Dear Family and Friends :) ONE YEAR IN CHILE!! :)
September 11th is also a tragic day here in Chile. From what I´ve been told and understand (I could be completely wrong) in 1973 there was a political figure Pinochet who was over thrown by the military and a lot of people were killed so the people in Chile "celebrate" the infamous day by rioting or protesting. I didn´t see any manifestations in Viña, but I heard it was pretty hectic in Valparaíso. Pedro, a YSA in the ward, goes to a university in Valpo. He showed us a video of the people outside of the university burning tires in the street and then the cops arrived and hit everyone with teargas till they went home.
September 18th is the Independence day. This year el 18 falls on a Tuesday, which is in the middle of the week, so everyone is saying they have decided to make the celebration of the 18 the whole week long - haha.
This week Elder Jarpa and I were walking in downtown Viña and I saw a recent convert from an old branch I was in. So we said hi and I asked him how everything was going with the church; if he was going or not. And it really surprised me when he said he had started going to a different church. :( Devastated I asked him why and he said he just couldn´t understand some of the doctrine so he thought himself out of the church. He started to ask us his questions and they were very good questions that honestly I didn´t know the answer to some of them. When he saw that I (and my companion) didn´t know the answer he focused on that doubt he had. Luckily in The Church of Jesus Christ we have the Holy Ghost and Revelation. As he asked questions, we received revelation after revelation of clear simple answers to the doubts that he had. In the end, the answer was that God works with his children in the same way today as he always has. That is why we have a prophet, that is why we have a church, that is why we have the Book of Mormon.
This week I also had a very interesting experience. We were passing by the houses of inactive members from the list of members. We pass by one house and a grandpa lets us in. The man tells us that his children who are members of the church no longer live in the house but he is open about speaking about God. So we start talking to the man and it was obvious to me that previously he had been part of a protestant church. We start teaching the restoration and then his attitude changes and he starts to accuse us for believing in men more than God and that men can´t have the power of God and that we only say we love God and that we don´t love him in our heart. He started talking about how we needed to really accept Christ in our life by repeating a phrase. That's when I realized that he was a born-again Christian. He started raising his voice a little bit and I started to feel uncomfortable. He didn´t really let us speak. He started promising us wisdom and understanding of the scriptures to be able to persuade people better if we repeated the phrase to accept Christ. At this point I wasn´t just uncomfortable I felt really weird. My heart started racing and I felt anxious and nervous. It was actually a temptation to repeat the phrase. I told the man No and I bore my testimony. We said a prayer and we left.
Afterwards I was talking with Elder Jarpa about what he felt and he also felt the same nervousness and anxiousness (desesperacion) to repeat after the man the temptation of "wisdom." We came to the conclusion that there was a spirit there. Not the spirit of God but a different spirit. Afterwards, I felt bad for the promises of the man to even be tempting to me. Is that why there are other churches? Because they feel different strange spirits and think it's the spirit of God? Thoughts? Comments? Experiences?
The new three part series by Elder Chistopherson on the Mormon Channel called Daily Bread are awesome - just like the three part series from Elder Bednar. I like how Elder Christopherson explains that the answers to our problems aren´t going to come instantly. They come day by day - an idea, a comfort, or impressions to keep going. It's tough having the patience to accept the pattern that God uses.
WHOOOOOOOOO DEC 14th!!! I´ll be praying for that day :) (Bo, Jessie and Blake Vincelet are being sealed in the Denver Temple!)
The house is all good with all the rain?!? Elder Mcpherson showed me a few pictures from his town (in Wisconsin I think) and it's all flooded too. A sink hole opened up and ate a car and a whole bunch of destruction.
All is well,
Elder Mark Hall
Chile Vina del Mar Mission
4 Norte 1112
Vina del Mar
This week I had to accompany Elder Tonkinson to go to La Ligua/mantencillo to swap cars with a senior missionary couple so while he was driving I took a whole bunch of pictures of the ocean because we came back to Viña down the coast.
We ran to the harbor for Exercise this week.
Picture of the ocean
Venders on the street
Virgencita by the side of the road
Vineyards in the interior
We ran to the harbor for Exercise this week.
This week I had to accompany Elder Tonkinson to go to La Ligua/mantencillo to swap cars with a sienor missionary couple so while he was driving I took a whole bunch of pictures of the ocean because we came back to Viña down the coast.
Vinyards in the interior.
Venders on the street.
Virgencita by the side of the road.