Monday, October 21, 2013

Mark 2:17, October 21

We have been very fortunate this week to have been able to see miracles. There was a menos activo family on our ward roster, the T_____ family. We have had bad luck these last few transfers trying to get a hold of this family, but about a month ago, we had a lesson with the mom. She showed absolutely no interest in coming back to church, and for the most part, kind of astounded Hermana Salazar and I with the things she said. She bluntly told us that she did not want to come back to church. Here was a family with the parents being converts and sealed in the temple with their children. We asked why she has separated herself and her family from the church, and for the most part they were petty problems. So we hadn´t been back to visit in her home since. Once in a while we saw the youngest in the family in the street and would say hi to him and ask how he was doing, but other than that, not much contact with the family. When we had divisions the last time, Hermana Salazar and Hermana Zunñiga were able to get into the house again and contact the whole family and put a time that we could visit them for FHE. 
On Thursday we were able to have a lesson with the family. The parents and three of their five kids the oldest being 17 and the youngest about 12. Our FHE lesson was about the importance of the family. We asked Hermana y Hno T_____ first who Jesus Christ was to them and they gave an answer. After, we asked the kids who had no idea how to answer. I think that really surprised the mom that her kids didn´t know who the Savior was. It was a really spiritual experience for them because I don´t think they gathered together as a family very often. Hermana Salazar and I were able to share our testimonies about the importance of the family and the mom told us that that is what they had been lacking and they wanted to establish family home evening. It was so cool! That has to be the highlight of the week!
I´ve attatched a photo of a woman who is 89 years old. She is absolutely incredible. She has a son who is mentally handicapped and has been taking care of him since he was born. He is 54 years old and has never walked in his life. We visited her all this week and had the priesthood come to give them a blessing. They were planning on building L___ (son) a ramp so he could easily get in and out of his house. It was so great to have two priesthood members to come to give them a blessing. Unfortunately, she and L____ are leaving to go South for three months with her daughter. So we said goodbye for the last time. We got her information so that the missionaries down south can contact her again.
We have finally gotten one of our investigators to come to church! One of our menos activos brought her friend and we have a lesson with her this week. Also, L____ (Peruvian family we were teaching a long time ago) came to an activity. It has been really hard to get in contact with their family. But she absolutely loved it and made friends instantly. Wasn´t able to come to church this week but hopefully next week.
We also have something called a CVC that we are doing in the month of November.November 16th we will be doing an "open house" to help both the members and ourselves obtain references. We are super excited and we know that the members need something like this to get the obra misional moving along.  
Transfers are on the 3rd of Nov. If you are worried about Hermana Salazar getting her things, dont worry and you can send them directly to me and If we are separated, I will be able to send her things still. I don´t need anything, but thank you! we have the temple next door to us too! 
Like I mentioned before, it has been hard to get investigators to come to church. We are constantly explaining, having lessons, fasting, asking members to come to lessons to try and help them remember the importance of taking the sacrament, resting from our labors, etc etc. Menos Activos as well. I have heard a few people say this now- that the church is a hospital for the sick. That has bugged me for the past few weeks. I attached a scripture that I found the other day. We are all sick in a sense. We need to go to church to remember the covenants we made with our Heavenly Father at baptism, or to remember our Savior Jesus Christ. There is no need for a Savior if we are perfect, and there is no need to go to church if we are perfect, but we are not. So yes, the church is a hospital that we all need and the Sacrament can help us remember that we can once again feel the healing Power of the Atonement that our spirits need. And there is not one of us who doesn´t need the mercy and grace of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Looks like everyone is doing well! It looks like you had some fun this week! Love the pictures. i attached a few... Hermana Perez, Hermana Ekins, me and Hermana Salazar in our apt. The one of Hermana salazar, me and S____. Me in Santa Lucia with flowers, and Contacting on the street. D____ who lives in el campo and sells "tierra" dirt on the street where we predicar y trabajar. (preach and work) Love yall!
Chao po

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

General Conference Weekend

We had been working as hard as we could to invite members and non-members to the conference this weekend. It was truely a blessing to listen to President Monson, the Presidency, Apostles, 70, and chosen counsel to speak to us. Unfortunately, we didn´t have too much success bringing people, but wow.... What an incredible blessing it was to listen to each one of them. Truely inspíred representatives of the Lord. I hope you all were able to watch or listen with spiritual ears to understand the counsel to receive personal revelation. I was really grateful (yep, thank you K) for the prayers on behalf of the missionaries, and YES! One year ago, how cool to hear the growth of all of the Missionaries too! I know there are even more preparing (even in our ward) to leave. There was a call to the members as well. Know/hope you are doing your part. I come to realize every day that I am teaching Children of God. all with different backgrounds, lifestyles, challenges, strengths, and weaknesses. Yep we are among our brothers and sisters and it should never be difficult to extend an offer or help. We might have to go out of our way to do so, but the blessings of being a missionary don´t only apply to missionaries, but to everyone who gives of themselves on behalf of another. As these months have taught, life is a precious gift. I was thinking of my family a lot during conference this year :)

Hna Salazar and I have been working hard on extending baptismal invitations as well this week. There is an old woman named M________. We contacted her on the street, had a lesson, and we have a bap date for Nov 16th! Okay, we don´t know how this is all going to work out between now and the 16th, but we are hoping and praying that she will be willing to keep committments and take up our invitations we´re extending to read scriptures, go to church. She lives with her brother, and with her old age, has a lot of health problems. But she is still livin and rockin! She is super sweet. We were also priveledged to have a conference with our Mission President and his wife! It was wonderful, and we were taught to keep our head up even in the difficult situations we might be faced with in the Mission. We also learned Elder Holland  will be coming to Santiago on the 15th of November to address us!!! So cool! I´m so excited for when he comes!

We have also worked a lot with our "menos activos". Harder than I thought but we love them. It´s always interesting to hear how or why people leave the church. And for the most part it´s a lot more complex than we might think. It´s so important to reach out farther to those who might not have that solid testimony because what is so true is when you have a friend in the church, you have a lot. And unfortunately we might be able to afford a family "friendship" for 6 weeks, but the members have a big responsibility as well. I feel like I am challenging my parents to do a lot here. But truely!! The work extends farther than the missionary plaque!
Choose the right! 
Chao po

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September 30

It has been a pretty good week here! At the same time, not so much. As far as lessons go, it has been a little difficult with investigators and getting lessons in, but we have had a lot more success with our menos activos this past week. 
Although we do have an investigator named M____. She is 70 yrs old and we invited her to be baptized. She said yes! She had been taught by the Elders many years ago, and we are continuing to teach her. The reason she was not baptized before was because she felt like she wasn´t ready. And she is going through a divorce right now which now she feels like that is holding her back again. We are continuing to teach her about the Gospel and the need to be baptized and to not be afraid to make covenants with God. We are continually praying for her and are hoping for a baptismal service on the 4th of Nov. 

I have started a journal specifically for the Book of Mormon. It is really incredible. I am learning to apply scripture, and to look at the details. Nephi 19:23. That and we have General Conference coming up! I hope y´all are preparing for it.