Monday, October 16, 2017

Hola Desde la Playa!

Hello Hello!

We had changes today and can you belive it I am staying here in Algarrobo! My companion got sent away and I will be receiving a new companion. They say that he is also Argentine so I think that God wants me to finish the mision with an argentine accent and not with a chilean one. 

I am excited to be here a little bit longer though! I feel like there is still lots of work for me to do here even though we have already seen a lot of miracles and successes I am glad to have a little bit more time here to really help all the people who have been baptized adapt and help the investigators make that leap of faith. 

The coast is something else though. We ate lunch the other day with a member named Luis, he lives alone in the middle of nowhere up in the mountains and is constructing his own house. He still doesnt have running water or light but has been living there for about a year. It is crazy. Even though he lives super far away he is always one of the first people to arrive to church every morning. I asked him how long it takes to get to church for him and he said a little more than an hour. I was thinking about how sometimes I would wake up at 8:47 to get to church at 9:00... haha what sacrifice right??

We saw some awesome little miracles in church this week too. A guy named daniel just showed up out of nowhere. We had talked to him in the street about two weeks ago and invited him to church because he didnt want us to go to his house because he is renting there or somthing... so he came to church and said that he enjoyed it!

It is crazy to think that I am getting close to a year. The time flies here like I remember vividly what I was doing a year ago. But what I know is that god has his hand in our lives and that he has a plan for us. Thank you for all your prayers and your support I hope you all have the best week

Elder Holdstock



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

#pray4chile

This week we painted the world with the gospel and with paint.... lol. We started out the week painting a house up in the mountains. It was way fun because the house is up on stilts so it was really high off the ground... so we had to get really creative and put the paint rollers on the end of really long tree branches so that we could get the paint all the way up the house and on all the sides. It brought me flash backs of the random stuff we would do in Student Government just to get the job done sometimes not in the most traditional way but at least whatever worked. 

Another funny thing that happened before I get too spiritual on ya is last week when we were helping a family move their things to another house we were at the old house but the owners werent there and we didnt have the key to get in so we were just sitting there. But I had another flashback to a night about a year ago when Tanner Anderson came over and we were hottubbing and then we spent about an hour learning how to pick locks... or I spent an hour learning and he spent an hour teaching me. And he taught me that sometimes when locks arent that good you can use just about any key if you just jiggle it and shake it enough to open the lock. So I decided to go for it and we got that door open in about 1 minute flat... haha so the things you learn really do serve for all your life.

We are coming to the end of this change and so that means that most likely either I or my companion will be leaving but we arent sure who. I have really enjoyed it here and have learned a lot and met so many awesome people who have been able to learn about the gospel and make changes to become more christlike. But nobody knows what will happen yet we will have to just wait and see.

This week Connie (who is the daughter of the mom who reads the book of mormon to her kids) made this little art project for school of Adam and Eve because she loved when we explained the plan of salvation to them and then she wanted to give it to us to take home to our house. She got a 7 btw which is like gettting an A+ in Chilean terms i mean look at it it is pretty cool isnt it? 



We had a great time this week teaching as well. Like a little old guy we are teaching named Julio said this week when we talked to him, 'it is like the dark clouds are disappearing and I can see the light' that is exactly what the gospel does for us. As we learn we gain hope and we grow our faith and that faith grows 'brighter and brigther until the perfect day' I loved what you said about the testimony of bro. watson haha. I think that the book of mormon is just such a powerful tool in the conversion process because it is so clear and precise in what it says. I was pondering the articles of faith and especially the one that says, 'we believe the bible to be the word of god as far as it is translated correctly, we also believe the book of mormon to be the word of god' and how the bible is not perfect there are errors and things that dont make sense but that the book of mormon is the word of god... not to a point but it is the word period. The people are so human and imperfect in the book of mormon so that we can relate to them well but the doctrines are perfect.

We are also needing to pray for chile today because tomorrow is do or die against brazil so they can classify for the world cup... hahaha 

I hope you all had a great week it sounds like it was homecoming? That is way awesome I look forward to seeing all the pictures of the fashion. Have a great week!

Elder Holdstock



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Conf

I think that conference has to be one of the best times of the year. Such a good moment to rethink and evaluate and be better. I loved all the sessions and all the talks so much. i am the same as you mom when you say that after every talk I was convinced that that was going to be my favorite one. 

This week we were blessed to have a lot of awesome experiences with our investigators. We have been teaching a man named Dormeus who has been searching for the true church for a while now he says. The cool thing about Dormeus is that a little while ago like 2 months ago he was a refferal from Elder Tiev, but we could never find him because we didnt know where he lived and his phone never worked we just had his name and the general direction of where he lived. BUT a few weeks ago we were walking down the street and I saw a man standing on the side of the road and without even thinking I stopped walking and started talking to him. I asked him his name and who would have guessed! it was Dormeus and I showed him the phone number we had for him and asked if he was the same one and he said yes but that he had changed his phone number a while back. So that was a little tender mercy that we were able to find him and we have had some great progress with him as he is praying and studying the book of mormon. He loved Conference.

We went to Cartagena this week as well in the pouring rain to help a family that recently got baptized move because they were getting kicked out of their house. It just so happens that a week after their baptism the owners of the house started to blame lots of stuff on them like the high electricity bill and other stuff but the coincidence is that the owners of the house or the renters are actually testigos de jehovah.. so who knows why they are actually being kicked out. Anyway we helped them move all of their stuff to another house but this house is super far away and in the middle of nowhere, it was just rough to see the trials they were facing, the gospel doesnt take away our trials but does give us the strength we need to bear them up. I was impressed this week as I studied the story of the pueblo who escaped from king noah and the scriptures that described their hardships, but that the lord didnt take away the hardships right away, rather he gave them strength so that they could bear their burdens and after they had shown their faith and patience he freed them from bondage. I saw that literally this week in this family.

God is real. And he really does love us, just look for the little evidences of his love this week and youll be a different person the next.

Elder Holdstock


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tanto Tiempo!  

It seems like just yesterday that I was writing you guys! Oh wait that is because it practically was just yesterday. haha. We have eventually entered into primavera here in chile since we are opposites from each other when you guys enter fall we enter spring which is wild because I remember that when I got here to chile the weather was just about the same as it is now.

We had a fun day on saturday because there was a worldwide service project sort of thing and so we went to San Antonio and cleaned up a little bit around a hospital as part of the service project. We cleaned up lots of stuff like fallen power lines, TV´s that were just thrown on the ground. 

It sounds like you guys at home are also focusing on the book of mormon a lot too! That is way awesome. So many times we have people ask us what is the difference between you guys and the other churches, and that is just the question we like to hear because there are so many difference but so many blessings that we have that others can have as well. Among them are prophets and the book of mormon.

It is just so essential for our testimonies that we read the book of mormon on the daily, because not only does it testify of the restauracion (idk how to spell or say that in english anymore) but it is the rock solid foundation that Jesus is our savior and of his doctrine and his gospel. 

We are super excited for this next weekend as well for General Conference to be able to hear instructions from the prophet and the apostles about what it is that we need to be doing to grow and progress. Conference in its self is a great missionary opportunity and great way to invite people to learn about the restored gospel and who better to learn it from than the prophet himself?? 

Everyone we are teaching is doing well and progressing little by little we always find small miracles everyday with the people we talk to. Out here on the coast people tend to work... a lot.... but even with that obstacle they are able to come to church every once in a while and we have been blessed with a lot of tender mercies these last few weeks. 

I hope everyone enjoys this weekend and that you go on a super cool hike for conference! 

Elder Holdstock 

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...)

PS.
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