Wow! Another P-day already! I feel like this week flew by. I have about 20 minutes this morning before personal study so I wanted to write ya!
I wanted to tell you how great my birthday was! Man, I don't think you could have picked better candy to put in that box, haha! And that hair gel was perf! So thank you so much for that. A lot of people say birthdays kind of suck out here so thank you for making sure that didn't happen. You are seriously the best!
I also wanted to tell you what my roommates did. They all woke up early and set up your gift and all of their gifts in the kitchen. When the alarm went off at 6:30am, I was the only one still in bed. So I got up and Elder Catola said "Elder Walz! Get down here now!" Then when I got to the kitchen, they were singing happy birthday to me and they had bought me a cheesecake! They set up the candles you sent also! Then after they sang they all gave me a gift. E'Catala got me a leather jacket somehow and then also he bought the cheesecake. E'Rodriguez drew me a card and got me candy. E'Agostinelli bought me candy and also gave me a ring. The ring has been passed down a few times on the mission. The ring says "730 on the outside and the inside says "days to serve, a lifetime to remember". Then they all went around telling me some words of wisdom and needless to say this put me into tears, haha. The elders I live with are all so awesome! That ring is literally so cool. 730 might seem like a lot until you put it into perspective of a lifetime, haha. I'm so glad I made it out here. I honestly never thought I would be here until this last year.
Then also, a member had my same birthday so they also had us over for dinner and cake! I think they sent Tan a picture but I am not sure. So I just wanted to let you know I had a GREAT birthday!! :)
So yeah the Haitians went to church and now we are actually teaching like 7 of them. There are 2 couples that are progressing more than others. When we got to laws and ordinances I was kind of nervous especially about the law of chastity and word of wisdom. Both couples live together and aren't married. But when we taught both those lessons they like immediately believed that they were true commandments of God! And they are both planning on getting married soon to follow the Law of Chastity and then they agreed to try and stop drinking coffee every morning too. It was just crazy to see how receptive these guys are. I expected more complaints and wanting reasons for why we have the commandments. So yeah the Haitians are sweet!
Some lessons that have been meaningful to me are in 1 Nephi 16! This is the chapter where Nephi's whole family gets discouraged. They all murmur to the Lord for not being able to eat, even Lehi. But somehow Nephi is just a boss and never ceases to have faith in the Lord. He eventually makes a new bow and goes and gets food. Then he brings it back and shares it with his whole family who were just complaining. I don't know if I could stay strong like that when everyone around me was complaining. This story is such a great example of staying strong when others aren't doing what’s right. Even when times get rough, just have that faith that the Lord will provide. And when he does finally bless you, have the charity of Nephi and still share it with others that aren't doing what's right. Always be that example. I know this to be true in many experiences of mine here on my mission. I was struggling a ton but as soon as I put all my faith in the Lord things started to get better. I hope this makes sense because I don't have time to look it over :)
Oh one other interesting thing here is that the church has some huge olive and walnut farms here in Melipilla. I guess the church owns farms like these all over the world. (Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Florida, Cali, England) In Florida I guess the church owns like 15% of the land in all of Florida haha! This was interesting to me how much the church actually sells on the open market. I want to learn more about that someday. There are a few members in the ward that are in charge of it here. That is how I know a little bit. But yeah I thought that was super interesting!
Well I think that is it this week! Spanish is getting a little better :) haha No huge improvements yet but it is coming. Take care and have a great week!
Love Elder Walz :)