Friday, April 29, 2011

April 25th

So i am sorry if this email ends up being short. I actaully sent an email my friend Brigham who is on his mission in Boston and he ended up being his email at the same time and I may have wasted most of my time talking with him instead of writing yall. oops.
Well Mike is graduated and will soon be cutting people up (in a good way, not like a slasher/horror movie way), Kerri is running off to the middle east. I am here in Chile and Ken is probably making some super iPhone which will take over the world. We have a really cool family.
Things have been going great. I love the ward and I am learning a lot from my new companion. I will admit that my experiences with my companions here in the mission have been nothing like I have imagined but I have learned a ton! Most importantly, i´ve learned how to be wrong. I still don´t like it but I can now actaully say "you`re right, I`m wrong"! I assume that will help me out down the road one day.
This week was really fun. We worked our tails off. I have really taken charge and we are getting stuff done. This week we found 8 new investigators, recieved 8 references (THAT NEVER HAPPENS!!!), did a rediculous amount of contacts, and we are making some important changes here in the sector. We are making a lot of sacrifices here but we have a purpose to fulfill and I want to get ´er done!
Enjoy the hectic world over there in Gringolandia and I am going to take care of some bussiness around here. Mom, take care of Grandpa, Dad, bring home the bacon. I love you all a ton and know that you are going to do everything that you need to do.
Elder McNeil

April 18th

THANKS FOR THE RAIN BOOTS!!!! This week he had a few days of really bad rain and the boots only worked out perfectly. So I hope that this week will be a little more relaxing for Mom. I feel like she never gets a break. Dad, I would say the same things... but you need to put bread on the table and I think if you skip out on these meetings, you lose your job SO hopefully Mike´s graduation is enough of a break for now. I am glad you like reading my letters. I basically write just everything that comes to my mind so if it sounds a lot like the way I speak, it is because it basically is. Also, thanks for doing those small little things for me on facebook. I hope things go well with the house (I am really excited to finish my mission and come home to the new house! I assume that you will finish it in the next 15 months). Also enjoy your time with Uncle Ken and let him know that I´m thinking about him. 
So my week was pretty uneventful. I dont have any crazy stories but we did have a really uplifting mini-zone conference which was really great. As a mission we are going to be reading the 4 Gospels and Acts which is going to be really great. I love the NT and it will be a good opportunity to read more of the Bible in Spanish. It is going to be great for Kerri to see all of the history over in the middle-east. I would love to have that experience. One day I will, but right now I have work to do. My comp, Elder Higham is a district leader over the hermanas in our zone so we went and worked with them a few times this past week which was really great but ate up a lot of time so we had a few "dang, we need to do two days of work in one day" moments. I have actually been sick for the last week but I can´t really tell what I have. I assume it is just an annoying cold but I am getting better so I hope that by next week I will have all of this behind me. Things are going super well and I am having a great time. Sorry I am running out of time right now but I love y´all and hope everything goes well for you this week.
Elder McNeil

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 11th

Thanks for all of your birthday wishes! So if one of you could do me a favor and log into my facebook and write on my wall "thanks for the birthday wishes" and "read my blog" I would be grateful (also if there are a lot of friend requests, you can accept them as well). I am assuming that my friends from MN are confused for why I haven´t texted them or talked with them on FB, so that may help clarify whats up. 
To be completely honest, my birthday was really annoying just because people kept trying to stop us from working so they could hang out for a little bit. So I did get the packages on wed and thanks a ton! I love the game with the cup and the ping pong balls. We have had a lot of fun with that. Also thanks a ton for the boots. I know they will come in handy this winter. Actually, if you could send me more Mr. Potatohead attachments, I would be super happy. So, I´m sorry about what happened with the house but you will have it sold here soon. All you need is be patient and that house will be off your hands after no time at all.
So I have a new comp named Elder Higham. He is from Logan and he is really cool. He will be finishing the mission here in June and this is going to be his last sector. I am curious to see if I will end up "killing him" because if I do, I will be in Chillán for atleast 7 months (if not only 4.5 unless they whitewash the sector). He is also a district leader which means this is when I need to take notes on what I should start trying to improve in the way I work. We confirmed Ana Maria who was baptized last week which made me super happy and hopefully her son Nicolas will be baptized this week or next.
Thanks Mom for your words. I know that there are a lot of changes happening there at home right now and it is a little sad that I can´t take part in any of it but it is obvious that what I am doing is better anyway. Trust me, I am only changing a lot. I am the most humble person ever now! Sorry for the lame joke but really, things are going really well and I know that you will be surprised by what you will see when I finish the mission. I have 15 months to become the best possible person. That is more than enough to change many more lives, but most importantly my own. You know what? I feel like you have changed a lot since I have started the mission as well. I mean, this mission doesn't only change the person serving the mission but the rest of the family as well. You are incredible, even if you don't believe it some times. 
Anyway, I love you guys and hope for the best. Remember that i keep praying for you and everything you are trying to do.
Love ,
Elder McNeil

April 4th

Okay this week was a really super stressful week for us here in my sector. Nothing went wrong or anything and the work itself is progressivly improving and getting better but we were just super busy. My comp, Elder Stephenson was really sick for a lot of the week, we moved to a new house (this is by far the nicest house in the mission) and we had conference. Between sessions we had a little barbeque out infront of our new house (we live a block or so from the stake center and, like I said, this is a really nice house). I really loved conference and it really was awesome to listen to the prophets voice again. It is strange that the last two conferences have been spent here in Chile. I like what Elder Cook said about women in the Church (THANKS MOM). Also, during priesthood sessions, President Uchtdorf dropped the hammer on the priesthood holders of the entire church saying we need to live up to the priviliges of the priesthood (it was an awesome talk). Also, where the heck did Elder Robbins` talk come from!!! It was AWESOME!!! Also President Monson made me want to go to the temple so badly but we have to wait until the the temple is built or until the mission ends (whichever happens first). 
So we also had a baptism on sunday between conference sessions. Ana Maria got baptized this week and will get confirmed on my birthday!  Things are going super well in the sector (she was my third baptism here in this sector which typically is a little bit harder than most). So I am getting a new companion tomorrow and I really don`t know much about him excpet that his name is Elder Haim and that he will be a district leader here in Cordillera.
The chance of me getting my packages are low but I will get it here soon enough.Well I dont have a lot else to say. I love you all and hope you are doing well.
Love ,
Elder McNeil

March 28th

Okay so I actually don´t have a ton to say this week excpet that I AM AN UNCLE!!! I guess that really wont sink in until I see him but that is a long time away (I´m actually not counting because I would rather not know). AJ looks great! I am so excited to meet him one day! 
So things have been pretty uneventful here in Chile this past week. My comp had his birthday and the member that made us lunch made us more food than I have seen since I started the mission. I literally ate so much that I puked (I think that was the first and last time I will ever do that). Unfortunely I have been fighting off a cold all week but the work is going well. We are actually moving to a new house in my sector. It is by far the nicest house (for missionaries) I have seen in the mission. We are really excited but it means that we not only have to use all of today but a lot of wednesday to move all of our stuff.
 It seems like Ana Maria and her son will be getting baptized here soon (hopefully on my birthday) and we have a lot of investigators who we just have to drag to church (by far the hardest task as a missionary is getting people to church). We are really excited for General Conference because it is a break from the rountine it is just weird thinking that the last conference was so long ago and that I was here in Chile (this means that I will be completing 9 months as a missionay here in april...) Where is the time going?
Our stake here in Chile had a temple trip last week and three of the nine converts in this ward from last year went to do baptisms. They even brought thier own family names and they had incredible experiences. The church is amazing in the way it touches our lives and their trip to the temple is a big sacrifice considering how far we are away from santiago. I hope to hear some great stories from my converts one day about thier missions and thier sealings in the temple. The hardest thing for me being here in this mission is that we have no access to the temple. We go there once as we are leaving the country but for a whole 22 months I can only go to and look at the temple pictures. There hasn´t been any news about the concepción temple except that about a month ago, the head architect or planner or something, came with the newest set of missionaries so we will see what that means. I will keep my eyes open for my birthday stuff. 

I love you all and I know that no matter what, you will always be praying for me, which I need sometimes. Thanks for being awesome!
Elder McNeil