Contact Information


Email: parker.spanbauer@myldsmail.net


Letter Mailing Address:
Elder Parker Spanbauer
Chile Antofagasta Mission
Casilla de Correo 70
Antofagasta
Chile

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Week 42 Antofagasta


Dec 25, 2015

Today our family got to Skype Elder Parker Spanbauer for Christmas for about 1 hour. It was great seeing his smile and hearing his laugh again. He looked great and said he loves the mission and Chile. He is working in the office with 7 other missionaries and said it’s hard work and long days with a little stress, but it also has its perks. He gets to travel with the mission president around the whole mission and will soon be driving the mission vehicle. He said his apartment is great with a view of the ocean. He lives with 7 other office missionaries including the assistants to the president. He has added many foods to his diet including lamb, heart, and stomach. He is still not a fan of mayo, but he is eating potatoes now! (It’s about time for an Idaho boy!!!) We loved seeing him and are very proud of what he is doing. His testimony has grown and his love for the gospel has never been stronger. He loves the people that he is serving and county of Chile where the Lord has asked him to labor. He said that his Spanish is pretty good now and that he understands about everything. He also asked that we wish everyone a Merry Christmas for him. It was definitely one of the highlights of our family’s Christmas this year!

Dec 26, 2015 (Email from Elder Spanbauer)

So I just skyped you all yesterday so I really don’t have much more to report. Instead, here are a few pictures of when we went to conferences in the north. Here are some pictures of Javier and me. (The one that was just baptized).

Skype Call with Elder Parker Spanbauer and Family on Christmas Day 2015


 Surprise visit to see Javier during northern conference




Weird statues in the middle of the desert. The office crew baby hahaha


Ancient Shoe from 1890. Found it on a battleground


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Week 41 Antofagasta


Dec 19, 2015

So where do I start? Baptism!!! So as many of you know there was a young man in my previous sector named Javier. When I arrived to Arica this kid didn't want anything from us. He would go into the other room when we would come over to teach his cousins that were recently baptized. We began to show interest in teaching him and before we knew it, he was our best friend. Javier is a very special kid. He is very intelligent and understands the gospel really well. We taught him for several weeks and expressed several times to us that he wanted to get baptized. He even talked about wanting to serve a mission. Elder Francis and I had set a baptismal date for the 26 of December and he said "Is there any way that I can get baptized before that?" This just showed us how dedicated he really was. I had made a promise to Javier saying that I would baptize him but a few weeks ago I received a special transfer to work in the mission office. I was shocked.... and a little sad but I told President Dalton that if that is where the lord needs me, I will go. Javier was devastated but he understood that I had to go. Last week I called Elder Francis and he told me that Javier had a new baptismal date set for the 18th of December. This was music to my ears. I have learned a very valuable lesson in the mission. It does not matter who performs the baptisms. What’s important is that they get to that point. That they develop their own testimony and get baptized because they want to and know its right. We as missionaries tend to think we are failures if we don’t have many baptisms. That is not at all the case. As long as we are obedient, we will have success. If we invite, we will have success. I am proud to announce that Javier was baptized yesterday and I am proud to have helped him in this life changing experience whether I was there to see it or not. I seriously love the mission and I love everyone one that has helped me get to this point in my life. I know this is where the lord wants me and I can honestly say there is no other place in the world I would rather be. Thank you all. Here are the photos from Javiers baptism!


On another note, this week I had the opportunity to go to the zone conferences in Vallenar where I started the mission! Nothing has really changed there but it was cool to see it again. I didn't have the chance to see anyone that I knew but maybe next time. We also went to the zone conference in Copiapó. It was really fun. We prepare the lunches for all the missionaries. We had Christmas Tacos! Here are some pics.



Christmas Card fro the Office hahahaha









Javiers Baptism!


Elder Frances and Javier


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Week 40 Antofagasta




Dec 12, 2015

So this week was pretty good. We had our Christmas Zone Conference with President Dalton and Hermana Dalton. It was my first one of the mission! It was really cool because our zone here in Antofagasta is HUGE! There was like 50 people at least. President talked about several things but I thought I would share something that I liked that he shared. So as you guys know, when Elder Cook came to visit our mission, the elders from Arica had several problems with the bus. President basically told us that story from his point of view. He said that he had been stressing about that conference for months because he was thinking of how hard it would be to get all of the missionaries in the mission to Antofagasta without any problems. He said that he talked to all of the Zone leaders in the mission and told them to call him when their zones had boarded the buses so that he could know where everyone is at. He said he received calls from everyone except Arica. He got a call late that night before saying that Arica had just boarded their bus. President felt like he could finally sleep knowing that everyone was on their way. Then, about 1 and a half hours later he received another call from Arica saying the bus broke down. His worst nightmare he said. He said he could have thought about the situation in two different ways. One being that about 90% of the mission is going to be able to see Elder Cook and that things were okay or how are we going to get them here as fast as possible so no one loses this opportunity. President says he prayed so much that night in order to find a solution. He then related this all to the lord. He said that in that moment, he felt a portion of what the lord feels for us. His everlasting love for us. He didn't feel satisfied that 90% of the mission was going to see Elder Cook.... He wanted all of us. Just like the lord doesn't want to save just some of us, HE WANTS US ALL. After a series of events, the group from Arica was able to make it to the conference but only some of them. 12 were left behind. He said that he felt so terrible for them. There would be twelve missionaries that would not see the conference. It then got me thinking that these 12 missionaries represent the percentage of people that will not be saved. It’s tragic... The reason we do this work is to bring our brothers and sisters unto the knowledge of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ. We fight to bring that percentage down of ones who will be lost. To me this thought president shared was powerful because not only does it apply directly to the work.. But I was part of the Arica group. I almost did not make it. That’s why it impacted me a lot. After the conference we all exchanged gifts which was fun. Also, we were talking to a lady yesterday and right behind us... like right behind us.... a car smashed into a dog going like 45 mile and hour and sent the dog flying down the road like 40 yards... and we also say a guy laying in the street with blood all over his face. There was a ton of people surrounding him so we think he could have been dead... I was a crazy day. Welcome to Antofagasta!

Love you all take care!

Elder Spanbauer


Mission Office


My Companion Elder Hortua from Colombia

My other Companion Elder Maki from Wisconsin

Elder Morales Funny Chilean

Assistant to the President (Elder Ortega)

Other Assistant to President (Elder Hart)

 

  video






Saturday, December 5, 2015

Week 39 Antofagasta


Dec 5, 2015

So this week has been kind of crazy..... I had about one day to say goodbye to as many people as I could before I left to the mission office. I said goodbye to all of our investigators and only was able to say goodbye to a few members. It was sad because we had a few people that were going to get baptized this month but I wont be there to see it. I was really nervous to go the office because I thought it would be really serious and maybe even a little boring but so far I love it! The Elders here are incredible! They are so freaking funny haha. I love Elder Morales. He kinda reminds me of like David Archuletta or something haha. I have two companions because I’m getting trained by Elder Maki and Elder Morales is being trained by Elder Hortua. There are seven of us in the pension (house)!!! It’s a party! I love living with the Assistants and the other office elders. Especially because we live in a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom Hotel room! It’s the best missionary house in the mission! Our view is amazing. I have about 2 weeks to learn how to be the Historiador and Comisario and normally a missionary has 6 weeks of training. I basically have to buy all of the bus tickets for every missionary every time we have transfers and I also have to help construct the mission newsletter that comes out every month. I have a ton of responsibilities but I really don't want to list them all down and I'm sure there is even more things I have to do that I still don't know about. So it looks like I will be driving the mission vehicle here pretty soon because no one here knows how to drive manual haha. I will have the opportunity to travel with president when he visits all of the cities of the mission. I am excited and a little nervous but I think I’m going to learn soooo much. That is the update for now, just so everyone knows, my Pday is Saturday now because it’s different for the Elders in the office. Here are some photos! Love you all and wish me luck!

I honestly don’t know all of my responsibilities yet. I know that I will be doing two jobs now though because before there was a Historiador and a Comisario but now they are just combining the two and it will basically be me. I kind of feel unqualified but I think I can do it. It is a lot of computer work and I have to print off a ton of stuff for the incoming missionaries as well as the missionaries leaving the mission. I have to organize lunch for all the missionaries when we have zone conferences with president and I will be traveling a lot with president. I will be driving the mission truck soon! I think so anyway. I have to do so much crap haha but I’m ready to get started. It kind of feels like a job and then we leave to work in our sectors at 5 everyday instead of 4 like before. It’s really cool though. I think I will love it but I also think it will be stressful. Anyway, that’s about it. I will have to include more details next week. Love you! 

Oh and yes, I received the two packages. I haven’t opened them yet because I want to do it at Christmas. They are Huge! haha You guys seriously spoil me haha. Now that I’m in the office, I will get packages sooner. I don’t know if I mentioned it in my letter but there is 7 of us living together including the president’s assistants. It is so cool and I don’t think it’s a temporary thing because the elder that left isn’t coming back. He has to get surgery and only had 3 months left in the mission anyway. 

Elder Spanbauer

Familia Julca (Investigator Family)

Familia Tabilo (Awesome Member Family)

Mamita! and Papito!

On the left is Fernando and to the right is Javier (investigator)

Fernando

Javier

My district and Zone Leaders de Arica

Future Missionaries

Our new Pension!



Our Balcony View!

Our Balcony View!

Our Balcony View!

Not sure what they are doing.... hahahaha

Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 38 Arica


Nov 30, 2015

So this week has been a good week. We found several future investigators that truly can progress! We started teaching Giovani (the son in law to Alfredo Julca) and he is awesome! He is extremely receptive and he came to church! It was awesome! At church this week we had 7 investigators and a total of 92 people come! Normally we have like 70. It was a very successful week. We have a few baptismal dates set with some of our investigators the day after Christmas. The only bad news is that I wont be there to see them get baptized. That’s right, I received a special transfer from president. I’m going to work in the office in Antofagasta. He actually called this morning and I’m still kind of in shock. I’m really sad because I made a promise to one of our investigators that I would baptize him before I left Arica. This is going to be hard to tell him. His name is Javier and he is 13 years old. When I first got here he didn’t want much to do with us and we have slowly began to teach him and now he wants to get baptized so bad. He has been asking his parents and has been coming to church by himself. He is even already talking about serving a mission! I want to baptize him so bad:( This is all kind of a shock to me but I guess the lord needs me in the office. I’m not entirely sure what I will be doing in the office yet. I leave Wednesday night though. This is the big update this week. I’m really going to miss Arica. 

Elder Spanbauer

Elder Phillips, Elder Francis, and Me on our 30 hour bus ride to Antofagasta to hear Elder Cook speak

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 37 Arica


Nov 23, 2015

So first off, this week has been very good. We had several lessons with many new people. I have learned that in order to get into a Chileans house, you have to be very direct. You cant just small talk your way into their house... you must ask straight up if you can enter and share a quick message with them hahaha. We did that with some people and it worked! We have been teaching with several young men in the ward to help them get missionary experience. It’s really fun to be on the other side teaching the young men. It feels just like yesterday I was in mission prep and now I’m the missionary! We have met several awesome people and I’m planning on baptizing this cambio. I would like you guys to pray for the Familia Julca so that they can get married in time to be baptized this cambio. Also, yes I’m still with Elder Francis. Lets see.... oh! We saw Elder Cook in Antofagasta! So long story... first off, we left Friday night to arrive Saturday morning. It was a 12-hour bus ride. Our bus was literally filled with just missionaries haha. About 2 hours into the trip the bus stopped and the power shut off. Then one of the workers told us the engine overheated. We had to wait for an hour for a mechanic to come and fix it and he wasn’t able to do so. Then we ended up changing to another bus. We arrived to Iquique and they kicked us off the bus because there were people they’re waiting to board that bus. Then we had to wait in Iquique for another bus to come and it was about 3am in the morning. Finally a bus arrived but the guy would not let us on this bus. The zone leaders were fighting with him telling him how important it was that we made it to Antofagasta on time and the guy basically said that if any of us set foot on the bus, he would call the cops. After several minutes of arguing with the guy, he allowed us to get on. There were only enough seats for about half of us though. The people that were going to be participating in the choir were able to go and a few other people that the zone leaders picked. By luck, they picked Elder Francis and I so we got to go. The bus arrived to Antofagasta at 9:45am and the conference started at 10:00am. We all took a taxi to the stake center and arrived at about 10:05am. We only missed the opening prayer. What a miracle! The conference was amazing! Elder Cook mostly talked about how we need to open our mouths and talk with everyone. He said that if we invite, we will have success. His testimony was very short and powerful. He said "I’m going to share my simple testimony without using too much detail, I know the saviors voice and face" I was like..... WHAT?!!! Imagine seeing the savior face to face! That line struck me soooo hard. It was amazing conference and after I had the chance to see Elder Malan and also Elder Muir from the MTC. I didn’t see Elder Leon though:( We then took the 12-hour bus ride back to Arica and arrived at about 4:30 in the morning. We then had to go to church at 9:00 and work like normal after. I’m sooo tired. Welcome to mission life. Well, that about concludes this update. I love you all and until next week! Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Elder Spanbauer

Talons are locked and loaded. Ka Ka

Things we do for entertainment as missionaries

I believe I can Fly!

Elder Frances

Elder Muir & Me at the Mission Conference in Antofagasta

Elder Muir

Bad Week for Cats! We saw several dead cats this week.