Dear Family and Friends!!
Elder Jenson, Paz's cousin, Paz, Erika, Hno Herrera and Elder McKinley at the baptism of Paz and Erika on December 9, 2012 (Quinta Normal-Simon Bolivar Ward)
Elder McKinley and I were blessed with two baptisms this week!!! Their names are Erika (34 yrs. old) and Paz (9 yrs. old). I had the opportunity and blessing to work with them this week and to help prepare them and get them ready for their baptisms. It was such a really cool experience. Wow, that last week before a baptism is always a scary time. I just know that Satan tries his hardest to put all kinds of obstacles in the way of the ones that are trying to choose the right and get baptized by someone who has the authority of God. There were many times this week where Elder McKinley and I had lessons with Paz and Erika and they had their faith tested to the max! Elder McKinley and I had to keep telling Erika and Paz to read their scriptures every single day and pray that they would continue to receive strength from our Heavenly Father! I'm so excited for Erika and Paz for their faithfulness in being baptized and opening the door to the pathway of eternal life. Erika is a really special lady.
Elder Jenson, Erika, Hno Herrera (member of the Simon Bolivar Ward) and Elder McKinley
Erika had been taking the lessons for about 6 months from the missionaries and had lots of doubts. Just a few weeks ago, she made the decision to ask her boyfriend to leave her house because she wanted to keep all the commandments and get baptized. When Elder McKinley and I went over all of the lessons with Erika this week again to make sure that she knew the content, she knew practically everything! It was so awesome.
Elder Jenson, Paz's cousin (member of another Ward), Paz and Elder McKinley
Paz comes from a less active family who are in the process of reactivation. Paz is very, very smart and knows a lot about the Church and its teachings. She comprehends things very well and every time we had her read a scripture, she was able to comprehend exactly what it was saying. That's something I know I didn't do when I was like 13 or 14 much less 9 years old. It's definitely a gift. Paz was so eager and ready to get baptized yesterday. It was really cool to see her do so.
So, it was baptism time and Erika was pretty nervous. Paz was a little nervous as well. Erika came to the font and was feeling the spirit so strongly. After the actual baptism, Erika couldn't hold back her emotions and was bawling when the ward was welcoming her. When people came up to her and asked her how she was feeling, she was silent and told Elder McKinley and I she couldn't even describe it. After the whole baptismal service was done, Elder McKinley and I went up to Erika to congratulate her. With her eyes welling up, all she could muster out was, " I now realize why you wanted me to get baptized so badly." Erika now saw that baptism was a very important step that she needed to take in her life. She had faith to take that step and felt the results of happiness, joy and peace. I asked her, "So it is true or no?"...she goes..."It's all true!" That was so awesome for me to witness Erika's faith and know she can receive the countless blessings from following Jesus Christ. Sometimes we don't really understand some commandments that God has given us in our lives, but God knows all things and he knows why He has given us these commandments. It is all for our happiness and for our good. Our Heavenly Father knows what's best for each of us and what will bring us ETERNAL happiness instead of temporal happiness. Sometimes we are just so blind looking for temporal happiness 3 inches in front of our face that we can't see the vision our Heavenly Father sees and has for us much further down the road.
After the baptism, we visited Erika to say congratulations again and we talked to her about her baptism and the feelings she felt. Erika related that she had felt an incredible peace and things that you just can't describe. Elder McKinley and I then talked about receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and after that, enduring to the end to receive the most incredible gift that anyone can receive, eternal life. I love the scripture in 2 Nephi 31 verse 20 that talks about receiving all of these things (baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost), necesitamos marchar adelate con firmesa en Cristo con un fulgor perfecto de esperanza y amor por Dios...solamente hemos abierto la puerta de ese camino angosto. Al abrir la puerta, alli esta el camino de Dios y al final de ese camino, hay ese don mas agradable de todo, la vida eterna. We all need to (marchar adelante) or march forward with a steadfastness in Christ having perfect brightness of hope and love for our Heavenly Father. That is how we gain that everlasting life. It doesn't end at baptism, but just barely begins.
Investigadores con fecha 19
Investigadores que asisten a la reunion sac 8
Lecciones con miembro 19
Otras Lecciones 11
Investigadores que estan progresando 4
Referencias recibidas 19
Referencias contactadas 12
Nuevos investigadores 18
Lecciones a cr ma 3
Elder Jenson's new area Quinta Normal, Chile
Elder McKinley and I killed it this week! There's a norma de exelencia for companionships that can be achieved (3 baptisms in the last 6 weeks, 3 investigators progressing that week in church and 70 contacts). We were the only sector in the whole mission that achieved that! A lot of times, no one achieves it. There's probably been 6 times that this has been achieved in the 4 months that I've been in Chile. Pretty sweet!
Elder McKinley, Elder Jenson's Zone Leader and Companion
Elder McKinley is so awesome! He has taught me sooooo much in the week that I've been his companion. Elder McKinley has 3 rules:
1. We don't know anything.
2. ALWAYS follow the Spirit.
3. ALWAYS put someone with a baptismal date the first lesson.
To explain a little bit about these three rules Elder McKinley has...the first one is that we are 19 or 20 yr. olds in a completely different country speaking a completely different language and we know just a little bit about the gospel. Elder McKinley and I don't know which people are ready, who to teach, what to spend our time with, etc. Because of that, we need to follow the Spirit in everything we do. We always need to be listening to His promptings and obey them to find those people who are ready to hear the gospel. When Elder McKinley and I are in a lesson we always need to be listening to His promptings to know what to say or do. The last rule is critical as well. If investigators don't have a baptismal date, they are never going to progress. If investigators have a vision of baptism from day 1, they will work towards that goal of baptism. Another important thing I've learned from Elder McKinley is that we need to verify that our appointments are going to work and not fall through. Elder McKinley is always on the phone making sure that we can come by at our scheduled time we have planned with investigators and if not, he quickly changes the appointment time that accomodates the investigator so we can still teach them. Elder McKinley is also always calling members to come with us to our visits. The members are critical and help so much. I can see a huge difference in a lesson Elder McKinley and I give when a member is there because the member actually speaks like a "Chilean" speaks and can explain the doctrine well. I'm so blessed and grateful for this time I have with Elder McKinley so that I can learn these important concepts now and I can take them with me and put them into practice throughout the rest of my mission and have tons of success!
So, that was my week!
Highlights this week/Thoughts:
*We're preparing for a few investigators to get baptized this week as well, so be looking for more pictures of people in white!
*Tell Tay good luck in his game this week and Tal good luck with basketball tryouts.
Merry Christmas Elder Jenson from your cousin Connor (5 yrs old)
*I got packages in the mail as well as letters/pictures this week. All of the packages are still wrapped and I will follow the instructions for opening. Tell everyone thanks for always thinking of me and for putting so much time into sending me things.
Elder Jenson's "BUMP" day (6 month) t-shirt
November 30, 2012
*Loved the t-shirt and treats you sent me as well for the "bump" day package. I will wear it often!
I hope everyone has a really good week. I'm looking forward to being able to talk to you on Christmas Day. Crazy that time has come so fast....Hope you're all well!