Monday, December 26, 2016

Hey, everyone!

I hope you all had a great Christmas, and that you were able to spend time with the family, and enjoy the season! 

Although we didn´t get any snow here, we got plenty of very good food from the members, and we had several families that gaves us ties and socks to make sure we got things we needed. It was very thoughtful of them to do so much for us, and I´m grateful for it.  

Christmas morning, before anything else, I decided to read the Christmas story in the book of Luke. It helped me keep Christ in Christmas, and gave me extra energy and peace for the rest of the day. When we put Christ first in our lives, each day we can experience the peace of His Atonement, and He will guide and direct our paths for the better.

I hope everyone has another great week, and continues to enjoy the season!
I´ll write you all next week!

-Elder Checketts

From Preston's mom...
Here is a picture of PJ, from when we were Skyping with him on Christmas Day.  We were able to visit with him for 45 minutes.  He was at the Bishop's house there in Chile, and had a great day celebrating.  It was SO nice to see his smiling face, talk to him, and laugh with him!!!  It totally made our day!!!  I would have loved to have given him a big hug, but the joy we felt from seeing him so happy & doing so great was enough for now.  :)  xoxoxoxo    (And he did mention in our personal letter today that after talking with us on Christmas, he didn't realize how hard it is to speak completely in English.  Hahaha!  When we were talking, he forgot a few words in English, and threw in a few Spanish words without thinking, and he had a little bit of a Spanish accent when he said certain things.  It was great!  Hahaha!  :) 

Monday, December 19, 2016

I hope everyone has been enjoying the Christmas season, this week!

For us, it`s been plenty of fun with the ward. On Saturday, we had a Christmas party, where each organization brought food from a different country, and presented it to everyone else to try. The food was judged, the primary sang Christmas carols, and we played a game, involving passing a wrapped gift in a circle, and unwrapping a layer of paper each time the music stopped. It was a blast, and everyone had a great time.  

My companion and I also recently moved to live with the other two missionaries in the ward. It`s been lots of fun, and we all get along well. (My companion is the latino in the picture below).  And on the 23rd, we`re all going to Antofagasta, to do a mission gift exchange.

It`s always a great experience to be able to share the Christmas story in the houses of members. It really helps us to focus on the work, and helps us realize what a great responsibility we have to invite this miracle of a Messiah into the lives of so many people. 

We also met a super awesome guy names Mariano, yesterday!  He's super humble, wants to get baptized, and more than anything wants to improve his life!  He also happens to be homeless, but we're going to keep trying to teach him, and hopefully help him find a job.  It's been amazing, how wonderfully humble people can be.  People I never would have thought about talking to before.

I hope everyone else has been enjoying the Christmas season as well, and continually remembering it`s constant purpose in our lives. Have a merry Chrismas, and I`ll email you all next week!

-Elder Checketts

Monday, December 12, 2016

¡Hola, todos!

This week has been good, and I´m getting along with Elder Pezo, which is really good. 
(We forgot to take a picture--sorry).

This week, like all of the best weeks, has had its ups and downs.  I started off the week, by meeting my new companion, Elder Pezo, from Cusco, Peru (by Machu-Pichu).  In fact he said that he has a grandma that speaks nothing but kechwa (the Inca language)!  He´s a hard worker, and wants to find the best, and most prepared people in our sector to teach. We have found several very interested, humble people this past week, and have worked very hard to animate the members and investigators.  However, at the same time, it has seemed  that each of our most promising, progressing investigators has hit an obstacle, that we don´t have much control over.  Whether it be surgery, the need to get married, loss of contact, or anger with bad experiences within the church, we have seen many very promising baptisms hit roadblocks that simply require patience. As the week went on, I became extremely occupied by this challenge, and it affected my attitude, and energy for the missionary work.  Later, my companion and I watched a mission video that talked about pushing yourself just one degree more, to be one degree better in the Lord´s work. In the video, the scripture, 2 Corinthians 6:12, was presented... and with everything that had happened, it hit me extremely powerfully. In spanish, it says, 

´´No estáis limitados por nosotros, sino que estáis limitados por vuestro propio corazón.´´ 

The English version of the scripture is a little different, but the literal translation of the Spanish version, is ´´You are not limited by us, but rather you are limited by your own heart´´. As I saw this, the Spirit hit me hard, and I felt that this scripture had something very important I was supposed to learn. I was disappointed that our plans and the people we were teaching were not going exactly as I wanted. However, I was allowing that disappointment to interfere with my work through the week, and I was not allowing myself to be happy in my own stubborness. I have realized, that often, we hold ourselves back in many instances when we need to work our hardest, and focus on others more than ever. This week ended on a good note, because I was finally able to understand that. :)

(In response to some questions...) About the light the world campaign... yes.... but ILUMINA EL MUNDO sounds cooler. As a ward, we went and gave food to homeless people, which was cool.  As for Chilean Christmas traditions, they don´t have anything that isn´t like the US during Christmas, really. Except pan de pascua (fruitcake). 
I´m excited to see you, and talk to you guys via Skype!  Christmas time is really fun here, even without snow ;) Hope you had a great week! I´m doing well, and continuing to work hard on finding and helping people. Love you, and talk to you later!

I hope everyone else had a great week as well, and i´ll write next week.

-Elder Checketts

Monday, December 5, 2016

This week we had transfers.  I´m excited that I´m staying in Calama,
because I´ve really grown to love the people here.  My companion Elder
Jennings went to a city in the south of the mission called Vallenar.  My
new companion is an elder from Peru, named Elder Pezo.  My Spanish will
continue to improve, and hopefully we will have lots of success, and have a
great cambio.

As for the investigators, we had a great stake conference, and our mission
president was there. He told us to bring as many investigators as we could,
so he could meet them.  He really animated them, and helped them to realize
how they could feel the truth of the gospel. Claudio is really progressing,
and has decided to read the book of Mormon, and pray about baptism, and was
really animated by President Ferreira´s promise that all he needed was to
know the book of Mormon is true, and then the rest of the conversion would

We were also a little disappointed to hear that the Mora-Ferrufino family,
who just got baptized, have to go back to Bolivia to do their papers.
Hopefully, they can come back soon, so the other two children can get
baptized. They have been so humble, and commited to the church, and I know
Heavenly Father will help them continue in that path.

I hope you all had a good week as well! Enjoy the Christmas season!

-Elder Checketts

Saturday, December 3, 2016

(From Preston's mom...)
I received another wonderful message on facebook today... It said, "Su hijo es un elder muy bueno!" (Your son is a very good elder!).  It makes me SO happy that PJ is doing so great, loving it there so much, and is being so well cared for by the wonderful members in the area.  Makes my mom heart happy!  :)

Friday, December 2, 2016

(From Preston's Mom...)

Today is my lucky day!  I just got ANOTHER letter tonight from someone else!  :)  It was from a man whose daughter served in Antofagasta Chile 2 years ago (and he served in Santiago 35 years ago), so they went back to visit.  She served in Calama, where Preston is right now (and loves it)!  This man said, "...Elder Checketts looks great and has a wonderful spirit about him.  Bishop Martinez said that he is a wonderful missionary!"

It's SO great to get these pictures & updates about our boy!!!  <3

Thursday, December 1, 2016

(From PJ's mom... I got this message in my facebook messenger today, from a lady in PJ's ward... it totally made my day!!!  xoxoxo)

"I want to send you a picture of your son, Elder Checketts.  He is so happy here, and we love him so much!!!  Thanks!  :)  

Monday, November 28, 2016

I hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving, and had a great week!

This week was extremely productive and fulfilling for us, as we had lots of great lessons, and a great baptism! The primary president´s nine year old son, Vicente, got baptized, and it was a great experience for us, and for their whole family.

While being here in Calama, I´ve really grown to love this family, getting to know them in Río Loa, and here in Caspana as well.  Vicente´s dad, Claudio, is not a member, but feels that the church is true. He simply doesn´t feel he´s completely ready yet, or good enough for baptism. 

We decided it was very important to just help Claudio feel the Spirit, and that this is where he needs to be. The baptism itself was a very special experience, and then Sunday night, we had a Family Home Evening with them, and watched ´´the Testaments´´, about Jesus Christ´s visit to the Americas.  By the time the movie ended, we were all teary, and had felt the truth of the story extremely powerfully. Afterwards, we bore our testimonies, and explained that the the Love of Christ is often difficult to describe. That we don´t need to understand all the facts to feel the Spirit´s influence in our hearts in the form of a testimony. Claudio told us that no words could accurately describe what he felt during the video, and when we left, we asked him to give the prayer... something he previously has not been comfortable to do publicly. However, he willingly did so, and it really touched his wife, Paz, to see his step-by-step progression. It really shows how the Spirit can touch hearts, and prompt us to do things that bring us closer to God. 

That family home evening, was an extremely spiritual experience, and I left, absolutely extatic. Truly putting your heart into the work, to help others discover the joy of the Gospel for themselves, is a joy that is hard to match. Nothing compares to the joy someone can have to see another´s progression. Nothing in my life has come close to the overall work, disappointment, but also joy of the mission. There is nowhere I would rather be :)

I hope everyone else has another good week, and that everyone remembers the Spirit of Christmas, during this wonderful season. Love you all, and I´ll write again, next week!

-Elder Checketts

Monday, November 21, 2016

I hope everyone had a good last two weeks! 
Unfortunately, I wasn´t able to write much for the email last week, so here´s what we did last week: We went to a little town not far away, called Chiu Chiu, and had a barbecue. It was lots of fun.

​Now, as for this week.. We had four baptisms!!!! It´s an awesome, very humble family (Elena, Juan, Rodrigo, and Carolina) that was entirely open and receptive from the first moment we met them.  They have truly been a blessing to watch, quietly and obediently progress in the work of the Lord.

​This Friday, we will also be having a baptism of the primary president´s nine-year old son, Vicente.  We have been working especially hard with his dad, Claudio, who is not a member, but already very commited to the gospel. He has paid tithing, come to church, wants to be baptized, and even says he is certain that one day he will get baptized. The only thing that stands in the way, is that he says he doesn´t feel ready.  Sometimes, situations like these make me very aware of how Heavenly Father sees me.  That I have everything I could possibly need to progress, but I don´t feel ready to take such leaps of faith. However, when we promise God to do whatever He asks of us, we will always be amazed by the outcome.... the kind of person He can help us become when we have enough faith to trust Him completely. 

Hopefully, everyone enjoys thanksgiving, and has another good week! I´ll write you all again next week!

-Elder Checketts 

Monday, November 14, 2016

I´m really sorry, but I can´t write a long email today. We just got back from a bbq. I´ll be really detailed next week ;)

Anyway... this week I got to add pig hoof to the list of weird things I´ve eaten! Chilean food is really normal..... its Peruvian and Bolivian members that give really weird food. It was like eating a tire, and it was very difficult to eat, but it didn´t taste bad.... just the texture..... 

Today for p-day, we went to a little village not far away called Chiu Chiu, and had a barbecue, so that was really fun!!!!  Anyway, hope you have another great week!

-Elder Checketts

(Elder Checketts is on the far right, back row)  :)

Monday, November 7, 2016

This week we had a great baptism for Cesar.  He already knew a lot about the church, and when we began teaching him, he vigorously accepted what we taught, and bore his strong testimony to us. He recognized the Spirit very strongly at his baptism, and it was a very special experience for him.

​However, the baptism was not without its challenges.  First.... we left the faucet in the baptismal font running a little longer than necessary, and we came back to find a flooded building.  Luckily, we cleaned it up with a high-powered vaccuum, before it started. Then, just before the service started, a member voiced concerns about the baptism that we decided to call our mission president about.  Beforehand, I was feeling very good, and that we were all ready, but was now doubting, based on the member´s concerns. As we talked with our president, he re-affirmed what we had felt before, and told us, ´´We cannot let the doubts of our minds interfere with what a person has testified.´´ This statement struck me strongly, and I realized how powerful it is.  Often we second guess decisions or feelings that we previously had a surity in. But God is NEVER the author of confusion, and all we ever need to do when confused, is ask.  It really taught a powerful lesson, and I´m glad we had the experience.  

I hope you all had a great week as well, and I´ll update you all next week!

-Elder Checketts

(From PJ's mom... in reference to some questions about his Christmas packages, and the earthquakes in Chile, etc., here are Preston's answers...)

I got the Christmas packages......And opened the flat one (I said PJ could open that one on Dec. 1st, because it had the paper Christmas tree that we made, along with some family letters, and gingerbread men--one of our family traditions each year to make & hang on the tree).  The other packages will wait till Christmas, but the other was a little more tempting. You know, it is almost December ;) I really like the tree!  :)  As for your question on Earthquakes..... we´ve had several... but nothing too huge. The biggest was a 5.7, but that's nothing for Chile!  Also, I tried to send you guys that Christmas package I wanted to send, and several places didn´t accept it because of its contents.  I´ll try somewhere else, but I may not be able to send it.  :(

Monday, October 31, 2016

Hey, everyone!

Hope you are all enjoying a happy Halloween, and have had a good week! For us, this week was extremely productive.  We have been preparing seven people to be baptized in the next two weeks.  One is getting baptized this Saturday, named Cesar.  His girlfriend is a member in another ward in Calama, and so he already knows a lot about the church, and instantly accepted to be baptized and committed to living the commandments.  The other six baptisms are for the next week, and it's an amazingly humble family from Bolivia and Argentina.  We found the mom, Elena, a few weeks ago one night, and she told us, ´´I´ve never talked with the missionaries, but I´ve always wanted to.´´ Ever since then, the family has been extremely receptive, and willing to commit to all the commandments, as they know obedience brings blessings.  Such an important lesson that few people in the world understand.  The spirit is always strong in lessons with people who don't overcomplicate the gospel.  They realize that something can be both powerful AND simple. After all, Christ's love for us is not complicated. It's been amazing to see people with such simple faith, and help them to know the church.  

Today, as a zone activity for p-day, we also played soccer, which was a lot of fun to do.  
Hope everyone has had a great week, and I'll update you all next week!

-Elder Checketts

(From PJ's mom...  In response to some questions I asked PJ, about if Chileans celebrate Halloween, and if he sometimes forgets English words now that he has been speaking fluent Spanish for almost 9 months...  and if he has had transfers again, etc...  this is what he said...)

Yes, Chileans celebrate Halloween.  But it sounds like kids get really angry if you don't open your door, and they throw eggs at your door, to tell the other kids you are not handing out candy.  So that's interesting....  In Mexico and other countries, Halloween is called Día de las Brujas (Day of the Witches), but here, they just call it Halloween.  As for your question about forgeting English, it does happen quite a lot.  Because my companion is gringo, we speak a lot of English, but we always speak Spanish to other people, so sometimes we'll forget an English word, and just use the Spanish one, because we both understand it, and can' t think of the translation.  Also, yeah, cambios already happened. We're staying together for another 6 weeks. That's fine with me, since we get along. Also.... I should be getting my packages tomorrow..... I'll save the Christmas packages for Christmas (obviously).....but I can't promise the other one will last until December!  :)

Monday, October 24, 2016

This week we had the special opportunity to see Simon, Camilo, and Wladimir baptized, from the Monte-Avalos family.  

The baptismal service was a very happy experience for them, but the Spirit was especially strong during their confirmations on Sunday.  After the meeting, Wladimir mentioned the powerful Spirit of peace he felt while being confirmed.  It really shows what strong faith they have already, and how years of church knowledge is not necessary for a testimony of the truth of Christ´s gospel.  After all, a testimony is not something complicated. And as taught in Alma 32, all we need to recieve such a testimony is a true desire to believe.  Everything we have in this life is a gift from God.  The only thing that is truly ours, is our will.  If we give that one, small possession we have to our Father in Heaven, He will work miracles in our lives.  Hopefully everyone else had a good week as well, an I´ll write again next week!

-Elder Checketts

Monday, October 17, 2016

I hope this was a good week for everyone else, because it was very exciting for us.
First off, was the wedding of Wladimir and Vanessa (Vanessa being a less active, and Wladimir going to be baptized with two of their sons this Saturday).

It's been amazing and exciting to see them progress, and to continue to help the other investigators get ready for baptism.  We also have another couple (Nelson and Priscila), who are planning to get married the 28th, and baptized the 29th. I'm excited for them, and happy to help them continue to progress and find the joy of the góspel. I hope everyone has another great week, and I'll send pictures of the baptism next week! Love you all!

-Elder Checketts

(We also found an investigator with a pet llama!)

From PJ's mom...
In an additional note from PJ, he said that he had put a couple of his friends names down (from Canada), for missionary referrals.  His one friend said that some friendly missionaries showed up at her door, and they had a nice visit, and she is now a proud owner of one of these...  :)  PJ's friends in Canada were awesome--so great & open to discussions about all of their beliefs (he was the only member of our church in his high school).  They were always respectful of his beliefs & standards, and I'm so grateful for that.  They were all from different races, religions, and beliefs, so they had some great discussions.  It can be hard to be the only member of the church in your group of friends, especially when they don't completely understand why we do or do not do certain things, so I'm so grateful that he had such great friends there, and so proud of PJ for being brave enough to share what we believe!  :)   

Monday, October 10, 2016

Hi, Everyone!

I don't have a lot of time to write today, so I'll keep it brief.  

This week an awesome family passed their baptismal interviews, and the parents will be getting married on the 15th, and the family baptized on the 22nd.  The mom, Vanessa, is less active, and her husband, Wladimir, who is from Brazil, will be getting baptized with their two sons old enough to get baptized, Camilo, and Simòn.  They are truly an amazing family, and have strong testimonies that the church is where they need to be. We`re looking forward to that baptism and wedding, espically as they have progressed so far.  

In other news, we took a trip today to several  tourist areas not too far away... a historic town known as San Pedro de Atacama, and the famous Valle de la Luna. Below are the pictures. I hope you enjoy them, and have a great week!

-Elder Checketts

(The Atacama Desert is the driest desert in the world...)

(From PJ's mom...Here is another picture I just pulled off the internet of the Valle de la Luna 
(Valley of the Moon).

Monday, October 3, 2016

I hope everyone enjoyed conference weekend!

It's interesting... the mission really messes with perception of time.  I have never seen such a short conference! But in reality, it was very powerful, and the spirit was extremely uplifting.  I was especially touched by Elder Renlund's talk on repentance, and how simply it can be described as a small mistake with a fire-cracker, to demonstrate the power and directness of that gospel principle.  It really gave me added testimony and insight to teach this principle in the lessons to investigators.  I also loved the insight given in Sister McKonckie's talk about how God is the perfect judge, and if even the most unrighteous judge would avenge someone, wouldn't God avenge us when we cry out in faith? It makes me reflect on how God has always answered my prayers when I have called out to Him.... even if that answer was for me to wait, and figure it out on my own, because I already knew the answer.  I hope everyone else enjoyed conference just as much as I did, and in other news, we had a fun p-day doing things together as a zone.  We also had interviews with President Ferreira, and we're continuing to work hard with the people here. 

Hope everyone has another great week, and I'll talk to you all next week!

-Elder Checketts

Monday, September 26, 2016

¡Hola, todos! 

Soy Chileno ahora... (translated, "I'm Chilean now")
(He looks SO serious...but I'm sure they told him NOT to smile, like they did for all of our passports & official Canadian documents, like permanent resident cards, health cards, driver's licenses, etc.)

I finally got my ''carnet'', as they call it, which is just my Chilean identity card.  That was really exciting, but other than that, this week was very tranquilo.  We set new baptismal dates, and continued to meet with and support those getting prepared for marriage and baptism as well.  This week, the chapel was completely full, which was awesome to see, since it doesn't happen a lot, and we continue to meet new members, and have continued to get to know the ward.  

Something I noticed a while ago, that I thought I'd share, is a principle I am able to better understand, thanks to the Spanish language.  One of the most used scriptures by missionaries is Moroni's promise in Moroni 10:3-5.  The last verse promises that by the power of the Holy Ghost, we can know the truth of all things.  It is interesting, because in Spanish ''know'' has two translations. One is ''saber'', which is used when refering to information, such as knowing the answer, or knowing how to do something. The other word is ''conocer'', which means to know, in the sense of being familiar with something, such as knowing a person, or knowing the city.  With this in mind, it is interesting that Moroni's promise in Spanish says ''podréis CONOCER la verdad''. While it is important to know the truth, in the sense of understanding the information... it is important to remember that a testimony is more than knowing the facts. A testimony is understanding and feeling of its truth. A testimony is being familiar with the Holy Ghost, and the message He brings into our hearts.  And to truly know the truth of the gospel also means that we know God, and Jesus Christ, and that we are familiar with His Atoning sacrifice, and how we can use it to improve our lives.  

I hope everyone had a great week, and that they were also able to grow closer to the Spirit.  Talk to you all next week, and have a good one!

-Elder Checketts

Monday, September 19, 2016

This week was exciting, with moving sectors, and getting to know lots of new people.  We met with two families who are especially ready for baptism, and who are ready to get married then baptized as families in October!  We have met lots of new members, and friendly people who want to help us strengthen these families ready for baptism, and find more. 

Sunday was Chilean Independence Day, and on Friday there was a Ward party, where we met more members and investigators, and got to see more of the Chilean culture.  They had several barbecues going, with lots of chicken, rice, and Choripán (Chilean bread with chorizo, which is a type of sausage).  It was lots of fun, and we got to see the Chilean ''sapo'' game. (A game where you toss coins at a wooden box with holes in it, recieving points based on the holes).  Over the center hole is a metal frog, or sapo, with a small opening in its mouth for a coin to enter. The goal is to get the most points, and ideally, in the frog's mouth.  It was a great get-together, and many of the investigators we had begun to talk to were there, and really enjoyed it and felt at home.  this has been a good week over all, and I hope everyone else had a good one too. Talk to you next week!  

--Elder Checketts

(From Preston's Mom... I had asked PJ a bunch of questions in my last email, about various things...the brown belt he was wearing in his last picture, who the extra person was in the photo from the last baptism, the flip-flops he wears in the pictures at baptisms, if he needs us to send him anything (or if he can buy what he needs there), if he has played piano or taught lessons in the wards there, what he did on his last Preparation day (P-day), and if the Chileans have any traditions in Oct., Nov., or Dec. like we do here for the holidays...  These are his responses...)

Anyway, yeah, I really like that belt.  I bought it in Iquiquem but its a little big, so I might have to punch more holes.  I thought I'd fill it, assuming I'd gain weight, but I've lost it.  We are given lots of food for lunch, and I've never really been huge into breakfast, so usually, I just wait till the big lunch, and then am still full by dinner time, so I don't eat much at night.  And we also don't have time to snack! hahaha! But before, I never had a scale to check my weight, but now we're living in the pension of where the hermanas were before, and they left one. It said I'm 62.3 kilos, and I did the math, and that's 137 lbs!!! I was 153 before I left! I lost 16 pounds!!!!!! But you can definitely tell if you look at pics before I left, and in the MTC, in comparison to ones now.  I'm not starving though! Don't worry! I'm eating plenty! :)  Also, in the baptism picture, it was the Young men's president. Antonia wanted him to baptize her, and then I baptized Javier, and Elder Jennings baptized Justina.  And no, I don't need white slippers or anything... I just wear the flip flops because we usually do the photos outside, and don't want the socks to get dirty. I'm fine with that though.  At some point I'll probably buy more shoes here, since mine are slowly getting destroyed from walking and walking and walking.... probably another reason I've lost weight.  I could by shirts and shoes here, but not garments.  The closest distrubution center is at the temple in Santiago, and usually they only do a trip once a year or so... and I think that's against the rules as well.  I could order online on, but it might be easier if you just send some.  The members and investigators here in this Ward are great!  We have two weddings and five baptisms set up for October, which is awesome!!!  I've never played piano for the Ward, or taught primary.  I've played the limited parts of hymns I know for prelude sometimes, but to be fluid enough for the meeting, I'd have to practice, and I just don't have the time.  I've taught gospel principles, because its our duty if the teacher isn't there, and we've talked to the primary kids and been given pictures and cards from them, because the primary president wanted us to present just a little of what missionaries do.  The apartment is a lot nicer and bigger here than in Rio Loa though.  And we live in a house of members, so the mom brings us chicken a lot.  Last week for p-day, we changed it to Tuesday, because there is a city in our zone called Tocopilla that is two hours away.  It's too far for them to join us for a normal p-day, so we planned a zone p-day on that Tuesday, because that is when the whole zone meets for the zone training.  Then after, we had the p-day.  We watched Mulan, ate pizza, and played vollyball and soccer.  Interviews with the mission president are every three months usually.  This week we all went to Antofagasta to hear from a seventy that came to visit. I got to see Elder Aparco again, and Hermana Masina (the girl that lived across the hall from me at USU).  Speaking of fall holidays here though... yesterday was September 18th (Chilean Independence day). And they are crazy!!! It's illegal not to have a Chilean flag outside of your house on that day, and there is lots of music, lots of bbq's, and lots of drunk people that night and morning.  I've heard its by far their biggest holiday (even more so than Christmas).  Anyway, I hope you guys are doing well, and continuing to enjoy family time and school and work, and everything.  Hope you have another great week, and I'll talk to you later!!!  Also, I realized I haven't sent any pictures for a while except those from baptisms.  Let me know if there are specific things you want me to take pictures of. 

Love, PJ

Monday, September 12, 2016

Hope everyone had another great week.  

This week we recieved the news that we are going to a different sector in the same city.  I'm excited to begin starting here, and opening a sector is new for both Elder Jennings and me... so we will see how it goes!  This week we had several lessons that surprised us, with people who were previously very uninterested, and now are very apparantly growing in the faith of what we are telling them.  It has been great preparation for the sister missionaries that will now be occupying that area.  The ward was sad to have their elders leave, but I know the hermanas will help them just as we have.  This was a good week, all in all, animating people and helping them to better understand the gospel.  Talk to everyone next week! 

-Elder Checketts

below is also a photo from Justina and Javier's wedding, that I forgot to post earlier.

(From PJ's mom)...
Here is an additional note from PJ's letter to me.  I had sent him a care package a couple of months ago, that he just got last week, with snacks, treats, and some CTR rings (in Spanish), to give to little kids in his area.  This was what he said...

"Thanks so much for those CTR rings by the way! I already gave two away to Justina and Javier's daughters, Antonia, and Daniela (who will turn 8 in October).  The m&ms carried, just so you know... they were good, and intact :)  I'm excited for conference too! Last time, they set up a ''gringo room'', to listen to conference in English, in the church. It was only because one of the senior couples was in Alto Hospicio though, and they set it all up.  I think I'll have to listen to it in Spanish this next time. Anyway, I'm exited to start working in this new sector..." 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

This was a fantastic week! We had the three baptisms of Justina, Javier, and Antonia, and we had several lessons with new, very receptive investigators.  The baptism was really special for the entire ward, because they quickly became acquainted with everyone at church, and were waiting for months to be able to get all the paperwork done to get married.  And we got to go to their wedding as well, which was cool!  When they were finally able to get baptized, it was a huge, important event for many of the ward members.  
A little while before the baptism, we began filling the font, but soon realized, that after a few seconds the water heater shut off.  Since Antonia is only 9, we didn't want the water to be freezing, so we had to rush over to the stake center, and start filling the font there.  Luckily, it was a great service, and the water was nice and warm (though a bit shallow, due to the last minute change).  It is really rewarding to see people make necessary changes, to enter the waters of baptism.  It was truly a great week all in all, and I hope everyone else had a great week as well! Talk to you next week!

- Elder Checketts

(From PJ's mom):
I sent a care package a couple of months ago, with snacks & treats that he can't get there, and included some mini M&M's packs, and told PJ to share with his companion, & this is what he said...
"I got the package you sent me! Thanks so much! I saw the note you put on the m&ms, and gave one to Elder Jennings. He decided to email you out of appriciation, now ;) Hahaha!"

And then this was the message from PJ's companion... (his first name also happens to be Preston!)  Hahaha!

"Hello Sister Checketts, I'm the campanion of Elder Checketts and he got his package today and he was REALLY REALLY REALLY happy, and I am as well, because this was inside..."

Monday, August 29, 2016

This week, we saw lots of miracles! First off, Jussep got baptized! He's an awesome youth, who has consistently been walking to church every Sunday, by himself to get there.  Although not a member, his mom is very religious, and was there to support him.

This week, a 9 year-old girl named Antonia was also supposed to get baptized, but her sister got sick and had to go to the hospital, so the family thought it would be better to postpone her baptism until next week.  At first I was upset. Why would Heavenly Father NOT want her to get baptized this week? It didn't make any sense to me at the time.  Later, we went to go visit Antonia's parents, Justina and Javier, who need to get married before they are able to get baptized.  While visiting them, they told us that the paperwork for their marriage has gone much faster than expected, and they will be getting married on Tuesday, and will be baptized with their daughter this upcoming Saturday!!!  It really was a miracle for them, and for us, and it just shows that when we put God first in our lives, He will provide ways for us the fulfill His commandments, and His plan is ALWAYS higher than the plan we have for ourselves. It was truly an amazing experience, and so the three of them will be baptized together this week.  I hope everyone else had a good week as well, and I'll update everyone again next week! 

-Elder Checketts

Saturday, August 27, 2016

(From Preston's Mom:)
I got another message from a lady in Preston's ward, along with a short note: 
She said, "Your son eating bolivian food in my house."  :)  It's great to see pictures, and know he's doing well and getting fed, and that the sweet members there are taking good care of the missionaries. (It looks like PJ just got a very short buzz haircut too...)  :)

I wrote to PJ, asking him what this was & if he liked it.  This was his response...

We've been visiting (this member) a lot lately, because her husband is preparing for baptism.  The soup is called ''fricase''.  It was kind of weird, but it was good.  It was spicy, and I haven't had spicy food in forever!!! (Chileans like bland stuff).  Every Saturday and Sunday, we eat with members, the rest of the days we eat with our mamita (who cooks really well!)  I haven't really eaten anything really weird... Its mostly just rice, chicken, beans, empanadas...things like that. Empanadas are REALLY good!! There's an empanada place close, that we've gone to several times.... and it's like heaven!! The only weird thing I've been served was ''watita'' (cow stomach), but it was our mamita in Alto Hospicio, and she said ''you can try it if you want, but don't have to''.... so I didn't.  There was also a werid soup I got once in Alto Hospicio, but that was like a native mapuche recipe or something, but I haven't really gotten much else really out of the blue.  They have really potent olives here that are really gross, that they sometimes put in empanadas, but that's it.  Anyway, love you, and have a good week!

Love, PJ

Monday, August 22, 2016

This week, Daniela got baptized!

As I said before, Daniela is a twelve year old girl, with lots of personal drive for attending, getting baptized, and really sees the importance of all of it.  She has very little support from her family, but it is very apparent, that she feels the spirit, and knows that this is the true church.  

We also had an amazing lesson with a youth named Jussep. He also doesn't have much family support for church, but always walks there to get to church every Sunday.  In our lesson with him, we asked him about all of the principles he had only recently learned, many things only seconds earlier, and he quickly answered all of them, ''Of course, I'll do that! or, "Of course I know it's true!" 

These amazing investigators have really shown me how easy it has been for me to come to church, to be baptized, and to receive blessings from church attendance.  They are truly dedicated, and understand so much for their young age. 

I hope everyone else had another great week, and I'll update you all again next week!

-Elder Checketts

(And here is a little addition from one of the personal letters to Neil...)

It is getting hotter here!  And Calama is the middle of the desert, so it gets really hot!  But I've been kind of sick for the past few days, so I was really cold several mornings, but I'm getting a lot better.

I have a funny story for you, though!  There's this awesome family of members in our ward, and we went to do a family home evening with them one night, and they have this hyper, black dog that is just getting out of it's puppy stage, and reminded me so much of Zoe!  I could just imagine it.  The mom gave us banana bread, and my companion put his piece on his knee as he pulled something out of his bag.  The dog came and snatched the bread, and ate it in less than a second!  It was really funny.  Then they put her outside, and shut the door, but at some point the door was opened again, but she didn't enter.  She knew she was in trouble!  When she finally decided to come in, she slunk in like she wasn't supposed to.  It was really funny, and made me laugh, just how similar it seemed to your stories about Zoe!  Anyway,  hope you are doing well, and have another great week!

Oh, and I forgot to tell you!  We went to a baptism in another ward, and there was this really tall lady there at the baptism.  We talked to her, and it turns out she's from Russia!  She's from Moscow, but she was interested in the fact that you served in Russia, even though it was in a different part.  She asked when you served, and I said '91-'93.  She laughed, and said, "He was a pioneer!"  It was interesting to talk to her, and she liked the story about Matt Rose going to Belarus.  She said that almost happened to her.  She accidentally got on a plane going to Siberia, but realized at the last minute.  Anyway, thought that was interesting, and you might be interested.  :)

Monday, August 15, 2016

I hope everyone had another great week!

This week was great for us, as it was full of baptismal interviews! We have several very prepared investigators ready for their baptisms, such as Justina and Javier, who are an awesome couple that are doing everything they can to get married, to be ready for their baptisms.  In Chile, its extremely common for people to live together and have kids, without being married, because they find it easier than having to go through marriage paperwork.  Its often a very complicated obstacle for our investigators, but its definitely true that when people decide to do something to fulfill God's commandments, He will bless them, and empower them with the ability to do what they need to. Another amazing investigator we have is Daniela, who is only twelve, but is ready and excited for baptism, despite lack of support at home.  In reality, we have been blessed with a lot of ready and animated investigators, and have had very powerful, amazing lessons that show the reality of God's hand when helping missionaries to say the exact things that need to be said. 

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the summer they have! While it's transitioning from summer to fall in North America, it's transitioning from Winter to Spring, here in Chile, and as it gets closer to summer, its going to get REALLY hot! (Especially in the middle of the desert, in Calama!) I hope everyone has another good week, and I'll update everyone again next Monday!

-Elder Checketts

From Preston's mom:  As a side note, I woke up this morning & found a message on my facebook, from someone that I don't know, that said, "Your son is in my ward, he is so smart and lovely, congrats for that!"  :)  It made my day!  I sent a quick note to PJ to tell him, because I knew he would be online later today, and when he wrote us his weekly letters, he said that Narda (The lady who emailed me) served a misión in LA, so she speaks a Little English. Her husband is actually getting ready to have his baptism on Sunday, which is exciting! We have his on sunday, and a twelve year old named Daniela on Saturday.  But yeah... if you get friend requests or something from people in Chile, its probably because they know me :) Anyway, love you! Hope you have another great week!

Love, PJ

Monday, August 8, 2016

Hey, everyone!

This was a good first week in Calama, and I'm really enjoying it here!  My new companion is Elder Jennings, from Las Vegas, and he has tons of ''ánimo'' as they say here.  

It's drier, and hotter, and colder here, but its really nice. A lot of people say that Calama is the richest city in the mission. I think its because the huge mine is really close, and its not big enough to have really ghetto poor areas. I'm also in the richest sector in the city, so I've been really blown away by some of the houses. Some parts could totally pass as the U.S.  It's a big contrast from Alto Hospicio. But that also means that people are a little less receptive, but it's ok, we have some awesome investigators that are getting really close to baptism, so that's super awesome!  And about your question of La Mano Del Desierto, its in Antofagasta, and missionaries can go visit it. Hopefully I'll be able to, but Calama has some really cool things too. We were able to visit Chuquicamata today, which is the world's largest open-pit mine, that was really interesting to see, and there is also a really touristy old village not far away, called San Pedro de Atacama, and the famous Valle de la Luna. I'm excited to see all those areas & get to know more of Calama as well!

We have some very strong, progressing families that are very close to baptism, and although I miss people in Alto Hospicio, I am really excited to continue to help the people here in Calama, and I couldn't be happier with the people I've been able to meet wherever I go, according to God's will for me, and for them.  We have already had some very powerful, humbling lessons, and it's such a powerful testimony for me of the truth of these things, and that missionaries are not alone when teaching. We have had some wonderful spiritual experiences here.  Below are some pictures of me and Elder Jennings, and of the mine. I hope you all had a good week, and I'll update again next monday!

-Elder Checketts

Monday, August 1, 2016

Another great week! We had the baptism of Eduardo's son, Daniel, which was really neat, and Eduardo is really growing as a member of the church, truly becoming part of the branch.

I also received the news that I'm leaving Alto Hospicio! I've loved teaching and getting to know the people here, but I'm also really excited to get to know more areas of the mission.  The city I'm going to is called Calama. It's a fairly large city, and is the farthest in-land of all the cities in the mission. That means I'll be hours from the ocean, and in the middle of the desert.  Because of that, Calama is really hot during the day, and really cold at night... and literally in the middle of the driest place on Earth.  The world's largest open-pit mine is also in Calama, mining copper. I'm excited to get to know the area and the people, and can't wait to start teaching! It will be six hour bus ride to Calama, but its not too long, considering the size of the mission.

My new companion is Elder Jennings. I haven't met him yet, but I'd assume he's gringo, by his name. We also got news that sister missionaries will be coming to Alto Hospicio, after seven years or so of it being the only zone in the mission without Hermanas. Elder Aparco and his new companion will share the branch with the sisters, and the sisters will have the sector that Elder Francis and I had before. (Since it was four elders in Tarapacá, and then shrunk to 2 when it was just me and Elder Aparco, it will now be four missionaries again, but two will be the hermanas.) They're going to live in the apartment that was previously where the senior missionaries lived, and it's nice! It's super clean, and has a microwave and its own washer, and patio.

I hope everyone had a great week as well, and I'll update you all next week!

-Elder Checketts

Below are some photos I took with the members and investigators here, in Alto Hospicio:

Monday, July 25, 2016

This was another great week, but I can't believe I forgot to send the picture of Eduardo's baptism, so here it is, before I forget!
We are preparing for his son, Daniel's, baptism on the 30th, and his wife Eliana is becoming more receptive, and enjoys the church, and Eduardo is planning on baptizing the both of them, now that he has the priesthood. We also had several amazing new investigators this week! One of our new investigators is a woman named Dora, who contacted us because of a drug addiction she has been battling for years. She heard of one of her friends giving up a crippling habit years old, after talking to the missionaries and getting baptized, and that instantly interested her. She truly wants to change, and knows that God is the only one that can truly help her to do so. It was amazing to see someone so humbly ask for such help out of desperate need, because they know through God, all things are possible.  We also had a lesson with an older woman named Maria. She has investigated many churches over the years, but has felt that there is something missing, and has constantly looked for something to save her. When we asked her to pray to know if our message of the restoration was true, she stopped and said, ''I don't need to. I feel it's true every time you speak.'' It truly has been humbling to see people so close to God, because they understand so clearly His purpose in their life. I love helping the people here in Chile, and it is so rewarding to see people so committed to finding out for themselves. I hope all of you had great weeks too, and I'll update you all next week!

-Elder Checketts

Monday, July 18, 2016

This week, Eduardo got baptized, and it was amazing!!!

I'm glad I've been able to see the amazing transformation he has gone through, starting as a heavy smoker, and Bible-basher, and ending up as a member of the Church, with a testimony of all the things he has learned. It's really been a miracle.  I've seen the whole process with Eduardo, and how much he has changed. When we were getting ready before the baptism, I was kind of nervous, just because I know how important something like a baptism is for a person's life, but I felt so much peace and joy, telling me both he and I were ready for the baptism.  When I baptized him, I felt the power of my words so strongly, knowing I truly am commissioned of Jesus Christ, and that this is an incredible step for him! I'm doing well, and feel like I'm learning a lot from the people and situations.  And on the 30th, he will be baptizing his 15 year old son, Daniel, who has quickly grown interested in our lessons, and grown close to several of the youth in the branch. Eduardo's wife, Eliana has some doubts about the gospel, but she is receptive enough to listen to us, and agrees with many important principles we teach.  Hopefully, she will continue to listen to the lessons, and see what a change the gospel makes in her husband, and son's lives.

Something I've really been learning this week, and weeks prior, is that a mission is unlike any other spiritual experience out there.  I began, expecting it to be a place that would lift me up spiritually, such as church, the temple, or even a place like EFY.  Instead, I was kind of surprised (even though I shouldn't have been) to find that the external circumstances of my mission are no more special or spiritual than anywhere else. It is absolutely necessary to rely on the Lord in the field, because if you don't, you can't edify yourself or others spiritually.  I expected it to be easier to be happy as a missionary as well, but in fact, it is a lot easier to get discouraged as a missionary.  We have to deal with lots of rejection every day, and I've thought a lot about why its harder to stay optimistic here, than simply as a member. I have realized that it is because it requires trust in the Lord, more than ever, and when we work hard to be happy, it is so much more worth it. I am convinced that the special light missionaries carry with them is very much due to the fact that they work harder than ever to have it. I truly love being a missionary, because the happiness I'm able to recieve here is truly a gift from God. 

I hope everyone else had a great week! Talk to you again next week! 

-Elder Checketts

(From PJ's mom---as a side note...When I emailed PJ this week, I asked him if his new mission President & his wife speak much English, since they are from Santiago, Chile, and he said, "They actually don't know that much English. They know a couple of words, so they spoke to us completely in Spanish, but it's ok... they talk clearly, so I can understand everything they say. ;)"  And when I asked him about any foods that he misses & might like in a care package, he said, "For food, Nutella is always nice, and you can't find Cheez-its here, so I'd like that too! :) (Oh, and if you could mail some Chick-fil-a, that'd be great!) ;) lol

Monday, July 11, 2016

Another great week!

This week we had conference with President Ferreira and his wife, and then interviews and activities the day after, and it was absolutely awesome!  I loved President and Hermana Dalton, and wish I had gotten to know them better, but I can't say I am anything but impressed by the Ferreiras.  Hermana Ferreira is super fun and nice, and already knows the mission, and President Ferreira has a very apparent love for the missionaries.  I can tell they both will be great leaders of the mission, and I can't wait to get to know them even more.

During the interviews, while a missionary was in with President, the rest of us stayed and had a discussion and played some get-to-know-you games with Hermana Ferreira. We watched a short clip from Mulan that went along with what she was talking about, and because of that, I've had ''Make a Man out of You'' stuck in my head all week! Then I had my interview with President Ferreira, and it was really cool, because it's very apparent how much he loves the missionaries. He looked me in the eyes during the interview, and said, ''Elder, on Monday, when you write your family, let them know, how happy I am to have you as a missionary in this mission, and let them know that I expect great things from you.'' I can tell he will be a great president, and I can't wait to get to know him even more as my mission goes on.  

In other news, Eduardo had his baptismal interview, and is working hard not to smoke! We bought him a big bag of caramels to help him, and he's continuing to work toward his baptism on the 16th, and baptize his son and hopefully his wife too, on the 30th, which is incredible!! It has really been amazing to see the change he has gone through, and what effort he is making to stay on the track for baptism.  It's a miracle really to see people rise above the things that have been a problem for them, for so long. It's a miracle because they have to rely on Christ to do it, but as soon as they do, He won't let them down.  

I also have some funny stories this week.  Having a Latino companion, and being fairly new to Spanish, I'm prone to making some mistakes that are sometimes pretty funny.  For example, earlier this week, I was explaining to Elder Aparco the plot line of Romeo and Juliet, and how at the end, Romeo drinks poison, and Juliet stabs herself with a knife.... but instead of saying cuchillo (knife), I accidentally said cuchara (spoon).... personally I think that would be a more interesting ending..... but it was kind of funny. There was also one time when we were talking about food, and I was saying something about maple syrup (jarabe de arce), but instead said jarabe de ALCE (moose syrup). I thought that one was pretty funny too. Another one that a lot of missionaries mess up on (though I haven't), is accidentally saying pescado (fish) during a lesson, instead of pecado (sin).... it leads to funny things like, ''Brother, if you trust in God, I know you will be able to find repentance from your fish''.  Anyway, hope that amused you a little! Talk to you guys next week!

I hope everyone else had a good week as well, and everyone is continuing to enjoy the summer. I'll update you next week!

-Elder Checketts

Monday, July 4, 2016

This was a great week! I had my first baptism, and Franco, who usually is very timid and shy, had a huge smile on his face during the baptismal service! His family was there, as well as several friends of his who are non-members. We were able to get several new investigators out of that, and over all, the baptism was a great experience! 

This week, there was also both progression, and digression with our investigators.  Eduardo again came to church with his son, and is taking the commitment to be baptized seriously (something I never would have predicted).  However, one of our most prospective investigators, Maricel, will not be able to be contacted for a month or so, as she has to go visit her mother who is in bad health. Maricel has long been our most interested investigator, already with a huge testimony of the things we teach, but has continued having problems that have prevented her from coming to church.  I've thought about this whole situation quite a bit. The fact that one of our most stubborn investigators has a baptismal date, and that one of the most promising is unable to be contacted, shows me that we as missionaries will never truly know who is the most ready for baptism, if we are preparing people WE WANT for the church, rather than people GOD WANTS for the church.  I know God prepares souls ready to hear the gospel, to be placed in the path of the missionaries.  But I think, sometimes we focus on our needs first, and that blinds us.  If the prepared people in need of help from the gospel are like the beaten traveler in the story of the Good Samaritan, we need to make sure we are filling the role of the Good Samaritan, and not the priest, who walks on the other side of the road, saying, ´´I would help.... if I weren't busy with the Lord's work´´. When we focus on what God wants from us, we will always accomplish our purpose as missionaries, members, and children of God.  

I hope everyone has a good week, and are led to the people who are in need of their help! I'll update you all again, next week! 

-Elder Checketts

Below are pictures from Franco's baptism!

And here is a little bit from the email PJ sent to our family, that I thought was so great:
"...It's about Christ.  I'm not perfect.... but He is, and so if I do what I have been called to do, Christ will perfectly bless his son or daughter through an imperfect missionary.  And that is why it is also worth it... because it is hard. I love all of you, and I want you to know that if something is really hard for you to work through, it's probably because there is something you are meant to learn from it. I hope you all have another great week! Love you so much!"

Monday, June 27, 2016

Hey, everyone!

This was an awesome week!!! First off, we have a baptism on Saturday!!! It's an 11 year old named Franco, whose Mom is a less active member, but because he wants to get baptized, she's getting reactivated. It's super exciting to see a kid so young want to do something so important. I'm super happy for their family, and it also looks like I'll be the one baptizing him! Unfortunately, I don't know the family as well as I would like, since they were in the other sector before we combined, but I can tell that Luz (the mom) is really happy with her son's decision, and is happy coming to church again. We also have an amazing story this week, with an investigator named Eduardo.  Eduardo, when we first met him was very stubborn. He has problems with drinking and smoking, and at the time, did not want to stop, and always tried to disprove us with the Bible. When we taught him the restoration, everything started making sense for him, and he became much more receptive, even to the point of saying he'd try to quit smoking... a HUGE step from what we saw at first. After that, was the cambio, and the next visit I had was with Elder Aparco, who decided to invite Eduardo to be baptized.  I was sure he'd say no, and kick us out of his house, so I prayed that his heart would be softened, and he'd say yes.  I immediately got a strong impression that he would say yes. Honestly.....I doubted that answer, but sure enough, he commited to be baptized on the 30th of July, and to come to church... and he came! I know God answers prayers, and that he can soften any willing heart. Hope everyone had a great week as well!

-Elder Checketts

Monday, June 20, 2016

A lot has happened this week!

So first off, I had my first and last Zone Conference with President Dalton earlier this week, on Tuesday. He talked about a lot of things to help us continue to help our investigators, and it was a really good meeting. In two weeks, President Dalton leaves, and President Ferreira, his wife, and their daughter arrive to the mission. They are from Concepción, Chile, and President Ferreira served a mission in Córboba, Argentina, and his wife in Antofagasta, Chile!! It sounds like he will be a great mission president, and I'm excited to meet him.  

Also, I've completed my first twelve weeks in the field, which means I'm done with training!!! We also had cambios (transfers), and I'm staying in Alto Hospicio, but my trainer, Elder Francis got switched out, as did another elder in our apartment... so instead of four elders in the apartment, there are two, and the two sectors are combined for a while, meaning there will be two elders in the branch of Tarapacá, instead of four.  My new companion is Elder Aparco, from Huancayo, Perú!!!!  

I'm sure my Spanish will be improving a lot in this cambio, and I'm looking forward to it!!  And Dina and Maricel will also probably be getting baptized sometime this cambio, which is exciting!!! Hope you are all doing well too! Update you all, more next Monday!!!

-Elder Checketts

Monday, June 13, 2016

Hey guys! 

Hope you had a good week, and are continuing to enjoy the summer!!!  I'm really feeling the cold winter here, while sandboarding, and looking at the nice, clear ocean ;) jk.  This week, we went down to Iquique to go sandboarding on our P-day, which was super fun! It's like snowboarding.... but the Atacama desert doesn't have much snow, so sand is second best :)  It's super nice weather here, and I'm enjoying looking around Iquique.  There are several of the investigators I love visiting because of how awesome of people they are, and there are some members that are just awesome and so friendly too! We are continuing to find people, and working on helping them change their lives. We've seen people slowly becoming more receptive, as they start understanding what we are teaching, and slowly become more willing to leave their old lives behind.  It's definitely a slow process though! 

One of our investigators committed to be baptized, if she prays and feels the church is true, so that was a great boost during the week! And we are continuing to work with our investigators who have accepted baptismal dates, to help and prepare them for that.  We also had the opportunity to watch the Chile vs Bolivia soccer game since it's the American Cup, and no one is outside, or will let us in during soccer games, since Chile is crazy for soccer... so we have permission to watch all the Chile games during the Cup, as long as we are with a member or investigator.  Tomorrow we get to see Chile vs Panamá, and we are organizing it to be an activity at the church, so we can invite members and investigators, and find more people to teach.  Hopefully, we will have another great week teaching and finding, and hopefully you all have a great week too! I'll update you next week!

Love, Elder Checketts

below are some pictures. The bottom one is from sandboarding with the other elders, and the top is a copper plate of Chile I bought, to keep a piece of the culture :)