August 1, 2009 (another week)
Thanks for the letters this week! And thank you SO MUCH for the package in the mail! It was awesome to see the pictures from Jacob and Shauna's wedding, almost like I was there. And the chocolate was amazing, though as you could probably guess, it didn't last very long. :) I think the chocolate all melted, but it re-hardened because we're in the middle of the winter here, so all was well. MMmmmm.....
The mission life is going great. I'm sending a picture of when there was a concert blasting all night right outside of our apartment in the Hotel Antofagasta. I'm also sending one of our zone here in Antofagasta and one at the mission home where we had an activity with all the Elderes learning how to make empanadas. The food was SO GOOD! I didn't take any pictures, as I forgot my camara, so I'll have to ask my companions for the photos.
Man, what a great week! We've been working like crazy this week, both in our sector and in the office. It's the week of transfers, so we have to keep that in mind as we make all the different payments and everything. It's quite a lot of work! But, I'm finally getting used to the work here in the office. This coming Monday, my financial trainer will leave to be a zone leader in Arica, so I'll be working alone. Also, the sister missionaries that were working in our ward are leaving, so Elder Brandau and I will be all alone in our sector! Our sector is huge and there is plenty of work, so now it's even more important that we finish our office work quickly and efficiently to take advantage of our time in the sector. And, we now have all of the investigators of the sisters, which means we have tons! I think we have 7 investigators with baptismal dates now, so we'll have to get to know everyone quickly to work effectively here in Antofagasta Centro.
Wow, I'm pretty tired. I really do hope this email makes sense. We were at TurBus until 1:00am buying bus passes for all the missionaries last night. And now, I have to start on changing all the info in our system to make payments to the missionaries. But, even with the trials and difficulties of this life, I can really feel the help of my Heavenly Father, especially when we get to work in our sector. We seem to be able to find investigators and teach much more efficiently so that we finish a full day's work in only half a day. It's pretty crazy.
We also have tons of amazing investigators, and we're working a lot with the less active members. One less active family came to church last Sunday, and it was a real miracle. The family had been sealed in the temple, but they moved away from the church because of an incident with one of their family members and the bishop. It was a painful experience for them. Now, the father is a minister of an evangelical church here in Antofagasta, and he carries the keys to this church. However, he and his wife stayed for sacrament meeting, and they also stayed for our gospel principles class! Afterwards, the brother told me that he had to leave to the "competition;" he had to give a discourse in his own church.
It is amazing to be here in Chile and realize how many blessings the Lord has prepared for His children. I really do love serving, and I can't believe I've already been out 10 months! Time seems to fly by way too fast. Well, I hope you all know how much I love you! Take care, and write me when you have the chance!