets just say that a grand majority of the Chilean culture does not have singing as part of their genes. But it was fun to be in a Choir again!
Vive Chile! Love you all! Chao
Elder Millard.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Week 9...another great week

Hola!!! This last week went by too fast! It was definitely a great one though! I have officially been here just as long as i was in the MTC haha. Thats wierd to think about. Things are going Great here in Coquimbo and in specific Tierras Blancas. Elder Saldivar and I are working super hard and having some success. He is a great companion and is very patient. There is definitely no companionship that will be exactly the same, and in specific, this companionship is So different from my last. haha I have already learned something unique from both of them.
This week, i had the opportunity to go in interchanges with the zone leaders in La Parte Alta. I went with Elder Sebreros and we had a great day. This place is so cool, right by the ocean, Huge cliffs and rocks, Really steep, the coquimbo cross on top of the hill, colorful houses everywhere... it is beautiful. Best of all, i learned so much from Elder Sebreros. I´m starting to feel more comfortable with teaching lessons. It really just comes with practice. At first, that was one of my biggest fears but now i´m a little more comfortable with it.
So this last week was my first BAPTISM!!! Such a great experience! So it was Sat at 5:30. We say five thirty so people will be there by 6:30 haha. Lets just say that the Chileans are not the most punctual people you will ever see. haha Anyways, We got there at about five to help joselin find a tunica (clothes) that will fit. Her whole family came as well. Her mom that has a fecha for the 7th of Nov, and her two sisters. We also had a couple other investigators show up as well. We took some pictures outside then we started the meeting. There were a couple of talks, one on baptism, the other on the Holy Ghost. Then i had the opportunity to give a musical number. I played and sang ´´where can i turn for peace´´. After the song, Joselin and i were the first ones to walk out of the chapel into the baptisimal faunt. Everyone followed. She was so excited, yet nervous at the same time. I walked into the faunt and the mirrors were all fogged up so i had to wait for a little bit while they went to go get a little squeegy to wipe off the fog. After the mirror was all clear, we were ready to go. They announced Joselin´s name and then she walked in. The water was nice and warm and it came up to her shoulders. I was focusing on speaking slow and clear and with power. Started with her full name which is 4 names, then did the prayer in spanish. Right after, there she went into the water. I made sure she was submerged all the way, she basically touched the floor ha. when she came up out of the water, it was a powerful moment. I felt so good and so excited for her. The spirit was so strong as it always is at baptisms. After the baptism, we talked to the investigators that came and they loved it. They felt good and they now have more enthusiams and excitement for the gospel. Joselin´s little sister, 7 years old, said,¨´´ i want to be baptized´´. From being on a mission, my understanding of the importance of baptism has become more clear. It is the gate by which ye should enter. I loved my first baptism experience.
This week we had the uniqe opportunity to bless a house. Oscar, a guy a little on the wierd side, said that he has been seeing some wierd things happen in his house, so he asked us if we could go over and leave a blessing in the house. I have never blessed a house before so that was cool.
So here i am, saturday at lunch, eating at the ward mission leaders house. Our ward mission leader is amazing by the way. He is completely blind, and walks around with a cane, but he is still a devoted servant and magnifies his calling. So many members here are great examples to me of magnifying their calling and the importance of doing it. Right after we were done eating, he asked us ´´so has pres Valencia asked you elders to give a talk tomorow at church?´´ we said no... and you know what that means, he is going to ask two of us to give a talk. Yup you guessed it, he asked me and Elder Mackay. My first talk in church on my mission. I was pretty nervous because i have never given a talk in spanish before, and with 0 preperation. So sunday rolls around and i have little bullet points to talk about. I talked about how all of us have the calling to do missionary work. I talked for about 8 min then it was over. Phew!! glad thats over with haha. It was good practice. It was kinda funny though. I was too tall for the pulpit so i had to bend over the whole talk. haha
I love you all! Until next week.
Elder Millard

Week 9 in Coquimbo

Monday, October 11, 2010

Some awesome pictures


Hola! Things are going great down here in good old Coquimbo Chile. Its going into spring time so the days are starting to get nice and toasty. Sorry to make you all jealous of the great weather here haha. This week seriously has been amazing. Recently, i have been studying in Mormon chapter 9, where it talks about miracles, and i get to see miracles every day of my life. (I recommend reading this chapter again). The lord is in this work. Miracles have not ceased and if we pray with faith, the lord will give us miracles if it is in his will. I have seen so many miracles already on my mission.
Tierras blancas had 3 baptisms this sunday from the other 2 elders that are working in a different part. It was incredible and the spirit was so strong. They asked me to give a musical number so i had the opportunity to play and sing ´´Venid a Mi´´ or Come Follow Me. Yet another example of how powerful music is in bringing the spirit. One of the languages of Heaven. After the baptisms, the people that were baptized got to give their testimonies. It was emotional to see how much the gospel has changed the lives of these people. They now have hope and a light in their lives.
Elder Saldivar is great! We get along great and work great together. He is a great example of patience and determination. He is a great example to me of patience and humility. And i´m so happy i´m learning more spanish from a Mexican because these chileans speak terrible spanish haha. Hopefully his form of speaking rubbs off on me alot ha. We get along great, have great conversations and laugh alot. obviously not too much because us Elders have to have quiet dignity right...
Our investigators are doing great! Alejandra and Helen are incredible and are on track for their baptism on the 31st of October... Steph and Tiffs birthday and Halloween weekend. What better way to celebrate these festivities than to have 2 baptisms! Yeah! We are trying to teach more of their family because they have like 10 people living in their house but its a little complicated... we are working on it because the purpose is to baptize families so they can all get on the path of being together forever.
So Joselyn passed her baptisimal interview and is ready to go for this sat the 16th!!! So excited. Last night, (sunday), we went over to her house to teach her and check up on her. The deal with Joselyn is that her family does not really take care of the kids too much so she lives at a member house. The Problem is that the members that she is living with went to Santiago for a while. So last night, we went to the house of Joselyns parents. We have tried to talk to Joselyn´s mom before but she is not very open to listening to us and was always ´´busy´´. But like i said before, the lord never ceases to give miracles. When we went over to teach Joselyn, her mom walks in and we started talking to her. After talking for a while, she started to open up a little bit. We ended up talking about baptism and what her daughter will be doing this sat. At first, when we invited her to go to Joselyn´s baptism, she said that she did not want to go. After talking for a little while about baptism and the Holy Ghost, we asked her how she felt. She said... i feel calm and peaceful and happy... We then described that those are feelings of the spirit and that the spirit is testifying of what we are saying is true. After talking a little more about the blessings that come from these sacred ordinances, we asked her if she wanted to be baptized... and she said... Yes!! Wow! Miracle! She accepted a date for the 7th of november!... Sheri´s Birthday!!! We are now working with Joselyn´s whole family to get them baptized and on track to being with eachother forever!
We also found 8 new people to teach this week so things are rocking here in Tierras Blancas with Elder Saldivar and I. I love my mission, I love this Gospel and i love you all! until next week!
Elder Millard

Monday, October 4, 2010

First Baptism

Mon, October 4, 2010 11:31:49 AM

Hola! This week has been incredible as always. Elder Mace, my great trainer, left coquimbo after being here for 6 months! and you know what that means... A new companion! So here we go... his name is Elder Saldivar from Mexico! He is so awesome and i am excited to work with him. Extreme opposites from Elder Mace haha so there will be a few adjustments but he is super nice and really chill. His spanish is So clear, which makes a world of difference, because the Chileans speak terrible haha. So i am going to learn tons of spanish this change. We get along great and this will be a great change!
So now that my new comp has come here, that means i am in charge of not getting lost ha. Until he gets to know the members, i am in charge of a lot of things and it will stretch me but i´m down with the challenge! I have had to lead a lot this last week and at the end of the day, i find that i am super tired because i actually have to concentrate and lead the work insted of following someone that knows everything ha. Its been such a great experience though and i´m grateful for the opportunity to learn. My comp is so chill though and really easy to work with. He is a great Elder and this will be a great change.
There are Tirantulas, (the huge spiders) here in chile and the other day, i got to hold one! Gives me shivers just thinking about it because i am super arachnafobic. (however you spell it) ha.
Conference was Amazing!!! Us missionaries had the opportunity to watch all the sessions. The gringos in one room to watch it in english, and the Latinos in the main room with everyone else. Wow, some of those talks were incredible and i´m so grateful that we have prophets and apostles today to guide and teach us. We are all so lucky to be led by such great leaders!
Missionary work is So amazing. I get the opportunity to see people change every day from feeling the spirit. This week, with two of our ´´fechas´´, we invited them to come to conference and they did. They arrived really early so we had the opportunity to give them a tour of the church. We showed them some of the pictures in the halls and taught some of the key principles of the gospel. At one point, we showed them the picture of Christ being baptized by John, then we went into the baptisimal faunt. They told us that they felt the spirit so strong and she said ´´I will be in there one day´´, Wow! she has changed so much is being touched by the Gospel. She carries around her Book of Mormon to read whenever she has spare time, because she told us that she has noticed a huge difference in her life when she reads the book. She knows it is true and is applying the teachings into her life. Lets all take this example and take advantage of the truth that we have in the Book of Mormon. the prophets have told us multiple times to ´´study, study, study´´ because our prophets know the difference that it makes and the importance of it. I am witnessing this difference in the life of Alejandra and all of her 8 children. So cool and i cannot wait to see her and her children being baptized and on the path to Eternal life with our Heavenly Father. She told us that she has never really been one to unite with any groups or churches, but she said that she felt something different when us Elders came into her house and she was touched by the spiril. After conference, Alejandra and Helen told us that they loved it and are excited to come to church next week.
Joselin is So ready and So excited to be baptized on the 16th of October. I feel humbled that she asked me to baptize her. My first baptism in the mission. She has changed so much as well! She has a new light about her and is super happy. Thats whats supposed to happen right, its called the plan of happiness. By keeping the commandments, thats where you will find true happiness that lasts forever. Wow i love my mission.
Thank you all for all your prayers and support! Love you all and talk to ya´ll next week! Chao!
Elder Millard

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Monday, September 27, 2010

A new companion ...who will he be?

Hola!! Greetings from Chile! This last week was absolutely amazing! So many great experiences! The thing thats so crazy about this week is that it was the last week of this change so we found out this sat if we are staying or going! and the big news is.......I´m staying here in tierras blancas!! I´m so excited! i love Coquimbo and i love tierras Blancas! But the other big news is that my trainer, after being here for 6 months, is leaving. we find out today where he is going and who our new comps are going to be. But my time with elder Mace has benn So awesome! he is a great missionary and we have had some great experiences.´I definitely got lucky with my trainer. The only English person in all of Chile.
The lord has truly blessed Elder Mace and I this week with tons of success! After this week, we ended up with 7 investigators with a baptisimal date, and another 5 possibilities!!! So awesome! before this week, it has been really hard finding new people to teach but we were showing our faith by trying to be creative and do everything we could to find. Now, after the trial of our faith, come the blessings!!! They are all Great!
We had interchanges this week and i stayed here in tierras blancas to run everything. Elder Batty, our district leader told me, Hey elder, i think you are ready to run everything so i´m just going to sit back and enjoy the ride! ha! It was hard! haha Leading lessons is one of my struggles so far but it will come with time, and I got lost like 2 times haha! I feel a huge responsibility now that my trainer is leaving to get lessons with members and to run this place for the next couple of weeks until my next comp gets to know Tierras Blancas. It will push me to the limit but i know the lord will help me!
This last friday, Elder Mace and i did something Super awesome with music. We set up a fireside where we would teach the first lesson, but with music. So we had the other two missionaries give like 2 min talks on each of the points in the first lesson ´´the restoration´´ and Elder Mace and i would perform a musical number with a message that goes with the point that the other missionaries talked about. It was So powerful! We had the ward there, and a bunch of their friends that are not members. It was a success! We fortified many of the investigators that have a baptisimal date, and we strengthened the ward as well. Great experience!! I´m so grateful that i have had the chance to have a musical companion and also to have the opportunity to share our music to touch peoples lives.
Funny story. So here i was in the pension, talking with Elder Mackay. The next thing i know, Elder mackay yells...¨¨ Elder Millard Look out! ´´ ´´ Get over here!´´ So my heart like stops and i jump up and run over to the other side of the room. He then tells me to look down at the floor... and to my surprise, there was a Huge spider crawling towards us! it was about to crawl up my leg. He told me it was a Rinkón spider and it has been known to kill people here in Chile!!! AH! I already have arachnafobia but this just made it worse haha! We picked up a shoe and dominated that spider right away.
The mission is awesome! I would say that this week has been my favorite week so far! So much is going on, So much animo (excitement), baptisms, and everything! I love my Mission so much! love you all!
Elder Millard

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