Tuesday, January 31, 2012


We had a baptism :) But the bigger surprise is that Génesis changed that she wanted me to baptize her 3 hours before. Which we were already running around making sure everything was going to be going well and then I needed to learn how to say her full name, and the prayer. So Elder Castillo and I practiced and practiced and I only messed up once.
Just a few other little highlights of the week and pictures.
This week also President and Sister Bruce came up to Arica to present The Vision for 2012 which the goal is to reunite the work between the ward and the missionary work that it will become one united work.
It rained here(just a little), but it rained! I never thought I would see rain for the next 2 years of my life but there it was accompanied by a beautiful rainbow.
Speaking of accompanying- I´m now playing the piano in the ward which will be an adventure. So I figure that with the Gift of Tongues to reading as well...so I hope that I´ll be reading music better than before, and be able to sweeten the Spirit of sacrament meeting.
Speaking of sweets this last week we had the adventures in our pension of making cake and a cookie/brownie with ice-cream treat with were fantastic.
Speaking of fantastic I had the chance to throw a Frisbee back and forth which was awesome.
Well for now that is all. I´ll be better next week with a story of what happened.
Have a Wonderful day- Because you can choose to
Elder James O. Gillespie

Elder Castillo and I mixing the cake batter
Elder Ramírez cutting the cake

from our balcony looking over Arica

Génesis right before the baptism

Coming out of the font after the ordinance

Monday, January 23, 2012

Wait? what? another week already?

Well I´m not even sure what happened to this last week but I´m here again writing a letter.

Well the biggest news of the week is that this upcoming Saturday Genisis is going to be baptized. The whole process there was miracle, Genisis is the granddaughter of the Relief Society President of the ward here and is living with her. Elder Baker and I taught her two lessons and committed her to baptism and she accepted, and that was on Saturday and we see and chat with her on Sunday in Church and return and go to her home on Monday- where she tells us she does not wish to continue with the lessons which was really quite a shock to us. However Tuesday we go on exchanges and I go with Elder Castillo who needed to deliver some items back to Hna. Iris (RS president) we all chat for awhile and we share some scriptures with the family and Elder Castillo (was Majoring in computer software design) finds out that they are having some troubles with a program and arranges for him and I to come back Wednesday to fix it (me because parts of it are only in English)

Wednesday we finally get the program to work which is a program to design embroideries and as I´m explaining it to Maria, Genisis´s mother, Elder Castillo starts to talk with Genisis and we have a very powerful lesson where she wants says that she will get baptized and continue the lessons. After lots of prayers and visits studying we now have her baptism set up for this upcoming Saturday.

Really, I´m quite blessed with the apartment with to companionships it has been good.

Have a Wonderful day - Because you can choose to

Elder James O. Gillespie

Monday, January 16, 2012

I feel like I´ve always been here.

Is that a good thing? I don´t know.

A couple things I forgot to say in the last email. Pension- we live on the third floor on the west side of the city up on a hill, and we have a little balcony which we all enjoy sitting on ever night and looking at the city, it´s beautiful and I love it.

Elder Castillo is the other Elder in our pension

We did some changing of beds and such and I fit in my bed now more.

And one last piece of advise for future missionaries going to the MTC- every Sunday night you´ll have the opportunist to watch, ´Sunday films´ which you have a couple of choices like the Joseph Smith movie and different talks by general authorities that have been given at the MTC- my advise is attend the general authority talks because they will never leave the MTC and be published for the general to view so it will be the last time you get to see them and they are fantastic!

So a couple events this week. We had an earthquake on Tuesday night-Wednesday morning at 4:33 in the morning but I didn´t feel anything/awake up so I´m not counting it yet.

I mentioned in that our water pressure is low- and I meant really only in the shower and the reason it is low in the shower is because the hose leaks water everywhere so I decided that is something that I can change and want to change and as we were walking through centro one day I saw a store that would have a new hose so we purchased one. Later that day I replace the old hose and I was not able to get the shower head off the old hose. I turn to Elder Castillo for help and he takes the task willingly and after few seconds of trying I hear a ´snap´ thinking he had successfully got that first twist that of a screw that wasn´t moved in a long time. However the news wasn´t quite as exciting - he successfully broke the part where the hose screws onto the head so for a couple days we didn´t have a shower head. Nevertheless, a couple days later after showering by hose we have a shower head again.

On Friday evening our President of our mission came up to Arica for both interviews with all the missionaries and to teach a class to all of those who wanted to attend. Which Pres. Bruce taught about 2 Nefi 31 and how that everyone has temptations but we still can have the Holy Ghost. However at the end of the class we left the church out a different door than we came in, and out this door the church had a very familiar smell, that I new in a land far far away. As we came outside there was a little lawn of grass and it smelt so wonderful and I never realized how great grass smells and how little a desert smells. It was very refreshing.

The work is continuing onward and we all have the chance to be apart of it. Don´t miss out on it-

I´m understanding more and more of what people are saying remembering names easier. Both good.

Have a Wonderful day - because you can choose to.

Elder James O. Gillespie =)

January 9, 2012: It´s been one week in the Mission field

Well I´m understanding more and more but still not talking a ton.

Elder Baker - He reminds me a lot of my manger at the SCERA Tommy Rose both in size and personality. Understanding that most people don´t know Tommy, Elder Baker is short, blading, and you got to love him. He comes from the land of Mapleton Utah, not far from where my family resides. He worked at Walgreen's before coming on his mission and he will finish his mission in February. He enjoy´s laughing and joking with the people here, and the members love him. He speaks Spanish very well which is good because when I get lost he bails me out. He is relaxed but knows it is the time to work- he really wants to know the people and love them.

Our apartment- or pension, I feel right at home, it is like Payson in so many ways. However it is amazing how dirty it is and even though many people who have seen my room at home don´t believe I like a clean room- I do- I spent most of my morning cleaning just our bedroom and it really is refreshing every time I walk in. =) We share our pension with two other missionaries Elder Ramiz and Elder....I´m blanking they are both from Columbia and both fantastic, I love them both and they have been learning English and they speak really well.

Area- ARICA!! Arica we have us four missionaries in our sector, which is just one ward size (The geographical size of which exceeds the geographical size of a ward in Utah by a lot) and we spend most of our time contacting less active members and teaching people in members homes. It is sad to see all the people that really don´t want to come back to church- but also how well Elder Baker can make some of them remotivated.

It is amazing how many people are learning English and how well many of them speak it.


Weather- it is hot just not has hot as I thought it was going to be and it is often windy which really helps out and cools us down.

Food- lots of bread it is made every day and used in every meal. A completo (which I heard from everyone they are a must) aren´t as exciting as I hoped- they taste good don´t get me wrong just not what my brain worked it up to be. :/

Water- we have hot water just not a lot of pressure

What I have done- Hno. Rapp told us to be good with children so that when the member realize we can´t speak Spainsh they will expect us because we are good with the children. So I have become a jungle jim for one family. I carry Starbursts for the kids that shake my hand, a lot like Bro. (fill this blank, he was in WWII in the navy I believe and when you would shake his hand he would leave a candy, they lived in the house north of the Hendrix) would do.

One last story: We finished teaching a lesson with two less-actives Brain, and Maricio age nine and cousins, we were going to leave after a lesson about attending church and playing a game similar to down by the banks expect you keep saying animals and if you take to long you lose, and if you lose you say the pray decided by Brain. (I didn´t lose - just so you know) So we were leaving and I hit my head on the top of door frame. Which both Brain and Maricio had a hoot with it.

Have a Wonderful day - because you can choose to.

Elder James O. Gillespie

January 5, 2012

And after 12 hours on a bus we arrived in Arica- hot, humid, and no green.

We have four to our sector which is one ward- we all live in the same apartment and my lower caff to feet hang off the bed.

Elder Baker is short and from Springville- this is his last transfer, he laughs a lot and speaks fast- we had a zone meeting today and I was able to understand just about everything said in that meeting. Just not conversations, if it has to do with the gospel I seem to catch on well.

On the plane from L.A. to Lima I sat with Elder Hamilton and Maricarmen (She spook English and Spainsh) With our 8 hour in the air we talked a lot and got through the first lesson. Gave her a pass along card for Mormon.org. She wanted a picture with us so I took it to mean that things went well.

We missed our connecting plane from Santiago to Antofagasta luckly the Church travel agent was there and got us a plane for later that night. So we arrived in Antofagasta at 11 all sweety and gross we eat quickly at the Mission Home and get checked into a hotel for the night and all of us take nice long showers. Wake up the next day and go to the Chapel and get matched up with our trainers then go to the bus. We arrived here this morning at 7ish

Things are well.

Have a Wonderful day (Because you can choose to)

Elder James O. Gillespie

Nobody can say my name it´s awesome