Note from Mom: Connor keeps trying to send photos but has technical difficulties. Maybe next week!
Hi, everyone! Ok. Where to begin. The spacebar on this keyboard is a little broken and is very very sensitive. It keeps adding spaces.
Congratulations, Maia :D You´ll do great at BYU-I! Prepare for cold, and don´t stay up too late at night (college has a tendency to make people forget the importance of sleep). As a missionary, I´m grateful we have a schedule to help us get a full 8 hours of sleep (11am to 7pm). That´s right, we sleep in compared to other missionaries. ;)
This has been one of the best weeks I´ve had in Chile. I probably won’t get to explain all the reasons, but here are some.
I love my new companion! Elder Holt is from Utah and is taller than me. We have a lot in common. We both like good music (how many other people listen to the re-orchestrated soundtrack of Zelda?) and he likes to start our companionship studies with a hymn, which I think is awesome. He´s got a great attitude. His Spanish needs work, but he´s so open about talking to anyone and everyone. We´ve done so many more street contacts this week than I´ve ever done in a whole month! That ended up working out great for when Elder Ballard came because that´s exactly what he ended up talking about.
There were technical difficulties in the first part of the conference transmission, so we missed the first 1.5 talks. The wife of President Rasband bore here testimony in Spanish, even though she doesn´t speak Spanish. (She read it. She always tries to speak the language of the countries they visit.) President Rasband talked about how we should be FULL purpose missionaries who don´t just focus on baptism. Baptism is super important, but there are so many essential steps that lead to it and more important is helping people endure to the end after. People should always be heading for the temple.
President Rasband also emphasized how Elder Ballard is "the great missionary apostle of this generation." He´s written several missionary books. One of the most famous of which is "Our Search for Happiness," Which I´ve ended up reading in Chile. It´s one of my favorite books. It explains our beliefs so clearly in such a personal and relatable way. Bigger than that however, he was presiding over missionary work in the church when Preach my Gospel was written and published. He had to personally take it to the homes of prophets and apostles to get it approved and perfected. He presided in the same mission as President Monson and has 3 kids who have all presided over missions. WOW!
Elder Ballard said we need to focus on Chapter 3 of Preach my Gospel. He said that there are so many people who say they believe in God, but if you asked them about God or who He is, they don´t really know. We need to focus on teaching the most basic doctrines, and these are so clearly seen in the first vision, when Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. Every missionary should have the first vision memorized and should be very open about telling people about it. When we continually internalize the basic doctrines of Chapter 3, we gain the confidence necessary to open our mouths. We should be sharing with EVERYONE! Elder Holt and I have been putting this into practice. We´ve gotten so excited about talking to people in the street. We´ve met such nice people this way and people are feeling the Spirit :D
It´s such an exciting time to be a missionary!!! The Lord truly is hastening His work and I think this will be my favorite cambio (transfer) thus far.
I love you all so much :D Ask the missionaries wherever you are what you can do to help them. Learn the names and faces of their investigators and pray for them. Make new friends.
Elder Connor Christopherson