Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Why Does God Give Us Trials?

This week has been another great week. Except for Friday. Friday was awful. Elder Murphy and I had to go downtown to work on our visa and to set it up for the year. We had to stand in line for EIGHT hours.  It was SO awful!! We were outside for four of those hours. The only good thing was that we got to meet some really cool people from other countries, that were there too.  Needless to say, that was a really long day!

Elder Hendrix and Elder Torres

The following day we had our English Class and our ward family home evening at the church. We had a whopping six people in our English class (four of them were kids) and a whopping 9 people show up for our family home evening.  (that included the six from our English class that decided to stay) !Cualquier Potencial! hahaha

Sunday I gave a talk in church on agency and how our agency allows us to choose the paths of life that we can take. It was a lot easier to speak this past Sunday than when I had to give a talk my third week in the field! I'm improving a little! In my talk I talked about what I shared in my email a week back. Also, I had an epiphany this past week. As I was reading my scriptures, I realized one of the reasons why we have the stories in the scriptures. Every person, prophet, or disciple in the scriptures is written about or gives their story because of the trial they are going through. Think about that for a minute.

If you were to read about a prophet that was never tempted or tried, they probably wouldn't be in the scriptures or you would be bored reading it. However, when you read about the story of Job, losing everything that he had, Nephi, from The Book of Mormon, being tried and tested by his siblings, or the stories of the wars. We find ourselves engaged in these stories and we can learn so much from them.  To me, this is an answer as to why we have trials. If God has given the most humble, God following men this earth has ever seen, hard trials, what makes you think he wouldn't give you one too? 

If we think in the way that our trials will mold us into better, sharper human beings. we will have a better outlook on life, we will appreciate the trails, and grow closer to our Savior!!!

Elder Hendrix

 Elder Solis, Elder Pena, Elder Murphy and Elder Hendrix on P-Day
Yes, he ate both of these......That's like four hotdogs.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

God Wants Us to be Happy

!Hola! This week has been really awesome. We had changes this past week and I am staying in Los Pensamientos probably for 1 more month.

This week, we have found some really cool new families that we are so excited to teach. Other than that, my week was normal. Lots of walking, talking to new people and visiting people on our list of 500+ members!
 This week, I want to spend my time talking about an experience that we had in a lesson.  We were in a lesson with an investigator who told us that she had issues with why a lot of bad thing have happened and why she has so many trials in her life. When she said that to me, it made me think of what Elder Torres (he lives in our house with his companion) said the prior day. He said that “there is a difference between a trial from God and a trial because of a consequence from our actions.”
When he said that, it really made me think. The fact is that it is the truth. We live in a world of decisions. Good and Bad, And every time we make a decision, there is a consequence for it. If I choose to rob a store, I will likely go to jail. If I choose to read my scriptures everyday, I will likely gain doctrinal knowledge.It is that simple.  I have really gained a testimony of that living here. We have had people ask us and complain to us saying, “where is God in people killing each other” and many other questions similar to that. Really, these are the actions of man, not God. Men choose to kill and to commit sin. It’s a little strong, but it is true. I have really gained a testimony of keeping the commandments. We live in a world of decisions and we have a guideline. If we live our lives in accordance with the commandments, we will make good decisions, be happier people and we will know that God will bless us.

Funny enough, I read a story from a conference talk about a story about an elderly man.  The elderly man was telling a story to his granddaughter. He told her that there were two wolves inside of me. One is white, one is dark and they want to fight. The dark wolf has feelings of anger, sadness, pain, shame, rejection and fear, On the other hand, the white wolf has feelings of happiness, joy, love, peace, tranquility and charity. His granddaughter  sat there for a minute and said, “which wolf is going to win?” He replied, “whichever one I feed.”

We need to remember that God is the one that wants us to be happy and Satan is the one who wants us to be sad. However, it is not as clear sometimes to distinguish the distinctive color of the wolf. In the world we live in today, the wolf is grey.  With the world moving in a different direction, a life away from the the commandments is becoming a popular and even appetizing lifestyle. 

Until next week,

Elder Hendrix

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

No Podemos!!!

This week has been incredible! I can't believe that it's already Wednesday.  The weeks just keep going by faster and faster!

Ok, I am going to start with a funny story.  So this past Monday I believe, it was the day after New Years, Elder Murphy and I were walking down the street in our sector when we came across two drunk 40 year old women. When they saw us the first lady said to me, “Kiss me!” I continued walking and said, “No Podemos”(we can’t). The second woman was little more aggressive. She grabbed Elder Murphy’s scriptures and kept saying “kiss me!! kiss me!!” As Elder Murphy was trying to back away, she pulled out his planner from his shirt pocket and started to run down the street! 

As we walked toward her, she said that the only way she would give the planner back would be if we kissed her. As we would walk after her, she would keep walking/running to keep a good distance away from us.  Needless to say, we were in a bit of a pickle. The other drunk lady was trying to help us, but wasn't much help. Elder Murphy and I conspired a plan to get it back. I would approach her as though I would kiss her, but at the very last second I would rip it out of her hand and then we would high tail it out of there! So we had the other drunk lady tell her we would kiss her. When we approached her, she was beginning to pass out, kind of fell against the wall and the other lady took the planner and gave it to us. So it all worked out in the end!!

Anyway, as far as the rest of the week, it was really good.  I went on splits with Elder Carney.  It was great to see him.  He really is an awesome missionary. We are really, as a mission, pushing to find new people through contacts, references and referrals. I love it! We have found some great people through this.

This past Sunday, I had one of the neatest experiences and probably one of the most memorable that I will have on my mission.  Last Friday we passed by a house and saw a family. We were behind schedule because we had to give a blessing and were running to our next lesson, but we both had a prompting or a feeling that we should contact that house one day this week. Two days went by and we walked by the house again on our way to another lesson.  The lesson we went to fell through because the people were not there and again we felt the need/prompting to go to this home, so we went. When we got there, the lady opened the door and said, “Thank you for coming. We have been praying for you guys to visit us.” With wide eyes, Elder Murphy and I looked at each other bewildered!!! We looked back at her and she said, “I am a member(she is less active) and my daughter recently had a 3rd degree burn on her foot and she needs a priesthood blessing. You Elders are an answer to out prayers.” I stood there in absolute shock……What are the odds? Of the thousands of houses in our sector, we felt the prompting to contact that home, and they happened to e praying that we would pass by…..

I can tell you that things like this don't happen by chance or mere luck. There is a God! No doubt! again, things like this don't just happen.  We gave her a blessing and are now passing by and visiting them. It's been a great week.

Until next week,

Elder Hendrix

Happy New Year!!

What a week it’s been! Here the New Years is very big and everyone celebrates!  We had the opportunity to eat dinner with a family in our Ward. We had a huge Asado (Chilean BBQ) and it was SO good! We spent the night with them and had a great time. The following say was very tough. Here people celebrate until 4 or 5 or even until 7 in the morning and then sleep for the rest of the day. Needless to say, nobody was on the street or awake in their homes…..and it was 100 degrees outside.  We did meet some people and ended up having a good day.

The Christmas package arrived.....only a week late!

On Monday we had our normal zone and district meeting and talked about why we are in Chile personally. It was awesome to see the differences in each of our responses. There are missionaries in our zone who are recent (and I mean 1-2 years) converts to the church and are now serving missions! Despite all of our different responses, they all centered on inviting people to come unto Christ. As missionaries, that is what we are here to do! And its something so awesome to see too! 

With Valeria, I have seen that. She has completely changed her life in 4 months now and is absolutely incredible. It has been awesome to see her progression during my short time here in Chile. The other day we got a text from Valeria saying how proud and happy she was for us serving missions. She talked about how hard it must be to leave our families but how because of our sacrifice, she can now experience the happiness of the Gospel! She is amazing!!

The rest of the week was good. We have been focusing on finding more people and talking to even more people in the street now that some of our goals have changed. 

This week I’ve been reminded about what faith is. Here, there are many people that say they have faith because they believe. Faith has two parts. Believing and then acting on that faith through our actions. If we have true faith we will be willing to act. That goes for the gospel and for life. For new years resolutions, we have faith by setting goals, and then working through actions to complete them. If we simply have the idea or desire in our heart without action, we in turn only have an aspiration not faith.

Happy New Year and my Christmas package arrived!!!

My mom sewed me this stocking!! And sent me Pokemon cards!!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Cherish the Moments that Matter Most

This week has flown by! On Friday, we had our Christmas devotional all day, with our entire mission. It started at 11:00 with a talent show, which was so fun and ended with an amazing Christmas program. It is the only time during the year that our whole mission is together, so it was really fun to see everyone from the MTC.  As for the program, different zones in the mission sang different songs, It was amazing.The spirit was incredible and really strong during the program. 
 The following day was the 24th( the day that they celebrate Christmas here). We passed by families in our ward to visit and it was great, Here, they have a big dinner on the 24th and then open their presents at midnight. We ate dinner with the Andrade family. They are recent converts to the church.  We had a wonderful time.

On the 25th, (CHRISTMAS!!!!) we had our sacrament meeting for one hour, ate lunch and then had our Skype session………It was awesome! And trunky (trunky is a term that is used to describe missing home) It was great to see my family and to talk with them. The Cowboys are winning, Trump is President and Nick has two speeding tickets under his belt and is without driving privileges! hahaha,  After the Skype call, we dropped by more members homes and gave them brownies for Christmas and gave short lessons to them about Christmas.

The rest of our week was really busy and we had to teach a lot of lessons. Oh, and last night the other missionaries bunk beds broke during the middle of the night! hahaha,  The frame snapped and the elder on the top bunk fell. hahaha.

As I’ve looked back on this week, I am reminded of the the things that matter most in life. During Christmas, it can be  easy to focus on the gifts without putting much thought into the Savior, the quality time with our families, serving and just being happy. These are all things we should cherish and enjoy. I hope you all have had this opportunity and enjoyed your Christmas. Cherish the moments that matter most; the things that are most important in life are priceless. Our families, our Savior, our happiness and serving. We should never take these things for granted.

Elder Hendrix