Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Spirit of God

...is burning like a fire inside of my new companion. I am happy to announce that I indeed gave birth to a wondeful, healthy Latino from Honduras named Elder Ramirez. And let me tell you...this kid is incredible. I'm not training him, he came pre-trained! He's 18 years old and has so much faith and energy that at first I had no idea what to do with him, but now his example to me has honestly made me step up my own game. In the meeting in Concepción when we went to pick up our companions, Elder Sigarán and I, having last names farthest in the alphabet, got called up last at the same time to receive the announcement of who we would be training. The only options left were between a poor Gringo who looked so lost and confused, and Elder Ramirez who's eyes were a burnin' with excitement. For one reason or another, President Martinez asked Elder Ramirez to share a few words with everyone in the meeting about a discussion they had had about the role of the Holy Spirit. Elder Ramirez began to give a wonderful, dead on explanation about how we can't teach without the Spirit, and if it's not present in the lesson, we didn't teach. And the entire time he was talking, there was a noticeable amazement in the air of this noobie missionary who understood so well his purpose. And as I glanced around, I met the eyes of President Martinez staring at me with a hint of a smile that seemed to say "get ready," and I knew before the announcement that Elder Ramirez would be heading down to Carahue with me.
After the meeting, we all met in the cultural hall to mingle a bit and eat pizza. Before we all headed off and said our goodbyes, President Martinez asked me how I felt. I said "bien" and expressed briefly my excitement to work with Elder Ramirez. He then put a hand on each of our shoulders and informed us that the impression to put us together in Carahue was "very strong."

Since arriving in Carahue, we have been extremely blessed in this work. Granted, the mission is always a roller coaster, and we've had good days and less good days, but the good days have been incredible! Yesterday, we had 7 new investigators in one day, which is a new record in my mission. I tell you, if I can one day become the class of missionary that Elder Ramirez already is, I'll be happy. Obviously there are things he has yet to learn, but I believe that the even greater lessons I'm going to learn from him.

However, it is still very stressful at times. Jennifer, you hit the nail right on the head, and even though Elder Ramirez makes my job a lot easier than it would be otherwise, I do feel like the universe is balanced precariously upon my shoulders, and that the fate of Carahue is hanging by a thread. But as Gordon B. Hinckley once said (and I have this posted to our window above our desk), “It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don't worry. I say that to myself every morning. It all works out in the end. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers.” And that's exactly what I'm doing. And we have already been tremendously blessed...

Remember Aracely? I think I wrote about her last week. Well, we've been meeting with her and her boyfriend, and they couldn't be more prepared. They are so ready and excited, in fact, that yesterday Aracely asked me if, even after they get married, if they have to wait until the 3rd of March to be baptised. I love seeing the Gospel in action, when people gain a testimony of Christ, and they DO something about it.

Unfortunately, I have to go, yet again earlier than I would like. Sorry I couldn't write more, but actually there's not a whole lot to write about as we were not in Carahue for the better part of the week. I will leave you with a few things:

Mom... HOLY CRAP NO WAY!!!!! I about knocked the computer over when I read your email. CONGRATULATIONS! I really don't know what else to say, I want to hear more! I can only imagine what went through your mind when you read that.

Anna... HAPPY ONE YEAR! (Last Tuesday) And yes, I remember Jessica's birthday :) Sorry for not writing more. I'm going to send another letter soon!

A few random things: I forgot to mention last week, but NO, it is absolutely NOT neccesary to send a package only with Sharpies haha. I meant whenever it is that you send another package, throw a sharpie or two in there. Also, whenever that moment is, can you throw in my ties that I didn't bring with me. I'm starting to get quite bored with only 8 haha. (And all of them, if possible, even the ugly ones, just in case)
Also, what the heck is Siri? There's an iPhone 4S? What does iOS 5 do? I'm so out of the loop...for a change..
Lastly, I finally decided on a scripture for my plaque, if you haven't already chosen one for me that is. Sorry it took so long, I kept forgetting! It was also very hard to choose, because I have many. But I'm going with Romans 8: 35, 37. Not 35 through 37, but 35 and 37.

that's all folks! I love you all very much. Thank you for always writing me, please know that your letters are always a great strength and joy to me. Until next week!

-Elder Wilcox
 Fotos de Temuco Cion!
A picture of Carahue that Elder Salas took that I love.
 The lemon pie that one of our investigators made before Elder Salas left!
The pasteles de choclo, note how they are typically cooked in Chile in a special ceramic bowl rather than a glass pan. I think that's what makes the difference. I'm going to buy one of those bowls today at the Potato Festival
 We always call Fernanda Pato, or duck, so we took a foto of us being patos
Beneath Puente Quillem
 sitting on the bridge
 Me and mi hijo!
 all of the parents and their children on the bus headed down south
At the potato festival. This is a pastel de papa, like pastel de choclo but with potato topping. But this just happens to be the pastel de papa most big in the world. that came out spanish. oh well. Every year they do one and try to beat their previous record. Look it up in Guiness records!

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