Sunday, January 15, 2012

September 19th

Thanks so much for the update on the house and about all the things that are going on there in CA.
Well this was a really crazy week for us here in Lirquén. We started the week off pretty normal, but like I said we would, Elder Richards of the Area Presidency came to visit us on Friday. It was a really great experience. All of the District and Zone leaders had to arrive at 7:45 for a special training session with Elder Richards and President Humphrey which was super cool. He talked a lot about not making the Gospel more complicated than it has to be. We spent over an hour just talking with him and having him teach us. My mind was blown. I was really impressed by everything he said and the spirit was incredibly strong. THEN we had a 5 hour zone conference where he spoke and taught us for awhile. It was pretty incredible having that chance. Being a missionary definetly comes with benefits. We only have amazing experiences everyday.
Well, friday was the conference and saturday was PDay. President changed our P-day because today is a national holiday so all the businesses are closed. Anyway, saturday our zone went to a beach and played Ultimate frisbee for most of the day. It was awesome and then in the afternoon we had our ward party for "el dieciocho" or Chilean Independence Day. The empanadas were really great and this ward is incredibly strong and a lot of fun. We played a ton of different games and just had a blast.
Sunday was the great big party! Well, for us we worked like normal but everyone else was partying it up! We had the normal meetings on sunday. I have a "manta de huaso" which is a traditional chilean pancho worn during the festivals. I secretly put it on durning one of the meetings and the members loved it. I might be remembered forever as the elder who came to church dressed as a huaso (but a classy one). I also sang in a special musical number which was pretty cool especially because the members were shocked when they heard me sing (especially when I sang really low notes). 
But the best thing that happened this sunday was the baptism of Ariel. Ariel is a great teenager and he is really excited to go on a mission with his cousin who is a newly reactived member. It was a great experience. 
Well, last night I got "the call". President Humphrey called to tell me that I am going to be a zone leader in a city named Curico. Curico is the city farthest away from Concepcion but it is also one of the most beautiful (also the hottest).  I am really excited to get to work with the missionaries and investigators there in Curico but I really dont want to leave Lirquén. I feel like I have done the best work in my mission up to this point here in Penco and I really hate having to say goodbye but it is just what happens in the mission. 
Well, that was my week. I know these next letters are going to be full of spiritual experiences and more stories of my amazing adventures. 
Well, I love you all a ton and good luck with everything that you all need to do.
Elder McNeil

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