Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Meeting with Elder Evans

March 3, 2014

This week we had to tells Andres that we can’t come see anymore because he is not progressing. He just can’t forgive others. I have been thinking about forgiveness and how it is a commandment and it is essential. We cannot progress in this life spiritually if we are carrying around hate inside of us. It will destroy us. From what I have learned from forgiveness, it’s a process. I believe God understands that and He will help us through our own forgiveness processes. We are required to be humble and to let God shape us into the person He sees we can be. We do this a little bit everyday by turning it Him, placing all the hurt and pain, embarrassment, etc. on the altar of the Lord. When we do this and then do everything we can to follow Gods commandments we will begin to feel the healing power of the atonement enter our lives. When we learn to love even our enemies we learn to love like the Savior and when we forgive others we will receive the Lord’s mercy for our own short comings and sins and even more when the person we forgave doesn’t repent and change the Lord will be even more merciful to us. It’s so hard  - even after we have said all of that to Andres  he still was arguing with us that he was right.  I think the time we have given him will be good for him help him to really think about what are his priorities and about how he needs to forgive. So we need to learn to love as the Savior and if we do this we will be able to forgive and we will want to repent every day.

Tuesday: This week in district class we learned about how we need to be prepared, but also need rely on the spirit. I am a planner that’s for sure but sometimes the Lord has a different plan for us than what we plan out for ourselves. I believe God wants us to plan out our lives, set goals and be prepared, but also live with the faith and humility to drop all our plans when He has something else in mind for us. But yes after district class we came home for lunch and then were off to work. So some pretty random stuff happened today not going to lie but ya picture this us walking down a street in the middle of nowhere aka Pirque and we are standing out in front of a house, well the gate of a house, and there is this giant tree above us and today we left the house with tights and coats cause it was cold and looked like it was going to rain and as I was standing there I heard a plopping sound of runny liquid plopping like literally 5 inches of me. First observation, “That cant be rain, rain doesn’t sound like that.”  2nd observation I look up and a giant bird (like  a mix between a peacock and the bird from UP, yes it was like the size or a little bigger than Oliver – our old dog)….= sitting in the tree above me just pooping away. I was in shock cause it was so large and random and it almost pooped all over me…. And then it just flew away…I didn’t know a bird that big could fly… so random but I was definitely counted my blessings that I didn’t get pooped on.

Yes so that just happened and we took a bus and then just walked and walked and walked like pioneer children and when we finally got to the next appointment they canceled right so we sat down on a bus stop bench to study some language right and so yet again we are in the middle of nowhere and we look over and there is a stream and there is this guy in the stream hacking away at some shrubs and he calls us over.
He then starts telling us about all the herbs he is finding and then gives us some herbs they look like really long grass and he tells us the name is the money herb…we said thanks and went on our way but I was pretty sketched out by this herb he gave us to eat… ya we didn’t eat it but it was so random now that I am typing this story it was just one of those random stories you just had to be there but anywhoo moral of this story “don’t accept herbs from strange men”…. But ya then we went out to visit some members with Hermana Molina she is the best a real trooper and a woman who lives what she teaches. We had some neat experiences but the one I want to share was when we went to visit a less active family and when we were there we met the brother of the hermano who was a member and he listened quietly to our message and then when we were done he said “This is the third time in my life that when I am going through really hard times the Lord sends missionaries to talk to me about God.” We were all sitting in this living room in one of the most humble homes I have ever been in but the spirit there was so strong it was like a little piece of heaven on earth. Just a testimony to me that it’s so not important what we have but more of who we are and if the spirit can dwell with us. It was neat because he is going to let us come see him again, but the bummer is that he leaves in 2 days but we are going to send the reference to the other missionaries where he is going. I know that the Lord places things and people in our lives for a reason and if something or someone keeps popping into your life maybe you should stop and think about it and see what God has in store for you. Today was a great day full of laughs and sharing the gospel.

Lets see I think I just want to start off to say I really have come to love Pirque living in the middle of nowhere is beautiful, adventuresome, and full surprises and small town quirks. I love that every night we get to walk a mile home and be under a starlit sky I never get tired of looking up at the milky way and just aweing in wonder.  Just the Chilean culture, the Spanish, the weird salads that I have come to love - for example I am eating a tomatoes onion salad with oil, salt, and lemon, my favorite. I love the the simpleness here like no one cares what you look like or dress like they care more about the stuff that is important smiles, laughs, God, and food. I love that I get to be a part of their lives and help them come unto Christ.

So I had a neat study this week about my patriarchal blessing. I wrote the whole thing by hand and I wrote in different colors depending on what I was writing I broke my blessing down into 5 sections. 1.  Traits of me 2. Gifts that I have 3.  Counsel from the Lord 4. Promises from God 5. Blessings.  It was a neat experience because there is something different about writing your blessing by hand and picking it apart and organizing it. It helps you learn new things as new things stick out to you so challenge go and study your blessing this week and write it out and organize it you don’t have to use my categories but as you do you will learn more about yourself and what God sees in you.

Wednesday: So today we had a neat lesson after walking like 3 miles to get there we ended up in this giant field of grass and had our lesson under the shade of a tree. It was the brother of a less active. He is looking for direction in his life and he wants to take the things of God serious. We had a neat lesson with him and he is reading the book of Mormon but he is moving tomorrow so I hope the missionaries will teach him there because we sent them the reference. So something I am learning is that 1. no one is perfect 2.  everyone likes to blame people and heck they all might be blaming the same people but that doesn’t mean it’s right. Charity is key and that is a lifelong pursuit.

Thursday: So remember how earlier this week we had to tell Andres that we are not going to visit him anymore because he is not progressing. We went by there today because we had to return the blender and coats we borrowed from his wife Paula and he was like I have been thinking about what ya’ll said and I just might surprise you in the capilla! We are in the process of a miracle people so keep sending your prayers his way!

Saturday:  We had the NEATEST opportunity to meet with all 4 missions in Santiago all 1000 of us to listen to Elder David F. Evans of the 70. We are just blessed here in Santiago since we just listened to Elder Holland in November. But this Saturday was AMAZING. So here is what I learned:
He told us missionaries that we need to look for more families because we are here to help other come unto Christ and endure to the end. And the family is so important we just don’t want to baptize people we want them to come unto Christ with their family and become a family forever. We are in the work of salvation and its serious being a missionary.  It is not how many people you baptize it’s about helping people live the gospel of Jesus Christ so they can receive all the blessings. We must help build the kingdom where we are. Your work is your life’s work. God’s purpose is your purpose. We must live the gospel of Jesus Christ. He told us he had a reunion with all of the general authorities and him and Elder Holland had to teach the Doctrine of Jesus Christ. He said the first part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that we need to have the humility and the desire to follow Jesus Christ in all things We need faith, we need to repent daily, need to be baptized, to receive the holy ghost, and endure to the end with all of these things especially following Jesus for the rest of our lives. He then spent some time on what it means to receive the Holy Ghost.
Our confirmation allowed us to have the gift of the Holy Ghost but how we live our lives depends on if we receive the Holy Ghost. So in other words if we are living the gospel of Jesus Christ then we are worthy to receive the Holy Ghost, but if not we don’t receive it. When we receive the Holy Ghost in our lives we are living according to the will of God. After he said that I was sitting there and some questions entered my mind and I was bothered because I didn’t know and was having a war with myself in my head. That’s when Elder Evans asked us to share something we were personally going to change about ourselves to build up the kingdom where we are. One of the things that popped into my head was “You need to help unify your branch Pirque”  because we struggle with that here. And I just got the strongest impression in me to raise my hand and share that. WHAT!!!_ ya right am I going to stand up in front of 1000 missionaries and share what I am PERSONALLLY going to change about me… but against all logic I raised my hand and when he called on the sister in the green and blue… yep that’s me  - to stand I was freaking out -  Lauren what the heck did you get yourself into.   I stood up and some Elder passed me a microphone. My legs were shaking the whole time I am not sure if anyone noticed it my comp did so the probably everyone else did too. I was like, “So you want me to share what we can do better in our branch”  He was like “No what can you do better”  I’m thinking duh Lauren the question is “you” not “we” but ya I answered that I want to help the ward be more unified by loving others because that is something we lack and it’s hard to bring investigators to the church when even they can feel the tension. I was expecting him to comment on that but instead he said, “And who told you that”, that threw me off guard… “I said the spirit” and he said, “See you have received the Holy Ghost” he said some other things that were exact direct answers to the questions that I was asking myself in my head. I almost started crying because I just felt God’s love for me so very strongly. And after I received these answers the spirit was right behind testifying to me that it was true. I testify that the Lord is aware of us. Even if we are in a sea of 1,000 missionaries He will send us help when we need it. I know that the Lord used Elder Evans to get a message to me and I am so thankful that I stood up even though it was the scariest thing ever! But after this experience I truly testify that God knows the thoughts of our minds and He is our loving Father that is involved in our lives to help us return to Him. He is not in some far corner of space doing paperwork or “important stuff” no He is here with you. His important stuff is the worries that you have, so he can comfort you, having joy in your joys. You are his everything and that I testify to be true because I felt that this Saturday. It was a neat experience to have a conversation with a seventy of the church which to me was very personal and I bet he didn’t even know it but it was like just me and him talking with 999 onlookers. It will be something I will remember to help me remember that God loves me and is aware of me during hard times. All and all it was a great experience to go to the North mission to listen to Elder Evans and I got to see a bunch of old friends from freshman year at BYU who are serving the Lord along with me. And I saw Hermana Leishman!!!! Like we almost cried of happiness but you bet we shouted for joy! Sure miss that girl but don’t worry we pinky promised to be friends for life!

After the reunion we went out to work and had this amazing lesson with Jessica and Maria Elena. We pretty much focused on the Book of Mormon because Elder Evans told us something that really hit us as a companionship. He said was there a time in your lives when you had to know if this church was true_ and we all were thinking yes and then he was like so what did you do to know if this church was true_ Did you read the book of Mormon_ and we were all like yes. So what should we do with our investigators if we want to help them know for themselves if the church is true… read the Book of Mormon! So in this lesson we just focused on that and they committed to read it like with enthusiasm too! We just testified how this book is everything it’s the key to see if it’s true. I am so pumped to be a missionary and I am determined as so should ya’ll to strengthen where you are to help build up the kingdom of God no importa if you are a missionary or a member we have a proposito to build up the kingdom where we are! So we can do this. We are all in this together.

Sunday: We went to church and there was a change.  It was a miracle because the wife of Elder Evans spoke to me responding to my question of how I can help the branch be more unified and she gave me some suggestions and the in end said things will change. And today we saw a change and we really went out of our way to bring a cheerful loving feeling into the church. We made sure no one ever sat alone and all I think felt our love. She was right things are going to change they did and they will continue to change. I believe and have seen miracles. I guess you could say I am learning a lot here in Pirque and I love it. I am not the same person I was before the mission - thank goodness I am different and I want to keep changing.


Hermana Jennings

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