Monday, April 28, 2014

First week with new companion Elder Diego Castro

Sounds like Sean’s new companion, Elder Diego Castro, are doing great.  They have only been together one week, and are working hard.  Great to hear they have a baptism coming up, and we are praying for the 4 other investigators that need to get married in order to join the church.
The scripture Elder McAlister references at the end of his email says:

Ether 12:27: “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”


Hey everyone how is it going?

Sounds like you guys had a great week looks like Derek and Todd got some turkeys. Sounds like not very much is changing at home! I love the picture of Tillie under her bed, such a lazy dog (HaHa). I’m glad to hear from you guys!

Well first off my new companion is doing great, he is really shy and doesn't talk much! At times it gets awkward in the house because he is so shy. The good thing is I get to talk more in the lessons which isn't bad for me. He does say something’s that are different and he uses different words than the Chilean Spanish I’ve learned. Everything is good with him, we had a really good week and we are looking to have a better week this week. He also can play the guitar really well and he has been helping me learn the ukulele. Yes I have learned some new songs on the ukulele and I love playing it, it helps take my mind of all the stress and it’s just fun!

This last week we had a lot of success and it was a good week. We have been working a lot more with members and everybody wants me to make chocolate chip cookies, because our cookies are so much better than the cookies here in Chile. We are trying to have 4 weddings for investigators in our barrio, but nothing is happening in this moment. But we are doing great here!

We have been working really hard with our investigators so they can keep commitments that we give them. This week we talked with Yanina about talking to her boyfriend to get married. He ended up saying he doesn't want to get married because he doesn't want to change his life. So right now she can’t be baptized but she is prepared! She has a testimony and wants to be baptized, so that was kind of sad! We found a new investigator that has told us the weirdest dreams ever! Like someone robbing her refrigerator and cars with her pastor appearing in her house. It was super weird!!! But we were sent there because she wants to be baptized and she is looking for the truth and it was like wow god has been testing our faith! We are looking at a baptism this 10 of May, which will be awesome!  His name is Mario and he is 17 years old! Other than that please keep on praying for the other investigators.

Crazy to hear that the Fugal’s are going on another mission and that's great to hear that Rachelle Christensen is going on a mission. It was weird to see some photos of some people in our ward. To be honest I only knew Adam and Brandon in the pictures and nobody else. Everyone looks so different!

I was reading this last week in Ether 12, and I read the scriptures Ether 12:27 and I loved it. We have weaknesses in our lives so god can test our faith and so we can strengthen ourselves in this life. God gives us trials were we are weak so we can be strong but we need to face our trail or our weakness with faith! When we have faith the blessing are bigger than the trial. I think the perfect person of example of facing trails with faith was Joseph Smith. God made sure he was strong and that's why he had so many trails, but he faced every single one with faith and knowing that god would help him. It’s just something I wanted to share with you guys, because I liked it! 

Thank you guys for your letters and the pictures, I can’t wait to talk to you guys this Mother’s Day but I don't have any information about that yet. I love you guys and you’re the best family in the world, I remember a lot of the good times with you guys!

Love you all very much and have a great week!!

Elder McAlister


The spiritual thought shared with Sean can from Elder Richard G. Scott who was talking on the atonement, and he gave the following quote that is great for a missionary, or really in everyone’s life.  He said:  

"Fill your life with service to others. As you lose your life in the service of Father in Heaven’s children, Satan’s temptations lose power in your life. Because your Father in Heaven loves you profoundly, the Atonement of Jesus Christ makes that strength possible. Isn’t it wonderful? Many of you have felt the burden of poor choices, and each of you can feel the elevating power of the Lord’s forgiveness, mercy, and strength."

Those words are so true. The atonement is such an incredible gift given to use by both our Father in Heaven and Savior through their love and sacrifices.  We need to take advantage of it and allow its cleansing power to be a part of our daily lives.

Until next week stay safe and enjoy a few pics from Hualpencillo Chile...

Elder Medina and Elder McAlister with some Ward members.

There's a new sheriff in town!

Elder Diego Castro, Sean's new companion.  Not quite James Bond.

Sean said "A picture of how we preach the gospel!"

Monday, April 21, 2014

A great Easter and a new companion

Sounds like Elder McAlister had a great Easter, with plenty to eat (see the pictures), although it would have been great to have him home with the rest of the family to celebrate, we know he is in the right place.

Kind of a big surprise that he got a new companion today since he was only with Elder Medina for one transfer.  His new companion is from Mexico, but we don’t know his name yet.


Hola mi familia,

I hope you guys had a wonderful Easter and I really miss the family traditions for Easter and the chocolate! I hope that it was a great weekend! Looks like the Red and White game was fun and Sabrina he is too old for you! Wish the best of luck for Derek and Todd with the basketball team. Mom I want to hear you sing because we had a musical number this last Sunday and I have heard you sing the song before and I loved it. Dad I miss going to the football games with you, those were fun times. Jessica and Brooke I miss you guys at dinner with the jokes and funny stories (HaHa). Sabrina you are an awesome little sister and a big bum! I love our family! YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!!!

Last week was an okay week. We didn't have that much success, or a baptism, but I got to help my companion stay in the mission and keep on working! He has had a few problems lately, but I’m hoping that he will get lost in the Lords work soon! I think this week I really learned two attributes of Christ! Love and patience, now knowing how important these two attributes are has really helped me these last few weeks and how I could become a better person. 

With our investigators we haven't really been able to get any good ones that are willing to learn. We are working with Yanina, who was really fast at progressing and now has completely stopped! We have Mario who is kind of just there and not doing much. Then we have Tamara and her mom is less active, which we are working with and we need permission from the father. Daniela who is the aunt of a member in our ward. Edita who is an old lady that loves to listen to us. Cecilia is a lady that needs the plan of salvation because her brother is going to die soon. Then we have others, but they aren't progressing at all. Please pray for them that they can progress and feel the spirit!  

Today is cambios and I am staying in Haulpencillo for another 6 weeks. It turns out that my companion is leaving and I get to stay. My companion has been having problems so president moved him to were the assistants and the office are so they can help him. But my new companion is from Mexico and he has about 3 months in the mission. I actually got to meet him today and he seems pretty cool. He knows how to play the guitar and the ukulele, so I will be practicing with him. I’m going to try to get the first baptism in this sector, which hasn't happened for a year! I’m looking at a really good cambio! I think?

This week was Easter and it was pretty good weekend! We went to the house of our family and we had dinner and did some service for them. The dinner was ginormous! We had 4 different types of meat and mashed potatoes and rice and a salad, and it was so good. Then we ate the cookies that you guys sent me a while ago because they have an oven (HaHa). I totally killed the cookies and burnt them pretty bad, I have a picture of them. We all ate the top half's of the cookies which where good. After that we thought we were going to die and we ended up doing some service where we cut some grass with big scissors (I can’t think of the name of the tool) and got rid of a ton of weeds on the side of the street. Now it looks so much better than before!

This last Saturday we watch the movie of the life of Jesus Christ in our ward. It truly is amazing how someone so perfect, who could do some many miracles in his life. Never being angry and forgiving everyone with true love that wronged him, he was hated, people spit upon him, he was whipped, beaten and crucified. He was willing to give his life for our sins and he has felt all the pains and sorrows that we have felt in our life time. He knows our pains and we are never alone. He gave us eternity with our families and so we can live with God again! He truly made our life easier!  What amazes me is he went to the spirit world for 3 days, where he preached the gospel and then he came back to the earth determined teach the gospel and to save more souls! That´s why I know he is my savior and he loves each and every one of us!

Have a wonderful week and always put Christ in your life first! He can truly help you with anything! I love you guys and I can’t wait to hear from you guys next week!

Love you guys!!!!

Elder McAlister


The thought I shared with Sean was on the greatest event that has taken place, or will ever take place on this earth, and that is the resurrection of our Savior. Elder Henry B. Eyring said:

"At this Easter season we are reminded of why we love Him and of the promise He makes to His faithful disciples to become His beloved friends. The Savior made that promise and told us how, in our service to Him, He comes to us. … 'Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love' (D&C 6:20). I experienced the joy of coming closer to the Savior and of His coming closer to me most often through simple acts of obedience to the commandments."

The miracle of the atonement and resurrection is always amazing to me.  I have so little understanding of how and what Jesus did for us in the Garden of Gethsemane, and on the cross, but I am so grateful for that act of pure love from our older brother.  To take upon his shoulders our sins and to suffer and die that we too might be resurrected is something we can never repay, but he does not ask us to, he simply asks us to obey the commandments, live a righteous life and server & love one another.  What a truly great message the Easter season brings us.

Until next week be safe and enjoy a bunch of pictures from Chile….

Making cookies on Easter for their house family.

Making cookies for Easter, the little boy looks ready to give them a try.

Easter dinner cooking.

Easter dinner with their house family.

The cookies are just a little burnt!   ;-)
Elders McArthur, Stewart and McAlister

Not sure the first Elders name, but then it's Elder's McAlister and Paulson

The zone in the baptismal font.

The zone.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A ukulele playing missionary?

Sounds like it was a challenging week, and like so many mission stories you hear, the last steps before baptism are always a challenge for converts.  Need to keep Elder McAlister and elder Medina in our prayers so they can help these people find the way to the waters of baptism.

Looks like they had a great p-day from the pictures Sean sent.


McAlister Family what’s up?

Hey everyone how’s it going? I am not going to lie, I’m pretty jealous that you guys went to Park City without me (I´m crying on the inside), and did you guys buy me some fudge? The pictures are really cool also! I like the picture that Brooke sent me of Tillie with the muzzle! Jessica don’t eat too many cupcakes!!! "Because cupcake addiction is not a joke, Jim millions of people suffer each year from it"
    -Dwight Schurte 

An Office joke I just thought of (HaHa)!

I want to fight some of our investigators. We had a pretty good week, and we had some people with a date of baptism and all they need to do is go to church, but guess what? They didn't go! So it went from yes we could have a baptism here, and now we have to go back and try to get another date for a baptism, but it’s the mission. At times people are really cool in my mission and they do everything that they need to do to be baptized, but then I’m in Chile and people are super laid back in the mornings, and especially on Sunday morning (HaHa). Yanina is doing great, but she wasn’t able to go to church either. We are looking forward for this week to be an awesome week! 

This last week was pretty crazy week and I got to see the president of the mission a lot. I think that all the people I have been put with have wanted to go home, and I don't know if that's saying something about me (HaHa). My companion has been going crazy the last week and wanted to go home and we ended up going to the office of the mission a few times and he would have interviews with president. I felt like I was working in the office last week we were there a ton. He is doing so much better now and I’m hopping to keep his spirits up and focused in the work!

Nothing else really happened, it was kind of a difficult week and we are looking for a better week, this week. Today we had a zone activity and we got to go to a different beach which was so awesome. I will send you guys pictures, but all we did was adventure the beach and climb rocks and just kicked back for a few hours!

Oh and the other day it rained pretty hard and I’m so glad that I have rain gear! So thank you parents!

I hope you guys have a great week and that everything goes well I loved the pictures and the letters. It really is great to hear from you guys!

Be safe this week! Love you guys and the McAlister family is the best!

Elder McAlister

P.S. I bought a ukulele today, and I can play “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” already!
 y Sabrina es Bacan!


The spiritual thought for Sean with week came from the Prophet Thomas S. Monsonwhen he said:

"I never cease to be amazed by how the Lord can motivate and direct the length and breadth of His kingdom and yet have time to provide inspiration concerning one individual. … The Lord is in all of our lives. He loves us. He wants to bless us. He wants us to seek His help. As He guides us and directs us and as He hears and answers our prayers, we will find the happiness here and now that He desires for us."

What a great quote and thought that with as much as God has to deal with, he has the ability and love to help us as individuals.

Have a great week everyone, end until the next post enjoy these pictures from Sean p-day today…

The District on p-day at the beach.

Bus ride home after the beach...Sean is playing his new ukulele. 

The beautiful coastline.

Elder McAlister and Elder Hancock

No he didn't surf...just posing.

Still supporting the Pirates, even while in Chile.

A pirate cave!


Not sure who this is.

Elder McAlister enjoying the coast.

Beautiful Chilean coastline.

More beautiful Chilean coastline.

Elder McAlister and his new ukulele.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Safe from the earthquakes and tsunami warnings

An exciting week for Elder McAlister with tsunami warnings, rats and General Conference.  Sounds like he made it through with no problems, which is great to hear as a parent. Who knew his pictures of the tsunami signs last week would be followed so quickly by actual earthquakes and tsunami warnings in Chile.

So sorry to hear of the loss of lives and damage from the earthquakes, and at the same time so thanks for Elder McAlister's safety.


Hey everyone,

Hey everyone I hoped you guys liked General Conference as much as me. It was great to hear from the prophet, the apostles and everyone one else. Oh and I am jealous that you guys got to go to the Conference Center!

This last week was a little crazy I’m not going to lie. First off, the earthquake that happened was pretty crazy. Our leaders ended up calling us and told us that we need to go to the house of a member and wait for more information. They told us that we could watch the news on the tsunami. There were tsunami warnings all along the coast of Chile. During that time was a little scary because we were just waiting for a tsunami to hit us. Our leaders called us and we got to go back to our houses around 11:30 at night and sleep. As you heard nothing happened to us here, which is great. They have been warning us that we should be having another earthquake here in Concepcion soon which should be big! It was perfect timing for the tsunami pictures that I sent you guys though, I was thinking about that when watching the news (HaHa).  

We found another rat in our house and we tried to kill it fast, which we did. But at the same time we shut all the power off in our house for about 1 hour, and maybe more, but we went to sleep before it came back on. We killed the rat in a mouse trap, but we had to throw super-hot water to get it out from behind our counter. The thing was we have electric wires behind our counters that we know about now (HaHa). We killed and saved some electricity! So it was a win, win situation!! 

I can tell you guys that nothing is better than being a missionary and listening to General Conference, I absolutely love it. I really liked all the sessions, and I loved the Olympic talk. I really made so much sense and I loved the stories in it. I love how we are in our 4 minute run right now and everything we do can help our time be faster or slower. I liked how 1/10 of a second can change our 4 minute run and we can fall short. We have every day where we can strengthen our run and get world records and gold medals (Celestial kingdom), now is the time! I really liked the Air Force One story in Priesthood session from Dieter F. Uchtdorf. When President Uchtdorf reaches for the throttle and then he hears President Monson say "Dieter don't even think about it." I really liked General Conference this year and I can’t wait for the Liahona to come out. I did miss the family and chilling in the house playing bingo (eating free candy from parents in other words) and having the good breakfast on Sunday morning. Priesthood was awesome, but still a little different without dad, and right after Priesthood was done I was craving Chinese food.

We had President come to our house yesterday after conference, and he hit his head hard on our fence that is super low. That was pretty scary, I thought it was my fault that I didn't warn him to duck down. He is doing okay now I think (HaHa)! 

I love you guys and have a great week. I can’t wait to hear from you guys next week and we will try to have more of a calm week this week (HaHa).Love you guys and ustedes son bacanes.

Love you guys!

Elder McAlister     


The following are some highlights for her, from General Conference, which Sean’s mom shared with him:
“Conference was wonderful to listen to. I love the spirit that comes from our dear prophet and his apostles. They are great examples of love and service. I thought it was cool how conference this year fell on April 6, the accurate day of birth of Jesus Christ and the day that the church was organized. Pretty cool! I liked Elder Bednar's story of the man with the new truck, with the firewood load that gave him tire traction in the snow storm. He compared it to what our earthly load consists of and it giving us spiritual traction to press forward in Jesus Christ and return to Heavenly Father. And then taking the yoke of our Savior up us, "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." The Atonement enables us to do good beyond our natural capacity and gives us great strength through faithful, obedient, conscientious effort. I also loved Gary E Stevenson-Bishopric and how he talked about our lives compared to the Olympics. Olympic athletes train and work hard for their 4 minutes Olympic run trying to win a medal by doing their best. We trained and worked hard in the preexistence to come to earth life so we could do our 4 minute brief time here on earth and gain our reward in heaven. "This life is the time to prepare to meet God".  L. Tom Perry shared that we "should always be prepared to receive the gentle tug of the spirit" and then be prepared to listen to it. I loved Jeffrey R. Holland and his example of missionaries standing as the Savior did amidst persecution. It reminded me of you being spit upon and standing as a witness of Jesus Christ, Jesus suffering already for what you were going through. I think our family will work on Russell M. Ballard's talk about being consistent, persistent and the following up. Using the principle of follow up and making it an action by actually doing it in praying for to be led to one person that we can share the gospel with. In turn we will be given an outpouring of atoning grace if we invite others to come unto Christ. We just need to have love, trust and faith.”

Hope you all had a chance to see or hear conference.  Until next week enjoy a few more pictures from Chile!

Tsunami warnings on TV while waiting out the warning at a members house.

Fresh water in case a tsunami hits.

Thumbs up...everyone was safe in his area.

The chocolate from Chile which is so good!

A gift from his Argentinian companion. 

Sean thought Derek might like his new shirt he got from his companion!