This week was a great week for us here in Lo Prado 2!! Elder Breed and I were able to baptize this week and it felt really good! Anllelina got baptized!!! I'm really glad the Lord let us see that miracle in our sector after lots of hard work. I feel like the Lord is trusting me a lot with His children. I think that's one of the biggest things that we as missionaries need to do...gain the trust of the Lord first before we do anything. I feel Him trusting me more and more every day with His sons and daughters here in Chile. It's a great feeling.
Elder Jenson, Leo (Priest in our Ward), Anllelina, Samantha (Anllelina's sister), Eduardo (Anllelina's dad) and Elder Breed. Leo baptized Anllelina in the San Pablo Ward on September 22, 2013.
We had a crazy week with Anllelina this week actually...to begin the week she said that she wasn't ready to be baptized at all and that she felt really scared (crying while saying this). Elder Breed and I first listened to Anllelina for a while express herself. After discerning by the Spirit what we should say, we started showing tons of love for her and helping her remember all the great experiences she's had with us, especially when she asked God if this was true and how she felt happiness and excitement. After talking with her a few minutes about that, I felt like we needed to kneel down and pray to ask our Father in Heaven to help Anllelina feel peace and comfort. We did so and Anllelina offered the prayer. During her prayer, I was pleading from the bottom of my heart that the Lord would help her feel ready for Sunday. I felt strongly that the Lord was going to prepare her. We kept showing Anllelina our love for her and then finished the lesson. We told her that we were going to come back on Thursday so she could tell us how she felt again. On Thursday, we went by her house and she said that she felt ready and she was gonna be baptized!! Now how cool is that?? I know the Lord helped her feel His love..."amor perfecto desecha todo temor". That's definitely true. So, after we were set for the baptism, we found out there was no gas in the church and that it had run out!! That meant no hot water for the baptism. We called Eduardo and Anllelina to tell them what happened and we figured out a plan so that Anllelina could get baptized. One other companionship in the Zone was also baptizing, so we made plans to do it with them. It all turned out really well, but I was like frantically calling everywhere trying to figure out what to do for the baptism. In the end, all was well and Anllelina got baptized in the San Pablo Ward which is about a 20 min walk from our Ward.
Elder Jenson, Alejandra, Susana, Maxi (Alexandra and Susana's nephew) and Hugo (Alejandra's son) on 20 de Septiembre in Lo Prado 2 for a Ward Independence Day Celebration.
Even though we were not able to teach as much this week, Elder Breed and I gained a great relationship with a lot of our investigators through activities and celebrations that we were able to attend for the 18 de Septiembre...Independence Day here in Chile! We had 8 investigators attend the Ward activity and that was huge for us! Tons of members came up and fellowshipped our investigators and because of that, we ended up having a lot of investigators attend church yesterday! 7 investigators at church (Alejandra, Susana, Hugo (Alejandra's son), Maxi (Alejandra and Susana's nephew), Anllelina, Joan and Rafaela!!! 5 of them are progressing towards baptism (Anllelina (progressing towards her Confirmation), Alejandra, Susana, Rafaela and Joan) and 3 of them have their baptismal date for this Sunday (Joan, Alejandra and Susana)! Elder Breed and I have faith that they will follow through on this committment with the Lord as He makes them feel His Spirit and the courage to make the decision.
So, here's a sweet experience that Susana told Elder Breed and I on Monday night this week...In church last week, Susana heard (during the opening prayer), a whispering of the Spirit that told her that this is the true church. She immediately opened her eyes to see who had told her this and there was no one there...everyone had their eyes closed listening to the prayer. Since then, Susana's had tons of desire to be baptized.
Another cool experience...So, it's been so awesome to see the change in Alejandra and Susana since we began teaching them...Susana in particular. In the beginning with Susana, I remember going to church to teach her for the first time and she was like...don't ask me any questions, don't ask me to read, don't ask me to do anything! I just want to listen. After that, we started a short lesson with her and it was a little awkward to be honest. After that, we started teaching Alejandra a little more and invited her to be baptized as you know. Susana was like, "You guys are gonna baptize my sister? I never want to do that!" Before Susana knew it, she was reading the Book of Mormon, praying and receiving answers that this is the true church...she asked and felt like she was going to cry because the spirit was so strong, she heard the whispering in church, and on Wednesday her nephew that is disabled got lost for about 2 hours and during that whole time, all that we had taught her was vivid in her mind. Susana was reminded rapidly of the steps to pray and in the end, Agustin was found. After that experience, Susana got her whole family together and told them that this had happened. She shared her testimony and said that after that experience with Agustin being lost then praying and then finding him, she KNEW that this church was true and that she needed to be baptized. So cool!
Joan just came to church out of no where...he had been in Northern Chile for a week and a half. He told Elder Breed and I that he had gotten home really late Saturday night and that he really wanted to come to church so he showed up right after Sacrament started. So cool! Elder Breed and I weren't even planning on it. We like surprises like that.
President Essig, Elder Breed, Elder Jenson and Sister Essig on September 10, 2013. "Picking up Elder Breed at the mission home and headed to Lo Prado 2 for Elder Breed's first day in the mission field!"
My companion, Elder Breed is doing well. He has many great attributes one of which is the ability to bring the Spirit strongly into our lessons by testifying. We are practicing and planning our lessons more than usual so that Elder Breed can feel comfortable when it comes to teaching.
Highlights/Thoughts of the week:
We had two activities this week that were basically all day long! On Wed, the 18th, we had a Stake activity from 2-10pm. Rafaela went to that activity. Then we had another activity of Friday the 20th with the Ward and we were there from 430-10pm! We had 8 investigators go to this activity! So awesome. I ate like 8 empanadas between the two activities. We drank like 5 glasses of mote con huesillo and had a sweet barbeque with steak and choripanes....it was the life!
Mom....the greatest thing about being on a mission is...BAPTIZING :) To see those baptisms is realllllly cool. Also seeing the changes in peoples thoughts, words and actions.
My clothes and shoes are holdin up just fine. Just a few repairs with the shoes and they're good as new.
I'm in Hebrews right now in the New Testament! It's so awesome...I love it!
I want to wish Dad a very Happy Birthday!!! I can't believe another year has passed on my mission. What you have taught me throughout my life has really helped me to convey the message of this wonderful gospel in a way that helps the investigators progress towards baptism. Thank you for your great example throughout my entire life and for your patience!! I know I wasn't the most obedient kid sometimes, but now I know the importance of that. Thanks for all that you do and just know that I love you tons!!! Hope you have a great birthday spending family time together,what you love best! Love, Tan
Well, that's all the time I have. I hope you're all doing really well! This is HIS work!!! I'm so glad to be a part of it.