Thursday, January 29, 2015

I feel like I have answers now and understand the gospel better

January 28, 2015


I am doing great, thanks. How are you doing? Elder Tecún said that we were going to do more contacts, buuut we still haven't done any. So I don't know what's going to happen. We are teaching a lot of people so I don't know who you are referring to. The Word of Wisdom is probably only the third biggest stumbling block. The second is tithing. Everyone here hates the idea of tithing, and nobody wants to pay it. But the biggest stumbling block for sure is the law of chastity. The people here are just ridiculous and they have no shame for anything. I don't really know how to explain it, but everyone here just does what they want. I would say that most teenagers here already have a kid and are pregnant for the second time. That is the majority of the people here.  One of the other key things is when you teach you have to be friends with them for sure. You have to find a balance between being their friend and having a good time with them, and teaching the stuff and still being professional. In this ward, we definitely are a lot better friends with the people we are teaching and it is just a lot better than before. They like having us over so it's definitely true that they listen to us more.

 I agree, the latinos just have a lazy culture. One thing that I have realized being in the two wards that I have been, is the people here are really lazy. In my first ward, nobody did anything. The bishop in this ward moved away with like a one week notice so we went almost a month in that ward without a bishop. Here in the Portezuelo ward it's a lot better though. They work a lot better but they still are pretty lazy. I don't know if it's just a Chile thing or a wide world thing, but they always ask the missionaries to do everything. We do more for the ward than anyone except the bishop and his counselors. But yeah, nothing happened with the transfers. My house is the exact same, we just have a new sister missionary, but she was already in the zone so it's really like nothing happened. Elder Raine finished his mission, so he's home now. I think he's from American Fork.

We are still doing our exercises and eating healthy, so I think that it is something that will stick for a while. I'm gonna be buff when I come back haha no not really. We make a fruit smoothie every night, and we put a little plain oatmeal and spinach in it to make it even more healthy. And we all love it.  Don't forget to play Clash of Clans on your phone for me lol.  We made sushi today that was really good. It was the second time that I've had sushi on the mission and I have liked it both times.

Wow, the new missionary in your area is straight from South Africa? They speak English in South Africa right? The missionaries always leave with a spiritual though, maybe that's something we should do every once and a while when we eat at home. I'm sure they only teach people from out of Utah, because everyone in Utah already knows everything about the church haha.

Wow your uncle has made a book about family history? That is one of the things that we teach quite a bit, family history. How many generations does he have? You should make sure that the temple work is done for all of them haha. Family history is one of the things that we teach to the less actives, because it involves the temple and they almost always want to return to the temple after we talk about it all.

Perfect,  the coins would be awesome. Okay a few more gift ideas. I don't need music, I have plenty I realized. But a new watch would be awesome. There is also two books that would be awesome. The first is Jesus the Christ, but in English. Both times that I have gone to the temple they haven't had it at the store, which is the only place here that you can buy it. So that would be awesome if you could send me that. The other book is The Miracle of Forgiveness. President Cook approved this book so we can read it in the mission. The problem is we can't get it here. That book was written by Spencer W. Cook and I have heard great things about it. Those three things are all I can think of right now, but I'll think of more ideas.

I'm really grateful for all the time that I have to study, I feel like I understand the gospel a million times better. I feel like I have an answer for everything now and it's just awesome haha. But I want to start studying more deeply now and I really want to study about Christ more, so Jesus the Christ would be so awesome to have. That is the number one thing on the list. :)

On Saturday we had divisions again, and I went with Elder Purnell this time to his sector. So I got to ride bikes again. The problem with the bikes and the heat, you enter someone's house, and you just start pouring sweat. It's horrible. But we had a really good day, we taught five lessons in the one day. I get along with him pretty well too.

Well thanks for writing me, and have a great week! Love you guys!

Elder Stam          

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Book of Mormon is awesome.....

January 21, 2015
Long hike to the waterfalls!


It's a pretty rough hike we took last week, about 8 hours to that waterfall. So if you really want to go hike all day and be absolutely dead after, we can go back to that. I was only sick that morning. So it had to have been food poisoning or something like that. Cause after it was all out of my system, everything was fine. Everyone that we have right now to teach were being taught by the missionaries before I got here. Elder Tecun doesn't like to do contacts, so we aren't finding any new people. But the funny thing is, we had zone conference this week, and President Cook and the Assistants both talked about doing more contacts, so I think it hit him that we have to do more contacts. So I think that from now on, we are going to do more contacts. I would say that a lot of our investigators are progressing though. He wants me to lead the lessons now when we teach, he wants me to lead the sector, have the phone, and lead companionship study. It's not super hard. I don't know if it's a humble thing for him to let me do this or more like a lazy thing. I think he is just sick of being senior companion so he just told me to do it. I'll take the challenge though.

This transfer has been so incredibly fast. Less than a week til transfers, but I am almost positive that things will stay the same for this change, but you never know. Good I'm glad you emailed President Cook. I would like to bless the sacrament every once in a while. I haven't blessed it one time. But I do really like playing the piano.

Yeah I have heard two stories about missionaries seeing people get killed. It's super unsafe here in Chile, so if we come back here, we aren't going to use any public transportation. We will have to rent a car. I haven't really had any different unique food lately, but the food is always the same. Our house decided to start eating healthy and to start doing exercises so every other day we are doing P90X and the other days we are doing our own thing. Every morning we eat eggs and bread, and every night we make a smoothie of just fruit, yogurt, and ice cubes. It's actually a lot better than it sounds.  I would love to see the snow right now. I am so sick of hot weather, it feels like forever that I have been in hot weather. I think that I am going to love the cold weather more than ever before.

Simple is definitely the best way to teach. Teaching complicated can just confuse the investigators, and sometimes that can cause them to stop taking the lessons.  Teaching someone doesn't need to be complicated. And Elder Leon needs to realize that they aren't going to know all the deep doctrine and all the complicated stuff until after their baptism, if at all. That is something that I am going to have to start pushing with the investigators. They all think that they have to have a perfect knowledge that this church is true and that they can't have any doubts at all before they can get baptized. But that's not how it is at all. We have had several lessons in district meeting that baptism is only the door. After the baptism is when you can solidify your testimony and everything else. They all just expect too much.

One of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon is Alma 30, where Alma is talking to Korihor about signs and everything and then he is struck dumb, I think that it is a great chapter for people that want to see a sign. I like the Alma 30:44 a lot.

 Halo 5 is the only game that I will want you to preorder.  Right now, two games are your priority to get for me. Halo 5, and Halo Master Chief Collection. I would be happy if those were the only two games that you got me. Thanks love you! The only way I want to be spoiled is with video games, a car, and a phone hahaha.

Wow there is really only 2 missionaries in the whole stake?? That's crazy. There are about 40 in the San Bernardo Stake. The missionaries love when the members serve really good food. I can testify of that. The mormon messages are awesome too. I have seen every one like 6 or 7 times now haha.

I stopped reading the Bible because I need to start reading everything in Spanish. Maybe once I read everything in Spanish I will finish the Bible. The Bible is just so confusing and it's really not any fun to read at all. The Book of Mormon is awesome, that is something that I have realized a lot here in the mission. We teach with it every day, way more than the Bible. The Bible has really good parts too, but the Book of Mormon is just so much easier to understand. I have already been contemplating my topic for my homecoming talk, I want to make it epic haha.

Something that would be awesome if you sent me, the U.S. coins. There are a lot of people here that would love to see a quarter or a nickel so you should send me one of every coin haha. Something really awesome that happened this week was the zone conference. The whole thing was awesome, but the very first thing that happened, is we watched Meet the Mormons. It was such an awesome movie. I have to admit that I was expecting that it would teach a little bit more about our church, but I still think that it was awesome. We watched it in Spanish, and it wasn't even hard for me to understand for the more part. It was a really good movie though.

Well thanks for writing me and keeping me updated on everything! Love you and I will talk to you again next week!

Elder Stam

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Simple teaching is the best and Spanish hardly a problem anymore.

January 14, 2015
Awesome hike on P Day 


My week was pretty good. Nothing really big happened this week though haha. I had a bad morning today though. Last night when we got back to the house, we went to buy food. We went to this little food place and bought giant hot dogs, called completos. They were a foot and a half big. We ate them last night and I woke up this morning and threw up twice sooo my morning was wonderful. The teaching is going good though. We don't have a lot of lessons, but we have some really good lessons. Spanish is hardly a problem now. My companion told me that he's gonna have me be the senior companion from now until the change, because he's sick of being it and he wants to give me more opportunity. So I have a lot more responsibility now and it's been really fun. We have two to three lessons a day. That Mormon Message (Enduring Love) might be my favorite one haha.

I don't know why Elder Tecun doesn't like to do contacts, but it's okay I'll do a lot more contacts when I have my new companion in this sector. Contacting means talking to people on the street, going door to door, talking to people on the bus or train, it just means trying to find new people to teach. Things are good with him though, we get along really well. There are four missionaries in our house. They're in different rooms than us, but they're pretty much considered roommates haha. The other two missionaries are Elder Melander and Elder Purnell. Yeah about the sector, I am in the biggest sector in the entire mission. There are only six missionaries in the sector. We split the sector between the companionships, and we have the top part, which is all neighborhoods. It's not super huge, it's big for sure, but not big enough where we have bikes. The other two companionships have bikes though. The other Elders in our house have bikes and they have to ride them for 45 to get to the end of their sector. The sector is about 10 miles long. I haven't blessed the sacrament one time because I always play the piano.

Yeah the cops here don't really do anything about guns being shot. There are people on the street smoking weed, a few missionaries have seen people get killed, people shoot guns very often. It's pretty scary. For divisions, with Elder Burhoe, I learned that the teaching doesn't need to be super in depth. You can teach super simple and have it be very powerful. Elder León always taught super complicated and it was pretty tough to teach with him. With Elder Melander I realized that I can teach better than I thought, and we just had a good time together. I get along really well with everyone in our house. We don't ride bikes in this sector, but the other missionaries do. Yeah there were over 2000 ties that we bought. We each only picked out about 50 that we like, which is still a ton in reality. We are giving away the rest of them. Right now there is just a huge pile of ties under our bed.  
Elder Tecun and a huge pile of ties!!

The Book of Life haha we taught a lesson reading that chapter yesterday, and it was a really good lesson. They are very big possible baptisms, so we have to keep working hard on them. The dad has quit smoking and drinking tea, which is a really big sign. The only problem is they aren't married, so we have to marry them before we can baptism them.

We are also teaching two people with the same issue of not knowing where their records are. They say that they were baptised, and they have witnesses and even pictures of the baptism, but there is no baptismal record. So we don't know what to do. We might have to rebaptism them or not, but we don't know whether to consider them investigators or less active members haha.
Also something else that happened this week is President Cook´s mom died, so if there's anything you could do for him, an email or something like that, I'm sure he would appreciate it a ton!


Elder Stam                                
Proud of his missionary tag!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Chilean New Year and 400 new ties!

January 7, 2015


I've come to realize that the latinos can't teach Spanish, because they never learned it. My Spanish is fine though, I just struggle understanding latinos, but I can understand the gringos just fine. I can talk, read, and write so it's not a huge deal. My companion has been here for three months, and he really doesn't know the sector at all. It's the biggest sector in the mission, so I can't really get to know it that fast. All the people we are teaching are the people they were teaching before I got here. Elder Tecun doesn't like to do contacts haha. And yes, my house has a kitchen. Somewhat.

That talk was actually my third talk in Spanish haha. I like the members in this ward a lot more, and I have a lot more friends in this ward already. They're awesome haha. I use the knife for letters, packages, cutting my fingernails (lie), just anything that I need it for, but I really do use it a lot.

Don't make the house too different, I might not like it haha.  But do whatever you want with my room, just make sure I have a room when I come back haha. If Heather wants another mattress I would say give it to her. I would really like a queen size memory foam mattress, especially after sleeping on tiny beds here.

So the new year was pretty interesting. We had to be in the house no later than 9 o clock, and our ward mission leader gave us a TV and we got permission from the mission president to watch two movies. So we got to watch two movies. When the new year hit, there were a ton a gunshots (people just shooting in the air), music, and parties all night. They also did the candle lamp things that float into the air, and there were a ton of them. It was pretty cool. Walking through the street the next day was pretty interesting also because there was confetti and beer bottles everywhere. It was a pretty strange experience.

Also this last week I got to do two divisions. One with my new zone leader, Elder Burhoe, and the other with another gringo in our house, Elder Melander. I got to ride a bike on both of them, because I'm in the biggest stake in the mission, and most of the missionaries here have bikes. They were both good divisions, I learned a lot in both, and a got a few good pictures too. It was really fun.

So every week I want to share a Mormon Message, if I can find one that I want to share. This week I want to share the Enduring Love one, it's an awesome video. :)

My companion also really likes to sleep a lot, too much actually, so I read him D+C 88:124. He laughed and went back to bed, but at least I tried.

I'm writing a little later today because we had a lot go on today. We woke up two hours earlier than normal and we went on a hike to Aguas de Ramón. It was a 9 kilometer hike to a waterfall. It was awesome and the views are incredible. I also got some good pictures there. So we hiked a total of 18 kilometers today, and I'm exhausted. After that we went to buy a Fardo, which is 45 kilograms of ties. It was thousands of ties and the missionaries in our house are going to split them all, I could have 400 new ties.

I complete five months in less than 1 week, which I find absolutely crazy. Time flies. I'll be home before I know it. Well have a good week and I will talk to you next week! Love you!

Élder Stam

Saturday, January 3, 2015

I'm always happy when we are teaching...

December 31, 2015

Having fun!

Serious faces.


I have been getting along really well with Elder Tecun. It's always a little harder with a latino, and I think he feels a little left out because he doesn't know English, but it's okay. We ate dinner at a members house for Christmas, and we came back at 11:30 at night. It was really good though and the food was soo amazing. Our P Day was changed to Thursday, but we are allowed to write today, so I'm just gonna do it today haha.  We are also supposed to return to the house earlier tonight, and then tomorrow is our regular P Day.

The new area is great, it's so ridiculously big that I don't know it at all. We have that giant mall in our sector, so we can go to that whenever we want haha. We're teaching people, but no one really serious. My Spanish is alright, it's no where near as good as Joshua and Cody think. It hasn't been too hard with a Spanish only companion. Tecun has been a member his whole life, and I don't know what his parents do for a living in Guatemala haha.

It's funny how it gets really cold there and really hot here in the same months of the year. The heat has been absolutely unbearable this week. It's sucked. Even if Papa isn't around when I get back from my mission, it'll be alright because it's really not a long time at all that we are away from him, this Earth life is short. 

The mission has been a lot different than I thought, you never know what to expect. I think that every mission is a ton different though. The mission is really, really hard and it's a lot different than living at home.  It's such a culture shock and everything different, so that can be really hard for all the missionaries. Try to do your own missionary work! As missionaries we are trying to work with the members a lot more. I really haven't been homesick at all, and I really haven't had a bad attitude at all either. I'm always happy when we are teaching someone so it's good. I liked talking through Skype. I liked it a lot more than just the phone. I'm also glad that it was only four hours apart haha.

Beautiful road in Chile!

Santiago, Chile
I really loved the socks you gave me, so in my next package, send more weird socks like that! I think they're awesome haha. So socks, and the new PTX album are the new things I want now. I also was asked to give a talk this Sunday, it was ten minutes and it was about Alma 5, so it was super awesome cause that's one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. It only took me like an hour to write.

So there's this member here that wants to move to America, but he was no idea what to do. I told him that I would ask you guys what he should do. He also wants to know how much money he would need. He wants to go to BYU Provo to study too. So if you could sent a little bit about what he would have to do that would be awesome.

Well have a happy new year and I'll talk to you again next week! :)

Elder Stam