Tuesday, November 18, 2014

One of the most spiritual experiences of my mission, it was that powerful!

Nov 12, 2014


The conference with Elder Nelson was so awesome. The first four talks were in Spanish and from people I didn't know, so I didn't care too much for it. But Elder Nelson's wife gave her talk in English and it was about the premortal life and how we all have a premortal checklist of things we need to do in this life, and how "Serve a worthy mission in Chile" is one of the things on the list. Elder Nelson also gave his talk in English, with a translator, but it was about the Abrahamic Covenant and I seriously learned so much from it. It was one of the best talks I have ever heard. At the end of his talk though, he started to bear his testimony in English, he got about three words in, when he decided to do it in Spanish. I am 90% sure that he doesn't speak Spanish. I seriously think that it was just the straight spirit speaking through him. He wasn't using easy Spanish either. It was one of the most spiritual testimonies I have ever heard and I think that it is going to be one of my most spiritual experiences in my mission, it was that powerful.   Just keep reading the Bible. You'll get through it. There's some good stuff in the Bible too.

Yes, absolutely no air conditioning. I'm used to the sun, but I'm not used to walking around in it all day, in a shirt and tie. It's so terrible. And to think that summer is only just getting started. I think I'm really going to like winter here haha. I don't know if they play soccer year round, and we haven't gotten to watch any. The president didn't even let the missionaries watch it during the World Cup. But soccer here is huge, as to be expected. They have a rivalry that is really really similar to BYU and the U of U. It's between two teams called Colo Colo and la U.  I've decided that I'm a Colo Colo fan. They're just better. But whenever those two teams play each other, it's dangerous to go outside. Everyone just parties and drinks and it's super dangerous. I almost wish that I kept playing soccer now though haha. We play soccer most P Days.  For exercises I usually just do a bunch of ab work outs, then arm work outs, then I ride a stationary bike that we have at the house. It's not much but it's better than nothing. We do walk like 6 or 7 miles every day, so that's good too. Other than that we don't really get to do anything more.

The teaching is going really good. We are teaching a lot of lessons, but also a lot of new people. It's pretty rare to teach someone more than once to be honest. They let us in once, but they don't answer the door the second time. We're teaching this guy named Fabian, who started out as an atheist, but he is slowing gaining a testimony. He is our only progressing investigator. He has a lot of potential. People here have a really bad problem with the word of wisdom and the law of chastity, so it's pretty hard to get a baptism because of those things. We are also teaching this couple who are doing pretty good, but we have only taught them once. It's pretty tough but I think it will be a lot better when I don't start out in a white wash area. The Spanish this week made a huge leap though!   It pretty much just clicked. It's not perfect, but definitely a lot better. It will be a while before I really get the Spanish down. I think once I hit the 18 month mark, I'm gonna start studying Portuguese. It would be cool coming back knowing three languages. Do you think that I can send a zip drive in a letter? If not,  how could I send it?

There is only one other missionary in the mission that played water polo, and I can't remember his name. Elder Babbitt and I just have really similar personalities. I don't remember where he's from but if I remember right he is going to go to school somewhere in Utah. I'm not just gonna forget about the Xbox. I talk with a lot of missionaries about video games. I made really good friends with a missionary named Elder Raine. He's probably my best friend in the mission so far. He's a super awesome person. He's gonna go to school at Utah State, and he is also a video game junkie. So I have a lot of conversations with him about video games, but that's alright. It's just a little sacrifice I have to make to go on a mission. A mission is definitely life changing, and I think that it has already changed my life somewhat.

If you send the package now I'm gonna get it almost a month before Christmas haha.  I don't think that I need anything else right now, but I am probably going to need more socks at my birthday. We walk a lot and I think that I am just going to shred through my socks haha.

The people's yards aren't big enough to have a garden. They really don't have much room for anything at all. The houses here are really weird. Their yards are like 10 feet by 20 feet, and that's their entire yard. Most people don't have a garage either. They can't park their car in their yard because every house has gates completely surrounding it. It's really hard to explain. You will just have to see when we come to Chile. I think it's gonna be a little dangerous coming to Chile too. You never ever see a gringo here unless it's a missionary, and we get made fun of pretty bad for being gringo. It's just getting hotter and hotter. It feels a little hotter here now than it ever got in Utah at the moment. It's hard being out in the sun almost all day.  We were told not to touch the dogs. There's a crazy amount of dogs here. I counted 88 dogs in three hours one day. It's pretty sad, and you even see a dead dog every once in a while.

You should do the lunch money thing haha. I have been eating pretty good. We usually have really big lunches, so I'm doing just fine. I have lost about 5 pounds, which is good because I weighed too much. Our day.. we wake up at 7:30 (don't forget we have a different schedule than the other missionaries), do exercises til 8, get ready and eat til 9, personal study til 10, companion study til 12, language study til 1, lunch, then work, meaning tracking, teaching, contacting, until 10:30. Then we plan until 11, then after that get ready for bed, write in our journals, and lights out at 11:30. That's a typical day. On P Day it depends. We sometimes just play soccer and relax, other times we go downtown or to a mall or museum. It just depends if we have money and if other missionaries want to do stuff. The living conditions are pretty nice. We have our own house, and four missionaries live there together. We have three bedrooms, one bathroom, and a living room in the house. We have to air dry our clothes though hah. And the food here has still been incredible. I want to find a Chilean cookbook.

 I think that a lot of people carry a knife or a gun or something, but I don't really know. It's pretty sketchy here, but the people don't really touch the missionaries at all. They know why we're here and what we're doing, so they don't really bother us too much. They just make fun of the white skin and they love to yell things in English which make absolutely no sense but it's funny. Sometimes I just want to talk really fast to them in English and just watch how stupid they feel after. Most of the people here are really nice. There's only a few people that are the exact opposite.

 Tell me how the Madrigals sound this year too and if you can go talk to Mr. Scott!  I think that we might be going to the temple on the 22 of November. Elder Leon and I are going to have a reactivation in a week or two, and I think that we are going to go to the temple with her. It's funny, all we had to do was just mention the temple and she started going to church again. I don't know for sure if we are going to the temple though. It would be really cool if we did. I want to do a session in Spanish.

Elder Stam

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Wonderful email, made me laugh. Elders Stam and Leon highlighed in mission newsletter.

Elder Stam is from Murray, Utah.  He has been here in Chile for only 1 month.  He likes playing sports.   He has played water polo.  He loves music and video games.  He has played piano for 13 years and has sung for 7 years.  He is very interested in astronomy, and in two years he will be interested in women.  His favorite scripture is found in 2 Nephi 31:20- Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.  Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father:  Ye shall have eternal life.

Elder Leon is from Colombia, on the North Coast.  He as been in the missionary field for 9 months.  He loves telling funny stories.  He likes swimming, baseball and soccer.  He loves the outdoor barbecue.  He loves music.  He loves to learn other languages.  He writes poems and loves talking to anyone.  His favorite scripture is found in Alma 29:9- I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it.  I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord commanded me;yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

November 5, 2014


Well I have survived the first transfer in the mission field. It´s pretty weird to think that I´m already starting my third transfer in the mission. It´s been going really fast. I´m not enjoying the weather. I´m doing whatever I can to get out of the sun. It´s so ridiculously hot. And summer hasn´t even really started. One thing I´m going to miss for sure is snow.  It definitely doesn´t feel like November. I have been writing in my journal every day, writing everything that happened that day, so i don´t think I´ll forget anything. The days seem to be going incredibly fast though. It´s like I wake up, we leave for a half an hour, and the day is over.

 Halloween here was pretty similar as in the states. The only difference was everyone was drunk and partying, and there was a ton more kids in the streets. It was crazy how many kids there were. Other than that it was pretty much the same.  My teacher in the MTC has a pretty freaky story kind of like that, except the girl was actually posessed by the devil and her voice was super low and creepy. The devil is real. It´s pretty freaky.

No we haven´t been able to teach him (Jairo). He´s actually been ignoring us, so I think he´s a lost cause now. We just found him doing street contacts. We´re teaching English lessons to four families. I´m absolutely terrible at remembering names, so I can´t really tell you who. He´s (Elder Leon) practically fluent at English. He lived a pretty good life in Columbia. He had money, and he lived pretty close to the beach. I feel like the Spanish has stopped improving completely. I´m getting pretty frustrated too. I can understand almost everything if it is church related. Anything not church related, I can´t understand it at all. All the other Elders say that I am just going to wake up one day knowing Spanish, but I´m not so sure. It´s crazy. My companion is a little bit better. Not much though. I´m pretty sick of him. I´m gonna love getting a new one.

Yeah the MTC gave us spanish scriptures. Elder Dufour, our old district leader, said that our area is the nicest he´s seen, and he has 19 months in his mission. I assume that our mission is one of the poorest, but I don´t really know. For photos, I have a 1GB zip drive that I will put a bunch of pictures on then send it to you guys.

Once you get to Job in the Old Testament, it gets a lot better. I mean a lot better. I have Jesus the Christ in Spanish, but the book is an extremely hard read, and I don´t know how I´m ever going to read it in Spanish. It´s going to be weird having a niece or nephew coming home. It´ll be cool, but really weird too.

Elder Babbitt just really reminded me a lot of me. He was very, very similar to me, like we just liked all the same things, we did all the same things before our mission, so it was really cool. We had some cool spiritual lessons, like this one lesson we were teaching a girl that knew quite a bit of English, so I got to bear my testimony to her in English, and it was awesome. Teaching in English would seriously be so much easier. But after when we (Caleb and Elder Babbitt) were at the home, we just had a really awesome conversation about the mission and stuff and he gave me a lot of good advice. He´s the missionary I want to become because he has literally just forgotten everything back at home and he has completely dedicated himself to the mission. Which is what I want to do, but it´s pretty tough when every house I go into has an Xbox and Halo haha.  I have some pretty good strategies with contacting. Contacting isn´t hard. It´s just the stuff after contacting. My patriarchal blessing says that I´m going to hold leadership positions, and I think it would be really fun to be a leader. I really like going on splits so I´m looking forward to that.

We didn´t get a choir Cd from the year before, which is a bummer. I seriously think that Spanish music is so cool. It´s absolutely impossible to understand though. Elder Leon said that I would maybe be able to understand Spanish music on the plane ride home. We don´t really have any opportunity to give things to kids haha. Food. Just food would be awesome. We don´t really have time to do much, but food we always have time for.

We seriously missed from a missed field goal?? Ugh that is so frustrating. I wish I could watch the games. The soccer here has been crazy. They play a ton. There are two teams here called Colo Colo, and the U. I´m a Colo Colo fan haha.

Yes, we get a meeting this Saturday with Elder Nelson. We are all way excited, it´s going to be an awesome opportunity. Thanks for putting that in the missionary portal. It´s crazy how much my testimony has strengthened since I´ve left. Especially about the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is seriously so awesome, and it´s key to conversion.

Just a suggestion, you should put like $25 on my card every month, kind of like my lunch money, and whatever money I don´t spend by the end of my mission, I can use it to buy music haha.

Con mucho amor,

Elder Stam

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Caleb says the food is seriously so good he could talk about it all day!

October 29, 2014
Elder Stam and his district the day they left the Mexico MTC


I´ve had a pretty good week this week. It´s actually not humid here at all. It´s a dry heat. It feels like Arizona, like when Riley and I went there. It´s gotten so ridiculously hot though. I have a neck tanline from the collars on the shirts, and also a pretty awesome watch tanline.  It´s gonna be blazing hot when it´s Christmas! It´s gonna be a little weird, but it´ll be a different experience haha. It´s the opposite here, it never really gets too cold. It won´t ever snow, so I´m gonna miss snow.

 I think that the missionaries here are having a special thanksgiving dinner with the mission president, so that will be fun! It´s apparently going to be a turkey dinner, just like in the States. We´re not doing anything for Halloween though. I don´t know what we´re doing for Christmas yet. We get one of the Apostles to come and talk to us some time next month though!

Things are about the same with him (Elder Leon). All of his family were Catholic, but they all got converted about four years ago, along with Elder León. I did get my package as well. I didn´t think that you would be sending food for a year, but thanks! I´ll make good use of the food for sure haha. So it turns out his name is Jairo. Just pronounced like Heido. I´ve found that the names here are the absolutely hardest thing to understand. He´s good though. We haven´t had a lesson with him in a while, but I think we have a lesson with him soon. He is really interested and I really think that we´re going to baptize him.  We are teaching two families that I really like, but we might have to dump one of them because they´re not making any progress. It´s a sad thing, but it´s necessary.  Most of the inactives don´t let us in, which is what makes it pretty hard. There are a few families that do though. So it´s not a completely lost cause. We do have like three baptismal dates though, so that´s a little encouraging. We do just about everything that we can to find people to teach though.

I feel like the Spanish is pretty much the same every week. I don´t really know how to improve it. I try to work on vocabulary words, but I just end up forgetting the words. It´s so hard. There are so many freaking words. Everyone says that it just comes, but I feel like there´s more to it than that. Elder León teaches the lessons with me. He´s practically fluent in English. It´s been pretty fun though.

I bought some music, and the thing that holds oil for blessings. I don´t know what they´re called haha. I might want to buy some scripture cases for my Spanish scriptures before the end of my mission, so I might need a little bit more money. I´ll let you know though. Each companionship gets a DVD player.

When we had the gun pointed at us there was just a guy in a car that pointed a gun and drove by slowly. Talking with the other missionaries, it happens a lot. Every missionary I´ve talked to has had it happen a few times with them. The truth is, I´m actually in one of the best sectors in the mission, so I´m pretty lucky where I am.

I´m trying to read the Old Testament still. We don´t have very much time to read. I´m in Psalms though, so I´m more than halfway done. I really like the scriptures, there´s some really awesome things in there. The Old Testament is really hard to read though. It´s pretty boring. I´m excited to read the New Testament though. I also have Jesus the Christ that I want to read. I would suggest reading that book.

Have fun on that trip (back East to see Joshua and Shelly)! It should be fun. After all this package food is gone, I´m gonna eat better and start actually exercising during our exercise time haha. I want to come back from my mission buff ;)

This last week I had two divisions. I went with the Zone Leader, Elder Babbitt on Thursday, and the District Leader, Elder Dufour, on Monday. I had some awesome spiritual experiences with them. They´re really awesome missionaries. Elder Babbitt is the missionary that I want to become though. He reminds me a lot of me. Every missionary has that one missionary that they want to become.

Oh I also had two CDs from when I did Honor Choir and All State Choir! If you can find those two I would really appreciate if you sent those too.

So I could talk about the food here all day. It´s seriously so good. Find the recipe for how to make a food called Churrascos. They also have this thing here called aji. Aji is like a kind of salsa, and it is amazing. You should find the recipe for that too haha. There´s this one lady that sometimes makes us lunch, and she told the Elders that every time she makes us food, she´s going to make us something we´ve never had before. She´s the lady that make us the wata. Well this time she made us hígalo, which is liver. Definitely one of the worst things I have ever had. So I´ve had liver and stomach now, and barely been here a month.

There is a lot of different music that I want to buy, so you should start saving me some iTunes money too. That would be awesome. I´m totally gonna get into Spanish music. I think it´s awesome haha.

Alma 26:35-37

con amor,
Elder Stam