Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Adios Llo Lleo, Hola Villa La Foresta

Hey everybody-

Woo hoo for email. Here goes nothing.

My new area
So, changes were fun. Our cell phone in Llo Lleo died again so both Elder Perrusquía and I knew nothing about leadership positions. When we got to changes, we found out that Elder Perrusquía was going to be District Leader again (in the coast) and that I was going to finish training a greenie (meaning that it is there second change in the mission). Now, as for where I am. I am now in the campo (country) in Peñaflor. It is outside of Santiago on the way to the coast. It also means that now I have been in the campo, the costa, and the ciudad. My area is Villa La Foresta and my companion´s name is Elder Rios. Elder Rios is from Osorno (Chile). It has been a wild ride so far and it is interesting to be with a new missionary. It made me realize how I was as a greenie. All I can say is that it should be a fun change.

(Cricket sounds)......Yeah, um we don´t have anyone progressing but I am hoping that we can change that. Luckily we have a ton of youth in this ward. I haven´t seen this many youth since being in the good old Timpview 8th ward ("old" does not specifically refer to the condition of people in said ward; however, if you wish to apply it to yourself, you know who you are ;)).

That´s all for now folks
Yep, that´s right. I don´t have anything else. Hopefully there will be more next week.

Elder Taylor Thomas
P.S. The fotos are of Llo Lleo, when I was saying goodbye to various people.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Testimony, Transfers, and a Tsunami

Hey friends-

Oh boy I have some good stories this week.

Investigators and a Miracle

We only have one progressing investigator, but lots of new possibilities. Basically Isabel and Ignacio rock. They have stopped smoking and Isabel has a baptismal date for the 26th of March. Ignacio will be ordained soon to a priest and will baptize her. It was pretty much a miracle. I passed by to visit them with Elder Opazo in divisiones and we were leaving their house (because they were not there). We ran in to them really late and had about 20 minutes for a lesson. We started to talk about the BOM and how they had been reading and how their lives had changed for the better. The spirit was really strong and Elder Opazo asked how she felt in her heart about everything she had read. She took a second to organize what she was saying and then said, "I have felt more and more like this is the path that I should follow. I am going to get baptized." I was floored with her response and the spirit that entered the lesson. She said that the 26th would be a good date and the both of them stopped smoking by the end of the week. The moral of the story is that the missionaries don´t teach, the spirit does. I feel like I had almost nothing to do with her change of heart, it all started with her reading the Book of Mormon. That is why we must always read the Book of Mormon because we can´t fall if we are reading it regularly and following all of the commandments.

Changes :S

So with the good, comes the changes. I found out that I, yes I, have changes. Both Elder Perrusquía and I were not expecting that, but it is ok. I am sad that I will miss the baptism of Isabel, but hopefully I will get to see them sealed for all of time and eternity before the end of my mission--which is really the goal, that they can have eternal blessings. However, I will go to Santiago tomorrow to find out where I am going and I know that it will be where the Lord wants me to be and with who he wants me to be.

Earthquakes, Tsunami, Evacuations, oh my!

Oh boy, I have been so excited to share my story about this one. We found out in Friday that there was a possible large Tsunami headed our way; however, the Chilean coast was only in alert. I was really excited to find out what would happen, because our pensión (apartment) is the lowest in the coast of all of the missionaries. Later on in the day we were heading down to the area of our sector which is a red zone (highest danger of Tsunami damage) where Carolina lives. It turned out that President King tried to call us directly himself around this time, but for some reason it went straight to voicemail. However, as we were going down we got a call from the assistants and they said that we needed to stay the night in the Zone Leaders´ pension. We stopped by Carolina and her parents and joked around with them about the Tsunami. They weren´t even afraid of the Tsunami. But after we finished talking with them we notices that a lot of people were leaving the area with backpacks and other items. We called one of the members because we knew that he would be worried about us and he said that the status had been changed from Alert to Alarm for the majority of the Chilean coast. This meant that they would be evacuating all of the low-lying areas. So we tried passing by all of the houses down where we were to see if they needed help, but no one took our offer. It was really cool at this point. My comp and I weren´t worried at all and it was really cool to see a real evacuation. We went back to our pension to get a few things for the night and saw everybody leaving. We also saw the bomberos (firefighters) getting ready to sound the alarm. We took taxi to the Zone Leaders pension along a very deserted main avenue in San Antonio. We also got to see the entire division of Caribineros (the thing most similar to police) move out with huge buses and other equipment. Basically, the whole experience was freaking awesome. But in the end, there never was even a tiny wave in the San Antonio area. But yeah, along with a few other cool temblores (small earthquakes), that was about all.

Well that is all for this week. Hope everyone is doing well.

Elder Taylor Thomas

Monday, March 7, 2011

40 Days of Fasting

Hey amigos-
I actually have funny stories today :) But first, the spiritual part.
So Ignacio and Isabel are doing well. I think that we should have a new baptismal date for Isabel by the end of this week. The both of them are really cool and will be great leaders in the church. We have been finding a lot of people in a small town just outside of Llo Lleo called Lo Gallardo. We have a full page of references that we are going to check out. Another cool item. Our companionship, along with our now former ward mission leader, designed the Ward Mission plan. We finally had a chance to finalize it with the Bishop and we are starting to roll it out this week. Two of my favorite things that we are doing are a scripture study group in the chapel and something called the 40 day fast. The 40 day fast is really cool. Elder Perrusquìa had done it in his ward in Mexico and it was really cool. Basically one family is fasting a day, for 40 days--all with the same purpose.
Our 80s party
So my comp and I got on the bus one morning to go do service. Now, you have to know that the majority of music here in Chile hard core sucks (for example, Ragaeton). However, instead of hearing the usual crap (sorry, there isn`t a better word to describe it), we caught the tail end of "We built this city on rock and roll" and then "Along comes a women" (by Chicago?). Needless to say, I was really happy to hear real music and had to resist the urge to dance and/or sing along (which I did a little bit of).
Death by Sandwich
Today we went exploring with a member of our ward in Las Rocas de Santo Domingo--the richest part of our mission. It actually looks like the United States there. We had permission from our Zone Leaders to go anywhere in the Zone (the largest zone in the mission) but only went to Santo Domingo. It was still really cool. We went and walked along the sidewalk by the beach (we couldn`t actually go on to the beach, but we got about within 30 meters of the water). Afterwards, we went to eat at a place that serves HUGE churrascos, completos, etc. I am not kidding when it was huge, complete with tomatoes and avacado. I have attached pictures of this adventure in a seperate email, which my parents should forward on with this email.
That is all for today, hope everyone is doing well and is ready for the coming spring. I myself am dreading the onset of winter.
Elder Taylor Thomas

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Hey everyone-


So....Carolina got baptized!!!! I have attached fotos of the baptism. I got to baptize her and I am pretty sure that I was more nervous than she was. It was really cool to see her at this point. She was a golden investigator and it was cool to see the change. We had everything go wrong the day of the baptism (including our cell phone completely and totally dying) but the Lord helped us to pull everything through.


So Ignacio and Isabel are legit. Ignacio committed to ask the Bishop for an interview to start getting ready to receive the Priesthood and he followed through with it! The both of them attended the baptism and really liked it. It really actually looks like she will get baptized. We also have an investigator in San Juan called Orlando. We have to take a bus into the country and then hike 2 km up a hill to get there, but it is so worth it. He and his family are humble and extremely nice. We`ll see if they can make it to church.

The fattening

So we had our Zone Activity today. We went out to the country (really far) to a member`s house to have an asado (a BBQ, but a little different). This involves a large amount of meat and other food items. We also hitchhiked back with the Zone Leaders (first time I have ever done that in my life). I have attached fotos of said event for your viewing pleasure.

This concludes my report for the week. I will try to remember some more funny things to tell you next week.


Elder Taylor Thomas