Sunday, April 10, 2016

Wed, Apr 6, 2016

hola familia!!!!

so today marks 6 months since i have seen my family. i was set apart as a missionary and headed off to the airport 6 months ago today. thats crazy! im already done with 1/4 of my mission! ah! time flies!

so this has been an interesting week because i was sick for more than half of it! it was awful but everything is good now and im feeling great! this like 50 year ild lady was hitting on us this morning and it was disturbning so that was interesting. also it rainedhard and we got soaked and it was cold! youre all heading into the heat as im heading into the cold but atleast i dont need to worry about snow while im here!

we also had general conference this week and it was good wasnt it? remember to keep president monson in your prayers for his health, he was looking a little sick this conference but he still got up and said some good thnings. the man has great diligence!

one thing that i liked about confrence was froom elder holland. at the end of his talk he talked about how we should cherish the things that have been made possible through christ. if you think about it there are many things that wouldnt be possible had he not died for us. because of him we can repent and be clean from sin. because of him we can be saved and live eternally with our father in heaven. becauyse of him we can change. because of hime we can be ressurected.

holland also talked about how the first commandment is to love god with all our heart, but that the first truth is that god loves us with all his heart. because of his love we are here to obtain a body of flesh and bones like him. because of his love he sent his son to opèn opportunities for us to recieve the greatest possble blessings. because of his love we have a prohet to guide us back to him. because of his love we can love.

i know that he loves us and that he wants only the best for his children. we need always remember that christ made these things possiblke for us and that he did because he loves us.

i love you all and i hope you have an amazing week!

With lots of love,

-Elder Sims

Wed, Mar 30, 2016

hola familia!

how did everyones easter go? hope it went well! mine was awesome!

so this week i had an amazing experience that i would like to share.

we were teaching a less active member and her grandma has been very sick and so she asked us to give her grandma a blessing. i have been very nervouse about giving blessings lately because of some of my past evperiences with them messing up the spanish. she had asked me to seal the anointing and i just started shaking with nervs going everywhere. i had no idea what i should say. once i placed my hands on her head i instantly felt comfort, confident and closed my eyes and started. i had no idea what to say but i decided just top listen and open my mouth like the promis from dc 42: 16.
16 And as ye shall lift up your voices by the Comforter, yeshall speak and prophesy as seemeth me good;

i decided that all i should do is listen to what the holy ghost was telling me to say and as i opoened my mouth it was filleed with words.
dc 33: 8-9,
 8 Open your mouths and they shall be filled
 9 Yea, open your mouths and spare not, and you shall beladen with sheaves upon your backs, for lo, I am with you.

i know that the comforter is always with us to help only if we seek his guidence. he will comfort us always. and will always be our constant companion. all we need to do is onvite him into our presence and be worthy of him.

i will always trust him to help me when i feel nercous or lost. i will alwasy listen for him to guide and to fill my mouth with the right words to say.

With lots of love,

-Elder Sims
Wed, Mar 23, 2016

hola familia

sorry for forgetting to write a big email last week.

so it seems that every 100 days the mission just repeats itself. yesterday i had accidentally called an old woman pretty.... the other missionaries were laughing so hard. i realized the mistake i made immediately after the comment i made. was funny! so as i was writing in my journal last night i turned 100 days back from yesterday and there it was... the day that i had called a pregnant woman pretty on accident. i dont know if you remember me writing about that but i had made a big email about that experience about 4 months ago.

i also wrote about two mothers feeding their babies without covering anything 4 months ago as well. turns out that i had another experience like tht exactly 100 days after. what is going on here? i am going to see another woman whip one out and feed her kid in 100 more days and im going to call another woman pretty on accident. its destiny. the mission just repeats itself every 100 days i guess!

so id like to write a little bit about the story i have been reading in the book of mormon lately, the story of ammon and his brothers! always good stuff! something that i really liked about his style of missionary work is the fact that he got to the heart of king lamoni through service and love. ammon hadnt said a word about the gospel until lamoni had asked him about being a great spìrit. ammon offered his service to the king and showed loved toward him and his people. through this love and service he gained the trust of the king and when he taught the king he was overwhelmed with the spirit amd fell to the earth. and then his wife and people after that. even ammon fell to the earth because of the spririt that was within the room.

its amazing what the turn out was. that one man who offered service unto the king could convert many unto the gospel.

just something cool that i liked about my reading this week.

i love you allo and thank you for all the support you give me! have an amazing week!

With lots of love,

-Elder Sims

Wed, Mar 9, 2016

hola familia! como estan?

bueno este semana fue genial! tuvimos muchas experiencias buenas!

first of all ill start with ingrid. we had another lesson with her in the bishops house and it was scary! last week she had lost her purse that had everything in it and she prayed to god for help but she felt he didnt listen so she pretty had lost a lot of faith. she was having a hard time but we helped her out with that. it was just a bad day for her. a couple days later we had a family home evening in the church as a ward and i called her and invited her and her daughter to come. at the end of the lesson, everyone went over and started talking to them. it was awesome! the bishop and his first counselor were talking to her at first and then one person after another started joining the conversation. after about 30 minutes of people talking to them, i see the fist councelor lead ingrid over to a door to show her what was inside. inside the door was the baptismal font!!!!! she thought it was awesome! we are going to teach them again this friday so i should be good!

that is proof that all members of the church are MISSIONARIES. simple little acts like that are missionary work. being a friend, saying hello to someone, inviting people to church, etc.
missionary work never stops. we must always look for opportunities to serve our heavenly father. show him how much we love him by serving him and brigning others to him.
he blesses us with countless blessings. our job is to share our happiness with others so they too can recive the blessing this gospel brings.

i know that everyone back there at home knows at least one person that needs this gospel in their lives, because everyone needs this gospel! go up to that person you know who is in the most need and INVITE them. that is the missionary purpose. INVITE otheres to come unto christ.

also if there is someone you know who does not attend church this week, work as an AGENT and go find them after church to see how they are doing. elder bednar told all of us missionaries here in the south america south area that over half of the people who did not attend last week, would attend the next if we go out and find those who were not present.

i love you all and i hope you have an amazing week!
With lots of love,
-Elder Sims
Wed, Mar 2, 2016

hola familia!

this has been a great week! 100x better than last week actually! i just lovedit!

first of all ill expain why the title says what it says.

so on sunday night we were doing our normal thing at 1:30 am.... sleeping. all of the sudden we get a call from our neighbors saying that someone jumped the gate to our house! but the person left before the cops got there. since we live behind a dentist, we called him and he came over to go over the cameras and after about an hour of watvhing nothing we saw the robber trying to get inside the dentist office and he walked around the corner where we lived and hid for a bit. he came back and started stealing a light from the dentists porch and we saw his face and everything! the cops did nothing about it though. thats chilean police for ya! so yep it was a neat exèrience.

so i would like to talk about my favorite investigator Ingrid who is 42. i found her in my 9th day out in the mission field and taught her a little bit but then we lostcontact with her for a little bit because herfather does not like the missionaries and she didnt want any problems in her family so she stopped recieving us even though she was progessin a lot!

so about after a month and a half one day i was on divisions with another missionary and  i decided to go and look for her again amd i found her and taught her right then and there. she was super awesome! then randomly the sunday after that, i see her walk in to church! ah!!!! that was one of the best things i have ever seen!

she then went on vacation for a week and when she got back we taught her once and then another time in the same week. but in the second visit we had with her, she brought her 3 daughters! javiera whos 18, amadis whos 8, and ryan whos 6. the lesson went great! then the sunday after that lesson they all came to chirch! woohoo!!!! they loved it! we then set up a family home evening with them in the bishops house and ingrid and javiera both came and we taught about the plan of salvation and they both had some really good questions and both had a really good time! we have another family home evening set up with them this friday! i cant wait!

it has been the greatest joy to see someone from my 9th day on the mission and the progress they have made up until about the 4th month. i cannot explain how joyful it is to see people progress and recognize the happiness this gospel can give you. that is why im here. this gospel has brought me wso much joy and all i want is for others to recieve that same joy in their lives.

i hope everyone has a great week and i love you all! remember the joy this gospel gives you and you will have a stronger desire to serve and bring others unto chirst.

With lots of love,

-Elder Sims

Wed, Feb 24, 2016

hola familia!

so in reality not much went down this week. this morning there was a conference with elder bednar and all of southern south america and it was very good. made my pday shorter but thats okay! he talked a lot about agents and objects and that we as missionaries are here to invite investigators to ACT.

we invite the investigator to choose for themselves whether or not to act to listen and accept the message we have to share. agency is huge huge in conversion.

another thing he talked about was the holy ghost and how he is the teacher. he invited us missionaries to write in " small plates" which were the writing of revelation from the prophets of the book of mormon, and not to write our notes in large plates which were just a recording of the people. he said to write what the sppirit tells you to write, not elder bednar. it was a different way of writing but it actually hel`ps you remember what you learned and also that you will always be able to use the notes that you took. the holy ghost tells us what we need to here.

i know it was short this week and i apologize for that. i will do better next week. but i invite all of you to pay more attention to the spirit than the teacher in a lesson. you will come to learn a whole lot more and meaningfully. i experienced these things this morning and it has changed the way i LISTEN.

With lots of love,

-Elder Sims
Wed, Feb 17, 2016

hola familia! como estan????

i hope everything is going great back at home! how was everyones valentines day? mine was cool because i wore a tie that has hearts on it. other than that it wasnt too exciting.

so right now in chile everyone is off to the beach for vacation so there is literally nobody out in the street! there isnt many peoplle home either! we are basically walking in the hot sun looking for new people to teach everyday.

 it is a little difficult to be honest. apparently this time of the year is one of the hardest in this mission. it is a great test, but also an opportunity to find new people and to get out of our comfort zone and do things youre not necessarily familiar with. i found some great people this week that we are excited to visit again. so thats good! but this time of the year is jsut very very hard.

i was reading a talk that president holland did about missionary work and the atonement. my favorite part was when he talked about how there will be hard times in the mission. times that we will suffer. you are a representative of christ, was it ever easy for him? no. why should the mission be easy for us, when it was NEVER easy for him? what we are doing doesnt even compare to what jesus did.

i chose to come on this mission to bring people to christ as a representative of him. i know that things will be hard, but i know that throughout all of this i can find joy.  not just me, the people i find as well.

With lots of love,

-Elder Sims

Wed, Feb 10, 2016

Hola Familia!

So a few days ago I completed 4 moths since being out on the mission, so thats exciting!   I also "killed" my Trainer, Elder Zapata!  He is home with his family in Antofagasta!  Killing on the mission really is hard cause it makes you miss your family so much...but hey, my time will come in 20 more months... yep.

Oh also I got a new companion!!!!  His name is Elder Curtis from California!  He is super tall and he has 5 months left in the mission.  He is a pretty chill guy.  Since he is new to the sector I have to lead it so thats actually a lot of fun choosing what we do.  Don't worry, we work hard.

So I have been through so much already in my mission and it is only the beginning!

This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life... learning a whole new language, adjusting and living in a different culture, being away from all my loved ones at home, always having a packed schedule, needing to wake up early, getting rejected by people, looking like a fool 24/7 because I have a hard time understanding and speaking the language with people, living with the same person for a long period of time, losing investigators, and soooo much more.  There are so many challenges in the mission. so many things that make you get out of your comfort zone, but I know that all these challenges and difficulties are gifts from my Heavenly Father.  They are gifts because he wants me to grow. to learn. and to become more like him.

I can testify that all obstacals in our lives are opportunities for us to grow.  If we ever fall, we will learn how to get back up.  The lord is our gardener, and he has a place for all of us in his garden.  He may choose to cut us down, so that we may grow into something much more marvelous.  We must realize that he has a plan and a place for all of us, and if we ever make a mistake, we can rely on the Atonement and repentance to change us in our hearts to become some much more than we were before.  That is part of our purpose here on earth, to grow, rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, to change through repentance, to become like our Father in Heaven. He loves all of us and wants us to grow and become like him.  Through the trials we face we will become stronger.

With lots of love,
-Elder Sims
Wed, Feb 3, 2016

hola hola familia!

so this week has been good! full of trails and obstacles but they are ionly opportunities to learn and grow so thats good!

so i completede week 11 in the field last week. week 11 is when your trainer acts as the "new missionary" and you are the "trainer" and wow it was something i was so nervouse for at the beggining in week 1 but it actually went very well. leading the sector is something i need to be used to doing because it is what ill be doing after my companion leaves.

oh yeah. im going to kill my companion in 4 days! it is crazy to think that i am almost done with my training. i am always singing god be with you til we meet again to him just to drive him nuts and it is fun. for me at least.

so this week i dont have to many experiences to talk about. atleast interesting ones. i had an experience with a dog that seemed to really really love my leg, if you know what i mean. it was gross.
id like to talk about being an example this week. i chose this topic because one of our less active members wont go to church because she wants to go with her family but her family does not want to attend. she told us that she cant tqlk with us anymore becasue she feels like she is a waste of time for us. my compainion went on expaining about salvation and the inportant role church and the sacrament has in it. many ohter things were said but she still said that she cant attend because her family wont. he is a mother and a grandma.

i told her that if she wants her family to join her in foing to church, it is all going to have to start with her example for them. i invited her to be an example for her husband and her kids. to encourage them to go to churvh and feel the great joy we revieve when we recive the blessing from our actions.
we can apply this to our family and friends at home. we all need to be examples for those who need us.

short but its all i got for this week.

With lots of love,

-Elder Sims
 Wed, Jan 27, 2016

hola familia!

this week was just fantastic! full of some great and interesting experiences as always!

i will first start off with an experianve i had with one of our le active members named nora. We were teachingher about the holy ghost and the sacrament. it was a great lesson! at the end we invited her to join us in going to church this sunday, her answer was "i cant promise anything, but ill try" we then explained to her that the lord will bless her so much if she makes the commitment to go to church, and then we aked her again.... the answer was the same "i cant promise anything but ill try." we had tried eveything we could to get her to commit to going to churcvh this sunday but her answer did not change. i then recieved an impression that i believe was from the spirit to ask her thi specific question, which was, "hermana nora, do you know who yoda is?" i then explained that he was a man of great wisdom, and that another man had told him that he would TRY to complete a task..... yoda then replied "hacer, o no hacer, no hay intentar."(do or do not, there i no try).

my companion had been looking at me with the look that he wants to kill me while i said this. but then after i had said these things to nora she began to ponder, and then she suddenly said, " i WILL join you guys in going to church this sunday." the force (spirit) was strong in this moment. we ended with a prayer and departed. myu companion then looked at me and said that he was amazed that turned out the way it did. WOOHOO!

now for the interesting experience of the week. i call it super pollo(super chicen).

so here in chile there apparently is a chemical in the chicken that bnasically speeds up the hormones in people. dont know if that made sense but basically women here look 5 years older than they really are. so one night we were contacting people and we come acrossed this young woman and we began to talk with her. she seemed like she was about 23 years old. we were talking with her and i asked her about her family and she said that she has two brothers that are 6 and 9 and that they are crazy. i then said yeah i have two younger iblings that are 15 asnd 13 and they are still crazy. she then said to me " i am 13 years old." and she walked away all mad......... i was in one of the biggest shocks of my life! a girl that i thought was 23 was 10 years younger than i expected. missionaries call those super pollo experiences.

never judge a book by its cover.

this pic is me eating a giant completo. the first half wa good. the econd was a fight. but what a great experience right?

With lots of love,

-Elder Sims
Wed, Jan 20, 2016

Hola Familia!

Como estan? Espero que estan super bien!

The Spanish is getting better every day and I get so excited when I speak so fast that I stumble and look stupid, but hey, that's the fun in learning, right?

So this week was great  I had some good success with our investigators and less active members.  Our attendance in church is increasing even though people are leaving for vacations right now because it is summer!  By the way, this sun is insanely strong and I think it'll kill me before my two years are up.  I think winter sounds a little nice at the moment.

So this week we met a new woman who is now an investigator of ours named Liliana.  She has the two cutest daughters named Liliana and Teresa.   Liliana is 7 and Teresa is 5.  They were the two shyest girls I have ever met, but now they are off the walls energy.   The complete oposite from before!  They are so much fun and I love them to death!  I have already developed a special relationship with them.  While my companion talks to their mom I just play with the girls and it is a blast!  I don't think he likes it.... BUT I DO!!!!!!

So a few days ago there was a fire in Santiago and it was in a dump or something that had piles of garbage.  That put toxic smoke in the air and it was super gross.  We had to stay inside for more than half the day and after it cleared up a bit we had the choice to go outside if we wore masks.  My companion, being the hardest working missionary on the planet, decided we would go outside.  So I have a picture of us with masks looking so freaking cool!   I felt extremely sick at the end of the day because those masks dont do anything, but I'm good now!

So other than that my week was and more work.  Sharing the gospel is great!

With lots of love,
-Elder Sims
Wed, Jan 13, 2016

Hola Familia!

So last night I realized that today is day 99 since I left home!  Tomorrow is day 100!  That's almost 1/7 of my mission already!  Time is going too fast! Aaahhh!

So this week has been a decent week.  Not too much happened other than working hard and teaching people. Family Home Evening was great though!  My companion and I taught about agency and it was great!  We had a couple investigators and less-actives there too so it was perfect!  Another cool fact about that lesson on agency was that I had a pretty sweet gift of tongues moment!  I was going off speaking Spanish in Chilean speed!  It was so cool!  I barely remember what I even said....I just remember thinking about what I wanted to say in English and then when I opened my mouth it all came out in almost perfect Spanish!

The Lord gives us agancy as a gift, one of his greatest.  He wants us to use our agency for good purposes lke exercising our faith by going to church and reading scriptures and praying often.   Also to serve one another and be kind.  We must have the desire to do these things.

So on Friday I went to a different Sector with Elder Sosa who is in my District.  We taught a less active member and he pulled out an amazing scripture that made me think about my prayers and family.  It is a very simple scripture, but it has a lot of meaning to it...3 nephi 18: 20-21.  It talks about always praying for our families and that whatever thing we ask for in faith shall be given unto us.

I have a testimony of faith and that through faith anything is possible.  Faith is the first and most important principle of the gospel that we must always exercise.

Sorry this week's email is as short as it is.  I'll do better next week.

Shout out to Lindsey!   I just got your Christmas card on Monday and I loved it to death!  Thanks for making me homesick!  Love ya!

I hope everyone's week goes well and remember to remember that God is always watching over you.


With lots of love,
-Elder Sims

Wed, Jan 6, 2016

Yep that's right!  I have already been away from home for 3 months now!  The first little bit was slow but the rest has been zipping through!
I have been in the field for a month and a half already too!  My trainer goes home on the 8th of February and then I'm on my own in this sector!  I still have so much Spanish to learn!  But the Spanish is getting better little by little everyday.

So the mission is definitely full of challenges.... physical and mental.  You come across one of these challenges every day... one of those challenges that I feel I have faced a little too often is.... finding hair in my food.  Why is this a challenge?  Because you have to eat ALL the food that is provided for you or you'll be hated by people.  This happens at least once everyday, but its lots of fun I guess.  What else can I do right?

So this week I went on divisions with Elder Bushman here in my sector and we had to prepare a lesson for a family home evening with my bishop that we invited some less active members to.   I prepared a lesson based on President Uchdorf's message from the October edition of the Liahona titled, "finish with your torch still lit."  I encourage you all to read about it for this to make sense.  This message talks about one of the 5 gospel principles we must follow, "Endure to the End".

What is "Endure to the End"?  Well the five principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are:  1. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,  2. Repentance, 3. Baptism by someone who holds the power and authority of God, 4. Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, 5. Endure to the End.

Endure to the End is simple.  There are many things that can go in to this subject.  Endure to the end simply means to always build faith in Jesus Christ, repent daily, take the Sacrament (to renew our Baptismal Covenants) so that we may always have His spirit to be with us (as said in the end of the Sacrament prayers).  These are the keys to receiving God's greatest gifts and blessings.  There are of course other things that are important like having a family and getting sealed in the temple.

I know that if we continually have the Spirit with us we can obtain God's gift of salvation and eternal life if we constantly exercise our faith and always repent for ALL of our sins correctly.  Also by always renewing our Baptismal Coventants every week by taking the Sacrament so that we can receive the Spirit and have it with us at all times.

I know that the flame of the torch is Christ and that if we continually endure to the end there will always be His light and spirit with us.
It is a new year which means we all have goals for this upcoming year.  I'd like to challenge everyone to take the time to ponder and create 3 spiritual goals you can work on this year.

I love this work and I am learning so much everyday.  I'm glad to be here working my butt off everyday for the next 21 months.
I love you all and have a great week!

With lots of love,
-Elder Sims

Fri, Jan 1, 2016

hola familia!

sorry it has been so long since the last time i have written. since there was christmas and new years our pdays were switched up. but from now on ill be emailing evey wednesday like normal.

so christmas was awesome! i got some good gifts from home! i got a photo album that was awesome. there were pictures from my farewell on there and it made me miss everyone so much!

i also got some new scriptures that had some of your favorite sciprtures in there! i love going through some of them! if you didnt send your favortie scripture to my mom then please send them to me so i can mark them. i love thinking about the person while reading the scripture and it makes it more meaningful to me.

so on christmas i got to play basketball for the first time in almost 3 months. lets just say that the food here makes it harder for you to jump! but it was so much fun to play again! i got to play today as well and it was much better!

skyping home was great! i got to see my family ofcourse and my little niece malia, who couldnt even say my name before i left, said a prayer and the first thing she says is " please bless collin, then her family after" it was so cute! i miss that little cutie! i can testify that one hour on skype is definitly not enough! it felt like a 5 minute conversation. it was amazing though!

so my fijji people know abouit this scripture but i came acrossed it the ohter day in a zone meeting. DC: 58: 27-29. it talks about acting on our free will to do righteous things. and that we are "agents" amongst ourselves. in fiji we talked about being "agents" and "objects". an agent will work hard and always search for something to do that will improve something while an object just sits there until being told what to do. obviously being an agent is better because on the mission you can either sit there and just wait until you are told to do something or you can get up and get to work and search for work if there is nothing to do.

the lord gave all of us the gift of agency so that we may be agents and choose to do righto¿eous things with that agency we have been given. we can all be agents. i love you all and have a great week!

With lots of love,

-Elder Sims
Wed, Dec 16, 2015

Hola Familia!

Este es mi ultima correo hasta Navidad.

How are things going at home?  How are all friends and family doing?  I'd love to hear from you!

Things here have been getting better and I keep having interesting experiences, but awesome ones too! First of all, if any of you have pics with me in them (with you of course) would you please email them to me so that I can always look at them. I miss everyone like crazy!

So this week was great!  I received my first letters (in the mail) from home and it was from my Aunt Rachel and her 4 kids.  I loved all of them.  I think the letter was sent on November 9th and I just got it on Monday, so it takes a while for things to get here I guess.

I had an interesting experience with a Chilean woman this week that was pretty funny.   So one of the wards in my zone was having an open house in the chapel where all were invited to come in and learn about Christ and family.  Us missionaries had to go outside and contact people and invite them to come in and check it out.  My companion and I were talking to this woman and telling her about the message and event that was going on in the chapel.  My companion was going on for a while just talking about it and he looks at me for my turn to start talking about it and the first thing I say is "es bonita" tryng to say that it is pretty.  After I said that the lady giggles and says "gracias!"...... I was very confused as to why this woman was saying thank you.  After we were done talking to her my companion bursts out laughing and I wasnt sure why.  He then proceeds to tell me that I told that woman the SHE is pretty.  I was confused how.  He then explained that it was because I said "bonitA" instead of "bonitO"...... I guess its a good thing that girl actually was pretty... haha  I'mm only joking a little bit.  So yeah, that was an amazing experience!

Yesterday we had divisiones and Elder Ricks and I were put together.  I'll have you know that Elder Ricks and I have been on the mission the same amount of time.   Soooooo..... we are both brand spankin new and we were put together to go teach people.  We were unsure about how our success would be.  Turns out that... WE KILLED IT!   It was one of the most amazing days I've had here on the mission and he felt the same too.  We did awesome in all of our lessons, speaking good enough spanish for people to understand and understanding the people!   We taught a dude from Haiti who speaks horrible Spanish but it was a great lesson for him.  Our last lesson of the night was a dude who was not even a member and his wife is a less active.  He came up to us and asked us for a blessing... this was our first time giving a blessing in Spanish!  It went great though and he invited us to teach him and we taught about family and the Restoration.  It was a great experience.  After the day was over we both talked about how that was our favorite day on the mission so far because we taught with love and confidentce.  We taught PEOPLE, not LESSONS.  We were FRIENDS to the people we taught.

It is our job as missionaries to teach PEOPLE not LESSONS.  The Holy Ghost is the one that teaches the lesson.  We are here to show our love for the people and invite them to listen and feel the Holy Ghost in their lives.  Our Spanish may not have been perfect and at times may not have made sense, but I KNOW that the Holy Ghost helped the people HEAR what we DID NOT SAY.  On the mission you have two Elder and the Holy Ghost.

I hope things are going great for all at home and I will see you all on Christmas!

ChauPo!!!! (bye po)

With lots of love,
-Elder Sims

Pictures:  Shopping at Pomaire! Clay Place
Wed, Dec 9, 2015

Hola Familia!

This is my 2 month email!  22 more to go... well I'm sure it'll go by fast, so I best be enjoying it! The Spanish is still awful but it is improving every day.  I can talk to people over the phone sometimes.  I'm such a big boy!!!

So I have a few stories to tell from this week and I think they are a little interesting.

Last week we visited two women for a lesson.  We were starting things off great with them because they seemed interested from the start.  I forgot to mention that they both had kids…little kids. So as we were teaching them their babies started crying because they were hungry.  Acting completely natural, one of the ladies just flings out a boob and starts feeding right in front of our faces... AHHHH!!!!! What the crap just happened? I then continued on with the lesson looking at the other woman and then her kid starts crying, so what does she do?.... WHOOSH! THE SAME THING......AHHH!!!!! What do I do? Where do I look? It was very interesting.... apparently it’s completely normal to do that here so I guess it’s cool. I’m not used to that though so I was caught a little off guard. It was a good lesson but I was uncomfortable for a bit.

Today my companion and I went and ate some ass! It was so delicious! I sent some pics to my mommy and I hope she likes them. I want to eat ass every week now! Ass is like a completo except with meat instead of a hotdog. Very good! I hope this didn’t throw anyone off guard... lots of fun here in Chile!!!!

Now for something more spiritual...We taught a new lady named Marcia and talked to her about the family. My companion was sitting there talking to her for a while and I was so lost in the conversation because I couldn’t understand it that well. It was extremely frustrating and I just wanted to understand. Then out of nowhere my companion and the lady look at me and I just out of nowhere start going off speaking like a Chilean about family and how family is center in God’s plan. I went on for a good while and it just felt powerful. She understood all of it and was very impressed. We are going to visit her again this week. After that lesson my companion was like, "Where did all of that come from?" I was like, "I don’t know…I don’t even speak Spanish. I just thought about what I was going to say in English and then it all came out in Spanish. My companion was very impressed. I was very surprised and shocked that happened! Gift of tongues is true!

Also yesterday we passed by a house and the person who answered the door was Canadian and had a hard time with Spanish so I talked to her in English and the conversation went on for over an hour. I can’t wait to be able to talk to people meaningfully like that in Spanish! It’ll come. I just need to be very patient.

So that’s pretty much it for this week. It has been a very hard week for me. This mission is so hard. This is definitely something I’m not used to, but I know that if I have perseverance and faith and continue to work hard I’ll be blessed. Other families will be too. I know that there are people out there that need me and my job is to find them and give them the opportunity to receive the most priceless blessings that I have been blessed with in my life.

"This work is exhausting, but it is also ENERGIZING" – Elder Bednar.

I wish the best for all at home and thank you all for the support because I really need it. It really means a lot. I know this gospel is true and I know that it is the answer to all things. Have a good week!

With lots of love,

-Elder Sims
Wed, Dec 2, 2015

Hola Familia!

So there is no such thing as Thanksgiving here so we didn't have anything special go on.  That was only a little disappointing but its all good!  I hope all of your Thanksgiving was great!

This was a crazy but good week!  I'll start off with one of the most awkward experiences I've had.
So we have been teaching this hobo named Esteban and we taught him about repentance and the importance of change.  To make the long story short, after our lesson was over and we were saying goodbye, he gave me a kiss on the cheek...... what the????

So i felt pretty gross afterwards and as we were walking to our next appointment we were stopped by 3 more hobos who wanted to know what we were doing.  As we explained who we were, it turned into a lesson about faith and it went great.  As we were saying good bye one of the hobos kissed my companion (I was on a split with Elder Harrison) and I thought it was funny until Elder Harrison told the hobos that I wanted a kiss too and I couldn't understand the Spanish so the same guy kissed me on the cheek and then right after that his buddy decided to give me one as well.... SON OF A!!!!!  It was awful but we taught some delicious doctrine so that's good.

So as you know I have been having a hard time here.  This mission is so difficult.  It got so difficult to the point that i was almost ready to give up.  I had no confidence. I thought that I couldn't help anyone because i cant even speak their language.  I pretty much felt worthless.  I felt this way all the way up until we had a lesson with twin sisters named Hilda and Lucia.  We taught them both about the restoration and I participated more than usual.  I then gave them the invitation to be baptized... and they accepted!  We are preparing them to be baptized on the 19th of this month!!!  I am so excited for them!

The next day we had a lesson with a married couple named Rafael and Rosemary and did the same lesson but different in a way.  After the lesson my companion asked if they would prepare to be baptized and they also accepted.  Then the next day we had a lesson with one of my contacts named Ingrid.  We went to a members house and oh my that had to have been my favorite lesson so far!  We taught about the restoration and gave her a different invitation.  We invited her to pray about being baptized in January and she accepted.  Things are going great for our investigators!

It is amazing how things work out.  Right when I thought I couldn't do anything, I then realized that I can do so many things!  It is such a blessing to be here giving others the opportunity to receive the amazing blessings i have received in my life.

Yesterday my companion and I went on divisions with ward members.  Me and a ward member went to go teach someone while my companion and another ward member went to go teach someone else.  It was great!  I was with a man named Frelyn and he is a returned missionary and a stud.  The lady we taught was a less active member and the original plan for what we should teach her was supposed to be the First Presidency Message by President Uchdorf in the November edition of the Liahona.  When we got to the lady's house I realized that I grabbed the December edition of the Liahona.... crap!  What do I do now?  I then decided to go to the First Presidency Message of that magazine and it was by President Monson.  It was titled "Making Time for the Savior".  It was perfect!  It talks about how this Christmas season we should focus more on bringing the spirit of the Savior into our homes.  We need to do our best to ignore the other things that compete for our attention and think more of our Savior.

I then asked the woman if she would attend church this week and she said no because she is always busy and doesn't have time.  I then told her that the Lord will bless her for her efforts.  I then asked her if she would make an effort to make time for her Savior and attend church this week.  She then paused, thought for a bit, and then nodded her head and said "yes".

I want to invite everyone to make an effort to improve yourselves this Christmas season.  This season is about the Lord our Savior, Jesus Christ.  The Lord WILL bless us for our efforts.

I love you all and have an amazing week!  

With lots of love,

-Elder Sims

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Wed, Nov 25, 2015

Hola Familia! Como taipo!?

I must say that this week was one of the hardest weeks of my life.  This is so hard but oh my the little things that make it better are so worth it.

So i found out that my companion is a District Leader, a trainer for me, and we are in a "white wash" area... ahhhhh!!!!!  Busy busy busy all the time.  How did everyone's week go?  Is Thanksgiving tomorrow?  Oh wait, there isn't such thing here in Chile so what am i worrying about?

The start of this week all the way up to Monday was extremely stressful and difficult.  I can't understand anybody!  All I want to do is talk to people but I don't know enough Spanish to understand what they say.  It'll come and I feel it improving everyday, but it is coming slowly.  Missionaries tell me that it takes them 6 months to start to get comfortable with the language... well this is going to be a true test of patience!

We have been doing a lot of contacting and visiting past contacts...I had an interesting one this week.  We went to a house of one of our past contacts and her mother answered the door and was talking to us for a while.  The other daughter and two friends game out and then all four of them were apparently saying some pretty inappropriate things about me in a flirting way, says my companion.  I had no idea what they were saying so i just kept that was awkward to find out afterward.  We decided that it wouldn't be a good idea to visit that house ever again! ha ha.

I have now gotten to the point where I am actually talking a little bit to people instead of my companion doing all the talking.  When I don't understand something my companion will jump in.  It is fun when I am able to go on for a while.  Please pray for me to receive the gift of tongues 'cause I want to be able to help people!

Sunday I got to meet my ward and it was great!  I went up to bear my testimony and talked about Ether 12:27 and how right now my Spanish is a weakness but I know that if I humble myself and have faith in the Lord, he will make my weaknesses become strengths.

Tuesday morning we went and did service for a less active member and it was great!  I immediately put in my mind that it was "Fiji Time!"  I worked hard and it felt great!

Its crazy to think that i get to Skype home in exactly one month!  Time better fly!

My parents are going to send me scriptures and I thought it would be cool for whoever wanted to mark their favorite scripture in there so I could read it.  I at least want my family to do that but if others can do it too that would be great!

Lots of hard rewarding work is coming up this week.  I'm excited to learn and grow and help find the lost sheep!

Have a great week!

With lots of love,
-Elder Sims​​​​​
Wed, Nov 18, 2015

hola familia!

today is my second day in the firld and it is super hard! i dont understand a word that is being said. it has been fun though.

saying goodbye to the pèole in the ccm. we sang till we meet again on the last night. super sad and i might of cried a little bit.

so i had tons of pictures to send this week but these computers are different than the ones at the ccm so i wasnt able to do it. ah! ill do my best to figure it out.

so my mission president is awesome by the way. he gave me one of his best missionaries to be my trainer. his name is elder zapata from chile! i waas the only one from the new guys to get a latino trainer. woohoo! he has 3 months left so im his last compànion. ive heard great things about him so i think my spanish will come along quickly.

i love you ll so much and i ran out of time because ive been trying to fugure out all this new stuff. ah! its been a stressful couple of days. alwasy busy busy busy. send pics of the family please and i love you!

With lots of love,

-Elder Sims
Tue, Nov 10, 2015

hola familia!

today is my last time emailing home while im in the ccm. i leave tuesday morning and boy im excited! my spanish sucks but itll come by. this week has been a little more stressful than the last due to spanish but it was still great.

this entire week i prayed everynight for jake´s and caydee´s families. i hope they are doing better. so my companion got sick during the week with a cold and the dude doesnt know what personal boundries are so without surprise, i got sick too. i might be a little upset about it.... just might.

so we got some new teachers this week which means new investigators. we have 3 new investigators and we committed two of them to baptism. so thats cool. i hope that water leakage is good now. doesnt really seem like fun.

i cant believe its going to be malias birthday tomorrow! those two years went by way fast! little cutie. i think i have about 6 more pdays until its christmas. i feel like thatll come by really fast! im happy for ashty starting his job as well.  this week has been great and i miss home of course. i am loving it here and cant wait to get out in the field in a week from now. nos vemos!

With lots of love,

`-Elder Sims

Tue, Nov 3, 2015

Hola familia!

This week has been amazing! I love it here in the CCM. Ill first start off by saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY FATHER!!!!! My old studly fart is 50 today! Atta boy! I'm guessing Las Glorias will be apart of his special day.

So this week has been full of amazing accomplishments. everyone of my investigators i had except for one committed to baptism! it is such a great feeling to see your investigators progress. with one of our investigoaters we talked about faith and how it is dead without works. i used an anology with a row boat. in order to progress forward you need both need two ores. one ore is "faith" and the other ore is "works." if you are in a row boat and you use only one ore, you will stay in place spinning around in a circle, going absolutly nowhere. you need to use both ores to advance. if we only have faith and dont work upon it then our faith is dead. in order to have true faith and to advance in gods eyes we must excercise it and work upon it.

it was really hard to here about haydens friend this week. it was also really hard to here about my cousin who took his life. there will be times where we are lost and feel that this life doesnt matter. but i know that god sent all of us here for a reason. this life matters and we must press forward through all the dificult times. if man comes unto got he will give unto him a weekness. he gives unto man a weekness that he may be humble because his grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before him. cause if man humbles himself before god and has faith in him, god shall make mans weeknesses become strengths. (ether 12:27)

my spanish isnt perfect and there are times were i get frustrated because i dont get it. but i have faith that god will help me through it if i work for it. i am working hard every day to improve and i know that ill be blessed for it. you are all in my prayers and i love you so much. please pray for me to receive the gift of tongues so that i may be able to bring heavenly fathers children into him.
i have two weeks left and i am pumped! i love you all!
With lots of love,
-Elder Sims

Tue, Oct 25, 2015

Hola Familia!

This week was amazing!  I feel like I emailed you guys only a couple of days ago.  It has gone by so fast!

I got my first Chilean haircut today and its awful!  But it was all okay after I got my first set of Completos.  YUMMY!!!

So my companion's ankle was getting worse (earlier on in the week) and i was worried for him.  I asked if he would want me to give him a blessing and he said yes.  I ran over and got my old roommates and I taught them all how to administer a blessing.  It was really cool!  I did the blessing and within a couple days his ankle was better.

I know that my email isn't long this week but that's because I have a lot of pics to send!  Love you!

With lots of love,
-Elder Sims

Mom's note:  The picture below is of Collin with one of his best friends, Jaydon Goodrich.  Jaydon is serving in the Santiago West Mission, where the CCM (MTC) is located.  Elder Goodrich stopped by the CCM to say hi to Collin and to pick up some items that his parents had sent with Collin.  Collin wrote in his journal how excited he was about Jaydon's visit and how amazing it was to see one of his best friends as a full-time missionary!

Tue, Oct 20, 2015 

Hola Familia!

So…my P-days are on Tuesdays now so make sure you email me before then!  I’d just email me on Sundays so just in case I get it switched again I’ll still be able to receive it.

This week has gone by much better than my first!  I’m actually loving it here and time is flying by.  My Spanish is coming in better than before but I still have a long ways to go!   The language is difficult, but I know that the Lord is helping me through all of it.  It has at least messed up my spelling so that’s good!  When I pray I’m thinking in both Spanish and English.

So with our investigator practices my companion and I managed to get a Book of Mormon out to all three of our investigators and commit one to being baptized.  We seem to be doing alright.  It is so hard to teach in Spanish because I can’t say what I’m truly feeling yet. It’ll come by though,  I just need to be patient.  My time here has been a huge test of patience.  I wish I could have given my talk on patience now that I know so much about it!

A few days ago I got a surprise visit from Elder Goodrich!  It was so sweet to see him!  He is doing great and looking great and he is loving every minute of it.  We got a picture together, but not on my camera so he is going to send it to me sometime and I’ll forward it to you once I get it.

My companion screwed up his ankle jumping down the stairs too... seriously dude?  He’s an interesting fella but I love him!  My favorite thing about him is that he tries to sneak out silent farts and hopes they don’t smell.... it doesn’t work out.  Let’s just say I hold my breath a lot during class.

The mission is great and I just can’t wait to get out in the field.  I can’t wait to get this dang language down!  I love you guys and I hope you have a great week!  I’ll send some pics!

With lots of love,

-Elder Sims

P.S.    Those pictures you sent made me cry.  I miss you like crazy and homesickness has been kicking in like crazy!   I have to go now but I can’t wait to talk to you next week.  Derick Norton told me that Rylee is in his ward so that’s great for him!   I love you so much!

Wed, Oct 14, 2015

Hola Familia! 

Well its only been a week but it feels like its been a month! The beginning was extremely hard but now I am loving it here! I miss you guys like crazy and I truly mean it when i say it. I got home sick after the first day, but now I'm good. I don't miss you guys anymore. I'm kidding I really do. 

The beginning was probably one of the hardest times of my life. I had the hardest time learning the language and I was getting way down on myself, but then I realized that the Lord is helping me through it and He will bless me if I trust in Him. When Sunday came along, we had fast Sunday so everyone had a chance to go up and bear a testimony. I was about to but then time ran out. Anyway, when people went up to bear their testimony in spanish, I was able to understand what was being said. It was freaking sweet! We had classes about the miracles of Christ and the history of our prophet Thomas S Monson. Look up how he gave his first priesthood blessing when he was in the navy. It is very similar to my first priesthood blessing! Sunday was the day that i finally started enjoying my time here because that was when i realized that the spirit is always with me, If you do the things I'm supposed to.
the CCM is great! The food is amazing, the teachers are studs, My companion is an odd duck but he is a good guy, and we get to leave the campus on p-days! Oh, and during our morning exercise, we go to a park that's nearby that has basketball courts, and i got my first dunk on an international hoop! So make sure Josh gets that part of the message.

Yesterday we went to the temple and did a session and I must say it was one of the most spiritual feelings I've ever had. The sealing rooms are the prettiest I've ever seen. I pondered and prayed in the celestial room for over 30 minutes or so. It was just so amazing!
So we are only allowed to take pictures on p-days and our p-day is after email so I don't have any for you this week but i will try my best to get some for next week!

I love you guys more than anything and i miss you more than you could imagine. I pray everyday that you guys will all be safe and successful. Thank you for your support and love that you have shown me throughout my life. I know that what I am doing is the right thing. 

-Elder Sims

ps. Please forward this to our family and Gma & Gpa. I'm about out of time so its hard to reply to everyone. hence the awful grammar. I love you and can't wait to hear about this upcoming week!
Wed, Oct 7, 2015

Well I made it to the CCM safe and sound! Drivers here are crazy! So far its been a long day due to not being able to sleep on the plane. It's actually been a lot of fun so far! We are about to start our training in a little bit and we were supposed to keep this message short, but I promise next weeks will be longer! I love you guys and I hope things are going great at home. 


Elder Sims