November 21, 2009 (Buenosdas)
I got my Thanksgiving package! It was amazing! Thank you so much to all who contributed. I'm in the process of breaking in my new shoes, and they are awesome. I thought I wouldn't like brown because my pants are black, but I was mistaken. Brown is amazing. It's especially great for the desert because, no matter what, our shoes end up brown with dirt at the end of the day. :) Hmm, I should take some pictures of that. It's pretty funny; I have to stop many times in the day and, instead of bending down to tie a shoe, I use a little cloth to clean off all the dirt. But I can't complain. I love the desert! It's really pretty, especially now as we're entering into summer and living by the sea. I really do love it here in Antofagasta...
We had an amazing Zone Conference this week too! Elder Zeballos, a member of the First Quorum of the 70 and Chile's area presidency, came to speak with us. He is from Antofagasta, and he is super awesome. He taught us a lot, not only about how to improve our teaching skills, but also about the organization of the Quorums of the 70 in Christ's church, the discovery of the biggest copper mine in the world (La Escondida, which is 2 hours from Antofagasta and brings in more than $11,000,000,000 USD every year in copper!), a bit of physics and mechanics, etc. He spoke for a good 2 hours, and by the end we were all filled with the spirit to go out and teach. You can really tell when a person has been commissioned and ordained unto a sacred calling; they radiate the power of God. It's amazing!
Today, we went and played basketball in the morning. Then, it being a beautiful summer day, my companion and I ran back to our apartment. It was like 5 kilometers or so (3.3 miles), and it was great. Now I feel exhilarated with lots of energy -- reminds me of the good old days running the Academy! We're planning on taking all of our P-day today and buying Dominoes pizza for lunch. It should be great. :)
Sunday was amazing as well. I really don't understand my ward (Antofagasta Centro), but the attendance is really variable. We have had everywhere between 97 and 140 people attend. This last Sunday, 163 attended! It was especially great because we had 3 investigators there who felt the spirit and progressing. I hope that we can keep working hard to help everyone to have more faith in Christ. I really do love working as a missionary. It's great!
We have been having lots of success as we have worked more with the members and have striven to gain their trust. Just last week we had tons of miracles as we found 14 new investigators, taught 13 lessons with members, and worked hard in the office and in our sector. We are also closing a lot of pensions and opening a lot of missionary pensions, so I've been busy writing contracts, paying bills, and all that jazz. I still can't believe that I can actually do all of this work effectively AND in Spanish! If that's not a miracle, I don't know what is...
Well, I don't have too much more time to write, I just want to let you know that I'm grateful for every one of you and your examples. I think of you a lot and pray for you always. Have a wonderful week, and I'll write again on Saturday!