Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New District Leader in Chiguayante

Okay I thought I had already post Sean’s update this week, but to my surprise I had done no such thing, Sorry for the late posting, but Elder McAlister has some big news in his email this week.


¡¿Hola como están?

That’s pretty crazy all that is going on and I am happy to hear that Brooke and Todd could move without problems. I want to see pictures of your new apartment.  It’s awesome to here that school is starting back up and I am sure Mom and Sabrina are excited for that. Mom are you still working in the office, or in a different part of the school. I am glad to hear that Dad is working hard to recover and that he is progressing. Wants new in the life of Jessica I am hoping everyone is doing well with their health and I am really happy to hear from you guys. 

Something happen yesterday that was kind of crazy! So I was giving Elder Hoopes my numbers for the week and how my week was and it was just a normal Sunday. President ended up calling Elder Hoopes and so I told the other Elder McAllister that he was getting called as a Zone Leader. Then Elder Hoopes said "yeah president he is here", then he gave me the phone. Last night I was called to be a District Leader in the Chiguayante zone. I was so nervous after the phone call and I was just thinking what are my new responsible are. I am excited to be able to serve more missionaries and I’m hoping I will do well. 

This morning we found out who was leaving and who was staying. I knew that I was staying because President called me and told me. But we are all staying the same and it pretty cool. So another 6 more weeks with the same Elders and I was happy with that. I will have another 6 weeks with Elder Letelier and I know that we will do great. As the time goes on, we are starting to work better and better. I am hoping we can have a great 6 weeks with a lot of success. I am really happy that I will be here for a little bit longer and serve the people in Chigauyante. I am really loving this ward and I have seen that they have the desire to work hard with us in the mission.  

We have been working really hard and I think that we will be having some success soon. We have been working really hard with a new investigator that wants to be baptized and we also have a lot of funny stories from our lessons with him. We also have found a guy that loves to talk to us. We found him in this last week and he loved what we talked about. His name is Sebastian and he is doing awesome and I hope that he will continue learning with us. We are still working with Bastion, who is ten years old, and we just reactivated his Dad. So now we are hoping that his dad can baptize him. We also have more, but they are doing the best in this moment. 

I really can’t understand how the time is flying by so fast!!!!

I hope that you have a great week and I want you guys to know that I love you guys. I can’t wait to hear from you guys. I am really short on time and I hope to hear how everyone is doing. I love you guys a ton and I miss every single one of you.

Elder McAlister


This week’s thought I shared with Sean came from President Monson in his April Conference talk "Be Strong and of a Good Courage". He said:

"Decisions are constantly before us which can determine our destiny. In order for us to make the correct decisions, courage is needed—the courage to say no when we should, the courage to say yes when that is appropriate, the courage to do the right thing because it is right."

This really is a very simple statement, but not so easy to live our lives that way.  Are we always in a place in our testimony, gospel knowledge and righteousness to be ready to say "no" or "yes" or chose the right.  We never know when those important moments of our lives might be, so we need to always be ready.

Be safe this week everyone, and enjoy this week’s pictures from Chile…

Sean and Elder Catron from Argentina from Dereks mission!

The Chiguayante District 
Elder Mitton aand Elder McAlister, both from Pleasant Grove Utah and PG Vikings

Kids will play if there are toys.

The four Elder who currently live in Sean's house.

Yeah...no idea what's going on here.

Elder McAlister and his first companion Elder Donoso at a recent Zone Conference.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

P-Day in Lenga.

I’m a little late getting this update from Sean posted. I had knee surgery Thursday, and I’m not 100% with it yet.

Elder McAlister has passed his year mark, things are going well in the area, investigators are progressing, and it sounds (and looks) like they had a great p-day yesterday.


Hey Everyone,

Glad to hear that all went well with dad’s surgery and I hope that he is recovering. It’s still crazy to hear that Brooke and Todd are leaving and I wish them the best and I hope that you guys can move without any trouble to Oklahoma! I will pray for you! I hope that Brooke had a good birthday also. I hope that Sabrina is doing better and having fun. I am guessing that school is starting soon which should be fun for her. 

This last week we had a pretty good and we worked really hard. We had an investigator come to church with us and they have a date for baptism this 6 of September. His name is Bastian! He is ten years old and we are reactivating the family which is awesome. The dad has come to church the last 3 weeks and we are hoping that he will be ready to baptize his son. We also have been working with Mirtha, and she ended up going to the hospital this last week and stayed in there until today which made it hard for her to come to church. But we had a really good day on Sunday because we found two new families and one of the family's has a date for baptism on the 13 of September. So we really had a great week. Also time is flying by so fast!!! This next week we have cambios and it is crazy how fast it is coming up. 

I HAVE HIT MY YEAR MARK!!! I now have over a year but I still haven't burned a shirt yet. Elder Hoopes and Elder McAllister had a mini cambio and one of the zone leaders came and stayed at our house that night and we had to talk about our sector and what are our plans for our sectors and how we can have a better sector. I had no time to really burn a shirt! I will probably do that tonight or some night this week. 

Our zone had a conference with the president this last week. There was a new announcement in our mission. All Latinos need to pray in English to learn the language and that's for everything for zone meetings and district meetings. The President of the area or the seventy are really wanting everyone to learn English which is interesting. So I have been helping my companion learn how to say prayers in English now. Also we now have to explain how a baptism can help someone in the first lesson and before first prayer. So it is a little bit harder but we can find the need a lot faster and they now know our purpose as missionary's.    

On Sunday about 8:30 the 1st councilor came by our house and said that they didn't have anyone to talk this week in church. So they asked us to talk and this was my first time in my whole mission to give a talk! I was kind of nervous! I decided to talk about patience and so we had about 40 minutes to prepare for our talks. We each had about ten minutes to talk. The McAlister´s went first and then Elder Hoopes and then Elder Letelier. I accidentally took about 15 minutes and I wasn't ready to end, but I had no choice. The talk went really well and I believe that everyone needs to practice patience!     

Today we had a zone activity and we ended up going to Lenga! Which I have been there 3 times now but it’s still fun to go. The zone leaders didn't really think through how we were going to get there and we ended up walking a ton and taking 3 buses and hitch hiking. But we walked forever and it kind of sucked. I ended up stepping in mud and then I tried to wipe it off and then I stepped in another and then another!!! I thought I was going to go crazy and now I have so much mud in my shoes and they smell bad too. We were walking back and we ended up hitch hiking and we got this guy to give us a ride in the back of his truck/semi and then he closed the door and there was no light. (HaHa) it was so funny but pretty scary at the same time! We couldn't see anything or we didn’t know where we were going and we were stuck in the back (HaHa). But there are pictures of us in the back of this truck and there was no light in the truck. But he turned out to be a good guy and he didn't kill us (HaHa)!!! 

I love you guys and I hope you have a great week and I want you to know that I am okay and loving my mission. Thank you for all your support and all your love for me. Thank you guys for everything and I can’t wait to hear from you! Love you guys!!!
Stay classy McAlister family!!!

Love you guys!
Elder McAlister 

I was drugged up due to surgery this week, and didn’t write too much to Sean, but his mother shared the following with him: ”My thought for the week is limited, but what has been on my mind is "enduring to the end". What it takes to endure to the end in this lifetime. We go through so many different challenges and trials. Some try us to the bitter ends of what we can handle and some maybe don't seem as bad but can last a very long time. They come in all shapes and circumstances. But when we are in those trials if we take the time to ponder and really pay attention to what our Father in Heaven is wanting us to learn or if we look back on the trial months, years later, we will be amazed by how our very caring Father in Heaven has given us so much love and support through spiritual experiences, through the animals we might encounter, through the people around us. He truly does not leave us to endure on our own. His purpose is our joy and eternal life with Him. He wants us to truly be happy.”

Until next week, enjoy these pictures from Sean’s p-day yesterday…

Service project

Service project with a member, Elder McAlister, Elder McAllister and Elder Hoopes.

Lenga beach

Elder McAlister at Lenga beach.

Lenga beach.

Elder Letelier and Elder McAlister

Stepped in some mud at the beach.

More mud!

The zone found a ride home at the end of p-day.

Zone in the back of a semi heading home.

After a fun relaxing p-day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hot Dog!! One year done, one to go!

Great to hear from Elder McAlister, and it’s hard to believe the 14th he will have been out for a year.  Elder McAlister has had so many great experiences, learned a lot and has grown so much. It’s a good sign that he is having problems with English, it means he is really progressing with Spanish.

It sounds like he is settling in well to the new area of Chiguayante, and things are going better with his companion, and working with the ward.

You'll understand the title of this post when you see the pictures from this week.


¿Hola como están?

First off HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROOKE!!!! 23 years old and I hope that you have a great Birthday and go eat some cake or brownies! Good luck with moving to Oklahoma and I hope that you guys move there safe and everything goes easy for you guys. Dad I wish you the best of luck and I hope everything goes well! It’s better not to watch a knee surgery video, but I’m sure yours will go great. I will be praying for you and Brooke this week. It sounds like you guys had an awesome week and a lot of fun. I remember Snowbird and that sounds really cool. Also the HASH BROWNS SOUND SO GOOD RIGHT NOW!!!  I didn't even know about the temple in Ogden and it looks really cool. Sorry to hear about the messy Tillie and I hope she is doing better. I also totally forgot about car shows, I actually saw one like three weeks ago in Concepcion and they were Toyota´s from like 2008 and 2012 Camaro´s, so it was a sad and boring car show! I knew right when I read car show that dad would send me pictures of a Belair (HaHa)! But I’m glad to hear everyone is doing okay and having fun!

This last week we had a difficult week, but really good one at the same time. I am getting to know the ward more and more and they are pretty cool. The ward here is really wanting to help us out and it’s now our job just to call them for a visit. I have had a lot of fun in this ward and I am always looking forward to working with them. Our house is really fun and we are always joking around. I feel like this cambio is one of the best cambios that I have had because it is so funny in the house. Things are starting to work out with my companion, but he just says things to make us mad at times and the funny thing is he is counting how much time he has in the mission and how long until he ends his mission! But we are starting to work better together. We did have some good lessons this week and we thought that we would have Mirtha in the church this last week, but she didn't come. But nothing really happened this last week! We passed by for family Gasparini and they left to Chillan and they won’t get back until this week, so nothing happened with them. We also passed by for Ricardo and he was out playing soccer with some guys and now he is trying to get back into the professional league. So we might lose him, but we are not really sure right now what’s going on with him. We have been finding people but it’s more the people that just want someone to talk to and nothing really else really about religion.      

We ended up going on a mini cambio this last week and so my companion went with Elder Hoopes and I went with Elder McAllister. It was really funny because we have a rule that we need to talk to at least 20 people in the street and so we had to explain to every person our names are the same and what the difference is.  We also had to explain what does Elder mean and it was a lot harder to contact with a missionary with the same name as you (HaHa). We had a lot of fun and we ended up playing soccer in the night! I am really starting to like to play soccer and I’m not that bad for a gringo, but it was really fun. I am starting to feel really out of shape and I feel like I need to work out a lot more.

So I really can’t believe that I am going to have a year in the mission and it is just flying by so fast! Oh and yes I will be burning one of my shirts this week and it’s going to be awesome. One year has passed and it has gone by so fast, I can’t even describe it (HaHa). But as time goes on in my mission I am getting worse and worse at English and I don't even know what to do! 

Well that’s all the time I have today but I really hope you guys are doing okay and I am always praying for you. I love you a ton and I hope that you have an awesome week! Can’t wait to hear from you guys next week to hear how everything is going! Good luck Dad and Brooke with everything this week! Love you guys!!!

Elder McAlister


Thought for the week was shared with Sean by his Mom, and is from Alma 17:2-3 "They had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the work of God."  "But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.  President Thomas S. Monson said, "May I suggest a formula that will ensure our success. First, search the scriptures with diligence. Second, plan your life with purpose. Third, teach the truth with testimony, and fourth serve the Lord with love."

I also like something that Ryan Coombs (a missionary who returned home last week in our ward) said in his homecoming talk. He said, "I know that no power in front of us is stronger than the power behind us." I like that.  If we have Jesus Christ behind us backing us up there is no other power on earth or heaven that will conquer His righteous power. Satan has the power to bruise our heal but we have the power to crush his head. I love that.

Until next week, be safe and enjoy life as every minute is so precious.  Check out this week’s pictures, it’s amazing four Elders can eat that many hot dogs!

Dinner time!

There are at least 20 hot dog in this picture, for 4 Elders!

Hope he shares...

Monday, August 4, 2014

Cold and rainy Chiguayante...

Great to hear from Sean today!  It’s hard to believe he has been out almost a year.

Sounds like they are starting to make some progress in the area with finding new people to teach and work with. Cold and rainy seems to be what Chilean winters are all about, at least along the coast.


¿Hola como están? 

I am so glad to hear from you guys and I’m glad to hear that everyone is doing good and happy. Dad I thought it was funny that you will be having you surgery done the same day that I complete a year in the mission. I do truly wish you the best in your surgery. I still can’t believe that Brooke and Todd while be moving to Oklahoma City in two weeks! It’s kind of cool at the same time and I hope that Todd can find a good job from this school. I really thought it would have been funny to see a 6´7” squirrel wearing a Steelers sweatshirt running around and Girls camp. Jessica to be honest I miss getting my hair cut from somebody that knows how to cut hair, because they don't know how to here! With luck Elder Hoopes has a hair cutting kit and it saves us. Mom I miss just hanging out in the house with you in the mornings and I miss your cooking. I miss you guys! 

Well this last week has been raining like crazy I have gotten home soaking wet and I am using water gear and an umbrella! Crazy!!! It has been pretty cold in the day and freezing in the night. It’s not snowing! But it is a different kind of cold here. I have been really getting use to this sector and I am learning a ton. I am helping Elder Letelier finish up his training and he is getting close! We found a lot of new investigators this week and we invited each one to church. None of them came, and two of them had a date for baptism but not anymore. We did end up finding two family's which are really awesome and I want to ask you guys to pray for them. Familia Gasparini and Alejandrina and Alberto. Familia Gasparini is a family of 4, and they were almost baptized last year. So I hope we can help them come back to church and the real goal for them is the temple. We found Alejandrina and Alberto this last week, and they accepted baptism and they didn't come to church, but they are looking for the truth, and we got the truth! Isau is now a new convert in the church and he is doing really well, and we are helping him stay strong in the church. Ricardo we couldn't find him this last week, but which are passing by for him tonight.     

This last Monday my companion got really sick in the night and he ended up throwing up all night and it was crazy! Our room is right next to the bathroom and I could hear him every time he threw up. Then he would come wake me up every time he threw up. So I didn't get to sleep at all, I was super tired and we ended up staying in the house all day until 7:30 at night. I did a little studying and I found one book in D&C 107:57 which is the book of Enoch. So I did a little more studying and I found another in 2 Nephi 4:1-3 which is the book of Joseph. Then in 2 Nephi 29 its saying that there will be a book for every tribe of Israel and even more which is crazy! I have really loved studying the scriptures in my mission and there are amazing how much you can learn from them every day. I really have loved reading in Nephi and I want you guys to read the book of 1 Nephi and look how many trials he has and how strong his faith is no matter what, and the best part is the blessings that he gets to receive. 

Me and Elder Letelier have been have a rough time getting together. He thinks that he should be senor companion and he doesn't need my help. But he only has to months in the mission and he gets scared to go out and teach people. When we are in a lesson he won’t let me talk that much. I told him how we need to teach together and he needs to trust me. He still doesn't trust me that much, and I don't know why. I hope that we can change this around and work better together.  

Thank you for your letters and I miss you guys a lot. Have a great week and always chose the right! Keep safe and have a fun relaxing week. I love you a ton and I can’t wait to hear from you next week.

Love you guys!!!! The McAlister’s the best family ever!

Elder McAlister


Spiritual thought time!  I went a little off the Prophet and Apostle quotes this week, and went with something from John Bytheway, who I saw give a devotional at our wards girls camp last week. He gave a talk at BYU called "When Times Are Tough: 5 Scriptures That Will Help You Get Through Almost Anything" and he said the following which I think is really powerful about understanding Gods love for us and going through tough times:

“If our testimonies are strong on this point, and if we feel the absolute assurance that God loves us, we will change our questions. We won't ask, 'Why did this happen?' or 'Why doesn't God care about me?' Instead, our questions will become, 'What can I learn from this experience?' or 'How does the Lord want me to handle this?”

I think that is so insightful, and I have such a bad habit of always asking "why?" or "why me?". This is something I am committing to work on.  I need to really look for what I can learn from each experience or hardship I go through, and God has given to me to learn "what?", not “why?”.

Have a great week everyone, and enjoy a few pictures from Chiguayante…

Elders McAllister, McAlister and Hoopes.

Cold and rainy Chiguayante

Cold and rainy Chiguayante

Cold and rainy Chiguayante

Elder McAlister and Elder Letelier