Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Skype and other Pics

Connor wasn't able to write a letter this week, however he did send some pictures.  I also added our Christmas Skype picture and one of sweaters he sent to all of us.  It was wonderful talking to him on Christmas, we even had his brother and sister in law on a cell phone (Casey's holding in pic) face time so they could say hi.  Mary, Casey's wife was there too she took the picture since we didn't have a selfie stick!  He had been to the beach that morning which is about an hour from where he lives and is loving his new area.  He told us he is doing great and is super busy, all in his Spanish accent!  He sends his love to everyone.

Monday, December 21, 2015


Family and Friends,

My first week in Canete was a really good week and I'm really enjoying my time here.  The last Monday I said goodbye to many families and friends that I have in Victoria which was a little hard to do.  My time there was completed but there are many people there who I will remember forever and be life long friends with.  I give thanks to all the people that I met and who made sacrifices to accommodate me during my time in Victoria and I know that our Heavenly Father will bless them.

Packing all my suitcases and bags was a little difficult this time because I have way too much stuff now.  As you go from sector to sector in the mission you collect more and more stuff and I think I reached my limit this last transfer.  But it may be that I am in my last sector in the mission and I will be able to leave a lot here when I head home.

I got all my stuff to the bus terminal and me and my best bud from the MTC Elder Washburn bought tickets to ride all the way together.  It was first a four hour bus ride to Concepcion and then another three hour bus ride to my sector in Canete.  During that time me and Elder Washburn talked about the good ol' days in the MTC and how crazy it is how much time has passed.  When we got to the terminal in Concepcion, Brian, my convert was there waiting for me!  It was awesome to be able to see him and talk to him for a while!  Also I met up with my companion Elder Tornero!

To tell you a little more about him, he is from Lima Peru and just ended his training in the mission.  He's 18 and a member all of his life.  He plays the piano really well which is rare to find in Chile, so the sisters in the ward all appreciate him for the choir and hymns.  He's a funny guy with a great sense of humor. He likes to work hard and doesn't get discouraged easily.  We will be together for at least 8 weeks and it should be a great time.

I am living in a house with two other missionaries, Elder Lee, who is from Korea but speaks perfect English and Elder Langeveld, who is from Ogden.  Our house is actually pretty nice and big for a missionary house and the best showers that I have taken in the mission are here!  I have never been in a sector like Canete before but it reminds me of Victoria a little bit, just a lot bigger!  The branch has attendance of around 130 members usually so that's pretty cool.  The members are really nice here and the love the missionaries so that's good.

Well arriving to the sector I found out that we don't have a lot of investigators so this entire week we have been contacting a ton!  There is however an amazing family that is listening to us that I was able to meet and we hit it off really well. It's really cool because they live in pretty much campo, very far away from the city so we have to take a microbus for 30 minutes to get to it. Their names are C and D and they have two children who are 8 and 6.  The cutest little kids.  They have been sharing with missionaries for aournd 2 months now and it's crazy to see their progress.  D was Atheist and now she believes in God and wants to get baptized, C feels the same way.  The only problem is, like most of the people in Chile, they aren't married.  They have been together for 12 years and this last visit with me, they committed to think about marriage seriously, which I'm very excited for.  Please keep them in your prayers.

A really cool experience that happened this week was in the morning on Friday we went to the hospital to sing Christmas carols in the hymn book to the sick people in their beds.  We probably sang to about 15 different rooms which were filled with 3 or 4 sick people with their families there visiting them as well.  They were all very grateful and if felt really good to do that.

I also am teaching English class here, but we need to work more on how to get more people to come, by advertisement.  Normally 2-3 people come but I want to get more to come.  All in all this week has been a hardworking week and a little stressful but I know that it is shaping me into the person the God wants me to be.  I want to thank all of you for the support and love that you have given me, it has kept me going in the hardest of times.

During this Christmas time, I invite all of you to look for ways to serve the people around you, I know that is what the Lord wants.  Remember the true significance of the birth of Jesus Christ and what is means personally for you.  Merry Christmas!

With much love,
Elder Connor Clay

Monday, December 14, 2015

Transfers, Family Home Evening, Christmas Conference

Hello everyone,

Today is transfers which is really crazy to think because this transfer flew by.  It was only four weeks because they can't do transfers near the holidays because it costs a lot to send and receive missionaries by plane during this time. 

My father in the mission, Elder Casperson, is ending his mission which is crazy to think and I'll miss seeing him around the mission but I know he worked hard in his mission and killed it so I'm happy for him.  I hit my 6 months left mark, which for me, is just another reminder to work hard and serve the people in every opportunity that I can, in whatever way I can, because my time is becoming short.  But I'm very excited for what these last months have in store for me. 

To tell you a little bit of what has happened lately, we have been doing a lot of service and walking and contacting.  Victoria is known for being a pretty rough sector and my time here has confirmed it.  But I'm very grateful for the time that I have had to grow and learn here in this sector and for the trials and difficulties that I have had.  I have spent countless hours in the street contacting and I feel gratitude for what God has given me in my life. I'm glad that I can serve God for these two years to show the thanks and love that I have for him. 

Some things that have happened this week, we had a Family Home Evening as a branch in our church on Monday and it went really well! A lot of people showed up and everybody enjoyed themselves.  We as missionaries gave the message and it was about the Atonement and birth of Christ, it was really powerful and the spirit was felt strong.  We also had a band but it was a band that plays typical old Chilean music. I don't know how to describe it but it was awesome!  Also the sisters in the ward made a bunch of food and it was just a good time.

Another big thing this week was the Christmas Conference as a mission.  It was a lot of fun and it was sweet to see all my friends in the mission at the same time because the whole mission was at this one.  The messages and songs were very spiritual and the sketches and slideshows were entertaining and funny.

I'm getting transferred out of Victoria and I'm heading to a place called Canete.  A lot of my friends in the
mission have been there and I'm really excited to go there!  I'm going to be companions with a missionary named Elder Tornero.  He just finished his training and is from Peru!  I'm really pumped because I've heard that Canete is a good sector, so planning on going there and working hard!  Love you guys!

Elder Clay

Monday, December 7, 2015

John 3:16

A short excerpt from the small amount Elder Clay was able to write to us today:
I wasn't able to watch the First Presidency Christmas devotional because it was at 10 at night here in Chile and I'm pretty much asleep at that time because I'm so tired from the days. John 3:16 is one of my favorite scriptures and I find that people don't really understand the greatness and simplicity of that verse. The love that God has for every single one of us is something that has motivated me to keep on going in my most difficult times. I know that I am not perfect and far from it. But it is incredible to me to think that God sent his son to this earth to bring to pass the possibility that all of us have now to repent and become better people. I'm very grateful for his love and perfect plan. We actually have been sharing lately a new video that is called Ha Nacido Un Salvador or A Savior is Born in English, I'm sure that you can find on lds.org. But at the end it makes the statement, Find out why. And I have found that pretty much everyone knows that God sent his son and they know what Christ did but they don't know why. They don't understand the fall and the need that we had of a Savior. Its been an amazing time sharing about that.  My forty day fast ended last week, it was very cool to see the changes that came into my life and the progress that I have seen.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Christmas early, Gospel betters lives, the Chiropractor

Family and Friends,

I don’t have a lot of time but I’ll fill you guys in with a little bit of what I did this week.  I received one of  the packages that my parents sent me for Christmas and it was obvious that there were fiddle lacrosse sticks in it and I wasn’t going to wait until Christmas to play with them!  So I opened the package and only took the two sticks out and nothing else, saving the rest until Christmas.  It’s been a fun week playing with them the little time we have in the house and it’s fun trying to teach the other guys in the house how to play and a little about what lacrosse actually is.

I was able to do a baptismal interview for a lady named C.  She was very humble and prepared to be baptized.  The change that she made in her life was very impressive and I know that the Gospel, when applied, betters our lives and improves our situation.  She was baptized this Saturday and the Elders told me it went very well and she was very happy.

Lately in our teachings my companion and I have been focusing on inspired questions to help and teach the people.  It is something that I absolutely love and have a strong testimony of.  It’s incredible the way that you can touch a person’s heart just by asking the right question. 

                                            Now that took a lot of walking!!!

We have had to go to Temuco a lot recently, which is an hour away by bus, for my companions back.  One of the days this week we went to a Chiropractor and after he did work on my companion, he asked me if I wanted to be re-aligned or whatever and I was more than willing.  It felt so good after and I have never heard so many pops than when he did it to me. haha

For the Christmas activity for the mission, all the zones have to do a skit or video and what we are doing in Victoria is going to be pretty funny.  We are doing a musical sketch to the song “My Christmas Wish” by Alex Boye.  It is really evangelical and actually what my part in it is I’m pretending to be him and lip-singing the whole thing.  There’s four of us who are clapping like as if we were in a Baptist/evangelical church. Hallelujah!  Haha it is going to be hilarious but really good and spiritual too.  It relates a story of a mom and her family and we are doing it as if she was receiving the missionaries and then her whole family gets baptized at the end. A family of 8, miracle!

That’s it for this week.  Love you all!  Have a good week.

Elder Clay