Saturday, November 30, 2013

A very brief news brief from Henry

Alrighty! so this week we went to Lago Chungará (lake chungara) which is the highest lake in the entire world! pretty cool! i have lots of pictures and stuff but sadly i dont have time this week! sorry! the trip was reeeaally long! Its crazy to experience christmas time while dying of heat! i love you all tons! sorry i cant write more, but i will next week. OH YEA! i also end my training this week... crazy! so im just a super new missionary but not just a trainee! and its more than likely that my companion is leaving me, because he has like 7 months in this secor, he was born (as a missionary) here too!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Big news here in Arica

My Family! I love you guys tons!

Big news here in Arica. its been kind of an interesting week! this week in Chile was Elections, sooo looooots of politics, lots of lots! there is so much political crap here. papers, posters, calenders, cards, signs, letter. whatever else. just thrown every where. they just throw there name out as much as they can! So this sunday was Election day and it is illegal to have any large gathering on that day. so the church got special permision to have church for 1 hour only in the mornng, we combined with the other ward in the chapel we are in and had 1 hour of church and then we werent allowed to go out proselyting until after 5. so we went and made like 2 visits then had a meeting with the president at night. It is so awesome to get to hear from the president, he has so much spirit with him! we just had like a Q and A session with all of the missionaries in Arica. I feel a renewed fire, im glad he came!

But thats totally skipping the story! ummmm, on tuesday we had a good day, taught a lesson to the vargas family to try and help out hermano Heber. who still just doesnt feel that ready, but the president gave us some advice on that too. and we taught dariella both tuesday and wednesday. reading the book of mormon lots with her. the other Elders keep telling us that she isnt even progressing that its not gonna happen, but that was part of this weeks lesson for me, from the president and everything. i need to learn to stop caring about what the other elders are saying, and just keep going with what i know is right. just move on with faith and effort and let my paths be directed.

This thursday night/ friday something big went down here. A maniac just shot some people. for no reason. so we got a call at like 6 in the morning saying that we were to stay in te pension until further notice. then at 11 they let us know that we could go out until 5. so we hurried up and left so we could get some good time in. before 5 knowing that we had to be back early. so we went and did! and at like 430 they called and said we were good for the rest of the day. the people were caught and all was well. so we prepared ourselves for kind of a really long day working and went to another house. then at like 515 when we were about to go, they called again and said that something happens and we had to either get to the pension or camp out in a members house... so we stayed here with this member... said a prayer, she made us food. we chilled watched soccer and chatted until 8 30 when we had to go straight home. it was interesting! then the next day was just normal... we just have to keep being careful... most of the stuff happened at like 2 in the morning when we are very very safe in our nice warm beds. and for the most part Arica is like incredibly safe. they kept telling us how much this never ever happens here. but there it is. the adventure of this week. not nearly as bad as whats going down in the phillipines, we dont here a ton... but still thats just crazy! so much damage!

Family. I love you. Lets remember how blessed we all are. that there are always gonna be ups and downs. but we just need to keep up a good attitude. thank you so much!
Elder Gold

i made some pancakes! in a blender! and forgot the eggs.... oops. but thats ok. and also the pans here are old and bad... thats why they look like bananas hahaha :) also! im on some arthritis medicine/horse pills. its fantastic. :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mr. Potato Head

Dear Fam! I love you guys! thank you for being awesome, i love to hear from you!

My birthday snuck up on me like crazy! but Elder Knowles ( another elder in our house) was super prepared. he had already told like everyone in the whole ward so we had lots of stuff to do that night! we went to a breakfast, had cake at lunch then went to three houses at night also! they have this beautiful tradition too called tortaso, which means the birthday boy gets to take the first bite of the cake and someone shoves their face in it. its especially popular with missionaries. so i got my face shoved in cake three times hahaha. and we also got sent home with three cakes. so we have a ton of cake that we have to eat or it will go bad. im gonna get fat so fast here. its just a problem. then saturday night we had another appointment and they also threw a party! but the funny part was that everybody makes fun of me for being from idaho. so Elder Córdova went around telling everyone that i love potatoes and i especially love mr potato head. so they went and found a mr potato head and put it on my cake. yes. this is Elder Córdova. he is a lot to handle hahaha. things are good here in Arica! just working like crazy still! its crazy stuff! Always trying to learn, grow, and be better. the ultimate mission. be better so that you can help others better. Spanish is coming right along, its crazy to think that being in Chile 2 months I feel so knew and yet im sooooo much farther along with Spanish. i think it helps to have a Latino companion. 

As a missionary i have to throw in this plug! i know it doesnt seem easy, but Elder Ballard invited us all to bring a friend to church and get them started on the path before Christmas! i KNOW the missionaries would love to recieve a reference from you! we Pray for references, and you can be the answer to someone elses prayers! if there is someone who you feel would be receptive, dont be afraid to share. the spirit does way more work than you do.

thank you for being awesome! i love you!
Elder Gold

a few birthday pics...

 ... and the week before trip to the museum in azapa. 

mate, matero, y mate en piña :D hahaha

Mom's note:  I had to figure out what the heck "mate" was, so I googled it.  "Yerba mate tea is a very popular drink in South America. For many centuries the people of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil have enjoyed the rejuvenating effects of yerba mate. Today it is quickly becoming the beverage of choice worldwide for better health, energy and well being due to an abundance of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals" ( 

"Drinking mate with friends from a shared hollow gourd (also called a guampaporongo or mate in Spanish) with a metal straw (a bombilla in Spanish) is a common social practice in Uruguay, Argentina and southern Brazil among people of all ages" (

So, the first picture of the yellow bag is the yerba mate - leaves and twigs - and the second picture is the mate prepared with hot water in the "traditional gourd" with the metal straw, the bombilla, and the last picture is the prepared yerba mate in a pineapple, or pina, with the metal straw.  Fascinating!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

lots of smiling and happiness! life is good! happy week.

I love you guys! thank you for everything you do! i dont have a ton of time this week but here it goes!
This week we had a sweet lesson with the Vargas family and our mission leader, they were accepting and the spirit was there! I was super grateful for his input and experience! we taught them about the Law of Tithing, i was trying really hard to not worry about it, they dont have much money at all, so we wanted to teach it Really really well so that they would know that they didnt have to worry about it. Especially because right now Dariella is doubting a TON because of tithing. she thinks that the "higher ups" in the Church are loaded because everybody pays 10 percent. but anyways, we wanted to teach it REALLY well. and we did our best, the spirit did the rest. they seemed super accepting. it was a great lesson with a members testimony of tithing.

Dariella... yea... i dont even know what to say about this. she has a testimony of the Book of Mormon, but doubts the church, and especially tithing. (yes i know, if she has a testimony of the Book of Mormon then she is set, but for some reason her mind doesnt want to connect like that, she rejects a ton of stuff, but is still reading) She LOVES us, and we love her. we went over to her house the other day and she found out that we didnt have an over, so she just gifted us her old one! straight up! we tried to pay, even just a little, and she wouldnt take it. so yea! super wierd situation, she thinks that the Church leadership is super corrupt, but loves our resources (paintings, books, songs, etc), she loves us, and she loves the Book of Mormon. but she still hates people and hasnt been to church in 3 weeks. so its a wierd situation.

We are also teaching a guy named Juan, his mom died in June, hes alone and it makes him sad a lot of the time, and he doesnt want much to do with the Gospel, but he loves the Church. he loves the poeple and the cpmpanionship. so we visit him every once in a while, kind of and odd duck, but an awesome little guy, also im pretty sure hes got a bit of a crush on me... but we will see what happens with him. interesting situation there. hes just a super unique guy. he couldnt make it to church on Sunday cuz he was sick, and we asked him what he ate and he said tomatoes, and bread with butter and mustard... yep. we love him.

Also on Sunday the Vargas family couldnt come... because they had family over. soooo we have to re teach the Day of Rest and push the Baptisimal date back, so no late birthday present first baptism for me, but thats ok.

This week i learned a lot more to rely on the Spirit, having a prayer in my heart all the time, not thinking about what im going to say, but just listening. its HARD! especially when im not fluent yet! but its good, everytime i do the things that im supposed to i just feel like miracles happen. the lessons that i listen more, i feel like are a lot more spiritual and effective. its beautiful.

Also this week i tried even more to SMILE, all the time, i remembered in the MTC about how Elder MAngum and I always tried to be super happy and smiley, because if we arent happy, why would these people want our message! i need to be more happy!!! so that was fun! lots of smiling and happiness! life is good! happy week.

I love you all, I hope you can feel Gods immense love for you, and the beauty that comes from living the Gospel! im so grateful for my FAMILY!
Elder Gold

We have just been going to town here

This week we set a new date with the Vargas Family! this time they will definitely make it. November 9. that will be my first baptism! I love to be able to see them changing. its so awesome to watch them. 

Other than that we have just been going to town here. working like usual. trying to get this spanish thing down. its coming! i can talk to people! i can understand at least 90 percent! i still just talk super slow! but that comes more with the experience! 

Super satisfying to watch people improve their lives through the church, super crushing to watch them get overwhelmed with doubts and such. its heartbreaking when people dont listen. you really have to learn to accept the agency of all men and learn to love your life for the good ness and not dwell on the badness. 

I feel super blessed that i had the teachers i did in the MTC. they were so good for me. Both of them taught me a ton about how to teach and be a missionary. but more than that, they taught us how to rise above the averageness that is everywhere. or at least to try. lots of people choose not to be obedient because its hard and stuff. but you just have to do the best you can and not worry about what they think. and always remember that even when you fail, you have another chance. you can always try again.

I love this work. i love where im at, i love what im learning, i love this people. Life is so good!

thank you for your prayers! 

Elder Gold