Monday, January 26, 2015

What time does church start?

Another week in the books for Elder McAlister and it sounds like work with the less actives is heating up, but still struggling to find new people to teach.  They had a fun p-day with some soccer and basketball.

Hey guys,

Hey everyone I am glad to hear that everyone is alive and doing well. This last week went by really fast and today I was excited to hear from you guys. I am happy to hear everyone has kept busy and I hope that you guys are loving the weather there. I am getting burnt everyday a little bit more. The sun is very strong here and it hurts my nose more than anything! 

This week was really good, and we are doing better every day. We have been working a lot with the less actives and they are doing pretty good. We are actually working with about 34 menos activos at this moment and so we are looking for some good progress in our ward. I hope it all goes well this week with them. We are also really focused on the members also and we are treating them all like investigators. Our ward is one of the wards struggling a lot in our mission. We are starting Sacrament meeting about 10-20 minutes late. So there is a lot of work to do in our ward, but that is okay with me. Cambios are in two weeks and this last cambio was really fast! Time really does fly by in the mission and the days seem to get faster! That's why we have to work as hard as can for 2 years and there is no time to loose. 

Investigators…we don’t have any! It’s been really hard to find and we are trying everything that we can! But nothing seems to work out for us! So I was really hoping that you guys could pray for us to keep on pushing though this tough spot and that we can starting finding more investigators to teach. That has been a weakness in our sector, and we have been searching and searching, but nothing is coming through. I know that God has someone prepared to hear, we just need to find him or her!

Well today we played some soccer and we had a bbq! It was really fun we got to choose our teams, and we played first to score wins and then the next team comes on. It was really good and of course my whole team was Americans, but we did end up winning some games and losing a lot more. We did play some basketball and it turned out to be really fun, feels like I haven't played forever. My first few shots were air balls but then i changed my game around. I really miss playing basketball so it was a really good activity!

Well me and Elder Ponce are doing really good! It’s a little funny because everything that he talks about is related to Peru! Like the prices of things, our slang words that they use over there, also about the food. So I have been learning a lot about Peru and I am becoming an expert on the things of Peru. He is progressing little by little and understanding a lot of things. 

This last Tuesday I had a mini cambio with the zone leaders and it was okay. I worked with Elder Barrios and we had a lot of fun together. He is from Guatemala and we are now really good friends. He told me that he really didn’t like my sector because it is so big and you have to walk so much to get from one end to the other. So he wants us to find members that have bikes and are willing to lend them to us. It was a pretty crazy day with Elder Barrios and I have always seen the mini cambios are really good or really bad! But we had fun that day!

I thought that you guys would enjoy the picture of Elder Hollandsworth and I eating a watermelon like the Chileans do. They cut it in half and eat it with a spoon and it is amazing. The watermelon here is very good and has a lot of juice. 

Thank you guys for the letters and all that you guys have done for me! I miss you guys and I really want you guys to know that I love you guys. I can’t wait to hear from you guys next week and to hear what’s going on with you guys! Love you guys tons!!!

Elder McAlister 


Spiritual thought time!  This week I though we could look at Hope. In his October Conference talk,"The Hope of God's Light", President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said concerning hope:

 "The very moment you begin to seek your Heavenly Father, in that moment, the hope of His light will begin to awaken, enliven, and ennoble your soul. The darkness may not dissipate all at once, but as surely as night always gives way to dawn, the light will come."

Elder James E. Faust in his October Conference talk,"Hope, an Anchor of the Soul", said

 "Everybody in this life has their challenges and difficulties. That is part of our mortal test. The reason for some of these trials cannot be readily understood except on the basis of faith and hope because there is often a larger purpose which we do not always understand. Peace comes through hope."

And finally the Prophet Alma taught us the following:

"And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works."

If we have hope in our lives, we can overcome our trials, whatever they may be, and we will be doing good works. I think this is a great lesson for us all to always keep Hope in what ever we are doing.

Until next week be safe and enjoy these pictures from Chile....

Eating watermelon Chilean style with Elder Hollandsworth.

Elder Ponce and Elder McAlister

El Paco o la Policía!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New scripture covers

Sounds like they are starting to get up to speed with the new mission approach of working with the members more and less time searching for new people to teach. The ward activity also sounded like it was successful.

Hey guys,

First off I can’t believe that Sabrina has turned 10 years old! I want to wish hear un feliz cumpleaños and I hope that she likes her new bike and the other toys she got. If I may say so Sabrina looks a lot taller and older than what I remember and sorry that I am wishing you a late happy birthday. I kind of forgot what month it was! haha I lost track of time! I love you Sabrina and I want you to know that you are the best little sister ever! I really think that your new bike is awesome! I liked the picture of the front room and I really like the new couch and chairs! The front room looks really good and looks a lot different than before. I’m glad to hear that Brooke and Jessica are doing all good. 

Well we didn't really find anyone this last week, but we have been finding more less actives to teach. At the beginning of the week we ended up getting rid of all the people that we were teaching and we started to search. So we had a really good time looking for so more people to teach, we didn't find any but that's okay! We did find some anti-Americans and there were very interesting to talk to and then right after that we found anti-Peruvians! So we decided to find in a different way! Right now we are really focused on finding though the members that are in our ward. So we have set a ton of noche de hogar con los miembros. Now they have to bring their friends to the activity and we hope to find in this way. It’s a lot different than before because we have to use and rely on the members, but I have faith it will work out! We are working with familia Vilugron, familia Riveras, Jacqueline and Ivan. They are all doing really good and progressing in the gospel very well! I have pretty much done reactivation in my mission and it has really been successful! So right now I am focused on the members and less actives but still looking for investigators to teach!

The district is doing really good and all the missionaries are very animated to work! I really like my district and I can see that we are going to have a really good week and we are going to have success! We are all struggling to find new people, but a big part of it is that there are a lot of people traveling to the campo and they are staying there for a while so that's been a big impediment! But that's only an excuse and we are going to find good quality people this week!

This last Friday we had a really fun activity where we played an egg toss. I was told that I was in charge of the game of the activity! So I choose to do an egg toss and the Ward loved it. We had some people get eggs all over their clothes and faces! We didn’t boil the eggs so they were raw and it was a really good activity. Then they had people act like famous singers and they had to dance and act like they were singing. It was really funny and I thought that the people really liked it!

I got my new scripture cases and they are made out of animal skin! They are awesome and I enjoy them quite a bit! So that was what I just bought and I am waiting for the bible to get here! They are awesome and I sent you guy’s pictures!

Well I love you guys a ton and I really miss you guys! Elder Ponce and I are doing really good and we will be having a blast this next week! Thank you for your emails and all the support! Love you guys a ton and have a good and safe week!

Love you guys

Elder McAlister

 Spiritual thought time!  This week I though I would cover personal change and repentance, which are big parts of the Gospel.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks said in his talk "Repentance and Change" said:

"The gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to change. “Repent” is its most frequent message, and repenting means giving up all of our practices—personal, family, ethnic, and national—that are contrary to the commandments of God. The purpose of the gospel is to transform common creatures into celestial citizens, and that requires change."

The great thin about being able to change and repent is as President Harold B. Lee said: 

"The miracle of forgiveness is available to all of those who turn from their evil doings and return no more."

And finally the Prophet Alma taught in Alma 5:26 

"And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?"

Alma is teaching us that if we have felt the need for change and repentance in the past, and felt the love of God pour out upon us for that repentance, and can we net feel it again and go through the same process for out other sins and mistakes?  I am so thankful for the gift of repentance, because I need it all the time in my life, as do many of those Elder McAlister is teaching and working with daily.

Have a great week everyone!  Enjoy this weeks pictures, looks like a little dodge ball going on...

Missionary dodge ball!

Missionary dodge ball....showing that Steelers pride.

Missionary dodge ball continued.

Foggy view from the mission apartment.

Front of new scripture cover.    

Back of new scripture cover.