Monday, April 24, 2017

Inez's Baptism

Inez's Baptism
I'm writing a day early because I won't have p-day tomorrow because of zone conference. I don't have much time to write, but I want to tell you about Inez.


So this week the exciting news is the baptism of Inez Gutierrez. She is the definition of someone truly prepared to hear the gospel. She bounced around churches her whole life but never really found one that she liked. It’s never diminished her faith in Jesus Christ. Some time ago missionaries shared with her but they never passed by her house again. A month ago she saw the missionaries and she asked them to teach her. They taught her a few times and kept every single one of her commitments. She read, she prayed sincerely, she went to church. When we got here all we had to do was ask a few simple questions to realize she had a strong growing testimony of Jesus Christ and of his restored church and we committed her to be baptized for 9 days later (yesterday) Inez is truly a special person prepared by God to receive this message. I have no doubt in my mind she`ll endure in this Gospel, she is a fantastic example of true conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Have a great week.


Elder Birrell

April 18, 2017- Happy Easter

I’m currently writing this on Easter Sunday here in Vespucio. It was a crazy week but things are starting to settle down (that is until Friday when zone conferences start). Quick recap of the first week-

Monday: changes and other seminars for the missionaries going home.
Tuesday: (what should have been p-day) welcoming the new missionaries.
Wednesday: We made the presentation for the new missionary seminar.
Thursday: Leadership Council
Friday: Zone class (finally something we could just sit back and enjoy)
Saturday: New missionary seminar

Easter was good!! We dyed some eggs and then went to church. It was the first time in my life that I’ve been to the reverse order of church, (Priesthood/Sunday school/ Sacrament Meeting) but it was good. They gave us time to present ourselves to the ward and it was awesome. I really felt a special spirit that day. Things are a little cray but that also could be because we are new in the sector. The area is good, similar to my first sector in fact I passed by my first house today. It’s not too cold yet, but the temperature is slowly going down.

Cool story from Lampa (my last area). So the man that I talked about last week, Adrian Castro, who has problems with depression, has been investigating the church for many years. He’s helped introduce the gospel to many people who ended up getting baptized/sealed in the Temple. Last weekend we were kind of at a loss. We really just didn’t know how to help the guy, so we fasted for him. I left the following day, but then on Wednesday I got a call from Elder Heaps. He told me that they were planning for the week and then came the time to plan for Adrian. They didn’t know what to do, so they called him, offered to bring him a cool water bottle and he accepted the offer.

When they got to where they were going to meet up, Adrian said the following, “I don’t want the water bottle, I want to get baptized on Saturday. I don’t care who does it, just make sure no one else comes.” On Saturday morning his wish was granted!

Elder Birrell and Elder Santos playing futbol
All is good here in Vespucio as well. Elder Santos and I have already found good chemistry in teaching which will be super important given all the teaching we do as assistants especially as zone conferences start this week.


Elder Birrell

April 11, 2017- New Responsibilities

Elder Birrell, Elder Heaps and Elder Langston
The Easter package got here this week and I am already a sweet Korean barbeque pork jerky addict WOW that was good. M y comp loved the chocolate covered almonds. Yes, we will be traveling assistants, but they haven’t had a car in this mission for a long time but for the special circumstances of a new President that may change so we´ll see. 

So I didn’t have time to write a letter last night. I was constantly on the phone from 9:40 to 11:00 and then running like a crazy man all morning in the office helping out the new missionaries but here’s a quick summary.

Elder Santos, President and Sister Videla and Elder Birrell
So yesterday we were officially called as Assistants (Elder Santos and I) and the work started immediately. It’s been amazing being with Elder Santos these past two days. I can truly see why he was called to this assignment. Yesterday we were able to start proselyting at like 5:00 pm in the sector Vespucio. We made the most of our time and visited everyone we could. I´m confident that as we use our time diligently we´ll be able to get a lot done in our sector. 

Today we had the opportunity to greet the new missionaries and help give them some capacitation (orientation). The problem today was that President Videla and his wife had a problem and left, so we had to take the position of them and also take the position of us. If what I’m saying doesn’t make sense, it’s because I’m spent already (and technically it’s my pday haha)

Just a quick thought: an investigator that we were teaching in Lampa, whose name was Adrian and he was one of a kind. He probably understands the doctrine about as well as we do (He´s read the Book of Mormon twice, Jesus the Christ twice, even the manuals of the church he´s read and on top of all that he has a strong testimony that these things are true. The problem is that he has strong depression and many times he´s been on the verge of baptism and something happens. Basically before being baptized he wanted to be sure that he could truly endure to the end even with his depression. His worries also stem from him not being as well received by members in past wards that he had attended. The guy truly has a different kind of personality that makes it really hard for anyone to relate to him, but the whole time we taught him I thought of the scripture that says if we don’t have charity we are nothing. It doesn’t matter how well we know the scriptures, what we’ve done in the past, how great we are at teaching, or how strong our testimony is, if we don’t have charity these things are not accomplishing their ultimate purpose. Charity is the pure love of Christ and maybe we´ll never quite reach that level, but I personally know I need to be much better.

We have a long week ahead of us so I´ll let you know how it goes next week!!!!


Elder Birrell

Colina Zone!!

With Elder Langston

Tammy is a convert that cuts our hair for free

Friends in Lampa
Friends in Lampa