Monday, February 24, 2014

Have to find a new house this week

Sounds like Elder Coronado and Elder McAlister are starting to turn things around in Hualpen, and are seeing success for their efforts.  New areas can be hard to get going, and sometimes it takes time and trying a lot of different things to get the work moving.

I hope they can keep things moving and help the investigators make progress in their learning of the Gospel.


Hey Everyone,

Glad that my pictures finally made it home, I was getting a worried about it! Sounds like the Olympics are a little harder for the USA this year and how’s Chile doing in the Olympics? Sounds like everyone is doing well, is it still cold in Utah, because it’s starting to get cold here in the night. 

This week was much better than any of the weeks before, and I can tell you guys why. We have been working and working and we just finally got our first investigator in church this week. This sector is really hard to work with because everyone is super busy or not motivated. It has taken this barrio about 8 months to get an investigator to go to church. Now we are pushing for a baptism, but we haven't been able to go inside the house because we need the parents to be in the house. She is about 10 years old and the parents are less actives, so were going to try to reactivate the parents and baptize the daughter. Also I know numbers don't really matter that much, but we have had a hard time with finding people and lessons with members. This week we did really well with that and we’re looking to improve more and more this week!

We did a division this week and I got to work with the ward mission leader that just got back from his mission 2 months ago. Now we are really good friends and we are always joking. But when he was working with me (I thought I was going to kill him) He was a zone leader and he was bien duro con mío! I learned a lot from him and now my contacting and confidence is much better because of him. When I was working with him a drunk guy came up to me and said where are you from Russia, United States or Canada. So I told him I was from the United States and he starts yelling and telling me that he is Russian and how he killed Bush!!! I was a little confused because I couldn't understand him that well because he’s drunk. So he starts yelling “I killed your president George Bush” and I was like what are you talking about, our president now is Obama! Then he got super mad, so we walk really fast away from him and he followed us and yelled some words that are bad in Spanish and some bad words in English and I learned that he really hates gringos and a little crazy! 

This week we have to find a new house because we are getting more missionary's in our barrio, which is awesome, but this week we have to find a house which is the part I don't really like! Our house is in the perfect area, we have our mom of the sector that washes our clothes who is next door to us and the church is really close to us also. So we will be searching for a house this week and it’s going to be really hard to find one in our sector!!! I really like the house that we are in now it’s really a relaxed area and we have members that are really close. We live in a shed/house of an old couple who are really nice and love to talk, which is bad at times because they can talk forever. Also I think I´m the bad luck charm for the mission house, because every sector I move into we always end up changing the house (HaHa)!

We are starting to do much better in Hualpen and we are working much more with members and things are starting to look up. We are pushing for 2 baptism this next month of March and the names for them are Natalia and Sebastian. So please pray for them that they can progress and go to church and except a date for baptism, because they are doing really good right now and we want to have some success here in Hualpen. I am grateful for all that you guys have done for me and the examples you guys are for me. I have really learned a lot and now looking back before my mission I feel really dumb at times. I wish I could have done more things to help you guys and spent more time with you guys, I really am learning so many things in such little time. Thanks for your guy’s emails and I hope to hear from you guys next week!

Love you guys!!!

Elder McAlister


Spiritual thought shared with Sean this week came from M. Russell Ballard on missionary work for all members.  He said:  

"When members view the work of salvation as their responsibility alone, it can be intimidating. When they view it as an invitation to follow the Lord in bringing souls unto Him to be taught by the full-time elders and sisters, it is inspiring, invigorating, and uplifting.” 

I told Sean that’s what they need to help the members understand that he and his companion can teach and the member only need to share their friendship and testimonies. It still can be hard and intimidating for members to do that work, but it helps when they know they can have help sharing the Gospel.

Enjoy this weeks picture...

Playing Jenga with some members.

He want to show how clean his side of the desk is!


A flavor from the good old USA.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Fast for this area of Hualpencillo

Great to hear from Elder McAlister today.  Sounds like the finding part of the work is going a little better.  The Ward activity he mentioned last we went well, but it wasn't very magical. It's great to hear Sean ask for us to help by fasting for  fast for the area of Hualpencillo

He is heading into the last week with his Elder Coronado before transfers give him his 4th companion on his mission. He has been out over 6 months now, so he is officially a quarter through his mission.


Hola como están mi familia,

That´s is really weird when I come home the whole Stake Presidency will be different, but tell congratulations to President McFarland for me. It´s weird that I am missing the Olympics and I wish I could see them. It doesn't seem that big of an occasion here, which is sad. I’m going to need updates of this next week, because I love the Olympics. It sounded like a relaxing week for all of you, which I guess is good. I’m glad that everyone is okay and I hope that you having a good Presidents day!

This week was okay, we had a little more success than we have had in the past weeks. The activity was really fun and we had a lot of people come and turns out we have some good singers here. A lot of the songs that people sang were in English, which was ok. A lot of the people I couldn't understand, and the others were better at singing in English than people that know English. There is some pretty good talent here. Our magic was terrible, I ended up not showing any magic because all the magic I know is with coins and a lot of people have seen my tricks. My companion made up some magic tricks and they didn't work at all (HaHa). I have a video of it on my camera and it was super funny, but I think we are slowing down on the magic after that show. If Simon Cowell was there I would have been on a plane home crying. It was sad and the sad thing is all Sunday we got told by everyone that we didn't do well! We started teaching familia Burgos again and they were actually the judges in the activity. Jose the day said he was going to be bien duro con todo los personas and he had the best time of his life in every video you can hear him laugh and the whole family came. It was good idea to have them judge and now we have them coming to church with us this week, we hope!!! 

This last week was our last week that we could find a person to be baptized in this cambio, and we had two people say that they would be baptized and they would go to church with us but when we went to go get them in the morning they weren't in the house or didn't want to go which killed us. This barrio hasn't had a baptism in 7 or 8 months now, and we are the first missionary's from the mission Chile Concepcion to be in Hualpen, because before it was the Chile Concepcion South mission. So this area is new to the mission and is just an area that's having a problems finding people, and the ward is amazing and willing to help. We are not having any success, also my companion doesn't want to work with the members and that is one of the keys of our work in the field.

Today we got to play some soccer, which was super fun. My team was the winning team, and we only sat out 3 times for 2 hours which was awesome, but our team was stacked. The funny thing is we were a team that had only Gringo´s and the other teams had the Latinos, but we came out victorious. It was really fun and I scored some goals but I can start to feel that I’m getting out of shape so I’m going to start working out a little harder in the morning’s (HaHa). 

I was hoping that you guys could fast for this area of Hualpencillo, that we can have some progress and some success in this area. We have some investigators that could progress and their names are Raul and Maria, Cristofer, Fransico, family Burgos and Josue. Please pray for them that one of them will progress and go for church this week with us. Thanks!!!

Thank you for everything and I love you guys. I hope that you have a good week and that you guys have a good President’s day! Have fun watching the Olympics and have a fun and another relaxed week! Love you and thanks for the great examples that you guys are and thanks for this great blessing I have to serve the Lord!

Love you guys!!!

Elder McAlister


This week’s message shared with Sean came from President Monson, and he said: 

"Our Heavenly Father, who gives us so much to delight in, also knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass." 

This applies to all of us.  I told Sean I knew he is experiencing it personally with what he goes through daily on his mission, but it also applies to all those he works with and teaches. We all need to be tested, God knows what those tests should be and he gives us the trials we need to grow.  Until next week, enjoy some pictures Sean sent from his P-day today and Ward activity last week…

P-day playing soccer with the district.

P-day playing soccer with the district.

Ward activity

Ward talent show.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Time to Learn Some Real Magic!

Another update from Sean finds him doing well.  Still a struggle to find people to teach, but it sounds like he is working hard.

The experiences on a mission are always interesting with doing the work, going to funerals and making up magic shows for a ward activity.


Hey Everyone,

I’m sure glad to hear things from you guys and sounds like all is going well in Utah. Sabrina looks like a pro basketball player out there and I hope your team is doing better than Todd’s and Derek’s (HaHaHa), just kidding. I love the story from Jessica and Brooke leaving an old lady at the store how mean, then finding her back in the bathroom in the gym. It’s crazy that I have been out for 6 months now in 4 more weeks I have 6 months out in the field where my Spanish is pretty good. 

This last week was okay we are still having trouble finding people that want to listen to us. We can get in a house for the first visit but then the second visit they don't want to hear it no more. We think we found an older lady that was really excited to see when we yelled for her and we are sure that she will be baptized. We are hoping that we will find our golden ticket family this week and we are working hard just to find people. This has really shown me how much we need to rely on the Lord and listen to the Holy Ghost. The mission has strengthened my testimony so much and made me a different person. I think I have matured a lot too (HaHa)!

The magic has gotten to my companions head and he is always looking for new tricks. So when we are walking down the street, He tries to show me the new trick he has that doesn't work (HaHa). Now the thing that I don't want to do is this week, we have a activity! In the activity people will sing and dance and it’s like a talent show. The thing is my companion said we can do magic at the talent show. We have no big tricks, or anything, and usually there are 200 people that show up for this activity. We are having our Bishop look up tricks that we can do for the activity. I can just see Simon Cowell sitting in the judgment seat just shaking his head in disappointment (HaHa). I guess you guys will find out next week how it goes. Probably will go on the news on channel 4 "2 Mormon Missionary's thinking they can do magic fail terribly" (HaHa). I guess with faith and hope that we can do some magic for a lot of people. 

We also had a funeral this last week, an older lady had cancer in our Ward and passed away! We went and gave a message at the viewing and then we went to the cemetery which was just different. They have this cemetery that has great big walls around it and then there are mini houses for some of the people that passed away. They have these ones that you shove the casket in this blocked area and they seal it. But you guys can just Google search cemeteries in Chile and that's what they look like. I also decided that I don't like funerals they are just sad and I don't like them!

Nothing much else happened this week! We search and search and are still searching for investigators. There is something that Heavenly Father really wants us to learn in this time, which I am searching for every day. The Spanish is coming along and it’s amazing how much I know of a language in just 5 months of being in a different country. I do want to thank you guys for the package, it has been very helpful. I loved the pistachios, but I did have problems with fiber this week. When I saw them I opened them up and ate a lot, and then I saw the letter that said don't eat too much pistachios. I had way too much fiber this week and almost died (HaHa). 

Thank you guys for all that you have done for me, I absolutely love the mission, it’s crazy how much I can learn in a day, and it’s crazy how fast it flies by! I love you guys and I hope that you have a good week. 

Love you guys!!!

Elder McAlister

P.S. I will enjoy the pudding this week!


The thought shared with Sean this week came from his mom, and was given by M Russell Ballard:

"As we think about the future, we should be filled with faith and hope. Always remember that Jesus Christ-the Creator of the universe, the architect of our salvation, and the head of this Church- is in control. He will not permit His work to fail. He will be victorious over all darkness and evil.  And He invites us all, members of His Church and others who are the honest in heart, to join in the battle for the souls of God's children. Along with all else we will do in life, we must also dedicate and consecrate our heart, might, mind, and strength to His cause, walking in faith and working with conviction. As the Prophet Joseph Smith declared: "No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions many rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done." 

As the gospel is carried to billions of spiritually hungry souls, miracles will be performed by the hand of the Lord. Missionaries of many nationalities will serve the Lord throughout the earth. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Magic of Missionary Work

We received the email from Sean a little later in the day today, but it sounds like they made a trip to Concepcion which took up most of their P-day.  It sounds like they are having success working with the members, which is important and part of the missionary work now.

It would be interesting to see what magic they are doing for the little kids at the family home evenings.  Maybe we will need to send him so magic tricks to use.


Hola McAlister Family,

How is everyone doing? It sounds like parents could have had a better week with being sick. Also, the Super Bowl doesn't really sound as fun and I was thinking they would make the commercials better this year, But its sounds like that's a no!  Is the truck a gift for Todd´s birthday and that looks to be in really good condition. I hope it works fine and does well for you guys. Now I have a question, has my Camaro sold yet? I did get the package today, and guess what else I got today, my scriptures cases I got from the CCM! I also sent some letters and my SD card for you guys are that was really hard to do. The lady made no sense to me and my companion had no idea what she was talking about. You guys should receive it in 3 days at least or sometime this week!

This week was okay we thought we found some good investigators! So we started working with them and helped them to progress, but they ended up dying (A missionary term.) So we lost pretty much all of our investigators this week! It was a hard week in that way, but we are really helping the less active members here. We have gotten around 5 of the less actives back into church and now they are active. So we are doing really well with them and we are working with the members and challenging them to a competition of who could get more people to the church this week. Now we are have the members working hard in the missionary work, but it’s all hard work and prayer right now for us. 

This week we had to update this list we have of all the members of the church, Actives, Less Actives and Semi-Actives. The list said we have about 800 people to work with and my companion doesn't know how to use a computer, and we only have one in the church anyways. So a lot of Friday, the whole day Saturday and in the morning during church I worked on this list. We had to update this list because there was going to be an update in the afternoon on Sunday. I felt like I worked in the office the whole time this week. So we had a pretty bad week this week, and also every single guy that is homeless thinks we can give them a home and things, they have been hard to deal with this week. I hope that you guys can pray that we can find a family of 3 in these next two weeks so we can have a baptism before Elder Coronado leaves. So please PRAY!!!

For the first time in my life I really thought I was going to die (HaHa). There was a bus super full going to Concepcion today, so me and my companion pretty much rode outside the bus holding of for our life's. The scary thing was we are outside a moving bus in Chile. Now you guys might not understand this, but the bus drivers in Chile think they are in NASCAR with shape turns. So half of the time the bus is tipping to one side and they don't know how to use breaks at all. They don't care with side of the road they drive on when there are cars coming from the other direction. But I´m alive and that was probably the scariest moment in my life and that happen today! I’m alive yeah!!! 

I have really nothing else that happened this week. I could tell you that magic has been helping us get kids to want to come over and they keep on asking their parents so they can see more and its really fun to use magic in Noche de Hogars. So Hualpen has become a place of magic for the members of the church! Also guess who started it (HaHa) yes it was me!  

That's all I have for this week, it was boring and kind of bad, but it’s part of the mission. I love you guys and I hope that you guys get the letters and the SD card. I hope that you enjoy this week and have fun. Sabrina make some hoops for me and Todd and Derek just win a game (HaHa). I love you guys and thanks for all that you have done for me. Keep reading and praying every day and listen to the spirit and then you can receive blessings!

Love you guys!!!

Elder McAlister


This week I shared with Sean the Bishopric message I wrote for Ward newsletter, so I thought I would share it here are well:

A Perfect Brightness of Hope

The dictionary defines hope as, “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events can turn out well or to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.” Hope is the center of that triangle of Faith, Hope and Charity. It seems to me that everyone has within them the power of hope. No matter how hard things may be going, down deep we search for and are sustained by this great quality of hope.

What Is Hope? 

In his October 2008 conference address, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf defined hope. “Hope is not knowledge, but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promise to us. It is confidence that if we live according to God’s laws and the words of His prophets now, we will receive desired blessings in the future. It is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance. In the language of the gospel, this hope is sure, unwavering, and active. The prophets of old speak of a “firm hope” and a “lively hope.” It is a hope glorifying God through good works. With hope comes joy and happiness. With hope, we can “have patience, and bear … [our] afflictions.”

Where Do We Find Hope?

The Apostle Paul indicated that the scriptures were written that we “might have hope” (Romans 15:4). Mormon wrote a letter to his son Moroni stating that hope comes from the Comforter, the Holy Ghost (Moroni 8:26). Like faith, hope can be cultivated. We attain hope by doing things that invite the Spirit into our lives.

Why Is Hope Important?

Pessimism, doubt and despair are the opposite of hope. These negative emotions lead us away, not toward, our Father in Heaven. President Uchtdorf: “Hope, on the other hand, is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances. It pierces the darkness with a brilliant dawn. It encourages and inspires us to place our trust in the loving care of an eternal Heavenly Father, who has prepared a way for those who seek for eternal truth in a world of relativism, confusion, and of fear. Hope has the power to fill our lives with happiness. Hope in our Heavenly Father’s merciful plan of happiness leads to peace, mercy, rejoicing, and gladness. The hope of salvation is like a protective helmet; it is the foundation of our faith and an anchor to our souls.”
I pray that each of us may continue in our “Good Works” with a firm hope in the great blessings of the Gospel to the end that we will accomplish our work here on this earth.  I hope we will follow Nephi’s admonition to: “Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Nephi 31:20).

Brother Rick McAlister

Until next time, have a great week and check out the pictures of the scripture covers Sean got while in Mexico…

Book of Mormon cover from Mexico.

The Bible cover from Mexico.