Monday, January 24, 2011
Wow, this past week was a good one. Baptismal dates, sicknesses, spiritual experiences, and fun. First off, we called Ivan and Susana the other day to see how they were doing and Ivan told us that he and his mom had been reading together and that he gave himself the goal of reading until the book of Alma during his vacation. It sounds like they are doing pretty well. Please pray for them.
The highlight of the week was that on Friday a family fed us day-old chinese food. All four of us had food poisoning that next day. We spent the entire day fighting over the bathroom. For some reason it hit me the worst though. It was not a fun experience...
Oh, I also received my "trunky papers" this week. I had to fill out my information about home and where I would be flying in to so that the church could prepare my flight plans. I´m trying to not get too trunky now...
We also shared with a kid in his twenties named Sebastian Machuca. We had found him about three weeks ago and I felt the impression to hop off our bikes and go teach him. We taught him twice and then weren't able to find him or contact him since. It turns out he lost his phone and had been working a lot. We talked about 3 Nefi 11 with him and talked about the three keys of baptism; 1) Authority 2) Age/personal decision 3) By immersion. He was the joven who used to be a Catholic missionary. We invited him to get baptized on February 6th and he said he'd love to, but couldn't because he was going on vacation for about a week and a half, then another vacation for two weeks. He asked us if he could get baptized afterwards. We were like hmmmm.... we´ll have to think about it. Haha no, we told him of course. He officially has a date to be baptized the 20th of March.
The most incredible experience we had all started on New Year´s day. After having so much success on New Year´s eve we returned to that same neighborhood to knock doors. We didn't get into a single house, but we did contact a lady named Gloria. We talked to her outside and she told us her son had a Book of Mormon. She asked us for our number and said she´d call us on Friday. Of course, she never called though. The next week we saw her on the bus and I started talking to her. She felt bad cuz she had forgotten to call us and said she´d call that week after talking to her son. The call never came. Finally this past week we passed by their house again and they let us in right away. We sat down and shared a message with Gloria and her 17 year old son Carlos. We tried explaining the restoration, but they had so many questions about tenants and deep doctrine that it didn't go anywhere. We asked Carlos to give the closing prayer and he started crying right in the middle and never explained why. We went back later that week and they let us in again and Carlos was way excited to see us. Gloria told us that she wanted us to focus on her son more, but we made her stay and listen ;) We talked about 3 Nefi 11 and baptism. They immediately accepted baptismal dates. We invited them to come to church and only Carlos showed up. He payed attention in Sacrament meeting, the classes, everything. Everyone was really nice to him and made him feel welcome. It was a great Sunday. He went home and told his mom all about how he loved church. We went to visit them that same night and Gloria said she is for sure going next week. Then Gloria told us that Carlos had a question for us. Carlos explained that when he entered into the chapel he felt a strange feeling. He put his hand up to his heart and said I felt a burning in my chest. He said he had also felt it the last time we visited them. We then opened up to D&C 8 and read the scripture about a burning in your bosom. He smiled and his eyes filled up with tears. He, his mom, and his step-dad were all impressed. They currently have a baptismal date for February 13th. Carlos and Gloria are amazing though. Carlos is one of the most spiritually sensitive kids I have ever met.
As you can tell we have been having some success and we have been pretty excited. Knocking doors and contacting hundreds of people has been paying off. And with all five people who have accepted baptismal dates we have had to be pretty persistent in finding them again. All is going well at the moment.
Thank you for your emails and stories though. I loved them this week. It feels great to have such loving parents and sisters who are always writing me and supporting me. You are the best and I love you all very much.
Monday, January 17, 2011
This past week went pretty well. We have been focusing a lot on making more contacts and finding new investigators. It has been fun because we have come to know a lot of people in one of the nearby neighborhoods. We have made friends with people who do want to hear our message and with people who don't. It feels good though to be able to walk down the street and greet people with their names.
With all of this attention we placed on finding new investigators and contacting people this week we managed to find twenty new investigators. We also have two investigators with baptismal dates for the 20th of February, Susana and Ivan.
Ivan is a nineteen year old we found while knocking doors a couple of weeks ago. He seemed pretty interested, but afterwards we couldn't find him. We set an appointment with his mom, Susana, for Sunday and taught the both of them then. It turns out that they had been learning and investigating the church in 2006 but one day the missionaries never came back. So they were anxious to continue learning. It also turns out that one of the recent converts in our ward is a relative of theirs. They accepted the baptismal invitation for the 20th because this next week they are going on vacation, but plan on being back to go to church on the 6th of February. We feel pretty grateful for the work that those missionaries did five years ago with them and for the way the Lord has prepared them.
Funny story of the week. My companion Elder Grillone was messing around up stairs with Elder Mathews and wanted to show him some sort of Karate move. He was showing him how to hit someone in the face with your knee or something? Anyways, he went to do the move, jumped up in the air and BOOM! His head went straight through the ceiling. It seems that he forgot that upstairs our ceiling is very low. He left a big old hole in the ceiling and a nice little cut along his forehead. It was pretty funny. Elder Mathews about died laughing. These last few days everyone has been asking him what happened. He felt pretty stupid.
Thank you all for your emails and your prayers. I hope all is well back home. Thanks for everything.
Monday, January 3, 2011
This has been a very memorable New Year week. Probably one of the most memorable New Year weeks I will ever have. There has been joy, sadness, sicknesses, lots of food, and some pretty spiritual experiences.
One funny thing that I just got a hoot out of was that the family we ate lunch with on Tuesday gave us ice cream for dessert and you wanna know what they served on top of the ice cream? maple syrup.. Haha it reminded me of ELF. There are many "american" products that are still pretty new here in Chile.
So my skin condition has been pretty bad. I've had some weird medicines that have left my face red, splotchy and burned. So I look like I got beat up or severely sun burned. That´s been fun for all the people we meet.
Wednesday was not a very lucky day for me. I woke up feeling pretty sick and weak. Then we rode our bikes for like an hour to lunch anyway. After lunch my tire was flat, so we had to fix that. Then as we were heading to a Family Home Evening we had planned later that night I ran over a big fat thorn that popped my tire again. So we had to walk our bikes home, luckily only about forty minutes away on foot. We dropped our bikes off at the house and then took a bus to the family´s house we were going to. As we got off the bus I rolled my ankle horribly (the next day it was all swollen and bruised). A Chilean lady at the house soaked my foot in salt water and then wiped it down with vinagre. That was nice of her. Haha. But in all it was not a very fun day.
On New Year´s eve we were told that we had to enter into the house at 8:00. We finished lunch in our own house at about 4:00 and were not too excited to go out and work. We didn't have appointments, our investigators were out of town, it was New Year´s Eve and we weren't looking forward to knocking doors. We headed out anyways and started to knock in a sector called Patricio Gana. The first five house didn't even open the door. The sixth house said no. But the seventh house let us in -Jaime. Then we went and contacted Sara, an investigator of ours that we hadn't seen in weeks. We asked her for references and she gave us two. We taught one of them, Monica, and her daughter. We asked her for references and she told us of a neighbor she worked with. We went to the house and found a different family that let us in. They had never let missionaries in before, but after we prayed with them they said it felt like a cool breeze came in and took all the bad feelings out of their home. They said a weight had been lifted and they felt great. They told us we are always welcome in their home now. In about two and a half hours we did some WORK. It was great to see that the Lord had people prepared to listen to us and that because we went knocking doors for just a few hours on New Year's eve we found some great new investigators.
Today I've been kinda sick to my stomach and with a fever, but I´m doing ok. Life has been a little rough, but I just keep trying to look at all the blessings I have around me. Thank you for you letters and support.
PS - Please pray for Javiera Olivarez, Sebastian Machuca, Ivan Lopez, Alejandro y Ximena, Mauricio Cortez, and all of Pirque!