Santiago Chile

Santiago Chile

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September 28, 2015- Margarita Baptism

Iorana korua,

Wow, this week was absolutely crazy. there were a million things that happened, and most of them happened this weekend

On Thursday, we got to teach LP. He is one of Elder Boelter´s converts, and he is a recovering alcoholic. He isn't able to go to church often because of health problems, but he always reads his scriptures and prays. This Sunday he was able to come to church!

That night we visited M. We came ready to teach follow the Prophet, and when we arrived we saw that L, her ex boyfriend was there with her, and she was with a lady named C. C is a less active member that has caused some problems with the church. We arrived and we were kind of thinking "what is going on here"? Everything ended well, and we taught M, and she committed to following the Prophet

We also taught J that night. He is a little like St. Thomas. See to believe. He is making good progress though because he reads and he receives us. We are working with him so the Spirit can answer his prayers. It´s a battle, but it means everything in missionary work.

On Friday, R and his family arrived from Santiago! Yay! Our only Rapanui family returned to church! They were able to visit the temple while they were there to do a tour, and they met up with Elder Swan and Elder Espinoza.

Bad news, our Relief Society President left the same day for Chile to visit her daughter for a month. She will be greatly missed, and she took us out for sushi before she left. Yum!

We visited L that same day. She is R's wife. R is our first counselor. Recently, R and L  separated, so we stopped by to see how she was doing. Not too good, but not too bad either. We are not sure what is going to happen with them.

we visited M that same day.She is doing really well, and she is getting close to committing to get baptized. She´s starting to ask about dates, so we hope she takes the plunge. As we shared the experiences that M, J, and R had been through she started to piece together that she has no reason to wait.

We had M's baptismal interview that night as well. :)

On Saturday, M got baptized!!!!!! There were a ton of members and investigators that came to support her. I got to baptize her in the ocean, so that was cool. Afterwords, we had a ward dinner at M´s house who lives right next to the Moai in Tehai.  It was an awesome day!

That same morning two construction guys arrived from Santiago to repair some things in the church. They are contracted by the church, so they are both members. It was fun to say "welcome to the Island, we have a baptism in 2 hours". They will be living and working in the church.

On Sunday, I got a phone call from Luis Droguett!!!! He and Carolina were my first converts. They called to tell me that they were sealed, and they called to see how I was doing. They told me that Elder Muñoz is getting married really soon!!!! They are both doing really well, and it was great to hear their voices again. 

We visited M and when we arrived we saw L drunk. He was really drunk and M was giving him juice and water so the alcohol would just leave. I don't know what we are going to do to help him. Things are really bad with him and his current girlfriend, and now he is bothering M by getting drunk and visiting her. 

We had a nice lesson with J last night as well. We watched the Restoration with him and his wife . We have been trying to teach  her for a while now, and we finally did it. She had some awesome questions and they both committed to reading the Book of Mormon.

Okay, here comes the best story of my mission....

Sunday morning we got a call from L. She called to tell us that she was going to go to church, but only for Sacrament meeting. This was a surprise because she hasn't gone to church for the past 2 months. She also is getting separated from her husband who is the 1st councilor in the Branch, who was going to be in the meeting. She wanted to go because she is a friend of M and wanted to see her get confirmed.

Okay, L came to church, but there´s more. Elder A, that same morning got the impression that he had to ask R to share his testimony about visiting the temple in Chile. Right before Sacrament meeting we asked R to do it and he said okay. In R´s testimony he mentioned how originally he and his family weren't going to have time to visit the temple until he got a call from LAN Chile that told him that his flight was changed from Thursday to Friday. With that he was able to go on a tour of the temple. He did the tour of the temple and entered until he got to the desk. He didn't have a recommend so he couldn't go further into the temple, but he said that the Spirit was awesome.

Sunday night, we visited L and she told us that the experience that R shared changed her life. L is a recent convert, and for the past couple of years she had always had questions about the temple. She didn't know that one could still enter the doors even if they don't have a recommend. She had wrestled with that doubt for along time. She said that as she heard that, she felt something come over her. She felt the need to follow Christ, and she explained to us that "for the first time in my life, I feel like I want to follow Christ". She said that as she sat there looking at her husband on the stand she realized that the arguments they had had were because of her not understanding the gospel, and she realized that her husband was not fighting with her, but he was teaching her. She said that because of what happened in Sacrament Meeting she "wanted to stand up and run to her husband and apologize and hug him". 

It's crazy how the Lord worked through so many people so L could have such a spiritual awakening. the Church is true!


Elder Williams
Ovahe Beach


Elder Williams at Ovahe Beach

Thursday, September 24, 2015

September 21, 2015 - TSUNAMI !!!!!!!!!.....PSYCH

Iorana korua

Well, let me just start off by saying that I am not dead, and the Island has not been submerged by giant waves. there were tsunami alerts, but tsunamis dont really make it all the way out here, so everyone is ok.

On Monday we got to go to Orongo with J. (J´s brother). Orongo is the giant Volcano here on the Island, and it has a crater inside. Only Rapanui natives can enter but, J let us come with him, and it was awesome!!!! It was really quiet and beautiful. it is left untouched by the touristy people. It was a very spiritual experience because it is also the place where supposedly there is the highest concentration of Varua (spirits of the ancesters).
The crater at the top of Orongo
Elder Williams, Elder Adams, and J at the Volcano Orongo

On Monday, in the letter from the President to the whole mission, he included a story about missionaries that purified themselves, or in other words, they fasted, made a list of all things they did that distanced them from the Spirit, and then they stopped doing them for forty days. On Tuesday we started our fast to try the same thing. We´ll see how it goes!

That day we did a service project for Ida in our ward. We also started our new English class. Everyone here asks us to teach them English, so this week we started teaching English to the community in the library. About 20 people came which was awesome. At the beginning of the class we told the people "we are missionaries and our number one priority is to teach the gospel, so dont be afraid if we leave you with things to read or if we want to teach you our message in your houses, that´s just what we do."

On Wednesday we found out their was a tsunami warning. we called the mission office to see if everyone was ok in Santiago. It was all good. We were worried about the missionaries on the Island of Juan Fernandez. About 4 years ago almost the whole island died there because of a tsunami. Everyone in the Mission is fine though.

We taught L this week. He´s not doing too well so we are just starting with the basics with him again.

We taught J R. He´s a guy we met playing soccer. He is R´s brother in law. He´s gone to church a couple of times, but its difficult to find time to teach him. He is very concerned about his income and he works a lot. We were able to teach him about the 10 commandments, and the Sabbath Day. What a great commandment for those that work a lot. He said "I am just so tired all of this work" and we said "well, you can follow the commandments and take Sunday off. God wants you to rest". He said he´s going to stop working on Sundays, but he didnt come to church this Sunday because of a prior commitment

On Friday we celebrated the 18 of september!!!! its Chile´s Fourth of July and it lasted 3 days. We started off by passing by Main Street where we saw all of our investigators watching the parade. We reminded them to go to church. In the afternoon we were in the house of J and we ate shish ka bobs and played this fun game where you through metal plates in mud (chilean horseshoes).
Elder Adams and friends playing Chilean horseshoes

On Saturday we were making some phone calls in Tehai when a Swiss toursist asked me if he could use my bike to retrieve a camera filter he left in his hotel. I was thinking "I dont even know this guy" and then I thought "what´s he going to do, take my bike on the plane", so I lent him by bike. He came back 10 minutes later and we gave him a pamphlet. maybe he´ll get baptized in Switzerland!!

On Sunday we had a pleasant surprise when an Area Seventy that was on vacation visited the Branch. He had forgotten to pack a shirt and tie, so we asked him to bare his testimony in his down jacket. It was a very powerful testimony and a very spiritual Sacrament Meeting. Elder Adams and I played a musical number. We sang and hummed How Great Thou Art while I strummed quietly on hermano Tuki´s guitar. We were a little concerned because we had both been sick during the week and our voices werent doing too great and there was an Area Setenta and we werent a hundred percent sure that we could play the guitar in the church. Everything went fine and there was an awesome Spirit after we performed.

We found out that Ingrid, the Relief Society President goes back to Chile next week!!! We are going to miss her a lot and she has realy helped the Branch and it is going to be a lot harder without her. We called the counselor of the Mission President to tell him what was up, and he said that a senior couple arrives soon in the Mission but President Videla doesn't want to send them here! so....WE´RE IN CHARGE!!!! just kidding, the Lord is.

We taught M last night. she accepted Diezmo like a champ, but it looks like her work situation might be challenging, so we might need to wait more on her baptism. The good thing is that she wants to get baptized and she is very excited.

That´s pretty much it for this week. There were a lot of people partying hard during the 18, but we were still able to have 6 investigators in the church. We are doing well, and we are ready to rest this pday, because things have been crazy and this week will be even crazier.

I´ll just end with my testimony about Joseph Smith:

He is a prophet.

If you´re not sure, read the Book of Mormon with that question in mind, and then ask God.


Elder Williams

Monday, September 14, 2015

September 14, 2015 - LOST

 Hola familia y amigos,

This week was definitely an adventure, but then again, every week is an adventure here.

Monday, after I wrote, we went fishing with Ivan and Tonga and all of the family. I had a huge fish on my line, but it broke off, but I landed another one right after. I was the only one that caught something.

Just so you all know, in the mornings we spend a lot of time at the church doing paper work and sending emails to the mission offices in Santiago.There are a million things to do here on the Island, and there is no one else that does them other than the missionaries...we are bishops, secretaries, pianists, choristers, and most importantly MISSIONARIES! but hey, it's fun.

We met a crazy guy on Tuesday. He said he had a two wheeled skateboard that could fly. It's been a while since we've  found a crazy person like that.

On Wednesday we had an awesome lesson with I. We felt impressed to read the story of Enos with him, Because I. has been really trying to get an answer, and while we were reading it we asked him if he had tried kneeling while he was praying. He told us he hadn't. He said he would do it, but we are way excited because I. is really searching and the Spirit is getting to him!!!! YES!!! 

On Thursday we taught M.. It was awesome. We went over the baptismal interview questions, (because she says she isn't ready to get baptized) so we asked her if she believed Joseph Smith was a prophet and she said "I don't know".  That was when we were like-- "there´s your problem" so then she said "I guess I need to study and pray about Joseph Smith". She is so smart!

On Saturday we helped I with a little bit of yard work, and he said he was going to go to church because he hasn't gone in a couple of weeks.

Saturday night we had dinner with C and Cr. They are a new part member family we found. C seems promising to have him back in the church. His wife, Cr is pretty set on being Catholic, but the Spirit is amazing, So it can change people.

On Sunday we had only 15 people at church. Poco. But 5 of them were investigators. That's good for our missionary responsibilities but bad for our bishop responsibilities....

That's pretty much it for this week. We were a little sick this week as well, but we are doing our best. The Island is awesome. I'm not going to lie. There is a lot of temptation here to waste time. It is very difficult, but in our prayers we ask for the Lord to protect us from temptation. We tell Him about our days and what we did, and He tells us what we did well and what we need to change through His Spirit.


Elder Williams

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September 7, 2015 - Mahana Tapati

Iorana korua,

That was how to say hello to all of you friends and family of mine in Rapanui, the language of the Island. This week was a lot of work, and we are exhausted. We have ridden a lot on our bicycles and we hiked a mountain! 

On Monday, we went fishing! We made our own reels and we found our own spot and we went fishing and we actually caught fish! we did it without other Rapanui present so we feel pretty proud of ourselves. We ate the 5 fish we caught for lunch.

We had a nice lesson with M on Tuesday. She is progressing well and she is inviting her friends to church with her, and now her friends love going to church. She always comes with Cl and K, and they participate in the classes, and they love the Spirit they feel at church.

On Wednesday, we taught the guy that usually fixes our bikes. His name is C. He is really awesome, but he is always working and we had to teach him while he was working on a bike, but he did say he would read the Book of Mormon.

On Thursday we got to teach M.. M is about 40 years old and she is Rapanui. She is awesome! She told us that she feels really good when she goes to church and that when she went to a baptism at the church she felt the Spirit really strong. We are trying to help her take the plunge when Ma. gets baptized. She bore her testimony on Sunday and she said she was going to get baptized, but she is waiting for God to tell her when. It was awesome because after her testimony, a sister that has been visiting the Island for three weeks gets up and gives her testimony and says, speaking to M, "Don´t wait for the Lord to tell you when. If you know it is true, what are you waiting for. He wants you to commit and make the decision."  Elder A and I were silently rejoicing on the inside.

On Friday we taught T. not the convert T, but another investigator named T. He is R's friend (R is the convert of Elders S and M). He is doing really well. We read the Book of Mormon with him. He has a long way to go, but he has already gone to church and he has R to help him out.

We also taught J that night. He is doing really well. He didn't read the Book of Mormon but he recommitted and he told us "come ready to ask me questions" and then he gave us a homework assignment and now we have to research a cave here on the Island as our part of the deal.

On Saturday. we had a ward activity and we climbed the highest volcano on the Island. It was pretty cloudy when we got to the top, so we couldn't see anything, but it was fun and we had a lot of investigators there.
The hills surrounding the Terevaka Volcano on Easter Island.

This is what the view looks like from the Terevaka Volcano without clouds!

That night we also found a new family. Cr works in the prison here on the island. He is less active. He fell away from the church about 15 years ago. His wife C isn't a member but she is really nice. They just moved here to the island, and they are awesome! They wanted to make us food but we were fasting so we couldn't...

On Sunday, I bore my testimony.....IN RAPANUI!!!!!! It was fun. There were about 20 people there at church including a couple from Utah. The brother was from Tacoma. His name is brother Dixon...maybe someone knows him. We were missing a lot of the members because they were sore from the caminata and some went clubbing Saturday night to say goodbye to R and M who leave to the Continent on Tuesday. (don't worry they didn't drink, they just went to dance, but M and J went too. Weird to see an old  companion from the mission going to a disco with his girlfriend)

That's pretty much it for this week. We have biked a lot and we are so tired!!!! I want a nap!!! but hey, its all for the Lord so it is worth it.

I want to testify of the Lord Jesus Christ. His Atonement has saved us from an eternity of misery. Without Him we would be angels unto a devil, but the salvation He bought with his precious blood has given to all of us a better future in the eternities. I know that He lives, and that His sacrifice has saved us all.


Elder Williams

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

August 31, 2015 - Tired

Hola familia y amigos,

Wow, this week was insane! There was so much to do!

On Monday we had a goodbye party for Elder S and Elder E. More than 30 people came (which is a lot for the church here on the Island) and we almost didn't have enough food for everyone.

On Tuesday we went to the airport and we said goodbye to Elder S and Elder E. It was tough to say goodbye to Elder E after having spent 4 months with him. We found out that they arrived well and they are going to be companions in the sector where Elder S was serving before they called him to the Island! They will do well there.
Elder S, Elder A, Elder E, and Elder Williams.

Elder Williams and Elder E

Good bye Elder E and Elder S!

That night we got to teach one of the investigators from Elder A´s side of the Island. It was awesome because we got to teach the whole family of the investigator. J is the father of the family we taught, and we got to meet his wife, R and his two twin girls (5 years old) and his son M (8 years old). I already knew J because I had played soccer with him a couple of times. It was an awesome lesson. The kids were acting pretty crazy but when we started to pray and teach the Restoration they got real quiet and attentive, and their parents were amazed that they were paying such good attention.

We had a lesson with I that night as well. I. is T. and J's dad. he usually goes to church with them, but he has always looked at the church in a silly way. He looks it at as a club and really has't tried to search to see if its true. This lesson was different. He found out on Monday that he has a tumor in his brain. It hasn't metastasized yet, but he is still concerned and he told us that now he really does want to know. Brother T. was with us and he is a convert to the church and he shared his testimony with I. and it really helped.

On Thursday we went to a hotel called Explora. A while back they asked Elder S and Elder A to teach some English classes, and they met some cool people to teach by doing it. We went to teach another class and I realized that it wasn't just any hotel, it was a really nice hotel. Top of the line. So that was cool. More photos coming this week.

Thursday we taught C. and F. C. is an ancient investigator and has been investigating for 20 years! While we were teaching it occurred to me to share the story of my great grandfather and how he almost sold off his crops the day before the Great Depression started. we used it to teach how we shouldn't wait to repent and it worked. C said he is going to talk with his lawyer on Monday.

On Sunday I learned a valuable lesson. the hymns "Abide With Me" and "Jesus the Very Thought of Thee" are not sung a lot in Latin America. I played them both and no one knew how to sing them...awkward...on the bright side, we had an awesome lesson with M. and now she wants to get baptized and she picked a date. I won't tell you when it is cause I dont want to jinx it, but photos should be coming in a couple of weeks or so.

oh, some of you asked for more information about Elder A. He is 20 years old and from Farmington Utah. He likes to fish and ski. He actually was in the same FHE group as Melanie in BYU and he and I had a class together in BYU but we didn't really know each other there. He is the oldest of three brothers and he has been in the mission for 19 months. 

We taught a total of 44 lessons this week. we are tired. we are going to try and go fishing today because we are super tired. There is a lot to do here in the Island, but with the help of the Lord we can do it. I know that this is the church of Jesus Christ, if it wasnt, I would probably be swimming in the ocean instead of knocking people´s doors. Because our message is true, we are doing all we can to spread it so it can bless the families of Easter Island.


Elder Williams