Monday, February 25, 2013

Acts 20:29, Alma 5:60 - The good shepherd will never allow wolves to enter

Hey Family!
   Surprise! I´m writing you all today because changes were change (haha) this week due to the large number of new missionaries coming.  Changes will be on Wednesday and I will be leaving Limarí! Elder Crist will be staying here with a new companion.  Usually changes happen on Monday, but this week is different. I´m sad that I will be leaving Limarí because I have had many good memories here, but that is how the mission is! And the best part is that I got to end my time here with a baptism! C was baptized yesterday and practically the whole branch went to her baptism. I have two experiences that I would like to share. 
1.  On Wednesday, we had the vital appointment with C and her mom.  Like I said last week, C´s mom did not aprove the idea of her daughter being baptized so quickly. Before the appointment, we did everything possible to prepare. We studied many hours in the days prior, fasted, and sought the inspiration of Heavenly Father.  We knew that we couldn´t accomplish anything without the Spirit guiding us. When we arrived at C´s house, her mom was in a different room taking care of the kids.  Once her mom came out, the Spirit took over.  Seriously, I am happy that I could have been an instrument in the Hand of God during that appointment.  We were inspired to begin the appointment with a discussion about our church.  Just some basic principles and commandments so that C´s mom would become comfortable and familiar with us.  It was amazing how the conversation led to testimony and then to baptism.  C bore her strong testimony to her mom, and then we bore our testimonies about testimony.  Once we could all feel the Spirit, we asked her how she felt about baptism.  Due to the testimonies that she had heard and the Spirit that she felt, C¨s mom had developed a new opinion about baptism.  She told us that if her daughter was 100% sure about her decision, then she would support her.  C excited said that she was more that 100% sure about her decision due to the answer that she had received from Heavenly Father.  She truly knows that this church is true, and her mom fully supports her! Her mom then signed the baptismal paper and then 4 days later we saw her again at the baptism.  She has invited us over for ¨once¨ tonight so that she can say goodbye to me before I leave.  I am glad that we have earned her trust, but more importantly, I am glad that my companion and I could be in tune with the Spirit!
2. The second experience happened without neither my companion nor me knowing.  Since C is usually home alone, we always ask different men or young men to accompany us in order to enter her house.  We try to ask a different person each time so that she meets more members of the branch.  For one of our visits, we invited a 17 year old young man to come with us.  Little did we know that he had just had a mission interview with President Kähnlein that morning, but had not passed due to his failure to pay tithing.  At times, President can be very ¨harsh¨ in order to have someone repent.  I know that the ¨harsh treatment¨ works for some people, but for others it just makes them feel even worse.  After the interview, this young man didn´t feel worthy of God´s love.  He had been badly effected by the chastisement from President and had thoughts of not going on a mission in his mind. That night, when this young man went with us to an appointment, we taught about tithing.  C asked ¨What happens to those who can´t pay tithing?¨ We answered that no matter what, God still loves them but also they need to sacrifice for Him.  He has given them everything, as well as promised countless blessings to those who obey this commandment. Do the Will of the Father, and then the rest will be given unto you. We left the appointment without realizing how much our answer had helped, not our investigator, but this young man. Last night he told us that after the appointment, he went to his room and prayed for forgiveness from Heavenly Father.  At that exact moment, an overwhelming feeling of love and peace came upon him, and his desires to serve a mission returned. He knew that God loved and forgave him.  His story is one of true repentance.  True action in order to receive forgiveness. At all moments in our lives, we are surrounded by people.  We never know when our words or actions will effect someone.  That is why it is crucial that we follow the example of Christ at all times, as well as bear our testimonies at all times!
  I pray for all you! 
Elder Weidman

Monday, February 18, 2013

3 Nephi 27:21 - "That which you have seen me do even that shall ye do"

Hey Family!
   Mom and Dad!!! Congrats on the mission call.  Like you both told me, I too believe that this assignment is inspired by God.  There are missionaries there who need you.  And it seems that California needs you both! The mission call only changed cities, not states. What a blessing it is that we will have you both close to us.  I know that we all would have accepted your call if it was to a different country, but there is a reason that you are staying in the United States. The Lord knows that reason.  Also, you both will have to start learning a bit a Spanish! What a day that will be when about half of the Weidman Family will be able to speak Spanish to each other. Like you always tell me, right now is a exciting time for missionary work.  It is no coincedence that you will be Mission President and Wife. 
   This week has been great, especially with our investigator C.  We had a lesson with her everyday, and everyday she always surprised us.  She reads our assignments every night, and not only reads, but meditates and understands what she is learning.  During our lessons, we don't teach her. She teachs us.  Her testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ has grown tremendously! During one lesson, she told us of a problem she had.  It was actually the first problem that she has had.  All her life she has grown up worshipping The Virgin Mary and she wondered what our view on that was.  We bore testimony that Mary was a wonderful women who sacrificed much for Christ, but that the real one we should worship is Jesus Christ.  He sacrificed His life so that we could return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father.  And then C amazed us again.  She said "That totally makes sense.  Without His Atonement, we would not be able to acheive anything.  It will be hard to stop worshipping Mary, but I know that God will help me."  Just like that she stopped.  She also did the same thing with coffee. She has a strong testimony of Joseph Smith therefore she truly believes that the Word of Wisdom is direct revelation from God.  She had no problem leaving coffee behind. Since she is 16 years old, we left her with For the Strength of Youth.  She read the whole pamphlet in one night!! I don't have sufficient words to describe how prepared she is!  But there has to be a trial in all things.... C's mom doesn't approve of her baptism.  She says that it is too early and that C doesn't know enough about the church.  We respect her mom's worries, and have encouraged C to pray for help and support.  She had her baptismal interview yesterday and the only problem is that her mom needs to sign a sheet before her baptism.  I truly believe that, with faith, her mother's heart can change.  C's testimony is amazing and can help her mom understand this amazing step that she is making in her life. We pray that C will be able to be baptized this coming Sunday.
   We are preparing Limari for sisters.  It's sad to know that I will be leaving here, but I will go where the Lord sends me.  4 sisters will be sent here so Elder Crist and I have to divide the area into 2 different sectors, and then organize the information of each side.  We have a lot of work ahead of us this week, but it's really exciting to do it! President Kahnlein upgraded the Standard of Excellence this week.  The goals are very high, but it gives us determination to work 100% everyday.  Our faith will be tested, and I believe that as long as we give our all, Heavenly Father will be proud of His servants. Next week's P Day is on Tuesday and by that time I will be in my new area.  I still have no idea what will happen, but I am excited to find out.
  I love and pray for all you!
Elder Weidman

Monday, February 11, 2013

Joshua 1:9 - ¨Be strong and good courage, be not afraid....for the Lord thy God is with thee¨

Hey family!
   To start off this email, I want to share some exciting news I found out this morning.  Every new change the mission receives fresh missionaries from the MTC.  For the next change in two weeks, 17 sister missionaries and 16 elders are arriving in Viña!! The zone leaders also told us that sister missionaries are being sent to Limarí (where I am serving now) next change.  Due to the rule that elders and hermanas can´t be in the same sector, the zone leaders informed us that we will be opening a new area next change! Well we still don´t know if I will stay here in Ovalle or leave, but we do know that missionaries will be sent to open an area and that sister missionaries will replace them in Limarí.  I will know in two weeks if I stay or not! If I stay, I will start my 4th change here in Ovalle, which isn´t unheard of but also isn´t common.  Whatever happens, I will work where the Lord sends me.
   This week in Limarí has been amazing.  We found a 16 year old young woman named C who is very interested in the Gospel.  We were ¨yelling¨ at doors when we first met her.  She was very eager to read the Book of Mormon, therefore we left her with one.  When we taught her about the Restauración, she had perfect questions that guided the lesson.  We focused everything on prophets because she was really interested in the fact that we have a modern day prophet.  She asked how we know that President Monson is a truly called prophet of God and not just an ordinary man.  We answered her by sharing about the Apostasy and then about Joseph Smith.  To end off the lesson, we testified to her that she can come to know the truth through praying to God. What amazed me is that she said ¨I don´t need to pray about Joseph Smith or President Monson because I know it´s true. While you were talking, something confirmed in my heart that it is true.¨ This caught us off guard a little bit, but we testified that this confirmation came from the Spirit and still encouraged her to pray about our message.  She went to church yesterday and the branch really welcomed her in.  All the Young Women introduced themselves to her and C really enjoyed it.  The Lord knew that she was prepared and that is why we found her that one day knocking on doors.  He is aware of all of our needs.  We should never be afraid but rather trust in our Heavenly Father. Especially if we are doing His will.  
   On Saturday night we have a ¨Noche de Cine¨ at the church.  We watched ¨17 Miracles¨ and, like always, this movie motivated me to work harder.  I strive to show my dedication and love to God just like the pioneers did.  I encourage those who haven´t seen that movie to watch it.  Even those who have seen it, watch it again! 
   Have fun with life! I pray for all of you!
Elder Weidman

Monday, February 4, 2013

Moroni 8:3

Hey Family!

   The weather has been a lot better this week!  We actually had one day where clouds remained in the sky all day!! WOOH! I don´t know if this is just a week long thing and then the heat will return, but we shall see. I have included a few pictures from a hike I did this morning. Here are the descriptions of each: 

1. Representing The Cougars.
2. A friend we met on the way to the summit.
3. I tried to make it look like I´m falling. How´d I do?

   It was a great hike with amazing views.  I took a lot of pictures so I can always remember the sight of the ¨campo¨.  Chileans call the agricultural fields that they work in The Campo. The weather was perfect as well.  Sorry today´s email will be a mixture of emails so I can include more pictures.  Here´s the 1st email!

2nd Email.

I just received my birthday package!! I´m going to wait till I get back to the house before I open it, but thank you everyone for helping out with it!!

1.  The mountains that we climbed.  We walked a good 30 minutes from our house to get to the base of the first mountain on the left.  Then we hiked to the top of that one.  After reaching that summit, we walked along the top of the mountains until we found ourselves on the summit of the higher mountain.  It was amazing to see all the creations that God has placed on the Earth. 
2. I had another battle with the watermelon.  I won yet again. 
3. Sorry it´s a weird looking picture, but this is my neck tan line!

I realized that I have a good amount of pictures that I´m sure you would like to see, so today´s ¨letter¨ will focus on the wonderful scenery of Ovalle!  Limarí is doing great though! We are organizing a movie night for the branch as an activity for missionary work.  We will be watching 17 miracles, and we have encouraged everyone to invite their friends.  We pray that this activity will motivate the members to help the Kingdom of God grow even more!

1. Ovalle from a distance. 
2.  A happy servant of the Lord.

Whelp, those are all the pictures I have for today.  I hope you enjoyed taking a little look into my life! I´m really excited to open the package!! 

This past week, President Kähnlein came to our house to interview each of us.  I could tell that he is truly inspired and called by God.  He says hi to all the family, and also he is very excited for you Mom and Dad!  He testified to me of the blessings that his family receives from his own calling as mission president, and I believe that we all will be abundantly blessed as well.  Don´t ever doubt in Heavenly Father´s mercy.  His Son came to this earth so that we could have the opportunity to live with our family for eternity. The Gospel truly brings joy and everlasting happiness to our lives.

I love and pray for you all!

Elder Weidman

**note from Mary (Elder Weidman's sister): sorry, but these pictures are not uploading to blogger. I'll keep trying!