Saturday, March 25, 2017

Back in Los Pensamientos

Javiera & Sister Montana
Back with Elder Murphy

This has been a very rewarding week here in Santiago.  Last Saturday was a blast! On Friday, I got a call from Elder Murphy (my previous companion) and was told that Javiera and Maximo were having their baptism.  I had the opportunity to go to it and baptize Javiera. It was great. It was awesome to go back and to see them all again.  It was a wonderful baptismal service and was very spiritual. All of the Montana (sp) family was there(cousins, Aunts and Uncles. They had a good 20 family members attend. Before the service started,  Maximo, who is a hilarious kid, by the way, came up to all of us missionaries and said,

“I am so excited for my baptism! It’s just that my two biggest fears are:
  1. Water, and
  2. Falling back into the water
And the thing is that we will be doing both of those today!!”

I am so happy for Javiera and Maximo. They are incredible kids and the Montana family are really special to me. Seeing their change of heart is something that I can not put into words. Over the past three months, seeing the Gospel come back into their lives and seeing their testimonies grow brings me so much joy! It’s moments like that that I cherish.

This weekend, we will be having a baptism for Daniela! She has been so prepared to hear the gospel.  Here in our mission, it is rare that a companionship(Elder Vargas and I)  can find someone to teach and baptize, during the same transfer. Anyways, we are really excited for Daniela!!

I’m short on time.  Hope you have a great week.

Elder Hendrix

Friday, March 24, 2017

Dare to be Bold

It has been a really good week for us here in San Bernardo. Those that we are teaching are really progressing and making major strides! We are teaching an investigator named junior who is progressing very fast. He has now come to church two times and absolutely loves it! He is a really deep thinker and loves what we teach him,  What I love about him most is that he rolls up to church each Sunday with shades on and wears them during sacrament meeting! hahaha
This past Friday we had a very spiritual lesson with a new investigator that we found this past Monday. When we contacted her, we went into her house and saw that she had pictures on her walls of photos from our church! As we continued talking with her, we found out that all of her children were baptized! She left to the south of Chile for a bit, so we are looking forward to teaching her more when she returns. On Saturday, we had service and laid cement, for a patio, for a family in our ward. As it was drying, Elder Vargas drew his name in the cement in BIG letters.  hahaha.
On Tuesday, we had our District and Zone Meeting and we also had our interviews with President. They were great. My interview with President William was fantastic. I really enjoy every chance to talk with him, each change.
The past two changes(12 weeks) I’ve had a goal to read all of The New Testament. This past week I was reading in the book of Acts. As I was reading I was amazed by the power and authority that the Apostles taught. To me, there is a drastic manner in which they taught and acted when Jesus was on the earth performing miracles and ministering to the people in comparison to after His death. I believe that one factor was motivation. After seeing the death of their Savior and His resurrection, I believe they firmly wanted to teach and deliver His message. More than anything, however, I believe it was to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. In the book of John, chapter 16, verse 7 it says, “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you”
The gift of the comforter(Holy Ghost) gave the Apostles so much more power as they taught.  Fast forward into the book of Acts in chapter 2 where it explains this.  In this chapter the spirit is “poured” on the people they are teaching. As they receive this feeling they are amazed and marveled. As other people mock the multitude, Peter, to me, speaks with the confidence and boldness that they Savior had.

V.14 “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell in Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:”

V.17 “O…it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my spirit upon all the flesh: and your sons and daughters shall prophecy”

As I read this, Peter did exactly as Jesus would have done. He stood up and testified boldly of the spirit! From reading the New Testament, I can see the drastic change in Peter through his words and testimony to the doubters.

Dare to be bold, just as Peter was.

Elder Hendrix

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Five BIG Dogs and a Bike

Elder Hendrix and Elder Gomez

I've had an official week here in San Bernardo! This week’s been incredible and filled with many memories and stories. To clarify again, I am serving in the San Bernardo Stake in the Lo Blanco Ward. I have a BIKE! (San Bernardo is the only area in our mission with bikes) and it is a big zone. 

This past Thursday, we had a lesson with a new investigator, Daniela. She is absolutely incredible. I am so convinced that Heavenly Father continually prepares His children to hear His message because Daniela was! As we began teaching her, she listened so attentively what we were saying and was really engaged during the lesson. She asked really good questions and the spirit was really strong during the lesson. WE had two lessons with her last week and invited her to be baptized. She eagerly said yes and even said that she knew that this was the truth. She told us that she prayed fervently the night after our first lesson and asked God if this was the truth.  She waited a minute and then felt an overwhelming feeling and sense that was the truth. That everything we had taught her from Joseph Smith to the Plan of Salvation(our plan for happiness) was true! Needless to say, we are really excited to continue teaching and visiting with her.

On Sunday, I had the chance to get to know lots of members in my new ward. Here in Lo Blanco, around 80-90 people attend our church each week and the members are amazing people. Ivan is a member that we passed by his house this week and he is an incredible guy. He is fluent in English. I believe we will be great friends! 

Yesterday, we had a really fun day. For the first time in my time here, we had the chance to go out of the city and into the woods. I could finally breathe a breath of fresh air! It was so pretty! We biked around a little mountain and we visited with some people in their big country homes.(I am sorry mom but I didn't have my camera on me) Anyway, it was really fun. 

On the way back to the city we were going down a long road and eventually came to a stop about halfway down, to call our next appointment. As I proceeded to stop, Elder Vargas continued to ride down the road. I yelled for him to stop. Right  as I did that, five “BIG” dogs that were sitting on the lawn of the house in front of me took off after me. Instantly, I jumped on my bike and took off. I was hauling on my bike! One big dog isn't too much of a problem, but five is a different story. 

Luckily, there had been a car coming in the oncoming lane and almost hit two of the dogs. That car gave me a two second head start and I flew like the wind. We had been biking for about two hours, so I was kind of dragging behind Elder Vargas, but not in this moment. I flew right past him in an instant. I had the dogs on my tail for about 50 yards and after that, they stopped chasing us. When we got back to the city, my legs were dead! I love the mission!!

Recently I was reading in The Book of Mormon about the story of Alma where he is teaching the Zoramites. As he was teaching he found much success with the those that were humble at heart. These people were rejected by  the rich and were not able to enter their churches. As Alma is preaching to the, he tells them that because of their circumstances, “they are compelled to be humble” and that because of this they “seeketh repentance”. To me this scripture applies to me in the respect that I have grown up in the church. Thanks to the fact that I grew up in the church, I’ve been taught great values, know the importance of family, my purpose in life, etc… 

Furthermore, one can say that I have grown up around it and don't know any different, which is true. Because of my circumstance, I believe what I believe. It is no different than those who where humble at heart who had not other choice than to be humble due to their economic circumstances. The circumstances or background we grow up in mold us and influence us into who we are today. If I were to grow up here in Chile, where I serve without the church or family guidance, I would probably be smoking, drinking and doing who knows what.

However, Alma explains what we can do with our given circumstances. In Alma 32:15 he says, “Yea, he that truly humbleth himself, and repenteth of his sins, and endureth to the end, the same shall be blessed-yea, much more blessed than they who are compelled to be humble because of their exceeding poverty”. 

It’s the same for me and the same for all of us. I grew up in the church and was compelled or heavily influenced to believe what we as a church believe, but I had to “truly convert or “truly” believe what we believe and stand for as a church at some point in my life.

The moral to this story is that our given circumstances in life shape us. The things that we, at times, don’t have much control over heavily influence our decisions. However, if we can be truly humble in our circumstances or truly humble ourselves to change, that God will help us. Our circumstances and background that we each have, have a purpose and God wants us to submit ourselves to Him to be “truly” humble to be true sons and daughters to Him; that continually seek and humble themselves in their circumstances or to change and follow His will for us. If we truly submit ourselves to Him we will find his will for us.

Transfers, San Bernardo and a Bike!

Elder Hendrix and Elder Vargas

Wow, so much has changed this week. As I am writing to you now, I am currently in San Bernardo! We had changes this past week and I was changed to the Lo Blanco Ward in San Bernardo. I have a bike!!! I am so pumped. I am serving with Elder Vargas who is from El Salvador. He has 9 months on the mission and is a great guy. I will come back to my past two days here in Lo Blanco when I finish my letter(mom note… he doesn't finish his letter, so we are left in suspense as to how his first few days in San Bernardo went) :)

Anyway, this past week in Los Pensamientos was a tough one. Elder Murphy was dead for about three days and didn't leave the house. He had a fever a a bad stomach bug, so I spent my last day and a half with the other Elders in our home to say goodbye to our investigators and members. It was awful. I didn’t want to leave Los Pensamientos and the members. I had the opportunity to meets some incredible people and I now have to leave them. However, after being in the same area for 6 months the change didn’t come as a surprise.

Saying goodbye to Valeria and the Andrade family was very tough, but the hardest was with the Montana family. Maximo and Javiera were really upset that I was leaving but I will definitely be going back for their baptism in 2 weeks. Their grandmother is absolutely incredible. She has been so dedicated  to going to church. When she was on vacation she attended church over the two weeks and is now reading General Conference talks and is so consecrated. Seeing her change over the past few months is something I will remember forever.

And I have left Elder Murphy. Elder Murphy is an incredible missionary.  He works very hard and is a very consecrated man. I will definitely miss him. 

Until next week!!