Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hashtag 2014

Hey everyone.

First of all it was the perfect Christmas present to be able to talk to and see most of you all. Being able to see you for that little time really helped boost my excitement and the realization of why I'm really here in Chile. I am so thankful for the love and support from all of you. I was a little ¨trunky¨ for about 20 Minutes after the Skype call but Elder Mangum and I quickly shook out of that and we were able to find a family of Bolivians, a total of 7 new investigators. They are family members of a member in our ward who will really help them with the support of coming to church, The family came here to Chile to look for a new life, a new start. The first night they were here, Elder Mangum and I just so happened to knock on their door.... Who woulda known!!!! Every single one of them were able to come to church this past week! We had a total of 11 investigators in church just from Mangum and I and the other 2 Elders brought 3 Investigators. 14 investigators in church with an assistance of 66 people in the Sacrament meeting.... You might not realize or understand how happy and exciting that is for Mangum and I as well for the branch. It is sooo awesome seeing the excitement on the faces of the members when they see all these new investigators or in actives who are starting to come to church again to take part in renewing their covenants. Elder Mangum and I are very very humbled with the work and the blessings that the Lord has lovingly given to us. I couldn't be more happy to be an instrument in the Lord's hands here in Tierra Amarilla. Especially during this exciting time for the branch. We have 5 Fechas as of right now, but we are planning on putting more with the Bolivian family for the 25th of January, to get up to 9 or so baptisms this upcoming month..... Unreal..... The Lord blesses the faithful and obedient. I couldn't be more humbled with what is happening here! 

With the good there is always the not so good. Our 11 year old fecha, Sofia came home the other day with a lip ring..... Her mom, our other fecha, said it was all her decision and would let her choose what she wanted.... When I was 11 I wanted to eat candy every meal but my mom told me no, cause she knew it was bad for me..... so ya that was a little frustrating with both the mom and the daughter. We taught the Law of Chastity in a very loving manner about how the body is a temple and all this stuff... but to no avail... Sofia came to an activity the next day and was very very embarrassed with her new piercing, covering it up while playing with her Primary friends..... yes Primary friends..... It still boggles me that our 11 year old investigator would be giving us problems, and not wanting to get baptized because she doesn't want to take her piercing out.... oh Chile.... oh Satan.... He´s good at tempting people..... It's all good though. We are still going to be working hard with her and the mom to get them ready for baptism this month. Our other Fecha, Andres is doing great. He is also family of the new Bolivians we found but we have known him for about a month. He´s excited for the 10th of January to be baptized! Woooo yaaaa. I love helping people make these awesome, necessary covenants with God! 

Elder Peck (other Elder we live with from Payson, Utah) and I went running in the morning. He ran Cross Country in High School. We decided that we wanted to push ourselves that day.... We ran about 5 miles in about 30 minutes..... That's a 6 minute mile 5 Times in a row if you didn't know math.... You all know me, I'm competitive and wouldn't let myself give up and let him beat me..... About 100 feet from the finish (our house) I stopped and threw up all of the sidewalk..... All the Chileans were watching me.... How embarrassing.... I was very upset. But it's okay cause now I have a rocking body cause I ran so fast.... I think that's how it works at least... Anyways. Love you guys. I'm happy. Chile is awesome.

Elder Paxman

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Feliz Navidad

I will keep it short this week cause I will be talking to most of you in 2 Days :) We had a pretty productive week and got a lot done. During these Christmas times its tough to find people when they are with family, going to the beach (how ironic is that) and other stuff but... missionary work still goes on! This past week we had a few little activities with our small little branch. We had a Noche De Hogar (family home evening) with some ward members and also some menos activos. A success like always and the primary had a little Christmas activity and Viejo Pascura (Santa) came and visited them... Little did they know it was Elder Peck (Elder I live with).... hahah it was a fun time. All the kids were so cute and excited. We danced a little bit, ate some yummy Chilean snacks... and it was a jolly good time. Chileans try to have the Christmas spirit... It's just different because it's 100 Degrees outside and they haven't seen snow in their lifetime... Chile... but they are all having fun...

Yesterday we got all 40 missionaries here in Copiapo area and went to the Center of the City in a giant plaza where tons of people walk throughout the day and we sang Christmas Hymns and had some fun doing it. A bunch of people stopped and watched for the whole hour we were singing. It was awesome! I love this time of the year so much. Wouldn't want to be in a different place! We were able to go to the Christmas Devotional last night that happened about 2 weeks ago in Salt Lake City but it took some time to get translated in Spanish and stuff so we were able to watch that last night in the Stake Center. It was very awesome :)

Our 3 investigators with Fechas for baptism are doing alright.. only 1 was able to come to church yesterday but the other 2 had somewhat good reasons... It's all good. Sometimes the people here just don't understand the importance... but that's why missionaries are here :) We are still working hard with all our investigators and menos activos but one GIANT problem, especially here in Chile, is Con Vive Problems (People who aren't married, living together). If you find a married couple here.... literally a miracle.... I could go off on this for days.... but ya.... just another acostumbre (I don't know how to say that in English) Here in Chile... Basically allll of our investigators are Con Vive, but hey.... all is good, just a little more work to have them realize the sin they are doing and help them change that through marriage :) I've became quite the marriage counselor here in Chile hahah... Chileans.... So ya....

We live on a giant property with a ton of green trees and bushes and its beautiful, the only bad thing is on the property there are about 15 roosters..... You can imagine the fun they have with us at about 6 in the morning..... Oh the roosters..... It was cool to hear them wake me up the first little while.... but not anymore hahaha. Freaken roosters!  All is good here. I'm super excited to see most of you this Wednesday at 12:00 St. George time and about 2:30 Texas time :) I grew up getting 2 Christmas's and now I get 2 phone calls ;) How lucky am I ;) Chao
Elder Paxman

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Well family great news for us 4 missionaries down here in Tierra Amarilla! Our hard work is paying off and we are really seeing the Lord bless us because of our consistent obedience and desire to work and change this branch. Yesterday we had an assistance of 68 people in church. That might not sound like a lot but considering for the 40-50 years that this branch has been here the previous record was 55 and about 3 months ago only about 30 people were attending church... Tierra Amarilla was known as ¨the worst sector in the mission¨about 3 months ago. Every Elder did not want to get called here because there was NO success. The assistants of our mission sent us 4 Elders an email today congratulating us and said, ¨Soon everyone will want to be transferred there. You have truly proven that there are no “bad sectors”, it only requires the missionaries to find a way and bring obedience that then the Lord is “bound” to bless you with miracles. Continue to have the faith to see more miracles.¨ We are very happy with our hard and diligent work that Elder Keele and Mangum and now me and Elder Mangum are doing here in Tierra Amarilla. Our goal is to have 80 in church! We are very excited for the work we have ahead of us here in Tierra Amarilla. 

Elder Mangum and I are having a blast here together. It's always a great time on the mission when you are best friends with your companion. Ya we have our differences at times but we love each other and I'm glad to be able to work along side Elder Mangum. Elder Mangum and I get made fun of every day for have gaining so much weight... Mostly just Elder Mangum though hahaha He gets so mad at the Chileans when they call him ¨waton¨ which means fatty... hahaha it's so funny cause literally 99% of the Chileans have no room to talk.... hahah I just bust up laughing every time. Mangum doesn't think it's very funny.... hahaha Freaken Mangum. Here in Chile I would guess that the national food is tomatoes.... The people eat them with EVERYTHING.... Mangum and I both despise tomatoes so you guys can imagine the fun we have with trying to hide them in napkins and put them in our pockets without the Chileans seeing us.... hahah oh the joys of the mission... I think we got caught the other day... oops hahaha. 

Do you guys remember about 3 years ago when the 33 miners got stuck underground about 750 Yards for 2 months... Well that happened here in Copiapó about an hour away from Tierra Amarilla. We have an investigator, Luis, who is famous here in Chile for being one of the best chef´s in Chile. He was 1 of 4 chefs who cooked for the 33 miners during when they were underground. They had special tubes to send the food down to them and Luis has a bunch of cool things like the actual tubes and stuff. He literally cooks like theee best food in the world I have ever tasted.... he LOVES the missionaries and cooks for us every time we come over to teach him. He is a genius in the kitchen. Luis and his daughter and partner (soon to be wife) are more active than most of the members. He has only missed 2 Sundays in like 3 months, which is saying something for an investigator but we have to wait a bit for his divorce papers to finish up with his previous wife for him to get married and then baptize him and his daughter. His partner is already a member from when she was a kid. So ya. That's Luis. He´s awesome. 

We have 3 Fechas for January. Jackaline (Jacko) and Sofia for the 4th and Andres for the 11th. They are all soooo excited to change their lives and forget their past and to feel the work of the atonement in their lives through baptism. Andres is a Bolivian who came over from Bolivia to find a new life and to forget his past life he had in Bolivia. Guess who he met his first day here in Chile.... ;) The Missionaries..... hahah How awesome is that. He has a best friend who is the secretary in our branch so he is awesome. he has teary eyes every time we talk about the Gospel with him. I love it! Jacko and Sofia are the same way. They have came to church the past 2 weeks and absolutely love it. It's a mom and her daughter and they are very excited for the 4th for the baptism. We will keep on working hard with them to keep that excitement there. There is nothing like the mission. Seeing tiny miracles throughout the day are so amazing. Literally I believe it's because of our obedience to the mission rules which lots and lots of missionaries have problems with. The Lord will bless you when you do what he asks. I'm loving the mission right now. Couldn't be more excited to work and find new people who need the Gospel in their lives. 

I can't explain how weird it is to see Christmas lights up during the summer.... It's blistering hot here and yet there are Christmas lights and fake snowmen.... No Chile.... It just doesn't seem right..... Freaken Chile.... Anyways ya. Great week. We´re hoping for the same this upcoming week. Love you all. On the daily grind.

Elder Paxman

Monday, December 9, 2013

Tierra Amarilla

Well I'm here in Tierra Amarilla and I'm absolutely loving it. Tierra Amarilla is about 30 minutes outside of the big city, Copíapo. A little town all by its own. It only has basically 1 LOOONG street about 10 miles long and about 500 yards in width only. So crazy how the layout is here but I love it. We have to take micros (giant crappy buses) to get from appointment to appointment. We have a lot of work in a small little pueblo, so we're there most of the day but at times we go out to work in the farther areas. It's so awesome how different it is working in this area. There are actually trees here. I'm still getting used to it and actually having shade to walk under. It's very ugly compared to The States but very very beautiful compared to Northern Chile. I´ll send you some pictures of me looking out of our apartment.

We live on a giant property with our Mamita, who cooks and washes our clothes for us. Her family is sooo awesome and I love them all already. My Mamita here wrote my Mom on Facebook and loves talking to Gringos but doesn't know any English hahah, She is awesome and cooks really really well. People here are making it a goal to fatten me up.... They are trying to kill me haha.

My companion is a freaken stud. Elder Mangum.  He is ALWAYS SOOOO HAPPY I freaken love it hahaha. It helps me be happy. He played football last year at BYU and had full ride scholarships to basically any school in the Nation. We get along just fine with our personalities;) hahaha Don't worry we focus on the work but at times its fun to talk about sports and the Utah BYU rivalry that we have going on hahaha. We go running every morning. I'm basically his personal trainer here to keep him in good shape getting ready for his football career after the mission haha Jk. But no he is such a good missionary, has better Spanish than me and only has been out 4 months on the mission. He has a way with loving EVERY single person we meet. Everyday we're learning of how to become better missionaries together but really he is teaching me here. He is an awesome guy. We're gonna make miracles happen here.

Our little Branch a few months ago had an assistance of about 25 people and was on the verge of getting shut down. Elder Keele and Elder Mangum and the other 2 Missionaries did a great job at giving the Branch excitement and they got the assistance up to 55 at one point which is a HUGE feat. Yesterday we had 46 in church and I gave a talk, haha my first week in the Branch I gave a talk and taught Priesthood with Elder Mangum. The Missionaries are a very big part of helping with the Branch. It's my first branch so I'm getting used to all the stuff and more responsibilities that we have but I love it. There are some AMAZING people that I have already met this past week.

We have 2 Fechas for the 28th of December, Andres and Luis. 2 Potential Priesthood holders, something that the Branch hasn't seen in a long time. The branch only has 3 worthy Priesthood holders including our President of the Branch, President Castillo. He´s a stud only 23 years old and is the only one that runs this Branch. I'm excited to serve the people here and help build the assistance of the Branch. There is a family of Alleen, Ximena, and Maite. They are recent converts of Elder Mangum and Keele and they have about 50 family members that live on the same street.... Chile for ya... But most of them are inactive members but that's where most of our work is, is with that family.

I love it here. Lots of work to do but I'm super excited. It's hot hot hot here in Tierra Amarilla, Hotter than it was in Arica. If I were to guess probably 150 Degrees... Jk but seriously I have never been so hot in my life. The weird thing is that in the mornings it's so cold that I have to put a jacket on but mid day it's so hot that I want to strip off all my clothes... Chile.... I'm doing good here. Thank you for the prayers. 

Elder Paxman

Monday, December 2, 2013


Well family..... The news.... The Assistants called us Saturday night for our Cambios. I am being transferred!!!! I am being transferred to a little Pueblito called Tierra Amarilla in Copíapo. It's south of Antofagasta. You can Google it if you would like haha. It's called ¨Yellow Land¨ for a reason haha very very dry and not a lot of green, but hey... that's all of Northern Chile for ya. haha Copíapo is a lot more hot than it is here in Arica... So yep, I'm gonna die... My new companion is named Elder Tanner Mangum... He is the #1 Recruit Quarterback in the Nation and is the Quarterback at BYU you can Google him too hahah..... He has 3 months in the mission and I'm going to be Senior Comp over him and I couldn't be more excited and pumped for this amazing opportunity to serve with him and the people in Tierra Amarilla. Him and his Papito (Trainer, Elder Keele) did a very good job the past 2 cambios there and are some investigators who have fechas for baptism. My Bus leaves at 4:30 today so I will be on the bus for about 18 hours and I arrive in Copíapo at 9 in the morning tomorrow.

One of the hardest things though is leaving a sector that you have grown to love. Here in Pukarani I have made some life long friends and learned and grown soooooo much spiritually and also characteristics that I will be using for the rest of my life, such as patience. My patience with some of the trials I have gone through has helped shape me to be a better man and will surely help me later on in my mission to become a better missionary and companion. I also learned some things what not to do and things that I can fix. Communication is a MAJOR part of the mission with companions. I lacked that and made a promise to myself to never just let my companion do what he wants knowing it's bad while I just do my thing. Saying in my mind, "it's his mission he´s ruining not mine".... I'm not a perfect missionary but realizing this about communication between a companionship will SURELY help me later in my mission and also further on in my life with my wife and kids. Communication is necessary. I'm a little sad I realized it a little too late to help right now with some people. But that's life for ya. 

It was very difficult saying goodbye to the members and our investigators yesterday knowing I might not see any of them ever again. There is an amazing love you obtain for the people you work with and I will miss the families here so much. Our fechas the Familia Moya are doing good. I believe and know they will be baptized some day soon even with the trials of the divorcement. We brought a family of 5 to church yesterday too. It's so sad how I just have to dump my investigators that I have worked so hard with to bring to church, but yesterday made me so happy bringing 5 investigators 4 inactives and 1 recent convert to church. Always leave the sector better than you found it and I believe I helped with that. I love Pukarani but am very excited for the next opportunities in my mission with Elder Mangum and the small Branch of 50 members in Tierra Amarilla. Love you all so much. The Lord blessed me with my hard work and patience for these past 3 months. Thank you for the prayers. Chileans don't celebrate Thanksgiving so it was just a normal Thursday but I ate some cookies thinking of all of you:) Love you all.

Con Mucho Amor
Elder Paxman