I'm sending you a bunch of pictures to make up for all that I missed before! Thank you for all your letters and notes of encouragement and support. I am so grateful to all of you for your prayers and for all that you do for me. Thank you!
Okay, to let you know what pictures I'm sending... I am sending pictures from dad's old camera! I got the package last week! Thank you so much -- I can finally go running again and take pictures and eat lots of candy! :) The first pictures are with my son, Elder Christensen. He's the tall, blond one. And, there is also a picture of me in front of our little house. How cute!
Well, transfers have come and gone, and now I'm living in a tiny little city in the middle of nowhere! My Mission President has called me to be branch president of Diego de Almagro, a little city about 2.5 hours away from Copiapó. We belong to a district, and we have recently received a new district President: Elder Dinamarca, and his wife Hermana Dinamarca, from Valparaíso, Chile. They're a missionary couple who have been serving for many years, and now they have a special assignment to help the district Chañaral (of which we are part) to become a Stake. It's going to be a lot of work, but I'm loving it!
Yesterday, we had 16 people in the chapel, and I was presiding! Isn't that crazy? It was a really neat experience to start to organize Sacrament Meeting and strengthen the members. I've gotten to know all of the active members here in Diego de Almagro, but there are 193 members in our branch and an average of 12-14 attendance every Sunday. But it's alright because I know that we're going to have a lot of success! I also am including a photo of me and my new companion, Elder Aguilar. He is from Honduras and is serving as my second counselor in the Branch Presidency. I also have a couple of photos of our chapel, which is really pretty!
Let's see, to tell you a bit about Diego de Almagro.... There are about 9000 people who live in this town. Every day, we eat in an awesome restaurant and can choose whatever we want to eat! We only have to pay for drinks, and the rest is paid by the mission. It is a really small town, but at sunset the hills in the distance shine pink just like the mountains in Albuquerque! The first time I saw it it reminded me of home. :) Just yesterday, we traveled one hour to Chañaral, where there is another branch and the bigger chapel, for a special Priesthood meeting. We met with us four missionaries, President Urra (our mission president), President Castro (the first counselour in the Mission Presidency), President Dinamarca (the new District President), and a few Melquisedek Priesthood holders. It was an amazing meeting where we trained and taught to start working more effectively in the branches here in Chile. It is going to be an amazing transfer, I can just feel it now!
Now, this morning we traveled from Chañaral to Copiapó (2.5 hours) where we're going to have an activity in a park with the rest of our zone. We'll be traveling back to Chañaral this evening, then have our district meeting tomorrow and travel back to Diego de Almagro in the afternoon tomorrow. It's a lot of travelling, a lot of training meetings and a lot of work, but I'm loving it! We're starting up a bunch of activities, and we're planning a lot to help build up our little branch in Diego de Almagro. It really is great being a missionary!