Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 31.... Representatives of Christ!!!

Where's Waldo?...I mean Elder Boyer
This week was a really tough week for Elder Miller and I. For some reason everything just kept turning against us. The adversary wanted so bad to bring us down. Every day we had a different problem in the branch, or in the area, that would get us down. The adversary was trying super hard this week to get us down. We have prayed harder than we have ever prayed this week. We did a fast that we could make it through these constant attacks from the adversary. I think we finally made it through. I know there are still going to be temptations, but we were able to resolve all the problems and get the branch back to running smoothly. We know the adversary is trying to destroy us because he is scared. There is so much potential in this branch, and we are about at the point where we are going to see another big increase. It is so amazing to be here in Los Sauces right now.

Ya, we had a hard week, but I just kept thinking of the scripture in Ether....

          "You don't receive a testimony until after the trial of your Faith." 

 Satan, right now, is working hard to destroy our branch. Everyone here is really fragile. They are all new at this, so it is really easy for them to get tempted and to fall into his temptations. Elder Miller and I have been working hard and praying a lot for this branch. Every day this week we received revelation on what we could do to help this branch stay strong, and continue to work through the temptations of Satan. 

 We came up with a plan called SANCTIFYING THE BRANCH. We have 3 things we are going to teach all the members here and help them gain a testimony of these 3 things. We know if they do these things, they will have the Faith to overcome the temptations of the adversary:
1) We are going to help people to FEAST UPON THE WORDS OF CHRIST (2 Nephi 31:20). 
2) We are going to give everyone a calling. As we receive callings we become sanctified and we begin to progress in the Gospel.
3) Keep the Sabbath Day Holy (D&C 59). 
We know that if we can’t help these people here in the branch to understand these 3 topics they will be able to strengthen their testimonies and be able to stay strong in the church, even after we leave. They will be able to overcome all the trials they are going to have. Even though it was a bad week for us, we were still able to get over all the bad times and still have great success on Sunday. 

We got a confirmed YES from our investigator!! Francisca will be baptized on the 16th of May. We are super excited about that. We hope that you can all pray for her as she continues to prepare for this day. I love serving here in Los Sauces. I hope you all know we are praying for you and ask you all to pray for this branch as they struggle and grind through the temptations of the world. That they may overcome the greatest liar of mankind and be firm in the Faith and change the lives around them. Thanks for all your love and support.

For my Spiritual thought this week I wanted to share the Sacrament Prayer. I was really hit strong this week when I started to read the Sacrament Prayer.

 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen”

 In the prayer, it says "To take upon them the name of thy son" But what does it mean to take upon them the name of thy Son? I hope you can all take some time this week, like I have, to study the topic. What does it mean to take the Name of Christ upon ourselves? I related it to a story that happened to me. So this week, we were in a conference for the youth. Our youth was going to have a ward party in another ward, so we were going to take a cab to the next church.  Elder Miller and I get in the cab, and the guy asks me where we want to go. I tell him, "Terminal 11", so he takes my money and we start to go. He takes us about 3 blocks and drops us off at the main Terminal in Angol. He Says, "there is the Terminal”. I tell him, "But I said Terminal 11". He then gets all upset and begins to yell at me. He tells me that he is not deaf, he can hear fine and he heard “Terminal”. I asked him if we could get our money back and he rudely said NO and kicked us out of the car. At this point Elder Miller and I were furious. We started talking to each other about how if we weren't missionaries, we would have done something. We would have given that guy a piece of our mind. He just jipped us of a couple bucks... so we would have given it to him. But since we had the name tag we didn't do it. I then started to think; It shouldn't matter if we are missionaries or not. We are all members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We are all representatives of Christ. For me, taking upon the name of the Savior, is doing all that you can in every situation to be a true representative of Him. No matter where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing. Strive to be a TRUE REPRESENTATIVE of CHRIST! I testify that is what taking upon the name of Christ really means.  

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 30... Satisfaction Vs. Happiness!!!I

Football (American) with our Zone
(Tyler was having problems with his email account this week, so this is dictated from his voice recording.)

 This has been a great week…The last week of the cambio. We were super nervous that Elder Miller and I weren’t going to be comps, but we actually just got the news that we are staying together in Los Sauces for this next cambio. We are super excited about that. This will be Elder Miller’s last cambio…. I will be killing him (this will be the 3rd comp that I’ve killed)! I think that we will do really well in this last cambio together. 

This has been a really good week for us. We had a lot of the Stake members come up to Los Sauces to train all of the leaders that we have been calling.  We finally got a Relief Society President, Primary President, Deacon Quorum President, Young Women’s President, and a Laurel President. We have been calling a lot of people to help lead this church that is now starting to grow. This week we got to hear from Elder Oaks. He came out to Chile and did a video conference for several of the missions here. He gave an awesome talk to the missionaries, via skype. So, our whole mission met in Los Angeles, to listen to Elder Oaks speak. It was a very spiritual experience for us. Elder Miller and I have really been focusing on getting the members here to be committed to the church, and to help strengthen their testimonies, so that even after the missionaries leave this area they will stay strong and will continue to come to church. That has been a big problem down here, that as soon as the missionaries leave, despite the member’s commitments, they tend to fall away. We want them to stay strong and continue to grow. This sector has so much potential, they just need to continue to strengthen their faith and stay truly converted.  So, Elder Oaks talked a lot about the Sabbath Day. We received a lot of revelation during his talk. The church here has really been focusing on the Sabbath Day and the Sacrament. Elder Oaks said something like “We don't want people to only be converted to just coming to church, we want them to be converted to Christ.” That really stood out to me. Ya, it’s good to get people converted to coming to church every Sunday, but it’s much better if we can get them converted to Christ. 

In Moroni 10:32-33, it says (in my terrible way to translate it from Spanish to English),
 If you come to Christ you will be perfected in Him. You will be absent of all of your imperfectness. If you love God with all of your heart, might, mind, and strength; you will be able to receive His grace, and you will be perfected in Christ. The grace of God is being perfected in Christ, and you will not reject the power. So be perfected in Christ for the grace of God.

I really love that scripture. There is no other way to be perfected, only through Christ. So, my challenge this week is to focus on being truly converted to Christ, to grow your faith in our Savior, and to love God with all of your heart, might, mind, and strength. I know this to be true. I've had many struggles throughout my mission and my life, and it’s just so awesome to see how my mission has changed me. And how being perfected in Christ brings so much happiness that really nothing else could bring. I know that Satan likes to imitate what God has, Satan imitates happiness by creating satisfaction. One thing I've really learned on my mission is the difference between happiness and satisfaction. With satisfaction, Satan makes us think that we are truly happy. But that happiness is only temporary. Like when I eat a hamburger, I am totally satisfied for like an hour or two, but then I will need more soon. But, happiness can last forever. I’m here to testify that true happiness can only come through Christ.  I testify that we can be perfected in Christ and that we can receive remission for our sins. My challenge to you this week is to always remember Christ and remember all that He has done for us, to continue to go to church and to grow in your faith, and to know that through Christ is the only way to be saved. I know, without a doubt, that Christ is our Savior and our Redeemer, and the only way we can be cleansed of our sins is through Him. That’s what Elder Miller and I have been teaching the people of Los Sauces, that the only way to become clean and perfected is not only to come to church, but more importantly, to Come Unto Christ, and to do the things that Christ wants us to do and to walk in His path. These things I testify, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Some Elders in my District

I bumped into Elder Sotomayor

Reunited with my CCM buddies

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 29..... Focus on your conversion!!

This week was an amazing week for us here in Los Sauces. We are seeing the Lords hand start to work in the lives of the people here. It is so amazing to see, each week there is improvement. This week we had 36 people in the church. The church was literally full. It was so amazing to look out over the pulpit and see the whole church full of little brown Chileans! We are seeing so many miracles here!!!! 

This week we had our first investigator in Church, our first one here in Los Sauces. I am going to tell you a little bit about her and her situation. Our investigator is named Francisca. She is 12 years old. Her sister, Nicole, was just baptized about 2 months ago in another city. Nicole recently moved back into her house, so we were going over and teaching her and we found Francisca. We started off by only including her in the lessons. Our focus was Nicole and keeping her active. We would go over there about 2 times a week and teach lessons to keep her active and stay strong in the church. We invited them to English class and all the activities what we have been having. Francisca always came with her sister. So the other day we were teaching a lesson with Nicole and we felt the prompting to invite Fransisca to be baptized. She accepted. We were super stoked. She has so many questions... so we have been helping her get through all her questions, but she really is improving. We went over last night and we had a really spiritual lesson with her. We gave her the Book of Mormon and we started reading it with her. We started reading 1Nephi 1 where Lehi receives a vision from God, but he only receives this vision after he prayed "with all of his heart" and then he read!!! We were testifying to here that if she would read and pray with all her heart she will know if these things were true. So, after the lesson we invited her to pray. Then we did something really cool. We told her after she prayed and said amen, we were going to wait in silence for like 15 seconds and just listen to the feeling of our hearts... and listen to what God wants to tell us. So that is exactly what we did. It was honestly one of the coolest experiences in my mission. In those 15 seconds the spirit was so strong. When I looked up she had her head down and was really wanting to know what God was going to say to her. When she looked up, her face was lit up with happiness. We asked her how she felt. She said her whole body feels warm. We knew the Spirit was speaking to her. We are so excited to go back this week and teach her. I really think we are going to get a baptism. She has a date for the 28th of April. We will work with her to prepare for this day. I love Los Sauces!!!!!

This week we also had our Branch Easter Party. It was by far the most successful activity we have had. We had 60 people come!!!! It was so awesome. We had a little Easter egg hunt for all the kids.... It was so awesome because the kids were so excited. I was in charge of blocking the door so the kids wouldn't run out and grab all the eggs. I almost got ran over by 35 little kids! It was a really successful activity and a lot of great relationships were created. We are so excited for the Branch... It is improving so much.

This week for my spiritual thought, I want to share a scripture. The Scripture I want to share this week is:  
Alma 5:26:
"Y ahora os digo, hermanos mios, si habeis experimentado un cambio en el 
                       corazon, y si habeis sentido el deseo de cantar la cancion del amor que redime,quisiera preguntaros:¿Podeis sentir esto ahora?" 

This scripture is one of my favorites... I dont really know how it goes in English,but it is something like this "If you have experienced a change of heart, and if you have felt the desire to sing the song of love, I ask you, Can you feel it now? This scripture has such great meaning behind it. I love it so much. This whole life is about focusing on change. In this scripture it talks about what happens after the change. He asks. Can we still feel the love we felt right after the change? Many times in my life I have had great changes, but then over time I begin to stray and forget about those changes.. the changes don't become as dominant as they  once were. I lose the feeling I used to have. But in the scripture it asks, can you still feel the love and the reality of your conversion and your changes? This is a question I asked myself this week. Do I still feel the love of my savior? Do I still feel the changes in my life? I spent this week really focusing on my conversion, and all that has happened over the past year of my life. I started to get the feeling back that I had during those times. It was such a big testimony builder for me, because I was able to see the changes that I have made and refocus myself. I challenge you all this week to look back on your conversion story and remember the feeling you felt. It is such an amazing experience.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Monday, April 6, 2015

Week 28... Easter and General Conference!!!

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!!!!!!!! I hope you all enjoyed your Easter Weekend. For me it was such a great week. I was able to watch Conference and have a great time in Los Sauces. I hope everyone was able to watch Conference this weekend. I hope all of you got great insight from the talks. I know for me, I felt the spirit so strongly. I received so much personal revelation from the speakers: revelation for my investigators, my family, my companions, and myself. For me, this was one of the most beneficial Conferences. I learned so much from it. I don't know what it is, but conference in the mission is seriously so spiritual. I literally almost cried when it ended. I just learned so much from all of the talks and felt the spirit so strong. I hope you guys were able to feel the same feeling I did!!!! 

This week was such an amazing week here in Los Sauces. The members are really beginning to build great relationships with each other. All morning on Saturday we watched Conference, then we made breakfast, then we watched the second session, then we made lunch... We stayed in the church for almost 12 hours with all the members. It was such a  great experience to build relationships. I love Los Sauces so much!

Well, what was your favorite part about Conference???? I don't know if I can say what mine was, I have so many favorite parts.  One thing I know for sure is that all the talks were about the family and how important it is to start a family. The Family is what helps us overcome the temptations from Satan.  My favorite talk had to be the one by Elder Holland!!!!! I love how he speaks. He speaks with so much Power and Authority. His talk about the Rock Climber really brought a spirit into my life. I really felt it so strong. I am so grateful for the sacrifice of my Savior Jesus Christ. I hope all of you were able to take time this weekend and think a little bit about what Easter really is about. This week was so spiritual for me. I was really able to take time and gain a great appreciation for my Savior and all He has done for us. I encourage all of you to go watch all the talks. They are so full of amazing messages straight from God.
I just wanted to share one thing that stuck out to me, this will be my spiritual thought this week:  "God loves us and will not allow us to be tempted more than we have the strength to overcome." I testify that this is true. Satan tries so hard to tempt us and get us to fall. He wants us, just like the rock climber, to give up hope and let go of the wall and fall into everlasting death. He wants us to be miserable forever, but with Christ our Savior and Redeemer; He, just like the rock climbers brother, will reach out His arms and grab you to pull you up. He will raise you up so that you can live in the Presence of God!!!! I know without a doubt in my mind, that Jesus Christ lives! He lived, suffered, died, and arose for us, so that He can raise us up out of a never ending misery. He will be here to help raise and pull us up to live in the Presence of our Eternal Father in Heaven. These things I testify to you in the name of Jesus Christ , Amen,

Watch / Listen to General Conference here: General Conference April 2015