Monday, May 30, 2016

Hey everyone! Hope everyone is doing well, with it being the beginning of summer! Winter is beginning here, since its the Southern Hemisphere, but its not that cold. It sounds like the summer can be brutal though! We have been doing well, and finding several more receptive investigators, which is awesome!!! There are a billion stray dogs here, so it's normal for them to be everywhere, and some people take pity on them, but don't want to keep them. 

Anyway, hope you are all doing well, and having fun! In a few more weeks I'll probably be moving sectors, because Elder Francis goes home in August, and I could stay here, or maybe leave to another area. who knows!  This week, we have really been trying harder to find lots of new investigators, and because of our efforts, we now have several new, very interested people!!! Nothing much has happened this week though...but I thought I would send some pictures that really describe Chile, and the people I hope you all enjoy! ;)  Anyway, love you all, and have a great week!

So this is a stray dog, with her puppies in the cave behind her.  Someone was nice enough to give the dogs blankets.... but don't really want to take care of them...So that was interesting, but then we have this picture:
So...same idea...stray dog that someone took pity on....but this one is a three-legged dog in a dress!! I love the people here, and they have interesting problem solving techniques...
Fridge doesn't fit in your apartment? Just stick it outside the door! ..... but this next one takes the cake!!!!
That emergency exit sign is pointing to the garbage chute!!!! This was taken on the 6th floor!!!! I don't think it would help much!!!!!

Anyway, hope you all enjoyed those pictures, and had a great week! I'll update you all next week!

-Elder Checketts

Monday, May 23, 2016

Hi, everyone! 

Hope you're all doing well! We found several new investigators who are really receptive, but several of our older investigators are having trouble coming to church, and getting ready for baptism.  It really made me think, because when I first got here, we had an investigator who was an older man, and liked hearing what we had to say, but wouldn't commit to church, reading the scriptures, or praying. I started getting frustrated, and after several of such lessons, I told Elder Francis that of all of our investigators, he was the LAST one I could see progressing.  In the following weeks, some of our most promising investigators stopped opening their doors, or wouldn't commit to church, and soon, this investigator I had little faith in, started praying with us, and reading the Book of Mormon, and asking us a lot of questions about it.  This experience showed me that none of God's children are too stubborn to assume they will never progress, because as long as we teach what we are supposed to, and are worthy of the presence of the Spirit, they can feel of the truth of our words. I also know that every one of God's children is important to Him, and we can never give up on a single one, because He never gives up on us.  

I hope you all had a great week, and continue doing well. Sorry, no pictures this week. I'll update everyone again next week! Have a good one!

-Elder Checketts

Monday, May 16, 2016

Hi, everyone! 

Not a lot has happened this week that was big, or out of the ordinary, but we had transfers, and a Colombian elder that lived in the apartment went to an area in Antofagasta, and in his place came a Peruvian elder.  It's been cool meeting elders from all different areas... for example, in our zone there are two Peruvians, two Chileans, one Brazilian, two Canadians, and eleven Americans.  We have also had several investigators from various areas as well... for some reason, there is a high population of Colombians in northern Chile, especially right in Antofagasta. We've met several of them, and there was also a woman from the Dominican Republic that we met, who spoke almost perfect English.  The people here are really cool, especially those who don't have very much money, because they are very poor in spirit.  Although there is quite a bit of diversity when it comes to people, there is very little variety in scenery. There is dirt....and that's about it...and ocean if you go by the coast...but nothing green :) I'm loving teaching others about the gospel here! Hope you are all doing well.... sorry I don't have pictures this week! I'll give another update next week!

-Elder Checketts
Here is a picture of PJ's zone (the senior couple shared it).  :)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Another great week & Mother's Day Skype call!

Hey everyone!!! This is going to be shorter, because I'm running out of time today... but our one investigator, Manuel, came to church on Sunday, and it's his third!!! Which means he can get baptized once we know he understands everything, and we have taught him all the lessons.  It's been super exciting getting to see him progress, and hopefully, more people start coming to church!!! 

Anyway, today was also a great p-day! We live in Alto Hospicio, where there is lots of dirt, and a few grocery stores, but to get more American items like root beer and some other stuff, we have to go 20 minutes down to Iquique, which is the mission's second largest city.  So we went down there, and went to Jumbo (a really big american store), and we bought this:


It's a Toblerooooooooooooone!!!!!! We also bought Dominos! Did I mention it's really been hard being in a deprived South American Country? Hahaha! Well, hope everyone has a great week, and I'll give more updates next Monday!

Also, It was so nice getting to talk to you and the rest of the family yesterday! Love you, and it was so nice to see your face and talk to the world's best mom! :) Love you, and have a terrific week!

Love you all!!!

-Elder Checketts

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hi everyone!!! 

This week has been really good again! We got a hold of a contact from a member, and the couple (Andrea and Luis) was so receptive!!! They both work all day, because he's a cop, and she works in the Zofri (a giant mall in Iquique), but they both have been so kind and happy to see us, letting us in even after a long, hard day at work.  We also had a really cool experience, where we got through all of our plans one night, but still had some time, so we decided to do what we call ´´playing the grid´´.  There are several streets in our area that make a grid, and we decided that one of us would pick a street and the other would say a number and left or right, so I picked the street, and as we started walking down toward it, and Elder Francis was thinking of what number and side he wanted to pick, we saw a man on the corner of the street, and stopped to talk to him.  He was telling us that his mom had died, and he had lots of questions for us about death and God's plans for each of us.  I think it is amazing how Heavenly Father puts specific people in our way when we really make an effort, who really need to hear his gospel.  Hope all of you have a great week!!! Below also are some pictures.  The first one is the view of Alto Hospicio from one of the apartments where we prosolyte.  The others are pictures from Iquique, because we went down there today. Hope you enjoy!

-Elder Checketts

(In answer to some of our questions...)
I haven't noticed whether or not I've started gaining or loosing weight.  The mammita and members always serve us rice and chicken, sometimes other stuff, but rice and chicken is the standard.  I still haven't been served an empenada though.  They give us a lot of food, but we walk a lot too, so I don't know which one has a bigger impact.  I usually just have cereal for breakfast, and just snack or something for dinner, but I have recently noticed that my socks keep falling down.  I didn't even think about that until you asked me, but maybe I've lost a little weight... idk.  Anyway, no, Maricel didn't make it to church again :( She had to work again, but we had another great investigator go, who is also preparing for baptism.  His name is Manuel, and he's 19, but has some mental disabilities.  He's always so happy, and more than anything just wants to get baptized.  Hope you all have a great day, and a great week! Sorry no funny story today, but at least I sent pics!!! Also, I got all the skype info! Thanks!!! And we will plan on Mother's day! Also, haven't gotten the package yet, but I'm sure it won't be too long. Also, you asked about Earthquakes, and we haven't felt any, except one day that we were teaching an investigator in the apartments, and we felt a little tremor, and she ran to the door like her house was on fire. But supposedly we are supposed to be expecting a huge one in the next few years, based on the plates' patterns, and with the big earthquakes in Ecuador, and Japan....but don't worry, Mom :)...   My Spanish is getting better too. I can say most everything I want to say... the hard part is just understanding when the Chileans talk really fast. But I keep improving.  Hope you're all doing great!!! Love you all, and talk to you soon!!!!!!