We had a wonderful week this week with much success. This was probably one of the best weeks I have had in the mission! So thank you for your prayers and concern! Last week was tough but that just meant that this week could be better!
Monday last week after email I cut elder smiths hair with some clippers that I had bought and I will probably cut my own hair today! The funny part was that the numbers are a bit different here than in the states and so he said use a 5 and so we went for it and it took it way short haha it was bad but then we fixed it so that was a good learning experience! It was a great purchase at the zofri which is like this mall thing where you can get stuff for cheap.
Later that day we taught Gonzalo and prepared him more for his baptism. Tuesday we went to a less active family and showed a video from president Uchtdorf about true repentance and then talked about it with the family. The main guy Aaron said that he was so grateful for us because we come and teach with the spirit and he said that he wants to go to the temple to receive his endowments and so he is going to meet with the bishop. He has been at church the last 3 weeks so we are thinking that we have pretty much reactivated him. We are very excited and eventually we will teach and baptize his daughter and wife.
Wednesday we found some amazing investigators. We had a feeling that we again needed to go back up to 18 de septiembre a street in our sector and so we went. We started contacting doors and within 3 doors we found a woman named Gabriella. She said that she had been baptized in the Evangelical church when she was younger but she wouldn't let anyone try and put their hands on her head for the holy ghost because she believed that no one had the authority to do so. We then testified that we had the authority and that she would need to be baptized again and then we said a prayer with her. After the prayer and we had finished she went on with her own prayer and thanked God for sending us to her door. She was very happy and we set a return appointment to go teach her the restoration. It was great. Later that day we were contacting doors again and we finished a street and Elder Smith asked what we should do. Immediately I had a thought pop into my head that we needed to go visit a member named Katy whose work was close by. So we went and when we got there she had tears in her eyes and was having a rough time. We tried to comfort her and then I left her a Mormon message and then we left. It is incredible how the spirit leads us! The Lord is aware of each of us and our needs and has a plan for each of us.
Thursday was good not a lot happened except there was a Tsunami practice drill haha that was crazy.
Friday morning at 2 am we got up to get ready for our Zone Conference up in Arica! Our bust left at 4 am and then we had a 4 hour bus ride up to Arica. Once we got there we walked to a stake center and then waited for President and Sister Bruce to get there with the Assistants. It was so fun to see all of my good buddies from the MTC like Elder Mccusker and Congleton and Van pelt. President Bruce got up and promised us that our questions would be answered that day and they definitely were. President and Sister Bruce are incredible. Sister Bruce talked about the importance of planning and how we always need to be better planners. She gave us ways that we can be better planners and then talked about how we are going to be better. It was absolutely perfect because Elder Smith and I the day before were talking about how we needed to improve our planning even more.
Then President spoke and talked about how every week of his life since his mission on Saturday mornings at 5:30 am he has planned out his week. He talked about how planning is one of the things we have to do become successful. Later he talked about the comparison of Ammon and Aaron how they were both very successful but their success came at different times. He talked about many other things and also talked about how those who are born into the covenant have the right to have a testimony compared to someone who didn´t know the church. But those of us who are born into the covenant still doubt and have fears and so we still have to pray, fast, study the scriptures like in Alma 17:2.
We took a break and then ate lunch. We had some good tacos type food with some brownies. Mmmmm they were good. We got pictures with our zone and president and sister Bruce after that and then we finsihed up with some workshops. There were 3. First we talked more about planning and sister Bruce created a form for the mission to help make our planning more effective. And the other two were about these new forms that the church created. They are forms that are used in ward council with the missionaries and bishop to help recent converts and less actives take things step by step until they get to the temple. It is amazing we were so stoked about them! We have already begun implementing them into our sector. After that we finished with Presidents final remarks and then finished up. I met Emily´s friend from Riverton he is super nice and a good kid. After the zone conference we had a few hours to relax in Arica becuase our bus didn't leave till 7. So we went to the centro and there was a McDonald's! It was unreal! So i got two ice creams and ate them both and they were actually surprisingly good.
Eventually we got back on the bus and took the 4 hour bus ride back to Iquique. During the ride Elder Smith and I planned more and then I read. We got back to Iquique around 12:30 and went straight to bed. We were exhausted.
Saturday we got up and went to the church to fill up the font for Gonzalo´s baptism. During the day we taught lessons where we could and prepared for the baptism. The baptism was super great! Gonzalo was prepared and his daughters came up from Antofagasta for the service. One of them bore her testimony and she did a wonderful job. I´ll attach pictures of Gonzalo. Sunday morning we went to church and had our less actives there and then Gonzalo and 3 other investigators. We were super excited. Gonzalo was confirmed and he is going to be a great member of our ward. There is this new family from Bolivia who has like 10 people in their family so we are going to stop by their place this week. Later that day we had to go on splits with some of the young men in the ward because Elder Smith and I had so much to do. I was at ward council while he was with a member teaching and giving a blessing. Later we taught a Family Home Evening lesson. We taught about the importance of missionary work and they absolutely loved it. We had about 30 people show up and many shared experiences including Gonzalo! Gonzalo came and we didn't even tell him about it so that was very exciting. We had people come up and grab pass along cards and phamplets and there was actually a non member there who came with a friend and then one of the members started teaching her directly after. It was great.
Our ward has grown so much since we have been here and we are excited for the work that is happening here in Lynch in Iquique. Hope you all are having a great week. This week I have learned much and am grateful for the blessings that I have been given. I love this gospel and the work that I have been given the opportunity to do! The work is starting to really get rolling now that we have got our feet on the ground. Have such a great week! I love you all! I know our Savior Lives.