First I wanna give 2 Shout outs to 2 of My Best Friends. 1. Tanner Webster just received his mission call to the Philippines. He leaves July 2nd. He is speaking Hiligaynon... He is super super excited and so am I WOOOO (my excited scream). Go Tanner. Such a stud. Also my boy Elder Sargent is up there in Antofagasta TEARING it up as district leader as well. He`s finally getting the success he deserves. We're so close... but oh so far... 8 hours away... I can't wait till I see Elder Sargent again. Studs! I have cool best friends.
We had some really really cool experiences this week. Very spiritual, sad, happy experiences. I won't tell you all of them. Just a few. We obviously have been working with the Bolivian family for quite some time. GO BOLIVIANS!!!! Andres, recently baptized, is now our Branch Mission Leader! Lizzeth, recently baptized, is planning on serving a mission in a year. Andrea, left to Bolivia, is loving church in Bolivia. Luis Josè is.... well he`s just Luis Josè. He is a stud hahah. Anyway we are now working hard with another friend of theirs that lives in the same house. Her name is Evelyn. We had a fecha with her before but it fell because she started living with someone. After some confusing conversations and explanations we discovered at this point she is not living with anyone. The same room yes but she is sleeping on a mat on the floor. Skeptical yes, but we told her The Church still looks at that as living with someone and you can't get baptized unless you find a new room alone. We were scared telling her that because the day before we set a fecha for the 22nd for her baptism and she took the news very very well and that night Andres gave us a call and told us he took initiative and helped make a room for her by cleaning out a storage room and now... SHE ISN'T LIVING WITH ANYONE. wooooo. She gave us a call this Monday telling us that she wanted to change her life and she misses the Church.. So we went right over and she accepted to be baptized..... Pure miracles... She is awesome and has so much help in the house with all our Bolivian friends.
We had 2 great talks with Richard. A Bolivian in that same house that is a member who was doing soooooo good not too long ago. He was our Branch Secretary a few months ago doing so well. But Satan got a hold of him and these past few months have been rough. This Wednesday we had a very very spiritual talk with him and Andres. Although he was drunk, you could honestly see the pain and misery in his eyes. He started bawling to us and all I could do was just hug him. The closest I have come to crying in front of a member or investigator on my mission. Such a touching experience to see how his heart and mind are just soooo far. But he has that desire so bad, I literally love Richard with all my heart. After that we put some goals for him for this Sunday... Church and talk with President. He was doing sooo well. Saturday night he ironed his shirt. He was in his room with Andres and Evelyn and Luis Jose and Lizzeth talking about how excited they were for tomorrow morning to go to church. The temptations in that house are terrible. All of the other friends-family aren't good examples and through a long long night of fighting, blood, stealing, yelling, drinking, and Satan using his powerful tools. Richard Fell again... Yesterday night we were able to talk to him, With yet another spirit feeling- heart wrenching lesson about how much his Heavenly Father - Jesus Christ - and also us missionaries love him. They aren`t mad... they honestly want to give him a giant hug right now and see him follow the correct path. More tears from him and more eye opening experiences that I will cherish for the rest of my Life. Actually being someone that is getting called when there are real problems, real temptations, in their lives. My love for Richard and that family of Bolivians is enormous... We are going to be calling him everyday, passing by every 2 days, and also tonight President Castillo will pass by his house to help him out. This week is huge for Richard.
We are doing great here in Tierra Amarilla. We are in a big process of doing lots of door-street contacts. I honestly have not done too many street contacts in my mission, But freak... I love them... A little scary to start... But now I look for opportunities for them. Me and my kid are talking to literally everyone in hope to find some people who want to listen and go to church. I have learned sooo much these past 2 weeks as a trainer and also district leader. My brother, Chase is helping me with some great advice. Something he said to me was I will never feel like I have mastered being a trainer or district leader. When I finish I will think that I was just getting the hang of it, but right now, in the moment.... My best is all I can ask for. And that is exactly what I'm doing. I love love love it.
My first ever district meeting went sooo well. I didn't have much nerves talking in front of the other 4 Elders in Paipote and the other 3 here in Tierra Amarilla along with the 2 stud zone leaders, Elder Soto and McCusker. I honestly love teaching. We talked a little about some main points that President Dalton taught me when I was in Antofagasta this past week, As a missionary all we really need is 3 things. 1. Preach My Gospel 2. Preach My Gospel and 3. Preach My Gospel.. We went over some awesome points inside of it and got some great points of view from the Elders. I love learning from them. In the district we are lacking fechas for baptism so I decided to see some of the Veteran Missionaries, Elder McCusker, Cordòva and Hotvedt teach Lesson 3 about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to set a fecha for baptism. I honestly have never felt the Spirit so strong in a practice of missionaries like I did with that. The younger missionaries got to see how some studs of the mission put fechas and teach with great conviction. It went awesome!!!!! I love learning from other missionaries!
We also did a competition for the next day (Chase gave me the idea) That from 7:40 till 8:10 in the morning whoever did the most push ups out of the 8 of us I have a Root Beer for them (Root Beer doesn't exist here in Chile, but I found one in Antofagasta the other day). I won with 276 push ups but that's lame if I take the Root Beer. So I'm going to give the Root Beer to Elder De La Peña who did 270 Push Ups. His first time ever trying Root Beer so It should be an awesome experience hahaha. We have fun with the Elders. I love it.
This Past Thursday we had an English class in the church. Lots of missionaries try it in their areas to find new people to teach. At times very unproductive, but we went cray cray with invitation this past week literally inviting everyone and their dog to the English class. We had 17 people show up!!! With tons of investigators! It went sooo well and Elder Hotvedt taught so well and everyone loved it. Silly Chileans trying to speak English... Makes me laugh hahah but everyone loves English here. Very hard to learn though I'm lucky I didn't have to learn it. Its hard..
Tierra Amarilla is treating me well. I love the mission. I love talking to investigators about baptism, about how they have felt the Spirt. I love doing intercambios with other Elders like Elder Storey in Paipote (other City), I love The Elders here in the Mission. I love Chileans even if they make me so mad at times. I love the members here in this Branch. I love the memories and opportunities That I will never be able to experience outside of the mission. I love my son, Elder Malan, such a stud. I love that God gives me patience with him at times. I love the mission and never want to leave... Love you all. Be good people and give the missionaries a referral this week.
Con Amor Elder Paxman