Hola to Everyone,
We had a pretty good rainstorm Sunday morning, but it didn’t stop Moses from coming to church. Moses or Moíses as it is Spanish, is a homeless alcoholic man, but nevertheless, a son of God, and was baptized about 10 years ago. In 3 Ne 18:32, it talks about the importance of rescuing the less active. We´ve talked with him a couple of times, and we decided to invite him to church. He came! We let him borrow a white shirt and tie, and he walked through the rain to the church building. He had the biggest smile on his face as we walked to church, and I thought that this is probably the most concern anybody had shown him in years.
To answer your question - no, the Chilean calendar has a slight defect and doesn’t include St. Patrick’s Day.
I would like to start out by saying that the Lord is hastening his work. Last Tuesday we had a ward executive committee meeting, almost the entire meeting was about ´´what ward executive committee should be´´, and also about missionary work. A few people sort of dominated all the conversation and I didn’t have much to say. Towards the end of the meeting, I suggested that every Tuesday we could have a quick mini meeting, and then each missionary could go on splits with a couple of members, and then everybody meet back up in the church. The idea was a hit and we will start tomorrow. My zone leaders in Chillán worked really effectively with their bishopric in this manner, and I hope it will work in this ward.
This week we are going to have a Noche de Hogar, or Family Home Evening with a member family and a non-member family they know. I am pretty excited for it because those family home evenings are such an awesome way to find great new investigators. We usually bring a cheap store-bought dessert, and a short church video.
I love you all so very much. I hope you all can share the gospel in every opportunity that the Lord gives you. Pray to have missionary opportunities. Scripture for this week: 2 Timothy, chapter 1:7-9
“7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and by grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”
I love you all more than the number of people wearing green today.
You guys are awesome.
-Elder Chad Withers
This week was a terrific one! It had lots of big changes, but it was so fun.
Biggest news is that I have a new companion, and she is so cool. Her name is Hermana Galan, from Mexico. She comes from a humble home with a single mom and older brother. She misses tacos a lot, and she can’t speak any English except for a few words or phrases. Someone taught her the word "fetch" at one point, and she uses it all the time.....ha it makes me smile every time. She is going to help me so much with Spanish, and she has goals for English that I am excited to help her with. She is a hard worker, and obedient, and so fun to have around. Every one of my companions has been such a big blessing....they are all stable, normal, hard working, high functioning sisters....with great senses of humor. It’s awesome!
It was sad to say good bye to Hermana Sainsbury, because I had been with her for so long and we were such good friends, but Hermana Galan has been a breath of fresh air as well. She is young (just barely turned 20!) and has only been on her mission for 4 months, but she has a solid grasp on the doctrine and fun methods of teaching. Basically I am just soaking up my time with her and trying to make the most of it. She was baptized when she was 12 years old, but then went in active for about 5 years, and then came back. She is the only member in her family except for a few random cousins. And we are going to see miracles this transfer!
The day of transfers was so long for me though. Hermana Sainsbury left at noon, and Hermana Galan’s colectivo (bus) didn’t pull in until 7:30 that night. I had to spend about 4 hours with the Elders until one of the members could be with me. While with the Elders we ate lunch and watched movies, and it was super boring. And then I went with a member to her house and it was a little more interesting, but really I just wanted to have my new companion and get to know her. That’s the thing about being here in La Paz....is if transfers affect you, it involves lots of traveling. We are clear up here in the boondocks, and it took Hermana Galan 9 hours in a bus to get here.
Random note......Elder Hill is now serving as an office Elder, serving as the mission secretary. Ha.... pray for him. He is now in charge of all visa and passport paperwork.
Random cultural note is that dogs are used as security systems here. Often times if you walk past a business, regardless of what they are selling....if its locked and shut down for the night there is often a dog inside. There is a car dealership that has a few, and I’ve seen a few other random places with dogs inside. They have been trained too, because when you walk past them they follow you from the other side of the window and kind of growl at you. It’s kind of funny to think of dogs as a security system, but people do it!
Before I forget to tell you, the mission has told us to tell home that apparently the Argentine Customs isn’t letting any foreign food go through any more. If there is a package and some candy thrown in, the whole package will be thrown away. Just so you know. Maybe it will change, but for now if you send packages, don’t put food in it.
Anyway......things really are going well. I am happy and healthy, and loving life. I hope you know that I love you all! I love you all more than all the people here in La Paz who have never seen snow before (I think I have met 2 people in all of my time here who have seen snow in person).
Keep being awesome and know that you are all my favorites! Until next week!