Monday, July 25, 2011

Alex's 49th email from Chile 7/25/11

Elder Florez & Alex

Hola Familia!!!

Hey guys so this week was an exciting one first off on Monday with Elder Florez we did all of his goodbyes. He was sad but you could tell he was excited La Islita is the only sector he knows. It was Tuesday that was tough. Elder Florez is now in Ochogavia a part of Santiago. When it was time to say goodbye he started crying a little bit I love that kid he is an amazing person. I will probably stay in touch and be friends with him for the rest of my life He is awesome and I am going to miss him a ton. I had my trainers meeting, basically we learned some stuff we need to do teach them the normal things we do as missionaries and what not. But guess what! Besides Elder Florez every ex companion I have had in that is still in the mission is training!! I got to see elder Diaz, Elder Madsen, Elder Nielson, I was like hmmm basically this means I am an awesome companion haha just kidding but it was cool to chill with them all for awhile. 

After the announcment of changes all the trainers went to the temple. It was awesome! I had not done a session for basically a year I was scared I wasnt going to understand anything in Spanish but it was cool cause I understood everything perfectly. It was an amazing experience and I am excited to do it again in Spanish. When I get back from the mission I think we should have a Leavitt brothers temple session in Spanish. President King told us to be back in Maipu to get our greenies by 4:30 but things happened and they didnt show up until 8! Basically that killed any plans I had made for us in Talagante because it is like an hour or so bus ride to our sector. But! I now have my first born of the mission Elder Garcia!!!! He is from Panama! He is pretty legit and I am excited. He is a little on the quiet side but we will see if that's only because it's his first week. He is the first kid in his family to serve a mission and has a ton of questions. His Spanish is so formal. It makes me realize how bad Chileans are at speaking Spanish. Sometimes he doesn't understand me because there are so many Chilean words and sayings. So even though I have a Latin I feel like I am still teaching him how to speak Spanish but Chilean Spanish. 

Alex & Elder Garcia

Our first day together was awesome we went out did some contacts and we found two new investigators our first day! They are awesome, Margarita and her daughter Natalia. the mom Margarita when we ended talking to them told us she feels like God sent us to come find them. I am so pumped to start teaching them. We also ended the day teaching the family I found in my old sector with Elder Madsen and then they moved over and we gave them a baptismal date!!! So now we have 3 investigators with fechas!!!! I am so excited, finally things are turning around here in la Islita!

Just to add to how happy I am about la Islita not being dead. On Sunday we had 6 investigators come to church, and had a church attendance of 60! The most I had seen before was 45. I am just happy right now to see things turning around. It always sucks to be in a dead sector but to see things starting to change is awesome. 

So I recieved something cool and a little interesting today in my email. Every week we write President King an email and everyweek we get one back. Usually it is something generic like thanks for all the work keep it up or you are progressing which is good, but this week I got probably the longest email from President in all of my mission. here it is

President King, Alex, Elder Garcia & Hermana King

Elder Leavitt

I am so emotionly moved to hear about the love you and Elder Flores shared. That is awesome. I know he will go forward with that in his heart also.

I hope you and Elder Garcia can develop a similar relationship. I see in you a unique ability to work with the youth of the Church. The Lord has blessed you with that gift. Take advantage of it. You will probably be a mission president some day.

Make every minute count. Good luck with those baptisms and the marriage.

D&C 112:7 Therefore, gird up thy loins for the work. Let thy feet be shod also, for thou art chosen, and thy path lieth among the mountains, and among many nations.
8 And by thy word many high ones shall be brought low, and by thy word many low ones shall be exalted.
9 Thy voice shall be a rebuke unto the transgressor; and at thy rebuke let the tongue of the slanderer cease its perverseness.
10 Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.

Pres. King

I won't lie I am kinda scared about the part about being a mission President. I know it is not set in stone or anything but I had honestly never even had that cross my mind and it kinda took me off guard. But whatever.

Well family that was my week I love you all. I pray for you guys all the time. I love you and wish me luck with this next week!!

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Alex Leavitt

Monday, July 18, 2011

Alex's 48th email from Chile 7/18/11

Hola Familia!

So I have some crazy news for you all. Last night we got the calls about who had changes. Elder Florez will be leaving me. I am going to miss him a ton. Out of all of my companions I feel like we got along the best and had more unity in our companionship. We had comments from our leaders about our companionship unity and how strong it was. But the craziest part was that I had a personal call from President King and I am going to be training this change!! I am excited but pretty nervous at the same time. Some cool things are that I get to go through the Temple and do a session in Spanish for the first time!! I am Pretty stoked. I also need to be in Maipu early tomorrow for some meeting for trainers.

This week we had a another meeting with other zones and with President King. We played jepeordy and it was my zone Talagante versus two other zones and we dominated! Elder Florez got our zone the most points thats whats up! At that meeting mom you will be excited I met that Elder Wilcox from San Diego. He seems pretty tight and I am sure I will see more of him throughout the mission. I went on Divisions with Elder Adlish he is pretty cool a newer missionary from Nevada. It is so weird to call other missionaries newer and what not I am becoming one of the older ones and I still feel like I have been here for such a small amount of time. Its insane! So guess what? La Islita 1 now has two baptismal dates!! Mark and Sebastian have baptismal dates for the 20th of Agosto (I tried writing it in English but i just couldn't figure it out). They are awesome, their mom really only needs her husband to file the divorce papers and then we can baptize her boyfriend and complete the family!!!! I am pumped.

Teaching this week was awesome a little slower cause Chile played twice week. But it was awesome we are working with an inactive family the Familia Gomez. They love Elder Florez and I. During our last appointment with them the hermano prayed that Elder Florez wouldn't have changes. They are awesome and have come to church the last few weeks! And the Dad has plans so he can get the Melchizedek Priesthood and so they can go to the temple and be sealed! Like I said Chile played twice this week. They won against Peru and lost to Venazuela in the quarter finals. There was no work after that loss. We did go to one lesson but the dad was all drunk and depressed so not very effective. This country just shuts down on game days. Tennis was awesome and we played again today. We play with us four in the pension and played companionship doubles. Elder Florez and I just dominate the other two. Then we ended up playing a little bit of singles and I am the king of our pension. I beat everyone. Tennis is actually really fun. In the bible I am in Ecclesiastes something I don't really remember what chapter but ya I really enjoyed Proverbs all it really does is talk about gaining more knowledge and wisdom and what not, pretty cool. This week it rained a ton. It was clear today which was cool cause we were able to go out and play. It should start warming up like the end of Agosto so we still have a bit of winter left.

Buena familia, I love you all, and hey Mom if you can write this down or something or just tell Kira I would Love to go to one of those SMA camps with them when I get back. Ok guys wish me luck with my greenie and I will send you pictures and what not next week of us two. 


Elder Alexander Thomas Leavitt

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Alex's 47th email from Chile 7/11/11

Hola Familia!!!

This week just flew by for me and Elder Florez.  So lets start at the beginning. First off Mom happy birthday!!!!!!  I just want you to know I love you and that I had your birthday written down in things to say before I read your email and you talked about it. So I hope it was amazing. On Tuesday Chile dominated Mexico so I am happy to say that to Ben and Brandon. Justin, Argentina is terrible this year.  I don't know why but they are just getting dominated in the Copa America.  So I am proud to say to those of us who served Latin missions in our family my country is the best! haha So to answer your question mom, Chile right now is in first place in their group they play Peru tomorrow who are in second.  So if they win they will stay number 1 and have a number 1 seed in the playoffs.  If not they will land number 2 and have a number 2 seed.  I am stoked!  
On Wednesday we had a sweet zone conference with President King. It was all focused on MIT the Most Important Thing. Our mission has focused alot on that.  That all of our lessons and teachings should in the end come back around and be focused on the most important thing, which is the eternal Life, and the holy ghost. That all of the doctrine of Christ, his atonement for us, this Gospel, we have all of this so that one day we can all participate in the Eternal Life, live with God, Jesus Christ and our families forever. So it was cool. 

This week we had another sweet Miracle Earthquake. Hey Mom do you remember that awesome family we found after the mothers day call? Well they moved into this new community last week! More awesome, right next door to our new ones from the other week who want to be baptized and they are actually related!  So now we just teach them all together!! It's so cool!  On Thursday or Friday, now I can't remember, but Mahonry called me like you already know.  It was so cool to hear from him.  At first he called me and obviously I didn't know who it was cause it was just some random number.  We were talking in Spanish and I was like "who am i talking to to?" Mahonry said "how do you not know who you are talking to?"  I said "cause the number doesn't have a name."  Then in English Mahonry was like "come on dude its me!"  It was so cool to talk to him for just a little bit.  Cool to talk to him in Spanish a little bit too.

This week we taught a few of our news (I keep correcting this and putting 'new ones' in but thought I'd leave this one here & the rest in the text for you to see how he writes) from last week.  We found 7 more news this week.  In the Bible I finally finished Psalms and I am in proverbs.  No Mom I am fine with warmth.  I have enough sweaters and what not thanks. During the games and everything Chile shuts down.  It's insane.  There is really no point being out in the streets cause you are not going to get into any house whatsoever.  Especially because Chile is playing super good this year. Something cool I found out.  There are a ton of Subsole plants here.  You know how the majority of bananas in the states are subsole?  I am willing to bet they are from Chile.  That and whatever grapes you got. Also funny story this past week .  The Jehovah Witnesses knocked our door. You should have seen their faces when 4 missionaries came out and started talking to them.  We had a sweet conversation for a good 10 to 15 minutes until they felt like we were actually doing the preaching instead of them. But it was super legit.

Well family I love you all. hope you are doing awesome and being safe. Talk to you next week.  I am off to go learn how to play tennis! Chau!!


            Elder Alex Leavitt

Monday, July 4, 2011

Alex's 46th email from Chile 7/4/11

 Alex & Elder Florez

Hola familia!!!

This week was awesome. In case you guys didn't know every mission has a standard of excellence. Ours is like to have a baptism every month, 20 combined lessons every week, and a 140 contacts every week, and to find 8 new investigators every week.  Well my story is about the 140 contacts. I have never ever even come close to have 140 contacts in a week in my mission.  Well this week one of our companionship goals Elder Florez and I set was to meet that standard of excellence. All of this was sparked by an email from President King I got last Monday that said he was happy with my progress and such but I need to become a master of contacts.  To reach that you would have to do at least 20 contacts everyday. Only problem is to do that is takes a long time to do and gets in the way of appointments. Well, loong story short we finished the week with 142 contacts, found 9 new investigators and a ton of in-actives that have just moved into our sector.  It has been an amazing week. 
I have told you once they have built a new community in my sector with a 1200 new houses.  Well I am pretty sure every catholic in Chile has moved into this new area.  How we know is that one, every house that is Catholic there is a fatty sticker of Christ that says the Lord has entered into my house.  Basically saying it has been blessed by a Catholic priest. Literally every other house has one of these stickers. But that didn't influence anything we still offered house blessings and contacted them as usual.  Only sad thing is most of the time they don't even listen to us they say they are Catholic and go back inside.  Generally the Evangelicos listen more.

From all of those contacts and just working super hard this week with Elder Florez I think we have brought a little more life into our sector.  We have more people to teach, actually have some investigators that are progressing, and I am starting to enjoy my time here in La Islita a little more. Elder Florez told me that this has been his favorite week while he has been in the mission.  He has given me a ton of compliments this week.  Biggest one when we were in the house the other day he said "Elder Leavitt I know you are only my second companion, but I think you are going to be my favorite companion of the mission."  It was awesome. I am going to miss him.  I am close to a hundred percent positive he will have changes in a couple weeks.

Here in South America the Copa America has started up. During game hours the work basically just stops. Especially tonight because Chile plays against Mexico at 8.  We will see. I have a sweet little card that has all the times of all the games where I can fill in the scores of all the games. People are surprised when they find out how much I do like soccer. Last week we had a Family home evening with a family and I learned how to make Chilean tortilla!  Basically bread without levantura (risening).  I don't know what it is in English anymore sorry. Also it has gotten so cold here!  I leave and at the nights I am honestly wearing like 5 layers of clothing.

Alex & Elder Florez making 'Pan'
Yes Mom I totally remember singing "I'm Glad To Be An American".  I love that song and today I was actually singing that song all day.  That song still makes me a little teary eyed when I sing it, love that song.  Today for the 4th of July we had a bbq hamburgers and hotdogs and played basketball. I played basketball and my toe is fine so I think I am completely healed now. so I will be playing soccer again which makes me happy.  

 Alex all bundled up.
The new family is doing great they are awesome.  We found a ton of people this week and some of them are super legit.  We will see which ones progress though. Camilo and Hugo haven't been in town for the last 2 weeks.  They have been visiting the south to say goodbye to some family before Camilo heads off into the military. He should get baptized here soon. The District and zone are good its a fun zone. I haven't gotten anything form the Kooymans and know you hadn't said anything about that yet.  About food we just realized that the house where are chapel is has an avocado tree out back so us four missionaries took a ton of avocados haha.  In the bible I am at Psalms like 80 something like 1000 pages in. I need like 500 more to finish the old testament.  I am stoked. 

Well this week has been an excellent one for me.  I feel really good about the work I have been doing. Although at times it isn't the coolest thing to be sent to areas that doesn't have much to work with it can be one of the most rewarding feelings to see things just turn around. I can feel this area starting to pick up this last week we have more ¨Miracle Earthquakes¨ And I am just so grateful to my Father in Heaven for always guiding his missionaries and always being there for me in my mission. Helping me when I am getting down to pick up my excitement again and get back to work. This year has gone by so fast and I know its because I have just been working. This sector so far has been the hardest for me by far but I have learned the most here about patience, diligence, obedience, working hard and just pushing forward until you can see those blessings from God  that come to those who are doing all they can. I love the mission. Well guys I will talk to you all next week. 

Con Mucho Amor,
                           Elder Alexander Thomas Leavitt

Friday, July 1, 2011

Alex's 45th email from Chile 6/27/11

Alex in La Islita

Hola Familia!

So this week was an excellent week. So I have come to realize the majority of my mission has come to involve working in dead sectors and working with in-actives so they will come back to church.  Well this sector is nothing different.  We have a new community in our sector that opened up about a month ago. Well we have been doing a lot of contacting in this new sector and we have found at least 4 different families of in-actives in there so far.  We have appointments with them for this week.

As you guys know Elder Florez doesn't have much time in the mission and we talk a lot obviously and I could tell he was down and a little.  Sad about not having much success in this sector and in his mission thus far.  I like making dumb analogies and metaphors and I told him "Elder Florez, don't worry, miracles are like earthquakes.  The longer you go without one the bigger the next one is."  I was quite proud of that one.  I think it is awesome and i will probably use it again at some point.  
We had an awesome miracle this week. Our earthquake hit while doing contacts.  We knocked a house and a lady comes out.  We start contacting her when she cuts me off and says "Elder I have been a member of the church for over 10 years now."   Turns out she has been inactive for a little bit now. She wants to come back to church and has 2 kids 10 and 9 and they want to be baptized!  She also has like a (boyfriend husband) type person.  They have been together for 5 years and have a baby together.  He also wants to be baptized but they need to get a divorce and get married.  But we basically have two baptisms that will be coming up in the next month or so!  How awesome is that!  Elder Florez is super happy and excited again.

Oh I got your package this week it was awesome! (I'm seriously in shock at how fast he got that.  I really don't know how that happened.)  Thanks for the gloves definitely needed.  Thank grandma for me for the chocolate that did not last long.  The Utah pillow case is sooo legit and I love the shirt  Sarah thank you :) 
So this Sunday we were walking to church and the grass had a ton of frost on it and Elder Florez started flippin out he has never seen anything like that in his life and all the puddles from the recent rain were frozen.  He was having so much fun playing with the ice and the deeper puddles breaking through the ice to get to the water.  It was like watching a little kid.  I thought it was super funny.  Also the other day funny story.  I was on the mitgro (bus) and the mitgro stops and a frickin dog gets on alone without any person or anything stays on for a couple stops and then gets off by itself.  It was so funny.  I was quite impressed that he knew where he was going.

My toe is fine it doesn't hurt to work anymore and I haven't been playing soccer which makes me sad but its all good.  I gave you my cell number to give to Mahonry.  Tell that fool to come see me.  (A dear friend of ours will be in Chile on business in Santiago. If Alex were still serving there he would definitely take Alex & Elder Florez out for lunch.  It will be about an hour for him to get where Alex is and he may be pressed for time so it may not happen. We are crossing our fingers it does :)
La Islita 1 is going fine just tough work but we are making good of it.  That branch is slowly progressing.  We have some good electric heaters in the pension.  We just stay upstairs and only go down stairs for necesary trips (food).   I know nobody is working today and school is out today.  I didn't know why though maybe it's that. I have eaten alot of fish on the mission and I love it. I am in Job in the Bible if you wanted to know -  like 800 some odd pages.

Well that is crazy Sarah has started college.  I cannot wrap my head around it.  She will do awesome. I love you guys and I will talk to you next week.


         Elder Alex Leavitt
P.S. One of Alex's friends commented on his post a couple of weeks ago.  She said there is a really famous Chilean folk song about Lonquen (Alex mentions tracting there and has a picture of himself in front of a road sign with the name.  I posted it in his blog June 18th.  She said it's very sad but beautiful.  It is called "El Lazo" by Victor Jara.  She sent us the Youtube link.  Here it is: