Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 57....Be Perfected in Him!!!

Teaching the Latinos about American Football
 This week has been a really good week. As for Elder Anderson and I, we have just been messing around and having a good old time. Elder Anderson is just like one of my bros, so we have been having a great time. This week was a super good week for us. We have been able to see so many miracles and we have been able to see the Lords hand here in this work. 

To start off, I just wanted to share a little spiritual experience I had this week.
So lately I have kind of been feeling kind of down. I have been getting feelings like I am not where God wants me to be. That I am not doing what God wants me to do. It has been a constant thought and a constant pain. Like we come out of lessons that are super spiritual and instantly I am attacked with feelings of hardship or feelings or thoughts that I need to improve. I have been praying and looking for answers on how I can get to the level God wants me to be. For so long in my mission I felt like I was on an uphill climb spiritually. When I started my mission I was at the bottom of the mountain. And from day one, I just rocketed up the hill. Each and every spiritual experience shot my testimony sky high, and helped me in my spiritual ascension up this Mountain towards God. For my whole first year I could see myself climbing, giving all my energy, being beat down so hard. But when I looked back… I saw progression. I was getting further and further up this mountain. When I hit the year mark, I felt like my efforts got me to that point. And since that point I felt like I hit the first ledge. Even though I have been giving it my all, even though I have been climbing with all my heart, might, mind and strength; I felt like I haven’t been able to climb the spiritual mountain. I have been in constant prayer searching for an answer or comfort from God. This week I found my answer. 
Elder Callister
This week while I was on a bus traveling to Concepcion, I was sitting by an Elder named Elder Callister from Idaho. He is a new Elder. I think he has like 2 months here in Chile. So we spent our whole 2 hours on a bus ride talking to each other. It was a super good talk we had. During the middle of our conversation I turned to him and asked him “Hey Elder Callister, what is your favorite scripture?” He turned to me and opened up his book of Mormon. He turned to Moroni 10:32. He began to read the words. As I listened to the words I was immediately touched by what it said:

2Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him,
 and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; 
and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, 
and love God with all your might, mind and strength, 
then is his grace sufficient for you,
 that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; 

I began to think about what Moroni was saying here. I began to apply the words of Moroni to my situation and what I have been feeling.  At times I felt like I have not been enough, or that I am short a few pennies to pay all unto God. But as I read this scripture I was filled with love and comfort. I knew that God was telling me, that all was alright. He was telling me that no one is perfect. No matter how many mistakes we make, or no matter how much we are missing, if WE GIVE ALL OUR HEART, MIGHT, MIND, AND STRENGTH TO HIM; WE WILL RECEIVE HIS GRACE; WE WILL BE PERFECTED IN HIM.

I know there are so many things that I am missing, and there is so many more things I need to learn, but as I come to put my trust in my savior and give Him everything…He will make up the rest. I have seen this so many times in my mission. No one is perfect and at times we feel like we can’t do enough. Don’t fear because our Savior is going to make up the rest. We will become perfected in Christ as we seek His direction and give Him our all.

I testify of this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 56..... Faith, Miracles, and an unfortunate hair incident!!!

This was a crazy week here in LOS ANGELES!!! I have so many things to say this week. I think I will start off with the bad news. So, here in this sector we live with 2 crazy Colombians, but they are seriously the funniest kids I have ever met. We are all super good friends. So this week we decided it would be a great idea to do some team bonding, or some house bonding. We had the great idea to do some activities and have some fun inside the house. At the end of the night we all had the brilliant idea to cut our hair all the same length... and that is where everything went wrong!!!!
First we cut the hair of the two Colombians, and 
they looked pretty good. Then I decided I would be funny and cut my own hair. I didn’t want to cut off the side so I went straight to the top. Just so everyone knows, we have these clippers with the easy adjustable top, where all you have to do is push it up to have longer hair and down to cut shorter. Well as I went, with my brilliant idea to be funny, I started cutting my hair short right down the middle... the machine grabbed my hair and vvvvvvrrrrrrroooooommmmmm. The easy adjustable top slipped to the lowest level and weed wacked my hair.... ohhhh nooooo!!!!

 I then had to proceed cutting the rest of my hair the same length, so now I have a head smoother than a babies bum;)

 Haha! It was a funny story that I won’t forget.

The good thing is, that hair always grows back! 

   As for the spiritual side this week I wanted to tell everyone of this cool story that happened. So last week Elder Anderson and I had focused so much on Faith and miracles. We had been trying to strengthen our faith and see the miracles that happen each and every day. Last week while emailing I saw the biggest miracle of all. While I was sitting there writing last week, Elder Parkin, one of the other Elders here, got a call from his bishop. His bishop told him he needed to go to the hospital to give a blessing to a lady, because her son called from the United States and is worried about her. She has been having some heart problems. Elder Parkin told me he had to leave. We said our goodbyes and then I continued to write. As I got back on, I received an email from my mom. She sends me an email that says, “Hey do you remember this guy on our ward, well he has a friend whose mom is having some heart problems. She is currently living in Los Angeles Chile.” She went on to tell me her name and asked me if I could find her. As I read the email my heart was filled with love and I knew God prepares His children. I went on to call Elder Parkin to ask him the name of the lady he was going to give a blessing to. He told me the name and it was a match. I went on to write my mom, and told her, you will never know what just happened. I found this lady and I am going to go visit her. So after knowing that this lady was someone super special, my comp and I ran to the hospital to give a blessing to this lady. As I walked into her room, I felt a love that I have never felt before. I could feel that she was a special daughter of our Heavenly Father. I was able to talk to her for a good 15 minutes, and talk to her about her life. It comes to find out that all of her kids live in the United States one of which is the friend of the guy in my ward. She is living here in Chile because she was taking care of her mom. As I talked to her I was able to see her eyes shine with love. We went on to give her a blessing. As we gave the blessing she just smiled. I don’t know about her, but for me my heart was touched. That was a sign to me from God. I know God hears and answers our prayers. I know God prepares his children to be in the right places when He needs them to be there. Miracles still exist today. As I was leaving I asked her for her number and her direction, and I am going to send the missionaries to her house. I know God has something special prepared for this lady. What a miracle!!

I have so much more to say this week, but I don’t have the time to say it. I want to end with a quote that I heard this week in church. A member said: 
"Faith is to not to always expect an answer to every question, we must do as Alma says in Alma 32:40-42, 'Look forward with an eye of Faith.' We must put our trust in the Lord and as we do, we will nourish our tree of Faith. Our Faith will grow and we will be able to taste something so sweet.”

I know this to be true, because I have seen it so many times in my mission and in my life. I want all of you to know that I love you and wish the best for you.

 I know that my Savior lives!!!

P-Day Shenanigans.... Mini Putt Putt!!!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 55..... Chile Concepcion Temple!!!

Chile Concepcion Temple
Riding the bus to Concepcion...
Tall people problems!
This week was a really special week for us here in our mission. Elder Anderson and I got to go up to Concepcion this weekend and have a meeting with President Bluth. It was a really awesome meeting because we were able to talk a lot about the new temple they are going to start building here this week. In 2009 the Chile Concepcion Temple was announced and after a huge earthquake in 2010 it halted the construction of the temple. After a few years of preparation they have announced that this Saturday the 17th of October will be the ground breaking of the temple. We are not going to be able to go, because it is by invitation only, but we are going to have the privilege to go to our Stake Center and watch it live. It is going to be a really special thing here in Chile because right now there is only one temple here in Chile and it is in Santiago, which is like 10 hours by bus. So, it is so hard for people to travel that far. We are getting super excited for this new temple to be built right here in Concepcion.
President Bluth
On Friday we went up to meet with President, and with him we were able to go and take a tour of temple grounds. It was so awesome to see where the temple was going to be built. On the temple lot there are trees that have been there for over 200 years. These trees are going to stay there and be part of the temple grounds. It was a really spiritual day as our President talked to us about the importance of temples, and what this means for the people of Chile. 
Elder Hatch

Elder Gale

 Another cool thing that happened to Elder Anderson and me this week, was we found a lot of cool families. On Monday we were walking around and just running in circles, we felt like our work wasn’t very effective. We would contact people but it didn’t lead to anything. So we decided we would start talking to everyone. We felt like if we talked to everyone we would be able to find someone who was prepared to hear our message and boy, were we right. As we began to talk to everyone we passed, we found some awesome people. Our contacts went from lame, rejection contacts to people who were actually interested. On our first contact we went up to this younger lady who had a little daughter. We went up and started talking to them, and they were super awesome. We started popping some jokes and were able to gain their trust super fast. They said we could pass by their house later that week. So what did we do? We passed by. Come to find out they were a less active family. The mom and the little girl were never baptized, but the dad of the mom used to be a super active member. He used to be elders quorum president, but after he separated from his wife he fell from the church. They have always wanted to go back to church, so this week we were able to help them, and the cool thing is the little girl, Emelia, came to church. The mom was traveling but the little girl came. And all she wants to do is get baptized. Both the mom and the girl have been progressing and now are preparing to be baptized on the 7th of November. It was such a testimony builder that God does prepare His children to hear this message. It was amazing to me, that as we felt the spirit to contact everyone, and as we completed with what God wanted from us, He immediately blessed us with a wonderful family who has been waiting for us for a while now. God does have His hand in this work. That was one of the many stories that we had this week.

As for the spiritual part of this message, I wanted to share something that really caught my attention. This week as we had the meeting with our mission president we talked a lot about Attitude in all things. There were a couple of things that I learned that I wanted to share with everyone. First a couple of quotes:

"If you accept the expectations of others, especially the negatives, 
you will never change the results." 

"If you say NO, I CAN'T... then YOU CAN'T, 
but if you say YES I CAN… then you CAN" 

These quotes were a real big help this week. One of the biggest problems of being a missionary and also being here in this world is we are so easily persuaded by the negative forces of the world. How many times do we hear, “wow that sucks”, or “you can’t do that”, or maybe something negative about us or about something we cannot do. As I have been focusing on this, I have noticed the whole world is full of negative forces that tell people they cannot succeed, or they cannot change. But as members of the Church of Jesus Christ, we know that we can!!! YES YOU CAN!! No matter how hard the situation, no matter how hard the task may be, we know that through the help from God we can overcome all trials and change to become more like our savior! We can learn about a good attitude from Nephi. In the third book of Nephi we read... 

 4Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brothers should go unto the house of Laban, and seek the records, and bring them down hither into the wilderness. 
5And now, behold thy brothers murmur, saying it is a hard thing which I have required of them; but behold I have not required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord.
6Therefore go, my son, and thou shalt be favored of the Lord, because thou hast not murmured.
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I  Will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded me. 

We can see the difference in the attitude of Laman and Lemual, and Nephi. We see that as Laman and Lemual were tried and tested, and were asked to do hard things. They gave into the negative forces of the world. They began to think, we CANT DO IT!!! We don’t have enough strength... and then we see the attitude of Nephi. We see his diligence, and even though he knows it will be hard, he knows that the Lord will bless him as he tries. The Lord will strengthen him in his diligence and good attitude. I pray that all of us, when faced with hard times and trials, can always remember to have a positive attitude and press forward with a firmness in Faith. That we can always turn to our Savior for Help. I know that as we do, we will be strengthened through our Savior, Jesus Christ. I share this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Elders Langeveld, Hatch, and Stevenson

Elder Anderson

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 54.... General Conference!!!

President Thomas S. Monson

This week has been such a great week for me here in my mission. It was a week that I definitely needed. I have been learning so much here in this sector and I have really felt a spiritual boost as I have learned new principles and have come closer to my Savior. 

This week all of us had the privilege to watch General Conference. I hope all of you were able to see it, because it really was a spiritual booster for me. I felt like my spiritual gas can was a little low, but after this Conference I felt like my gas can has been filled and is over flowing. It was so amazing to listen to the prophets, seers, and revelators today. I know that they are living witnesses of our Savior. As I watched and listened to their words I couldn’t help but notice or feel the power that came from their words. I hope all of you were able to learn from these very intelligent men as they testified and preached that Christ is our Savior. I was able to learn many things as I listened and pondered the words they said. It was very interesting to me that as they all had different talks and different topics, yet they all had something in common. They all talked about how through affliction we grow and come closer to Christ. I was touched to hear each and every one talk about this topic. As each and every one expressed their feelings and thoughts about how this world is changing and how it is becoming more and more wicked.
 They all testified and said: This life will be hard, but as we put our trust in the Lord we will be lifted up from the depths of misery and woe, and experience eternal life. 

I forgot to bring my journal today that had all my notes, but there were so many quotes that I wanted to share with everyone. For now I just wanted to share a few of the things I was able to learn. As I was listening, I was really prompted and felt so strongly that this life is not one of ease. That each and every day is a new day of trial and testing. I realized that it is necessary to have trials in our life. If we do not have trials in our life we cannot grow as humans. Trials will be part of our life. We will have moments of struggles, we will be brought to tears, we will experience somewhat of what our Savior suffered for us. But, all this comes for a good cause. Our whole purpose here on the earth is to be tested and to grow to become more like our savior Jesus Christ. We cannot become closer to Christ if we are not tested or challenged. Just like a sailor cannot be a good sailor if all he does is sail in good calm waters.

Just as it says in Ether 12:6:
And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; 
I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for 
and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, 
for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. 

We cannot become closer to Christ until after the trial of our Faith. This means we must experience trials, we must be tested. Many of you may be thinking, WHY? Why must we be tested? Why can’t this be easy? Why do we have to suffer? The prophets answered this question with a very strong felt answer. They testified as we turn to Christ, turn our will over to His, as we feast upon the scriptures, are in constant prayer, and always try to become better… we are promised the blessing of the Holy Spirit. As the spirit comes into our lives we are changed. We are guided to do what is right and come closer to Christ. One thing that really hit me was the question: What impedes me from progressing?  As we ask that to ourselves and really turn to Christ we can have our weak things become strong. 

I wanted to testify of this to all of you. As I have been in my mission, I have been tested more than ever. I have felt the lowest of lows. I have been on the verge of quitting. There have been days where I have gone back to my house physically, spiritually, and mentally exhausted. I felt like I could not do anything. I felt like I was no one, like I was doing nothing, and that God did not love me. As I have grown to love the scriptures and have been in constant prayer, I have seen the blessing as promised in the Sacrament prayer:
I have grown as a person, as a missionary and as a disciple of Christ. I wanted to end with this quote from President Nelson "If you quit now, others will have to painfully learn what you already know." 
DON'T QUIT… I know that you can do it. I know that as we put our trust in the Lord he will shape us into who He wants us to be. We will be the potter’s clay and he will shape and make us into the most beautiful pot. We will become true disciples of Jesus Christ.
 I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Click here to watch/ listen to any Conference talks:    General Conference October 2015