Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Love knocking on doors, Wishing to see mission area in 15 years

September 8, 2014

Saludos de (greetings from) Chile,

This week was another great week.  We have been really liking the new house, it now has heated water (those 3 days of cold water were, well, um, 3 days of really cold showers).  We just need to put a shower curtain up and we will be golden.  I have been eating well, a little too well.  There is a french fry stand really close to the house, and they are cheap, and I think we will stop going there on a near daily basis.  Also, I eat either buttered toast or jammed toast for breakfast and dinner, so I will be looking for a way to eat less bread.  I have been doing a lot better about getting my exercise in, and I usually do 50 pushups every morning.  When it gets warmer and less rainy we might go out for runs in the morning.  

One of my favorite things to do is to knock doors.  I have discovered that I really like it.  Last week started out looking not so peachy, but yesterday when we were knocking doors we entered 3 homes.  We had a young man accompanying us, and as we were waiting for someone to come to the door that we were knocking, he said that in all his many times of going out to work with the missionaries over a period of several years, he said that he had never entered a single home while knocking doors.  I thought that odd, and then at that same house, an older man with bad hearing came to the door.  He said he couldn’t hear us well, so he went back in and told his wife to talk with us.  She came out, and we told her that we’d like to offer a prayer in their home and leave them with something to read.  She let us in, we talked about their family, that God loves them, and left them with a pamphlet of the Restoration, telling them to read and pray about it.  We are going back to that older couple on Saturday.  I thought it was funny that we got into a house just as he said that he had never before gotten into a house by knocking doors.  

This past week, the mission President called me asking me to talk with an Elder in our house who was having problems with obedience and working hard.  He asked me to find out why he doesn’t want to be a missionary and to help him get his focus again.  As I talked with the Elder I really felt the spirit.  We used Preach My Gospel chapter 8, in the back where it asks really heart searching questions and he then set goals and plans to improve.  He said that what holds him back is that he doesn’t believe he is capable of doing the work, and a fear of failure, coming from times when he and his companions had taught someone, and then return for a second visit and the investigators don’t receive them for a second time.  He said because of such experiences he doubts his teaching ability, and if he has the spirit.  I told him that those are lies from Satan, that if you are worthy to enter a temple you are worthy to serve a mission and that if you are living the gospel it is impossible to not have the spirit.  At the end I tried to make him happy, laugh a little, and I really think he has a different attitude now (he woke up on time even though it is P day).  I told him that as a missionary you are a ship captain on a wide open sea.  In this big ocean there are lots of people drowning, and this ship that we are taking everywhere, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ, is the only thing that can save them.  We can extend a hand, and lift people into the ship, but they have to take our hand.  If they want to drown, that is their choice.  I felt really blessed to have had the opportunity to talk one on one with him, and help a struggling missionary.  I think he can be a great missionary, and he still has a year and half of his mission to work hard.

Well, I know this letter went into a lot of detail about what may or may not be interesting to read but they really were highlights of my week.  I am so grateful to be a full time missionary.  I love my calling.  I wish you all a great week, may you have success in whatever it is that you put your minds to.

I love you all more than the number of wood chips it would take to make 3 bonfires big enough to have a 2 way smoke signal communication system between Argentina, Chile, and Idaho.

Have a great week!
-Elder Withers 

Dear Family,
This was a great week for us here in Beltran.  Lots of teaching opportunities and lots of contacting.......all work continues on as usual.  I have met literally hundreds of people on my mission, and I have several hundreds more to go....and I wish I could have a way of bunching them all together in 10-15 years to see where they are or how they have changed or if they have finally made it to the church.  It would be cool to see, and I am sure that there would be lots of incredible and miraculous stories.  Wishful thinking, but it would be amazing.  Every person has a story, and as missionaries we usually only get to see bits and pieces of each story, we never get to find out how it all ended!  It’s okay though, I still like being a missionary. :)  

This week we had a general authority come, and.........it was Elder Zeballos from Chile.  And when he said where he was from, it made me remember that Chad is serving in a big ward where a General Authority is from,  and I didn’t get a chance to talk to him afterward because everyone swarmed him and I didn’t want to contribute to the issue....and then he left.  Darn.  It was an incredible conference, and I took lots and lots of notes.  His wife shared a cool object lesson.  When looking at the outside of an apple, it’s impossible to know, or even guess how many seeds are on the inside.  But if you cut the apple in half, you can count each seed......but still, there is even more to the apple still undiscovered.  Because it’s impossible to know how many apples will come from each new seed.....in other words, each person is an apple, but we will never know how many seeds will come from their descendents and the forthcoming generations.  One apple leads to hundreds and thousands and eventually millions.  Cool to think about. 

This has absolutely nothing to do with anything, but the other day I learned that you have to be Catholic to be President of Argentina, so that’s tragic and borderline communism, but interesting to know.  You can just log it into the part of your brain where all the useless information goes, ha that’s what I did too :)

I really in all honesty don’t know what to write about, I feel like I have written all there is to share about Argentina and have told all my stories.......more than anything I am in the stage of my mission where I am able to enjoy it.  I’m not in culture shock, I know my way around and how to not get lost in new places,  the language isn’t so much of a problem anymore (although I am still learning) I am healthy, and happy, know who I am, and have an understanding of the gospel.  I am part of an eternal family, I have amazing parents and out of this world awesome siblings, I was born in a free country, I have opportunities to study and get an education, and really my life is just so so blessed.  I feel so grateful.

We live in an incredible generation, the last dispensation.....this is it.  Christ is coming after this one, and if we are obedient we have all we need to be ready.  It’s exciting!

I hope you know how much I love you!  I will love you a long time, to the moon and back.  
Hermana Withers

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