Elder Millard with his mission president

Elder Millard with his mission president

Monday, December 5, 2011

Thanksgiving


Sorry, I didn't get last weeks Thanksgiving letter posted. Here it is:

Hola Hola!! Happy Thanksgiving last Thursday!! Thanks for all the great pictures of the annual Idaho trip. Those are always so fun, with the classic Bon fire, all the great food, the family! Sounds like it was a blast, as it always is.

Elder Stevens and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had the opportunity to go eat lunch with the Escarate family. They served us some scrumptious Chinese food, with chicken and mango sauce. Don´t worry, even though I did not have thanksgiving turkey this year, I was still fed very well! I am so thankful for so many things in my life. My family, my mission, my friends, the gospel… I could keep going all day writing about the things that I am thankful for. I am so in debt to God for all these precious blessings that he has given me in my life. I walk down the street and look into the eyes of so many people that are sad, and look as if they have nothing to be thankful for. I see people that were not born in the most ideal circumstances, and I ask myself, Why me? Why was I born in such great circumstances? Why was I born into the best family in the world with great friends? Why was I chosen to be a member of the only true church in the world when there are so few of us? There are over 30,000 sects in just Christianity, but we also have all the Buddhism, Atheism, Islam… I cannot even put into words how thankful I am for freedom, for happiness, and for this wonderful life that God has blessed me with. I understand that the root of all this happiness is God, and I owe it all to him. How grateful I am for this blessing to be able to share this knowledge with others, that God loves us and that he has a plan for us.

Elder Stevens and I baptized together!! Jaer was baptized yesterday along with his son Camilo. I had the opportunity to baptize Camilo, which was actually kinda funny. The water in the baptismal font was pretty deep for him. Camilo is super small for his age. When I walked into the font, it reached just below my hips, but when he walked in, he had to go onto his tippy toes to just barely get his mouth out of the water to breathe. When I baptized Camilo, he had to step on my foot in order to make it work. Let’s just say I had no problem submerging him completely under the water.

Reinaldo was also baptized this week. He is an investigator that I put a baptismal date with on an interchange in Forestal. Then I got to interview him for his baptism, and he is such a stud. He is already planning on serving a mission. His life has flipped 180 degrees, and has now found happiness and hope. The water that he was baptized in was the dirtiest I have ever seen. When Reinaldo went under the water, you could not see him at all, it was that dirty.

I see Christmas wherever I go!! It still feels so weird seeing all these Christmas things and having it be the middle of summer. The song, I´m dreaming of a WHITE Christmas has only ONE meaning here in Viña. That meaning is that Everyone will be dressed in WHITE for baptism during the Hollidays!!! WOOT WOOT!!! I am definitely dreaming of a white Christmas for Ninozca, Mario, Carlos, Jermain, Hector, and whoever else the lord puts in our path. Carlos is telling everyone that he is getting baptized on Christmas. He is pretty excited for it, but the rest of the family still has a long way to go. They are not so sure yet.

I love you all so much!!

Cuidense!!

Elder Millard


Too much fun on a p-day


Hola Hola!!! Wow, I absolutely loved seeing that Christmas tree up, and the stockings as well! Just boosts my Christmas spirit right up. This week was a great one as usual. Lets get started!!

We did something super cool for P-day today. About 1 hour ago, Elder Stevens and I went to the sand dunes of Con Con and went sand boarding right in front of the ocean!! It was the coolest view in the world!! Those sand boards absolutely fly down that hill. But I did realize one thing today, that I am not as in shape as I used to be. One hike up that gynormous sand dune left me absolutely out of breath and my legs shaking! Haha. We could only do a few trips down and up before we were physically incapable of continuing. What a great memory and experience though!

I am going to tell you all about a crazy Chilean tradition that happens every 8th of December. The Catholic religion is by far the dominant religion here in Chile; therefore, the grand majority of the people here worship the Virgin Mary. There are various places here where they have large virgin statues that people can go visit. For example, the Virgin of Andacollo, the virgin of santa Teresa… Every 8th of December, a large group of people go on a 50 mile trek by foot to go visit one of these Virgin Mary statues. They do this for the purpose to go ask a miracle from her. They believe that if they walk these 50 miles on foot, and then ask her for a miracle, she will do it for them. The grand majority of the people that go, end up crawling on all fours for the last mile. They do this to bloody up their knees, and make a huge bodily sacrifice. This day is so big that it is even considered a holiday for all of Chile.

Elder Stevens and I focused a lot this week on inviting people to be baptized. We dreamed about baptizing, we talked about baptizing, and we thought about baptizing. We had over 35 baptismal invitations by the end of the week. Elder Stevens and I now have 8 baptismal dates. There is so little time that we have on the mission. I am trying to take advantage of every single moment that I have to be a full time missionary.

Carlos and Jermaín are so great!! This week we did a Family night with a member family. Carlos and jermaín invited one of their friends to accompany us. The friend came, and really liked the family night. The reason why I´m sharing this experience with you is because during the first prayer, which Carlos offered, and the last prayer, which Jermaín offered, they both prayed for their friend that he would be able to come to church and become converted to the gospel as they have been. Their prayers and their desires were so sincere, that their friend actually came to church this week, and also wants to learn more about the gospel. They are going to be STUD missionaries some day. That is one of the goals of my mission, that I could baptize at least 1 future missionary. I think we have found 2! Their parents are also progressing. They have to get married before they can get baptized, but they are definitely interested. Our goal is that all 4 can be baptized together on Christmas Day. A WHITE CHRISTMAS!!!!

Love you all so much!!

Chao

Elder Millard


Monday, November 14, 2011

WHITE Christmas





Hola Hola!! This last Friday, we had a huge conference where the whole mission came to the chapel in Viña Centro, my new home. President Gillespie asked me personally to play the piano for this conference. I got to play prelude for 30 min while the whole mission, all 208 of us, were sitting in our seats, and studying the scriptures while waiting for our guest speakers to come. Let’s just say, there is a good reason that the whole mission came to this conference, because our guest speakers we had were very special. We had the privilege of hearing from Elder Cook quorum of the 12, Bishop Mcmullen, Elder Zeballos quorum of the 70, Elder Richard area 70 chile.

I was so excited because I had the privilege to play the piano for an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ!!! Right in the middle of the conference, when Elder Cook´s wife was speaking, she decided to do a musical activity out of the blue. So, in front of everyone, the whole mission and various general authorities, she called my name out, and asked me to come up front. When I heard my name, my heart was pounding out of its chest haha. As I walked up to the front, all the general authorities were looking at me and could not help but laugh because of the intensity of the situation that I was in haha. When I got up to the front, she asked me if I could play the hymn that she showed me. At this moment, I have never been so grateful for all those years of piano practice. The hymn that she showed me, to my extreme relief, was one that I knew very well, Put your shoulder to the wheel. So I said, “yeah, I can play that,” she said, “oh good.” Then we did a fun little musical activity using that song. Imagine how embarrassing that would be if I could not play the hymn that she showed me haha.

After the general authorities left, I got to stay up front and play some postlude. Right in front of the piano was where Elder Cook sat for the conference. I noticed that he had left his glass of water half full on the ground right next to where he was sitting. You may think I am weird, but the elder that was directing the music and I decided to drink from the same glass, the same water that a living apostle of the lord Jesus Christ drank from. As that water went down my esophagus, I could totally feel the power running through my veins. I got to shake his hand too, which was a very memorable experience as well. The conference was so fun. I got to see just about all my old comps and all my mission friends. Good times!

I had a miracle finding experience this week! It all started off when I was on interchanges with a new missionary from Argentina. We taught a great lesson to Gladys and her kids. After the lesson, we were on our way up to Santa Ines to go eat lunch. We could not get ahold of the family that was supposed to give us lunch. But before we went back to the pension to go make our own lunch, we decided to go to a member’s house and ask her for references. We went there and had so much success. She gave us like 7 great references which has never happened to me in my whole mission. We normally eat lunch at 1:30, and at this time, it was already 2:35. We started walking really fast down these hills to get to our pension. After we had been walking for about 2 min, we heard footsteps running behind us. We look back and there was this 13 year old kid running to catch up to us. When he reached us, he asked “what do you guys do?” We told him that we help others to come unto Christ. He said, “Perfect, my mom wants to talk to you guys, come with me, I’ll take you to our home.” At this point, I could not believe what was going on. We backtracked up all those hills again to the house where this family lives. When we got there, the mom was super happy to see us. She let us know that she has been looking for us for the longest time but did not know where to find us. She heard that we could help her family out, especially her 16 year old boy who is getting into some trouble. This family reminds me of a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 123:12, which says:


12 For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are ablinded by the subtle bcraftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to cdeceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they dknow not where to find it—


They have now found the truth. Now this family of 4 will now be able to receive the joy of the gospel in their lives. The two boys, the 16 and 13 year old came to church with us yesterday. We shared with the whole family in the afternoon. They are so great and willing to learn and progress. They accepted a baptismal invitation. We are going to try to help them get baptized on Christmas day. I´m dreaming of a white Christmas.

I love you all!

Chao

Elder Millard



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

50 years of Missionaries in Chile



Hola Hola!! So this was my first week in Viña and I absolutely LOVE it. It is better than I thought it would be. From the exciting city feeling, to the breathtaking views of the tall buildings and the ocean, to the beautiful sunsets, to the nicest pension I have ever seen in the middle of downtown Viña, to the great ward that i´m in... I think I can get used to it here. There are over 200 members in the ward, (my first ward in my whole mission, I have only had branches,) so this will be something different. The members are great. We have some powerful leaders here! My area is the center of the mission, so I am always at the office, and I always see president Gillespie. I am seriously so Blessed to be here right now! I have been nothing but grateful these last week. I am so excited to tell you all about how the week went!

On Saturday, it was the celebration of 50 years of missionary work here in Chile! Only the privileged in the mission had the opportunity to go down to Santiago and participate in the marvelous event. My zone was one of the privileged! We all got to go down to Santiago, to a big soccer stadium, where they held this monumental event. There were so many missionaries there from viña, Santiago, concepción, and Rancagua. We all got to sit together because we were planned to be part of the program. We waited in the hot sun all day until 7 o clock rolled around and it started. The area presidency of Chile was there to speak to us. They gave some great talks! Then the real show started. There were over 3000 young men and women participating with dancing, acting and singing. It was such a memorable event. It is incredible to think that only 50 years back, there were no members of the church in the whole nation of Chile. Two missionaries and a few others were sent to start from the nothing. They converted one heart at a time, one family at a time, until now, the lord´s restored gospel has been taken to all the land. Now, 50 years later, look at how far we have come. I looked at all the members in the stadium and thought of all the hundreds of thousands of members that were not present, and I was amazed. It made me remember of what Joseph smith said about the progress of this work in these days. He said:

“The Standard of Truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame. But the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and dependent till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, until the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah will say, ‘The work is done.'”

This work is true, and I am privileged to be a part of it.

We had our first zone class this last Tuesday. Elder Stevens and I were quite creative with some of the things that we did in the class. Everyone left so excited (Animado) (Animo) to work. I have been thinking a lot on what I could do to help the zone with their enthusiasm and excitement for the work. The idea came into my head that I could compose a zone song. So on Monday night, I took a few minutes to compose a zone song. I was surprised how it turned out! At the end of the zone meeting, I taught the zone our new song, and it pumped everyone up! We will singing it at the end of each zone meeting to keep the Animo up! This is going to be a great change!!! The zone consists of 14 elders, including us and the office elders. One of my old comps, Elder Saldivar, from Mexico, is in the zone.

We have few investigators right now. But that is about to change. Elder Stevens and I have a goal to find a family of 5, and baptize them. We have been praying for it in every prayer, and we are being so obedient, that the lord will be obligated to bless us. We are talking to everyone and doing everything we know how to do in order to have success here in Viña. It’s a different game here. Instead of knocking doors, we have to ring the doorbell, where there is a speaker and they talk to you through their phone inside. We are full of huge apartment buildings and it is quite the adventure!

I love my comp Elder Stevens. He is a STUD. He is from Holliday Utah, and he really likes to have a good time and laugh. He finishes the mission at the end of this year, so I might be the one that kills him on the mission! These will be some very exciting 2 months ahead.

I love you all so much!

Que les vaya bien!!

Chao

Elder Millard


Monday, October 10, 2011

New adventures!

Hola Hola!! Wow, this week was a great one!! So many exciting things happened. First of all, I have to announce the results of the changes this week. On Saturday morning, right after I finished my morning prayers, the phone rang. I run over there to see who it is, and the screen says, President Gillespie. Elder Young picked it up, and right away, he hands me the phone and says, he wants to talk to you. President said, “Hello Elder Millard, how are you doing. Elder, I want you to serve as a Zone Leader for Viña Centro. Your companion will be Elder Stevens.” Then he gave me some great advice. I am so excited for my new assignment as Zone Leader. It will definitely stretch me but I’m grateful for this opportunity to serve and learn a lot. Viña Centro is the headquarters of the mission. I will be right next to Pres Gillespie, so he will have to keep an eye on me. Ha. This is one of the best zones in the whole mission, so I cannot wait to go there and baptize. My time has come to an end at Canihuante, but I cannot wait for my new change. Elder Young is going to be training. His kid is going to be born in a diamond mine. He will be born into a place with lots of miracles and prepared children of God.

So our investigators are doing great. Erica just amazes me. She has had to stop: smoking, drinking tea, drinking coffee and a few other commandments… and she has been resisting temptation. This last week, it was her son’s birthday, so they had the whole family there. When their whole family gets together, the whole house is full of beer, cigarettes, tea, and coffee. She told us that everyone in her family was offering her a smoke, everyone was trying to make her drink, and everyone was doing it. Can you imagine, living a whole life participating with your family in all these things, and liking it, and then as of two weeks, you cannot consume these things any more. On top of that, everyone inviting you to+ how tough. But she pulled through, and did not participate in any of that. She has an incredible will power, and really wants to be baptized. We found out this week that Erica is actually famous in Ovalle. She is very well known as a singer. So after she gets baptized on the 29th of October, she will be a fountain of references. When she found out that I was leaving, she came up to me with tears in her eyes, and took my hand to shake it, and said with all the sincerity in the world, “Elder, thank you so much. Thank you for all your patience with me, and thank you for helping me come to Jesus Christ. I will never forget you. Thank you so much for giving me the gospel.” Moments like these are what make the mission worth it. All those days knocking doors in the hot sun, the tired legs, the long days, are all worth it for moments like this. Seeing the sincere gratitude of someone that has found Jesus Christ in their lives. This is why I love my mission. I have the power and the privilege to give this hope to everyone, all my brothers and sisters here in Chile.

We are also working a lot with Luis and Juani. We have not been able to share with them very much this week because Juani was rushed to the hospital with symptoms of meningitis. We have been trying to share with their dad for the longest time but every time we refer to anything about the gospel to him, he shouts out, “No No No, you guys are teaching my kids, I have my own beliefs, I wish you would respect that.” But he is such a great guy, one of the funniest men I have ever met. As of right now, we do have a great relationship and he loves when we come over. Yesterday night, we went to go visit the family, but only the dad was there. We sat down and talked to him. We very smoothly led the conversation into a gospel subject. We let it into Christ and his earthly ministry then had a great conversation about the great apostasy. We were in, we finally were having a lesson with him, and he was surprisingly interested. We shared many passages from the Bible, and helped him realize the importance of the restored Gospel. This lesson was a miracle. His heart was finally opened, and the spirit touched him. We gave him the DVD the Restoration, and he promised us he would watch it. MIRACLES.

I love you all so much. Thank you so much for all the prayers and support.

Chao,

Elder Millard

Monday, October 3, 2011

Conference in Chile



Hola Hola!! This was a great week here in Canihuante. I absolutely loved conference. Here we are still seeing miracles every day. Happy Birthday Steve! Sounds like you had some fun surprises. Hope you had a great day!! Dad, I could not stop laughing after seeing the outfit that you wore to Priesthood conference!! Classic, I approve! The pink shirt with the BYU tie just go together flawlessly. All my companions laughed too. Sorry mom for encouraging him haha. Well let´s get started with the miracles in this part of Zion, Canihuante Chile.

Even though I could not be home for this “candy” general Conference, we definitely had our fair share of treats for all of us missionaries. The whole zone, all 14 of us gringos, got to see the conference together in English. We were all crammed into the primary room. Conference was absolutely incredible! This one was special for me because there were various talks that really got to me. It´s distinct watching conference for me as a missionary because I have a deeper understanding of the importance of these things than I did before the mission. Before, I did not take conference very seriously. It was something nice to watch; Some of the talks were really good and uplifting, but I never understood the importance of conference. I now know that what we hear in conference is ultimately important to us for these days. What we hear in conference are commandments that the Lord requires us to live now. It is the doctrine of our day. Through all this confusion in the world, we all have the privilege of listening to a living Prophet of God that is in direct communication with our eternal God. How great of a blessing that is for all of us. May we apply what we learn. I love watching conference then going out to be a missionary again. I just experienced one of the sweet fruits of the gospel, and now I can go and share it with others.

Erica´s mom surprisingly could not come down on the expected date to Ovalle, so Erica decided to postpone her baptismal date until her mom can be there. Her mom is expected to arrive the end of October. She is going through a lot of changes in her life. She needs to stop doing some things that she is accustomed to doing her whole life in order to live the commandments of God. She really needs your prayers. She has all the desires in the world to change her life, but she needs some extra help, prayer. Erica´s daughter was baptized about 5 years ago with her husband. Now they are separated and her daughter is inactive. But I have faith that through seeing her mom take these steps, it will help her remember and come back.

This is the last week of the change, so the next letter will have the results of what the Lord wants for me these next 6 weeks!

Love you all!

Chao,

Elder Millard

Monday, September 26, 2011





Buena Choro, the chilean way of saying hello. I love hearing nothing but great news from home each week! The new room is coming along great, I love to see you guys painting as well. The most popular service that we do as missionaries here in Chile is painting. Maddi, I could not believe my eyes when I saw those homecoming pictures. Your date was one lucky guy! This week has been one of my favorite weeks of the whole mission so far. It has been so full of miracles and fun.

This last Saturday, our branch had our celebration for the 18th. We all got together, ate lots of meat, played lots of typical chilean games, had cueca music, and just had a blast. We had 4 investigators there. Very successful activity.

On Friday, Mauricio was baptized. His whole family was there, which was incredible because they have not been to church for a long long time. They came up to us after the baptism and told us thaty they want to come back to church. I played and sang I stand all amazed for the musical number. Mauricio Cortes, the Young mens president baptized him. I love baptisms because you feel the spirit so strong. We had a few investigators there that are now thirsty for baptism.

Let me tell you about the miracle of Erica. We have not been Abel to find her for the last few days. We have not been able to get Ahold of her or anything. Next thing you know, on Saturday, she called us and asked us what Atonement means. She was apparently Reading the book of Mormon all afternoon! We were so excited to hear that she was Reading so much. Erica is one of my favorite investigators because she is really intelligent, is always super super happy, and is a proffessional Singer. Incredible voice! She kinda reminds me of all my sisters!! Maybe thats why there is that connection there. So on Sunday, Elder Young and I had the opportunity to teach the Gospel Principles class. It was on the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We had lots of investigators attend, including Erica and Daisi. We asked Erica during the lesson, “Erica, how did you feel when you came into the churhc for the first time?” She then went off and explained that she felt something that she has never felt in her life. It was an undescribable peace and a warm feeling. She then told us that she felt something special when she was Reading the book of Mormon yesterday. We have been helping her to try feel ready to be baptized for the longest time. She told us that after Reading the book of M ormon all day yesterday, and praying to God that he would answer her prayer through the Holy Ghost, she recieved an answer to her prayer. After recieving the answer, she knew that she was ready to be baptized. So she told us all in the class, as a surprise, that she has made the decisión to get baptized the 8th of October. She put her own baptisimal date! When we Heard that in the class, we were so surprised and so so happy!! God has answered her prayers and she is now sure that this is what she wants to do. She does not have any support from her family, actually, they all think she is crazy. But she is strong and said that she will endure to the end. She has always told us that she did not want to be baptized then just go innactive right after. She wanted to be sure. And She is now sure, bec ause God has answered her prayer!! Erica will be such a great member! Definitely a future relief society president!. I could not stop saying, WOW, the whole day! I do not know what we did to deserve such a miracle! Now I understand why it says so many times in the scriptures that the Holy Ghost is the teacher. He is the teacher, and we as missionaries are the listeners.

Daisi said something this week that gives us even more of a tesimony that the Lord is in this work. She told us that ever since we have arrived at her house, she has seen the biggest difference in her life. She confronts all of the hard situation with more calm, because she has this new perspective of the góspel. She told us that she feels happier, and feels like every aspect of her life has gotten better! She told us that she KNOWS that these things are true. Now she just needs to get married so she can get baptized. The Holy Ghost, the comforter, is real. He testifies of truth, Comforts us in times of trouble, guides us, and is the third member of the Godhead. By feeling the presence of the Holy Ghost, it is the closest thing that we have to being in the presence of God in this life. I have seen uncountable testimonies of this in my mission. Even the most hardened hearts can be softened by the whisperings of the spirit.

There are so many miracles to write and so Little time! I love you all!

Elder Millard




some shots in Ovalle




September 2011 in Ovalle All this food was part of Independence Day Celebrations. Yummy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011



Some scenes in Ovalle 2011. Good work Elder Millard!

Chilean Independence Day


Hola Hola!! How is the fam holding up after the BYU Utah tragedy? I´m just glad I’m on the mission right now so I don´t have to deal with that. It’s been kind of crazy here in Chile these last few days, because of the 18th of September. The 18th is always crazy here. I could not write on Monday because everything was closed. We had a capacitation on Tuesday, so here I am on Wednesday. Let´s get started on all the adventures of the week!

On Sunday, we had little hope of a good attendance at church. Everyone leaves to their little farmland villages to meet up with the family. We, Elder Young and I had the opportunity to give a talk to the whole 15 people that were there. After church was done, we went to go eat a huge BBQ with a family. I love the 18th weekend because the whole week, everywhere you go, you can always smell a delicious BBQ going on. Everyone cooks tons of meet this time of the year. Everywhere you go, you see Chilean flags waving in the wind. All the little kids with their families are flying Kites, and playing with tops and marbles on the street. It really is a fun time to be in Chile. Elder Young and I like to stop for a couple of minutes to try and throw the tops with the kids that are playing on the streets. They are a lot better than we are. They all laugh at us when we make an attempt at spinning them like they do with the top and string. Its a lot of fun because then all the kids think the missionaries are cool and they have a good perception of us. The only bad part about the 18th is that everyone is drunk and nobody wants to listen to the missionaries. But we kept going and going, and we ended up finding at least 1 new investigator, and teaching some quality lessons. Its hard because everyone is gone or busy partying. This has been a really fun week though with an exciting and energetic environment.

This last week, we had the privilege of going to a conference in Coquimbo to hear Elder Corbridge speak to us. He is a member of the quorum of the 70 and President of area Chile. All I need to say is that he is a powerful man. When he speaks, people listen. We all learned so much valuable information that will help us all so much as missionaries. The basic theme of the conference was “the most important thing.” We came to the conclusion that we should focus more on receiving the remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost when we teach our investigators. The most important thing is the Atonement, and through the atonement, we can receive all these things with Eternal Life. In our lessons, we should refer to it, teach to it, repeat it, and help them understand at least this; that they can receive a remission of their sins, and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the most precious gift that Our Heavenly Father can give to one in this life, by repenting and being baptized. This is our message, that the authority to accomplish all these things is on the earth again. I´m still trying to contemplate all the incredible things he taught us.


Mauricio is getting baptized this Friday at 6. He is an eternal investigator that is finally ready to get baptized. We are excited for him and he is super excited as well!

I love you all! Until next week!

Elder Millard

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More miracles


Hola Hola!! Como estáis po! It’s so great to hear that everything is so great back at home! There was some crazy news this week! Everyone is getting engaged haha. The house looks soo weird! I love it though! Can´t wait to see the finished product. Wow I cannot believe how fast time is flying. Your summer and my winter is almost over! But here in Ovalle, during the day, it still feels like summer. This was such a great week! Let´s get started.

We had our mission conference this week in… are you ready for this… Coquimbo!!! It was so weird going back to the place of my birth! I got to see the Coquimbo cross again, be with my fellow Coquimbanos, and just cruise around my old stomping grounds. The conference went great. We learned a lot about being prepared. I will definitely work on that more. It is so important to be prepared, because if you are prepared, ye shall not fear. The whole mission is getting portable DVD players so we can study the preach my gospel dvds during companionship study. It will be a great resource and a great way to learn and practice. The next day after the conference, President Gillespie did something super cool. He came to Ovalle, and did a fireside for all of the investigators and recent converts. We had a couple of investigators there, and they absolutely loved it. President Gillespie is a powerful man!

Our investigators are doing incredible!! Maria and Pablo, the ones that have had problems with the word of wisdom, finally have got the determination to quit. They made the goal to stop smoking, drinking and drinking tea, today!! So, when they are successful in dropping these addictions, they will be able to be baptized on the 27th of this month. I´m so happy for them. It was like a spark that went off inside of them. They suddenly have so much enthusiasm to live the word of wisdom and be baptized. Our prayers have been answered!

Elder Petersen and I have come to the conclusion that God often times puts certain types of people for specific companionships. For example, Elder Alvarez and I were teaching a ton of Evangelists. Now, Elder Petersen and I have found tons and tons of teenagers and young un-married couples. We are teaching three couples that are living together, that need to get married in order to get baptized. We are also working with 4 stud teenagers, all guys 16-18 years old.

Spiritual experience: So, here we were working this last Tuesday. Our appointment fell through, and our backup plan was to do tours of the church for an hour to find new investigators. When we got to the church, there were not very many people on the street. We both looked at each other, and decided that it would be better to go contact in another area. We both felt like we should go into the rich neighborhood right next to the church. In this neighborhood lives Ruben, the kid that i´m teaching how to play the piano. So we walk over there and start knocking doors and talking to everyone. In the rich neighborhoods, we seem to get a lot more rejections. But its where we felt the lord wanted us to be. We knocked about 12 houses, and either they were not there, or we got turned down. On the 13th house, we yell “Alo” and a teenager walks out. He was a way cool guy. He came over, shook our hand and started talking to us for a while. His name is Leo. We found out that he was good friends with Ruben, and that he was really interested in the church. He already has a Book of Mormon and has read it a little, and he told us that he wants to meet with us. So we set up an appointment with him and Ruben to have a lesson in the church. He was really excited about it. And obviously we were too! When we walked away after having set up the appointment, Elder Petersen and I were super excited! We gave one of the biggest high five/ hug combos I ever seen. So the day rolls around when we have the appointment to meet with them in the church. When they come in, we do a quick little tour of the church, we sang an opening song on the piano, then started the lesson. We taught him about the restoration of the church, using a lock and key as an object lesson. He was so into it! He had so many great questions and was very excited about the whole thing. When the time came to talk about the book of Mormon, he told us something that absolutely caught me off guard. He said “Elders, I have already read the Book of Mormon, I have pondered it in my heart, and have prayed to God to know if it is true. God has answered my prayer, and I know with a certainty that these things are true.” After hearing this, my smile was from ear to ear. We testified also of the divinity and truth of the Book of Mormon, and of the veracity of this message that we shared. We invited him to be baptized, and he accepted. The Diamonds out there, and the Lord will guide us to them, if we have faith, and if we listen to his voice.

Well that’s all for this week! I love you all!

Cuidense Arto!

Elder Millard


Monday, August 8, 2011

FAITH



Hola Hola!! Its so great to hear that everything is so great back at home! That St. Geezy trip sounds like it was a blast! Sheri, thank goodness you are safe! That is so crazy that happened! It seems like you and cars are not getting along very well. Maddi, good luck with your volleyball tryouts this week! I know you will do great! Atta boy rob, busting out the fast offerings! There will be plenty more where that came from! Haha, good times. My winter is feeling more like a summer here in Ovalle. It is super hot during the day! I´m totally rocking the short sleeves again. My arms have missed the sun. In the night, it still gets a little cold. This change is just flying right by! This week in particular was a great one! I´m going to share a few great experiences that I’ve had these last few days. Let’s get started.

President Gillespie wanted us to focus on a Christ-like attribute in particular that we could work on developing. I chose to work on my faith. I have seen a big change in our success from just having a little more faith. Faith has more to do with just believing that things will come to pass. It is controlling our bodies, our minds and our hearts, focusing on what the lord wants us to do. If we have a thought that is contrary to what the lord wants, our faith is compromised. So I have been focusing a lot on that. Controlling my mind, my desires, and my will, and giving it all to the lord and his work. Its incredible how often we use our mind unconstructively. A lot of times, I would be day dreaming when I could be going through a lesson or a contact in my head. I could be letting my mind wander instead of going through what I learned in my personal study in the morning. Our mind is such a powerful instrument! I have seen incredible results from controlling my mind and showing more faith to the lord.

This last Friday, we were talking to every single person that we passed by. In one instance, we were passing by this teenager. He looked like a hard core punk. Normally we would not talk to those people because we have had some bad experiences with the type. But we told the lord we would talk to everyone! So we stop him and start talking to him and surprisingly he was a really nice guy! He was super interested in what we had to say to him. He does not have any religion in specific. They all say that they are Catholic, but in their own way. We started talking about the Book of Mormon. Our mission has these really cool cards that you can give to people that have a bunch of soul searching questions. He chose to answer the question, “Why do I have to get baptized?” He then started to explain that he is not baptized and he is very interested in learning more about it. Wow, this was quite the surprise. You really cannot judge people from just looking at them. You never know what they have been through or what they want. We invited him to come play basketball with us the next day. He is a huge basketball fan, and he was pretty excited to play against two tall gringos. The Lord really puts people in our path, we just need to have the faith necessary to act and talk to them, even if they don´t look like the type.

We did a sick tour this week with a Carabinero (police man). He is the 3rd chilean that I have seen on my mission that is actually taller than me! He was the nicest guy in the world! The thing is, he is training to be a carabinero here in Ovalle, and he won´t have too much time to listen to us. He´s sick though; someday he will find the gospel and accept it.

A lot of our baptismal dates are falling through! Maria, Pablo and Felipe are all having big problems with the word of wisdom. They say that they are not too willing to let those things go because they always drink and smoke with their friends. And Maria said that every time she tries to drop tea, she gets super sick. They are all severely addicted to 3 tea, smoking and drinking. We are doing everything we can to help them get over them, but ultimately it is up to them to make the decision. Manuel, our other baptismal date is getting ready to move this next Sunday. Elder Petersen and I are working hard, trying to find the diamonds in the midst of all the rocks.

Love you all!

Que estén bien! Chao po!

Elder Millard

Monday, July 25, 2011

New area and new companion


Hola Hola! I never thought the day would come where I would be sending a letter from somewhere else than La Ligua. On Tuesday morning, Elder Zitting and I woke up at 5 to get ready and head down to Viña for change day. It was a nice 2 1/2 hour ride down there. Beautiful ocean side views!! Once in Viña, a bunch of elders took a huge 2 story bus up north to Ovalle. The trip took about 6 hours. I am so excited for all these new adventures, new people and new area!

So to explain a little bit about my new area. Ovalle is located about 1 hour south of Coquimbo, (my first area). It is considered the north part of the mission. It feels so great being back up in the north again. There is just a distinct spirit up here. The people are more humble, and there is a different attitude in all of the elders. My branch is called Canihuante. It is the north part of the city of Ovalle. Ovalle is quite a bit different than La Ligua. There are a bunch of very very humble houses. It has a gorgeous view of green mountain sides with vineyards and orange orchards. My area has a few hills but for the most part its pretty flat. Other elders have called my area Caniflaite, (flaite meaning gangster in chilean), because there are quite a few here. There is a lot of grafiti everywhere and a pretty big population. My area is pretty big, not quite as big as La Ligua, but definitely enough to find plenty of people to baptize. My first impression of Canihuante is a good one. The people are generally nice and loving. I am very pleased with my new area. This is an area where you have to talk to everyone in the street to have success. In order to have success in this area, you have to work extra hard. Whatever you put into it is what you get out of it. Im super ready to work! Our church is really big! There are 1200 members here, and about 60 go each week. So there is plenty of work with the less actives!! The climate up here is Super hot in the day time, and super cold at night. Ovalle is pretty much a desert. Ovalle is just ready to explode!!

In our pension, there are 4 elders. We have elder Anaya, Oburge, Petersen and I. Its not really a coincedence that we are all from Utah. All the people that know something about the church and the elders call Utah the missionary factory. Utah just keeps sending em out, like a factory! Anyways, our pension is a house, in a very calm neighborhood.

We have quite a few investigators that have a baptisimal date. We have Manuel, Angelo, and a family of 3, (Maria, Pablo, and Felipe). All of them have baptisimal dates for the 20th of August. But they all have a long way to go. Elder Petersen will do everything we can to get them in that water! hah.

My assignment this change is to be the district leader for my area, Monte Patria, and the senior couple. There are some great elders in this district. I´m super excited to work with all of them. One of the Elders actually went to High School with me, Elder Cherry. He was a year older than me but I remember seeing him around, So wierd! haha Its a small world. We have some great zone leaders that will be a big help to us! There is a lot of work to do, but I will do my best to be an example of faith and diligence. We will for sure see some miracles here in Ovalle!!

So my companion is Elder Petersen. He is from Spanish Fork Utah. He did rodeo before the mission so he is pretty much a cowboy. He also likes to play basketball. We get along great and we are going to have a great change together. We both have about the same time in the mission. I never thought I would be saying this to people when they ask me how much time I have in the mission: I have a little more than a year. This is the classic response of the Elders that are in the time period of 12 months to 24 months in the mission. Elder Petersen will complete a year in the beginning of September. Great comp! I have been so blessed with my comps my whole mission. I have gotten along great with all of them!

I do have a funny little story to tell. So on Saturday night, after having had a long day of teaching and walking, we get to the pension absolutely wasted! I love days like this because you just feel so accomplished, and you know that the lord accepts your work. After we get to the pension, we start planning for the next day. When our planning session was over, we followed tradition by ending with the classic hand shake hug technique. Just to play a joke, and also to show the fatigue in my body, during the hug, I relaxed my body completely so Elder Petersen would have to support my weight. I guess he was not ready for that. He started moving backwards slowly. This did not look good so I also tried to get ahold of something to not fall back. Next thing you know, Elder Petersen trips over his bag and we both go directly through the front window of our house! It shattered all over us!! It was seriously the funniest thing I have ever seen! What a rookie mistake! Thankfully there was a curtain in between the glass and us! The only injuries were little cuts down my arm, yes, the arm that accidently punched right through that window! About 10 seconds after the window broke, the other elders came in with some knives because they thought that someone through a rock or tried to break in haha. Classic moment! Well, at least I know what Elder Petersen and I are going to be doing this pday. Fixing the window. It was all worth it though!

So thats all for this week! I love you all!

Que les vaya super bien!! Chao!

Elder MIllard

P.S. Sorry, not very many pix this week. But i´ll send some good ones of my new area next week.
This is the classic Windo breaking sesssion.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Farewell to LaLigua


HOLA!!! As you all may know, this was the last week of the change. I truly do not know how this change is over already. It seriously seems like yesterday that it started. Definitely the record of missionary change speed. So this last Saturday night, I received a little call telling me whether I leave or not. Our zone leaders said, "Elder Millard, Se Va!!" I am leaving. I thought that President Gillespie had forgotten about me all this time, he finally remembered me haha. I am so sad that i'm leaving. This literally feels like my second home. I have been here for so long that I have a close relationship with just about every member here. I will miss them dearly. It was definitely time for a change though. I am super excited about this new change. It will be a fun adventure. I will forever treasure the memories of La Ligua in my heart.

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to give a little farewell talk. It seriously felt like a farewell talk from my actual home haha. It is a weird feeling, I will probably never see these people again. I spend 8 months of my life with them, get to know them, and learn to love them. Then just like that, I am sent to another place in the mission. I will never forget them. It was super hard to say goodbye. In my talk, I started sharing some of the wonderful experiences I have had here, and I became super emotional. Everyone in the congregation was crying. I talked about how they had all changed my life. Its a good thing I drank plenty of water the night before, or perhaps I would have been dehydrated after my talk. Its hard, but this is how it is. I am thankful to my heavenly father for giving me this opportunity to serve in this part of his vineyard, La Ligua.

I'm sure you would all agree with me on this one: It is a little difficult to sing after one has been crying. I am here to testify that that is very true. I gave my last musical number, playing the piano and singing. I did a little improv arrangement of a song that is only found in spanish thats called "Placentero nos es trabajar." It has a very sublime message about it is a pleasing to be able to work in the Lord's vineyard. It has a line that I absolutely love. It goes somewhat like this. I'll bust out a little Millard translation haha: "Oh brothers goodbye goodbye, the time to leave has come. If we keep the faith in our grand God, we will see each other on the other side. We will live with God in love." I love that song. Yet again, another emotional spiritual moment.

This Saturday, Ailin and Marcelo entered the waters of baptism. It was a wonderful baptismal service. A lot of their family came to witness it. Elder Alvarez baptized Marcelo and I had the opportunity to baptize Ailin. They are going to be great members of the church. They are surprisingly mature for their age. As Ailin was descending into the font, she totally slipped on her way down haha. But she regained her composure and came into the water plenty nervous. She was submerged, then when she came up out of the water, she got super emotional. She was so happy and started crying. Elder Alvarez and Marcelo were next. Elder Alvarez made a classic mistake! He put his left arm to the square instead of his right. They finished the baptism, and left the font, but then had to come back to redo it because they did not realize until after. A classic moment. After the baptisms were all done, we all went upstairs to the sacrament meeting room. Marcelo wanted to give his testimony. He got up there and said. "I feel different. I can feel the Holy Ghost very strongly... I don't know if I still can but..." Then he did not know what to say. His mom came up to give him a hug then they went to go sit down. He is such a stud! I can totally see him as a future missionary.

To announce the changes, I am going to Ovalle Canihuante, something like that... haha. I will still be district leader and my companion will be Elder Petersen. I was in the same pension as him in Coquimbo. He is a great elder and we will have a great time. I'll let you know how it is next week! I can't express how excited I am! I have a nice long trip ahead of me tomorrow.

I love you all!

Chao

Elder Millard



Monday, June 27, 2011

Talent show and tours


Hola Hola!! Its so great to hear that everything is great back at home! Everything is going well here. Sounds like a lot of fun going to the mountains for a nice morning run! The weather looks so beautiful! But i´m not going to use the work jealousy, don´t you worry. I´m just going to practice the Christlike attribute, patience. haha. This week was a great one. We had a lot of success. I´m loving working with Elder Alvarez. We work great together and he is helping me out alot. Tha argentines have a distinct spanish accent. Instead of saying Elder Millard, it sounds like (Elder Mishard). The (ll) and the (y) has a (sh) sound to the argentines. Since my last two companions have been argentine, my spanish has transformed a little bit and i´m totally starting to talk like an argentine. Everyone makes fun of me for it. haha. Anyways, lets get started with the good experiences of the week.

Elder Alvarez and I have had the blessing of teaching lots and lots of evangelicos, (evangelist). It has been a big blessing because for the Evangelicos, the music is very important. The majority of their worship is centered on music. I don´t know why God has put so many evangelists in our way, but it has been quite interesting teaching them. For them, they are not quite certain about their history, or where their religion came from. They are confused about what happened after the death of Jesus Christ, and do not have an answer to whether or not there was a gran apostasy. Many times, as we have taught the restoration of the gospel, it is as if a light has turned on within them. But other times, their hearts are so shut that it is impossible for them to gain a testimony. Elder Alvarez and I have been studying lot of the Bible to be able to teach all of them more efficiently.

Elder Bowen and his wife have been coming with us to visit Pastor Vergara. They created a great relationship right away. They will help us out alot with the whole family. The other day, we had just barely finished lunch, and then had an appointment with the Vergara family. The Bowens came with us. The lunch we had was huge by the way. We were super full. When we got there, we sat down, and started talking, not knowing what we were in for. The whole time we were talking, someone was preparing tons of food for us. When the time came, they invited everyone to the table and we could not refuse. So we sat down at the table and they brought us our plates. Now i´m not lying when I tell you this, these plates were absolutely Gynormous! Enough to feed a family of 3. We were now obligated to eat all of it. Oh the joys of the mission hahah. We are praying and searching for guidance on how we can help this family, and perhaps their congregation, recognize the truth and have sufficient faith to act.

This week was the epic talent show. We had lots and lots of people there. The best part is that Pastor Vergara had plenty of his congregation there. We filled the whole cultural hall. We all started with an opening hymn. THe hymn was How Great Thou Art. This song is special because all the evangelists use this song as well. After the introduction and opening prayer, Elder Alvarez and I had the opening numbers. We did a stellar arrangement of Come thou fount in English and spanish. Then another arrangement of Nearer my God to thee. It went really well! I have missed performing haha. THe show went really well! Pastor Vergara and his crew played a few songs. All I can say is wow!. Its like Gospel, soul music, but mexican style and in spanish. They had an acordian, acoustic guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, and a choir. Good stuff. The show was so great because the purpose of the show came true. The evangelist congregation and our congregation now have a great relationship. The Vergaras and their congregation all want to come back for the next show!! Great experience. Lots of seeds of faith planted that day.

Yesterday on sunday, we did some tours of the church. The interesting part about the whole thing is that it was the anniversary of La Ligua. To celebrate, they had a huge concert in the center of La Ligua. The church is located right on the corner of the center. The artist that came to play was Gon Wana. He is basically a Bob Marley wannabe. So as we were doing tours of the church, there was a huge Reggae concert in the plaza. Suprisingly, we had lots and lots of success. We had the opportunity to do 7 tours in the space of about 2 hours. I guess Gon Wana works miracles. I´m a new fan of Reggae tours. haha.

Well Thats all folks. haha. I love you all! Thank you so much for all the support and love.

Que estén bien!

Elder Millard

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pastor Vergara and his family


Hola Hola!! Como están!! This week was full of adventures and surprises. But before I start, I want to congratulate Sheri on Graduating!!!! Thats so awesome!! So summer has officially started! Enjoy the warmth haha. Sounds like it was fun having Steph and Mark down for the weekend. Sounds like everything is going great back at home! As you may know, this was the last week of the change. My companion/child/hijito Elder Colman found out this week that he has to get surgery on his meniskus so he is on his way to Buenos Aires Argentina as we speak. Bummer! I Never thought my child would be going home before me! haha. By the way, this change has gone by in the blink of an eye.

So on thursday, Elder Baker, my district leader, called me and told me that I have to prepare a map marking where all our investigators are, for the new missionaries that are coming in. He told me that it is about a 99.9 percent chance that i´m leaving La Ligua. President very rarely leaves a missionary in an area for more than 4 changes. So he told me to pack all my stuff and prepare everything to leave this sunday night. So I did. I packed everything, and said goodbye to a few people... Saturday night rolls around, and they tell us officially what our changes are. My zone leader calls me and says, "Elder Millard, se....... Queda!! which means that I´m staying another change!! haha. Obviously the Lord has something else for me to do here in La Ligua. But Í´m pretty excited.

So it´s been a while since i´ve given an update on Pastor Vergara. We visited him and his wife this week, actually for the purpose of saying goodbye. I guess i´ll have to surprise them this week haha. So when we were there, they started talking about a documentary that they saw on descovery channel about how they have found a direct liniage from the Native Americans, to the Jews. In the documentary, they were talking about how the Mormon religion is the only religion in the world that has this revealed truth in their doctrine. This was another little eye oppener for them. They told us that they are members of their church right now only because that was the first church that they found. But they explained to us that they are still open to looking for the truth. They have been talking to President Gillespie about what would happen if they were to get baptized. (because obviously they are considering it). They told us their vision. Their vision is that one day, if they come to know its true, they will convert their congregation of 140 people and form another branch in the church. Pastor Vergara could still be a leader, and his congregation would all be members of the true church of Jesus Christ. The miracle is that they are considering it. They have tasted of the light and truth. They told us that they feel something unique special and different when we visit them. They would be an incredible family in the church. They are great leaders and love Jesus Christ. The thing is, it is a very complicated situation, but if it´s the lords will, great things could happen here in La Ligua in the near future. For the time being, we have the talent show planned for the 18th of June. His congregation and our congregation are going to meet up and hopefully create a bond of Christian friendship and trust. Planting some seeds. Hopefully we will see some fruits!

This last Sunday, the day that my companion left La Ligua, a miracle happened. It quite fitting actually. So to give a little background of the miracle, La Ligua has not seen rain in over a year. But lo and behold, this sunday, the same sunday that my comp was going home, the Lord decides to send a huge rainstorm! Tons and Tons of rain! Obviously me and Elder Colman were not prepared for this so we tried to avoid the exposure as much as possible, but the results were innevitable. We came home absolutely soaked!! It was super fun though. A nice change! La Ligua apparently was super sad that Elder Colman was leaving.

So today, I recieved a call from the Assistants. They told me that President Gillespie has another assingment for me. I´m going to be the new District Leader in the district Petorca!!! I´m super excited! It will be a little extra work but i´m grateful for this opportunity to learn, progress and serve.

I love you all! I pray for you often! The church is True!!!

Elder Millard

Monday, May 23, 2011

Spiritually self sufficient investigators


Hola Hola! Wow, what a crazy week this has been. Crazy but good of course! Thanks so much for all the letters and support. Its incredible to know that all is well back at home! Congrats Tiff and Aaron on finally having RJ home with you. Robbie, I just saw the picture of you and mom in those hope of America shirts, and Please don´t tell me you are already that tall!! HAHAH Rob, I totally want to see a picture of the missing tooth! I can´t believe that happened haha. Those steal the flag games are pretty brutal aren´t they? Congrats Maddi on being an official lifeguard!!! Keeping the family tradition alive. Sheri, good luck with Miss O town this week. You will do InCREDIBLE! OK, now, the summary of this week i will put in two words. Travel and injury.
I say the word Travel because more than half the week, we were traveling and in other parts of the mission. This tuesday, we had our zone meeting in Quillota which was great! We practiced inviting people to be baptized. Along with all the other stuff we do... After the meeting, my comp and i had the opportunity to work in la Calera for the day. We did divisions and I was with Elder Haycock. La Calera is super humble, and there are plenty of things that one should be careful for. Lets just say its not the safest place in Chile. But the lord protects us missionaries so i was not worried. On this interchange, we found two great families that are so ready for the gospel. Great experience. That night, ew had the opportunity to sleep in la Calera and I had the best night sleep of my life. We got to sleep on a nice smoothe comfortable tile floor with a couple of blankets. Oh the memorable experiences of the mission. The next morning, bright and early, we had mission conference. All of the interior zones came together. I love these conferences because I always learn so much!! We talked alot about how to be better teachers. I definitely left a better teacher after this conference.
My comp hurt his leg last week playing futbol. It has been bugging him the whole week and finally, we talked to Hermana Gillespie and she said that we need to get it checked out. So this Friday, we had a nice long trip to Viña del Mar to go see a Traumatologo. (doctor) The results showed that he needs to take it easy this week, which will be super hard considering we walk and walk, comparable to what the pioneers did. We will have to plan and work super smart and efficiently so his leg can rest. In a week, we have to go back to take another test. This test will determine wether he needs surgery or not. If he needs surgery, he will have to go back to Argentina. But he has a great attitude about the whole thing. Yes, this is the injury that I was referring to in the first paragraph.
Spiritual experience: We have been teaching this lady named Ingrid for about 3 weeks. She has been reading the Book of Mormon and really likes it, but the only problem is, it is really hard to find her. We have not had too many opportunities to be able to have a solid, spiritual lesson with her. But this week, our time came to really help her understand the importance of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We taught with power and authority, and she tasted the fruits of the spirit. We taught her how she can know that all this is true, and that is obviously through prayer. She has never really prayed to God like this before, but she believes that if she prays with enough faith, God will answer her prayers. It is so important to help the investigators be spiritually self-sufficient. Teach them to find answers to their own questions, gain their own testimony through scriptures, prayer and church attendance. I love being able to help people understand these ways our Heavenly Father has given us to be able to find answers to any question.

I love you all!

Chao Chao!

Elder Millard

Monday, May 16, 2011

Getting cold in Chile


Hola Hola!!! I did not take any pictures this week so I thought I would take one in the internet cafe, where i´m at right now writing you guys! Chile needs to make up its mind. It is super cold in the mornings, when it reaches about 1:25, it starts to get super hot! After the weather has had its fun making us sweat, it decided to get extremely cold at about 5:30! haha Well, life is great! La Ligua is still perseveering! The members are as strong as ever, the San Martins are doing great, Sebastián is great, everything is just great! This week we had a little scare with the Familia Collao Fres. We did a tour of the church with Pastor Vergara, and we went crazy this week giving out Books of Mormon and looking for the children of God that he has been preparing for us.

Ailin and Marcelo. On the 28th of May, these two exceptional kids will be baptized. They have had some health problems lately, but that has not stopped their desire to keep learning. We had a cool little suprise with them this week. After a lesson, we had left them with a chapter to read in the book of Mormon. (2 Nephi 31) This chapter talks alot about baptism. The next day when we went to go visit them, we obviously verified their commitment, and they had done something that I have never seen on my mission up to this point. Ailin had taken notes in a notebook about the verses that we left them. She wanted to make sure she understanded everything. She told us that after she was done studying the scriptures, she was emotional and had a unforgettable spritual experience. This is a lesson to all of us. Often times, we just read the Book of Mormon just to read it and don´t take the time to deeply study it. We skim over the parts that could be of the most importance to us. I personally am going to start studying more deeply the principles that our Heavenly Father has given us in the Book of Mormon.

Mega Tour. We had the opportunity to give a tour of the church to Pastor Vergara. We showed him a few rooms and explained all of the wonderful organizations that we have in the church. He absolutely loved the church. He said it is like a mansion compared to the church that he has for him and his congregation. I could see on his face that he was being touched by the spirit. We keep on planting the little seeds, and one day, I have faith that these seeds will have served for a purpose. The purpose being bringing him and his family the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We then played some ping pong, and Dad, don´t worry, I represented the family name well. haha

Book of Mormon Frenzy
. This week, my companion and I recieved a box of Books of Mormon, coupled with all the desire in the world to give out lots this week. Giving Books of Mormon is a great way to find new investigators and the best way to plant seeds that one day may sprout into a baptism. This week, we let very few people pass us in the street. We talked with everyone. If they were interested, we gave them a book of Mormon. By showing the Lord our faith and our desires, he has blessed us this week with success. We keep on finding great potential investigators. I love this training gig. My child is progressing very well and we work very well together.

A little scare. So here we are, eating lunch this last Wednesday. Right after we were done eating, we recieve a phone call from Jessica. She told us to come over to their house as fast as we can. I thought in my head, this does not sound good. The tone of her voice showed that something bad had happened. She said that we need to make a decision as a family, they consider us part of their family now. I was really scared. It could be anything. We prayed to our Heavenly Father to give us the words that were needed so that we may help them overcome whatever they are going through. When we got there, they were all in tears. The situation was alot worse than I thought. The car that Fransisco uses to work, (The only thing they have that helps them gain income), had a short circuit and burst into flames as they were returning to their house. They frantically tried to get everyone out but the doors were stuck. They did not know what to do! They finally got the doors open, after having been trapped in a box of smoke and flames. They ran for water to put the fire out. When the fire was put out, they looked, and it was about 1 inch away from the gas line. If the fire would have reached that, it would have exploded. Also, goodbye to the only thing that this family has that helps them gain an income. Trial after Trial after trial. Now here we were in their house, and we had to say something that would help this family stay active in the church, and recieve the comfort that they so desperately need. I was relying on the help of the lord and the promise that we will be given the words to say, precisely in the moment of when they are needed most. That promise came true. We helped them overcome their doubts, their wounded faith, and their hopelesness. They need your prayers now more than ever. But the happy endind to this story is that through all their trials, they came to church and showed their faith to God that even though he gives them tests, they are willing to persevere.

I love you all so much! Chao!!

Elder Millard