Elder Millard with his mission president

Elder Millard with his mission president

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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