Contact Information


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

Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 25 Vallenar

Aug 31, 1015

So, I’m gonna have to make this one quick. We have lunch in about 20min. So this week was just alright. The reason it wasn’t an absolutely amazing one is because a lot of our super important appointments fell through. Our lesson with the new family we found fell as well as the appointment with Jonathan. We taught a few other people this week and actually found a couple new investigators. One of them we met and the first thing she said to us is "I like the missionaries and will always invite them in, but I will never go to your church." We then went back to her house to invite her to an activity and she said she wanted to go but she had to babysit her nephew. We taught her about eternal families and the plan of salvation. She is kinda crazy. Every time we greet her she shakes our hand and then moves her hand into the bro handshake and pulls us in for the "kiss". Its super scary haha. She is like 40 haha. We haven’t told her that we cant do that yet. If I counted how many woman I have had to kiss here you guys would be shocked hahaha. They are always old women hahaha! Anyway, like I said, we had an activity this week and it was a night of postres or treats. Everyone made some sort of treat and brought it to the activity. We brought Ingrid and her family and she loved it! We also did Karaoke! I kept teasing Ingrid to go sing and she was like NO! Then she did it! I couldn’t believe it because she is kind of shy. Her kids are super cool as well. She told us she was going to go to church but never came. We had a lesson with her before and she was telling us how she thought she received her response to her prayers and that this wasn’t the church for her. We thought it was over but now I think there is still hope. We will have to see what happens. I’m not gonna be able to send photos this week but next week! Anyway, guys... that about wraps up this week. Wish us luck! Pray for us so that we can baptize in this transfer! I love you all and take care! 

Elder Spanbauer

Monday, August 24, 2015

Week 24 Vallenar

Aug 24, 2015

So this week was a pretty eventful week. We started the week off with an awesome BBQ with the new family we met. They let us use their house to have an awesome going away party for Elder Còmena from Peru! WE ATE LAMB! It was honestly not that good hahaha. I thought it was just okay. It has a very distinct taste and tastes more like jerky than anything. It was kinda sad because Elder Còmena is by far the coolest Latino I have met here in the mission. He is soooo nice and has helped me a lot. He will be missed. We also had the opportunity to go to an investigators beach house, which was really fun, but I forgot my camera so I couldn’t take any photos. We had another Noche de Hogar with a family from the ward. It was super fun because they made awesome gringo treats like brownies. That’s one thing I miss a lot from the states. A nice warm brownie. The brownies here are not very good but she did make some really good cupcakes. We are still in a hole with Jonathan. He basically said he won’t come to church anymore until someone explains to him the meaning of some of the symbols on the salt lake temple. He is convinced that they are diabolical. He keeps telling us that he is just concerned for his salvation and doesn’t want to "sell his soul" away. So that’s where we are at with him. We are going to go to teach him another time with a member that can better explain some the symbolism because as missionaries, we cant just go search this stuff on the internet. It will truly be the "DO OR DIE" lesson. If he doesn’t change his mind we will have no choice but to leave him. It might just not be his time yet. Its super sad to see how close he got and to fall like this. I hope we can help him. We are also currently teaching a girl named Maria Bravo. She is super cool and has met with missionaries before. She likes the Book of Mormon and loves having us over. We have taught her two lessons and we are supposed to have one with her tomorrow. She is just really hard to find. She is never home! We are also still teaching Ingrid and she actually came to a Noche de Hogar at the Dominguez family’s house. She liked it a lot and wants to continue meeting with here. We just can’t teach her when her husband is home so we have to wait another week until he leaves. We also have to have a member present to teach her because we can’t be with a woman alone. As far as the new family we found, they are doing super good! They weren’t able to go to church yesterday though but they said they would this next week. We haven’t taught them an official lesson yet because we want to teach all of them at the same time. Also, we can’t teach her when she is alone either. We have been waiting to find a time to teach her and her husband at the same time as well as her daughter. We have an appointment at 7 tonight with them so we will see how that goes. So we had cambios this last Saturday and it looks like ill be here in Vallenar for another 6 weeks at least. I’m super happy because I need to get a baptism before I leave! We are going to be working hard to make it happen. We are going to try and get Claudia and Victor married and baptized. It should be a challenge. I absolutely love my companion haha. We get a long super well and we are like best friends. Our humors go really well together. We should be stand up comedians haha. My Spanish is always improving. I learn new words and phrases everyday. It’s amazing to see how far I have come in just 6 months. As of today, I have been in Chile for 6 months if you include the CCM (MTC). I cannot believe that a quarter of my mission is already over! Oh, so last night, there was an Earthquake! We were with two investigators just talking and the ground just started shaking. It was so freaking cool! It wasn’t a super strong one or anything but I definitely felt it haha. Also, we walked into the pension the other night and I turned on the light and a HUGE spider was sprinting across the ceiling! I grabbed a book to hurry and kill it and it jumped off the ceiling to avoid getting killed. It was sooo scary! The spiders here are insane! I taped it in my journal hahaha. Anyway, that sums up this week. Love you all and take care! Chao!

Elder Spanbauer

Food Preparation

Elder Malan

My District

Elder Comena from Peru

All the Gang!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 23 Vallenar

Aug 17, 2015

So this week has been absolutely amazing!!! I have seen a miracle in the mission. Everyone always says that when they get called to Vallenar its a terrible thing because its the "hardest" sector or the worst sector. This week proved to me that there really are people out there that are being prepared by the lord wherever you are. So the reason I say that is because an Elder from Vallenar centro named Elder Còmena passed a reference to us. He gave it to us about two weeks ago and we forgot to call them and set up an appointment. We had an activity in the city center and this "reference" or couple was supposed to come. We went but they never showed up. The following day we found ourselves kinda lost and didn’t know what to do. For those of you who don’t know, working is extremely hard in the morning because Chileans stay up late and party and they sleep in. With that said, its almost impossible to find someone to teach in the mornings. Anyway, there is a place in our sector called the "cabancha". It’s basically super far from where we live and I always thought we weren’t allowed to go out there. It is a bunch of farmland and very few houses but we decided to just go and check it out. We walked for like miles and found no one. A lot of the houses were abandoned. We met a few people but they weren’t able to help us. We had heard that the people we were supposed to meet at the activity lived out there but we had no idea where. We walked for like 2 hours knocking on random doors asking if they knew the "Familia Olivares" and no one knew. Anyway, it was finally about time to head back to the house and start studying but there was one more house in the distance that we wanted to visit. As we started approaching the house we saw two people. A mother and a daughter. As we arrived to the house they came out to greet us and guess what?!!!! It was them! We finally found them. Let me tell you, I have never met somebody more prepared by the lord than her. The mothers name is Claudia and the daughters name is Francisca. The father was not home but she said we could stop by the next day to meet him. We talked with her for a few minutes and she showed us all of her animals. They have goats, chicken, dogs, ducks...ect. She was already talking about how she had never been baptized and how she drinks but wants to change. She said her daughter told her she doesn’t like when she drinks and she doesn’t want to be a bad influence to her. They are not married but they said they would like to be. She is super receptive its insane! She said she wanted to go to church with us the next day. Keep in mind that we haven’t even taught her yet! The next day her and her daughter went to church with us, but her husband, Victor couldn’t because he had to work on the house. They loved church and want to come back. After church we went to their house to meet the dad. He is sooooo cool! He told us how they lived up north in Iquique and how they moved because there was a lot of drugs and stuff there. They both expressed that they want to change. They even invited us to have a BBQ at their house today as a going away party for Elder Còmena because he leaves the mission next week. They also want to feed us lunch one day as well as have us over for "once" Wednesday night with them. These people are definitely ready to be baptized. The lord truly does prepare people and I am so grateful for this gospel. I love being a missionary! Here is a little quote I wrote in personal study: "We don’t give up two years of our lives to serve the lord, he gives us two years to really live". Yes, I truly wrote it haha. Anyway, that’s the update. I’m going to go the BBQ now. Take care and love you all!

Elder Spanbauer

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Week 22 Vallenar

Aug 11, 2015

Hey everybody! So this past week was really cool. So much happened I don’t know how I’m going to be able to cover it all. So the week started off pretty normal. We taught a few people and we were working like normal and then one day it rained like a ton! That’s right, it has rained yet again in the driest place in the world! It rained for a full day and we weren’t aloud to leave the pension that day. We spent the day inside listening to conference talks and then we ate lunch with a member. He had to come get us in his car because it was raining so much. We ate lunch with the Tapia family. They are by far the coolest family I’ve met in Chile haha. He is the one that has made us Cheeseburgers and stuff. We ate a really good pasta and then Elder Malan and I made brownies to share with them. They were disgusting haha! For some reason the brownie mix you can get here is terrible hahaha. They of course said they were good even though we could see in their faces they hated them. That’s one thing every missionary mom should send to there missionaries. A lot of brownie mixes hahaha. Jonathan Tapia accompanied us that night and we randomly knocked on a door and he knew the person! We now have a teaching appointment with them and Jonathan is going to go with us. The Lord truly does perform miracles. We also played some board games that day. I learned how to play a card game called "Magic". It is equivalent to like Pokémon hahaha. I’m such a nerd! Actually, My companion is haha. I won’t lie though, it was fun. We have been finding more and more people to teach. Elder Malan and I get along super well. We are basically best friends. So yesterday we had a Noche de Hogar with the Donoso family and it was a BBQ. I secretly planned it behind my companions back because today is actually his birthday. It was super awesome because the Elders from the other sector came as well and so did a few menos activo families. He had no idea that we were planning it until they brought out the cake and sang to him. It was super fun. We actually met a few new people to teach by doing it. Also, yesterday we had interviews with president Dalton again. It was super awesome and I learned a lot. He talked a lot about the atonement and how us as missionaries have to consecrate ourselves in order to experience miracles. If we are simply not exercising in the morning like we are supposed to, we are not fully giving ourselves to the lord. It was very strong. Elder Swett goes home soon like in a week and so does Elder Còmena. I have known them since I started the mission and it’s sad to see them leave. As far as today, we went shopping and don’t ask me why but I bought an old flashlight and the thing looks as if its from world war two or something. It says it was made in the US and its Authentic! I got it for like 9 bucks and I plan to take it to a pawn shop when I get back to see if its anything special hahaha. We have another Noche de Hogar tonight and I think we are going to do something with the Tapia family for Elder Malan’s birthday. Anyway, that’s about all for this week in Vallenar! I love you all and Hope all is well at home! Chao!

Elder Spanbauer

Chilean Recluse Spider

Elder Swett

Elder Malan and Holloway making BBQ

Left to Right - Elder Hunter, Me, Elder Malan, Elder Holloway

Elder Còmena

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week 21 Vallenar

Aug 3, 2015

This is my weekly update! This week was a pretty successful week I guess you could say. We had a lot of lessons with people as well as a super fun activity in the church. So we have been teaching a lady named Ingrid Vasquez. She just recently divorced her husband and has 3 kids. She is super receptive and we had a lesson with her that was awesome. She is really interested in going to church and reading the book of Mormon. She has real potential as well as her kids! All of her kids are above the age of 8. Her youngest is 10 and her oldest is 15. Honestly, she is ready to be baptized.... well at least as far as we know. She obviously needs to attend church 3 times first and listen to all of the lessons but I have a feeling she will be baptized in the future with her kids. The only problem that we see as of right now is that her X husband is super catholic.... and we aren’t even aloud to teach her when he’s home. This makes things complicated. We have to wait 2 weeks until we can teach her again. We have also been teaching Jonathan still. He went to the activity and his girlfriend went! They took us home after the activity and said they loved it! Just a quick run down of the activity... We had a Noche de Aviones... or night of airplanes. We instructed everyone at the beginning of the activity was that they needed to construct a paper airplane and get it to reach a certain point on the white board. Then we threw a bunch of distractions at them. We said they needed to make a poster with an airline brand and that they needed to present it and a bunch of other stuff. The main goal of the activity was to get their airplanes to hit the point on the white board. After they all tried to hit it at the end of the activity no one was able to do it. They spend all there time building the posters instead of building planes and practicing. We then told them in life, we all have a purpose but that there are tons of distractions in this world. It’s hard to focus on our main goal or purpose when we put our focus in other things. After we ate completos! It was a super successful activity! 40 people went! So we thought all was well with Jonathan and Roxana (his girlfriend) and yesterday we went over to their house to have a noche de pancakes! We made American pancakes! Then Jonathan started bringing up temples and started talking about temple ordinances. He had look up temple videos and stuff regarding sacred temple things. He was looking on a bad website that can destroy his faith. He is not in a good place right now.... he now has a lot of doubts. We explained to him that those things are sacred and we cannot be looking those things up. He started saying that he’s not so sure about this anymore. We are going to have another lesson with another member that can explain these things better but I’m pretty sure this could be a "do or die" lesson. We will see what happens. I have faith that all will be fine. On another note, we had an awesome BBQ today in our backyard and I ate Cow heart! It tasted gross but I did it! I have a video but it’s hard to send videos through email. Anyway, gotta go guys. I hope you enjoy the pictures! Chao!

Answers to Questions:

Honestly, I love receiving pictures as well and I kinda wish I had some pictures from high school to show people as well cuz people don’t believe I played soccer before the mission haha.

Language update: so my Spanish has been improving and I’ve been getting a lot more confident with it. I feel that I can teach just about anything in my own words so that’s good. I can understand most conversations if the person isn’t speaking a ton of slang.

Physically, I am good. There was one week where I ate terrible and I’m sure I gained a little weight but I’ve been watching more of what I eat now haha.

Companion: Elder Malan and I get along super well. We have very similar personalities and we haven’t argued yet haha. We are constantly laughing and having a good time. I’ll admit that it’s a lot tougher to speak Spanish all the time with a gringo companion but its been a nice break.

There is a shortage of water here in Vallenar so they have been cutting the water a lot. It’s kinda frustrating but its all good. We have plenty.

Anyway, I love you guys so much and you’re always in my prayers! Dad, do something fun with mom haha. Love you guys! 

Elder Spanbauer


Elder Malan

Elder Malan's Best Double Chin