Monday, July 28, 2014

Isau's Baptism

Here is this week’s update from Elder McAlister, and sounds like they have a lot of work to do there in Chiguayante.  They did have a baptism for Isau, which is great to hear, and the first one for Elder Letelier (funny story in Sean’s email)

I does sound like its cold where he is now that they are in the middle of winter down there.


Hey Everyone,

How’s everyone doing? I really hope that you guys had a good week. I miss you, and hope that everything is going well! When will dad be having his surgery on his knee? That is really crazy that Brooke and Todd will be moving to Oklahoma for just a while! When will you guys be moving there? I hope that Todd will do well and I hope that you guys will like Oklahoma. That is really weird to hear that you guys will be moving out! But good luck! Sounds like Jessica had a really relaxed week, and are you still working at the same place? Derek bueno suerte con la universidad de U.V.U. It sounds like Sabrina was having a party this week! Mom good luck with Sabrina and Emma Hartley. I really miss all of you and just hanging out with you guys!!!  

This last week we ended up baptizing Isau which was awesome. He didn't really have any facial expressions but he was happy. My companion baptized him and I did the conformation. It was my first time doing it, but it went really well. Now he is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ!!! We did have a funny story with the baptism! There is a plug in the baptismal font and I pulled out about 10 minutes before the baptism service! I knew that the water wouldn't leave because you need to push a button to have the water leave. But this is the first baptism for my companion and he doesn't have that much time. His first thought is that all the water is going to leave from the font and so he went running and jumped in the water with his clothes on! I ended up telling him when he put it back in and all he did was just laugh!!!  

Other than the baptism we had, we didn't really have much success this week. We are really short on investigators and I’m hoping to turn it around like I did in Hualpencillo. We are teaching Ricardo and he is doing really well, but the problem is that he needs to get married. Other than him, we don’t have anyone else that is really progressing. The Ward is really good and they are ready to work and help us out here. Bishop kind of went crazy on them and told them they need to work more and they are really showing obedience. I really do like the area. It’s a prettier area than Hualpencillo. There are less drugs and it’s pretty rich here. We are close to a mountain and a really big river and it’s pretty cool but it gets pretty cooled at times.    

Well lately it has been raining really hard down here and we heard that it will be raining all week which should be really fun. Also there is so much wind here. Something that is cool is we are really close to the river of Bio-Bio and it gets so cold at night. 

I hope you have a great week and I pray for you guys all the time. I hope that you’re okay and I love you a lot! Have a good fun week and I can’t wait to hear from you guys next week! 

Take care and be safe!
Love you guys!!! You guys are the best family in the world!

Elder McAlister

Answers for Mom:
Papa Johns is the same here as it is in the United States but there isn’t that many and the pizza is a lot smaller than in the United States. Elder McAllister is from American Fork, Utah and he lives really close. The weather is the same, a little more cold here and a lot more wind!  


This week’s spiritual thought I shared with Sean comes from President Henry B. Eyring in his April 2014 Conference talk "A Priceless Heritage of Hope".  He said:
"God has sent mortal servants who can, by the Holy Ghost, help us recognize what He would have us do and what He forbids. God makes it attractive to choose the right by letting us feel the effects of our choices. If we choose the right, we will find happiness—in time. If we choose evil, there comes sorrow and regret—in time. Those effects are sure. Yet they are often delayed for a purpose. If the blessings were immediate, choosing the right would not build faith. And since sorrow is also sometimes greatly delayed, it takes faith to feel the need to seek forgiveness for sin early rather than after we feel its sorrowful and painful effects."

I found this quote to be very interesting.  Heavenly Father has provided "mortal servants", they being Prophets, Apostles, Stake Presidents, Bishops, Priesthood leaders, teachers, parents, family and friends that can all help us, along with the great gift of the Holy Ghost. We will find happiness if we choose the right, and sorrow if we choose to do wrong.  The happiness and sorrow may not be immediate, but we know it will happen, and need to have the faith to live accordingly.

That wraps up this week’s post, so have a great week and enjoy a few pictures Sean sent today…

Chiguayante with the Bio Bio river in the distance.


Elder Letelier trying to save the water in the font before a baptism.

Elder Letelier, Isau and Elder McAlister on Isau's baptismal day.

Elder McAlister Squared!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Elder "McAlister" Squared?

Sounds like Elder McAlister is doing great in his new area of Chiguayante, which is about 25 miles south east of his last area.  His new companion is from Chile, they are in a house with 4 Elders, and they baptism coming up this week.


Hola como están,

I am so glad to hear from you guys this week! I had a pretty good week and I can’t believe how fast it is going by. I have to say that Jessica and Derek´s new TV looks pretty cool and I feel like technology has really passed by my mind. Brooke you need to stop working out because you are getting pretty big! So STOP IT!!! (HaHa) no it’s just a joke. I can actually see dad falling at the beginning of the hike and I hope you didn't get hurt too bad. Mom I really miss your cooking! (HaHa)

This last week was really interesting! I got to Chiguayante on Tuesday in the morning and I met my companion and he seemed to be really shy when I met him. To answer the question from mom, we all have to go to the bus terminal and that’s were we meet our new companion.  We went to the house and it’s a pretty nice house we have about 3 rooms, a kitchen, 2 bathrooms (but only one shower works) and a living room. So this house is a lot bigger then my last one. My companion is Elder Letelier and he is from Viña, Chile. He is really shy and he is very interesting, but we will see how this week goes. We are having a little bit of a rough start because he feels like he should be the senor companion. I have learned patients in my mission.  

Elder Hoopes is living in my house and he is training a new Elder from Utah. The funny thing is his name is Elder McAllister, so you can imagine that we have been doing some jokes in the ward with our names. I am Elder McAlister number 1 and he is Elder McAlister 2. I have really liked being in the same house with Elder Hoopes and Elder McAllister. We have been having a good time in the house!

Here in Chiguayante we will be having a baptism this week and his name is Isau. He is an older man and he is awesome and we have been teaching him a lot this last week. We are also teaching an ex soccer player that played for the selection of Chile in Holland! His name is Ricardo and he seems to be really cool. But we need to find more investigators here because we don’t have that much here. Chiguayante is pretty rich compared to my last sector and a lot of people have cars here. They have big houses here and a little bit of a yard (Crazy). So far I really like it here and its really nice. 

I want to share a spiritual thought with you guys this week and it’s from the Book of Mormon. I was reading in Nephi and it’s amazing the example that he is for us. He has so many afflictions and trails, but he is always showing that he is faithful to the Lord. When I was reading I was thinking about if we really have our hearts in the work of the lord! When I was reading in 1 Nephi I thought about Laman and Lemuel. How they did everything that Nephi did. They helped build the boat, they went back for the bronze plates and they followed their father into the wilderness. The difference between Nephi and Laman, Lemuel is that Nephi had faith in the Lord at all times and he did everything that he was told, with a desire in his heart. We need to be like Nephi and have the faith and the desire in our hearts at all times looking forward at all times. The Lord truly loves us and wants the best for us. 

Well I hope you guys have a great week and I love you all. Take care and don’t do anything crazy! Miss you guys and have fun!

Love you guys!!!

Elder McAlister


This week’s spiritual thought I shared with Elder McAlister was short, but I really loved this quote by President Monson in a talk called "The Savior's Call to Serve".  He says:

"The mantle of membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a cloak of comfort but rather a robe of responsibility. Our duty, in addition to saving ourselves, is to guide others to the celestial kingdom of God."

That quote really hit me in so many ways. Not only am I responsible for myself, but my whole family, and all those whom I serve in my calling, and those I could be sharing the Gospel with through missionary work. I think I wear the cloak to often and not the robe.  Something I really need to work on. Sean is being a great example for this principle to me with his missionary service to the people in Chile.

Until next week be safe everyone, have a great week and enjoy these picture Sean sent today, unfortunately he did not provide names of all the families in these pictures he took as he was leaving his old area of Hualpencillo.  The last two pictures are from his new area.

Elder McAlister, Elder Letelier, Elder McAllister and Elder Hoopes.

Elder McAlister and Elder Letelier enjoying some Papa Johns pizza!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Transfer will take Elder McAlister farther south

Great to hear from Elder McAlister today. We now know he will be transferred to a new city tomorrow, and get a new companion. He's sad to be leaving Hualpen after such a long time, but excited for the new area and experiences to come.


Hey everybody,

How is everyone doing this week? It sounds like you guys had a great week and everyone is doing okay. Looks like Sabrina just keeps on growing and growing. I am glad to hear that everyone is having fun and everyone sounds to be healthy. 

Well I am getting transferred to Chiguayante, which isn’t really far away from me. I will be in the same house as Elder Hoopes! Elder Hoopes was in my first zone in Linares, so we will be in the same house and it’s going to be awesome. Elder Hoopes will be training a new gringo I think and I will be with an Elder from Chile, he only has 1 month in the mission. I will be finishing his training and I am hoping we will get along. I don’t know him and I have only seen a picture of him. I guess I will find out tomorrow. I´ve heard that there is a lot of drugs in Chiguayante, but that is pretty much the same in Hualpencillo. I am sad that I am leaving, but at the same time I´m excited that I will be going to a new sector.

The World Cup has been crazy down here because nobody wants Argentina to win, so the World Cup was still intense here in Chile. The Brazil and Germany game was super funny here. Everyone was talking about it and they are still talking about. Everyone was cheering for Germany in the world cup. It was really fun to be somewhere that is big into soccer!

Well this last week we had a pretty rough week and we didn't really have anyone progress. Juan still hasn't gotten his answer and he is leaning more towards his daughter’s church. So now the members are stepping up and visiting him and they are really showing their love for him. He still has a problem with drinking tea and we are hoping he will stop drinking it. Alejandra and Luis are not coming to church right now because Luis is in the north working, Alejandra doesn't want to bring her kids to church without Luis because they are crazy. We have been working with Roxana and she was doing really good, but she had to take her daughter to the hospital at 5 in the morning on Sunday. She said she can come to church next week. The other people that we are working with are not really progressing that great in this moment. Today is the last day that I will get to see them. So Sad!!!

You guys asked me what the weirdest thing I have eaten here is. I haven’t really eaten anything super weird. We basically eat a lot of rice, chicken and potatoes. But Mote con Huesillo was the weirdest thing I have drank. I really like Empanadas, Pastel de Choclo, Humitas and the Sopapillas.  I haven't really eaten crazy things here. The food is really good but they eat a ton of rice and potatoes and they eat them plain, and at times it kills me to eat a lot of potatoes just plain. I did get to eat Mole which is from Mexico, It’s a hot sauce and chocolate mix and has a taste of chicken. It was really weird and has a weird smell, but it’s really tasty.

I love you guys and have a great week. Thank you guys very much for all your support. I will tell you guys next week how my new sector is going to be. I'm sure that it will be great and I heard our house has two bathrooms (miracle in Chile). I love you guys and have a great week. I can’t wait to hear from you next week.

Love you guys.

Elder McAlister


I was listening to Elder Richard G. Scott's April 2014 Conference talk called, "I Have Given You an Example", where he is speaking about gospel study, and how we can help those who we love, and are working with, to best learn gospel principles. He said:
"Encourage those you love to seek to understand what the Lord would have them do. One way to do this is to ask them questions that make them think and then allow them sufficient time—whether hours, days, months, or more—to ponder and seek to work out the answers for themselves. You may need to help them know how to pray and how to recognize answers to their prayers. Help them to know that the scriptures are a vital source of receiving and recognizing answers. In that way you will help them prepare for future opportunities and challenges."

I thought this was great advice for Sean, as people really need to develop their own knowledge and testimony at some point, so asking the right questions and having them think it through and pray about them will allow them to do this.  I am sure this is something that he has learned on your mission so far, but it takes time to learn how and what those questions are for each 
family or individual.

Sean did send a bunch of pictures this week, so these will be his last from Hualpencillo, so enjoy until next week...

Elder McAlister and his district in Hualpencillo

Elder McArther and Elder McAlister

Elder McAlister and Elder Herrera

Not sure who this is with Elder McAlister

Hermana Heslop, Elder McAlister and Hermana Peterson

Elder McAlister and Elder Noe

Mole which is from Mexico. Its a hot sauce and chocolate mix and has a taste of chicken. It was really weird and has a weird smell, but its really tasty.

Some pictures of Hualpen my last zone and my bed broke a fell on Elder Castro and so we had to take pictures. (HaHa). The Story: So it was night time and my companion is laying on his bed and I jumped up in mine and all the bars fell out from underneath and I fell on top of Elder Castro. We did fix the bed!


Church building in  Hualpen

Maybe something to do with the World Cup?


Park in  Hualpen.

I guess I should explain the hand sign that I am doing all the time. In Chile it means bakan, or cool, and everyone does it here! If you guys were wondering.

After a rain storm.

The Zone in Hualpen.

The Zone in Hualpen again.

Looks like some kind of refinery in the background.

Cat hanging out by their house.


A clever planter?

This little kid at church is cute.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The "Blessings" of a Mission

We received Sean’s email very late in the day yesterday, since when we received it there were only a few minutes left in his p-day.  He now knows he will be transferred next time, and he sounds a bit torn on being ready to move on and wanting to stay. He and his companion had a great experience with a priesthood blessing with a family in need.


Hey everyone, 

Happy 4th of July everyone!!! I totally forgot about it until it was the 4th of July and Sister Arrington (wife of the president) told me happy 4th of July. I hope you guys had a good 4th of July. I am really glad to hear that everyone is doing okay and you guys seem to be happy. I am glad to hear about Todd and the air traffic job invitation. The front porch looks really good and the house is looking a lot newer. I love the McDonald's story from Mom and I never thought that you would have a strong accent (HaHa). It’s good to hear that all three of my sisters are doing okay.      

This last week was really a good week and we had a lot of success working with members this week. We were also able to bring Juan to a baptism in different sector and he really liked it. He ended up coming to church again and we are hoping that he will choose to be baptized this week. He is right now think between his daughter´s church and our church. We keep on telling him that he need to pray about it but he hasn't received an answer yet. We haven't really heard much from Alejandra and Luis, so we are hoping to pass by them this week. Mario is going to a different ward right now because his cousin goes there and he feels really lonely in our ward. So he will get baptized, but by other missionary's in a different ward. I am just happy that he is choosing to be baptized and be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ!   

We had our interviews this last week with president and they went really well. He gave us a quote from Elder Jeffery R. Holland and I really liked it and it’s for missionaries. This is the quote:

 ¨Por un momento raro desde el momento en que se levante por la mañana hasta se acueste de noche, puede ser un verdadero discípulo apostólico de Cristo. Les recuerdo a los misioneros que ellos son apostólicos. Un apóstol es uno que es enviado. Un apóstol es un testigo. Por 18 meses [o 2 años] puede ser un testigo del evangelio de Jesucristo y Su nombre a tiempo completo; CADA HORA, CADA MINUTO, CADA MOMENTO.¨ (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)

I really liked this quote and it is really strong! I’m not going to exactly translate it but it says that missionaries are apostles for 2 years. An apostle is a witness and that we need to be witnesses of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love how it says that we need to be witnesses of this gospel every hour, every minute and every moment. I really loved the quote and it is so true that missionary's need to witnesses of this gospel at all times. I also think that this is for every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.       

This is my last week here in Hualpencillo and it’s pretty sad for me! I know that I will be getting transferred next Tuesday, and I will find out we I go on Monday. I want to go because I have been in this sector for a very long time, but at the same time I don't want to leave because of the people in this sector. It is my time to go and I really don't want to go but it’s up to the Lord now. I am thinking that I will be going to Chillan! I heard that there is snow there so I will be happy about that. I guess we will find out next week.

I learned how powerful the priesthood authority is this week. We passed by for a family that is kind of having a hard time in their lives right now. Their grandma just died yesterday and the father has been in his bed all week with pains in his back. We could see that he was in pain and it was hard for him to walk and sit down. So he asked us for blessing. My companion did the first part and I did the blessing. Three minutes after we ended the blessing he was able to move normally. He could walk, he could sit down, he could bend over and he was able to do all kinds of things. It truly proved to me the power of the priesthood and how blessed we are as members of the church to have this power. 

I love you guys and have a great week! I hope to hear from you next week and I guess I can tell you where I will be going. I love every single one of you and you’re the best family ever. 

Love you guys!!!

Elder McAlister 


This is a message that Cherilyn shared with Sean this week, and I think it’s an interesting perspective as well:

“Every Fast Sunday we get the ward newsletter and it tells about each of the missionaries in our ward (at least most of them). I like reading about everyone and how they are doing. I wanted to share Jared Schlenker story with you because I thought it was an interesting perspective. He says, "I finally realized why the Savior calls us sheep. The adversary's plan was to force us to do everything right? If you try to force a sheep out the door, it turns and runs the other way. If you try to force a sheep to food or water, it runs the other way. If you force a sheep to do basically anything, it will turn and run in circles until it wants to do something else. It just doesn't work to force them. Did the Savior ever force us to do anything? No. Did he ever coerce us? No. He talked to us, softly, sweetly and with love. Then he shows us the way and we follow Him down that path. It's the same with sheep. As Sister Robinson (I guess someone he knows) calls each of her sheep by name, they come. She thanks them for coming to her and beckons them out the door.  If they rush, she stops them, corrects them, scratches their head and then sends them out the door. I was honestly offended when I saw the stupidity of sheep and how the Savior calls us His sheep.  But then I realized it's not the stupidity of sheep, it is the submissiveness and willingness they have to follow the shepherd, that is why we are His sheep. He knows what is best for us and when we stray, or rush, or do anything he doesn't want us to, he calls us by name, loves us, corrects us, loves us more, and sends us back out to see if we will do it right, knowing full well that we will be back in the same situation again."

No pictures this week, so until next week, have a safe and joyful week.