Elder Jenson reminded by his 5 year old cousin Will to always follow Jesus
September 3, 2012
This week was a tough week! First, I'll tell you about my logros (achievements) and then I'll tell you about my investigators...
Bautismos 0 (I'll explain later)
Investigadores con fecha bautismal 3
Investigadores que asisten a la reunion sac. 0
Lecciones con miembro 6
Otras lecciones 9
Investigadores que estan progresando 0
Referencias recibidas 4
Nuevos Invest. 7
Lecciones con conversos recientes y a miembros menos activos 7
Board in our Casita of our 3 Sectors in our Rama (Branch) in Renca, Chile.
We have 7 missionaries in our Rama! The names in black are our Familias/Miembros Activos. The names in blue are our Miembros Inactivos. The names in red are our Investigators.
Progress of my investigators...
Maria- Oh boy...where do I begin? On Wednesday Elder Weigel and I went to Maria's house and were able to finish the lessons with her. We finished the commandments and the only other thing that she needed before her baptism was the interview with the Zone Leader. Maria's excitement was really strong despite expressing a little sadness because her daughter was putting things in her head that God was going to punish her for what she's doing (getting baptized). She expressed that she was really sad because of what her daughter was saying and that she doesn't want to destroy her realationship she has with her daughter. Elder Weigel and I resolved her problems and we left her home confident that she was alright.
We had another Intercambio this week on Friday. Elder Holland and I went to teach Maria.
Elder Jaromy Holland in front of the Santiago Chile temple
Right from the beginning of our meeting, Maria was depressed (it seems like every time we go to teach Maria, she has a really hard time with her family because they're all Catholic). Maria brought up her relationship with her daughter and how she doesn't want her whole family to hate her. She is really sad that she doesn't have any support. Elder Holland and I just listened to her vent her feelings. We had her stop and say a prayer. In her prayer she said a few key things. They were: 1. thank-you for "my hermanos" that are always helping me feel good 2. help my daughter understand that what I'm doing is right (getting baptized). Elder Holland and I talked to Maria about her prayer and asked her what makes her feel good when we come and talk to her, what experiences she's had as we have talked and had her recount her experiences and feelings she's had with us when she's prayed. She shared an experience with me of when she prayed and she really asked Heavenly Father for help in reading the Book of Mormon (Maria has reading difficulties).
Spanish Book of Mormon
Maria said right after she was done praying, she was reading the Book of Mormon and was able to understand everything she read. After recounting this expereince she had and experiences she has had with us, she started to notice the feelings she was experiencing and knew that she needed to get baptized. Then we talked to her about her daughter and asked her why she asked Heavenly Father to help her daughter gain knowledge about why baptism is important to her. That brought the Spirit more fully into the room and I bore my testimony to her and said that this is no coincidence that Elder Holland and I are teaching you. By the end of the visit, Maria was excited again and determined to get baptized.
Elder Jenson standing by a picture of Jesus being baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist
Everything was good up until Sunday morning. Elder Weigel and I passed Maria's house. She came out in her jammies and said she can't go to Church nor be baptized. Maria said that her boyfriend had arrived and said that if she got baptized, he would leave her and she wouldn't have any food, a place to live etc. (Maria's boyfriend provides everything for her. She has no income other than what her boyfriend gives her). Maria told us that she couldn't meet with us anymore and then started sobbing and told us she didn't know what to do. I could tell she wanted to get baptized and do the right thing, but that at this time in her life, it just wasn't going to happen. I'm not sure what we're going to do with Maria. Elder Weigel and I told her we would talk a little bit later after her boyfriend had left and work it out. This news ruined my whole day! I couldn't help but think of Maria and all of the problems that she's going through. She really wants to do what's right, but it's almost like she can't. Maria basically has to leave her boyfriend and look for a job at 60 years old. She told Elder Weigel and I that she can't work because her hands hurt her. Maria's story is really complicated and sad.
Juani- We had one visit with Juani this week. We watched the movie the Restoration.
Spanish Restoration Movie
I don't know why Juani didn't go to church this week. We'll have to figure that out and get her to church next week. Juani is really enthusiastic and hungry to learn more about the right path that she should be following. Juani said that she's looking for that path to follow and wants to become closer to God. That's really exciting! Elder Weigel and I are going to start meeting with Juani more often. It's difficult to do this because she works until late at night and by the time she gets home, she's really tired. Elder Weigel and I are determined to work really hard with her this week. We put her baptismal date as the 23rd of Sept! I'm excited for that!
Amauri- He still hasn't found a contract. Amauri didn't come to church because he and Claudia were out of town at Claudia's mom's house. Elder Weigel and I met with Amauri a couple of times this week. He's trying his best to find a contract. Just has to find one so he can get married and baptized!
Toloza-Castro Family- They didn't come to church this last Sunday (never been) so they lost their baptismal date. In our mission you have to attend church 3 times before your baptized. This is the main reason our investigators con fecha bautismal dropped drastically this week. I don't know what's holding them back. They seem to not want to make commitments. I think Elder Weigel and I are going to have one last lesson with them.
Spanish Preach My Gospel Lesson Manual
If the Toloza-Castro Family doesn't come to church, we will probably have to drop them. We need to spend our time teaching people who are prepared and are ready for the gospel and are willing to make commitments. If we're not teaching those people, we need to spend our time finding them.
Yesterday was really tough as you can tell. No investigators came to church and Maria wasn't baptized. A little bit sad, but I can't let that get to me. I have to keep pressing forward and find those that are prepared for this gospel and the happiness it brings.
***Jonathan's Family update: To clarify, I only was given permission to go and visit and teach the Farias family 1 time (unless I get sent to their area sometime while I'm on my mission). I handed the Farias family off to the missionaries in that sector who are teaching them now. Hopefully Isaac is doing well. I'm not sure!
To answer a few questions...
Seminary is every day in the night at the church in Renca. It starts at 8pm and 5-10 kids attend.
(The Seminary program was established in 1972 in Chile. Seminary is a four-year curriculum of study that includes the holy scriptures and the Church history for youth ages 14 to 18. It started very small in Utah in 1912 and now has an annual enrollment of more than 375,000 youth in 143 countries with 38,000 volunteer and full-time teachers. President Eyring, First counselor in the First Presidency of the Church said,
President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency
"In the 100 years of seminary (1912-2012) that have come and gone, countless lives have been touched. Our task has been and will always be to teach and to learn so that the gospel of Jesus Christ will go down into the heart of the one-the individual son or daughter of Heavenly Father." Chad H. Webb, administrator of Seminaries and Institutes for the Church said, "Students discover stories, the people, the backgrounds and the history of those volumes of scripture. It's a process that allows them to find answers to questions in their own lives. In some ways, seminary hasn't changed a lot in the 100 years. Elder Joseph F. Merrill, who was a faculty member at the University of Utah, a Church leader in the Granite High School neighborhood and the pioneer of that first seminary class, hoped for the same results in the lives of young people that we hope for today. Merrill, the first teacher, helped their seminary students to study, to learn the scriptures and to love the Lord. We hope that is what will happen in every seminary class today and forever."
Ended my Sunday fast and a tough week with the best dessert I've had in Chile so far!
Elder Jenson's favorite Chilean dessert! Ice cream with hot fudge and waffers-Yum!
I hope you all have a good week!