Monday, April 18, 2011

Alex's 35th email from Chile 4/18/11

Querido Faimilia!

This week was awesome but weird, sad, and amazing all at the same time. One, it seemed like this week took forever but went by super fast at the same time I don't know how to explain it. First, last Monday we got word that a missionary who had finished his mission like last change just died.  Both his kidneys failed at the same time.
We had a huge zone conference this last week in Republica.  It was cool. I got to see some of my better friends in the mission there which is always fun to do.  We learned alot about needing to work more with the ward and the Bishop and then fully turning over our hearts to the Lord so we can become the best missionaries that we can be. It was super cool. I really enjoyed President King's lesson on all of that stuff it was legit. 

Tuesday night we had a meeting with he Bishop where he gave me an awesome compliment. He said he has loved how I have really focused on trying to get the youth out with us and work. He said the youth have left more with me than any other missionary and that I have had good relationships with the young men in our ward and that they look up to me. We are going to have a special Sunday next Sunday where it is all going to be focused on missionary work and they are going to have us give talks and have like a question answer type thing haha.  It was cool.  Also he said our ward has grown a ton in the last couple of months with baptisms and alot of inactive families starting to come back.  He said on Sunday to that they had been talking to the stake president and they may actually be adding on to the chapel because it is a small chapel and we are starting to fill our biulding and not have room for everyone.  The church owns the lot next to the chapel so they will use that to expand it.

I had a super cool experience on Friday. Friday I had divisions. I went with Elder Sanchez the greenie from Peru in my sector. It was awesome, well although a ton of our citas fell through we did a ton of contacting.  Now I generally don't enjoy doing contacts.  But this was the first time where I felt like I was doing awesome. I had confidence and took the lead and was being super stubborn and not letting people say no and we had a ton of people say we could come back and visit with them.  Now who knows if they will let us in then but for the contacting part it was awesome and a little miracle for me in my life as a missionary.  I don't know if I explained that well enough that you get it but for me it was a super cool experience.

Also I had been told this before, but Elder Sanchez told me the same thing after our divisions were over that I like to (Dar Palos) when I teach.  Now in English it means that I like to give beatings when teaching. Basically that I just teach straight up and in there face and it can make some people uncomfortable.  But I have come to realize that at least for me, that people Understand a principal when it is given straight to them.  For example this was me giving the Palo on our division. We were teaching an inactive kid about the Holy Ghost.  Now we know that we have the Holy Ghost when we are obedient to the commandments. Lots of people just teach that principal and hope the person gets it that they are not being obedient and therefore they don't have the Holy Ghost with them. I told him straight up that he did not have the Holy Ghost with him, explained why, and then asked him to think back to when he last had the Holy Ghost in his life as his companion. Then explained why we need it, and the blessings from having it with us. Personally, I have come to realize that more people "get it" when you teach like that. The Gospel is simple, if little kids can understand that one needs to be obedient to recieve blessings anyone can and we need to teach straight up and clear so people are not left with questions or doubts.  Then it is up to them to make the change in their lives. Some people are not comfortable with maybe offending someone but personally I think it would not be fair to them if us as missionaries do not teach clearly even if they may take offense if you call them out on some things.  Sorry if this didn't seem relevent but it was just on my mind and came out.

Saturday we had a ward lunch it was good.  We have a Mexican in our ward that made some delicious chicken. It made me miss Mexican food. Also we are truly having a weather change. It does not start getting light until like 8:30 in the morning it is crazy!!

Sunday was amazing!! We had a ton of our inactive families we have been working with come to church! It was soo cool to see and especially for me to see this ward just grow. But the miracle was that last week we had recieved a refferal of this lady from a member.  He saw this lady carrying bags and offered to help her carry them. He took them all the way to her house.  She was struck by this and asked who he was.  He explained he was a member of the church and what not and she said she wanted to learn more.  We had passed by her house but was not home so we left a card with our number.  She called us during the week and said she would come to our church service Sunday and she came!!  Also she made the comment that she would like to join herself with our church haha its awesome truly a miracle.  Her name is Estrella and we will meet with her again this week.

To answer your questions: Yes I have saved a good amount of my Easter candy for this weekend :)  We have stopped going by Daniel he just could not ever remember what we taught him and never wanted to complete with our commitments. Diego is still progressing he is awesome, Jessica is amazing as ever.  That family is just amazing. Paul was not able to come to church so I probably will not be her when he is baptized :( but the important part is that he is baptized so its ok. Maximuss and his wife are just always super busy so it is hard to meet with them. Favorite things to eat; I love Completos dinamico style, but better yet is the As which I told you about at Christmas.  Also I love empanadas.  Speaking of which, it is starting to be empanada season again.  I am excited. No worries I am taking plenty of photos or at least I think I am no se. Umm off the top of my head I can't think of anything that I am in need of if you think of anything go for it haha.

Well I think that just about does it. Mom just remember Elder Uchtdorf's talk about speed bumps and slowing doing don't get too stressed :) I am glad to hear how awesome everyone is doing and what not. Is the Tyler that asked Sarah to prom the one from volleyball??  Man the mission is just so legit.  I am loving.  Ok guys I will talk to you all later!!

Con Mucho Amor,
                            Elder Alexander Leavitt

P.S. Alex received an email with pictures from Elder Pedraza thanking him for all he did for him etc.  

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