This week was really cool. The assistants to the president came down to Punta Arenas for a couple of days and worked along side us, giving us tips from time to time, but for the most part they were fairly impressed with how we are doing things here. We were able to talk about several of the main needs here in the zone and what was expected of us to be able to fix it in a spiritual and edifying manner. I am grateful for such loving and inspired leaders. I felt a special spirit for the duration of their visit and it sparked an excitement for the work that wasn’t there before.
Elder Christiansen and I were able to find several new investigators this week and all of them are progressing rapidly. We found a 13-year-old girl named Amaya (Uh-My-Uh) knocking doors and she is a very down-to-earth person and took an immediate interest in the idea of an eternal family. We went to her house several days later to give her a Book of Mormon and it turns out that her mother, father, and grandmother are all members and none of them even knew that the others had been baptized. They all started laughing because they are all Mormons and didn’t even know it. Amaya took the book carefully and promised to read.
We also had a lot of success with Cesar (less-active member) and Cyntia (investigator). We had left the chapter of Alma 32 and a pamphlet of the Plan of Salvation and she had read it all several times, including all of the scriptural references throughout the pamphlet and footnotes. As we talked about the fall and the decision of Adam and Eve to partake of the fruit she pulled out 2 Nephi 2:25 and said she had loved our point of view on the fall as something that was totally and completely necessary. She began to explain why, but then choked up and began to cry. We let her soak in the Spirit then asked “Do you believe the Book of Mormon is true?” She said, “It couldn’t have been written by anyone other than a prophet of God.”
We are also having a lot of progress with a family from Ecuador and their sons are both coming nearer and nearer to baptism. With your prayers, as well as ours, I have the faith that we can be the instruments unto the bringing of these people to Christ. These baptisms are not only important for the people who are getting baptized, but for the whole zone. We have lost the fire that we once had and are simmering in a more of a luke-warm setting than I would like. I know God expects more of his army of salvation. I humbly ask for your prayers as I search for the Spirit and the necessary revelation to bring not only these investigators, but these missionaries unto full faith in Christ.
Sadly, Elder Christiansen has transfers and I will miss him. I have only been a zone leader for one transfer and I am already training a new zone leader named Elder Griffin. I am now the senior missionary in the whole zone and am in charge of leading out. We will see how that goes. I am not even the “oldest” missionary here. I still feel so young and inexperienced here in the mission. We have an ambitious goal of receiving all of the new missionaries with a hug, and then throwing them right to the grind. We don’t want to lose the Spirit and progress we have fought so hard to accomplish these past six weeks. It will be hard but it is what President Obeso has asked us to do personally. Again, I humbly ask for your prayers.
We ended the week off with a huge taco fest in our small apartment to try and keep the boys well fed and excited. People were sitting on buckets and the bed and the floor just to fit us all in. We had an improvised and unplanned testimony meeting afterward and it turned out to be a huge spiritual experience. The gospel is so true and it doesn’t matter where you come from. It is felt universally.
Elder Aidan Rich
Taco Feast with the elders
Elder Rich lives in an apartment that was previously used for children's birthday parties so there are random toys and decorations (like the "Cars" poster) around the place.