Sunday, December 15, 2013

 This is our apartment (where my companion is locking the door).
We´re at the very top of a big hill, and although it appears white in the photo, the view is very nice. The four missionaries in our ward all live here.
I cut my hand while we were cutting firewood for some members in the ward.
Naturally, the first thing I needed to do was take a picture :D
I´m a little clumsy with the ax, but my companion is teaching me.
These antennas are close to where I live, and we walk past them every day.
This view is from the church.

Yá pó!

That´s what people in Chile say a lot. I do to. Yá is basically yah in English (as opposed to sí and yes) and the pó is what people in Chile often put after their words. The pó doesn´t mean anything... it´s just there.

Can I just mention I loved reading about Rebecca in Bulgaria? (Connor’s cousin is on a mission in Bulgaria.)

Oh! And business. The rule is that I can Skype the family for a total of 45 minutes and I can use those minutes in the 23rd, 24th, or 25th of December (that was strikingly difficult to spell after I´ve been writing Diciembre all month).  I still don´t know when... I was thinking that when we had it figured out where and what day, I could ask the members to email you (although Google translate will probably be part of the process). I don´t know what the time difference is with daylight savings and all that, so assume that all times I say are in current Chilean time.

It doesn´t get dark until about 9:45, which is awesome because people are more likely to open their doors and talk. When it was winter and it was completely dark by 6:00, no one wanted to talk because it felt late.

Life as a missionary is very bizarre. I feel like I´m trying to be the best missionary I can be, but it´s awfully hard to tell what that means.
This week we had intercambios (I think they´re called exchanges in English) and I worked in the sector of the zone leaders for a day. Their sector has a very beautiful view of the ocean (ours as well, but theirs also has nice green hills). The day was really nice. I felt really happy knocking doors and contacting people in the street, and although I felt we were more persistent and insistent than I am with my regular companion, I felt really happy about the day.
The next day we had a lesson with two sisters. They actually listened and said they wanted to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it when we invited them. That doesn´t happen... that just never happens! We have another appointment with them tomorrow, and I hope they will have read and prayed!
An awesome member served us sushi yesterday, and I noticed that I felt really comfortable talking in Spanish and actually joking and laughing.
I feel like we´ve had a lot of éxito (success) these past 2 weeks. We´ve been having more lessons. What´s also helped is that we´ve done tours of the church where we open the doors, have a table with pamphlets and copies of the Book of Mormon (along with delicious no-bakes made by one of the missionaries). We stand in the street and invite people in. I think our district´s taught about 14 non-members in the church that way, which is awesome! Much more successful than knocking doors and being told, "No, we´re very very busy. Another time." Or ,"No *wags finger* we´re Catholic."
Tommy always mentions his progressing investigators. That´s a little more difficult with me because no one has attended church and is progressing, but I feel like I should mention at least someone each week. We knocked doors the other week and found a family of inactive members. We set up an appointment and arrived with a member. It felt really sad and empty in their house... they´re a bit poor and work long hours. One of them almost cried when we talked about families and the happiness that comes from them. I think they realized that they  weren´t as happy as they could be. We got a member to accompany them to the church and they attended, WOOHOO! It´s nice when people who haven´t been in the church in many years attend. I hope it becomes habitual.
Yup. That´s my bit for now.
Love you all,
Elder Christopherson.


Monday, December 2, 2013

 The zone had a trip to a place called Altos de Petrohue, which is super pretty. It felt like high adventure (ideas for the priests and teachers next year :) 
Puerto Montt
Hi Everyone!
To be perfectly clear to those who asked, Thanksgiving is in no way celebrated in Chile. As soon as November started the stores all started to have Christmas decorations.
Oh... usually I write notes to remind me what to say, but this week I forgot.

Sacrament meeting yesterday was particularly powerful. I had been thinking about the Atonement a lot this week and how I need to connect what I teach to the Atonement more often. (read this,  it´s awesome and true).

Where was I... oh, ya. So I was thinking about the Atonement a lot this week, so the Sacrament was a bit more meaningful to me this week. As our understanding of the Atonement increases, our desire to share it also increases. When we come to Sacrament meeting and participate (after having prepared personally beforehand with penitent prayer), we are essentially coming unto Christ. When we participate in the Sacrament properly and worthily, we admit that we need Christ in our lives, that there is no other way or means whereby we can be happy.

I´m kinda rambly right now because there´s so much I learned this week about coming unto Christ. When we have faith in Him, we understand that we need to repent, TRULEY REPENT! That´s realizing what you did wrong, seeing where you failed to obey, recognizing the natural man within, and changing. You confess. You confess because it is how you become humble. By being completely honest, you open yourself and let the Lord do his work. Those who are prideful boast about the good they´ve done, they hide their faults. The humble seek not the approval of man before seeking the approval of God.

There is nothing more difficult to do than to repent, but there is nothing more rewarding. We need real faith to come unto Christ and repent, but when we do this, we are IMMEDIATELY blessed. How are we immediately blessed? When we pay tithing, we don’t immediately receive financial reimbursement, and when we don’t cheat on a math test, we might not receive the A+ we want, so how are we immediately blessed? WE CHANGE!  We open ourselves to Christ through our obedience and learn to overcome the natural man. The process is slow, happening little by little, but every good thing we do, every time we repent, we experience this change immediately. I testify that this is the way! This is the secret to happiness, only... it´s not a secret! There are 80,000 missionaries all over the world preaching this truth and there are 14,000,000 members who should be preaching it with matching boldness.
Sorry I didn´t share any big stories this week, but this has been on my mind a lot this week. It´s powerful when properly understood and acted upon.
I do have another photo to share. We took this photo while my companion and I were teaching a less active member a few weeks ago. He´s actually pretty active now and wants to serve a mission. He´s accompanied the missionaries 5 times this week :o We need more members who can do that.
Love y´all :D
-Elder Connor Christopherson