16 November 2011

Meeting an Apostle / Touring Fort Coquimbo


Hey so this week was amazing. On Thursday night at 12 we left on a bus to Viña del Mar (after a full day of working). We got to Viña at 6 in the morning and we walked over to the chapel there. At 8:30 Elder Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came to our mission!! The entire mission was there in one chapel. It was incredible. Every single missionary got to go shake Elder Cook´s hand. I loved how he interviewed every missionary as he MADE SURE to look everybody in the eye. It was intense!!! I loved it!!! Also, Bishop McMullan of the Presiding Bishopric came with his wife. It was incredible!

Elder Cook´s wife gave a great talk about hymns of the church and connecting those to Christ-like attributes. Bishop McMullan bore a powerful testimony of the first vision and Joseph Smith. Finally, Elder Cook gave a short thirty minute talk about edifying the church. I learned SO much. Hardly any of what he said made much a difference because I was being taught by the Spirit. I heard exactly what I needed. Anyways, they were only there for two hours, and then we heard the finally testimonies of everybody who was about to die (finish their mission). That was really great. Then President Gillespie got up and gave us an amazing training on what we had just heard Elder Cook say. Seriously, I have one of the best mission presidents in the world right now. That is the truth.

We finished all of that up around 4:00 and then at 6 we got back on the bus and got home at 1 in the morning. We were up and at ‘em again the next morning. Not much sleep, but who needs it??!!!

Today we had a great activity as a zone. We went to the fort of Coquimbo, which has been around since the days when the Chileans had to fight off pirates. There is even a functional cannon!! We also had a fun time cooking up some chorripan (a chilean style hot dog, but not completo-style) for the zone. It was super fun! And I am super sun-burnt. Oops!!

Well, it has been awhile since I have reminded you all of why I am here. After four and a half months of being a missionary, my testimony has really been strengthened. My faith has been tried. I have talked to every type of person imaginable here. I am so firmly convinced that this is the work of the Lord. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that ANYONE can be forgiven for their mistakes. The church of Jesus Christ is here for us, to help is in our eternal quest to be like Him. I have never been happier than now, and it is because I am serving Him. Once again, please go and read the Book of Mormon. It has the power to change our hearts, if we let it. Speak with God in prayer. Ask Him if this book is not true. He WILL manifest the truth of it, if you let Him.

I love you guys,

Elder Hales

Nathan gets to see his MTC companion, Elder Kirkpatrick at a mission-wide conference

Nathan and his current companion, Elder Yorgason
Fort Coquimbo

A view from Fort Coquimbo, looking at Nathan's teaching area across the bay.

Fort Coquimbo

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