Friday, September 23, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011—Sunday, Beautiful Sunday

My companion and are doing so very well. Elder Sliffe has all of the excitement and power of a new missionary and a recent convert. We tell and show each other how much we care for each other. We both have our eye set on the glory of God. I truly am so grateful to be with Elder Sliffe and I hope to be with him for a long while.

This has been an excellent week. One of the highlights was a training meeting that we had with President Gillespie. We talked about the importance of commitments. In PMG it says, "When you ask for commitments as part of your teaching, you are inviting the investigator to repent." Commitments are key to our purpose as missionaries. We practiced extending bold, clear commitments and promising blessings using the power and authority of our calling. I learned a lot and was able to see that I have a lot to improve on. We are representatives of the Lord and as such we are to call people unto repentance and we have the authority and the responsibility to promise them blessings for so doing.

After a lot of hard work and urgent prayer, we have been able to find quite a few people who are ready to accept and listen to the Gospel. It is time for you to get to know a few of our investigators:

Firstly, we have Valesca. Valesca is 29 years old (even though she looks 15) and was first contacted by the missionaries way back in April she was taught for a little over a month back then and then was not taught (because they combined the areas). Her big impediment was that she never went to church. We decided to pass by during our first week here. She accepted a baptismal date and said that she would be going to church with us on Sunday. However, that Sunday (last Sunday) she did not show up. This last week we have focused on helping her to keep her commitments of reading, praying and especially going to church. We changed her baptismal date and she is now preparing to be baptized on the 9th of October. On Saturday she came to an activity that the stake held to celebrate Chilean history using its different types of music and dances. She promised to go to church. See below to see what happened. We are praying hard for her.

Next we have Claudio. On Friday, Elder Sliffe had an interview with President Gillespie, so we had to go down to the mission office. On the bus over, I started talking to Claudio. I asked him if we could visit him and he told us to come by the next day. On Saturday, we didn't have very much time, so we taught him about the Book of Mormon and invited him to church. He told us that he would come. See below to see what happened.

Finally, we have Cesar and Paulina. They were references from other missionaries. They are a fairly young couple with three children (all under the age of 8). They have had a lot of hardships in their lives, but they have also had a lot of contact with the church in their lives. On our first visit they told us that they really wanted to go to church and participate as much as they can. We focused on having powerful spiritual lessons with them and extending powerful commitments. In one of our lessons this week, they accepted a baptismal date for the 9th of October!!! I pray that they can continue on this path. They too committed to go to church…

This week we had many opportunities in which the Lord´s hands were seen. However, I will just name one of those experiences. Throughout this week we have been focusing on finding people and helping our investigators (especially those who have a baptismal date) to come to church. The entire week, we have begged our Heavenly Father to help us know how to help our investigators to come to church. We followed His promptings. Yesterday, as we walked to church, we walked with a prayer in our hearts. The Lord´s hand was seen first as we walked up to the church—we saw our investigator with baptismal date, Valesca, walking to church with her non-member boyfriend and her recent-convert. As I said before, Valesca was an old investigator and we were about to drop her (because she had not been to church once in the months of previous teaching that she had). However, the Lord brought her to church and she even invited her boyfriend who was in town visiting. Then we went and passed by Claudio who we had found in the bus on the way to our interview in Viña on Friday. He came to church and there in the chapel accepted a baptismal date for the 9th of October!!! After that, Cesar and Paulina arrived to church along with their three children. I know that it was the Lord´s hand that guided His children to his house yesterday.

I love this work so very much. This is my life. I have not felt such a strong feeling of love in my life. I truly love this people. I truly love my mission.

I love you all so very much. I am so thankful for all the people who are helping (and over the years have helped) me to be here.

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