"So this week was long and tiring but hey that is life. On Monday we went to talk to Maria and Sebastian again about her baptism and basically told her that she knows enough to be baptized and she is prepared, now she just needs to take the step and do it. She is trying hard to stop drinking tea but still seems to have a lot of doubts. She didn`t come to church yesterday so now she can`t be baptized the 21st and will have to wait almost a month more to be baptized. There really isn`t anything else we can do for her we just have to let her make the decision that she knows is right.
"We are teaching a few other people, and all of them are relatives of recent converts to the church. The niece of Maria (the other Maria, the one that was baptized the week after I got here) is listening to us now and has a baptismal date for the 7 of March and we are also teaching the mom, aunt, and grandma of Felipe, another recent convert. I will keep you updated on what goes down with them.
"In other news, this Friday Elder Noguera and all of the other elders that are going home this transfer went to temple to do an endownment session with President and Sister Jones, then take some time in the celestial room to meditate about their mission and ask if the Lord accepts their service and pray about their plans for when they get home. There were five of us who came who are the companions of the ones going home. We usually just sit in the office and study while the others do the session, but they let us go in the temple and do initiatories, which was really cool. President Jones` parents came to the temple too because they are visiting the family in Chile for about a month. His dad impressed me very much he seems like a very humble man and I could tell that he really loves the missionaries and his son.
"Let`s see...what else...I have a ton of pictures from this week I will try to send as many as i can. sometimes there are weeks with nothing to take a picture of and other times there are a lot of pictures. asì es la vida.so we have a couple of initiatives we are working on with the ward. I stole the idea from the Mar Vista singles ward. In the elders quorum we had an ugly tie that we passed form person to person, and he had to wear it until he had a missionary experience, then the next Sunday he shared the experience he had and passed the tie to the next person of hischoice. We are doing the same thing in this ward, but instead of calling it the "ugly tie" we call it the "tie of responsibility" haha so the second counselor in the ward is wearing it now. We are doing the same thing in the relief society, except we are using the "sunglasses of responsibility" that is the great thing about Chilean ferias, we bought some bright red sunglasses and an ugly tie on the street for $2 USD. Good times.
"And this is to give you an idea of how the church works here down south: yesterday morning we had the executive commitee at 8:30 in the morning. At quarter to ten (the sacrament meeting starts at ten) one of the speakers still hadn`t shown up to give their talk, so the bishop kindly asked if Elder Cloward could prepare a little talk (10 minutes) about responsibility, since we are starting the new program with the tie and the sunglasses of responsability. So at quarter to ten they told me, then Elder Noguera and I prepared the sacrament, since there are no active priests in the ward, and at 5 to 10 I had a little time to pick 3 or 4 scriptures for my talk. Then, after passing the sacrament, (there were no deacons either) I went and gave my talk. I was really nervous since it is the first time that I have ever given a talk like that with so little preparation. It went pretty well though it was a good experience, I could really feel the spirit guiding my words since at times I honestly had no idea what to say. I think He understood that I had prepared as best as I could so He made up for the rest."