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Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012 Working Hard

Wow I can´t believe that Donald Redmond is already back home, no it´s too soon!  No way it´s already been two years.  So yeah, don´t worry about spanish materials, I´ll save my spanish books and stuff to send to Jordan when I get back, plus a spanish shirt and Argentina Boca jersey to get into the spanish mood, ha ha.  Well, I´m also definitely excited about helping the missionaries in our ward because I don´t want to be one of those bum return missionaries who doesn´t do any more missionary type work when I get back.  I´m also super excited that Jordan´s going to be speaking spanish, oh man this is going to be so much fun.  It´s actually a pretty cool feeling (like a blessing) that Jordan is going to learn Spanish and I can actually help him a little with that.

Yes, I do plan on doing skype.  I´m not sure what day but probably the Saturday before mother´s day since we can´t PAY for internet cafes on sunday.  Let me know your hours of availability and I´ll send back a response.  Plus, I don´t go to the mission home until Monday since we live fairly close, so I´ll be in my area until Monday morning. 

I really don´t feel like I¨m going home, how weird.  Not that I really want to anyway, only to see you guys again, but studying and keeping busy, yeah.  Wow, I really don´t know what else to write, plus this past was another week really hard.  I´m trying my best to work but the results aren´t coming, so I guess I have to repent more. 

Well, I´m currently making a spreadsheet of everything I´ve accomplished in the mission according to my weekly numbers, so I´ll write more next week!  Love you and thanks for all the support.  Call you in 2 weeks!

Con amor,
Elder Arrowchis

Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012 Planning for Success

Alright, sorry for writing so little last week but it´s just been super hard in the mission right now. Not just in our area and our zone, but overall in the mission we´ve been struggling. I heard from Elder Bruce (ex companion and now assistant) that a lot of areas and zones are struggling. Right now what´s really hurting us is church attendance. The past couple of weeks we´ve found quite a few new investigators, but we haven´t had success in bringing them to church. So now this week our whole focus is getting people to church, at least everyone has a larger list of investigators to work with. Something I saw with Elder Bruce in this zone is that one week we aumented our church attendance a ton and 3 weeks later the baptisms burst up as well. There´s a direct relation with that so we are super excited to start hammering it into our missionaries this week to get their investigators to church by planning specifically each day what they have to do and teach and who is the right member to help that investigator get to church.  If there´s anything I learned in the mission, it´s that everything requires a lot of planning and detailed planning to have success.

That´s also great about West Point, but honestly I don´t know why but I just don´t feel the pressure or relief right now. Maybe when I get home and have to start a study schedule to relearn Chemical Engineering I´ll feel it all, at once! But yeah, huge miracle. That unfortunately means that I can´t get married until I´m 25. That´s another weird thing about the mission. I was never really huge on getting married, I mean I always wanted to and knew I had to do it, but I was never really excited about it. Then in the mission, not even because someone brainwashes us, I´ve started having super strong desires to have an eternal companion some day and start having a family. Blessings of the mission I guess as I´ve started to understand the doctrine of Christ and the Gospel more and to see the effect it has had on people here.

Actually President Gulbrandsen told us a story one time that a similar miracle about planting desires in someone´s heart. He said that when he was stake president there was a couple that didn´t divorce but split up. The wife didn´t want to have anything to do with the husband, but the husband was still hopeful that his wife would return. All that Pres. Gulbrandsen told the husband was that if he lived the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he would be blessed. He didn´t tell him that his wife would return and didn´t even actually think that she would. So then sometime later, still separated, Pres. Gulbrandsen had another interview with this brother who had completely changed his life around and seemed better. The brother said that he now understood that it didn´t even matter if his wife returned, by repenting and living the Gospel he realized that the most important thing was his relationship with God and that he wasn´t bothered anymore about his wife not returning. Then a bit later the wife had an interview with Pres. Gulbrandsen and told him that she was kinda scared because she didn´t want to have anything to do with her husband, but that morning she woke up and had the strongest desire of love toward him that she couldn´t explain. So yeah, that won´t always be the outcome but it is so true that the only thing in this life that matters is our relationship with God and if we are living the Gospel, then he´ll take care of the rest so we end up happy.

Thanks for your prayers and support and I´ll write more next week (just in case you were doubting).

Con amor,
Elder Arrowchis

April 9, 2012 Baptism of Alejandro

These weeks have been difficult with the work.  We just aren´t finding like we used to and aren´t having success like we used to so I started fasting more to find out how we can improve.  One thing I noticed is that the revelation usually comes in the form of simple actions that we could apply.  Maybe the Lord´s trying to teach me about being patient while enduring to the end as well.  This past friday we actually had a cool experience.  President Gulbrandsen gave a special Easter devotional.  We were only in the offices for an hour in the morning but he spent the whole time talking about Christ and the atonement and resurrection.  It was very spiritual and really boosted our desire to share the Gospel with everyone.  We also had another zone leader council on Tuesday and it was cool.  We ate tacos again with brownies and ice cream.  The Hermana Gulbrandsen always cooks something really good.

We had a baptism too.  It was a boy named Alejandro and we found him through one of our recent converts, it is his nephew.  He started coming to church with his cousin and liked it and even started going to the activities and seminary!  It was a cool baptism and is definitely not my last.  I realized that I am a lot more like you than I thought (or maybe even wanted to be before).  Talking with my companion we noticed that we´ve gotten a bit lazy and lax in our desires to work hard and baptize and change our area and the zone and we think it´s because we took some advice to "slow down in the turbulence" like Pres Uchtdorf said, but we both are stress addicts!  We were comparing how we worked and how involved we were with the other missionaries at the beginning of our time together and now and it seems like by slowing down we have become more lazy.  So we´re going to try going back to putting on pressure and working hard.  So we both work better underpressure I think.  I´ve also realized while studying, planning, and taking notes that I also like lists, ugh.

Anyway, that´s all I got for now, there´s no port to transfer my fotos so I´ll try to send them next week.  Thanks for keeping my facebook and credit cards updated, I´ll check to see if my debit is expired or not.  Love you lots and write more next week.  hopefully this West Point wait will be over as well.

Con amor,
Elder Arrowchis

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012 Final Transfer

Fa, it was super weird saying goodbye to one of our all star missionaries last night who goes home today.  Look him up for me, his name is Jordan Christensen.  He was super cool and it felt weird to think that I`m next.  Then I realized I need to baptize still so I stopped thinking about it.  Today was cool, we went to an all you can eat place called the Finca and I ate a ton of ice cream, yeah, and a piece of pork cooked on the grill.  Now we are writing at the ciber and I`m trying to think of what to do so that our new missionaries in the zone and the ones that stayed start off on the right foot this transfer.  Ah that`s right, I stayed here!  And my companion stayed too, so I`m going to end the mission speaking like a Chileno!  Super cool, I`m going to come back home and not be able to speak proper English.  We`re also super excited to start working again and this week we have a consejo de lideres with President (just the zone leaders and the assitants), so we are going to start the transfer pumped.  I`m super excited to devote myself completely to the Lord and really find those people who are ready to accept baptism and go to church and read the Book of Mormon and pray.  The Lord did promise us that, the field is white already to harvest, not in 3 months but now!  So that`s going to be our main focus, is teaching the recent converts their lessons of retention to teach them how to bring their friends and family to church and then finding those investigators who have been prepared ya!

Anyway, I`m also going to need to find my math book from West Point and my Chemical engineering book because I`m going to need to do some studying!  So yeah conference, I was actually feeling bumbed out because we didn`t manage to bring any investigators to any of the sessions, so this week we are super focused on finding the Lord`s prepared who are willing to go to church this Sunday.  I don`t have time to waste on people who are half interested in going to church, I need to find people who are willing.  This transfer we also have interviews so it will be my last chance to ask President things before my final interview.  I`m also excited that we made a better plan with my companion to help the members become more involved in the missionary work too.  We plan on sharing scriptures about the Doctrine of Christ with them and leaving the less active members commitments similar to that of investigators to help them grow in their love for the Lord and their neighbor too.  Our vision is to help the less active and the old members grow to the level of faith of a recent convert.

Some things I really liked about the conference was the talk about recognizing spiritual revelation and following it.  I`ve also never heard a general authority spend so much serious time talking seriously about dreams.  Which means that last night I dreamt about getting home standing in the living room, looking around, and having no idea what to do, ha ha ha.  I don`t need an interpreter to tell me what that means, so even more reason to forget myself in the work here and now while I can.  I also really liked the talk about the difference between being active in the church and active in the Gospel.  Here in the mission is when I`ve come to understand better what it means being active in the Gospel, because when our focus is on being active in the Gospel we aren`t annoyed by all the meetings in church or anything because we understand and see that we are helping other of God`s children progress toward qualifying for celestial glory.

Well that`s about it for my week, I`ll let you know how everything goes this week.  I`m ready to end it running my heart out, and my mind out, and my strength out.  Love you and write more next week.  Chau Chau.

Con amor,
Elder Arrowchis

March 26, 2012 The Field is White

Alright so I want to respond to your email first this time because talking about plans for something other than baptizing sounds more stress relieving right now.  So here´s my thought, so it stays "flexible", I get there, we go to your house, I unpack my stuff, I go to saddleback and hit up Brother Greiner institute at 12:00, and then at 1:00 we all meet up at Ted´s or something for an awesome breakfast burrito (I´m thinking I´ll be with my dad at institute but I don´t know).  Then after talking and stuff I´m with Dad until my release, and then we go to your house and I eat some awesome food and chat, and then sleep for the next week, while going to institute, and the temple, and taking out the trash, and cooking, and studying math and chemical engineering, and the scriptures, and the miracle of forgiveness, and dancing, finding people for the missionaries to baptize...  Yeah.

Talking that sunday is perfectly fine.  Even better, I´ll still have all the scriptures from the mission running through my head ha ha.  The only problem is they´ll be in spanish.  I was also thinking, and if anyone asks me to give a blessing I´m going to ask to do the first anointing part, because if they truly have faith in the blessing that´s enough because I have no idea how to speak or do it in English, ha ha ha!

So this week has been a super heavy week, re pesado.  Lots of stress and plans failing and low numbers, so we´ve been learning how to cope with that.  We talked with President this morning and he gave us advice from one of President Uchtdorf´s talks about when we encounter turbulence the best thing to do is not to speed up to try and pass through it but to slow down actually.  So we are going to try and apply that this week by focusing on the little things that I´ve learned and know I need to do and pray that the Lord sends success, especially for this general conference weekend.  One way I´m applying it is that I had the thought that well the field is white already to harvest, that´s the Lord´s work not mine, and so I could be sitting down sleeping and that still wouldn´t change how white and ready the field is to be harvested, only I wouldn´t be receiving any fruits from the white field.  So we´re not going to focus on how bad last week was and what we need to do to improve from there, but rather start with the approach of a new missionary.  A new missionary doesn´t know anything of past doubts or excuses because he has no experience with those, so therefore he works completely based on faith.  So we are going to plan without taking into account the doubts and excuses investigators/members have given us and only seek to do the will and plan of the Lord, the way a new missionary would find it. 

Let me know how everything goes with West Point.  Right now I´m not even anxious I´m so worn out, I just feel complete that I did everything that they requested of me.  love you and write more next week.  Chau chau.

Con amor,
Elder Arrowchis