Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 25 – Ho, ho, ho

In the campo

Miracles. This week has been full of them. But I’ll start with the less spiritual stuff first.
The other elders here had an investigator pray and asked if he should be baptized. In the next cita, he told them that he received an answer that he the evangelical church. Haha. The other elders left him with the commitment to pray again.
Dogs: our elders quorum president has a dog that loves the missionaries. He hates it when we leave. When we stand up he barks. So I played around with it. I stood up and then sat down super-fast multiple times, and every time I stood up, it barked. Kind of like a light switch.
I’ma skype with you guys this Christmas!! Woot woot.
The city of Quellón is a giant hill that begins on the seashore. Elder Weech and I started on a road and kept following it. We never got to the end. But after a while, we were out of the general population. It is called campo. Super pretty. Not a lot of houses. A lot of countryside. We took some pics, knocked some doors, and enjoyed the nature. 
Road out to the campo

While we were there:
We saw a MASSIVE pig. The little piglets were nursing.
Pig with piglets in the campo

I also saw several horses. My favorite encounter was a dad, and a mom walking, with their young daughter mounted on top of the horse wielding a chainsaw.
While we were walking to a cita we had with a family that lives on the seashore, we saw a van covered in balloons handing candy out to kids. Sketchy. But as we got closer, we saw the people inside were wearing Santa hats, and there was a man in a Santa suit passing the candy out. He called to us, "Elderes, vengan por acá y tomen algunas dulces!" He told us to come and get candy. Confused, we took the candy while trying to put his face with a member’s face. We couldn't. Must have been a menos activo. But we scored candy.
So what is going down for my first Christmas in Chile is this. We don’t have a zone conference anymore. Instead we will be proselyting. But we still get to skype. Grateful to be a missionary.
This week, we have district conference, consejo de líderes [leadership council], and an intercombio in Castro. Each trip is 4 hours in a bus. We will be tired this week :)
I’ma transition now. This week a guy contacted US in the street. He asked us when church was. And he actually came! Wow.
Miracle stories:
-We had a cita with the familia Piedras. They have been investigating for a while. I arrived. We decided that they didn´t know why the missionaries have been passing by or what our purpose is. In that cita, we spoke with the Spirit. We knelt with them in prayer to ask if the Book of Mormon is true. We bore powerful testimony. Many times I cried. I opened my mouth to speak and I felt my words change into words that weren´t my own. That brought the Spirit ever more strongly. My mouth was filled.
-We knocked a menos activo´s door. We found a lady named Claudia. She was baptized 6 years ago along with her husband when they had two little kids. Then they fell away. They went through a rough patch where they didn’t want anything with the Church: threw away their scriptures, stopped going to church, hid from the elders in the streets haha. Everything. We found them at the suggestion of the branch president. Claudia wants to return so bad. She was so happy when we came. She treated us like angels, she presented her kids to us: ages 6 and 10 (potential baptism), and we prayed with her. She told us she wants to return, that she knows it is her duty. I felt the Spirit so strong. Right there on her doorstep, she was crying and I was crying. But a problem: her husband. He was an elder. But after falling away didn’t want anything to do with the church. He was mad when he heard they wanted to go to church. Claudia was afraid he would see us on her porch. She gave us her number to call her when we wanted to come by to make sure he wasn’t home. The other day, we passed by her work and visited with her. As we were talking, her husband entered the store. Elder Weech and I froze. She introduced us. Once we realized he wasn’t there to kill us, we loosened up and were ourselves. We joked around and laughed and built a relationship with him. He gave us permission to pass by, accepted a family home evening for tonight, and said he would go to the branch activity on Tuesday! MIRACLE. He is pretty chill. I could tell he was uncomfortable thought. But HE offered the prayer before we left. Tonight is the family home evening. We have a killer plan. We are going right to the point to tell them we want to help them come back, baptize their daughter, and help them go to the temple. Then we will sing Christmas songs. Too perfect.
-Last miracle. Our investigator Silvia. She is filled with faith. She actually completed her reading assignment and prayed. But not to ask if the Book of Mormon was true. So we knelt with her and she prayed. After, we explained the fruits of the Spirit. She said, "When I asked I felt something warm inside, is that the Spirit?" Again, after we picked our jaws up off the floor, we told her yeah. Then we taught her the law of chastity because she isn’t married with her pareja. We committed her to talk with him about marriage. She asked, "Would you like me to do it right now?" Again, after we picked our jaws up off the floor, we were like "YA WE DO!" What faith!! She brought him in the room. Then it got awkward. He asked us what we wanted. Haha, what do we want? I chose to give him an intro before directly responding to that question. He didn’t see the point in marriage and wasn’t on board. But we knelt with them and Silvia prayed to know if they should get married. Then we left. We need to have another cita. She is golden.
The two citas with familia Piedras and Silvia were back to back. We followed Elder Teixeira´s advice and attacked the need. After like 2 hours of intense Spirit, focus, and worry, I was exhausted in every way. We sang Christmas hymns in the church as practice for a special musical number. Sitting down that night, I reflected on the day. This is bliss. I have never been happier. I am happy with myself. I am growing. I am helping others improve their lives. I am happy.
Doctrine and Covenants 123:17

Elder West

There were more dogs hiding under the bus