Hope that you are all doing so well and are enjoying this beautiful new baby who came straight from the presence of our Heavenly Father. Congratulations Jason and Krista with the new baby. It is so crazy to realize how our family is growing in this time and how much all these little ones will grow in this time while I am here in Chile. This week has been super crazy. Not quite as successful as last week but it was great anyway. Monday night I left for Antofagasta around 9:30 at night and then got there the next morning at about 9:00. Ha ha man those bus rides are sooooo long. 12 hours! I forget how insanely huge our mission is.
It was a long ride and the bus was super super hot but we all survived the trip back to Antofagasta When we got there the assistants picked us up and I got to see Elder Pope who is now one of the new assistants. He is from our stake and is such a great missionary. I am excited to be able to serve with him in these upcoming months. After that we went to the church and I got to see Elder Congleton and Elder Mccusker from my group. It was so great to see them and to be able to talk with them and catch up on life in the mission.
Later we had a lunch with the new missionaries that arrived. They arrived in their fresh suits and shirts and were all looking tired from the long trip down here to Chile Little did they know that they were about to all get on a bus for another 8-12 hours. My new companion is Elder Stratford! Elder Stratford is a stud! Ha-ha I am excited to be able to work with him. Elder Stratford is from California and he played football in high school and then went to BYU for a year. He is just great. We laugh a lot and joke around with each other and we get along super well. I am excited to be able to work with him and serve with him.
We took the 12 hour bus ride from Antofagasta to Arica and we got here at 9:30 Wednesday morning. It was also a very long trip but we got here, did a few quick things and then went straight to work. We had a very successful first day as we found 6 new investigators in one day. He was pretty excited and is all ready to do the work. We have found some great people but all of our investigators bailed on us on Sunday But we are opening this sector so we are starting from zero. I am excited for this and am excited to be able to see the work here that we will do as we try to get the work spinning here in Zapahuira.
Friday I went and did an exchange with some of the elders in the district and we went to Pukarani to visit some of the people that I had worked with. When we arrived to the house, the family wasn't there. Then the elder said great, now what are we going to do. I then thought and then I felt like we should go visit the columbian friend who lived a few doors down named JR. We have never shared with him but I had talked to him a few times. So we went and knocked on his door and he let us in immediately. He started to tell us that his girlfriend who was living with him cheated on him and then he was really sad and just looking for help. I knew that the Lord had prepared this guy to receive the gospel and then we had arrived precisely. We then started to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with him and just as we had started the door knocked. Then he opens the door and justo the friend of Jr. who is also columbian comes in and sits down with us. But heis a member of the church in a different ward! So we started teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to this guy and it was so great! The spirit was strong and the member was able to bear testimony to his friend who was in need. By the end of the lesson we put a baptismal fecha for February and then as I was sitting there I realized that his friend could baptize Junior! We had shared the idea with Jr. and he was so happy by the end of the lesson. To see his smile by the end of the lesson was priceless!
I am so grateful for the opportunities that the Lord is giving me! It is so exhilarating to feel and know through experiences in the mission field that we were tools in the Lords Hands. I try to refine myself everyday so I can be a more effective tool in His hands. There are many who are waiting for this restored gospel and healing power of the Atonement. I am so exciting to be able to train Elder Strattford here in Arica and help him catch the fire and vision to Baptize. I love you all so much. Thank you for the emails and small notes that you send me! It is always good to feel of your love and to know that all is well. Onward and Upward.