Monday, July 29, 2013

Crazy week with no scripture

Hey Family!

   As you can tell by the title, this week was a bit hectic for me due to a few things.  For those reasons, I wasn´t able to find a scripture for the title of this email, but next week I will include 2 scriptures!  Don´t worry, I´m still beyond happy to be here in Chile serving the Lord. No doubt, no doubt. Well to bring you up to date on the missionary work here in Parte Alta first I´ll explain why it has been hectic.  Over the past few weeks, my companion has been talking with President and, through revelation, they came to the agreement that he would return home in order to fully prepare for the mission.  Right before the mission, he had committed a few acts that he felt he could deal with alone but through time on the mission, he realized that he needed to return home in order to fully deal with those matters.  I feel blessed to have been his companion for the past 3 weeks because he has truly changed me and helped me focus more on my purpose as a missionary.  He worked until the last minute before he stepped on the bus to head down to Viña and I will continue walking in his footsteps.  He left Parte Alta with 2 baptismal dates, and I know that many members were inspired by him.  He is happy now back home, and he is making the necessary steps in order to return out into the field.  He was an amazing example for me, and I know that the Lord put us together for this small amount of time so that we both could grow closer to Him and each other.  So that meant that startingTuesday night at 11:30, I was the only missionary for Parte Alta! Now let me explain how the next few days went after Elder Dawson left.

   On Wednesday I spent the whole entire day with the zone leaders in their area.  I had to call all my investigators and some members to advise them of the lack of missionaries in Parte Alta, but there were no troubles there because lucky enough (not luck, but rather thanks to the Hand of God) all my progressing investigators have wives that are strong active members in the church.  The members took the responsibility of stopping by all of my investigators to make sure that they were keeping their commitments and to answer any questions that they had.  I was glad to be informed that all of the investigators were perfectly fine and that they would still be there waiting for me the next day.  At the end of the day, I asked the zone leaders if they knew anything about my future and they said that they only knew that my companion would be coming in the next 3 weeks....

   Thursday was one of the coolest days of my mission because I was able to spend the whole night walking around with my Branch President in order to visit all my investigators.  The zone leaders dropped me off at the chapel in Parte Alta and then President and I left for a couple of hours to teach and catch up with Ed and Pat (the two investigators with baptismal date).  At the end of this email I will update you guys about the progress of them both.  It was quite different being the only missionary in the lessons, but I knew that the Lord was guiding me the whole time.  He allowed me continue with the success that Elder Dawson had before he left.  At the end of the night, some other elders, from the sector closest to Parte Alta, picked me up and we slept in their house that night.

   Friday I spent the whole day in the area of the other elders.  Saturday we spend most of the day in Parte Alta, making sure that the less actives and investigators were able to go to church.  Sunday was another cool experience because a member from my branch picked me up in order to go to church and then I spent the 3 meetings with my investigators as my companion.  A strange experience especially because all the youngens were calling me ¨solo¨, which means something along the lines of alone.  They´re just jealous because I always beat them in Ping Pong each P day.  Last night I was informed that my companion will be arriving tonight around 4:30.  His name is Elder Morales and he is coming from Con Con B, my most recent area!! He is actually the elder that took my spot when I left and baptized one of my investigators.  I´m really excited to meet him and here all about Con Con.  My 2 companion from Con Con (Elder Farnsworth) actually went home a couple of weeks ago due to more surgery that needed to be done on him in the States.  He was the missionary that was all sickly when we were together, but right now he is recovering from yet another surgery in Florida.  Elder Morales (my next companion) has been with the other missionaries in Con Con A, but now he is being sent up here by President.  This means that there will be no elders in Con Con B for the next 2 weeks until the next change meeting comes up.  I know that this emergency change is inspired by God therefore the members and investigators in Con Con B won´t be badly effected by it.

   A quick update on my investigators.  
Pat - I mentioned a little about him last week.  He has been an investigator for 11 years, but now he is making the final decision to be baptized thiscoming Sunday.  He will have his interview on Wednesday and there is not a single problem with him.  I feel that I have not done much to help him, he has prayed and done everything himself.  I´m blessed to be here during this amazing moment in his life.  His wife is a member and they have a goal to get sealed to their children in the temple a year from now.  

Ed - Ed is amazing.  He has changed his entire life for his baptism.  Every lesson is spiritually impacted and I know that he has true desires to be baptized and stay strong in the church after. His baptismal date is for the 11th of August.  One lesson we had with him was about the Word of Wisdom.  During that lesson he was actually drinking tea.  When I committed him to live the Word of Wisdom, he took his cup and dumped out all the tea without a second thought.  He has had a spectacular change that is continuing to grow everyday.  His wife is also a member and they also have a goal to get sealed to their children a year from year.  

I realized this week that in almost over a year, I will be coming to the end of my mission.  The last morning of the mission, President allows all the departing missionaries to do their first and last session in the Santiago Temple. That means that possibly I might be at the temple when these two families get sealed to each other!!!  We´ll see what happens, it´s still tons of time away.

    Well that was my week.  I hope that you have enjoyed my email and I thank you all for the prayers that were made for me this week.  This morning I was able to relax a little bit by painting and playing with a legit dog.  But not as legit as Blue.  And not as stupid as Banjo.

I pray for you all!

Elder Weidman

Monday, July 22, 2013

Alma 32:27 -- Experiment with Faith

Hey Family!

   I´ll be writing a quick email today since we are going to have a Zone Activity today and I don´t have much time. Also I misjudged how much time I would need to write this email and now I am suffering the consequences.  But I´m happy and this past week was amazing!!  I´ll do a quick update on the investigators. 

1.  Nacho is struggling with his decision for baptism because he is afraid of the opinions that his friends that aren´t members will make of him if he is baptized.  We have the faith that he will overcome this challenge and in the end realize that it matters most what God wants and thinks of us.  He is still reading, praying, and going to church.  He has felt the Spirit strongly, especially during sacrament meeting and he won´t be able to deny the answers that are coming. He is AMAZING!

2.  We have a new investigator named Ed.  He is the husband of a member who recently came back to church.  Let´s just say that the Lord has done miracles with him.  I would need 3 hours in order to describe everything that has happened but just know that he is making the necessary changes for baptism because he loves his Heavenly Father.  I´ll explain more next week.  He is AMAZING!  The picture is with him.

3.  Pat is an investigator that I have had my whole time here.  At first he was a big focus for Elder Yorgason and I but we began loosing up a bit near the end of last change. He has been an investigator for the past 4 years.  Recently he has had many life changing experiences and we have arrived at his house when he needed the Gospel most therefore last night he said for the first time EVER ¨I have been thinking alot, and I want to be baptized.¨ I will explain more next week, but he is AMAZING as well.

4. Luis is the last ¨main¨ investigator that we have right now.  He has suffered many trials in the past few months and wants to obtain more faith so that he can be happier.  Last change we had one lesson with him but then could never find him again.  In the pàst 3 days, we have been able to have 2 lessons with him and last night he accepted a baptismal date for the 11th of August.  He is willing to make the necessary changes in order to do Heavenly Father´s will.  He is AMAZING!

(everyone in Chile is AMAZING)

I´m sorry for the lack of information but I promise next week will be better.  I wasn´t able to take a photo of the empanadas because the temptation to eat them overpowered the desire to take a photo.  And also I forgot.  But I know how to make them now so no worries!

I love and pray for you all!
Elder Weidman

Monday, July 15, 2013

Doctrine and Covenants 63:47 "He that is faithful and endureth shall overcome the world."

Hey Family!
  Another week has flown by. Due to the training of Elder Dawson, we aren´t able to teach as many lessons as last change, but that doesn´t mean that the work is less urgent.  The Lord needs us to be working 24/7, therefore after the 4 hours on studying we hit the street and work as hard as possible until returning to the house around 9:30 - 10 every night.  Usually we are out by 12:30, but sometimes, due to meetings of the church or district, we have to return to the house after lunch and finish studies.  President Kahnlein wants us to be out working everyday at 6, therefore no matter the day, no matter how much studying we have not done, we are ALWAYS out at 6 PM everynight, the best and most productive hours of the day.  

   We have been helping Hno Rocco a lot this week, and yesterday he paid a full tithe!  He was very excited to be living this commandment truthfully even though it meant putting a lot of faith in the Lord due to the little amount of money that he has.  Today for P Day, we are going to stop by his house and they are going to teach us how to make Empanadas with cheese and shrimp.  This food is my favorite plate here in Chile.  I´ll try to explain what it is today, but next week I will send photos.  Think of a really greasey calzone with shrimp and cheese and there you have an Empanada.  Except that it is more delicious than a calzone!  Hno Rocco is continuing to prepare to be sealed with his wife in the temple and now we have started teaching the wife of one of his sons.  The Lord blesses us as we fulfill our purpose as missionaries and children of Him. 

   Our investigator, Nacho, went to church yesterday and he is doing everything that we ask him in order to prepare for baptism.  The ward really welcomed him yesterday and we don´t have too many worries involving him.  It will be an easy transicion (spelling) after his baptism, but we are very happy to be able to teach him and help him on his way to the door to the real path that leads to Eternal Life. 

   The branch has really helped us this past week.  They want to be more involved in the Lord´s Work of Salvation and we are really trying to let them be involved.  Our Mission Leader has a mission agenda and he sets up appointments with the members and us so that we have a link in the branch.  He spent a whole day walking with us this week and he LOVES the work! I´m blessed and happy to be here!

I love and prayer for you all!
Elder Weidman

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Helaman 3:35 -- Steps to Purifying Hearts

Hey Family!! 

   Just like in the Los Angeles Mission, this week was transfers and we found out that Elder Yorgason was being moved to another area.  He was a great missionary and companion that showed his love for others through thought and action.  He will be missed here in Parte Alta but that is how the mission goes.  On Tuesday, I was informed by one of the Assistants that I would be training a new missionary fresh from the MTC in Provo.  His name is Elder Dawson and he is from Orem, Utah.  He was in the MTC for 6 weeks, and loved all the time he had there. Now he is here with me and trying his hardest to be the missionary that God knows that he can be.  He makes me think back 8 months ago (seems like just yesterday) when I arrived to Chile and began preaching to Heavenly Father´s children.  I love the energy and motivation that Elder Dawson has because it helps me become a better, more dedicated missionary everyday.  Even if he doesn´t know, Elder Dawson is helping me just as I am helping him. Even though he can´t understand most of what the people say here, he still continues working and practicing his contacts on the street. He has the faith that 1 Nephi 3:7 will prove true and that this duty we have to preach the Gospel in Spanish is a true commandment from God. What a great example he is for me.

   This month will be a great one for our companionship.  Our baptismal goal is 5 and we are working with faith as much as possible to accomplish this goal.  One of our investigators, Nacho, was not able to go to church yesterday because he got the stomach flu but he is still preparing everyday for his baptism.  The entire branch has found out that he is getting baptized and they are all beginning to get to know him and help him feel welcomed in the church.  Due to the changes this week, we lost contact with some of investigators but this week we are going to pass by them everyday so that they know how serious the message we have is.  In order for investigators to be baptized in 3 weeks, they need to understand the importance and value that our message has and how it can change their lives. They begin to realize this as they read, pray, and listen to the Spirit. Their actions of faith allow Heavenly Father to talk to them. Once they realize the importance, they will do all they can to make it to the Waters of Baptism.  Our purpose is to invite them unto Christ by helping them understand how this message can truly change their lives.  There are so many different principles related to the Gospel and through prayer and study, we receive revelation for our investigators and become intruments in the hands of our Heavenly Father.  Once the investigators feel the Spirit with the missionaries, they develop desires to feel it on the own time.  That personal time is the most important time in order for a conversion process to happen.  They can feel the Spirit all they want with us, but if they don´t keep the commitments on their own time, they will not have a true, lasting conversion.

   I want to share an amazing experience that my companion and I had this week.  A couple of weeks back, Elder Yorgason and I found an in active that wasn´t going to church because he was offended during an interview he had with the Stake President.  The interview was for worthiness to enter into the temple, but he wasn´t paying a full tithe because he didn´t have enough money to pay for his family and tithing, so he did not pass the interview.  He told us that after that night, he had no purpose to his life.  He lived with this grudge until the moment that we knocked on his door a few weeks back. He has gradually been returning to church, and just this past Saturday we had an amazing lesson with him.  We watched a EFY video about a young man who had lost his mom and two siblings in a car accident but this didn´t ruin his faith due to his testimony of eternal families.  I don´t know what it is called but it is from the 2013 EFY and I invite you to watch it!  After the video, the Spirit directed us to talk about eternal families and the temple.  Hno Rocco (the in active) retold his past experience of the interview to my companion and told us that he could still not pay a full tithe.  At that moment, I remembered a story about tithing in the pamphlets from the church.  The reason that I remembered it is because it is used in the training videos that new missionaries have to watch. (The Robles Family, for President and Sister Weidman) The story is about Elder Oak´s mom and the testimony that she had for tithing.  When I finished reading this story to Hno Rocco, the Spirit overwhelmed us and he promised to pay his tithing and trust in the Lord´s promise.  He has strong desires to be sealed in the temple with his wife, and now I know that he will do anything in order to enter the temple.  This experience was amazing for many reasons. 1. If I had not had had my new companion, Hno Rocco would not have retold us the experience with his interview. 2. If I had not had had my new companion, I may not have been able to remember the story in the pamphlet.  The reasons can go on and on, but they all testify of the Spirit of mission work. This is His work.  He is the true Master and we must turn to Him.

I pray for you all!
Elder Weidman

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mosiah 18:26 -- Teaching with Knowledge of God

Hey Family!!
   It seems like just yesterday that I was writing my last email.  This week flew by SO fast!  I bet it was the same for the parents as well.  I´m very happy that everything has gone well so far for them!  Those missionaries in their mission should have already realized that they have the best Mission President and Wife possible.  What luck we have had to have them for our whole lives!  I know that they will continue forward with success and that their missionaries will love them.

   I´ll include one story about one of our investigators.  His name is Dav and he and his 2 daughters have been investigators for a few months now.  For the past month, we really didn´t focus too much on them because they never showed signs of progression.  The daughters came to church when invited but the father never completed his commitments.  Everything changed this week though!  We stopped by their house one night and we could tell that something was different.  Everyone was happier to see us, and the lesson started off with a question from Car, one of the daughters who is 10 years old.  She asked us if she needed to talk to us to be baptized or if she could just do it her self.  What a great question!  We explained to all of them the steps to preparing for baptism (praying, reading, going to church) and then set the 21st of July for their baptismal date.  A little into the lesson, Car ran to her mom and excitedly yelled that she was going to be baptized.  We were a bit nervous about what she would say because we had never met her, but she came into the room with a big smile and said that she would support her two daughters and husband.  She even agreed to read the Book of Mormon with them!!  Car ended the lesson with a prayer and then we left as they began reading what we left them in the Book of Mormon.  Two nights later, we had a church two with the dad and the two daughters (the mom was working till later in the night).  We showed them around all the rooms and Dav really like the structure of the building and the Spirit felt inside the building.  When we opened the baptismal font, both the two daughters had gigantic smiles and we could tell that the dad was deep in thought.  He later told us that he wants to surround himself with the Gospel.  He kept saying that he really needs to prepare for his baptism because it is something that he has a strong desire for.  I know that the Lord was preparing this family this whole month and that we came at the exact right moment.  I´m very excited to continue working with them!

  Really quickly, I´ll explain about the activity that we sponsored Saturday night.  We had a noche de cine and around 25 members came to watch 17 miracles.  While they were watching, Elder Yorgason and I made pancakes.  They left the activity both physically and spiritually filled.  I´ll include a photo of the pancakes.

   Sorry this letter is a bit shorter than usual.  Hope you all are enjoying summer! It´s freezing here in the morning, and it´s the worst when our house runs out of gas to heat up the water (like it did this morning).....

Love you all!
Elder Weidman

1. Pancakes

Here's another photo. Just for kicks. Laugh if you want.