Monday, September 6, 2010

Everything stops in Chile for the World Cup!

June 21, 2010 World Cup Excitement

I wish you could see how crazy the streets are right now in Chañaral, where we just finished watching Chile play against Switzerland in the World Cup. Chile won 1-0!!! It was a great match, and the Chilean team really did a great job. Everyone is yelling, honking, and screaming "¡CHI-CHI-CHI, LE-LE-LE, VIVA CHILE!" It's quite fun!

Anyways, I'm happy. I'm not sure if Chile will win the World Cup, but it would sure be awesome! But if they do, proselyting might get kind of difficult for a couple weeks. Every holiday here in Chile seems like an excuse to have a barbecue with a lot of beer. Everything here in Chile stops while the Chilean team plays in the World Cup -- they even watch the matches during school! I wish we did that in the states... :)

But anyways, it was a great week. We have been working really hard, and we can really see lots of fruits from our labors. One challenge is that the family that is going to be baptized this week started having doubts last week. This seems to happen before every baptism; I think the adversary is pretty angry about the work we're doing here! But, we spent time listening to the concerns of the family, especially the dad, Manuel. We felt the spirit, and we were able to save their baptism by the power and grace of God. It turns out that the members in our ward sometime make some untactful comments, since we're in a developing branch, and Manuel and his family felt a little overwhelmed and confused. We spoke, and after a couple days, Manuel felt excited again for his baptism. He wants more than ever to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and to be guided as a husband and father. We feel so blessed to have the Holy Ghost to guide us and help our Chilean brothers and sisters. It is the greatest opportunity to work as a missionary and learn and serve all day long!

Another great miracle this week is the progress of another investigator, Cesar Garcia. He started learning about the gospel from his wife, who was an inactive member. Now, she is being re-activated, and Cesar is going to be baptized on July 3rd. He is an amazing person and is really receptive to the gospel. Just like Manuel, he has expressed his testimony that the empty space in his heart is finally being filled. He always has great questions, and he is excited to keep all of the commandments and start his spiritual journey in the Church of Jesus Christ. We recently taught him about the temple, and he and his wife have strong desires to seal their marriage through the Priesthood authority. One more year, and they'll be able to do that! I feel so satisfied and happy working here with these amazing people and seeing the difference that we can make in their lives through the gospel of our Savior, Jesus Christ. There really are miracles wrought in our days!

We also found lots of new investigators this week (15 in all) and had lots of great lessons. After a week of lots of work and struggling in the Spirit, this p-day has come as a great relief. Even though we're pretty tired, we couldn't be happier! I have come to really love the Chilean people and their amazing culture. It is great to serve among them and sit with them in their homes to teach the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love being a missionary!

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