Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I guess it feels like it's all over, lots of meetings this week and then I come home!

July 27, 2016



Mom and Dad,  
           


 Well today we had an activity as a group, like everyone that goes home with me, and we all were talking about home and stuff like that so I guess now it kind of feels like it's all over. The past week has been pretty normal. Just normal missionary work. This week is the weird week though, with all the final meetings and what not. Friday we go to the temple with the mission president and then it's pretty much over. Yeah that sounds fine, I don't know where to go for lunch though. I'll think about it. Well definitely that first day we are going to have to go buy the Xbox and iPhone. That's a necessity haha. Other than that I don't care what we go do.

From what I've heard I'll still have this email for about two weeks. I'm going to have to go through everything because there are several emails and other stuff that I am going to want to save.  Oh Bryson Walker (Elder Walker) has his homecoming on the 21st of August, so I definitely have to go to it!

 I've been trying to think about some of the foods that I haven't eaten in two years and I really can't think of anything. I think that being home will help me remember a lot of things that I've forgotten haha.

The teaching is going well, we've been having a lot of success lately. We're not going to have a baptism this week but we are going to have one the week after. So I'm not going to be here for it. That's okay though, the important thing is that she is baptized.

Haha yeah the card worked. Yesterday I took out about $60-70. I don't really know how much money it is in dollars so it's approximate.

I think it would be fun to go backpacking. Where would we go?

Well there isn't really much to say this week. I've got a bunch of meetings these next few days, tomorrow I have a self sufficiency thing and Friday we are going to the temple.   Saturday we have several activities as a ward, Sunday is ward conference and Monday is the day I leave. So that's my schedule the next few days. I'll see you guys on Tuesday though! Have a great week!  Love you!

Love,
Elder Stam


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Lots of goodbyes

July 20, 2016

                                     


Mom and Dad,

I don't have a lot of time, I've done a lot of goodbyes today haha, sorry. I've already bought a few things. I really don't have any time to buy stuff until next week. My friend from here in Chile should be coming home from his mission around the 20th of May next year and I would love to be there for his homecoming if it is possible. It won't be that hard for me to adjust to the normal life again haha, I've always dealt with change well. The last night in the mission, I will just be in our normal house. In the morning I have to take my suitcases to the office then I have the rest of the day to go do whatever, it's like P Day. Then to the airport.  Yeah she is still progressing. She has a few doubts but I love that because it means that she is actually thinking about it. We will see how things go. It's possible that we have a baptism on the Sunday I leave, not with her though. Well see what happens.

Everything is going well with the your recovery it sounds like, other than that little thing. Heather is going to be a great mom, I'm sure of it.

Well I'll see you here soon I guess. Have a great week and I will write you again next week, for the last time!

Love,
Elder Stam

We better come back here to Chile

July 13, 2016

                                     
                                          

Things are good. I've only visited one person until now but when I'm done writing I'm going to be visiting people all day. Haha I'm pretty sure that I am Facebook friends with most of the people here already, so we will stay in contact. We better come back here, it's a necessity. Haha we're meeting with him Pres Hutchison that late? That's okay haha, more time to be a missionary. So yeah, it looks like I'm going to be home pretty early in the morning. The teaching is going well, it's been pretty normal.

Jeez it really takes that long to recover?? It sounds like they cut you in half and sowed you back together haha. Everything will be fine though.


It's very true though that you never know when you are going to find someone. We kind of had a similar experience. In the morning the other day we were doing contacts and where we were contacting there was nobody that would open the door. It was time to go to lunch so we both kind of wanted to go but we finished the street and the very last house on the street a woman opened the door and told us to come back another day at the same time. So we went back and we are teaching her and she is progressing a lot, I doubt she will be baptized before I go home but you never know.

I remember learning how to make crepes in cooking class. That was a great class haha, it wasn't hard at all. Haha yeah so dad told me that all you have been doing the last few weeks is search for a place for Oma. It sounds like a great area. And when that missionary comes back from Holland Oma can practice her Dutch. And I know that you'll be happy because she will live so close.

Well I'm just happy that I will be there for this niece or nephew haha. Jackson sounds like a typical baby haha, that's awesome that he already has his first tooth. Did it hurt him when it came in?

Wow, lots of money. I get to spend all of that when I come home right? ;) I still need to get a TV to go along with my Xbox. Oh, Saint George would be fun, I love it down there. I've got a few Chilean stuff already, but I think that I'll get a little more. Well I hope that you have a great week! Talk to you next week.

Love,
Elder Stam

Thursday, July 7, 2016

God is still a God of miracles.

July 6, 2016

Mom,                     
Elder Stam likes Noni fruit

                 
I'm doing well. Susan is a less active that we have been working with a little bit. They were already working with her a lot before I came to the sector. They closed a sector here and now Elder Brown and I have the whole sector. They were teaching her before. So I haven't really worked with her a whole lot but she's really cool. We took her to the temple last Saturday because this guy in our ward was getting sealed. She was a little sad that she couldn't go inside to see it and so she wants to go back to the church so that she could go in the temple. She's pretty young, I would say 35, but I'm not exactly sure. We have our own bikes now so we can use them whenever we want. President Gwilliams is a great guy. We had a little getting to know him conference on Saturday and I had a little interview with him. And today for P Day we went to his house and spent the day with him. He's super awesome. He's still learning a lot though, a little lost with a few things but he's really excited to be here. He's really humble and I think that he is going to have a lot of success. So I've gotten mad at the office elder, don't worry, I'm friends with him and he send he would send the flight plans as soon as possible. He forgot to send them to me and you. I'll be getting home the 2nd of August, around 10:30 A.M. Haha I don't know what I want to do mom, that's for you to decide. I don't really care about lunch, somewhere that's good. Maybe Cafe Rio. And yes I still want Papa Murphys for dinner.

Good, keep reading. I'm almost positive that cancer is one of the plagues that God said he would send in the last days. Well God is still a God of miracles, Mormon 9 is one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon, so just keep having faith and everything is possible to him.

Does IHOP still have the Nutella crepes?? So when exactly is Oma going to be all moved in? Haha you two are great moral support for each other then. Well from what Dad has told me, you are spending a lot of time looking for a place for her to stay. And knowing you, you always are really dedicated to stuff like this so I know that you are going to find a place here in no time. The 4th of July for us was pretty lame, absolutely nothing different happened. I did wear an American flag tie though.

Mom, you worry too much. The people here would never shoot at missionaries. They respect us a ton. They just shoot in the air. It really doesn't make sense, I think that they just think that they're the coolest for having a gun.

Yes I'll keep working hard. It makes absolutely no sense at all to slow down now. But thanks for the email, I hope that you have a great week. Oh by the way, the next two weeks I have to go around to my old sectors to say goodbye to the people so I might not have a whole lot of time to write, just so you know. Also, you're gonna need to set up a dentist appointment because I am sure that I have a couple of cavities. At least one for sure. They eat straight junk here, I've honestly been doing a good job at keeping my teeth clean.

Love,
Elder Stam

The key to a lot of success on a mission is to just love the people

June 29, 2016

Mom,                       
Elder Smith and Elder Stam

                               
It's okay. My illness was pretty miserable while it lasted, but it's pretty much passed now. I was running around a lot today playing soccer and I was still feeling it a little bit, but it's pretty much gone now. Other than that, things have been going pretty well. We get bicicles today, which is pretty awesome. Maybe I'll lose a little bit more fat before I come home haha. My companion has been out on his mission about a year. It's been good with him, we have a ton of people to teach now, we have all of his investigators and now all of ours. So things have been great this last week. Yeah, Pres and Sis Cook left. They should be home by now. I met the new president for about 5 seconds, so not really. We do have a zone conference with him Saturday, and I am going to need a temple recommend interview here soon, so there I will get to know him a little bit more. Yes I do have the flight plans. I should be landing in Utah at 10:30 AM, pretty early. I am also going to Atlanta though so we never know. But as of now, that's the plan. Speaking of that, a lot of people have asked me and I am a little curious of what we are going to do that day. So if you want to send me the schedule of the day that would be great haha.

Make sure you keep reading the scriptures haha. I am now reading in the book of Leviticus and it's not the funnest. It has some great symbolism though. I'm understanding a lot more of what I'm reading now. Haha mom you've always been hot anyways. You're always fanning yourself with some paper or whatever you have. So it's probably just normal. But you're completely right, trial brings blessing. I think the key to a lot of success on a mission is to just love the people, and show them that you love them. Heather will be fine also, we've all been sick recently it sounds like.
        
The weather here has been pretty bipolar. It's been pretty warm during the day. Yesterday it was like 83 degrees or somewhere near that. But when the sun goes down, it gets really cold. And today it is cold. So it's strange. You've already hit 100 though huh? That's crazy hot. Speaking of food, is there a kind of squash there that is called zapallo, or something similar to that? The use is a lot here in the food, and I kind of want to learn how to make Chilean food. 

It was pretty crazy that Chile won again. It was pretty much a repeat of last year. President didn't give us permission to watch it this year, but an investigator showed us the penalty shots. It was pretty crazy. The country did go crazy again, they think they're the coolest people in the world now haha. There were several gunshots right in front of our house, just a lot of dumb things the people do. Yes, I'm excited for the olympics. I thought they started before I came home so I'm glad I won't be missing any of it. I'm sure it's been pretty stressful for Oma but we all know that she is going to love it there in Utah. She might not like the snow, but that's okay haha. What kind of things am I going to need for college? I tried to use the debit card but I think that the pin number is different. Is it the four digit number that was on the letter? If not you'll have to email it to me. I think that if I try it again and it's wrong, then they'll block the card. I've been thinking about a few souvenirs but I'm still not sure haha. At least we'll be coming back here, so if there's anything I miss we can get it next year. Are we still planning on coming back in May? I need to take more photos, I've been lacking in that lately, I'll see if I have anything that I could send.
Dude, the mission dog


Well thanks for the email, if there's anything you need from me just let me know. I love you and thanks for all the support and love. I hope that you keep getting better and that everything goes well.

Love,
Elder Stam

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Always recognize the Lord's hand in your life

June 22,  2016

Mom,   
                                            

           
I'm doing alright, this week has been strange. First of all, I was sick for like 4 days straight, not being able to do anything. I was extremely dizzy. I couldn't even walk or I would fall over. The missionary doctor in Santiago came over to our house and he gave me some medications that have been great. So now I'm pretty much over it but I'm still a little dizzy. It was really weird. I hate being sick, I feel like it's the worst thing ever hah. It does really make you appreciate health though.  There were transfers, and I'm still in the same ward but my companion left. Now I'm with Elder Brown, from Colorado. I already lived with him, they just had to take two of the missionaries out of the ward so now we are the only two in the ward, and my sector is now twice as big. It is a bitter sweet moment but it will definitely be awesome to be back home, not going to lie.

Haha, I pretty much knew already that you would be fine. I'm glad though that you put all trust into the Lord, he will always be an amazing guy if we let him work miracles in our lives. Haha, so it sounds like we have been sick together. That is an extremely long surgery. At least it all went well.

Haha mom, you're always talkative so it doesn't surprise me that you jabbered after your surgery so much. I don't really understand much of what you are talking about. Remember that I still haven't studied any medical things yet haha. So pretty much all that I have gotten out of that is that you beat cancer. Look at you, one of the survivors haha.

You could listen to the sacrament?? That's pretty cool, didn't know you could do that. It must be pretty cool to be Mormon. If i wasn't Mormon, I would want to be just so I could be that cool haha. There are a lot of great people in our ward. I'm glad that you have been able to recognize the Lord's hand in your life. Keep looking for it for the rest of your life, and you'll be extremely blessed.

I'll keep working hard mom haha. There are no plans to slow down. That wouldn't be enduring to the end. I feel like there really isn't that much to say anymore. I have just over a month left, I feel like that came up really fast. I'm pretty excited for the new president to come, even though I'm obviously really going to miss President Cook. Apparently we might have a little mission reunion at the end of August. So that will be awesome. Well it's a little short this week but I will be seeing you soon. So have a great week and I love you too!

Love,
Elder Stam

Just go and do!

June 15, 2016



Mom,                    

Well you're unconscious right now, but I'll still write you haha. Hah, that sounds like a weird injection you had. Well if you are feeling just peace like that then you are receiving it from the Holy Ghost. I'm almost positive that everything is going to go well. Dad already gave me a little update that everything has gone perfect up to now.

That's the challenging part of the gospel, knowing or finding out what God wants you go do. I think that way too many people struggle with it. But in the end, we always make good choices if it is the same choice God would make. Something that I have learned here in the mission is how the Spirit works. I still don't know very well, but I have a little bit of an idea. From what I have been able to tell, you obviously have to pray for guidance, then you just need to go and do what you're supposed to do. And then the Spirit will tell you in the very moment what to do, where to go, what to say, etc. I always thought that if you just pray and pray and pray that he would tell you when you finish praying, but it's not really like that. Like the scriptures say, open your mouth and it will be filled. If you dedicate your life to Christ, you'll be much happier than you could ever think.

You'll have drains in you? What is that going to do? And how knows? Maybe you could have some crazy vision or something like that in your surgery haha ;) Well don't ever forget that, that's obviously a testimony to you that the church is true when you have visitors from the other side to comfort you.  So pretty much according to your faith I can tell that everything is going to be just fine.

Yeah my birthday was pretty good, nothing to complain about. My week was good though, the sector is becoming really hard for some reason, but good, maybe I need a test of my faith. Her name is Cecilia Perez. It took her a while for her to get baptized but finally she did, so that makes me happy and she wanted me to baptize her. Yesterday we had like a little goodbye for President Cook and it was amazing, definitely one of the most spiritual moments I've had. He's just such an amazing guy. I'm extremely grateful for everything that I've learned from him. Hopefully this new president will be just as good.   It's also a pretty hard time of year because everyone complains about the cold and never wants to leave their houses to answer the door. It's amazing how lazy the people are. You guys would love a mission. At least in this mission the couple missionaries are super happy with the work they have. And you would get to choose what place you could go to. You could go back to Holland if you wanted.

So funny story, on my birthday we were eating at these members houses and he was talking about his mission. It turns out that him and Cody served in the same mission and at the same time. They knew each other a little bit, I don't know how much, but here's a picture of him and a note that Cody wrote him. Hopefully Cody remembers him.

So hopefully everything goes well in your surgery, I'll keep a prayer in my heart for you. Have a great week getting better!

Love, Elder Stam

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Just count your many blessings.

June 8, 2016

Mom,                           

              
Haha, you're welcome mom. God tests people just to see how they respond, so it makes a world of difference to respond well to afflictions instead of responding bad. So yeah, I'll keep praying for you, you have nothing to worry about. I'm glad that you have been feeling well, don't let Satan's designs get to you, he just wants you to be miserable.

Oh wow, you'll be in the hospsital a long time. Hey at least they will treat you better because you are a nurse. Haha if they do something wrong you can reprend them. Haha well that's almost a blessing that you get two months off work. Add that blessing to the list of many.  Haha oh gosh mom you're getting so old. You'll definitely have to send me a picture of you using a walker, I'll get a great kick out of it ;) It's also a big blessing all of the medical knowledge that the world has now. If this kind of thing would have happened a hundred years ago, there would have been a lot more problems. So just count your many blessings.

Things are going well in the mission. A little surprise happened this week, and one of the investigators that I taught in Los Cristales got baptized and she wanted me to baptize her!  So I got to go back to the sector to baptize her. It was really nice to see the people there, they're amazing. In this area things have been alright, a little slow. This week though we did find a whole bunch of new people to teach, so it's picking up a little bit. We have been talking a lot about the new mission president, who will be here in about two weeks. I think that he is also going to be a great president. I don't really know him yet so I couldn't tell you much, but for a reason he is coming here. Our church building isn't in the best of places so not a whole lot of people went to the open house, but we did end up getting about 20 references from it. I think that the next time they do it, they should do it a Saturday afternoon instead of Sunday night when it's already dark. So we have also been talking about doing another one in a couple of months. We live on the corner of El Refugio and La Montaña, in San Bernardo, if you want to look it up on Google maps. It's a house. Not the best place in the whole world to live but I'm not going to complain. I've seen worse haha. Yes, I got my package yesterday, so don't worry haha. Thanks for all the stuff haha, I'm definitely going to use the air horns to wake up my companion if he doesn't get up haha. 20 years old, that seems so old to me. And Josh is turning 30 haha. We're all getting old.

Well I said that I would eat unhealthy for like a month, just to enjoy all the food that I haven't had for the last two years, and then I'll start eating healthy again. So what exactly could I do for work there at college? I definitely don't want a minimum wage job, that's not even worth it. Maybe summers I could just keep lifeguarding, or maybe find a job where I can earn a little bit more money. I guess we will see.

My mind absolutely blows every time you tell me that someone else got a mission call. Luke seemed so young to me haha and he's already going on a mission?? Family is pretty great isn't it? Our church is definitely the only church that has the full perspective of eternal families. Well thanks for the email again mom, I hope that you have a great week and that everything goes well in your surgery.

Love,
Elder Stam

**Email to Darren

Dear Dad,

God is usually nice like that, helping when it's needed.  Just make sure that you give him the thanks for it haha.

Wow, the tomatoes are already three feet tall? They did really take off. Haha perfect, I'll be home for the potatoes. The peanuts take a lot longer to grow than I thought.

So they're doing trek again huh? It was a pretty fun experience for me, definitely not what I expected it to be. So is that the actual trail that they came on? Mom would definitely like it, she likes things like that. So you take care of all the money stuff in the stake right?

Haha that soulds like typical mom. Everytime something happens, she always searches everything she can about it. And she spends several hours doing it. It kind of amazed me haha. There's a guy in our ward here that also just started doing chemotherapy and he seems to be doing really well. He's been doing it for about a month now and he hasn't had any physical difference or energy loss at all. And he hasn't lost any hair yet haha. So I don't think mom really has a whole lot to worry about if she has to do it. 

These last couple months have actually been pretty hard. I can definitely tell a difference in the people here from my training and now. It almost seems like everyone now knows the missionaries and doesn't really want to talk to them. So things have been getting harder in the whole mission. But I guess that the only thing we can do is keep working, even though it's a little harder now. This week though we did find quite a few new people, which is good. Hopefully things start picking up a little bit before I go home.

Completely true what you just said about trials helping us to grow. Well thanks for the support and the email, I hope that you have a great week!

Love,
Elder Stam

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Trust in the Lord and He will deliver us from all trial and affliction.

June 1, 2016


Mom and Dad,   
             



Well mom, you don't have anything to worry about. Everything that is happening is the will of the Lord. It's understandable to be a scared, but please don't doubt. I think that one thing that I have learned most in my mission is what faith really is. It's a pretty complicated subject, but the best way that we can show our faith in the Lord is being obedient to His commandments. Like Christ and the other prophets have said several times in the scriptures, If ye love me, keep my commandments. It also reminds me of what Elder Jeffrey R Holland taught. Our first big commandment is to love God with all our heart, might, mind, and strength, but the first big truth of the gospel is that God loves us with all of His heart, might, mind, and strength. One of my favorite scriptures that has really impacted me recently is in 1 John 4:7-10. I was also reading in Doctrine and Covenants yesterday morning and I came across a scripture in section 63, I don't remember what verse exactly, but it was talking about the last days when God will send plagues, sicknesses, there will be wars and rumors of wars and all of that stuff. The scriptures said that the saints of God would barely escape all of that stuff. Then I read a quote from Joseph Smith that talked about that scripture. He said that there will be sicknesses and plagues and all of that stuff that will also affect the saints. But then he said that they have to reason to worry, because God will deliver them and exalt them. So all that you can do mom and the rest of the family is trust in the Lord, sacrifice our lives to His cause, and then without doubt he will deliver us from all trial and affliction that we have. God loves us, that is the first simple truth, and the absolute best way that we can show our love to God is to obey Him, and keep the covenants that we have made with Him in the temple. I am currently reading in Genesis, and I also really liked the story about where God commanded him to sacrifice his son. Imagine that. God had already promised Abraham that through his son Isaac, he would have a posterity as numberless and the grains of sand, that every family of the earth would be blessed through him, and several other blessings through him. Then he command Abraham to sacrifice him, nulling and voiding the covenant that God made with him. And not to mention that he is his son. Imagine the feelings that he had as he had to go up the mountain to sacrifice his son, his beating heart as his son asked him where the lamb was that they were going to sacrifice, and the tears going down his face as he tied down his son and most likely kissed him for the last time. He raised the knife and then the angel came down and stopped him. Abraham proved himself to the Lord with a faith so big, that he would be obedient in all things, and the blessings that Abraham were practically infinite. And now he's been exalted and is living with God. So I think that we all need to try and find the same faith that Abraham had, and there's no room to doubt that everything will be fine.

So just trust in the Lord. It's in His hands. There's practically nothing we can do about it except pray and show our faith to the Lord. You'll learn some great story from all this though, we all know that. If there is anything that you need to me know, just send an email to President Cook and I know that he will let me know.

Things are going pretty good in this area. We've been doing a few contacts and looking for a bunch of references, because there was just recently an open house at the church here and we received a lot of references, and we've found quite a few new people that are interested. That's one thing that we're focusing a lot on, finding the inactive members, if they still live in the sector or if they have moved away. It's a pretty important thing to take care of the Lord's fold, because if we can't take care of what we have, he will never add to it. I'm assuming that the package will be here in another week or two. It usually takes almost a month to get here. Haha, I couldn't have said that better myself. It is a pretty stupid quest for the possessions of the world. I have a few ideas about my homecoming talk, so don't worry about that :) I'm looking forward to that jam.

I also want to plan to eat healthy after the mission. I think that I might take like a month and eat pretty bad but after I want to try and eat nice and try and get my swimmer body back haha. I was talking about the Church using technology yesterday with my companion a little. I said that I think the church should start doing things a little big differently for general conference, it gets pretty hard to just sit there and watch a guy speak for 10 hours. I think that they should start using more videos or other stuff like that and really take advantage of the technology that the world has now. I think that it would be a pretty big possibility to come home every other weekend or something like that. I guess we will see how things are when I'm actually there, I don't know what it will be like yet. The best thing might have been my studies. I'm really trying to take advantage of the gospel studies from now until the end of my mission because I realize that after the mission I'm probably never going to have the same amount of time to study the gospel. I've been reading a lot out of D.&C. and the Old Testament.

I'm not really too worried about anything. God has a purpose behind everything and it is most likely that he won't tell us what it is in this life. Cancer is something that you can't really do anything about. All you can do is have a lot of faith in God and lots of prayers. The rest is in his hands. My patriarchal blessing also says that I need to take care of you guys when you are old, so for that to happen you'll have to live to be pretty old if you need my help. President Cook just told me that it's another reason to give 100% dedication until the end. With sacrifice comes blessing. I don't really have any questions though. If there's anything that you guys think that I should know, just send an email to President Cook and I know that he will let me know. But thanks for all the love, I'll obviously be praying for mom and for the rest of the family. Just stay positive :) When there's doubt, there's no faith. Well I hope that everything goes well with you mom. Just keep your head up. If there's anything you need from me, just let me know. I love you!

Love,
Elder Stam

Ton of work to do

May 26, 2016

Mom,  
                       

                
Things are going well here, I don't have any complaints. Things are going well with my comp also, we get along pretty well. Like I said, a 10:1 ratio actually isn't that bad here. I mean obviously there is still a ton of work to do, that's 630 people that aren't going to church, but there are still a whole bunch that don't live here anymore, but their records are still here. Our mission has focused a lot on finding the people and trying to bring them back, as well as baptising converts. Yeah there are a few people that are progressing, it's been a hard few weeks though, for a big majority of the mission it looks like. People have just like given up. But it's okay, we should never stop working. We're still in the city, the entire mission is in the city, but it's not like city city, with big building and everything. There's no big main roads in our sector so it's pretty tranquil here. The weather has been cooler, it's so much better. I literally don't have to run from shade to shade to protect myself, now I can just walk normally down the street haha. We live in a house now, right next to a small park. I'll send a photo when I have one, I've been bad taking photos lately. It's fun being in a gringo house but we never speak Spanish so it's not the best thing in the whole world. I'll finish strong, don't worry.  I'm going to like this sector for sure, but I don't think that I'm going to learn it very well either. I'm almost positive that me and my companion are going to go home together, or kill each other as we say, so I'm not very motivated to memorize all the street names because my companion already knows all of them haha. I'll be here for just under three months.

Lots of mission stories? haha okay. I don't even know what is usually said in a homecoming talk so you will have to give me a few ideas. I can explain a little more when I'm home, but what they do here is they work to save enough money to go on vacations in the summer, and then they go, quit their jobs, blow all of their money, come back, and find another job and repeat. It's kind of strange. They are more of a live in the moment people. Not like it's a bad thing or anything, it seems to work for them.

The more I think about it the more sense it makes to me to study computers. I'm a fast typer, I'm good with math and science, computers are going to be even more used in the future, and it's such a broad subject that I'm not limited to one option. So we will see. And you're right, I could definitely get the technology for a discount, that would be a blessing haha.

What part of Chile is she from, and does she have any kids? It's funny because I know of some other Chileans that live in Utah. How long has she been there? Ohh you're definitely going to have to same some of the strawberry jam for me. I think that I definitely get to take the most of them ;) haha.

So Oma will probably be moved in a few weeks. I'm positive she will like Utah, it has just a different feeling there. Still no teeth for Jackson, huh? Haha how long does he have to wear that helmet thing?

I hope that you have a great week as well, thanks again for the email.

Love,
Elder Stam

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Life is really simple, just go and do!

May 18, 2016
                                     


Haha mom you're so trunky. Haha a party?? Alright. Just don't buy the Xbox One until I come home. We can go buy it together, I want to make sure it's the right one haha. Kind of weird to think that I am almost 20, it seems unreal.

Things are good in the new area, I like it here. My companions name is Elder Asplund, he's from Canada. He's pretty funny, we've been getting along pretty well. We both have 21 months in the mission, and we're going home together, so we are pretty used to the mission and there haven't really been any difficulties.  There are about 700 members on the list here, so it's a large ward, and about 70 that go to church, so a tenth. That's better than other wards haha. Our teaching pool is really big, with lots of investigators and lots of less actives, so the teaching is going great here. This last week has been a little tough though, it seems like they just aren't home. This area is a lot different. You can really tell the difference between the north and the south of the mission. Here, at night, the streets are full of people. It's easier to teach people here, but the people are a little slower to understand. Up north it's harder to teach but the people understand better. The sector is pretty nice though.  I'm living with Elder Brown, and he is training Elder Smith, so I live in another gringo house, I am not going to have an accent when I come home haha.

35 minutes seems like such a long talk haha. You should ask him if he wants me to talk about a certain subject or if I can just talk about whatever. I guess that I could just start preparing my talk now and not have to worry about it much when I'm home. It seems like a long time but I could probably speak for that long.

America has pretty good Mexican food though, it's just better in Mexico. With reason. Yeah, that's one of the biggest problems here. The people put their work before everything, before God, and even before their own families. They just work work work and never spend any time with their families, don't go to church, and don't even pray. We are have been trying to focus on that more. The first commandment is to love God with all your heart, might, mind and strength, not to love your work before all things.

The Lord will never command something that we can't do. Just remember the famous saying of Nephi (1 Nephi 3:7). So if we are humble and we just do what God asks, everything will work out without problem, and we will end up with even more blessings. Life is literally so simple, I'm amazed at how simple it is. Just go and do. I'm glad that you learned from that experience.

There are several foods here that I want to learn how to make, so maybe she can help me learn most of them. That's the majority of the reasons that people stop going to church here, being offended by something or someone. Does she speak Spanish? I also just heard about these three girls from Sandy that are Chilean and that sing and have videos on Youtube. I think that if you look on If You Could Hie to Kolob on Youtube it's like the third or fourth video, I don't know.

Well I'm sure that they will find a house when the Lord wants them to have a house haha. They should't stress about it too much, it'll all work out. Well I guess that I will talk to you next week, I hope that you have a great one!

Love,
Elder Stam

God, family, then work, those are the prioritites.

May 11, 2016
                                        

Mom,

Haha it was nice talking to everyone!  Maybe I won't shave from the time I come home until the time that I go to college to see how much my beard actually grows. I think that it will be an easy transition, I've never really had much of a problem with change in my life. Yeah, is he a pretty good guy, Elder Keck.

Haha what Mexican restaurant did you go to? What book are you reading now? I don't think plant is that much work, just a lot of work once. After you plant them and everything, you really only have to water them, which isn't that hard haha. Maybe Joshua will find a house that's a little bit closer.  You'll have plenty more grandkids to play with one day.  Don't overwork yourself. I remember learning a lot about stress in that health class that I took, it was such a fun class haha. I feel like there are three main focus points in people's lives. God, family, and work, in that respective order. God should always come first in everything, then family should be the #2 thing in our lives, then work. So we should always please God first, then the family, then work. Don't let work impede your relationship with your family or with God.

So with transfers, I actually did leave, even though I was sure that I wasn't going to. I'm pretty close to one of my old sectors. I'm in San Bernardo, and my sector is called Lo Blanco. I'm also with an Elder that got to Chile with me, and we are going to go home together and then President is going to close the sector. Our group is a big group, more than 20+, so President is going to have to close a few sectors. It'll be fun here.  I think we will both kill each other, as we say.  I'll do what I can while I'm still here in the mission. It doesn't make sense to give up now, right now is the time that I am most prepared to be a missionary. I have experience now so I am definitely better at teaching now than I was when I first got here. I forgot to think about a miracle, so I'll think of one for next week, sorry.

The three things that we should make should be empanadas, sopaipillas, and pebre, which is like a salsa.  There was this kid in my last ward, Andrés, who was also looking at buying an Xbox One, and I told him that I was also going to get one, and he told me of the Xbox One Elite, which definitely sounds like I need. I think that it's pretty expensive though, if I need to pay for a little bit of it, I will. I think I'm going to try and work a little bit more than you said, I'm thinking about 15 hours a week. I really don't need anything for my birthday, just a new debit card haha. I was thinking about that a little also, I kind of want to go to Lagoon, but that would be more of a thing to do with my friends. We could also go and do something in Salt Lake, I kind of want to get to know better the city. We could probably go to the This is the Place memorial, that would be kind of fun.

So yeah, thanks for the email, I hope that you have a very wonderful week and if you need anything, just let me know.

Love,
Elder Stam

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Last call to home!

May 4, 2016

Mom,   
                                                    

                       
Well the P Day activity went long again so I'm going to make it short, we're going to talk this Sunday anyways.

Yup it's the last call, a little strange to think about, I also feel like I just barely called you. I don't complain though. Yes mom, I'll keep working until I'm released haha.

They're doing well, Elias has been really hard to teach lately, he's been really busy. Yeah, I'm pretty much all better. I don't know if it was from being sick or from the change or weather but my lips have been super chapped and terrible, I hate that. Haha yeah we have a gringo house. Cameron comes home before me?? That's weird, I left before him. It'll be strange to see how much he has changed. Me too, and Nate and everyone else that went on a mission.

 Sorry you're going to have to spend so much on me haha. I thought you could vote for neither, right? Or no? Like you could put the name of someone else. The good thing about Trump is he says the things how they really are, Clinton is just sorta the same as Obama, but in girl form haha. And white. But I don't know, they would both be pretty bad presidents, personally. No I don't remember if we went to Draper Temple or not.

I don't want a big package. Save money because you're going to have to spend a lot on me. Just send little things that I can give to the people with I leave Chile. And maybe a few candies haha. I've been thinking about souvenirs but I really have no idea what to bring home haha. I don't think that I will need a whole bunch, it will just be little things that I buy.

The church works really well in Utah, there's very few problems. It struggles out of the United States though, there are too many different influences here that make things a lot more difficult, but one day everything will be tranquil everywhere. Have a great week and I will talk to you on Sunday.

Love,
Elder Stam

The harder you work, the more converted to the gospel you become

April 27, 2016
                               
Elders Stam, Keck, Hellbusch, and Maser having pizza in their apartment.


Yeah we had a pretty good week, it was fun. Yes, we have a few investigators that are progressing. And yes, Elder Keck and I are working well together haha. Yeah that was our apartment and my roommates, they're a bunch of goofs. We have a pretty nice apartment, it's definitely the cleanest one that I have been in my whole mission. No, the pizza in the United States is way better, that's one of the reasons that I want to go to Papa Murphy's when I come home haha. I live with Elder Keck, Elder Maser (the blonde), and Elder Hellbusch. It is a pretty silly excuse to not go to church because it rains but whatever, they have their agency. Yeah, I'm feeling better, I still have a stuffy nose every morning though, I'm getting pretty sick of it.

Are you talking about that Chinese kid, wow that's awesome to hear that he is out on a mission, I know that he's out there kicking some butt. Satan's butt at least haha. Have you heard anything about Nate? I've actually been thinking about him a little bit lately. That kid's a stud haha. I haven't really had a lot of opportunity to sing here in the mission. I would like to sing more but it's kind of hard when I haven't had a companion since the MTC that knew how to sing.

Elias is doing fine, we have an appointment with him tonight. Yeah, he pretty much just ignored all the anti mormon stuff, which is good. He lives with his mom and his brother. At this moment he is working two jobs and studying, so he's pretty busy. He's been working really hard. It's been nice with President Cook. It's kind of weird to think that when the new president arrives, my group and I are going to be the oldest missionaries in the mission. I'm sure that I will have the chance to participate in stake conference when I am home.  Haha so you can imagine how much work the apostles and prophet have to do, it must be really hard on them. The harder any leader in the church works though, the more converted to the gospel they are. It sounds like Pres. Hutchison is doing a really good job as stake president, I remember that everyone was excited that he was going to be the stake president.

It seems like all the general authorities have been saying that, take notes on things that are not said. When we had that little special conference a couple months ago with Elder Bednard, he told us the same thing. It's true what he said though, we shouldn't really consider them as meetings. It must be a lot different being a leader over the church in Utah than in any other place haha.

Right, I like the way you think. If someone really truly understands the gospel, then death isn't that bad of a thing. It can be sad to see someone suffering, but it's not forever and when it ends, they rest. And we definitely will see them again, so it's not a bad thing at all, it happens to everyone.

A babies life must be pretty funny haha they just get amazed by almost anything. His helmet looks funny, I didn't expect it to be clear. How long did he have to have that? Jackson could play both sports, why not? Then let him when he's older decide which one he wants to follow. Baseball's not a very vigorous sport, it's fun but it's not as exhausting as water polo. I guess I've always just had a really high stamina. There were a few days after swim or water polo that I would come home and just crash though.  I'm sure that Oma's house will sell fast also. So yeah, I think you might need to take me on a little shopping trip when I get home, I think that mostly I am going to need pants and shoes.

My sector is called El Parrón. It's in the community La Cisterna. Haha if your friend at work has a lot of questions about Chile you can just give her my email, I'd be happy to answer her questions. My advice would be to have her son take like three pairs of shoes, boots, and a big winter sweater, because it gets pretty cold during winter, and it's really hard to get away from the cold. Haha, just keep taking advantage of these missionary opportunities you are getting mom.

Well thanks for the emails every week, hope that your week is fantastic. Also don't forget that I'm going to call you guys on the 8th of May, so next week you need to tell me when you want me to call. Chao!

Love,
Elder Stam

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Our mission is one of the most obedient

April 20, 2016
                         
Elders Keck and Stam with investigators from Haiti

 So like I said to dad, I don't have a lot of time to write today. The cyber that we normally go to was closed and we didn't know of any other cyber that we could write in. Haha yeah, that's been happening a little bit, lots of rain here. There wasn't a whole lot of flooding in our mission, that I have heard of. It rained during the entire weekend, without stopping, but most of the flooding happened in downtown Santiago. It was fun though, there was a huge drop in attendance at church, which is kind of sad, the rain is no excuse to not go to church. I also got a little sick right before it started raining, so it didn't help me get better very fast, and also yesterday we got the flu shot and that made me even worse. But you can never stop working. I really like the rain though, I prefer it way over a hot sunny day. Alright, I would like to hear that story from her.

Yeah I also think that the Book of Mormon is easier. I also really like the New Testament. It has some harder parts, but there are a lot of really clear parts also. Haha yes, I'll send a few photos.  That sounds like it's going to be a pretty fun stake conference, it's nice sometimes to have a change every once in a while. I'm sure that it will all turn out great. He sounds like an awesome person (Elder Becerra), I would say try to get to know him pretty well because the church leaders are all super amazing.  I've done almost the exact same thing. On the little book about the restoration that we give to the people, it has that picture on the front, and I always ask people how they would feel if they were the lamb and what they need to do to become the lamb.

Well I'll start looking at the majors when I get it, but I'm not really going to think about it a whole lot until I'm home. I have other things to be thinking about now haha. It will be summer but I'm only going to have three weeks of summer haha.

Haha I think that it's so funny that he needs to wear a helmet, it cracks me up. We are teaching a family that has a baby that's 9 months old, just barely older than Jackson, so it's kind of like a preview I guess. The baby laughs and smiles an incredible amount also.

Elias was a reference, I don't know who it was from. Yeah it went well with him. He started seeing things on the internet, including anti mormon stuff, but he knows that there are enemies for everything so he didn't believe a lot of the stuff haha. He's like the golden investigator like that say. It will be a giant change if he does accept the gospel, because all of his family are evangelicos, and his brother is even a pastor. Oh wow, so it sounds like they caused some pretty big problems. I think that our mission is one of the most obedient, I really haven't heard of like any missionary who does any super bad thing. Yes, there are missionaries that aren't completely obedient, but I've heard some stories from other missions where the missionaries have done some terrible things. Our mission no though. I'm sure that a lot of it has to do the President Cook, everyone here loves and respects him. He always works with them, he doesn't send a missionary home unless it's absolutely necessary.


When were you normally getting tomatoes before? I'll have to compare the tomatoes from home to the tomatoes here. It's kind of funny, before the mission I would always take the tomatoes off the sandwiches, but now whevener I make a sandwich, I put tomatoes on it, it's weird to see how things change.


That's kind of the same thing that I am saying. This next change that comes around will most likely determine where I finish the mission. If I get changed, I'll finish in the new sector, and if I don't get changed, then I will probably finish where I am right now.

Haha it's true, it is nice to be with an American. There's always that slight difference of culture with a latin, but that also makes things a little more interesting, for better or for worse. Thanks for the email, I hope that you also have an amazing week. Haha you'll meet a few people when we come to Chile, don't worry.

Love,
Elder Stam

Let's have faith that they accept it now

April 13, 2016 
                                             

Mom,           

Right, I forgot last week to tell Heather Happy Birthday, so wish her a happy late birthday from me please :D Haha so people are learning to paint now huh? There are some weird trends in the world. So how do you think they turned out? They look pretty good to me. That's definitely one of the first things that I am going to want when I come home, eat burgers. They have burgers here but it's still different.

This last week was good, there were some hard days. It's always hard when you have appointments with people and then they aren't home and they don't tell you anything. That always happens. It happened a lot this last week, but it's fine because we also found a few new people to teach. Our ward has been very blessed lately with four new families moving into the ward. Haha yeah I can share with you guys my favorite LDS videos. It'll be a little weird watching them in English, I think that they will be better. We've been looking mainly for less active members to teach, but it's been strange and looking for them we've actually found more investigators. Haha, I had no idea what Oma's conversion story is. I actually didn't know who were the first converts in the family. And what about dad's side?

I think that the biggest problem that I have when I read the scriptures is it's hard for me to focus enough to understand them fully. Right now I'm reading in the New Testament and there are parts that have been really hard for me to understand. It might also be that I am reading them in Spanish. Elder Utchdorf uses a lot of like parables or similes when he speaks, it's pretty cool.

Well hopefully everything goes well with the move, I know for sure that Oma will like Utah. Ah you guys never played in the water, you just always wanted to sort of float there. Swimming isn't just laps, swimming laps is exercise. You can swim to have fun. That just sounds like a normal papa thing almost haha. He'll be fine though, it's rough for everyone when they're old, but I don't know of anyone that's stopped existing because it was too hard for them and the next life will be wonderful for him.

It's crazy to think that what I decide to major in could really make an influence on my whole life. I guess with a lot of prayer and faith everything will turn out fine.

Oh no, another Josh. Haha not like it's a bad thing but Josh is a character. I think that it will be funny to see a little Josh running around everywhere. I think also that he will be a lot like Josh. The weather here has also been nice. It's been cold, I'm wearing a sweater right now. I love it. Hmm we had a really awesome lesson with this kid names Elias. He's 21 years old, and kind of like a punk kid. He was a really strong and faithful member of the Evangelic church, but he stopped going for a while. We made really good friends with him and then we taught him the Restoration. He accepted it really well and said that it makes more sense than all of the other churches haha. We have another lesson with him today and we are going to teach him about the Book of Mormon. Yesterday we also brought a Book of Mormon in French to the Haitians, and finally they understood better. They actually had a few doubts, which is a good thing because if they don't have doubts, they don't learn. But they had doubts about the Book of Mormon being "the most correct of any other book on the earth". So now that they are finally understanding, let's have faith that they accept it now. Anyways, thanks for the email again, have a great week!

Love,
Elder Stam

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Being exactly obedient really helps the Spirit stay with us

April 6, 2016


                                 



Mom,

My first week with him was good. We get along pretty well, I think that our personalities are pretty similar. One of the things that I like most about him is he's obedient. I cannot stress to you how important that it. Most missionaries are very obedient, but not exactly obedient. He actually tries to be exactly obedient and it really helps the Spirit stay with us a lot more. I had all the intentions of grabbing my camera before we left, but I forgot again. I'm sorry, I'll definitely try my best to remember next week. The teaching has been going well. We've been focusing mostly on finding new people. Yeah, the Haitians are still progressing, slowly. I think that they are starting to actually understand more. Right now we are reteaching the plan of salvation, but really slowly. They speak French so we read the scriptures with the in French, and it helps them understand a lot more. You have to help the people understand the importance of the change they need to make in their life, and that change can be a good thing, and it can make you happier. I plan on waking up early, reading the scriptures, then going to exercise. That'll be my mornings. Piano playing is going fine, not a lot recently because we have had a lot of meetings recently on Sunday.


Well every week seems to go just a little bit faster. It's true when they say that the last year goes the fastest. I got my trunky papers today from the mission office, you know the papers that I have to fill out so they can buy my plane ticket haha

I did enjoy conference, it's always good. I didn't pay a whole ton of attention because it looses a lot of meaning when you want to watch it in your first language. I have the whole conference downloaded in English though so I am going to listen to it a lot more carefully at our house. President Monson hardly spoke at all. He also gave a talk in Priesthood session and it was only like 4 minutes long. I think that he is getting really tired. I liked Holland's talk, he's always an amazing talker, and I think it was the perfect talk to end conference. I also liked Elder Nelson and Elder Utchdorf from the Priesthood session. I didn't know that Kaitlyn and Savannah sang in the choir,  that's cool. It was a really fun experience when I sang in it.

Haha Oma probably hasn't even touched or looked at some of the stuff she would have to get rid of. She'll get over it. We can't take possessions with us when we die. It would be nice to have a pool, if you guys would even swim though. It's so lame going to a pool with the family because you guys never even swim.

Wow I had to do some math problems a little while ago and it was really hard. I think that I have forgotten a lot of my math skills. It'll be pretty tough for me at first. I guess with just a little bit of studying I will be fine. Yeah that class schedule all sounds fine to me. I just don't want it to take up a whole bunch of time. I'm gonna want some time off. And on top of all of that I know that I am going to have to find a job and work. Maybe the swimming class won't be too much of a necesity, but we will see. Yeah I prefer 830 with a small break. Goodness, college sounds like a riot.

Haha that's funny, Jackson has to wear a helmet. He sounds like a pretty typical baby. Do you think that he is going to be like Joshua when he grows up?

I guess that I will have to try the tomatoes from the garden when I'm home. I've eaten so many tomatoes here and I honestly think that the tomatoes in the United States would be better. I was just stubborn before haha. Now I'll eat just about anything.  Yes, it's finally starting to get cold. It actually rained yesterday, it was fantastic. Yeah, of course I love the people here, I wouldn't have any success if I didn't love them. Well I hope that you have a great week, talk to you next week.

Love,
Elder Stam

Busy missionary

March 30, 2016

 Mom,                             



                                       Things went well with transfers. We actually had them on Monday because yesterday was one of the crazy days in Chile where we have to stay home all day. It was really nice having a day off, definitely needed. It was probably my last one, unless my comp or I are really sick and can't work. My new companion is Elder Keck, from California. I knew him a little bit before, so it'll be fun being with him. My companion has 14 months in the mission, he's a great guy, always trying to be a better person. He is really tall, like 6'7". I am still district leader.  We've been working with a few new people, the problem is we usually teach them like once, and then they either disappear or don't answer the door, they're stubborn. I guess that it's supposed to be a fight though right, looking for new people that will progress? The best thing was definitely the day off, got a lot of studying done. I've really been enjoying my studies recently. I've been reading in Romans in the new testament. Last Wednesday was a pretty cool day. We had a family home evening as a ward, and Elder Baker and I gave the class and we talked about Christ and his Atonement, then we talked about what the members need to do to invite people to come to church. We had a pretty good turnout at church, lots of people came for Easter. I love when members do some work, it makes everything go so much smoother.  I feel like the time that I was with Elder Baker just absolutely flew by. It's also a little strange to think that he's home now, I know he's happy.  He did talk a lot about home, what he was going to do when he was home. I don't think that it helped that every house we went to they asked him if he was trunkey and when he was going to do. I think that he just rode the wave. I know that the first week of the last transfer the president has a meeting the all the missionaries going home and he gives them motivation to keep working to the end.

It wasn't like a special sacrament meeting, but it was still good. Elder Baker gave his going away talk, and also a sister missionary. And finally a kid here that is preparing to go on a mission. They all gave great talks. Yeah I read it, I try to read President's messages every week. He sent out part 2 to that today. President definitely gives out those messages by inspiration.You should try to read them every week, they're pretty much like scripture I swear haha. Aw that's sad, I didn't know Lucky died. Well we all know that he's still happy. I'm sure Oma was sad, he was the perfect dog for her. She'll love Tootsie too. Haha Tootsie was insane when I left. I'm sure that she still loves chasing the light. Is her hair still getting lighter?

I wouldn't mind starting classes at like 8ish. I'm going to wake up early to study the scriptures and exercise, so I think that would be like the perfect time. I just don't want to be studying any later than like four. That's the limit for me. I'm going to be going to bed early, and I'll get mad if they make a lot of noise. One thing that I've learned on my mission is how to put fire behind my words haha, by not yelling. How much money do you think that I am going to need to help pay a year for schooling?

Haha I honestly don't know anything with babies. Has he mumbled his first word yet? And I'm assuming that he has a few teeth now. I think that I will learn a lot about babies with him. 

Ben is already going on a mission? Jeez everyone is so old. Vegas huh? A little close, he'll like it though, he's going there for a reason. I'll send photos for sure next week, I forgot my camera again. Sorry. Well thanks for always writing me, I hope that you and the family have a spectacular week!

Love,
Elder Stam

No time this week!

March 23, 2016


Alright so I only have like 10 minutes to write, I'm a little frustrated, so I'll just skim through your email and answer the more important questions and things, sorry.

It's most likely that I will stay here in this sector, or president would have to do a white wash here. President and Sister Cook are from New York, so you probably won't be able to go, they said that they were going to go to Utah at the end of August and have a mini mission reunion, so that will be fun.

 Oh that's awesome there is a pool at Snow College, I'm looking forward to being able to swim. I think that I will swim like three days a week in the morning, and the other days go running or something like that. I want to stay in shape.

That's good that Oma is moving to Utah, she'll love it for sure. Well fine I'll buy my own TV haha, I don't think they're that expensive. Speaking of Oma, how's Lucky doing?

Haha it will be fun to talk to Connor in Chilean Spanish, because believe me, it's not like other Spanish. Even some latinos have a hard time understanding Chileans.  This week we also had stake conference and the elder Teixeira came and he gave a great talk. We are really going to focus a lot this week on getting people to come to church, and he talked a lot about that.

Thanks mom, I hope that you have a great week, if you need anything, tell me and I'll respond next week!  Elder Baker will be gone next week, so I'll have more time haha.

From,
Elder Stam 😁

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The teaching is going well

March 16, 2016


                                          

Mom,


Alright so we are writing a little later this week because Elder Baker had to go to his old sectors to say goodbye and it took most of the day. I'm doing good though, a little tired. The week also was pretty good. The teaching is going well and the members do help us pretty well. This is a good ward, the ward council does their work well. The focus isn't really changing in the mission, but we have a new way of taking dats. There isn't a big change at all though. I don't know when the new president comes, I just know that President Cook is going home like the 28th of July or somewhere near that time. The Haitians know Spanish pretty well now. We just speak in Spanish, really slow and simple words and if there is a word that they don't know, we explain it to them.  I think that every area has it's own problems. Like for example the people here also believe that it's true, but they don't understand the importance of it at all, so they don't apply it. They ask for help and we tell them what to do, and they don't do it, then get mad for us not helping them. It's a little frustrating sometimes but there will always be problems. You just have to learn how to deal with the problems.

I think that I'll have to send photos when I get a new comp, we won't have a lot of time next week either. You guys would definitely have a great time serving a mission, here everyone loves the couple missionaries. There was actually a couple missionary here that went home yesterday, so we should be getting a new couple soon.

Well, coming home August 2 would still give me three weeks so I think that it would be fine. It won't be any later, that's for sure. I think that it would just be a waste of time to wait until January for school, so I think it would be best to go straight to study. It's not that I want to go straight to college, but it's what's best and what I feel I should do. Yeah, I liked the apartments, I don't think that the apartments are going to matter too much for me, I've been living in houses and apartments much smaller than the ones I would have there, so I'm used to it. A piano would be nice to have, gotta keep developing my talent, or the Lord will take it away from me hah. I'm okay rooming with anyone, I'm also used to rooming with strangers haha. So we would be six in one apartment? Okay in a few weeks try to be on your email when I'm on mine and we can talk. Next week will be a bad week for it though because it's Elder Baker's last p day and he is going to be saying goodbye again. Computer engineering sounds really fun, but I'm going to want a list of all possible choices.

Oma would definitely like Utah, I hope she knows that.

Yes I want you to see if there is a pool in Ephraim and tell me please. Yeah being a district leader is fun, you get to know the missionaries a little bit better. Haha it's different in so many ways. I think that is a question for home though because I could write a book on that. Yes mom, the government of the USA is going to crap, we all know that it would happen. The church is in a time of acceleration, they are obviously speeding up all the church work for a reason. It's almost time for the angels to come and to separate the wheat from the snares. Thanks for the email, talk to you next week!

Love,
Elder Stam

The mission has been pretty awesome!

March 9, 2016


                                     

Mom and Dad,

Your missionary son is doing good. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!! Kinda lame that I can only really write you a letter but I hope that you have a great birthday, and that you eat a lot of meat because I'm almost sure that you are going to eat meat today ha ha. It's crazy how old Jackson already is, he's gonna be huge when I meet him hah. Our past week was good, there wasn't that much different. I haven't really heard about any Chilean news, so I think that everything is going well here. As for the mission, it's also good. We are getting ready for a new mission president and we also have a new way to pass dats now, or in other words we are changing the focus in the mission a little bit. He did come to church. The other Haitian's mom unfortunately passed away this week and he has been having a rough time, being that he is so far away from his country and family, but we've been helping him and it has been a great opportunity for him to learn more and pay a little more attention.

So was it summer there in Cancun? Dad said that he got pretty burnt. Did you get burnt? Dad does have that gift, finding things that are lost. He has always been able to find everything even if it's like invisible. We also swam with sting rays right on that cruise? Heather's email made me remember that this week. So the Mayan calendar only started over? I don't know how that works but I'll accept it. Well it almost sounds like a nephite city haha. Like when the nephites and the lamanites were in battle, Mormon had them build fortifications around the city and he armed the people with bows and arrows to protect them from the lamanites. And the Book of Mormon also talks about one of the nephite cities being next to the sea. You never know, and it would probably be almost impossible to know for sure, but that is a possibility.  Haha mom is funny. You know what the word trunkey is right? I think that mom is more trunkey than me that I'm coming home in a few months.

It's kind of crazy how many different country and races of people that I have taught. It's been quite an adventure. Well I can sure try to swim every day, it's going to be really hard for the first bit, but it is definitely something that I want to do.  I think that I'm going to be really white when I come home, my back hasn't seen sun since I've left almost. Aw kind of lame that there is no Worldmark here, Santiago is a pretty large place, they should have one here. Well I guess if only us three come it is better than nothing. It will be fun here for sure, Santiago is a pretty awesome city.

Our house is a little small, but it's fine because we're not home that much. The other missionaries are cool. One was a cheerleader for BYU and the other is from Guatamala, and we all get along pretty well. Wow the Goddards are already coming home? Well that's cool, tell them that I say hi. Oh jeez Elder Nelson really went to the Highland ward?? That's pretty awesome. Too bad you missed it. He came here quite a while ago and I met him in Chile. He is a pretty awesome guy. You have to tell me what he said and how it went.

Well I think that I am going to have to print off a list of things that I could study and maybe have a few ideas, but for now I really don't know what to study. I was thinking that it might be pretty fun to be a computer programmer, being that I love video games and I'm good at math and technology. You said that Snow College changed their start date so I wasn't stressing too much about it. But I would like to know for sure if it's been changed. So if you could find out that would be great.

Yeah, the mission has been pretty awesome. I got an email today from Brayden Stock, it sounds like he is doing great. He already speaks Spanish like a champ. Well thanks for the email, this one is a little shorter but my companion goes home in just over two weeks so there isn't many people that are writing him and I don't want him waiting too long. Have a great week!

Love,
Elder Stam

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Never thought I'd meet a Russian in Chile

March 2, 2016

                            



I'm doing well, the week was pretty good also. How hot is it down there? Of course, you guys have the pool and AC but we don't have anything.. the only thing that we have are fans. And we are never even home to use them haha. Yes we are still teaching the Haitians. There is one of them progressing more than the others. And surprisingly enough, he actually has Sundays this month free from work so he can go to church. I think that he is finally starting to understand a little bit more what we teach. Contacting is pretty much the same. Yesterday we actually contacted someone from Russia, didn't think I would ever meet one of them here in Chile. Yeah I play in church, there are also a few members asking me to teach them a little bit haha, so I'll probably do that.

Haha Mexican food is pretty amazing. I think that you will have to go outside of the city to experience real Mexican food though. That was the same cruise that every day I just asked for macaroni and nothing else right? I don't remember that much about that trip, I think the thing that I do remember most was going up that waterfall in Jamaica. Apparently the Mayan calendar ended in 2012 right, and that's why everyone was saying that the world was going to get destroyed? That's what I heard at least.  I would love to go to Cancun, especially since I speak spanish now. There is a lot of evidence that Christ came to the Americas. From what I heard, the church found a drawing on a rock or something like that of Lehi's dream, and scientists said that it was drawn more like 2000 years ago.

We also have code words that we use for evacuation but I never really thought that it would be months before a disaster haha.  If we get the word, we are supposed to pack one suitcase, bring our emergency backpacks, and go to either the stake center or the airport, depending on what they tell us. I doubt that anything like that will happen though, at least not yet.  It was a pretty good movie. There were a few things that they got wrong. Like for example the empanada that the guy had, that's totally not what the empanadas look like haha. The mine disaster happened in 2010. It was like the only thing that I had ever heard about Chile so I guess I just sort of remembered it haha. Is it called semola in English? Well I really like it so I am going to make it.

Take is slow swimming? Mom I need to get in shape and skinny again. I'm not saying I'm fat, but I need to get back in shape and healthy again for sure. Yeah I'm definitely going to try to keep up that habit, it's a good habit. I want to keep swimming early morning, I think that really helped a lot.

Well have a great week and really enjoy your time there in Cancun, I'll talk to you next week!

Love,
Elder Stam

We need to prepare ourselves

February 24, 2016
                                   
                                    
Girls from a far lol



The last week was pretty good, with lots of heat haha. The teaching is also going well, it was a little better last week then the others. We aren't really teaching a large amount of lessons but still teaching obviously. We are mostly busy with contacts, or references, or working with the member list in the ward. Well apparently everyone has said that it is going to be pretty hot even through fall here so it'll probably be hot for a little while longer. I hope that you guys have an amazing time there at Cancun. Isn't that where we went forever ago when we went on that cruise? I play the piano at the church and usually on like Wednesdays or whenever we have an activity there, I sit down and play.

Funny you mention that movie, The 33. Our zone actually got permission (at least the zone leaders said they got it) to watch that movie, and we watched it, today haha. It was a pretty good movie. I actually remember when that happened. It was a good movie, but I feel like it wasn't very Chilean. It missed a lot of things, but it was still good.

They have good ice cream here but they don't have the best flavor, cookie dough. They have a few other flavors that we don't have though. They have this one dessert which is milk with sémola. Sorry I don't know how to say sémola in English. I like it a lot though. It's really easy to make too. College? Weird thought. Didn't think I'd ever go to college. Dates are expensive mom. I think I'm just going to abstain from all girls for a year or two more. They have cooties.

Today we had a special conference with Elder Bednar and if I get to choose my homecoming topic I think that I will talk about a few of the things he talked about. He talked a lot about doing things with faith and faith leads to action. Prayer is really good but it doesn't mean anything if we don't act afterwards.  He's actually a really funny guy, but I really learned a ton today and he didn't give us a talk, but he taught us in a totally different way.

Holy crap Brock is a junior?? Wow. Everyone is so old now. Tell me how polo goes though, I think that it is going to absolutely kill me to get home and try to swim again.  How many wards are in our stake? Yeah what you said is pretty much what our president told us. That's also what we have been teaching to the people, that the Sacrament is like getting baptized all over again and we need to prepare ourselves every week for it. A lot of the other churches here have also been saying that all of the disasters are going to happen this year. I don't think so though. There are still quite a few signs that need to happen before the Second Coming. I read Doctrine and Covenants 45 today and it talked a lot about some of the things that we are going to see before he comes. For all that we know maybe something will happen this year.

Ah 6 AM that's nothing. Well just keep working hard, the Lord blesses for hard work! Something little that I have learned here in the mission haha. I think I will probably keep waking up super early like I did before, It makes the day seem longer and better. Well one of the things that Elder Bednar said today is that you guys are being more blessed with me away than you would be if I was with you, so you're welcome haha. Have a great time there at Cancun!

Love,
Elder Stam

Saturday, February 20, 2016

It's better to just work

Feb 17, 2016

Dear Mom and Dad,                 
The awesome Zone


Well, there's always that time of the year where everyone always seems to get sick. I was also feeling a little sick on Monday and Tuesday but I got over it really quick. It's a real pain in the butt being sick on the mission because you either have to stay inside all day with nothing to do or you go out to work and suffer just as much haha, so it's better to just work. Wow, I definitely haven't heard of that virus at all, hopefully it doesn't get down here to Chile. Well I'll never be a pregnant woman so maybe it wouldn't affect me that much haha.

My week has been good. It's still hot, with no changes whatsoever. If this year goes the same as last year, it will probably be pretty hot until like April or May. Which sucks but there literally is nothing I can do about it so why complain? Yup, the world definitely doesn't believe as much. It's kind of dumb, because there are so many signs that He exists all around us. Yeah we are still working with the Haitians. I don't think that they are understanding that much though, it's been really hard to communicate with them. Yes I have also been playing the piano here haha. I don't think French will be extremely hard, it's pretty similar to Spanish, it's just the pronunciation that seems hard. We are the only Elders but there are two Sister missionaries.

We eat ice cream most days. There is dessert for pretty much every lunch, it's amazing. Recently, I don't know if it's a summer thing, but if we don't eat watermelon or honey dew melon, we eat ice cream, and I definitely won't argue with that at all.  I was thinking about working a whole bunch in the summer anyways. I don't think that I will get married that fast to be honest. It would be fun, just remember that I am definitely going to want time to play my new Xbox One that you are going to buy me haha. ;D (you promised)

There are so many things that people don't understand about life and getting mad at God will not solve absolutely anything, the only thing that it could really ever do is make things worse.

We're living in these apartments on the street Goycolea. I couldn't really tell you what building because there are a lot of them. The only thing that I could tell you is it's a few blocks away from Gran Avenida and they're pink haha. We moved because President Cook doesn't want any houses with only two missionaries in them. He wants four in every house. So we moved for that. We live with two other missionaries now, Elder Maser and Elder de León.

Haha that's how most babies are right?  Who knows Jackson could be a better piano player than me someday. Maybe I'll teach him when he's a little older, I think he'd have a hard time right now haha. I'm gonna expect him to cry. It's normal. You're going to have to teach me how to hold babies cause honestly I have no idea.

Well thanks for the email once again. If there is anything that you need from met, just let me know. Talk to you next week!

Love,
Elder Stam