Monday, March 25, 2013

D&C 50:21-22 - Understanding through the Holy Ghost

Hey Family!!

   It´s starting to get pretty chilly here during the mornings and nights.  We live in the basement of a members home, therefore it is freezing in the morning! Temptation to continue sleeping in our nice and cozy beds, but we still do our exercises everyday.  In this email, I am going to tell the day story of how B´s baptism went.  The entire day was very stressful but everything went smoothly in his baptism. Like all baptisms!    

  The night before the baptism, we passed by B so that he could try on his baptismal pants.  As the picture shows, B isn´t the skinniest person.  We soon found out that none of the pants NOR the tunicas (the dresses that women are baptized in) fit B. We began calling all around Chile to find a pair of pants that would fit.  Finally we found a pair in Valparaiso, but that meant we would have to travel around an hour and a half the next day to get the pants.  The reason that the pants were in Valpo is because an Elder, who is Tongan, was working there and his pants were the perfect size. We were planning to go the next day, but right before we went to bed, B´s mom called us and informed us that she had found pants.  Phew! The next morning, we had about a million things to do.  Get a haircut from our mamita, have a meeting with our mission leader to plan the baptism, eat lunch with a member, and fill the font. We were pretty stressed in the morning, but the amazing thing is that we offered a prayer and from then on, everything went smoothly.  Heavenly Father knew how important this baptism was for us, and I believe that He helped us get everything ready. The baptism went perfectly and we ended the day with a nice little meal. (foto)

   Two other awesome events that happened this week. 1.  I gave my first bendición de salud (I can´t remember what it´s called in English...) in Spanish.  I did it on an interchange.  My companion for the day was also from the United States and we both gave our first bendición de salud together.  Two woman were sick, I blessed on and Elder Faught blessed the other.  The Spirit was strong!
2.  Yesterday I confirmed B into the church! My first confirmation.  Elder Faught (the elder I did an interchange with) also did his first confirmation yesterday.  It was awesome calling each other and describing how the Spirit directed our mouths.  In Spanish, blessings are given in Tú form, not the normal form that we talk in.  For this, it was a big moment for us both.  The Lord knew our weaknesses and made them strong through our faith. 

   I am very excited for General Conference in two weeks! Everyone in the Viña Del Mar Stake will meet in the same building to watch it.  There will be one room for the English speaking missionaries, and I will watch Conference in there.  I love to remember that the Spirit can inspire every single one of us during Conference.  But we need to prepare before in order to receive revelation.

  I pray for you all!

Elder Weidman

**we're still having trouble uploading this photos--sorry!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Doctrine & Covenants 58:26-27 - Don't be a sloth!

Hey family! 

   The title of this email is intended for no one in specific. Except maybe Mary. I wasn´t able to write yesterday because we had a conference with the President in Viña Del Mar.  It was an amazing conference and right now my companion and I have a stronger desire to work, especially contacts in the street.  He showed us a video of a man named Randy Bouch (I think that´s his name). In this video, Randy had cancer and only had a few months left to live.  Instead of thinking of his death and mourning for the small time he had left, he gave motivational speeches and helped others overcome the troubles in life.  The main point of his speech was that we need to focus on the good in life.  Life is not for mourning or weeping, but for living with happiness. President told me that it was called ¨The Last Speech¨ or something like that... I´m pretty sure it was on the Oprah Show because her faced popped up a few times during the video. I strongly encourage all to watch this motivational video.

  B, the young man who used to be a video game addict, is getting baptized this Saturday!! I want to share the experience of how he received an answer about the date of his baptism.  B has always known that he should be baptized but he always had a fear that it was too fast.  He would never except a date to be baptized. During a lesson this past week, an idea came to my mind.  Actually it was a memory.  I remembered that when I was younger during one school year, I was choosing the classes I should take for the next school year. I was struggling with which classes I should take and mom one day invited me to pray about the classes.  She encouraged me to write down all the classes on a sheet of paper and then have a yes or no back next to each class.  She told me to pray until I knew the exact answer about each class.  I believe that due to this experience, I am on the mission right now. The choices I made in high school were effected by this experience.  Anyways, The Spirit brought this memory to my mind and I knew exactly what I needed to do. I grabbed a little piece of paper from my agenda, wrote the 23rd of March on it, and then drew a yes or no box next to it.  I invited B to pray about this exact date and not stop praying until he could mark one of the boxes.  He agreed to pray and that night he called us and excitedly told us that he was going to be baptized the 23rd! I will send photos next week of his baptism.  I will never forget that experience.

   Right now, we have many investigators that have potential to be baptized next month.  We have really seen miracles here in Con Con as we have dedicated hours each day to contacting in the street. We will see within the next week what happens with each of these investigators.  I don´t know if I mentioned last week, but we are visiting this older member who has cancer.  Her family knows that she will pass away soon so they are trying to cherish the last few weeks with her.  She and her grandson are members.  Through the spirit of this old woman, her whole family has now felt the love of God. We have sung many hymns with the family and usually all end singing in tears.  Every visit is a sweet experience and now the whole family is beginning to learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  Have a good week! I´m still praying everyday for you all!

Elder Weidman

Monday, March 11, 2013

Doctrine and Covenants 100:1 - My Family is in God's Hands

Hey Family!!

  I hope that everything went smoothy in the wedding this week! From what I´ve been told, it sounds like it went perfectly.  I never had a doubt that it wouldn´t.  

  Today I don´t have much time to write due to an activity we had this morning in Viña with the zone.  I´ll give a quick update on the area as well as on the investigators.  Here it is:

1. To answer your question mom, Con Con doesn´t mean anything.  It doesn´t mean ¨with with¨, it´s just a name of a city. I have found out that the dunes located in Con Con are really touristy.  Tons of tourists travel from all around the world just to see and slide down the Dunes.  (If I remember right, Taylor told me that he has been to the Dunes. CRAZY!!) There is a very rich neighborhood here that everyone calls ¨Cuicolandia¨.  In Chile, that means rich land.  The houses all have dogs and house maids, therefore it is really tough to proselyte there. Nonetheless, we have an investigator in that neighborhood. Con Con is about 30 minutes outside of Viña Del Mar.  Every Wednesday, for the District Meeting, we travel to the chapel in Viña, right next to the office.  That means that I get mail once a week.....

2. Yesterday 5 people went to church!! The first time that that has every happened in Con Con B.  We are beginning to see the results of our work.  When I came to Con Con B, we had 3 investigators who were not progressing.  Now, thanks to the work of Elder Rivera and me, 2 of those investigators are progressing tremendously, and we have around 10 investigators. We have been careful not to get prideful of the miracles we are seeing here.  What the Lord asks is that we continue being obedient, and He will place the chosen in front of us.  Our goal for this month is having 3 people enter the waters of baptism.  We are working are hardest in order to reach this goal.  The Lord knows all that we need to do, therefore we turn to Him.

3. The photos.
   A. Putting sunscreen on!
   B. We made a closet this week. The beginning.
   C. A great view of the ocean

Well have a good week! General Conference in around a month. Crazy!!

I love and pray for you all.

Elder Weidman

Monday, March 4, 2013

Doctrine & Covenants 24:8--Be patient in afflictions

Hey Family!!

   I am currently writing in my new area right now. WOO! I´m in an area called Con Con, about a 30 minute bus ride out of Viña Del Mar.  As you will see in the photos, we live very close to the ocean.  Not on the ocean because that is not allowed, but still close enough to see it everytime we are walking.  I love it! The breeze here is amazing as well. I actually have to wear a jacket at night because it the breeze brings chilly air. Let me tell you a bit about the ward here.  The boundaries cover a large amount of area so they have split the ward into two different proselyting areas : Con Con A and Con Con B.  2 active members live in B while around 100 active members live in area A.  Elder Rivera (my new companion) and I are the missionaries that cover Con Con B. Elder Rivera is from Santiago and only speaks Spanish!! Even though we have a lack of active members, we are both excited to work in our area and reactivate the less active members! We both have seen that working with the members is the best way to have success on the mission.  We know that only with the Spirit can we accomplish true success on the mission.  We both have desires to be obedient with exactness, and have faith that Heavenly Father will guide us.  We have already seen His hand in our work these past 5 days, and I want to tell a few of these experiences.  

   First experience is about a less active that we have been visiting recently.  This woman is a 50 year old single mom who´s 24 year old son has Down´s Syndrome. She told us that many times in her life, she has seen her son as a consequence of sin.  We testified to her that her son is nothing close to that.  He is like Christ, perfect in every way.  He does everything out of love.  God would not have sent her a perfect child as a consequence of sin. When we told her that, she started crying tears of understanding.  At that point her son ran over to her and gave her a huge hug.  This caused my companion and I to begin crying as well.  The Spirit was amazingly strong during that moment. We gave her a blessing of comfort, which brought even more feeling of love.  By the end of that appointment, this woman had felt of God´s love.  She felt a rare joy and happiness that only comes directly from the Spirit.  I will cherish this experience.

   The second experience was with an investigator that we have named B.  He is 14 years old and is literally addicted to video games. During the whole summer here (meaning the past few months) he has woken up at 2:30 everyday, played computer games all day, and fallen asleep at 5 in the morning.  This week we have seen a huge change in B.  He has grown a true desire to find the truth about God.  He offered his first prayer on Wednesday, and felt the Spirit for the first time during the prayer.  Once done with his prayer, B began shaking because he had never felt the Spirit before.  This feeling developed a desire to learn and grow more.  Now he is reading the chapters that we leave with him, unlike before, and this morning he woke up at 9 to play soccer with us! The Gospel truly changes lives.  It gives people a feeling of purpose.  Nothing else can provide this feeling, a feeling that all are looking for. 

  I love and pray for you all

Elder Weidman