Monday, October 29, 2012

Nice to hear from you

So just one quick story about my comment last week about water heaters: so I was with Elder Shields for the day of Transfers before his companion came and I mentioned about the water heaters and he informed me I was wrong. Pointed to the roof of a few homes and many people here have solar waterheaters that either were made to be solar WH or that the people that live in the home just put together and made it work. So I stand corrected now. 
 Will good news that we have four missionaries in our sector again. Elder Herbert from Orem UT, his mom is from Equador who will finish his mission this transfer, Elder Rivas from Virginia however his parents are from El Salvador, and Elder Marthell from Honduras which makes me the only full gringo in the pension. Elder Rivas and Elder Herbert have just searching and searching for people this week, with about 400 contacts which is the highest I´ve ever heard in a week. 
 This week was ward conference which here means they have activities all week long, and we were in charge of one on Thursday and for the short notice we had it went fairly well, I made chocolate no bake cookies for the activity, had a good amount of people show up.
 The most exciting thing that happened this week was that he had the change to go witness the Wedding of Alonzo Pastén and Maria Vega Friday morning I´ve never seen a wedding before and it wasn´t very thrilling of an activity to attend but at the same time it was one of the most exciting things ever to see. Alonzo was a menosactivo who has been reactivating and amazing to see the difference in him.
 When Elder Rodriguez and Elder Vallece (here before) found him he had piercings everywhere, drank, smoked and convivia however now we are just still working getting rid of the cigarette, and he reads and prays everyday. 
 Time to go
 Have a Wonderfulday
Elder Gillespie

Monday, October 22, 2012


     Elder Gonzalez is taking off to Diego de Margo, I will stay here with Elder Martel from Honduras coming from Arica and that reaches my limit of knowledge of him. As well Oasis will open up to become four missionaries again. Which gives me more excitement, I've been waiting to live in a four missionary pension again. Elder Parker, MTC companion, will be my district leader. 
     Antonia Contreras was baptized on Saturday and confirmed Sunday. The caliform, which makes the water hot (I haven't seen a water heater here ever), did not function well and the water froze Antonia, she shivered has she left the font. Nonetheless the Spirit filled the reunion. 
     Sunday we visited half the ward in one night so that Elder Gonzalez could say goodbye to everyone. So many photos. 
     In other news, Antonia and Nico Contreras found out how ticklish I am, and have proceeded to tell all of the Primary- after church I ran- trying to escape. so I guess it is time to learn how to not be ticklish. 
     Our mamita (the sister in the ward that the mission pays so that she cooks us lunch and washes our clothes) cooks a lot of bean soup, or called Porotos. The thing about food here, it doesn't taste bad just that it seems to never change up. Porotos, Rice with chicken, noodles with sauce, and Rice with a slush stew stuff that many times includes cow stomach. (It's really chewy) 
     I imagen that many people are now putting in their papers for their missions. I read in church news that MTC will be cut one third shorter, which will be fun to see the new missionaries come out. 
 Well if you have any questions feel free to ask. 
 Have a Wonderful day- Because you can choose to
     Elder James O. Gillespie

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Just thought we'd share the rest of the story ...

You will notice on his Oct. 1st letter, James posted this picture and said: "This is what Calama looks like on the edge of the city."

His brother replied with this picture and said,

 "What James neglected to mention is that one of the districts in his mission actually covers the Moon as well."

Monday, October 15, 2012

E-mail from Elder Gillespie

     This morning we had a wonderful opportunity to see off Hector Gallardo who is now a missionary in Lima East Peru mission. He has helped us out here a lot in our ward.   Half the ward was in the airport to see him off, it was a fun experience and we will miss him however; he will do great work in Peru. Then after we left the airport and today is another holiday/three day weekend so we all went to the church and played soccer. The altitude here destroyed Elder Gonzalez and I just have a hard time getting really into baby soccer, as it´s called, when you play soccer on a field that is the same size as a basketball court. My feet are just so uncoordinated. Apparently all that dancing didn´t really transfer into kicking a ball around. 
     In other good news Giselle Lopez was baptized and confirmed this weekend, defiantly the smoothest baptism I´ve had. With the help of the Elders from Acostan just worked out really well. More hands the better right? This upcoming weekend we have Norma and Antonia Contreras that will baptism themselves. I am preoccupied for Norma though, so keep her in your prayers this week. 
     I met yesterday an exmissionary who served in Los Angels California, she speaks wonderful English. (I´m not sure I´ve said this before, that Elder Gonzalez speaks wonderful English) So yesterday we had a lesson in Spanigles I enjoyed it wonderfully, much easier for me to speak. 
     The transfers and weeks and months just keep flying by. This Saturday we will know transfers, (I´m guessing I´m staying) we have interviews with President this week. Who knows what is going to come. 
 Well thank you for your support
 Have a Wonderful day- because you can choose to
     Elder James O. Gillespie
 P.S. if you send me a DearElder please put the date on it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


What a spiritual bursting experience! I love conference. I had another bonus here in Calama with us not living in Pozo Almonte away from all of the wards is that we all watch the conference in the same chapel, and with that we also have 7 gringos together and so there was a gringo room set up where we watch conference in English. Fantastic, fantastic fantastic.
Right now we are teaching Norma who has a baptismal date for the 20th. She has an amazing memory that remember the lessons and what it means. Ward Oasis had four missionaries before I came, and she was taught by the other two missionaries first and it had taken us several weeks for us to find a time that she could recive us, however she came to church for 2 weeks by herself. (Which is very impressive here[It´s frustrating at time how hard it is to get people to come to church here]) She came with us to the Saturday afternoon session of conference with Elder Oaks was perfect for her, from what I understood. (This is the one session I watched in Spanish) 
     I´m kind of in a moment where my Spanish is falling off a cliff and I have a much harder time speaking than I use to. I hope that I´ll overcome this Spanish hole quickly. 
     With the annoucement of 18 and 19 year old missionaries I imagen that the MTC´s in the world are going to explode with people these up coming months. 
     As I promised a while ago here is the video of Cristian throwing his top and catching it his hand.  

Have a Wonderful day-because you can choose to
     Elder James O. Gillespie

Monday, October 1, 2012

Calama- Mini Zone Conference

     Wow the weeks just keep flying, and September as well just flew. Rabbits to everyone. Don´t have much time today.
     We started the week by going and doing some legal papers in Tocopilla which is about 3 hours away so it was a nice little trip had the chance to visit with Elder Keele and Elder Christensen (from my group) who are both serving there in Tocopilla a branch of the stake Calama. So after doing paper work all morning I´m now going to be Chileano. :)
     Later in the week we had a "Mini Zone Conference where we traveled down to Antofagasta again another 3 hour trip where Pres. and Sis. Bruce both spoke about our vision to baptize. Which is why we are here, and we are doing pretty well at it as well. We just broke the record of baptisms in one month for our mission. We achieved 111 in the month of September.
    This is what Calama looks like on the edge of the city.
  Have a wonderful day- because you can choose to
     Elder James O. Gillespie