Monday, June 22, 2015

Week 39... Opposition in all things!!!

It was such an amazing week. So as you all know here in Los Sauces we were 4 missionaries and now we are only 2. We practically doubled our work load here and we still are working with the branch. It is a lot of work to do, I am so glad for all the work we have to do. Literally there is not one moment to take a break. Sometimes I get a little stressed with all the things we have to do, but that is when I turn to the Lord for help and He helps me through my times of need. God calls us where we need to be and when we need to be there. There is a reason why I am here and have all this work. I am so grateful for the time I have here. The people here are really progressing. All the leaders are really beginning to have the TRUE CONVERSION. At first they weren’t really converted, they were here, but they were not here to stay. Now we have a bunch of members super strong in the Faith and I know they will stay here forever, bringing home the Lost Sheep of Christ. I have seen so many miracles in this sector. I never thought I could be so blessed. I have definitely seen the Lords hand in this work. Being here in this branch has been the best thing that could have ever happened to me. 

This week we have been really focused on all of our investigators. We have a bunch of investigators that are really progressing. 
We have a 10 year old girl named Isabella, she is the daughter of a really active member, but the problem is that when she was 8 her dad did not give her permission to get baptized. He is super catholic and did not want anything to do with our church. We started to work with this family and we started to teach her. At first she was really shy and didn’t want to talk. Now she is really open to us, she even talked to her dad and convinced him that she is ready for baptism. It has been such a great experience to see the Faith that this little girl has. She has been helping her family so much. She will be baptized on the 4th of JULY!!! ;)
We also have an Hermana named Joana, she was the investigator of the other Elders. She was super sad when both the Elders left. She didn’t want to listen anymore to the missionaries. She was really affected a lot by the change, because it is hard for her to make friends and open up. It was our goal to have her open up to us. My comp and I started to visit her every day and just gain her trust. We started gaining her trust when she saw how much we loved her family. She has 2 kids, 1 of which is a special needs kid. And me, loving the special needs kids, began to play and joke with her kid. His name is Georgie. He is so funny. She really began to open up to us. She even surprised herself at how fast we gained her trust. She has been with the missionaries for almost a year now. She has never received an answer whether or not she should be baptized. We passed by pretty much every day this week talking about the importance of baptism. She really began to open up and make the changes necessary. This week we also had a very spiritual experience because we decided we needed to fast with her. So Saturday we went over to her house and she made us lunch. After lunch we started the fast with her and talked with her about what we were fasting for. We told her that we were fasting so that she could receive an answer. And with the power of the Fast she would be able to receive her answer and she could be able to make the right steps towards baptism. She fasted all Saturday and came to church. She had a really powerful experience in church. And then when we went by on Sunday night to talk to her about how she felt, she told us that she received her answer. She told us that this church is true and that she knows she will be baptized. She only had one problem. She told us that she made it a goal that she wouldn’t be baptized until she has known the missionaries for a year, and we have a couple months left before that. We challenged her to be baptized on the 4th of July also. She has really made the right decisions and is in the right direction. I know she will receive her answer and she will be baptized on the 4th. It is amazing, the power of Fasting.

We are really doing so good here in Los Sauces. We are becoming strengthened through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The members and the investigators are really becoming stronger and we have seen a lot of progress. 

I want to share with all of you a scripture I read this week:
2 Nephi 2:11  There is opposition in all things...

I want to bare my testimony that there is opposition in all things. But with this opposition, we have the opportunity to be strengthened through Jesus Christ. I have seen many times in my mission where I have been struggling, where I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore, but this is when I turned to the Lord for help and he helped me push through these trialing times. I know we have opposition so that we can grow and become stronger in this Church and become closer to Christ. It is the same principle as working out to gain muscle. As we are working out, we are literally destroying our muscles; we are ripping the muscle. That is the opposition. Then when we heal our muscles, our muscles become stronger and they can increase. The same is with our Faith. When our Faith is put to the test; that is when we can gain a stronger testimony of our Loving savior Jesus Christ and his message. I know that with opposition we can grow closer and become stronger. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 38.... I will go, I will do!!!

This week was a really good week for us here in Los Sauces. So, if I wasn’t very clear on my last week’s letter, I will be staying in Los sauces for 6 more weeks. President Bluth called me and asked me if I would stay and help train the new branch President. Since I have been here for a while and I know a lot about the branch and the work that we have been doing, it wouldn’t make sense the have a missionary who has been here 6 weeks that doesn’t really know all the situations, to stay and help the new branch President. It would be starting back from square one. I was super excited to leave this sector but when I got the call from President I felt a relief. I really had a feeling that my work was not done here. It was such a good feeling when I went to Sacrament meeting and everyone welcomed me back to the Branch and showed me their love they have for me. I am super excited to stay here and help these members here in Los Sauces. 

These last few weeks I have been having so many spiritual experiences. I knew that I stayed here for a reason. The Lord definitely has his hands in this work. My New comp is Elder Hurtado. He is from Columbia. He is super awesome. He was actually in my Zone when I was in Yumbel, so we were already best friends. So when I got the news that I was going to stay and be companions with him, I was so stoked to stay. We have been working so hard these last 2 weeks to help out this branch. He has so many great ideas and we are really starting to see great improvement. I really am so happy to be here and continue to help this branch grow and help build the foundation of Los Sauces. This sector is by far the most challenging but the most rewarding I have ever heard of. I have spent many nights in long prayerful tears, asking the Lord what we can do to help. I won’t lie when I say sometimes I get a little overwhelmed with what God has called me to do. Sometimes I don’t feel like I am qualified to be the 1st counselor. There have been some crazy things that I have seen here. I never knew it was so hard to be a leader in the church. I am so grateful for this opportunity because with all the trials and difficulties we have had, I have been able to grow and learn from these people. That is why I have such a great love for these people here in Chile especially Los Sauces. They have been such a blessing in my life... I would not change this experience for anything. I can testify that there is opposition in all things, and that when we have opposition is when we grow in the Faith and we have the opportunity to humble ourselves and seek out what is the Lords will on now always act according to our will. If there is anything that I have learned from this sector, it would be to always trust in the Lord. Even when you think that your decision will lead to great results, or even if the Lord asks you to do things that you don’t feel prepared, or ready to accomplish. I know this scripture is common and everyone has heard of it, but I will share it with you because it has been a constant scripture of comfort. 

 1 Nephi 3:7... I WILL GO AND I WILL DO 

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

I have seen the Lord's hand in this work. I am so grateful to be here learning new things each and every day. I know the Lord loves and blesses us as we turn unto Him and GIVE UP OUR WILL FOR HIS. I love each and every one of you. I hope that all of you can see and feel the blessings in your lives. I know God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ live. I know without a doubt in my heart that if we submit to their will, we will receive the blessings in our life and we will see the changes that it brings to our character. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 37..... The Lord's Hand: Staying in Los Sauces!!!

 I got some great news!!!!!! So last week I wrote you guys and told you I would be heading out to a new area in Temuco. Well I have to tell you that I won’t be leaving Los Sauces this cambio. So on Monday I got the call from my Zone Leader that I would be heading out to Temuco and I would have to leave Los Sauces. I was literally so surprised that I was leaving. I had no idea. I thought I was going to stay and help train the new branch President. When I heard that I was leaving, I was pretty sad but also pretty excited. So I was all ready to go. I was then told that I would have to stay in Los Sauces a few days more because when our house burnt down the other Elders in our house, their passports burnt. So on Tuesday they went up to Santiago to get their new passports. Meanwhile, I stayed in Los Sauces with the new Branch President. I trained him on what to do. We passed by all the members and I tried to help him with the little time I had. The whole week I was saying goodbye to everyone. It was really hard to say goodbye. I have made such good relationships with everyone here. It was hard to say my goodbyes. On Friday night I went to the Church to get some things... and little did I know the whole Branch was there waiting for me. They had thrown me a surprise party. I got to say all my final goodbyes to everyone that night because I was going to leave the next morning as soon as Elder Ruano got back from Santiago. When Elder Ruano got back to Los Sauces Saturday morning, there was a little change of plans. President told us that Elder Ruano would be going to Temuco where I was going to go, and I would be staying in Los Sauces for a little more times to help train my new comp, Elder Hurtado. It was the craziest thing… but I know it is what the Lord wants. I am so excited to still be here in Los Sauces. I still don’t feel like my work is done here. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here for more time to finish the work here. In church yesterday I was able to talk with everyone and they were so happy that I am staying. I am so very blessed with the best sector in the mission.

 Yesterday at church was such a spiritual experience for me and I thought I would share it with you guys. So yesterday I was teaching the Gospel Principles class. I thought that I should teach something about missionary work. I started teaching this class and it was going really well. Then this lady Hermana Inzunza, who usually is super quiet sits in back, she just recently came back to church, she started to bare her testimony. She told us why she had come back to church. She began to tell us about a few months ago; when her brother passed away she was feeling super sad and super lonely. No one from her church (Other church) showed up the support her. But we missionaries showed up at her Funeral. Elder Wilhelm, Elder Sauñe,  Elder Navarro and I all showed up at the funeral of her brother. At the time I didn’t really know why we were there and what we were going to do. We kind of just sat in the corner at this reception while everyone else was talking and crying. We kind of felt out of place and didn’t want to interrupt the whole thing. We stayed in the corner for a while when all of a sudden we all got this feeling that we should sing a hymn. So we went to this Hermana and asked if we could sing a hymn. She said yes so we sang a few hymns at this reception. While we were singing I felt a super strong love of the spirit. I knew the spirit was there. I really didn’t think much about it other than that it was there because we were singing super spiritual hymns. Anyways this Hermana told us that because we were there and we sang those hymns is why she came back to church. She had been feeling so lonely and lost. She had nowhere to go for comfort. She had been looking for the light and the truth. And when we came in and sang that song, this brought back the light and the truth. She has not missed one Sunday since. When she was telling me this I could not help it but to break out in tears. I know the Lord has his hand in this work. It is through experiences like that where we see the Lords hand in things.

 It is through small and simple things that we help others come unto Christ. Even though we didn’t think we were doing anything special… all we did was sing a hymn... through this small act of kindness, we brought back one of the Lords lost sheep. I testify to you all that this church is true and God loves us. The Lord has his hand in the work. He will bless us and we look for opportunities to share the Gospel to others. He will send us His spirit so we can be directed to his lost children.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 36...Goodbye to Elder Miller and Los Sauces!!

This week has been a really awesome, but sad week. It was the final week of my companion, Elder Miller. We had a really crazy week. We were trying to do everything we could before he left. We did the best we could. It was such a fun week. We were able to visit everyone and say his final goodbyes. On Saturday we got the whole branch and threw him a surprise party. He
 had no clue that we were going to do that. It was a really fun party where everyone got to say goodbye. It brought the branch a lot closer. It was so awesome. The bad part is after church yesterday, I had to say goodbye to my companion. 

Elder Miller was seriously such a great comp. I learned so much from him. I was really sad to say goodbye to him. It was a tough goodbye but I know we will be friends after the mission too. I look up to Elder Miller so much. He was a great example to me. We had some great times. I sure am going to miss that dude. And I will never forget the things we did in Los Sauces. It will be some of the cambios that I will always remember. If anything it was the most challenging, but yet most rewarding cambios of my mission. I learned so much through all the challenges we faced together. There was not one day where there was not a trial. But through Faith in the Lord and constant prayer, we were able to receive the strength to keep going. We saw many miracles in this sector. I know we, as missionaries, literally became tools in the Lord’s hands. I have seen such a big change since I have been here in Los Sauces. 

I got the news today that I will be heading out this transfer and going to a new area. I will be going further south  to Temuco. It's in Sector Neilol. I won't be leaving until Friday, because of some passport issues with some of the other missionaries here. I will be getting another Peruvian companion, Elder Chumbe. I haven't heard much about him yet, so we'll have to see how it goes.  I am super sad to leave behind all the friends I have made, and all the good times that I have experienced in this sector. It is going to be a hard goodbye... but I know it is what the Lord wants. I am super excited to get out and see new things and meet new people. The mission is so awesome because you are always meeting new people that help change your life. I know a lot of people think the missionaries go out and help the people.... but more than that,L the people help the missionaries. I now know why we serve missions; it is also to help us grow spiritually as missionaries. I am so grateful for all the challenging times I have had, because that is when we have the opportunity to grow even more. I am so happy to be here serving a mission. I hope the best for all of you out there and thanks for all your love and support.