Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Please Help the Missionaries!

Our District in Loncoche

We attended a special priesthood session for the Church in the South America South Area. In this priesthood fireside, Elder Rasband and Elder Ballard spoke. I am so grateful for this fireside because it filled me with the Spirit.
Elder Rasband
Elder Rasband shared President Monson’s quote from the satellite broadcast about how now is the time to hasten the work and how the Lord has prepared man the means to do so. He focused on how we can do this through modern communication and technology. He talked about how out of the 70,000+ priesthood holders in this area of the world, only 40,000+ are active in the Church. He also talked about how with the thousands of new missionaries, they are concerned that these missionaries do not have enough to do and many are wasting time wandering around. He talked about how missionaries are called to teach. Then he taught how to do missionary work from your phone. He talked about how he can use Facebook to keep tabs on 700 of his missionaries from when he served as mission president. How he can post a little message when they post something not so great, or help reactivate those who have fallen away from the Church through Facebook. He said to think out of the box and asked each member to contact someone using technology and get appointments for the missionaries. He said no matter how busy you are, you can use technology to do missionary work. What I got out of this is that I need to think out of the box and get the members more involved. Elder Rasband also talked about how if we continue to do the same things, nothing will change and the work will not move faster. Over the last 6 weeks I have talked to about 700 people about the gospel and knocked a whole lot of doors. I am determined to work with members to find a more effective way to find people, to find people who are prepared. Some ideas are ward Facebook pages that connect with less active members and notify them of big events. Also a ward text, for big events. Elder Rasband promised that if we do these things the Lord will bless us with success.
Elder Ballard
Elder Ballard gave a very powerful talk. He talked a lot about the importance of the work. How our time in this world is brief, and when it ends, a lot of people are going to come to a terrible realization. He talked about focusing on developing eternal relationships because they will last, while things of the world will not. He talked about how strengthening the priesthood is the key to strengthening the Church. He talked about being fearless in sharing the gospel. He talked about the power of prayer, and how we need to pray for opportunities. We should pray for opportunities to help, serve, and bring others back. He also invited everyone to bring someone into the Church between now and Conference. The most powerful moment was when he bore his testimony about his grandchildren who were serving or going to serve missions. He said that he wants them to grow firm in the faith, how he wants them to come to know Christ as they TEACH the gospel. It was so powerful! He said that we are these missionaries’ opportunities to teach, opportunities to build their testimonies. PLEASE HELP THE MISSIONARIES!!! WE NEED PEOPLE TO HELP!!! It is so, so, so difficult to be a missionary with no one to teach. I cannot describe how hard it is to be a missionary without anybody to teach. PLEASE HELP THEM AND BUILD THEM UP ANY WAY YOU CAN!!! I know you are so busy, trying to raise families, but they should do all they can to move this work forward as well. He also said, WE ARE IN A HURRY! The time to act is now.

Our Zone 
My biggest take-aways from this meeting  were:
1) An infusion of missionary SPIRIT
2) I felt really stongly that I have the ability to make something happen here. I can change things and MAKE IT HAPPEN with the help of Heavenly Father.
We had transfers today and I will be staying here for another 6 weeks with my companion. There is one new elder who will be training that will joining us in our house. I am going to make sure to help the new missionary in any way that I can! 
This country is so beautiful! This picture was taken while I was on an exchange.
 Love you all tons!

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Work

So with our investigators:  We haven’t been able to find the 15 year old boy that we have been teaching for a week or two, so we are a little sad about that.

The young couple is doing okay. The wife has come to Church two of the three Sundays and yesterday she brought their one year old boy. 

Some good news from Santa Juana is that the attendance has doubled since I left, and one week there were more investigators than members! Last week the branch president and his wife passed through Loncoche and we were able to meet up with them. I feel better about Santa Juana. I think I helped spark the missionary fever there and the branch president and his wife have expressed a lot of appreciation to me. It meant a lot that they would take the time to stop by and say “hi” to me on their way to their vacation. 

We also have another family that we are working with now. The father felt a connection to the Restoration video and really understands the message, but out of the three weeks we have been teaching them we have yet to see them in church. 

I hope everyone has great birthdays this week! Thank you so much for the great letters!!

Ciao, Love you tons!!

My companion and the other missionaries I live with.
I treat them to the best scones at the bus station when we head to district meetings each week.

Some funny notes:

I found a slug the size of my finger in the shower the other day. 

The other day my companion was hooking up the gas line to the stove. He loves to cook, and he yells to me to come in. It turns out the gas was leaking and I had to run around the house to cut it off outside. 

A Valentine for Grandpa Reed - I call it the Tillinator.
Beautiful bus rides.