Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Transfers... Staying in Talcahuano, new Companion from Idaho

May 4, 2015

Dear Familiy,
Well, transfers have come!  I am going to.... stay here in Talcahuano, but Elder Incil se va a Linares, at the north end of the mission, 4 hours from here.  My new companion will be Elder Barnes from Rigby, Idaho.  He is an excellent missionary, I once went on splits with him when I was his district leader, and I am looking forward to learn from him again.  It will be his first transfer as zone leader, and I am excited to show him the ropes.  Shocking but not too surprising, the other area of Cruz del Sur is being closed.  There were 4 elders in the ward, but now there will be only 2.  It was expected because the amount of missionaries entering the mission is significantly less than the number of missionaries finishing their missions.  I heard that each mission will have roughly 200 missionaries, so that means our mission will shrink slightly.  Pray for Elder Barnes and I, that we will be able to quickly learn the streets, members, and teaching groups of the other missionaries.  We lived in the same house but had the ward subdivided.  It is a lot of area to cover, but God wouldnt call us to fail, I know he will help us find, teach, and send people towards the temple.   

Christian was baptized on Saturday.  It was a very spiritual baptismal service, and I felt the spirit strongly.  It was edifying.  A member who accompanied us frequently in the teaching process baptized him, and Christian asked me to confirm him.  Finding, teaching, and baptizing this good man was a true testimony building experience.  He was a promising street contact; he gladly accepted the baptismal challenge in the first visit and has progressed steadily.  I am happy to know that there are millions of men and women all around the world like him who are ready to accept the gospel; they just need to have it preached to them.  Yesterday in fast and testimony meeting, he decided to share his testimony, and it was a great memory I will take from the mission. Seeing a recent convert, having just barely received the Holy Ghost, share a short and sincere testimony of how, by the spirit, he came to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that this is the only true church on the face of the earth.  Many members shared testimonies after he spoke, all brief and heartfelt, and it was the most powerful and uplifting fast and testimony meeting I have witnessed.  

Well, time has slipped away.  I am happy and healthy, and the church is true.   

I love you all, more than the number of rocks and plants that have been displaced by all the volcanic eruptions over the last 1000 years.
-Elder Withers

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