Last week was pretty busy and I also had to leave the Cyber early to go and check some stuff that was in the pension that the office was asking for, so that cut my time down by about 20 minutes, which is quite a bit.
I did see those pictures you sent and Garrett also sent me an e-mail so I was a little short on time for that reason as well.
You may be wondering why I am writing today, but I will let you listen to the recording to find out what we did. I will say that we got in late and I wanted to use the afternoon to work instead of write.
I hope you enjoy your time in Arizona. The weather right now should be pretty similar to where I am right now. You'll get to experience summer in the Atacama desert this year when we come back.
General conference was sweet. Like my other two conferences, there was a room for English (the gringo room) - there were actually quite a few of us in there this time. There are 16 missionaries in Calama and we had 5 elders (4 gringos and Elder Lopez who understands English perfectly) and 2 sisters there. While it's true there were a lot of talks about obedience, I also saw a lot on missionary work. This was the first time I was actually able to see the World Report completely -it is sweet. I don't know if you saw the BYU movie about the Bible - that was really cool as well.
And I will leave you with a really trunky thought... after the next general conference I will be 16 days away from coming home.
Love you guys,
Summary of audio clip...
This is my first recording from Calama... I'll try and cover more stuff as I missed last week and only sent a very short email. First of all, in the sector this week... it was a little slower because of general conference coming up. Most of the week we were just trying to get people to come to conference. We just wanted to get a hold of, and invite all of our investigators and try and make sure they came. Conference is such a big eal we jsut try to get everyone to. Even though we only had 1 person attend, we really enjoyed it, because it's conference!
There's 1 young kid here named Sebastion who is going to get baptized on April 27th. The missionaries have been working with him. His mom is a member who is reactivating and he's 10 years old and is going to get baptized.
We found 2 really good investigators this week. They said they were going to come to conference, but they didn't. I was a little bit frustrated about that. We had another investigator who came to church. His name is Marco and he's another kid we've been working with. His mom is living with a man and they aren't married so she can't get baptized. Marco is really good, very receptive and he likes coming to church which is cool.
Not too much else happened in hte sector. We mostly focused on inviting people to conference because it's a really big thing - you're listening to the apostles and the prophet. Pretty sweet!
Conference highlights for me...
There was one talk that was really good for here in Chile because it is very common for people to live together without being married - of course that's not allowed. David Bednar gave a talk on Saturday afternoon on Chastity which was really good. It kind of put it into perspective and will help us to explain a little bit better to our investigators.
Also, I really liked the talk by Tad L Calister, from the Presidency of the Seventy. He is one my favorite speakers generally. He gave a talk about Deacons in the priesthood session and about how we can raise their vision. He said lots of cool stuff, but some of the things I wrote down were that I really liked:
- the missionaries often rise or fall to expectations
- with increased vision comes increased motivation
- the Lord does not have a problem that he can not solve... and neither will we if we seek the Lord's help
- being set apart is not a replacement for hard work and homework
Also in the priesthood session, President Uchtdorf gave a really good talk about 4 titles we have as priesthood holders. This priesthood session was really, really good. I mean it's always good, but I found it was amazing this time.
Elder Holland gave a good talk on Sunday afternoon - he typically gives awesome talks. One quote he gave was "What was once a tiny seed of belief for me is now a tree of life." That was a good quote. I took a lot of notes, but these ones stood out.
Today for P Day we went to San Pedro. I think I mentioned it before - it's like a little town outside of Calama, towards the mountains. It's really touristy - people go there from all around the world. Lots from Europe, lots from the States, just to see it. It would be really cool to see when we are back here. As much as Calama is not much to look at, San Pedro is pretty cool. There are lots of cool rock formations and stuff. It would be good to come here and spend a day taking in the sights and activities. The first thing we went to was the Valley of the Moon - they call it that because it's like pointed mountains or hills that are covered with salt, which makes it look really white. I didn't take too many pictures because I forgot to replace the batteries in my camera. A sister here gave me her camera to take lots of pictures. I'll see if I can get those from her to upload. There's some pretty cool stuff although the pictures don't really do it justice. It's just not quite the same as being there in person.
This week I got attacked by a drug addict. He stopped us and asked a couple of questions. I gave him a card with a picture of Christ coming to the Americas. It has people with their hands in the air and he thought it was a battle scene (because he was high) and he just started attacking us right in the street. It was crazy! I love my mission, but this area is quite interesting.
I love you guys. I'll talk to you next week.