Monday, October 25, 2010

Alex's 10th email from Chile 10/25/10

Alex in front of a field

Hola family!

So first off mom I got a dear elder from Michelle Marshall this last week and want to write her back. It has her San Diego address but I know she is going to school back east and need her address so if you could get that for me that would be sweet. Also I got your package on Tuesday. It had been opened up but I think everything was still there, the jump rope, Reeses and one CD and newspaper stuff. Was I missing anything? When you send packages I was told to tell you not to list what is in there and to just list it as missionary supplies and put pictures of Christ on the box. So ya I don't know if it works but people swear by it.Thank you so much for the package by the way. The CD is awesome and hopefully there are more coming my way because I have a total of 2 cds and songs start to repeat. If you can, I don't know how you would, but could you get me the songs off halo? It's an xbox game and it has some sweet songs I could workout to that are mission appropriate if I remember right.

This week was amazing by the way! We found 4 new investigators and one is this amazing guy named Eugenio. Let me tell you a little about him. He has to be at least 65 balding white hair, a total of 3 teeth, lives in a shack out in the campo. His shack has one room with a little side kitchen, no running water, a total of 2 light bulbs, no wife, no kids and a cat. He is amazing!! I first met him on Tuesday with his shirt off chillin on a chair outside his shack. He is soo ready for the gospel. He told us he has resorted to just believing in God and Jesus Christ because there are so many churches and they all say different things and it is confusing. So we shared with him the Restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith. Oh and to top it off he can't read. He was so receptive. We gave him a Book of Mormon and told him although he can't read it just having it will bless him and he can look at the few pictures in the front. He loved the pictures in the Book of Mormon. We asked him if he would pray about the things we taught him and he said he didn't know our prayers. He thought we had memorized prayers. So we quickly told him how to do it and he just dropped to his knees, opened in the name of God and then immediately closed in Christ's name. We told him next time we came by we would help him in understanding prayer. It was funny. We came back on Friday and taught him how to really pray. I remembered how much he loved the pictures and brought him 6 big pictures of Christ thinking he would like them and he did. They are now up in his shack. It just amazes me how ready he is for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in his life. It is soo true what it says in the Book of Mormon when it says the poor, meek, and the humble are the most ready and receptive of the Gospel. Eugenio now has a baptismal date and is progressing. I am so excited and happy for him and hope that all things end well with him and he gets baptized because he is so ready and I know how it will bless his life. We are now trying to figure out if we can get him the Book of Mormon on CD or something.

Alex has always been an animal lover.
It looks pretty lush and green doesn't it?
I know I'm a little bias but I just think he is one of the cutest darn missionaries!!

My suit pants hem thing came out again but Hermana King sewed them up for me. She is awesome. So I am sending her the most amazing chocolate bar ever that I found down here. They are called Bon Bons and they are so good. I will have to send some home or something cause I can't even describe what they are. They are just delicious and cost like 40 cents. If I am not careful I could get fat. But weirdly and oddly enough since coming on the mission I have lost 5 pounds. Don't ask me how that has happened.

Having planted many gardens I say this looks like an onion field.

Samuel is doing good and still wants to go on a mission. Ya, it is weird to think in less than two weeks that I am no longer considered a greenie and I will have been in Chile for like close to 3 months. The other guys, not to talk myself up, but I think my Spanish and understanding is better than theirs except like one other guy who was kind of ahead of us anyway. But they are all good and doing awesome. At greenie meeting we just had meetings about teaching the basics and what not. Teaching is awesome. I am starting to really talk a lot more.

I am amazed at the amount of public peeing I have seen. It is hilarious haha. I probably can't even count the number of times I have seen people peeing on walls, buildings, just everywhere right where people are. Haha it is soo funny. But the best one happened this week. We were walking through this ally way and this guy is peeing. So we walk by and he says "discupe" or like "my bad." We are like "it's all good man." Then he starts asking why we were wearing short sleeves and if we were cold - it was night time. We said "no it feels awesome right now." All the while this guy was taking a leak haha. Also I have seen a ton of people just passed out in the middle of fields it is quite hilarious.

Like I said, he's an animal lover.
Brandon came home hating dogs after his mission. Alex is obviously not there.
Maybe they don't run in packs attacking things in Chile.

Well I love you all miss you all and hope you are all doing great. I will add some pictures from my campo adventures I have been on. Dad to answer your question I don't send all the pictures I take but most of them and ya for sure if you can find a website that can load my pictures quick I would be down for that. Ok, love you all, the church is true, Chile is legit, continue to be firm in the church!

love you all!
Elder Leavitt

Monday, October 18, 2010

Alex's 9th email from Chile 10/18/10

Hola family!

This has been a great week for the missionary work in Malloco! We now have 4 new investigators! We have been going through a dry spell and now we have 4! I am really excited about it because all of them are in their families and have inactive members that are wanting to come back so I really have high hopes for all of them. Monday we had an amazing FHE with an inactive family. We watched the testaments and the grandmother was just balling at the end. There really is such a strong spirit with that movie and it always makes me think if they feel it even more down here because this took place in South America. But after we asked the family to share their feelings that they had during the movie, and as they did the spirit was just crazy. I really think we are gonna get them going back to church.

Thursday we had interviews with President King and he kinda foreshadowed the fact that I am gonna get a Native Comp when Elder You goes home. I was expecting it anyway but ya. Also before this Wednesday I think we got the 33 miners out of the mine. Mom you are funny, you think I am in Chile and have not heard about the 33 miners? They have been on the news since the first day I was here haha. Also Thursday we had our three appointments out in the campo. So we walk an hour out there and not a single appointment happened. None of them were there but I did get some awesome pictures I will try to get to you in the near future. We are going to try and go out there again this week and try and catch them at home. Friday I had my last greenie meeting. It was so much fun to see all my old MTC buddies. President told me he is proud of the progress I am making and that he has big hopes for me here in Chile. I am sure that he says that to everyone but it still makes you feel good haha. That night we taught Camilla who is an inactive girl and her mom who is not a member. Camilla is just lazy and doesn't want to get up. We finished our lesson with them and Elder you was giving Camilla some reading to do and when he was doing that I asked the Hermana if she had a Book of Mormon. She said she did, went and got it, and I gave her some reading to do. She didn't fight me at all or anything so I was stoked. She is one of our new investigators. Saturday we went out knocked some doors and have two citas for next week. Hopefully they go through. That night we went over to the Morales. The husband we just activated and their son was baptized the week before I came to Malloco, but the Hermana has not wanted anything to do with the church. When i first got here anytime we would come over she would give us food and then leave. but she has been warming up to us, and Saturday she stayed most of the time and excepted a Book of Mormon. She said no promises but she will try and do the reading. It was neat her husband said that that week he has had about 10 dreams that his wife needed to be baptized and what not it was neat. Sunday we met again with the Gonzales family. Next time we meet with them we are going to try and set a baptismal date with the son, I am stoked. He really gets it. We ask him to read something and tell us what he thinks it means and he is money. He understands it, knows why it is important, I have high hopes for him. The only bummer about this week was that we found out our ward mission leader has been talking bad about us during meetings. The annoying thing is when we have appointments with him he doesn't show up and here he is talking bad about us and saying we are not doing our job. It is just upsetting because he is suppose to be the one in the ward to defend us on anything but Hermano Figuroa who I love and love his family, if I have not talked about them yet, I guess blew up at him and told him he has no right or place to be talking about the missionaries like that. Hermano figuroa was baptized last year and is the elders quorum president and has a love for the missionaries that I have never seen. Like I thought our family likes the missionaries but they make us look like amateurs. Overall amazing week!

Here in Chile Halloween has made it a few years ago. It is not huge but they still celebrate it so I will tell you how it is when it happens but that is all I know about Halloween here. I am pretty positive I will stay in Malloco once Elder You goes home. In our zone we have 3 people who end their missions this change crazy!

The Book of Mormon challenge is awesome. It is hard to do it both in Spanish and English but I am keeping up with it and it is awesome! Next week I will be sure to share my study plan with you. I have gotten 2 letters from dad and 2 letters from Brandon 2 postcards from Sarah and when I was in Maipu on Friday the senior couple told me they thought they saw a package with my name on it. If that is true I should get it tomorrow during district meeting. Oh by the way, we have two senior couples here. One couple who came out a little behind me the Pack's, and we got a new set two weeks ago. This is their third mission together!!! Crazy, one Spanish speaking in the states, one in Argentina and now in Chile!!! So crazy! They are from the States. They are so cute and old it is awesome both fluent in Spanish!

I love Chile although it is starting to get amazingly hot I love it. My Spanish is getting soo much better! and I know it is because I am doing my studying and some. Elder You says he in his entire mission has not studied the way I am now so he knows I will be fine. I have had members comment on my progress and I am talking a whole lot more. I am happy it is starting to come at least a little bit. I still don't understand a lot and make a lot of mistakes but it is coming. I know it is because I have studied so much, been praying for the gift of tongues every chance I get and am trying to work my hardest. I just don't want to hinder the Lords work at all. It is crazy to think we will always be in debt to the Lord. I was reading in Mosiah the other day and there was a verse saying something like we could serve the Lord our entire lives and we would still be unprofitable servants. That is so crazy to think, especially for me down here in Chile, giving up two years to do the Lords work. We could give him our lives and be unprofitable cause we start out our lives in debt, so we serve him to make up for it but when we do the lords will he blesses us putting us in debt again. God will always bless us when we do what we are suppose to do. It is just insane to think about. That probably didn't even make sense. It was just on my mind and it came out kinda just jumbled together. Well I love you all. I pray for you all the time, especially Kira. She has gone through so much she should at least be able to play her oboe. She is way to good to not be able to play. It made me really happy to hear she was able to play a little bit the other day. I miss you all and will talk to you next week.


Elder Alex Leavitt

P.S. In my sector we found the Dukes of Hazard car! it is all painted like it Confederate flag and all!
P.P.S. My soccer team Colo-Colo is dominating! thought I would let you know

Monday, October 11, 2010

Alex's 8th letter from Chile 10/11/10

Hola Familia,

This was such a fun and an amazing week. First Samuel straight up asked us how he could start preparing for his mission. We told him to keep praying, studying the scriptures, and attend church. We are also getting him a preach my gospel, a bible and a triple combination Book of Mormon. Then on Tuesday I went on divisions with Elder Champion. Now the crazy thing about this is the fact that Elder Champion has only been in Chile 1 change more than me. So we are in his sector and between the two of us we have 3 changes under our belts here in Chile. But it was sooo much fun. I love Elder Champion, he is from San Jose and we get along so well. We did so much work, did our best with the Spanish and we found him a new investigator named David. He was working on his car and then we talked to him. He let us in we blessed his home and he was way receptive. Somehow I manage to get new investigators in everyone elses sector but not mine lame. But it was a blast I loved it.

Here in Malloco we are doing a ton of reactivation work. We have two families we are working with but also another family that is split. The Gonzales family we met with them on Sunday and it was awesome. The Hermana we were talking to just started asking all of these questions about baptism. Then we were like "Hermana are you wanting to be baptized?" She was like "ya I think I do." It was awesome! But there is one big problem. Here in Chile no one gets divorces and actually for a long time in Chile it was illegal to get a divorce. So everyone is just co-living. But they have just got word the husband can get a divorce so in about 2 months she will be able to be baptized. It was just so cool she said she wants to be baptized and sealed in the temple with her family. The husband has been a life long member just inactive, and their middle son is baptized and the oldest who is 16 is not baptized so we are working with him right now to be baptized so in about two months he can baptize his mom =) I am excited about it. Weird side note, one of the in-actives was really excited to hear I was from California just happy I was not from the (fabrica) of Utah - made me laugh.

So as you know I am in the campo. Most of the people all live in one little area and that is usually where we focus our work. But the other day I talked Elder You into going on a sweet campo adventure with me because in reality our sector is huge! So we were walking through dirt paths, fields, farms, and all sorts of stuff it was soo awesome! It was beautiful. We met this lady who hates technology and has nothing that doesn't come out of the ground. We met this other lady who said in the 16 years she has lived there she has never seen missionaries out where we were which was really cool to hear. It was awesome. Next time we go out there I am totally taking pictures cause it was awesome! The people out there were way receptive and we have three new people we are gonna start teaching. We have three appointments for this week. I am stoked. Only problem is to our furthest one away its an hours walk haha. Totally worth it though!

Just a couple of random funny/cool stories really quick. There is a family in our ward who has this little girl that doesn't talk, does not socialize with anyone except her parents, and when she does talk to her parents its always a secret she whispers in their ear what she wants to say. But she is just the cutest thing and I could help myself but try and play with her when we were over at their house. About 20 mins later her parents come into the room and there she is playing with me and talking with me. Her parents could not believe it. It was pretty dang cool. Another cool thing is that now we wake up at 7:30 and go to bed at 11:30. The Chileans love their sleep and so no one here wakes up until like 1 anyway and they all go to bed so late. So now I am almost on my college schedule. Go to bed late and wake up late haha. Well to me 7:30 is still early but way better than the 6:30 in the MTC.

To answer your questions now. When I played soccer with the flaites I was not wearing my suit coat but I was wearing a white shirt, tie, dress pants and my dress shoes. It was awesome. We have been back to the Dinosos once since the whole getting yelled at but we do not go out of our way to go over there no. The Book of Mormon challenge is great. I am in second Nephi 9 and highlighting a ton. Christ is talking a lot and yes I think I am still ahead.

Well I am loving the mission. I am having fun just like my patriarchal blessing says ( make your mission fun and interesting) and that is exactly what I am doing. One thing that bugs me most is when I see missionaries who think since they are out here they can no longer joke, laugh and have fun. Obviously joke and what not to an extent, but still have fun you know? I don't know it could just be me but if I was an investigator I would like to see missionaries who are smiling, laughing, and enjoying what they are doing. I love you guys and I will talk to you next week.

Con mucho Amor,
Elder Leavitt

P.S. thank Sarah for all her cards I love them. She is a saint in my eyes and I am still looking for post cards. Not too many out here in the campo.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Alex's 7th letter from Chile 10/4/2010

Hola Familia!

So basically who doesn't love conference right? I don't know if it was because I am in the mission field or what but I honestly have never gotten more out of conference than I did with this one. Just crazy I loved it. I was able to watch all the sessions and it was in English so big bonus. Samuel came to Saturday afternoon session priesthood and both Sunday sessions and loved it. Best part of the whole Samuel thing, we talked to him last week and he is talking and asking all these questions as if he wants to go on a mission! I think that would be soo cool if he ended up going on a mission.

About the non-member family, we went by once this week to see if we could catch them at home but they were not there, so we will just go by again this week.

It really hasn't been that cold here although today I have yet to see the sun, so today it was a little cold. It is so funny though because when the sun is out and it is an overall nice day all the Chileans still complain about how cold it is haha. It hasn't rained hard enough for me to use my umbrella. I have used the coat but when it actually rain rains I guess the streets just turn into rivers so I am pretty excited for that.

An hermana for lunch wanted to try making something American for us. We come over and there is one of the biggest pizzas I have ever seen! It was huge and delicious. She said she will make it again for Elder You's goodbye party in November. Another quick thing about food. So I have really only talked about how delicious the food is here and how much of it I get. Well I finally came across something where I almost threw up while eating it. It is called "Mote Con Huesillo." It is this drink where they put what looks like rotten peaches in some juice and let it sit there so the flavor soaks in. Also there are like giant pieces of rice type things in there. Now that would be all fine and dandy, the juice is actually really good, but they flippin eat these rotten peaches! Oh so nasty but I have downed it all three times I have had it. Just soo gross to me.

So we had changes last week and we now have 3 elders in our zone that finish their missions this change. I personally think that is crazy.

Ok, now for some cool stories. So last Wednesday during studying our house got knocked. We go out and there are two Jehovah Witnesses. I was pumped (my first encounter in the field). We walk up and first thing they say is, "We see you are Mormons", we responded "We see you are testigos de jehova." So we started talking. All they wanted to do was talk about the name of God. Long story short, two Jehovah Witnesses left with Book of Mormons and one of them wants to talk to us again haha.

Spanish is coming along great. I am starting to understand a lot better now. If they talk slow enough to me I can understand them and have conversations. When there is a group and they are talking fast I don't catch all the details but I have at least an understanding of what they are talking about. So I am not completely lost anymore. Now this is what I really wanted to tell you about. So I have really started to maximize my study time. Which if you know me is a big deal. I am the worst studier ever, but I have gotten really good. I can focus a lot more and each day my ability to stay focused is becoming longer and longer. Which is why my Spanish is starting to improve faster I know it. But what I am really excited for is last Thursday President King challenged the mission to read the Book of Mormon in 84 days so we finish on Joseph Smith's birthday and the same amount of time he translated the book. Along with reading it, we are to mark all the names of Christ, all the words of Christ when is talking, all the attributes of Christ and all the doctrines of Christ. The office sent me an English Book of Mormon thinking I wouldn't be able to fully catch everything. But I am doing it in English and Spanish and actually ahead of where we are suppose to be! I know me doing it in Spanish will help me and bless me and I am so excited about it. Next week if you want when I have more time I will tell you more about how I study and how I have really organized everything. I am sure you would be proud of me.

I love you and miss you all. One theme I caught in Conference was really focusing on the Youth in the Church, how parents really need to teach them, talk to them, and be examples for them. Another theme was gratitude, so I would like thank you mom and dad for everything you have done for me and for all of your kids. I am sure all of them would agree with me you have done an amazing job, and we could not have asked for better parents. Just look, 2 returned missionaries, 1 missionary, and 4 temple marriages. Parents down here are amazed by your parenting without even knowing you. They always ask how many siblings I have. I say six and they are like "Wow that is a lot. How many of them are still active?" I say all of them and that they are married in the temple. They can't believe it. And when you think about it with all the garbage in the world right now it is a modern day miracle. But I know it is because of you guys and the examples you have set for us. I would like to thank you for always being there for me and not giving up on me through all the nonsense I gave you in high school and for last year and what we went through. I love you so much and there is no way in this life I could ever repay you for all you have done for me. I pray for you guys every night. I love you Mom and Dad.

Till next week,

Elder Alexander Leavitt

P.s. at some point I will need new sneakers, they are starting to fall apart, also if I could get a football that would be amazing :) So on sunday guess what I found? I reach into my pocket and pull out a 50 dollar bill! I was super excited and then realized I am in Chile and there is no way I can use it here haha.