Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving and Less than a month until Christmas

I don´t know if there has ever been a year I´ve been so excited for Christmas to come around, and it was my first Thanksgiving outside of the States, nonetheless it was not without Pumpkin Pie thanks to Elder Parker who worked hard and made a pumpkin pie from scratch and it was the best pumpkin pie I´ve ever tasted. All of the Latinos enjoyed it as well which surprised me a little bit just that there are many who don´t like things from the States. It was delicious. 
Saturday we did some service as an Elder´s quorum and prepared and cleaned a piece of land to place a new room that we will build later but the leveling of the dirt and cleaning was a lot of work. So much junk. But I had the chance to use a jackhammer which was quite enjoyable. But after I was super sun burned. I was burned through my shirt the sun is hot, and there is no green here. 
The picture is a huge dog named Oso and the name fits him well. I feel really bad from him because he just wants to get out and play but playing includes jumping on people and he will knock them straight over. However he only has a tiny little space to run around but they don´t let him out because he jumps on people. 
 Well that´s all for the moment. Elder Marthell and I have been practicing English a lot for him. 
 Have a Wonderful day- because you can choose to
     Elder James O. Gillespie

Friday, November 23, 2012

White Night

We had a fantastic Saturday, a noche de blanca as it´s called where many people were entered the waters of baptism to receive a remission of their sins and to gain the key to enter the kingdom of God. Alonzo had the wonderful chance to baptize his wife and now we continue to point them to the temple so that they can become an eternal family. (Just as Jacob and Shayla [Congratulations, sad I couldn´t be there but it´s all good]) Refocusing on the mission Sunday Maria received the Holy Ghost all wonderful on this side of the story. We had the primary program Sunday and the church was packed almost 150 people. It was hard to find seats. 
 Nonetheless it´s always difficult to find a fantastic investigator and then from one day to another don´t want to read or come to church, so we have to let them go and so as a test we told asked him for the Book of Mormon back to see if he would react in a way that he wants to keep it. Nothing he handed it over with out a blink of an eye. Sad moment for us however; I hope it did show him that The Book of Mormon is super important for us and that you cannot just have it as a book, it has much more value than that. We explained that to him, but still nothing. It was a heartbreaking moment. 
 The other photo is of the first Christmas tree I´ve seen of the year, with Juan and Dinka, such a wonderful couple. However didn't come to church...grr.. 
 The mission has been a great experience for me, I´ve learned about many things I want for my family in the future and things I don´t. I´ve seen and heard so many different marriages with problems and the causes of these problems. Learned how greatly I´ve been blessed in our family. Sunday in Elder´s quorem we spoke of raising children with the teachings of George Albert Smith (I assume that most of the world is at or almost at the same page in the book) and one fellow member said, "You can know that their (signalling to us missionaries) didn´t screw up because by their fruits you shall know them and that they are here having success." So I guess the point is thank you Mom and Dad. 
 Have a Wonderful day- because you can choose to. 
     Elder James O. Gillespie

Monday, November 12, 2012

Elections, Stopping Smoking, Priesthood.

 Well Tuesday came and went several people called us early to inform us that Obama won. 
 Most of the exciting stories come from Alonzo and Maria whom were married not to long ago. Alonzo has officially stopped smoking and this Sunday received the Aaronic Priesthood and will baptize his wife this Saturday. Big happy face. There´s a picture from their wedding

Summer is coming and it´s getting hot. 
 Elder Marthell and I helped to put together a TV Stand which was a fun thing to do. Unplanned service. I enjoyed it. 
 We had Zone conference and we were together with the Zones from Antofagasta, we had three people together from my group in the MTC and we took some Robot pictures. and from lunch we had Dominoes Pizza good stuff
Elder Marthell and I are practicing a lot more English together. 
 and that´s the highlights of the week. 
 Have a Wonderful day because you can choose to
     Elder James O. Gillespie

Monday, November 5, 2012

Turning the Corner

November 2nd was defiantly one of the longest and most stressful days of the mission. Starting out on the 1st with Elder Herbert informing us that he has a trunky conference (for all the missionaries who are going home this up coming transfer) on Friday (tomorrow at this time) and he is leaving the bus station at 5:30 in the morning. Making the four of us wake up at 4:30 to be able to get there in time, and we ended up leaving the pension at about 5:00 and no taxis passed by, so we start waking rather rapidly to the bus stop and luckly a taxi passes takes Elder Herbert and Elder Rivas and they inform us that they make it with less than a minute to spare. Elder Marthell and I finally arrive by foot and pick up Elder Rivas and walk back to the pension. Take a little nap and then study and prep for the day etc. Now in the morning Elder Marthell and I have double appointments and so we called a couple youth in the night to leave with us in the morning, and they agreed to do so, however; Elder Rivas has appointments for the afternoon as well and the Priest who left with us in the morning won´t be able to leave with us in the afternoon.
     I´m the one that knows the sector/ward and so I start calling the other priest and Elders of the ward to leave with us and finally found one until 6 so Elder Rivas leaves with him and we visit one other priest who I'm pretty close with and he agrees to leave with me however he works at 8 so we are able to get a couple appointments in. Walking back to the home of Maxi (the youth) before work I'm calling every Elder and Priest in the phone. Not one can come....Maxi needs to leave to work. I'm stuck without a companion...I know where the other missionaries are at...or should be arriving so Maxi agrees to walk with me to the home of the Diaz family who the other Elders have a FHE with some investigators there we arrive and thank Maxi for his work with me. I say hi to the family and go into the back room and make some phone calls to our appointments for the evening and tell them we won't make it. The FHE finishes and we are able to make it to one appointment before 10:00 when Elder Herbert is suppose to make it back to Calama. We take a taxi to the bus stop and his bus coming back in 30 minutes late. ugh. I'm tired I had been trying to find a companion all day I woke up early etc.
    Once the bus arrives with Elder Herbert and Hundsaker we need to wait for the other trio of the day that arrives after 20 minutes after the bus arrives. Take a bus home making it by about 11:20 and want nothing to do with anything just to sleep. Long day. Calling and taking with more people on the phone since I've worked at Vivint, and my Spanish improves but I still have a hard time on the phone.
    Sunday we had a great success at church random investigators and less actives that I didn't know just showed up. Alonzo and Maria came and Alonzo had an interview with Bishop which we have been working on for a long time, so that he can start the process of receiving the priesthood. ¡Por fin!
     The weeks just keep becoming blurrs, but I´m still writing in my journal so don´t worry I got it. I keep hearing of people going on missions it's a good thing. (I want to know where and when people are going)(and keep me updated on engagements as well)(Please) Elder Herbert received a package of candy from the states and doesn't want it so he shares a lot. To celebrate a year we bought some GreatValue pizza and it was is the best pizza that I've eaten here in Chile and today I made myself a rootbeer float.  just saying
    And one last quick story is that a less active called us this morning at 4 asking for a blessing. So we went (luckly just a block) and came back to go straight to bed.
 Have a Wonderful day- because you can choose to.
     Elder James O. Gillespie