Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Meet Claudio

Claudio has a baptism date for the 7th of Nov. He is a pretty cool dude. He is 26 and we found him through his sister. We were on a bus going to this part in our sector way far a way. I started to talk to this girl next to me named Javiera. She wasn't too interested in anything about religion. So we just started talking about her studies in he university. I asked her if I could come over one day to help her understand this book she is reading in English. She said yes :) We set up a day to go see her but she wasn't there. We went again and this man opened the door....it was Claudio! He let us come in and we committed him to baptism. He loved it. He has never been baptized and he felt as though we was lacking something with his faith. He has always had such a strong faith but has never really known what to do with it. He is finishing his college degree and expressed that he needs something more, but he never knew what. We shared Helamen 5:12 because he is into architecture. He was so into it and explained the symbolism to us. 
He recently stopped drinking coffee and is progressing well. We would love to teach his sister too but she does not make the time to meet with us and is never there when she says she will be. But the baptism of her brother could definitely spark something in her. 
His favorite lesson has been the plan of salvation. We taught it with the temple and the role it plays. He kept asking and asking to just double check that these temples are found on earth and not in heaven. It seemed so heavenly for him like too good for this world. It was such joy for him to find out that Conce would soon be receiving a temple. 
As a missionary to have success you really just have to TALK TO EVERYONE. Talking to Javiera on the buss I could have easily passed up. Use the buss ride as a break from walking and saying hi to everyone. Maybe make a few calls to prepare for the next day. It makes me sad to think that he may have had to wait more to receive these blessings if  his sister and I never got to talking on the bus. 
Sad side note.....my camera got stolen.....
Just weeks before finishing the mission. I did however save some on a flash drive....all of them...not at all. But that is my reason for no pictures this week. 
But say a prayer. It will show up.

Noche de Country!

We had the best activity Friday night. We did a country night! It was so fun! We needed to get the members excited for the activies and started with a fun one to have them excited for the next to come which will be focused on the missionary work.
For the country night we made fried Oreos!!! They were delicious! It was one of the number one things I remembered from growing up in Kentucky and being down by the river. We had them go bobbing for apples and blow bubble gum for competitions and of course a pie eating contest that was so intense! There was lots of cheering. We also organized the type of clothes that people use to take like old school pictures with top hats and long gloves and what not. We had a photo booth there for them and a funny cat walk. And to finished we taught them all how to dance the cotton eye joe. Everyone participated which made it turn out well. 

 As for the work! Gerald is doing well. We got to talking about the missionary work and she showed him our manual and he got way interested. I told him he could have one and he said but I'm not a missionary. I told him he could be. He did not say no, all he said was, "mas adelante" that is not a no so there is some interest there :) 
We have also been working with a couple that is not married. They have a date to be married the 12th of Nov. Mariela y Luis se llaman. They have been coming to church for a few months now. The only thing is that ALL of Chile is on a strike....and no one can get married! We really need some specific prayers so that this strike ends before the 12th of Nov. They want to be baptized the 14th and go to the temple the 20th. Mariela is so happy. They have been together for 15 years and they just had never thought about being married. I can not remember if I have mentioned them before but all is well with them just a strike problemita. 

On Saturday Concepcion had the ground breaking for the temple!!! It was a beautiful ceramony and my companion from the MTC got to play the piano for the event! It makes me so happy for all of the people in the south of Chile and even Argentina. The sacrifice will not have to be as big to be able to participate in the blessings of the temple. They do have a lot of work to do still. The temple wont be ready for another 3 years. It is perfect though. To find and rescue a family in the next few years and help them prepare to enter the temple together in the small time period of 3 years. 
It is kinda a lot of random thoughts today but I also get a new companion. She is from Mexico and we will make the switch tomorrow. 
Have a wonderful week. I love you all and pray for your success! 
Hermana Lance

Monday, October 12, 2015

Brutal Collao

I love Collao, the members and the size of the sector. It is crazy big and we talk to people every day who have never talked to or seen missionaries before which impresses me so much. There is so much to do. But Collao has been a sector where I have probably had the most brutal rejection. 
I feel as though I do my best to always tell about the best parts of my week and that I am pretty well at finding the positive side of all the experiences but I wanted to be a bit more real about the hardships that we have had recently.
Almost a solid third or more of the people we talk to just in the street do not believe in God. I would say that it is a college city and that could have a lot to do with it. A bunch a young people just trying to live while they are young without thinking about tomorrow or consequences, but it is still surprising.
Some houses just let us in to yell at us or challenge our faith. And all you have to hold onto is your burning testimony that sometimes doesn't even get to them because they are so turned off from the spirit.Or they do not even breath between what they say to hear you. I have really had to adjust how I teach with people that do not believe in God. And it is very hard to extend a commitment to pray and have them reject it completely. Explaining how it would be pointless and they did not even want to try to see what they could loose. At the start of my mission things like that would really frustrate me but now it really just gives me a lot of "pena".....sadness, worried about what will happen to them, pain from thinking how sad our Father in Heaven must feel when others reject the chance to communicate with him.
It hurts but I know that I have already chosen who I follow. I have crossed the line. I do not need applause. I live by faith. I am edified by prayer. My path is hard, my mission is clear. I will not complain about the sacrifice. I will be obedient till my last day. I feel as though I can speak so boldly because this road has brought me the most happiness in this life. We are not promised an easy road....just a destination. I invite you to ponder this destination. Eternal life, a happiness that does not know an end.....forever, with God and your family. Do you want to be happy? --- Live the gospel.
3 Nephi 5:13
Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life. 

(As my sister would say) FUN FACT: I had already met Gerald's dad. He was lost in my old sector, Hualqui. We helped him find the way to where he was going.
My comp and I also got asked to go out with the 2 new sister missionaries this transfer and so a mini exchange with them for the new missionary conference. I got to be with a friend of a mutual friend from BYU! That is the cute blonde girl in the selfie with me.
The baptism picture is of a man I taught all the way back in my first sector who was fighting addictions. He finally did it!!! His wife was so diligent with him and us.
There was 4 investigatores in the church Sunday with a baptism date! We are committed to have 5 next Sunday!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Gerald got baptized!

It was a wonderful Saturday. The general conference started at 1 here for us and then the 2nd session at 5. So when we finished at 7 we ran over from the stake center to our ward in Collao for the baptism of Gerald at 7:30. He did not want to wear his white clothes in the picture because the kind Elders accidentally gave us pants about twice his size to use. It all worked out though. Also, But you gotta give him credit for his suit. He bought it just for the day. Also none of his family are members so it was a great achievement to have them participating and happy for him.
I can not say that this was my favorite baptism but a very very special one. It was a hard move to go to Collao and the number one thing I wanted to do was find my purpose of having to be there....even earlier than the normal transfers. And Hermana Parkin and I were able to find him my very first full day in Collao. That is also something extra special about this baptism. We found him together and were there with him until the end.
He made it happen in 6 weeks. And they were not an easy 6 weeks. He was super prepared of course but just had a lot of changed to make. We were there for him when he fell, though. He felt some pretty heavy pressure at work to take a drink with all the guys during the weekend of Chile's Independence Day. We were verifying how he was doing with all of his commitments one day before a lesson and he told us where he had slipped up. He was heart broken. We did not even have to help him realized the disappointment he needed to feel. He felt so very guilty and wanted to take it away so badly. We had planed to teach about tithing and fast offerings but we shared Enos instead. As we were about 1/2 into the lesson he had this huge click moment when we looked up from where he was reading and said, "Wow, this applies right to me!" Almost in every lesson now he makes a reference to Enos. He loves the book of Enos and he loved how he knew where he could give his pains toand be freed from them. When we told him we would be moving his baptism a bit for what had happened he did not get sad only excited and touched that we would move it just for him and his needs. 

I think it was also so a beautiful blessing because Gerald is so young. He is basically our age. So the gospel relates to us in our lives in a lot of the same ways. He is just 22 and it is awesome that he will have so many blessings to partake of. And will be able to bless his future family so much as a priesthood holder. He always gets a bit emotional when we promise blessings that he will receive for his future family with all of his sacrifices he is making now. Who knows.....the mission could even be in his plans. We have already told him we want him to join us for a few lessons with other investigators to help them with their doubts. He was more than excited. He started just laughing with joy as he said yes.
Hermana Parkin sang a song for the baptism and I played the piano for her.....okay that is kind of a lie. It would make my mom really happy but Hermana Parkin just recorded the song fist on the piano and I just had to push play. But I took advantage of the situation and put on a good show as if I was playing.