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!