Monday, June 20, 2011

Alex's 44th email 6/20/11

Make sure you scroll down to the bottom so that you can see a very interesting picture that was included in an extra little email Alex sent.

Hola Familia!!

Well winter has definitely kicked in here in Chile.  There is snow on the mountains and it has rained the last 3 days. I gave in and bought myself some super dumb looking ear warmers that all the missionaries have here.  I think they look ridiculous but they really work, so ya I swallowed my pride and now I am enjoying nice warm ears.  This week was good but slow in terms of the work.  But before I get into that I wanted to say HAPPY FATHERS DAY DAD!!  I didn't want to forget.

Tuesday we had our district meeting.  Like usual we went out to work and taught an English lesson.  I have a group of people here who want my help with English.  Also my companion Elder Florez our first day together told me he wants to learn english. So I told him if he does what I say he will learn English and he understands everything now. In comp study I make him do it in English.  All the prayers he does them in English and Tuesday night I told him I had a surprise for him the next day that had to do with english. The next day we had interviews with President King. I went first cause I am senior companion.  We had an awesome interview.  We talked about faith and how to work with the leadership of our branch.  We ended our interview and before we left I asked President if he could do me a favor and ask Elder Florez to give the prayer in English. I explained how I had been teaching him and how he is a stud in English now and only needs to get over his fear of sounding dumb.  So we leave, Florez goes in and I am sitting outside when I hear "Fricking Elder Leavitt!!"  I started laughing so hard.  After Elder Florez tells me that President was super happy he was learning English said his prayer was so good that his next interview they have will be in English!  I was so stoked for him.

So I finished a year this past week.  Crazyness and it made me think alot of what President King said that the mission is the University of Life. Here we see the lives of all different types of families and people.  We are constantly everyday interacting with hundreds of people.  Here in the mission we see and learn what type of people we want to become.  What attributes of and the best of people we want to adapt into our future lives in our future character. I was like "hey that's so true." I have seen and learned so much. I have talked to the bum on the street to the man with a fatty mansion. This past year has been amazing and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I got Elder Yous wedding invite on Tuesday.  He got married on the 18th how crazy is that?? This week we didn't have too many lessons but we have started really hard trying to get our leaders to work with us.  We met with our Branch President like 3 times this last week to get some ideas on how we could get the members and everyone more involved. Elder Florez got sick with the flu so we didn't leave for like 2 days but he is good now and we are ready to work this next week.

With this new change we got some more greenies in the mission and on the list I saw a name that looked familiar.  There is a Elder Wilcox.  Didn't you say you knew him? The Volcano didn't affect La Islita at all.  I heard the majority of the ash and what not went into Argentine. I am no longer on bikes.  My sector is tiny now, well not tiny tiny, I woud say it's a little bigger than Lo Ovalle. Ya I am positive I can be at the baptism of Camilo and Hugo and I still get to see everyone at church so its not too bad.  Just sucky I can't visit and teach them anymore.   The district has 6 missionaries and 2 hermanas the zone has 14 in total.  Our zone is legit.  Today I was named king of the zone in ping pong.  I destroyed everyone.  To go to a meeting it takes about a half hour to go to Talagante. Fathers Day was normalish with the exception of them saying anything at church but everyone had parties and what not.  The mission now has a new mailing address so you guys can know and if you could tell other people it is:

Mision Chile Santiago Oeste 
Casilla 149, av. pajaritos 1229
Maipu, Chile

Well guys I love you all and hope you are all doing awesome and I will talk to you next week.

con mucho amor,

Elder Alex Leavitt

so I had to send you this picture.  My entire mission I have had missionaries telling me dad looks like Elder Cook. Elder Merchan took this foto I guess when I wasn't there and sent it to me today in an email.  I guess its true jajaja.  So I had to send it to you guys.  I think it's hilarious.

Elder Cook & Fred

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Alex's 43rd email from Chile 6/13/11

 Alex sent a lot of pictures this week but he never labels them so I have to guess where they are.  I know that some of them are in his old sector La Islita 2 but some could be from his new sector La Islita 1.  
Hola Famila!

So this week I had probably one of the hardest mission moments since being here. So on Monday I learned we were receiving two missionaries and there was going to be a white wash in one of the sectors. Well I technically have a new sector and had changes.  With Elder Madsen I was in La Islita 2 now I am officially in La Islita 1 with Elder Florez. The hardest part of this for me was that I will no longer be teaching Camilo and Hugo. Also it was just after we had revived that sector it was dead before with no one to teach. We had built up the teaching pool and had worked so hard in it. And now I am in another dead sector all over again. We have zero progressing investigators and are starting all over again. I was feeling really overwhelmed a little upset and confused to why I would be changed out of that sector soo quickly right after we were getting things going again. I know it was dumb to feel like that.  But I don't know, I have not been in a single sector yet where when I got there they had more than 1 or 2 progressing investigators.  I hear all these other people going to places where they get there they have all this stuff already or get there and have baptisms right away.  That definitely has not been my mission thus far. 

 I love this picture of Alex.  It shows his area and even though it's hard to see him riding his bike I think it's a great typical missionary picture. 

So I was just feeling a little stressed with everything so I just went into the other room and just started praying.  It was the only thing that came into my mind of what I should do. I just told God that i am putting this up to him and I will do whatever he asks me to do as long as he helps Elder Florez and I have some success here in La Islita 1.  I know he put me here for a reason and I just need to find it.  Then I remembered a scripture I had read the week before and reread it and it just hit me like a ton of bricks.

2And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

3And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. 

(Deuteronomy 8: 2&3)


I know I am here to show God that I am willing to do what he asks, to show my obedience and love for him.  We don't always know why things happen and it really is not important to ever know why things happen as long as we stay true and faithful and obedient to what is asked of us.  After I prayed and read that scripture I felt so good.  It doesn't even matter what happens now because I know that President King is inspired and that God wants me here.  So I will just keep smiling and working and hopefully I can do some good and leave this sector in a better state than I found it.

 I think that this is La Islita where both sets of missionaries live. If I'm right this is Alex's new sector.

So I am good excellent actually :)  We now live with Elder Hall from Idaho.  He is in the same group as Elder Madsen and Elder Merchan from Spain.  They are both legit.   Elder Merchan really likes me haha.  I think it bugs Elder Florez a little.   

 Alex's area is so rural that it's confusing to me when I see him in pictures on roads like this or by road signs.  It does look like he has mastered the art of bike riding again - with the exception of the broken toe accident.

 Actually this looks like the same road he's riding on above and even though it's not as rural as most it does look a little more rural than I thought.  Notice the snow covered Andes in the background.  That's why I posted this picture.

So this week I went two days on divisions with Elder Merchan to teach him his sector so at least I got to say goodbye and let people know I was being changed to the other sector and I took lots of pictures. 

These pictures really show his rural area and the agriculture that goes on there - the vineyards.

Haha, we were doing contacts out in Lonquien and we found some guy that sells grass and he was all excited to tell me it was from the States (no one has grass here except super rich people).  So I went over, stood on the grass and was like "so technically I am standing on US soil" and he told me I was.  I was pretty stoked. 

 Alex in front of the sign of the town where he stood on U.S. soil.  Can I just say that when Fred & I both first read that he had found 'some guy that sells grass' our first thought was not 'sod'! 

Also something funny.  I don't know if you guys remember but I am flaite here (gangster) thanks to Camilo and Hugo.  I can talk flaite now.   Also all of the flaites are our friends now so we can be walking and hear "HOLA PICHOKO!!!" which is just like "whats up buddy!" and I know it is one of our flaite friends haha.  So we yell back something flaite.  I personally think its awesome haha but ya good stuff.

I believe this is Alex with Elder Florez, Camilo, Hugo & someone else.  Could their hand signals be 'flaite' signs?

I got your package thank you.   My toe is killing me today.  We hiked a mountain as a zone.  Camilo and Hugo came with us it was awesome!  In the bible I am now in 1 Samuel about 460 pages or something like that.  I am loving reading the bible I am finding so many cool scriptures and stories I never knew. Well family I got to go.  I love you all pray for you ever day.  I love the mission and still super excited to be here.

 Elder Florez & Alex on their hike.

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Alex Leavitt

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Alex's 42nd email from Chile 6/6/11

Hola Familia!!!

So this week was a good one. First off it is definitely winter now. it has been soo flippen cold! And yesterday it rained like crazy!  Yesterday we were riding our bikes in just pouring rain it was so legit.  The streets were rivers and at times even when we were on bikes the water was up to our feet.  It was insane.  I got soaked but loved it haha. I have always loved the rain for some reason. Elder Florez and I have been working like crazy this past week working both sectors.  But our biggest and happiest news is that now both Camilo and Hugo have baptismal dates!!

It was awesome when Camilo received his.  Hugo was not their and so the very next appointment we had we were talking with  Camilo about his baptismal date and then Hugo interrupts and was like "hey! what about me? I want to be baptized too."  It was awesome!  So now Hugo and Camilo have baptismal dates for the 25th of June.  Camilo and Hugo are amazing. Camilo has such a desire to get baptized and is always super excited and animated during our lessons. Hugo is opposite, he is super timid and does not have so much self confidence like Camilo but he gets it.  He understands everything.  We ask him questions and he gives us the perfect answer.  Both of them came to church this last and the members were so surprised to see investigators in the chapel.  Iit was kinda funny to see their faces.  The first thing the branch president did was he stood up and over the pulpit welcomed them haha.  First time I had ever seen that during a sacrament meeting.  But they are so legit and accecepting every commitment we give them.  We have an appointment with them tonight. Funny little side story, Camilo and Hugo are super flaite (gangster) and I am learning how to speak flaite like crazy.  It's awesome haha.  It's like seriously another language.  If I didn't have them teaching me I would never have known what they were trying to say.  It's pretty awesome.  It's like "hey if I am the king of the flaites I have to know how to talk like them right?"

My toe is still crazy swollen but getting better.  I whacked it super hard yesterday on accident so today it is killing me but it is getting better.  I am totally fine with working because I have my bike and there is zero pressure put on my toe when I am biking.  Such a blessing.

So crazy news,  President King sent me an email saying that Elder florez & I are going to be together this next change and there is going to be a white wash in one of the La Islita sectors with two new missionaries. I am praying we don't lose  Camilo and Hugo.  I would be soo sad. Ugh! but we will see what happens.   God knows right.

The Bible reading is coming along great.  There are so many crazy stories I had never even heard of in there. I am in Numbers 26 as of right now. Over 200 pages or so.  If you ever need to have an animal sacrifice done I am your man.  I am now a master hahaha.

The sunset pictures were taken from a hill in my original sector.  It's super far and we biked all the way out there.  It was beautiful and no it was not in the same part as the daylight ones.  My sector is huge!  With Elder florez those tree pictures and others were taken at Santa Lucia again.  We went as a zone. 

Mom I also  bought you a sweet nativity I found I just hope I can keep it safe for this next year.  But I saw it and I had not seen too many nativities so I bought it cause it was awesome.

I got Kira's package last week and I sent her a letter today :) but say thanks for to her for me. 

But ya that has been my week it has been crazy. I love you all and I will talk to you next week. :)

Con Mucho Amor,
                           Elder Alex Leavitt