Monday, January 27, 2014

Learning the importance of the Spirit

Sounds like Elder McAlister had a much better week than last week.  He learned important lessons on studying the language and listening to the spirit in his missionary work.

He finally received the Christmas package and letters from the Ward this week, just a month late.


Hey Everyone,

How’s everyone one doing? Sounds like the past week you guys had a lot of fun! Sounds like Mom, Dad and Sabrina had a really good week and a little relaxed. Derek and Todd I´m sorry but I asked my President and he said no, but I really asked him in a joking way (HaHa). Sounds like Jessica and Brooke had a normal week. Also, happy birthday to Todd I hope you have a good Birthday and wow you are really old!!!

This last week was a lot better with my Spanish and I realized that I didn't even really have a language plan set to help my Spanish which kind of is bad! So I have one now and my district leader said if I follow my plans I will be a lot better with Spanish in two weeks, so I´m taking that as a challenge. I have started to study with the things that could help me teach better and my sentences, but I realized I need to focus on something much bigger than my language. This last week I have really be focusing on the spirit and my prayers lately. I love the section in Preach My Gospel where it talks about recognizing the spirit. If you guys have Preach My Gospel, read that chapter and do the little prayer test that it has. I noticed this last week how sad my prayers were, it just seemed like a task to me and I just needed to get it done. When I read that and started applying it, I can tell you it really makes a difference in my prayers.

Also in my prayers I have started to focus around the spirit and how I could receive specific answers when I pray about specific things. I´m always searching for the spirit and thinking of the atonement and how much that has helped me in my life. I have realized when I am sitting there in a lesson and not thinking oh what can I say next and start practicing those sentences in my head. I have really began to listen to the person and I realized how much better I could speak Spanish when focused on them and not what my Spanish sounds like. I also want to say I´m sorry to parents because I learned how bad of a listener I was before my mission, or I was just super lazy at listening (HaHa). 

We haven't found the gold ticket investigator yet, or the families that we are looking for, but we did find two this week which are okay. This week we are going to focus on the 4 investigators that can progress really good, we think!!! The names are Francisco, Tamara, Edison and Sut. So if you guys could pray for them and hope that they will listen and progress this week, because we really need them to progress!

On Saturday we had an activity of food around the world, which was super fun. The idea of the activity was a typical meal from that country. I had no idea what to do for the United States so I went with the good old classic hot dogs. I could tell you one thing, my food was gone with-in minutes. They really liked my hot dogs and the funny thing was I couldn’t find any mustard at our little store near our house. So it was hot dogs with BBQ sauce (HaHa). They absolutely loved the BBQ sauce here, and some went and bought it after the activity.

I found out that people in Chile are really funny with food. They have this sauce that is called aji and it’s really hot for them, but it’s nothing. I don't know if they have it in Argentina, but they have it here and they can’t handle it at all (HaHa). I use to love hot sauce on my food, but since the hotel accident that happened (I´m still sorry Sabrina), this is really has no kick to it or anything. So for the first four months in Chile I was scared of it thinking it was super-hot, then I tried it and it only adds flavor for me. It’s super funny for me!!!

Also today was cambios, me and Elder Coronado and staying together to our knowledge just have to find out about the Chile and Peru conflict. I will have to keep him focused because he is now talking a lot about home. I will let you know how that goes!

Thanks for everything and I hope you guys have another fantastic week. I love hearing from you and I am glad you guys are my family. Guess what, I almost have 6 months in my mission wow, its going by super-fast!!! I love you guys and stay awesome!

Love you!

Elder McAlister

P.S. I got all the letters from the Ward and from grandmas, so tell them thank you!


This week I shared four quotes on Missionary work with Sean.

First by M. Russell Ballard, from "Put Your Trust in the Lord".  He said "Trust the Lord. He is the Good Shepherd. He knows His sheep, and His sheep know His voice; and today the voice of the Good Shepherd is your voice and my voice."

Next from Thomas S. Monson, from "Dare to Stand Alone".  He said "Once we have a testimony, it is incumbent upon us to share that testimony with others."

Again from M. Russell Ballard, from "Put Your Trust in the Lord".  He said "Heed the promptings of the Spirit. Supplicate the Lord in mighty prayer. Become engaged in doing what you can in sharing the great message of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Finally Henry B. Eyring, from "We Are One". He said "The Lord made it very clear at the start of this last dispensation that we were to take the gospel to all the world. ... Whatever our age, capacity, Church calling, or location, we are as one called to the work to help Him in His harvest of souls."

These four quotes should really let him know he is out doing the right thing in the Lords service bring the gospel message to the people of Chile.  I am so proud of Sean, and even thought I miss him, I am happy that he is out sharing, learning and growing in the gospel.

Enjoy this week’s pictures from Chile!

Seems like all missionaries take this picture.

Sean's District in Haulpencillo

Hot dogs fixed the a food around the world activity.

Representing the good old USA!

Their big room.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A hard week

Sounds like I was a hard week for Sean.  Struggling with Spanish, lost some investigators, and having a hard time finding new ones.  But as he recognizes in his email that there are a lot of up’s and down’s while on a mission, and you just need to continue to work through it.


Hey everyone,

Sounds like Sabrina's birthday was super fun and now she is the big 9 year old bum!!! I just thought about this, Sabrina and mom are both going to be better with technology then I will when I get back. A tablet is pretty cool present so happy birthday Sabrina. Sounds like I need to come up and help out Todd and Derek´s team. I will talk to president today, and what’s going on there I don't want to hear an excuse! The opera sounds interesting, and to my understanding it wasn't in English, but sounds like you guys had fun. 

This last week went by super-fast and next week we have our cambios, so this cambio went by fast too. Everything has been going by super-fast and all I want is to know Spanish, soon I hope. This last week we were really focused in finding people to teach and Hualpen is really a hard place to find people. The family Burgaos Arabena are no longer progressing, because every time we go to visit they are starting to take out alcohol and drink it in front of us, and offering it to us, so we have stopped going to their house. This week we walked every day, and just searched because we need to find people to teach. We have been teaching them the first lesson and the next visit they don't want us. So you could say it’s been really hard this week.  When it’s my companions turn to start the lesson he always teaches the Sabbath for the first lesson, so all the people are like yeah I’m keeping this commandment now get out of my house. This week I told him the restoration is the first lesson or baptism, so I am going to see what happens this week. We are searching and searching for people that want to hear our message and it’s been super hard to find people. We are working with faith and hope that we can find some good investigators soon. We find kids in the street all the time, and play some fútbol, and got some lessons with our skills that I don’t have (HaHa) No I’m okay at fútbol and it’s probably because I played with Tillie in the backyard.

This week we contacted a dad and his son. It turns out his son is a gangster of some kind but doesn't seem very mean or scary to me. I found out that his son is Benjamin who is the one kid I have pictures with the toy guns. I showed him the pictures and he’s like let’s take pictures and it turns out he loves to take pictures (HaHa)! It was super funny, so now we have a friend that is a gangster, but is interested in the church so we are working with him.

This week we found out that Chile and Peru are close to going to war over some of the ocean, and every house that we go to that is a member is super funny because they attack my companion because he is from Peru. We also found out that the 27 of January, Chile is going to vote to send the people from Peru back to Peru or not. So my companion might go back to Peru a little bit early. That's all we know about it!

This last week was hard for me I, could not speak at all in Spanish. I couldn't pronounce anything and it’s been just beating me up. I’m having a hard time a memorizing words and things like that, so please pray for my Spanish!

Thanks for everything that you guys do and I want you guys to know I love you. The mission has been an eye opener and a true blessing. You get a little bit of everything in your mission but I wouldn't change it at all. I feel like I’m getting dumber with English and I’m still learning Spanish, so right now I’m dumb (HaHa). I know this church is true and it’s a true blessing. I love you guys and work with the less active people or non-members because we are all children of our heavenly father. 

Love you guys!!!

Elder McAlister


This week’s thought shared with Sean was a quote from Russell M. Nelson from broadcast called "The Work of Salvation: Parable of a Father at Bedtime" on every member being a missionary.  He said:

"The work of salvation excludes no one! Missionaries and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are sent forth to labor in the Lord’s vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men. This includes member missionary work at its best, with activation of less-active members and preparation of God’s children for all the blessings of the temple.”
 This is an import message for all members of the church to think about on how we should be sharing the blessings of the gospel with those around us.

Until next week enjoy this week’s pictures from Sean…

The Church Sean goes to.

The back of Sean's name tag.

A noche de hogar where Sean played Jenga.

The animal is out of paper,

Played some darts in the first lesson with some people that are investigators.

Our gangster friend we are teaching.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Is it trash day?

Sounds like a busy week trying to find and visit all the members (active and less active).  Sometime this kind of work needs to be done so the other work can move forward at a greater pace.  Also, new technology is brought the mission....a DVD player...welcome to the 21st Century!  ;-)

Some of the pictures he sent this week are fun to see.


Hey Everyone,

Sounds like things are going well for you guys and I keep on hearing from all the member here that its freezing in Utah, So I hope that you guys are doing well with the weather. California looks pretty awesome and Sea World sounds like it was pretty fun. I want to hear more about this basketball team that´s been put together, and quick question why I wasn't picked for the team. I only need to get permission from president to change my p-day to whenever the games are and fly there and back. Let me know how that team works out!  It´s sad to hear that Mel Erickson past away. Sabrina looks like a pro basketball player and her big Birthday is tomorrow! She’s turning the BIG 9 Years old!!!! (9 Birthday spankings don't forget Dad!)

This week has been hard, and good, and a little bit of everything. I can tell you guys that the weeks are flying by and the nights are at least 5 minutes long which is dumb, though I am lasting through my tired fast weeks. As for the family Burgaos Arabena, we just found out the parents aren't married (shocker in Chile) because he doesn't want to do the paper work for the divorce he had. So now we are starting to work with them on that also. Now we ask all families in the first lesson if they are married or not, because its supper common to have people living together that aren't married. We are still searching and working with some of the investigators we have. We had a lot of meetings this week with the members in the Ward about missionary work, and the list of all the members and less actives we have here. So this last week was just meeting after meeting and I feel like they are not going to stop. We weren't able to work as much this week like we usually can, but this week will be better! 

This week we got a DVD player in our house, because every house in the mission needs one to train the new missionaries. My companion loves it so much, I can probably quote The District show now because that's all he does with his free time! It’s driving me crazy!!! (HaHa) We had our interviews with President this week, which was really good, and those went well. Right after our interviews with President is when we got our DVD player and that's when it was like Christmas for him (HaHa).

I have a picture of some trash on the side of the road that I’m sending to you guys. This is everywhere this week and we have no clue but there is just huge piles of trash everywhere, and a lot of TVs, couches, mattresses and just random stuff. I thought I should explain that picture to you guys, but as soon as I find out why I will tell you guys what’s going on!

Happy Birthday song in Chile!

Cumpleaños feliz (FELIZ, FELIZ) te deseamos a ti (A TI, A TI) Feliz cumpleaños SABRINA que los cumplas feliz (FELIZ, FELIZ)!!!
Happy birthday big bum I hope you have a good birthday and I want to see some pictures of what you do for your birthday! Have an awesome birthday Love you Sabrina!

This week was just full of meetings and stuff, so I don’t have much to write about. Thanks for everything and I love receiving pictures from you guys. Thanks for your guys love and your support! We are doing our best down here to bring people unto Christ. I love you guys and have a good week!

Love you guys!!!

Elder McAlister


The spiritual thought shared with Sean this week comes for President Dieter F. Uchtdorf speaking about prophets. He said: 

"We know this mortal life is a test. But because our Heavenly Father loves us with a perfect love, He shows us where to find the answers. He has given us the map that allows us to navigate the uncertain terrain and unexpected trials that each of us encounters. The words of the prophets are part of this map."

What a great gift we have today with a living prophet Thomas S. Monson on the earth.  Until next week, enjoy this week’s pictures from Hualpencillo, Chile….

The last week trash is showing up in piles like this everywhere....what's going on?

He's rich!!  Until he figures out the exchange rate.

Glass he found that he can't see out of....just for fun.

That's fish he was guess on what kind.

A sad dog they came upon while working.

His favorite cookies down there.

His new little friend.  Part of the Burgaos Arabena family they are teaching.

His little friend again.

Monday, January 6, 2014

First week of 2014

It was good to hear from Elder McAlister today.  In another short email he asked for us to send him a few things, and one of them was an English dictionary because he says “because I’m forgetting the meanings of words!” which is a good sign that he is really starting to pick up the Spanish language.

Sounds like he had a quiet New Year’s, and it’s good news to hear that the work seems to picking for them.


Hola Familia McAlister,

Como están, I hope you guys had a good New Years. It was kind of boring we had an extra Elder with us for New Years. He was ending the mission, and so they sent him to work with us for a day and then he flew home the next day. We stayed up until 12 and yelled “feliz ano Nuevo”, then went to bed right after. We could hear the fireworks going off, and a lot noise, but I fell asleep so fast I don't remember anything else happening. We did get to have a dinner with the familia Ortiz which was really good and we had a ton a meat, literally a "ton" of meat. Sounds like Mom, Dad and Sabrina went crazy on some puzzles. Jessica, Derek, Brooke and Todd had some fun with some friends. So it’s good to hear everything is going well. That’s crazy that Adam Carpenter has been called into the Bishopric, I hope that everything goes well for you guys.

This last week was much better, and we are starting to find people and working with them. We have one family that is doing really great and they love to ask questions about the States. The family Burgaos Arabena, so pray for them if you can pronounce the name (HaHa). The other families and people we have found are super Catholic or super Evanglico, so they are a little bit harder to work with right now. The members are amazing here, and they are a great help for us. They are always willing to help and join in on any service, or a noche de hogar. Now that I think of it, Hualpencio is a mini Utah with less members (HaHa). Like I said I love it here, our barrio is awesome, we have a little fan club of kids that follow us. I really want to have 6 months here because it’s that cool!

Another funny story this week! So we are out contacting and we yell halo at a house. This kid that is around 16-17 years old comes out and he is acting really interested, so we ask if we could share our message with him in his house and he says yes. So we are like bacan (cool), we enter the house and he has a weird smile on his face and all a sudden his Mom walks in. She doesn't look happy at all seeing us in her house. She asks us why are you guys here and my companion says to share a message with you guys about jesucristo. She pulls out her bible and then that's when we realized we walked into a pastor’s house for another Evangelico church. The dad walks in and sees us and he says that he’s the Pastor for his church and he starts to teach us a lesson and trying to get us to be baptized in his church. His wife is saying that our church is not true because we can get baptized in hot water and that's not how jesucristo was baptized. I’m sitting there like, really that's your argument hot water. The sun could make water hot, we never know the temperature for the water. Then Elder Coronado is like wow this is super bacan now we are going to go out and work with the motivation that you just gave us. Then he just got up and walked out the door and I’m sitting there like what? So I get up and walk for the door and their like good luck, peace and blessing. So their thinking they converted us or something, but it was super funny!

There were a few birthdays this week so we had a lot of cake and I miss the American birthday cake. I’m tired of the weird chunks of I don’t know in my cake at someone’s birthday. I think birthdays are much bigger here than they are in the States. They have everyone come over and it’s a big birthday party. We went to a member’s house to see if they would go with us to a lesson and their daughter had a birthday party the day before. The birthday party was around 8 in the afternoon until 8 in the morning. So they said no, but I learned birthday parties are really big here. That reminds me that someone is turning a big 9 years old next week. I want to hear what you going to do for your birthday!

Today we had a zone activity, which we went to the beach and that was super fun. We played our own little game that we like to call America football. It was pretty much a game for the gringo’s and the Latinos were like us when we play soccer. I was our all-star wide receiver and I got a couple of touchdowns. So you could say I’m the Jerry Rice of Chile now, and looking at a promising career of missionary beach football or the M.B.F.A.C (Missionary Beach Football Association of Chile). I guess you could say I’m okay. To be honest it was super fun and we spent at least 5-6 hours at the beach. I have some picture so I will send them to you. 

But thanks for everything that you guys do and I love you guys I hope that you guys have a good week. Don’t work too hard, but don’t be too lazy! I hope that you guys are having fun and partying it up in Utah without me. Thanks for your guy’s emails and the New Year’s messages (HaHa). I just got those today, Happy New Year and make sure your guy’s goals are good. I love you and keep on being the family that you guys are.

I love you guys!!!

Elder McAlister


Spiritual thought shared with Sean this week came from Elder Neal A. Maxwell on how God provides customized challenges for each of us:

"If God chooses to teach us the things we most need to learn because he loves us, and if he seeks to tame our souls and gentle us in the way we most need to be tamed and most need to be gentled, it follows that he will customize the challenges he gives us and individualize them so that we will be prepared for life in a better world by his refusal to take us out of this world, even though we are not of it. In the eternal ecology of things we must pray, therefore, not that things be taken from us, but that God's will be accomplished through us. What, therefore, may seem now to be mere unconnected pieces of tile will someday, when we look back, take form and pattern, and we will realize that God was making a mosaic. For there is in each of our lives this kind of divine design, this pattern, this purpose that is in the process of becoming, which is continually before the Lord but which for us, looking forward, is sometimes perplexing."

It’s an interesting thought that since we are here to learn and grow, and God is our master teacher giving each of us the lessons we need to learn.

Until next week enjoy these pictures Sean sent today…

New Years!

Zone activity at the beach

Elder Coronado and Elder McAlister

Elder McAlister and Elder Coronado