Sunday, May 31, 2015

Something Extraordinary

This week we were super excited to have 2 investigators at church.  Francisca and Betianna.  Betianna is a mother of 3 kids and lives with her husband and absolutely loved church.  The week we talked a lot about baptism with Francisca, but she is scared because she has family whom are Catholic and can't quite seem to take that step of changing her religion.  As we were teaching, I realized that she has been taught by many missionaries but didn't quite understand the Priesthood.  So we threw everything down, grabbed my Bible and taught the restoration.   I've come to a great appreciation of Lesson 1 and the importance of it.  That it is another key to understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ.  She now understands and is accepting that her first baptism isn't valid and is continuing to pray to receive an answer.  This week, Hermana Parreno passed out a 7 question survey to use when people don't want to hear or have interest.  And it turned out to be "Un idea genial!" We were surprised by references and people dove deep into the conversation and later became interested.  Yesterday, we found a chico who was 25 years old and wasn't interest in the gospel at all, but was learning to speak English.  So we did the survey to him in English and now we have an appointment with him this week and encouraged him to practice reading the Book of Mormon in English and he's all up for it!!  Also, good news to Mestor, who we have been working with to quit smoking.  He smoked 20 cigarettes a day and is down to only one!  In no time, he will be a smoke-free man!  Also yesterday, we had a really BIG miracle...we were working in "Pauhue" an area where missionaries weren't having any success for about 10 years.   We were knocking and after a lot of diligence as well as patience, a family let us in!!!  A family of 4 parents and 2 kids.  We got talking for about 5 minutes and then their grandparents showed up and another 5 min an amigo.  We all started talking about the gospel and so we got talking to just about the whole family.  In the meantime, my comp starts to hit me and point at something, but I was in the middle of talking and then hits me again and I looked....finally I realized the grandpa was making dinner and had a big, giant skinned PIG on the table!  Here he is sprinkling seasoning on it, like not big deal.  The family started dying laughing at our reaction because it wasn't something normal for us "Americans".  My comp and I then got up to look at it a little closer and he takes its 2 legs and flips it over, slaps it down and all there was were its "insides".  Ha :) My comp told me she had watched the "whole" t hing from when he brought it in, started hammering the poor thing, ripped its legs apart, and then its jaw.  As if fell open, one of the arms was hanging off the table and the littlest girl comes over to "hand fist bump it".  Not to mention the little boy who started to pet it.  "Anything far beyond normal in my eyes"  Ha...but the best part was leaving this family with a message and a return appointment on Saturday.

This week we also had divisions and I just have to say, I just had an awesome time with the other Hermana.  She has lots of potential and a role model in my eyes.  President asked to help her get plans to help focus more on studies.  So we worked together on getting her plan organized and different ways to help her with her idioma.  She left the Falda after 3 days with huge smile and in no time, will be 100% perfect Spanish speaker!  With her diligence, but more important of all is having the spirit direct and guide you though it all.

Also, time is just flying and transfers are this week.  I hope you all will  help me by praying that I will stay here for a 5th transfer :) Ha, I just LOVE the area, but I will also be happy for whatever the Lord has in store.

He has a motor so he doesn't have to pedal!!

Homework:  Read "Pescadores de Hombres",  Elder Scott D. Whiting, Liahono, June 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Holy Temples on Mount Zion

What a wonderful week here in the Falda.  Yesterday, we had the dedication ceremony for the temple in Cordoba, Argentina and it was also my very first time watching a dedication.  President Uchtdorf spoke and gave some very powerful and inspirational words.  My members assisted as well as one of our less actives who has been struggling and had eyes full of tears.

President Uchtdorf challenged everyone to always be worthy to have a temple recommend and to attend as often as we possibly can.  He mentioned that temples are here for us to find answers to our prayers and to seek personal revelation.  Especially during difficult time, trials, and challenges.  We need to stand up and help people around us - members and non-members to have an "eternal aspect" and to also live worthy as if they had a temple recommend also.


John Taylor (1808–87)

“We have now finished this temple, and some people inquire, what is it for? For many things: that our sealings and ordinances may be performed in a manner that will be acceptable before God and the holy angels; that whatsoever is bound on the earth according to the laws of the eternal priesthood shall be bound in the heavens; that there may be a connecting link between the living and the dead” (in Daniel H. Ludlow, ed., Latter-day Prophets Speak [1948], 134).

Joseph F. Smith (1838–1918)

“We hope to see the day when we shall have temples built in the various parts of the land where they are needed for the convenience of the people: for we realize that one of the greatest responsibilities that rest upon the people of God today is that … they may be joined together fitly in the bond of the New and Everlasting covenant from generation to generation” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1902, 3).

George Albert Smith (1870–1951)

“Each of [the temples] has been built to one great eternal purpose: to serve as a House of the Lord, to provide a place sacred and suitable for the performing of holy ordinances that bind on earth as in heaven—ordinances for the dead and for the living that assure those who receive them and who are faithful to their covenants, the possession and association of their families, worlds without end, and exaltation with them in the celestial kingdom of our Father” (“The Tenth Temple,” Improvement Era, Oct. 1945, 561).
I'm so grateful for temple in my life because I can have an "eternal aspect" of all things.  But most importantly, to live with loved ones again.  God has given them to us for many reasons and one of them is our salvation.  I'm so grateful for those members and missionaries all over the world to bring about God's work and create more temples to fulfill God's work through faith, repentance, dedication and baptism.  Let us all remember the words from President Uchtdorf, "To be always worthy and have an eternal aspect" by enduring to the end.
OK, so this week we totally had a miracle day on Friday.  We found an investigator named, "Andres" about a month ago and we have passed his house about 5 times now and met both his parents who are also wonderful.  His mom mentioned to come by again this week....well we did....and por fin!  He had just gotten back from Buenos Aires on a business trip and the first thing he say is, "I promise I haven't forgotten about you"!  When we first taught him he had no interest in church and kind of believed in God, but as we taught about our purpose here on earth, it caught his attention and he became interested.  As we kept talking, he mentioned that he searched the internet and watched the whole 25 min restoration, not to mention in English!  Haha, we had a good laugh and helped him out a little by teaching it again in Spanish so he could understand....what a sport!  Anyways, we ended up giving him a Book of Mormon and has committed to praying for the first time.  During the lesson, his mom also came from behind and said, "I want to listen!"  They are soooo great and are both committed to coming to church!
We also passed by a less active who live super close at our last ten minutes of the day.  He told us that he was struggling.  He can't quit smoking and has a small job with lots of bills to pay.  That same day my comp and I had a lesson plan to help someone quit smoking and they weren't home, so we taught it to him and helped him get back on track.  We taught him how important it is to keep praying, reading, and attending church.  He mentioned to us that he felt uncomfortable knowing he isn't worthy to attend.  I learned something very important that "it doesn't matter what people say and think, we are all "UN" perfect people who make mistakes, and it is our relationship with God that counts as well as the promises you have made with Him that matters.
Alma 42:29-30
29 And now, my son, I desire that ye should let these things trouble you no more, and only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance.
30 O my son, I desire that ye should deny the justice of God no more. Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point because of your sins, by denying the justice of God; but do you let the justice of God, and his mercy, and his long-suffering have full sway in your heart; and let it bring you down to the dust in humility.

Homework:  Take a trip to the temple this week :)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Lord's Time

What a week!  First of all, a little shout out to all the women, "Happy Mother's  Day!"  I hope  you all had a fantastic day :)  So Guess what?  This next Sunday, we will be having a dedication of the new temple in Cordoba, Argentina and so all of the members are all pretty excited about it.  This week we had our zone conference with President about "Using Time Wisely" or as "The Lord's Time".  It's been one of my favorite conferences thus far.  It was centered a lot about being representative of Christ; our behavior; our conduct; obedience; commandments; rules; actions; thoughts; etc.  One thing I loved was "How can we change the natural man?"  

D&C 93:33
 33 For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;

Mosiah 5:2
 And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.

We were given an example of all the ingredients of a chocolate cake, but something was missing.  "The chocolate"  You've got to have the "whole package" or it's never going to turn out how you want it to.

Matthew 5:2
 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

As we give "the whole package" a new light will be shown.  A missionary who wants to do the work of the Lord knows the power of the Lord. 

C.S. Lewis once said:

“Give me all of you!!! I don’t want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work. I want YOU!!! ALL OF YOU!! I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman, but to KILL IT! No half measures will do. I don’t want to only prune a branch here and a branch there; rather I want the whole tree out! Hand it over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them ALL over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self---in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart."

I've realized that the time as a missionary is like being blind-folded and when taken off, you wonder where the time are already at the finish.  Out time as missionaries is very short but not only that, as human beings.  This time on earth is our time to sanctify and sacrifice and give ALL our time to the Lord.

Romans 13:11-12
 11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

The Lord has so much love for us. This time that we have now - let us show our love to Him by serving Him and the people around us.

1 Nephi 19:9
And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.

D&C 60:13
 13 Behold, they have been sent to preach my gospel among the congregations of the wicked; wherefore, I give unto them a commandment, thus: Thou shalt not idle away thy time, neither shalt thou bury thy talent that it may not be known.

Okay...So are you ready for the miracles that happened this week!!!?  First of all, we had 2 investigators at church.  "Nestor and Francisca"  Both whom we have been working for the past week and love the gospel.  We are helping Nestor to quit smoking, but has the faith to do so.  We are super excited for them both .  Also, our mission president gave us a new goal this week:  "Always searching, always teaching."  and wow, what marvelous wonders!  This week, my companion and I decided to just throw our plans down and head for and area in our area called, "Palhue", a very special ara :)  Anyways, we found and taught one right after another and found more success in 1 hour than we did the whole day.  The best part about it, was asking my comp at every corner which street to take and every street she chose was the one I had in the back of my mind.  It felt as if the Lord was walking beside us in our camino.  That same day, I realized we had an investigator forum a while back who I thought of to go and visit.  As we did, her voice shook my attention, "Hermanas, I've been waiting for you, my husband just dies about 15 days ago"  We also had an experience where we went to find a chica and couldn't find her address.  We talked to about 3 people and ended up talking to a mother and before I could even talk, she said, "I would love to have you guys teach me and listen to your message because my family is having difficulties."  On Tuesday, we had a little chica 14 years old come up to us and ask for a Bible and we showed her the Book of Mormon.  She too want to know and desire to know if God exists.  That same week, we found out that her mom is a less active.  I wish I could go on and on about every miracle we encountered.  I wish you could see the faces of men and women 14-93 years old when given a Book of Mormon and the light that shines through their faces.  The tears of joy and comfort of the gospel.  I can't even explain to you the spirit of this week and literally feeling God wlking beside us.  I know that this gospel is true.  That God is real, the He lives and He is here.  He answers our prayers, He understand and He WILL show us the way.

Homework:  Mark 12:41-44.   Give your heart and soul to the Lord and remember, "Am I using my time wisely and how can I turn it into the Lord's time?"

Monday, May 4, 2015

7 Days to Glorify God

TRANSFERS!  Guess what, my dream came true!  I'm staying here in The Falda for my 4th transfer with my little hija Hermana Child to end her training.  We have become so close and I have really loved being her companion.  Even more, watching her be a great example of watching her testimony grow day by day.

So a funny story of the week.  My companion and I were tracking one day and it started raining and we were just about drenches from head to toe and my comp and I had lunch at the President's house.  Well, as we waited for Hermana Parreno at her house, my comp was standing awkwardly in one area of the room and I couldn't understand why.  Well, I finally looked at her skirt and it was drenched!  There was a puddle of water where she was standing and Hermana Parrendo was on the phone, stopped suddenly talking and looked at my comp and said, "Ahh....Your skirt!!!"  And didn't realize she yelled it over the phone.  Then she hung up, looked at my comp and said, "Hermana, no more peeing on my floor!"  And I just had a good laugh after that :)  My comp is the best!

So as a companionship, we got the opportunity to go to another area and help two other Hermanas find investigators in their area.  I absolutely loved it!  My comp and I had soo much success with the guidance of the Lord.  The people there are super humble and just about every one wants to talk to you.  We had miracles thrown at us every opportunity we had.  It was such a wonderful opportunity to help the other Hermanas and get to know other areas.  I've experienced a hug change for the test of my life.  Our mission President gave us a challenge to apply, 7 Days to Glorify God.  For example,
- A missionary consecrated, not afraid 
- A missionary consecrated, not content with missionary standards 
- a missionary consecrated forgets himself 
- missionary consecrated motivate yourself and others 
- a missionary consecrated to the Lord according to the most high standards and behaviors.  

We were given the goal to apply one every day for 7 days.  It was definitely something that was not easy but miracle were brought forth from it.  To be honest, these last few weeks have been a little bit of a struggle.  I really couldn't figure out what it was that this area needed, we had investigators but they weren't progressing.  Less assistance from members and so on.  I realized I just needed to stop what I was doing, put my stuff down and ask the Lord for help.  I realized I had been inviting people to pray and ask the Lord what path does the Lord have in store for you?  I was thinking one day that maybe I needed to do the same.  As I prayed, I was shown an answer.  I testify that as we just throw all of our stuff down and look toward the Lord, ask for forgiveness and help, He will be there with open arms.  As I let myself go, my thoughts and actions and handed them all over to the Lord, miracle were brought forth.  The Falda began to change in my eyes.  The hearts of people were changing, the spirit was testifying through us.  People were thrown in our path, and we had investigators at church.  Members giving power Sunday talks.  Many tears and smiles were shared with one another.  As we applied the 7 Day to Glorify God, I learned an important lesson that is not only for 7 days, but is FOREVER....

Alma 23:6

And as sure as the Lord liveth, so sure as many as believed, or as many as were brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the preaching of Ammon and his brethren, according to the spirit of revelation and of prophecy, and the power of God working miracles in them—yea, I say unto you, as the Lord liveth, as many of the Lamanites as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away.

As we convert ourself to the gospel, don't fall back to your old ways.  Keep a testimony so strong and powerful that nothing will bring you down.  Share it with others that they too will feel that power of your testimony and become converted. " The more we strive to share the gospel and follow ahead, not only are we helping ourselves to change in that way but we are helping others come to Christ and we are getting closer to Him"  President Eyring.

Homework:  Invite you all to apply, "7 Days to Glorify God" in your life and after those 7 days, to apply it for the rest of your life.