Elder Millard with his mission president

Elder Millard with his mission president

Monday, January 31, 2011

Staying in LaLigua

Hola Hola!!! This week has been So great!! I can磘 believe this change is alredy come and gone! It seriously went super fast! But it really was a great change! I learned so much and i磎 so grateful for all the things that we were able to do here in la Ligua. We have had some great experiences, of which I will never forget. The mission is changing my life and the lives of so many others.

燬o here磗 the big news... Staying or going... the answer is... Drum roll... 创Elder Millard, stays in La Ligua! His new companion will be, Elder Huaman!创 Kinda funny because this change, La Ligua was devided into two because its so big, so there were 4 missionaries. Now that lots of missionaries are leaving the mission, La Ligua will only have 2 missionaries, Elder Huaman and I. I alredy know Elder Huaman super well because we all lived in the same pension. I磎 super excited for this new change! Our area is So Huge!! We will definitely have to plan well. The Lord trusts us.

This week, I had quite the experience... So here we are, Elder Bustincio and I, in a branch meeting. Right at the end of the meeting, we see some investigators outside the door. Apparently they came for some english classes so I had the great opportunity to totally bust out some Elder Millard English Class Improv. It basically could have been a live TV show. Lets just say that Chileans are not known for having the best english accents in the world haha. Since i磎 a missionary, for the class I took the opportunity to teach the people how to pray in english. It actually went really well. I might think about a new career idea... NOT! ha. I might start making this a common occurance here. Who knows, maybe some seeds will be planted for future baptisms.

So now for the uplifting spiritual experience for the week. So we have been teaching this 19 year old girl named Leslie and her mom. They have been passing through a really hard time in their lives with their dad. He has problems with drugs and alchohol. They finally talked to the legal system, and this situation that has been destroying their lives and their happiness is finally resolved. They can now live in peace. Once they told this to us, we were so happy! We asked them what is their new goal in life. They responded, to follow God. Wow! This set the mood for the prime opportunity to be able to give them their wish, through the saving ordinance of baptism. We taught them the doctrine through the scriptures, through inspired questions, and through testimony, until they really understood and the spirit could confirm to them that this is true. We invited them to be baptized and they accepted. The manner in which they accepted reflected their desires to really change and be on the path that God has set for all of us.

I love you all! Hope all is well back at home! Know that you are in my prayers always.


Elder Millard

Monday, January 24, 2011

Soccer and Preach My Gospel

Hola Hola!!!! This week has been so great!! I磍l tell you what... This change has gone by So So So fast!! It seems like yesterday I was on that all night bus ride here to La Ligua! Time flies when you are having fun. I still have one week left and I hope I stay. The branch here is great, The people are great, the dulces de la Ligua are great... basically everything is great about La Ligua.

So in all the missions in the world, they are moving away from lessons 1 through 4 in preach my gospel and adapting towards the 8 principles. Teaching more with the spirit and more to the needs of the investigators. I love this new way of teaching!! It really is so effective. Obviously we still have to teach all of the material, but it is not in a solid immovable lesson outline, its flexible, leaving room for inspiration from the spirit, inspired questions, silence, personal experiences, scriptures and testimony. It is so rewarding and so refreshing when we have a great lesson, and can see the people change through the influence of the spirit.

This week, I was on interchanges with Elder Vargas, another elder from Mexico. We were knocking doors up on this big hillside. Dirt roads, extremely humble houses, super steep staircases made of old cement, dogs, Latin music (Rigat髇), and an excitement to go and find the people that the lord has prepared for us to teach. We both felt that we should go up this pathway to a house out of the way. When we knocked the door, this lady came out very nice and friendly. She said right away that she was catholic and that she would not change her religion. But how could she refuse two nicely dressed boys inviting to share about Jesus Christ. As we were invited into her house, we used the suggestions in Preach My Gospel of how to start a lesson. After the ambient was set with the spirit, through inspired questions, music, prayer... her heart began to be more susseptible. We taught to her needs and helped her see the light. We felt that we should invite her to be bapized. So we did. After the invitation, there was over a minute of complete silence!! We could hear the wind blowing outside, we could easily have heart a pin drop on the ground. In this moment is precisely when the spirit was testifying to her that this was the right path, the light and the truth. Shortly after, we did a prayer on our knees and she offered a great prayer asking God if these things are true. Again, complete silence followed. She stated 创 I feel so calm and peaceful and happy. Perhaps this is the path that God wants me to follow.创

I love my mission. The opportunity to help and serve people every day. So you know that family that we found with the less active mom and her three kids, (familia San Mart韓). Well they all have a baptisimal date for the 26th of Feb! They are all so excited and animated for their baptism. God has truly prepared them. I love this family.

This week we had quite the experience of playing F鷗bolito or Baby (soccer in a little court) against the family Vergara and a few of the members of their congregation. We played at the church with the young men, the four elders and a few of our investigators. We are proud to say that we ended up beating the Evangelicos! I am beginning to love soccer! haha. Everyone loved this event, there was a great feeling of friendship and clean fun. Our investigators gained a better relationship with the members and the Family Vergara and their congregation found out that the 创mormons创 are normal people just like them hah.

Well I love you all so much!

Until next week. Nos vemos! Chao

Elder Millard

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Elder Millard!

Hola!!! This week was So great!! Its kinda fun to have a Pday on my birthday! That just worked out perfectly didn´t it. Wow so my 7 month mark was yesterday! so crazy! The mission goes by so fast. I am loving and enjoying every moment of it. I look how far i´ve come these last 7 months and it just reenforces the testimony that I have of how God is in this work and helps every one of His missonaries. I love my mission and right now
So for my birthday so far, we woke up and cleaned the house and got ready. Then it was off to Zapallar. As you can see from the pictures, this place is absolutely incredible! one of the most beautiful places in Chile. They have these Huge mansions on the hillsides with the best view ever. We took some pictures then it was off to the house of Hna. Laura Ubillos. She made us pizza and I have not eaten so much pizza in my life! It has been a great Birthday so far! But don´t worry, i´m still focused on the Misson. haha
We had a great experience this week with finding a family. As we were walking down the street, waiting to go give a tour of the church to an investigator, this lady yells ´´Elders!!´´ we look back and she is running towards us. We come to find out that she is a less active that wants to come back to the church. The interesting part is that her family is not member! She has 3 kids and her husband that all are not baptized. She told us that she wants her family to be baptized!! All i can say is that the lord put us in her path today. We set up a family night with them and I cannot wait to help them on the path that God has for each and every one of us that leads to eternal life, the Gospel.
Well i just love it here so much! We are working hard and we are seeing fruits. The lord is in this work and he is preparing the way for us. We had a zone meeting and in the class we talked about finding new investigators. That is the focus of this month. I learned more about having a passion for finding the elect that Christ has prepared for us. When we stop thinking so much about ourselves and start thinking about others as children of God, that is where the success will start. One of my favorite parts of the mission is the opportunity that we have to learn so much about God, about life, about whats important. The great part is that here is one of the best places to practice and apply these great things that we learn. I have started to give myself daily committments after my scripture study. Every day, i have a focus on what i have learned and what I can do to improve. A goal, a vision of how I can change to be a better desciple of our savior Jesus Christ. Applying the scriptures and the words of the prophets to our lives is when we can really start to progress and learn more about the gospel. I love the principle of Application. I challenge every one of you at home that you can start to apply more the scriptures and words of the prophets into our lives. It is through vision and goals that we become who we want to be.
I love you all! You are in my prayers
Love Elder Millard

Monday, January 10, 2011

More spiders! HELP!

Hola Hola!!! This week was so great!!! As always... I am absolutely loving la ligua! This week we were working hard as usual, taking advantage of this time that the lord has given us to serve him with all of our heart might mind and strength. They have a nice little branch here in la ligua, yesterday, we had over 90 people assisting church! Before we came, there was an average of 49. Yesterday, we also had the opportunity to have President Gillespie come to the branch for sacrament meeting. He gave a powerful talk on how the world is looking for happiness, but just don´t know where to find it. Thats where we (the members and missionaries) come in!!
This week we had the opportunity to do some service for a sister that is coming back to the church. We were moving big piles of grass to a place where we could burn it. When we were moving the grass, we saw over 20 Rincon spiders and as you can imagine, I was scared out of my mind! haha. The service great. Afterwards, she gave us food and obviously we could not resist. The food was absolutely delicious! we were full. Afterwards, we realized that we had another lunch scheduled with another sister! So we went over there, and had our second serving of lunch. I thought i was going to explode! At least i was not hungry while walking the streets of La Ligua.
Elder Bustincio and I found out that we have a whole other city that is part of our area. This city is called Zapallar. Basically, all the richest people in chile live in this area Zapallar. It is located right next to the beach and it is apparently one of the most beautiful places in Chile. Rich people with their mansions would make great fast offering donations. haha. I´m excited to work there. This last sunday, we met with one of the members over there and he helped us find a bunch of innactives and old investigators over there.
Yesterday, we had a great experience! Elder Bustincio and had all of our appointments fall, so we had some time to go look for some new investigators. We started with a prayer and prayed that God would bless us to find a family. We started knocking, found a 7th day adventist that started chewing us out, we move on, we got doors slammed in our faces, rejection, rejection... On our way back to the pension, we saw this lady wattering her plants. We went up and talked to her. She was super friendly. After talking for a little bit, she let us into her home. What do you know, her family was inside!!! We taught them and I felt the spirit so strong and I know they did too! We asked them, ´´ how would you describe your feelings right now?´´ they responded ´´Super calm and peaceful!´´ They were so prepared and they are so good! We left them a book of mormon and they are excited to read and pray about it to know if its true!
Take care back at home!! or wherever you are! Chao!
Elder Millard

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New area: LaLigua

Hola Hola from Chile!! This week was so great! Elder Bustincio and i are finally getting used to La Ligua and do not even get lost anymore! Thats a big accomplishment, because our area is pretty big. I cannot believe how hot it is here! It really is equivalent to Southern Utah in the middle of the summer. And yes mom I am using sun screen! (I thought that would make you proud) haha. I absolutely LOVE La Ligua! The people here are so kind and receptive. The area itself is so great! We don´t have a view of the ocean like my last area but here it is more green. The area in general is nicer and cleaner. We have a little city in the middle of where the 2 areas in la Ligua split. (we have 4 missionaries here). Our church is right on the outskirts of the city. Now when i say city, i do not mean Tall buildings and tons of people, its more like two story buildings with lots of stores. We live in a place called Villa Fertil, its about a 15 min walk to la Ligua and the church. Its a nice little neighborhood with lots of dogs. They like to cry and scream in the night but other than that, its super chill. This change is going to go by way too fast! I´m loving my time here.
So we are having some great success here! Working hard, focusing, but having fun at the same time. I will never forget my comp Elder Bustincio. He really is Quite the character. The six pack that i lost will be coming back soon from laughing so much with him.
So you remember the Familia Vergara, (the evangelico Pastor..) Well we did not have lunch planned for the day so this family, who obviously are not members invited us to their house to eat. So us 4 missionaries went over. Its kinda a funny story how Elder Bustincio and I found them. We were doing contacts house to house singing christmas carols with a guitar. Obviously they are a very musical family so they let us in right away. During this first visit, they told us that there was something that struck them. As i showed them a picture of my family in front of the temple, they asked... What is that beautiful building in the background?? I explained that it was a temple and that is where families like them can be sealed together forever. That stuck out to them so much that he shared that with his congregation. He was basically doing missionary work for us haha.
They found out that i play the piano. So when we were at lunch, they had brought their big ole electric piano that they use in their church so that i can play for them! haha. So i played some classical songs and they were reconding me and they said that they were going to show this to their congregation of 100 people. Later i played some hymns and us 4 missionaries sang along. We were super sneaky becuase the hymns that we picked were ones of the restoration like praise to the man, joseph smiths first prayer, we thank the o God for a Prophet... They then played some stuff for us and it was So So good!! I loved it! We then thanked them for lunch and asked if we could share something with them. They obviously said yes... and now this was our chance... 4 missionaries together to teach this great family, who are the Pastors of a huge congregation of evangelicos! We explained that we are so grateful for their hospitality and we would like to share something that we know is true. We love you and respect you so much that we want you to have the truth. The lesson actually went great!! We taught them about the authority of God and about prophets. We taught them about the restoration. The spirit was there!! I felt it and saw it in their faces. We asked them if they sould follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the authority of God? They pondered it deeply, they were feeling the spirit. They said that they would have to think about it more but they did commit to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about it. Immagine the potential of this great situation!! If we can lead this family to the truth, we may see a big group of his congregation (100) as well recieve the restored gospel! I really do feel like this family is one of the big purposes of why i was sent here to La Ligua. I feel a special bond with them.
They then invited us to spend new years with them. They invited us to a dinner that they were having with a few members of their congregation. They offered to pick us up their car take us there and bring us back! They really are great people and i want nothing more than for them to recieve an answer from God and be baptized!
Elder Bustincio and I were knocking doors this last thurs... We were about to go to lunch at a sisters house, but we felt that we should knock one more door. In this last door, this 19 year old girl walked out and she said that she wanted to hear our message. Her name is Leslie and she apparently has been searching for a church where she feels confident enough to be baptized! We gave her a book of mormon and she committed to read and pray. We put a Baptisimal date with her for the 29th of Jan. The next time we stopped by, we asked her if she had read, and she said yes. She then told us a story of how she was having a really hard day, she decided to take the Book of Mormon and open it and read it. She oppened to exactly what she needed to hear at the moment. She now has a great testimony that the book is true. The sad part is that she is now moving to the North of Chile. But it was great to get to know her and introduce her to the truth.
Well I love you all so much and hope all is well back at home! Enjoy the cold and know that you are always in my prayers!
Elder Millard