Friday, August 30, 2013

August 26, 2013

The over the shoulder bag has been implemented here in the mission also, but the president said that the older missionaries can just keep using their backpacks. The newer missionaries and all the ones that are coming in have to make the switch. So... with having just 2 months left, I kind of fit into that older missionary group.

That's good you guys are having the missionaries over - it's nice for them to be able to eat over. When I get back I'll be able to meet them and see what's up there.

I told Garrett to get in contact with you guys... and now I'll tell you guys to get in contact with Garrett.

I miss the temple :(

As far as my reading goes I started the Book of Mormon again on Tuesday and am in 2 Nephi: 26. I changed my goal to be finishing by the 22 of September instead of before I leave, but you guys should still try and finish by the time I get home. Both of you.

I don't have any flight info yet, but I assume I should be getting it soon.
I love you,

Audio summary...
It's Monday, August 26th and it's Elder Gillespie's sister's birthday!

Elder Gillespie's been chatting  it up so much with the sister missionaries on the phone this week we ran out of minutes. He nas actually been doing his District Leader duties but we did run out and don't get minutes on our cell phone until the end of the week so we can't call anyone - it's kind of nice actually.

Last Tuesday Elder Gillespie had his District Leader meeting and all the Mission Office people (4), plus the 2 Assistants as well President and Sister Dalton showed up at the church here. We thought they were all going to be hanging out in our District for awhile, but the President was in the meeting for about 1/2 hour and that was about it.

Later on Tuesday we went to Lorenza's house - she had her date to get baptized on Saturday, but she was feeling really sick. Her son said if she feels sick we can't do the baptism because she's 89 and if she's sick that wouldn't be good. That was a drag, but I could kind of see where he was coming from, but I said "Here's what we can do... we can give your mother a blessing." Lorenza is awesome. She is a fantastic women... she has so much faith. She's like a big ball of faith in Jesus Christ. She got totally better, like there had been nothing wrong with her. She probably could have run a marathon. I was amazed! I was like... the church is true!

On Wednesday we had our zone conference and Elder Francisco Zinas from the 1st quorum of the Seventy (he's been there for about 16 years) was there to speak to us. He was amazing, I couldn't believe it. Sister and President Dalton spoke briefly and then Elder Zinas spoke and I was riveted the whole time. His way of speaking is amazing - I don't think I can really explain it. He used the scriptures as part of his normal speaking - you didn't even notice there was scriptures sometimes and then you'd recognize it because you'd read it so many times or had memorized it. It was like he weaved the scripture right into what he was saying. It really was amazing... and I realize I need to study more. One of the missionaries asked him how much he studied. He said if he didn't have much time, he'd study for 1/2 hour a day, but other times he'll study for an hour or two. Then he said sometimes he studies in his head because he has so many scriptures memorized. He also said he just loves the language of the scriptures so much so he tries to use it as much as he can. That was super cool. I was super impressed with that.

One thing that Elder Vinas explained to us that we thought was cool was about the pre-earth life, earth life and the spirit world that comes after. For us, we're sad when someone dies in their earth life, but in the spirit world they're all happy because they're going to a better place, which we know. But something we don't really think about as much is that when babies are born, we're all happy here, but in the pre-earth life they're sad because that spirit just left to come to earth. They're sad because they've left, but happy because they've come to earth to get their body. It's similar to the feelings we have when people die here on earth. It makes sense but we don't really think about that much. There are also 3 points in our lives when we don't have agency - when we're born, when we die and when we're resurrected. We can't affect these things. I guess if you chose to follow Satan in the Great War in Heaven you wouldn't go through those, but that's a whole different can of worms.

He spoke a bit in support of the changes that President Dalton has made since President Bruce left and backed them up with scriptures. He basically said there's no being a Bruce missionary, or even a Dalton missionary. We are missionaries of Jesus Christ which I have to agree with.

We did service on Friday - the same lady where we cut the trees down. This lady is smart - she looks at things that she needs done that she can't do herself and asks the missionaries to do it... and we want to. We went there and cleaned her windows. I don't know why people don't ask the missionaries to do more stuff for them. It's a nice change from our routine, especially in the mornings when it's hard to make appointments here, and it helps people out.

This morning before we got back to the Pension, we were doing Jeopardy with the other missionaries - the super hard Jeopardy Elder Gillespie and I prepared for the missionaries. The Elders actually seemed to like it better than the Sisters - not really sure why, but it went over really well. Here were some of our questions - How many animals were sacrificed during the dedication of the tabernacle? Where was Abraham buried? In which mountain did Soloman build the temple? etc. Our final question was ridiculous - it was a math question based on the Nephite currency talked about in Alma. It was super fun. The elders said it was one of the funnest activities they've had, eventhough it made the brain hurt. It made my brain hurt finding the questions too, so I'm not surprised. 

One day this week we went to see Patricio (Patrick) Pinto - he's a convert of about 1 1/2 years. He's a lawyer here in Copiapo and somewhat famous. He's the lawyer of the local Senator. Everything the guy wants to do in the whole region, he passes by Patricio Pinto to make sure it's all good. This guy is legit! So, he said we could go by his office, or wait and go by his house. We really wanted to see his office and what it was like so we went by there to share a message with him. He's pretty famous though. Most people will know who he is if you say his name - it's crazy. He's pretty big stuff here, especially among lawyers.

We had Lorenza's baptism because after her blessing she was perfectly fine for 5 days and was super champion Lorenza. We helped her get in the water because she's not super stable. Good for 89 years old, but we wanted to be sure. We were both in the water because she requested that. Elder Gillespsie said the prayer and when we went to lower her into the water she looked uncomfortable like she felt unstable, so I just said whoa, slow down, don't let go of her hand and we'll do it when she's ready. Then I put my hands on her back so I think she felt a lot more stable and then she baptized like a champ! That's all I can say... she was a champ. I was so impressed! She's really cool. She actually said to us later that she didn't want to come out - she wished we'd held her under a bit longer. But, we didn't want to drown Jocelyn's grandmother. That probably wouldn't have gone over very well. 

After the baptism, kind of a funny thing happened. We forgot to turn off the water. Normally that wouldn't really be a problem, but in this font the tap is on the side where the door in only one way out of the font. There's no handle from the other side, just the lock and it feels like you'll break the key if you reef on it too much. So the taps were across the water. We'd pulled the plug and it was emptying, but it was filling at about the same rate. We couldn't stop the water from the main valve because it was corroded with mineral deposits. We had a few ideas - put our wet clothes back on, have our popita walk across the water like Peter, throw the keys in such a way that the key magically entered the keyhole, turned and opened (Elder Gillespie didn't think that would work - he didn't have enough faith). What I ended up doing was leaving my dry dress clothes on, grabbed some large-ish plastic bags (about 3 feet tall) from the kitchen, put one on each leg and I walked across the font. It was really close, but I got to the other side and turned off the water, opened the other door and walked through. Our popito even recorded it - I suspect he thought I might not be successful.

We went to the house of the family Solar. His wife was going to get a surgery on her eye so we gave her a blessing. She got back yesterday. He went and picked her up and she wanted to come to church but she was wearing jeans so they didn't come. We told them they just should have gone. Just go to church and take the sacrament.

Also, I learned how to play the right hand of Nearer My God to Me on the piano. It's not that hard, but I'm happy I learned it. I also learned Sweet Hour of Prayer the other week.

Lots of stuff this week. I love you guys, talk to you next week.

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