Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August 4, 2014 First Week in Chile, Assigned to Serve in Valdivia

  What to start with..... too many things have happened this week. One thing about the mission though is that my faith has been stretched, but I have seen more miracles than ever before. I am so excited to be here in Valdivia and to teach the people here.
   Wednsday morning, we went to get visa papers filled out. Afterwards, we split up with at least one native speaker per group to get contacts. I was with Elder Nielson and an Elder from Peru. We tried to talk to some people, but no one wanted to talk. After a couple minutes, we found a young man sitting on a bench in the plaza. We learned that his name was Nicholas and that he was 17. We talked a little but about our church and asked him if he wanted a book of mormon.  He said no. But then the elder from Peru had him read the second to last paragraph in the introduction. After he read, he sat there for about 1 minute and accepted the copy. It was so awesome. then we all walked to the stake center to meet our companions. We had lunch there and after, headed to the bus terminal to go to Valdivia. our little house is so small.... I'll send pictures next week because I just bought my new camera. but compared to other houses, it is medium size. once we dropped of my bags, we head off to appointments. it was a crazy day....
   throughout the rest of the week we had lots of appointments and i learned that there are about 5 people with a baptismal date for the 23 of August. the people here are so humble and amazing. especially the members. they are so kind and help me with my spanish and feed us really well. mom, i dont think i will lose any weight... 
 i dont have much more time but this week i had an amazing experience. we have a family who is taking lessons. it is an older lady with 5 kids. her name is isabel. her oldest daughter is 21 or 22. she has a little boy who is 4. his nme is joel. then isabels has a daughter named Jaqueline, Belen and a younger son. Marlen, another investigator, has a baptismal date and has been completing all of her committments. she is progressing  alot. she is the only one in her fmily to come to church and has gone 4 times already. but saturday night, we visited them to see if they would come to church. the mom was worried about the weather and rain(it rains so much here) no joke. i had a prompting to tell her that it would not rain from 10 ot 11(church is at 11). i asked her if she would come if the weather was good. she said she would and i told her that it would not rain from 10 to 11. i was scared and prayed much the next 8 hours that my promise would be fullfilled. it rained a little bit in the morning, but other than that, it was the clearest day that i had seen since arriving in the mtc. it was a miracle because all that week it rained everyday for the whole day. it strengthened my faith very much. but at church, Marlen came but here family had not. i was discouraged because her family was not keeping their commitments but i was still glad that God heard my prayers. 
  my companiion is Elder Johnson from Sandy utah. he is so awesome and has helped me a lot. he has been out almost a year now. i could not have asked for  a better companion. the ward mission leader is Gabriel. he just returned from his mission three months ago from vina del mar chile. he is so awesome. our bishop is only 28 years old and does a fantastic job. sunday was testimony meeting and me being the new missionary i bore my testimony. although it was done in very broken up spanish, i was so thankful for the oppurtunity to bear my testimony to them. also to most of the family investigators, we have been focusing on families and family scripture and prayers and FHE. i have gained a stronger testimony of that and know can see how much blessings i have recieved through them in my home. thank you Mom and Dad. Also read 2 Nephi 4. it is such a good chapter about repentance and strength of the Lord. I love you all and wish the best of luck to you.

Elder Hughes

*A few notes on Valdivia from the Internet: Valdivia is approximately 50 miles North West of Osorno, a 2 hour car ride without traffic. It has a population of 141,000 people.  It has it's own Stake with 5 Wards and 1 Branch. Valdivia is the Northernmost part of the Osorno Mission.

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