Tuesday, April 4, 2017

You are a tool in the Lord's hands


Waffles before Conference
Buenas Tardes, Mamita amada.
Well, this week has been a week of miracles in Lampa. We were blessed with finding lots of people who are really excited to get baptized soon, including one person that attended 10 hours of general conference this weekend, a family of 4 that came to watch conference, a man who had a ton of questions when we first taught him and a couple more references from members.

This change in Lampa with Elder Heaps has been a dream and there’s so many people to thank for that, but mostly my companion Elder Heaps. Unfortunately, this is my first and last change in Lampa. Yesterday I had an interview with Presidente Videla and it went something like this:

Presidente: “Le gustan los desafios?”
Me: “Si”
Presidente: “Excelente, Elder, es que lo necisito como Asistente.”

For those of you who don’t understand much Spanish (dad), I’m going to be an Assistant to the President next change. My new companion will also be new as an Assistant and his name is Elder Santos from Brazil. Our assignment is unique in that we’ll be there when Presidente Videla goes home and when Presidente Messervy (new mission president) gets here, so there’s a lot of preparation these next 9 weeks to help make the transition as smooth as possible. Our proselyting sector will be Vespucio in the zone Zapadores (where I began). I’m grateful for this opportunity even though I was a nervous wreck yesterday, and excited to see what good we can do in the Mision Santiago Norte.

I had a super special experience on Sunday that I’d also like to share with you guys. It happened between the two Sunday sessions of General Conference. So I got a call from the zone leader phone from my last zone: San Pablo. I answered the phone and I heard the voice of a female. It was Graciela, the recent convert in Dorsal. She began thanking me for knocking her door and for forever changing her life. She then tried to explain how her life had changed, but she couldn’t as she started crying. In that call I also found out that this past weekend, Rita, the last person I invited to be baptized in my time in Dorsal was baptized. Also, the wife of recent convert Fabian (Yamilet) will be baptized soon. Thirty minutes later we were going back to the chapel for the last session of General Conference and I began thinking how cool it would’ve been to be there and witness those special moments and baptisms. While I was thinking about that and I guess casually wishing for things that weren’t in line with the Lord’s will, I heard a voice (being unmistakably the spirit) and it said the following:

“You are a tool in the Lord’s hands”

My eyes immediately filled with tears as I realized the implications of this. I don’t think God could have ever given me a higher compliment than that. I hope to be forever worthy so that God can use me to bless the lives of others. I think conference also helped me to get rid of more of that pride that makes me think of myself before others.

I hope everyone enjoyed this past weekend of conference and is ready to put into practice what was learned and felt.

Elder Heaps and Elder Birrell
Completos!
I may not have time to write much next week so I’ll take the opportunity this week to thank Elder Heaps for everything. He’s an excellent missionary and I’ve learned a lot from him, more than he probably realizes.

Quick story about him from before the mission. When he was in the college football recruiting process he had some interest in playing football at Utah (I believe) and they also had some interest in him. In the end they didn’t have the spots to offer him, but Kalani (the current BYU head coach) met with him one last time and the conversation went something like this:
Kalani: “Are you planning on serving a mission?”
Elder Heaps: “Yes, sir”
Kalani: Excellent, best choice you’ll ever make! Go on your mission. The Lord will take care of the rest.
Grateful for the only scholarship he had, he signed with Weber State and left on his mission. Kalani then became the head coach at BYU and long story short, he’ll be playing at the Y this fall along with his two best friends that also committed to different schools, served/are currently serving missions, and switched schools to BYU.

I’m excited for Elder Heaps and the bright future he has in front of him as he finishes his mission on May 22nd. I know he’ll continue putting the Lord first and the rest will continue falling into place in his life.

Talk to you next week from Santiago.

Love,
Elder Birrell
 A letter from Luckenson our convert from Galvarino (with Elder Langston)
My favorite Chilean treat "Berlin"

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