Monday, March 30, 2015

Crazy Week!

Elder McAlister made it to his new area safe and sound.  He had a busy last day in Concepcion saying goodbye, and you can see some of those goodbyes in this weeks pictures.

Sounds like the new area is bigger geographically, and there is plenty of work to do.  He sounds excited for the new opportunity, and possibly the last area of his mission with only 3 transfers to go.

Hey guys,

Thanks for all the letters and I am really happy to hear from you guys. It was a pretty good week and I am pumped to be working here. I hope that you guys are all doing well. Is Tillie doing any better? Brooke are you guys going to buy a house or rent one? Jessica I imagine that you guys are still working at the same places? Sabrina only has a few more months of school!!! How do you feel!!!

Well I am now in Chillan and it has been very hot during the day and at night and in the morning it is very cold. It’s a lot different than Concepcion, I am in the campo and it is very nice. The houses are pretty nice and it is very calm here. So far i haven’t had to deal with any crazy people so far. I really like it here and it’s going to be really fun. I have meet some of the members and they are really good and the Ward is very willing to help us out with this work. 

Well on Monday I was running everywhere trying to say goodbye to people like the members, or the less actives, that we have been teaching and the investigators. I really liked Concepcion, but at the same time I am a little happy to be able to leave and work in a different place. I don't think I have run so much in my mission (HaHa) My companion was dying trying to run all over the place. I left on Tuesday I got on the bus around 9:30 and I headed off to Chillan to meet my new sector and companion. I knew Elder Cortez from Chiguayante. When I got to Chillan he seems to be doing very well.. He is very slow at walking, but in lessons he has a very good spirit and he can teach very well. He is very quiet and almost never talks, but is very humble. When I got to Chillan it was raining, so my first day here it was raining and it was crazy. We are living in a house behind a member’s house and it’s a pretty good size house. The stairs scare me, I will have to take a picture of them to show you guys. 

I have learned that we don't have that many investigators and we are teaching a ton of less actives. The last Elder that was here was very focused on less actives only. So we went out and search for some people and we found a girl named Josefina and she ended up going to church. That was pretty cool, but she was an old investigator. I am trying to memorize the sector because it is pretty big, for example the other day we took a 15 minute bus ride to visit a member. It’s in the campo campo! But the members are really cool and I am excited to be working here. 

We had a wedding here of two members that have been living together for a very long time and they have been trying to get divorcements documents done with their old couples. Now they are married, and it was something very special for them. I felt like I was at the weddings of Brooke and Jessica. But it was really fun. 

Thank you guys for everything that you guys do and give to me! I hope that you enjoy Conference and that you guys can have the spirit. Dad we will be going to the Chinese buffet in October (HaHa).  Love you guys and stay safe and have a good week.

Love you guys a ton!

Elder McAlister


Spiritual thought time! I read this quote from Elder Robert D Hales from his April 1998 General conference talk "We Count Them Happy Which Endure", and he said:

"There is nothing that we are enduring that Jesus does not understand, and He waits for us to go to our Heavenly Father in prayer. I testify that if we will be obedient and if we are diligent, our prayers will be answered, our problems will diminish, our fears will dissipate, light will come upon us, the darkness of despair will be dispersed, and we will be close to the Lord and feel of His love and of the comfort of the Holy Ghost. It is my prayer that we can find the faith, courage, and strength to endure to the end so that we may feel the joy of faithfully returning to the arms of our Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."
The thing I like about this quote is that first statement "There is nothing that we are enduring that Jesus does not understand", I think we sometimes forget that Jesus came to this earth and went the redeeming act in Gethsemane so that he experienced everything we can and do go through during our earthly test.  He loves us that much! If we follow Him and our Father in Heaven, our burdens will be lightened, not eliminated because we do need to learn and grow. I feel this on a smaller scale with Sean on his mission, that as he finds "the faith, courage, and strength to endure to the end" of his mission, he will soon return to the loving arms of his family.

Well until next week, enjoy this great Easter season, and a few pictures from Concepcion...

Elder McAlister saying goodbye to a family in Concepcion.

Elder McAlister saying goodbye to a family in Concepcion.

Elder McAlister saying goodbye to a family in Concepcion.

Elder McAlister saying goodbye to a family in Concepcion, flashing hand signs.

Elder McAlister saying goodbye to a family in Concepcion.

Elder McAlister saying goodbye to a family in Concepcion.


Elder McAlister saying goodbye to a family in Concepcion.

Elder McAlister saying goodbye to a family in Concepcion, flashing hand signs.

Companions Elder Ponce and Elder McAlister saying goodbye at the Concepcion bus station.

Elder McAlister and Elder Bryan saying goodbye at the Concepcion bus station.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Moving on from Concepcion...

Big changes for Sean as outlined in his email.  He is off to a new area, about 2 hours east of Concepcion (See the map on the mission maps tab), and a new companion.  This may be his last area during his mission because there are only two more transfers after this one before he comes home!


The McAlister family,

I really felt like I wrote you guys 2 days ago and I really can’t think of what I should say (HaHa). The time it flying by and I am getting lost because I feel like weeks are days and weeks and months! It’s confusing me! I am happy to hear from all you guys, and I love reading your letters that you send me, so thank you for that. I totally forgot about Saint Patrick's Day because they don't really celebrate holidays here in Chile. Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!!! You guys all wrote me about the restaurants that you guys go to and it makes me crave them (HaHa)! I can’t believe that we passed two years since I opened my mission call! Time flies! I am happy to hear that my car left and someone bought it. I am glad that you guys had a pretty good week and Sabrina looks like she had a lot of fun with her hair! 

I really can’t believe it, but today we had cambios and they came so fast! I turns out that me and Elder Ponce are getting separated and I am going to a place called Chillan Nuble and I will be with Elder Cortez who is from Bolivia. He will be ending his mission in June but I have heard that he has some motivation problems. I know I have the experience to help him out and motivate him to finish his mission strong. It turns out that I will be finding some good old friends out in Chillan, like Elder McAllister. I am going to the coldest sector of the mission and I will be dying there as a missionary. I will be living with 6 missionaries in one house, and i think it will be fun. I will miss the members and my sector in Concepcion. 

Sad to say but I was released as a district leader, with 70% of the other mission District Leaders. They took the oldest leaders and are making them as senor comp and they are moving the younger guys up so they can gain so leadership experience in their mission. It’s sad but I understand why they did it and it has its purpose.     

Well this week I had a few mini cambios to meet and strengthen the investigators of the other missionaries. I met some of them, and one of the will be being baptized this Saturday and the others need more time to gain experience and a testimony. On one of the mini cambios I met a guy that was visiting his family and he is from Sweden right outside Gothenburg and I was talking to him for a bit and it turns out that he saw me play there, but he didn't know me. I talked to him a little in Swedish and it was really cool! He told me that he will be going back to Sweden in a week but he talked about handball for a while!

This week we found some news, and we ended up having a miracle, though it’s sad, we ended up finding Ignacio again. He let us in his house and it turns out he father died and so we explained the Plan of Salvation to him and he will be being baptized in April. We also brought a family of 5 people to church just when President came to our Ward. So you could say that it was awesome! We are focused on Ignacio and the family Cuevas, that are progressing really well. I will be leaving this sector with people that are progressing really well!

Thanks for the letters and I will be writing you guys next week with some exciting news of a new sector and everything. I hope that you guys have a good safe week and I love you a ton. 

Love you guys

Elder McAlister

Spiritual thought time! I read this quote from Elder James E. Faust, back in 2007, when he was talking about our ability to change and improve ourselves. He said:

    Each one of us has been given the power to change his or her life. As part of the Lord’s great plan of happiness, we have individual agency to make decisions. We can decide to do better and to be better. In some ways all of us need to change; that is, some of us need to be more kind at home, less selfish, better listeners, and more considerate in the way we treat others. Some of us have habits that need to be changed, habits that harm us and others around us. Sometimes we may need a jolt to propel us into changing...

    ..,Each new day that dawns can be a new day for us to begin to change. We can change our environment. We can change our lives by substituting new habits for old. We can mold our character and future by purer thoughts and nobler actions. As someone once put it, “The possibility of change is always there, with its hidden promise of peace, happiness, and a better way of life.”

We all have things we need to work on in our lives and things we need to change which is destructive behavior. I really like the last sentence of the quote "The possibility of change is always there", that gives me hope that we can change if we put my minds and resulting actions on the right path each day.

Until next week be safe and enjoy a few pictures of Elder McAlister saying goodbye to his Concepcion District before heading off to Chillan Nuble...

Elder McAlister and Elder Barrios

Elder Villasanti and Elder McAlister

Elder McAlister and Elder Edwards

Elder Miller and Elder McAlister
Three of Elder McAlister's former companions: Elder Castro, Elder Letelier and Elder Ponce