Elder Millard with his mission president

Elder Millard with his mission president

Monday, December 5, 2011


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!!


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!!


Elder Millard