Elder Millard with his mission president

Elder Millard with his mission president

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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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Independence Day in Chile

Hey everyone!!!! I really can´t believe i´m on the last week of my first change! Its been so great and such a great experience! I have learned so much from my trainer Elder Mace. So i find out this sat if i´m staying in coquimbo or leaving, getting a new comp... i´m excited to see what happens. but these last six weeks have seriously been amazing! missionary work is so awesome and so rewarding.
This last week was the biggest holliday of the year in Chile, the 18 de septiembre, Chilean independance day. And its so great because its the most celebrated up here in coquimbo. I must say though, this last week was really hard to teach and find but i´ll tell you what, i have never eaten so much meat in a week in my entire life! haha. seriously, every lunch was a Huge asao or bbq. The food is great here! It was really wierd though, when Elder mace and i would walk down the street, it was basically empty because everyone was at ´´La Pampilla¨´, one of the huge parties for the 18th up here in Coquimbo. it lasts for 4 days. it was also really crazy because most of the people that we did see on the street were Super drunk! The 18th was crazy! yesterday for pday, Elder Mace and i got permission to go to La pampilla with a member, so that is exactly what we did! it was So cool! so many people and so many little booths to buy stuff. everything was so cheap and it was So awesome to see more of the Chilean culture and be appart of the pampilla of the Bicentenial. this year it was especially big because Chile is officially 200 years old. So this week was really unique but super awesome!
The Chilean national dance is called the Cueca. So everyone was dancing the cueca in the street with music blasting, at some of the parties that were around that we saw, and also at the pampilla there was alot of cueca. On the 18th, we stopped by Joselin´s house to teach her a little bit then to spend a little time with them, and i learned how to dance the cueca a little bit... it was a terrible attempt at it but at least i tried haha. they were laughing at me... i guess it was pretty bad haha.
So our Awesome momita that has done everything for us is moving to Santiago this week! so sad!! She was so awesome and such a good example of service and selflessness. She seriously went more beyond to help us missonaries out. on a random night, she would just give us a call and bring us a bunch of dougnuts or a big cake or something. and her luches were incredible. whenever we needed anything, we would just call the momita and she would be happy to help. Great example to me. We will miss her dearly
So funny experience... Just a little background, the chileans are very ´´of skin people´´ so when they great eachother, they give eachother a kiss on the cheek. So here i was in an investigators house, sitting on the couch. and the next thing i know, this lady comes up behind me and grabs my hand and moves in for the kiss!!! i could not do anything because i was on the couch and i did not want to offend her so i just took it. a big fat one right on my right cheek. my first kiss as a missionary! haha. Gotta love Chile right.
So Elder Mace and i have found a few new investigators that are great! the first two are Miguel and Eduardo. they are about 23 and 27 and accepted a baptisimal date. They have a long way to go but i´m so happy that the lord blessed elder mace and i with two more people that are on the path to accepting the gospel. We also found another Great investigator whos name is Rosa. she is So awesome! her parents are members and were sealed in the temple so she knows a little bit about the church. but she felt the spirit when Elder Mace and i taught and she is going to talk to her husband to see if she should get baptized. She told us that she wants her whole family to get baptized, if it happens! That would be So great! there are 5 of them in the family.
Our other investigators with baptisimal dates are doing good as well... for the most part ha. So Danisa and Jeovanni went on vacation for the 18th week. we had to push their date back because they just aren´t ready. Elder mace and i are really going to talk to them and see if this is what they really want. They are so close, they just need that extra little drive to make it. Joselin is absolutely amazing! she has a really hard life but she is happy because she has the gospel. She is living with some members, but this last week, she came on her own to church even though she lives super far away and had to walk. She really wants this and its so cool to see how the Gospel is changing her life.
I love you all!
Elder Millard

Monday, September 13, 2010

Coquimbo Zone chillin

Zone Conference in Coquimbo

Hey Hey HEY!!!!!! wow its already week 4 and i really can磘 believe it! things are going so great up here in Coquimbo, the best zone in all of the vi馻 del mar mission!! i磎 absolutely loving my time here on the mission! times are hard sometimes but i am learning and growing so much and the best part is, i get to help people all day and i have found that when you forget about yourself and start caring more about other people, thats when true happiness comes! so thats why missions are so great, we care about others so much that we want to give them something that will bring them the most happiness ever, a chance to live with their families forever and live with God forever, the gospel. So cool that i have this opportunity!

My spanish is really coming aliong! i磎 so happy that the lord has helped me out so much! the people are not just speaking jibberish, i can actually hear real words now that make sense! its a great concept isn磘 it! haha.

This last week was absolutely amazing! i had so many great experiences. the first one i will share is my interchange in a place called La Parta Alta right next to the huge cross in coquimbo, with the zone leaders. Words cannot describe how cool this place was! the view of the ocean and all of the colorful houses and the huge cross is absolutely amazing! it really was an eye opening experience though because the place where i work in tierras blancas has some decent houses that are made of brick and have a roof. but it was so cool, here in la parta alta, the houses are, lets just say not the nicest houses you磍l ever see. there were dirt roads with so many dogs everywhere and the best view ever with the most interesting ╤ouses创 i have ever seen in my life! It was SO cool to be there for a day! and it was great to go on interchanges with on of my zone leaders, Elder Ho. He is so awesome and i learned so much about how to become a better missionary. These interchanges are so awesome! and lunch today, well lets just say that i will tell you about that one in about two years haha

So this week, we had a mission conference with a general authority Elder Zeballos. All of us missionaries in the north, about 50 missionaries went to a place called La Serena to have the conference in a church. We all arrived early and waited for the mission President Gillespie and Elder Zeballos to arrive. when they did, we all sang our mission song with Plenty of enthusiasm. then we took some pictures and then formed a line to greet pres Gillespie and his wife and Elder Zeballos and his wife. right after that, i had to book it into the chapel to start playing prelude music because i was asked the play the piano for the conference. it was So crazy to play prelude for a general authority, my mission president and 50 missionaries!! This conference was Amazing! president Gillespie started and talked for a little while then we had breakfast. after breakfast, the second half started where Elder Zeballos talked. He talked about a scripture in 2 nephi 5:27, where it talkes about living in a manner of happiness and the importance of being happy. he also talked about potential and that we do not know how much potential we have until we strive to achieve it. and when we achieve something, there is always more. He gave a great example of when you look up at a mountain, you only see that mountain and that mountain looks like its the highest. but once you climb that mountain, you can see off in the horizon, other mountains that are even higher. we need to think about this with our lives and the potential that we all have. Elder Mace and i had a great opportunity during this conference! we were asked to give a special musical number, so on thursday, the day before, we spent an hour to arrange joseph smith磗 first prayer with praise to the man and secret prayer into a piano duet! So after arranging that, we had the great opportunity to perform it for this conference! Such a great experience! Music is Amazing!

Our investigators are all doing really well! Danisa has had a problem with smoking, but she has gone from 5 cigarettes every day to 1 cigarette every day and she is planning on straght up quitting this week so she can be baptized on the 26th. so that would be great if you could all pray for her to have the strength to quit! Her son Jeovani is getting lazy but he still wants to be baptized so pray for him to have more of a desire to read the book of mormon and for him to get an answer to his prayers. our other investigator Joselin is doing so well! She has a really hard situation, her parents basically abandoned her so she is living with a member family but all day but sleeping in her house. She loves church and comes every week and really wants to get baptized! She has a fecha for the 16th of october!

This last sat was the 11th and it is pretty crazy in Coquimbo every year. So all the missionaries were required to be in their pensions at 6 o clock. our momita is Super rich and she bought us So much food so we invited the zone leaders and the assistants over to our pension and we had a Huge Asado, or bbq. It was a blast! I am eating So much food and believe it or not, i think i磎 gaining weight haha! i never thought the day would come! ha.

Well i love missionary work and i love you all! until next week!

Elder Millard

Monday, September 6, 2010

week 3 in Coquimbo

Hey Hey Hey!!!!!! Another week come and gone!! I can´t believe that i am already half way through my first change. (changes are six weeks). this week was super awesome! we accomplished a lot and had some great experiences! this week was particularly different because my trainer Elder Mace was in capacitación all week (meetings/training) so i was on comp exchanges with the two other elders that live in our pension, Elder Mackay and Elder Solerno. they are super awesome and i learned so much from them. it was kinda cool to be in a trio again haha. we taught some great lessons and i learned more of the importance of bringing the spirit in the lessons, teaching with clarity and telling them what they are feeling and what it means.
the language is really coming along!! i still can´t understand everything that the chileans say but i am definitely better off than the first few days that i was here. i can now contribute a lot more in the lessons and can express myself freely. its kinda funny... sometimes my comp asks the people, ´´how long do you think my comp has been in chile?´´ suprisingly, the usual answer is about a year or so! that makes me feel super good but i obviously have a long way to go and i do not take any credit for it. i was studying in the book of mormon where it talks about all of the gifts of the spirit. one of them is the gift of tounges. so i give all the credit to the lord for helping me out.
I´m starting to get the hang of things out here! time is starting to go by faster... because let me tell you all, the first two weeks were some of the longest days of my life haha but great as well of course! but yeah i feel like i´m starting to get into the groove of things! so basically i have an awesome trainer! but yeah i´m having so much fun, working super hard, and doing everything i can to be the best missionary i can be.
elder Mace and i had some sweet experiences this week. so first off, during our daily plannig sessions at 930, we had planned some lessons and had some extra time to go find some investigators. so we prayed about it and we felt like we should go to this particular street. so the next day, we went yelling ´´Alo´´ at this street, and the first house that we stopped at, there was this guy that walked out, and he seemed so happy that we were there. he let us in right away and we sat down and got to know him a little bit. his name is Hiraldo and he plays basketball for a local chilean team. we started teaching him, and it went SUPER BIEN. this guy was so prepared to hear the gospel. we asked him inspired questions and he felt the spirit, it all made sense and he was absolutely touched by the message. we prayed on our knees afterwards and he offered the prayer. he gave thanks for the spirit that he felt and that he knows that this gospel is true. He wants to get baptized now, but the only complication is that he is moving to Conception chile in about a week and a half!!! bummer right? its all good though, the missionaries in conception will have a great prepared child of god coming their way. kinda funny though, after this awesome spiritual amazing visit, we went to go find some more people. the next person that we talked to was SO mean!! she walked out the door and yelled ´´Valla no mas!´´ which means, Just leave! just get out of here!.such a difference in preperation to hear the gospel haha.
Elder Mace and i had another great experience this week! so we were asked to give a musica number in sacrament meeting. so the morning of sunday, we chose to play abide with me. i was on the piano and elder Mace was singing. right before sacrament meeting, we went in to go make up an arrangment and practice a little bit. so after it was all prepared, sacrament meeting started and it was eventually time to give the musical number. It went so well!!! the spirit was so strong and it was such a great experience. the song made a quite a few people emotional including our branch president that gave his testimony after. Music seriously is so powerful and i am so blessed to be able to have these great experiences with music on my mission.
Our investigators are doing great! the only thing is, they still have some obsticles to overcome so keep Marcos, Danisa, Jeovanni, and Joselyn in your prayers. they are all so great and i would love to see them baptized. we have another great investigator named Gabriella that can´t have a fecha bautismal because she is living with someone and wants to get married but just has not done it yet. that is the ontly thing that is holding her back, but she is SO awesome! so keep her in your prayers too if you can! thanks
this sat the 11th is a sweet holliday in chile. apparently its the craziest up here in coquimbo so all the missionaries up here are required to be back in their pensions at 6 pm due to... oh you know ha. and next sat the 18th is even bigger. everyone goes so crazy and apparently its a pretty huge deal here in coquimbo so i´ll let you know how they go!
This week, i had the opportunity to go on an intercambio, (interchange), with elder Teebles in a place called sindempart, a little part of coquimbo. i work in tierras blancas, another part, that is about 20 min away. anyways, this was Such a great experience and we had so much Exito!! (success) we taught so many lessons and made such a big difference. it made me realize that my favorite part of being on a mission and definitely my favorite part of my mission so far has been the people, and the changes that i have seen in these people´s lives. its so cool to see the change in peoples lives when they accept the gospel. chileans are awesome humble people! its been such a blessing to get to know so many people and to learn from them.
Well, i love you all and i hope all is well back at home! until next week!
love Elder Millard