December 12, 2009 (happy middle of December)
Wow, I can't believe Christmas is on it's way so soon! It's pretty crazy... :)
I'm sending some pictures that we took this morning, but we were shooting into backlight a bit, so they didn't turn out too great. But, it's better than nothing!
This week has been pretty crazy. Along with transfers in the mission, 15 missionaries left the mission, 10 missionaries arrived, we closed out 10 missionary apartments, we had the Zone Leader Conference, and now we're preparing for all the Zone Conferences next week and Christmas! Tons of packages are arriving every day; it was especially crazy yesterday when like 40 packages arrived and the elevator broke, so they had to carry them all up to the fifth floor by hand! Poor package carrying guy...
It's been fun but challenging to start training Elder Mortensen as the new Financial Secretary. However, I am learning a lot with him, and I can finally see how much I have really learned as I have been here in the office. It's incredible to see the progress in my life and in the life of others. And I finally understand finances and all that jazz! Economy, laws, and all in Spanish!
And some good news is that a new missionary arrived that we didn't know was coming, which means I'll have more time to train Elder Mortensen (I hope) and be here in Antofagasta Centro. I have really grown to love the members and people in my ward -- they are so awesome! It's amazing how much love we can gain in such a short span of time as we spend our time in the service of others.
One miracle that we had this week is as we left to teach in our sector and all of our appointments fell through. We walked around and didn't know what we should do, so we stopped by the house of an old investigator, Bastian, who is 11 years old. We shared a Christmas message, sang, and then felt impressed to speak about baptism. We challenged him to be baptized this month (he had attended church for a lot of time before), and he enthusiastically responded in the affirmative! His parents support him, and he will be baptized shortly. I love the many miracles here in the mission field.
Thank you for all your love and support. You are all in my prayers always. I hope that you have the greatest Christmas ever and that you can feel the same amazing Christmas spirit that I can feel here in the Atacama desert. This really has been the greatest year of my life, and I am so grateful for the many miracles that we witness daily. This is God's work.