Sunday, March 29, 2015

Earthquake conference and we helped reactivate Juan!

March 25, 2015
Elder Stam and Elder Henderson in Santiago, Chile

I had a pretty good week. The weeks go by really fast now.  We had a special conference thing with the president, but it was just more of a safety conference. We talked about earthquakes and all that fun stuff. What does Elder Henderson do differently? Well he's just a lot easier to talk to. The latinos just don't like to talk very much.  Elder Henderson is pretty funny too. He just gets along with everyone really good. Whenever someone asks him where he's from, he just says a  "pueblo" which means a people haha. I'll ask him though which city he is from. Spanish vocabulary is a joke. There isn't an end to the words that you can learn. I'm going to be learning vocab every day until the end of my mission, and then every day for years after the mission too.

Felipe was taking lessons, but something unfortunate happened to him. He is a worker for a rich guy, and the rich guy told him that nobody unknown can come on to his property, which means that we can't teach him anymore. He was pretty bummed.  Maria's Jose husband is a member, he actually served a mission in the Dominican Republic, I don't know which mission though. She is doing alright, we haven't been able to visit her for a while because she is always doing stuff. They don't have children, and they're like 30ish. And yes they know here that I sing. This sister missionary wrote a mission hymn for our mission, and she asked a few missionaries to sing it for the mission, and I was one of the ones she asked haha. I will not sing a solo though, no way. I've been singing a lot for the ward though, all of the missionaries have been. They want us to sing a hymn every sacrament meeting.

 That's very true about evil spirits and good spirits. The best people have the most evil spirits tempting them, because the people that have already fallen don't need to feel as much temptation to give in. We should always ask God for help to avoid temptation. I've learned that a lot in the mission.

The missionary lessons are really spiritual, listen closely and you will learn a lot. Maybe when I get home I could teach them to you guys again.  (Caleb is referring to the challenge we received in our Stake Conference that I told him about.  Our visiting authority asked families to take the missionary lessons and promised by the 3rd lesson a name would be revealed of someone who is ready for the gospel and that we could help teach with the missionaries).  Who is the new patriarch?? Brother Harwood was a really amazing guy. It's cool that he just kind of knew that he was going to pass away. It's kind of sad but we all know that he is in a better place.  I'm glad that the conference went well.

Yes Wendy's was awesome. And guess where we went to eat today?? Taco Bell!! It was incredible. I miss Taco Bell a lot. Thanks for the money though!

 So I was thinking a little bit about the gifts you could send, and I would actually really like it if you did send the Piano Guys books here. I get a little time here and there to practice, so I would love that. I would also love another lint roller, and more awesome funny socks like those shark socks that you sent me. That would be great.

The weather has been starting to cool down. Yesterday morning we had a big storm. It rained really hard, and there was an incredible amount of lightning. There was lightning about every 2 seconds, and the lightning was incredibly loud. I thought we were going to die haha.

Silly Elder Stam

There's also a new sister missionary in our ward, her name is Hermana Lesh. She is brand new, like she has only been in the mission two weeks. It turns out that we go home together. So the sister missionaries that I go home with just got here.

We also had a reactivation this week, a guy named Juan de Dios Reyes. He was a less active, but he's active again now. We even helped him find the guy that baptized him 33 years ago, via Facebook. He was super excited to get to talk to him again.

Thanks for writing me again, and have a great week!

Elder Stam

Friday, March 20, 2015

Loving his bike and teaching is going well!

March 18, 2015

Dear Mom,
Elders Henderson and Stam on their bikes!

I thought that is would have started cooling down by now, but it's actually just gotten hotter. It's the hottest it's been all year, or at least it feels like that. Things have been great with Elder Henderson though, he's an awesome guy. He really knows what he's doing and he's a great example. No offense against latinos, but the gringos are just so much easier to get along with. I don't remember what the city is called where Elder Henderson is from, but he's from a really small village of about 250 people, and he lives in a huge field haha. I don't need much help with Spanish anymore, I'm pretty much fluent. It's still just the vocabulary. He knows his scriptures more than any other missionary that I know, and that makes him a really good teacher. It's possible that I could train in 3 months, or not at all. I hope that I do though, I think it would be fun.

 There's not many things that I need! For my birthday, you could buy the Piano Guys books for piano, but I don't think I would get a lot of time to play them. For sure have them when I come home though. I will think of more things though.

Teaching with our investigators is going well. We gave away two of them to the sister missionaries, but we have been finding new people. We found a new guy named Felipe, and he's a worker for a super rich guy. Now that we have bikes we can go to different parts of the sector, and there's a lot of rich areas. The closest one to baptism is Maria Jose, her husband is an active member and everything. Here it's a requirement that they attend church at least 4 times before baptism, and only if the bishop feels like he or she is ready. The people here are stubborn to accept the invitation to be baptized. The majority of people we teach seem to like Elder Henderson more, Elder Tecun was kinda dead as a missionary. Burnt out in other words.

For my shirts, I went to a little store by our house and got clothe whitening stuff, I don't know, but I've tried using it and it only kind of works. We have been sweating a lot more now with the bikes, so they are just going to get worse (yellowing). I will try bleaching them though for sure.

The devil is real for sure, I have heard a few stories about demonic things happening out here in Chile, and even President Cook has a few, but he doesn't really share them with people. The devil definitely has a lot more influence here than God, which is super bad.

For service, we teach English, help fix or build houses, and build or destroy things ha ha. It seems like that's only what the people want here. I spoke in church, about chapter 6 in Preach my Gospel. I liked writing the talk about that chapter. In this Ward, we are the counselors for the Young Men, so we work with them a lot. We go to mutual every Friday and help out the president. And the bikes are awesome, I love them. They are pretty safe, so don't worry.

Also something that would be awesome is if you sent me pictures. Like of when I was a baby, the family, Everything. But physical copies to put in that little book so I can show them to people. That would be great :)

 Written letters are still great, at Christmas time I got like 10 letters from Josh and Shelly haha. They were small, but pretty awesome. All the other Elders were frustrated that I was getting so much mail and them not haha. It was funny. The mail here in Chile is pretty good. You can spell things wrong and it will still get there too. If they just see the word Elder, they know exactly where to send it. It's pretty good that we have Skype and all that fancy stuff now, because it's free haha.

I hope that you have a great week, thanks for writing me and have a fun time at stake conference!

Elder Stam
I think Caleb loves his bike!!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

New companion and teaching has been great!

March 11, 2015

Mom and Dad,

Oh please do make that cake for me when I come home (Cinnamon roll cake). Food is awesome haha. Yeah, about transfers. I'm still in the same sector, but I have a new companion now. His name is Elder Henderson. He's from Wyoming, talks like a hick, and he was a zone leader right before he became my companion. So he's going to be an awesome example for me haha. He has been in the mission for 18 months. It's nice having a gringo companion though, for sure. I like latinos, but they're just different. It's going to be a strange day when I have a companion that has less time in the mission than me. If that day ever comes haha. The missionaries are in almost all the world. The only countries we aren't in are North Korea, and a few of the -stans. But that's it. It's pretty crazy. Funny you should say that being too idle is not good, we didn't do anything for P Day today. We just wanted an idle day haha. I am almost positive that my new gringo companion is going to help me way more than my latino companions did with my Spanish. They don't even know their own language. I would always ask how to say something, and they never knew. Never. It was so frustrating.

Why are they dissolving the Salt Lake Central mission. Does that make the Santiago South Mission the smallest in the world then? If you want someone to play the piano, learn it yourself. You're running out of time mom. You don't have forever to learn it.  You have always told me that you want to learn. Please clean that room of mine haha. It was a disaster. Am I going to stay in the same room when I get home? And I don't remember where I left the Xbox haha. Is it in the box? If it's not in the box, could you please put it in the box? I don't want it getting full of dust and ruining it lol.

That's cool that the dog sitting is making people curious about my mission.  Our president has been talking about planting seeds. As missionaries, we may not see a lot of success right away. We might not see it at all. But we plant seeds in their hearts. After time, the seeds grow. We might not see the seeds grow, but someone else will. :)

Reactivations and teaching has been going great!  Right now we have a possibility of 7 baptisms, but it's not likely that they will all happen. We are super close with two though, hopefully we can pull them off. The clothes have been alright. The shirts are starting to turn a slight tint of yellow. I think that I am going to leave a lot of clothes here when I leave. The shoes on the other hand, one pair is getting pretty destroyed. I will try to send pictures of them today. Both the shoelaces broke and the bottom of one of them is split almost all the way across. Yes I am still taking care of my teeth haha. We are still exercising also, but not a ton. We don't have a ton of motivation.

Did Josh and Shelly tell you guys if it's a girl or boy yet? When do you think that they will actually move back to Utah? It will most likely be before I get home right? Having kayaks would be awesome. I have had a desire to do a bunch of fun adrenaline things lately. It's kind of weird being cut off from the world. You think about a lot of things, but you can't see them, so it makes you want to do it haha. We should go on that week long river raft ride. That would be really fun.  I am pretty sure that I am going to stay living in Utah too, if not, California with the rest of the family. It is most likely that I will stay in Utah though.

I would send a few photos, but we aren't taking a whole lot. I have a little over 500 photos in total, which kind of is a lot, but we aren't supposed to take our cameras with us when we are proselyting.

The baptism went well. It felt really weird walking through my old sector, but it was still a really cool experience. It feels like just yesterday that I was working there. Funny thing about their sector though. President closed the sector. Elder Colvin was causing way too many problems there. I talked with Elder Diaz about him, because he lived with him, and he said that Elder Colvin has a huge anger problem, and there's like an evil spirit in the house. President knew about everything that was happening, so he took them both out of the sector and closed the sector. Elder León got put in as a zone leader somewhere now. We have a lot of members asking us to do service, so we are helping a lot of member out with things. There is always someone that we can help. Remember Jeffrey R. Hollands talk from October about helping and serving the poor.

Yesterday we received a pretty cool call from the zone leaders. They decided to give us their bikes. So we are now 2 of the 8 missionaries in the entire mission with bikes. I am looking forward to the next three months haha. Have a great week and I will email you again next week! :) I love you and thanks for writing me every week, I really appreciate it! :)

Elder Stam

Friday, March 6, 2015

Super awesome news...

March 4, 2015


This past week has been great. A lot of awesome things have happened. But still the usual heat. Still isn't really getting any colder, only a little bit in the nights. Wow I would to anything to see snow haha. It is starting to get a little colder now, but only at night.  I would love the cold weather. My Partriarchal Blessing says that I need to stay close to you guys, so if you move, I'm going with you haha. I've been getting the photos, I love the one of Mike and his kids haha. I'm sleeping pretty well, I'm still tired all the time though. For transfers, it is most likely that I will stay in the same sector, but I will have a new companion. But we don't know for sure. Well we received some super awesome news this week! The missionaries of the Church have now entered every country in the world. So that's another sign of the Second Coming. It's a lot closer than people think. Today we went to the temple again, and it's always an awesome experience. After we went,  we saw the biggest building in South America, and then another gigantic mall. The malls here are incredible. It was a fun P Day, but I'm just exhausted from it again.

If you really want to study the Old Testament, I would suggest buying the study guides on the lds store. They really help, and I think that I might buy them. The Bible has a lot of good stuff, but the Book of Mormon is just a lot easier to understand.

Josh is going to be a dad haha. That is a little weird. That's good though. We really aren't going to have any missionaries in our area? That's really weird. That almost doesn't seem right. Every part should have at least two missionaries, there is always someone that you can find to teach.

Spanish is going pretty good. My grammar is at about 95%, so it really is just vocabulary. My understanding is still a little rough at times, but I really only have almost 7 months out, I still have a long time to perfect it.  It will be weird to have different accents than Cody and Josh. Please buy that house in Mexico, that would seriously be so awesome. Spanish is going to be hard to learn, especially outside of a Spanish speaking country, but I can try to help you. If you have a question about Real Estate, ask me, I will try to remember everything haha. That would be super awesome though, I would definitely go down there a lot to spend time.

I'm sorry about the photos, the things we have been doing for P Day have been taking all day, so I never have the stuff to upload pictures. And we don't have the best computers neither, because the only good computers are at the mall, and they're always full.

Caleb's mission scripture on new cover.

Well this week Elder León has a baptism, with one of the investigators that we contacted. It's on Friday, so we are going to go to it. His name is Santiago haha. I wasn't sure if he would get baptized or not, but I'm glad that he did.

Also if you do get me a Rubix Cube, you should send a 4x4, because I already know how to do a 3x3. It might be a little more expensive, but I would really appreciate it :D

Thanks for all your love and support, if there is anything that you want to know, just ask me and I will tell you haha. I love you and thanks for paying for my mission haha and my iPhone 8 and Xbox One when I get back ;)

Elder Stam