Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I am Happy

This week has been good. I've had another great week with Elder Murphy. Summer is coming to an end and the Chileans are back in their homes( in Chile, they leave for 3 weeks or more at times to travel to the beach or to the south). Things are really coming together now and people are really progressing in the Gospel, which is great!! This past week we held our English class(we teach it every week), but it turned into a Spanish class. We had 6 Haitians in our class and taught them the basics of Spanish from Creole, which was a sight to see. At times we were communicating in English, Spanish and Creole to one another. It's amazing how different our languages are.

This week I want to talk abut how happy I am with what I am doing here in Chile. It kind of hit me the other day that there isn't anywhere else in the world I would rather be than here in the Urban Jungle of Santiago. Everyone says that what we do is hard and almost make it seem like we are bogged down until we get to return home. I love what I do here. I am so happy. I have walked down the same streets now for the past 6 months, seeing the same people everyday and do the same thing everyday; inviting others to come unto Christ. I am truly happy and hope you find happiness in your life. Look for the little things and you will find it. Enjoy this life and have fun.

Sorry for the short message this week.

Love, Elder Hendrix
Mom Note: We told him that he needed a haircut and he said that they ran into some issues and couldn't get one last week nor this week, so Elder Murphy gave it a go on Elder Hendrix's hair.  We will see how it looks next week!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Dare to be Bold

WOW, this has been an incredible week for Elder Murhpy and I. We have really been progressing with Venel! Venel is form Haiti and we have been teaching him for the past three months now! He is progressing faster than ever now, and is preparing for a baptism! We are so pumped and are passing by a lot to teach and prepare him!! We were in a lesson with him this past week and his roommate who speaks very little Spanish but is absolutely hilarious, offered us food at the very end of a lesson. We told him we had to run to another lesson, but he insisted that we would eat his Haitian food! hahaha. So he locked the door and put the keys in his pocket and refused to let us leave! haha (I hope I didn't share this story last week....the weeks are really blending together now) but anyway, we ate at their house with them for a little. haha. Now Elder Murphy and I are picking up on some Creol (mostly Elder Murphy) I am just learning catchy phrases! hahaha
Also, I had the opportunity to have another division this week. Elder Carney (my trainer) came into our old ward and we  were together again! haha It was so weird though. Elder Carney was a little taken aback during the lessons. It has been about three months since we went our ways, and when he came back, I was leading and can now talk relatively freely now! We went back and visited Valeria, the Andrade family, and other people he had known! It was a really cool day!

Other than that, My week has been really good. With the new changes and emphasis in repentance and Baptism, Elder Murphy and I have been thinking and collaborating on how we can apply the changes into our area as missionaries. To us, we have been a lot bolder for sure. We are putting even more emphasis and importance in the fact that repentance will free us from sin and pain, and that baptism is necessary !! We are bolder now than we have ever been, and I love it! As missionaries we have to be bold in promising the blessings of salvation. we are here to save souls!!

The other way is that we have to do it to. We, as missionaries, need to repent daily, and we need to remember the importance of the baptismal covenants that we have made too! That was a big emphasis in our zone conference this past month. That we as missionaries need to practice what we literally teach! In doing so, we will have the spirit with us even more as we teach, and we will understand the why behind what we do even more! In turn, we will become better teachers, more people will come to know the truth, and more people will be truly converted. Members and Converts alike! 

Mom Note:  Thank you to the amazing members in Chile who sent me these pictures this week!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Building a roof, blessing babies and the Word of God

The weeks just keep going by faster and faster.  I can’t believe it’s already been another week.  On Thursday we had Zone Conference with a member of the Seventy.,(a church leader) Elder Packer, and we talked about the new mission changes that were put in place two weeks ago. It was great.  We as missionaries are trying and will be working even more with investigators and will be tracing and placing more emphasis on the importance of repentance and baptism.

 On Friday, Elder Murphy and I had a crazy day! BUENO, on Friday, an amazing cold-front blew into Santiago. We had 75 degree temperatures all day. It was incredible! We also had one of the most interesting days I’ve had on the mission. We taught a new family that was a reference from a member and we were asked to cast out an evil spirit in their home. Right after that, we had a family in our ward call us to come and give their babies a blessing. We went to what we believed was their home, but it turned out that they lived across the street in a completely different mission. (As missionaries we are not allowed to cross mission boundaries) We called the office to try and get the other missionaries number in the other mission but we couldn’t find it. Long story short, we received permission and went across the street, into the other mission to give the babies a blessing due to the immediate need of those babies. While we were there we gave the blessings and were also asked to cast out another evil spirit in their home.  It was a interesting day. 

On Saturday morning, we provided service to one of our recent converts, Valeria. We replaced her roof! That was a first for me. We worked that morning and then she served us lunch afterwards, in her home. 

Another amazing thing that happened the week occurred on Tuesday. We had a lesson with Venel, Peter, David and James.  They are all Haitian and live in the same home.  We’ve really only been teaching Venal, preparing him for his upcoming baptism, but for this ,lesson, they were all home  and were listening and participating. Venal speaks really good Spanish, but the other struggle more.  We had a lesson on the Book of Mormon. We talked about how we believe that this book is the word of God and the importance that it can play into our lives. At the end, we asked Venel if he could share his testimony, with his friends, of this book. He testified in Creole, and then after told us that he has read it and has found that it is true and that is serves the same importance as the The Bible. To me, this was incredible to see him talk and testify of this book in Creole. After our lesson, as we were proceeding to leave, David offered us food. We politely declined but he wouldn't take no for an answer. He locked the door, sat us down on the couch, gave us food and didn't let us leave until we ate it all.  hahaha! That was hands down one of my most favorite lessons on the mission I’ve had thus far. 

Afterwards, I really got to thinking. Thinking about what we teach and believe as missionaries and as a people. When we ask people if they believe in The Bible, every person of a Christian belief and religion says,  “of course” without hesitation. Then we ask them if they have prayed to God to know that it is true? Some people say yes, others we catch red handed or leave them thinking.  To me, many people presume The Bible to be true because every Christian faith reads it and because it is one of the most read books around the world. However, if we can ask our Heavenly Father if something is true, and we listen with real intent, He will answer our prayers and we will know that these things are true. I have found that with The Book of Mormon. I have asked and I do believe that it is also the truth; that it also testifies of Christ and that he lives, just as The Bible does.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

New Rules, Goals and Growth

This week has been great. Lots of things happened. Last Thursday, we had a worldwide conference with the General Authorities (these are the leaders of our church) about some changes to the mission. They have given us a lot of freedom. We can pick when we want to have companion study, proselyte, language study, lunch and dinner, as long as it is between 11:00 in the morning and 10-10:30 at night! And, our P-Day(his day to do laundry, email home, grocery shop and play soccer) was extended from 9:00 in the morning until 7:00 at night!! So, there have been some great changes for us missionaries.

This past Thursday we had our interviews with President Gwilliam, which are always awesome! We set goals for this quarter.  I have specific mission goals, and personal goals; a goal to read the New Testament and to write in my journal daily for my studies and for my personal journal.

The rest of our week was really good. We met an investigator who moved to a new home which is in our sector and is so receptive. We taught her our first lesson which is on the restoration of the Gospel which basically explains the basics of what we believe. She new all of it and is just waiting to turn 18 to be baptized. Her dad is telling her that she has to wait until then. She already reads her scriptures, is saying her prayers and is now coming to church! 

Also, this past Sunday, the Mantana family came to church!  They were the family that Elder Murphy and I felt prompted to contact that day in the street. Two weeks later they are now coming to church and their 11 year old daughter wants to be baptized! !Milagros!  And to think that all of this started from the prompting to stop by their home. We are really excited to continue to stop by and teach them.

This week I want to share with you a frustration that I had in one of my lessons this past week.  We were with a family of recent converts (people who have been baptized within the past 12 months) who haven't been coming to church lately. They talked about how another family that was really active are now beginning to not go to church very often. They compared themselves to this family saying, “ok,ya they are not going now, so we wont either. They were consecrated, we aren’t, so why should we go?” 

In Preach My Gospel (manual that we study and teach from) it teaches us that as missionaries, we should never compare ourselves to our companion or other missionaries. We are taught that we need to have a more introspective viewpoint. We should look at ourselves and ask ourselves what can we do to grow closer to Him. I want to help this family to learn that they too should focus on what they can do to grow closer to Jesus Christ and not focus on what others are doing. This may be difficult to do at times, but I am up for the challenge. 

May we each focus on what we, individually, can do to grow closer to Christ this week and every week.

Elder Hendrix

***Mom note*** Elder Hendrix's Spanish must be getting better because his letters are starting to make less sense each week. :)  Enjoy!