Monday, May 25, 2015

The skinny tie sweat shop?

Elder McAlister and Elder Cortez had a successful week, although sad to lose Maria and Miguel. It sounds like he may have a new side job with ties.
To the best family ever!

 That BBQ sounds so good I really could eat a hot dog or a hamburger! Those sound so good to me!!!! Thank you very much Dad I hope you enjoy that hot dog that you are eating for me. I am sure it’s going to be the best tasting hot dog in the world! I totally forgot about Memorial Day because that doesn't exist here in Chile! Well sounds like Sabrina had a really good week and congrats that you made it to the student council! That’s pretty cool if you ask me. Also sounds like Sabrina is becoming a softball pro!!! Congrats Brooke and Todd on the house, and I hope that you guys really like the house and good luck moving all you stuff into the house!

Well to start off this week was very good and a little bit crazy at the same time. We have had a really good time teaching Manuel, but he is kind of hard to teach at times because he loves to ask questions and at time his questions don’t even make sense. He didn't go to church and we are still trying to find out why he didn't go to church. As for Maria and Miguel, we have some sad news with them. They live right in the middle on the border line between us and another sector and so after talking to the other Elders and Presidente we sent them off to the other sector, and so we are not teaching them anymore. It’s sad but at least my comp and I planted the seed and I am sure they will be baptized just in a different sector. We had a really good week with finding and we are going to have a better week this week.
Wednesday we had our interviews with the president of the mission and it went really good and I learned some important things! He is relying on me to really help him out and to finish his mission strong.
Also, I had a mini cambio this last week with my District Leader and it was really good. His name is Elder Sellers and he is from Florida. It was a really fun mini cambio, and we both learned a ton from each other. We worked really hard and we ended up finding two family's that are less actives and they were sealed in the temple. So we are working with them and they only left the church because of certain people but they still have testimonies. It’s a little crazy!
The funny thing is I have everyone in the house trying to skinny their ties at night after planning session and they try to do it by themselves but I always end up helping them. I have done 13 ties in this last week and I have learned how to do them fast and they look very good! Looks like I could make a business here for the missionaries! haha You really do learn a little bit of everything on your mission!  
I hope you guys have a good week! I love you guys a ton and I can wait to hear from you guys! I miss you and I am really grateful for all the things that you guys have done for me! Stay safe and have good safe, good, spiritual week!

Love you guys!

Elder McAlister

Spiritual thought time! This week comes from Elder Jeffrey R Holland's April 2012 General Conference talk called "Laborers in the Vineyard". This is something I sometimes struggle with, in that I see things other get to do, that I would like too, and I feel a little envious and not as happy for them like I should. I like the advice given in this quote:

"Brothers and sisters, there are going to be times in our lives when someone else gets an unexpected blessing or receives some special recognition. May I plead with us not to be hurt—and certainly not to feel envious—when good fortune comes to another person? We are not diminished when someone else is added upon. We are not in a race against each other to see who is the wealthiest or the most talented or the most beautiful or even the most blessed. The race we are really in is the race against sin, and surely envy is one of the most universal of those."
I need to be more thankful for what I am blessed with, and less concerned with what I don't have.  I think this is a common problem amongst many people, which tells me that it is something that is not easy to overcome, but I need to work hard on it.

Well that's it, enjoy a few pictures until next week....

Elder Sellers and Elder McAlister on a mini cambio.

Elder McAlister making a skinny tie.

Elder Cortez and Elder McAlister at President interviews.

Monday, May 18, 2015

New investigators!!!

Sounds like they had a very successful and busy week. Sean's companion Elder Cortez only has 4 weeks left in his mission, so that is why to went to the conference.

The new investigators sound like they are very interested, and the activity sounded fun.

Sounds like you guys had a great week. Sounds like a lot happened this last week for you guys! All is well here and I am doing good and as happy as can be. The temple looks really cool and I would love to see it in person. Thank you guys a lot for setting up the UVU schedule and it looks good to me. Has Sabrina played a game yet? Brooke and Todd that's awesome that you guys are so close to getting the house Faltan poco! (little time) The fathers and son camp out, I have completely forgotten about that until now! Good times!! 

This last week was pretty awesome and I am pretty happy with the work we did. We now have three people with fecha bautismal (baptismal date) and they are very humildes (humble) and willing to learn. Their names are Maria and Miguel which are mother and son, and we also found a guy named Manuel who received a testimony of the church, but the missionary's ended up getting sent to a different sector. So right now they are preparing to be baptized the 13 of June, which is the last Saturday before cambios, so we are really working with them. I have a really good feeling about them and I know they can progress! I hope that you guys can pray for them that they can progress! 

Well on Wednesday we had a conference for all the old missionary's and their companions. So we ended up waking up at 5:20 in the morning, got ready, and we had to walk for about 40 minutes to get the bus station to travel to Concepcion. We got there and we had to take another bus to the office. The conference was really good and it was just to motivate the missionary's that are leaving. They showed us a lot of Olympic videos to give us motivation, and it worked, I was really pumped to work and I’m not dying yet. Then we got on the bus and headed back to our sector, and we got to see the new stadium that they have for the soccer tournament here in Chile. It was really cool!

Also, we had an activity with FamilySearch, it was very good and a ton of people came to the activity. I learned a lot and it was pretty cool, we even got to dress up and as old school people. It was fun. They had little activities for everyone! They ended up indexing a lot of people. 

On Sunday, I ended up giving a talk and by far was one of the strongest talks I have given. Three of us ended up giving talks, it was very powerful and the chapel was full with the spirit. I ended talking about prayer and the santa cena (last super)! It was really fun.

I will start to send you guy’s voice recording things, but i will still write you guys at the same time. Really thanks for everything this last week and the letters. Can’t wait to hear from you next week. Love you a ton and I will write you guys next week. Stay safe and have a good week!

Love you guys!

Spiritual thought time! From April Conference, L Whitney Clayton gave one of my favorite talks called "Choose to Believe".  The quotes below are from that talk, I like how he says we believe, and that it is our own personal choice.

"Perceiving spiritual light is different from seeing physical light. Recognizing the Savior’s spiritual light begins with our willingness to believe. God requires that initially we at least desire to believe. “If ye will awake and arouse your faculties … and exercise a particle of faith,” the prophet Alma teaches, “yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of [the Savior’s] words.”

"Alma’s call for us to desire to believe and to “give place” in our hearts for the Savior’s words reminds us that belief and faith require our personal choice and action. We must “awake and arouse [our] faculties.” We ask before it is given unto us; we seek before we find; we knock before it is opened unto us. We are then given this promise: “For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.”
I love that last part about asking, seeking and knocking, all of them are action verbs.  We need to take action in order to receive, find and have things opened. This is not a passive gospel, but something we need to be involved with and work in. But it all starts with each person choosing to believe.

That's it for this week.  Enjoy a few pictures from Chillan sent today...

Elder McAlister and Elder Cortez

Elder McAlister at the conference

Elder McAlister and Elder Cortez dressed as "old school" people at ward activity.

Ward FamilySearch activity

Ward FamilySearch activity

New soccer stadium being built in Concepcion.

New soccer stadium being built in Concepcion.

New soccer stadium being built in Concepcion.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day Skype!

We got to Skype with Elder McAlister yesterday, and it was great to hear and see him.  His is doing very well and is very happy in the work he is doing. I wish you could have heard him, he is the same old Sean with the sense on humor I miss so much.

To top things off we get to hear from him again today with an email, a voice recording, and a bunch of pictures.  Was it Mother's Day, or Christmas with all these great gifts??


It was really fun to talk to you guys yesterday! I think that it is really weird that, that was my last time to talk to you guys on Skype. The time has really gone by really fast and it’s been really fun. It seems to me that everyone was happy and I am sorry about all the music and sounds in the background but that’s just how Chile is. I really hope that the Skype chat made you guys day because it made mine.
I really hope mom had a good Mother’s Day and you looked pretty happy. You are by far the best mom in the world and the most caring mom I know. Being on the mission really shows you how much your parents do for you! I didn’t tell you guys but I got sick this week with food poisoning and its just brought me back to home think about when mom would take care of me. I really love you mom, and you are the best you really mean a ton to me!!!

Brooke really does look like she has been beaten up and did they say how long you are going to have that? Also congrats on the house!!! I loved how Jessica and Derek have nothing new!! Sabrina seems like she has really grown up and she seems to be a lot bigger and her voice is a lot different, but I hope she does good in her game this week!!

To explain my sector it is a lot more campo (country) than any other sector that I have had. And it’s pretty big because we need to take buses at times. It has some really good members and they are really a fun ward. We need to help them get a little bit more animated!
Investigators we are searching, we still have some investigators but they are not progressing very well. So really we thought about 20 ways to find yesterday and we are going to aplicar (apply) all of them this week. I hope that you guys can pray to help us to have the guidance that we need to find new people.
This week I thought I would try something and I send you guys a voice message if it works!! I hope it works!
I love you guys a ton and I am very happy with everything that is going on! Love you guys and have a good and safe week. Can’t wait to hear from you guys next week. Love you guys a ton!

Elder McAlister


Spiritual thought time! This week comes from Bishop Gerald Causse in his April 2015 General Conference talk "Is It Wonderful To You?".  If you haven't had a chance to read this talk again, I would recommend you doing so, it is such a great talk, he does a great job personalizing how we should be looking at the gospel. The following are a couple quotes from his talk, first he said:

"My brothers and sisters, is the gospel still wonderful to you? Can you yet see, hear, feel, and marvel? Or have your spiritual sensors gone into standby mode? Whatever your personal situation, I invite you ...never tire of discovering or rediscovering the truths of the gospel."
Later he said:
"To marvel at the wonders of the gospel is a sign of faith. It is to recognize the hand of the Lord in our lives and in everything around us. Our amazement also produces spiritual strength. It gives us the energy to remain anchored in our faith and to engage ourselves in the work of salvation.
But let us beware. Our ability to marvel is fragile. Over the long term, such things as casual commandment keeping, apathy, or even weariness may set in and make us insensitive to even the most remarkable signs and miracles of the gospel."
I like how he outlines that we can't just rely on big events or wonders to keep us strong in the gospel, but we need to rooted in faith and obedience to give us our true spiritual strength that will allow us to endure to the end.

We that's it for this week. We have a bunch of pictures to enjoy this week, some sent by Sean today, and other that were posted on the mission blog.  Enjoy!

Looks like the Chillan Zone got some new slippers!

Chillan Zone new slippers!

They seem happy with their new slippers!

I like the break dancing going on in the front left.

Chillan Zone Conference

Chillan Zone Conference lunch.

Chillan Zone Conference activity.

Elders at the Chillan Zone Conference

Would love to hear the song they are playing.

Elder McAlister showing off his moves sitting down?

Picture of the Chillan area.

Another picture of the Chillan area.

Looks like a tasty dinner. clue