Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Alex's 96th email from Chile/San Diego 6/18/12

I had Alex sit down and write an email to me about his last week in the mission field :) Later this week I will post his homecoming and I have a sweet video and lots of pictures to share. Enjoy his last week in Chile :)

The "Go Homers" at the Temple with President & Hermana King
(Sis. King refers to the missionaries that go home as 'go homers')

So I am just writing about my last week in Chile.

So it was a week of mixed emotions. We worked alot with Makarena. She has been passing through a difficult moment in her life. I had my last p-day my last district meeting. It was a week of lasts and it was way weird for me cause everytime someone would say something "Hey Elder Leavitt, this is your last Tuesday in Chile," "Hey Elder Leavitt, this is your last District meeting." It was tough.

On Thursday I got to do divisions with Elder Barco for the day which for me was way cool because me and Elder Barco are good friends from when we lived in the same pension in Lo Ovalle. So we just talked about the mission shared stories and talked about how awesome the mission had been.  On Friday we woke up early and we went to Maipu to meet up with Elder Nielson and his companion so that we could head to the temple. Everyone who goes home in the mission has the opportunity to go the temple one last time with President and Hermana King. I got permission from pres. King to go even early to finish up some iniciatory work for Rocios grandfather. It was an amazing experience and after we got to participate in a sealing. After we went to President King's house ate lunch it was delicious. Don't ask me what it was called but it was good. We talked about the mission, shared funny stories, and President King asked us to talk about our favorite sector and why. Then when we all finished eating we went up stairs and then we had a testimony meeting which was amazing. After we went home and that was our day which was just fantastic.

The couple whose sealing they were able to attend.

On Saturday was when the goodbyes started. I had a ton of people that wanted me to come say goodbye and then the same on Sunday it was actually way sad. In church on Sunday they had me share my testimony seeing it would be the last time I do so in Chile.

On Monday I had my exit interview with President King. It was cool. We talked about my progress, my goals, plans for my life, and things that I need to be doing. It was just weird and unreal. It had not truly hit me yet that I was going home. After we ate some lunch and then we had people arriving to come say goodbye from us from all our different sectors. I had a huge group of people come say goodbye to me it was something special. To actually see that you had left a mark in the life of another person. I had converts from every sector come say goodbye, families that I helped reactivate and members that just felt like saying goodbye. It was like the moment in my mission where it was like "Wow, I actually did make a difference here in the last two years." Just seeing how many people remembered me and wanted to come say thanks it was something different and amazing. Then I had to get in the car wave goodbye and we headed off to the airport. I flew to Lima and then Lima to Los Angeles. On that flight I was sitting next to a lady from Peru who lives in Los Angeles and we just talked the whole way and we started talking about religion and she then asks me what's the difference between you guys and the Catholics. That was my Golden ticket and I just went off talking about the restoration. It was cool. She was way interested and I took down all of her information and she wanted me to come by and keep teaching her. But it was fun. Then I flew home to San Diego. It was insane. I was in shock and just out of it when I saw my family. I can't even begin to describe the emotions I was feeling. It was something else. Well from there I went to President Ellsworth's office and was released from my calling as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints.

Meal at President & Hermana King's home.
'Go Homer' Hermana's with Hermana King. 
Women think differently than men....we don't have a picture with Pres. King with the Elder's :)
'Go Homer's' with President & Hermana King.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Alex's 95th email from Chile 6/11/12

This could very well be our last email from Alex in the mission field. He leaves Chile next Monday evening and is unsure if he will have time during the day to get to a computer. He's not sure exactly what will be happening that day with their departure activities. Keep a look out for a great post sometime that week. I will have him sum up his last week of the mission and we will of course post the homecoming :) I have mixed emotions right now. I am so excited to see my boy but sad because he is our last missionary. We are so proud of him and the man he has become. He has been an excellent missionary. I can't wait to hug him and kiss him! Every letter he has sent home he has told us he loves us and will talk to us next week. This week he said he will "see" us next week. It made me smile :) It just doesn't seem real. The two years has just flown by!!!

Hola Familia!!

This has been a heck of a week. On Wednesday we had interview with President King. They went really well we ended up talking more about the zone and the other missionaries than but then again I will be having interviews with him again this week soo it makes sense. I also came up with a sweet iniciative about doing more contacts and what not it was cool. Then I went on divisions with Elder Gomez a missionary from Ecuador it was fun. We ate soo much food! I swear everyone here is trying to fatten me up before I get home and it is working. The funny thing is is that I have had people tell me they are trying to fatten me up.

Then Friday we got a call from the asistents and wanted one of us to go over to another sector because they were having problems with spirits and what not and couldn't sleep at night. So then we had to go over and see if something was actually going down. Well nothing happened so it was just a fun division. A missionary from Colombia gave me a sweet jacket! It's almost as cool as my llama one.

Makarena is doing awesome she is so ready to get baptized but she wants to do it right she says and will be baptized the first week of July. Her and her boyfriend are no longer sleeping in the same room and in fact they are broken up now. But she needs to wait till July for their contracts to expire and she can move out! She is doing awesome and is sharing the gospel with everyone and has given away a total of like 3 or 4 Books of Mormon!! She is a baller.

This last week we got to go to medico cause my companion got sick which meant I dropped by the Temple and bought 3 of the 50yrs dvds no worries mom :) Hey but when I was there I looked for some CTR rings but in Spanish and don't have any besides the green primary ones and I promised Rocio a cool one so if you can look for one mom that would be cool.

Today I got my temple recommened, my last one expired this month. Crazy it's been 2 years eh? President King said he was forced to rip it but I talked him into only ripping it in half and then giving it to me. I want to keep all of my temple recommeneds. I don't know thought it would be cool when I am older to look back and have them all.

My suits are actually doing awesome just dirty they need washed. My other pants, every single ones has a ton of holes, so I am debating on just leaving them. Michelle didn't call me so no I didn't see her. Cristobal has kinda disapeared but Lucas is awesome him and his mom have the goal to go to the temple soon sweet! Lorena is good she is progressing slowly but surely :) With the contacting we did way better like way better than before but still not as good as I would have liked. Yes I sent the letter to President King last week. The other two elders in my pension are ballers they help me out alot. The zone is doing awesome the numbers are all going up in the zone.

Well familia I love you all. We shall see if I will be able to write next Monday or not. I have no idea they don't tell me anything. But I love you and will see you all next week :)

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Alexander Thomas Leavitt

Friday, June 8, 2012

Alex's 94th email from Chile 6/4/2102

At the Science Museum for Pday

Hola Familia!!

Well my body has been soo confused because of the change of pday all yesterday. I was like thinking it was going to be Wednsesday and what not but ya here I am and back on track it has just been weird.

This has been insane and I am wasted!! We had a special training meeting with president King, I had concilio where we travel to Presidents house as zone leaders and meet with him, and district meeting on top of it. This last week our pension was robbed as well. Luckily nothing of mine was taken but a missionary had like 120 dollars taken sucky. Right now we are looking for a new pension because this pension has been robbed on several times. Concilio was good, we talked alot about opening your mouth and talking with everyone. I forgot another meeting I had with our stake president where we came to the conclusion that his dad served under President Palmer! cool huh?

A picture of Alex's Stake President's Dad who was the first Chilean missionary. 
Read what Alex wrote below the next picture. 
Alex writes "Hey, here is a picture Justin's Grandpa and the Dad of my Stake President who was the first Chilean missionary and served under President Palmer. Cool coincidence eh??"

I have been a little down and I was getting worse. Our numbers had been going down and everything. I have repented and my animo is back up. Concilio helped alot with that. I don't want to end on a bad note. I am working hard. I am trying to complete with all the goals I have set and plan on doing 2 80 contacts during these last 2 weeks. I am good now :)

On Sunday I walked into the chapel and Rocio and her mom were there! Rocios mom said she probably couldn't come the 18th to say goodbye so she wanted to come that Sunday and Rocio told me all about her experience at the temple because I wasn't able to go. She said it was awesome and actually brought the name of her Grandpa and he was baptized! She gave me his card and I am going to do the other half for him. Also there was a dog in the chapel that just didn't want to leave. It was really funny actually.

Rocio, her Mom & Alex
(too bad he couldn't get a picture of the dog that was in the chapel :)

About next week I have no idea if it will be my last week or not. I have heard of misisonaries that have done email that day and others that haven't. The weather is soo weird here. It was hot a couple days ago and today has been the coldest day in Chile all year so it's odd. Cristobal and Lucas are way good. Cristobal won't be getting baptized before I go home but Macarena could!  We will know for sure or not tomorrow. Pray for her. Lorena is good slowly progressing.

Our zone activity was cool. It was like a smaller version of the science museum I like back home. Oh yesterday it was insane. We had to run to a sector and talk to 2 missionaries that were fighting and were asking for emergency changes. Luckily after 3 hours we calmed them down and are actually doing way better. Also I have some questions about luggage and what not with clothes and what not. If there are things that I will just never use can I leave them here? Or stuff that has holes which is almost everything can I just leave them here in the mission? I don't know like I know for a fact I dont need like 6 short sleeve shirts. Just let me know what you think.

Look at all those Elder Leavitt's :)

Well family I love you all and I am working hard. I am tired and I love the mission.

Cuidense mucho, les quiero,

Elder Alex Leavitt

Alex definitely took this picture for his Dad :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Alex's 93rd email from Chile 5/28/12

Snow capped Andes

Hola Familia!!

This week has been a good one. We have been working hard. First Off I have finished Doctrine and Covanants and the Pearl of Great Price in Spanish!! I feel very accomplished if you cannot tell. So as a final thingy I have read the Book of Mormon 5 times 2 in English and 3 in Spanish the Bible once cover to cover in Spanish and now D&C and Pearl of Great Price in Spanish! It really is neat to just learn so much more about the church and doctrine we live daily. I have grown so much while on the mission in terms of the knowldge of the gospel.

But ya, This week we found an awesome investigator Lorena. She is the mom of the scientific dude. But she is awesome we had even taught about the Book of Mormon and she started asking about it when we taught her excactly what it was. She was like "Wow, I want to read that book." So we gave her one and she said "Really? this is mine? Thank you soo much!" Awesome!!! Cristobal is progressing amazingly everytime we go over he understands more and more.

Heads UP next monday I will not write because we had our Pday changed to Tuesday for our zone activity we planned we are going to an interactive science museum :)

On Friday We had a sweet missionary activity that we planned. We had all of the returned missionaries come and bring their pictures and souvenirs and what not where the rest of the ward could come share stories it was actually really cool. I loved it. a dude brought his suit from the mission where it had all of these holes and he brought his socks and everything it was really funny but awesome everyone loved it. While we were setting up a fatty table fell on my toe it killed!!!

Ward missionary activity

Cool news,  Rocio is going to the temple for the first time to do baptisms for the dead!! And I may get permission to go! But we don't know yet we are waiting for President King to respond.

Lucas is awesome Cristobal should get baptized like the 17th of June, President said Karting was fine well the Assistents did so it works. Marcos is getting better still in the hospital but he is doing better. The seagull trophy is from the festival of Viña it is huge! And they give out seagull trophies there. I sang like a part of some Backstreet Boys song haha. The weather has been crazy it has been raining the last 3 days straight! Today it has let up but its been cool the Andes are all snow capped. The zone is good.

More snow capped Andes

But ya sorry this is short. I had to do goals for the zone and everything. Ok guys I love you all and I will talk to you next week.

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Alex Leavitt

Friday, June 1, 2012

Alex's 92nd email from Chile 5/21/12

Awesome sunset at our chapel

Hola Familia!!!

Como Estan!!! This week was a good and sad one. One no one was home like no nobody the entire week. Our numbers were so low this week it was rediculous. All the contacts we did were not home, none of our investigators were home, and then on top of all of that none of the members were home either we were litterally just walking in the streets all day long. But its ok :) we still had a good week.
Lots of completo's
We found this one scientific dude that wanted to talk to us. He is the brother of a contact we were following up on. Well we had a pretty decent lesson with him. He asked a ton of questions about hell, Heaven, Miracles, The Scriptures, The Book of Mormon, If God really exsists and if he does why is their so much suffering if God is Love. It was pretty cool. He said he didn't like a couple of our answers cause their is no proof, and says faith is our fallback answer. Then I came in and was like "your into science right?" he says "yes." I said "faith is not just a thing only in religion but also in science. Like we may not know everything about something, or how it works but we have faith it exsists." How all the major and famous scientists didn't know excactly how to create the things they invented but it takes faith and work to make something happen to work a miracle like electricity, Televisions, motors. Everything we have today took alot of faith and failure, and diligence to create. So if we want to know if God exsists we need to do the same thing. Have faith, work (prayer scripture study), have failures probably (God will give us answers in his time), and be diligent to find the answer. It was an awesome lesson. Later his Mom and Sister showed up and we shared with them & it was legit.

Then on Friday we had a ward talent show. It was good. Nobody had prepared talents and nobody asked us to do anything we just showed up, so we got there no one was doing anything so I went up and sang and from there everything got going it was awesome. I won a gaviota or seagull. It's a trophy.
The seagull trophy is from the festival of Viña it is huge! And they give out seagull trophies there. I sang like a part of some Backstreet Boys song haha. 

On Sunday Cristobal Lucas brother came to church!! After sacrament meeting ended we stand up and he says "I know I already told you guys I would be willing to get baptized but now I know I will." IT WAS SOOOO AWESOME!!!! I love the mission. Also we have been working with this Japanese family in our ward that is inactive. Well yesterday we went in and started talking about eternal families, talked about the strength it gives us (because the parents are on the verge of a diviorce and have been seeing councelers), how it can heal family ties and everything. Well weirdly the dad just starts crying and how they need to go back to church. We invited them to come to church Sunday and they said yes :) Also we have appointments with them during the week. Also Sunday afternoon right after lunch we got a call from an hermana in the ward and a recent convert Marcos was in the hospital and it sounds like there isn't much hope for him to make it out. He has cancer. So we got special permission to leave the sector and go visit him in the hospital. It was my first time doing that. It was sad, he was soo weak. Well we shared with them they were happy to see us and surprised. They didn't know we were coming. We gave him a blessing and I actually feel like he will make it out of the hospital. It was cool. They are a poorer family so he was just thrown in a room with like 25 other pacients there were visitors and everything and we gave him a blessing in the middle of a noisy room but the spirit was so strong it was awesome.

On a happier note our Zone went Go-Karting today!! It was fun and I won so thats a bonus. It was what I needed to get a little more animo:) God Loves me.

Well seeing you didn't ask any questions this week I think thats all I got for ya. I love you all soo much and I am praying for you constantly.(We had company and I was in a rush to get his letter off and forgot to ask questions. He wrote a pretty good letter despite that :)

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Alex Leavitt

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Alex's 91st email from Chile 5/14/12 & Mother's Day Call

I miss this face! I can't wait to kiss it!! :)

We had a wonderful call with Alex. We were able to get the majority of our family on the call which was nice. At Christmas we had everyone on the call. I still need to post that one!!!! At Christmas Alex talked a lot more than he did this time. This time there was more talking among all of the siblings. I think Alex was just enjoying listening to everyone.

Most of us on the call.

We were able to meet Alex's new companion. He is from Chile. I think Alex said Concepcion but I don't remember. His companion even spoke some English with us and it was pretty good. He said that Alex has been helping him with that. Then we talked with Elder Rios for a bit while Alex went and met Elder Rios' family and talked to them.

All of us on the call & meeting Elder Rios
(note the picture of Brandon shaving)

Alex told us about another song he likes that he hears in the streets. Ben is going to look it up and tell me what it is. He told us about one other one that I posted on the blog awhile ago. That song is one that Alycia dances to in Zumba class and Ben now loves that song also :)

The first thing I noticed was that Alex's hair was buzzed short!! He didn't think it was but then when Alycia came on she commented on his hair as well. I think he realized then that it really was short. We both told him that he shouldn't get his hair cut before coming home. We'll see if he does or not. He was telling us that that's how they cut hair in Chile and that it wasn't the shortest you could go. If he had gone any shorter he would be bald! He did say that his haircuts only cost about $4.00.

This was our first call that he did from an internet cafe. There were Chilean's watching us and hanging out in the background. Alex said he was the only gringo in the cafe and then of course there were 4 other groups of gringo's across the screen so I'm sure it was a novelty - hence them watching us the entire call.

Alex looked well and sounded good. His email for the week is below :)

Hola Familia!!

So talking to you guys yesterday was awesome!! It was cool to see you guys again. Between the Walton's story and Mackenzie being pregnant I am just blown away and I have totally forgotten everything I had planned to write. Well not like I had much more to write I feel like I told you everything.

But to start off I forgot to tell you guys we set 2 more baptismal dates this week! 1 with Cristobal the brother of Lucas! So that is good. After his baptism he got interested in listening to us. The other is a girl named Yainina she is the daughter of an inactive lady in our ward. They are pretty new and need to be taught alot but we have faith and both are super receptive. Also this week we celebrated Mothers day with an awesome family in our ward the familia Manquian. We had an Asado in your honor mom :) it was really good. I will send pictures next week but ya yummy.

Mother's Day Dinner - Asado with the Familia Manquian
(I know he said he'd send these next week & he did. I'm a week behind in posting)

Basically I was introducing Elder Rios to everyone this week. When I talked to Elder Rios familia I told them that he is a hard worker, has a ton of enthusiam and is doing a good job. Teaching the iniciative went over really well its awesome how solid the stake is the bishop is so excited to put the plan in accion. The guy in the wheelchair, didn't come this week probably because it is so hard to get him down the stairs, they need to change apartments. The familia Castro was visiting her Mom for mothers day so no they didn't come to church this week. Cristofer is still having problems but we are working with him.

Well family sorry that was soo short I really didn't have much news for this week. Next weeks will have more promise. I love you all and I will talk to you all later!

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Alex Leavitt

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Alex's 90th email from Chile 5/7/12

I love this dog. It's the beagle of my ward mission leader.

Hola Familia!!

This week has been awesome but sad at the same time. One, numbers wise we didn't have a very effective week but we have had meetings like crazy so that gives an excuse a little.First off Elder Wardell has changes :(  I am going to be training a new ZL the ropes before I end the mission this change, Pres. says he is awesome so lets see, I will get him tomorrow.

Elder Grow, Elder Leavitt & Elder Champion 
- Saying good bye to Elder Grow & Elder Champion they ended their missions today.

This week I got to see Davis alot I dont know if I told you about him. I interviewed him for his baptism when I was in Republica. Well his girlfriends family lives in my ward and we work alot with them and he is always around the house and what not it is pretty neat. We got him to leave with us one day to make a visit. Thursday we had concilio where all the Zone Leaders go to Presidents house talk about numbers baptisms and new ideas for the mission. They are cool but super long. We wake up at 6:30 a.m.to get there and got home at like 7:30 p.m. Wednesday I got an easter package from you guys THANKS! Friday we made a visa run for Elder Wardell. It went super quickly because I am now a master visa runner. I know all the short cuts and some people who work there and will attend me before other people hahaha.

Elder Florez (hijo), Elder Leavitt & his newly born grandson

This week we have also been super tired. We have been waking up early and working hard this last week. Saturday we left early again to meet with the Stake President so we could plan together how the missionaries were going to apply the new mission vision to their wards. It was good and came to a sweet conclusion and I am going to be presenting it to the missionaries this Thursday. Also the rules of baptism have changed in our mission again. Now a youth cannot get baptized unless he assists the church for a straight 2 months, kids cannot get baptized unless they are someone firm in the church that will bring them and support them, and part member families cannot baptize unless someone else in the family is active. Pretty strict but we don't want people getting baptized unless they stay in the church and endure to the end.

Elder Leavitt & Elder Wilcox - both from San Diego :)

Speaking of baptism Lucas was baptized this Sunday. Elder Wardell did it which is cool because now he has changes and I will confirm him next Sunday legit!! Also Sunday was way cool we had stake conference right and I got their an hour late! Elder Wardell brought Macarena to church and I left to go pick up an old guy in a wheel chair. I carried him down with the Bishop and two other youth frickin 3 flights of stair from his appartment building to the car and then to the chapel. It was intense but worth it. He was happy. First time in 5 years he could go to church. Also we are starting to reactivate a super family! The Familia Castro came to church for the first time in 4 years. Before they went inactive he was the stake secretary and she was the stake young womans president. They went inactive because they felt they were really the only ones doing stuff and got tired of working so much while everyone else did nothing. Well we have been sharing with them and their words not mine and I don't believe them. They said that we were the most powerful and spiritual missionaries they have met and felt the spirit so strong in our appointments they new it was time for them to come back and that God specifically sent us to them at this time. Now we know that's not true because nobody who knows me would use those words. I told Elder Wardell they were talking about him jaja. but it was truly humbling and cool they felt that way.

 Elder Leavitt, Lucas, & Elder Wardell

It was cool to see Rocio and she assured me everything was fine and her mom said that since I left she saw what impact I had made in her family and is working to come back to the church cool huh? Fabio and Jennifer are fine they are literally the cutest couple ever such nerds :) We are going by Cristopher tomorrow so we shall see whats up there.

Elder Leavitt & Elder Sosa

And Sunday I will call at 8 Oclock Chilean time ok? So you guys see what you need to do to be on at that time and from prior experience a little before.

Ok guys I love you all so much and will talk to you Sunday. I am super excited to talk to you guys!

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Alex Leavitt