Monday, January 26, 2015

The garage was an Evangelical Chapel

How’s it going?

It’s been a great week in Alejandro Korn. We are working very hard and getting very tan from the sun! Well, as tan as I can get with a white shirt and tie,that is! We've had some success and some disappointments, but overall, we are happy and moving along.

It’s different being a zone leader, and it’s been intimidating at times.  I just remember what the prophets have said, “Whom the Lord calls, He qualifies,” even if its step-by-step. So…...I'm making lots of mistakes, but it will come, or at least I hope so :)

Sarah´s (cousin) going to Tucson for her mission?! That´s going to be fun! It is great that she is still going to be home when I get there! Honestly, that sounds like a pretty fun and exciting mission. She´s going to love the Mexican Food!

A few days ago, one man let us in his home by opening up his garage. Once we entered, I realized that we were not entering just a normal garage. The pulpit at the far end wall as well as the benches helped me realize that we were in an Evangelical Chapel. The man that we were about to talk to was its Pastor. We ended up having a good lesson with them. While they weren't too interested, they were willing to accept a Book of Mormon.

We had many experiences like that this week, not necessarily in churches, but also with normal people who were strong in their faith. One thing that really stood out to me was their sincere desire for our salvation, as well as theirs. While they didn´t understand our doctrines, and at times, weren't too willing to listen to what they were, they were earnestly trying to help us grow closer to our Savior. I´m happy to know that there are many who are looking to care and help their fellow brother. The key to these great questions, "How do I find Salvation?" "Where can I find the truth?” and “How do I know?" is found in the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

While there are many paths we can take, we can find the one that leads us to our Heavenly Father through the scriptures, including the Old and New Testaments. We must also consider the power and truth that comes from the Book of Mormon. Everyone who reads the Book of Mormon and ask our Heavenly Father if it is true, will know for themselves the divinity of its pages, and can know for themselves that Joseph Smith is a prophet, that Jesus is the Christ, and that we have a loving Heavenly Father. All we need to do is read, and ask of God (James 1:5).

Anyway, I invite all of you do read the Book of Mormon. It’s really a good book.

I hope you all have a great week!  I´m happy and healthy. In fact, the Lord has blessed me with a lot of strength and health during my mission, I haven't been sick in about a year. Not even the slightest sign of a cold. It is just one of the many blessings about being a missionary!

Love, Elder Chipman

Monday, January 19, 2015

This area is great!

Hows it going?

It’s been a great first week in Alejandro Korn. I'm still learning about the area and the people who live here, but I already know that I'm going to like it! We have bikes that have already broken down twice, but they help us get to where we want to go. We also live in an apartment behind a members house. It is a paradise! There is a nice garden filled with flowers and bushes. The member helps us with our clothes and feeds us once a week, then sometimes just brings us a bowl of fruit. She also cuts hair, but after I saw the haircut she gave my companion, I think I'm ok with the local barber.

She also takes care of her mother, who is 103 years old! Every morning we help load her into her wheelchair, and in the afternoon, we help put her back in bed. She doesn't say much, or hear much, or see much, but she´s still alive! And she always has a smile on her face in the mornings!

As far as the work goes, we have two investigators that are really progressing, their names are Orlando and Sebastian. Both are excited and happy about making the changes they need to in order to be baptized and follow Christ's example in their lives. We have found a family that is interested as well. They are very evangelical, but we hope that they are open for the message.

This area is great! I think I'm going to like it here. My Companion is also great! He´s a BYU baseball player, works hard, teaches well, and I'm learning a lot from him! He goes home only 6 weeks before I do. In fact, within 4 months, more than half our zone will finish their missions. These next few months are going to be full of changes in the mission, and one of the reasons is because about a third of the mission goes home within 18 weeks. All of the missionaries that started during the big wave are finishing up.

I also noticed the missionaries who have already worked in Alejandro Korn, have left a good tradition. I like comparing it to two great American tales. One is Johnny Appleseed, who spent his days roaming the Eastern United States, planting apple seeds along his way. I don't know if he ever was able to eat the fruits of his labors, but because of what he did, the Eastern United States are filled with thousands and thousands of fruit bearing trees. usually when we serve the Lord, we don't see the good we do, but if we are diligent, we will do lots of good. The other story is of Paul Bunyan, the lumberjack that cut down a forest with a single swing of his ax. It is easier to destroy than to build. That´s why its important to always be diligent, and have a vision of future blessings, not just present pleasures.

Just the thought of the week.

About the coming home stuff, I don't really know what to do about it all. Some people say I need to have a plan, others say that there is plenty of time to think about that stuff on the airplane home. Personally, I wouldn't mind guidance  or a plan before hand. I don't focus on home when I'm not supposed too, but days like p-day, I have some time to think about what I want to do, and what I should do. The truth is, I have never been so focused on helping people come to Christ, because I know that my mission is almost over, and I want to get everything done that I need to here.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. It would be impossible to do without you guys!

Have a good week!


Elder Chipman

Monday, January 12, 2015

I've been transferred to Alejandro Korn!

Hola Todos! Como Estan?

It’s been a crazy week with a lot of ups and downs. First off, I got transferred! After only 12 weeks in Tolosa, I was called to serve as a zone leader in Alejandro Korn area in the Longchamps Stake. I don't know a lot about it, but its out in the campo (farmland). We have bikes and it should be a really fun place to serve. My new companion is  Elder Flinders from American Fork, Utah. He is one of those guys that nobody has anything bad to say about him. It’s going to be great! Plus, I'm in a Zone with a lot of my friends, like Elder Cobb! So I'm excited. Me and my companion are leaders for about 20 other missionaries.  The funny thing is that there were more sisters in my last district of La Plata, than in my whole zone in Longchamps! It should be a lot different but fun. I don´t know what Zone Leaders do, but I'm going to find out I guess…  I’m excited!  Honestly, it will probably be the last area of my mission.

We ended the transfer with a bang though. Ignacio still isn't really progressing like he was before, but his sister is now super interested and promised to come to church on Sunday! That being said, I'm no longer there in Tolosa. I will miss Ignacio and his family. They said that if I come by to visit after my mission, they would make me an asado, and would enjoy talking to me wearing only my jeans and a t-shirt. They are a great family.  I will miss Tolosa, it was a beautiful place and I hope to return someday to see the people who live there again. What a blessing it is to serve in such an amazing mission!

I feel very blessed. Earlier this week, I was doubting if I was really helping the Lord's Kingdom. But when my companion shared what he learned in studies, he read a part when Moroni was sad because he couldn't write like the Brother of Jared. Moroni was a powerful writer who wrote one of the most quoted scriptures in our religion (Moroni 10:3-5) but yet he still knew his weaknesses. I learned that it doesn't matter what we do in comparison to others.  In the last day, it will be  just  between me and the Lord and so nothing else will matter.

As missionaries in the area, we learned that the church is adding a new mission here in Buenos Aires come July.  It will be called the Buenos Aires East mission and it will take from our mission all of the La Plata zones as well as the coast along with other zones from the other missions of the area.  My mission (Buenos Aires South) will add 3 zones from the West Mission. I don´t know how it is there, but in our mission, every stake is a zone. I'll already be home when it happens, but it will be fun to see how it shakes out.

Thanks for all of the love and support! And yes, I feel very old in the mission if Kinsey McNevin is leaving this week for her mission.

Have a great week!

Elder Chipman

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Rather stressful week.....

How's it going everybody?

We had a pretty eventful week, filled with its ups and its downs. New Years was fun because in La Plata, they build giant statues of paper mache, fill them with fireworks, and light them on fire. We weren't able to see any, but we definitely heard them! They also don´t sleep at all here, just a bunch of music and fireworks all night long. Let’s just say we didn't get a lot of sleep this week!

It sounds like you had a very fun week  in Colorado, but Cold! It was actually a little colder here this week which I enjoyed, but the temperatures are rising once again. So it will be fun.

I had a pretty stressful week. Ignacio is passing through an interesting time and with a few more issues than we anticipated, so it might be a while before he gets baptized. We were able to teach him everyday, but despite our efforts, it’s still very hard for him to quit smoking.

To add to my stressful week, it seems like all of the hermanas (sisters)  in my district are having some sort of problem, and everyone is asking me to help them. I’m not supposed to talk to them, so helping them can be difficult. I guess I have to come up with a super good district meeting that helps the needs of each and every one of them.

The Lord has helped me a lot recently. At the end of Saturday I just opened my scriptures to the Doctrine and Covenants to find help, and every page I flipped to had something to help me and motivate me. It was a tender mercy that also helped me understand that I can do it. The Lord assigned me as a District Leader here with Ignacio as an investigator because he knows it will cause me to stretch, but that I can do it.

The miracle of the week was when one of our plans fell, we went to visit a nearby less active family, who has been battling a lot of problems. They were home, and after a few minutes of talking, it was apparent that they were still trying to make the decision if they would go to church or not. We then had a very powerful lesson with them about trials, and how if we press forward, we will overcome all of the trials that we have. The best feeling was when we walked in the chapel on Sunday, and they were already there, seated, waiting for the meetings to start, and they stayed all three hours. Its amazing to see the power that the spirit has on people, and what a blessing it is to see it first hand.

We are working hard, and doing what we can to strengthen the kingdom in Tolosa. We're finishing up another transfer this week, so if I don't write next week, it’s for a reason! But I don´t know if I´m leaving or if I want to leave, but I don't really have much to say in the matter, so whatcha going to do?!

I love you guys, hope you had a great week, and a very happy new year!

See ya in a bit!