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!

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.

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!

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.

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!

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

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!

Elder Stam