Monday, June 30, 2014

How not to do an English class!

As always it’s great to hear from Elder McAlister.  The story of Juan is so great to hear that someone has found the plan of Salvation at such a difficult time of their life. 

There is a pretty funny story about their English class. Enjoy…


Hey Everyone,

I´m glad to hear from everyone and I’m glad that everyone is doing great. I need to say that the front porch looks really good! I really liked Derek´s three rules in the mission and I think I’m doing pretty good with them. Looks like the rest of you guys are doing great!  

This last week was really good! We had our ups and downs, but we were able to work really good this week. This last Wednesday we started a class of English and it is in the church. So we got there early and prepared our class and how we were going to teach it. Then 6:30 came around and we waited a little bit longer, then 6:50 passed by and we couldn't figure out why no one was coming to our class. So we sat there thinking why nobody came to a free English class! That´s when we realized we made the advertisements, but we forgot to put them up!!! So we walked out of the church like nothing happened and we felt really dumb about what happened! Now it is really funny to us. 

The World Cup has been crazy down here and I found out that I’m addicted to fútbol. I have really loved this sport and when I heard Chile lost I think I was sadder then the Chileans here. We were in our house from 11:20 until 3:30 so it wasn't too crazy. Chile took the lost okay and everyone had their heads up high still. We actually bought a soccer ball and started playing during the exercise time in the morning. The only bad thing about this is that it is cold in the morning. It has been crazy down here every time Chile scores a goal everyone leaves there houses and screams and blows horns or just make noises, I love it. When we are walking in the street we can see that everyone is watching highlights of the World Cup or watching the games. I´m pretty sad that Chile lost, but I am still cheering for the Red, White, and Blue! Let’s go USA!!!

Well this last week we had really good progress with our new little friend from up. Juan has been doing amazing and I am hoping that he can get baptized before I go. This last Domingo we weren't able to find a ride for him to go to the church because he can’t walk very far. So we went and passed by his house to tell him that we couldn’t find a ride and he said that he could walk to the bus and go to church and I was so happy that he could go. We are going to pass by Mario´s house today and we going to see how he is doing. Alejandra and Luis found work this week and Luis is working in the north! So he is there for 14 days and then he is here for 7 days. So we were not able to see them this week. Which made thing a little harder for us. 

We are doing really great and I am really happy were I am. I really feel like I have changed a lot and it has helped me become a better person. I want to thank you guys for everything and I love you very much. I miss you and you guys are the best examples and the best help I have had in my life. I can’t wait to write you guys next week and to hear more from you. 

Love you guys!!!

Elder McAlister


The spiritual thought I shared with Sean this week comes from himElder L. Tom Perry in a talk called "Missionary Work in the Digital Age".  I thought these three quotes from that talk would great for him to share with the members he is working with to hasten the missionary work in Hualpen.

    "The greatest responsibility any of us has, no matter our calling or station in the Church, is to preach the gospel. This is as true today as it was in Joseph Smith’s day or in any other dispensation of time."

    "Brothers and sisters, if our greatest and most important duty is to preach the gospel, as the Prophet Joseph Smith stated, then our purpose is clear: by virtue of our membership in His Church, each of us is called and commissioned to 'invite others to come unto Christ.'"

    "It is time for us to understand that we—the neighbors, friends, and family of less-active members and nonmembers—are ideally situated to offer an invitation with the proper love and consideration that the one we invite deserves. We hope the invitation will be accepted, but if it is not, we should continue to demonstrate friendship and Christlike love so that the one we invited knows that the relationship we had nurtured and cultivated was not simply a means to an end but a lasting and true friendship."

Sean has mentioned trying to get the members more involved in many of his emails, and Elder Perry really gives a strong message for those who have the gift of the gospel and should share that great gift with others.

Until next week enjoy a few pictures from Chile! (and for those US World Cup fans..I believe we will win!!)

Winter in Chile.

Not sure what this picture is about.

Behind their house.

Tasty dinner!

Elder McAlister

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chi Chi Chi! Le Le Le! Viva Chile!

Sounds like things are a little crazy down in Chile with the World Cup going on, but a great experience for a missionary to go through.

Things are progressing with some investigators, and they found a new one this last week. Sean shares some thoughts on faith this week.  No pictures this week.

Hey Everyone,

It's great to hear about you guys and looks like things are going great. The front porch looks really good I have to say! Looks like everyone is healthy and happy! Sounds like the bells where a little different this year, but I’m glad that you guys still had fun. Sounds like everyone is watching the World Cup too!!!

I do have to say that the World Cup is really crazy here. The days that Chile play we have to be in our house until they say that it is safe for us to leave our house. So we are able to hear everything and its killing me because I want to watch it so bad. The World Cup is really the only thing that people are talking about in Chile. So we have heard much about it but we can’t watch it. It’s really cool to be in the mission during the world cup because it’s really exciting to be in a country that everyone loves fútbol. After the games of Chile, or even before them, it is impossible to work and after the games everyone is the street having a party! I love it here!!!! Vamos CHILE!!!! Chi-chi-chi-le-le-le Viva Chile!!!!

Other than loving to hear about fútbol it has really made our work a lot harder, especially when we are looking for new investigators. We had a really good week last week. We ended up finding a new investigator and his name is Juan. He is the little old man from up and he is really awesome. He lives alone because his wife died and he looked so sad during our lesson. We taught him a little about the plan of salvation and invited him to baptism. He said: "YES"!!! He ended up coming to church and he really liked it and the members did a really good job and made him feel comfortable! So right now we are teaching him and he has a baptism date the 12 of July which will be the last Saturday before cambios!!! So please pray for Juan Vejas!  

We are still working with Alejandra and Luis and they are doing amazing. They are wanting to get baptized and married but we have to wait for Alejandra to finish the divorce papers which will take around 3 months because it’s really slow here in Chile. But they are doing great and they are still going to church we are working to have the temple as there goal because they want to be an eternal family.

We are doing really good as companions and we are working really good! We haven't had that much trouble getting along and we are doing really well. We are having trouble finding people in our sector to teach and so this week we are starting an English class. We are also teaching the members how to find chosen investigators and how to start teaching so we can have the members helping us in the work! 

I wanted to share a spiritual thought with you guys this week. I was studying about faith. It’s a small word that has a meaning that we will never completely understand faith. 

James 2:26 says:

"26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

So here in this scripture we can learn that faith is a word of action! We already know that faith is believing in something that we cannot see but is true. But we need to show our faith and I love the example that Nephi shows us in 1Nephi 17:17:

“17 And when my brethren saw that I was about to build a ship, they began to murmur against me, saying: Our brother is a fool, for he thinketh that he can build a ship; yea, and he also thinketh that he can cross these great waters.”

So I was reading this and his brothers are making fun of him saying that he is a fool and they are against him. But as I was reading and came along this verse and Nephi answers them saying in 1Nephi: 17:50:

“50 And I said unto them: If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.”

I really liked how Nephi answers back to them and it is completely with faith. After that he makes a ship with his faith and the help of the lord and i just really loved the example about faith in this chapter.

I want you to know that I love you guys and that I am praying for you. I love you very much and you guys are the best family ever. Have a great week and I will write you next week.

Elder McAlister


One of my favorite talks from last conference was by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf titled "Are You Sleeping through the Restoration?" It a great wake up call for all of us to do better in our lives, and church service.  I love the following two quotes from that talk and shared them with Sean this week.

"When we are tempted to do things we should not do, let us listen to the loving warning of trusted family and friends, our beloved prophet, and always the Savior."

We all face temptation and our Heavenly Father has provided so many people in our lives to help us through the hard times.  He also said:

"Let us be awake and not be weary of well-doing, for we “are laying the foundation of a great work,” even preparing for the return of the Savior. Brethren, when we add the light of our example as a witness to the beauty and power of restored truth, we will not sleep through the Restoration."

Basically it means to work hard, be and example and endure to the end.  That is the message I would leave with you this week. Until Sean writes again, have a great week!

Monday, June 16, 2014

World Cup excitement in Chile!

Great to hear from Elder McAlister today.  He had a good week, and it looks like he had a nice birthday from his pictures.  Some of their investigators are progressing, and one seems to have taken a step back. Chile is in full World Cup mode.

Sean shares a great message on the atonement this week.


Hey everyone,

Glad to hear that you guys had a great week and I hope dad had a great father’s day! I didn't know it was father’s day this last Sunday until someone told us during the week and I felt terrible. I was thinking it was this Sunday that is coming up! So dad I want to wish you a last happy father’s day and you are an awesome dad. You are a great example to me and I love you very much. I miss doing things with you and I want you to know that I truly love you and miss you!

This last week was really good and I had a pretty good birthday. We are having really good progress with Alejandra and Luis, I think they will be baptized in the next year! They are working on some paper work so she can get divorced, so that is what we are waiting for. Mario is off track again for his baptism and we couldn't even find him this week. We feel like he doesn't really want to be baptized. We are having really good success with Teresa and Segundo, but they are scared to come to church. This week we need to find investigators, so we will be working really hard on that this week. 

Well about the world cup here in Chile it’s pretty big and we can’t work during the games of Chile. It is pretty exciting and everyone is talking about it. The funny thing is last Wednesday when we were walking to our house before the game. There was only women out in the streets and all the men are inside getting ready for the game or cooking a BBQ for the game. It was pretty funny! 

We did celebrate my birthday after we got home in the night and it was pretty fun. My birthday was a really rainy day and it was really cold. But we lit the candles and we sang happy birthday in English and Spanish. It was a pretty good day. 

The Atonement:

I love this picture! The truth of the Atonement is an eternal love that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ has for us. Dad is correct nobody can understand the atonement fully! But the greatest expression of divine love this world has ever been given. This is one of the most important lessons and love shown in The Church of Jesus Christ and it cannot be overstated or understated. Every principle, commandment of the restored gospel draws importance to this amazing event in history. We have our families for all eternity because of this loving sacrifice and it’s going to bless our lives forever!

Have a great week! I truly love you and miss you guys a ton! I want you to know that you guys are in my prayers and in my thoughts! Love you guys and thanks again for the birthday package.

Elder McAlister


This week’s thought shared with Sean came from Thomas S. Monson in his April Conference talk "Be Strong and of a Good Courage". He talks about standing up for our beliefs, and he said:   

"We will all face fear, experience ridicule, and meet opposition. Let us—all of us—have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval. Courage becomes a living and an attractive virtue when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully but also as the determination to live decently. As we move forward, striving to live as we should, we will surely receive help from the Lord and can find comfort in His words."

This quote is very similar to the message I shared with Sean last week from Elder Richard G. Scott. We all need to have that courage, especially with the wicked state of the world today.  Sean has to have that courage everyday on his mission, and I know that he does, and we all need to do the same in our lives. 

Until next post, everyone have a good week, and enjoy this week’s pictures from Chile...

Sean's area.

Out working in the area.

More of Sean's area.

Local mosaic.

Sean's ukulele.

Sean's 19th birthday.

Elder McAlister and Elder Castro at 91 years old.

Sean's birthday package birthday cake.

Instructions for the birthday cake,

Sean's cold rainy birthday.

A birthday present

A local park,

A cool tree.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is hitting??

We got to hear from our missionary today, and he sounds like he is doing great.  The weather sounds to be challenging for missionaries, but he is getting through it with a great attitude.  He got his birthday package, and seems pretty excited about it.

The old man story sounds very interesting, and there a lots of pictures this week.


Best family in the world,

I am so glad to have you guys as my family! I got my package today and I opened it and it was awesome. I am so thankful for everything that you guys sent me and I will be enjoying it over the next few weeks. I love you guys so much and it really does a lot for me. I loved the pictures and the letters that you guys gave me and the picture of Jesus will be going on our wall. I'm sure I will get sick from all the treats but it’s totally worth it. 

I’m glad to hear that you guys are doing okay and that summer is going well for you guys. Also, first off happy anniversary this Thursday for Mom and Dad, you guys are the best parents in the world!!! Congrats to Todd for doing well on his test and for Brooke getting a job!;) Sabrina sounds like she is doing awesome in softball.  

This week was pretty good, we had to give Mario another date for his baptism. So we are looking at the 21 of June and we are sticking with this date for his baptism. Alejandra and Luis are coming to church every week and she is working on her divorce papers so that they can get married, they are going to be future members of the Church of Jesus Christ. Right now we are also looking for more investigators, which is really hard for us to do. Everyone here in Hualpen I have talked to before, and now I just getting old for them (HaHa). We are happy and working very hard and having a good time. Elder Castro is starting to really open up and talk more.

I can tell you guys I miss the snow or the sun shine. It has been raining in Hualpencillo a ton and there are little lakes that are starting to build up. It’s pretty cold here and it is always windy and the wind is really cold. I am really glad for the rain gear and the boots that I have or else I would be wet every night! 

Today when we were in Concepción we were walking and this old guy starts yelling at me and starts hitting me in the arm and chest! So we kept on walking and he is behind us yelling at us. He ends up following us for about ten minutes until we lost him by walking away faster than he could walk. He didn't hit me hard because he was really old but I wasn't ready for him to hit me, so I was kind of shocked! It was pretty funny after he stopped following us!

This week I would like it if you guys could study the atonement at least one day this week and I’m going to do it to! Then next time we send emails we can share what we learned! It is going to be awesome.

Thank you guys for everything and I love you guys! Thank you very much for the presents and the pictures. I hope you guys have a good week and I love you guys very much!

Les quiero 

Elder McAlister


The spiritual thought I shared with Sean this week came from General Conference, April 2014, Jeffrey R. Holland gave a talk in the Saturday morning session called "The Cost—and Blessings—of Discipleship" (well worth reading).  In the talk he said:

"You may wonder if it is worth it to take a courageous moral stand in high school or to go on a mission only to have your most cherished beliefs reviled or to strive against much in society that sometimes ridicules a life of religious devotion. Yes, it is worth it, because the alternative is to have our “houses” left unto us “desolate”—desolate individuals, desolate families, desolate neighborhoods, and desolate nations."

What a great message, and to know Sean currently taking a courageous moral stand in his missionary service. We all are faced with issues through our lives when we need to stand up for our beliefs, and sometimes it’s not easy. Sean is building up his strength now to withstand those situations when they arise.

Have a great week everyone, and enjoy some pictures from Chile…

P-Day basketball with the zone

Not sure what's happening here...

Worst photo bomb ever?

Nerf wars!

Chilean pancakes.

We made some Chilean pancakes this week and we didn't do very well!


This is a new fruit for you guys! its name is kaki and its really good! You cut out the little black point on the top and you suck all the juice and stuff from the inside and its really good!

The dog seems to like having its head scratched.

Elder Castro in rain gear.

Glad to have rain gear to stay as dry as possible.

This is how much rain they are getting now!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

One more transfer in Hualpencillo

Almost didn't hear from Sean this week as the internet cafes they use were not available all day, and he was only able the get into a few minutes before they had to be home from p-day. This is a short update from him, and he couldn't send pictures because the one internet place that opened up did not support sending pictures.

Sounds like a busy and pretty successful week for Elder Castro and Elder McAlister. Sean was surprised he was not transferred, and will be in Hualpencillo for one more transfer.  I actually wasn't surprised, and even wrote him I had a strong feeling he would be there one more transfer because they are finally turning the area around and are just about to see some success.


Hey everyone,

Sounds like you guys had a great week and that everything is going well. It is super weird to think that a year has passed since I graduated, and now that I think about it what grade will Sabrina go into next school year. Looks like the porch is coming along! It’s crazy how much I look like dad when he was little and the picture is really cool. Looks like the weather is really lovely there and I miss the heat now. I am keeping warm, kind of (HaHa).  

This week was really hard but really good. We couldn't find Mario or Alejandra and Luis, so it was kind of frustrating. Then Sunday came along and Alejandra and Luis came to church. They really like the church and want to learn more about it. It’s really exciting to see people start to learn about this gospel. Mario didn't come to church, but he did end up coming to an activity Sunday night and it was great. I kind of got after the members last week because they keep on saying why aren’t you guys having baptisms. I told them the truth. Now our ward is starting to understand that the Lord’s work is for the members and missionary's to work together. So they have started doing some work this last week, Because the previous Sunday we brought 3 investigators to church and almost all the members ignored them. So now we are starting to work as an efficient ward. 

Today we had cambios, and it is really weird to say but I am staying in this sector for one more cambio. I will have 7 1/2 months in this sector. The funny thing is that our president doesn't like missionaries in a sector for more than 6 months. Yesterday when we got home I was thinking that I was leaving and I started packing my bags, then morning came along and we got the call and I’m staying. Now I know I have a purpose here, and I have to work my heart out until I can’t work anymore. 

We had a really crazy rain storm this week and it got really crazy in the night. We had a ton of rain and a lot of lightning and thunder. The sad part was we were at the very end of our sector and the day was beautiful at first and we didn't have any rain gear with us. Then the rain hit and we were soaked! We just kept on working and nobody would let us in their houses and it was a funny, wet and hard day at the same time. We would go to houses and they would say wow you guys are really wet, and we would say yeah can we come into your house? Then they would say no and shut the door. So I learned when there is rain we really need our rain gear. 

I have no more time to really write because all the internet buildings where shut down in our sector, and one finally opened! I love you guys and have a fantastic week.

Love you guys!!!

Elder McAlister 

I shared the following from Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorfs conference talk "Are You Sleeping through the Restoration" with Sean this week. He said:

 "The unselfish give of themselves. These may be small gifts of charity that have a grand impact for good: a smile, a handshake, a hug, time spent in listening, a soft word of encouragement, or a gesture of caring. All these acts of kindness can change hearts and lives. When we take advantage of the unlimited opportunities to love and serve our fellowmen, including our spouse and family, our capacity to love God and to serve others will greatly increase."

There is just too much at stake for us as individuals, as families, and as Christ’s Church to give only a halfhearted effort to this sacred work. I'm very proud of Sean and his example of this very principle of service while out serving the people of Chile. Have a great week everyone!