Monday, January 30, 2012
Hola Hola!! Every week keeps flying by faster and faster. Its amazing how that works. I love hearing of all the blessings that you are seeing at home. It always re-assures me that the Lord looks after missionarie's families, protects them and blesses them. Elder Lloyd and I are enjoying the many blessings that the Lord is giving us. I love where I am at, Viña is so beautiful, I love the people here so much. I have never taught so many families in my life! The motto of our mission is Misión Viña del Mar, Convertir Familias. (convert families.) Families are the central purpose of Gods eternal plan, and I am so grateful to have a family as wonderful as you!! I love you guys so much. Since this week flew by so fast, I'm having a hard time remembering all the miracles that happened. But I will do the best I can.
We had a family night with President Gillespie this last Thursday. That is one of the benefits of being an Elder that works in Viña, you have the privilege of having family nights in the mission president's house with investigators. We brought Antonio, Erica and Felipe to this monumental event along with a couple of the office elders and one of their investigators. Elder Lloyd and I had the lesson so we planned something super interactive and fun. We set up a course of twine outside which led to a fig tree. This course was a representation of Lehi's dream in the Book of Mormon. We asked President Gillespie to stand under the fig tree and act as Lehi, inciting the people to come to him. We took all the investigators to the beginning of the course, blindfolded everyone, then read them 2Nefi 31:17-18 which explains that repentance and baptism gets them on the path, and this path leads to Eternal Life. Their instructions were to never let go of the rod, and they would make it to Eternal life. While all were on their journey to the Tree of Life, where President Gillespie was shouting for all to come to him, Elder Lloyd and I were right with the investigators, walking side by side with them, trying to tempt them to let go of the Rod. We were successful with one investigator. After letting go, he "repented and went back." They all throughly enjoyed the activity and learned a lot. President and Sister Gillespie had some American style refreshments waiting for us inside so we all went in and had a great night together.
We found something out this week that was devastating. The whole time we were teaching Antonio and Erica, we thought they were married. But during one of the lessons, their son Felipe clarified that they are only living together, not married. They claim that it is the same, but by teaching them the doctrine of Christ, they now understand that they have to get married before they get baptized. They expressed to us that they want to get baptized SO bad, but they are having problems with each other right now so they are not sure if they want to get married. That is one of the biggest culture problems here in Chile. It is more convenient to just live together... But we are working with them and hope they will work things out, and receive an answer from the Lord that they need to get married. They are still coming to church every week, Antonio is still leaving behind his addictions, and little by little, their lives are becoming more in harmony with what the lord wants for them.
I'm sure you are all wondering whats going on with that new family that we found last week. Well we have only been able to visit them once because the father is a navy instructor and the mom works as well, so they are almost never home. On Thursday when we went to pass by them, they told us that they would not be able to share with us until next Tuesday!! (5 days later). Its a bummer that we can't pass by them as much as we would like, but we will still do everything we can to help them progress. We have asked the participation of a few families that are more than happy to help fellowship them. Now its just a matter of getting a fixed appointment and finding a few minutes to share with them.
The zone is seeing miracles. We have once again over 35 baptismal dates and everyone is really enthusiastic about the work. We are seeing so many miracles!
I love you all!