Josh's contact information:

Josh's email address is:
His mission address is:
Elder Joshua Boaz,
Chile Rancagua Mission,
German Riesco 230 Suite 703,

His Pouch address, for letters only, is:
Elder Joshua Boaz,
Chile Rancagua Mission,
POB 30150,
Salt Lake City, Ut. 84130-0150 USA
(**the pouch address is for postcards or letters that are single sheet, folded into three-panels, and taped at the top only - NO envelopes.)

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Letter from Joshua's Mission President about the earthquake!

Rancagua, Chile. March 7, 2010


As you all can imagine it has not been a week like any other in the Chile Rancagua Mission, or in the entire country of Chile. Saturday, February 27 2010, at 3:34 AM an 8.8 earthquake shook the central and southern zones of the country. On the limits of our mission, the tremor was much more than a level 7 on the Richter scale. About 2 hours after the original quake, a violent tsunami whipped the costal parts of central and southern Chile.
Without knowing exactly what happened, since most of us are not experienced with earthquakes, we started the task of finding out how our missionaries were.
The first few hours were anguishing moments. As you all know, the first things to cut out in these cases are the electricity and a grand part of communication systems. So the great task to contact every missionary started. The office missionaries, and the matrimony missionaries that also serve in the office, performed a superhuman effort to be able to contact many of you, in most cases without any luck. We were unconnected and we did not have a precise notion as to what was happening. We knew that the foreign countries and the northern parts of Chile saw with stupor what happened in the city of Concepción, the 8th region of Chile, and were left powerless, not being able to use a phone, internet or even the television.
Finally, Saturday night we knew with certainty that ALL of our missionaries were safe and healthy. Not only that, but not a single one of them had even a scratch. We gave thanks to God. We humbled ourselves even more when we found out that EVERY ONE of the Lord´s Anointed that serves in all of Chile were all fine.
But the great problem of not being able to communicate continued for hours, even days.
While we were receiving your e-mails and telephone calls, the needs of the members began to arise, focalized in a part of the mission, the Santa Cruz District, where the earthquake was devastating. As mission president, I set out to personally contact each missionary and verify the safety of their homes on those places where the earthquake was more damaging. A large part of the freeways and routes were un-drivable the first few days, and with many difficulties the days that followed. Nevertheless, we visited them. We hugged them in your name. We thanked them and encouraged them to press forward. Truly, they are incredible; and this vivid experience together with God´s Servants has marked my life forever.
Your children have been protected. The Lord has preserved them, but not by chance. They have been chosen “before birth” to bring the Gospel of Christ to the world. Now, their responsibility is even bigger; not only to preach His gospel, but also to bring hope, comfort, strength and courage.
Being so youthful, they do not cease to amaze me with their strength and determination to serve faithfully until the end of their missions with obedience. All of them had sufficient to endure the first hours when there was not drinkable water, vendible food or other very important items such as flashlights, batteries, following the instructions of Sister Resek; learning for the rest of their lives the importance of being prepared. The conclusion, just as Doctrine and Covenants 38:30 teaches, “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.” They have been prepared both spiritually and temporally and for that, they have had no fear.
Your children are an example of courage, righteousness and Cristian love. I would hope that my own children were like them when they too are called to serve a mission. We love and care for them so much; we love you without knowing you personally!!!
Sorry for not having been more efficient in letting you know more quickly that your most precious gifts, your children, are fine. Know that we did all that was possible and even more.
May God bless your lives. Your children will not be the same after having endured this extraordinary event. They will not be the same, because they now know, more than they ever have known before, that the Lord of Hosts preserved their lives so that they continue, not only in their missions but also during the rest of their lives, to edify God´s kingdom on the Earth. That is, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I leave you my testimony, that this Work is true; that God, the Eternal Father, lives; that His son Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and that His Church is guided by Him and through living prophets.

With deep appreciation,

Presidente Esteban Gabriel Resek-Chile Rancagua Mission.

Ps: All around, miraculous stories are heard of how the Lord´s hand protected our missionaries.

Elders Mead and Joshua Fletcher serve in the coastal city of Pichilemu, the only beachside sector in the mission. After the first earthquake, they moved down to the first floor of the house to sleep. They heard desperate shouts from their neighbors, some of them running. They decided to offer a prayer so that God took care of them, and that is what happened. Just a few hours after, a Tsunami leveled a big part of the beach. I know that place perfectly, and was with them with my family a month ago. The great waves demolished Punta de Lobos just a few yards from their house, skipped the neighborhood where they live, and continued to fill other beaches en the center of the city, leaving them absolutely destroyed. But they were protected….Without a doubt, a miracle!!!

We are left in the Hands of the Lord!

Hola a todos mis queridos!!!

I love you all and am so grateful to be alive and serving the Lord right now. This week has been different than any other that I have experienced on my mission and, possibly, my life. As most of you have heard, they has been a catactrophic earthquake that has mainly hit three regions (states) of Chile and has been felt and many other parts. The earthquake destroyed an entire section of Chile and has left too many people without anything and dead family members. Thanks to God, none of the missionaries have been hurt or affected physically by the earthquake. We ended up not being able to work for all of Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. We sat in the house just studying the whole time. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we went out into the sector with our normal street clothes on and our scriptures to do some service where it was needed. Luckily, our area is pretty firm and they weren't really anybody who had ruins to clean up or repairs to make. We checked up on a majority of the members and important investigators in our sector and no one was a affected deeply. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were all normal proselyting days, where it was pretty difficult to work but we were able to teach a lot. The aftershocks in the beginning of the week were pretty significant and we have easily felt more than 20 in the whole week. They have ranged from a decent rumble to a little shake, but nothing to really worry about.
Last night, we spoke with a less active member, Luis, who had just got home from a 12-hour drive from Concepción that should have been 6 hours. He was there visiting his parents and helping out others that had lost everything. He said that everyone is just out in the streets all the time and that everything is in shambles. One comforting site to see, he said, down there was that pretty much all of the other buildings were destroyed except for ALL of the LDS churches. They are all still standing. He said it was a significant testimony-building experience...but then I asked him, "And so when are we going to take advantage of these church buildings that are standing to offer us the most abundant blessings on this earth?" Luis remained silent for a second and then said, "You're right Elder. We have to take advantage now." The restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth to bless us and prepare us for the comeing of our Savior. Are we taking the fullest advantage of what our Heavenly Father has freely offered us or are we going along without a second thought.
I cannot tell you how much pain I feel for the children of our Heavely Father that are suffering so much in the south. I understand that God is in control and that we must go through these learning experiences to progress in this life, but that doesn't take away from the sorrow that comes with the circumstances. I earnestly hope you are all praying for these people and donating something to help their well-being because they are children of our Heavenly Father just like you. Your brothers and sisters.
We met with President Resek on Thursday with another zone where he told us that it is now our responsability to be the hope and the comfort that these people can turn to for an answer to what has happened. We are permitted to ask people if they would like a blessing of comfort or a prayer in their house to help them feel the spirit and love of God. I have noticed in the past days of work that the hearts of those that we encounter have softened. It is a sign that "except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him." (Helaman 12:3) In some circumstances, the Lord does this for the good of His children. He does it to give them a better opportunity to search and find them. In Jeremiah 29:12-14, it says, "Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
"And I will be found of you, saith the Lord:..."

I love that scripture because those that search for Christ will find Him.
The family of Claudio and Ynez with their daughters, Sasha and Rosangela, didn't come to church yesterday because Ynez had a bad stomach ache and they woke up late. We yelled for them at the door to bring them to church but no one came. Sasha, the 9 year-old, told us during the week that she wants to be baptized as soon as possible. It was amazing to hear from her. She reads and prays the most out of the family and understands everything. We should be having the baptism of her, Rosangela, and Ynez on March 21st. Pray for them and also that Claudio may be baptized on March 28th. This family is so amazing and I hope they can remain firm in the Gospel after they enter into it.
Felipe, a 15 year-old we've been working with for some time, came to church with us yesterday and enjoyed it a lot. He told us that he prayed one night during the week to know if the Book of Mormon was true. While he was telling us this experience, there were a ton of distractions going on in the room at the same time. Someone walked in and was saying hi to everyone and their two cats were meowing for no reason. All of this didn't matter because I was trying to focus on what he was saying in the midst of everything. He said he didn't get an answer at first, and so he went to bed. And then, in the middle of the night,, he woke up to a loud bang in the living room. He left his bed to look out his bedroom door and saw and small white light that came and went quickly. When he got back into bed, he felt a calmness come over his body like never before. In that moment, he knew it was an answer from God that everything was true and he wasn't going to deny it. That, my friends, is what we call an "ATOMIC MOMENT." In the midst of all the distractions, we were able to catch the most important part of the environment that was happening in that moment. I felt the Holy Ghost very strong and it was a great experience for his mom and grandma to hear as well whom were there. He should be baptized on March 21st as well. We are struggling to find new people but I know there is someone out there waiting for us to visit them. Thank you for your support and we'll be talking next week. I would love to hear from some of you through letters!...Rebekah...hint...hint. Remeber, missionaries love hand-written letters!

Con todo mi amor y oración,
Elder Josh Boaz

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Monday After the Earthquake!!

Hola a Todos!!!
We are doing fine down here in Chile. This past week of work was a bit slow and definitely ended on a surprising note. The earthquake, that happened in Chile on Saturday at 3:45 AM our time, hit the hardest more south than my mission (in Concepción) so I am ok. We sure felt it but there were no injuries or damages in our house. Only the bottle of oil spilt all over the ground. Haha! Most of my neighborhood is without light and quite a few without power but there aren't really serious injuries. We were without power for all of Saturday until Sunday morning but everything is back to normal now. Our ward in church only partook of the Sacrament and then we went back to our houses. I'm sure you know more details than I do just by looking at the news anyways. There weren't really any serious damages in my neighborhood, thank goodness. When the earthquake started, I didn't really notice it until the end of the first big tremble cuz I'm such a heavy sleeper. I was on divisions in another house and we were up for an hour than went back to sleep. Haha! All of the missionaries are accounted for and safe, but we have to stay in our houses until further notice for safety. We already had to stay in the house for ALL of Saturday and Sunday so it is going to be a VERY long week until things get better. Apparently, since there still isn't power in some areas, it is not very safe to go out in the afternoon and night with the people. We won't be doing service unless it is organized by our ward so that takes out any option of leaving. I hope you are all praying for those who are deeply affected by this earthquake. Just remember, God is in control and we must focus on His Gospel to carry us through. I send all my wishes to Dad in the Easter Pageant and hope you all get Taylor Kunysz to go to it!!! Haha! Congratulations to Rebekah for getting into BYU!!! And I couldn't have had a better moment than talking to MOM for 15 minutes on Saturday. That was awesome! Don't worry, everything is fine here. Take care!

With a love and will to serve GOD,