Monday, January 28, 2013

Moroni 10:23 - "If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me."

Hey family!!

  As I have already told some of you,  the weather here is beginning to change.  The mornings and nights are getting a bit colder, while the days are continually scorching hot.  But that doesn't stop Elder Crist and I! It gives us more desires to set more appointments with people so that we don't have to be walking outside during the harsh hours.  And in order to set appointments, we need to find those who are willing to listen.  That has been our main focus this past week.  Finding the chosen.  Our only progressing investigator from the week before stop meeting with us.  It was hard to hear the truth, but we knew that it was coming.  We will continue to visit her and pray for her but now we need to move the focus to others.  This week, Heavenly Father heard our prayers.  We found 4 new investigators that are awesome! And three of them are in Bicentenario (the little neighborhood across the valley that I've mentioned before).  I want to share two experience about these new children of God that we have met.

   The first is a women who I will call L.  When found L while looking through the "futures" section of the binder.  Her husband is never home therefore we cannot enter, but her desire to know the truth is so strong that she agreed to have the lessons at her door step.  In the seering sunlight!  She has shown me true dedication.  She revealed to us that she has a fear to prayer to God about the true church.  Her brother once told her that Satan can answer prayers, and she still has a fear that he will answer her instead of God. We promised her that if she had "true intention" while she prays, Heavenly Father, and only Him, will answer her prayer.  We read with her the introduction of the Book of Mormon, and the Spirit was truly present.  She read Moroni 10:4-5 and now understands that her Heavenly Father wants her to pray.  He wants to communicate with her and tell her the truth.  He wants her to receive joy and everlasting happiness that comes from the Gospel.  We pray that she will have strength and courage to pray for an answer. 

   The second new we found is woman who I will call M.  We found M while walking in Bicentenario.  One of our appointments had fallen, therefore we were a bit down trodden. A random women happily said hello to us, and walked past.  After a few seconds, my companion and I looked at each other and we knew instantly that she needed the Gospel.  We ran back to her, and found out that she truly is prepared for the Gospel.  She shared with us that her first child died somehow, and she blamed the death on herself.  She is pregnant again and she began crying when she testified that this new baby is a gift from God.  She told us of the change that has occurred in her life since the death of her first child.  She has already begun the repentance process, and now needs guidance.  The gift of the Holy Ghost can offer her that guidance.  Her desire in this life is to be the best mother possible for her future children.  We testified to her that she can accomplish her goal through baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost.  She accepted to be baptized once she found out that these things were true.  This experience made me realize that the troubling things that happen in my life shouldn't effect my appearance.  Both my companion and I were a bit frustrated due to the people who weren't home.  If M had not said hi to us, we would have never talked to her.  I'm greatful to Heavenly Father because He prompted her to address us.  

   I hope these two experiences help with your lives.  I pray each week, that myexperiences that will better your lives one way or another. I love you all!

Elder Weidman

Monday, January 21, 2013

Moses 6:32 - ¨Open thy mouth and it shall be filled¨

Hey family!
   I saw rain for the first time in Chile this morning! My companion says that in his previous area, he saw rain all the time.  It never rains here because we are in the bottom of a valley.  The clouds always pass around us, but not this morning.  The fresh smell of rain was awesome to wake up to.  It gave me more determination to work out, which sometimes is very difficult to do every morning.  But all that matters is that I do it in order to be obedient. It is still fairly hot during the day here, but at night times the climate is fresh.  The best time to walk around is at this time due to the amazing air and also the fact that a lot of people are walking on the streets at this time.  
   Here´s a neat experience that happened this week.  Last week we set up an appointment with a woman who we thought was not a member.  She believes in Reincarnation but come to find out, she is a member of the church!  When we entered her house this past week, we had no idea that she was a member.  We got to know her a bit, told her our purpose as missionaries and what she should expect from us, and then introduced the Book of Mormon to her.  We ended the lesson by extending the baptismal invitation to her.  She answered the question by telling us that she was already baptized into the church..... She told us that the looks on our faces were priceless when she told us that.  After uncovering this surprising news, she excited told us that she wants her kids to take lessons with us.  She knows how much the Gospel will change their lives.  None of them were there at the moment but we set another appointment with her and left. On our way to the next meeting, I saw a man sitting on a wall.  He looked alone and sad, therefore the Spirit prompted me to talk to him.  To my surprise, this 20 year old told me that he was a member of the church as well!! He has been having a lot of trouble in his life, and at the moment doesn´t want anything to do with the church, but he agreed to meet with us.  He said for ¨talk no more¨.  We´ll try to include a Gospel Principle in the conversation somewhere. After talking with this man, I told Elder Crist that we had just found 2 lost sheep.  2 of God´s children who had already found the correct path, but now need to return to it.  I felt overwhelming happy after these two experiences. 
   This past week, we have been working really hard on finding new people who are ready for the Gospel.  President Kähnlein has told us many times that there are the ¨chosen¨ on the street who are simply waiting for a heavenly messenger to awaken them.  I need to have faith throughout the day that the people I talk to could be the chosen ones.  I need to act as this heavenly messenger at all times, in all things, and in all places.  I have realized that everyone notices missionaries.  How can they not.  This is a prime reason that we are dressed so nicely.  In order for people to notice us as good.  Some man this past week told us that he loves seeing us walking in the street because it always reminds him of God.  He said that the more one thinks of God throughtout the day, the better their day will be.  I am glad that I am worthy enough to be a representative of Jesus Christ.  I must always strive be the example Christ has set.  Heavenly Father knows my true potential.  Only with him can I achieve it. Many times through the day, thoughts of frustration (that result from rejection) or thoughts of fear (that result from talking to strangers) run through my mind.  These are thoughts from Satan.  I must replace these with thought of hope and love.  I don´t know who is in need of my message, but my Heavenly Father does.  If I seek and truly work for it, I can become a true instrument in His hands. What a marvelous work this is.
   I love you all and pray for you!!
Elder Weidman

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jacob 5:72 - ¨The servants did go and labor with ALL their might and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them.¨

Hey Family!
   Sorry for not telling you last week that I would be online on Tuesday this week.  Yesterday started a new change (transfer) and nothing has changed! I´m still in Limarí with Elder Crist.  We are really excited to continue working here in Sión (as the members call it). It´s still hot here but that doesn´t ever stop us from working.  We beat the heat each day just like the Mavericks beat the Heat a few years back. I thought you would all enjoy the photos I have included.  Watermelon is a big hit here in Chile during this time of the year.  It´s so juicy, sweet, and gigantic.  The family we ate with yesterday gave us a fourth of a huge watermelon for ¨dessert¨.  Dessert here is usually fruit with creme.  Delicious and healthy at the same time!  I dominated my 1/4 of the watermelon without a problem.  As you can see.
   I feel inclined to share an awesome experience I had yesterday.  For the past few weeks, we have been lacking in new investigators.  There´s fault on our part for not talking to more people in the streets but also it´s tough when we have no copies of the Book of Mormon.  But the Lord gives us challenges so that we learn and grow.  Anyway, I had been praying continually throughout the day yesterday that we would find those who are prepared to receive the Gospel.  At times I would become discouraged when those on the street would reject our invitations to here a message, but then I remember a paragraph in Preach My Gospel that says something along the lines of this - don´t become discouraged when people don´t accept your message.  Don´t let their rejection effect your work.  Have sadness in your heart that motivates you to continue working.- This message would help me keep working throughout the day.  So yesterday we were really putting our efforts into finding new investigators.  We passed by a family who, about 2 months ago, had accepted a Book of Mormon, but had never been home since then.  Yesterday they were home and they told us something that brought comfort to me.  They said that they had read a little of the book and also they had talked to a friend of theirs who is a member of the church.  They caught interest in the church and for the past day they had been praying to God so that He would send us back to their home.  And there we were. Standing on their doorstep with a message that they needed.  They had visitors, therefore we weren´t able to enter their house but we set an appointment for next Monday and invited them to continue reading. To know that I was led by the Lord to this family´s home has brought unexplainable happiness to me. 
   One more experience I want to share.  One day this past week, we had an appointment with a man who tried to prove that our religion was wrong.  We had no idea beforehand that this was his overall purpose for inviting us into his home.  We bore our testimony to him and left with a word of prayer.  While we were walking away from his home, we were both a bit frustrated.  What made things a little worse was that some teenagers were yelling profane words at us when we were walking away.  I prayed for comfort from the Lord, and He gave it to me in the form of a man.  A man in a wheel chair stopped us in the middle of the road.  He asked us how we were and made conversation.  He then asked us for money, which we couldn´t give to him.  Instead of getting mad at us, he then offered to say a prayer.  In his prayer, he prayed for everyone in the world.  He prayed a little for himself but the majority of his prayer was centered around his loved ones, the missionaries, and everyone living in the world that has problems.  A feeling of comfort and love overwhelmed me when I heard this man´s prayer.  He has a disablilty that has limited his life, but instead of focusing on the bad of his own life, he focuses on the bad of others.  He is a true example of Jesus Christ.  This experience reminded me of how Christ mainly ministered among the poor.  How he described the poor in life but strong in heart as being disciples of Him.  This son of God who offered a prayer to us is a disciple of Christ.
   To answer your question about Spanish, Dad. My Spanish has improved tremendously.  Everyday it seems to improve.  Not because I am working, but because the Lord is helping.  I try to speak as much as possible and to use the time during language study very effectively. I´m sure Danny, Marshall, and Ren knows the power of the Gift of Tongues.  And Mary with Sign Language.  And Taylor and Nina with all the languages they have picked up in their travels.  And Dad and Mom with the MTC.
    I love and prayer for all of you!
Elder Weidman

Monday, January 7, 2013

Alma 26:22 - Exercise faith through good works

Hey family!
   Wooh! First week of 2013! I´ll just dive in talking about the week.
   Monday night was New Year´s Eve.  We spent the night with the same family that we spent Christmas with.  We had a good barbaque and the food was delicious, as usual! I´ve included a few photos of the food.  I don´t know if I told you all this last week, but for new years Chileans burn life size dolls that represent the past year.  They burn the mistakes of the year before in order to start fresh for the new year.  It was really interesting seeing all these life size dolls burning in front of all the houses. We had permission to stay outside of our pension until 1230 that night!! WOOH PARTY! Not really though.  Once 11:30 rolled around, our bodies started shutting down on us.  It was passed our bed time and our bodies knew it. But it was a fun night all the same!
   This week we have been working really hard to contact all the references we have obtained. One reference we went by really enjoyed our message.  Let´s call her P. P is a single mother of 2 kids and she wants the absolute best for her two sons.  She knows that she must set a strong example for her them.  She has already had many experiences in her life where God has shown his love for her. We started talking to her outside her house and next thing we know an hour had passed by.  She told us a lot of her life stories and all of them provided a Gospel principle that we could teach about.  By the end of the conversation, she had tears in her eyes.  She apologized for sharing her life story with us and said something that really caught my attention.  She said something along the lines of ¨trust radiates from you.¨ I have been thinking about this statement and have come to the conclusion that this ¨trust¨ is the Spirit.  I pray everyday for this Spirit.  Without Him, I am nothing.  Without the Spirit, I cannot become the servant Heavenly Father needs me to be. P is beginning to progress very rapidly.  Her eyesight is terrible, but she has such a strong desire to read the Book of Mormon so she uses a magnifying glass to read it.  I love her dedication to know the truth. Her desire to read has helped me have deeper and more meaningful studies.  
   Sorry this week´s letter is slightly short.  The mission has no copies of the Book of Mormon to give out to people right now. We haven´t been able to have much progress with investigators due to this.  I am really grateful to Mom and Dad for sending me an extra Book of Mormon for Christmas.  I gave this copy to P because I know she earnestly seeks to know the truth. Mom and Dad, you both gave out a Book of Mormon this past week. Congrats!!
I pray for and love you all!
Elder Weidman

D&C 15: 6 - The work of most importance is to ¨declare repentance¨

Hey family!
   It was awesome being able to talk to you all this past week!  I loved being able to see all the family and that no one has really changed.  I don´t want anyone to change when I´m gone.  You all better promise me that you won´t change. Well Taylor could lose a few pounds but other than that, NO ONE CHANGE! Right now I am wearing a new tie from the parents, a new shirt, and new socks! It´s such a good feeling.  I feel clean and refreshed! I hope that you enjoyed my little ¨presents¨. I enjoyed every single present and every single 12 days of Chrismas card. I looked forward to reading them every morning. 
   I know you all are dying to hear about my adventurous Christmas Night here in Chile.  Well actually it would be Christmas Eve Night in the United States, but here in Chile the night of the 24th is when they celebrate Christmas.  Elder Crist and I spent the night with the G family. I love this family.  The dad is a member in the branch presidency and he is always dancing and full of life.  He reminds me of Captain Jack Sparrow when he talks. It´s hilarious! He´s always swaying his arms and is really animated when he talks to us.  Anyways, to begin the night off we sang carols to some members in their homes. I was honored to be able to sing to these families and bring the Spirit of Chrismas into their homes.  Every house that we went to offered us dulces and (of course) we couldn´t deny them! I´ve started to stop caring about how much food I eat.  I have a good number of months to lose all the fat I gain.  (JOKE) After we sang, we returned to the G family´s home.  We had our only dinner of the whole year and man was it delicious! By the end of the meal I couldn´t move.  I had eaten to my point of maximum. We shared a message about the mother of Jesus (thank you Ren for sharing your experience about this scripture!) and then departed on our way home.  That was our eventful Christmas night.  It was full of love and food.  The two best things in the world!
   The actual day of Christmas was just a normal day for us. Schedule wise.  We found a lot of success that day because most people were enjoying there Christmas´ inside their homes.  We didn´t want to disturb them too much, therefore we shared the same message about Mary with all of them.  We were able to set many appointments for the coming week that day.  We prayed that the Lord would guide us to families that needed a message about Jesus Christ, and I know without a doubt that He was there guiding us the whole day.  We gave everything to him that day.  Just like every other day.  That is the best gift I could give this Christmas.  My whole attention to serving the Lord. 
   Yesterday we were teaching a man and his family about the Book of Mormon.  Everyone in the family except for one son has been baptized.  The son is taking discussions with us.  The father told Elder Crist and I that we are ¨personajes¨ of the Lord.  Joseph Smith also used this word to describe Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ when they appeared unto him in the Sacred Grove.  This loving statement that this man said made me realize that we truly are messengers of the Lord.  There are people here in Chile that are looking for an answer just like Joseph Smith was.  We are the two ¨personajes¨ that need to appear to them.  Are purpose is to invite these people to the true ¨personajes¨. We are there guide to feeling of the Spirit.  We cannot convert them.  Only the Spirit.  I feel that this truth is crucial to know while serving as a missionary.  We are not to tell people that they are wrong.  We are not even to tell people that we are right.  We are to tell people that they can find the truth through prayer.  We are to testify of the power of the Holy Ghost.  Testify of our loving Heavenly Father.  If we are trying to convince our investigators that the church is true, then we will acheive nothing.  These children of God that we are teaching will not gain their own testimony.  Only through the Holy Ghost can these people truly be converted. As a missionary, I am nothing without the Holy Ghost.  I can only fulfill my purpose with Him.
   In other news, I fulfilled 19 years this past week.  Now I have 19 years! The pictures I included were taken during my birthday breakfast. SO DELICIOUS! I feel like a legit missionary now that I am 19 years old.  Even though 18 year olds are now legit missionaries. 
  Thank you for all your prayers!  I pray for and love you all!
   Elder Weidman