**From Zack's Mom: Thank you so much to everyone that sent me pictures for Zacks birthday! I was able to make 6 birthday banners of 10 pictures each-----he is going to be so surprised! I have still been receiving pictures so I am sending one more to him this weekend so if you haven't sent me a picture yet you still have time. Thank you so much for all the support you are giving Zack:)
Sorry I’m writing a bit later today. We went all the way to Puerto Mont today to play soccer and what not with other missionaries. It was fun! But it’s a 2 hour bus ride to get there so I don’t know if we will be doing that a lot. But hey this week was awesome!!! This week we really focused on how we do contacts and on talking with everyone and really using the spirit in planning. Not like I wasn’t doing that stuff before but like we focused on improving it this week and we saw the fruits of it for sure!! We found a lot of people this week, like a lot, that we taught and are now teaching. It was amazing to see the difference in the work. And we actually have somebody with a baptismal date right now!
We found a 14 year old kid this week named Esac and he is awesome. Here I’ll tell you the story about him and it’s pretty awesome. So we were on our way to one of our appointments and saw this kid outside bringing wood into his house so we said hi to him but we were in a rush to get to the appointment so we didn’t try to talk to him or anything. So we went and the people we were supposed to meet with weren’t there. We had in the plans to go over to a different area to go and visit some old investigators, so my companion was like "Hey you want to walk all the way over there to do that??" because it was raining and the rain here is terrible. But I said "You know what, I swear it’s not just the rain but I have a feeling we should stay here and do some door knocking." So 2 minutes into to knocking doors my companion was like "I don’t know why but I feel like we should go back to that one house with the kid, the one that was bringing in wood and talk to him." So we went over there and knocked on the door and the kid answered. The dad was in the background and yelled "Are those Mormons???" and usually when Chileans yell that, they slam the door in our faces ha-ha. But we told him yes, we were the missionaries. But surprisingly he was like "oh please come in!!!" Weird ha-ha! So we went in and apparently like 10 years ago the dad was baptized Mormon but never confirmed or anything, just missionaries trying to reach there baptismal goal...so he had a lot of questions about that. But we actually got the impression to teach him about the plan of salvation which was weird because we always teach the restoration first, but we taught it. And it turns out that his wife had committed suicide 8 years ago and has had a really hard time since then, and had been waiting for something life changing in his life. So we bore big testimonies on Gods plan for us and the spirit was so strong in this lesson. It also ends up that because of his wife’s death, he decided to travel a lot, with his son, so his son has never really been in any schools or anything and doesn’t really know how to read. He has also been waiting for someone to come and teach him about life and about the nature of God. Literally he was waiting for us missionaries to knock on his door. He’s going to be a hard one to crack because he smokes a lot and doesn’t want to go to church, but he is totally pushing his son towards us because he wants us to teach him the gospel. His son came to church and loved it! I just realized that story was all over the place ha-ha hopefully my mom can read my thoughts and understand what I wanted to put. Sorry I’m really tired!
This week should be interesting though, because playing soccer today I like tore my muscle in my thigh and it really hurts to walk and we’re in Calbuco so all we do is walk up hills, so it should be interesting ha-ha. But Holy Cow do I love this Gospel, and my testimony has grown so much!!! I love bearing my testimony now! One thing I have learned from being here in Chile is that a heart given testimony will always bring the spirit. Chileans love to talk about just random stuff and just like take the lessons way off track and occasionally start like fights with their spouses during the lessons (happened yesterday) but the instant that one of us starts to bear testimony of the Savior and of the Gospel, the spirit instantly fills the room and everyone can feel it in their heart. It’s a real gift that God has given us, the power of a testimony. So this week I want to give you all something to do. So as missionaries, we give out a lot of books of Mormon, and we always leave them with chapters to read. I love (and most other missionaries) love to leave either Chapter 11 from 3 Nephi, or I personally love to leave Ether 12. So I want all of you to go and read those chapters and tell me why I would leave those, and how they go with the restoration of the gospel and missionary work. They’re easy answers but they’re great chapters! Love you all!!!
Elder Zack Walden