Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

Hey, Everyone!

It has been great hearing from everyone, sounds like a lot of trips and a lot of summer busyness. Isn’t it funny how summer breaks are supposed to be breaks but they always end up being more busy than the school year? I guess it’s good to be making a lot out of the time but I also like President Uchtdorf’s talk about never wearing busyness as a badge of recognition; “Of Regrets and Resolutions.” Relax, and enjoy the journey. Do we listen to beautiful music just waiting for the last note?! That talk is a favorite, especially when given in a German accent.
It has been a pretty fun week; we had a good Monday in Conce. The mission office changed locations to an old, abandoned chapel that they shut down about ten years ago. We also went to good ol’ Mamut, which is like Chilean American food. Picture the Texas Embassy in London, which actually isn’t that great but you think it’s delicious because there is nothing else like it. Yep, that’s Mamut.
We had a pretty good week, had a good district meeting to start it off, where we practiced our first lessons and how we can really help people understand our purpose as missionaries and help them actually be committed to their commitments to read, pray, come to church, be baptized, etc. It went pretty well. The sister missionaries have some great people that they are teaching that I have met, and I’m really excited for them. We are all kind of struggling to really find new quality people that can progress, though; we are going to make it a really big focus this week to find those families that need the gospel and that are looking for changes in their lives. The escogidos, or “chosens,” that as D&C 29:7, I believe, says, “listen to the voice and don’t harden their hearts.”
We have seen a lot of miracles in Elder Carter and Elder Marte's sector, which just happens to be our same limits but just a different name. I went out with Elder Carter for a day to see what was up, not sure exactly what it is that they are doing differently from us that helped them started finding all these people. More than anything, I think that as we keep working with an attitude of gratitude for the many blessings that we do have, and really try to work with the ward to make things happen, we will start to see lots more interested investigators as well.
I think it is all in attitude, though, and that the good attitude starts with humility and gratitude for blessings. I have been studying the “Beware of Pride” talk (actually the whole district did) from President Benson, as well as a talk from President Monson about gratitude. I think just seeing all the good, rather than the bad, might be the trick to starting to see more blessings here.
I have really been struck recently with the importance of Preach My Gospel, and how it is really a handbook to life more than just the mission. It’s really cool—it’s interesting how everything that we are learning here will apply for the rest of our lives--I have learned that I am going to have a very clean house as an adult. It’s interesting how little things like that really make a big difference! Laziness, stress, disappointments can all really be avoided by just living good, healthy lives and the principles of the gospel. Wouldn’t it be easy if everyone could just realize that?!
I have also been really struck by what a team effort this is--from Grandmas emails about all their prayers and how worried Mom always is for me and Dad’s chill advice and the rare times that Maggie sends me letters and the girls' spiritual thoughts or Rachel’s complaints or letters from friends, I guess I really am blessed to have such a great support team! So thanks for that.
I think we are going to eat some fish today. That’s what Elder Durrant wants, and gotta keep the kids happy, right? Good stuff--ate some cochillullo, which is like an algae--not great. But have a fun week! Pray for us to find some peeps to teach!
Zach with a huge spur for dancing the Chilean queca

Zach with ram's horns

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