Monday, May 18, 2009

May 18, 2009


Hey how is everybody doing in the greatest family in the world? I read all of the emails and am very greatful to have recieved all of them! Its so great to see the progress of our family, even though I only am aloud to see it in weekly increments it is super exciting to look every week and hear that a baby is walking, sleeping through the night, talking through skype and all that good stuff! Keep the awesome emails coming, I LOVE TO READ THEM!!!

Life, missionary life rather, down here in the southern hemisphere is going really well.. The work moves forward every week and ever week we have a new experience to look back on and reflect on how the church is growing down here. One thing that was kinda scary for me, but i guess its not all that new here in Chile was that our chapel was broken into sometime between Thursday night and Saturday morning. The way the church is set up is on one side of the building there are two bishops offices and a ¨bodega¨ in between the two. I think a bodega means a store room, or i´m not sure, it has the computers and its where they do all the tithing counting on Sunday, which i guess means that it is the ward clerks office? I´m not sure, anyhow what happened was that someone broke into the church, how they did it, i don´t know because all the windows and doors have huge metal fencing on the outside that is welded on there pretty well. Anyhow someone was able to break in and then they must have thought that the office would still have some money in it because they broke the windows out of one of the bishops office doors and then realized they couldn´t unlock the door from the inside so they proceeded to rip off the door handle and eventually axed out the entire door handle mechanism to get into the bishops office. That was what they did on the other bishops office. What they did on our bishops side was open the door (our bishop knows the future so he knew the robbers would come, therefore he didn´t lock his door ;) ) but then they tried to get into the bodega by beating through the reinforced wall of his office, that didn´t work so they tried to break through the roof of the office and drop down into the bodega, again they came to a sore realization when they found that the entire office is surrounded by reinforced concrete. So they gave up and ran away, not being able to steal any computers or money but leaving the church completely trashed! It was really sad actually, i thought about it after and really, who is desperate enough to rob a church? That is like asking to be struck down with lightning on the spot, any church, not just specifically ours (even though ours is the only true one, therefore it is the worst to rob us) but honestly, who tries to rob a church? But i guess this isn´t the worst that has happened, in the super ghetto ward of our mission, ¨chiloe¨ they built a new chapel and people robbed everything from it. They literally took everything, they completely dismantled the chapel, all the roof, the dry wall on the walls, all that is left of that church is the frame of it, they even stole the fence, my comp said that he was walking through the feria one day ( the feria is like the huge garage sale that goes on in the poorer part sectors of santiago) and he even saw the huge rock plaque that said ¨la iglesia de Jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos dias¨. That is called robery!!! By the way does robery have one b or two? Anyways so that was the scary story of the week.

The cool story of the week is that we had a killer lesson with Milena this week and she came to church! She loved it and is going to be baptized! The only thing is that she has to wait for a while to get hired at the military school before she changes her religion. The thing is that she isn´t even done with school and wont be for a while so she could be waiting a really long time. We are pretty sure however though that she is going to change her mind becuase she has told us a couple of times that that might be the case so we will have to continue to pray that she can do something to make that happen. She has told us quite a few times now that she knows the church is true. She asked us at the end of our last lesson if we could give her a booklet or something that had the rules of the church in it so she could start to live them... does such a book exist? haha the best thing we could think of was giving her a for strenghth of the youth pamphlet which is what we will be doing tonight so keep us in your prayers!

We have a couple of other investigators that we are working on and we hope for success in getting together with them this upcoming week because our appointments with them fell through this week but we have reset them for this week so we should be able to teach them and help them progress this week! Keep us and them in your prayers!

Well i´m about out of time, i just got a call from two crazy people in africa wanting to talk to me so i gotta end the email here but i love you and hope that everything is going well! Have a good week and next week i´ll write a little bit about a family BEEH which is our thing that we are trying to implement here in this mission so the familys can get involved in the work as well! Alright i love you all! Keep a smile on!

Elder livingstone

Monday, May 4, 2009

May 4, 2009

Hola Familia,

First and foremost, yes, we are going to the cabin. I know right? I´m so STOKED too! I´ll see all of you up there, will someone please remember to bring syrup because i am going to make the best popover that any of you have EVER TASTED!!! Haha just kidding, i´ll be here down in Chile when everyone is there having fun. Shoot, that makes me a little bit trunky but it´s alright, i love opening 15 emails all entitled ¨are we going to drew´s favorite place on earth¨ haha suckers, having to live the real hard life, riding four wheelers, waking up at 10 o´clock, dang that sounds pretty tough.. haha just kidding again, i wouldn´t trade anything in the world to leave where i´m at right now, i can´t lie, i have the best life out of EVERYONE right now so go ahead, enjoy the cabin, it´s got nothing on the mission!!!

I just want to share an experience that I had this last week, its about goal setting and the importance thereof. Earlier in the mission I had the outlook that, it didn´t really matter what goals I set, I was going to go out and work hard whether we had reached our goal or not. Therefore i never really took the whole goal setting time of our planning all that seriously, for me it was kind of just like going through the motions. It didn´t help that we had set mission goals to find 20 new investigators to teach every week, 15 lessons with members every week and 15 other lessons every week. Just to give you some background on those goals they have been set by an apostle, i think it was Elder Holland, not quite sure, regardless the goals are quite lofty, just so you have an idea, the most lessons i´ve ever taught with a member in a week was 7, and the most new investigators i´ve found in a week was 8. those two respective weeks were the BEST OF MY LIFE! Seriously though, the goals are really up there. So Elder Jennings and i were talking about how i wanted to actually accomplish the goals that we set so we shouldn´t put the mission goals ( behind this there is a whole different story, its not apostate, i promise) anyways i wanted to set lower goals so we could accomplish them and not feel like i was just going through the process of putting numbers down and Elder Jennings, being the wise sage that he is, helped me to understand why the mission goals are there. What happened is that he asked me how many people I wanted to find this week, not how many i thought we would find, or how many was logical, but how many i wanted to find. I took out my agenda and began to flip through the pages of the next week, i began to look at each day and determine, based on what we have planned, how many New investigators i thought we could find each day. I wrote down how many i thought we could find today, 1, and then continued on to Tuesday, 3, and i preceded to think for each day, putting the number of new investigators in my agenda on the corresponding day. When i went through and counted how many i had put for the week to my astonishment i had counted 20 new investigators. After i realized this i realized that if we found 20 new investigators in a week that meant that we had to have taught 20 new investigators, meaning 20 lessons, we had planned for around 10 lessons with members so we literally with faith and breaking down each day into an individual day found that the goals are possible. In retrospect this story isn´t all that amazing but when i step back and look at it i learned a really big lesson. That when i actually listen to the council of my leaders, and apply what they have taught me with faith that they know exactly what they´re talking about. Also i found that by taking every day, one at a time we really can accomplish big things. By small and simple means the Lord brings about his great works and i just hope that i can continue to be an instrument in his hands and doing that which needed of me.

So the cool story of the week that i have to share with everyone happened Friday night when we were headed down to an appointment in the south end of our sector on the micro. It was super full which wasn´t all that fun but thats just how it is sometimes. Anyways, we were going along stopping here and there to pick up passangers and let others off just like normal but at one stop there was a man who tried to get on for free(the rule of ¨permiso¨ as it is called here in Chile, basically means that if you say permiso you can do whatever you want, ride the bus for free, use your companions shampoo, milk, whatever you want, its just a word that the lazy, not self relient people have invented to steal from us self sufficient people. In a sentance, I HATE THIS RULE, probably becuase i´m too embarrased to use it because i hate using that which isn´t mine, regardless, i don´t like) anyhow so this gentlemen tries to use the permiso rule on the bus and the bus driver wasn´t going to have any of that, he told him ¨no¨ and the guy was a little shocked but got off the bus anyways. Little did the bus driver know that he had ¨amigos¨ already on the bus who had his back covered, they shouted out that someone wanted to get off the bus still so that the bus driver would open up the back door so the one man could get on the bus for free in the back. The bus driver noticed, stopped the bus and yelled at him for doing it saying ¨you just make the public transportation system look stupid and you are not respecting any of these people who actually paid to ride, etc¨it was a good little speach, secretly in my mind i was like ¨yeah, take that dude.¨ anyways he let him ride for the time that he needed because the bus driver had to get goin´. Here´s where the story gets awesome, when the dirty freeloader got off the bus, like a true knucklehead he came up to the front of the bus to taunt the driver, knocked on the windows and was yelling at him calling him all sorts of obscene things and then started to walk off. The bus driver however was not done yet, he returned to favor telling him a thing or two about his mother and some other stuff that i didn´t understand nor need to understand... this made the freeloader pretty ticked so he came to confront the driver of the bus, he yelled some more through the window of the bus, he jumped up in the window and started to hit the bus driver and he even hawked(can i get a spell check on that word?) a loogey on the bus driver, i can´t imagine what was going through his head. Anyways after all this he started to bang on the front window of the bus again with his fists, NOT SMART! The bus driver hit the gas to scare him off but he didn´t take the hint, so he started hitting the window again, gas again, hitting the window again, and this time the bus driver really hit the gas and the guy realized the bus was moving a lot more than the previous times so he tried to run to the side of the bus but he didn´t make it!!! Hahaha fortunately the bus driver had hit the brakes so he didn´t run him over but seeing the look on that guys face as he went underneath the bus was priceless! Really scary too, my heart stopped because i thought for sure he was getting run over but thankfully he didn´t! He popped right up and started at it again, tryin to get in the window of the bus but the driver really hit the gas and he jumped off because he didn´t want to hang on the outside of a bus going 40 miles an hour but what i learned from this experience is that i need to always be SUPER nice to the bus drivers here in Santiago because they are crazy! Before i thought they just drived crazy but i was dead wrong, they are truely CRAZY!!!

Hey i just thought about this, it might be cool if everyone had my address so they can look up where i´m living and what my sector is like, my address is 5600 los militares (something like that, they are green appt buildings next to this huge grocery story called ¨santa isabel¨) anyhow our sector goes from the street Fransico Bilboa at the south end up the hill in the north and the western end of our sector is a street called ¨avenue hollanda¨ to the eastern part, a road called ¨manquehue¨ there are some other parts of it but it is HUGE!!! Anyways i just thought that maybe someone might like to look at where i´m living, but were planning on moving this week so that will change. We´re moving to an apartment in the street ¨felix de amesti¨. Cool stuff, have fun looking it up!

Well i´m outta time, i spent all the time writting this letter so hopefully it is a little bit more interesting and helpful for everyone to get a picture of what its like down here! We had some great appointments with investigators this week, one girl who is really developing a strong testimony is named Melina Jaksic, please pray for her that her dad will let her get baptized and also her job, she is studying to be a profesor at the Escuela Militar which is a catholic school so she doesn´t know if she will be aloud to do it but we are praying like crazy that she can! She is already converted, she is setting time aside in her school schedule next semester so that she can go to church and all the activities so she is set but yeah, pray for her please. Thank you all so much for the support, letters, prayers and pictures. I love you all and unfortunately i only get to talk with mom and dad this upcoming week but I know they´ll be back soon and can relay some stuff to all ya´ll. I love you like crazy and pray for each of you! Remember it!


Elder Livingstone