Monday, October 7, 2013

The Old Red Hills of Home

Georgia, here I come!

But first, Santiago, Concepción, Temuco, Los Ángeles, Lima, and Machu Pichu!

I can't quite believe that this is my last email home in the mission...I've got a lot of mixed feelings. It doesn't quite feel real, so I can't really say this is difficult or easy or anywhere in between, it just is I suppose.

I suppose it would be more difficult if it were more sudden, but since I've been expecting it for a while and preparing for it, I'm trying to take it as just another step forward. As I think about not being a missionary anymore, it is sad. But, it is comforting to know that I can still reach the celestial kingdom, even if I'm not a full-time missionary for the rest of my life. Haha, it's good to know that the Lord has more plans for me within his great big plan for our salvation and happiness.

I can't think of a better way to have finished my mission that with general conference (it being my 5th general conference in the mission by the way. woah..). I went with many questions, like, "How can I continue to serve in the Church? How can I have success as a member missionary? How can I apply all that I've learned in my mission to the real life? How can I continue to be constant? When and whom should I mary? How can I increase my faith and works? Which profession should I select? I'm happy to announce that every single one of these questions (and more) were answered by the voice of the Spirit in a very remarkable personal way.

The conference really helped me see what the next years of my life will look like, as the consecrated and devoted member and disciple of Christ I desire to be. I learned a lot about what sanctification means and what it entails as a regular member. I realized (as I had earlier in the mission), that no body becomes sanctified on accident. It is always a choice we make. And we must all consciously make it eventually, or we will always live beneath the level of our potential and our privilege. I am thoroughly excited to be an everyday member, but with the capacity to see miracles every day in my life. I desire to give my life to the service of the Lord. I know that the mission does not end here. It is every day. I know who I am. I know where I'm going. I can see it, I can taste it, and I have the desire to acheive it, with God as my motor and the Spirit as my lamp.

I love the Savior. He has saved me countless times from my sins. I love His work. I love His church. How greatful I am for the time He gave me to serve by His side. And what makes me even more greatful is knowning that I can continue to do so. His work is not over, and neither is my part in it. I know Christ is our savior, that this is His true church. I declare that The Gospel was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith, that the Book of Mormon is a solemn and powerful witness of Jesus Christ. I can declare, as did Paul, that I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. I pray we all forever do the same.

With much love,
Elder (almost Brother) Wilcox

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Last Decision

That sounds familiar... That's what this week is for me. This is my last full week of missionary service in a specific area, although I will still happily be a missionary until 6:30pm on the 18th.

Every week, every day, every moment is a decision. We constantly choose things, wherein we learn how to exercise our agency. This last week, I make my decision to follow Christ and work as hard as I can. There is nothing sweeter than being made an instrument in His hands, through righteousness and diligence.

We had ZL/DL Council today, so I'm bummed I can't spend more time to write a nice second-to-last letter, cause we have to go get on a bus to Temuco (we're in Concepción). It is what it is.

Gosh...I don't know what to say. My head is full of a lot of thoughts. The mission is the MTC of life, and I feel like my real mission is about to begin. The feeling is very similar to when I left the MTC in Provo, only much more intense.

I inform you that on the 10th, when you get in, President Martínez will be in Temuco doing interviews, so I don't exactly know yet when you'll be able to meet him. But I have my final interview with him this thursday, so I'm going to ask him how we can work it out, and I'll let you know.

Could you send me a revised/finalized version of the itinerary? I'm still trying to make some final decisions about where to go and when while you're here, but I have a general outline.

I think on saturday we'll stop by Lota for a little bit, and finish that night in San Pedro. Don't know where to stay the first day yet. Then, late that night, or early the next morning, we'll drive to Temuco to attend church in Padre Las Casas. Finally, we'll finish in Carahue, and stay the night in Puerto Saavedra with some members there. I might switch the order of days however, and go to church elsewhere, it all depends on specific people's availability. But I'll have it all worked out by the time you get here.

Looking forward to it all! Your arrival, the trip, life, eternal's all ahead of me.

I finish with Alma 26: 2-3
2 And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us?Can ye tell?

 3 Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, werein darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, howamany of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God!And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, thatwe have been made binstruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.

Indeed, it is a great and marvelous work.

Much love,

Elder Wilcox

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I'm Jealous

of all your clever email subjects. After the mission, I'll surely be more creative.

Thank you for your wonderful letters. Love the stories and the pictures. I'm feeling more calm now about everything. Just trying to stay as focused as posible while I try to make some plans for your arrival. I don't have anything set in stone yet, but I have advised most of the people I want to visit that we'll be there that saturday or sunday.

The most exciting news of the week is the baptism and confirmation of Elisa. It turned out really really well, the whole service went smoothly, and Elisa looked really happy. Unfortunately, her parents weren't very much in agreement with her decision, and did not come to the service nor to church to see the confirmation, but we have hope that they will come to understand soon.

In the mean time we're really happy for Elisa and this important step she has taken towards Christ.

The weather's getting really beautiful here. It rains every now and then but nothing like before. You're really going to enjoy it. You picked a good time to come out.

You don't need any kind of voltage converter, as one might suspect, because 99 percent of all devices now support duel voltage. You only need a small piece to change the plug. It looks like two tubular prongs. You can probably see what I'm talking about online. Let me think. I don't know, just typical foreign country travel stuff. Keep your wallet in a safe place, etc. Chile's pretty modern, so there's not much you'll need that you won't be able to find here. Be prepared for really expensive gas... like almost double the price...and perhaps you can buy a simple prepaid phone or something. I don't know what you did in France, or if phone rates are expensive..  just a thought.

Haha I know that wasn't of much help. If I think of anything important I'll let you know.

We've got to be going now, but looking forward very much to seeing you!

Much love from Chile,
Elder Wilcox

We went to Volcano Llaima today with the whole zone. It was a blast, and I have a lot more photos, but I might as well just show you in three weeks.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Can't Believe It's Almost Over

Inside my mind I've been kind of a crying mess for the last 24 hours, although I don't show it. Last night, in Rocío's house we watched the video "I'll go where you want me to go" from the special Work of Salvation transmition, and watching the missionaries in the video made me realize, really realize, for the very first time, that this is all coming to an end, and I'll only be a missionary for 3 more weeks. I struggled to hold back tears as I testified to Rocío about the importance of the work. I feel excited to see you all and start a new chapter, but thinking about leaving all this breaks my heart into a thousand pieces. The only option is to give it everything I can these last few weeks and bring souls to Christ.

Thanks for the great letters this week, I liked them a lot.

Today is Chilean Independence Day, so nothing's open and we're using a member's computer to write, so I don't have much time. Happy 18th! and see you soon!

Much love,
Elder Wilcox

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Final Chapter I am. Opening up the final chapter of my mission. All full transfers have come to a close, soon I will literally be completing 2 full years of misionary service, and this life I have loved so dearly is quickly passing away. I'm full of mixed feelings, but I try to put them out of my heart and head, preferring to pretend that every day is the first day, and that really I'll be here for another 2 years. I have four full weeks to dedicate myself to my Savior and my Chilean brothren, and I am committed to give it my all, come what my.

With this recent transfer come interesting and exciting news. I have been "released" so to speak after a long journey as Zone Leader (more than half of my mission), and have been reassigned as District Leader, as they are combining the zones of Cautín and Labranza (the same stake, afterall), and the zone leaders will be over there. I feel a little sad that I won't be able to participate in the Lidership council my last month in the mission, as it has been something very special to me, but excited to learn new things and finish the race with a different perspective.

I have a fantastic district, consisting of the 4 Sisters of my very own Maquehue ward, so it'll be nice not having to travel much, and being able to work more effectively together as a ward. They're great sisters, with a great vision of the work, and are having a lot of success recently.

My new comp will be Elder Rivera, from Argentina. I don't know much about him, just that he's relatively new in the mission, and was trained by the other Elder Wilcox that used to be here.

I am thrilled to be staying in Maquehue, since we've had some huge miracles recently:

Elisa is progressing really well and has accepted to be baptised on the 21st. She invited us to eat lunch again with her family yesterday and afterwards we watched "Together Forever." It was a powerful moment, and really helped her parents realize it's time to work and make decisions. With tears in their eyes, and hopes of a happier family, they committed to going to church with Elisa next week. We're really excited.

We also were given a miracle self-reference from the sisters the other day. His name is Manuel. Aparently he saw the sisters one day and went up to them, asking them if they could visit him soon. He belongs to our sector, so we went, and turns out Manuel has met with missionaries for about the last 5 years, has attended church many times, knows a ton, and has a testimony of the Church. He only hasn't been baptised, because he was always jumping back and forth from city to city for studies, work, etc. But now he's here in Maquehue more permanently, finishing up a doctorate. Long story short, he will be going to church with us next Sunday, and has decided to be baptised on the 28th.  A true miracle.

Finally, a long-term investigator we've had (Ximena) decided to be baptised by the end of the year. We're still working with her trying to help her to progress faster, and she's been making some big strides. A precious moment we had with her the other day was when she finally agreed to give the final prayer at the end of the lesson. It was a very simple, yet sincere prayer, but it was the first time we had ever heard her pray in front of us, and it truly brought tears to my eyes. I love Ximena and rejoice when she progresses, and I'm really hoping she can be baptised before I leave Chile. I'm pretty sure it would be one of the happiest moments of my life.

So the work is great. God is good, and the Gospel is true! Awesome!

I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!

Much love,
Elder Wilcox

P.S. I looked at the schedule of the Santiago Temple. Looks like everything should be okay, but I'll give them a call anyway just to be sure.

P.P.S. We're in Spring time now (THANK GOODNESS) and spring in southern Chile is gorgeous. You'll be fine in sweaters/light jackets. But bring umbrellas or something waterproof juuust in case, because Spring time is nice, but also very unpredictable here. :)

our lunch schedule for the week. Notice sunday (domingo) where Elisa Bucarey signed up. Our golden investigator!
 beheading my companion
 With Bro. Bucarey, Elisa's dad
 With Elisa and her younger brother, Julio
With the zone in a restaurant in the famous Mapuche Market of Temuco. I'll have to take you when you come. You'll find the best magnets there, Mom.
 with Elder Hanes in our last zone P-day outing

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The New Testament

Is really awesome. I've been reading it a lot lately and am learning a ton. Since it's like 80 percent letters to recent converts, every page is just full of good advice about how to be a good saint and follow Christ. I feel like the Bible could be the "What" of the Gospel, announcing the message and telling us what to do. The Book of Mormon is easily the "why" as it explains the amazing plan of redemption and explains much more fully the bigger picture of it all. And I suppose the Doctrine and Covenants could be the "how," as it gives specific instructions on how to administer Christ's church in these latter-days. Together, the standard works and an insurmountable treasure, and I'm very grateful for them.

Thank you for your letters this week. I laughed out loud at many of your witty comments. I have always loved the Wilcox family sense of humor, typically literary in style, but almost always mixed with hint of irony. Thank you for examples, as always, of living and loving the gospel of Jesus Christ day to day.

The work roles forth hear. Elisa is progressing a ton, and seems like a natural in church now. She's still a little hesitant about when exactly to be baptised, as she's worried about the response from her parents. She and we all wish they would wake up a little bit spiritually, so they can see first hand the blessings it will bring to their lives..but step by step. We are positive Elisa will be baptised very soon.

We found a great new investigator the other day that is the mom of two young people we taught a few times a few months ago. They are Camila and Thomas. The mom is Fabiana, and she truly is prepared to receive the Gospel. Yesterday, in only our second lesson with her, she began to cry as she thought about the very personal call the Savior was making to her to repent and come unto him. At the beginning of the lesson, as we read from 3 Nephi 11, we asked her to not be like the nefites in that occasion, and pay attention to the Spirit as it tried to speak to her. She did just that, and it was a very tender moment. She accepted the invitation to be baptised, hoping that she can do it with her children as well.

More updates about Fabiana to come.

That's about it for right now. I'm out of time. I love you all very much and wish you the best of Wilcox (and Felsted and Shannon) weeks!

A big hug,
Elder Wilcox

With some CINNAMON ROLLS that a sister made for us. Like the third time I've had cinnamon rolls in Chile. 
 An epic study session about the Law of Moses. (we were preparing for a lesson with the Pacheco family)
 One of Elder Hanes's cool insect bites that swell up
 Rocío's baptism! Along with Pedro and Juan, who were also baptized.
 With Rocío and her two sons. The little girl is the Bishop's daughter that Rocío wants to marry her son haha.
A mountain of spaghetti
 Some fun goals for the week
 We made giant completos for P-Day last week
 Elder Sandoval turned 20, so we threw egg and flour on him, of course
 With Elder Bonnet!
 With my son, Elder Perez
 With three ex-comps at Lidership council (missing Elder Torres, he was busy in that moment)
 With Elder Jorquera. Lived with him for my last three weeks in Boca Sur
Nice 18 de Septiembre themed lunch. 
With President.

 The empenada

Cheeze-its on the way home from Council
 At Gatsby, an all you can eat buffet where we went for lunch today. Delicious..

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ahh...the ocean

Being close to it for like half my mission really makes me miss it here in hilly Padre Las Casas. Looking forward to the next beach trip in aproximately one year.

Glad to hear you all had a great time, if not very busy with all the rugrats. The kids are adorable, and I can't wait to get to know them better.

I'll go ahead, Dad, and start working on packing some simple things to send home. Sending them, as you know, is not terribly cheap (but actually not terribly expensive either), so if you can make sure I've got enough on the home card, I'll try and send some stuff out next monday.

This week was good in the work of the Lord. We're progressing with the Bucarey family, despite their limited time schedule. Unfortunately the parents still have not attended church, as they like their sleep on Sunday mornings (worst excuse!), but Elisa's, the oldest daughter, is doing GREAT and came to church for the second time yesterday. She really is incredible, one of the best investigators I've taught. When we were teaching her family on Saturday, she had already read all of the material, and knew it really well. She helped us teach her parents, haha. It was practically like teaching with an already-member. So we're really happy about that.

Also thrilled that Rocío was baptised last saturday. Unfortunately she couldn't do it with her son, because of some small family issues, but she was really happy with the service and was confirmed yesterday and looks really content. (This is the Rocío that read the Book of Mormon in a month. Super smart.)

The Adventist family, The Pacheco family, is progressing as well. Really interested in the Book of Mormon still and hopefully will attend church with us this sunday. Now we just gotta get their two kids to participate in the lessons as well.

So that's the morning report. We're happy, working hard, looking for miracles, and seeing them. I appreciate your comments, Heather, about the importance of references. So true! 

So I want to hear experiences, if there are any! Was anybody able to use the phrase "that's what I love about my church" or something similar the other week?

Wishing you the best in all your efforts this week, and keeping you in my prayers,

with love,
Elder Wilcox

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Beautiful Week

Full of tiredness and some frustration, but also some really high highs.

We are currently teaching two families right now and they're awesome. The first is the Bucarey family, whose oldest daughter attended church with us yesterday and loved it. Afterwards, she suprised us with an invitation to have lunch with her family! We were blown away and very grateful. I do believe it was the first time in my whole mission that I've had lunch with an entire family of investigators. We're hoping the parents can attend next sunday with Elisa.

We're also teaching the Pacheco family. They're very interested and had a lot of great questions about the Book of Mormon. When we invited them to baptism, it wasn't an emphatic yes exactly, but they definitely did not say no. They're going to progress great.

So we're really happy with all the tremendous potential the Lord has blessed us with in our sector. In the zone we've also seen a lot of miracles. There are three invesitgators that we just found out actually live within the Llaima ward but that have been attending church for the last 2 months in the other stake. So they'll be getting baptised here.

What I've learned this week is the importance of being an intrument in the Lord's hands through our own personal decisions. Every action we take either draws us closer or pulls us away from being an effective tool in His masterful hands. When we do decide to humble ourselves and follow the promptings of the spirit, He literally guides us by the hand to do his will. That is why the Paul explains so emphatically that whatever good works we do are actually not ours, but the Lord's. We have faith and decided to follow the Spirit, and the works flow naturally from within, as God uses us to bless the lives of others.

I want to be an instrument in his hands, because I know that it brings great joy.

May we all strive to do so this week, is my prayer.

With much love,
Elder Wilcox

Monday, August 12, 2013

An Attitude of Gratitude

A big friendly hello from Elder Wilcox down here in Chile to all my family, friends, and other readers.

Thank you for your letters. They inspire me. I love your lives; they are rich with action, hope, virtue, and love. I am especially grateful for the missionary spirit that the Lord has poured out upon the Whitewater ward and upon us as a family. Thanks, Ashley for your willingness and enthusiasm to serve.

Thanks, Mom for sharing that incredible missionary story. It truly brought me to tears of joy as I read it at the computer and then re-read it on the bus on the way to the center. It made me so grateful to be a missionary and to have the restored gospel that I couldn't not share it, and immediately started talking to the two men sitting behind me because I couldn't wait to tell someone about this! Well, they were not terribly interested, but that's okay.

Yesterday we had a great experience. We have been praying a lot with Elder Hanes for the work to pick up here and praying to be able to find a family that we can teach and baptise. While we were out tracting in an area we had prayed about and picked beforehand, we came across one house out of which came a fairly nice man, who explained that he is Adventist, and thus not very interested in receiving us. He said he doesn't like to argue about religion. We explained that we are not here to argue, only to help, and bore humble testimony of our message. After a short pause, my companion asked once more if we could come in. Jaime (that's his name), thought about it a moment and said, let me ask my people. He went in and after a few moments came out again with keys in hand to open the gate and let us in. We met his wife, Karina, his daughter, Daniela, and his sister-in-law, Elizabeth, and we had a wonderful spirit-filled conversation with them. They were all fascinated by the Book of Mormon, as they had not known that Christ had come to the Americas. They asked a lot of great questions, showed lots of interest, and at the end, as Jaime said the last prayer, he asked God for us to be able to meet again. Elizabeth also insisted that we stop by her house to teach her more about all this.

I left the house very greatful, and made a committment with my self and God that I would not stop praying for them, if He would let us continue to teach them and baptize them.

I've been trying to focus on being grateful recently. Every day I try to include something astonishing in my journal entry for which I am happy. I realized that the happiest people are those who think less about themselves (and, consequently, think more of themselves). Generosity and gratitute seem to go hand in hand.

I'm tremendously grateful as well to have seen some of my favorite people on this planet at stake conference yesterday, since Carahue is part of our stake. I saw Ana and Aracely as well as some others. I was going to send a photo, but this computer won't let me. I felt as Alma, when he saw his brothers after 14 years of missionary service, and what increased his joy was knowing that they were still his brothers in the Gospel. (Alma 17:1-3)

There's a million other things I could mention, but I won't. The Gospel is true. Being a missionary is awesome, and I'm devastated that it's ending so quickly.

I hope you all have a wonderful week of miracles, and I invite you to use the phrase "That's what I love about my church" two times this week. Ready, set, go!

Much love and affection,

Elder Wilcox

Cool photo from San Martín when I was with Elder Badger

Monday, August 5, 2013

One Crazy Week

Seriously...It couldn't have been crazier. Oh how I wish I had the time to tell it all, but I will try to give you a summary. (At any rate, I took a lot of videos to document moments, so in a few months I'll show you).

Monday - Big activity that you know about making Ají de gallina and then in the evening the setting apart of Sister Sandoval, a young lady that left on a mission from the Maquehue ward. Pictures included

Tuesday - Transfers day! In the terminal all morning waiting for the new missionaries, got home around 5, but then had to turn around and head towards center again to the urgent care, because my comp had these three weird unexplainable spider bites on his leg. Day of the Lord's work, lost.

Wednesday - District meeting, and afterwards a special meeting with the DL's and STL (Sister training leaders), got home a little after lunch, worked normally. Good day for the work of the Lord

Thursday - traveled the whole day to Concepción to be able to stay the night in San Pedro, in preparation for Lidership Council on Friday. Fun night being in my old sector again, despite sleeping on the hard wood floor with one blanket.

Friday - crazy day. President Martínez blew our minds with his part of the council. I wish I had time to explain in all, but I don't. Needless to say, he helped wake us all up and rejuvinate us with a greater sense of urgency in doing the Lord's work. After we left council, we headed back to Temuco and got in late, at around midnight. However, during the trip we get a phone call from President letting us know that the Sisters' house had been broken into and robbed earlier that evening. Luckily, the Sisters were not there and nothing happened to them, but it was a big scare and they lost some things. In order to keep the house safe while the Sisters stayed in another location, Elder Hanes and I and Elder Braga (one of the DL's) and his comp were asked to stay the night in the house to make sure the robbers didn't come back. So Elder Hanes and I ended up not sleeping at all that night as we waited for someone to break in. Luckily, no one came (we think. details are in the videos you'll see in two months). But it was a wild experience, one I never thought I'd find myself in.

Saturday - After leaving the Sisters house, headed back to the clinic for a check up for my comp and worked the rest of the day exhausted from zero sleep.

Sunday - the blessing. 3 investigators (Ximena and her two daughters, Amalia and Mimi) came to church for the first time in a long time! And they liked it a lot. Ximena's heart is softening and we're trying to help her prepare for baptism this month. After a crazy week, the blessing came. And I'd do it all over again if it meant the same result.

Again, wish I could go into more detail about the week. Wasn't much time to do the Lord's work, which makes me grateful for everything to be back to normal. And I'm thankful to be a missionary.

Seriously, this work is SO important. It is SO urgent! There is nothing, absolutely nothing more important than the Lord's work. It is the work of salvation. It is the whole reason we're here, why we came to Earth in the first place. It is His work and His glory, His plan of salvation, the reason His Son gave it all for us. How grateful I am to be part of it and to be able to dedicate my whole heart to it. I love the Savior and I know He lives. Let us honor him in ALL that we do.

I love you family, and am ever grateful for your examples.

Elder Wilcox.

P.S. Love the new travel plans, Mom. Thanks!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Happy Peruvian Independence Day!

Not really a day often celebrated in a mission in Chile, but since we live with a peruvian, we thought we'd do something. So in the chapel today we got together with all the missionaries from Temuco Cautín and ate a tradicional peruvian plate, Ají de Gallina. 'Twas delicious. Afterwards we watched Racket Ralph, some new disney movie that came out I don't know when. A good time was had by all.

Before I forget to mention: I have some important bits of info I want to share.

First, the mission office has changed, as you know. So do not send anything to the address in O'Higgins. The new address is:

Misión Chile Concepción Sur
Castellón 1063
Casilla 3560
Concepción, Chile

Second, I was thinking a little about the proposed flight schedule, and how with the trip to Santiago, we won't have a lot of time to tour the mission. So (hoping you haven't already bought the tickets, if so that's okay), I have an idea:

I'm really not all that interested in touring about Santiago, since it has no intrinsic value for me. More that anything it's the temple that calls my attention. So what if, instead of going to Santiago on the 12th, after a day of mission touring, we went on the 11th, the day after you pick me up? I assume that the only reason Santiago has two days on the schedule is so we can go to church, but if we spend just one day in Santiago to go to the temple and then come back to Conce the same day (this is on the 11th), then we could have the 12th and the 13th to tour the mission and go to church. It's not a big change, but it would bye us another day to see my old sectors, and the chance to go to church in one of them.
Again, don't know if it's posible, but I wanted to throw it out there. So to summarize, 10th pick me up and stay the night in Conce. 11th fly to Santiago, go to temple, fly back to Conce, stay the night in Conce. 12th tour the mission and perhaps I can even arrange a stay in a member family's house if we happen to be in the South. 13th go to church and tour a little bit more, stay the night in Conce. 14th fly to Lima. The end. Let me know what you think!

It was a pretty interesting week this week with a lot of trials. All six of the sisters from our zone got really sick with bronchitis, we were back and forth between our sector and their's, dropping off medicine and other things, so we lost some time from the work in our sector. But if felt good to help out, so no complaints. Thankfully the zone is in better physical health this week. We found a lot of new investigators with Elder Hanes, and now we're teaching a really cool couple too named Jaime and Jimena. They're really looking for the truth, and they did a great study of the Restoration pamphlet we left them. They seemed really interested in the last lesson about Christ's visit to the Americas. So hopefully we can progress with them and help them come to church so they can learn more.

Rocío and her son Joaquín continue to progress and came to church yesterday, although they have not accepted a new baptismal date yet. Rocío still feels like she needs to know more, even though she's read the entire Book of Mormon. So we tease her and tell her she's crazy, but we're understanding. I have faith that she'll be baptised in August.

That's about it really. I wish I could share a few other stories, but since we were in the Chapel for so long today, we don't have much time. So I'll leave you here.

Much love from Chile!

Elder Wilcox

Monday, July 22, 2013

Many Questions, Many Answers

Mi querida familia y estimados amigos,

Thank you for your correspondance. I enjoy greatly hearing about your daily lives, and calculating a little bit of what I hope my life will be like after the mission. So you serve as examples to me of how to live. Thank you for your diligence and faith.

And thank you, Mom, for having been a travel agent in another life! Or perhaps for having watched Inception too much. A flight within a flight within a flight... I am impressed. And who knows? Maybe we'll find someone who wants to go to Peru in November and not come back. There's got to be somebody... Haha but in all seriousness, thank you for doing all that. The plans look great. It'll be a little tricky visiting old sectors, but I'll try to organize it as efficiently as posible.

Haha Dad, the other day I was actually thinking...I'm in a new sector. I need to give Dad the scoop again. So here it goes:

I'm in the city of Padre Las Casas, on the southside of Temuco. The ward is called Maquehue because it's on Maquehue street with Mac-Iver. Right on the corner. We live in Los Quilantos 1475. If you look for Los Quilantos with Corvalán, you'll find some apartments on the south side of Corvalán we live in the southeast one. Block F. We're on the first floor. There are two stakes in Temuco, Temuco Cautín (ours) and Temuco Ñielol. The stake of Cautín is actually divided into two missionary zones, so unfortunately we don't have Carahue as part of our zone, like it was a year ago. We have Maquehue ward (4 Elders and 4 sisters). It's a big ward where between 140-160 attend. We also have Llaima ward (named for the volcano close by. 4 sisters), the Cautín ward (2 Elders and 2 sisters), and the Cunco branch (2 elders).

What else... our sector (since Padre Las Casas is divided between the elders and sisters), is everything from the Santa Isabel (a grocery store) downwards. That is, Aillacara street downwards.

Umm...I think that's about it. My companion, Elder Hanes is from Idaho. He graduated from High school and left on the mission. He's 20. He's 6 feet 8 inches tall so he towers over everything and everyone. He's a nice guy that reminds me a lot of Sterling actually, in his sense of humor. He's got a little more than a month less that I do in the mission, so he'll be finishing in October as well. We live with two other elders, Elder Valle from Peru, and Elder Valenzuela from Chile.

The camoflauge suits were from my last P-Day in San Pedro. We went to Lota to play paintball with the zone, and it was a blast. I sent a bunch of pictures to Mom, I don't know if she got them..?

That's all!

We're still working hard trying to find a lot of new investigators, and we've had some success. Still working with Rocío and her son, Joaquín too. I think I mentioned them last week... Well Rocío finished the Book of Mormon is pretty much everything you could ever want in an investigator. The only problem is her mom doesn't let her go to church every Sunday for a few reasons. But she'll definitely be getting baptized in August and we have faith that we'll be able to help her mom too.

And that's it for this week, as we are short on time! I love you all, family dear, we'll see you before the new year!

Much love,
Elder Wilcox

Monday, July 15, 2013


I'm not in San Pedro anymore!

They called me on Monday and told me I'd be going to Temuco Cautín, the zone where I first began my mission, only in another sector.

So...Here I am, in Maquehue with Elder Hanes. The transfer came earlier than expected because Elder Badger (old comp) used to be here but had to go home early for studies.

I'm a little bummed not being in Boca Sur anymore, because it was a fantastic sector, and things were going great, and I kind thought I would finish there. But the Lord has other plans for me. So I'll be finishing down here in Temuco.

Even so, there are great blessings here too. We have an investigator named Rocío and her son, Joaquín. They found Rocío about 2 weeks back, and she's already on page 500 something in the Book of Mormon (in Spanish it's more than 600 pages). She's got a baptism date along with her son for the 27th of this month. Awesome!

The travel plans look great. I talked to the secretary, and she confirmed that yes, coming in on Wednesday and staying the night is the best option. She unfortunately doesn't have any specific details on what's gonna happen on Thursday, since I'm the only one going. Thanks for working in the Temple trip in Santiago, that'll be a really special experience. Also, I think we'll be able to fit in a solid tour of the mission in two days. It's really not that big of a mission anyhow, and all my sectors are fairly centralized and easily-accesible.

I got a new winter toggle coat today! Thank you for sending money! It's a nice coat originally 210 dollars but I got it on sale for 68. Now I look more professional. Yay!

Also, I had a question about my drivers license for when I get home. Since I got robbed almost two years ago, I don't have one. Is there a way of asking for a new one so I can have mine right when I get back?

Well, short on time this week as usual. Thank you for all the letters and fun photos. Time is quickly drawing to a close in my mission, but there is still much to do. So, the shoulder goes to the wheel! Have a great week being latter-day saints!

Elder Wilcox

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Race Continues

Buenas tards, querida familia.

Man...that's pretty lousy to hear about the rainy 4th of July. Perhaps it will make you feel better to know that down here in Chile we celebrated in our own way with Choripanes (Chilean Sausage with bread) and a delicious key-lime pie-like dessert that Elder Contreras made. It was a simple but enjoyable celebration.

The works going great in Boca 2nd ward. I love working in this new plan that is Operation Alma. It gives us the chance as four missionaries to work for the same purpose in the same ward. Not as two completely separate and distinct sectors. There's no pride, no jealousy, we work together and rejoice in each other's success. Through many exchanges that we do every week, we all 4 end up getting to know all the investigators and less active members that we're working with. This is a unique oportunity, because it gives every one of the 4 missionaries to help in the teaching of these people and receive revelation to know how to help them. So it makes the work more secure, and the people benefit from being taught by four different missionaries.

This sunday we had 9 investigadores in church, including two families, plus 11 less active members, also including 2 families. It was a great success that we owe completely to Heavenly Father. Right now we have 6 people that are preparing for baptism, 5 for this month. Please keep in your prayers Victor and Cynthia, Debora and Tomas, and especially Irma, who's closest to baptism, her date being for the 20th.

Unfortunately, I don't know much about what the schedule will be like on my bye bye date. Typically on normal release dates, the day before is spent in the office, where the missionary fills out a bunch of stuff and has his interview with President, etc. There's usually a lunch with President in his house, a small devotional, dinner with president, and off to the holiday by the airport for the night. The next morning, early, on the actually release date, the missionary boards the plane.

However....I'm the only one, so I have no idea how it will be. I will try to acquire some more information and send an email off tomorrow or wednesday to let you know.

I noticed there's a layover in Santiago. I don't know if this would be possible at all, but typically all missionaries that go home are given the opportunity to go through the Santiago temple before heading on the final flight home...If it's possible, I would love to be able to enter the temple of my mission country before going home. If not possible, I understand, but that's just something that came to my mind.

Thank you for all your preparation and help in this process. I know it's quite complicated right now, but it will all come our right. I'm grateful, family, for your endless love and support and wish you the best of weeks.

I leave you with this scripture that impacted me this week.
Acts 27:23  "For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,"

In the darkest and longest nights of our lives, we are never alone. There will always be another sunrise, and until then, God will send his angels to lift us up and sustain us.

Much love,
Elder Wilcox