Saturday, December 26, 2015

Forget yourself, do what He wants and success comes.

December 16, 2015


                                  
The week was good. Quite interesting. We did a lot of contacts this week and we found a large number of less actives. It was really strange how many we found. I have no idea how to take care of a baby. You are going to have to show me one day.  Jackson does look like a really big baby! From the pictures that I've seen he looks big. There is a family in this sector that has a baby that is like 5 months old and he is a tiny little thing. He's gonna be a little chunky kid haha.  I like those shoes as well, the brown ones I got here. They were really cheap haha. I got the Christmas package yesterday! I won't open it though haha. I also got a little package from Jay and Lynette, so tell them thanks for me, and that I really appreciate it! Yeah, I can call at 5. Elder Rivera is going to call at 3 so it would be perfect. Speaking of next week, we had to change P day to Friday, and that is the day that we are calling you, so I don't think that I will get to write you guys next week. Also the week after, for New Years, we are going to have P Day Friday as well. So the next two weeks I have P day on Friday, just so you know. But I will call at 5, so don't worry. It should be a lot better if we don't have three connected. Haha I don't plan on getting married soon, so I will still have a few years to just be with you guys.

Her name is Maria, what an unusual name huh? Haha there are so many Marias here it's kind of funny. She is still progressing. We haven't had an opportunity to see her this week. She is doing great though. She has had problems with her kids. All the kids here are really rebellious. So she has been struggling with that a little. The best thing this week was probably finding all of the new people to teach. Yesterday we had two lessons with new people, this week we have probably found 6 or 7 new people to teach. The people in this sector are incredibly humble. I am pretty sure that I will speak like a gringo my whole life. There are very few, and I mean very few elders who go home speaking like a latino. I'll try to work on it though. Yeah, photos, will do.

Happy anniversary! 32 years is a long time, but the eternity is a lot longer, you're just getting started haha. Oh man that is going to be a good game. I'm sure that Utah will win, I have faith in them. They haven't lost a bowl game in several years, I doubt that they will lose one against BYU. Tell me how it goes.

President is an awesome guy, for real. He is obviously called of God. It was so awesome that he bought me peanut butter, I freaking love the stuff. Hah, I think that I have learned a lot about trials on my mission. The mission is just a trial in itself. It's really hard to wake up every day knowing that you have to walk all day, trying to talk to people, being rejected all the time, every single day for TWO YEARS. But, if you just forget yourself and just do what He wants you to do, it's not even a problem. For example, yesterday I really didn't want to go out and do contacts again, because we have done them a lot this week. I didn't have the best attitude about it. But I just went out and worked my best anyways. And what did God do? He about smacked me in the face. Yesterday was probably one of the most successful days of my mission. We found like 5 future investigators, and we have two lessons with new people that we found that day. It's funny how God works, but if we just give up our will and do the Lord's will, he will totally bless us. Yesterday also helped me be more humble, and made me realize that I just need to trust that God will lead us to the people that are prepared. Long story short, we have trials to knock the rough edges off of us, and the trials that we have can help perfect us.

 We went near the temple today and we went in an LDS store and I saw one of the Joseph Smith Papers books. It was gigantic haha, a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be. It looks like an amazing series though, with a ton a revelations and doctrine. I would love to know more about Joseph Smith, the guys is really mysterious.  I won't think about it too much about decisions when I come home yet, it's still pretty far away. If I think about it a lot, it's going to take longer to get here haha.

Funny how you ask that,  I do remember at my setting apart I was told that things would not be just mere coincidences but acts of God.  I think that little story I just wrote answers that question.  It changed from week to week but I would say that we are teaching an average of 18 lessons a week. We are improving though, little by little. A typical day is waking up, exercising, showering, studying, doing the work, eating lunch, working again, coming home, planning for the next day, sleeping, and repeating. That's a typical day haha, I can explain it more in detail when we talk. I feel like we just talked on Skype, it definitely wasn't 7 months ago. Time goes way too fast, that's all I can say.

I hope that you have a great week as all. Maybe we will have a little time to write before I call you on Christmas, but we will see. Have a wonderful Christmas, and enjoy the snow for me!!

Love,
Elder Stam

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The work is progressing!

December 9, 2015

                    


Mom,

Don't open it til Christmas? Mom I don't think you realize how hard that it. You get home and you just have a package of stuff there staring at you, tempting you. But I'll try to not open it. I feel like I just talked to you all, it's strange that it's already time to call again. I am pretty sure that we are going to be with the Inostroza family, so that you guys can meet them. Things have been going good this last week, it's been really hot. I got really burnt today because we went and played soccer outside for a few hours. Yes we have found a few new people. The are mostly less actives, and they're all really nice, they just have a few problems and doubts, the usual. There are always a few that progress. We have an investigator that came to church for the first time this week, and she really liked it.

Wow how incredible, a clean room. My Spanish is pretty good, the only problem is pronunciation. They all say that I talk gringo. I just don't understand how to not speak with an accent. I've tried so hard to fix it but this gringo accent is a curse. Yes he got baptized, it was really awesome! We have our own house, we live with four missionaries. It's two floors but it's still pretty small. We do have members next door, they were recently reactivated by the Elders in the other sector. Yeah, yeah, photos. It's just that I haven't really taken that many photos.

College will be weird, but we will see. I think that the allergies are getting better, but I don't really know. They aren't going to go away permanently, but I think that they are better. My eyes don't really itch that much anymore. I want to go to the South of Chile also, it looks awesome down there. I don't think that Elder is going to have the money, and I don't really care, I've just gotta rub it in his face a little bit ;) haha.

President Cook is really awesome. He is pretty relaxed, he's not super strict, but he does expect us to keep all of the rules. He does it in a good way. Recently for P Day we went to Buin Zoo again. It's cool down there, it's just like any other zoo though, so it's not super special. They do have some awesome animals though. This P Day all we did was play soccer, and now I'm red as a tomato. It's usually just wake up and go do something, the activity or whatever, then go to the feria and buy fruit and food and whatever we need, then relax for a couple hours, and come and write, then go work. That's the typical schedule. Our mission was big before with about 250 missionaries, but it has dropped and we only have about 200 now. The interview went really well. He read that I wanted peanut butter on the blog that you do for me and he went out and bought me peanut butter. It was pretty funny. He's a great man though, I always learn a lot from him. He just asks about everything and I just tell him the truth about it all, I feel comfortable with him.  Haha Pres Hutchison is a pretty inspired man, I think that he is doing a great job as stake president. I don't really know much of what he has done but I could tell that he would be a good one.

Ohhh Cafe Rio, I miss that place. No there is nothing specific that I would like to know.  Also it would be awesome if you only bought me one more videogame. Call of Duty Black Ops 3. After that I would like you to buy other things. I have heard recently of a book series that is called the Joseph Smith Papers. I looked at the books and they are pretty expensive and there are a lot of them, but it would be cool if you could buy me one or two of them, I would really appreciate it. Love you mom!

Love,
Elder Stam             

Trying my best always

December 2, 2015

                                    
Elders Stam and Rivera


Yay for packages haha. Dad told me that you cleaned out my room. How messy was it? It was pretty disastrous when I left. But that's okay, it's your problem, not mine. ;) I'm sure that anything that you guys did it would still feel like home.

Things were good this last week. It was pretty hot this week, and I could swear that there were more drunk people than normal. We have been trying to find new people to teach. We are going through all of the old people in our area book, looking for them to see if they are now interested in listening. We teach quite a few people, it would take quite a while to write about all of them. But it was just a normal dinner appointment with the Inostroza. They didn't even know that it was Thanksgiving. Nobody knew haha. But that's okay. We sacrifice some holidays to have a few new Chilean holidays here. That's good that you went with Mike and his family, they are good friends of us. I'm sure that he will stay in Utah also, it's pretty hard to leave that place.

Yes both of Elder Rivera's parents speak Spanish. He couldn't speak very much when he got here. The advantage that he has is that he could understand it, and he already knew a lot of vocabulary, which is the thing that is hardest for me. I have had 7 companions now, not including Elder Walker and Elder Johnson from the MTC. If we count them, then I have had 9. The number of investigators that go to church changes, they don't really go every week, but if everyone were to go, we would have like 10 or so in church. The baptism should happen this week, he is going to have his interview tomorrow and if it all goes well he will get baptized. I think that is how most kids are. We are all just stubborn, and don't like to be told what to do. But we all just need to humble ourselves a little bit and listen to other people. I really don't like school studies though. I like to learn, but I think that schools just need to teach in a completely different way. It's really boring listening to a lecture. That's a pretty neat story though that you told me about how you were helped in college to have your mind opened.  The Lord blesses.  Visiting teaching is a pretty big problem here too, no one really wants to do it. It's really bad sometimes how lazy the people are, but I know that it's a little bit the same everywhere.

 I would never cook for Thanksgiving. That's one thing that my future wife has to have, cooking skills. If not, we are eating macaroni and cheese and cereal for the rest of our lives. So it's your fault that I have these allergies. Thanks mom. Haha we need to go to a place hidden from everything if you buy property. I wonder what it will be like right before He comes.

I like having emails though, it's a pretty lame p day when you don't have very many emails.   Haha I have a bet with another elder what I won't get married for at least a year after coming home for $1000. So I'm gonna be $1000 richer. It's just what missionaries talk about haha. If we were to go anywhere else in Chile, it would be to the South. The South is much better here, from what I have heard.
Handsome guy, no not the dog!

 Well, just take the little push with him in sharing the gospel. You never know unless you try. I am trying my best to keep all of the mission rules. Everyone in the zone has interviews with President Cook tomorrow. We always have an interview with him every 3 months. We meet with him every once in a while, when he wants to teach us something, for zone conference, for interviews, things like that. My district leader is Elder Kamoe. My zone leaders are Elder Thompson and Elder Alfaro. Our district is 8 missionaries and our zone is like 24 or so missionaries. Nope, they don't really put up lights here, a few people, but not a lot.

We went to a zoo today for P day, so we saw a lot of animals. But it's still different in a zoo. They are always sleeping and not doing anything, and there's glass in the way. I would like to see animals out in the wild. They don't sleep that much when they are in the wild it seems.  Thanks for the email, I hope that you have a wonderful week with the cold weather!

Love,
Elder Stam

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Hard work has made the difference

November 25, 2015
                                   
Alonso and Elder Caleb Stam



Things are good! We're (Caleb and his companion) both from Utah, so we get along pretty well haha. Nope, we're not doing anything for Thanksgiving. It's just a normal day here in Chile, but we are going to the Inostroza's house so maybe they will do something for us, who knows? You need to eat pie for me. So what is little Jackson's personality? What can you see in him? Elder Rivera has been out about 6 months. He speaks Spanish incredibly well though. He has listened to Spanish his whole life, so he can understand it perfectly, but he is learning to speak it here. He struggles a little when he reads, but he's learning really quickly. He was only 18 when he was baptized! A girl introduced him to the Church hahah. Haha I haven't been taking a lot of pictures lately, but I'll take one of us! I don't know, hard work has made the difference in this area? The Lord just leads us to the people that are prepared. We have more investigators attending church than less actives, but I would say that it is pretty equally balanced.  I feel like people here are afraid of giving referrals. We hardly receive any referrals at all. I think that people are afraid of what the person would think of them, it's kind of stupid. I hope that I stay here for six months, and then my last area for six months. That would be the rest of my mission. I'm already in my fifth area, I don't want to have too many. I think six would be okay. I am pretty sure that member references are the most successful. The Inastroza family was a referral. I'm been having fun though, that's the important thing.

We all just need to learn how to listen to the Spirit and discern what it tells us, which is the hard part. The Church has three little videos about it, called Patterns of Light. Check them out, they're pretty good! They are by Elder Bednar. Yeah, we talked with Alonso and with his mom. We have a baptismal date though, December 6th. I am 90% sure that it will happen. His mom just said that he has a bad attitude with her and with his brothers and sisters. She could probably be a little bit more understanding at his age, but it's okay, it's good to teach your kids good values when they're young. I am sure that she will go to his baptism for sure, and most likely his confirmation.

Snow College is where I want to go but I don't want to study mom haha. But I know that I have to. One thing that I like about the mission is that there are no tests. It's all like a big test of your own personal conversion, but there's not like As and Bs and stuff like that. I study a whole lot more here than I did before though. I like the studies here though. I didn't like the studies before haha. Christmas gifts.  There isn't much that a missionary needs, just food haha.

Haha, just tell Oma to live with you guys! You have three empty bedrooms at the moment. And then she wouldn't have to pay for living. I find it really hard to believe that we are in December almost. The last two months have gone by ridiculously fast. I feel like we are still in September sometimes. Cooking is a pain. I don't like it anymore. It takes me ten minutes or more to cook something, and two minutes to eat it. That's why I like cereal so much, it only takes like 30 seconds to make. $400 a month?? Jeez that's a lot you will save for insurance. Keep getting better though with your arthritis. Allergies here have been killing me. We are in Spring now, and my eyes have been so itchy. My nose hurts a little too. I started taking those allergy pills that you gave me though. I don't know if they are doing anything, but it's worth a try.

Haha that picture of snow would be awesome to have. It's been pretty hot here lately, almost too hot again. but that's okay. Like I said, most people here don't even know how the snow is. They are missing out on a lot of fun. I think that snow is awesome, I miss it. Hopefully it snows though. They need it there. It hardly snowed at all last year right?

We expanded the house while Josh was on his mission right? Or was that before? I just remember that we bought the big screen TV and Josh about had a heart attack when he saw it. No big surprises please. How is my room coming along though? Knowing mom, you will probably be working on it until I come home.

Haha Connor and I have totally experienced completely different things here in Chile. He was in the beautiful south of Chile and I'm in the city of Santiago. I would love to come back here and get to know better the south of Chile, it looks spectacular. 

I hope that you also have a great week and a wonderful Thanksgiving! The best thing was probably setting a baptism date for Alonso, it's awesome to see the fruits of your labors. Love you mom!

Love,
Elder Stam

Sunday, November 22, 2015

If you have a doubt, the best place to go to ask is God, in prayer.

November 18, 2015

                      


Dear Mom,             


 Haha yeah I had a pretty good week. I have a new companion, but I'm in the same sector, thankfully. I like this sector a lot. My new companion is Elder Rivera. Like Elder Calvillo, his parents are both Mexican, but he was born and raised in the United States. He was actually born and raised in Orem, Utah. So I am with another gringo (sort of) from Utah. We get along super well already. The best thing of all, he's a swimmer. So we have had some pretty good talks about the swimming days. He's a convert, because of a girl haha, and actually the only member in his family. He's 20 years old. So that's that. I think that one of the hardest things about the summer here is that there is no air conditioning. If it's a hot day, it's hot everywhere. It's pretty hard to find a place that isn't hot. But it's okay, it doesn't last forever. This last week we had an attendance of 58, which is the highest I have seen in the branch. It's growing a ton. It'll be a ward in no time.

Jeez, that's really sad that people are removing their records from the church. They'll have regrets one day.  If the Church is true and you know it, then there is no reason to doubt the things and policies of the Church. For any reason if you do have a doubt, the best place to go to ask is God, in prayer. No one was born with knowledge of the true Church, they had to gain that knowledge, generally through prayer. So any doubts that we have can be answered the same way, and also through study. Good gosh, the world is a joke. I heard that the terrorists threatened the United States also? I don't know. I don't know how much more wickedness the world can take. Hopefully He comes soon.

 No, he didn't get baptized. We are going to talk to his mom and try to set up a baptism date, she says that he needs to start acting better or she won't let him get baptized. So we need to talk to him about that. His name is Alonso. I know that his mom is a member, but she doesn't want anything to do with the Church. She supports her son though. I don't know about the dad, I don't think that he is a member. Yeah, I just teach the basic stuff with the piano lessons. 

I think that Snow College would be the best, considering I have a scholarship there, and I don't want to have to worry too much about money while I am studying. No, I don't want to go to BYU haha.

I don't want a big Christmas package, save money haha. Peanut butter would be awesome though, I really miss that stuff. Just some normal American candy would be nice too, like Reeses and Twix, things like that. I don't have that big of a need for anything. A calendar would be cool too.

 It would be cool if Oma moved to Utah, honestly I think that she would like it more. Haha Dubai seemed really cool to me. It would be really awesome to go someday, everything there is ridiculously expensive though.  It has the tallest building in the world. 

Well I hope that you have a great week, if there is anything that I can do for you or the family, just let me know, and I'll get it done. Love you mom.

Love,
Elder Stam               



Teaching is going well here.

November 11, 2015



Mom and Dad,               



The past week has been good, it's starting to get hot again. Luckily today is overcast so it isn't too hot today. The teaching is going well here. We've been working more with less actives lately, but the branch has really grown. Apparently about a year ago there was only 15 or so people attending, and we are at about 50 or so every week now, so it has grown a ton here. If it snows send me a picture. Most people here have never touched snow, so it would be cool to have a picture of the house and something like that with snow to show them. Yeah, we heard about that new policy yesterday. It's really strict, it surprised me a little bit, but it's for the better. The world is just getting stupider, so the church has to get stricter. The people that are freaking out about it obviously don't have a very strong testimony. The only thing that the church does is protect the righteous things, and it's really sad when members of the church don't protect those things. One of the apostles, I don't remember which one, said that persecution against the church would increase, and obviously we are seeing that. You would never think that it would come from members though. It's sad. The end is close though. Let's hope that He comes soon.

We're always finding new people to teach, it's a part of being a missionary. The hard part is finding the people that are really prepared. The piano lessons are going well, he is actually learning pretty quick. The best thing that happened this last week is probably that we have a baptismal date for that kid that I took a picture with and sent it to you! That kid. He's awesome haha. He goes to church alone and he's only 9 years old! That's definitely something that's hard to do, to hear exactly what you need to hear from the Spirit and then actually do it. I think that is one of the hardest challenges that missionaries have. If we all understood exactly what the Spirit was saying to us, I think that we would all have a lot more success than what we actually have. It's a challenge, but we all need to try to discern what the Spirit is telling us. I think that it is a lot easier to feel the temptations of the devil than the whisperings of the Spirit, which is why we need to try our best to listen to the Spirit and not the devil.  I'm feeling well though. A little bit of allergies, it is spring here.

Oma's moving to England?? I think that she will also really like that and be a help to David and Emma.  I think that's a good thing. 

Well there isn't a lot to write this week.  I'll send photos of the shoes next week, I keep forgetting about it. But I'll do it. I've been pretty good with keeping a journal. I wrote every day for the first few months, but I ran out of things to say so now I only write about one a week, but it's still better than nothing. Thanks again for the email. I hope that you have a great week! Chao!

Love,
Elder Stam

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Family is one of the most important things in this life

November 4, 2015


Mom and Dad,            

Families are Forever!





I had a pretty good week, it was a pretty normal week. There was Halloween of course. I think that Halloween here is better than in the United States. It's been pretty bummer lately in the United States, there are hardly any kids that go out asking for candy. It's completely different here. Every single street is full of kids. It's crazy. We had to go to the house early though because that day Colo Colo and la U, the two soccer teams that are rivals, played and it gets a little dangerous after their games. Family is one of the most important things in this life, and it's sad to see the world attacking families. It's really stupid some of the things that the world says, like it's not important to get married or that being gay is still following God's plan, but they will understand one day.

Haha I know what workouts that Heather is making you do, I have actually been doing them a little bit here in the mission, they're kind of fun, they kick my butt too though. I'm pretty out of shape here. Keep it up though, it will do good for you. Meetings, they're not always fun. I find meetings here to be really off task, and we don't talk about anything we should. I mean the meetings in the wards, not the mission.

Haha, that's an old blessing outfit then! That's good that it went well, there are some babies that cry their little hearts out. Haha Mike's little boys are really cute, they're going to be a lot bigger when I get back. How old is his oldest son now? Haha that is going to be the bad thing about a baby, when they scream and cry during the night. But it's a part of life. I think that it's God's little test to our patience. I won't have to worry about that though for at least a few more years. Grandpa seems to have been doing really well. Surprises me that he is going to turn 90, that's a pretty great age. I am sure that he will still be here, I do have less that a year left. Haha grandpa is a funny little fella. I can picture him in that little cart, he looks like a natural haha.

Elder Sosa and I are both really good friends with that family. I would say that it is pretty even, I wouldn't say that either one of us has a better connection with them haha. It was almost too easy with them. They just accepted everything like it was nothing. I'm not complaining though. They have been having a hard time lately though because on Sunday, the mom's grandma died. We are going to visit them today though. Today is the dad's birthday and their anniversary as well. The mom of the other family said that she would start going to church to support her kids, but there are a few worldly things that she doesn't want to give up. I think that with time she will though. Zone conference this time was about working more with members, especially in ward counsel. It's obviously really important to work with members, but we have been lacking on that a little bit in the mission, so President wants us to focus a little bit more on that now.

That is really how most of the commandments are, follow with faith. We just do it, without knowing why. Adam was commanded to give sacrifices to the Lord and when an angel asked him what he was doing, he said he didn't know, but that he was just obeying his father. That's how it should be with all of us, we just need to obey.



I was thinking about it a little bit, and I think that I might cost a lot of money when I come home. I need to find a car haha, that's going to be the most expensive thing. Good, keep that game safe. If you want to buy me more games, which would be awesome, just let me know, there are a few more games that I would love. I don't care that much if you are helping me that much with that game, I just don't want my account to be deleted for inactivity. I've put a lot of time into that game. But thank you mom for playing it for me haha.

You guys want to go on a service trip? What country/ies would you go to? That would be a lot of fun. It's always good to give a little bit of service. I think that you guys would receive a lot of blessings if you did that.

I hope that you guys have a great week as well. Thanks for the weekly letters, I appreciate them. I love you guys.

Love,
Elder Stam                
Caleb must have enjoyed this breakfast!

There are two commandments concerning the Sabbath Day

October 28, 2015

Mom and Dad,                    
Wonderful family that are now part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!


         
Yes, I have more time this week to write, so don't worry. That's good that the baby shower went well! I don't really know what happens in those, but it's still good haha. It's going to be weird not having a Thanksgiving here again. They should really make that a holiday here. Halloween is pretty awesome here though! It's going to be my second Halloween, I could swear that the first one wasn't that long ago, definitely not a year ago.

The Lord works in strange ways so maybe her passing is a way that people will make the necessary changes in their life to become closer to God.  Let me know how that funeral goes. Hopefully everyone is doing fine. It really is just a short period that everyone is going to be apart.   It's a time or trial, but hopefully the family keeps doing well. You can always find comfort in the plan of salvation.

I'll try to attach the photos to this email. We will see how the computer is. The family we baptized have been doing really well though! They're a really strong family with lots of desire to follow the Lord. They were a little skeptical at first but the more that we taught the more comfortable they felt. They feel like the Mormon Church uses their tithings better than all of the other churches, and that is one thing that they really liked. Also the kids that we baptized were 9 and 11. Their mom is a member but inactive, and their dad just an investigator. He's not too interested either, but we are working with him. And really? Mr. Wilson passed away? What was the cause? That's strange, he was also pretty young. The family had been listening to missionaries for quite a while, but they were finally ready when I got here, so I sealed the deal haha. The past week has been good. We had zone conference with President Cook yesterday, it was good, like always with him. We found a new kid that wants to learn piano, so I am going to take advantage of the opportunity to teach him. Elder Sosa has been doing good as well. He is from Peru.




People tend to forget that there are two commandments concerning the Sabbath Day. The first is the Sacrament. And the second is keeping it holy. Two separate commandments. That's good that Pres Hutchison talked about that though, it is something that the world needs to fix.

That would be kind of frustrating that Joshua can't start working until Dec. At least he has time to rest. Tell him to read the Book of Mormon or something. I started it again recently. I'm in 2 Nephi right now, in the Isaiah chapters. I'm surprised how much I'm understanding those chapters, they were so hard for me before. At least Josh has a little bit of free time, there are times that I would really like a break. Just tell him to take advantage of the time and get as many things done as he can during this time. Well I'm still a teenager but I won't be when I come home, so we will see how interested I will be haha.  They sent me a short video of Jackson that was pretty cute. A baby would be a lot of work, I'm glad I don't have one haha. Has everything been going good with him though? How are Josh and Shelly doing with the baby? It's kind of crazy to think that he is going to be almost a year old when I come home. Haha that would be kind of cool to have a little writing device. I could write a little bit every day, the things that happened every day so you could know a little bit more of what I do every week. Only if you want to send that though. I don't want a big package. I want you to save money so that you can spend it on me when I'm home hahaha.

Who did the Utes lose against?? Darn, they needed to have another perfect season. That's okay though. That new Halo game looks dope mom, for real. Keep that game safe, it's sacred to me haha.

Keep a good list for me, I know that there has been some pretty great movies lately. Have you seen the second Maze Runner movie?? I hope that you are still playing Clash of Clans for me as well. Love you mom! I hope that you have a great week!

Love,
Elder Stam              
Father, Mother and Daughter that Caleb helped bring into the Gospel!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Things went great this week!!

October 21, 2015

Mom,                         
Elders having fun??



Wow, well that's really unexpected, I am so sorry to hear about Aunt Brenda's passing. I have to say that was the last thing that I would expect. Well the Lord wanted her back. He knows best, it was her time. At least she is resting from this world. That can be really hard for the family, I hope that they are doing well. Just make sure that they know that the gospel is a blessing for families, and even though they will be apart for a short time, it's just a short time. Families are forever. The Lord does work in mysterious says, and we are not always going to understand the ways of God. At least it sounds like she made the most out of the last year or so of her life, and that's good. The Lord does the things that he does for a reason, and there's a reason behind this. We will know the reason someday.

Haha mom I don't think that you are going to die soon. I'm not a prophet or anything, but I doubt it. My patriarchal blessing says that I need to stay close to my parentS plural in the future so you don't have anything to worry about. Yes let me know how the funeral goes.

Things went great this week! We did have the 5 baptisms! I would send you photos but the computer that I'm at doesn't read USBs. So I'll have to send them next week. Everything went great though, I think that they were all ready for baptism. Haha don't worry, I'm safe. I'm gonna have to read or listen to the conference talks in English now, it's just naturally better and easier in English, probably because they speak in the difficult apostol language.

Go Utes! My favorite team haha :D I hope that you have a great week as well! We arrived late at the cyber today so I don't have time to write more, or write dad. Tell him I'm sorry! I'll write more next week for sure. Oh also, Halo 5 comes out this Tuesday, so don't forget to go get it! You need to go get it a within a few days of it coming out or you will lose the preorder. Thanks mom I love you!

Love,
Elder Stam

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Temple allows us to be together forever

October 14, 2015

Mom and Dad,  
  


Things have been great with the family! We took them to the temple on Friday. The stake organized a trip to the temple and the missionaries really took advantage of it. A lot of the missionaries from the stake took people to the temple. So we took them there and taught them about temples, and they said that they want to go in someday to get sealed. It was quite the experience. They actually are going to get baptized this Saturday! And then on Sunday we have two more baptisms with two other kids that we have been teaching. So this week we should have 5 baptisms. The Lord blesses us haha. I've given quite a few blessings for health, other blessings no. The highlight was going to the temple for sure. Other than that, maybe when there were like 10 gunshots right next to us. That was pretty thrilling. Yes, I still like the food. I'm getting kind of sick of chicken though, I have to admit. There's a soup here called Cazuela that's pretty good. You need to learn how to make Chilean empanadas also. Also see if she knows what mote con huesillo is.

Yeah, I think that everyone noticed that Pres Monson had to rest on the podium.  I think that he still has a little while though. Who knows, maybe some kids actually saw two angels holding him. He been a great prophet though, one with lots of love. Which talk from conference was your favorite and why? I liked Monson's talk in the Priesthood Session, he was really direct with us and I think that it is what we needed.


That's a pretty cool story with Grandpa going to the Temple for a sealing. I was looking at my family tree a little while back and I was pretty surprised how filled it was. That's good that Grandpa could go to the temple and have a good experience there. So did you guys end up giving a name to the baby? I've realized that our church is really the only church that really has the correct perspective of forever. The other churches don't really think about the future at all, only the present. That would be super awesome if the family we are teaching got sealed. The temple is awesome, brings people closer to God and allows them to be together forever.

I think that I will have like four kids, but we will see. So did you actually go out on the lakes with the kayaks? How did you like it? I would actually really like to go to a lake with the kayaks. I think that a little bit before I left I started to really like lakes. We should take the kayaks to a river with rapids and do some white water kayaking, that would be a lot of fun.  If we go to a lake, I'm definitely putting sun screen on, it was absolutely horrible when we went to St George. Definitely the worst sun burn that I've ever had. The weather has been really bipolar here though. One day hot, the next day cold and rainy. Right now it's raining. Yesterday it was really hot.  Jackson is already smiling huh? Try to take a picture of his smiling!

Go Utes :D it would be amazing if they could have another undefeated year. Remember when you guys were BYU fans? Yeah, you're welcome for me converting you.  Time does fly, I have 14 months now. The weather has been a little nuts and it's been affecting my health a little bit. Not a ton but I have headaches every once in a while. So yeah, we should have 5 baptisms this week. It should be a great week. I'll send you pictures of the baptism next week! Thanks for writing me and I hope that you have a wonderful week!

Love,
Elder Stam    



We were created to have joy


October 7, 2015



Dear Mom and Dad,       




 My week was good, one of the slower weeks, but still good. The family is doing great. We taught the the Word of Wisdom yesterday and they accepted it so easily. They said that they were going to get rid of all the tea that they had, it was pretty cool. Haha it drives me nuts a little bit every time that we have to give a blessing because the names are really long and I can never remember them hahah. Nothing happened with transfers, I'm still with Elder Sosa in the same area. I was getting tired of being changed, I'm glad I didn't leave again. We are teaching about 15 or 16 every week and there are many hours that we don't have anything to do, so only 3-4 lessons a week would suck. We have about 10 investigators in church every week. The sunburn is fine, I peeled a little on my neck but that's it. I don't like sunscreen mom, you know that. Being a lifeguard made me learn to hate sunscreen haha. Oh trust me, I tell them to try water polo and they just refuse.

I liked conference a lot too. I didn't know who any of the new apostles were, but they all seem to be really good and strong. Yeah, Pres Monson is wearing out slowly, I think that he still has some time though. I think that the next to go will be Elder Hales. I think that Elder Nelson would be an amazing prophet. Ever since he came here to talk to us, I've loved him a million times more. His talk this conference was really awesome, sad, but spiritual. We watched that talk with that family, they liked it a lot as well. Haha I miss the conference breakfasts that we had.

 Jackson is the first, haha he carries a legacy with him. Right now at this moment the family reunions would be kind of lame, there is only one kid! Who of all your kids do you think will have the most kids? I really want to see the Minions movie, it looks so funny. Did you know that they were created by Mormons? Fun fact of the day.

Haha you should try P90X Insanity, I've done that a few times in the mission. That really about kills us, but it's a lot of fun. They really got married four years ago? Man I feel like it was just last year. How long have Heather and Cody been married? I remember playing at the reception of Josh and for real there is no way that was four years ago.

Yup, two of my companions have gone home already! I got an email a couple of weeks ago from Elder Henderson, he's doing great, enjoying his life in the middle of nowhere haha. Well thanks for the email again, have a great week! Keep in mind what Nefi said, we were created to have joy, so enjoy life!

Love,
Elder Stam    




True happiness comes from obedience to the commandments

Sept 30, 2015



Mom and Dad, 
     


I'm glad that you had a good week with Shelly and baby Jackson. So what do you think about him now that you know him? Haha I think that he's gonna be a pretty big kid. Wow there really isn't any more that have the last name Stam?? We have to make this name famous. From what it sounds like they didn't have very many problems with the trip.  I've helped people move here twice, we helped them pack the truck and it takes absolutely forever. It was tiring as well because one of them lived on the third floor of an apartment building so we had to continually climbing stairs for several hours packing the truck. It was fun though, a little bit of a break from preaching. Nauvoo would be a pretty fun place to go see one day. Hopefully you didn't have too many problems with the trip, at least you're done with it already haha. During the special training that we had from President Cook he told us of a building that was in New York where one of the first sacrament meetings was help. President and Sister Cook owned the building. It was cool learning a little bit more about New York and everything that happened there.  It will be pretty fun to have Josh close again, we gotta have more family reunions or something like that haha. So you watched a lot of movies huh? Hopefully you are still keeping up on the list of movies that I have to see when I come home. We see a lot of those panels or whatever they're called that have the new movies, there are a few pretty cool looking ones. I'm excited to have two of the Maze Runner movies, I really liked those books.

This week has been good, it's been pretty hot. I got burned last P Day, and I think I got a little bit more burnt today. We've played soccer the last two days, Mom I'm really bad at soccer. It's pretty fun to watch the latinos truthfully, there are a few that play really well. That family we are teaching is doing good. The mom has her birthday tomorrow. They learn really fast and always have a ton of questions. They are really like the perfect family. They accept everything that we teach without any doubts or anything. Remember that latinos have two last names and two first names, so one name could fill a book. The other families in our ward have been good with them, they feel really welcome and already have friends. Time has been flying lately, I don't know how we are pretty much already in October. October means conference though and I'm pretty excited to get to see it again.  It is going to be really good though. Even though we have to watch it in Spanish it will still be good. I can just download it in English after anyways. It's going to be a good conference because they are going to call three new apostles!

I think that the best gift would be to buy me those games that I want and send me a small package, I really don't need anything here. I would like American peanut butter though, I miss that. Yes mom, I understand, you'll always be my mom, and that is what you are supposed to do with your mom- be close and talk.

That's a big Chilean Hot dog. 



A lot of people here are saying that there is going to be another earthquake, but that isn't something that you can predict, unless you are a prophet haha. I don't think there will be another one. At least I have the experience to say that I was here when there was an earthquake. There really wasn't any damage at all, at least where we are.  Dad told me that he bought kayaks, that is going to be a lot of fun, we need to go to lakes a lot more often, that is one thing that I learned to love right before I came out here, lakes. It was really fun going to the lake with Nanette's choir group, even though I got severely burned and my feet swelled and I couldn't even walk for like two days after. We should definitely go more.

Haha you're right Dad, I've always been a really fast typer, it's not too big of a problem if they're long, I can type fast. There are a few elders that type really slow and can barely write anything in the time we have haha. It's fine though, I like the emails, thanks for always sending me one. I hope that you guys have a great week as well, that you guys learn a lot in conference as well! It should be a good one, they are going to call three new apostles! It will be interesting to see who it will be. Thanks once again for the email, they are always one of the best parts of my week. Just like you said, the true happiness comes from obedience to the commandments.

Love,
Elder Stam

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The big earthquake was fun.

Sept 23, 2015

Dear Mom and Dad,


Haha, you sound pretty excited to meet your grandson. I think that you are going to like this next week a lot. Hopefully their trip goes well, without problems haha. This conference is going to be quite different, they have to call 3 new apostles now. Kind of sad that Elder Richard G Scott died too, but it's life. Jackson is gonna be a little trooper when I come home. Almost a year old, but not quite. Wish Shelly and Josh luck in the move. 

This photo is a kid that we are teaching. His name is Alonso. It's kind of strange, in the schools here the kids are required to dance the national dance, which is called la cueca. So in school they all dress up and dance. We saw him in the street and decided to take photos with him haha. I bought that Chilean shirt at Santa Lucía, that hill that has a big store area at the bottom. I actually arrived in Chile the 23rd of September, just after all of that stuff. It was kind of lame but I still had a 18 party last year. Things are still going well with that family. Their last name is Inastroza Jorquera, there are four of them, but they have a son of like 3 years, so he can't get baptized obviously. The other three though really like the church and they participate in everything. This week the branch had an activity and they went and had an amazing time. They're practically members already.

Haha yes I felt the earthquake. I actually thought it was pretty cool. The big earthquake was fun, we were on the second floor of an apartment building when it started to shake. We went outside and there were a few people that went absolutely nuts, it was like they thought the world was coming to an end. It's understandable though. We recorded a little bit of it. You can't see anything though. It lasted like two minutes. Nothing happened, there was no damage or anything here, but there was quite of bit of damage up north. I don't even know how many little quakes there have been though, I've seriously felt like 20. It's kind of cool, makes things different. Yes we had a conference with President yesterday. It was about a few different things. The first part we learned about self defense. They got some Chinese guy to come and teach us how to fight haha, we talked about some other things as well. President game us some instruction on the First Vision and how to teach better about Joseph Smith. It was good, I learned a lot. Haha you have been talking with Elder Melander's mom?

 Kayaks, that would be fun haha. So we could take them out on the river as well? I would actually really enjoy that, I liked the other river trips that we have done before. What river could we take them out on that is by our house?

Christmas gifts? Goodness mom, we're only in September. Nooo I don't want more hot weather for reals it's killer here. It's okay, suffer with joy, a saying that the missionaries have here. At least the summers in Utah aren't going to be so bad after.  The part that I'm in right now is called Los Cristales. It's the streets Condell, Balmaceda, Sta. Mercedes, and Los Morros or Ave. Padre Hurtado. Inbetween those streets in my sector, it's really small. Keep doing exercises as well, I need to start doing them better as well, even though I haven't put on any weight hah.

Yeah, we lost another apostle, but we all saw this one coming. He was sick for quite a while. At least now he's not sick anymore. No the world is definitely getting worse. In my opinion the people are just getting stupider and more ignorant, we just have to be different than everyone else. Lucifer is dumb. President Cook once said that everyone will have a chance to accept or reject the gospel, and that they can't really reject it if they don't know what it is. So everyone will have an equal chance to get to know it.

Thanks for the email, hope that you have a great week this week with your new grandson and Shelly, love you.

Love,
Elder Stam


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Keep the Lord as your number one.

September 16, 2015 



Dear Mom and Dad,

Haha you sent me a million pictures of Jackson. He's a stud, gonna be just like me one day ;) Have they been doing alright always having another person with them now? Jeez he is going to be almost a year old when I get home. Lame. That's okay though, this work is important. Sounds like a better plan for Shelly to fly home. Shelly is going to fly with the baby then? I sometimes wonder if babies actually know a lot more than we do, they've just forgotten how to communicate. Strange thought.  How does it feel to be grandparents?   Yeah that sounds like a pretty fun tour to see the Church History sites, I would like to do that. I would learn a lot, so let's do it!

The week has been good, a little bit crazy. The 11th of September here is pretty much a day of just straight craziness. The people protest against the government and do all sort of crazy things. We had to stay inside all day. It's just a day of sin. I don't know how many gunshots I've heard this week, it's a little scary, but nothing has happened really that we know of. We found a family of gold a couple of weeks ago. They came to church for the first time this week, and we have baptismal dates for them already. I couldn't believe how prepared they were, it was unreal. They're awesome though, they participate in everything. Our branch has had two activities since we met them and they have gone to both of them. Tomorrow there is another activity for the independence day of Chile and they are going to go to that too. That building in the photo was a building on the hill Santa Lucía. We have to go there for sure when we come to Chile. There is a huge area when they sell stuff that have to do with Chile, so we could buy cool things there. The rain in the Dominican Republic is insane. It's not that bad here, it just floods here, they have pretty bad drainage. It's fun though, I like water. I assume we are at the end of winter. The last few days have been pretty cold, the wind has been freezing. I would like more of winter though. The duties are the same being Senior, you just have to lead a little bit more that's it. Yeah an Elder gave me that tie. I've got a ton of ties. We buy fardos, 45 kilos of ties. It comes with about 2000 or so ties, and we take out the ones we like. That's how I have so many ties. It's okay if you don't send me ties, I have plenty.

Yes,  I think I've lost weight, but I don't remember how much I weighted before. I think I am a little bit lighter, but not a ton. I was buff? Haha I was slim but didn't have very much muscle!! Everyone here talks about the Minions movie, for reals I want to see that movie so bad. It looks so hilarious. I love those little guys haha. Elder Henderson and I just saw some people with a bunch of wood tablets outside and we asked to help them move them, and we ended up building a house. It was a really small house, maybe just the size of our living room, but still. It only took about 10 hours to do in total. Yeah there were a ton of Dutch names, go back only a few generations and they are all Dutch names! It's full and queens and kings of weird places too, but it's still pretty cool. I didn't know that Heather had asthma. Hopefully she is alright. I think she would really struggle here in Santiago, the air quality is horrible. The rain is really a blessing here because it cleans the air.

Haha those seeds sound exactly like the faith, you have to keep taking care of it so it grows. I have really found that to be one of the best ways to teach the faith. It's a great example. Last week President Cook talked about the faith and he compared it to the mustard seed, he showed us a picture of a mustard seed and it's a lot smaller than I thought. I know that you really like your garden, so you will really like the greenhouse I think.  That is how most of the missionary work is I think. Without seeing the results. Elder Holland has a pretty awesome prophesy about Chile that I'm sure will happen here. If you don't know it, look it up, it's really powerful. If you really want to serve a mission one day, just keep choosing the right. The Lord is good.  It would be pretty cool if you guys learned Spanish. It would be fun having a lot of Spanish speakers in the family. Just a suggestion. You'll retire one day, just keep the Lord as your number one and he will help you with everything.

The most memorable thing was September 11th. We just stayed in the house but we had a ping pong table in the house so we played a lot of ping pong. It was still crazy that day though. Yeah I already have a bunch of friends here, this sector is awesome, I like it a lot. I don't get to play piano that often now, only sometimes. I would like to sing in college, it would be a lot of fun. I kind of miss choir.

Well I hope that you have a great week, thanks for the weekly letters, they are awesome for real and I appreciate it. Thanks for all the updates as well!

Love,
Elder Stam       
Santiago, Chile



Monday, September 14, 2015

I know that I have to give the better example.


Sept 9, 2015

Mom and Dad,       
Elder Stam busy teaching and making friends.

Haha I was going to say that you could probably just have formatted your computer and it would have been fine. But it's okay, now I have another option ;)

Still no baby. Lame. It's coming though. I expect photos next week. If you don't send me photos, I will never send you a photo here in the mission again haha, yes, that is a threat.

Things have continued to be great in this new area, I really like it a lot. It's been fun here, the people here really are super awesome. I hope that I stay here longer as well. I'm going to be a little frustrated if I have changes again, I don't like changes very much. It'll be okay though, the Lord knows better than me, right?  Technically I was senior companion with Elder Calvillo, but he was older than me and was leading the sector, I'm also senior companion with Elder Sosa. I find it really weird to be the oldest here. In el pino, I was the youngest. I've been one of the youngest almost my whole mission, and now I'm the oldest, it was a pretty strange change. I like it though, I know that I have to give the better example.

 Where do you guys want to serve your mission? And what places would you go visit? That sounds like a pretty good retirement. Traveling would be really fun to do someday. It costs a lot though. Haha I would love if you gave us (me and my future wife, kids) the house for a few years, that would be pretty awesome. and truthfully it would probably help us a ton. Haha I'm not going to stay out here a couple more years. Two years is enough, I will have paid my 10% tithing of life by the end. Maybe one day I will serve another mission when I'm older as well, I would enjoy it.

Finally putting up the greenhouse up huh? How big is it? How many plants would be able to fit inside? I think that you will like it, you can have your tomatoes the entire year! You should make homemade salsa again. What else are you going to put in it? I don't know if I told you this or no, but when I was in Portezuelo with Elder Henderson, we pretty much build an entire house. Not a house like in the United States, just a really small one, but still. We had to level the floor, put the floor in, put up the walls, frames, the roof, everything. It was actually pretty fun.

 That's a pretty awesome story dad, for real. I've never met another Stam before. I remember looking at my family tree a few months ago and it was actually really filled. I found my way all the way to Adam and Eve twice. It was pretty cool. I don't know if half the people were legit people, they were some crazy names and the dates were way off, but maybe.

You think Heather will be next to have a baby? Maybe, it's possible. I've also never really been a big fan of running. In our house we are doing T25 and P90X Insanity every morning. It's time to lose that little stomach that I got before I came out here. I think that when I get back into swimming, I just might die. I'm so out of shape here. I'm working on that though. The weather here has been so bipolar lately. Last week it was super hot, pretty much summer, and this week, rain and cold. I don't understand the weather here. I like the rain more. It's so much easier than heat. Everything floods though. The streets turn into lakes and rivers.
Flooding in the streets from normal rain fall. 
Yeah, I got a list of Chilean sayings. They speak in pretty much only sayings here, and if you don't understand the sayings, you won't understand what they are saying. I think that when we come back, if Josh and Cody come with us, they might have a pretty hard time understanding the people. They speak really fast and don't pronounce well at all. It's Chilean culture. I'm used to it now though. Thanks for the emails and the stories, they are pretty entertaining!

The black guys in the photo are Willy and his friend. Willy is on the right. I don't know how things have been for him lately, hopefully good. There are actually quite a few dogs here like that. We call them zombie dogs. They're really gross. It's pretty unfortunate, I want to start a list of books that I want to read. Today for P Day we went to downtown Santiago and there was a poster for the second Maze Runner movie. The Scorch Trails I think it is in English. I'm going to miss two freaking movies from that trilogy. Frustrations. At least I'll have two movies to watch when I come back haha. Thanks for all your love and support like always, have a great week!

Love,
Elder Stam

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Success is based on dedication and consecration

Sept 2, 2015

Mom and Dad,        
Elders Stam and Henderson






Things are great here in Los Cristales. There were quite a few people that went to church here, more than I expected because it's a branch. This week there was an attendance of 53. Changes keep things interesting, but it's hard learning a new sector and then having to leave it right away. It's also kinda sucky having to leave the people that you just met. It's alright though, the Lord knows best. Elder Sosa and I get along really well, he's been out for about 8 months now. I'm actually the Elder with the most time in Los Cristales, it's all young missionaries here haha. It wasn't much of a piano, but a keyboard. It was fun though, he's just starting to learn, so he struggles, but he's getting there.  This last week we have been busy with mostly finding a few new people. We are teaching a lot of people, but you can always find more. I like living with two other Chileans because I am learning a lot of the Chilean sayings. There are a lot. Seriously. A member from Portezuelo gave me a list of like 400 of them.

 Preach My Gospel says that your success isn't based on numbers. You could have a thousand baptisms but if your heart isn't in the right place, you weren't a very successful missionary. Preach My Gospel says that your success is based on your dedication and consecration. If you come back a person converted to the gospel, than you were a successful missionary. President here says that most missionaries won't gone home with leadership positions, but there's still a few that do. The leadership positions don't mean that you are a better missionary. It just means that you need to give an example to the others. If you are a missionary, you are equally important as every other missionary in the mission.   

Weeks do go by fast, I'm writing on the exact same computer as last week and it feels like no time has passed at all since that time hah. We didn't even have a winter here, it's been kind of lame. The last few days have been really hot. I guess you'll have to hear my complaints about it being hot again haha.  The temperatures here only change if it rains. It was pretty chilly in the morning a month ago, but other than that, it's been pretty warm, and I am not excited to have another summer here, I about died last summer. It's already starting to feel like summer here again and we're technically still in winter.


Retirement will be fun, doing nothing every day, right? Zach leaves today?? Wow that was quick. His adventure has started haha.  Usually what you said is true about former or inactive members being prejudiced. It's different here, but I think that in Utah, if a member stops going to church, it's for a reason. Something happened to them that got them mad so they just decide to go against the church. It's kind of sad. It's pretty much just a lack of testimony. Hamburgers. That's what I'm missing. A good American hamburger. I was trying to remember some of the other food that we always ate, but I really couldn't remember many at all. New foods, not many. I pretty much ate an entire fish whole the other day. It was interesting, but really good.
Wow my nephew is going to be born so soon! That's awesome, I'm excited. So they are going to buy a house when they move home? A house house? That's good, houses are better than apartments, that's for sure. They are just really expensive. I remember that Real Estate class I had, it was a pretty interesting class.

Heather and Joshua don't write me every week but every once in a while they do. Tell them that no one else can get pregnant for at least three more months so I can be there when the baby is born. I'm not going to miss another one haha. When should Cody finish all of his schooling? I feel like he's been going to school for a while too now.

Nothing super cool for the last few P Days. We have pretty much just played soccer the last few. I like soccer, I don't play too bad. I'm obviously a gringo, but not a horrible gringo haha. Look at that mom, you're more trunky than I am but it will be nice to have us all together again when that time comes.

 Dad, that is a really good story, it's true that the last door that you always knock on is the one. The mission of the assistants is pretty much the same here from what I know. They are in the office a lot doing work for the mission, and they don't do much tracting. My companion from the CCM, Elder Walker, is in the office right now, he's in charge of all of the missionaries houses, and the only missionary in the mission with a car. He doesn't get to do a lot of work though. Thanks for the story though, I liked it.

I would actually love to read that book (Putting on the Armor of God). Who wrote it? I've found an interest in reading things by the church now. Before the mission, honestly I didn't care much about reading stuff like that, but here in the mission I've found a love for things like that, so I would love to read it.

I got the pictures, I liked them, they were awesome! Well I hope that you guys have a great week, thanks for the emails every week!

Love,
Elder Stam                    
I assume one of those poor dogs Caleb is always telling us about?  I thought it was a monkey at first-yikes!


Sunday, August 30, 2015

A mission is a life changing experience.

August 26,  2015

Mom,                           


                    
Man those kids are getting old, they're not even going to be the same people next time I see them! It sounds like it was a good family reunion though, I'm glad that the family is doing well, especially that papa could enjoy himself playing golf. You went to an organ concert?? Who played the organ? Dad told me that he went today fishing with Jim, he seemed pretty excited to go, especially since he hasn't been able to do that for years.  It's nice to have a day off every once in a while.  If we didn't have p days I would probably go crazy, they are definitely something that we need.

Things have been pretty good the last week. The big news of this week, I got changed once again. I don't know why I was changed again, that's three transfers in the last three changes, but it's okay. I'm right next to where I was before, so it's pretty similar. The only difference is that where I am now, it's a branch, not a ward, so it's a lot smaller. I've already met a lot of new people that are super awesome. I gave a sort of have piano lesson to a kid yesterday haha. The branch that I am in though is called los cristales, it's in the stake O'Higgens.  It has been pretty hot though, during the day. The temperature has been changing a lot from the day and the night. Everyone says that the second year goes by faster, we'll see what happens in the next year haha. Dad asked me a bunch of questions that I answered already. From what I know, things have been going pretty well with Willy. The last Sunday I was there, he showed up with another Haitian friend that knew Spanish, because he lived in the Dominican Republic for 7 years, so we could finally communicate with him. He's good though, still looking for a job. My new companion is Elder Sosa, he's from Peru. I actually live in a house with only latinos now, two from Chile and my companion. I think that it will be a good experience living with just latinos, it will improve my Spanish a lot, and I already get along with the others really well. I haven't been able to play piano though, el pino and los cristales don't have pianos in the church.

 So Josh got the job huh? That's good, I know that he'll be happy and that you guys will be happier with him living closer. So what is his job going to be then? So is that going to be Josh's permanent job in his life? Hopefully he doesn't move too far away,  I would like to live close to the entire family as well.

Uganda, that would be the most insane mission. I got an email from Connor Holt this week that had a picture of him, Jayden, and Chris Ruben. It was crazy, I can't believe that they are all home already. The time flies. Josh is coming home as well, man there is no way that was two years ago that they left. I'm sure that they were all great missionaries, they were all amazing people before the mission, and the mission is a life changing experience.

 I don't get the opportunity to play except in church because no one here has a piano, only the churches. And of all the churches, I have only seen one real piano, the rest have been keyboards. If I were to say anything to the youth, I would tell them to just keep choosing the right, they might not know why we have certain commandments, but God does, and he knows how to protect us better than we do. To the adults, you can never have a testimony too big, keep growing it every day. Things that they should know, Chile just won the American Football cup and the entire country went nuts and partied for a week straight haha. Well there's not a lot more to write, I feel like this was a short letter this week but I don't know what more to say. I hope that you have a great week and that you keep growing your testimony!

Love,
Elder Stam

What the world needs to more "mean" moms.

August 19, 2015
                            

       
I'm glad that you are enjoying your time at the family reunion!  That really does just sound like the typical family reunion, especially with the squirrels. I remember that there were always a bunch of squirrels. But for real though, our family is really loud, almost too much haha. So don't forget to send me pictures, it's my turn to ask for pictures haha. I think papa will be fine. It's a part of life, it's going to happen to all of us. It's only a short time that we are saying goodbye anyways.

Things in Chile. Um, hot, once again. Today has been really hot. I'm wearing a short sleeve shirt, and it's the middle of winter. I miss Utah winters, and cold weather. The shirt burning went well, I have a video of it, hopefully it won't get deleted. According to everyone, now is when the time starts really flying, but I feel like it's already been flying. No, we didn't have any idea what we were doing with the drainage system, but what matters is that we tried haha. The teaching has been going good this week though. We found a guy from Haiti. The only problem with him, is he doesn't speak Spanish. Or English. But French and Haitian yes. So it's been really complicated trying to communicate with him, but it's been quite an experience as well. We are trying to help him find a job so that he can get enough money to stay in Chile. His name is Willy. I have been feeling better though, I stopped eating that darn yogurt haha.

The baby is due soon, that's crazy. I'm excited to see him! Yup, Josh has got a lot of changes coming up, now life is going to start getting crazy for him, but I think he's ready.

Haha that's a good quote ("What the world needs is more "mean" Moms).  Moms are the best right? It's pretty true. Although I still don't really see what the sugary cereal has to do with anything in the future. I don't think that I would be that much fatter... But who knows!

I hope that you guys also have a great week, all together. Thanks for all of your love and support!

Love,
Elder Stam

Probably one of the fastest years of my life, one left- I have to make the most out of it!

August 12, 2015

Mom,                  
Elder Calvillo and Caleb (Elder Stam) and beautiful mountains!  Looks a little like Utah mountains.  


Okay, so, yup. A year ago I was set apart and tomorrow is my one year mark. I don't know how that happened, but here I am, a year later. That was probably one of the fastest years of my life, even though it's been so eventful. I only have one left though, so I have to make the most out of it. Get to burn a shirt tomorrow. The teaching was alright this last week, the rain made things a little harder, but we still worked hard. The rain has been awesome though, I have been waiting a year for rain. I love the rain. There have been a lot of floods lately though, up north has been affected quite bad. We also had a member's house flood last week, and we went there to help try and fix everything. We ended up being there for several hours, trying to fix the problem. We made our own little drainage system out of these metal plates. We were in mud up to our knees. It was quite the experience. It hasn't been too cold with the rain though, only at night. It's actually colder when it's not raining. I definitely like winter more than summer. I was dying in the summer. I'm not looking forward to this next one, but I don't have a choice haha, just have to keep working through it. Hopefully you start feeling better mom!  Don't forget that you have a Priesthood holder in the house.

Those are some pretty interesting sounding jobs for Joshua.  It will be nice they will live closer. My patriarchal blessing counsels me to stay close to you guys, so you probably won't have that problem with me in the future. The medical world is nuts, maybe that's something I will do in the future, it's something that every human needs, health. Well at least for now, in this life. Isn't is going to be awesome having a perfect body that never gets sick? I think it's going to be amazing. Twice this week I ate something that my body didn't agree with. I didn't get sick, just had pretty bad stomach pain for a couple hours. It was strange. Three weeks until he is due to be born, how crazy. I feel like you guys just barely told me that she was pregnant. I'm glad I'm going to be home for his first birthday, I don't want to miss too much of my first nephew's baby years. I'm jealous that you went to that concert, I remember going to the Pentatonix concert like two years ago, and it was so amazing.

It would be cool if you learned Spanish, but I think I would rather just talk about you with Josh and Cody in Spanish, so that you can't understand us ;) My Spanish is fine though, I'm still trying to learn a few words every day, it's getting hard learning new vocabulary now, because it's just words that aren't very common now, so I forget the words. I still have a year to improve though. My goal is to not have a gringo accent when I come home.  Haha you have to give a little report on me? I don't know, you can say what you want. I'm doing fine, working hard in the incredible rainy weather we've had.Well I hope that you start feeling better, being sick isn't any fun.

Have fun at the family reunion! It should be fun, like always. Transfers are coming up soon. We had interviews with the President today, and he made it sound like he might change me again, but I doubt it, that would mean I have five different sectors in about a year. He did say that he would try his best to put me with a companion with less time than me, so that I'm looking forward to. We'll see though. Have a great week though!

Love,
Elder Stam              
They walk and walk and walk. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

I left almost a year ago, crazy!

August 5, 2015
BBQ time for the missionaries!

Mom,      
I do find it pretty crazy that it's already August. I left almost a year ago. Crazy. My actual hump day should be the 13th of August, that's when I finish a year, even though it's a little bit more than half my mission. I'm pretty sure I was in Arizona with Riley a year ago haha. Yup, tradition is to burn a shirt for a year. I wouldn't mind another package, but it's your choice haha. I might need some new socks soon, all the ones from Missionary Mall are starting to get holes. The baptism went well, the awesome thing is that el pino actually had 7 baptisms this last Sunday. It was crazy. Josselyn's parents are supportive. Her mom at least, her dad is in jail. She had challenges that everyone has, just commandments and going to church. She met the church 3 years ago, in another place, but started attending here not too long ago. Things with other investigators are good, we don't have one too close to baptism, but they are getting there.  When I was in La bandera, we did a lot of service to this place for people with disabilities. We cleaned the area and did a few other things. I was in the pictures like three weeks in a row haha.
    
You seem pretty excited that Joshua is moving back home. Where do you think that he will be working?  Elders quorum president! That's awesome for Cody! I think he will do good! In Portezuelo, there was a kid that came home from his mission and the very next week they called him as elders quorum president, that would be a pretty fun calling in my opinion.

He doesn't send you the Mensajero in English?? He always sends it to us in Spanish and English. If you want I could send you the English one every week. Remember when you said you would learn Spanish? I think you're failing that goal. Elder Calvillo says that my Spanish is actually really good, I don't really have to think about it much, it just sort of comes out in Spanish now. There are a few things that I still don't know how to say, but it's just vocabulary now. I don't think that I will ever be able to say absolutely everything, but I can express everything I want to say.

You're going to see Pentatonix?? Oh you're killing me. They are so awesome. I remember when I went to their concert, it was amazing. I'm jealous. If Christian wants to learn Spanish, he needs to speak it, that's the best way to learn. You have to study a little bit too, but you learn more speaking.

Well have a great week mom, I am going to have to retake pictures of the shoes. I don't know why but every time I send you photos, all of my other photos disappear. I am going to have to figure out what is going on with this stupid technology. Oh hey, you're still playing Clash of Clans for me right? Have a great week!

Love,
Elder Stam