Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2 Nephi 2:8 -- The Importance of our Message

Hey Family!

NO! I just wrote a whole letter that was all detailed and pretty but
the computer exited out... And there is no draft. And I only have 5
minutes now.... Sorry for the shortness of this letter than. Here are
a few key points.

1. The branch here is amazing.  In the past 2 weeks we have received
10 references and have a good number of investigators as a result.

2. The sister and mom of Gerardo are taking lessons.  The sister is
really receptive and always keeps the commitments.  The branch really
reached out to accepting her.  The mom likes being independent.  She
has a slight problem with the commandments. She saw the change that
Gerardo went through and wants this for her kids, but not for her.  We
are praying for her.

3. We have a new investigator.  Her name is N. Not really but that´s
what I´m going to address her as.  She is the daughter of a less
active.  She really wants to be baptized and start a new life because
she has a lot of bad experiences in her past.

4.  We are working really hard in an area called Bicentenario.  There
is only one member family that lives there so we mainly yell at doors
all day long. And talk to people on the street.  We made friend with 2
dogs and they follow us around everyone. Even to our house at night.
I have pictures but I´ll include them next week.

5. Thanks for the 12 days of Christmas!! I open them first thing every morning.

6.  It´s 100 degrees here. Things are heating up for Christmas.

I pray for you!

Elder Weidman

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

D&C 6:4-5 - If one speaks by the Holy Ghost, they will speak the mind of God.

Hey family!
   I love being able to be a tool in the hand of the Lord. This week I really focused on following all promptings from the Lord.  Of course I couldn´t follow all because I´m human and have my weaknesses but I want to share two spiritual experiences I had this week. Here´s the first one:
1.  In Chile there are many inactive members of the church.  Our main focus each day is passing by these members and trying to reactivate them while at the same time trying to find new investigators.  We do this by talking to all we see on the street, by asking the inactive members if they know anyone who would benefit from a message about Jesus Christ and happiness, or if the member isn´t home we will ¨yell¨ at the houses touching theirs.  One day this week we were doing our usual work of contacting inactives and we had a whole schedule of who to contact.  We had just finished working in one area of our sector and were about to continue on to another according to our agenda when a thought came into my mind to go visit a certain hermano in the ward.  We looked in the directory for his address and started heading to his house.  While we were walking, I saw a man walking our way.  He didn´t make any gesture to talk to us, but my body acted without my mind and my hand shot out to shake his.  Without even thinking.  Of my companion and me, I was the furthest away from this man. I cut off my companion to get to this man. Without even realizing I was doing it.  I started talking to him and asking him the usual questions than can spark a discussion about the Gospel.  He told me that he was a member of the church, but hadn´t gone to church for a long time.  He also said that I had been directed by the Spirit to talk to him.  He has been dealing with depression the past couple of weeks and has needed help but hasn´t known where to turn. He said that he would not have stopped us, but would have kept walking if I hadn´t stopped him.  If the Spirit wouldn´t have moved my body for me. When he told me his name, I realized that he was an inactive member that we had been looking for for the past 6 weeks but had never been home. The Spirit knew who this man was.  What he needed and when he needed it. We set up an appointment with him and continued on our way.  When we got to the member´s house, we realized that it was the wrong address. We also realized that it said this on the directory and we had neglected to see it.  And I ALSO realized that I knew exactly where this man lived.  If we had seen the little message on the directory or if I had remembered where he lived, we would have never run into this inactive.  The Lord guided us.  He made me forget where the member lived. He caused us to not see the little message written in the directory. I was able to be a tool in His hands in order to talk to one of His sons who had fallen away from His church.  He is aware of every single one of us.  We should never forget this.  Never let our own thought cloud over this wonderful truth that everyone needs to know.  There is no better work that anyone can do on the earth other than missionary work.
2.  Don´t worry, this experience is a bit shorter.  We have been teaching a 12 year old for the past 3 weeks. His mom is an inactive but she wants him to be baptized and he wants to be baptized but he won´t decide on a date.  He knows he needs to but he says that he feels unprepared. This past week we were talking to him about his baptism and he told us that he wants to wait till next year to be baptized.  He didn´t have any reason why. Or wouldn´t tell us.  At this moment, the Spirit prompted me to take him to the chapel.  We were a good 5 minute walk away from the chapel, but I didn´t want to deny this prompting.  I stopped the conversation that was happening and straight up asked if we could go take a tour of the chapel.  He has never been to church even though we´ve invited him every week.  He got permission from his mom and we left. I could tell that he wasn´t very excited to go, so I started talking to him about video games.  Something to light up the mood when we walked over. When we got there, he was a lot happier than when we left his house due to the video game chat.  Who knows, this could have been a prompting from the Spirit to. Anyways, we showed him the sacrament room, the classrooms, and the paintings on the wall.  We ended with the baptismal font.  I told him that he would be baptized in this font.  Then I had him read Mosiah 4:10. It says something along the lines of if you know these things are true than do them.  After he read that, we stood there for a good 20 seconds in silence.  He was staring at font the entire time. I then asked him how he felt and he said ¨bacán¨which means awesome.  I asked him how he felt about baptism and he said that he wanted to be baptized this month. What an amazing sentence that was!! We offered a pray of thanks to Heavenly Father and left.  He will have to wait till next month to be baptized because of a sickness his mom has and a vacation he is going on at the end of the month, but he is stoked for baptism. I am again thankful for the Lord guiding me during that experience. 
   Well that´s all for this week. Marsh and Rach, today I got you package from the 17th of November. THANKS!!!!! I hope everyone is enjoying the cold air.  It´s beginning to look a lot like summer here. HAHAHA But seriously. It´s hooot. 
   I love and pray for all of you.
   Elder Weidman

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

John 15:4-5 Abide in Christ. Branch cannot bring forth fruit without vine.

Hey family!!
   This past week was a bitter sweet one.  Elder King transferred to
Valpo (Valparaiso) yesterday.  He was a great missionary and trainer
for me. I pray that he is able to follow the Spirit and continue to
bring people unto Christ.  He was a great example to me and I will
forever thank him for that.  My new companion is Elder Crist.  Every
Chilean that meets him always says ¨¿Como Cristo? JAJAJAJA¨ It´s
hilarious. It means ¨like Christ? HAHAHAHA¨ He´s from Arizona, has 6
months left on the mission, and will be my trainer for the remaining 6
weeks of my training.
   The branch is really loving here in Limarí. When Elder King said
his goodbyes to them, they were very sad for him but they kept
reassuring me that everything would be alright.  That they would help
me.  This past week was a big step for my Spanish.  Suddenly I can
actually have full on conversation with the members and investigators!
Of course there are still some words that I need to ask about, but I
can get the gist (for the older generation. Gist means main message)
of what they are saying. They really have become family to me and I am
excited to spend Christmas and my birthday here with them.  Don´t
worry, they aren´t replacing you all. Only adding to the family.
   Patricia has a sure baptismal date now! The 15th of December. We
had a really spiritual lesson about ¨La Familia: Una Proclamación para
El Mundo¨. After reading the message, Patricia understood why she
needed to be baptized.  To set an example for her children.  She´s
known this whole time that she needs to be baptized, but she´s been
procrastinating the day.  Now she´s fully ready.  It´s sad that Elder
King won´t be here for her baptism, but she knows the amount of effort
he put in and that´s all that matters.
   We received the news that hermanas (sister missionaries) will be
coming to Limarí next change! This means more work for the ward as
well as the elders this change.  I realized that there are some areas
in our branch that we never visit, so this past week we made it a goal
to spend half a day in one of these areas to find new people.  What a
great experience that was.  I felt like one of the early apostles
going to a foreign land without a knowledge of what would happen.  We
had no map. Nothing.  But we were able to set 4 appointments and we
placed 3 Books of Mormons.  We would have given more but we ran out.
It´s a good 30 minute walk to this area but it´s worth it.  I have a
feeling that this area will become a prime working area in the next
change.  Especially since there will be 4 missionaries working in
Limarí. President Káhnlein told us that there are going to be at least
one pair of hermanas in every zone.  EVERY ZONE! That´s crazy sauce.
We have none right now and be the end of next change we will have 4
hermanas in the zone.  The work force is growing rapidly.  We will see
the results of the constant labor in the next few years. Grand
   Today is our P-day because of transfers.  I found out that every
first P-day of each change is on Tuesday due to the transfers being on
Monday.  Yesterday was a sweet experience as well.  I was slightly
nervous to have a new companion because he had no knowledge of the
area there for it was up to me to find the appointments and all that
jazz.  I prayed continually throughout the day for comfort and
direction and The Lord heard my prayers.  I felt that someone was
along side me directing me the whole time.  It was amazing. Also I had
to talk alot more than usual yesterday, and I realized that I don´t
have to think in English before I speak anymore.  Like I said early, I
can carry out a conversation in Spanish now!  The Gift of Tongues is
the only way that I have been able learn and understand so rapidly.
The Lord is aware of my needs and I have faith that as I give all my
effort, He will help me along the way.
   I still haven´t heard anything about how or when I´ll call on
Christmas.  I should know all the details by the end of this week.
Congratulations on the cat Marsh and Rach!!  I hope that he or she is
just as great as Vlad. If you want another cat just let me know. Or a
dog.  I can pick one off the street here and send it to you.  And that
goes for the whole family.
   I continue to pray for all of you!
Elder Weidman The Great

Monday, November 26, 2012

D&C 24:12 - Declare Gospel in all places and the Lord will provide strength

Hey family!
    It´s still hot here. Nothing much has changed with that.  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I sure did! With my rare meal of rice and chicken. I was quite scrumptious! 4 really neat things happened this week.
1. For our district meeting on Wednesday we had a really nice surprise that no one knew about. The surprise was President Känhlein! He showed up unexpected and suddenly the room got all tense, yet more spiritual.  It´s funny how quickly the feeling of a room can change.  But it was a great meeting.  We discussed the investigators in each area throughout the meeting.  Elder King and I started telling everyone about Patricia, a woman that has a lot of trouble with the Law of Chastity. We began explaining how nothing has been going well with her and then President Kähnlein stopped us. He told us that if we showed her the ¨The Family: A Proclamation to the World¨ then she would get baptized.  Just like that.  What a man!  We are going to follow his guidance this week and teach it to her.  We really have faith that the President´s words can be fulfilled but we know that it is only through our own actions and faith.  We are really  going prepare for this appointment with Patricia. 
2. On Friday of this past week, we were at the church preparing for an activity and a baptism. (I will explain about both further on) While we were preparing, we started smelling smoke and ran outside to see what was up.  We saw a cloud of smoke right behind the fence of our church building, so we quickly grabbed a shovel and hurried to the fire.  It seems like we got there just in time because it was starting to spread pretty fast. We used the shovel to put dirt over the flames and we saved the day.  If we hadn´t have been there, the church building might have burnt down! Not really, but I like to think that.  There´s a homeless man that lives on a mattress right behind our chapel and we think that he started the fire trying to burn his trash.  
3. We had an activity Friday night called ¨Yo Soy¨. I got permission to dance to ¨Staying Alive.¨ by the Bee Gees. Nice missionary appropriate missionary dance moves.  The branch loved it! They all asked me if I could teach them some dance moves and I told them I would only if they brought their non member friends.  Who knew that dancing could be a way to find. Elder King played trombone.  We are very musically talented.
4. Just yesterday was the baptism of Gerardo! What a conversion story. He´s an amazing example for me.  He started taking lessons because of his girlfriend but overtime he began to have a desire to know for himself.  I don´t know if I already talked about him or not. Yeah I did last week. All the missionaries of the zone were able to make it to his baptism.  We sang ¨Come Thou Fount¨ and this brought tears to his eyes.  He´s never been the emotional type, but yesterday that changed.  Elder King baptized him but I was glad that I was able to observe and see how much this baptism meant to Gerardo. Once he came out of the water, his face was shining.  I could tell that he understand the amazing step that he had just taken in his life.  He was crying then as well. Tears of joy.  After he changed, Gerardo agreed to share his testimony for the first time.  What an amazing testimony.  His love for God is tan fuerte. He said that the time when Elder King and I came over the weekend of conference was the turning point for him.  He said that our scriptures we shared were exactly what he needed.  He knew that Heavenly Father was aware of him at that time.  These experiences are the reason I´m here. The conversion that I saw in Gerardo was amazing. And it isn´t over yet. He will always be converting as long as his testimony is growing. 
    SO I realized that I haven´t ever told you about my area or companion. Or dad helped me realize. My companion´s name is Elder King.  He is from Salt Lake City.  He just told me that a Elder Mackillop at steak at his parents house the other day. Richard Mackillop! Anyways, Elder King has been out for around a year and a half. Since next week is a new change, we both think that he´ll be transferred. He´s been in Limarí for 6 months now. The zone I´m in is called Ovalle, and the area we cover is called Limarí.  It is divided into 5 different sections and has many hills... It´s a huge area but the chapel is in the middle which is very nice because we have to make bathroom stops many times during the day. The food does a number on our American stomachs. We share a house with another companionship who covers an area called Canihuante. All the school kids just started summer this past week so we get hollered at alot. They always say ¨hello, what´s your name¨ in a really thick accent. We ignore them since all they want is trouble. 
  I´m jealous of the snow that everyone except the Texans are getting!
  I pray for you all.
  Elder Weidman

Monday, November 19, 2012

1 Nephi 15:8 -- Have ye inquired of the Lord?

Hey Family!
It´s getting to become summer here so the days are getting hotter and hotter.  Especially between 3-5 which is when we are always working. Out in the streets.  With a stomach full of food. And usually no one is home at this time.  But we keep on working! I want to tell you about two crazy experiences that happened this week.
1. While walking on the street one day, a man ran up to us and told us he was a member of the church.  He really wanted us to pass by his house, therefore we wrote down his address and then were on our way.  We thought nothing of it once we´d left.  The day comes that we had the appointment with Reuben (the man). He lived on practically the outer edge of our area which meant that we had to climb up and down a few hills to get to his house.  When we arrived in his neighborhood, we tried finding his house but became lost.  Then when saw a man running to us.  It was Reuben and he had been worried about us because we were a few minutes late.  It´s a good thing he ran out to us or we would never have found his house. We entered his house and he offered us some food.  Guess what it was! Bread... Delicious but soooo addicting. Anyway, he started telling us about himself.  Let me tell you what he told us.  He used to be in the Chile National Guard (pretty much the FBI of Chile). He told us these crazy stories about how he had been shot by a priest who had been stealing drugs, or how he had to sneak some priests across town because they were drunk and they didn´t want the public seeing them.  He´s pretty much the Jack Bauer of Chile!!  He told about his conversion story, which is awesome.  At his old work, they were only allowed to be Catholic or Atheist. He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints along with his friend from work.  Neither of them told anyone at work about their baptisms.  One day, one of his officers found a Book of Mormon in Reuben´s locker.  Reuben told us that this officer ripped up the book and then punished Reuben.  He didn´t go into detail about the punishment, but I´m sure it wasn´t pleasant. At all. Since that day Reuben hasn´t been able to attend church because he wasn´t allowed to.  Due to his scars from being shot, Reuben was let go from his job in the National Guard.  They told him that he shouldn´t have a job the rest of his life due to his scars, but that didn´t stop him.  Right now he is a bus driver that has a shift of 20 days driving to 5 days resting at home.  He told us that he is quitting this job in the next few months.  Ok enough about his past.  While we were there, we discussed The Restoration with him.  He remembered everything about it.  He also told us about his partner from work that I mentioned earlier (the one who was baptized too). His partner had drowned while working on an assignment in a well.  We had a really spiritual moment when he told us this because we felt prompted to tell him about the temple work that he could do for his friend.  That he would be able to see his friend again.  Tears came to Reuben´s eyes when we told him this and a huge smile came across his face. He really wants to come back to the church, but he has to wait till he quits his job.  What a great example he is for me.  I know that the Lord has a lot in store for Reuben.  He will impact many in the future. 

2. The second experience is about Gerardo, a man who started taking discussions because his polola (girlfriend), who is the daughter of the president of our branch, wanted him to. At first he only took the lessons for her, but overtime he started really wanting to know if the church was true.  The missionaries had been working with Gerardo many months before I came to Limarí.  He has come to church every Sunday that I´ve been here, but has always been unsure about baptism.  Two Saturdays ago  was district conference (the same as stake conference). We stopped by the house of our president the night of the adult session. We had no idea why we were going there, but we felt like we needed to go.  When we were let in, we saw that it was only Nicole (the girlfriend) and Gerardo.  The air in the room seemed tense and we could tell that Nicole had been crying.  We walked in and asked how they were doing.  We weren´t getting much out of either of them, but we decided to share a few scriptures of comfort.  I read a scripture in Ether 12 about how if you turn to Christ with your weakness´, he will turn them into strengths.  Gerardo seemed really interested in this scripture.  We invited him to church that would happen the next morning, but he told us no because he didn´t want to go.... We offered a prayer of comfort and then left.  The next morning we saw Gerardo and Nicole at the church meeting.  They looked completely different than they did the night before.  Happy and cheerful. He came over to us and told us that our visit had changed everything.  That we were the reason he came to church that morning.  We didn´t see Gerardo again until just two days ago.  We had an appointment with him and Nicole and during the lesson he said ¨Quiero bautizarme¨. Ï want to be baptized!¨He told us that our visit had really helped him find the urge to see if the church was true or not.  He had been diligently praying and reading the Book of Mormon during the week, and had received an answer that he needed to be baptized.  That the church was true.  WOW! He is going to be baptized this coming Sunday.  Not because we convinced him to be. Not because his girlfriend wants him to be. Because he diligently sought the truth, and the Spirit confirmed to him that this church is the true church of Jesus Christ. I love how he made it his own responsibility to find out if the church was true.  I´m so excited for him.  

There are the highlights of the week for you all! Sorry if my English is starting to become sloppy. I´ve realized that the more I speak Spanish, the less English I remember.  Especially grammar wise. These two languages are SO different. Have a great Thanksgiving this week! I´m thankful for all of you! Even if it didn´t seem like it when I was younger.... Especially with Danny. I couldn´t ask for better parents, brothers, sister, sister in law, soon to be sister in law, nieces, nephew, and little unknown baby.I pray for each of you everyday. Including you Sam. 
Elder Weidman

Monday, November 12, 2012

1 Nephi 3:7 -- The Lord provides a way to fulfill all His commandments (even learn Spanish)

Hey family!
   This week has been a rough one.  Most of the people we set up appointments weren´t home and we lost two of the baptismal dates that we had set with La Familia Tello. Since they have so many people in their family, La Familia Tello is only available on saturdays for us to come teach them.  This past Saturday we found out that one of the hermanas that had a date left to work for a whole month.  She´ll come back and we can start back up again with her then.  The other date we lost was with another hermana.  She is living with one of the hermanos in the house, but they aren´t married... We´re going to have to work a bit harder with her.  At times it can be a bit challenging to teach this family because there are so many people and we have to focus on each one of them.  Focus on each of their needs.  We´ll probably have to move the dates back with the other 3, but that´s fine.  It´s better that they´re fully prepared to make this covenant with God.  I´ve learned to be a lot more patient with this family.  I love them to death, and I want what´s best for them.  And that is why I´m here.  I know that the Lord places challenges in front of us so that we grow from them.  We must figure out how we can learn from these challenges.  
   I had an intercambio this week in Ovalle Sur.  My companion for the day was Elder Rodriguez, a hilarious missionary from Mexico.  By the evening, we had had no success that day.  All our appointments had fell through, and our legs were killing us.  But we didn´t stop working.  We were passing by a little park, and I saw a girl sitting on a bench.  At first I was prompted to go talk to her, but I decided not to.  For one, we had an appointment to be at, and two, I am still nervous to talk to random people.  Especially in Spanish. And especially girls.  3 seconds later I got the impression again to talk to her.  This time I knew that I needed to do this.  I turned around, walked up to her, and started introducing myself. In Spanish. Elder Rodriguez hadn´t seen me turn around so he kept walking for a few more seconds until he realized I wasn´t there.  He came running up next to me and we started discussing The Gospel with her.  She was a 15 year old girl who studyed at a Catholic School. When we introduced the Book of Mormon, she got super excited.  We left her with a chapter to read and arranged an appointment for us to come back to teach her.  The best thing about this experience was the second we started walking away, she started reading the chapter we left her.  WOW! Elder Rodriguez was so pumped after that.  He said that he had been marking this day as a failure because all of our appointments had fallen through, but my act to follow the Spirit had improved his day tremendously.  I told him that our day hadn´t been a failure.  Even though we had not taught anyone, we had worked our hardest and that is all the Lord asks of us.  To work our hardest and be aware of the Spirit. The Lord places challenges in front of us for our own benefit.  We need to face them with hope and courage in order to grow from them.  
   Sorry this letter isn´t too long.  Like I said at the beginning, most of our appointments fell through this week, but I did learn a valuable lesson. Continue working and the Lord will provide the way for you. 
   I´m really beginning to understand the Spanish here.  I still have a lot of trouble speaking, but at least I´m trying!
   I love and pray for you all!
Elder Weidman

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Doctrine and Covenants 4:2 -- Work with all your heart, might, mind, and strength

Hey family!
   What an awesome week it has been here.  A crazy but spiritually
filled week.  I had two inter changes this week.  My first one was on
Wednesday, to a place called Monte Patria.  It took a good 45 minute
bus ride through the mountains to get there.  The ride reminded me of
driving through the mountains of Utah.  Not to mention that there was
English music playing the whole time on the bus.... My companion for
the day was Elder Honor. He is from Paraguay and does not speak a lick
of English.  But we were able to have normal conversations. Crazy, I
know! Monte Patria is a small town.  The branch has twenty members in
it, verrrry small. At night, we visited a family of investigators.
Since it was Halloween, little niños dressed up as witches and ghosts
were crowding the streets.  Actually it was nothing compared to the
United States, but it was still a surprise to me how many people
celebrated it.  The family we were with did not celebrate it because
they believed that Halloween was of the devil... Everyone has there
beliefs.  My face was a little sun burnt and the mom of the family
ragged on me for not wearing enough sunscreen.  Reminded me of someone
:)  They were a great family and I enjoyed getting to know them.
Every night in this town, birds sleep on the electricity lines.  While
walking home, there were thousands above us all asleep.  I was scared.
Walking under beds never ends well. But this night it did.  The next
morning I wanted to scream at those birds.  I never realized until
then how LOUD birds can be.  Especially in the morning.  At 5 A.M.
Right outside your window.  But overall it was a great inter cambio.
   On Friday, I had the second inter cambio of the week with Elder
Gasik.  He is a legit skier from Utah and he looks like Job Bluth.  At
the beginning of this change, I was nervous because it was in Limari,
where I live, therefore I was in charge of getting to places...  Lets
just say we got lost a few times that day.  BUT the night was AWESOME!
 We had an appointment with La Familia Tello, who are a part member
familia. All 12 of them living in there small house are from Peru.  I
love that family.  They really helped me become adjusted here and they
are family to me now. Back to the story.  We were planning on teaching
the first lesson, about the Restoration and all.  We started the
lesson and the Spirit led us the rest of the time.  It was amazing.
We totally went of course from the lesson, but it was what we needed
to do.  We started by talking about how God is our Heavenly Father and
wants the best for us.  Somehow this led to the Holy Ghost and the
example that Jesus Christ set for us.  I have no idea how, other than
that it was all by the Spirit. We focused most of the lesson on 2
Nephi 31. (The appointment before, we had invited them to read 2 Nephi
Chapter 31 before we returned for the next appointment. ) They had all
read the chapter and really enjoyed it. I mean how could you not.  A
chapter all about baptism and The Doctrine of Christ!  One hermana
asked if she had the Holy Ghost and if her baptism was valid.  This is
the question that all missionaries dread, but luckily we didnt have to
answer it.  The member of the family straight up answered her and told
her the absolute truth.  A look of concern came on her face and she
asked how she could get it.  PERFECT QUESTION!  We told her that
through baptism they could all receive this direction in their lives.
That they could all receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  We told her
that this is the perfect way to follow Christ, to be baptized as He
was.  Then we invited all 5 of them to be baptized. (Only 5 were there
that werent members. There were 2 that were inactive members and a
family of 3 who were members.)  All 5 of them accepted the date of the
24th of this month! What an awesome experience.  I was so excited
afterwards. Not because I had gotten 5 baptismal dates, but because
this family who I love committed to being baptized. To coming closer
to Christ.  What a great work this is.  This joy I felt is the reason
I am here.  So that I can help others come unto Christ.
   Last P Day I cut a pineapple into little pieces and made guacamole.
 It was a really big accomplishment for me and I felt inclined to
share this.  I was very proud of myself.  And it tasted delicious.
   This morning we played basketball at the church and I went all
Jimmer on them.  It was great!
   I pray for each of you every day!
Elder Weidman

Monday, October 29, 2012

2 Nephi 28:30 -- Receive the Lord and you will gain little by little

Hey family!
   Wow. Another week has already passed.  This past week went by crazy fast. Rapido Loco.  I´ve adjusted really well to the food, dogs, and people here.  The food is delicious.  Especially since I´m starving everytime I eat it.  The bread is going to be the death of me here. IT IS DELICIOUS!  I need to limit the amount of bread I eat or I will look like a different person 22 months from now.  The dogs all love me.  They leave us presents outside of our home every morning.  I love it. And the people are like family now!  They are really patient with my lack of skill in Spanish.  They always encourage me to keep trying and they usually understand what I´m ¨saying¨.  And everytime we visit a member or investigator, they always offer us some sort of food.  Usually bread and drink :)
   I had my first inter change this week!  I went to Ovalle South for a day and my companion was Elder Cordoba.  He is a native speaker and it was amazing that we could actually communicate with each other!  What an amazing day it was.  Before starting the day,  we set goals to have 2 Book of Mormons given out and 1 baptism date set by the end of the day.  Our present if we accomplished the goal would be completos, which means hot dogs in English.  We found a little park and began to proselyte the area.  The first person we talked to was a 16 year old chico who knew all about Joseph Smith and Nephi. He was super excited to have run into us because he really wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon.  He said that he had read it before and loved it but then some how lost it.  What an amazing example he was to us.  His excitement and love for the Book of Mormon was overwhelming and he wasn´t even a member!  We set up an appointment and left him a copy of the book.  The next hour and a half we placed three more copies of the Book of Mormon!  Once we ate lunch we began ¨knocking doors¨.  Here in Chile you yell ¨Allo!¨ at a door instead of knocking at it.  And there are fences around every house as well.  We had no success for probably an hour.  Then we turned down one street.  There was no one walking on the street but we felt prompted to go.  The first house we came to had its gate wide open.  This never happens!  Instead of yelling, we actually got to knock on this door.  An older man and his wife let us in and we did a brief lesson over the Restoration.  By the end of it, the man was excited to here more and he accepted to be baptized on 17th of November!  The Lord knew what street we needed to turn on.  For some reason the gate to this house was open, just beckoning us in.  It was an amazing experience.  At the end of the day, we visited one of Elder Cordoba´s investigators.  We taught about The Gospel and by the end of it, the investigator accepted the baptismal challenge.  At the end of the day we had placed 6 copies of the Book of Mormon, set 2 baptismal dates, and found 2 new investigators.  A successful day all because of the Lord.  We followed His promptings and He knew best like He always does.  What an awesome day it was.  Oh and we got to end it with some delicious hot dogs.  Those hot dogs were seriously amazing!
   One more cool experience.  I was back in my own area with Elder King and we had just been finished setting an appointment with a potential investigator.  We started walking and probably ten steps down the road, we stopped and realized we had no idea where we were going.  No sooner had we stopped when a window opened from a random house in fron of us and a man yelled out to us.  He asked if we played futbol... Slightly random question, but we answered and said that we only play one day a week.  He then told us to wait for him, ran outside to us, and started asking questions about who we were and why we could only play one day a week.  This, of course, was a perfect opportunity to talk about the Gospel.  His name was Renae and he didn´t believe in God, but he was really interested in our message.  We were prompted to ask him what his purpose on earth was and this question was what caught his attention.  He said he had thought about it, but had never known the true reason.  We told him that his purpose was to return to live with God, and that if he always remembering this, his life would improve tremendously.  We gave him a pamphlet, set an appointment, and then walked away.  Yet another experience where the promptings of the Lord led us to someone who was ready to receive the Gospel in their life.  I love it.
   I only can receive letters once a transfer here. So once every six weeks.  Don´t let this stop you from writing me though because I know all of you have a strong desire to send me a letter everyday!  But the letters need to be addressed to the mission home right now. The address should be on my blog.  I don´t know if this will change when I move areas in the future but for now this is how it must be.  Family, I also enjoy emails.  But I prefer both. Tehe. SO if you want to send me a package, say for Christmas or something, it´ll need to arrive here in Chile by December 1. And since it takes forever to attach photos, I´ll probably send photos home to Merle the Squirtle every once and a while and she can send them to the family. I´ll still attach a photo every once and while, but yeah... every once and a while. 
   I love you all and pray for you!
   Elder Weidman

Monday, October 22, 2012

Alma 29:9-10 -- The Joy Investigators Receive

Hey family,

   I´m officially in Chile!  What a difference it has been here.  Let me share a few things have blown my mind. 
1. Dogs everywhere.  They all have flees and are wild.  They smell just as bad as Banjo and are about as smart as he was.  Just last night we saw a dog attack the front tire of a car when it was driving by.   But seriously, every corner we turn there are dogs.  No need to be worried for my safety.  I worked at Dog´s Day Out.  I know how to deal with these muts. 
2.  There´s only one meal a day.  And it´s a HUGE meal.  Chileans only eat lunch and they put their all into making it.  We still have snacks through out the day, but 1:30-3:00 each day is set apart for eating.  Oh and the bread here is delicious.  Delicious and fattening.  
3.  My pension (or home) is tiny.  And no air conditioning or heater.  We have a little heater that was bought sitting near our desks, but thats the only means for heat other than the shower.  It gets pretty cold during the night so I fall asleep wearing sweats and all.  LOVE IT! 
Those are the few things I´ve noticed so far.  I´m sure that I´ll notice more as I continue on.

   Now let´s go back to before I arrived in Chile.  It was really a bitter sweet experience saying goodbye to some elders from my district at the MTC.  They all have become my brothers and I will miss them.  But we are all serving for the same reason and I know the Lord will take care of them.  Driving out of the MTC was weird!  We drove a little through Provo and I saw all these places that I´d been this past summer.  Dollar Theater, Jimmy Johns, In N Out, Cafe Rio..... It was awesome to see Utah again as we were driving to the airport.  I love that I got the chance to see the SLC Temple one more time before I left.  What a beautiful buidling it is!  The airport was a really neat experience.  It was the first time that I had been out on public as an official missionary.  The name badge and suit attracted tons of attention, but not degrading attention.  Many people congatulated us and wished us luck.  I, of course,  had to get my Cafe Rio at the airport :)  While waiting in line, a random man behind us asked if he could pay for us! I was not expecting that.  He was a really nice guy.  And then of course the only table that was open was one that was right under the speakers.... I have not missed Kesha... While waiting at the gate, I had the chance to call the parents.  It was great talking to you both and I´m glad that life is going great!

   While at the Atlanta Airport, I had two really neat experiences.  The first was with a woman who was waiting for her flight to Guatemala.  I really wanted see if I learned anything at the MTC so Elder Miles and I decided to go talk to her.  It seriously took us 5 minutes to get the nerve to talk to her.  It was like talking to a girl when I was in 6th grade!  The name of the woman was Irma and she spoke both English and Spanish.  We bore out testimonies to her and gave her a pass along card.  ALL IN SPANISH!!  I realized that she was my first contact and I could not have asked for anyone better.  She was really open with us and caring.  The second experience involved a sergeant of the army.  A soldier came up to us and asked if he could buy us food.  Second time in one day! He payed for our meal and we had an awesome conversation with him.  He was a member who had gone in active and then been reactivated during his life.  I want to quote one phrase he said.  ¨You missionaries are fighting the other half of the war.  If you win your half than there is no need for me to fight my half.¨ Such an awesome and true statement!  It was great talking with all the siblings! Congratulations on all the news!

   I arrived in Chile and right away President Kahnlein put us to work.  We drove to Vina (about an 1 1/2 car ride) and then got dropped off at the ¨clock of flowers¨.  He gave us an address, two copies of The Book of Mormon, and a few pass along cards and then drove away.  The address was that of the mission home and we had to ask for directions on how to get there.  I was paired with an elder from Mexico who didn´t speak any English!  It was such a cool experience! We gave out all the copies of The Book of Mormon and after an 1 1/2 hours of walking, we made it to the mission home.  The elder I was paired taught me a lot of Spanish and I taught him a lot of English.  He was legit and I could tell he was going to be a great missionary.

   Oh I forgot to write something.  SO while we were going through customs, guess who was at the end of our same line.  Elder Oaks, his wife, Elder Bednar, and his wife!  I had no idea but Dad served in the same mission as Sister Oaks.  She got really excited when she saw my name badge and I got a picture with her and her husband.....WOW. I also got to shake hands with Elder Bednar.  And I´m sure that I looked GREAT having just woke up a mere hour earlier. 

   Elder Oaks and Elder Bednar were in Chile because they each had a mission that they were going to visit and speak with.  And guess which mission Elder Oaks went to... VINA!  I´ll talk a little about this later.  The first night in Chile was quite something.  My companion had not arrived from our area yet, so I was assigned with another missionary for the night.  Who spoke no English. Wassup! I loved that experience with him.  We talked to every single person we saw on the street.  And did it for 3 straight hours.  They went by so quickly and I could tell we were being guided by the Lord. A ton of missionaries came down to Vina the night before the devotional with Elder Oaks was.  We had 17 missionaries sleeping in this small little apartment in Vina. The next morning we arrived at the church and I finally got to meet my companion, Elder King.  He has been out for a year and a half and just got finished training a newbie.  Now he get´s another, which is uncommon but lucky for me.  Elder Oaks expained the distinction of how our church not only believes in Christ but we follow Christ.  Then he had missionaries ask him questions and he answered them through the Spirit.  Such a cool experience.

   I´m assigned to a small area in the northern portion of the mission. It´s called Ovalle and has tons of little casas stacked on hills. The ward is really welcoming as well as the people.  Most of them... But the investigators love that I´m learning Spanish and they are always encouraging me to speak.  Again there are dogs EVERYWHERE.  

   It has been a little tough adjusting to the new culture and realizing how long I´ll be here but through the Lord I have overcome this challenge and begun to love the people.  The Lord has given me comfort and I have realized that it is impossible to do this without Him.  He is my guide and light here. 

    Again it was awesome to talk with all of you!! I pray for each one of you everyday. I´ll send a follow up email with pictures in it. 

I love you all!

Elder Weidman

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Alma 26:27 - Turn to the Lord for comfort

Hey family!

       What a crazily fast week it has been.  I leave for Chile tomorrow and I'm super excited to get to talk to you all!  Cafe Rio at the airport is also going to be delicious.  And of course the first time that I'll be in public as an official missionary.  What a crazy thought!

       Over my time at the MTC I have learned that patience is truly a virtue.  It is a hard attribute to gain, but it is possible through Christ and Heavenly Father.  I have realized that as I am patient that Lord will grant me blessings.  Blessings that only come from being patient.  Everything is on the Lord's timetable.  I am the means to which His timetable can be fullfilled.  Not all of it of course, but the segment of it that He needs me for.  The Lord knows all.  He knows when a certain person needs the Gospel.  The whole earth is on the timetable of the Lord. 
       I have also learned how to endure trials through patience.  The trials of Spanish, lack of sleep, home sickness, and of course the food have all been a present at the MTC. The Lord has a purpose in all things.  This thought brings me comfort. Also, the perfect example of Christ has guided me along this experience.  His pure example of love has made me become not only a better leader, but a better brother.  Both a physical and spiritual brother to all.  The Lord has provided me with comfort and I truly thank Him for that.  I would not have been able to survive these past 2 months without Him.  Now don't get me wrong, I loved the MTC!  But there are some challenging times that every missionary faces, and I realized how the Lord is always there is be your leader.  To be the most faithful companion there is. And I must be a faithful servant to Him.

       In order to have patience, you must have faith and hope.  A hope that something positive will come out of your patience. A hope that there is always a brighter future ahead. A faith that Heavenly Father is watching over you and truly loves you.  Patience is not possible without these two.

       I have also noticed the patience that others have. They are great examples to me and I strive to be like them. This has made me realize that other may be watching me.  I need to be patient.  I have no idea when someone is watching me, is looking up to me.  In Alma 17:11 it says "Ye shall be patient in long suffering and afflictions that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me."  Patience is a Christlike Attribute.  Others realize the love you have for them when you are patient for them.

        Patience for me all comes down to trusting the Lord.  Mosiah 7:18-19 has been a scripture of comfort for me this past 2 months.  We will always face trials.  It's impossible to avoid them.  But if we trust in the Lord and REJOICE then our burdens will become smaller.  He will lessen the amount of bumps that we face in life as well as lessen the size of them.  He is truly our Heavenly Father and his love unbelievable.
The city of Coppell is in my prayers.  During hard times like these, it is best to turn to the Lord. He is waiting for the prayers of His children.

        I'm also praying that the wounds BYU has received from Oregon State will be healed quickly.

I'm praying for all of you!

Elder Weidman