Well this last week flew by as well as the rest of the weeks. The transfer is already half way over. It is pretty hard to believe. Tuesday morning we got up real early and then headed to Antofagasta. We met President and Sister Dalton. They are definitely a lot different than the Bruces, but they are really great people. I am sure it will take a bit to get used to them. But we had a great conference with all of the mission leadership.
President started out by asking about what it is that makes us so successful up here in the north of Chile. Many people said different things but It basically came down to the fact that we have a vision and that we are focused on what we do. We breathe it, we eat it, we sleep it.
President Dalton comes with the vision to baptize. He wants to raise baptisms up to 200 people per month. Last month we got 162. He said that the only way we are going to be able to baptize 200 people monthly is by working better together with the wards and members. He came from the transition about the missionary and member work and he comes with that same vision here for the north of Chile.
I am excited to see what we can do as a mission and see what growth can happen as we work in a different way. Sister Dalton speaks a little Spanish and she actually expressed a few things in Spanish. President Dalton was the secretary of the area of Chile before coming here. But then the area Chile became apart of the south american area. But while he worked as secretary he developed many relationships with the stake presidents here in our mission.
While we were sitting there listening and taking notes I really felt impressed and knew that this man is the man for the job here in MCA. He definitely is not as competitive as president Bruce is, he is very humble. But i am really excited to be able to learn from him and work with him.
While we were in Antofagasta after the conference I went over to the museum where mariluz works and we went and gave her a hymnbook. She is doing really well and is active and paying here tithing. She was pretty busy but it was great to see her. She told us that she wanted to see us again when she had a bit more time so that we could talk.
During the week Elder McCusker and I have been working with some members. We got some great references this past week and we are going to do family home evening nights with the references.
We have also started our English classes and we have a decent amount of people coming. On Friday night we had about 8 or so. And it is only the 3rd time.
Alicia and Sebastian have been super busy. We haven't been able to meet with them a lot. But we did get in for a few minutes this week with Sebastian and we read the book of Mormon with him from 3rd Nephi 11. We talked a little bit about everything and he commented how he would just love to be like the people there who saw what they saw and felt what they felt.
We talked a little about the spirit and then I had the thought to ask him to ask his wife about how she has felt with us and especially one lesson that we have had with her. He responded that they had talked about it and then he also told us that various times when we have come that he has felt the spirit.
They want answers to their prayers. Sebastian hadn't prayed, but when we had talked to Alicia the other day at the door we had asked her if she had prayed and she said she did, and she said that God answers back. We know that she received another confirmation, but her little girl has been sick all week so we haven't been able to sit down with her. It is so sad because this is such a great family who has felt and recognized the spirit, received answers, yet their work and little things keep them from progressing. We hope that everything will work out.
The fourth of July was great here! It was on our day of planning and we printed out the star spangled banner and then sung that as a zone ha ha it was awesome. Elder Pope and i played the piano. the hermanas made us little treats and we bought some little candies for the zone. Then for lunch, we went to the best american thing that was here. KFC! Ha ha KFC is in the mall and we went there with most of the zone to eat lunch. We had a good time.
As far as transfers go. We still have till the end of this month. I am not sure exactly what will happen. In the beginning it was possible that I would stay here and that elder Mccusker would leave. But there are rumors that I may leave to go to alto Hopsicio to go up there. So I am not really sure what will happen. I really love Calama. I have found beauty throughout the ugly. My feet are starting to hurt a little bit. Just like the bones on the pad right before the toes start. We have just been walking a lot in this sector. I will probably buy like a foot pad from the store or something.
Anyway we are doing really well up here. I am really enjoying my mission, having such a great time. I have been working a little bit on expressing gratitude. There is a great talk that i found that talks about gratitude from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin. It is wonderful. As I express feelings of gratitude through out the day to my Heavenly Father, my happiness increases and i feel the love of god for his children and for me. I know that this is something that we can each work on.
We forget of the many wonderful things that surround us everyday that are such a blessing. If we can open our eyes, look outside of the ordinary day. We will find joy and enjoy each day. I am learning to do just that. I love this work. I love each one of you and pray for your welfare. I testify that the savior lives, that God loves each and everyone of us.
We had a great activity today with a BBQ and soccer. it was awesome.