We are wondering how the reaction has been in Chile to the new Pope and whether you hear much about it.
- A little bit. Some are happy that they are latino while others, take it as another opportunity to say bad things about their beloved church. It is very weird seeing how a lot of Catholics here, are “members” even as they reject completely the beliefs of their religion.
How is the transition going with all the new missionaries in the mission?
- Good, it hasn’t affected us that much. Mainly they are opening a lot of little branches where there haven’t been missionaries in years. However, in our zone there hasn’t been any grand changes because we are already a huge zone for this mission. I suspect that will change soon but I don’t worry about it much.
- There are some troubles with some wanting to go home. With the age change there are still a good number of missionaries that went because it is a novelty to be younger. However, some were not overly prepared for the physical challenges, the mental stresses and the emotional ups and downs. Up to this point only 2 have gone home that I am aware of.
- It is going to be rough here soon because we are getting like 30 more but it is alright. They have it under control in the office.
The ward here in Ohio now has eight missionaries and Mark told us that Provo was getting 100 additional missionaries.
- 8 is a ton of missionaries. Hopefully that starts to have more affect. Here the biggest wards still only have like 2 pairs of missionaries.
We saw the new mission around Santiago, did that affect your mission boundaries at all?
- No. Not at all. Within a couple months we should have 260 in all of the mission. It is incredible how fast they are arriving. New ones literally are arriving every other week.
Tell all you have time to tell about your week.
This week was full of miracles. There was a baptism! which is always fantastic. However the bigger miracle was in a lesson we had last night with a family.
It was our first visit with them, and we sat down and they started telling us of a bunch of problems that they have passed through as a family. So, we shared a little bit about the gospel and then they asked us about the Book of Mormon because they have one from about 30 years ago that they brought out and so we changed a little bit to the restoration. (This is the incredible part)
As we talked about the confusion that Joseph Smith had as a young man, we mentioned the difference in messages that he heard, and about how the churches were founded by men.
At this point the grandmother in the family started talking and quoted the scriptures: “with their lips they draw near unto me but their hearts are far from me.” [Isaiah 29:13, Joseph Smith History 1:19]
A scripture that we almost always share with people. We hadn’t even shared the First vision. I almost died of surprise. It was great.
She accepted right away the first vision and loved it. Her family as well. I left spiritually edified.
My time has run out. We have an activity as a zone in about 40 minutes and I still need to prep a bunch of stuff.
I love you all,