Monday, September 30, 2013

D&C 88:6 -- He Comprehended All Things

Hey family!

   Today is the last P day of the month, which means that we have to fill out a million forms for the zone.  This month it´s my turn to fill out the most complicated one so I won´t write a too lengthy email.  I´ll mainly include pictures and explain how to use a Trompo.  

Update:  Yesterday Nico was baptized and what a great experience it was.  Both his parents who aren´t members came and when he came out of the water, they both began crying.  His father told us that he was so proud of his son because he had made his own decision to be baptized. We are working hard so that they whole family can have the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  My companion and I have seen a huge change in Nico that only comes from the application of the Gospel.  I´ll include a picture later on in the emails. 

   This week we had changes or transfers (whatever you want to call them) and my companion and I will have another 6 weeks together.  Most of the missionaries in our zone stayed here in Quillota but we welcomed 2 sisters into the zone who are going to reopen an area that was closed last change.  We were given the duty to help those 2 missionaries arrive to their sector and it was great being able to go to the Change Meeting and see old companions and other missionaries. Our focus this week for the zone is preparing ourselves, the investigators, and the members for General Conference this weekend.  I´m anticipating this Conference a lot and know that if we all come prepared, we will receive the exact revelation that is needed in our lives.  

   I hope that everything is going well with the family!

Elder Weidman

Ok the photos will have to wait till next week because my camara just ran out of batteries.  Gosh and I even took pictures of myself throwing a trompo!!  Well... Keep the excitement until next week!  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Moroni 9:6 -- "Let us Labor Diligently"

Hey dearest family,

   How is the life of everyone?  You all missed out on the delicious asado (barbeque) that I ate this week.  You know how in the United States the barbeque only lasts for July 4th and maybe leftovers the day after?  Well, here in Chile the meat started cooking on Monday and didn´t stop until last night!  I´ve had more share of meat for the year and am content with no more meat until Christmas. (Is anyone as shocked as I am that Christmas is only 3 short months away?)  I´ll describe how each asado goes.  The man of the house starts the whole meal by cooking Chorizos (sausages).  Once those are cooked after 5 minutes, he throws on the slabs of meat (cow or chicken) and then we begin eating Chorazcos (Chorizos in bread with ketchup and mayo) while we wait for the meat to cook.  During this whole time that the meat is being cooked, the woman are inside making the salad and potato with mayo mix. Depending on the family, there can be more vegetables if desired.  Once everything is prepared, we sit down and have a delicious meal until we can´t fit anything else in.  That is when the fruit comes out.  A little something to top everything off.  Or that´s what I thought until I saw the ice cream!  Those are the usual details that are including on a holiday meal here in Chile.  Usually there are empanadas as well full of meat, boiled egg, and olives (bleh).  To make things short, I ate this food practically everyday this week.... but don´t worry because the amount of walking that we did burned off what was eaten.  
   We weren´t able to find 15 new investigators this week, but we worked extremely hard to try to accomplish it.  The hard thing was that most Chileans spend the rest of the tarde after lunch sleeping until the nighttime.  Then the whole night is spent drinking and having a good time in the eyes of the world, something that we try to avoid at all costs.  Nothing bad or dangerous every happens to us, but every once and awhile someone will yell Gringo (the Chilean word for white person) at us and try speaking in English, but that never works because they have no idea what they are saying.  We wave our hand with a happy smile and continue walking.  
   A little update on our investigators.  Remember Nico?  He had his Baptismal Interview yesterday and will be baptized on Sunday!  We had an amazing, spiritual lesson with him last Friday and in that moment he made the decision to be baptized.  His friend, Seba, will baptize him and he has asked me to confirm him the Sunday after.  We have changes this Wednesday but I believe that I will be staying here after only 6 weeks.  Nico is now more comfortable with the members because we have focused a lot on having the members come with us in order to make a friendship with him.  Our other baptismal candidate for this month is a boy name Dav.  He was the joven that went to church last Sunday without us inviting him, and stayed for all 3 hours.  He has a baptismal date for this Sunday as well but we will need to work really hard so that he is fully prepared to make this covenant. We had the chance to meet his mom yesterday and she is fully on board with his baptism.  She is very interested in the message that we share and knows that it is the best thing that her son could learn. Dav´s dad died a few years back and he has been taking care of his sick mom ever since then at the young age of 13. He loves the church and has attended all 3 hours the past two Sundays.  Due to this weeks of Independence, we weren´t able to have much contact with him but his desires to be baptized are still present. Hopefully in the next email I send, those 2 will have already made their baptismal covenant.
   This week our ward had an activity to celebrate the dieciocho.  We were given permission to spend 2 hours there just to watch and we enjoyed every second of it.  I´ll try to explain all that we saw.  We came after the asado because we had already eaten enough meat for the day.  Some of the members were playing with trompos, toys that look like dradels (spelling?) that you wind up with a rope and then throw down at the ground to make it spin.  The Chileans play an awesome game with these twos.  They begins by placing an old trompo in the dirt in front of them, and then everyone makes a circle and begins throwing their trompos at the one in the center.  The person who breaks the old trompo with the tip of their own trompo wins.  (Last Pday, a member gave us 2 trompos as gifts and we practiced for a bit.  It took me many tries to get the trompo spinning but I had no hope in throwing it where I wanted it to land.) The other activity that we saw was kite wars.  Each person would deck out their own kite but putting a point on the tip and then, once the kite is in the air, they would try to cut the line of the other kites. Hilarious.  The rest of the activity was spent playing musical chair and dancing The Cueca (a Chilean dance that every Chilean knows).  That is a short summary of the activity!

   Have a good week!

Love you all,
Elder Weidman  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Alma 29:2 - The pains of the world only come from sin

Hey Family!

   I´m writing on a Tuesday because yesterday was a zone conference with President Kahnlein.  His main focus for the mission right now is working with the members in order to find the chosen families who are waiting for us. Yesterday we were able to see the true revelation that President receives for the mission because immediately after the conference, we found our first family in Quillota.  It was amazing and we are very excited to find more who are in need of the truth about eternal families.  This week is the week of independence for Chile and in the past missionaries spent September 18th (the actual Independence Day of Chile) in the homes of the members for many hours.  This year, President has shared with us that he feels we need to be outside proselyting and finding more investigators.  I know that this thought and inspiration has come from on high and that if we follow the counsel and command of our President, we will see the fruit of this revelation.  We are working really hard with the missionaries in the zone so that they all are 100% obedient to what our Mission President instructs us to do.  My companion and I have set the deciding that this week we will work extra hard in order to find 15 new investigators.  15 new investigators is the standard of the mission for each week and I have never been able to accomplish it before. President Kahnlein has promised that if we find 15 new investigators every week, we will have one investigator enter the waters of baptism every week.  Both my companion and I left with more excitement and determination from the conference yesterday, and now we KNOW that we can accomplish this faith driven goal during the ¨hardest¨ week of the year for missionaries.  

  This past week we received true tender mercies from our Heavenly Father.  Nico had a few troubles in his home therefore he didn´t have approval to be baptized this past weekend but we know that it will happen in the near future.  The tender mercies all started with a 12 year old boy who wanted to know where we were from.  On Friday, Elder Sosa and I were walking down the street when this boy, Mario, ran up to us to ask us where we were from.  That RARELY happens here in Chile.  Usually the people are running away from us.  We conversed with him for a few minutes and he invited us to his house that night.  When we entered his home, we invited all that were there to listen.  He and his 14 year old friend were the only ones there, so we shared with them.  His friend, Mat, shared with us that he had been taught by missionaries years before but had never been baptized because his parents said no.  After teaching about baptism, they both accepted baptismal dates for the 29th of September.  They eagerly asked us when the meetings were and we happily invited them to the meetings for Sunday.  At this moment, Mario´s Grandma enter the home and told us that he couldn´t go to church because had to get his daily session of soccer in during the morning.  At this point, Mario nearly began to cry because he wanted to go to church so bad.  With much persuading on Mario´s part, the Grandma finally allowed him to go to church.  On Saturday, we saw both Mario and Mat many times in the day while walking in the street and they both informed us that they had invited another friend to come to church.  All three of them arrived at church Sunday morning and they loved it.  About an hour after the lunch, we passed by all they houses to pick them up for a lesson in the Chapel.  On the way to the church, Mario yelled at one of his other friend, named Rob, and he followed us as well.  By the end of that lesson, all 4 of the youngens had baptismal dates and we had set up an appointment to meet all of their families!  These experiences with the jovenes and the conference yesterday has made Elder Sosa and me extremely happy and determined to find more!

   When the Lord commands us to complete a task, He will always provide the way if we seek His guidance.

I love you all!
Elder Weidman

Monday, September 9, 2013

Matthew 4:19 -

Hey Family!

   Before reading my email, watch the video that I put as the subject! I ran across that video today and loved it!  The apostols left everything that they had and that they were doing in order to become fishers of men.  And they did it immediately!  I hope that we would be able to do the same.  Actually we can do the same right now by dedicating our time to becoming true disciples of Christ. 

   First I´ll start with an update with our investigators.  Nico, the young man of 15 years, will be baptized this coming Sunday.  We have met with his mom and she approves of his baptism without a single problem.  His friend Seba, who was baptized about a month and a half ago, is helping Nico prepare for his baptism.  We are all excited for this step that he will be taking and we feel blessed for the chance we have to help Nico.  

   Satan has been attacking out other investigator, Nacho.  He has had many trials with his girlfriend and we are helping him realize that all he needs to do is find guidance in the Book of Mormon and prayer and then everything will be fine.  He still has desires to be baptized but it might not happen in the near future.  We. however, are not losing the faith and will continue working with him with a lot of excitement so that he doesn´t lose the desires!

   On Friday, President Kahnlein had a Mission Leader (Zone Leaders and Sister Leaders) Conference in Viña Del Mar.  He does these meetings once every month and we look forward to receiving more revelation from our President.  This month he focused the whole conference on Honesty in the Work of Salvation.  His focus for the mission right now is the work with the members and he was able to connect that with Honesty. We were all enlightened with inspiration as we listened to the words of our Mission President, his wife, and the Assistants. 

   Last night we had a really neat lesson with an inactive who´s husband was baptized 8 months ago.  They don´t go to church because she doesn´t want to.  Last night we were able to find our the reasons why through the Spirit.  The Lord guided us and we were able to know what questions we needed so that we understood her needs and she understood our purpose as missionaries and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  She confessed to us that she felt very distraught when she went to church because she realized how much her life wasn´t in line with the Gospel.  She had no one to turn to, except for her husband, therefore she decided that the best way to avoid those feelings was by not going to church.  We comforted her through words from the Book of Mormon and she again developed desires to go to church.  She realized that the Lord doesn´t expect us to be perfect all at one point, but He does expect us to try with all our power even when we fall.  

   I hope that everyone is doing great.  I heard that BYU destroyed UT the other day.  That´s how the Cougars roll. Making me proud to be a BYU fan from Texas. Love you all!

Elder Weidman

Here's the video in the title:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A great experience

Hey Mom and Dad,
   I wanted to let you both know about an experience I had this past Friday.  The morning started with us sending all of the District Leaders of the zone off to Viña Del Mar for a meeting of District Leaders. The companions of them were left in the area of one of the District Leaderr, the area closest to ours. We had around 7 planned appointments for the rest of the day, 5 of which were in the nighttime after 6 o clock.  At around 6:30, a sister companionship called us to tell us that they had an investigator who was going to have a baptismal interview in 30 minutes with one of the elders who was in Viña.  Through much calling, we realized that this Elder wouldn´t arrive back to Quillota in time for the interview, therefore we needed to do it.  At that moment, the minutes on our phone for calling investigators and members ran out which meant that we had no way to call our appointments for the nighttime. We told the sister missionaries to push the interview till 8 o clock because it took around an hour to travel to their sector.  We arrived to the interview, were able to pull it off with no worries, and returned to the apartment at 9:59. (In our mission, the rule is that we need to be back at the pension at 10 o clock if we are in an appointment).  I was a bit stressed out due to the lack of contact we had with our investigators and all the unexpected things that we had to do that night, therefore I offered a little prayer of help and opened the General Conference Ensign of May.  I turned directly to President Monson´s talk about obedience and began reading.  Immediately one phrase caught my attention.  The prophet said ¨Young men, I hope you appreciate the sacrifices which your parents so willingly make in order for you to serve.  Their labors will sustain you, their faith encourage you, their prayers uphold you,. A mission is a family affair. Though the expanse of continents or oceans may separate, hearts are as one.¨ I felt that President Monson was talking directly to me.  In that moment I felt the prayers that you both, and the family, always make for my behalf.  My mood immediately changed and I realized that I had no reason to be stressed out or frustrated for being a missionary and helping others.  The Lord has called me to be here and the prayers of my friends and family are continually supporting me.  What made things even better during this moment was the Mormon Tabernacle Choir ¨Called to Serve¨ started playing while I was reading the talk.  I sweet experience that I will always cherish.  Thanks for all your prayers!
Have a great week!  Love you all!
Elder Weidman