Elder Millard with his mission president

Elder Millard with his mission president

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tons of references

Hola Hola!!! The Lord really does reward us for our efforts and for our faith. Ever since we have put the focus on working more with the members, we have been blesses more that I could imagine. We have found countless inactive families that we are in the process of activating, the members are giving us Tons of references, and we are teaching ALL day long EVERY day. I love the feeling of not really having to plan too much at night because we already have a full day of appointments. Thats the best feeling in the world. This week thats coming up, we already have most of it planned with appointments as well! We have come to the point where in our planning sessions, instead of saying, "so... what do you want to do at 5:00," we are saying, "how are we going to be able to accomplish all that we need to do today!! there is no time!"

Sara and Karina are having their baptisimal interview this week. They will be baptized this sunday! We are really excited for them. They have come a long way.

Sergio also accepted a baptisimal date for the 13th of May.

We are working hard, seeing miracles, and ENJOYING the last sweet moments of the mission. But there is still alot of time, so OFF TO WORK!!

Love you all!

Elder Millard

P.s. Sorry for the short letter, I will send a better one next week

Working with members is the key

Hola Hola!!! looks like Easter was a blast! We also had some fun here. We didn´t have any epic easter egg hunts, nor the easter bunny visited our house, but we did have the opportunity to sing lots of songs about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and talk about such a significant event all weekend with everybody! I am so grateful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My testimony and knowlege of him has grown so much during my time here on the mission, and will continue for the rest of my life. Right now, in this time that God has given me to be in Chile, I will help others come to the fullness of the Gospel the He, our Savior, has given to us to be happy in this life and in the eternities with our families.

Oh, by the way, I was looking at the calendar the other day, and I realized that I have a little over 9 weeks left in the mission!! I have no words to say. i´m speechless

All the investigators are doing great! Carina and her grandma Sara are determined to get baptized on the 22nd of this month. So we will be teaching them alot this week in order to make sure they are ready. Carina attended a baptism this week and loved it. She is actually a huge miracle. She changed from someone who did not know if she believed in God, or Jesus, to a person who all she wants to do is follow the example of Him and change her life so it is in harmony with His teachings. The Spirit really has changed their lives and filled them with light and joy.

Elder Yorgason and I have come to the conclusion that the only way that we will be able to accomplish the goals that we have set is working absolutely with the members. Not only invite them to accompany us with appointments, but also visit their houses, share a spiritual experience with them, then help them with their own family mission plan. All the members are surrounded by friends, workmates, neighbors... that do not have the knowlege of the gospel that we have. So we will visit them to inspire them and animate them to start working with all these people that they know. This is something that I have tried to do more in my mission, but most times the results are more long term. I feel like this will be so much more effective than knocking doors, visiting investigators that will not progress... The joy of helping a member bring one of their friends to the gospel i feel will be even greater than the joy of us finding them and baptizing them. While working like this, the whole ward gets excited as well about missionary work! We are going to put the members to work haha. We are also going to start doing a plan thats called 15 families. The ward is going to give us names and adresses of 15 families that are innactive, and we are going to go teach them all the missionary lessons with the end of re-activating them and baptizing all their relatives, friends... Our new focus is using the Members!

Love you all!!


Elder Millard

General Conference

Hola Hola!! General Conference was just INCREDIBLE wasn´t it! I have to admit that I was thoroughly enlightened during the whole thing. All the grongo missionaries got to watch it in a special room, in order to be able to see it in english. All the speakers were inspired and I felt like they were all talking to me personally. As I walked outside after the conference, I could not believe how many people on this earth just missed out on this wonderful opportunity to be spiritually fed through hearing apostles and prophets of the Lord speak. My testimony has been streangthened and reaffirmed, that the Lord´s church is on the earth today, and we have the immense blessing to be a part of it. I realized another thing during the coference, that I will not be sitting in a Chilean church for the next one, I will be home! How crazy is that! We had Lots of investigators at church this week for the conference. We were expecting 15 to come to the conference, and we had a total of 11 come. Big success! Huanhualí has come a long way.

We are teaching a man named Daniel. His wife holds the record in all of Chile for having the most children. She has 18 children!! imagine that!! haha. Everyone in the family is a member except for Daniel. On Friday, the day before the conference, we taught him about the fruits of the spirit, and the power of prayer. We explained the way that through these principles, he can know for himself that the apostles and prophets in the Church of Jesus Christ are called of God. He was unsure that God could answer the prayer of a sinner like him, but we assured him, just as James 1:5 says, that God upbraideth not. The only problem is that Daniel is SO shut off. He always goes back to the doubt that the only truth is the Bible, and there can be nothing more. "If I have my Bible, why would I need more scripture?" We invited him to the conference, to be able to see the prophet and apostles talk, then to pray to God and ask if they are called of him. And during this whole search for truth, be ever so attent to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit which will tell him the truth. Well Daniel went to the conference, and when we went to go talk to him after, his whole complexion was changed. We asked him how the conference went, and all he did was put a huge thumbs up, put on that big ole smile, and nod his head with sincere approval, that they are men called of God. He came on Sunday as well and he recieved the exact same spiritual confirmation. We are excited to talk to him this week to help him recognize the light, and invite him to follow the example of Jesus Christ.

My new comp arrived! His name is Elder Yorgason from Provo Utah. He is a great Elder. Its actually kinda funny. He is the one that beat me in the scripture chase and memorization finals in the last conference. Now he´s my comp haha. He´s really tall as well. I´m excited for these last two changes of my mish with him. We are going to work Super hard and see the hand of the Lord in His work. I want to work in such a way that after I finish my mission, I will be able to look back and say with a clear concience that I gave it my all, that I am pleased with my efforts.

Often times, when we are working hard, the Lord does not bless us in the way that we would think he would. But I can assure you all one thing: That if you are working hard, doing what you are supposed to be doing, the Lord puts you exactly where you need to be in order to have success. We are just like a Tennis Racket. If a tennis racket is crooked or broken, the player (The Lord) cannot trust in us to put the ball exactly where it needs to be in order to win. I had an experience this week where this testimony was reaffirmed. It was 9:26, we were on our way to the pension to end the day. We had been talking to everyone the entire day, we had Lots and lots of appointments, and were tired. But in the distance, there was a man coming our way. We stopped and talked to him. He was a good guy but was not interested to the least bit. So we gave him a card and invited him to the conference. After the contact, we kept walking. Only 2 seconds passed when someone behind their fence yelled our names. We look over and they are two members visiting some relatives. They saw us talking to that guy in the street so they invited us over to talk to them. They explained to us that this family that they are visiting are less active members, but not all in the family are baptized. So in a friendly manner, we set up an appointment to pass by to visit them. Two days later, we passed by and shared a faith buliding message with the whole family. Pablo, a 15 year old stud is not a member, but was super interested. We will keep passing by to help the whole family come back to church and help Pablo get baptized. All this came by doing what we are supposed to be doing, and by doing so, the Lord puts us in the path that corresponds.

Elder Perez and I liked to play ping pong alot. Our last P-day, we played the Championship match between us two. He beat me the first two sets. 5-4, 5-4. On the third set, I was up 4-2. I thought I had this set won for sure! The next game, 4-3, then 4-4. At this moment, I started to get nervous. The last game to determine who won the set went down somthing like this. I like to use the excuse that I have lots of charity to let the outcome turn out in such way. To make things short, all i´m going to say is that he Skunked me 7-0 haha!! So I finished the last change, sufficiently humbled haha. He let me know that I had to inform my family about this.

Love you all!!


Elder Millard

Another Earthquake

Hola Hola!!! What a great week it has been. The change is officially over! The other night, President called us to give us the changes. I will be staying here in Huanhualí, just as I had imagined. Elder Perez will be going to Valparaiso Oeste. My new companion will be Elder Yorgeson. This is his first change being zone leader so I will be training him. He will most likely be my last companion. The elder who "kills" me here in the mission. It still has not hit me that I am entering in my second to last change of the mission! How time flies right!?

Maybe some of you heard that there was yet another earthquake here in Chile! Ever since the last huge earthquake back in February 2010, there was this crazy man who predicted the next huge earthquake that was to occur. His prediction was the following date: 24 of march 2012. That was this last Saturday. So for the last few weeks, this man has been on the news and everything warning people to store water and get ready, because the earthquake was going to come. There were quite a few people that were afraid of what was supposedly going to happen. Well, it was a friday night, and we were in a deep slumber. 4:30 in the morning rolles around and suddenly, I feel my bed start to move a little bit. Right away, I sit up in my bed. It was in that moment when everything started to shake like crazy!! It started shaking harder and harder by the second. I was SO SCARED!!! haha I did not know what to do. I was sitting in my bed absolutely hopless. Luckily, the earthquake only lasted about 10 seconds, and after it was done, It was more of a COOL experience than anything. Elder Perez and I both said, "WOW, that was AWESOME!!" haha. But all is well, nothing was damaged, and all that was left was a cool memory of my second earthquake in the mission.

The elders that live with us like to eat our food. Elder Perez and I came up with the perfect solution. There is a chocolate here in Chile that works as a laxitive. haha So Elder Perez and I went and bought some on Pday. Back in the pension, we played a game with them, (them not knowing anything...) where my comp throws some chocolate and the missionary has to catch it in their mouth. We did a little competition to see who could catch the most in their mouth when the other throws. haha. My comp had regular milk chocolate and the special chocolate in hand. I´m sure you can guess who got the portion of our little surprise. haha. Our beloved pension mates woke up the next morning with zeal, and I have never seen anyone run so fast to the bathroom. hahaha

We are working with a family of 6 that are great! The only problem is that the parents are not married. This is becoming super normal for me now, considering that the majority of the couples here are just living together. How satan works right? Anyways, the point is, ever since we have been working with them, they have changed so much! When we first started to share with them, the only one that was interested was the dad, Ivan. The wife, Barbara, always told us that she was not interested because she likes the Jehova´s witenesses more. We were sharing with them the other day, when Barbara told us something that I have heard COUNTLESS times in my mission that I will never forget. The following phrase has streangthened my testimony invaluably throghout my mission. She said, "Elders, ever since you have arrived at our home, our whole lives have changed. There are not any fights in the home, our health is better, work is going great, we feel peacefull, and we are all happy!" This is the common response of anyone who accepts the gospel of Jesus Christ and applies what it teaches. The spirit is in this work and I testify of that. I have had the pleasure of seeing so many lives change throughout my time here in chile. I am going to savor every last moment of my mission.

We had 7 investigators at church this weekend. 6 of them are progressing. We are finally starting to see more success here. The Lord is so good to us.

Love you all!!


Elder Millard

Best man for Antonio

Hola Hola FAMILY!!! Wow, how time flies, I am now in the last week of the change. Next week, I will be in my second to last change of the mission!!

This week was a great one!! On Wednesday, I had the privilege of traveling to Quilpué to witness the marriage of Antonio and Erica. I am officially the best man of Antonio!! Here they say Padrino. So I am Antonio´s Padrino, and he is my Ahijado. haha. This is the first time in my life I have been a best man, and its to a man 3 times my age. hah Here in Chile, they have the terrible custom of arriving late for everything. We were told that the wedding started at 1:00. So we were there 30 min early to be sure. One a clock rolls around, and they still are not there. 1:15, still nothing. 1:30, they finally come. haha you would think that one would arrive on time for their wedding. Anyways, when they got there, Antonio was SO nervous. He arrived and was smoking, and ttrembling, trying to calm down. Antonio is a character. He never takes anything seriously. Throughout the wedding ceremony, he was busting so many jokes, and beeing a goofe ball. I was positioned at his side, and Elder Lloyed would have been on the other side, but his Chilean Identity expired so he could not participate. But he was present. When they got married, when all was said and done, the first words that Erica said impacted me. She said, with a huge smile on her face, "Now I can be baptized!" This family has made so many changes, they have come so far!! I love them so much. This weekend, Erica and Felipe are going to get baptized. Antonio still has to drop a few things concerning the Word of Wisdom. After he sees his family get baptized, that will incentivate him even more. All will be well.

This friday, we had an activity as a ward that we have been planning for quite a while. It was more like a fireside, where we taught our message of the Restoration of the Gospel, but through brief explinations and musical numbers having to do with each of the points of the lesson. The whole ward participated in various musical numbers, and I was glued to the piano. The activity turned out so well!! we had over 100 attending, including over 10 investigators, and about half of them were crying throughout the program. All the preparation and the practice was all worth it.

This ward has the custom of showing their love for the missionaries through FOOD. We have not gone ONE night without having something huge and fattening to eat. In every single house that we enter, they always have something delicious prepared for us to eat. The Chileans are such a loving people. If one thinks that they can do a diet here in Huanhualí, they are WRONG.

I am now going to share an experience that is an evidence of how rigorous missionary work is at times. On thursday night, after the day was over, we arrived at home, walked upstairs and planned for the following day. After the planning session, it was about 10:15, I had in my mind that I would just lay on my bed for a couple of seconds then finish with the nightly routine at 11:00. At this moment, I still had my white shirt, tie, pants, belt, shoes... on. From the moment where my 6´5 body touched that bed, I do not remember anything until the next morning when the oh so early alarm clock sounded at 6:55. When I woke up, I looked like I was all ready to work! I had all my gear on haha. I could not believe what just happened. haha

Well thats all for now. The work is going better, we are seeing more success every day, and I´m grateful for this time where I can smile and "bask in the sunshine of personal sacrifice, service and growth."

Love you!


Elder Millard.

Pic. Antonio, the nervous man arriving to his wedding, listening to music and smoking. All of his work companions were telling him that he should not do it, BUT HE DID IT!!!

3 months left!

Hola Hola!! Wow, isn´t time just flying right by? I looked at the calendar the other day, and I realized that I only have 3 months left in my mission! How crazy is that! Wow, so many blessing are being recieved at home! I just love hearing nothing but great news every week! Congrats Sheri on making it into BYU music school as a Freshman!!! My talented little sister!!

This last tuesday, we had a kid named Cristian Diaz accompany us to an appointment. He is a 18 year old kid, very innocent, that is preparing for the mission. This lady that we were going to teach is very special. Her name is Ana Maria. We found her talking to everyone in the street. When we got to the house, and yelled "ALO!", all of her 12 dogs came running to the fence barking, all the dust everywhere, and we waited for her to answer the door. When she came out of her house, she had a really disturbed face on. She yelled at us saying, "my house is not a shelter where I accept any crazy person that wants to come in! I will accept you two because you are from the church, but this stranger I cannot accept!" then slammed the door super angry. We could not believe it. Cristian could not believe it either, but we animated him by saying, "Cristian, the lord wants us somewhere else right now. Lets go find out where he needs us." We then went and started talking to everyone, passed by a few old investigators, then finally, we visited a lady named Alda. We entered, shared a lesson about baptism and she accepted a baptisimal invitation and a date to get baptized. She said that she wants to prepare to get baptized on the 25th of this month. Cristan was really excited about this experience.

We got a call from the Viña zone leaders, saying that they have a suprise for me. They were in that moment in a lesson with Antonio and Erica. They passed the phone to Antonio, and he let me know that they are for sure getting married this week on the 14!! They want me to come and be a witness. They could not go through with it last time because something came up, but this time, I believe that it will happen!! I´m so excited for them! They have gone through so much, and now they are so close to getting baptized. If they get married, they will be getting baptized this weekend!!!

Every once in a while, there are a few drunk people that come and talk with us. They are so funny sometimes!! The other day, there was one that came walking over to us as we were waiting for a micro (bus). before you know it, he started to break out in song, and I could not hold in the laughter. haha He was dancing and all. Super classic

Love you all so much!!


Elder Millard

Prayer Works!

Hola Hola!! We just barely had a zone activity that went really well. The sister missionaries prepared tacos with rice and beans. They are masters in the kitchen. Personally, i´m beginning to like having Sister missionaries in the zone. Last tuesday, they brought cookies for everyone. The zone is doing great, we have alot of baptisimal dates and as of right now, Villa Alemana Oeste, our zone, has the most baptisms of the year in the entire mission!!! Represent!! You better believe that will keep happening for the rest of the year!

We had stake conference this weekend. It was a two day thing, saturday and Sunday. On sunday, it was a special broadcast, where Elder Anderson and Elder Perry, talked to us through satelite. Everyone was really excited, we had over 5 investigators there, and I had great expectations. Two Apostles were going to talk, and our investigators were going to be able to hear them!! The unthinkable happened... The conference started, and we had the pleasure of hearing them speak for a grand total of 3 minutes. Right in the middle of a talk, the satelite went DOWN. We were sitting in the silence and dark for about one hour and 20 min. They finally got smart and connected a laptop to the Wifi, then connected the laptop the the transmission and put it on the projector. Just in time to hear the last 10 min of Elder Perry´s talk. haha. I was praying multiple times so it would work, and in the end, I guess we got a little inspiration out of it haha.

I would like to share an experience that streangthened my testimony of prayer. This last Thursday, I set 10 thousand pesos, which is equivilent to 20 dollars, on my bed, as i was changing cloths. We were in a hurry, so I left without putting the 10 thousand pesos in my pocket. The interesting part is that I left the bedroom window open, the door open, and the opposite bedroom window open, so there could be some fresh air blowing through, because it is very hot outside!! So, we get through the day, and when I get back, I remembered that I put that money on my bed, but it was not there! Where could it be? That money was my food for the week. I looked everywhere and could not find it for the life of me. We moved every bed, every closet, turned the house upside down to try and find that money, but no success. After all my useless attempts, I decided to humble myself, and occupy the tool that works every time, PRAYER. I kneeled down and prayed, asking God to help me find that money, because I needed it. After the prayer, I kept looking for a little bit, and.... still no success! I went to bed, accepting the fact that I had lost my 10 mil pesos. The next morning, I woke up, got ready, studied, did the every day missionary morning routine, then went out to work. Right as we walked out the front gate, my companion said, NO WAY! I did not know what he was talking about until I looked down on the sidewalk, undernieth a big pile of leaves, and saw a blue bill that said 10,000 pesos on it!! It was folded in three, just as I left it!! I could not believe it, I was so thankful. The first thing I did after that was a prayer of thanks for what God has blessed me with. God taught me a valuable lesson, and my testimony of prayer has been streangthened. Prayer works, Use It!

I love you all!!

Elder Millard

Villa Alemana

Hola Hola! We are working hard on finding some new investigators, but the fruits still have not come. Villa Alemana is a very special place. It has not been known for baptizing very much, but thats just because of the reputation. The reputation of an area can be detrimental to the amount of faith that one has. I´m not going to let the bad reputation of Villa Alemana Oeste get my faith down. We are going to keep praying as if everything depended on the Lord, and work as if everything depended on us. I know that here in the next little while, after our trial of faith has passed, we will recieve a recompense of our labors. This is my last area, I have to work like there is no tomorow. ha I´m going to really have to put in practice what I have learned in the mission and always have a good attitude about whats going on. Often times, we find ourselves in the streets, after lunch at about 3:30, and it seems like a ghost town. The sun is beeting down, there is little to no breeze, and everyone is sleeping haha. But we are still animated and I´m doing everything I can to have a good attitude.

Elder Perez and I are getting along great. We have truly gained the confidence of the zone and we are seeing miracles! Last week, there were only 3 people with baptisimal date attending church in the whole zone, and this week, we got over double digits.

I met a man named Pastor Moses the other day. He is a blind mad that is quite the character. He misunderstood me when I presented myself. Ever since, he has called me Helder Miyagr. haha Elder Perez and I got a kick out of that.

Love you all! sorry, I was kinda short on time this week.

Elder Millard

Monday, February 20, 2012

New Area: Villa Alemana

Hola Hola! So my first day in Villa Alemana, I recieved a great surprise! Elder Lloyd called me from Viña, and in that moment was in a lesson with Antonio and Erica. He passed the phone over to them. They told me that they had a surprise for me. They went to Quilpué to get another marriage date, but this time for the 27th! So I will be able to go and accompany them and be one of their witnesses with Elder Lloyd. I´m so excited for them, that was a really nice surprise.

When I left Viña, our investigator pool was just rocking! Elder Lloyd and I did some work. As I arrived in Villa Alemana this week, I quickly came to the realization that the pool was pretty much empty! Thats alright though because the lord has some trust in Elder Perez and I to work hard and have success here. I´m putting in practice what i have learned in my entire mission so we will be able to find some investigators, help them progress, and baptize here in Villa Alemana.

It is very hot here! Definitely not the same as the Viña ocean breeze. Its also pretty dry and not very much wind. But i´m not on the mission to see the sights right? I´m here to work, and that is exactly what i´m going to do.

We live in a pension of 4 missionaries. Our house is 3 stories high, but each level is about the size our our kitchen at home. Haha. It will be a fun, memorable place to stay for my last months in the mission.

Elder Perez is great. He is from Cadiz España, the furthest south one can go. He definitely speaks like a spanish, where every C, Z, and S sound like a TH. We already teach really well together and there is some great comp unity. This will be a great change.

Our zone has 6 companionships, 2 of which are sister missionaries. That will take some getting used to haha. We started the change with 3 baptisimal dates in the entire zone, and in these last 3 days, we have all put 16! So in the zone, there are now 19 baptisimal dates. I´m excited to see all the miracles that come to pass here in Villa Alemana Oeste!

Love you all!


Elder Millard

Final Assignment

Hola Hola!! So this week was changes. The news is actually quite shocking for me! On Friday night, President Gillespie called me and the words he said were the following: "Elder Millard, I am calling to give you your final assignment of your mission. I´m sending you to Villa Alemana Oeste with Elder Pérez. You will be serving in the ward, Huanualí as zone leader." Wow, I am officially going to the last area of my mission. I can´t believe it. I still feel like i´m new in the mission, this can´t be happening. I´m really excited to go there and go to work, finish my mission with a bang. I have heard really good things about the ward though. Apparently it is the best organized ward in the entire mission with great members. My companion is awesome as well. He is from Spain. I´m excited to meet him and i´ll let you all know how things go this week in my new/last area.

The first day of this change was one to remember. We had seven set appointments for the day, we had some great investigators to teach, everything looked great. The result was a little different than the expectations. All of the appointments fell through, Elder Lloyd got bit by a dog, we were almost assaulted by a bunch of drunk men, and nobody wanted to talk to us. We kept telling ourselves, "we can´t let this get us down." We kept walking with a smile, and worked the rest of the day with enthusiasm and a great attitude. The way we reacted to this first day of the change really set the tone for the whole change. I would say that the theme of this change was "Joy in the journey." In very few words, that is how things went this change. We always had great attitudes, we had incredible companionship unity, and we had an absoulute blast together. Today for our final testimonies, I said that throughout the whole change, Elder Lloyd and I never had a disagreement, never got mad at eachother, and didn´t even have any contention to the least bit. When we shared this with them in the final testimony, they did not believe us. But it is true. We have been sharing alot with Marcelo and Claudia, two inactives as of seven years that are coming back to church. When we shared with them last night, they shared with us the reason that they wanted to change. (because in the transcourse of their inactivity, many missionaries, home teachers, leaders of the church tried to go to their house and help them come back to church.) We asked them, "what did we do special.?" They explained to us that the first time we stepped into their house, they could feel a special spirit of unity. They felt something special, that only comes when two companions are absolutely unified. When there is unity, the spirit is present. Because of the spirit they felt, they have been coming to church these last two sundays, and the daughters are now preparing to get baptized. I know that when we do things because we want to do them, we will do them better. I know that if we are having fun, life is just so much more enjoyable, and it is all a decision. We decide how we want to see things. For example, with the first day of this change, we could have chosen to say, oh, how dumb is this, but instead we chose to laugh and say, wow, that will be fun to put in my journal... Joy in the journey. I love my mission. This was a great change with Elder Lloyd.

Antonio and Erica are doing great! They are still reading every day, praying as a family each day, and going to church each week. I love them so much! They have come so far. They cannot stop explaining to us how the gospel has changed their lives. They always say that they are so happy, their house is so peaceful, and all the aspects of their lives are going better. Their jobs are thriving, their health is better, they are happier... The gospel has so many blessings in store for us. They are such great examples of faith to me. They were willing to flip their lives 180 degrees so that they are in harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ. They have had to make so many changes, and they are determined to endure to the end. I have had the privilege of helping alot of people here in Viña change their lives and come unto Christ, and by doing so, they have changed my life through their examples. I love the people that I have been teaching here so much. But we will all see eachother in the Celestial kingdom someday! Thats the joy of the gospel.

Carlos blessed the sacrament this last sunday!! That made me so happy. He is even coming to church in a suit that the young mens president gave him. He us such a stud and is doing great. He is waiting for his brother Germaín to come back from Chillan, so he can baptize him. They will both be great missionaries.

Love you all!


Elder Millard

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Thanks for your prayers

Hola Hola!! It was a great week this week for all of us! Elder Lloyd and I are going to work here in Viña. We are seeing so many miracles, also so many heartaches each day. But all these great ups and downs of the mission are what make it fun. I absolutely love how much I learn each week. The mission is the greatest preparation for life. Elder Lloyd and I are still waking up a little early to do some rigorous exercises, along with applying a very nutritional diet. We are seeing so many fruits. All the missionaries are asking us what we are doing to look like this. Now there are many more missionaries that are doing their morning exercises like they should. haha.

This week, there was a baptism in the ward. His name is Michael, and he was so prepared for this. He came to church for the first time three weeks ago. Ever since he has come to church, his whole life has changed. He used to have gauge in his ear, long hair, some little sins here and there, but he has completely changed. Michael decided to cut his hair, take out his gauge, leave all his vices behind, and he has never been so happy. In his baptism, us missionaries were in charge of the musical number. While I was icing my toe the day before, I made a cool little arrangement between the primary song Baptism and Nearer My God to Thee. The song turned out really well, and the baptismal service was really spiritual.

On Sunday night, one of our appointments and backup plans fell through. Every time an appointment falls through, I think, "If this happened, then that means that the Lord wants us somewhere else." Well we were in a protected community called Población Naval, The same place where we found the family of 6. We felt that we needed to talk to a few people in building number 10. We walked up the 5 flights of stairs, and we knocked the door on the right. (we found the family of 6 on the fifth floor, right door.) We knocked the door and a teenager oppens the door. She was really friendly and called for the owner of the house to come to the door. When he came to the door, right away, before we could say anything, he said, "come in!" We were quite taken back by this guy. He said "have a seat please. Would you like water or juice." He was a really nice guy and we had no idea what was going on. (this never happens.) His wife and friend that lives with them showed up right in time. We started talking for a while, and we shared a little bit about the restoration of the gospel with all of them. We gained a great relationship of confidence. They are really excited for us to come back on tuesday to share more about the gospel and to help them with english. We are really excited for them too because they are really active and devote catholics. Those make the best members of the church because their life routine of going to church every week and participating in the church does not change much. They will be great leaders in the church when they get baptized.

My toe is doing so so well!! I went to the doctor this last week and he said the following. "In my oppinion, you are way better off than you should be at this stage in the healing process." He even told me that I can start running and everything on it. So I have been and it has not hurt me at all!! I´m really happy about it, and I´m really grateful for the Lord´s help in my toe healing extremely quickly. Thanks for all the prayers back at home. This is a great testimony that the power of prayer, priesthood and faith works!

All of our investigators are really being tested right now. Satan is working harder than ever on all of them. Antonio started crying the other day because he wants to follow Christ, but the small things like Alcohol and cigarretts and making the decision to get married are keeping him from the path of the Lord. Felipe, the son, is actually going on a campout with all the young men! So that will be great for him, and he is really excited about it. Our family of 6 that we found is harder to contact than ever! We will keep trying and trying harder to find them and teach them this week.

We were asked to give a priesthood blessing to a lady that is on her death bed. Elder Lloyd and I walked to the Hospital Naval, which is located right on the ocean side, with an incredible view, to find this lady in need. When we made it up to the 6th floor, there was this lady waiting for us. She explained to us that she is inactive and wants us to give a blessing to her mom, who is sick and who will not live for more than a week. This experience really made me reflect on life. I was thinking, how much time until I am in her situation? And what will I be able to say at that point that I have done with my life? Experiences like these make me want to work harder and make the most of this day of life that I have. After the blessing, the lady was grateful for us, and wanted us to come visit her. She will be coming back to church. God has purposes for everything that happens.

I love you all so much!

Have a great week


Elder Millard

Monday, January 30, 2012

Lehi's Dream

Hola Hola!! Every week keeps flying by faster and faster. Its amazing how that works. I love hearing of all the blessings that you are seeing at home. It always re-assures me that the Lord looks after missionarie's families, protects them and blesses them. Elder Lloyd and I are enjoying the many blessings that the Lord is giving us. I love where I am at, Viña is so beautiful, I love the people here so much. I have never taught so many families in my life! The motto of our mission is Misión Viña del Mar, Convertir Familias. (convert families.) Families are the central purpose of Gods eternal plan, and I am so grateful to have a family as wonderful as you!! I love you guys so much. Since this week flew by so fast, I'm having a hard time remembering all the miracles that happened. But I will do the best I can.

We had a family night with President Gillespie this last Thursday. That is one of the benefits of being an Elder that works in Viña, you have the privilege of having family nights in the mission president's house with investigators. We brought Antonio, Erica and Felipe to this monumental event along with a couple of the office elders and one of their investigators. Elder Lloyd and I had the lesson so we planned something super interactive and fun. We set up a course of twine outside which led to a fig tree. This course was a representation of Lehi's dream in the Book of Mormon. We asked President Gillespie to stand under the fig tree and act as Lehi, inciting the people to come to him. We took all the investigators to the beginning of the course, blindfolded everyone, then read them 2Nefi 31:17-18 which explains that repentance and baptism gets them on the path, and this path leads to Eternal Life. Their instructions were to never let go of the rod, and they would make it to Eternal life. While all were on their journey to the Tree of Life, where President Gillespie was shouting for all to come to him, Elder Lloyd and I were right with the investigators, walking side by side with them, trying to tempt them to let go of the Rod. We were successful with one investigator. After letting go, he "repented and went back." They all throughly enjoyed the activity and learned a lot. President and Sister Gillespie had some American style refreshments waiting for us inside so we all went in and had a great night together.

We found something out this week that was devastating. The whole time we were teaching Antonio and Erica, we thought they were married. But during one of the lessons, their son Felipe clarified that they are only living together, not married. They claim that it is the same, but by teaching them the doctrine of Christ, they now understand that they have to get married before they get baptized. They expressed to us that they want to get baptized SO bad, but they are having problems with each other right now so they are not sure if they want to get married. That is one of the biggest culture problems here in Chile. It is more convenient to just live together... But we are working with them and hope they will work things out, and receive an answer from the Lord that they need to get married. They are still coming to church every week, Antonio is still leaving behind his addictions, and little by little, their lives are becoming more in harmony with what the lord wants for them.

I'm sure you are all wondering whats going on with that new family that we found last week. Well we have only been able to visit them once because the father is a navy instructor and the mom works as well, so they are almost never home. On Thursday when we went to pass by them, they told us that they would not be able to share with us until next Tuesday!! (5 days later). Its a bummer that we can't pass by them as much as we would like, but we will still do everything we can to help them progress. We have asked the participation of a few families that are more than happy to help fellowship them. Now its just a matter of getting a fixed appointment and finding a few minutes to share with them.

The zone is seeing miracles. We have once again over 35 baptismal dates and everyone is really enthusiastic about the work. We are seeing so many miracles!

I love you all!

Chaíto compadres

Elder Millard

Monday, January 23, 2012

More miracles in Chile!

Hola Hola!!! This week has been unforgettable!! Elder Lloyd and I are getting along extreemely well. We are becoming great friends. He is such a stud, and we are having alot of great times and success together. We are still doing our morning and nightly exercises together, and we are starting to see some fruits!! We even have the perfect diet down, complete with Eggs in the mornings and frozen yogurt and fruit at night. He is well on his way to getting back into shape for Stanford Football. I love exercising because I have so much more energy now to work all day and be more focused and awake.

My toe is doing great!! I can almost walk normally now. These last few weeks, I have been putting my whole foot in an ice bath at least once a day, and it seems like it is progressing alot. I rarely feel pain, which is a miracle!! I have another appointment to get an
X-ray on the 31st, then a follow up with the doctor on Feb 1st.

Antonio and his family are progressing so well!! As you all know, Antonio has some serious problems with smoking, drinking, drinking tea and coffe. We have done everything to help him out. We taped a Jesus Christ passalong card on his cigarrette boxes, we have brought many members of the church over that have experience leaving those things behind, and we gave him a powerful priesthood blessing. After the blessing, he has had so much more self control to resist temptation. He has not smoked for over 6 days now. He still has a way to go, but i know he will do it. God led us to them right on time. They were in a familial crisis, and did not have a way out. Now that they are applying Christ´s teachings, they are now seeing the light of hope shine into their lives. They have descovered the seeds of happiness. The whole family is now determined to do nothing more but to follow our savior Jesus Christ. They are a miracle, and i love them so much.

When Elder Lloyd arrived here in Viña, something very strange happened. It seemed as if every single appointment that we had fell through. We knew that the lord was only testing us and if we kept giving it our all and kept pushing through, we would see the blessings. These last couple of weeks have been so successful for Elder Lloyd and I. All of our appointments are there and are excited to share with us! The lord is leading us to so many prepared people.

We were talking to everyone and found a family whos dad served a mission, and the parents were sealed in the temple. Sadly, they are inactive right now as of 8 years, but the great part is that we found them and when we passed by, the spirit touched their hearts so much. They said that back in the day, when they lived in Villa Alemana, they had hundreds of missionaries pass by their house to reactivate them, but nothing happened. But now, since we found them and visited them, the spirit touched their hearts and they want to come back to church. They have 2 daughters. One thats 14 and the other is 8. The daughter asked us how they can be an eternal family. We helped them understand, and now they have desires to come back to church, the girls want to get baptized, and they want faith again in their family. We are super excited to see their change!! ETERNAL FAMILIES!!!!

What I am going to share with you now is a miracle of miracles!! As I told you last week, Elder Lloyd and I fasted to find a family. Well have you ever heard of the saying, "when it rains, it pours"? On Friday of this week, the family that we had lunch with called us and asked us if we could come to lunch a little later, at 2:30. So instead of stopping to work at 1:30, we passed by a few future investigators. A few days back, we talked to a lady that lives in a place called Población Naval, where all the men in the Navy live. We decided to pass by her since we had all this surprise time at our desposal. We came up to the main gate of the gated community, and pushed the corresponding numbers into the intercom. She did not answer but as we were there, someone was coming out of the door so we decided just to sneek in and knock her door. We knocked her door and she was alone with her kids so we could not enter in the house to share. We are going to come back another day when her husband comes back from his 3 month voyage to France. So here we were, in this gated community, on the second floor of the department building. The thought occured to us that we should hike up to the top of the appartment building and talk to the people up there. We obeyed the voice of the spirit, and walked up to the fifth floor. The first door that we knocked, there was an 11 year old boy that answered. We asked him if his parents were there, and he said no. We then asked him if anyone else was there, and he said that his older brothere was there, so he ran and got him. They took a long time, so we decided to knock the next door. As we were talking to the neighbor, I saw in the corner of my eye that the older brother had finally come to the door so I jumped to the door right away before he closed it and went inside. I talked to this 18 year old kid while my comp was talking to the neighbor. This kid, Nick, is such a cool kid. He lived in the U.S. for a couple of years so he could speak english. After my comp was done contacting the neighbor, nick let both of us in to the house to share with them. At this moment, there were just Nick (18), Diego(11) and Cristobal(11). We shared with them for a little while, when suddenly, their parents showed up at the door (Cristian, y Teresa). Next thing you know, we were sharing with the whole family of 6!! We gave them a Book of Mormon and set another appointment to pass by, since we were already super late for lunch. Then next day we passed by, and shared with them about the restoration of the gospel. The lesson was ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!! They were so interested, asking great questions, all participating and they all understood, which is the important thing. They are such a great family!! They are super happy, really respectful, super receptive, and we now have a huge confidence with them. They told us that the next time we come over, we need to call the momy and daddy. They told us that as of a couple of months, the mom´s dad died and also the dad´s dad died. So they asked us where their parents are and if they would be able to see them again. We got them excited to hear about the plan of Salvation, which we are going to share with them next time. At the end of the appointment, they all accepted a baptisimal invitation!! The lord has blessed us so much and Elder Lloyd and I are on fire with excitement and ANIMO!!!

All I have to say is that I am so grateful! Grateful for the mission, the neverending blessings of the Lord, my family whom I love so much, the Gospel, my life... I´mm really happy right now and thoroughly enjoying my experience here in the mission.

I love you all!


Elder Millard

Monday, January 16, 2012

January in Paradise!

Hola Hola!! Im so sad right now because I wrote you all a huge great letter, then right when I was about to send it, the computer froze, they had to restart the whole thing and I lost everything!! But ill do the best I can to get you guys a good letter this week. Happy Birthday KM!! We are getting so old.

I had the doctor checkup for my toe today. He said that I have an extra bone in my toe so it is more prone to break. But it is doing better than two weeks ago. Im not limping as much and im babying it by icing it 3 times a day.

Our pension is right in front of the Viña sporting, a big huge place where there are fields of grass, a track where they do the horse races, and tons of sporting facilities. Well Elder Lloyd and I had a surprise waiting for us on Friday night as we went home. There was a David Guetta concert that night! They had speakers set up, that made the cars parked next to them look small. There were tons of people there and we could see everything!! At Midnight, the concert started. It was at that moment when our whole pension started to shake due to the extreemely loud music. We did not get any sleep for a while. Our beds were even shaking because of the music.

We fasted as a companionship to find a family to baptize, yup, an entire family. Well, we found them last week. They're names are Antonio, Erika, and Felipe. They also have a daughter thatś 18 years old and she doesnt want anything to do with us. She will though once she sees her family get baptized. Antonio has a lot of problems with smoking and drinking. When we found them, there was a huge arguement going on in the house. We were persistent at the door and after 3 or 4 tries they finally let us in. The spirit was so powerful. The next day, they came down to the church and LOVED IT! We taught them every single day this week. We ended up reviewing the Restoration of the Gospel and watching the movie 17 Miracles. (a brand new movie about the martin handcart company). They were so touched at the sacrifices that the pioneers had to make and also at the miracles that occured by their faith along the trail. They decided to overcome their trials and use faith even more in their lives and wow... let me tell you what. These people were prepared by the Lord for us and there couldnt have been a better time for them to receive the gospel.
Now there is no arguing. Now there is unity, peace, love, and joy in their home. Now they have more appreciation for eachother. Now they are reading the book of mormon, praying, and going to church. They are going to be baptized and be forgiven of all of their sins and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide and comfort them throughout their entire lives. They will have an eternal family. They will overcome all of the trials that are in their path. Antonio told us that he has been looking for something that fills him up for the longest time. He was saying that he went to the Catholic church, Evangelist, Presbetarian, protestant... None of them got to him. He told us that he now feels peace and that he has found what he has been looking for.

I love my mission, I love helping people and I love the gospel.


Elder Millard