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