Saturday, December 19, 2015

Week 27

WOHOOOO ITS ALMOST CHRISTMAS! i cannot wait to skype all of you (sorry sis hartt) It'll be really fun to see all of you! and ill be doing it from the office because the internet is really fast here so there wont be any problems!! 

This week was a super busy one!! we had one day where we had to travel up to a pueblito really close to linares and renegotiate a contract with the dueña of a house that we are renting. that was interesting. she was a super old lady, but it was all worked out in the end! and then we had to help move around some mattress for the big christmas conference that we are going to do this next week and deliver some packages to missionaries. and we did this big trip with a senior couple who are in charge of the money! then after we went to a big market in chillán and i bought a little wooden duck!  ill probably send a pic of it later today! 

Then another thing that was kinda annoying this week was getting the christmas vid ready... i helped out with it a bit because the formatting was really weird and would not burn to a disc... but we got it firgured out and now we just have to burn like 200 copies!!!! wohooo.

We had a big stake activity, that was really just a show this week too. it was pretty cool and we had a part in it singing hark the herald! it took up a lot of time though because they had a rehearsal that was pretty long. 

we have been finding some more people this week during the little pockets of time that we have. my favorite find was when we were going to visit this one ancient and a lady across the street yelled there aren't home! and then i yelled back you want a visit from the missionaries? she said yes! lol and now we are going to teach here, but she is suuuuuuuuuper old and live with her mom who is even older..... so we'll see if we can get them to the church some how some way.

We had a super fun activity with president arrington! we went to his house and wrapped presents for the missionaries that arent getting packages. it was really fun filling the boxes for them and wrapping them. plus they made like a bread pudding kinda thing that was sooooooooooooooo gooooooooooood i kinda felt like i was in the states as i ate it! 

But yea all is well here! hope you guys all get home safely and that you guys have a great christmas adam and eve! 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Week 26

Yea so life is very very different her than in Linares.

So we work in the office as the housing elders. literally if there is anything you need for you or your house you call us. so its pretty interesting some of the request we get. But it is a lot of work. It has been a little more relaxed this week as cambios are over and everyone have a mattress (at least) because there are a lot of trios this cambio as a lot of people are going home before christmas. 

But i thought i would give you guys a little run down of our schedule 
7:30 we get up and do the regular missionary stuff like pray and eat
10 we need to be in the office
5:30 around this time we usually leave to work if we have finished everything that we need to do for that day, which does happen   
and then we can be out until 10:30

I really am starting to feel like a dad as im in the office because all day i have my 'job' and then i have to go take care of my 'kids' aka searching for people to teach. so thats the job and we also do a lot of other random stuff here in the office like we go through lists of membership records looking to see if there are duplicates and ones that dont have addresses... wohooo thats the one job i kinda hate. But there are soooo many perks to the office! we get a car! its a 2015 kia van its soooo nice plus it has AC uh i feel so blessed. and another perk is that we get to go out for lunch everyday! no more eating huge plates of beans!!! its awesome we really get to run around conce trying all the food its awesome. and one day the senior couple here took us out to lunch to the equivalent of mccormicks and schmitts!!! oh man was that nice... man i love the office. and its pretty fun here with the elders its really just four of us office elders and usually the assistants. we dont see pres here much but we do have meeting with him every monday so yea i do get to know him a little more!

Ok and the sector here! so we literally have the mall and centro part of concepcion in our sector... so it is a pretty hard sector to find, because most of the people here dont live here and are just visiting. but there are some ghetto parts where people do live and some really rich parts, but still its kinda tricky to get into houses. But we have one investigator that is super evangelico and really believes in his church, but he really likes the book of mormon, but for some reason it just isnt clicking for him that if the bom is true that means that we have the restored priesthood. So we are trying to get him to understand that. 

But all is well here!! i really love it in the office and im trying to work hard in both here and the field! i hope that you all had a great week!!!!!! love you all! 

Week 25

SURPRISE! pdays are now on Saturdays for me so dont sweat it about not writing. i didnt even know until i got to the office about this. but i thought that i would send a bunch of the goodbye pics that i took.

It was pretty hard saying goodbye to linares as we were having so much success, because this month they are going to get three more baptisms, but it is all OK because i know i am where the lord wants me. but man oh man things are different. we work in the office every day until 5:30, if we are lucky... so there isnt really that much time to be a real missionary. and this week we were really busy as with the cambios there are now a lot of trios in the mission and we had to get all of these people mattresses and bed frames. one day we didn't get home from running these kind of errands until 9:50... we had to do our daily street contacts in a different city lol. but i love being able to help the missionaries.

My new comp is Elder carpenter, he is from Wyoming. he got bumped up to comp mayor this cambio!! so this has been a pretty new experience for him too, so please keep him in your prayers! but he has almost a year in the mission, and he will have 2 more cambios here in the office as we always stay in the office for 4 cambios.

the old man next to me was probs my bestfriend in linares he said he would cry once a week to remember me lol

hernancito! he left with us a lot and he was super capo! 

Week 24

ya so today is cambios and....... im leaving! im going to be one of the office elders! so im going to concepcion tomorrow to be comps with elder carpinter and we are in charge of the housing of the mission! talk about a big change... but the best thing is that as an office elder we get a car! so im super pumped about that lol. but also i will still be working in the heart of conce so that will be a huge change from here in linares!

So to start off this week i had a mini cambio with my dl and went to straight campo. it was super nice because a member drove us and visited like 3 families with us. dont remember their names because its not my sector but it was pretty fun being in the real campo. and we found an antique shop and i bought a really old chilean bill it was before they started using pesos!

The next day we were fasting to help an eternal know if she should get married or leave her bf. but we also had a really hard service! we had to use metal poles to do the job of a jackhammer.... omg we were dying towards the end, but after they gave us a huge bbq like huge huge. i couldnt finish huge.

so this week we were able to bring 3 people to church with fecha!! our goal was 4 but the news that we found this week were hit by the flojera (lazy) and didnt want to come even though we had members looking for them... because we had two other news that had fecha but the flojera

first off the elena. her date is the 6th!!!!!! she is ready to be baptized, she passed the practice interview that we had with her because she kept saying i need to learn more, but we were like no you know everything you need to know!! and her son is going to baptize her this next sunday... oops wont be here but still im super pumped for her and si o si she will be baptized now!!

numero dos was yaritza, she is the daught of a recent convert who has 16 years. we have been working with her for a while getting her excited about a baptism and finally this week it clicked! she had a sweet spiritual experience and is now feeling more ready! heck she even bought a dress for church! and her fecha is the 12th!

last but not least, nikolas! he is still looking really good for the 26th! we are really excited for the family as a whole, they keep coming each sunday and are reading and praying, its awesome! and now they have internet so the mom can listen to the LDM!

But yeah it is weird thinking about how today is my last day here... definitely sad but also excited for the future! and elder watts and bianco are both going to satay here so i am not worried about my precious investigors! 

As for thanksgiving we had a short noche de hogar with maria lopez and a fun family. we played pueblo de nefi its kinda like mafia its really fun to play with chileans because they always cheat lol. 

and man oh man it is getting hot here! yesterday during weekly planning we were still kinda dying, but hey the office has AC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but i will be super busy this month because we have to help set up a big thing fopr christmas and have all the beds and stuff so we can have the whole mission together.... so yeah things will be different but still good

it doesnt matter where you work just how- SWK

love you all!!!!! besitos!!

Elder livingston

Week 23

so we had an emergency cambio...... and we received elder bianco!! he is from argentina and is super cool, he didnt do anything bad but just had to change areas.

So this week we walked a lot. like really we spend a good 3ish hours every day just walking from appointments. its starting to kill me. like really we are just so tired here, like right after we finish planning i eat a carrot and go to bed lol.

so this week we really tried to recommit ourselves to find more this week. we were able to find 4 solid people and one even came to church with fecha for the 12! but we think it might be moved back because her house smells like cigarettes but well see.

so with nikolas, the joven that we found. his mom had a problem getting to church but in the end we were able to find a wheel chair! and the whole fam came to church!!! we are really pumped and nikolas is excited for his baptism on the 26th of december!!

really nothing else big happened here... just that now we are in a trio and it is the last week of the cambio... so this next week could very well be my last here in linares :(. hope you all had a great week!!!!

me with elder bianco! he looks like a gringo but does not speak english at all

oh and this week we almost brought 5 people to church with fecha.... but in the end only 2 came... we were kinda bummed because the other three told us that they were on their way.... but now we are going to use the members more for this!

Week 22

ya so it got reaaaaal hot this week. like almost every other contac we do on the street we just talk about how hot it is outside lol. but this week was super busy! E watts and i were so dead this morning that after we got up and said morning prayers we just collapsed back to sleep lol. i really have been so tired... we walk so much and it is stinkin hot, but i still love it here! i keep thinkin about the elder holland talk to missionaries about how we should arrive home to our homecomings on stretcers because we will be dead tired.

So this week martin got dunked1!! we were really excited for him! he was super nervous the day of and kept having this weird twitch thing... but in th end he was just so happy!! but everything went smooth for the baptism! hs grandpa baptized him nd it was super lindo! we still just ned to make sure that his mom will stay active. but we also recently reactivated one of his neighbors that has a kid thats just under 8, so si o si he will still get to church!

As for maxi... first of all maria had to work a big event that friday for her new job so it was a no for this week... but also the boyfriend doesnt really want maxi to get baptized.... he keeps saying that he isn mature enough and that he should wait a year. but I did a mock interview with maxi and he just needs to learn repentance a little better and the law of chastity..... but we are really working on getting the dads permission. right now he has fecha for the 28th so hopefully it will all work out! and it was knda sad this week because maria ended up not going to the temple because of money issues :((((((((( but she is really excited about the temple and keeps asking abou endowments and were like maria you still got a year to wait!

so we found a menos active family that has a son that has not been baptized, he has 12 years and they are so prepared to come back to church!!"!! whn we first bpassed by they didnt want us to come in because mssionaries have said they would come back but never did, so we made sure that we came back! and they started reading and praying and coming back to church and now the son has fecha for the 26th of december!

but yea it was a really busy week and we ended up bringing three people to church with fecha! so we were really pumped and glad that all of our work has been working! i hope that you all had a great week!!!

Elder livingston

Week 21

So this week was a bit more relaxed as we were still focusing on getting maxì and martin ready for their baptisms this week. were pretty pumped about it and it is going to be a joint baptism on friday night for the niños!!!

so since we having been teaching mostly kids this week we went to the primary pres and asked her how does she teach kids, because she also has a 3 and 5 year olds. and she really drove home a point that i liked which was to just let it go if the kid doesnt understand the lesson, just drop it and come back later. so we really were trying to do that and keep the lessons short and FUN. so we had a super fun noche de hogar with them and played pueblo de nefi which is like mafia. it was super funny because we had a smaller kid there and he did not understand the game and would keep yelling kill me!!! im the lamanite!! even when he wasnt... lol but it was fun getting the two kids together and trying to get them to become better friends.

so yeah maria was baptized as you guys know and now her life is looking awesome!! seriously the week before her baptism it looked like her life was going to be reaaaaally hard, but the blessings of baptism are so real! she has her job and she is dating her boyfriend (juan) and he is now living in a different house but still spends most of his time there helping out. and really you can just see the spirit helping her in her life!! and now juan is starting to read the BoM more!!! litterally we walked in for lunch yesterday and juan was sitting there reading the Bom listening to 70s music (soooo trunky). and he told us about an interesting experience that he had during one night after reading.... needless to say we were like juan that was a sign from God, KEEP READING! also we learned that he went to culinary school and wants to cook for us more, so yea blessings of missionary work...

We found a family of ancient investigators. they are sooooo awesome. the dad already wants to be baptized! but he can only go to church once a month because of work.. sooo were just still trying to figure out the whole situation before we really put them with fecha. but we took once with them once and started reading 2 nefi 32 and after like 5 verses in everyone was silent listening to the god word. and then the dad was like wow this is just like the bible and we were like yeaaaaaa and explained its origen and everything. but we are really pumped for them!

but yea those were kinda the highlights of the week! we also found a dirt cheap hotdog place thats 500 pesos for a hotdog.... we took our ward mission leader there one day lol. we told him we have a sweet surprise and he got all ready and everything then we took him out! he was pretty surprised lol but the man loves completos! 

we met with a super old man this week that is getting his endowment and at the end of the lesson he shoed us his boxers and said, this is the last week for these!!! lol

we did a service for a menos activo member and after he showed us 1 nefi 11:10, 15. LOL

But all is good here! i love all the people here and its weird to think that we are already half way through this cambio! i sure hope i dont have to leave i love the ward here! hope all of you are having a great fall!!!! drink some hot coco for me! and eat some pumpkin pie!

Week 20

we did it!!! after a long 9 months finally maria got baptized!!! it was such an awesome experience to see her finally get baptized and confirmed a member of the church! after she gave a BOMB testimony about how the week leading up had been really hard but totally worth it! seriously it was soooo awesome! earlier in the week she doubted herself a little but we got her to reconfirm and justo after she said yes im going to go through with the baptism she got a call with a job offer #bediciones!!!!!!!!! 

So yeah really this week we were focusing on getting maria to the font. and open of the days we got to do a mini cambio and i went to the campo again with the brasileño which was a pretty interesting day. mostly because since it is a newish sector so really al they had planned was find.... so we knocked A LOT of doors. and it ws stinkin hot because i was wearing my suit pants from interviews that morning with pres arrington. after like 3ish hours of doors and like 1 lesson we found an icecream shop and i was like we have to go im dying and it just looks sooooo good. so we took a nice icecream break, i had pplatano icecream and man it was soooo rico. probably was the second highlight of the week.

but really not much else happened this week because we were really focused on maria. but now we only have 1 person with fecha because all of our other investigators didnt come to church :(((( this was martin the niño of 9 years old. he has started kicking it into high gear getting ready for his baptism for the 13th! but he really is the only other that is really progressing. but we are finding a lot! which has been awesome, we even found a family of 7 and the parents seem really excited about the church, just got to get them to GO somehow.

For halloween we kinda forgot about it until it was night and we were walking home... so we went over to maria´s and handed out candy to the niños. it was pretty funny seeing peoples reactions as we came out! then she gave us the rest of her baptism cake and we make a smoothie with it! it was pretty good in the end! 

But i hope that all of you are having an awesome week! its weird to think that it is already november!!!! i hope that all of you had an awesome halloween you all probably sent pics of costumes but if you didnt, DO IT! love you all!!!!

ps i think i experienced righteous fury with a menos activo this week when he promised he would go to church and then he didnt and we taught him about this is the time to prepare to meet god. if any of you can imagine me dropping the hammer (con amor)  

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 19

Well this last week was awesome. we went HARD. we were able to leave with a member every day last week!! It might have helped that i started giving out the skittles that were sent in the package lol and for one member we even made fudge cookies for accompanying us, so yes the bribery has been in play but hey salvation isn't cheap!

remember maria lopez? the investigator that has basically been active in the church for the past year? yea so her pareja finally left like for good. it was kinda sad when she told us about this but in reality she has been a lot more excited because now she can get baptized!! she is going to be baptized this week on the 31st! spooky stuff right? but she is really excited and is suuuuuuuper lista. we did a mock interview to show her how ready she is and she is so pumped and we have all of the baptism planned except who is going to baptize her... were banking on her picking the second counselor of the branch presidency. but she will be baptized this saturday si o si! and now her son wants to be baptized too! and he has fecha for the week after! we still have to go through all of the commandments with him so he can pass the baptismal interview. but he is starting to like going to church so that really is the most important thing!! oh and he has 8 years old.

after those two baptisms we will have the baptism of martin. the grandson of the branch president who has 9 years. he is a big goof ball. its hard to get him to stay still for an entire lesson but we are really working on getting him ready. we had to kinda drop the hammer on him yesterday because he hasn't been doing any of the tareas that we leave with him. so we gave him a little calendar that says reading and prayer each day and if he cannot do it each day before the baptism we will move the date. mostly to show him that this is a serious matter, but it is nice that we have the support of the grandparents so much.

and then we will have Elena! who had fecha for the 7th but she didn't show up to church yesterday because they went shopping -___- we were pretty bummed. and we are really thinking that she hasn't been reading... so we are thinking about how we really need to get the whole family motivated in the cause because the daughters were less active until like 2-3 weeks ago. but it has been pretty hard teaching her because she is a very timid person and her husband speaks for her a lot(yes he is a member) we even had to tell him during a lesson that its great that you have a testimony but we want to hear your wife's. so with her we are planning on the baptism to be more towards the end of november, we just need to get her to stay for the three hours and i think she will really start progressing.

those are all the people that have fecha to be baptized. and this week have been really lucky in finding you MARRIED couples. which are super rare in chile. we really are feeling like theses young families are answers to our prayers but we just need to start putting them in priority these next few weeks.

and the common theme that we found for contacts this week was that people kept thinking that E watts is like 10 years older than me lol. one person guessed that he has 32 years old lol. but it is so funny contacting people in the street here because there really is like a 1/10 chance they are a member that is inactive... welcome to chile!

But yea this week was a lot of work we literally have been running around every corner of linares trying to help our focus group and find news. I can really see the lords hand in this work and i am so glad that he has put me here in the best city of chile!!! I hope that you all had an awesome week and you all have a fun halloween!!!! eat a snickers for me! besitos!

Preaching to every creature:

ping pong with the ward mission leader:

Week 18

So we just got the cambios this morning and i am.... STAYING! I am pretty happy that i am staying because for  sure it looks like we are going to get 2 baptisms this next month! and i am staying comps with elder watts and yes we are still alone in the house that is out in the boonies.

This week was pretty good. I had another mini cambio but this time i stayed and was showing our DL about our district. it was pretty fun, we got a super small lunch that day because the hermanas family was sick and gave us a tiny pot of pasta, so we had to get some berlines during the afternoon. But it wsa pretty fun hanging out with a brasileno, it sure makes me feel good about my spanish that I could be able to talk with him all day and understand everything! and to end the mini cambio i made chocochip cookies (from a betty crocker mix) oh man those made me trunky!

Earlier this week we got hit hard by the rain and wind. like really it was sooo cold and all of the members kept saying that it is supposed to be stickin hot right now. but like there were a couple of streets where the drainage had failed and it was literally walking through a river lol I had to wear knee high boots that i found in the house.

We currently have 2 people with fecha as of today, we have the boy martin who will be baptized for sure since he is the grandson of the branch president, but his family had to be reactivated first, and the mom that we found ion the other family where the son said he wanted our help reactivating them. needless to say there has been a lot of reactivation effort over here.

Martin is a really goofy kid he has 9 years old. so we are focusing on him passing the baptismal interview and that he is going to church regularly. but we played the game that mom sent where a person has to find the tierra prometida and seriously he was going crazy for the game. He is a really good kid and the hardest thing i think will be is reactivating his dad, but we have gained a lot of confidence with him by inviting him to a bunch of spot nights!

Elena is the mom of the member who asked us for our help. she still keeps saying i need to learn more about the church, but she doesn't do any of the reading... so during the last lesson i kinda dropped the hammer and was like hey if you guys want to relearn and learn about the church you have to read. it must have worked because their less active daughters said that they would help them read through a pamphlet! But we are really pumped for her baptism because we are planning on her son baptizing her!

Ok and for those of two amigas that lived together.. . we had an awesome lesson about same sex relationships and humility. and they told us that they are not in this kind of relationship, but after this lesson we have lost contact with them... idk i hope that they just went to the campo this weekend or something, but it is really hard to reach them because they work from 2pm-2am in a frozen asperagus packing place. 

During this week we found a common theme during contacts on the street of people telling us to go home and go to sleep, a couple of times we were like bueno si quiere, idk why they kept saying that, maybe because it was raining.

and the primera palada!!! they broke the ground for the conce temple!!!! we got to watch a transmission and it was super exciting. ill try to send you guys the video that they played afterwards that was super cool about the city.

But all is well down here in linares! I am so grateful for all of your love and support! hope everyone is having a great fall!!!! besitos!!!

After a rainy day:

Matthew with other missionaries:

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Week 17

sorry im a day late but yesterday was a random holiday and all of the cibers were closed so we get an hour today to write!! 

This week was kinda weird, i had a minicambio where i left and we spent one day going to concepcion for my comp with something for the office. so i didnt get as much time in my sector this week. But my first real mini cambio went well! it was me and another newbie who had the same time on the mission as me, hes from brazil but it was a really fun day since we litterally were in farmland and we put someone with fecha who let us in after we knocked her door.

For my sector we really saw progress with the miriam and lydia. we found them about two weeks ago and we finally got them to church and they both have baptismal fecha for the 31st!!! they seemed to really enjoy church and they seem really excited. but like all people they have a desafio.... lets just say that they are two very good amigas that live alone together and work together.... we kept hoping that they are just friends but at the end of church they gave us a sticky note with a question that now makes us think other wise. but we will be having that lesson with them tomorrow and luckily your boi gets to take lead on this lesson... please pray for me. But i really am sure that as we describe gods love and plan for them they will understand because they have felt and recognized the spirit so we just have to be sure that the spirit is felt strong during the lesson.

We recently became really good friends with one member in our ward who was inactive but now is really strong and wants his whole family to basically rejoin the church. its really awesome because he litterally said hey you guys seem like you can help want to swing by sometime¿ YES ! we found out the his mom was never baptized and we put the goal for her to be baptized the 7th of november and his dad is now really interested in becoming active again!! It just has been so awesome having a member want to do something and helping us with it!!! But really you can see how the gospel is starting to re-bless their lives!

Like i said this week was kinda weird so nothing else really happened... i did get the package when we went down to conce for the day!! Thanks mom and dad!! really it was a nice animo booster as this cambio has been a lot of work getting this rama reenergized about missionary work! But i hope that you all are having a great week and are enjoying fall!! for some reason it still is raining here!

Week 16

hola hola familia! this week was crazy. we were working so hard to get people to come uno christ this past week. This morning we were so exhausted tht we took the p day nap right after morning prayers lol. Bu with all of that work we are finally starting to see fruit here in linares!!! We were able to put 4 people with fecha to be baptized! but only one came to church , so the other three are going to be bumped back , but hopefully they willl accept a new fecha. 

The person that has fecha and is really progressing is martin, a niño of 9 years. he is the grandson of our branch president. and we have been working on reactivating his mom and step dad to come to church so that he can be baptized. so far we really have gotten his mom on board, yenny. But we are really excited for him because we might be able to move up his date sooner if we can get his mom a calling. but still his date is for the 15 of november! so hopefully ill still be here for that! but he as of today is the only person that has a date to be baptized.

We were able to get into a house of a little grandma that i contacted on the street and we were able to get here to committ to a fecha, but when we came back the next day to check up on her, because she doesnt have a phone, her granddaughter came out with her and told us they are catholic... it was a big bummer because she seemed like she knew what she had to do, but wll probably swing by her house again to see if she changes her mind.

so yesterday before the 1st session i called bernadita to remind her about conference and to see if she could make it. sadly she told me about how her son who used to be a mormon had told her a lot of stuff and now she was really confused and wanted some time to read the bible to prepare herself more... but i didnt really take no for an answer lol i was on the phone with her for like 10 minutes talking about how why would i be all the way over here in chile trying to teach people something that wasnt true. she still said she needs time but i think we will be passing by later this week. the big thing s that she is scared of not following through with compromisos. 

we got into one house this week where there were two girls that are friends living together. and earlier that week we contacted them while they were painting their fence and we asked if they had any questions about life they would like answered, they asked why do bad things happen to good people. we were then able to teach them an awesome lesson using a piece of string and a dot on it to teach about an eternal perspective and how this life is really short and we need to be tested for everythin within this time. they both accepted to be baptized!! but sadly they did not come to church... so we are going to visit them again today and really teach them the importance of keeping the sabbath day.

And guys wasnt GC awesome, it was so much fun being able to watch it in english. i hope that all of you called mom after the talk holland gave, we were all joking that presidente was gong to give us permission after that talk. I think my favorite talk was from richard j maynes about how we need to keep our lives centered around christ and he used to example of the potter. it is so true that if we pair that with the talk uchtdorf gave and keep our lives simply centered around christ life will be a lot happier. 

But like i said this week was really busy we have been finding a lot of news and we think that november will be a month full of baptisms. It is fun to see the fruit of patience because instead of walking all day now we are really in lessons and it just makes life a lot easier. I hope that all of you enjoyed your GC weekend and were able to hear all of the talks it is so cool to think about those new apostles and to have heard theyre testimonies about how the lord chooses the weak to preach his word, it is so true. now that i love and pray for al of you!!! besitos!!

ps its weird to think that 6 months ago we were all together, but hey im not sick to my stomach!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Week 15

This week was kinda crazy, we had a zone conference and we had branch conference this week, which meant that there was a ward activity each night! but it has been starting to warm up expect for a couple of days it has been really rainy woohoooo!

So we really have been pushing for our eternal investigators to get a wedding date. so maria and her partner, juan were supposed to have chosen a wedding date by yesterday, but sadly they didnt ... but we had a great lesson with juan about how we have living prophets. i guess he never had been taught about it and we were asking him what would this mean to you, and he was like that would be awesome because no other church has a living prophet. so we really think that he is going to start progressing soon and will actually want to get married. And this is really good because maria is so ready to be baptized that she is even thinking about leaving her fam... we keep stressing to her about faith and patience, but it has been nice that the light at the end of the tunnel is starting to appear. our other eternal invst. silvanna, the mom of benjamin we gave her the challenge o pick a spefic date for her wedding too. this has been a little harder because her partner matius literally runs when we come over... idk maybe we are going to have E watts tackle him while i give the lessons, well see. but we have a cita planned with them this week when he will be there so we are really hoping that we can get him to stay (just imagine us singing the sam smith song to him)

So some sad news... david went to jail. we had a cita with him on monday and as we walked in he said you  guys have bad luck, theyre coming to pick me up right now... ya so we quickly got to sy a prayer with him and send him on his way. we cant visit him yet because i dont have my chillean id and E watts is expired. so we are trying to work with the leaders of the ward to get people to write letters of support. but we have no idea how long he will be in there, but we just have to make sure he gets a BoM ASAP.

As for finding it was still kinda hard this week because we would sacrfice over an hour to go to the ward activites to really gain the members trust. but we were able to get in a couple of houses and we have one lady that looks like she will progress and we have our next cita with her tomorrow! but seriously we were not taking no for an answer when we were talking with her at her gate, and luckily after like 15 mins of talking her into letting us in she gave in! her name is bernadita ortega and we think she will be able to be baptized the 27th but it all depends how tomorrow goes! but we really have been uping our contacts and we have even invited people to be baptized in the street lol one erson said yes and we are also visiting her tomorrow so itll be intersting to see if that tactic works out.

The activities were really fun this week ill attach the videos that i have of the talent show/kareokee show and the game we did at the FHE that we were in charge of. but it was really funny because one of the recent converts asked me if for the talent show i could sit in a chair on the stage while she sang to me... i was like uhhhh i dont think so, and when her act came on i was soooo glad i said no it wouldve been terribly awkward. and then there wasa another RC that did like a dance that was a little more pg 13 needles to say we were looking at the ground during that one and we need to plan a cita with her about the LoC lol. 

So during the zone conference it was really cool, we got to watch the leader trainning from the apostles and it was about how the best way to improve our faith is by trying to improve our sabbath day observance. i thought it was pretty cool out of all the things they could talk about they chose the sabbath day. so as missionaries we are trying to better sanctify the holy day!

I hope that you all had a great week and i am so grateful for all the support that you all give!!!!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Week 14

hola hola familia!! this week was a pretty good one, and a little frustrating, mostly because of the 18th, with all of the fiestas patrias. It made it really hard to set up citas with people during the end of the week.

So we still are kinda confused with davids situation, but from what we have learned this past week he definitely is going to jail... we just dont know when and how long, but there is hope that it will only be for three months, which would be awesome. we passed by on the 18th to eat some empanadas with him to help him not feel super down during the festivities, it seemed to really boost his spirits because that day was bring up old emotions and feeeling from his past. But it looks like really David will be baptized in the future after he has finished his jail time, so we will keep passing by.

Yesterday we had an awesome lesson with Maria Lopez and her partner about marriage!! it is pretty funny to think of two youngins trying to teach mid thirty year olds about why they should be married but luckily the spirit was very strong during the lesson and juan agreed to choose a date this week, for the wedding!! so this means that maria can finally get baptized! and its good that they are putting a date soon because maria was almost ready to leave the fam just to get baptized and we kept saying maria this is not going to be better in the long run. but we are super pumped about the wedding and hopefully it will be soon enough that we can attend!

The Branch had a huge 18 party on the 17th. seriously it was a huge hit there were almost 170 people when the attendance is usually 115 for sacrament meeting lol. it was really fun to see the traditional dance of chile and hear the national anthem and learn once again that chileans cannot sing to save thier lives. but it was a really good time. ill attach the photos and vids after this email. On the actual 18 we didnt do much to celebrate... one family had us over and we got a couple of empanadas but no huge asado :(... 

We really are just searching for people to teach right now. it has been really hard because we havent really been able to get into any houses and teach and a lot of the contacts that we have on the street lie to us... so it has been kinda frustrating that we dont have any people that really can progress right now. so please keep us in your prayers as we keep searching for people, but i have realized that this is the majority of the mission, SEARCHING!

The scripture that best describes this week is alma 8:10-11. but atlest the animo is HIGH!!! we still have a lot of fun trying to find people and we are really staying happy so we figure if we can keep this up and stay obedient that lord will place the prepared souls in our path. hope all of you have had a great week!!!! ¡Viva CHILE!

He's fine!

yea so apparently there was an earthquake south of conce that was pretty big. but all is well here! we didnt feel a darn thing :( we were contacting this random guy and he was like, DID YOU FEEL THE TEMBLOR?¡ and he told us to just look at the cables of power lines next time... but yea we are just dandy over here in linares!! here is photographic evidence that all is well. 

PS tomorrow is the 18!!!!! (equivalent of the 4th of july, but more chilean)

and today marks 3 months on the mish

Week 13

hola hola familia!! i got my new comp elder Watts and am still in the same area! he is from chesapeake VA and attend the air force academy for one year playing football there. so yes he is really big and jacked.

so this week has been a lot of work... I have taken over for kinda planning and taking phone calls during this first week because my comp is new to the area. and the one thing that i have learned that chileans talk really fast on the phone because they dont like using up minutes, but somehow i am able to comunicate. And also this week i have gotten really good at reading the map. finally all of the boy scouts orientering is paying off.

So David isnt in jail right now, so wohooo! we dont know really if the trial is completely over but he came to church this past sunday and gave a really powerful testimony during gospel principles. he talked about how he has found more joy as he has become closer to christ. he is so aawesomke, but we need to change his fecha to later this month because we think he is still on 1 cigarette a day... but his faith is a lot stronger now so i belive it will be easier! but thnk you for all of the prayers to help with his trial. 

We had a super awesome lesson with a recent covert named valery about fasting. and it was really fun to teach about the power of fast because it was the same day that we finished our fast for Davids trial. Basically we promised her that if she gave an honest fast this week that her jefa would give her sundays off if she asked and fully explained why she cant work on sundays. we belive it worked because for the first time we saw her at sunday!! just another testament about how sometimes we are stuck ijn tough situations that we need to make a plan and act.. something that a lot of the people here need to learn!

we had a really fun lesson this week with a super super old menas activa. she told us about how she hasnt gone to church in 10 years!! we were like hna you really should go to church and read the BoM. we asked her to find her Bom and she said oh its just upstairs and its kinda lost, so we gave her 7 minutes to find it and as a premio would would sing her favorite hymn. she found it and we sang. it was prety fun but in the end she still wouldnt come to church... so we were kinda bummed about that but atleast happy we could raise her spirits.

But really this week has been A LOT of work. but i love it i really feel like a real missionary! we really have been pushing to better the ward in the obra missional, and i think that they are getting really excited about it! I also fell like ive learned a lot of things that we were supposed to have been doing... oops but now i am doing them so i really think that it will help us see more success. One of which has been doing a lot more contacts, which i now love to do. seriously they are so funny because people will try to say the most random things to us like oh im never home, and then we say why have a house?¿ oh these funny chileans i love them so much! But thank you for all of the support that you all give! i hope that you are all having great weeks of school and work and that fall is treating you all well!

Week 12

Wow we just finished my first cambio in the field! it feels like it was super long and super short. But my Father, Elder wolfe is leaving me for  better things as he got called to be a ZL! Im getting a new trainer tomorrow named E Watts hes from virginia so and was in the navy, so this should be fun! But this will be an awesome opportunity for me to learn a lot because i will be teaching him the sector and the people.

So something really awesome happened this week, we had a new investigator randomley come to church last sunday. like he just felt the need to go and went. his name is david. we started teaching him this week and man oh man is he a prepared and humble soul. he told us about he used to have a pretty good life, couple kids a good job and a wife, but then he lost it all to alcoholism and drugs. he told us about how this has happened to all of the men of his family and that he wants to change this. he keeps telling us about how he wants to feel clean and to save his soul, so needless to say the very first thing we taguht was the atonement of Christ and how we can all be clean again from our sins if we follow the doctrine of christ. he really has been progressing well and has been able to keep the word of wisdom! he currently has a baptism date for the 19th! but theres one thing... he is currently under house arrest because of a DUI, so he just has to be home from 10-6 at night. And he has a court case on the 11th and he said that it potentially could be a year in jail. so we dont know what will happen in the end so we are making sure to teach him the plan of salvation this week so he can have hope if he dopes have to do time. but please keep him in your prayers we can all learn from him as we should all strive to save our souls and try to feel clean again.

We had a noche de hogar with david and another recent convert at our ward mission leaders house. it was kinda interesting because the hermanas we going to teach hte lesson for it and they chose to teach families are forever... while our investigator and recent convert dont really have families, needless to say the conversation afterwards was interesting but luckily with the spirit there we were able to kinda save the lesson. but in theend it was awesome because it really gave david a good opportunity to start making some new friendas in the church. and it was funny as we walked to the N de H he told us pointing to a house, there used to be a lot of parties there. lol but really he is progressing so well.

So we have been working a lot with another menas activa and her husband who isnt a member this week. theyre names are bernadita and sebastian. they are kinda a younger couple with two young boys. But they are super awesome, we painted their house this week and they cooked an asado, and i got to try blood sausage for the first time (it was interesting). but we also had a noche de hogar with them and we really got the spirit working on them, bernadita started coming to church again but we still need to work on sebas. he has trouble with keeping compromisos, so we are thinking about really keying in on how he should do these things not for himself but his family, because even if the church wasnt true, it still is the best way to raise a family.

thats pretty much most of the week! there was a lot of walking this week because david lives kinda far away but its totally worth it! Its a super rainy day here so were going to go get some hotdogs! but really i love you all and am so glad for all of the support that you all give me! its crazy to think that all of you are starting up school and that its labor day! really hope all of you enjoy the three day weekend.I still cant believe i finished my first cambio out here in the field and i am super happy that i am staying in this funky branch. I love them all so much here. Know that i love and pray for all of you!!!
Les Quiero MUCHO

Elder Livingston

Matthew's new companion!!!

Week 11

First off i would like to say, we got a baptism!!! woahhhhhh. i dont know why i thought that when missionaries had baptisms it would be a kinda chill day. man was i wrong. earlier in the week we had called the RS prez to help us out with refreshments for after the baptism, you know since were just two young men. and we found out that she didnt call anyone till thursday night! so we had a couple of sisters just saying oh arent you guys just going to buy everything and do it? and we were like uhhh no we are broke and litterally have no time. then the primary prez came to the rescue¡!¡! seriously she saved us with a simple cocktail like hing after. But the actual baptism was very sweet. Elder wolfe baptized benjamin and you could feel the spirit so strong there. and it was so cute to see how happy he was after he was baptized. and it was super awesome because his moms partner came and he was really grateful with us for doing the baptism. so we are really hoping that we can focus on him this coming week and help them really get a firm date for their wedding and maybe a date for baptism. Also remeber that other eternal investigator that i told you all about, Maria Lopez, ya she broughth her partner to the baptism and to church. so we also want to do the same with them. but we have heard that he read some anti mormon literature, so we have our work cut out but hey anything is possible with the power of GOD!

But for the majority of the week i was actually in conce. there was a conference for the new missionaries. it was super fun. luckily i was one of two missionaries that had to travel 4 hours to get to this conference adn we got to sleep on the floor of the assisants house the night before the actual meeting. But it was so cool, we had a lot of classes taught by president arrington. he is a super super cool president. my favorite class was on the doctrine of christ. we talked about how our investigators have to be active if the are going to be active members, and that being fully active in the church before being baptized is a part of repenting. also it was really fun to see my twin (elder Cowley) remember him? well it was super fun being able to tell all of the stories we have gained in the short time on the mission. but after that meeting they said that we are no longer new missionaries! i still find that hard to belive but i guess it is true especially since this is the last week of this cambio.

So the night that i got back we didnt really have any plans because we were not sure how long it would take for me to get back. so we went to a couple of houses as usual and talked to them, and at the end of the night we thought hey we should try to visit that one menos activo who is never home. so we went up and amazingly she was home with her husband who isnt a member! their names are vanessa and eduardo and seriously they are such a cute family. during the lesson i was litterally playing with their little daughter while E wolfe was working his magic but in the end we were able to really bring the spirit into their house and you could feel it so strong as we told him to pray to find that his loving heavenly father has a specific plan for him. seriously it was sucha cool lesson that came out of nowhere. we are planning on veisiting them soon this week!

bonus story- we were trying to find luis and his big family but he wasnt there so we tried the nieghbor who was supposedly a member adn out came a snake (adolescent girl who is no good) and we were like are there any members in your house¿? and she brought out her gma who is a testigo de jehova and they let us in so we were like this will be interesting. and it was the girl told us about how she thought god is a woman and there was some scripture that proved it and i asked if she could share it and she was oh no like i forgot but some pope said so, and then later on in the lesson she told us about how she can like talk and feel dead people... we invited her to pray so well see if she does and the grandma was surprisingly super receptive! 

But really all is wel here! finally got some rain pants! but now it is hot and sunny so thats good i guess. but really so grateful for all of you!!

Elder Livingston

Friday, August 28, 2015

Week 10

After a rain storm

Hola querida familia!! this week was a a really fast one for some reason.

to start off it was kinda weird because we lost contact with dangela. she said that all this week she was doing a charity event and would be busy for the most part and would call if she was free. sounded pretty normal right? but later on in the week we started to think ya we really need to make contact with here to make sure she is still on the right path. so we tried calling each day but now whenever it calls it just goes straight to voicemail. and on sunday she did not come to church. so we were super bummed when we didnt see her. we hope that she was just really really busy with the charity zumba stuff but we dont know. so please keep her inj your prayers because she knew so clearly what she had to do and we are getting worried about her and are going to have to push back the baptism one week so she can get the proper attendance. but yea kinda a bummer.

We had an awesome lesson this week with benjamin and his older brothers about the plan of salvation. it was so much fun teaching an 8 yearold this because we got to keep it very simple and he understood it all. at the end his oldest brother who is like 12, esteban, asked us a bunch of questions about the plan and it was so good because it really showed how much he understood about the plan and how much he belived in it. so benjammin will be baptized this next saturday and we are so excited for it and we are really hoping that his mom's pareja comes to the baptism and maybe we can make a cita with him to learn morea about what happened. but i cant wait to send more pics of benjamin because he is super lindo.

so since this week we didnt have as many people to teach we started working a lot on menos activos. its realy funny trying to find them as i have told you most of the people registered dont even live there so it makes for interesting door approaches as we ask how long have the new people been living there and they reply something like 8 years. we have a couple of futures from these wrong house experiences so we are really hoping that they will let us pass by and teach. but with some of the menos activos we did find it really is interesting why some of these people dont go to church. like there was this one lady who wont come because x number of years ago someone, who was mormon, posted something not so great on facebook. but this lady still has a testimony of everything, and there are other people where it kinda is just because it is rainy during the winter so they skip out. so we have been teaching a lot about the sacrament and enduring to the end.

our house has become kinda ghetto rigged this past week. last p day i was washing the dishes while e wolfe was upstairs cleaning when suddenly the sink spout shot off. water was shooting out of the faucet and i just yelled "chuuuuta"and then e wolfe ran downstairs to fin me wet and holding the spout with a super confused face. so now whenever we use that sink we cannot make the water pressure too high otherwise the sink shoots off. and the toilet lever broke too, so now we just use a thin metal rod to lift the plug to flush the toilet. yes we did talk to the office but there really isnt much they can do because literally we are the farthest house in the mission. but all is well.

oh yea one really cool thing that happened at the end of saturday was that we found a family of 7 that will let us teach them. we talked to the dad and he said they would have the missionaries over and then they moved and lost contact with them. it was a complete miracle that we saw him at that time and asked him if he knew his neighbors, because they were registered members, and he said no but that we should come by in the afternoon!!! a real miracle that we were there right then.

But really all is well here. if youre ever wondering what im doing it is probably walking or being stuffed with food at a members house, luckily they balance each other out. But i am so glad to be out here trying to bring these people closer to christ and if you guys have any free time this week help out the missionaries becuase members make the work a lot easier!
Les Amo
Elder Livingston

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Week 9

The oreo game:

digging up a huge tree stump for service:

lunch with the senior couple missionaries

Can you believe i've been gone for two months? i cant time flies by, we are already half way through this cambio. we think we might buy a cake or ties to celebrate the grand day.

This week was a big one for dangela. I think i told you all about her and how she asks really deep and profound questions and can speak english, so the lessons are very interesting and sometimes last over 2 hours. but she accepted a date to be baptized!!! it was super awesome we were talking about prayer and revelation and we showed the models of light videos from elder bednar. and it really clicked with her. literally after the videos she knew that she has to be baptized, and because she knew that she asked what were all the commandments so we got to also teach all of them right then because she was so motivated. She fell in love with all of the mormon messages because she was struggling with the idea of only reading from ancient text so it was a big win to show her the mormon channel. and it was awesome because this sunday she came to church! so we are really pumped for her and she really is progressing. her date is going to be on the 5th of september.

Our other investigator with a baptism date is benjamin. his mom is an eternal investigator because her partner doesn't really want to get married, but all of her other boys are baptized and active. we had a super fun noche de hogar with her and her boys where we played the cookie game. for this game we put a cookie at the top of the forehead and have to try to move it to your mouth without your hands. the kids can never do it for the first couple of tries, and then E. wolfe says something like my comp can do it super fast and then i say yea i have super strong eyebrows. and then with the cookie on my head i just ask E. wolfe to feed me the cookie. essentially its a lesson on prayer where we just need to ask, but the families that we have done it with love the game. we have another noche de hogar with them tonight so we are really pumped about that and really benjamin is probably thee cutest 8 year old. 

So as you all know we kinda lost our investigator elizabeth as she asked for time and space, so we wrote a card trying to boost her spirits. so we took one language study time to write this nice card that used moroni 7:33, we thought that it would be super helpful for her just telling her that she can do anything with faith in jesus. so we had to search out for her house because we always taught her at her parents house and we didn't want to leave the card there. so we finally find her house and she doesn't have a mail box, so e. wolfe tells me just toss it into the covered area of the patio. i tossed the card like a frisbee and for some reason it just flew up and landed on the roof... we started to die of laughter. we figured that it just was not meant to be. but who knows maybe shell look out her window and see a card with her name on it.

This past week to try and find new people we have been using this really old list of menos activos, but this list is so old that half of the houses are literally vacant and the others that have people are the wrong people and they day that they have been living there for 4-8 years. so we think we might just focus more on futures and menos activos we know this week.

We had an event called capilla abierta which ended up being funny because the only person to bring nonmembers was another eternal investigator. there ended up being about a total of 5 nonmembers, and a handful of members.
I gave my first talk this week! i was really surprised when during branch counsel that Presidente Alegria asked me to speak. it went really well, i talked about the sabbath day. It seemed that dangela really liked the talk so i would consider that a big success. but it still was funny because later that day we still saw some members out buying bread for that day.

But really all is well here! i bought a puffer from a home depot like store and it has been a pretty clear week! I am so grateful for all of the love and support you all give me!

les amo,
Elder Livingston

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Week 8

View from his window:

Huge hotdog for lunch!

after a big meal


His home!

And then God commanded elder wolfe and livingston to build a boat and collect two of each kind of dog. man oh man was it a rainy week. i still have yet to buy rain pants.... oops. but my comp has got the conections and got the office elders to get me an electric blanket for free so it has been a lot more pleasant here at night. we did also ask them for rain pants but they said that they were all out. and so far my jackets have been good, i might buy another fleece just because i've been wearing to same one for the past week. 

So this week we were supposed to have had a baptism on the 8th. but we got a very sad text from elizabeth saying that she wasn't feeling ready and that her parents have been giving her a hard time about joining the church. she says she might need a little space and doesn't want to feel pressured into being baptized. we tried to visit her a couple of times but she has been dodging us. so we are hoping to give her an animo booster later this week with some brownies and letters of encouragement. so please keep her and her daughter adriana in your prayers. 
Remember that my comp gave a baby blessing last week? the family is called poblete casanova and we have started to become good friends with them. they asked us to bless there house because weird things were happening. like the tv would turn on and off and random appliances would turn on without being plugged in... kinda scary, but i had the opportunity of doing the blessing. After our quick message and blessingyou could really feel a change of spirit in the house. were planning on going back and doing a noche de hogar with them because they need some help working on unity. But i really belive that with thime they will be strong in the church again.
We had another lesson with Dangela that went really well. Also it was 2 and a half hours long. the lesson was on the plan of salvation and this brought up tons of questions about kinda random stuff. but we were able to answer all of the questions, it did help a lot that she is fluent in english so we could explain harder things in english. but at the end when we were closing we asked is there anything you want us to pray for and she just said you will know... kinda intimidating but i guess i said the right things as after she said thank you thats what i needed to hear, so i was pretty relieved. 

The food here has been awesome! since we live near the campo all of the food is pretty fresh. the tomatoes here are sooooo good. a lot of members make a salad that is just tomatoes and onions, its so good. there was one house where we got served soooo much food. we both thought we were going to die. we were first given 'sushi' and bread and salad, then we both got a huge, i mean huge, plate of mashed potatoes with two fried eggs on top. it was a struggle to eat it all. i had to take it like a pill towards the end with my juice and poor elder wolfe wasn't able to finish his plate. needless to say language study did not happen after that lunch. but also this past week i got my first asado and ohhhhh was it good. but all is well here we are working hard and trying to find some new people to teach this week! i am so grateful for all of the prayers and support you all give me!

Elder Livingston