Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 10: What a week

The 18th of September is coming up, and now there are almost as many Chilean flags as there are dogs, ha-ha. JK. President told us that we will still work on Sept. 18. Our sector is the most dangerous in the mission, and the 18th is always crazy. People die every year, and it´s dangerous after 6 pm. Please pray for our safety.

Last week we had no food, money, wood to burn, our washer broke, and a cold front came in. We were laughing at our circumstances. But we were alright.

A thing about Chile: fungus. Foot fungus is bad here. We NEVER let our feet touch the floor. Every morning we spray our feet with this stuff, and I rub vinegar on my feet.

Two days ago, I asked a man at his door what the purpose of life is. He said it was to work so we can earn money. So sad. We are so blessed to know that the purpose of this life is to experience joy and prepare to meet our Father in heaven. And we can do both at the same time too.

We knocked an antiguo investigador (former investigator) house and she opened the door and accepted a return appointment. As we left and the door shut we heard a scream. We were like, "huh?" Turns out she screamed because the missionaries came back. She has a baptism date for Oct. 3!  Before we came, she was reading praying and everything. She has a testimony!

Evangelista also has a baptismal date. The AP´s came and we had divisions with them. I was with elder Fotheringham. We taught the plan of salvation, began and ended with a hymn, taught with great power, and gave him a priesthood blessing. He wasn't someone who I thought would change. But he accepted a baptismal date for Oct. 3. That was the most powerful lesson I've been in. Elder Fotheringham in the lesson STOOD UP like in the John Tanner story, and asked him if he wanted a blessing. I felt like I was in a movie. So powerful. We took a picture with them after. Evangelista has his gaucho hat on.

The language is coming slow and steady. Some days I can understand a lot, and then others feel just like day one in the field. Thank you for your prayers. I am progressing.

Yesterday we knocked a door of a menos activo (less active member) named Caesar. He let us in. I asked him to turn off the radio and if we could say a prayer and talk about his relationship with God. That was bold for me. Something I never would have done before the mission. I´m learning how to better apply the principals of how to begin teaching on page 177 in Preach My Gospel. We began. In our discussion with him he told us that he made a deal with his best friend. The deal was that whoever died first, the other had to visit them and tell them what it´s like. His friend died. One year later he had a dream. His friend visited him in this dream and told him only one thing. He said: "The only thing that is important in this life is Family." That was powerful. I testify of that too. Please strengthen your relationships within your families. Caesar also had a playboy bikini calendar on his wall which was distracting from the spirit a lot. There on the wall, Satan presented himself. In all his filth, degrading the sanctity of virtue and women. And it completely disgusted me. I couldn't leave without doing something. After our closing prayer I asked him if we could burn it in his wood burning stove right then. I felt filled with the Spirit and power. I don´t know how to describe it, but it felt like in that moment it was me and Jesus Christ and the power of the priesthood, against Satan. Caesar accepted and burned it immediately. Great experience.

One thing the Lord is showing me a lot of is what I want my future family to be like, and the importance of the family, and living our covenants together as families. I have a story for this. We just made rolls with a great hermana in the ward. Her husband is less active and is way chill with us, but he doesn't give us anything when we try to talk about the church. We made rolls with them to try to build relationships, but her husband just watched soccer and a violent show after. Her children don´t want to participate in the church either. But this hermana is completely golden. We left feeling crummy because she is so good, and her situation is so bad. She told us she just needs more patience. Then we went to Hermano Victor Vargaz. He is awesome. He is so faithful in going to appointments with us. We were in his home with an extremely faithful family that just moved into our branch. We could feel the Spirit in their home. As we talked and sat there, the Spirit just worked me over. I know what I want in my family. I know what God has for us as families is the best. There is great power in a home where the gospel is taught and covenants are kept, and scriptures are read, and when there is love at home. Mom and Dad, thank you for always creating a home environment like this. I love you. 

We are truly representatives of Jesus Christ. And people treat us like Him. Really good and really bad. So many times I feel shoulder to shoulder with the great missionaries in the scriptures. 

One thing we work super hard for with every investigator is reading, praying, and going to church. If they are doing those things then they progress. If you aren't doing those things, please change. And start now. There is great happiness for you if you do them. And spiritual safety. 

I testify that this is God´s work. I love you all.
Elder West

Sent from a rented Chilean computer.

Elders West & Fotheringham with Evangelista.

Elders West & Ryan in Coyhaique

Elders West & Ryan in Coyhaique