Monday, March 30, 2015

I've been thinking a lot about the word "Truth"

Hola Todos! March 30, 15

It’s been another great week in Alejandro Korn.

Well honestly, it hasn't been a very long time since the last time I´ve written, but a lot has happened. First off, Gabriel was baptized yesterday! It was a nice and peaceful ceremony, and while we were getting everything ready, two woman showed up just because they were passing by and wanted to know more about the church. The Relief Society president and members were quick to help them, show them around, and they were able to stay for the baptism! We've been working hard and have found a few more people to teach. We´ll see what comes from it, but I see some good things happening here in Alejandro Korn.

We've also been working a lot with the "Because he lives" video produced by the church.
We have pass-along cards specifically made for it, and we report how many people we have showed the video too, and how many cards we've passed out. So it’s a very organized system. The church is really focusing on it, and on Easter Sunday, they have a mini version of the video that they are going to use as the primary ad on Youtube (You know that 15 second video before every Youtube video?). So They are really trying to get it out there.

Other than that, I've been thinking a lot about the word "Truth". Its a word that as a missionary, I use a lot, but sometimes I don´t know if I really understand what it means. In Doctrine and Covenants 93, it explains truth as things as they really are, were and are yet to come. A good example of truth is the law of Gravity. On this earth we are held under the truth of Gravity, what goes up, must come down. It doesn't matter if I resent it, or don't believe in it, or try not to follow it, If I jump from an airplane, I will fall. This being the case, there is only one truth, and anything that is not part of this truth, is a lie. So if this really is the case, we best be sure that we know the truth, or learn it so that we do not stray from that which is right. Here are some things that I have learned that are true. I know that Christ lives, I know that he is the Son of God and the appointed Messiah. He lived a perfect life, and was a perfect example. He suffered for our sins, sicknesses, and imperfections. He died on the Cross by crucifixion. He rose the third day as a perfect, resurrected being. These things are true, it's what happened, and its just the way it is, nothing can change it. So it’s best that we learn more about it and how it applies to our lives, that we may more understand the truth about God, Jesus, and his church on the earth today. There are many truths that I do not know, but I know this much. I hope that we can all enjoy this Easter season, and remember and reflect why this time of year is so special, even 2000 years after His resurrection occurred.

Well, hope that all made sense...

Other than that, there isn´t too much to report. It’s the last week for my companion before he goes home. He´s been working really hard despite being so close to the end of his mission, and he´s been a good example and a good companion. I'm bummed that he has to go, but there´s not much I can do about that.

It sounds like Allie is running as fast as ever and that´s a really good thing! She shouldn't be too disappointed that she didn't break the school record her first race in the season. A chill pill and a bit of perspective would do her well, but like I said last week, that attribute probably helps her run well.

I got my flight schedule today and it kinda surprised me because Elder Flinders got his on Wednesday and he leaves a week from today. We have a new senior couple in the offices and they are probably still trying to figure things out. But there you go, it’s official now.  I'm honestly excited to come home, I love it here, but its been awhile since I've seen you guys! I find out who my next companion is on Friday, so we´ll see what happens.

Defluffification is going well. Many people have said that I look skinnier, so there you go. I am still about 195-200 but it’s a lot better than the 210-215 that I was about a year ago.

Overall, I´m doing great. I have lots of energy, I am happy, I get along with my companion, and there´s really nothing to complain about. I look forward to these next few weeks because they are going to be great!

I love you all, I love the Lord, I love his Church!

Have a great week, thanks for all the support, Happy Easter!

Elder Chipman

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

We have a baptism

How´s it going?

It’s been another great week in Alejandro Korn. Its started off as a warm week but then right as we hit the first day of Fall, the temperatures dropped about 10 degrees Celsius. I don´t know how much that is in Fahrenheit, but its a significant change. But I'm enjoying the cooler weather, it makes it easier to travel in.

It sounds like Allie had a rockin first high school race on Saturday. She was really flying if she already almost broke Karlee´s school record for the mile!

It’s been a good week but with lots of ups and downs. We had to drop a lot of investigators that just weren't progressing, which is not always fun. In fact, we dropped all but about 3. That being said, one of those three passed their baptismal interview and is going to be baptized this Sunday! His name is Gabriel and we've been teaching him for about 2 months now. He´s about 21 years old and is the Bishops son-in-law. He´s got a lot of support from the ward, and we are excited about his decision. We were also able to find a few other people who are willing to let us visit and teach them. Overall, things are moving forward, which is what matters.

We have a really busy week coming up because it’s my companion´s last week of the mission. I guess that time catches up to everyone.

I got a little sick on Saturday and Sunday. Just a headache, fever, and sore throat. My body was a little achy, but I took some ibuprofen a few times during the day and I was good. Now I feel just fine. Defluffication (weight loss) took a hit this week because of sickness, but I´m back at running again so it should be a better week.

This week I learned a lot about the Christ-like attribute "Hope". It’s more than just a desire or a wish, but as seen in the scriptures, it is something that carries a lot more power. In fact, faith itself is a hope for things not seen but that are true. In fact, Spanish has helped me learn a lot about this word hope. In Spanish, the word "esperar" has three meanings. It can mean "to wait", "to expect", and "to hope". I don´t think that these three verbs, wait, expect, and hope, would be combined into one word unless they had some sort of relation with one another. And they do. I like to think of it like this, that having hope = expecting it to happen= willing to wait for it. I am grateful for the gospel in my life, because it gives me the greatest hope of all. My source of hope, and honestly, everybody's source of hope is the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. Because he overcame all things, I now have the hope for the Resurrection of all men, which means that I expect it to happen someday, and I'm willing to wait for it. Because of Him, it doesn't matter what happens, I can always have hope for that day, and I can always wait for his timing.

I guess thats what I´m trying to get at here. That especially during this time of year, when we remember His resurrection from the dead, and especially in a world that doesn't have much to hope for, I would like us to remember the source of all hope, and the power that comes when we are willing to trust him, expect his help, and be willing to wait for his timing.

I love you guys and hope you have a great week! Overall, I´m now healthy and happy. Thanks for all of your prayers and support.

Elder Chipman

Monday, March 16, 2015

Week full of bikes, sun, heat, painting, pizza, and some great lessons!

How´s it going everybody?!

It’s been another great week in Alejandro Korn. We had a week full of bikes, sun, heat, painting houses, pizza, and some great lessons. Missionary work is still grinding out here in Korn. There are lots of disappointments and challenges, but we always have a few moments that keep us going and they make it all worth it. We are working with a few people right now, preparing for their baptism the 29th of March. The first is Gabriel, he is the son-in-law of the bishop, and we've been working with him for a few months. Honestly, he is a rockstar. We taught him the Word of Wisdom this week along with tithing, and fasting. He is only 20 years old, so topics like not eating for 24 hours could be challenging, but he accepted the commandments and is progressing well. Andres on the other hand had been doing well, but we got a phone call today saying that he wasn't so sure if he wanted to keep taking the lessons We’ll visit him this afternoon and see if we can help.

Lately, we've been struggling with not many people attending church. We hope that everybody is just still on summer vacation, but we're kind of at the end of that time of year. While the school year is ending over there, it’s just getting started here. That being said, we are finding more and more people to teach and we hope that next Monday and Tuesday we will be able to find lots of people to teach.

In my studies this week, I was able to read about Christ´s visit to the Americas. I love this part of the Book of Mormon, because its an great way to understand the Character and Personality of Christ. While he is very stern when it comes to the commandments, his love is unavoidable as he healed their sick and blessed each one of their children one by one. I feel like I am much closer to my Savior as I read these passages, and it helps me look forward to the day when I can see him again. I know that Christ lives and loves us. If you at all doubt this fact, I invite you to read 3 Nephi 17 in the Book of Mormon. It will help you understand his love for you a little more.

I’m running out of things to write about so it must be getting pretty close to the end. I honestly don't feel like the end of the mission is really that close, because I feel like I will always just be doing what I´m doing.  My companion always just says that it is the reality of it.  Things are ending, and there´s no escaping it. He finishes in only 3 weeks, so we´re both wrapping things up. He´s probably one of my favorite comp of my mission, and we are working super hard. We both have the same worries about college & sports so it is a common conversation in the pension at night. He´s a good friend!

As far as my defluffication process, I ran about 4 miles this morning and I've lost about 3 pounds. I'm still heavier than I want, but  I´m at least going in the right direction.  I just need to be diligent. I guess I'm vain, but I'm also still only 21 so it should be easier for me to drop the fluff--I hope :)

Thanks for all that you do, and for all of your support. I love you guys! Have a good week!  I miss you like crazy, but I'm really happy where I am right now.

Oh, and by the way, there is going to be a holiday next Monday and Tuesday, so my next p-day will be next Wednesday. They have a holiday almost every other week here, so I don’t even know what holiday it is.

Love you guys!

Elder Chipman

Monday, March 9, 2015

Recipe for happiness

Well, it’s been another great week in Alejandro Korn! What more is there to say? That and Peyton Manning is returning this next season to play for the Broncos.  I'm ok with that! I would take an old Peyton Manning over Tim Tebow anyday. I had more stress during those games than I have felt during my whole mission!

Our investigator Andres is doing very well! We were able to teach him about the word of wisdom, and he fully understood it and said that he was willing to live it. We passed by a few days later, and he hadn´t smoked or drank alcohol in that period of time. He´s making giant strides and is excited to be baptized in a few weeks. Our other investigators are doing well too. Sebastian is still working out some problems, but every time we visit, he is more and more animated to do what is right. Overall, things are going really well.

I was also able to go on an exchange with my mission friend, Elder Hansen, this week. We taught a less active member the Ten Commandments. The spirit that we felt in that  simple lesson really surprised me. I expect to feel the spirit when we teach of the First Vision, the Book of Mormon, or the Plan of Salvation, but this simple lesson about the Ten Commandments helped me realize the importance of the small and simple things, and the importance of being obedient to all of the commandments that the Lord gives us. Sometimes we forget that it is by small and simple things that great things come to pass. Obedience includes not only the big commandments, like "Thou shalt not Kill" or "Thou shalt not Steal", but it also keeping the sabbath day holy, and honoring one's parents. I like to think what would happen if we all kept only just these 10 commandments. The world would change for the better! The commandments are the recipe of happiness, and they help protect us from the unwanted consequences that come from poor decisions.  In the scriptures we are promised not only happiness in this life, but eternal life in the life to come. Sounds pretty good if you ask me!

Other than that, life is pretty good, we are working hard, and I´m able to run in the mornings, so I´m happy. I ran about 3 miles this morning, so there has been some  improvement. I did the math the other day and I was going about 6:15-6:20 pace. Now granted I am still at about -50 feet below sea level and I was pretty gassed afterwards, but still, I'm happy that I don't have to start ALL over again. Besides that, everything seems to be working out well right now. There are always challenges, and sometimes I feel so tired that I can't even get out of my chair, but everytime I do, its always worth it.

Thanks for all of your support and prayers, I love you guys and hope you have a good week!

Elder Chipman

Monday, March 2, 2015

I have the best life ever!

Hows it going?

Funny story, at lunch on Saturday, one of the kids went onto facebook and showed us that dress that you told me that is all over the internet. It’s black and blue to me, but yes the plague has already reached us down here too. It just shows that Allie and Dad are crazy because they think it is white and gold.  hahaha! I do wish I could've seen the  funny story about the runaway llamas in Phoenix!

It’s been another great week in Alejandro Korn, Argentina. It was really successful! We found a lot of new people to teach and some of our other investigators are beginning to progress more toward baptism. Sebastian is fighting back and determined to keep trying until he gets it right, and we are determined to help him, so he´s doing well! We also found many others, all of them men, which is weird....usually only the woman are interested, but the ward needs more priesthood, so I’m not complaining. One investigator was referred to us from a Young Woman in the ward. Her neighbors´wife passed away a few months ago and he was having a hard time. We were able to visit with him and talk about the plan of Salvation. At the end, he told us about his desire to be with his wife again in the Celestial Kingdom. Its amazing the power that is in the gospel, and the happiness and hope it brings. We were also able to visit with another referral that we received from a member. His name is Martín and we were able to teach him the first lesson in the house of the member. We shared the restoration lesson, and he promised us to read the book of Mormon, and pray about it. I have lots of high hopes for the both of them. Let’s be honest, I have the best life ever!

I also learned a lot about about prayer this week. Many times we ask God for things that we want to happen. This is not a bad thing, in fact he says that if we ask we shall receive. But we need to be ready to receive the answer. Sometimes we need to ask for the enabling power to help us accomplish what we desire. I love this part about prayer, because it allows us to grow and make decisions, but it will also enable us to do the right thing. We will have to do a lot of the work on our own, but just as the Lord blessed the people of Alma with their burdens that they were not able to feel them on our backs, our burdens will be lifted, and we will be able to accomplish a whole lot more than we could without divine help.

Just so you know, I left the Internet Café last Monday and slapped my forehead because I forgot to wish you two a happy birthday! So I prayed that you would have a very good day and have a miracle happen for your birthday. Just so you know, I didn’t forget, well, when I was writing I did, but I didn't forget for too long :)  I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed your birthdays. I can tell that I’ve been away from home a long time because I don’t even recognize the restaurant you went too or what a Bosu Ball is, but that´s ok.

Hey Dad, here´s a picture of someone who also had a birthday on February 28th. Her name is  Nona, and if you want to know how old she is, just look at the cake!  Lets just say, you've still got plenty of time!

Speaking of old, I feel pretty old in the mission with all these 19-year-olds coming in.  It is a whole lot more fun being old and used to everything, however.  Then when you told me the kids who are going to BYU this fall, I now just feel old in general.

Mom, thanks for sending some of Dad´s mission pictures. I honestly got a little emotional, looking at them because he´s always been older to me, and seeing him doing what I´m doing right now makes me feel, happy. But I didn´t cry, don´t worry about that :) Bolivia looks like it is a really poor country. The houses that Dad was in are like some of the ones I've entered here, but here only the poor people live like that.  It was fun seeing you do the same exact thing that I am doing!

David as a missionary in Bolivia

I love Argentina, but I'm excited to see you all again. I will be home before we know it! Then I can tell you all of my stories :) Nothing dangerous has happened to me, but I just don't remember everything when I'm writing on Mondays.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. Being a missionary in Argentina is the greatest.  There is no other place I would rather be!

Love you all!

Elder Chipman