Monday, August 29, 2016

I'm in the Sector...

Villarrica!!!! I’m staying here for another Cambio!!! But yes Elder Thomas went to Valdivia (Calle Calle is the zone) to be a zone leader!!! But as for me I have a LATINO COMP now!! His name is Elder Medina and he is the bomb!!! He is from Argentina! He has been about 21 months in the mission but I think this is gonna be an awesome transfer! It is still a little difficult to always speak Spanish but I am already getting a lot better.:) Yeah I know that this was coming, I just didn’t want Elder Thomas to leave but that is the mission haha.

The mission is going really good. We got a lesson in with Camila this past week and we are going to meet with her tonight too!! The thing we are focusing on with her is getting her to come to church because she is gone a lot but I know it will come with time!!:) The most spiritual experience this last week. Well I think the spiritual thing for me was the Lord helping me with the gift of tongues and giving me the confidence to do a whole lot of new things. With Elder Thomas gone, I have to lead the Sector until Elder Medina learns the area a little more and even in only Spanish!!! This first week with him was way good and we could actually communicate a lot. My Spanish is actually a lot better than I thought, but it is still scary right out of my training. But as I have trusted in the Lord, I have seen everything work out so that was good.:) But as for the cookware, they have it here but not in our houses.. haha; and the LDS library, we don’t really have access to it because we don’t have very many ways to access electronics. So it’s all just us and the books we have here. We can look on our mission page but we aren’t on computers much.

That is sweet about the Book of Mormon. You should read D&C next.:) It sounds like you had a pretty great week and thank you so much for the package, I’ll let you know when it gets here!!:) Yeah you’ll have to have CJ make me a pen!!! 

Dang!! That is really crazy about the ward boundaries. I’m sure a lot of people were sad. That stinks that a lot of the ward is gone!!!!! :( but its ok. I know it’s for a good reason and God wanted it to be that way!!. I hope our ward can be as strong as the old one... And that’s good CJ and Jess are still in our ward!!:) It will be interesting to see all the new faces I bet!

For this week I just want to share Helaman 5:12 and say that through Christ is how we have a strong base and testimony that won’t fall; but also through reading, praying, and going to church we can have the strength to endure anything!!!!!

Love you momma and hope you have a great week!!!


Seeing Elder Thomas off to his new area.

Shawn and his new companion Elder Medina.

Monday, August 22, 2016

No News on Cambios Yet... :/

Yeah it is really crazy for me too!! Time is flying by because it seems like we just barely started this Cambio (transfer) but these last 6 weeks have flown by!!! Yeah it is really so true the spirit is so important and the conference was really good. But as for me I am doing really well. I am loving being out here. Of course yes it’s tough at times, but I love it still because I just look at my progress and how much I’ve gotten better already. This last week we had "Inter Cambios" with the zone leaders in Panguipulli. So what happened was I stayed here in Villarrica with ZL Elder Juares. And Elder Thomas went to Panguipulli with Elder Weyand. It was really cool but scary because I had to lead the area by myself!!!! But it actually went really well. We had a cita (meeting) set up with Camila but she canceled last second and I called like 4 members but no one could go with us to lessons. But Elder Juares and I just went and decided to knock doors and we knocked on one door and we found a really cool dude. He is 17 and his name is Axel. We talked with him a lot and he really liked what we taught him. We are going back to him tomorrow :). Camila is still good it’s just hard to reach her because she works a lot. But the rest of the day with Elder Juares we knocked doors in the pouring rain and I loved it!!!:) haha As for Elder Thomas' birthday I’m glad we were together for his birthday and yes I have done a TON of work outs since, haha I am trying to get thin....  haha.

Also no news on cambios yet but we still have today and tomorrow... If you train, or move up to district or zone leader, you get a call Sunday night or Monday morning. But if you get a usual transfer where you stay at the same position, you find out Tuesday then cambios are Wednesday. So I guess that we will see haha.

The thing that has surprised me the most.. hmmm.. well I think that would have to be how much I took a lot of little things for granted. I know that sounds weird but it’s crazy, because simple things like technology, having a strict budget, no brown sugar, cooking with proper bowls and a blender, having temples right next to me, LDS Library. There are so many things that I just never realized how nice they were till they were gone. It makes me appreciate them a lot more haha.

That is sweet you got to go to a drive in movie!!! I love going to those and that’s sweet you finally saw Finding Dory. And Pete’s Dragon? Yes we definitely need to do that run when I get home!! (the Foam Glow 5K). That would be sweet. I bet it was sick!! And how was the birthday party? Also tell Megan I say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

That is crazy about the ward boundaries. It will be crazy to see the new boundaries after they are done! That is a really cool thought about the atonement of Christ and how it is there to help everyone. Christ really did atone for each and every one of us and I know that if we use his atonement, we can be forgiven of our imperfections and be back on the path to eternal life with our Father in Heaven. But also one thing we need is to do is ENDURE TO THE END, because this life is not easy and a lot of people think that being a member gets too hard and get offended by others. Salvation is not a cheap experience so the path isn’t going to be easy all the time either. I have talked about this before but I just wanted to testify and remind you that we need to stay as close to the Lord as possible and don’t let Satan get us to come down from our mount even a little.

Love you mom and thank you for everything. I hope you have a great week!!!

Elder Spencer (Shawners)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Learning the Language of the Spirit

This last week was really good!! We didn’t have a whole lot of lessons with our investigators but it was a very good week with the less active and the conference we had in Osorno. So we had to reschedule a couple of citas (meetings) to this week. But the conference in Osorno was really good and I learned a lot about using the spirit. Elder Packer’s son talked to us and in one part of his talk he said I know a lot of you are learning a new language but one language that is more important is the “language of the spirit”. So I thought that was pretty cool and that learning the language of the spirit is one of the most important things we can do to be an effective missionary. Then on the bus back from our conference (it was like a 4-hour drive), I listened to some lectures I found about the Prophet Joseph Smith. In one part they talked about how Joseph Smith was an amazing man and worked many great miracles but because he is not God or His son, he is not perfect. He needed the power of God when he translated the BOM or when he received revelation for the church or D&C. But one thing they said in the lecture is that God only gave this power to Joseph when he had humility and was doing and living as righteously as he could. But if he wasn’t humble, the Lord wouldn’t give him the power. So I thought that was really cool as well.

I am loving my mission. I want to have more success in lessons but I know it will come with time and also when I can speak more in Spanish haha. I am loving it and the Spanish is still coming haha. And you are making good assumptions, I just want to help as many people as I can!!:) but I know it’s not always gonna be easy.

As far as Brandon and Camila this past week was hard and because of a bunch of stuff we are going to be meeting with them this week instead of last week, but hey that’s why we have to trust in the Lord and his timing right :). Hno Antonio's Wife Sonia is good. She came to church again this Sunday and we are going to see them this week as well so that will be cool :). We just have to get Pres. Diaz (Pres. of the branch) to drive us out there for the cita. Not really any news this last week but we have a lot of citas (meetings) for this week set up with new people so I’ll keep you posted on that :). I’m glad you liked my thought and it’s so true that’s something we focus on in our lessons is that God knows all of us personally and he knows our desires and also that we are not perfect so that is why we have repentance :). And yes he does bless us a ton for our efforts!!

Oh man we partied for dayyyyys for Elder Thomas' birthday!! haha not really dayyys that’s just an expression haha, but yes we had a really good day and had lots of cake with Pato and then with the Familia Mora (fotos included). We also made cinnamon rolls and brownies that Elder Thomas' mom sent him. Also we did sushi for Elder Thomas' birthday with Pato so that was sick!!!! haha that is the pic of both of us at Pato’s house. So in all it was a great day and a great week as far as spiritual and physical (treats) haha. That’s too sad about the fair but I’m glad you guys suffered with me;) haha jk jk but I heard Morgan drove in the derby!! That’s crazy!! But I’m glad you still got to enjoy the fair and have a great time in Duchesne.

Woah that is a really good thought. (I shared something from a talk I heard where the speaker said when we go to Golden Corral we feast upon the food and enjoy it until we are full. But then he asked do we feast upon the scriptures like we would feast at Golden Corral, until we are spiritually full??) I love that haha. Because I love Golden Corral and the food there. But that is a great point. Do I love being as spiritually full as physically full? That is what I am going to work on this week :). I haven’t finished reading the Book of Mormon yet but I study out of it every day and its really cool. I have a study book I found in the apartment that helps me to study deeper into the scriptures when I study them so that is really cool, thank you for that :). I read the scriptures every day in Spanish out loud because it helps me to pronounce the words more like a Chilean...;) haha

This last week was great and I have great hopes for this next week. Sorry I didn’t have a ton of time today to tell more about the conference, but I hope you have a great week and remember Alma 7:11-13; even pains we think are silly and don’t matter, Christ has suffered them and is there to comfort us. Love you momma!!:)

Love, Elder Spencer (Shawners)

Fun thought for the week: all of the members here when they greet me or meet me for the first time ask if I’m related to Spencer W. Kimball... haha

Making sushi for Elder Thomas' birthday

Cinnamon rolls they made for Elder Thomas' birthday

And finally, Elder Thomas enjoying some birthday cake!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Ser Obediente (Translation: Be Obedient)

I am doing really good!! Well we got the door fixed in the upstairs, and no we did not get the glass fixed yet but I might not have to buy it. We have a bunch of extra gas tanks at our house so the Comisario (a missionary in charge of all the houses and apartments of the missionaries) here said to sell them and use the money to replace the glass. We have a place here where we can go and they will replace the glass with the special glass. But at Sodimac I bought a little tool kit, it was super cheap so I got it...;) haha but yes I used my card to buy it. Yes thank you so much for the package!!! I loved everything inside and I still have some of the stuff left haha.:) but I love the chili cheese dip and so did Elder Thomas.

As for being a consecrated missionary there is a lot to explain but basically it is being completely dedicated to the Lord, and in this talk they talked about several was we can arrive to be this kind of missionary. The thing Elder Thomas and I have been focusing on these past 2 weeks is being Exactly Obedient. This is when everything amazing started happening. So the family Torres that we went and did service for earlier this week, they are members but they came to church this week with their grand kids and Brandon who is 16. After church he came and asked us how he could get baptized??!?! So we are going to play basketball with him today and then we are going to teach him after and help him in his conversion!!:) Also with Hermano Antonio and his wife (who aren’t married), we got to go out and teach them this last week and it was really good to talk to her. She said she knows she wants to be baptized but she wants the right church. So we taught her a lot about the Holy Ghost and we will see what she says :).

This week was crazy and we had 6 investigators in church which is the most we have had for a while! Also we did divisions with the members yesterday; and Camila (the girl who we taught a while ago), Elder Thomas went and taught her and she said she wants to be baptized now and she feels more ready than before. Also I and the member I was with gave some blessings and got in a lesson with one of our investigators. There were so many miracles that happened this week and I know it is because Elder Thomas and I have focused on being exactly obedient. Because remember "Obedience brings blessings, but Exact Obedience brings Miracles!!!!!":)

But that sounds like a really fun week and I hope Chad’s birthday was awesome!!! That also sounds like the family reunion was really fun!! I’m glad that you are all ok though!! It rains a lot here but we never have lightning so that is good :). The reason why you didn’t buy much is because I wasn’t there to help you;) haha. but I’m glad you all had fun and that video of the slip and slide kick ball was so funny!! haha

Thank you so much for that thought mom!! (which was basically that when Satan keeps trying to get you to look in your past, it must mean that there's something so great for you in your future!) It is so true Satan knows what we are capable of becoming and so he will do all in his power to make us miserable like him. That was just the reminder I needed, thank you mom :). Also my thought this week is on being obedient like I talked about above. It honestly is really hard to be exactly 100% obedient and we never truly are perfect at it, but God knows the desires of our hearts and he will bless us for trying our hardest. Also another thing I wanted to share is Alma 31 but specifically the last 2 verses in Alma 31. I know and testify that when we put the Lord’s will before ours, everything we need will be provided. That is my testimony for you this week.

Love you mom. Hope you have an awesome week!!:)

Elder Spencer (Shawners)

Elder Thomas' first time using a chain saw

With the Huskavarna chainsaw after they were done helping the Torres family

Shawn, getting rid of the broken door so they could burn it.

They ate with a member who gave Elder Thomas a birthday cake (his b-day is Aug 12)

Monday, August 1, 2016

A Little Trouble with the Fireplace Glass Window, Pres. Obeso Interview and Thoughts on Faith and Weaknesses

Yes we are having tons of fun in the rain!! And yeah it’s great to have fire wood but it sucks when you break the glass window on the door of the fireplace.... haha but it is easy to replace. I just gotta buy the glass and tools... Sodimac here I come! Sodimac is the Home Depot of Chile haha it’s awesome!! That is one thing I liked about Utah was the crazy weather, but I’m glad I’m not there for the heat haha. And yeah, the bread is so good. I don’t like the pictures cause I’m wearing an apron that is all girly!! (He’s sending me those pictures next week hopefully, but one is below). The best food I have probably had so far was from Pato and is called "Aji de Gallina" and it’s the first picture. But DANG it is so good and I loved it!! (yes I got the recipe;). And the worst?? um I haven’t had anything horrible yet well I guess just getting used to foods I don’t like, como tomatoes and fish; but they don’t eat a lot of fish in this sector so I’m lucky for now :).

Seriously thank you so much for the package and I’ll make sure my new card works today. We had the chili cheese dip the second night after I got my package!! It was sooooo good and Elder Thomas was a fan too (picture 2). The gloves are really nice too and they fit!! Everyone in the district is like “I like your "oven" mitts!!” haha but I love them so thank you.

Things are good here. The Spanish is doing good. It is still hard but I can understand pretty well and talk better now too but it still needs work. I have had a couple times where I have really felt the gift of tongues though. Last week we had a meeting with Max and his family and Pres. and Hermana Obeso came because they were in town for interviews. It was such a great lesson and that was the strongest I have felt the spirit with Pres. Obeso there it was crazy!!!!

Pres. Obeso does interviews every other month. We met as companionships and alone. He said it seems like I am learning fast and he says I have a powerful spirit and to keep on studying and practicing. It was good. Then he gave a story about two types of missionaries and asked which on I want to be. It was really cool :). My first zone conference the first week I was here we got a really good talk about being a consecrated missionary so that has helped me a lot. Also we are going to Osorno in two weeks for a devotional so that will be sweet!

We didn’t have a ton of success on the investigator side but we worked a lot with the ward this past week and had some great "Noche de Hogars" (translation: home evenings). Also we helped Pato do a dinner for the parents in the branch whose kids are in seminary and that was a way cool activity :). (pictures below). There was gnocchi that we made and we watched some seminary videos and talked with the branch so that was good. We do have one family who the husband is a returned missionary and is a member but his "wife" isn’t a member. They are at church every week and I put "wife" because they aren’t married. That is really common in Chile. So all we need to do is go visit with them and help her see the importance of marriage, but the only hard part is they live way far out in the campo so we have to go with a member who has a car.. and so we haven’t been out there yet. But they have the cutest little kid!!!

Yes it is crazy how big this area is, and I started insanity so my legs are sore!! haha but I love it so it’s all good! It’s crazy that it is already August!! But no Carlos hasn’t been progressing so we are meeting with him this week and we might have to drop him for a while...:/ but it’s all on the Lord’s timing.:)

That is a really good thought mom thank you and it is so true faith is so important and action along with faith too. Through treating faith like you said (like it says in In Alma 32:28 “…it beginneth to be delicious to me) we can grow our faith. My thought goes along with yours :). How can we have faith and be perfected in Christ when we are all so weak and imperfect? Some say that they have so many faults and weaknesses that they can’t count them. Well if you read in Either 12:27 what does it say? It says "Weakness" not plural, singular. Our only weakness in our lives is like it says in John 15:5 (…for without me ye can do nothing.). If we abideth in Christ and have faith, we can do anything; but without Christ we have nothing. Our only weakness is not having Christ in our lives or not following Him. If we can follow Christ and make him the center of our life, our weaknesses will go away and through Christ’s grace we can be saved :). Love you and that’s all for this week! Can’t wait to hear back.

Love you mom and I’ll keep it up here and you do the same!!:)

Love Elder Spencer