Elder Millard with his mission president

Elder Millard with his mission president

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