Well this is my second try at this because in the middle of the last one we got a call and I'm recording this on my cell phone and it cut everything I had. But that's cool. It's alright.
So I wanted to start off by saying thank you to all of you who sent me birthday wishes this last week...to the family especially for the package they sent, that was awesome. Thank you for that. I have a little video I'm planning on sending to show what was in the package.
This week's been a pretty good week. It's been kind of crazy but we've had a lot of miracles and a lot of little things that have worked out just too perfectly. It's been amazing. At the same time, we've had some trials. It's been a tough week, but it's been worth it. We've been seeing a lot of progress in our sector and in the zone.
To start off at the beginning of the week, after Pday we were going out to work and we had an appointment with an older lady that we had contacted out in a town called Sarmiento outside of Curico. So out there in Sarmiento, about two hours before the appointment she calls us and says, "Hey, I've got some family situations out here and I'm not going to be able to have the appointment here today." We were luckily able to get ahold of a family, literally the only family in that town that is active, and they got home at exactly the hour we were going to have the appointment and they were able to, the son was able to take us over and pick her up from her house and take her back to their house where we were able to have the visit. And she was super receptive. Her daughter and her daughter's family are all super active...they're endowed. They're from Santiago. But she also lives with one of her sons who is atheist and makes fun of religions a lot. So we were able to have that visit with her and as I said, she was super receptive and now she has a baptismal date for the 3rd of September. So we're going to be working with her a lot to try to help her with that.
Then later in the week was my birthday, so that was fun. That was something special this week. On that day we had interviews with the mission president, President Harris. He came to Curico at our chapel, the stake center. While he was doing the interviews, my companion and I gave a training to the zone about quite a few things. Sister Harris talked about the schedule and the importance of the schedule and a couple of small changes that we're making. The Hermana, or sister leaders, I think they're called sister leaders, I'm not 100% sure in English but that's the translation...They talked a little about positivity and kicking out that culture of people saying, "In this mission we don't baptize that much, You'll probably baptize SOMEONE in your mission, but we really don't baptize." That's a culture we really want kicked out of the mission. We talked a lot about the goals and plans we've set, which we've been working on as a zone, which have been going great. They're killing it out there. It's been awesome. Then we talked about some principles from Preach my gospel. So that all went really well. My interview with President was GREAT...it's always a good little renewal to have that talk with him. He's really a great guy, I look up to him a lot.
After the interviews, we got back to the house and we saw that...OUR BIKES HAD BEEN STOLEN. When we left the house, we hadn't noticed but we think in the night someone had clipped the lock on our bikes and had taken them from the apartment complex. So not from inside our apartment, but they were on a bike rack inside the complex which is all fenced in with a guard post to get in and out. But somebody had cut it and somehow taken the bikes out. What I think happened was that they just jumped the fence over on our side of the complex, cut the locks and passed the bikes out. So, that was a nice little birthday present. We get to walk for the next couple of weeks until they get us some new ones. Hopefully they don't make us pay for the bikes, but we'll see what happens there.
But then after that we went down to Centro, downtown, ...we stopped by a member who works as a barber down there, some converts actually...she was a "hair cutter?" I don't know what you call that (in English). And they said, "Hey, we need you guys to come by our house, like right now." And we were like, "Okay." So her son took us to their house. We got there and their family was all waiting there and another family, the family of our ward mission leader, and they were waiting with a cake and everything. They had a little surprise party planned so that was cool. That was REALLY nice of them. So that was what ended up happening on my birthday.
Oh but that morning, it was really funny, because...well at midnight...I was already asleep, but my companion had put my phone on the shelf right next to my head. And then at midnight he calls and I'm kind of half awake and I look over and see my phone and I'm like, "who's calling me right now? I don't even remember putting my phone right here. I don't know what's going on." I roll over and look at the phone and he had changed his contact information in the phone so that it said, "MOMMY." And I read that and I was so confused. I just thought I was having the weirdest dream of my life. I answer it and I was like, "Hallo?! Como.." I was super confused about what was going on, and then I just hear from the bottom bunk, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU...." shouting the song in english. Haha. I was super confused ...it took me a minute to figure out what was even going on. I thought it was all a dream. But that was pretty funny, something a little different.
Also this week we've had a lot of little miracles. We've been starting to set goals, like in the morning we have to achieve this goal before going to lunch, as a motivation to get out of the house, right on time and get working, and really take advantage of the mornings...because mornings are TOUGH down here. Everybody is always prepping lunch, because that's their big meal, and most of them just sleep until like 2 in the afternoon, like they don't do a whole lot. So we had a bunch of stuff that we were supposed to do that morning as far as planning, pass the keys to some other people, and we weren't on bikes so we had to walk downtown. We made it down there and in the end, we had about 15 minutes to get to our lunch with a member family which was only minutes away walking. But we thought, "we have to make our pre-lunch goal or we can't go to lunch." So we said a prayer. Our goal was to give a Book of Mormon and get an appointment. So we start contacting houses on our way to lunch. We were actually in the sister's sector because all the members live in the sister's sector. We only have 3 or 4 families that live in our sector. But on our way to lunch, knocking doors, and the first person we actually talked to...because nobody came out of the first few houses and people who we had tried to stop on the sidewalk weren't feelin' it. But we were contacting this house and the lady came up to her porch at the same time as we were contacting her house. We got talking to her and she had a ton of questions and was super receptive. She accepted the Book of Mormon and we set an appointment like right away. I honestly was super surprised that God helped us and that we were able to meet that goal so quickly, because there are times where you can contact in the morning for an hour and a half and nobody will give you an appointment. The mornings are tough. But she was super super super receptive and it was immediately after that prayer. And we were able to get to lunch on time AND still make our goal. So that was awesome.
I guess I'm getting kind of long here on the recording. But also we've had a lot of miracles in the last few days. A lot of situations have just worked out perfectly. We're meeting our goals, we've set 5 new baptismal dates this week, we've been working a TON...we've been working really hard. And it's been good.
I wanted to share a spiritual thought because I think I kind of missed that last week. Right now in the mission we've been talking about using the "Eye of Faith," which is seeing what you WANT to happen before it actually happens and really believing it. And then you go out and actually ACT as if it's going to happen. For example, with that goal of placing one Book of Mormon and an appointment before lunch, ...so we had to see it in our minds' eye, which we did by planning and praying and asking for revelation and saying, "please help us know HOW we can do it and we promise we are going to do everything we can to meet that goal." By doing that, the heavens are able to be opened and we are able to receive miracles. I'm sure everybody has heard before...FAITH MOVES MOUNTAINS. Faith is how we get miracles. I want to share this scripture of where the eye of faith comes from. Since we as a mission have started using this eye of faith theme, we've gone up in baptisms, in new investigators, in investigators in sacrament meeting by like 50% and it's really been crazy. In Ether 12, it talks about faith. It gives examples of miracles in stories and the miracles that come by faith. And in verse 18-19 it says, "And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God. And there were many whose faith was so exceedingly strong, even Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad." And that eye of faith is our minds and our hearts. The way we do it in the mission is we make a plan. That's the way we show we are seeing with the eye of faith, if that makes sense. We put down on paper what our goal is and what we are going to do to receive it...showing that we SEE this goal, that we see that it can happen. Then we go out and do it. And through that faith, anything is possible. In moroni 7:33 it says, "And Christ hath said: ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me." I know that that's true. I know that through faith we can see miracles and we can work miracles ourselves. And that's what I wanted to share with you guys.
Thanks again for the birthday wishes, and to all of you who keep contact with me out here. And I want you to know that I love you tons and I hope everything's all good out there back home. Talk to you later.