Hola a mi increíble, amorosa, maravillosa Familia,
I have had many thoughts on how you all have been doing lately as my heart goes out to you often. I pray so much for each of you and hope you know that so my prayers can reach you and your needs. I love this mission of mine for Jesus Christ. I know I have said it plenty of times but I don´t get tired of it because I think each of you that has served a mission knows exactly what I am talking about. I have definitely felt qualified by the Lord this week and I love Him for His mercy and His support towards me. In the beginning of the week, I was feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed for not having the best progress in our sector and now being called as District Leader to be an EXAMPLE for other missionaries. It was not the best feeling. And on top of it, Elder Roundy and I were having some dumb little issues between us. I know there shouldn´t be issues in the companionship but we´re human. What do you expect? I realized that things weren´t going to get better unless I took a step back and solved it. I decided to turn to the Lord´s scriptures especially for me: my patriarchal blessing. It was such a relief to see that the recent situations I have been in about leadership and discouragement are part of this blessing that I was reading. It was as if the Lord was in the room speaking to me. I felt a great peace and spirit last Tuesday night and it seems like since then, there is a new energy and excitement in the work. We have found some great new people this past week including a family that we have put a baptismal date with. The parents are named Cludio and Ynéz. They have 3 daughters (Rosangela 11, Sasha 9, Ignacia 1 month). We found them through a reference given to us by Ynéz´s sister, Bernarda. If you don´t remember, Bernarda is the less-active mom of Bayron whom we were teaching to get baptized back in October but ended up not wanting to do it. There is always a better way to do missionary work when members are involved!!!!! The other family tie to them is that Claudio´s brother, Andrés, and all of his family are members and use to live in our ward but now live in another stake in the mission. In fact, the son of Andrés is going on his mission to Colombia at the end of March and knows Lehi, our ward mission leader, who is leaving for his mission tomorrow! It is absolutely amazing how the Lord ties in everything to bring people to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are absolutely no coincidences here!
Yesterday, our ward had a baptism in the Stake Center. His name is Gonzalo, he is 8 years old, and he is the son of the 1st counselor in the Stake Presidency, President Mujica. The baptismal service was a simple and very special experience for me just to see another child of God enter into His Kingdom through the waters of baptism. Elder Roundy, Bishop Ortega (our bishop), and I sang at the service and I enjoyed the whole thing overall. I felt a strong love in the family of this child during the service, especially when his parents and little sister stood up with him at the pulpit to bear their testimonies with him of our Savior and the power in baptism and humbling ourselves to follow Him.
Going on with the past week, a couple significant things I want to point out are that a lot of the youth here give the name "Gringolandia" to the United States. Haha! Just for the fact that all the Gringos come from the U.S. Go figure! Also, I tried pastel de Choclo (corn casserole) this past week. It is a popular dish in the south and countryside, but the Hermana Daisy, who cooks amazing, made it for me because she new I hadn´t tried it before. It is like the pastel de papas (potato casserole) that we had at the Pomar´s house before my mission but with mashed corn instead. I am not to much of a fan of it but we try new things all the time on the mish, so oh well. Another odd thing about Chile is that there are always guys riding around on normal pedal bicycles that have a l-cylinder engine attached to them. It is the funniest thing to see because you just need to pedal for a little bit to get it going and then you´re off to the races. Haha!
I want to finish with a trivia question that I´ve been curious about: The Star of David was the sign of the coming of the Messiah. How did the Star of David become the symbol of the Jews when they don´t believe that the Messiah has come yet? If anyone can help me out there, I would be able to sleep better at night. Haha! Thanks!
I love you all and want you to know that we can all be angels of the Lord in His work. Look up Alma 13:21-24 to understand your calling a little better as well as D&C 84:88. Until next week, I leave with a blessing and all my love!
Con un abrazo fuerte,
Elder Josh Boaz