3/18/13

Hi everyone,

It is going super well here!! We are working super hard here in the sector and have a lot of people to teach. The hard part is getting back into the houses to teach the next lesson. But things are starting to look up. We should have a lot of success this change if we keep working in the direction we have been headed! Ill finish answering what you wrote me, then I will get more specific with our investigators!

It is starting to get frescito here at night, and my comp got a bit resfriado because we sleep next to an open window. But he is better now, and we will see how my immune system holds up. I had my fill of being sick back at the MTC, so hopefully Chile agrees with me.

Okay! Investigator time!! We have Corina, David, José, Lucas, Maria and Angel, Jorge and Elizabeth, Jamine, and a ton of others, but lets see how much time I have to write about these few haha.
Corina is the friend of Ashley who got baptized last week. She is 18 and told us she has desires to learn more and start coming to church. She used to go to church when she was younger, but hasn’t since her brother died. Also her mom is a member. We are going to start teaching her this week, but so far have only helped her with some English homework and got to know her a bit more. We will see how it goes!
David is 10 and both of his parents are members. I found them while I was on splits, and their family is so cool!! They invited us over for a Noche de hogar, and made us salmon empenadas! They were pretty good! The parents are named Karen and David. We are working on helping them to understand the things they were taught when they were baptized and hopefully get them to start coming to church. They haven’t gone since they were in their teens. But they have another son who has cerebral palsy i think. but he is in a wheel chair is super fun to be around!
José is the guy we are teaching to read and write! He is really cool and has the ganas to come to church and learn more, but never acts on them. We taught him about baptism and the authority needed to baptize, but im not sure how much he understood.
Lucas is the son of a menos activo family. They are really fun to be around and love to have us in their house. but like most all Chileans, they are super flojo…. So we are doing a noche de hogar there and are going to watch 17 milagros to try and show them that we all have to make sacrifices and they need to go to church. we will see what happens though, because they promised they would be there yesterday, but didn’t show…
Maria and Angel are pretty cool. We found Angel by contacting and then when we went back by he invited us in to say a prayer for his wife who is sick. They are super viejos!! But they listened to lesson 1 about the restoration, and Angel read the assignment we left him. We left him with another assignment to read 2nd Nephi 31, and I’m hoping he reads it!
Jorge and Elizabeth are a funny story… They are a brother and sister in their 50’s Elder Robbins found him when we were on splits with some members. They tell us that they know our church is true, that they know Joseph Smith was a prophet, etc etc. But they didn’t accept that the baptism they had in the evangelical church isn’t valid. Elizabeth actually told me that their pastor got his sacerdocio the same way as Joseph Smith. Needless to say, we didn’t follow that one through because we didn’t want to start anything, but they are going to need to understand more about the sacerdocio before they go anywhere.
Jasmine is someone we found this past week and she is pretty cool. She accepted lesson 1, and at the end had some good questions about the churches stance on women working and gays in the church. I was able to bear personal testimony about both, and it turned into a very good lesson. She is really smart, and is only 14. But we will see where is goes!Love you all,
Elder Willis

1 month in Chile

Hola!

Well, I have officially been in Chile for 1 month now. It doesn´t really feel like it, the time just flies by!! But I am loving every second of it! My comp and I are doing a lot of work in this ward Los Olmos, and we are seeing miracles every day.

One man we have been teaching is named José. He is from the rural area of Chile and doesn’t know how to read, but is super humble. He has been having a hard time coming to the chapel, but yesterday he told us he was ready to go and waited for us! We never told him we would come and get him to come to church, because we had stake conference 3 miles away, but he finally made the effort to come to church!! We really stressed the importance of Church attendance, and it paid off. We are also teaching him how to read and write in Spanish so that he can write his name and read the scriptures. It makes my companion and I so happy when we see that he finished his homework and is proud of what he has done. I’m sure it is only a fraction of the joy that our Father in Heaven feels when we are obeying his commandments and doing the things that are pleasing to him!

We are working on helping the people we teach understand our role as missionaries more. The Chilean people are amazing and super friendly, but that isn´t always a good thing when you have a message to share. They like to talk and talk and talk about whatever, and it is really hard to get a word in. So we are going to start working on talking less and teaching more.

Chilean word of the week- `Flite´ (fly-tay). It means gangster or thug. There are a few flite areas in our sector, and we try to avoid them after dark. But they are also where the most humble and ready to learn people live. So we are working on concentrating our work to this area and finding people who are ready to listen! Flites are also the young kids that think they are super gangster and yell `HELLO´ to us all the time! They should see what real gangsters look like in compton jaja

I hope everything back in the states is going good! The work of the Lord is moving forward with more strength and power than ever! We need to make the decision to help push. The members in this area are key to our work. The testimony they bear and added witness they bring are irreplaceable. If you have the chance, go out with the Elders. If they don’t invite you, ask! I promise it will be a spiritual experience that you wont forget!

You are in my prayers!
Elder Willis 

Week 2 in Chile

Hey all!!

 
So its weird, but I have already been in Chile for 2 weeks!! The time flies by! This area is absolutely amazing! We are teaching a lot of awesome people, and the members of the local ward are awesome at helping us out! I want to tell you about somehting that happened last night! We went to talk to a family and have a family home evening with them. The week before they asked me if I would teach the lesson so I could practice my spanish. Well, thats what I did. I decided to read the story of the apostles going fishing after Christ was resurrected with the family and talk about what we need to do as members to ´feed my sheep´. We talked about how as members of the church, and followers of Christ we have the same call as the apostles. In order to fulfill this call, we need to attend church, read the scriptures, and say our prayers so that we will be prepared to help others when the time comes. We cant ^feed sheep^ if we dont have any food can we? During the lesson, the member that came with us bore his testimony and committed the family to start coming back to church and to prepare themselves to be sealed together forever in the Temple. The Spirit was so strong during the lesson, and I know that they felt it. I saw their son who is 18 years old, and I know the Spirit bore witness to him that the member´s words were true. 
I love Chile, and I love the Chileans! They are so funny!! We had a baptism for a woman named Regina on Saturday. She is absolutely amazing! She found the missionaries herself, and asked what time sacrament meeting starts! She has read everything we have given her, and bore her testimony in church before she was even baptized! I have no doubt that she will be a strong member for the rest of her life! We have plans to go to the Santiago temple with her in a month to help her with her family history work!
 
This coming Saturday a girl named Ashlie will be baptized. She is 11 years old, and is super funny! She is really smart and has a huge desire to be baptsized. Her mom was a member, and we have been working on getting her reactivated. Her name is Pamela and is super super awesome too! She said that she has been inactive for a long time, but is serious about getting back into the church, and is working on getting an interview for her patriarcal blessing!! I love this family! I want to get her parejo involved in the church too. The only problem is that they are not married and that he doesnt live there at the house with them. His name is Mauricio and is great! We are going to try working with him more, and hopefully he will be at the baptism for Ashlie and feel the spirit!
 
Something my companion and I have been working alot on is talking with families. We set a goal this next week to find a fmaily that the Lord has prepared for us to teach here in los Olmos. The gospel of Jesus Christ is centered around familes, and it blesses families immensly. While we are walking, we look for families who are sitting in parks or walking down the street, and we talk to them about how their families. It works super well! Last night we talked to a guy and he said that he didnt have time, but to come back by tonight and his whole family would be there!! We will see what happens, because alot of people flake out on missionaries, but I´m really hoping and praying they will all be there!!
 
Okay, funny story about Pamela and her family!! We went by on Saturday to do service for her, and afterward Elder Robbins was talking about how he thought he had an ingrown toenail. She offered to look at it and then to cut the nail so it would get better. Elder Robbins let her, and she went to town on his toe!! She cut both sides of the nail up to the root!! He was wincing in pain the whole time, but couldnt offend the Hermana, so he kept saying it was fine. haha if he didnt have an ingrown toenail before, Im sure he will now!!
I hope all is going good for you! Know that you are in my prayers!
 
¡con mucho amor!
Elder Willis

¡¡¡ESTOY EN CHILE!!!

¡¡Hola!!

 
Hey how is it going!? Chile is so amazing! The people here are super nice and ready to learn! My first area is called los olmos in the city el bosque. It  is in the northern most part of the mission just outside of Santiago. I love it! My trainer is Elder Robbins and he is so cool! He is from Ceder City Utah, and he is such a great missionary! 
 
So this past week, we have been working alot to find new people to teach. Not that we dont already have a ton to teach, but we are always looking for more! Alot of this mission is reactivating the members here, so that is what we are working on also. One family two families we have been working with are Pamela and Ashlie, and Yazna and Luisa. ¡They are super bacan! (Chile´s equivelant to cool). Ashlie is 11 and has a baptismal date  for next week. She is really smart for her age, and is always helping me with my spanish. Her mom is a member, but has been inactive for a few years. Yesterday we talked to her about prayer and the need to pray daily as a family. During the lesson, my testimony of prayer was reaffirmed. If we start each day out with a personal prayer and a family prayer, satan´s power to tempt us is weakened -DyC 10:5. Yazna and Luisa are both members too. Yazna is 22 and has 2 young sons. She lives with her mom Pamela. They are such a nice family! We passed by the other night to see how they were doing, and they let us in to talk for a bit. They also invited us to eat ´once´ with them. We had completos italianos. They are basically hot dogs, but with palta (guacamole without seasoning) mayo, tomatos, and ketchup. Super good!! You should definately give them a shot! The family came to church yesterday, and it is awesome to see how much happiness the gospel can bring into their lives when they start to live it. All blessings come by obedience, but we have to start being obedient in order to be blessed. 
 
All in all I am loving Chile! There are dogs everywhere, their spanish is super hard to understand, and they add -ito and po to every word they say, but I love it!! I know that this is where I am supposed to be, and that the Lord has a work for us to do here in los olmos! We are going to follow the spirit and accomplish everything we have been sent here to do! I know that Christ will support me as I turn for Him for help. 
 
I hope all is going well back in the states!
 
les amo mucho!
 
Elder Willis!

our mission office changed! this is the new address!

Eduardo Melero 883
Región Lib. Bernardo O’higgins
Rancagua, Chile
Casilla 2-c

Estoy en Chile!

Hey!

 
Well, I am in Chile! I made it here safe and am loving it!! It is way different than the states, but the people here are super nice! Now I wish I could understand them better!! Thank you for all your prayers, and I can´t wait to get to work here!
 
con amor!
 
Elder Willis

4 MORE DAYS!!

HOLA!!
Hey! This has been an awesome week! Yesterday we had a whole day of ´in-field’ training. Basically, it was a whole day about how to be a missionary outside the MTC. It was a ton of fun, and I learned a lot! I think my favorite part was about finding new people to teach. They say to be creative and make finding methods that will work for where ever you serve. I’m stoked to get to Chile and start talking to people about the amazing message we have to share!
Also this week, we have the opportunity to host new missionaries again. I feel like I write about this every week, but this week was extra cool! When I woke up that morning, I wasn’t in a super Christ-like mood. I lost my voice Monday night and my throat has been hurting all week, and that night an Elder left for his mission super early in the morning and I got even less sleep. All morning I was trying to be more positive and act like a missionary, but it wasn’t really happening. I said a prayer and asked God to help me to be more positive. After that we went and started hosting the new missionaries and showing them around. It totally put me in a better mood!! I realized that the best way to be happy is to turn out and serve other people. After hosting, the whole rest of the day flew by and I was super happy. I definitely learned my lesson about the importance of serving others even when I’m not exactly in the mood to do it.
For our Tuesday Devotional this week, Elder L Whitney Clayton from the 1st Quorum of Seventy came and talked to us. He spoke a lot about companionships and how that is the pattern the Lord has set for us from the beginning. Adam was the first person on the Earth, but Eve was soon after. As companionships, our responsibilities are to lift, encourage, support, and protect each other to do better. A cool experience about supporting each other happened last night while Elder Roberts and I were teaching Patricio. With my voice being gone, I told him that he would probably have to lead out in the lesson tonight instead of me. This lesson was easily the best lesson we have had so far! We both shared our Testimonies about the doctrine we were teaching, involved Patricio, and shared speaking time evenly. I could really feel the Spirit in the lesson as we both supported and helped each other teach as a companionship.
I was thinking earlier today about a quote about missionary work and home teaching. I cant remember who it is by, but it essentially says ‘missionary work is nothing more than home teaching to non-members, and home teaching is nothing more than missionary work to members’. This made me think a lot about how I could apply the things I’ve learned as a missionary to home teaching when I get back. For example, as missionaries we invite all to come to Christ. We do this by inviting people to make and keep commitments. I think that the same approach could be applied to home teaching. Leaving a commitment with our home teaching families will help them to come closer to Christ, as they work to improve their relationship with Him.
Well, I hope everything is going well for all of you! It is weird to think that the next time I email, I will be on the other side of the Globe! Know that you are in my prayers!
¡Con amor!
-Elder Willis