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.

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