Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Alex's 88th email from Chile 4/23/12

Alex in front of more of the awesome graffiti they have there. 
It's such an art that that he even found a postcard to send to Sarah awhile ago that had only pictures of graffiti on it!

Hola Familia!!

What an amazing week. So last monday I got to go on division with the assistans. It was cool and I was in their sector. That same night I was woken up at like 1 in the morning to an earthquake! But no worries. It was fun and when it ended I just went back to bed.

Something cool is that I finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish for the third time. I love that book more and more each time I read it amazing now I am reading Doctrine and Covenants which is awesome! My goal is to finish it before I end the mission, and I am making really good progress. This week Elder Wardell and I decided we are going to go visit every companionship in our zone and go on 2 hour splits with them and work in their sector. The zone has been down in animo and numbers since I have been here and it payed off. The zone in every sector just bumped up like crazy it was way cool and we are keep doing our visits like that besides doing our normal divisions we have to do. This week we did really good. It's just funny, it's not like everyday we do amazing but every Sunday when we sit down and look we are like "Wow, we had a good week." It's more like we are consistent and I like it. We have been visiting a ton of inactives and active members trying to get everyone excited in the missionary work and it has payed off as well. We had like 7 references this week for people we can teach. The ward is overall little by little is getting excited. And then on Sunday we had a cosechon or harvest, where the other missionaries come over to a sector and all work for like 2 hours. Well this week it was our turn and we wanted to show everyone how a cosechon should be done. It was awesome. We had a member for every elder and they all went on divisions and did visits contacts and so forth. We actually had more members than missionaries which we were not expecting.

A view of Alex's area

On Sunday Luckas passed his baptismal interview! He is crazy. He reminds me alot of me and now I can see why I drove my teachers crazy. He acts up has a ton of energy but remembers everything! It's insane. But he passed and will be baptized May 5th. His family is going out of town this weekened for the holiday and so May 5th is the day. Heraldo is good I never want to go inactive. This guy is having a tough time getting back. Macarena is doing amazing! The only problem is that they need to wait for their contract to expire to seperate so she can get baptized and thats in June. So I may not even be here to see her get baptized :(  I guess what's important is that she does get baptized I am praying for her and her situation.

I never got Tori´s letter,  in fact I have not gotten a letter from anyone in awhile haha. Hopefully it will get here this week maybe its just slow, but no I have not gotten a letter from Tori yet. I have not heard anything from Rocio yet have you? There is no news yet on the stolen items.

Alex has been trying for a long time to get me some pictures of the parrots. He either doesn't have his camera or can't get one. This time he said "I FINALLY caught the parrots"

We are having a ton of success with the inactives! This last week 5 of the inactive people we have been sharing with came to church!! It was awesome to see them all there. But also one kid we are working with Fabio, his girlfriend is showing that she may be interested and has actually asked about what it would take for her to get baptized!!

Well familia I love you and I am working hard. All I want to do is end this thing strong and right. I love the mission, I love chile and I love what I am doing :)

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Alexander Thomas Leavitt

It's hard to see the parrots because they blend in with the trees. I have counted 6. How many can you see?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Alex's 87th email from Chile 4/16/12

Elder Wardell & Elder Leavitt

Hola familia!!

I am sitting here not very sure about how I should feel about Sarah´s engagement. I feel very strange and have mixed emotions the main thing keeping me together is what you said mom about Dad´s feelings. I always wanted to interview the guy first and when I get back he is still going to have my blessing first. Also it's weirding me out I am going to be the only single in the family.

 A place in my sector

But besides that I am doing Great!! So this week has been just awesome. It's weird,  we feel like we are working so hard and nothing is coming out of it and just when we are getting tired God just shows us just how much he really is watching over and caring for us and we see blessing galore. Macarena Is doing awesome, we taught her the last lesson she needs tithing this week and then the next day she calls us and says, "Elders I am ready for baptism, I have a testimony I know it's all true now please just focus on Heraldo." He is her ex-communicated boyfriend. He is coming back to the church but is having problems smoking etc. Also they live together and he is scared of marriage for past reasons and so Macarena wants to be baptized so bad they are seperating!! She is awesome.

The Chilean weather is starting to go bi polar on me. It can be cold one day and just blazing hot the next. It's rediculous. I just want the cold to come already. Also Elder Wardell and I are trying something new. Well we have been trying to work super hard with the ward and it is going over well. We printed off a list of the converts over the last 10 years, 150 in total, and we have been hunting them down this entire week. We have actually have seen some pretty good success from it as well. We have been talking with people who have been inactive for years. And we have found like 3 new investigators in families who have been inactive for awhile. The cool thing is is that all are converts and you can remind them of the feelings they once had. That or they never had a testimony and it just makes you super sad to see how far someone can fall after baptism.

It's funny, remember how I told you how this sector is super wealthy in comparison to my past sectors? Well aparently the people notice I have a flaite background. Everyone says the way I talk and my mannerisms are ghetto or flaite jaja I thought it was funny.

and this family was just stunned because this cat doesn't like anybody and attacks everyone but it just came in jumped on me and fell asleep jajaja

Well awesomeness! On Friday we had a zone conference but a special one. We all went to the temple to do a session with President and Hermana King. It was awesome!!!!! I love the temple. We also had a guess speaker from the temple presidency talk to us and was given the theme from President and guess what it was? Marraige. This guy and Hermana King were all pounding marraige on us. Holy smokes between them and the general authorities it sounds like if I don't get married soon I am sinning. But dont worry i am not marriage crazy yet jajaja. But it was tight. Something weird hit me the while I was there it was my last zone conference! And I was asked to say my goodbye testimony!! I got up there and just blanked. I was like "oh no I am going home", and was just rushed with things to say. It probably sounded weird. ahhh

Elder Leavitt in front of the Santiago Temple
Zone Conference

In the picture the other lady is Hermana Denisse she is awesome and helped us alot. Yes mom it was Carolina and part of her family from la Islita and Marcos is from Carlos Valdovinos Elder Tognetti and I baptized his wife Caroline. Luckas is doing awesome he came to church last Sunday and if everything goes well should be having his baptismal interview next Sunday!!! We have been doing well with our contacts and news we found another 5 this week! The zone overall is a little down don't know what's up. We plan on visiting every sector before the change ends to talk to them all and see how we can help. Pdays normal we play soccer jaja and hymns if you can hi to kolob, be still my soul, and how great thou art. awesome!!

My sector 

Well family I love you guys and I can't wait to talk to you next week. Hope you are all good and I am praying for you daily :)

Con Mucho Amor

Elder Alex Leavitt

Friday, April 13, 2012

Alex's 86th email from Chile 4/9/12

I LOVE this picture of Elder Leavitt & Elder Wardell

Hola Familia!!

First things first, I am so tired jajaja but a good one we had an awesome week. So we started off strong this week. We set another baptismal date with a kid named Luckas. His mom is reactivating and we have been working withem alot. He is pretty solid and I am excited about it so we now have 2 fechas. Elder Wardell and I have been taking out the trash and are on the go always. We are working really well with the ward. We have alot of people always leavinbg with us to go on visits and what not and we have been making some cool plans and what not for the sector. We have the goal to baptize 5 people while we are together and so we just need to work and make it happen. This week we have been focusing alot on finding news so our teaching pool can grow and we had some good success we found 6 news and some are actually really good. So we are now having alot more people to teach which is way neat. Also while doing a ton of contacts we have found 3 inactive members and have been sharing with them and the 3 came to church this week!!! how cool is that! Also while doing a contact I had an awesome binding the tongues of anti christ moment. Well maybe not anti christ but anti mormon at least. I just started testifying to this guy attacking the church and he just goes silent. Then starts trying to say something else and I testify again litterally just ran out of things to say went quiet and walked away IT WAS SOO COOOL!!!  I totally didn't give the story justice but it was pretty awesome.
Elder Leavitt & his new companion Elder Wardell
All of Thursday I was in Concilio where the Zone Leaders go in and give a report of the zone and then talk about issues in the mission and try to resolve them. It is an all day affair and it was pretty cool. Also we recieve new incitaives and then later present them to the zone in zone meeting. It was way cool.

Zone meetings
Ok so remember when I told you I thought I had seen it all when I saw some chick peeing in the park?  Well now I have seen it all literally. The other day I saw a dude just pooping on the side of the street. Just bent over not even trying to hide out in the open pooping on the sidewalk it was sooo gross.

The ward is way cool and I got to meet alot of them this week. They all support the missionaries really well and I am excited to be here. I just have a ton of animo to work.
Alex saw Elder Garcia & Carolina & her family at transfers
 Some goodbyes before transfers. Here is Alex with Rocio.
Another goodbye

I don't know why there are no sister missionaries in my zone, and easter day was just normal nothing, special we had dinner with an inactive son and shared with him a little bit. The only different thing about this ward is that it is really wealthy area buena.. just compared to my other sectors I guess and it's not soo city it's more like suburb just pure houses and nothing else so alot to contact. Like in Republica there were lots of factories and what not in the sector. Here it's just pure houses. The picture of me on the map yes was a pday and we were at the mall and I saw it for the first time. Don't know why I hadn't seen it before. I was like "that is way cool. I want a picture." I have not been to the zoo :( I got your easter package last Wednesday mom thank you :) it arrived just in time. No the pension is nice, it is smaller but it is a nice apartment I like it. Elder wardell and I are doing some killer workout in the night and morning, jaja we want to look good for when we go home jaja so my abs hurt right now.
I think this is a cool picture
Well Family, I hope you are all doing awesome. I am doing Great happy, working hard and tired, but I am still glad to be here and have a little more time to do what I am suppose to do when I am suppose to be doing it :) Thanks for everything and all of your love and prayers.

Con Muchisimo Amor,

Elder Alexander Thomas Leavitt

Alex's companion has a voice recorder and Alex sent us a fun little message. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Alex's 85th email from Chile 4/2/12

Thank you Rocio for posting this on facebook :)
Elder Tognetti's compaion, Elder Tognetti, Rocio's Mom, Elder Leavitt, Rocio & Elder Tlatelpa

Hola Familia!!!

So this week was cool but very tiring. Elder Wardell and I have been working like crazy. We didn't have outstanding numbers but we did work and were on the go the whole time. The stinky thing is that a ton of our appointments fell threw. My sector is really big! It is going to take me awhile to get my sector down and know where I am going. After a week I feel like I am stll lost. But it's all good I still have time. The ward is big. The biggest one I have been in. In other words this sector and this ward is nothing close to which I have had before. The bishop works our ward mission leader helps us we get references everything is working it's rediculous. The leaders like me because I have lots of ideas but the ward is good. I really don't know many people because we had conference and with the whole Stake there it is kinda hard to meet everyone. The only bummer thing is that last week we have been walking around a lot and it has been one of the hottest weeks I have felt ugh! But ya we are working hard and we set a baptismal date this last week with a lady named Macarena. She is solid, smart and is progressing went to the conference and liked it. Also we have two other prospects of people who could get baptized here in a little so we are getting excited. I just really want to go out swinging you know?

The zone is good.  Elder Wardell has been here for only one change before I got here. In Los Cerrillos there are no sisters just 12 elders. We only have one companionship that is giving us trouble besides them the rest are solid. There are only 2 elders in my zone I knew before I got here Elder Wardell and Elder Dahl. So I am getting to know the rest. We played soccer today for pday it was fun. Everyone here are very quiet except Elder Dahl and I. I will try and bring a little flavor into everything but who knows. As terms as Being a zone leader I am still kinda learning.  Elder Wardell does most of it. Really it is actually less work than DL from what I can see we just make sure everything runs smoothly and directs meetings, easy money.

In my pension its us two, Elder Belmar from Concepcion, Chile and Elder Lopez from Honduras I think. I didn't get the easter package yet and Conference was awesome!!! I loved it so many good talks. I don't know which one I liked best. It would probably be between Packer, Holland, Uchtdorf with his ¨stop it¨ or Ballard which made me want to get married :) but not yet jajaja. But really it was an excellent conference. Everyone and I mean everyone was talking about the family and faith. That was the trend I saw and understood. Elder Sosa had changes and is with Elder Wilcox in Malloco!!! They will have a blast together.

Well family Hopefully next week I will write a better letter. I feel like I didn't have much to write about this week. I love you all so much and I need an adapter to send pictures, or if you just want me to wait for 3 months to show you. You can choose but at this point I need to buy one. Luckily we got money today. I love you guys and will talk to you next week.

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Leavitt

p.s. forgive my letters shortness I was kinda rushed. Also I have a special request if you could give grandpa shaw a special invitacion from me to be at my homecoming. It would mean alot to me if he was there.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Alex's 84th email from Chile 3/26/12

Several hours after I got Alex's email last week picture attachments came (his email from March 19th) Even though these pictures don't go with this weeks email I'm posting them anyway.

I have no idea where this is but it's a pretty cool picture

Hola Familia!

Well I am writing late because we had a change in the mission. Changes are now done on Mondays so I am now sitting here in my new sector with my new compañion Elder Wardell. You may have seen him before actually seeing that he was my zone leader in Talagante. Which leads me to the other part I have been made a zone leader crazy eh? It was a surprise for me too. Although I am just happy to be away from my companion. I have had a few things stolen from me including that memory adapter so I cannot send pictures this week. I will try and get one for next week sorry.

Elder Sosa, Elder Leavitt, Elder Brow

This week was good but sad. We had interviews this week with President King, always love those they were very good. But I had the call that I will have changes and saying goodbye to people sucks. Especially with Rocio. It was weird for me. I think that was the hardest goodbye I have ever had to do. I had been working with her since day 1 I got to Republica. Taught her everything, baptism, everything. She just had her interview Sunday to get her patriarchal blessing :) All Sunday she was just crying at church and when I said goodbye to her Sunday night. It was way hard for me. Especially when she was telling me how grateful she is that I was so persistent with her. If you don't remember it took us awhile to get in to teach her but I kept calling her like everyday to see how she was doing. She said it was because of me and my persistence that made the difference and I was a key factor in her baptism and the change she has had. She really focused on how much she has changed since being baptized and how happy she is. It was just soo awesome and the thing every missionary wants to hear. I am just so happy right now and tearing up writing this ( but dont worry I will hold in, plus I am in public) but it is this moment and this type of feeling that I love most in the mission. To know you have genuinly helped someone and have made the difference in their lives. I will never forget this and I am soo grateful to have chosen to serve a mission. I have honestly never been happier. I just wish every person, every youth could just know what difference it makes in the lives of a person to serve the Lord and feel these things and just know how much they gain instead of all the things they have to give up. I wish I understood that more clearly  before I left. This has seriously changed my life and my mind set on things. To be on the mission is to feel the pure love of Christ and I testify that it is the greatest thing that any person can feel. I am just happy :)

The rest of my goodbyes were good too not as hard as Rocio but they were great. I will miss the ward a ton. 6 months is a long time. It was during Rocios goodbye when the earthquake hit and it was actually an 8 pointer. It was cool. I didn't feel it at first everyone else was freaking out before I ever knew what was up. Things were swaying and moving it was fun personally. No one died, some minor damage to some stuff but you know normal. I didn't get my ties back but I don't care. I am just happy I am out of that mess. I got to see my three kids today and Elder Florez is pregnant. I am going to have my first grandson tomorrow. I am excited for him he is tight. I saw Elder Wilcox as well today he said you had lunch with him mom jaja. Also  he says everyone still talks about me especially some specific families that made me happy. OH! also Carolina and her family were at changes from Talagante! It was so cool to see them we ate lunch with them before doing internet. They are going to ask President King if I can baptize Rafeal her husband, well actually partner, she finally got divorced and they are going to be getting married in a month and want me to bapptize him! It would soo cool if I could. These last few days have just been awesome! I am so happy. Abril and her family offered to take us to Maipu nice of them. From there Carolina took me to my new sector. I just feel loved and that my work has not been in vain. I am just so grateful right now. God knows what we need. I have been down about companion problems and then I just get blessed like crazy.

So like I said I am now in Los Cerrilos. It's close to Maipu. It's definitely the richest sector I have been in. I have añways been in the flaite sectors (ghetto) so it will be a change especially coming from the most dangerous sector in Chile so we will see. Still hot but at nights it is starting to get pretty dang cold.

Well family I am doing great! As you can all tell I will tell you how things go in my new sector I love you all and will talk to you next week.

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Alexander Thomasl Leavitt

Fun pictures from the class Alex taught on having faith to invite people to be baptized. He described it in his email 3/19/12.
I can see Elder Tognetti's head & forehead but it looks like he's not blindfolded. I think Elder Sosa is in front of him.