Monday, December 19, 2011

Alex's 70th email from Chile 12/19/2011

Alex included a fun video clip this week. Well, one of the young men he works with a lot actually sent it to me. Thanks Dari!! Look for the video at the end.

I stole this picture from Elder Mlazgar's blog. 
I believe this is their zone.

Hola Familia!

I probably have not been so tired in my entire mission as I have been this last week we had such an insane week! But first off on Monday we had a sweet family home evening with a family in our ward that invited their niece to share with us. It was awesome we shared a Christmas Jesus Christ lesson all focused on the Book of Mormon. I don't know if I explained that really well but it was cool. After we played a game and what not, well their neice loved it. Her name is Dalenka and I had the same feeling I had when I first met Rocio. I really feel like this girl is going to get baptized. It wasn't any normal feeling. I don't know how to explain it but we will be seeing her today as well. Oh before I forget, today is Elder Carcamos birthday!  He turned 25. I set the alarm for midnight and jumped on him :) I also set up a surprise party for him tomorrow with the Hna Denisse.

On Tuesday we worked like Pack mules. We had an awesome day. Me and Elder Carcamo work super well together. We really don't have a ton in common but we both work very well and like my blessing says that when I focus on the work the differences and faults of my compañero will be less noticible and really now I have gained an amazing friend that I will keep for the rest of my life.

On Thursday we had a capacitacion especial and interviews with President King. He has been so impressed with our numbers and asked how or what we have been doing to have so much success. He said I have grown a ton and have matured a ton since being on the mission. I would like to say I am the same. I just know when things are appropriate and when they are not hahaha but he said he is happy with what I have done and the example I have set for my district.

On Friday we spent the whole day doing the carnet stuff of Elder Carcamo ( basically his chilean ID).  But it was cool I got to chill with Elder Champion. Don't know if you guys remember who he is but it was cool to see him. On Saturday we had a choir practise. We are singing on Friday at our mission Christmas activity, and at night we had a talent show Christmas dinner thing with our ward. The missionaries planned everything. Well it was awesome! We have had tons of people tell us that it was the best activity that this ward has had.

And today like I said it is Carcamo's birthday and I planned a pizza party for him with our zone it was fun.

I have not gotten that package yet or the one with rocios jersey. I don't know what the date was with the last blog. I am sorry it has been awhile. They have about the same time off like 2 or 3 months. My neck is fine now. It finally popped yesterday and now I am doing great! Maria is doing awesome. She is reading the Book of Mormon. She will take longer but when she gets baptized she will be solid! I asked Elder Carcamo and Alex Jafek is in a good mission but its north and he is from the south. We are having Christmas Eve with the familia Ruz. The Hermana LOVES me. She says I am her favorite child hahaha. She is awesome. Sunday we have like 1 hour to an hour and a half. And mom don't be worried I have bought your nativity like 6 months ago :) If I see a cool small one I will get you 2 but the one I got was expensive haha no se preocupe I am on top of things :)

Well family thats all I got for you, I love you soo much and I cannot wait to see you on Sunday. I am getting soo excited.  Elder Carcamo is excited to meet you guys as well entonces nos vemos and I love you all so much!!

Con Mucho amor,

Elder Alex Leavitt

A young man from the ward who works with the missionaries a lot sent this video today. This is what he wrote:
"this is dari he always leaves with us so we made a handshake :)"

Monday, December 12, 2011

Alex's 69th email from Chile 12/12/2011

I think this may be one of the streets that Alex refers to in his email.

Hola Familia!!

This week was a good one. Starting with the biggest news of all on Tuesday Rocio was Baptized!!! I am So happy and excited for her. It was such a good day, her whole family came and it was awesome after everything she went to go share her testimony and she just said she didn't have words to describe her feelings and started crying and then went down and hugged her mom such an amazing experience. Afterwards we had a little food and get together after at her house. This week I did divisions with Elder Merchan and with him in my sector we set 2 more baptismal dates!! So now we have 4 investigators with baptismal dates!! I am so happy that after we have worked so hard everything is finally starting to pay out for us. We had some good numbers again this week and I am soo tired.
Elder Carcamo, Rocio & Elder Leavitt
Rocio & her family with Elder Carcamo & Elder Leavitt

My neck is killing me! The last three days my neck has just been killing and today I can barley turn my head it hurts so bad.  We will see if it improves. If not I will have to go to medico cause I can't work like this.

We have this one investigator I am particularly excited about. The first time we met with her she said make sure this lesson is good because it's the one we will have together. Well needless to say we have had more than one with her :) She has specifically told me she feels like I was sent to her personally from God to share this message with her. She is a hardcore devoted evangelica. Like she does everything for her church and was so set on it she only was going to give us one chance to teach her. Well she has started reading the Book of Mormon and says it seems so familiar to her as if she has been doing it for her whole life. She has progressed sooo much! And I am getting so excited. If she gets baptized she will make a huge difference her in chile. So we will see!
Alex painting for the service project.

On Saturday there was a huge service project for the stake to paint a few streets where there was still earthquake damage. It was way fun I had a great time.

Elder Leavitt & Elder Mlazgar

Yes Mom my missionary stocking is hanging up in our apartment and it is stuffed with candy from a package Kira sent me :) No they have the same Christmas songs here and in English too haha. The only difference here is that christmas Eve is bigger because they have a party all Christmas even and way late into the morning where they party, open all the presents at like midnight, and then sleep all christmas day! haha I don't remember what the typical Christmas dinner is I actually want to say it is turkey. Thanksgiving nothing special happened only that I called my district in the morning to wish them all a happy thanksgiving. Mom I did not get a buzz cut haha it may only be the picture just look at the pictures I am sending you now it normal. Oh hey tell Alycia I am getting her letters weekly now haha and say thanks and I am writing her back. I just have been so tired and swamped I am behind in writing :(

Guys I know this letter is super short but please forgive me. I really do not feel good right now.  My neck is killing me and its hard to focus. I will make up for it in pictures I am planning on sending alot. Just know I love you all. I am working hard and I will talk to you all in like 13 days or so on skype :)

Con Mucho Amor,

 Elder Leavitt

Alex sent us this fun video of him and Elder Carcamo playing with a traditional Chilean toy. Here's a description of it:

El Trompo (Top)

TrompoThe traditional Chilean top is made of wood and has a metal prong sticking out of the end. String or twine is coiled around the top. Kids will play with their tops in the streets. Some games include trying to keep the top spinning in a defined circle. Others launch their tops and try to knock competitor's tops out of the circle.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Alex's 68th email 12/5/11

So Alex sent some pictures a few weeks ago after I had already done his post. He didn't include any this week so I'm including some you haven't seen as well as a video that Elder Mlazgar sent his Mom. There is a fun video at the end that Elder Mlazgar's Mom shared with me.

Elder Mlazgar & Alex at a zone P-day picnic.

Hola Familia!!!

I love this work especially when we are working good we had monster numbers this week. We had a grand total of 28 lessons! and we found 17 new investigators and had 198 contacts. All of them above the standard of excellence we have as missionaries and finally our work has payed off and we set 2 new baptismal dates with a couple that live in La Legua!! It was an awesome week but I am soo tired.

We had a hiccup with Rocios baptism. She was not baptized this weekened. Her dad is a cop and he said she could not get baptized if he was not there and he could not be there Saturday so it was postponed for this tomorrow so say a prayer please that all goes well.

Elder Carcamo, Luis & Alex

Part of our monster week goes to the young men of this ward. We have two young men who always leave with us. They are so tight and they will be amazing missionaries one day. We do divisions with them 1 or 2 times a week. I think I will try to make my kids leave with the missionaries one day. I know I did it a little but I should have done it more. This week we had a mission wide fast on Thursday. We fasted because our mission is at the point to take off and Friday we had zone council meetings to see how we can do better as zones and help the mission reach its potential (remembering we are the lowest baptizing mission in South America). It was a good meeting. Saturday Elder Carcamo and I left in the morning to do some contacts. I don't know if I have ever told you about Elder --- before. He is famous in the mission and even more in La Legua. It's thanks to him La Legua is so dead to the missionary work and why they normally hate us. Long story short lets just say Elder --- has 2 kids in La Legua. Well I met the first family that knows him!  They were like "Wow! we have not seen missionaries this deep into La Legua since Elder --- 10 years ago!!" So crazy. Well we have an appointment with that family tomorrow lets see how it goes.  Well it was that same morning we set our fechas bautismales with Macarena and Antonio. It was actually my first appointment with them. Well we taught them the most important thing which is eternal life, the holy ghost and baptism and then right there first lesson invitated them to be baptized January 14th! So lets pray that they progress and reach their date! I am so excited! President commented about how impressed and shocked he was with our numbers. We have been putting out the best numbers this sector has ever had. We have been working soooo hard!!!!!!!

Alex at the zone activity for their p-day. 

Also I got your advent calanders. My district says thanks and Elder Mlazgar says you can be his second mom jajaja. And yes I did also get your halloween one, maybe your thanksgiving one as well.

My ward has normally between 70 and 80 people in assistence but have 600 members so not very active. We are always finding inactives in the streets and what not. My district is good I just have those two missionaries who are not working which is hard because there isn't much I can do. They should work because they want to because if it isn't voluntary you are not gonna have the spirit with you. Like it says in Corinthians "God loves the happy giver¨." YES I FINISHED THE BIBLE IN SPANISH!!!!!!!! I am soo happy and the coolest part I understood basically everything. Revelations everything it was so easy to understand. I am so stoked and I have a seen so many blessings and it has been such a great tool for me as a missionary to have done it.

Ok well that's all I got for you guys this week. Oh Hey christmas is coming up I was thinking we can do our call Christmas day at like 8 my time here in Chile is that ok? ok we'll talk to you next week!

Con Mucho Amor

Elder Alex Leavitt

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Alex's 67th email from Chile 11/28/11

Santa looks the same in Chile.
Alex, Elder Mlazgar, Elder Braddy, Elder Carcamo & Elder Sousa

Hola Familia!

This was a good week. Although we didn't have 258 contacts again we still had a decent week. We were just wiped from the other week and now we both are pumped and ready to go for this week. Just a cool little thing, the hottest pepper here in Chile is called the pucha madre and I ate it this last week it was pretty hot but I held my composure way better than everybody else even the latins. I was proud of myself. Hey mom, I was just walking one day in the street and started think about the Turnwall's. How are they doing? I don't know, could you go visit Hermana Turnwall this week? If you do how is Nate doing?

This week we taught Rocio a ton and I came to a conclusion. Mom, she reminds me a ton of you. Obviously I didn't know you when you were 16 but I would say you were probably alot like Rocio. She is awesome and maybe something that helps is that she plays on a all guys basketball team, but its more than that. She has such a strong testimony and has been waiting for the gospel in her life. This week we were preparing her for her baptismal interview and we told her she can't have her belly ring and so she took it out and gave it to us haha. (hey did you get the pictures I sent last week I was having problems sending them. There was a picture of Rocio and me) Well part of the deal is I told her if she gave us her belly ring I would give her something of mine and I know that you probably sent me my package mom but if you could could you send me another basketball practise jersey. I have at least 3 or 4 hopefully but I think she would love it seeing that she plays basketball. Well she had her baptismal interview this Sunday and passed! My zoneleader who did the interview told me that she was the most prepared investigator he has met and that the interview was awesome and Rocio asked me to baptize her!!! I am soo pumped! She is so tight has such a strong testimony and just ready for her baptism. I told her she needs to find Alan and get married jaja My two golden baptisms married that would be tight.
Alex & Rocio
During this week random story we saw a dead guy. He jumped from a 5 story building and we happened to just walk by right after it happened so that was weird. But also this week I had to give my first chewing out as district leader.  So that wasn't fun for me but it had to be done.

The district t-shirts he talked about last week. 
I think this group is pretty serious about their ball skills. What do you think?
For me it's not weird having a hot Christmas. I have never really had a cold one in my life so I don't know it's normal. We have lost contact with Giovanni :(  We have met with like 2 or 3 of our new contacts from last week. Rocio is getting baptized this Saturday and I am pumped! at 1 o clock. No there are no weird bugs here only in the campo but even then not alot there really is nothing here. Elder Braddy yes is still the district leader. Also remember Elder Merchan from Spain, when I was in La Islita? He is the new zone leader here! So we are pumped. I am reading the Bible in Spanish and I only have like 60 pages left!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will try and finish it this week. I have not gotten any packeges yet :( hopefully this week.

So I have officially decided that if someone is worthy, giving a blessing is one of the coolest and most spiritual experiences and things you can do. I absolutly love it. I gave a blessing this week to a lady in our ward who had surgery and it was awesome. To just feel like you really are standing in for Jesus Christ, because if he were here he would be doing the same excact thing, healing and blessing the people. To be a vessel of Gods love here on earth is just something I have grown to love and appreciate alot. To literally feel like you are doing his work, the things he would do, trying to help all of his children here on earth work, learn, and progress towards their celstial home where God is waiting for them. I love this work and I am so happy to be here. To be doing the same things Christ would do. Everyone says in the church they want to become like Chirst. Well I think the fastest path to do that is the missionary work. It is something so special and if someone feels they are needing to align their lifes road a little closer to the one Christ gave us as an example, they need to just share the gospel and show the love God has for all of his children here in this world. I am so happy to be a missionary and participate in the Most Important Thing that is happening on the face of this planet which is sharing the plan that God has prepared for all of us to come back and return with him in celestial glory. To reign with him as the Princes and Princesses we are to the most High King, our Heavenly Father. I love you all and pray for you everyday. I miss you, Love you, and will talk to you next week.

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Alexander Thomas Leavitt

Monday, November 21, 2011

Alex's 66th email from Chile 11/21/11

The Republica Zone with President King.

Hola Familia!!!

This week was rediculous! La Rocio is doing awesome!!! On Monday she called us and asked us to come over. So we rushed all our stuff to end p-day we got over there and were wondering what happened. Well turns out she couldn't meet with us on Tuesday because she was having the young woman over to her house and wanted to have her lesson with us on Monday! what 16 yr old does that?  We met with her like 4 or 5 times this week. She is progresing sooo much!! She came to church and loved every second of it. I am so stoked about her. Her family also just loves us we were walking in the street during the week and a car pulls over and it was Rocio's mom. She was like "hey you guys should come over later tonight" so we were like "sure we will see what we can do." An appointment fell threw and we went over had completos and shared a lesson with Rocio. It is so nice when you have the support of the family.

Well me and Elder Carcamo have broken a record here in Republica. I want to know if there is one for the mission but this last week we did 2 58 contacts! and found 14 news! HOW LEGIT IS THAT??? but I will be completly honest, by Sunday night I was just dead tired.  We worked so hard this last week I am so dead. We set some high goals this week and went and got them. It was awesome but seriously I am so tired. We went on divisions alot with the youth in our ward. I left with Dary he is tight. We have a sweet handshake I will have take a video and send it to you guys.

So this last week obviously like I said we did a ton of contacts but we contacted alot in La Legua this week and while we were there we were hearing some gun shots and what not it was pretty crazy. Also we found this family where the grandpa is dying. They let us in so we could give him a blessing. Turns out he listened and was very active in the church and with the missionaries 10 yrs ago. Well he got cancer and the whole family was like "wow you guys showed up at the excact time, the perfect time." The doctors said he will go at anytime and really we were there the last time he was concious and he started crying when we walked in the room. It was such a neat and spiritual experience. Last thing I heard him say was that he was at peace it was way neat.  So cool to actually feel like you are tools in Gods hands to help his children be happy and feel his presence. His family was like "wow we haven't even gotten people from our church here and you guys just showed up." so sick!

So the change ended and our new change has begun. Elder Carcamo and I are going to be together for another change. I am so pumped! In fact from my entire district not a single one of us has changes!!  Our district name is los encapuchados! Those are the students that fight against the cops here haha. and we made district shirts!!! They are pretty legit. Elder Mlazgar is pretty happy so am I haha. We are going to take the trash out on this next change. Changes are excactly this Tuesday but they tell us on Saturday before so you have Sunday and Monday to do goodbyes.

The email that was sent with these pictures read:
"Enjoy these photos and remember to always raise the banner of freedom - The Book of Mormon"

Dad's last blog was a repeat he sent the graduations again and then when Sarah came home for like a week or something. In the Bible I am now like halfway through 2nd Corinthians

OK family that was my week a ton of work and lots of success I am dead tired but here comes another change  hagamos lo!
 lets do it!

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Leavitt

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Alex's 65th email from Chile 11/14/11

Elder Sosa & Alex in the remains of a car they found. 
He said it was burned during the student riots in Chile.

Hola Familia!!

So another great week! So I know God has listened to my prayers! Because I knew Rocio had great potential. She finally came back from vacation and we had an awesome lesson with her. It was cool her mom told us that she really likes me and Elder Carcamo compared to the other missionaries that come by. But After an awesome lesson Rocio accepted a baptismal date!! We went by two times this last week 1st time we set a fecha with her for the 3rd of December and second time we had another awesome lesson. I love Elder Carcamo he is an amazing missionary who is very inspired and has the spirit always with him. He was talking with Rocio and her mom about different gifts God gives us and then stops and says "just look at Elder Leavitt, One thing I have learned most from him to to be happy. I have never seen a happier person in my life and I know that is a gift God has given him, and another is he has a gift to work with the youth and get them inspired and work in the gospel." Elder Carcamo is very humble and patient some of the reasons I love him.

On Wednesday we had President King acompany us for our district meeting. I had to give the Proposal in the meeting and after shared my testimony that is we always remember our purpose as missionaries we will be happy. I have just been happy if you guys couldn't tell and after President thanked me for my testimony and that he loved it. Funny story, in pouch I got a letter from some random girl alyssa gray I think. Apparently she found my blog and decided to write me. Well I wrote back lets see what happens. (Hey mom before I forget Elder Carcamo wants a picture of the San Diego temple so if you could get him a cool one and send it some time that would be tight.) He saw all my pictures and loves the San Diego temple now. Also if you can email Hermana Dorius & Brother Dorius asked me how Brother Riley is doing, the organist player, I told him he moved from the ward a long time ago to like Montana if I remember correctly. I said you know more than I do.

On Friday we had our greenie meeting and it was awesome although the worst timing. I don't know why it was like this, but it started at 1 in the afternoon and ended at like 6:30. I didn't get back to our sector until 7:30 and then there was no work because Chile was playing against Uraguay at 8!  So Friday we really did not do anything! lame.

On Sunday morning we went over to Rocio's and made her some breakfast as she got ready and then we went to church! So I was pumped she finally went. She is really starting to do the stuff right. Her mom really likes us haha so it's good she is on our side.

People are not yet leaving. That all starts up the end of January and Febuary when school ends. In the Bible I am almost done with Romans! That's what's up I only have 200 more pages to read!!! Other investigators we don't have many progressing so we are focusing on trying to find more people to teach. I was on a rock at a pond at Parque O´Higgins the whole zone was there and it was cool. In the summer is when all the corn comes out and strawberries and melons. Man we eat so much corn in the summer! This change has gone by soo fast! It's the last week of the change already!!! Elder Mlazgar asked President King if he can stay another change. He doesn't want to leave the district haha. I don't want him to go either.

Buena familia I love you guys so much and I can't wait to talk to you next week!

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Alex Leavitt

P.S. One car we found burned after a student riot, this is Elder Sosa Elder Mlazgar's companion

The rest of the car pictures Alex sent.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Chilean Empanadas - A Delicious Food Tradition

Don’t leave Chile without eating a classic Chilean empanada. While empanadas in some form are found all over Latin America, Chile offers up its own variety. An empanada is a type of turnover where a thin pastry shell is stuffed with a filling and then cooked before serving. Chilean empanadas typically come in two popular variations: oven-baked meat-filled empanadas and cheese filled, fried empanadas.

Empanadas de Horno
As you walk through a local feria market or see a vendor on the street, you’ll hear cries of “empanadas de horno“. These are oven-baked empanadas. A traditional empanada de horno is also called an empanada de pino.

These empanadas are filled with a meat mixture consisting primarily of ground beef, onions, raisins, a slice of hard boiled egg, a whole olive, and seasonings. The pastry shell is sealed up and baked in the oven.

Recipes vary so don’t be surprised if you taste a something different in your empanada. Empanadas de pino are typically large enough to constitute a meal even though they often are served only as appetizers.

The first time I ate an empanada de pino I bit down on the whole olive (pit included) and nearly broke my tooth! Use caution when eating fresh empanadas as they will be really hot inside.

Cheese Empanadas
Cheese empanadas are simply cheese inside a pastry shell and then fried. These are so easy, you can make your own cheese empanadas. Since these are fried, you get a different texture and flavor. Cheese empanadas are also typically smaller than their meat-filled cousins. So you’ll be tempted to eat several at one time.

As you travel around the country, you’ll find different variations of the empanada. Look for seafood empanadas or whole wheat empanadas in more trendy restaurants.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Alex's 64th email from Chile 11/7/11

I'm sure Alex was excited to see this sign!!

Hola Familia!!!!!!

This week was fantastic. Also I have officially decided also that this week has gone by too fast and that the mission is going by to fast. So much has happened this week I don't know where to start. Elder Carcamo and I are working super hard. But it is getting sooo hot here now.  The other day it was 32 degrees C I was dying. But ok lets see, So Elder Mlazgar and I went on divisions last week ya, well we were walking and this Hawk was just eating this pidgeon in the middle of the road. I was just watching this happen when we were stepping down from the side walk and stepped in a hole and rolled my ankle!!! I fell right there in the middle of the street pretty embarresing haha. But the hawk was tight. My ankle hurt for like 2 days and now its fine. Also I had TACO BELL the other day!!! I had a crunch wrap supreme. I have missed sour creme so much. It doesn't exsist here and at taco bell was the first time I have had it since I got here to Chile.
Elder Leavitt & Elder Mlazgar

We had a special divosional this week with Elder Snow from the presidency of the 70.  It was pretty cool. The whole mission went so I got to see some people I have missed.  I also got to take a picture with my 3 kids of the mission. At the divocional they talked a ton about have the spirit and teaching by the spirit. It was tight.  I translated the whole thing into English for the senior couples!!!

Elder Leavitt & his three sons: 
Elder Florez, Elder Carcamo & Elder Garcia

Also during the week we had a capacitacion especial from president King and it was really good. He taught about working more effectively and focused alot on planning well. During district meeting I got a ton of letters from La Islita from lots of different families saying how much they miss me and how I left a hole in the branch it was cool. (Speaking of which mom there is a Camila who is sad because she has not yet been accepted on facebook)
I don't like La U I like Colo colo but this graffiti is sick
there is alot of graffiti like this in Chile

On Saturday after the divocional Luis was baptized!!! It was awesome!! Adolfo a guy in our ward (Just a quick side note it takes me sooo long to write these letters because I keep throwing in spanish words and have to correct myself ugh!!!!) baptized Luis. His family came who are hard core Catholics. They are not super happy but support his decision to be baptized. But it was awesome. The spirit was super strong and I gave a talk. Sunday he was confirmed and his family came again. His sister was crying so we may need to look into that one haha. We had 5 investigatores come to church this week!!! Which is a lot compared to the fact it was the first time we had some come since I have been here!!! But 2 of them are going to get baptized. They are Colombians but need to get married lame, but they have the desire and shared some awesome testimonies on Sunday!! Soo excited.
Elder Carcamo, Luis & Alex

Giovanni we didn't visit this last week because of all the meetings we had. We will hunt him down this week. In the bible I am about half way through John. Rocio has been on vacaciones and will get home this Tuesday and we are already planning on going to visit her that same day. We have this kid come out to work with us alot. His name is Dari pronounced daddy and he is so tight. He shared his testimony on Sunday just saying how much he loves leaving with us and shared his testimony about the missionary work. This kid you would never have expected this from him but since I got here we have been forcing him to leave with us and now he calls us to see when he can leave. Awesome. I have not gotten any box packages yet. I have gotten a few big envelope ones.
Elder Leavitt & Elder Braddy
MTC buddies on the metro heading to a training meeting. 

I just want to end saying how happy I am. We were in the street and I just said to Elder Carcamo and Dari I am so happy right now I don't know why. But really I know it's because I am here in the mission doing the most important thing I could be doing with my life. I get so many comments about how can I always be smiling and laughing. I know I have always gotten comments like that throughout my life but right now I know a hundred percent why I am so happy. To see your impact in peoples lives, watching them accept this gospel, and later be filled with more light and knowledge and change their lives brings me so much happiness. To know I have helped just a little bit in the work of God. I am just soo happy to be here and I feel like I am losing time to do everything I need to do.  Well I love you guys so much and I am so happy to hear how blessed and happy everyone is.
Alex on the metro

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Alex Leavitt

P.S. I wanted to tell you guys this, I am not chueco or crooked it's what they say here for a disobedient missionary. But just soo you know and can get to know what type of music I will listen to when I get home, I love Don Omar especially dutty love and hold ya. Look them up it is tight! And if you are wondering I have heard them in houses of investigators and in the street and have asked people what songs they are. Love you and enjoy!

I decided to look the guy up and here is one of the songs Alex was talking about:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Alex's 63rd email from Chile 10/31/11

There is a very cool video and sweet story at the end of this email. It's a link - Enjoy!!!

The Anniversary Logo
Alex & Elder Mlazgar

Hola Familia!!!

This was an awesome week. Elder Carcamo & I are tearing it up. Love this Kid. I like how I called him a kid when he is 24 haha. S this week we were blessed with a visit from Elder Zebaillos and it was sick. They talked about how we need to maximize our time as missionaries cause it is short. How we need to have fun and be happy on our missions or what is the point. It was overall a very cool  meeting. He also said something very cool, he was at one point talking about the importance of latin missionaries to learn english and the importance for gringos to not forget their spanish. Well he then said that any person that can speak spanish and english can communicate with 80% of the church members and if you can add portugese 90% (ben) crazy eh? I thought that was really cool. When we were at this meeting I found the missionaries from Lo Ovalle, do not remember their names, but I asked them about Alan and it sounds like he is doing awesome. I love that Kid. He is soo awesome and faithful it is ridiculous.

 Republica Zone 
with Elder Zeballos of the Quorom of the Seventy & President & Herman King
*Alex is dead center in the third row next to the missionary with the red tie

This week I have done 2 divisions with elders and on divisions now with Elder Mlazgar. I love divisions but hate them at the same time. Love them because I get to know more people and missionaries better, but hate them  because to really see how the missionary works and give them pointers and advice, I need to go to their sectors and see them work with their investigators ( my opinion) but I hate leaving my sector. I know it's probably bad to feel this way. I don't want other missionaries teaching my investigators. I just don't want something bad to happen which is terrible to think but its like "I am teaching them. I know them. I know how to teach them. I know I work hard in my sector and if anyone is going to mess it up I want to do it." I don't know,  those are just my feelings about leaving my sector. I just don't like leaving my work in the hands of other people.

President & Hermana King at the rehearsal for the 50th Anniversary Celebration

Speaking of my sector, last week a guy was gunned down in my sector. The thing that freaked me out was that we were actually outside working at the time crazyness. This sector is so much different from my other ones. Last week this random girl came up to me and my companion and says to me "hey I wanted to say hi to you" So I shook her hand and she was like "no,  here in Chile we kiss." I told her we could not kiss as missionaries and she just says "no, kiss me." I said I couldn't and she said "lame" and walked away! I was just like "did that just happen?" This sector is sooo flaite!! I am in the hood. This weekend Colo-Colo and La U played - big time rivals.  After the game people were fighting in the street haha. Some old guy was like "hey elders don't take the metro it's too dangerous right now." I thanked him and told him we were not planning on taking the metro that day.

Elder Leavitt, Elder Adair & Elder Braddy 
MTC buddies happy to see each other at the rehearsal.
Elder Crowley with the 'peace' sign. 
He is our daughter's brother-in-law. He's in the mission that borders Alex's. Small world eh?

On Sunday I did my first baptismal interview as a district leader and guess what? she didn't pass!! So I am not starting off with a good track record. This lady is super repentant, but we have rules, and when it is a certain situation we just have them have another interview with President King. Same day Luis passed his baptismal interview and he is getting baptized this Saturday!!! I am so excited!

Some of the 3000 youth participating in the celebration

The protests have been non-stop since 6 months ago. It started because the students want free studies and the protests are always going on. Halloween we have the same work schedule.

Elder Mlazgar took this picture and his Mom shared it with me.

Our numbers were not as good as last week mainly because about half of our plans fell threw but it was still a good week.  We found 5 new and one of them is soo legit. His name is Giovanni. He is like 21 and lives in La Legua. I asked him why he wanted to listen to us and he said because he use to have a friend that is a member and always wanted to know what he believed. I later said "everyone of us has problems and challenges in life and that our message can help us get over them (something like that)" He said "good" because he had a painful experience happen about a year ago and is still trying to get over it.  Turns out he had his baby die a year ago so I asked him if he wanted to know where his kid is. He said "yes" and we shared Moroni 8 and talked about the plan of salvation. It was soooo AWESOME!!! The spirit was so strong and it was just awesome.

The district is awesome. We formed a team and played soccer against my ward today. In the New Testament I am in Juan haha John something I don't remember excactly.  Ummm I would like to know excactly how everyone is doing.  Say "hi" to Frank for me. Tell him we need to play ping pong because I think I can beat him now haha.

I love that the missionaries are participating in this part of the program. I don't even think it's when they sang.

Ok guys, I sent pictures. Hopefully you get everything cause the internet sucks today. I love you all soo much and I will talk to you next week.


Elder Alex Leavitt

Here's the link to the video and neat story:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween in Chile

Now that Alex is in the city I think he might see stores like this.
Halloween in Chile is a great example of globalization and Chilean’s local adaptation of another country’s tradition.
While Halloween is October 31st in Chile, that day wasn’t always celebrated as such.
In fact, November 1st is All Saints Day and is a national holiday in Chile where people will visit cemetaries to honor their deceased ancestors.
In 2008, the Chilean government, recognizing that All Saints Day was a Catholic holiday, established October 31st as “Day of the Evangelical and Protestant Churches” for those of Protestant and Evangelical faiths.
Despite the days around Halloween being set apart for religious holidays, Chileans have slowly adopted the Halloween practices typical of celebrations in the United States.
Large global companies and their pervasive marketing have accelerated the imagery and traditions of a Gringo Halloween in Chile. This includes large displays and decorations at retail stores across the country.
Today many Chileans go Trick-or-Treating in their neighborhoods just like their North American counterparts.
Chileans will dress up in costumes and go door to door proclaiming dulce o trucowith the hopes of getting some candy for their neighbors.
So if you are in Chile on Halloween, don’t be surprised to see little ghosts and goblins wandering the streets.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Alex's 62 email from Chile 10/24/11

Elder Mlazgar & Elder Leavitt

Alex forgot his camera this week but Kim Mlazgar sent some pictures and I have a video from a different mission blog I will include.

Hola Familia!!!

I had a CRAZY WEEK!!! To start it out you know how I have seen my fair share of public urinating?  Well I think I just topped it all off. I now have seen everything. The other day this girl was peeing by a tree. I say girl but it was like a 15 or 16 year old girl peeing!

So on Tuesday Elder Mlazgar and I went on divisions and it was awesome. I am pretty upset cause I forgot my cámara and I was going to send pictures to you guys. But it was way fun we did alot of contacts talked alot and had some good appointments. The kid is a stud.  While we were on divisions a guy almost robbed me!! This dude just comes up behind me, puts his arms around me and starts feeling my leg. He askes me if  I had a phone I told him "no", then a grabs me wrist and looks at my watch and asked me what type of watch was it. I told him I bought it here in Chile for a mil which is almost nothing and then he just leaves. Elder Mlazgar lucked out cause he had his phone and a nice watch on and he didn't even touch him.
Camilo, Elder Leavitt & Sebastian 
(this was posted on his facebook by a member in Chile. I'm assuming from their t-shirts this was taken at the 50th Anniversary Celebration)

OH! we saw all the carabineros (police) just lined up with protests shields and everything ready to fight the students it was awesome!!! So I told you all that I have La Legua which is the most dangerous part of Santiago right?  Well Elder Carcamo and I have started to go in and contact it up. I just felt like we should so thats what's up. We found a couple inactive members who have been inactive for like 15 yrs and we found a couple of new investigators in there. It's so insane it's like walking into a different world. There is a huge wall that just seperates it from the rest of the city so you have to walk in just super obvious haha
I can't remember where I got this picture from. But this is at the 50th Anniversary Celebration with some of the youth he knows. I'm sure this is after when they all stormed the field. He is holding one of the props from one of the dances.

 This week was just amazing.  We tore it up we had overall the best numbers for this week in our district.  We found 8 news in total we had 26 lessons in total and the standard of excellence for the mission is 20 in total. And best of all we set a baptismal date!!!!  His name is Luis and he is super legit.  We were with him yesterday and visiting with his family.  His mom was like "he is only baptizing himself in your church because he likes you guys and the members." Luis turns to his mom and says, "No mom, I am  baptizing myself for their doctrine, it's the closest doctrine to what Christ taught that's why I am getting baptized." It was way awesome!!! Basically in Spanish we are "sacando la mugre!" it's a little vulgar but it explains it all :) Elder Carcamo is just awesome. I love this guy we get along soo well. On Friday I had my first leadership meeting.  We met up in Maipu and had a meeting with all the zone leaders district leaders and president. Remember Elder Braddy? He is from the MTC. We are district leaders together in Republica!!! How sick is that!! So we went together.

Me and Elder Carcamo have been contacting the heck out of this sector and one time we were knocking doors and this lady had a dog and it got out during the contact and just leaps at me, I kicked that thing so hard in the face! The lady then takes her dog and went inside haha she was not happy with me haha. But hey, I was not about to get bit by her dumb dog haha. On Sunday I went on divisions with the our zone leader and it was legit.  We tore it up in my sector at the end we did the whole how did it go thing and his first comment was how impressed he was with my work ethic and how quick I win the confidence of the members and investigators :)

I live in an appartment of 4. My comp and I,  Elder Enamorado and Elder Tognetti.The zone was La Cisterna in the ward or sector of Lo Ovalle. I am now in the zone of Republica but in the ward or sector of Carlos Valdivinos. It is actually the last sector of our mission! I am the farthest away from the coast in my mission. Ya we are still working with some of the news we found last week. I am thinking we can set another baptismal date with this girl we are teaching named Rocio so say a prayer for her this week. This week was good. We had 80 people at church this ward has 500 inactives!!!! insane!!! I am in Republica Zone and we do a lot of zone activities. Today we went bowling!!!  It was sick I bowled a 148. I was very proud of myself. They don't have different accents or dialects the only thing that changes is that in different parts they use diffferent saying and different words thats about it, or at least what I have seen.

Well guys I am working like crazy and with Elder Carcamo we work super well together and get work done. I am way tired though UGH! I just pass out at nights. well I love you all a ton talk to you later!!!

Con Mucho Amor

Elder Alex Leavitt

Here's the video link hope it works. If you look at the bottom row/first row of missionaries and count about 6 in from the end towards the middle and then go up about 6 rows you will see a missionary in a bright orange tie. That is Alex. You can see him from .02 - .15 on the video. At about .14 a missionary walks into the row in front of me and stands in front of him the rest of the time. At least we can see him that little bit. I swear I can hear him singing!!!! :) (This was obviously a practice and not the real event)

50 Year Celebration Singing Missionaries from Mary Ann Essig on Vimeo.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Alex's 61st email from Chile 10/17/11

Can you spot Alex? 
He's about 4 rows up, bright orange tie, turned sideways talking to the Elder next to him. There is a sister with blonde long hair in front of him.

Hola Familia!!!

Wow, where do I begin? Well Monday I finished saying goodbye to my branch. I am not gonna lie. I have never felt so loved by a group of people in my life other than my family. Everyone was crying when I said goodbye. On Tuesday as I was waiting for the bus I got a phone call from President King. He was like "hey I forgot to call you last night but I would like you to be District Leader in your new sector". So now I am district leader crazy eh?

I am now in Republica, in Carlos Valdivinos. My apartment building is on the street Mozart and it's like 200 something. I will try to get a better and more precise direccion for you if you can't find it. My companion is Elder Carcamo he is from Peru and is a greenie. My last 3 companions have been greenies. I have 6 months of training! His original trainer was Elder Sellers my old companion but he finished the mission last change. Small world. Elder Carcamo is awesome and is a super obedient and hard worker. Now all I am trying to do is teach him to have fun at the same time :) haha My sector is relativly big but I am now in one of the, if not most dangerous sectors in our whole mission. As soon as I heard I had La Legua I was like "I was wondering when that part of my setting apart will kick in when I feel like I need to get out of an area and protective angels and what not". La Legua is the most dangerous part of Santiago. The police don't even go in there. But I told Elder Carcamo I feel like we should go in so this week we are going to go hit up La Legua.  No missionaries have gone in there for a long time and it takes up about a 3rd of our sector.

My District is AWESOME. I have such a cool district. I am the oldest by far. I am the only one who has more than a year. I didn't know any of them before either. Mom I think I am famous in the mission because of you. Our mission is super young and at changes I kept having people saying "Hey! you are Elder Leavitt! I read you blog before the mission!" I guess they got their call, searched the mission via google, and the first thing that pops up is my blog.  It's funny you looked up Santiago norte and look for pictures and all my pictures come up. By in my district I have 5 missionaries to take care of, my comp, Elder Tognetti 5 months from Iowa, Elder Enemorado 6 months from Honduras, Elder Mlazgar 8 months from Mesa Arizona, and Elder Sosa 5 months from Argentina. My District is hilarious and I am so happy I have them as my district.
Alex & Elder Mlazgar from his district.
They are about 4 rows up, standing up, and have their hands over their eyes to shade from the sun. They are both looking at something.

My sector super flaite though. We have a bunch of apartment building that are deemed unlivable from the earthquakes so the goverment built little earthquake communities outside of the buildings.  Funny thing is the people just use the houses and their apartment to. I always feel weird when I walk into a building when it has a huge sign that says unlivable. Also I got to see a protest! Here in Chile the last few months the students have been protesting a ton where they fight with the police. They want free or cheaper studies or something. One time I got a little bit of tear gas haha it was cool though.
The stadium where the Cultural Celebration took place.
Can you see the Andes mountains with snow on them in the background?

Friday we basically spent all day at the practice for the huge activity on Saturday. Only the city sectors got to go to the practice but the whole mission got to go Saturday. The activity was amazing!! It started out with 3 speakers they didn't talk very long only like 20 mins or soo but Elder Cordbridge talked again. The dancers were amazing the skit was amazing. The soloist was one of my missionaries ward mission leader haha he is just good. I heard the two missionaries were missionaries from the north mission we were in their mission but they were gringos I know that. What white flags are you talking about? I know when Chileans dance cueca they twirl white hankerchiefs you talking about those?  When we were singing and right after yes, former mission presidents and some of the earlier missionaries went up onto stage. All of our mission went, the east mission, north mission, some of Rancagua and Vina del Mar went too. There were no genral authorities.  I knew alot of the youth who were in it. I didn't see Alan though. I saw Derrick (his sisters brother-in-law from a different mission in Chile)and I saw Jaromy Holland too (a young man from our Stake who is in yet another mission in Chile). Crazyness he is still a greenie. He just got here how lucky is that?
One of the traditional dances from one of the countries.

It was awesome after the activity ended all the missionaries stormed the field with all the youth. I saw families from Malloco, Lo Ovalle, and basically my whole ward from Talagante came and hunted me down. They were all soo happy to see me. It was sooo amazing the whole thing. Only downside was our seats. I couldn't see anything on the projectors or screens so we did miss alot and I couldn't see the stage very well either. But it was amazing. I hope they sell copies I have no idea.

My ward is kinda of an older ward. There are not many youth. My sector has once again 0 progressing investigators so it's to contacting once again but this last week we found 4 new investigators. Doing tons of contacts. It's not as dead as Islita was but it's there. We will just work hard once again. Not anything new for me now haha but now President threw in some other factors, dead sector, training, and district leader. Let's see how it goes. Pray for me I need it. But now I am trying even harder to be more obedient and more diligent. One I need the blessings in such a dangerous sector, but I need to be an example. But I have faith everything will be ok :) I love you all. It's just insane how fast the mission goes.  I need to get a move on or it will end before I am ready. Love you all soo much. Miss you guys I am praying for you all.

Con Mucho Amor,

                                 Elder Alexander Thomas Leavitt

 P.S. Alex didn't send any pictures this week. The pictures I have I took off of the Chile Santiago North Mission Blog that is kept up by the Mission President's wife. I was thrilled to see Alex in so many of the pictures. I also want to include what she wrote on the blog. She wrote:

"We had a wonderful opportunity to participate in a celebration of 50 years of the mission in Chile.  Last Saturday. we started off with a fireside with the Area Presidency, along with a wonderful youth choir.  Last night was the cultural celebration and story through dance , music and dramatizations. There were over 3000 youth that participated in the event.  Many have practiced every Saturday for the last 3 months.  They showed us dances from several Latin America Countries.   It was a wonderful evening ending with the introduction of the missionaries who had served in Chile, those who are now serving, and the future generation of missionaries in Chile.  Missionaries from the Chile Santiago North, East, West Missions and some from the Rancagua Mission participated.  They sang “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go” to the audience.  It was quite a site to see over 500 missionaries singing!  Hopefully, in 50 years, many of our missionaries can participate in a similar event.  As you look through the pictures take a good look at the beautiful Andes Mountains in the background.  Our mission includes the stadium we are in and into the Andes Mountains.

One of the sweet experiences is the number of missionaries who had brothers or sisters or cousins serving in a nearby mission.  They had a chance to get together with each other during the practice and evening event."

We had the opportunity to watch it and it was pretty amazing. We also got to see Alex singing in the choir. It made my day!

 The missionaries singing "I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go"

I LOVE this picture of all the missionaries 
holding up Books of Mormon.