This week was crazy and ended up finishing fantastic! So Monday after email and everything I took Elder Smith to the terminal where all of the buses come. It was really weird and it didn´t really hit me that he had left until he had actually gotten on the bus. We had the bishop and some of our investigators and ward people come to the terminal to say goodbye and then he left on the big double decker bus! After that I spent the rest of the day with the zone leaders. The rest of the night we spent the time dropping off elders at their pensions (apartments) and helped them getting their luggage and things. It was actually pretty crazy we were driving all over iquique. Our pension is the closest to the tur bus terminal so when elders need to come and go places they always come stay at our pension. We had to get up that Monday morning early at like 1:30 am to go take a elder to the terminal because he had to go pick up his new companion in antofa. But the next morning I just spent with the zone leaders. And then we got news that my companion had arrived. We went to the terminal and picked him up.
His name is elder tymczyszyn. He is from a town called Formosa in Argentina about 16 hours north of buenos aires right next to Paraguay. He speaks English surprisingly well. Not perfect but he can understand me. The grammar is not perfect but he communicates what he needs to. This is much better practice for me because I can speak more Spanish now and improve in those area. Also it is good that he is a native because he can correct my grammar and things. It is quite funny when he will ask how to saw a certain word in english and i struggle to remember the word or phrase. I can´t imagine how my english be by the end of my mission.
I was a bit nervous about this companionship but I am coming to love him more and more as the time goes on. He will be a great companion. Later that Tuesday we went and bought groceries and just helped him get settled and later we went and we taught a few lessons and introduced him to the sector. This week has been great and the work is really improving. The flores family who we have been working with is improving very much. The dad wants to baptize his daughter and this last week we were working with Javiera the daughter. Wednesday we had taught her about the gospel and then worked to commit her to baptism. We were able to set a baptismal date with her for the 29th of September. But we encouraged her to pray and ask if she needs to be baptized. She came to church yesterday with her dad and then last night we were with the family. As we were leaving Elder Tym (Im going to start saying elder tym because it is much easier) asked her if she had prayed. She said that she had and she said that in the church she felt really good and that she wants the holy ghost. Haha she is progressing very much and she has great desires to choose the right. She always follows through on her commitments to read and pray. We are very excited about her and the potential this family holds as we try to work them back to activation.
Also this week we have been working Mary and Leninka. Mary is super solid for her baptismal date and we are going to baptize her this Saturday. Her friend Leninka who we had originally taught and found had come back from Bolivia and had wanted to continue receiving the lessons and be baptized. (this is the lady that we found that had talked about her sons death and how she only let us in because it was a special day). Leninka is also progressing much and she came to church yesterday as well. Yesterday at church we had 6 investigators and 5 less actives. We were very excited and are going to try and bring more this next week. We have 5 baptismal dates right now for September and will probably set 2 more this next week for the end of the transfer. Giovanni and Giovanna a couple we have been working with are also incredible. They are a reference from a family in our ward and are just so sweet. They have a 4 year old daughter who is so cute and reminds me of Alyssa when she was little but with brown hair. The wife giovanna has received an answer that everything is true and the husband giovanni felt like it was true but he said he received an answer that he needs to continue to read the book of mormon. We are very excited for the blessings that we are receiving in this sector.
A little bit about my companion. Elder Tym is a convert to the church from 2 years ago. He had a very tough life before the mission with drugs and other things but found the missionaries and they changed his life forever. He knows the bible very well and is a great missionary. He studied history before he came on the mission and wants to be a historiador.. (cant remember the english word). But he wants to get his doctorate after the mission. He is 21 years old and turns 22 in November. He loves the Lord and the people. Something that he taught me these last few days is to love the people more. I have been striving to love the people but really didn´t know how. He said that there is a cliche between the latins and gringos through the mission. He said that the gringos are very concerned about time and looking at their watches and making things quick and precise while the latins just try to love the people. I was able to recognize this in myself. Haha I am very much this way about being precise but he has really taught me to just love the people more and relax.
We had a amazing experience last night as a companionship. After this special experience we had last night I know for a surety that our mission president is inspired. I know with all of my heart that the Lord is in charge. Elder Tym was sent to me and was prepared in ways to help me. He has a plan for everything and as we try to do our best everything will work out. I love my savior Jesus Christ so much. There have been parts of these last 3 months that have been the most challenging of my life, but I know the Lord is in charge. As time continues on I gain more and more reason to trust in Him. I love this gospel so much and am so happy that I have this opportunity to share it with the people of Chile. I hope you all had a wonderful week, I love you all so much. I love my savior Jesus Christ and I know he lives! I testify that this church is true. Keep pressing forward, and "try a little harder to be a little better"- President Gordon B. Hinckley