Contact Information


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

Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 16 Vallenar

June 29, 2015

Hello everybody!!! So this week I have like no time to write you guys so I gotta make this quick. So this week was super awesome in many ways. We found 3 new investigators and all 3 of them are starting to progress. We first went to the house of Gloria and José. They were in the area book and it said they were super receptive to the gospel so we payed them a visit. They gladly let us in and we watched the video "Gracias que El vive" and if you guys haven’t seen it, WATCH IT. We then talked about Jesus Christ and how important the "Expiación" is. Then we taught a woman named Doris Cordoba about the restoration and she is super receptive and I have a feeling that she is going to be baptized. We have been teaching a guy named Jonathan Simon and he has conversed with missionaries for a long time and he loves the gospel, has a testimony of the book of Mormon, and knows that José was a prophet. He is super hard to teach however because he is a strong believer in Aliens and weird stuff like that. Anyway, we had a lesson with him and we had a member with us and it went super good! We then invited him to church for the following day. He said yes! He had a bad experience in the past at the church but then I promised him that if he came, he would have a good experience. So Sunday came around and he Showed up!!! I sat by him during sacrament and he ended up staying for the full 3 hours. It was super cool. Also, a less active member we have been teaching finally came back to church! The weirdest thing happened this week! After church, we returned to the house of Gloria and José and she invited us in like normal and we began to teach. We opened with prayer and a hymn which was kinda weird but kinda cool tambien! After that we began teaching and José walked in drunk as can be and started spilling out his heart to us. He was crying one minute about how he’s a good man and he doesn’t deserve to live like he does and then he started yelling at Gloria saying she does absolutely nothing... it was intense. We told them that we would come back a different day to teach and he kept going on and on.... Anyway, after much talk, we finally said a closing prayer. We kneeled for this one and elder Leon offered it. Towards the end of the prayer, Gloria passed out and hit the floor. Her head hit my leg right when elder Leon had ended the prayer. We thought she had died in the middle of the prayer. She laid on the floor motionless and we had no idea what to do.... I said a prayer in my head and about 2 minutes after it had all happened, she woke up. It was soooo weird, every muscle in her body tightened up and she was basically dead for a solid 2 minutes and then woke up. After it was all said and done, we helped her up and he told us that it’s normal for her to do that. She has a rare sickness or something and every once in a while it happens. We literally thought we killed her...... It was super scary. Then, after that we had to give a blessing to a 2 year old girl that has been seeing things in her house. So yeah, that about sums up my week.... I gotta go now but I love you all! Until next week!

Elder Spanbauer 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Week 15 Vallenar

June 22,2015

Hello again from Vallenar!!! It was so good to hear from all of you! So first off, I want to say HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!! Sorry I missed it dad:( So this week wasn’t a very eventful week. Most of our lessons or "Citas" (I forgot the word in english) fell through so we didn’t teach a whole lot. We are currently working with a less active family and the grandpa of the family is an investigator and has been visiting with the missionaries for years. He is the kind of guy that believes what someone says but doesn’t want to do anything. We are trying to reactivate the mom of the family because she has a 9-year-old daughter that loves the church but was never baptized. We also think if we can baptize her, it will help the grandfather of the family. We also came across a name in our area book and he has been taught by the missionaries too. We went to his house and he immediately let us in and wanted to talk to us... but not about gospel things. He is a young guy, about 30 years old and for lack of a better word... he’s a nerd hahaha. He builds computers for a living and he’s super goofy. When we ask him about church related things he turns the conversation into something about Aliens or video games hahaha. He’s super weird but he has a testimony of the book of Mormon. He went to church one time and didn’t have a good experience so he was never baptized. He said the people didn’t even greet him so that’s a little sad. We are currently working with him to help him understand the importance of going to church and being baptized. We have also taught many less active families to help them back into the church. Wasn’t a super successful week but it wasn’t terrible.

We had the opportunity to watch the match between Chile and Bolivia. Chile won 5-0 so take that Preston! haha we watched it in the church with a bunch of ward members. It was awesome. Also, today for Pday... we went to a place called "3 playitas". It’s close to Huasco and it’s basically a cool beach. It took about an hour to get there and we rode with a member that has 4 dogs! The dogs were crawling all over us and it was disgusting! Not the most pleasant drive I’ve experienced. We cooked sausage links and chilled at the beach for a good chunk of the day. It was super cool.

Oh! I had an intercambio with Elder Wallace (zone leader) and it went super good. I know my sector really well now and most of the people. I lead my sector, which was super cool, and we taught a guy that has never once let us in his house before! We taught him about the Book of Mormon. It was really cool. Elder Wallace is from Rexburg Idaho and goes home in 3 weeks. Tori might see him up at BYUI because that’s where he will be going in the winter. Anyway, That about sums up my week. I’m going to send some pictures of the activity in the church and of the beach. Love you all and until next week!

Elder Spanbauer

Hiking on P-Day in Vallenar

P-Day Adventures

Elder Swett

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 14 Vallenar

June 15, 2015

Hola Familia Y Amigos,

Esta Semana fue bacan! Encontramos y Enseñamos a muchas personas! Usamos la carpeta de Área para encontrar antiguos de los otros misioneros antes. Enseñamos a una mujer se llama Doris Cordoba. Ella es muy receptiva y le gustó la lección que nosotros tuvimos con ella. Le enseñamos como orar. Ella no quería orar para terminar la lección. Fue muy chistoso! Escribimos los pasos para orar y ella lo hizo. Últimamente, Yo creo que ella va a ser bautizado en el futuro. No se cuando exactamente pero va a pasar! No puedo Esperar!!!!! Enseñamos a Nicanor y el tampoco no sabe como orar. Estamos trabajando con el para ayudarle como leer y como orar. El es muy tímido. Cuando El ora, no es en voz alta entonces necesitamos enseñarle como nosotros oramos. Enseñamos a muchas otras personas pero no tengo mucho tiempo para explicar cada lección con cada uno de ellos. También, yo tenía que discursar en la reunión sacramental ayer! Tenía que hablar por 15 minutos en Español! Yo oré antes de la reunión y cuando estaba hablando, tenía miedo. Estaba tranquilo. Cuan gran es la oración!!!

Anyway, time for you guys to use Google translate! haha. I will help you guys out, the word "Bacan" means "awesome" haha. So this week was awesome. We had a lot of success as far as teaching. We taught a lot of people that normally don’t let us in the house. We taught several people how to pray which was awesome. One man named Eloy Cortez absolutely did not want to pray haha. We just sat there until he offered the prayer. It was too funny but he needed to be forced to do it haha. Elder Leon wrote down the steps to praying so that he could do it. It was such a cool experience. I think at times we forget how amazing prayer is. Growing up in the church it was always something that we did. Like a habit almost. When coming to a place like this where some people have never prayed in their lives.... that is a humbling experience. We definitely take prayer for granted in the United States. Yesterday I had to speak in sacrament about the gospel of Jesus Christ or lesson 3 for missionaries. It was sooo cool because I didn’t have much of a plan going into it because I thought it only had to speak for like 10 min. max and when I got up there to speak, they said 15 minutes.... I was like.... uhhhh.... okkaayyy. Anyway, I was able to speak freely what I wanted to say. It was sooo cool. Everyone after told me that they understood everything I said and that it was an awesome talk. They all know me as "Elder SpiderMan" because no one can pronounce my name haha. It was a really cool experience. Also, today for P-day we went to this place above Vallenar where there is a lot of trees and caves and we had like a little BBQ thing with the zone leaders and a member from there sector. It was sooo cool! As some might know, right now the "Copa América" is being played in Chile. Chile of course is going to win haha jk but President Dalton gave all the missionaries permission to watch it today and Friday if we are with an investigator while watching it. Elder Leon and I don’t really have a set plan as of right now to watch it but we are going to try and arrange something. Anyway, That about sums up my week. I Love you all and I’ll talk to ya next week!

Here are some answers to some of your questions…

So I FINALLY GOT THE FIRST PACKAGE! I was so excited to have different cereal. There is like 3 types of cereal here and it gets really old super fast. I loved the candy and jerky especially. Also, one thing about books here in the mission that you should know. We can’t read anything that isn’t in the missionary library. So basically nothing. I have every book that I’m aloud to read. I’m kinda bummed because it looks like an awesome book but my zone leader said straight up NO haha. Sorry guys:( Anyway, I was shocked to see how big the box was. Normally the missionaries receive little shoe boxes full of stuff so they were all telling me I had to share with the whole zone hahaha. Thanks guys so much. 

Spanish update: 
I’m finally starting to understand a lot more. There is still a lot that I don’t get but for the most part I understand most conversations by context. I’m praying a lot for the gift of tongues and I can see the results everyday. 

Sad news: Elder Taylor (my companion in the MTC) went home like in the first couple of weeks because he tore his ACL in the mission. super sad :(

Investigator Update: We have been working with all of our investigators towards baptism but as of right now, none of them are ready for baptism or are almost ready for the invitation. I’m not totally sure if Nicanor is going to be baptized soon because he hasn’t been coming to church so we will see what happens there. I have intercambios this week and one of the zone leaders is going to come to my zone and I have to lead him around for the day so that is going to be interesting.

Anyway, I love you guys a ton and I’m going to send some photos from our adventure this morning.  

Elder Spanbauer "Elder Spiderman"


Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 13 Vallenar

June 8, 2015

Hola Familia y Amigos! Esta Semana fue muy rapido! No puedo creer que hoy es Lunes! Honestamente, no paso mucho esta semana. No pudimos enseñar a Nicanor ni a Julio y Tamara (Familia del niño que morrió) Okay, I’m exhausted... no more español haha. This week has been really cold. I know, weird right? You would think that the driest desert in the world would always be hot but it’s freezing in the mornings and at night. This week we didn’t get to teach much to our investigators because all of them were busy. Yesterday however was pretty cool. We went to church which is always fun and after church we took the sacrament to hermana Nora and she was soooo grateful. She is the sweetest old lady ever haha. After that we ate lunch (Almuerzo) con la Familia Alcayaga. I was looking forward to this because we always eat good with them. Not only that, we ate with the other missionaries from the other sector. It was a fiesta! We ate chicken with rice, another random hot dog and this stuff called ´´pebre´´. It’s basically equivalent to salsa en los Estados Unidos. It is like my favorite thing here so I put together a plan to take it home with us. I asked the family if I could buy it from them and they kind of took it like I was joking and then I said ´´pero, en serio´´ and then things got real. She told me that I could have whatever is left over after lunch! My plan was a success! We also ate with a different family during the week and they are from Columbia. They invited us over to have hamburgers! I was so excited to have American food! Honestly, the hamburgers weren’t amazing but I was so grateful! Guess what, I put avocado on it and tomato’s and lettuce, onions, and a tiny bit of mayo! Take that Family! haha. Oh that reminds me, One day we ate with the mamita and she served us a mountain of mashed potatos with a tiny bit of meat on top. I thought I was going to die. I literally had to pray to finish that meal. I promise that our prayers are answered because I did it!!! Wahoooo!!!! Anyway, with all jokes aside, yesterday we talked to many people and have some new people we can teach. We also had a lesson with a family in the rama (ward) and I lead the lesson! We talked about ´´La Fe´´ and when I said we were going to talk about faith they all kind of looked at us weird like... we already know what faith is. After that, we taught them what faith really is and we totally caught them off guard. The spirit was so strong and for the lack of how to put this... it was like a spiritual smack in the face! It was awesome and there was a less active member present in the room too so that was cool! Anyway, that was my week. Love you guys! Until next week!

Elder Spanbauer 

Otras Cosas:

So Elder Wallace’s eyes are fake. he was wearing contacts. I didn’t say anything about it because I wanted to see what you guys would say hahaha.

Spanish update: I’m understanding a lot more and imp starting to be more involved in lessons. There are some people that I simply don’t understand though haha.

Package: I get my package for sure tomorrow. Can’t wait!

Investigators: Unfortunately we didn’t get to teach Nicanor or really anyone this week so we are going to push back his baptismal date. We don’t know when yet. We meet with Maria Araya today. She is the woman that lost her husband because her son killed him. The family that lost their child is doing better. They are looking for a different house right now because they don’t want to live in their current house. too many memories. We are trying to be patient with them and I think me might meet with them tonight.

Anyway, I Love you all! Have fun camping and stay out of Trouble!

Elder Spanbauer

Overlooking The City of Vallenar

Nephi!!! I will go and do the things that the lord has commanded!

We thought this statue looked like Nephi

Pebre (it's like Salsa)

Snack Food

Random Street in Vallenar

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 12 Vallenar

June 1, 2015

So..... yeah, this week has been kind of a rollercoaster. To start off, we have two investigators se llaman Julio Y Tamara. Ellos son dificiles para enseñar. Or, for you noobs out there. They are difficult to teach! Julio doesn’t read, go to church... nada! Tamara is kind of easy going and does her own thing. They pretty much just have us over to talk and have a conversation. This week, the unexpected happened... They have a 2-year-old boy named Ian that got sick and died all within the span of 1.5 days. They took him to the hospital and the doctor said there was nothing wrong so they took him home and he died the next morning. I was literally sitting in a room with all of them 2 days prior to this all taking place. I was not prepared for this... They had an open casket funeral type thing and we went. I cannot put into words how sad this was for me. I have never seen a dead child before. This struck me so hard. Julio went straight back to drugs to cope with the pain and Tamara is a mess. Now we are going to focus in the plan of salvation with them and teach how families are eternal. So apart from all of this, we had intercambios esta semana con los lideres de zona. This is basically when I go with the zone leaders for a day and someone goes with my companion. Elder Swett is one of our zone leaders and I spent the day with him in his sector. It was so awesome because he is a gringo! FINALMENTE! haha I was able to tell him what I wanted in English when I couldn’t in Spanish. He is such a good leader and his Spanish, even better. He told me to never touch my English scriptures again. He said that’s how I’m going to learn. I spent the night in there pension and they don’t have gas so I took a freezing cold shower. Overall, it was a great experience! We also had a lesson with one of our other investigators. His name is Lino. He is one of the hardest people to teach because the last time we taught him, we brought a member from the ward to help us and he is awesome. The member we brought is the coolest old man I’ve ever met. Anyway, we were teaching and Hermano Carriso (el miembro) was literally pouring out his soul to Lino, testifying of joseph smith and everything and at the end of it, Hermano Lino simply asks ´´Galletas?´´ while handing us a plate of cookies.... I’m not sure if he just doesn’t listen or what but man.... how? I felt the spirit soooo strong and none of it touched the heart of this man. ANYWAY, we taught him the other night again but just Elder Leon and I and it was amazing. We read 3 Nephi 11 with him and it was awesome. He asked really good questions, and we were able to teach it to him in an easy way so that he could understand. I bore my testimony after and I literally don’t even know what I said. I was literally led by the spirit and I felt invincible hahaha. The spirit is real, the gift of tongues is real! The mission is truly something else. Something incredible. Until next week! Love you all!

Elder Spanbauer

Zone Leader Elder Wallace

Elder Wallace

Evan Fister

Zone Leader Elder Swett

The note I got after intercambios... Elder Wallace you suck Hahahaha