Elder Millard with his mission president

Elder Millard with his mission president

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

Monday, May 9, 2011

Week 21 in LaLigua

Hola Hola! I absolutely loved being able to talk you all of you yesterday for Mothers day!! It was so great to be able to talk via Skype! You gotta love technology right? You all look so good! But I feel obliged to say one thing... Thanks alot for turning me into a crybaby haha. At the end there, I was trying to hold in my emotions, but seing all of you cry, I just could not hold it in at the end. Its all good though right? I just love you all so much! It makes me so happy to know that all of you are doing great! Doing amazing things in Otown Utah. You are all getting so old! haha. Now it´s time to focus 110% again.

This week was a great one! I´m loving my time as a trainer. Its really not as hard as I thought it would be. I´ve talked to a lot of other elders that have trained and they said that it was the hardest month and a half of their entire mission. Not the case for me. I have been blessed with a great comp that is willing to learn and work hard. I love seing the progress that the both of us are making. I think i´m learning more than my comp is. Its a completely different world being the one that has to make all of the decisions, lead just about everything... But I love it! I´ve learned to put my trust in the lord. By ourselves, we are incapable, but with the lord, anything is possible.

We have 4 children of God that have baptisimal dates. Nixa, Jorge, Ailin and Marcelo. Its starting to get a little complicated with Nixa and Jorge because the Mom does not want us to come over more than once a week. Not sure why... but we will resolve the problem following the promptings of the spirit. They have had obstacles preventing them from coming to church these last two weeks. We have taught them, focusing on their necesities, explaining the WHY it is important to come to church. Using the scriptures, we have promised blessings specific to thier needs, now it is a trial of their faith to see if they are willing to ATTEND church this week. Its a little different situation with Ailin and Marcelo. They are the kids of Eslatiza, the lady who was baptized at the age of 12 but does not remember too much about the church. She is coming back and we are teaching her kids. This week, we saw a miracle with Ailin. Lately she has been a little rebelious. She hasn´t been reading the Book of Mormon, she has been leaving the lessons to go on the internet... But, on friday, at the end of the lesson, we asked them. "Have you asked God if what we have taught you is true?". She responded, "Yes, but I have not recieved an answer yet." we then asked her, "How do you expect God to answer your prayers?" She didn´t know what to say... Then, using the scriptures, we felt inspired to share Doctrine and Covenants 9:7-8. As she finished reading the scripture, her face lit up. She was amazed that all of her doubts were resolved using the scriptures. We have seen a huge change in Ailin ever since this point. Now all she wants to do is go to church, read the scriptures and pray to God. They are progressing towards their baptism for the 28th of May.

So, more about the situation with Scarlet. Her Leukemia has gotten alot worse. She needs an bone marrow transplant as soon as possible or she will be passing on to the other side of the veil. The only one in her family that is compatible is her brother Cristopher. The thing is, her operation will not just be some casual financial speedbump. This will be a financil Mount Everest for the Familia Collao Fres. This operation in specific is Super expensive. They do not have that kind of money. What do you do in this situation? Well, i´ll tell you what they did this week to help show God that they are willing to put their confidence in him. This Sunday, after church, Jessica came up to me and asked me a question. She asked me, with sincerity in her eyes, if I could teach her again how to fill out a tithing slip. They are willing to pay tithing, even through these impossible financial circumstances that they have found themselves in. What faith. What confidence. I think I could say that I have learned more on my mission from the people that surround me, than they have learned from me. I will never forget these life changing experiences that I am having.

I´m sure you are all wondering how things are going with the Pastor Vergara. Well I will tell you. We have been planning a talent show in our church. He is going to invite all of his congregation to participate in it. This will be quite interesting considering that the music is central to their worship. They have a choir, tons of instruments, over 200 songs ready to play. They are pretty legit i must say. Our ward will have to practice a lot to not be humiliated in front of them haha. no, but it will be a great experience to form a bond between the two congregations and begin to plant the seeds so that some day, maybe they will be ready to come to the truth. Pastor Vergara is still reading the Book of Mormon. The situation is moving foreward slowly but surely.

Well I love you all so much! Thanks for all your support and all your prayers.

Hasta luego! Chao

Elder Millard

Monday, May 2, 2011

A new companion

Hola Hola!! As I write this letter, I am totally shivering because it is getting super cold here!! Gotta love it! My fingers are super cold, so I will try to type as fast as I can. The office called me and told me a little bit about the situataion with RJ. He has been in every single one of my prayers, and will continue to be. I know he will pull through, I have faith! Keep me updated. Sheri, congrats on your Senior Prom!!! You are just getting so old! ha. I hope Dad and the brothers in law gave Rob a sufficient scare before he took you out. Lots has happened this week in my life as a missionary: I met my new comp, My child (mi hijito); Primary activity; Situation with Scarlet; Tour experience. Lets get started!

On tuesday, Elder Huamán and I woke up before the break of dawn, at 5:30, to travel down to Viña del Mar. Arriving at the office of the mission, we said our goodbyes, and he was off to his new area Placilla. I then recieved a little capacitation for my new training assingnment. At about 5 o clock, we went to the mission house where all the news just got done with all their capacitations and eating... President told us who our new comps were going to be, then we all went outside, formed a line, and walked to the back yard where our greenies were waiting for us. It was at this moment where we began to sing the mission song with tons of enthusiasm. I could not believe that I am now on the other side of things. It seems like yesterday that i was watching our trainers sing the mission song to us! I thought the day would never come, and now here it is!! My companions name is Elder Colman from Argentina. Hearing his name, I thought he would be a Gringo, but yeah, he´s from Argentina. He is so awesome! He is very humble, which is what I was hoping for, and is super ready to learn and work! I´m really excited to work with him! My goal is to teach him by example. Always be happy and animated, show him how to work hard, work efficiently, be obedient, and teach him what a companionship is (a council). This will be a great change. It will be hard, I will be stretched, but I thank the lord for this opportunity that he has given me to learn, progress, and bless someones life. I hope I can change his life in a good way.

We had a stellar activity with the primary this week! They put on a show, acting the coming of our savior Jesus Christ to the Americas. All of the little childer had their costumes and everything. Guess who they asked to be Jesus?... Yep you guessed it, the tall white gringo. haha. They acted, and showed the movie the Testaments at the same time. During the earthquake, they were all falling everywhere, it was pretty funny. When it was time for the savior to come, I walked out on center stage, took a couple of steps down, and had my hands out to the side. All of the children came to me and touched my hands. It was cool being in the shoes of Christ, to see and feel a glymps of what he saw and felt. The show was a success!

Two days ago, on Saturday, Scarlet was walking around in La Ligua with her family. Then suddenly, she started to have Seizures and became super sick! She was rushed to the hospital, and is still there. I don´t know too much about the situation, but what I know is that Scarlet and her family need your prayers.

One morning, Elder Colman and I had planned to do tours of the church. So we got there, and they were painting and fixing the doors! But that did not stop us, we used the upstairs door on the other side. So, the norm with doing tours of the church is that one in about 50 contact will enter to do a tour with us. The miracle is that the first person that we talked to accepted a tour. The tour was great, she lives in Valparaiso, so we will be giving them a reference. We then go out to the gate to invite more people to do tours with us. The second miracle is that again, the first person that we talked to wanted to do a tour with us. This experience was very special. At the end of the tour, I played the piano and sang "I am a child of God." When the song was over, we asked her how she felt. Her response streangthened my faith. She said, "I have never felt like this before. I have entered in many churches in my lifetime, and none of them have made me feel like this. I feel so much peace and joy, it reaches to the depths of my heart." She was emotional. After this spiritual experience, she was very interested in us visiting her family.

Its mothers day this week!!! I´m super excited to talk to all of you!!!!

Well, that will be all for this week! I love you all and pray for you every day! The church is true!!

Chao! Que les vaya muy bien!

Elder Millard