Monday, September 18, 2017

Hey, Everyone!

This week has been great.  As I mentioned.... today is Chile`s ``Fiestas Patrias`` for September 18th, which is their independence day. That means, lots of barbecues, every house with a chilean flag (because it`s illegal to not have one).... and we went as the zone to a big fair they`re having for the 18th. There were lots of traditional Chilean games for independence day, such as trompos.... which are large wooden tops that you throw and spin with a string.... and they had lots of things to buy. I ended up buying a carved bull`s horn that says chile, that`s super cool:
This friday we`ll be having the ward party so I`ll make sure to take photos ;)

This week has been a good one as far as the missionary work as well. We`ve recently been working with several part member families that have children that aren`t members, but are super interested and excited to continue coming to church, and we are helping them prepare for baptism. These families are super great, and are really excited to be able to once again progress within the church.   Yesterday, we also had interviews with President Ferreira, which was great as well.  It's always nice to have the opportunity to talk with him.  Anyway, got to go!  Have another great week!

Love, PJ

Monday, September 11, 2017

Hi everyone!  I`m doing well, and this week was good!

Yeah, I heard about the hurricane in Florida, and the earthquake in Mexico.... but luckily nothing has happened here. In fact, people who live in the Atacama desert freak out with normal weather..... If it rains, if there`s wind, etc... But all has been well here in Calama :) The country is preparing for September 18th, which is like the Chilean independence day, and the ward is going to have a big party, so that should be fun!  And I think I`m going to take advantage one of these days and buy a chilean flag, so I have one before coming home!

And thanks Mom, for the comment you made about me being an example for you and for the family. I`m definitely not a perfect missionary, and there are still a million things that I need to improve, but I know that I have helped many people and have touched many lives and hearts during this year and a half that I`ve been in Chile. People say lots of things about the mission.... but one thing that I can definitely testify of, is that it has been the hardest two years of my life... And that I`ve experienced the extreme of every emotion while here. However, I also know that I`ve done more good here in my mission than I ever have before.

I`m glad to hear that the family is doing really well too! As for me, this week we`ve been working with an investigator named Andrea. I`ve met very few investigators with the interest and drive that she has to live the commandments and do everything possible to be baptized. We`ve also had several new investigators that are full of initiative and interest in the gospel, and we`re working on helping them to be baptized as well. Anyway, I hope you have another great week!

Also, we did service in a city park... picking up garbage, and painting benches. The majority of the ward participated, which was great! 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Hey, Everyone!

I´m glad to hear that everyone is doing well.  This week for me has been typical of the mission.... with it´s ups and downs. However.... I learned something about that, that I hadn´t really ever thought of before. This week was zone training, and the leaders were sharing what they learned in the meeting with the mission president. One of the Sister Training Leaders shared a quote that Hermana Ferreira had told them: ´´A calm sea never made a good missionary.´´ I thought about that quote for a while, and realized that it was true. If we are not constantly battling different challenges or difficulties that we have in the mission, we will never be able to see our potential, or how strong we can possibly be when it´s necessary to put up a fight. Through many personal experiences in the mission, I´ve found myself at what I had thought would be the breaking point of my patience, and have found myself asking for immediate help to be taken out of my stress or sadness of that day.  However, I´ve realized that God doesn´t usually work like that. He lets us make the necessary decision, but never leaves our side as we do so. If it weren´t for the challenges that my Heavenly Father has given me, I wouldn´t have learned to be more patient, or more courageous. It is truly an honor to be serving in the Lord´s work. This week we visited an investigator that was angry when we passed by because she was really busy, however, we fixed the situation, and helped her and her family feel that we only visit them because we truly love them and want to help them progress in the church. We also had several awesome investigators come to church this week that are extremely interested and we´re now working on helping them progress, to be baptized. I hope everyone has another great week! 

Elder Checketts

(From Preston's mom...  I just got this picture from a member in our ward here in Utah, whose nephew is serving in the same mission as PJ... so cool, and such a small world!  :)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Hey, Everyone!

This has been a great week! As for our investigators... Andrés, María José, and their sons Matías (who´s 13) and Felipe (who´s 5) came to church! We´re currently working on helping Matias recieve his answer and be baptized, and help María José recieve her answer as well, get married, and help Andrés progress, to be able to baptize his wife! They´re a truly amazing family, and have a huge potential! This week, the stake presidency also came to the ward, and called a new bishopric. The new bishop is pretty young, but will definitely do a really good job!

Hey, I heard about the solar eclipse! I´m sure that was awesome! As for me, apart from Andrés and María José, we´ve found some amazing people this week! For example, yesterday we contacted a woman named Viviana who was sweeping outside of her house. She told us that she goes to another church, and so we began telling her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we believe in, as it is something that she believes too. We began explaining the importance of baptism, and that the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands must go together with baptism, or the baptism is incomplete. She took very seriously what we taught her, and invited her to be baptized in several weeks, after receiving the answer to her prayer. She told us yes immediately. She told us that if she had only been ''partially'' baptized, she wanted to do it completely.... to receive the blessing of God, and be right with Him. It was truly amazing to see someone with such faith and such an openness! Anyway, I hope you have another great week! I´ll talk to you next week!

Love, PJ

Monday, August 21, 2017

Hi there!

This week had its ups and downs. We found several awesome people in the streets that came up to us asking what it is that we preach, or asking us how they can change their lives and be happy. That was amazing.... but we also invited lots of awesome people to church, such as 2 awesome part members families, and several other interested investigators.... and no one came :/ But I guess that´s part of the mission. We´ll just keep working with them to help them understand the importance of WHY we go to church, and the blessings that they receive when they attend. Anyway, I´ll let you know how this week goes!

Oh! And before I forget, my shirts were starting to get really old..... so I needed more, and I bought several. It should be about 50 or 60 dollars, because I bought 5 of them. (My white shirts were starting to lose their whiteness) ;)

I´m glad that the family is doing well, and that everyone is preparing for school, and Tessa´s preparing for college!!! I still can´t believe that!! How long is it to be a dental hygenist by the way? I´m glad that you and Dad are doing well as well, and are enjoying time with the family. 

Have a great week!
Love, PJ

Monday, August 14, 2017

Hey, Everyone!

(Mom), I'll let Hermana Mireya know that you liked the pictures! In fact the entire relief society was telling me about the photo that she sent to you, that she posted on facebook! hahaha! Did you remember that Hermana Mireya was my mamita when I was back in Río Loa, a year ago? She moved to Oasis while I was away from Calama, and now I got to see their family again! From what everyone has told me, it looks like you guys had lots of fun at the beach! And all the pictures of the kids make them look so much older! Time is seriously flying!

As for me... This was a good week. Andrés (who is a less active member) and María José (who is an investigator) and their children came to church this Sunday!! We´ve been working with them for a while, and they finally made it to the chapel, and they absolutely loved it, and said they felt the Spirit while there! They have so much desire to really progress and improve, and we´re helping them understand better the doctrine, keep commitments, and recieve their own powerful testimonies. Aside from that, we´ve been working and contacting as usual this week, and are currently teaching a Colombian woman that has tons of real intent, and even prayed to know if she should be baptized or not. She told us that she felt a great sense of peace as she prayed, but says that she doesn´t feel prepared yet to come to church or be baptized. We´ve worked on helping her understand the imortance of coming to church to recieve more strength from God and as part of the progression, but still did not accept said invitation. Anyway, we´ll keep working with her, and keep finding the people that Heavenly Father is preparing for us to teach.

Anyway, hope you all have another great week!

Love, PJ

Monday, August 7, 2017

Hey everyone!

So, the members just got back from the temple on Saturday. Since it`s pretty far away, they stay in a hotel in Santiago for a week, to be able to take advantage of the opportunity. I really miss the temple! But I`ll be able to visit fairly soon! I'm glad you are all enjoying the summer! It sounds like everyone is doing great, from the emails!

Anyway... as for me... this week was good. We passed by several times to visit Techi, and she`s doing great!! She`s keeping her commitments... and now we`re working on helping her husband!! We also found some amazing people in the streets this week, just by conversing with them, and several understood deeply the importance of baptism, and quickly accepted! This week we even found a young couple that is expecting a baby, and while talking to them, we found out that she is a less active member of the church, and that he is looking for the true church, to be able to be baptized!!! It was amazing! We also have an investigator that is the girlfriend of a less active, and after lots of inviting and animating.... they made it to the church parking lot... only to recieve a call from his boss, that he had to go to work immediately, because they were short staffed. It was really frustrating, but they continue to be really receptive... and we`ll help them to come to church next week! That`s about it for me... but I hope you`re doing well!

Have a great week!
Elder Checketts

From PJ's mom... I got this picture today, via Facebook, and it said that the Elders were at a member's house having lunch & celebrating their child's birthday. :) I love getting random pictures from members!!! It makes my day!!! :)

And... I got 3 more pictures the next day...