Oh, man! I could never even hope to be able to explain how excited I am to be here where I am. Words could never be enough to describe my feelings. This week was probably the best one of my mission. I love it here. We have a great sector and ward with lots of potential. It´s the exact opposite of what I´ve heard. Because the people in this community are so rich (I always feel like I´m in the States) it has a reputation of being really hard. But I don´t believe it at all. Last week we had more success than any week in my last sector, which supposedly the people there were more receptive. Actually, in the sector I´m in now there hasn´t been a baptism for a year. But we´re going to end that starting this next Sunday.
This might be my last sector. But also it will probably be my most successful. We have a lot of great people we are teaching. We actually will have a baptism this next Sunday and every week in September with a goal of 5 baptisms in that month. This morning, after much prayer, I set a personal goal of 5 baptisms every month for the rest of my mission. With 8 months left that will be 40 baptisms, not counting the one this next week as it is still August. It´s a lot, but it´s possible; and I´ll be praying and fasting a lot to be able to achieve it.
As I mentioned, this Sunday we will have a baptism. His name is Jeremias and he´s 11 years old. His mom was an inactive member, but she´s now returning to the church. Jeremias is really excited for his baptism. His dad, Gustavo, is also preparing to be baptized the 12th of September, three weeks from yesterday. Gustavo works a lot, being gone Thursday to Thursday then home till the next Thursday, etc. So he can only make it to church every other week, otherwise he´d get baptized this week as well. But he´s still progressing well.
Last night we went to visit Jeremias, and when we got there they had a surprise visitor. Carolina is 22, and Marcela, mom of Jeremias, had purposely invited her over knowing we´d show up soon after. They supposedly were talking about something else and somehow got on the topic of religion. Marcela taught a little about the Book of Mormon, the Restoration, I don´t know what else. Several days earlier, I had accidently left a little General Conference Ensign fold-out that has the pictures of the 1st Presidency, the Twelve, and the Seventy. Jeremias brought it over to her and said "I present you to the prophet." hahaha, yeah! Shortly after that we got there and met her. She says she has a lot of questions and doubts about our religion. She has a friend in the university who´s a member and he gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon. We watched "The Restoration" with her and invited her to read the Introduction of the Book of Mormon and pray to know that it´s true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. We´ll be calling this week to maybe visit her one day.
Last Monday we decided to knock some doors and, following the Spirit, picked a random apartment building. At the first door we knocked, a 19-year-old named Yahir (It´s said like jay-ear) answered and let us in. Turns out he and his mom are inactive members. He has an 11-year-old sister, Noelia, who isn´t a member. Yet. She has a baptismal date for the 19th of September. Actually, we´ve been sharing a lot with them, and yesterday the Mom, Susanna, and Noelia, as well as a friend, Kati, 9, went to church. The little girls loved it, and Kati now has a baptismal date for the 19th of September, as well as Noelia. Yesterday after church we asked Noelia how she feels for the 19th. She said, "Impatient." We asked her what she means by that and she responded, "I want to get baptized now." Wow. So we´ll probably change her date to the 5th. Tonight we´re going to pass by for Kati to meet her parents and get their permission to teach and baptize her. And maybe teach them if they want.
Saturday we went to the chapel next to the temple and had a devotional. It was the whole mission of Santiago North and Santiago East. The speaker was Elder Costa of the Seventy. Elder Amado of the Seventy, also President of the Chile Area Presidency, was also there and he spoke a little as well as the wives. It was a great devotional and really pumped me up a lot.
Well, that´s all for now. This will be a great time here in Quilicura. Something kind of funny--My Zone Leader, Elder Christensen, was in my district in the MTC, and was Zone Leader there also. The other ZL, Elder Carrasco from Peru, also arrived here in Chile with us. So the three of us have the same time. Pretty cool.
Well, have a great week!
Quilicura is a rich area
Our apartment building in Quilicura