Monday, March 21, 2011
Hola Hola!!! This week has been absolutely incredible!! So much has happened! I don´t even know where to start. Well I guess I could start off by saying... Go Cougs!!! Thats so awesome! Congrats Unkle John!! She is one lucky girl. Gotta love church basketball!... Now back to Chile. The first week of the change is officially over! I don´t really know where that time has gone but its all good.
So this week was a special one in the branch of La Ligua. President Gillespie traveled to La Ligua this week for sacrament meeting along with an area president. During sacrament meeting, they released the branch president Ahumada, and called hermano Palominos. He is so awesome and I am so excited to work with him. Hermano Palominos and his family is the same family that invited us over for Christmas, to call our families in their house, drive us everywhere in their little truck, and accompany us with appointments. They are a great family.
This last wednesday, after having rejected by all of our other appointments, we went to go give tours of the church. Stand outside the fence that encircles it and contact people to see if they would like to recieve a tour. It seems like after every hard day, where we recieve rejection, its super hot, we are super tired, something good always seems to happen. "through much sacrifice comes the blessings." What happened next truly was a blessing. We saw this lady walking down the street with her two little daughters. One was 11 the other 5. The five year old had a white face mask on and had short hair. The mom´s name is Jessica, and the two daughters are Dafne (11) and Scarlet (5). As we were getting to know them a little more, we came to find out that Scarlet, this precious little girl, has the fatal cancer of Leukemia (Blood cancer). She has been given by the doctors a life expectancy of 2 years. What a heart breaking situation. Well we gave them a tour of the church. Upstairs, in the chapel, I played and sang a song for them to bring the spirit. During the song, the spirit touched their hearts and started to cry. As I played the last note of the song, litterally the last note, suddenly the walls and floor and everything in the room started to shake. Yep you guessed it... Earthquake! It was a nice little earthquake 5.6. Perfect timing! And it didn´t help that we were upstairs either. Here we were all calm and tranquil, then BOOM, an earthquake. What a great way to kick the spirit right out of the room. haha. They gave us their address which is right next to the little airport (more like one runway for little planes), and were super interested for us to pass by their house.
The next day, we had an appointment to go visit Jessica and her family. It was a nice little trec to her house, (she lives kinda far away.) We got lost for a little while but in due time found our way. She litterally lives right next to the airplane runway. It is the only house within a mile away. As we approached the house, there was a huge Rottweiller dog that wanted to kill us haha. We kept our distance, found our way around, knocked on the door, and they saved us from their ferocious dog, (It has bitten lots of people). Anyways, they were super happy to see us, they invited us right in and we got to know them a little more. The spirit led us to share a certain scripture with them in Mosiah 2:41, which talks about obedience. It was a great lesson, they were all super involved, learned a lot and there is a great feeling of confidence and friendship with this family. We asked them if they had any questions. -What happened next has changed my life.- Scarlet timidly raised her hand because she had a question. She is very polite and a little timid. She lowered her white little face mask so she could talk. She then asked the question in her light, angelic, innocent voice... "If I obey, will I be happy when I go to heaven?" Tears filled my eyes. I did not know what to say. This precious little angel, full of life, happy, innocent, full of dreams does not have too much longer to live. Her question litterally touched my heart. I responded to her, "Yes Scarlet, you will be happy in heaven." The faith of a child. My joy is that we will help this family understand the plan of Salvation that our heavenly father has for each and every one of us. We will give them the opportunity to be able to live with their family forever. This knowlege make these tough situations not so hard to deal with. After having experience this, I was emotional the rest of the day. I can not erase the tender voice of Scarlet from my mind. My mind is now more set on the eternal perspective. Jessica and her family all need your prayers.
This last Saturday, the branch along with our new recent converts Camila, Matias, and Constanza were all able to travel down to Santiago to go to the Temple! We are so blessed in Utah to have a handfull of temples within an hour of our house. haha It really is a big sacrifice for these people to attend the temple. But anyways, it was an incredible experience. It was my first time in spanish which was cool. I just love the temple so much! I loved being able to remember all the great blessings we have through the temple. A nice little refresher, now i´m set for a while! Animated and good to go! It was great to be able to see Camila, Matias and Constanza at the temple. What a great blessing.
Well I love you all so much and pray for you every day of my life!
Monday, March 14, 2011
Hola Hola!! This week has been amazing! So as you may all know, this was the last week of the change. We found out who is leaving and who is staying. The big news is ...... drumroll please... i´m going to stay here with Elder Huaman for another change in La Ligua!! Hoorah! I´m actually really excited to stay here in La Ligua. I love it here. We have been working really hard and will have some success this change to come.
So this was super special. La Ligua, after waiting for more than a year, has finally had some baptisms!! A few days before the baptism, we were visiting the family San Martín to teach them more about Prophets, and in specific the modern day prophet Thomas S. Monson. We decided to share with them the last conference talk that he gave about Gratitude. As we were reading, they were all super interested and excited about what the talk was saying. They did not want to stop reading. In this lesson, it seemed as if they had more excitement and enthusiasm than normal. After the lesson, they explained that they had said a prayer asking Heavenly Father for something, and their prayer was answered. They really did have a different light about them and they were all super ready for their baptism. Then when friday rolled around, they were all baptized. What an incredible experience it was. Their grandpa traveled hours to come down and be the one to baptize them all. After the baptism, he came up to me, grabbed my hand, and expressed the sincerest thank you I believe I have ever recieved in my life. He expressed that for years he has been trying to help the kids come to the church, but has continually failed. He thanked me for my efforts and for helping to bring his grandchildren to the gospel of Jesus Christ. These moments are what make all the hard work worth it. The baptism was such a spiritual experience. After they were all baptized, we had the final part of the service where all the young men and young women bore their testimonies of the truth of the gospel, and expressed their support for them. Then all the leaders of the organizations, primary, YM, and YW bore their testimonies and support. It so key to have the support of the members.
, right before sacrament meeting, I recieved notice that i would be confirming Matias. At first I was a little scared. (This was the first time in my life confirming someone member of the church and giving them the ). But everything went so well. I felt as if I was recieving guidance from heaven. It was such a great experience. The father of the children has assisted to the baptism and the confirmation. He is super super catholic but after having seen his kids recieve these saving ordinances, and feeling the spirit, I have seen a change in him. We will see what happens later on. I would absolutely love to see this whole family all in white again. Not for the purpose of re-baptism, but for the sealing ordinance of the temple; being sealed as a family for all eternity.
, we visited them again to share feelings and thoughts of what just took place. It was such a spiritual/emotional/priceless moment. We talked a little about the premortal life and how we promised them that we would find them and bring them the eternal gospel of Jesus Christ. Everyone was crying. We expressed thanks and congratulations. We have been through a lot together and to see them baptized and confirmed fills me with a joy that I cannot explain with words. I love my mission.
I have set a new goal with this ward. I am not leaving here without having made this branch more musically capable. I have been teaching some of the young men and young women how to read music on the piano. So when I leave, they will have someone to be able to play the hymns for sacrament meeting. It has actully worked out really well. I teach them a 45 minute piano lesson, they they accompany us for a few hours. It has been a great way to gain the trust and support of the branch. Everyone has more interest in accompaning us and giving us references. We have been called to serve with all that we have, and I feel a personal responsibility to leave this branch with the gift of music. Teach them how to fish instead of just giving them a fish.
Well I love you all so much and pray for you every day!
Nos vemos!" Chao!!!
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Hola!! This week has been So great! We had a lot of success with lessons with
member, lots of books of mormon handed out, and quite a few new investigators. I
really cannot believe where the time has gone! This is the last week of the
change! The time really has gone by super fast. Sounds like everything is going
great back at home! Go Cougs! Pretty intense news! with jimmer, davies, Ncaa
tournament, byu track meet.
So I have found something that makes me laugh so hard! Its called snake
contacts. "Snakes" refering to the girls that like to flirt and basically just
want to be your boyfriend (pololo). haha. Every time we are walking down the
street, and we see girls between the ages of 15 and 20, we go over and talk to
them. It makes me laugh so hard because the girls go crazy! There are not very
many tall gringos here in and the girls don´t really know how to take
that. They get all nervous, or they start flirting, or they are just in shock,
or lost in some green eyes that they den´t really see very often... Its so
awesome because it totally works every time! They accept everything. I ask them
if we can come to their house and share our message with them. The obvious
answer...Yes! Name and address...Lets just say this is a great way to get future
investigators. Hopefully one of these "snakes" turns out to be a baptism!
Now that the Family San Martín is back from their vacation, it is the last week
before their baptism. That means interview time! So the day before the
interview, we sat down and were talking to them about their baptism. The point
then came up that Camila and Matias wer having second thoughts about being
baptized. They feel embarrased or don´t feel sure about it, and all these doubts
are flying out. The mom started to explain that this is all she wants for her
children. That her kids can grow up in the church with all these inportant
values. She got really emotional explaining that a lot of the time, her kids
have too much priority on the things of the world and do not understand the
magnitude of the things of God. We took this situation calmly. After thinking of
what to say, we briefly explained to them that this always seems to happens
right before something important happens, usually when its concerning the things
of God. Right before your baptism, Satan is going to tempt you the hardest to
make sure that you do not go through with it. We resolved all their doubts, had
a super spiritual lesson with them to get their focus and animo back. They had
their interview yesterday and all passed! Their baptism will be (4:00 pm in the U.S.). Their grandpa will be traveling down from la
Serena to baptize all of them. It will be an incredible experience!
So this week, President Gillespie called us and said that since our numbers have
gone up so much, I want to visit La Ligua for church to see how the
branch is doing and to meet all your investigators. So he did. Its always super
scary to have the president at church with you because everything has to be
perfect. Luckily everything turned out great! Afterwards, the people that we
were going to have lunch with could not do it, so we were stuck without lunch.
Until ¨The familia Palominos invited us to eat at their house with President
Gillespie and his wife. Now, there are not many missionaries that can say that
they have eaten lunch with the President! It was pretty intense! He was watching
our every move haha. Everything turned out great!
So I had a fun little experience this morning. I woke up and I did my morning
prayer. I felt something on my elbow. I looked and nothing was there. About 3
minutes later, i felt something on the back of my leg. I decided to smack it
with my hand thinking it was a fly or something. As I smack my leg, i feel
something about the size of my palm! I freak out, throw the thing off me, and
jump up and try to find out what it was. I come to find out that it was a Big
Ole Spider!!! This experience does not help my arachnafobia!
Love you all! Chaíto!!