March 13, 2012
Say "hi" to Elder Pearson for me and "bye" to Elder Hardy!!!!!
Hey everyone sorry about not writing yesterday...we had interviews with the mission president so our p-day was moved to today. The interviews went great. I didnt know what to say to president because everything is going great at this point in the mission for me....for us. So I just said I was happy! That's really all there is too it.
We had several companionship interchanges this week which were good. On the interchanges, the new missionaries who I was with were able to see new ways to work and how to be more effective and help more people come unto Christ. In the mission right now there are many many new missionaries. In fact, I am the oldest missionary in the zone (with two others with the same time as me) and the rest are all newbies. It's a good challenge to help all of the other missionaries become effective servants of the Lord.
We have been working with several investigators who do not currently have a baptismal date, but we are trying to help them take that step...the main ones are:
-Lily. She is an awesome lady who has been investigating the church for about a year. All of her friends are members of the church and she knows she is going to get baptized one day but she doesnt think that it's her moment still. She has had a struggle with prayer and with scripture reading so that makes it hard to gain a testimony!
-Felipe. He is the younger brother of Nicole, who was baptized last month. He is 18 years old and has come to church EVERY SUNDAY for more than 4 months! He really likes the church, and this week we were able to talk to him about the gospel and it turned out that he didnt have a Book of Mormon yet!!! I dont know how that happened! I was sure that we had given him one about 4 months ago but he said that he didnt have one, but he'd like to have a copy so he can read it more, instead of having to use his mom's (Silvia, recent convert) or Nicole's. This family is seriously amazing. They are completely active and love the gospel so much...and it has literally changed them 100%. Before they were VERY ununified. They have come so far since they met the gospel. It's honestly a privelege to know them....I feel that about so many people here. I dont know how I got so lucky as to be able to meet such awesome people.
-Lina. Lina is a 60 year old woman who's husband is very...burly....no...he's like a buffalo. I dont know how else to describe him. He's bigger and he's one of those guys who you think is the opposite of charming and romantic. He's great though! He doesnt know if God exists and he has a hard time believing it because of so many challenges that he has been through in his life. It all started with his father, who was a beast of a man...a huge jerk. Anyway, Lina is a sweet lady who is very prepared for the gospel, but she wants to do things with her husband...she wants to go to church with him. She has been praying so hard with a lot of faith so that God can work a miracle in his heart, and it is literall happening little by little. Prayer is awesome! If done sincerely, it is literal communication with God.
-Mari. Mari is the 60 year old lady who we found in the street who is sad for her husband who passed away two years ago. She has been receiving us very good and we were able to do a service project this week with Felipe (another Felipe), our investigator who is getting baptized this weekend. Mari is coming along great, and she wants to come to church a lot, but she hasnt been able to still.
Alright, now for our investigators who are getting baptized this week!:
We have the Monseca Astete family who are AMAZING!!! They are Luis 37, Gladis 38, Felipe 15, and Cristian 8. So...Gladis and Felipe and Cristian have been progressing the best, and they are so so excited for their baptisms. This week we passed by with the Elder's quorum president and his wife, who is the relief society president, (the Arriagada family) and also we had a family night with the Pauvif family (the best family in our ward! Literally! (stake president's family. They are all (the kids) so well behaved, super mature, and super awesome. The kids are 14, 10, 9, and 5 years old. They are so great. Here's an examle. A few years ago a sister in the ward was sick and all of them....ALL of them, kids and all, got dressed and went over to the sister's house at 3 in the morning to give her a priesthood blessing and to SING a primary song to her! Such a great family. Anyway, sorry, I just want you all at home to know the people I know here!! Anyway, the family night with our investigators was awesome! We talked about the Word of Wisdom and they all commited to live the word of wisdom. The dad, Luis, wasnt able to come. He hasnt participated with anything in the gospel until....on Saturday night when we brought Felipe back from accompanying us to teach lessons...Luis was there and he said "I'm going to go to church tomorrow with my wife and kids. HE made the decision alone! He did come to church and he LOVED it!! It's great, because we talked about obedience in Sunday school in church and he is a carabinero (chilean policeman) and so we just related how GOD'S LAWS protect us and help us and are necessary just like the laws of the land do the same!!
Just last night we had a lesson with them and his family brought up baptism and he said he is going to get baptized! But he doesnt know when. He is very nervous to stop smoking and drinking...especially because all of the carabineros (policemen) smoke and so its just so normal to relieve the stress from the job. We invited him to be baptized on Christ's birthday, April 6th. He said that he may...he just doesnt know yet. We havent taught him many lessons so we will teach him and help him leave his vices and prepare for the best change he can make in his life!
As for Gladis and Felipe and Cristian, they are completely secure and excited for the baptism. They are so excited. And the best part, we are going to be baptizing them in the same baptismal service as the baptism of President Martinez's son, Angelo!!!!! We are so excited! We will have a baptismal picture with our mission president and the awesome family we are teaching!!! We also will have the baptism of VIVIANA!
Viviana is 38. She is the awesome lady who cried about the children in Africa suffering and dying. She has such a good heart! She has had the biggest desire to follow God's commandments, and she was only waiting to GET MARRIED! And she did it! On Saturday she got married! Whooooohhhhh!!!!! We are so happy for her. And we will be seeing her this Thursday, after her honeymoon.
I have a strong testimony that we ust act with faith in all things. Because....whoever invented lemon pie had to have acted on faith to try to invent it. Whoever wanted to know what an apple tasted like had to try it first! We all have acted on faith, and it is NECESSARY if we want to be happy in this life. We know nothing as humans! Regardless of what we THINK we know...we know nothing...in comparison to how big the universe is. Faith needs to be planted....then it will grow. We can plant our faith by reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and going to church.
This week I completed 18 months as a missionary, which freaked me out, because it seems like just last week I wrote and said that I have 17 months now as a missionary. Time is getting quicker every day! We must enjoy every minute of every day before we are old fogies!
Awesome- I was able to go on divisions with one of the assistants to president this week (just yesterday) and we had some great moments. We passed by one older lady in the ward who we havent ever passed by and we asked about her conversion story. Then we asked her to make a list of all of her friends and family who arent members. Then we said that what we want to do is kneel down, and pray to Heavenly Father, asking him for revelation right there to know which of those people is ready to hear the gospel. We knelt down and I offered a prayer...during the prayer I waited several seconds in silent. When the prayer ended. We looked up but the sister who we were with kept her head down and eyes looking at the list. Tears started falling down from her face and after a good two or three minutes, she finally looked up and said "thank you" as tears went down her face. She said that she felt something amazing all over her body...and that two of the people on the list came to her mind. We planned a lesson with her and her friend who she is going to invite and she is very excited. When she received that witness that that specific friend is prepared for the gospel, I dont thnk there is any doubt that she is going to do everything she can now to help them. The spirit is so powerful! It is real people!
Quote of the week: From Gladis: " I dont know what is happening to me, I am ALWAYS SMILING!! I know that when I get baptized, I will lose many friends, friends who just call me on the weekends to leave with them. But I dont want to leave with them any more. And I am not afraid to lose their friendship, because I know that I am going to gain so many new real friends. All I want is that Saturday comes faster!"
Best quote ever :) The spirit is so powerful!
Tender Mercy- Seeing the change in the Monseca Astete family..especially when the dad, Luis, told us that he was going to come to church with his family.
I love you all, have a great one,
-Rodrigo, an investigator from Santa Barbara that I found here in LA! I was so happy to see him! He was one of my best friends there!
-Family night with the Pauvif family with Gladis, Felipe, and Cristian.
-First solo BBQ. It was great. I was nervous at first. (it was today...we had a zone activity in a ward member's house)
-Zone activity today for p-day.