Monday, April 27, 2015

Ashes from the Calbuco volcano

Sounds like another exciting week in Chile, from volcano ashes, arguing investigator brothers and losing his voice because he was sick.


The family,

Glad to hear from you guys, it looks like everyone is doing good and I really liked the pictures from Thanksgiving Point! Sounds like the play that Sabrina did was cool and I wish I could have seen it. You were three different characters in the play, which was really cool! Good job Sabrina, and now you are playing softball!!The house sounds a little crazy with Tillie and Luna!!! haha I am glad to hear that Tillie is doing a lot better.

Well none of our investigators went to church, so I imagine that we need to find a lot more new investigators. We are still teaching Hector, Caty, and Leandro, and they are reading and stuff, but I don’t think they are going to progress because he is a pastor. We are also teaching Cristian and Soledad, and they are really cool. Cristian se bautizó in our church when he was younger and Soledad has never ever gone to a church in her life. They need to get married and they are progressing, but slowly. Now we really need to find some new people to teach.
Well this week I got sick and I couldn’t even talk, it was bad but funny for the people. I was trying to contact people in the street and teach lessons, but nothing really would come out of my mouth. I lost my voice! But now I have my voice back a little and I am coughing a ton, but I am still working hard. It’s getting really cold in the morning and night, but hot during the day!
We had a pretty fun moment this week. We are teaching two brothers Juan and Nelson and they are pretty funny to teach. They all of a sudden started fighting between each other over the Sabbath day! We were teaching about the Book of Mormon. Their fight didn’t even make sense, but it was super funny. They are both grown men that act like little kids, and they just argue about anything

Well I can imagine that all of you have heard that a volcano exploded not too far from us, and we got showered by ashes and it was crazy we couldn’t really see that much and ashes were entering our eyes every second. But nothing happened to us only a bit of ashes, which was crazy.
This next week is cambio and I have no idea what will happen because my comp is ending his mission next cambio. So next Monday we will find out what happens with us. To let you guys know I live with 5 other missionaries in the house. Elder Judkins (Oregon), Elder Castellon (Bolivia), Elder Allen (Washington), and Elder Gonzalez (Colombia).
I love you guys and have a really good week! Have fun and stay safe. The weeks are really flying by! I will write you guys next week and I can’t wait to hear from you. Love you guys a ton!

Elder McAlister

Spiritual thought time! This weeks though comes from Elder Kevin W. Pearson in his April General Conference talk "Stay By The Tree,".  He said the following on overcoming adversity and it is great council:
"Life’s journey is challenging. It’s easy to be distracted, wander off the path, and get lost. Tribulation is an inevitable and indispensable part of our eternal progression. When adversity comes, don’t let something you don’t fully understand unravel everything you do know. Be patient, cling to truth; understanding will come. Trials are like great mists of darkness that can blind our eyes and harden our hearts. Unless we are “continually holding fast” to the word of God and living it, we will become spiritually blinded rather than spiritually minded. Search the Book of Mormon and the words of the living prophets every day, every day, every day! It’s the key to spiritual survival and avoiding deception. Without it, we are spiritually lost."
We are here to be tested and we need to build our faith and testimony strong enough to overcome anything we might encounter along life's journey. Too many aren't "holding fast" and let themselves slip away from the gospel with eternal consequences to both themselves and their posterity.

Well that's another week in the books, so until next week enjoy some pictures from Elder McAlister sent this week…

Water towers in Chillan.
Elder Cortez on a bike.

Elder McAlister and Elder Cortez got to ride bikes for a day.
The challenging bike selfie.
Elder McAlister out in the country.

No littering sign is my best guess.
Styling a llama sweater.
Fall color in Chillan.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The bathtub is white?

Both Elder McAlister and our family received an email from the Concepcion Mission office letting us know his official completion date of his mission is July 28th, so I guess we will be seeing him on the 28th or 29th.  We will be receiving his travel information in about 6 weeks. This means his is under 100 days to go, not that we are counting!

In the meantime is sounds like they are working hard and Elder McAlister actually cleaned a bathtub!

Family McAlister,

Well I can see that you guys got the same email as me saying that I will be ending my mission on the 28 of July! That email scared me to death! The time has really been flying by! I use to joke with the old missionary’s that were going to their houses soon and now I am that old missionary!!!

I am glad to hear that everyone is doing okay and I really love reading your guys letters. As time goes on I really can’t write in English anymore! It’s terrible! I make so many mistakes, it’s sad to say that English is my native language (HaHa)! I am guessing Brooke and Todd can move in the house on the 26 of May, that’s really cool! It’s really weird when you guys say that people are getting back from their missions because I feel like they just left!! I ended up getting the package from you guys and I ate the Reese’s right off the bat! But, I have been getting worse for treats! It’s weird!

This week was a pretty good week and a little weird! To start off we got to hear from Elder Oaks, one of the Twelve Apostles! He was in Santiago and that’s about 4 hours away from where I am. He was really focused on teaching with the spirit and teaching people how to pray! Because a lot of missionaries assume that people know how to pray, but not that many people really do know how to do it! We got to watch him talk over Skype and we had really bad connection at the beginning, until Elder Oaks stood up the connection got better! I really liked the conference and you could really feel the spirit.

With our investigators, none of them went to church! But they are reading the book of Mormon! When we were teaching Leandro, Caty and Hector. Leandro started to have questions about what we were teaching, so today we are going to go visit him and see what’s going on because last lesson he got very quiet. Nelson and Juan we have not been passing by for them as much and we are going to see this week if they desire to learn from us. Josefina we have not passed by her for two weeks. This week we are going to see if she wants to progress. Please pray for us that we can find some more news and that we can have a good week!

Well Elder Judkins that lives in our house, got really sick and I ended up staying with him while the other Elders went to a baptism from another ward. So I was in the house and I started to study and to clean and I have never, ever seen this house cleaner!!! The bathtub when I got here was really black and was gross and now it is very white and clean!

Thank you guys for all that you have done for me and I really miss you. Don’t worry I am working my hardest out here and will get back to the house crawling (HaHa)! I love you guys and can’t wait to hear from you next week!

Love you guys!!!

Elder McAlister
Spiritual thought time! One talk I really liked from General Conference was Elder L. Whitney Clayton's "Choose to Believe", on how belief, testimony and faith are not passive principles. He said:

"God does not compel us to believe any more than He compels us to keep any commandments, despite His perfect desire to bless us. Yet His call to us to believe in Him—to exercise that particle of faith and to give place for His words—remains in effect today. As the Savior said, “I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.”

"Belief and testimony and faith are not passive principles. They do not just happen to us. Belief is something we choose—we hope for it, we work for it, and we sacrifice for it. We will not accidentally come to believe in the Savior and His gospel any more than we will accidentally pray or pay tithing. We actively choose to believe, just like we choose to keep other commandments."

This quote really reminded me of Sean this week.  He has chosen to not be passive, but active about his beliefs, and that is why he is out serving a mission and helping bring the Gospel to the people of Chile.  It's such a good reminder that we do what we do because we believe and not for any other reason. I am so proud of him, and even though I miss him, I know he is out doing what the Lord would have him be doing.

Enjoy a couple photos until next week...

Good friends Elder Hoopes and Elder McAlister, who use to live in the same house when they were in Chiguayante, got to see each other again.

Doesn't look like Elder McAlister made these last very long ;-)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Elder McAlister needs the dog whisperer...

Sounds like Elder McAlister and Elder Cortez has a great week with a bunch of new investigators, more members coming out to church, and a great p-day!



Sounds like parents and Sabrina had an awesome time in Park City! I had totally forgotten about Park City and now i want to go. Congrats Brooke and Todd on getting a house. I hope that you guys really like it. Where is it located? Sabrina looks like she is getting a lot taller and she looks a lot older than what I remember. Is Derek studying right now in college?  

Well this week was very good and was very successful. Since I got here, there weren’t that many investigators and this week we really focused on this and we ended up finding 9 people in total. We were really excited about that and we are hoping that we will find some more this week. The funny thing is that they are all Adventist, and so they are a little bit harder to teach. I have faith that all will go well. We also had about 20 people more go to church, and we have been working with a lot of less actives here and so I got really pumped with that. The normal asistencia (attendance) in this Ward is about 60 people, and now we brought it up by 20 people and we are hoping that it will grow a lot more. 

We are teaching right now Leandro, Caty and Hector, which is a family and they are very cool and Leandro is studying to be a pastor and his is now just practicing it and then he will get his own church. So I hope we can help him feel the spirit to find the truth. Then we are teaching Nelson and Juan, which are brothers and they are also Adventists, but Juan is progressing a lot more than Nelson. Nelson really just wants to fight with us, but we pass by for them to teach Juan. Also we are teaching Marcelo, Lubina and Mariano, who are Adventists but they don’t go to church that much and they are very nice people. So i hope that you guys could pray for them, and we are trying to help them progress and go to church this week. Josefina is going to church but she doesn’t really want to progress that much, but really likes the church. 

I really think that dogs are out to get me now, because each one is trying to attack me when I pass by. So I have a dog whistle that scares them away. Some weird reason the dogs really don’t like me here and I don’t’ know why?? I only have to get 3 more shots and then i am finished with my shots. No I didn’t need to get stiches 

Today we ended up playing soccer with another zone from Chillan, and i got to see some of my good old friends that I haven’t seen for more than a year. I also got to see Elder Medina and it was fun to see him. After we had a big bbq and it was so good we had longanizas (Spanish sausage) which are so good and I thought I was going to die after eating them. 

I should be getting the package tomorrow,because we have a conference. I am a little excited for it! I will tell you guys next week if i get it!

Thank you guys for everything, it was really good to hear from you all. I really love you and miss you guys a ton. I can’t wait for next week and the time is really flying by. Love you guys a ton.

Elder McAlister


Spiritual thought time!  As we just went through General Conference, and we will all have the change to read/watch all the talks again shortly, it was brought to my mind the talk given by Elder Robert D. Hales in 2013 "General Conference: Strengthening Faith and Testimony".  He gave some great insight concerning General Conference in these threes quotes from that talk:

"I promise you in His name that if you pray with a sincere desire to hear your Heavenly Father’s voice in the messages of this conference, you will discover that He has spoken to you to help you, to strengthen you, and to lead you home into His presence."

"The greatest blessings of general conference come to us after the conference is over. Remember the pattern recorded frequently in scripture: we gather to hear the words of the Lord, and we return to our homes to live them."

"My brothers and sisters, I bear my special witness that the Lord Jesus Christ lives and stands at the head of this Church. This is His general conference. I promise you in His name that if you pray with a sincere desire to hear your Heavenly Father’s voice in the messages of this conference, you will discover that He has spoken to you to help you, to strengthen you, and to lead you home into His presence."

General Conference is such a great great event, and the place were we can receive modern day direction and guidance from our Father in Heaven through our current leaders. There are specific messages for each of us, in what ever we are going through in our lives and with our testimonies, and we grow stronger as members if we take the time to read and study what was taught to us.

Until next week enjoy these pictures from Chillian , and what looked like a great p-day with soccer and a barbeque...

P-day soccer

Elder McAlister and his companion Elder Cortez

P-day barbeque with two Chillian Zones, those longanizas look delicious!

P-day barbeque with two Chillian Zones.