September 15, 2014
It is good to hear that you are all safe and sound, and doing well. It sounds like the weather is pretty nice with sunny days and cool evenings. I have been in some pretty great weather too lately. In fact, for P-day today we had a zone activity of kite flying, the only downer is that there was zero to no wind, so we got good exercise running. I bought a cheap kite of the Chilean flag, for less than 2 dollars at Wal-Mart. Also, I bought a large Chilean flag, a little longer than 6 feet, also at Wal-Mart. I want to be ready for the 18th of September, the Chilean Independence Day. The Chileans go crazy for this holiday; in fact, we have been informed that if we don’t have a flag in our window, the police will give us a small fine.
Well, I don’t like to want to start off on a negative note, but, I think it is important that you all know. My companion really wants to go home early. He has only 8 months in the mission field, but he just doesn’t feel like he can keep doing it. He has health issues, both physical and psychological. He says that the majority of his thoughts are about home. He says that he has gotten tired of always doing the same thing every day, and he hasn’t seen hardly any fruits of his labors. Yesterday, I tried to let him know that he was important, that people here in Chile need him. I read some scriptures about the atonement with him, and asked him if he believed in these things. I tried sharing all I could to help him realize that God knows and loves him and wants to help him. I told him that there are 3 weeks left of this transfer, and that if he would work with all his heart, might, mind, and strength, and that if he didn’t see blessings after doing all that, then it is because his eyes are shut. I hope he can change his attitude and stay. If he refuses to change his attitude about the missionary work, it might be best that he go home.
I want you all to know that God loves us, that he is aware of who we are, of our strengths and our weaknesses, and that he can help us in whatever circumstance we find ourselves, if we simply humble ourselves and allow him to help us. Missionary work is really miraculous. He helps us as we help his children receive the gospel. That is cool! I want you all to know that God is watching out for you, that he has angels to protect you, and that his son, Jesus Christ, is our Savior. I love Him. I love the mission. I love being a part of the Lord`s missionary force. I love being a member of the church that Christ established, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I want you all to know that I really mean it. I love to be a member of this church. Remember who you all are, you are sons and daughters of the most high God. All of us on this earth are brothers and sisters. Let’s all work together to return home to the presence of our Father in Heaven. He will help us. I humbly share these things in the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
I hope you all have a great new week. I love you all more than the number of needles you would need in order to weld them together to make a train track from the Southernmost tip of South America to the northernmost tip of North America.
-Elder Chad Carl Withers
This was a pretty typical week for us here in Beltran. We learned that our chapel has a semi serious problem with mice and rats. The leaders have been informed, but the seminary teacher and kids are so spooked that they have started going to the house of the seminary teacher. I haven’t personally seen one (yet.....) but they are working to get rid of them. Which is good, because they are kind of dangerous for sanitary reasons.
Yesterday we found ourselves in a torrential downpour. Even though it was raining outside......several people went to church, and we had the gospel principles with more people than Sunday school! I love it when that happens! But when we had to go out and work in the afternoon, it was still raining pretty hard. We bundled ourselves up with raincoats, boots, and umbrellas......and walked in the streets that had flooded. It was like walking in a little creek all afternoon. And the mud was awesome :) It has been ages since it has rained so hard though so it was kind of fun to be in the rain again :) In the evening the power went out though, so we went right back to our house as soon as possible because it’s dangerous to be outside. And we made it back in time before the wind and lightning started which was a blessing.
While we were walking back (and it was almost dark) we were trying to avoid the puddles and make it home quick. And because it was dark, I couldn’t see the ground very well. Anyway, a big ugly frog jumped my foot, and although I couldn’t see the frog, I saw the shininess from its eyes and knew exactly what it was. When I realized it had leaped my boot I honestly went into an adrenaline rush and without realizing it started to scream like a little girl. I hate frogs. They seriously spook me more than spiders and cockroaches. The rainy season is good for lots of things, but one of the downsides is that frogs start to come out of everywhere.
We spent the week contacting and knocking doors and teaching and planning and smiling and walking and all the other things a missionary does :) It really was a good week and the time is going by fast. I realized that I will only be writing you 14 more times after this. After that I will be in the home. Hello reality check. Time flies.
I hope you have a great week! I love you more than all the kids who wake up to go to school each Monday around the world!