Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Me Amas Pedro?

For some reason the fleas here love me... I could probably count 397 bites all over my body... That might be exxaggerated (<--- I doubt I spelt that correct) but it's a ton all over my body.... I didn't take a picture because I'm an ugly person as of right now with all these bumps.... How sad my life... Anyways...
My boy Victor Araya is doing great. We weren't able to speak with him this week but none the less, without fault like always he came to church all by himself for the 4th time in a row... He has his walker in one hand and his Gospel Principals book and Book of Mormon in the other... I asked him how long he has lived here in Antofagasta and he said really fast since 1983, he paused for a second.... opened his eyes real big and then starts screaming laughing hahaha... I can`t explain how funny this old man is and how much I love him. We are pushing his baptismal date to the 9th of August due to not finding him in his house this week. We still have a little to teach him.. He is amazing.

Lots of walking this week... We are dedicated to only have lessons with a member present to show the zone how we need to work. Lots of the missionaries just like to work alone. We should never have a lesson with an investigator without a member present, so we are trying our hardest in the past 2 weeks we have had 17 lessons with member and only 3 without... We are going to see the fruit of this hard work soon, I know it. Our Bishop has changed so much. He loves us now. He sees how hard we are working in comparison to missionaries in the past and he is opening up to us and giving us references and stuff.. The stuff a member should do. The relationship between members and missionaries here is vital!!!! Without it we can`t work the way we should so we are on the right direction.

My comp and I are doing good. We have our differences at times. I'm the first companion he has had in about a year where I know how to be a missionary and have time in the mission, so at times we disagree with things and he`s not completely used to having someone tell him a different way of doing things that I like to do. I respect him and we have cleared up a lot of differences this past week. The companionship inventory is essential along with the communication in having a healthy companionship... We are on that road... He`s a good guy, I just need to learn to have more patience at times.... I am learning... But not perfect.

I am going to take my Dads advice and try my best to just understand that people have their agency whether it be not wanting to hear us, disobedient missionaries, companions that disagree, I'm going to be a new person and always look for the spirit of the present.. Not worry about the past and not look too forward into the future. I know these 2 years go by fast... I'm giving it my all for these Elders and people here in my area, but when it doesnt work out... It's okay... I don`t know If I explain myself.. but Im living in the present moment. I am going to apply the principals I have learned and not care what has happened or what others think only what I know is true and correct. I don`t know if that made sense But It clicked while reading advice from my dad... 

My personal study is something I cherish... I have been writing down all the thoughts that come into my mind in my journal lately... One day I will need these nuggets of wisdom that I am recieving... I'm reading El Libro De Mormon in spanish for the first time. I'm in Alma 19. Just read about Ammon... one of the greatest examples of a leader missionary. President Dalton every week gives me the support I need as a leader. I love the emails we are able to write to him. He is such a great man. He called me a ray of sunshine in his life today hahah. I love my Mission President. Something I studied today was John chapter 21 about the disciples going back out to fish with the famous ``Pedro, do you love me`` I learned and asked myself if Im really showing if I love Him... Or if I'm fishing like Peter... I need to feed more sheep. Something else I learned this week is that I need to listen to the Spirit more.. I had 2 experiences yesterday where I thought the spirit was telling me something but I blew it off saying its just me telling me to do that and that it's not a big deal... Something I need to do better is discern whether its my pride telling me to do something or the spirit... I still don`t know how to do that but I didn't listen to the spirit. and because of that I lost an opportunity to talk to someone that I know would have accepted to listen to us. I know that the spirit has spoken to me I just need to banish the fear and go do something with the precious time I have here... I don`t know if that made sense... but the spirit is real.. he speaks to us... he speaks to me daily. 

The companion of Elder Sargent changed drastically these past few days.... He asked to carry my grocery bag home today.... He actually says prayers now... I don`t know what happened... Literally a miracle.... I hope he stays like this. Elder JSarge is doing good... same ol Joseph... He`s leaving me in 2 weeks... he has 7 months in this sector... he needs to go... 

Other than my itchy body I'm aiiight... 
P.S. I have worn the same tie for 28 days... 4 more days... Maybe it's the tie that attracts the fleas... 1 tie July baby! Swaggy

Elder Paxman

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Hello peeps. I don`t have very much ganas to write today sorry... I don`t know how to say that in English sorry x2.

We had a really blessed week. Bueno, Victor the 67 year old man... He moved back to our sector. He is going to be having surgery in about 8 months so for now he is here! What a miracle to see him. He wants nothing more then to get in the water. It's gonna happen on the 2nd of August. Pray for him that in these days nothing happens. He came to church the other day all by himself. 3rd time in a row.. I love that man.. His laugh is sooooo funny hahah We die every time we go to his house so hilarious. It' hard to explain..hahah. we taught him Lesson 2 about the Plan of Salvation.. I love that lesson... He loved it as well. I love the spirit.. There is nothing better. He feels it. 

We have another lady named Mirna. She has lots of problems in her house. Her son who is about 30 years old drinks every weekend, she can`t do anything about it and she is scared for the son of her son because he is not being raised like he should.. Anyways she accepted a fecha for baptism as well this past week. The only problem is she always stays up Saturday night waiting for her son to get home from drinking so she never sleeps on the weekends. She started crying because she really has the desire to get to know the church. She asked us `` am I allowed to be baptized twice`` haha I love that question!!!! She wants to know if it's true what we are telling her. She is an angel I feel so bad. She cried again Sunday night because she was up all night before waiting for her son and she couldn't come to church. She`s like 55 or so years old... Poor little woman.. I know a miracle will happen with her. I love these little Chilean people they make me happy. Sometimes haha. 

I was able to do another intercambio with the assistants this past week, Elder Galvez this time. He is from Mexico he has a month more in the mission than I do. He is fluent in English and is planning on studying at BYU after the mission.. (yuck) He is a great guy, super relaxed, amazing missionary. He taught me too many things to express... I love learning from people like that. 

The next day I did an intercambio with a new missionary in the field because his comp is District Leader. I stayed with the new missionary because he hasn`t been able to speak English in about 2 weeks haha. Poor Elder... I remember those days. He is struggling with his companion... It's hard not understanding what's happening. We had a great time in my sector with him, very quiet in lessons but when he talks, in his broken broken Spanish the people pay lots of attention. It's amazing how strong the spirit testifies in these new missionaries who don`t know the language. Elder Wooten from So Cal.. Great guy. He`ll get it soon! 

This past week we had interviews with President... I respect that man so much. He always is there to help me when I need it. I just want my missionaries to be using their time the best they can... On my way back from an intercambio with the assistants in the bus I passed the church of the other Elders in my zone and with some youth in the ward at 11 o clock on a Wednesday I saw them playing soccer.... I can honestly tell you sitting at that stop light, it seemed like eternity... Seeing these missionaries waste their time here... Playing soccer when they should be out working... My heart has never felt like that... I think that feeling was worse than when investigators tell me to stop passing by... Especially because one of those missionaries was my companion earlier in the mission... I literally just wanted to cry seeing that... I just don`t know what more to do. I'm trying to just show that I'm their friend, so they respect me but they just don`t get it.  I`ve given it my all, some people just won`t change. What hurts me the worst is that it's one of my previous companions.. Hard to explain.. but that's how the mission is at times... They are in the boat, enjoying the 2 years taking it easy.

Other than that we are teaching and talking with a lot of people. We are working with the Members. We had 10 lessons with members this week, that's really good for down here in Chile. The higher that number, the more people are going to get baptized. Members are the way to go. I'm happy. Sometimes my patience gets tested with my comp or the comp of Elder Sargent. But it's for the better. I'm happy and working my tail off.

I was able to work with my boy Elder JSarge for a bit this week as well. We snapped a photo after we finished baptizing the world... YOLO.. He`s a cool guy.. at times.. JK.. He`s gonna read this haha. 

There was a dead cat in the street.. dead things smell bad.. 

Another Pulga (flea) got in my sock and bit me 11 times... darn fleas... They`ll get ya. 

Les quiero mucho!!!
Elder Paxman


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lots of walking and rejection this week but it's okay. I'm out of the boat in the water fighting daily. I'm not just going through the motions. I'm giving it my all and the Lord knows the effort I´m putting in. A few weeks ago we had 7 people on date for baptism but now we are down to just 2 and both of them still need to get married and it's a long process... Saving souls isn´t easy... I know the Lord is trying to teach me something through this time here in my mission. I'm growing daily even if the people aren´t appearing like I would like...
The miracle from last week, Victor, 80 year old, who was waiting outside of his house last week for church did the same this week except when we passed by he had already left for church... by himself... so amazing he loooves the church and wants nothing more than to be baptized. I get so emotional hearing him try to sing the hymns even though he has no clue what the tune is hahaha. I love this man so much. His laugh kills me he only has like 4 teeth and when he laughs he screams as loud as he can and opens his mouth real wide hahah, I have only known him for 9 days but he is my eternal friend ... We taught him the Plan of Salvation this week and he is so excited to be a part of this church.. Sad - Bittersweet news. Tomorrow he is moving to a different part of Antofagasta a little more south to go live with his family because he is sick and someone robbed his stove the other day so he can´t eat... So sad his situation. So we are going to have to pass the reference to the other Elders. I pray sooooo much that his family will allow the Elders to enter the house and help him get to know the church in his new area... Please pray for him... It was super hard for me to hear Victor tell me that yesterday... He still said he wants to come to this church here in Las Arenas, but it's better to get to know the church over there... Please pray that the Family will let the missionaries in.... Please.. I love this man.. He needs this... he needs baptism.. 

So many inactive people that left the church because someone offended them... I just don´t get it sometimes... We found countless of those people this week... My soul hurts for them... 

We had the zone meeting training this week with Elder Antonio and I relaying the message from President Dalton to the Elders and Hermanas in our zone... It went well. Lots of practices with how we need to use the Book of Mormon better in our teaching. The Elders have so much potential they just don´t get it. I called our district leader this morning to get the numbers of his district and he was sleeping... He´s training a new missionary... People just don´t get it... I have interviews with President tomorrow I need help with these Elders... I'm trying... It frustrates me... These past few months have helped me gain a different perspective of the man I really want to be. The future Priesthood holder I need to be and how to get there... I love serving as a leader but I need help. I know President will help me tomorrow I also have an intercambio tomorrow with the assistants to the President... The Best Missionaries... These 2 things came at the perfect time... I need this. I'm excited for tomorrow. So excited. I'm taking the lead. It's a different type of missionary I need to be with my new comp. We get along great. Just a little more relaxed compared to Elder Choque. I'm happy for this chance to take the lead. 

An inactive we met about 2 months ago in the Feria shining shoes we hasn´t came to church in 5 years did it!! HE DID IT!!! He came to church!! Best feeling to see him waiting in front of the church with his Book of Mormon for us. Made the week worth it to see him there. 

All week we were praying everyday, every prayer to find someone... just one person.. anyone who needed to get to know the church.... It's funny how the Lord works at times... 8:30 pm Sunday night... Our very last appointment of the week.. We found him... His name is José Rojas... Lesson 1 about the Restoration went great. His countenance changed drastically during our message... It clicked at the end of the lesson. He has 4 kids, single dad... It's funny how the Lord works like I said... Although it took us ALLLL week, we found him... we found the 1 we prayed for.. We had all the Faith in the world to find someone and the last door person we talk to. The Lord sent him. I'm growing daily I promise... Believe me haha I'm not wasting my time here.. I love the mission even though it's the hardest thing I have ever done.

There is a dead dog on the side of the road that has been there for 6 days...  But on the other hand this other dog was sitting down in a puddle haha (I took a picture) haha silly dog... made me laugh a little. I totally forgot my Papito (First Companion) gave me pajama pants that have Pacman on them... I find it more funny now because I actually get the joke when every person laughs at my name.. Pacman haha, The World Cup is finally over... Even though Chile wasn´t playing It was impossible to get in a house... This family in our ward bought the biggest T.V I´ve seen in 15 months (don't worry I didn't watch the game) ... Just for the World Cup... That's how crazy the people here are about soccer. I'm glad Argentina lost. We played soccer this morning with some Jovenes in our ward. So much fun. Crazy about the NBA news its funny how I heard nothing about that til today hahah thanks Chase. Chile doesn't like basketball very much ha. 

I'm happy.

Elder Mason Craig Paxman


Monday, July 7, 2014

One Tie July Washo

Pretty up and down week. I`ll explain more to finish the email... I`ve worn the same tie everyday this month... I don`t know why I'm doing it... But it rhymes... so that's cool.

First of all my companion Elder Antonio is super tranquilo (calm). We get along really well. We are very much alike. He`s just always happy, doesn`t talk too much, focused on the right things. He`s a good guy. I like him a lot. He is from Cochabamba Bolivia, 4 siblings in his family, all members. He loves to play volleyball, has a girlfriend. I gave the bottom bunk to him. Very very organized Elder... He`s just a good dude. Not much to say haha. 
I sure am going to miss my last companion, Elder Choque. I don`t know what it is about the Bolivians, just good people. I said my goodbyes to Elder Choque on Thursday after the Leadership counsel where he talked to all of us Zone Leaders. I tried taking a final picture with him but he put me in a headlock instead... I'm gonna miss that guy. He finishes his mission in about a month. 

The leadership meeting was great this week. We always start off by sharing a few experiences of success. I shared a few of the miracles that our zone and we are seeing in each and every sector. Miracles.... it's a daily amazement out here in the outskirts of Chile... 
Oh by the way it rained this week. 3rd time in my mission... When I say rain I mean sprinkle for 5 1/2 minutes but the ground was wet so that was super cool. It's sooo cold here. I think I might have said that before.. The second coming is on its way... It shouldn`t be this cold. 
President and Hermana Dalton both gave us some amazing advice to take to our Elders and Hermanas in our zone. Elder Antonio and I are going to give the Zone training meeting tomorrow. It's always good to see the whole zone come together. We learned how to use the Book of Mormon to answer the questions with our investigators. A lot of the time the people ask us a question and the first thing we do is go right to the Bible to give them the answer where as the prophets have advised us to use the Book of Mormon to answer those questions. We did a few examples of that with President Dalton and we are going to apply that tomorrow... I love the Book of Mormon. I'm in Mosiah. I'm reading it in Spanish. Spanish has big words... hahah. 

We did a service project on Tuesday. A family in the ward bought their first house. It's so awesome to see a good family get blessed for being obedient. Their new house is actually really nice in comparison to the houses here. So we spent 7 hours doing that. I miss back in Utah where the whole Quorum of Priesthood would help a family move. We would finish by 10 o' clock in the morning then we eat fresh Krispy Kreme donuts... but here it's a little different. Us 4 missionaries are the only ones that show up and we get a little Coca Cola at the end of the 7 hours... hahah I'm not mad... It's just amazing the difference.... I don`t get it sometimes... 

I love eating breakfast. Everyday I have yogurt with cereal and a cut up banana... I never thought that would be so delicious.. but it is.. I miss Reeses Puffs... 

This week was pretty rough with our investigators telling us they don`t do meet with us anymore... One of the worst feelings I have ever felt...  It's just so hard seeing a miracle one day, putting a date for baptism then the next day them telling us to never pass by.... I just don`t get it sometimes... I give these people my whole heart. I love them with all my heart after the first 5 seconds meeting with them then they get ripped out from me... It's something that I just haven`t adjusted to in the mission. I don`t think I will ever be able to be used to it... 
We have 3 investigators that are progressing well. After these past few days, day in and day out nothing good happening I was praying for something... anything good to happen in our sector of Las Arenas... Saturday it came... we found this 80 year old man who is just looking for his last resource... He wants God to help his leg get better. He has so much pain in his right leg and he asked us to come in and help him with his Faith,. He told us over and over you guys are my last resource... We shared about the restoration. He cried 2 different times during the lesson and accepted a baptismal fecha for the 2nd of August and when we passed by the next day, Sunday, for church he was waiting outside of his house with his walker in a beat up old tan suit.... I can`t explain how happy and amazing this was... First of all... No investigator ever comes to church with a suit, let alone dress pants... Second of all...Investigators never come to church.. Victor Araya has so much faith... I just want him to get it... I am sick of people not.... getting it.... He is my hope right now... I am sick of not saving any souls lately.... That's why I'm here... He is such a great guy.. It seems like every time I'm on the verge of just giving in I'm pleading for something from our Father in Heaven. He delivers.. Always He delivers.... and He delivered.. Victor loved church he stayed for one of the class, he was in so much pain from walking from his house to the church but he just thanked us and said I can`t wait for next week... It was amazing.. I need more of these people in my life. Our investigator Hector, who is basically a member is doing some missionary work and brought one of his friends to church this week... so awesome. She loved it. Her name is MiMi. hahah funny name.. 

Today we played volleyball and soccer with the other Elders. We are only allowed to have 8 Elders get together at a time so it was fun with a few of the other Elders. I miss volleyball... First time since the MTC... I loved it. I`ve been chilling with Elder Sargent today... Good guy. His companion is rough... But we try so hard to ignore his mean comments on a daily basis hahah silly little Chileans...

 I don't know. I feel like I have been pretty good at keeping in my emotions of stresses and stuff like that throughout my mission. Sometimes the people, food, small apartments, investigators telling you they don`t want you to keep passing by, just plays a toll on ya... I have had some of the highest highs but also lowest here these past few 15 months. I know that you all know that the mission isn`t all cotton candy and bubble gum. Fun times day in and day out... But at times I forget and ask myself why it's so hard to get through some days. But then I snap out of it real quick and go back on the daily grind to do what I know how to do.. How to be the best missionary possible. It's soooo easy to be an average missionary... Stay in the boat, Which refers to take the easy way out everyday. Go visit the same inactives - Eternal Investigators, share a nice little calm scripture, bring 1 investigator to church, only focus on that.... I don't know... You just see sooooo much of that here. I don`t know if it's a South America thing... but Missionaries just aren`t the missionaries I thought Missionaries were supposed to be.... It's frustrating, but the temptation to be like them is always there.... Stay in the boat. It;s easy... Something I have been trying to do these past 6 or 7 months of my life is to jump out of the boat. Get in the wavy water, take some punches, talk with the men of the house, talk with people in the street, actually care about saving these Chilean souls, preach repentance and tell people what they really need to do in their lives, obviously with love.... Jumping out of the boat, this.... It's not easy. Satan tempts everyday to have us inside the boat and have a fun 2 years enjoy it, be able to say I served a great 2 years... I don`t know I'm just having rough times. But family and friends... Just know I'm giving it my all... My all might not look like the 100% of another missionary... but I'm trying... I'm out in the water right now fighting the current... and It's hard...

I love you all so much, thank you for the pictures. Happy 4th Of July. Elder Sargent and I sang an American song.. His comp yelled at us and called us gay... but it's okay. Miss you all so much. Send me pics of your life... It makes me happy... I know we are in the truth... The gospel makes me happy.

Elder Paxman