August 23, 2010 (New sector--Torreblance, Zone Leader conference, etc.)
It has been an awesome week of my first transfer in Vallenar! I'm sending some pictures of these past couple of weeks. The first ones are in Diego de Almagro as I said goodbye to our little chapel and then in Chañaral to my old district and President Dinamarca. It was sad to be leaving, but I am pumped and really excited to be here in Vallenar! It is really a beautiful city, and I know that the Lord has sent me here for a wise purpose. I sent one picture of the "Desierto Florido" (the blossomed desert), which is what happens when it rains in the Atacama Desert. I took the picture out of the bus window, but I wish I could have captured how beautiful it really was! The driest desert of the world was filled with beautiful wild flowers of every color. I hope that we can have a zone activity to take pictures of how beautiful it is! :)
I am working with Elder Shim, a great missionary who also has lots of time in the mission, and we were assigned to open a new sector (Torreblanca) and be the Zone Leaders here in the city. It has been lots of work! We've been running around like crazy trying to talk to as many people as possible, doing procedures for Visas, paying bills, opening contracts with the regional hospital, and all that jazz. I'm sending a picture of my new companion and our zone. We are really excited to start working with these great missionaries and raise the level of excellence here in Vallenar. We have been truly blessed this week in our work, and I know that the Lord is here working alongside us in His vineyard. On Thursday night, we rode in a bus for 9 hours to Antofagasta for a Zone Leader Counsel, and it was amazing! All day Friday, we were with President and Sister Bruce, and the Spirit edified us and taught us how to work towards our goals in the mission. It turns out that all the missions in the world are going to be changing soon, and the missionary lessons are changing as well! This week, we'll be travelling to Antofagasta again to be with Elder Costa from the Presidency of the Seventy and Elder Amado, the Chile Area President. It should be a great experience to be trained and taught by General Authorities, and I'm excited to continue the work in this beautiful city!
On Friday night, before going back to Vallenar, I also had the chance to work a bit with my old companions in the mission. My entire MTC district is serving as Zone Leaders, so we have a fun little competition between us! One great blessing was coming into contact with one of my converts, Leciram Salomón, and as we caught up on the past year, I was overjoyed to feel of her testimony and love of Christ. She had an awesome conversion to the gospel, and her life literally turned around 180 degrees. She really wants to go to the temple, and she is serving actively and faithfully as the Young Women's Presidency Secretary. The greatest joy really does come as we help others come unto Christ. I will be coming hope soon, but it feels like I'll be leaving home as well, for the members and Chilean people have really become like my brothers and sisters. I really do love them!
Oh yeah, just so you know, I found out this week that in our branch, I'm serving as the second counselor in the Branch Presidency, so I guess I didn't get out of all my responsibilities... :) I actually love serving and helping the members of the church and doing what I can. My companion and I both gave talks in church on Sunday, and we have gained the trust of the member. I know that we will have lots of success in this short month that I have left. I love this great work!
Have a wonderful week! I love you, and I'll see you in a bit!