Thursday, May 24, 2012

Alex's 91st email from Chile 5/14/12 & Mother's Day Call

I miss this face! I can't wait to kiss it!! :)

We had a wonderful call with Alex. We were able to get the majority of our family on the call which was nice. At Christmas we had everyone on the call. I still need to post that one!!!! At Christmas Alex talked a lot more than he did this time. This time there was more talking among all of the siblings. I think Alex was just enjoying listening to everyone.

Most of us on the call.

We were able to meet Alex's new companion. He is from Chile. I think Alex said Concepcion but I don't remember. His companion even spoke some English with us and it was pretty good. He said that Alex has been helping him with that. Then we talked with Elder Rios for a bit while Alex went and met Elder Rios' family and talked to them.

All of us on the call & meeting Elder Rios
(note the picture of Brandon shaving)

Alex told us about another song he likes that he hears in the streets. Ben is going to look it up and tell me what it is. He told us about one other one that I posted on the blog awhile ago. That song is one that Alycia dances to in Zumba class and Ben now loves that song also :)

The first thing I noticed was that Alex's hair was buzzed short!! He didn't think it was but then when Alycia came on she commented on his hair as well. I think he realized then that it really was short. We both told him that he shouldn't get his hair cut before coming home. We'll see if he does or not. He was telling us that that's how they cut hair in Chile and that it wasn't the shortest you could go. If he had gone any shorter he would be bald! He did say that his haircuts only cost about $4.00.

This was our first call that he did from an internet cafe. There were Chilean's watching us and hanging out in the background. Alex said he was the only gringo in the cafe and then of course there were 4 other groups of gringo's across the screen so I'm sure it was a novelty - hence them watching us the entire call.

Alex looked well and sounded good. His email for the week is below :)

Hola Familia!!

So talking to you guys yesterday was awesome!! It was cool to see you guys again. Between the Walton's story and Mackenzie being pregnant I am just blown away and I have totally forgotten everything I had planned to write. Well not like I had much more to write I feel like I told you everything.

But to start off I forgot to tell you guys we set 2 more baptismal dates this week! 1 with Cristobal the brother of Lucas! So that is good. After his baptism he got interested in listening to us. The other is a girl named Yainina she is the daughter of an inactive lady in our ward. They are pretty new and need to be taught alot but we have faith and both are super receptive. Also this week we celebrated Mothers day with an awesome family in our ward the familia Manquian. We had an Asado in your honor mom :) it was really good. I will send pictures next week but ya yummy.

Mother's Day Dinner - Asado with the Familia Manquian
(I know he said he'd send these next week & he did. I'm a week behind in posting)

Basically I was introducing Elder Rios to everyone this week. When I talked to Elder Rios familia I told them that he is a hard worker, has a ton of enthusiam and is doing a good job. Teaching the iniciative went over really well its awesome how solid the stake is the bishop is so excited to put the plan in accion. The guy in the wheelchair, didn't come this week probably because it is so hard to get him down the stairs, they need to change apartments. The familia Castro was visiting her Mom for mothers day so no they didn't come to church this week. Cristofer is still having problems but we are working with him.

Well family sorry that was soo short I really didn't have much news for this week. Next weeks will have more promise. I love you all and I will talk to you all later!

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Alex Leavitt

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Alex's 90th email from Chile 5/7/12

I love this dog. It's the beagle of my ward mission leader.

Hola Familia!!

This week has been awesome but sad at the same time. One, numbers wise we didn't have a very effective week but we have had meetings like crazy so that gives an excuse a little.First off Elder Wardell has changes :(  I am going to be training a new ZL the ropes before I end the mission this change, Pres. says he is awesome so lets see, I will get him tomorrow.

Elder Grow, Elder Leavitt & Elder Champion 
- Saying good bye to Elder Grow & Elder Champion they ended their missions today.

This week I got to see Davis alot I dont know if I told you about him. I interviewed him for his baptism when I was in Republica. Well his girlfriends family lives in my ward and we work alot with them and he is always around the house and what not it is pretty neat. We got him to leave with us one day to make a visit. Thursday we had concilio where all the Zone Leaders go to Presidents house talk about numbers baptisms and new ideas for the mission. They are cool but super long. We wake up at 6:30 get there and got home at like 7:30 p.m. Wednesday I got an easter package from you guys THANKS! Friday we made a visa run for Elder Wardell. It went super quickly because I am now a master visa runner. I know all the short cuts and some people who work there and will attend me before other people hahaha.

Elder Florez (hijo), Elder Leavitt & his newly born grandson

This week we have also been super tired. We have been waking up early and working hard this last week. Saturday we left early again to meet with the Stake President so we could plan together how the missionaries were going to apply the new mission vision to their wards. It was good and came to a sweet conclusion and I am going to be presenting it to the missionaries this Thursday. Also the rules of baptism have changed in our mission again. Now a youth cannot get baptized unless he assists the church for a straight 2 months, kids cannot get baptized unless they are someone firm in the church that will bring them and support them, and part member families cannot baptize unless someone else in the family is active. Pretty strict but we don't want people getting baptized unless they stay in the church and endure to the end.

Elder Leavitt & Elder Wilcox - both from San Diego :)

Speaking of baptism Lucas was baptized this Sunday. Elder Wardell did it which is cool because now he has changes and I will confirm him next Sunday legit!! Also Sunday was way cool we had stake conference right and I got their an hour late! Elder Wardell brought Macarena to church and I left to go pick up an old guy in a wheel chair. I carried him down with the Bishop and two other youth frickin 3 flights of stair from his appartment building to the car and then to the chapel. It was intense but worth it. He was happy. First time in 5 years he could go to church. Also we are starting to reactivate a super family! The Familia Castro came to church for the first time in 4 years. Before they went inactive he was the stake secretary and she was the stake young womans president. They went inactive because they felt they were really the only ones doing stuff and got tired of working so much while everyone else did nothing. Well we have been sharing with them and their words not mine and I don't believe them. They said that we were the most powerful and spiritual missionaries they have met and felt the spirit so strong in our appointments they new it was time for them to come back and that God specifically sent us to them at this time. Now we know that's not true because nobody who knows me would use those words. I told Elder Wardell they were talking about him jaja. but it was truly humbling and cool they felt that way.

 Elder Leavitt, Lucas, & Elder Wardell

It was cool to see Rocio and she assured me everything was fine and her mom said that since I left she saw what impact I had made in her family and is working to come back to the church cool huh? Fabio and Jennifer are fine they are literally the cutest couple ever such nerds :) We are going by Cristopher tomorrow so we shall see whats up there.

Elder Leavitt & Elder Sosa

And Sunday I will call at 8 Oclock Chilean time ok? So you guys see what you need to do to be on at that time and from prior experience a little before.

Ok guys I love you all so much and will talk to you Sunday. I am super excited to talk to you guys!

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Alex Leavitt

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Alex's 89th email from Chile 4/30/12

Entering my apartment.

Hola familia!!!

This week was but fantastic. It was really just amazing. So we have really been trying super hard to apply the vision of our mission to our sector. I don't know if I told you but about 2 weeks ago President King came out with the vision of our mission which is to change our mind set to that which is based on the memebrs. That we cannot work or do the missionary work without the support of our ward and the members in it.  So since then we have been based and focused on less actives and active members more than anything else. And this week we just had but such amazing success. Basically our goal as a compaƱionship is to reach our goal of new investigators everyweek not through or own ways like contacting and what not, but through the members like references or part member families things like that. Well this week we only did 7 contacts (like the least I have done in my mission) but we had 7 News!! It was awesome.

We have been teaching a ton as a companionship. We are having more than 20 lessons everyweek 20 lessons is the standard of excellence for the mission and we are doing better than that everyweek. We are really trying to work hard and finish strong Elder Wardell goes home 2 changes after I do.  Have I mentioned Fabio before? He is an inactive kid we have been working with and now his girlfriend Jennifer is listening to us! SHE IS AMAZING!!! He had an amazingly spiritual lesson with her yesterday where she thanked us at the end of the lesson, because she said she has come to the point in her life where is looking for the truth and she feels like she is doing that through meeting with us, she is just awesome. But it is also helping Fabio re-find his testimony and he is doing awesome and now has the enthusiasm to come back through our visits. Also we are working with an inactive lady named Cicilia. She has been inactive for like 4 years and she came to church on sunday with her 8 yr old grandson Cristofer. We are teaching him as well! That is actually a sad story, Cristofer's mom abandoned him and his dad doesn't have time to really care for him, so now he is clinically depressed and has tried commiting suicide, an 8 yr old I was just shocked. Well the Hermana has been down doesn't know what to do, so we told her come back to church. It's excactly what you and he needs to feel the spirit have that direction in your life and get your strength back. Well she agreed with us and she came and brought Cristofer it was soo cool to see them there.

Plaza de Armas - The Plaza de Armas (Plaza of Arms) is the name for the main square in many Latin American cities. Most cities constructed by the Spanish Conquistadores were designed on a standard military fashion based on a grid pattern, taken from the Roman Castrum, of which one of the blocks would be left vacant to form the Plaza de Armas. It is often surrounded by governmental buildings, churches, and other structures of cultural or political significance. The name derives from the fact that this would be a refuge in case of an attack upon the city, from which arms would be supplied to the defenders.

One of the coolest things that happened this week was that Rocio and her Mom came to my ward to suprise me! Her mom didn't have the chance to say goodbye to me and wanted that closure jajaja she said I really marked a difference in her life and the life of her family and wanted to thank me and said she is working hard to come back to church now to support Rocio. It was soo cool to see them.

I heard David Archuleta is going to Concepcion, but I don't really know. The masks from my birthday are not typical they just had random masked jaja. We haven't done anything different for p-day just soccer I want to go to the zoo so we will see what happens. The parrots are seasonal birds they come like at the end of summer time and leave when winter kicks in full force. Luckas is good doing great, and Macarena and Heraldo are good the same she is awesome! Something new it rained last week but like crazy we got soaked it was way fun but today its hot Chile just needs to choose already whats it's going to do.

This beautiful plaza traces back to Pedro de Valdivia and the year 1541, constitutes the center of Santiago. In that era there was a protected area in the middle for guarding the arms. Its name was taken from the military and has been called that ever since. All distances in the country are measured from this spot today. The beautiful surroundings of the park hold the history of the country, represented by important buildings such as the Real Audiencia and the Home of the Governors of Chile. The city's Cathedral is located on one of the sides. 

 The equestrian statue of Pedro de Valdivia, founder of Santiago.

Well Family I am doing great! I am happy, working hard and really trying to focus in on the stuff I can do to make a difference before my time runs out. Elder Wardell is funny and is always like guess what you are going to be in your house in 7 weeks and stuff like that, but really we are focused and working really hard because we both want to end this the right way. I love you and will talk to you next week.

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Alex Leavitt