Monday, October 28, 2013

Shot in the butt! (with a needle ;-))

Could just be me, but Sean sounds a little down this week with losing investigators and being sick, but still has a great attitude.  Sounds like he was pretty sick, but is on the mend now.

Hope all goes well with Sara Flores this week as she prepares for her baptism, I know it will be a big lift for Sean and Elder Donoso.  It will be interesting to see if Sean or Elder Donoso are transferred next Monday, I hope they get another month together.

Still no pictures from Chile, but he should have his package this week with his SD card reader.

Here's Sean's email this week:

Hola Everyone,

Hey everyone thanks for the pictures, it was nice to see all of your faces and to see that you guys are doing okay and having fun. The Sundance ride sounds like a lot of fun and Sabrina sounds like she didn't get too scared. It sounds like Halloween is going to be super fun and carving pumpkins looks like a lot of fun. Now I want to carve a pumpkin. I want to know who has the best looking pumpkin, and Brooke, Todd, Jessica and Derek's pumpkins all look great.

Halloween doesn't look like it’s that big down here and only some people dress up. To my understanding we have to buy candy so kids won’t throw eggs at us, or our house, so that's something new to me. But not as big, or fun, as it was in the states. Every time I ask someone about Halloween they tell me they don't really like it. I just guess I will find out on Thursday for myself. Sabrina I can’t wait to see you in your costume and have fun trick or treating. But don't eat too much candy!

This week was pretty good, I got really sick and ended up getting some shot in my butt, and yes I have pictures of that (HaHa). I had to stay in the house on Friday because of it. I had a really high fever, strep throat, none stop coughing and my throat was really swollen. Now I’m doing much better I have a pretty bad cough still but I’m okay.  

We still have the baptism this week, and the interviews are tomorrow for it, so we will find out tomorrow if she can be baptized. Margarita is done with us so we can’t teach her anymore. A lot of our investigators are dying, oh dying is when they won’t talk to us, or they don't want to see us anymore. Right now we have a different investigator that we might baptize later in the month of November. But we have no other real investigators progressing right now. So we are going to be searching and working with a lot of less active people.

I had another mini cambio this week with an Elder Hoopes. This one was because Elder Hoopes and Elder Flores are going to have a baptism, and Elder Donoso is the District leader, so he does the interview. Elder Hoopes is from Sandy and so we are pretty good friends now. The cool thing is he likes basketball and football a lot. That's what we talked about most of the day. It was really fun to work with another American (HaHa). 

Nothing much really happen this week I realized, other than being sick and most people skipping our lessons. This week was pretty hard you could say. I forgot to tell you guys that we are in the farthest mission away from Concepcion. So that's probably why the packages take a little longer to get here. Some other fun facts we are also in probably one of the nicest areas I was told, and I’m in the nicest house out of the entire mission so yeah for me! 

This next Monday we have a cambio (change) where I find out if I stay here or move to a different area. Also I get to find out if I get a new companion. We get that call nice and early in the morning next Monday and then I get to tell you guys what is going on.

Happy Birthday Mom, I Hope you have a great day on Sunday. I probably can send you some pictures next week because I get my package tomorrow, I’m pretty sure. I still want to wish you a happy birthday and hope you do something fun. I would love you give you and hug and tell you happy birthday. But I can’t so I love you and have a Great B-day!!!

Thanks for everything that you guys do and the love and support that you guys show me. I love reading your emails and seeing pictures of you guys. Try to have a safe and fun Halloween and don't eat too much candy! Have a real good week and I will write you guys next week. I love you guys and have a fun week!!!

Elder McAlister


I will share again the thought I had for Sean this week, and when I read it, I thought not only does it apply to his missionary service, but something we should all consider. It comes from Grant Von Harrison in his book "Drawing on the Powers of Heaven".  He said "Unless you exercise sufficient faith, you deny the Lord the opportunity to help you in the course of your daily life."

Until your back to read the next adventure from Elder McAlister...have a great week and a Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

MTC Pictures

We just received some pictures form Elder Logan Rogers, one of Sean's Mexico MTC Instructors, from when Sean was in the MTC.  It's great to see him looking so happy and healthy.

Left to Right: Elder Silva (Instructor), Sister Porter, Sister Mohun, Elder McAlister. Elder Barnes (Companion), Elder Ault, Elder Beck, Elder Phillips, Elder Smith, Elder Brand, Elder Hansen, Elder Ballard, Elder Rogers (Instructor).

Sean's Mexico MTC District with their MTC instructor Elder Silva.

Sean's Mexico MTC District with their MTC instructor Elder Rogers.

Elder Barnes, Elder Silva (MTC Instructor) and Elder McAlister

Elder Sila (MTC Instructor) and Elder McAlister

Elder McAlister at the Mexico MTC

Elder Barnes, Elder Logan (MTC Instructor) and Elder McAlister

Elder Logan (MTC Instructor) and Elder McAlister

Sean's Mexico MTC District doing some kind of a pose.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bikes and Mice!

This weeks email from Elder McAliser has a few funny stories, and news of what sounds like might be their first baptism of Sara Flores on November 2nd!!

Unfortunately, he still hasn't received the package from home we sent a couple weeks ago, so still no pictures this week...let's hope that changes next update.


Hey Everyone,

Chile is awesome and I’m loving my mission. The language is coming, and right now it seems slow but really I’m learning super fast. I can understand a lot of the conversations and speak in most. The Gospel topic conversations are the easiest for me. I’m glad that I am learning Spanish and can’t wait to speak really well.

Me and Elder Donoso are doing amazing. This last week we just clicked, and we are working really well; it’s like we are best friends. We had a rough start but now we are doing awesome. He is helping me a lot with the language and our planning is so much better now. Elder Donoso is from Cordon, Argentina.

This week we had another mini cambio and I worked with our Zone Leader, Elder Escarate. It was super fun and very helpful; he has only two weeks left of his mission and he says it goes by so fast. During our mini cambio, all the lessons got cancelled so we ended up doing a lot of contacting, which was awesome and now my contacting language is really well. I had to stay the night at Elder Escarate’s house and their house is something else (HaHa). The missionary's in the house are awesome, so it didn't matter to me.

Funny story this week. We have bikes at our house, but they are awful. They have no brakes and pretty flat tires and are just falling apart. We tried them out anyways. So we were riding them and my front tire popped so we had to fix that. Then after that we went taught a lesson and we were riding to the next lesson and Elder Donoso’s back tire popped. We went and found someone who could fix the tire. As you can tell, we had a bad day going already, and we had to hurry to our next lesson because we were super late. Our lessons that we did teach this day went really well. We were running super behind and we needed to get to our church. Elder Donoso cuts through a park and I try to go around this corner and I’m going pretty fast and next thing I know I’m falling and my bike started sliding on dirt. As soon as I stop sliding I just pop up and I make eye contact with a teenage kid who is on the side walk. I yelled esta bien and tried to get back on my bike and ride off, but my chain had fallen off so I get off my bike to fix it. Next thing I know I have about 15 kids around me asking me if I’m okay and getting the dirt off me and in my mind I’m like leave me alone. I got my bike fixed and went as fast as possible to the church. I didn't get hurt or anything. All I got was a small scrap on my ankle and the world’s smallest cut on my hand, but that was super funny.

Another funny story. So this morning I just got out of the shower and I hear Elder Donoso yelling for everyone to come to our study room. So I got my clothes on and went to the study room. I see Elder Donoso and he says there was a mouse in his back pack, and when he opened it, the mouse jumped out and run into one of my shoes. At first I was like no there's not but then he was acting serious so all four of us made a plan of how to get the mouse out of our house. We opened the door to our study room that leads outside. Elder Bueno walks over and picks up my shoe and he says that there is nothing there. All of a sudden a mouse pops out and 4 guys start screaming like little girls and hitting the mouse. We ended up getting it outside, and killing it because we hit it about 100 times. Elder Bueno took my shoe and hit is straight outside and it died. It was so funny and now me and Elder Donoso won’t go into our study room for awhile. I think our neighbors think we are weird because we sounded like little girls screaming while trying to kill it (HaHaHa). Those are two super funny things that happen this week.

In all seriousness we are doing really good, and our investigators are doing great. Sara Flores is looking to be baptized on November 2. I hope that everything is going well for you guys and thanks for your love and support. I want you guys to know this church is true and I love this Gospel. I love you all and thank you for giving me this opportunity of sharing something we all love.

I love you guys!!!

Elder McAlister


This week I leave you with my thought that I shared with Sean from Elder David Bednar from conference talk in the Priesthood session a while back:

“My beloved brethren, you and I, today and always, are to bless all peoples in all the nations of the earth. You and I, today and always, are to bear witness of Jesus Christ and declare the message of the Restoration. You and I, today and always, are to invite all to receive the ordinances of salvation. Proclaiming the gospel is not a part-time priesthood obligation. It is not simply an activity in which we engage for a limited time or an assignment we must complete as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Rather, missionary work is a manifestation of our spiritual identity and heritage. We were foreordained in the premortal existence and born into mortality to fulfill the covenant and promise God made to Abraham. We are here upon the earth at this time to magnify the priesthood and to preach the gospel. That is who we are, and that is why we are here – today and always.”

Until next week when we have another update (and hopefully pictures) out for mice in your shoes!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Splits with the AP's this week!

Another update from Elder McAlister!  Sound like a normal missionary with plenty of challenges and interesting experiences.  I was able to exchange a few quick emails back and forth today, and he was asking for money to replace the pants torn by the dog (see his email below) and some shoes that were destroyed by mud.

It's great to here him speak of their investigators and the progress they are making.  I wish he could feel better about picking up the language, but he most likely inherited my brain for language, so that could be a problem ;-).


Hey Everyone,

It sounds like everyone is having a party and a good time, which is good to hear. I hope that Brother Foster is okay and doing well.

This week has been really hard. My companion has been acting like a little kid, and randomly will tackle me and toss my study table. At times I want to kill him (haha). But, it has been a hard week because he hasn't done any planning with me because he is the district leader and gets calls at night and that's when he plans. So most of the time, I don't know where we are going or what we are doing. One of the days the President came down to visit Linares and Longavi, which was good to see him. We had our interviews and had meetings with the assistants which is a lot of fun.

 We had a mini cambio, which is when Elder Donoso worked with one of the assistants, and I worked with a different Elder. I was able to work with Elder Flores who is from Peru, and he speaks no English. So we went contacting, and we were going house to house and we got 2 new investigators and 8 Future investigators which was really good for the amount of time we had, and we are still working in a new sector. Anyways, we were walking and we see this dog just lying in the street, like most of the dogs do. So we go to contact this one house near the dog. We start yelling halo which is like yelling hola but it’s just different when yelling at a house. Then the dog just went crazy and went to attack us, which wasn't fun because I was right next to the dog. The dog ended up ripping my pants and I ended up kicking it, which nether one was fun. I went the rest of the day contacting and working with a big rip in my pants (haha). I'm just glad the dog didn't get to bit me.

Lately we have been using members as a good source for referrals, and having them come with us to lessons which they have been awesome. We have a small branch, but also a lot of non-active members in Linares. It’s been fun but super hard just because of the language and not being able to say completely what I want to say, or just have a conversation with people. So right now the Spanish feels like it’s coming really slow and part of the problem is Elder Donoso wants to learn English and tries to only speak English to me and it’s not helping me. I’m hoping soon it will start to click and I’ll be able to understand the conversations really well.

Our casa is pretty nice but I like the other one a lot more because it had a couch and was more furnished. This one is empty and pretty big for four Elders. It’s starting to get warmer in the mornings and that has been really nice. I forgot to tell you about Elder Watson and Elder Bueno, who are the other Elders in our casa. They are awesome and I want them to be my companions in the future.

Our investigators are doing okay. Sara Flores just needs that last little push and we will have a baptism which would be awesome. She has been coming to church and everything; it’s just baptism that scares her. We also have a man who is Eduardo and his wife is a member but he´s not yet. Then we have a little girl named Fransica who is awesome and has been coming to church. We have been meeting with her and her family, and her family is non-active and she is 8 years old and not a member. Then Margarita, who was our best one, but we haven’t seen her for a while, which is killing us and we have no clue why she’s never home. Those are our best investigators down here and they are doing great, other than Margarita which we don't know what’s going on there.

I want to thank you guys again for everything and how awesome you guys are. I’m having a good time other than Spanish which is killing me. But soon I will love Spanish as much as English. I love you guys and stay strong in the church.

Love you McAlister family

Elder McAlister

P.S. I haven't gotten the package yet and our street is Luis Carrera, Linares, in Chile and our house is around there.

Again this week I leave you with a thought shared with Sean from his Mom:

My thoughts come from Elder S. Gifford Nielsen's conference talk:
One of my favorite songs and scriptures as a teenager. Alma's heartfelt plea: "O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!" Alma 29:1. Concerning the hastening of the work Elder L. Tom Perry added these comments: "This is the most remarkable era in the history of the church. This is something that ranks with the great events that have happened in past history, like the First Vision, like the gift of the Book of Mormon, like the Restoration of the gospel, like all of the things that build that foundation for us to go forward and teach in our Father in Heaven's kingdom." And the final scripture found in D&C 76:22, the Prophet Joseph Smith says, "And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!"

Until next week when we have another careful out there everyone and watch out for those lying dogs!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Moved to a new casa

Another update from Sean, it sounds like a busy week with a move to a new house and General Conference.  It's great to hear that he and Elder Donoso have a good group of investigators to share the gospel message with.  We send him the equipment he needs to send pictures, so hopefully soon we will get to see some of the things he talks about.


Hola Everyone,

     Hey everyone i hope that you guys are doing well and that you’re having fun. This week was not a normal week at all. I Also missed being with the family for General Conference. I thought about the breakfast we have on Sunday morning which sounds really good to me. I missed talking about conference with you guys and playing bingo. I also missed Priesthood which was really good this year. But I missed watching and going to the Asian Buffet. It was really good here and I was able to watch it in English which was really nice. I love it a lot and was hoping we could do it every weekend. I hoped that you guys loved it as much as me and I can’t wait for the next one!

     This last week we moved into a different house which is nice but it’s about 2 times bigger than our last house so its empty and I really miss carpet. But the moving took us about a full day because we had to help the other family move out of our new house and helped them move into their new house. The house is awesome and its super big but empty, and no furniture or oven or stove. So we feel really broke right now. But it’s starting to warm up and it’s still cold in the mornings which is okay for right now. 

     The Spanish is something that is killing me but it’s going to be coming to me very fast very soon. But people are always thinking that I should be perfect at Spanish by now but I’m only starting my third week. In general conference I realized with time and with faith in God I will be teaching in Spanish in no time. I am able to understand a lot of conversations and am able to answer most questions but it’s still hard for me. My companion speaks enough English and I speak enough Spanish we get by. The Spanish here is also super fast and slurred as could be. But the people are very kind and very helpful.

We lost one of our best investigators who was Maria Elena. But we picked one up that was better than ever so far she loves everything that we believe and is doing really good. We have about 8 good investigators that are doing really well. Our best ones name is Margarita and she is doing amazing, she came to General Conference and loved it. This is making my mission so much better. 

The moving and unpacking took up about two of our days. Our contacting is going okay people say they will meet with us and half the time never talk to us again. But we have picked up some really good investigators which is awesome. The dogs down here are not all scary; some love you and follow you for about 5 miles if you just give it one cracker, which is funny. The food here is really good and we don’t eat at anyone’s houses for dinner we only each lunch, which is like eating 3 dinner appointments in a row. The lunches are so big and the dinner and breakfasts are super small.

I don’t have much time because we have to go buy stuff which is needed. So I will tell you when I get the package, and thanks for sending one. Thank you guys for all you support, and thank you for your prayers, I hope that you can pray for our investigator Margarita, who is doing awesome. I love you guys so much and I will send pictures when I can.

I love you guys!!!

Elder McAlister

P.S. Stay strong in the gospel, because God has given us everything and we give him such little. So follow him and his example and endure to the end and love his gospel and all his children!


The following was shared with Sean by him Mom this week:

President Monson spoke in conference:

The holy scriptures contain no proclamation more relevant, no responsibility more binding, no instruction more direct than the injunction given by the resurrected Lord as He appeared in Galilee to the eleven disciples. Said He: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” 

The Prophet Joseph Smith declared: “After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel.” 

Have a great week everyone!