Sunday, July 9, 2017

Baptisms,Good-bye's and a New Area/Companion

WOW. What a week it has been here in San Bernardo!!! This Saturday was the baptism of Quenne and it was incredible! She loved it and was baptized 7 months pregnant!!! She is such an amazing person and has really progressed in the gospel. The baptism service was great, and she loved it! All of her family showed up, and came for her confirmation Sunday as well! It was a very spiritually filling weekend for her family and for us. Just before the baptism, I received the notice that I would be leaving to a different sector. Quenne and her family are pretty bummed about it, but we were able to explain the situation with companions and changes and everything, so she understood! On Sunday, she had her confirmation, and then gave her testimony (it happened to be the fast and testimony meeting we hold every first Sunday! She gave the most sincere and beautiful testimony I have ever heard.
 Saying goodbye to them was tough. Quenne’s mother now has desires and is even talking about her own baptism in the future. On Sunday, Quenne bore her testimony and said something that I will always remember. There are certain things that happen in my life that are heavy evidences that God really prepares His children. She talked about our first encounter in the street. It was the day of the earthquakes that happened some 2 months back that we had here in Santiago. Whenever there are earthquakes, she always goes out to her patio in the back to be outside, but for whatever reason when the earthquake hit, she left outside to the front off her house and saw us at the corner of the street. We were sitting there for a good 2 minutes waiting for one of us to receive an idea of what to do. She felt like we were there for a reason and left to go and talk to us to ask us as to where the LDS church was at that corresponded with her direction. fThe rest is history and then some! I will never forget that memory she shared fast and testimony meeting! I marvel at how it all came together 
Now I am with Elder McKane!!! He has 8 months in the mission and is a stud Missionary!!! He has served here for 1 change and then his comp left and I came here! We are serving in Las Americas! We are so pumped and getting out and working hard!! We are going to have a good time!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Attitude of Gratitude

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Junior, Quenne and P-Day

Wow, What a week it has been here in Santiago. To start, I will do a little bit of a recap from my week last week.

We had a conference with Elder Clayton from the Seventy. He was able to come down to San Bernardo and we had such a great conference!! On Saturday, we were able to bring Junior, our recent convert, to his conference and it was so good!! He did a question and answer for the whole time and had some leaders answer questions. Overall, it was such a spiritual conference and I loved it!

At the end he went around and shook everyones hand. When he got to Junior, he talked with him for a minute or two and expressed his gratitude for him!! Elder Clayton is incredible!!
 As for this week, Today we had a really awesome p-day. 100 missionaries joined together at a stake center and we had a fun get together. there was a blow up slide and everything!

Our week was really good. With our investigator, Quenne, we were able to have some really spiritual lessons with her! Literally, one of our lessons with her was answering her questions that she wrote down after reading and highlighting a gospel principles book! She loves to read! 

Other than that, our week was solid. As missionaries, we are trying to find more people to teach and to share the gospel with.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Transfers, Quenne and being Christlike

Wow. What a week it has been here in San Bernardo. We had transfers and I am with my new Companion Elder Bellido! He is from Argentina, and loves playing soccer! 

It's getting cold in Chile.  Sleeping with three blankets.

We have really had a good first week together! This week was really spiritual. Each day we had a distinctive miracle happen! We have really seen the progression of an Investigator by the name of Quenne! 
She contacted us in the street some 4 weeks back, and came to church on Sunday! And she loved it! Her son Lucas loved the nursery too! This upcoming week, we have stake conference and will be having a general authority coming up to talk with us! We are trying to get all of our investigators to go to this conference! Looking forward to that so much this Saturday and Sunday!

This past week, we had a dear member in our ward pass away from Cancer. We attended his funeral this week and were able to say parting words to him and to his family before he passed away. They are a family that love the missionaries, and are a beloved family in this mission. I really feel for them and will 
be praying for the Ortega family. keep them in your prayers. This family has really impressed me with the way they have carried themselves during this tough time in their life.

In my 3 months here, Brother Ortega has had cancer and has not been able to walk. He has been isolated to his chair and hasn't been able to use his body as he could before the cancer. During all of this time, not once has this family batted an eye. Their son left for his mission in Ecuador two months ago. And his wife has not once complained. This family is a shining example of charity and love, and of happiness. Amidst this challenge and difficult time in their lives, they have shown true Christlike character which has made me marvel. 

We really see who people are in their challenges, and this has and will be a huge one for them, and they have showed nothing but exemplary Christlike attributes. When life hits us, may we all dig down deep, and let some Christlike charity show in our countenance like this family has shown me...

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Family Matters Most

WOW, what a week it has been!! I have really had a great week with seeing the family! and having the chance to go to the temple today! 

This week has been a very unique week in my mission. To begin, last Thursday, we had a lesson planned with an investigator that Elder Vargas was teaching with his companion. She changed schools, changed schedules, so it was impossible to find her when she was in her house. A week back, we finally encountered her mom and planned a lesson for a week in advance. 

When we got there, their family was so nice, and asked us all sorts of questions about our mission because they had never talked to missionaries ever (never happens in Santiago). They just loved us! We were able to share our message with them, and it was very spiritual. As we left, their grandmother came in and wanted for us to go by her house too!! We were just pure money!!! haha. WE will be passing by them this week! 

We also had a very spiritual message with an investigator by the name of Nancy. She has been talking to the missionaries now for 2 years, and really cares for us! She lives out in the woods so we have to bike around the mountain! We talked about baptism and really had the spirit working on her. We were able to help her with her doubts and get her to come to church for this Sunday. Today we went to the temple, which was a very spiritual experience always! Love the peace and spirit I feel there!

This week, we had a zone conference on the Holy Ghost, and how we as missionaries can best utilize it and bring it to the people we teach! It was a really good conference. 

This week I have been pondering on the importance of the family! and why we have them. I am eternally grateful for the family that I have, and for all that they have done for me! The skype was great this past Sunday and the opportunity to talk with them lifted me! It is a reminder to me of the eternal family that we have. After 5 months, I was anxious and so excited to talk with them! Imagine ourselves with our loving Heavenly Father. After a lifetime, and then returning to His presence will be something amazing for us., The opportunity to return to Him will be absolutely worth all the difficulties that we pass through. Returning to our Father is the purpose of why we are here. Keep that in mind!

Keep Your Room Clean

This week has been an incredible week for us in Lo Blanco. We had the baptism of Mathius this past weekend!! It was amazing!! He was really excited and all around happy! He showed up to church the next day with a new suit and we could really just see the difference that his baptism did for him! Seeing his progression and happiness makes me happy for him as well!
This week, with the city of San Bernardo, we went to a lady’s house to clean it! She was a hoarder and it felt like torture more than service.  We had to throw away all of her garbage in her house and she was throwing a fit!! The house was filled with junk!  Anyway, we had to get dressed up in masks, gloves and a cloak thing! It was cool and we played ninja in our suits! Even though she now hates us, we helped her down the road!
This week we had a Miracle!! So it was around 6 in the afternoon and we pulled to the side of the street thinking of what we would do for our ¨plan C¨. Nothing came to mind. We looked in our agenda and at our weekly planning page and couldn’t figure out what to do. After about 2 minutes of communicating and trying to figure out a plan. 

A women walked up to us and asked if we were the Mormon missionaries and if we knew where the Sunday reunions were held for church!!! With shock, We told her we were missionaries and told her about where she could go to church. In that moment, we asked if she had time to talk with us. She did, and we were able to go into her house and teach her lesson 1, and we were able to set a baptismal date for the 20 of may!!!!!!! MILAGROS! I love it! Her grandparents were recently baptized and really saw the change in them after their baptism! She explained to us that that was what she was wanting in her life, and was really interested in learning about our church! It gives me surprises each and every day!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Easter, Cemeteries and Forever Families

I owe you all an apology! I ran into problems last week uploading my letter and the computer lab shut down before I could figure out what wasn't working.
Easter baskets from Mom
Anyway, this week has been yet another fulfilling week for me in San Bernardo. This past Saturday, we had a baptism for Junior! It was incredible and he loved the experience so much. I don't know if I have talked much about Junior in my previous emails, but Junior is from Haiti and moved to Chile six moons ago. He speaks Spanish perfectly because he lived in Santo Domingo for 16 years, He is a really good guy.  He is very humble and an all around happy person. He was so prepared as an investigator and really loved what we were teaching him. 

The highlight of his baptism was at the very end when he bore his testimony. He testified of the truth of this Gospel, that Jesus is the Christ, the love he has for the missionaries and the gratitude he had when he was baptized. It was a really “feel good” moment for me to hear him bare his testimony in front of everyone  and to hear his words! The following day I had the opportunity to confirm him a member of the church.
My Zone
Sunday afternoon, we had a zone activity/contacting in the cemetery in San Bernardo. I had little bit of doubt going in, but it was one of the best experiences that I have had in the mission. It was a perfect Easter day and there were lots of people there visiting their loved ones. We walked around talking about the plan of salvation and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

We met one family, and talked with them for 30 minutes about this plan and how we believe that we will resurrect and can live with our families forever. They told us about their son that they were visiting  whose name was Edson. He died of Leukemia when he was 9 years old in the arms of his dad. As they opened up to us, the spirit really touched them. After they shared their story with us, we testified of this plan and how they will have the chance olive with their son again. It was a very spiritual and uplifting visit for this family. They really wanted us to pass by their home and share more with them.  We were able to refer them to other missionaries and gave them a Book of Mormon. As we left this family, I was filled with happiness for them.

Many people have some sort of faith that they will see their loved ones, but some tend to doubt and fear that they will never see them again.  To me, as members we do not have this fear. I believe we have sorrow and grief when our loved ones pass away, but with the knowledge that families are eternal, we have a lasting hope and happiness in knowing that death is not the end.  We gain this knowledge through prophetic and doctrinal teachings.  I firmly believe that as we study and apply the words of prophets and apostles, we will change mere faith to a knowledgable wisdom that (without doubt) families can live together forever. 

I believe Romans 6:4-5 puts it best: “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father. even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in his likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection”.

We will follow his example! We will resurrect too! We will live again and have the rewards of the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

I want to testify that Jesus is the Christ. His suffering in Gethsemane an on the cross really happened and that three days later he resurrected. Thanks to Jesus Christ, we need to have hope, not fear! I invite those who doubt to ask God, sincerely, if Jesus is the Redeemer of the world?If he really did win the battle over death? Because I know he did and you can know for yourself, too!  

Working on my soccer skills in Chile

Drinking something.....