Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Happy Fiestas Patrias

Happy Fiestas Patrias Everyone!! That is why we are writing late this week is because monday was 18 and so we couldnt go to the ciber to write but all is well because the parties have all died down and now everything is going back to normal! I have to make a confession here writing emails of the week is one of the hardest things in the mission because I dont know all these cool things happen during the week and then I sit down and look at the computer screen and my mind goes blank. But I will do my best to remember a lot of what happened this last week.

We got to teach a lot of really awesome people this week like caterine and her little family who are still reading the book of mormon at night together. Actually teaching them is so fun because the little girl is named connie she is nine and she always has the funniest questions that she wants to know the answers to. So we always promise to return with the answers but this last lesson the mom said I have a question this week! `why did god create the families?` Oh that is just the question you want to hear when you are a missionary am I right? So we are getting ready to answer that question for them tomorrow! I have no doubt that they will love the answer. 

18 is like the chilean version of the 4th of july. Everyone flies kites... which is super cool. And like all chilean holidays everything shuts down but this time for like 4 days. Remember how we are out in the vacation part of chile? Yeah well during 18 people leave on vacation. So it was hoppin out here in the coast. There were sooo many people all over the place from santiago who escaped from the city for a few days to enjoy the coast. The chapel was full to the rim. they had to go look for more chairs a lot of different times so that everyone would fit. So for a few days there it felt like we were back in the city. but today everything settled back down again. 

I love seeing how god has his hand in every part of his work and how he just nudges us a long in the right direction without us even knowing it a lot of times. One morning we headed out to teach a few lessons and had a few people put down in our agendas to visit and as we went from house to house we found a man who was a little beat up with things that happen in the life and really needed some help and encouragement and it was incredible to see how god prepares people and puts them in our path or puts us in their path.. either way works.

Everyone is doing great and a lot of people are progressing well! We have been enjoying our time working hard and seeing the fruits of all the labor.

Elder Holdstock

Ten Traditions for the 18 of September:

1. Flying Kites
2. barbeques
3. A drink called mote con huesillo (look it up)
4. party games like bean bags and stuff like that
5. Empanadas
6. Tops like the toys
7. Chilean flags or go home
8. Dancing `La Cueca`
9. Soccer games
10. Not going to school

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

1234 I declare a thumb war

Here we are again! Another week has flown by. The only thing that I cant understand is how the time keeps moving so quickly. It was also a very busy week which is great! Time flies when you're having fun right? This week we spent a lot of time teaching Francisco who was a miracle. He progressed really well and really quickly. He also is a big fan of bread. So everytime we went over to teach him he had a different type of bread there for us to try. So I think that I have tasted just about every type of bread that chile has to offer now. I remember when Uncle Nathan told me how here in chile they buy stuff everyday and it is very true because the bread is always fresh. Buying bread for the week doesnt exist here, you have to buy every single day when it is hot out of the oven or else.

Speaking of bread, we should probably talk about the bread of life. This week or actually this transfer as a mission we are focusing on getting better at using the book of mormon to help people resolve their concerns and more than anything feel of the spirit which is what gives people the desire to change and to become a part of the church. We had the Zone Conference for about half of the mission out here in our chapel. Because there are a lot of missionaries that have never even seen the coast so we are pretty lucky out here. But the conference was really great it was a good reminder of the importance that the book of mormon has in our lives as missionaries in the lives of our investigators but also in our normal lives as well. I always remember how mom would not let a day slip by without reading the book of mormon, she wouldnt be able to sleep if she didnt read it and she always helped us to read it. And now I understand why! The book of mormon is honestly so cool. It has war, it has drama, it has betrayl, it has hope it has it all. It is impossible to read it without being nurtured and without feeling that it is true. (I tricked ya huh? I said bread of life and then talked about the book of mormon..... whoops)

We found this super cool family this week as well. A mom and her family. They love it. They are catholic but just like all the chileans dont go to church ever and dont even really like the catholic church at all... lol. But they are big fans of the book of mormon as well. The mom reads to her kids every night to put them to bed so she has replaced the regular stories with the book of mormon. And it sounds like they are having some pretty deep discussions as well. Our last visit she told us that she had asked her kids if they believed in the book of mormon and that the kids said yes. I just like kids because they have so much faith. I think that is why Jesus wants us to be like little children. 

This next week is like the 4th of July except chilean. So we will be celebrating with lots of empanadas and asados I think. 

Have the greatest week!

Elder Holdstock

(Did you find the relevance of the subject of this email??)

(It's ok.. there isnt really one...)

We also received an email from Clayton's first companion in the mission field, Elder David Benitez:

Hi, I'm an old companion of the Elder Holdstock.
There is a photo sent for your birthday and a big greeting for you.

Monday, September 4, 2017

*Running out of funny subjects*

Hola Hola!!

How is everyone doing?? We had a great week out here in El Quisco. The change has come to a close and today marks the beginning of another one. Nothing changes for us, Elder Benitez and I stay together out here in the coast but we did have to say good bye to our good friends Elder Plante. This week was a great one as we worked hard and searched long and hard for some new people to teach. 

We have seen lots of miracles and lots of tender mercies. We are teaching a man named Francisco who lives alone and takes care of cabins... He went to church because he was invited by a member and he loves it. He cant wait to be able to get baptized here soon. So always remember that just a simple invitation can change someones whole life and their eternity. Always look for opportunities to be a missionary. Invite someone to an activity or to a Family Night or to Church. I know lots of times we think that everyone we know is already a member or the non members we know would not be interested but that is just not true.

Because this week we taught a family we had found just contacting on the streeet. Turns out that this family lives like a few houses away from our ward mission leader... and it turns out that the wife of the ward mission leader is related to the mom of this family. The ward mission leader never would have thought to invite them to hear missionaries or go to church but turns out that they are actually really interested. So just invite people. The second to worst thing that could happen, is they say no. But the worst thing that could happen is that we dont give them a chance.

It is awesome to be a missionary and see that people are actually searching for the truth. 

This week we had to go into santiago for a training with president which was really great, we learned lots about how to give our all to the mission and be better. we came back and have been working hard this week to put all the things we learned into practice.

OH and thank you for all the birthday wishes! I got the package from you guys too. That was way rad  you guys are the coolest!!!!

Keep on keepin on

Elder Holdstock

Monday, August 28, 2017

Chillin in Chile

Hola Hola! 

We had an interesting week this week, My companion sprained his ankle getting off the bus so he was not able to walk for a few days and we had to stay in the house for a few... we took advantage of the time to learn some english and to practice lots! You dont realize the things you love until you cant do them anymore is the thought that I had just those two days... and that is pretty drama queen of me, i know, but it is true.. and it is always good to have reminders like that so that you can take advantage of every moment that you have and make the best of it.

This week in church the lesson was on developing talents, the teacher told us about a guy in santiago that is a shoeshiner, and how nobody in their right mind should aspire to be a shoeshiner right?  but that this shoeshiner in particular is considered the best shoe shiner in chile and since he has dedicated himself to developing his talents people will wait in a line to have their shoes shined by this man while at the same time nobody would wait one minute for someone else to shine their shoes. It reminds me of what Grandpa Smart always says that it doesnt matter what you want to do as long as you are the best at it.

We have a lot of opportunites to develop our talents I hope we never get comfortable and that we always stretch ourselves to improve and develop because after all we only have a small amount of time, let the Lord shape you and mold you as you develop your talents and he will make you into the person he knows you can be which more times than not is ten times the person that we ourselves think we can be.

This week we were walking in the street and came across a mom with her daughter who we stopped to talk to. She looked at us and then at our nametags intensely before saying you guys are mormons right? We said that we were and waited to hear her tell us about how she didnt like us very much... but instead she said, three days ago I was thinking about how I want to baptize my daughter and I was trying to decide in which church I would do it and I would only let her get baptized mormon, and I am also really interested so when could we meet up? We tried to play it really cool of course... but inside we were so excited. We set up an appointment with her and look forward to seeing how they progress.

I dont know how the hour I have to write always disappears but I hope that the first week of school was great for everyone and that you all enjoy every moment...

Rip it up.

Elder Holdstock

(P.S. cut your hair @mybrothers)


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

hola hola

Dear Fam,

This week was a great one, we had some great lessons with some super cool people. This next week we should be having some baptisms so that will be awesome! We have been teaching a little bit in creole these last few weeks so I have had to learn a lot more creole. Now I can pretty much teach about the gospel of jesus christ in creole but much more is still pretty hard but it is ok because we just get really creative in how we explain things when we dont know the words. Just imagine lots of charades and youve got the idea. 

That is super great that soccer has been going great! I am excited for you guys to start your seasons and start to really take out the trash. I wanted to know if Sam thinks that he can head the ball better because his hair is so long... or if he is just trying to be the next Kyle Beckerman....?

Sandra and Braulio have agreed to have a date to get married before next sunday so that was really awesome. We had a pretty cool lesson with a family in the ward and they talked about how their marriage has blessed their lives a ton. So they committed to just to it because they want to it has just been like a bother to actually go and do it. But they are excited and want to set a good example for their kids. 

It looks like you guys had a fun little family get together! That is the best part about the gospel is that we get to be together forever. There are a lot of people that cant wrap their head around what that really means. But it is a huge blessing! I try to explain that to people especially to the families and the parents that the impact that their decisions will make on their future family is huge.

I have been studying Grandpa Tim´s conversion story a lot this week and have been really impressed by it because if you havent read it it talks about how he desired an answer to his prayers but never got one... so then he decided that to really gain a testimony he had to act and he took a leap of faith and agreed to get baptized. But that after he had acted with faith he gained his testimony. That is a lot harder than it sounds and I am grateful for great examples of faith in my life. Of people who act without knowing for certain how things will result but act with hope. 

God always will provide is what the scriptures promise us, he will prepare the way for us to keep his commandments because he knows that obedience will make us happy and he wants us to be happy. But he also requires that we exercise our faith that we reach out to him, he is always there but if we dont believe it there is nothing he can do.

Just trust him and rely on him so that he can bless you. 

Elder Holdstock

(P.S. One talent that I have developed is that I can literally relate any gospel topic to soccer... so test me out.)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fuego Puro

Hey Fam.

Ooh before i even start I have to tell you thanks for the birthday package you sent!! It got here and is already being well used... and be used I mean eaten ;) It is crazy to think that I will be 20 years old here in a few weeks. I like being younger.... I remember when you are a little and can´t see over the counter at the store you always wish that youre older than you are but when you get older you always wish you were younger... Rip. but that is just how it is I guess the time keeps on moving forward so you have to take advantage of it!

I was reading some of the little letters that you guys all sent me a while back and I really liked one from uncle Paul that said 'always remember that the time to focus one hundred percent on the savior doesnt last long, even when the days are long' or something like that at least. Annnd it is really true but the problem is that the days are even getting shorter! And I dont know what to do with myself. Time moves so quick and there is nothing we can do about it.

I guess the one cool thing is that it doesnt require a life time to make a change that will last a lifetime. Even if we look at the mission of jesus christ.. at least the recorded mission in the bible didnt last a very long time. but in that small portion of time he made the difference that will last the eternities. Whether that change be in us or in another person we can do it in an instant and it can last forever. 

This week we had a little bit of everything! We had some rain some shine some lessons some people in church and all in all it was great! Sandra continues searching for her answer to whether or not the church is true. She is starting to understand the importance of reading the book of mormon everyday and praying to know if it is true. The book of mormon really is the bom and is perfect and if you read it with a sincere heart there is no way that you can deny its divinity. 

We got to know a lot of great people this week and a few that are working towards baptism so that will be great to see the progress that they make over the next few weeks.

Oh also I am pretty impressed with the painting job of mitchell and sam.. and also impressed at the length of your guy's hair... hehe I hope that everyone is doing so great and that you have a great first week of school! I dont know if it is this week or the next one.. but always remember to be good and do good. That school is the best place to make changes that will last a lifetime in ourselves and in others.

Elder Holdstock


Monday, August 7, 2017

It sounds like the warmer it gets here in chile the closer it is getting to school time in USA. So I would like to start out my remarks by sending a heartfelt sympathy call to all those that have to return to school in the next few weeks. :´( I shall shed a tear for you. Just kidding school was legit I loved it. (After 2:35 de la tarde)  

Today we just got back from playing soccer on a turf field. It was the first time I have played soccer on 'grass' for like 10 months. So that was way sick. But I have lost all my talents... I am feeling like an old man to be honest... I run around for a little bit and I am already gassed. But me and Elder Plante still take out the chileans trash so dont even worry about it. 

But as far as my schooling is going here in chile All is well. We are always well instructed by the experiences we have and by the spirit and by the scriptures. This weekend was an eventful and busy one. We had some baptisms and we hosted a Capilla Abierta. But all went great.

The Capilla Abierta was a success and lots of people came and everyone worked really great together and at the end of it we got to have Dylan's baptism. Dylan is 10 but just gets it. His parents are members but had never taken their kids to church. But we found them and started teaching and they all slowly started making changes. Dylan just understands everything we teach him. It is so awesome because that doesnt happen very often that someone understands all the concepts the first time but he did. He was so excited to get baptized and he told us he wanted to so that he could follow god in his life. 

The sunday after his confirmation he asked us where the tithing slips were so that he could pay his tithing. Some of his family had given him money as a gift and he wanted to make sure that he paid his tithing before doing anything else. I was so impressed. He will be a great example for his family. 

We made cookies to take to the baptism, so shout out to mom for teaching me how to read recipes. Everybody loved them. Now we are on to the next adventure. That is the thing is that the work never stops there is always someone else waiting and in need. I hope that everyone is doing well. Keep on keepin on.

Elder Holdstock

(The computer is super slow soooooo ill send pics next week)