Friday, July 18, 2014

Days are long, weeks are short... Rebecca has a new companion!

June 9

Dear Family,
Well, hello everyone.  I am starting to notice that the days seem really long but the weeks really short.  I really like the view we have out of our big windows, and off the balcony.  It makes for a really nice view of the sunset out towards the ocean.  This past week there were a lot of things I learned.  There is a baptismal interview tomorrow at 5:30, so that has been on my mind.  The other day we were walking down the street, and my companion stepped on a construction man hole lid, that was only halfway on.  the lid wobbled, and he tripped and fell forward.  Luckily he didn’t fall in.  I said the City of Concepción gets an ´´F´´ rating for that safety hazard.  He got up and was fine, he only had small cuts on one hand.  We went to a nearby member’s house and got it washed out.  The whole way he was saying “Chilean utilities”.  It made me think, oh yeah, we are in SOUTH AMERICA.  It has been a good week, and I have been enjoying reading all the dear letters that piled up over a couple of months.  I still have more to read.  

The Plan of Salvation teaching tool you guys sent in a package really proved its worth this last week.  On Thursday, we went to go re-teach the Plan of Salvation to Amadeo.  He really just had a hard time getting it because he believed in re-incarnation.  We drew out the plan on a piece of paper, explained it to him, asking him questions to make sure he got it.  Then, we pulled out the puzzle, from its case.  We had him put it together, and then we had him teach us the plan.  He finally got it.  At the end of the lesson, I asked him if the teaching tool helped him understand it, and he said it helped a lot.  I will start using it more to teach the Plan of Salvation.  Amadeo came to church for the third time yesterday, the only things we haven’t taught him yet are tithing and keeping the Sabbath day holy.  Hopefully, he can keep progressing and be baptized on the 21st, and be confirmed in Ward Conference on the 22nd.  

Question-What things worked well in the International Falls MN branch for getting members to help the missionaries?  Things that worked in the mission field in San Bernadino, in Bahia Blanca, or Rosario.  Ideas to get more references?  

Thanks so much for all your prayers.  I love all of you.  You are all my favorite.  I love you all more than the number drops of water it would take to make a lake deep enough to fill the Grand Canyon.
-Elder Chad Carl Withers

Dear Family,
This last week has been a dream, an absolute dream.  On Tuesday, I took Hermana Ospinal to the terminal with her luggage and things, and then got in a taxi with other missionaries who were also heading to the mission home to pick up their brand new baby companions.  

We got to the mission home and Hermana Giuliani had a whole spread of food for breakfast for all the trainers (and there were only 8 of us...ha) 5 elders, and 3 hermanas.  We had a few hours of training, and then finally met our companions.  I was nervous to see who she would be, and I am super duper blessed.  2 out of the 3 new sister missionaries were from the states, and the other is from Mexico.  I was sitting there thinking, oh please let me be with the one from Mexico....and she is my companion!  Her name is Hermana Gonzalez, and she is from Mexico City, Mexico.  She is from the intense part of the city where millions and millions of people live, and is the 9th out of 10 kids.  All her family are members and she is the 6th missionary from her family.  She is 23 years old, and the coolest companion I have ever had.  She is also in hard core culture shock.  Her first day she asked me like 7 times why everyone doesn’t just drink a glass of water or something.....why does everyone have to drink mate?  And she is missing her Mexican food like crazy.  But she is also in love with the alfajores. has been fun to see Argentina through new eyes again, get to know everything and see her thoughts and feelings about everything.   

She is a champ in all honesty, and doesn’t let fear stop her.  She wanted to go on a mission earlier, but a few years ago she was sitting in a chair out in the sidewalk in front of her house, and a truck lost control and hit her.  She was in a hospital for a month and getting the medical permission to leave was almost impossible because she broke so many bones in her hip and legs.  She made it though!  After lots of studies she finally got the medical release and is considered very healthy.  She is a bold missionary and loves to chat, and I love it.  I have missed having someone who likes to talk about everything.  She doesn’t even have a month into her mission, but she has a solid grip on the doctrine and is so fun to teach with. 

The work really is progressing and since the transfers we have found several people, and a cute family.  Miracles are happening and I am really making an effort to take the time to explain how to do things like contacts and planning and so on.....showing her an example and then letting her try for herself to see what she feels is best.  We are learning lots, and more than anything I am just so grateful to have a companion who I get along with.  We are also working hard in this branch to really help it grow.  What we need here more than anything are priesthood leaders......we have so few and they do so much because there aren’t very many people to help share the load.  But it’s all in process.

I love my mission, I love my area, and I love you all!  I love you more than all the hours it would take to drive in a car from Argentina to Boise! :)

Hermana Withers 

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