Monday, September 23, 2013

Chile

Hi everyone. I hope all is well back in the good ol U.S.A. This past week was Chile´s independence week or something like that. If only you could see how crazy the people go during this week. Chileans don't have any culture EXCEPT for this week then they gooo insane... There was partying in the streets every night all night. Flippin cray cray I know... Every house we went up to and tried to share with they were either getting ready for September 18th (the actual day of the independence, the big party) or recovering from the 18th... Chileans.... It was a reaaaaal tough week to get into houses to share a message... pucha... oh well... I'm working super hard trying to get our ward back to where it should be... We are only having about 75 people show up every sunday which is real tough especially now that we are working super super hard with the members... It's hard when there are no members to work with... So my comp and I are trying hard to reactivate menos activos and strenghthen the ward.. Lots of work ahead of us...

About 2 weeks ago we were playing soccer on P-Day, and some flaite (thugs) stole our cell phone... so we haven't had a cell phone for the past 2 weeks which is kinda a bummer but whaterrr... Last week we went to a place called Uta and it was really ugly compared to the places back at home, but since I haven't seen a living plant in the past 6 months it was actually really cool. There was trees, a mini waterfall... all that fun stuff so ya.. One thing I've learned on the mission is that Elders are very very dirty. I think they play games with me in the pension to see how messy they can get the pension before I clean it... flippin Elders... The mission has changed me so much I'm the cleanest person you would ever see right now... I apologize to my mom for being messy and not doing my dishes growing up.... I hate messy people...... La Vida Cierto...

We have 1 investigator right now, Fransisca. She is really good and we are working super hard with her to have her take the step to baptism. She knows she needs to be baptised she just wants to know 100% which is a little tough since it's impossible to know everything in this church haha. But we are hopefully going to put a fecha with her this week. Pray for her. She needs to be baptized. 

Coke... Everyone drinks Coke here... That's all... Just Coke.... Not water... Coke.... I'm sick of Coke.... 

Just trying everyday to have happiness and enthusiasm working through some things with the comp... But all is well.. Stay positive people... We have the Gospel... 

Elder Paxman



















Monday, September 16, 2013

Daily Grind

I never really know how to start an e-mail... sooo hi... This week was a good one. My new companion arrived on Tuesday. Elder Cardozo, he is from Argentina. He has 19 years and has 7 and a half months on the mission. He is a pretty cool kid. He knows a little English but not very much, so my Spanish is improving day by day which I am very thankful for! 
Here in Chile right now is something like Chiles Independence month or something I dk.... flippin Chile so ya everyday there are parties and drunk people in the street yelling CHILEEEEEE. Weirdos.. but it's kinda rough to get into houses to teach our message cause everyone is preparing for the big party on September 18th.. Chile has ZERO culture until this month than all the Chileans go flippin cray cray with their Chilean pride... I don't really get it. In America we have our pride year round and celebrate our awesomeness on July 4th.... sometimes I just don't get Chile... MERICA!!!! So ya there are a bunch of asados (barbeques) everyday so its rough but MY SPIRIT IS STILL STRONG AS EVER I CAN DO IT!!!! haha.

Not much going on with investigators other than 1. Fransisca. She has 20 years and is really really good. We have been sharing with her for about a month and a half and she KNOWS that she needs to be baptized into this church... What's stopping her then.... I'm not sure... She is a science major so she likes to know things for a fact so she is waiting for a giant answer to come tell her that she needs to be baptized she has to know 100% which is not a bad thing at all. I wish more people were like her its just there are some things we can't teach her as of right now before baptism but hopefully she will get the answer. I shared Alma 34: 32, 33, 34 with her about not procrastinating the day of her repentance... That hit her strong... I hope she keeps that in mind and she can enter into the Puerta Y seguir Adalante en el Camino de Dios.. She will get baptized! It's just a matter of time. Other than her we are on the move to find some other investigators that we can teach and also to help our ward out and reactive some of the menos Activos in our ward. There is lots of work to do here in Chile. One thing the Chileans are known for is for how lazy they are... but it's okay I still love them... Sometimes.

It's funny with my Spanish having to speak it all day I only have 4 months here in Chile so I forget words sometimes and don't know how to say some things. But with Spanish and Chileans if you come across a word you don't know I just mumble a little and keep talking and people don't notice it at all... hahah flippin Spanish... and half the time when people ask me a question and I have NO CLUE what they said to me I just say.... Si, Claro... and most of the time it's right hahaha. Spanish... Chileans.. hahah.

When new missionaries get here to Chile, its only a matter of time before they start seeing a pan belly appear.... the pan (bread) here is from another planet.... sooooooo amazingly tasty and addictive. I sent a picture of it... that is the only thing that Chileans and Missionaries eat cause it's sooo cheap. I can buy 10 of those breads for only 400 Pesos... less than a dollar.. I LOVE THE BREAD.. So I'm embarrassed and saddened to say but my amazing hot spectacular body is slowly turning into a pan pouch... pucha... but who cares it's the mission... You're supposed to get fat... Most missionaries here gain like 40 pounds cause of the bread (pan) but me I think I'm losing weight... but losing my bodily figure... It's a sad time for me.... but all is good. haha. I'm on the daily grind trying to work and be as obedient as possible. The mission has changed me more than I can believe. I love everyday of it. Even if it is the hardest thing I have ever done. It's only for the better. Love you all so much. I pray everyday for all of you individually back at home. Love you!!!

Elder Paxman






Pan



Monday, September 9, 2013

Cambio Week

Well it's that wonderful time for Cambios again... I'm going to be staying here in Arica, Pukarani A but my companion Elder Rogers is leaving me (sad face). These past 6 weeks FLEW by and seems like the time just keeps going faster and faster. My new companion (I hope I'm spelling and saying his name right) is Elder Cordoozo. He is from Argentina and speaks zero English ahaha. VOY A APRENDER MUCHO MUCHO ESPAƑOL. haha I'm super super excited. With gringo comps it's very very difficult to speak Spanish to eachother cause we both speak English so this is going to help my Spanish a ton and solidify, I think, my Spanish for the rest of my mission.. If that made sense... I also got subed to be senior comp which I'm super excited about!!! But what our president is trying is something a little different. With good missionaries who he wants to be senior comp he is putting 2 missionaries like that in a companionship. So me and my comp will both be senior comp... kinda weird but still is a big honor for me. We´ll both make decisions and stuff like that. I'm excited to meet my comp later tonight and sad to see my good friend, Elder Rogers, leave.

We get around Arica as transportation using 4 different ways. Either a Taxi which takes you right to the place you want but it costs around 2 Mil (about 4 dollars). We use that if we have all 4 missionaries going somewhere so its only 500 Pesos each person. We get around by a Colectivo which is like a Taxi but it has certain routes. We don't use that much. Or there is a Mecro (a giant crappy bus). They have certain routes and are the cheapest and imagine the ride at Disneyland, Indiana Jones,... That's how it feels when we ride a Mecro ahaha really bumpy and fun... We use mecros the most haha. Silly Chile. The good thing about Arica is that it is also the cheapest city in Northern Chile so I'm buying lots and lots of knick knack stuff recuerdos and all that cause it's pretty cheap. And back in Antofagasta it is the most expensive city in the mission haha. So I'm glad to be here in Arica. 

I'm excited to be staying here in Arica. There are a few potential investigators that we are hoping we can get integrated in the ward to have some friends and have them take the step of baptism. There are 2 converts of Elder Rogers who we work with a lot. They got on Youtube and saw some videos of ex missionaries who fell away from the Church and tried proving our church wrong through¨facts¨and it is just sooo sad how much Satan works on people. They have sooo many doubts right now and are slowly losing their testimony of the church. Elder Rogers and I had to do a little ¨Bible bashing¨with them to answer and sorta prove them wrong... Which is never a good idea but it was necessary to answer their questions.. Yes it's so sad that they are recently baptized and already falling away from the church. But after our hour and half Bible bashing to show that Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon do show up in the Bible we both felt peace... Weird cause his converts are doing bad but we felt peace that we both know that this is the true church and only true church on the earth... Sad to say but I think this past week I gained my testimony and got converted to the Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints... It only took me 19 years and 5 months on my mission hahaha. At least I got there. The mission changes you... and I have been changed for the better completely.

I have noticed recently how blessed I am with all of the people in my life and look at some of the people here and I feel just sad for the problems they are going through and I want you all to know how BLESSED we all are and to ALWAYS remember that. Please stay on the right path and hold to the iron rod and help others come and partake of the same fruit we have. It will bring people happiness and peace to know there is a life after this one, that they can live with their family forever, that they can be forgiven of ALL their sins. Help people and it will bring happiness and blessings to you as well. D&C 6:36, "doubt not Fear not".... the Lord will help you in all things. Love you all sooo much.

Elder Paxman





Elder Rogers and Elder Paxman

Elder Rogers and Elder Paxman


Elder Sargent and Elder Paxman--Best Friends!

Elder Sargent and Elder Paxman

Monday, September 2, 2013

Life is Good

Heyoo,

As a missionary I have found out really quick that things can change for the worst in an instant.... Our 4 Fechas (baptismal date people) all fell this week. 2 of them we found out were lying about being married cause they really like missionaries passing by and all the missionaries stop coming by cause they are Con Vive (with living) so they felt the need to lie to us... Pucha.... That's kinda sad.... And the 16 year old, Eli. We found out she has some.... worldly problems.... she doesn't want to give up. Pucha X2... And Jessica doesn't want to give up smoking... So this week was dedicated to finding finding finding. On Thursday we spent 9 hours walking and touching (knocking) doors, talking to people in the street, talking to people in the Feria (a 2 mile long giant Chilean garage sale. It's actually pretty dope) and trying to find new investigators... Missionary work can be tough at times. But life is good. We are working super hard.

As a mission we have a ¨vision¨and in the past with our other president it was to baptize baptize baptize!! And some missionaries did it at all costs, sadly. Even if some of the people weren't ready. Missionaries were so worried about their ¨numbers¨and would try to have as many baptisms at the end of 2 years as possible. Yes, the people here need to enter into that ¨door¨of baptism but we need to make sure they are going to stay on the path. A lot of missionaries in the past would have a ton of baptisms but only about 7 percent would still be active at the end of their mission... Very sad...

Coming into the mission that was not my goal and seeing all these Elders who just wanted to baptize baptize kinda was hard for me. I made it a goal to have GOOD converts in the church that will grow up and be Bishops and Relief Society President and raise their kids to do the same. And with our new president came that vision to have GOOD converts. And work with the members so our converts will have a friend in church and stay on the path! I'm not worried about the quantity of my baptisms. If I end up with 6 baptisms but all of them are converted into the church, I will be more than pleased with my 2 years spent here. Obviously I'm going to try and baptize as much but make sure that they are ready!! Sorry I just wanted to share that little message with you all haha.

I love being a missionary. I remember honking at the 2 Elders in white shirts walking in the streets and now... I'm that Elder that the people honk and wave at :) It brings a smile to my face every time. It's a small reminder of why I am here on the mission. I hope all is well back home. Lots of bad in the world, but please stay close to the church and help the members, Menos activos, and investigators come a little closer to Christ cada dia. I love you all so much and thank our Heavenly Father for such an AMAZING group of family and friends in my life. Life is good.

Elder Paxman