Maia, yup. surprise! BYU is basically extended EFY with homework.
I´ve had a lot happen this week.
We had two new elders move in with us. Elder Maldonado from Bolivia (he´s served in Bolivia, Venezuela, and now he´s ending his mission here in Chile), and Elder Lawton from Provo (turns out, his family´s been reading my blog since he got his call. Hola, Brother and Sister Lawton! Makes me wonder how many other people read my blog. I guess I´ll never know. (He said I topped the Google search for "Chile Osorno Mission blog.")) They´re both excellent elders. They´ve been here for just a few days, and they´ve been machines for finding new people to teach. They´ve had more lessons with member this week than we´ve had in any week this whole month. It´s great living with these humble, spiritual, cheerful people.
President Obeso called me an hour ago (that´s a big deal here. I think in other missions they contact their mission president pretty frequently, but here it happens a few times a year). He said he was calling all the trainers to remind them of the trust that the Lord has in them. That call came exactly when I needed it. It helped a lot and I know it was inspired.
This week we have the Chilean holiday,18 de Septiembre :D As it turns out, they made a law that everyone must have a Chilean flag in front of their house or they receive a $300 ticket, so we need to find a flag pole today.
A seventy is coming to speak to the mission this week on Wednesday, and we´re all going to travel to Osorno. It´s gonna cost a good $200 to get the zone there (I´m not sure if that´s a two way or a one way price, but the zone leaders have it all figured out), it´s amazing how much the Lord provides through well managed tithing.
This last week we had branch conference, and the branch planned for an activity every day. That meant a lot more time in the chapel. It´s amazing how much time these branch members work for the church. The attendance just keeps dropping and the members are working harder and harder. We feel like Abinadi, who preached and was killed and never saw the fruits of his labors. It´s the Lord´s work, not ours.
One of the activities involved going to Hno. B´s house at 7:00am to give a prayer for Panguipulli. This member lives very far from us and collectivos don´t run that early, so we had to get up at 5:00am to make it on time. We got there and all the lights were out, so that worried us a bit. We thought we might have been the only people to show up. It started to rain in the dark morning as we sat outside the Hno. B´s unlit house. Thankfully, a car pulled up with the Relief Society president asking where a different member lived. As it turns out, the activity wasn´t in Hno. B´s house, but in another one nearby. Good thing the Relief Society president got lost. The meeting was spiritual and we all got to bear our testimonies, but goodness it was early. I guess when the Lord wants you to do something, you do it whether you think it´s worth it or not. That´s what Abraham had to do when he sacrificed his son. The Lord makes stuff turn out in the end.
I may not have time to fully describe the last experience of the week. We ran into a gringo named Steve who was really friendly and who invited us to visit. They have a lovely family here in Panguipulli. It´s actually a really long story, so I´ll sum it up and I might get to elaborate more next week. We were in that house for WAY too long. They gave us pumpkin pie and were really nice. He said he had a list of questions for us (which we had asked him to make so we could focus our teachings in his needs). I´m pretty sure the list of questions came from an anti-Mormon site. As it turns out, Steve is a pastor who knows the Bible REALLY well. He also knows a lot about all the big churches, including Christ´s restored church. He had a lot of really hard questions that have been nagging at me all week. Several of them I could answer right away, some of them took lots of study during the week to be able to answer for myself, and other questions I may not be able to answer for a while. It´s really deceptive how the truths and falsehoods were entwined. I guess that´s what happened to Saul. He sincerely believed the teachings of the Pharisees, but the Lord knew Saul´s heart. He knew that Saul was sincerely trying to do what was right, so he could appear to Saul and help point him in the right direction. I have faith if we do our best, the Lord points us in the right direction with the condition that we depend in His wisdom more that our own wisdom. Ask and ye shall receive.
Love you all!-Elder Connor Christopherson