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 :)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Hey, everyone!!!!

This has been a good week! Lately it's been harder to find new people, but on Sunday, between us four elders in the branch, there were six investigators at church!!! That is usually the hardest part with helping people to progress... is getting them to church, but we were definitely blessed this week.  Other than that, we have just continued to have lessons, and help people to prepare to get closer to baptism.  

We had an awesome investigator named Ivan come to church yesterday.  He is one of our most receptive investigators, but getting him ready for baptism will be a long process.  He's married to a woman he split up with years ago, but never got divorced, and is now living with his girlfriend and two sons he has with her.  It is very common in Chile for people to be living together, unmarried, but his situation is complicated, because his legal wife doesn't want to get divorced, because she gets monetary benefits... and he has a lot of real intent, and wants to get married to his girlfriend to have a good, solid family, and then get baptized.  So he's awesome, and has lot's of great desires... and Maricel also came to church finally, and she brought her friend too, and both of them are planning to get baptized on June 25!  A lot of things have happened lately to keep Maricel from coming to church, but she finally quit her job to have the opportunity to go.  Her friend Dina is also wanting to get baptized, which is a miracle in itself because she previously was not at all interested, and very Evangelical... but she started listening to the lessons with Maricel, and then accepted a baptismal date!!! We also have several other very promising investigators, such as Francisca, whose husband is less active, and who just had a baby, and Manuel... the 19-year old with mental disabilities.  This has been a good week for us, and hope you liked hearing about the investigators! 

My Spanish has been improving, and I feel like I can say most everything I want to.... but the hard part is understanding rapid Chilean speech.  It's now winter here in Chile, and it actually gets pretty cold at night, since we're in the desert.  It's really hot during the day, and pretty cold at night.  I'm loving the people here, and really starting to enjoy the Chilean culture.  Hope everyone has a good week! Sorry no pictures this time! Talk to you all again next Monday!

-Elder Checketts