Thursday, February 25, 2010

I'm Getting Married!

It's official, I will soon be Cari Ann Enesa. My husband to be is Desmond Troy Enesa, aka Dez, born and raised right here in Hawaii. He's working construction full time as of now(if anyone knows of any jobs on the mainland in that field let us know!) We met back the first week of August at the BYUH gym (he had a class with one of my roommates who introduced us) It wasn't until my surfing accident (9 staples in my calf from my fin) that I had to let him help me because I was on crutches and useless which gave him the opening to show me how much he cared. Thats when the L word came into play. LOVE. Now we're making our plans to seal the eternal deal. We're not sure exactly when, but maybe the fall(september, right before my last semester at BYUH.) but who knows. I'll keep everyone posted! Much Love

-Cari Ann

Monday, February 22, 2010

From Kent 2/22

Cumpleaños Feliz!‏

¡Hola Familia!

Happy Breathday to the Yohanne! (dos días atrás, disculpeme)

Great to hear about the packed dance, that's fantastic! It's always great when lots of people come to things. That hasn't quite been the case with our English class, it's dwindled to a steady 6 people, but at least now we can judge their level and teach to their needs instead of just sticking with basics. Should be good stuff!

This last week we had Mission Conference and it was verily nice. It's always great to have the conference and hear from the Presidents, and to know of the things that we need to focus on now in the mission. There's no doubt of revelation every time we have conference. It's going to be very weird to be getting a new president come June/July. Word on the street is that he's Gringo (and just by looking, over the last five months the percentage of Latinos to Gringos in the mission has dramatically dropped to below 10%) It's very strange at times to just sit back, think, and realize that I am understanding perfectly a different language. I can't put a mark on when the change happened, but I'd say around 2 1/2 months in Chile it became natural.

The Stake President came down with something awful over the week, so we're postponing the baptism of Jean Pierre and Kevin until next week (Ay, the original plan was 31st of January, but things are progressing, better to have them ready and have strong support in the family than to baptize them without a sure foundation)

There's been a shift in pre-supposed roles with Francisca and her family. From what we heard with the other Elders, they'd worked more with Francisca and she was the one with the interest in Church and such, but Fabiola (Mother, inactive member) was wishy washy, didn't really like it and such. Since we've been meeting with them, Fabiola's been the one to work harder to get everyone coming to Church. We had a great lesson with her Saturday night in general about reading the Book of Mormon and going to Church. She said that she didn't really feel the desires to read the Book of Mormon etc., and she doesn't like going to Church because she feels uncomfortable and judged by the members (she hasn't gone forever, isn't married, etc.) We shared 1 Nefi 8: 33-34 (People in the Great and Spacious mocking those partaking of fruit, "but we heeded them not") and she really had a big change. She really liked it and just paused for a while, read it a couple more times and said "I like that." So the next morning she had gotten up earlier than usual, and although Francisca did NOT want to go to Church, she continued strong to punishment stage.

Note: The virtue of "nice" and "you don't want to force anyone" has been tremendously blasted and inflated here to the point that when children (albeit 7 or 8 years old) don't want to go to Church the parents say "Well, I don't want him to go if he doesn't want to" etc. I however believe strongly in yes, you do force your children to do what's right so that they CAN learn, so that they'll understand and so that they will have the desires to do it.

So this was very relieving to see her say "If you don't come you're grounded for the week and are staying in the house." When youth don't have strong support from the parents it's very difficult for them to stay active. Francisca also has a friend, Mirko, who is currently searching for the true Church of God, because he doesn't feel that it's any of the one's he's been to, so he related very well to the Joseph Smith story.

We were contacting out in booneysville (farthest corner of our sector) earlier this week in the rain and came across Natali. She's 25 or so, hasn't gone to her Evangelical crossbreed church for over a year and really liked what we had to share. It was a liiittle bit tricky explaining the need for authority and that it doesn't come from just everywhere or anywhere, but she did really like the idea of the restoration and that Prophets do exist today. It'll be slightly tricky getting her to Church just because she lives so far off, but she said that she wants to, we just need to get a nearby member involved to help out.

I felt the strange desire and curiosity to see how Edith was doing a few days ago. The last time it was raining, Elder Law and I contacted a random house, very far back and buried behind a yard in a backstreet and a 90-something year old lady came out of the house with an umbrella, almost falling over in the wind to talk with us, to tell us that she'd love to but she's alone right now. Touched by her selfless concern and politeness, we went back a few days later to find her daughter, Edith. Edith had been Church hunting for the past few years and found the Baptists and got baptized there three years ago and was telling us of the mighty change she had had, etc. In talking she came to the realization that the only Church she hadn't attended or investigated was The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She then told us, in the contact, that she was now curious, that she had come out with the intention to tell us no, but something was calling her attention to investigate a bit, to meet with us again and to read some of the Book of Mormon. She then left for a 2 week vacation with the plan to drop the Book of Mormon off with her daughter who's a member with a no thank you, but forgot. When we came by yesterday (one day after she got back, I had lost complete track of when the last time we had talked with her was) she invited us in, but before we taught anything she said that she probably wasn't going to change or anything because she was satisfied with her Church. Near the end of the lesson however, she remembered how she felt when we first came by and then told us that her original intention was to just tell us at the gate that she wasn't interested, but in seeing us got happy and excited and invited us in anyway. We explained that this was the Holy Ghost telling her to learn more and investigate, and she said it probably was because ours is the only Church she hasn't looked at, and she hasn't had these strange desires to read and learn more. Despite that she looks 40, she turned 60 over the weekend, so it's a bit surprising that she has so much open-mindedness because most people after 30 or 40 trust highly in their "experience." So we'll be passing by her more often.

We've a lesson with Yasna tonight, turns out she has been reading and praying every day, just has been work swamped, but in having shared some pictures with a work friend has really wanted to start meeting with us again and going to Church, because her friend is now meeting with the missionaries. We'll have to review everything I think just because it's been two months, but she's great. These last few weeks we've learned the virtue of getting everyone's phone number and calling them, even though we have to do it from the money-hungry pay phones.

Take luck, loves ya loves ya!

Elder Kent Pimentel

(Description of photos)
Marcela's stay here in Chiguayante came to an end, so we passed the reference off to the mission where she lives and she has strong desires to keep attending curch and meeting with the missionaries. :)

It's been extremely foggy in the mornings, and we looked up today and saw the sun perfectly, a white circle in the sky but with so much fog you could stare straight at it without any pain or discomfort. Didn't work so well in the picture, but still very neat.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

From Kent 2/8

Subject: ¡Hola Familia!‏

Mi querida flamia, (flammy en español)

Congratulations to Dad for landing Sir Joseph in Pinafore! I must say I'm quite a fan of dear Gilbert and Sullivan, that'll be a blast! It seems like the house just isn't the place to be anymore, what with Mom running off to dance camps left and right, Daniel to orchestra trips, and Dad to rehearsals. I do fear that Sunny in her teenage rebellion just might take up smoking and make friends with the wrong crowd. Get her curfew solid and monitor her internet chatting.

Tierra Bella continues to flourish, we've had some wonderful things a-happen lately! First off, I got a very uplifting letter from one of my non-member friends who's now taking her second institute class (She's in an LDS Sorority and the U) and thoroughly enjoying it. We were in rather poor spirits Tuesday and Wednesday because it appeared that things with Jean Pierre and Kevin were going nowhere, the son of Delia told us that he didn't want to go to Church anymore because his grandma gets mad about it, and that Delia didn't either. We talked with her and she told us she was too busy and couldn't do anything until next week, which was extremely different and odd behavior from her norm. However, Thursday trangled along and things all flipped.

We found Delia in the park and talked with her and she actually just was really busy and stressed out that day, she was happy to see us, and we had just ran into a member that we had planned to get to know her three minutes earlier. So we went over to their house and the whole family got to know her and make her feel welcome to the house and everything. Talking with her afterward she told us that she didn't go because she still just felt shy because she didn't know anyone, but now she does. We also went over a few of the core reasons why we go to Church, explained more of the Atonement, authority, the Sacrament, etc. At times I feel we as members take for granted our understanding of the Gospel and somewhat expect others to get it quickly and easily. It was interesting having to work hard to get down to core things again to help her understand. She's extremely sensitive to The Spirit, though doesn't have much knowledge of what is Christianity, but that night really started to click and she got it.

We also (Thursday) found a gem, yea, even a diamond shining brilliantly against a black velvet. (The poetic metaphor that Preach My Gospel uses to describe the Restoration when contrasted with the Apostasy). Her name is Cynthia. We actually found her three or four weeks ago when we were doing a Mission Table (that sounds so much cooler in Spanish) and offered the six free pictures of Jesus. She's the nicest person ever, about 28 or so years old, and is pretty much already a member that just isn't baptized. Finally we were able to get in contact with her (she hadn't been home the many times we contacted her house) and had a wonderful lesson with her. Turns out she actually knows a lot about the Church, and had gone regularly as a child, but her father didn't like it. She loves all the emphasis the Church has on the family, not changing doctrine to be accepted by the world, etc. She knows one of the members in the Ward, wants to come to Church, and accepted a baptismal date right off the bat. We're quite certain she will be Young Women's President within three months. As we were leaving she asked us what were the things in the Word of Wisdom just to make sure she was already good, because she had been living what she remembered when she was taught years and years ago. She was good, so that won't be a problem. We have an FHE with her tonight.

There was a family that the Elders in a neighboring ward were teaching that moved here into our Sector a few weeks ago with whom we got in contact. The mom, Fabiola, is an inactive member, and she has a daughter Francisca, 15 years old, that the Elders had been teaching. She had attended (if I ever write ''assisted'' I mean attended. The Spanish word for attend is ''asistir'') two times in the other ward (Chiguayante). For the first time we were able to get the whole family to come to Church! Usually only Francisca had come. Fabiola has the desires to get things straightened out in her life, just has a bit of hesitance to have to talk with a Bishop for it all. Francisca is highly outgoing, (and easy on the eyes) and as a result four of the Young Men came up to us after Church asking when they could accompany us to help teach her, with great enthusiasm ;). Francisca really just needs to have some friends, she says she knows that what we teach is true, but she doesn't feel ready for baptism yet.

So we implemented our latest tool: ''Un efecto más potente.'' This device has been in the making for some two or so weeks, and after beta testing we have decided to release for field use. It's a calendar-type thing for members to fellowship the investigators. Under direction of the Spirit we ''assign'' certain members/families to get in contact with the investigators and there are ideas every day for things they can do with them, such as FHE's, just passing by to talk, leaving a note, watching a movie (of the church or otherwise), leaving some type baked good, going shopping, etc. etc. So far results have been positive, the key thing to do is to make sure that the members don't do it in a way that's overwhelming or obligated, giving them a flexibility to choose things to do while at the same time not allowing slothfulness to seep in. All too often there are converts that make great friends with the missionaries, and so when the missionaries leave they don't have a strong root to get them to Church on the hard days, which gets them rolling into a quick pattern that leads to inactivity.

As far as transfers go, there's one every six weeks, but that doesn't mean that people change sectors every six weeks. Usually people stay in a sector for six months, or four transfers. Generally when someone moves to a new sector, their new companion has been there for three months already, or two transfers. Rarely is it different, but here and there someone will stay up to 7 1/2 months, or only three.

We were able to have a lesson with Karen and Claudio and they are sharp. We explained the pattern of prophets and authority and they clicked quickly that there had definitely been an apostasy, and were relieved to hear about the Book of Mormon. Karen said ''It makes so much sense! Think about it: The Bible only talks about the Eastern continent as if the Americas didn't even exist.'' Claudio was raised Catholic but recognized that we are servants of God and wanted to listen to us. (Usually husbands/fathers don't want to listen to missionaries or have anyone in their family doing so). It's going to be tricky for them though because he's still married to someone else and the papers to get legally divorced are still pending, they've been waiting two years already. It's a horrific mess and hassle divorce, I think for that reason most people are hesitant to get married in the first place. (That might be a good thing, except for the fact that there are lots of families that aren't married). They committed to pray and read the Book of Mormon (Karen had the guns -Ganas en español- to read the whole thing, Claudio not so much so we gave him a calendar with core doctrines and important passages). Very very sincere and humble people that are ready for the Gospel.

We've been feeling and seeing God's hand in His work very much of late. Know that This is His Church and that He lives. Jesus is His Son, The Christ.


Elder Kent Pimentel

P.S. We got in contact with Yasna, apparently she's overswamped with work at the Mall, but gave a few pictures of Jesus to a friend at work, who is now investigating the Church and progressing well, and pressuring her to make the time to do likewise.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Big Changes in Germany Berlin Mission

We have learned within the last few days, that on July 1, the Germany Berlin Mission area will be expanded to take in the area of the Germany Hamburg Mission, which will be dissolved as a separate unit. Berlin will remain the mission headquarters and I will remain the mission president of the newly combined mission. It will double the number of missionaries in our mission and more than double the territory we will cover. It came as a big surprise, but comes right from the top - approved by the First Presidency. This change and other mission changes will be publicly announced in the 13 Feb. Church News. We were asked to announce it to all our missionaries first, which we completed this week, and can now share the information with you and others as appropriate. Wish us luck and pray for us. We are going to need it. Love, Uncle Jay

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Grandma's Home!

Grandma has a brand new knee! Her doctor says she is the new poster patient for joint replacement and released her to go home this afternoon. She is being very patient with her amateur caregivers.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

from Kent 2/1

Subject: ''...para que tal vez podamos''‏

¡Hola de nuevo!

It's been a better week than usual, better lessons, more contacting, more lessons, etc., but that ol' problem keeps rolling around called going to Church. So this week we're going to focus seriously on having as many lessons as possible in houses of members and having the members do things to be friends with them. A lot of the investigators are a bit uneasy simply because they don't know anyone there at Church. We're also going to focus teaching a lot more of the Atonement and Sacrament, as well as Commandments 1&4. We had our interviews with the President last week; it's bizarre to think we're in the last week of our first cambio (transfer) together, halfway through our companionship. The time is zipping by ridiculously too fast, there is no time to lose.

Yesterday was fantastic, notwithstanding the low turnout of attendance to Church. Kaori (the cousin of a ward missionary) was the only investigator who came, and man is she good for it all. We just need to really sit down with that father of hers and get the permission. There was a very good talk given about the need for all members to help in the missionary work by the 1st Counselor, and he used our motto from Alma 31:5 ''Un efecto más potente.'' The family we had lunch with committed to invite their neighbors to an FHE with us (though it was tough for them to do). They're a fantastic family and have a son out in Santiago on his mission, and he is just FANTASTIC! He was ward mission leader here before his mission and from everything I've heard he's amazing, and in every letter he writes them he keeps telling them ''You have to do more to share the Gospel!'' So that should be great! We also talked with one of the parking lot attendants by the grocery store (it's named BIGGER -yes in English-) and he told us that he wants to join the Mormons. He was asking what were the things he had to do, so we explained a bit and have appointments set up for this week. We also met some of the members talking to one of their friends in the street and then we started talking with him. He was very interested in everything about the Church, saying how he's seen that his friends ''have something different, something beautiful'' and that he wanted it. So we set up appointments to start teaching him in the house of the members, and he was very excited about going to Church.

Funny funny thing! Every time we have a lesson with Jean Pierre and Kevin (grandsons of the Stake President) they always ask in the prayer to bless the missionaries, that they may have many sons and daughters, and that they'll grow up healthy and strong. They're 10 and 8 mind you. There's also a food item/treat that I've discovered lately, it's called Mote con Huesillos. It's one or two dried peaches put into a cup of juice (like the water type when we have it preserved in the fruit room) and a bunch of puffed wheat, all in the cup. It's actually very very good.

The English class was a success! 25 people showed up, 9 of them non-members, but with interests more or less to come to Church. We're going to meet with them this week a bit more to see if we can teach them. We're great friends with these two people that run a sandwich shop on the corner, nicest people you'll ever meet, and Jessica (one of the workers) came to the class and loved it, and we found out later that she was talking with one of the members in the class and wanted to come to Church! We taught them how to present themselves and how to pray in English. This week we're going to go over pronunciation and pronouns. It was very interesting, I'm used to everyone here speaking Spanish, so when in the class they were speaking English with Chilean accents, it was as if they were different people, a different personality.

Progress Reports:
• Kaori- so far is our best- 9 years old, but very mature for her age, blessed with the abilities of listening and understanding. She really wants to get baptized and is actually inviting her other friends to Church as well.
• Jean Pierre- Ready to go, the problem is his mom is easy to be persuaded to the beach by friends and cousins. On sundays. So we're going to need a specific just with her lesson that isn't lowered down to the kid level. She knows it's necessary and wants to support them, just a slight lack of diligence. I'm thinking the ''More Diligent and Concerned at Home'' talk will help.
• Delia- Still very difficult fo find, she gets home around 9 some nights, others 11, and may or may not have to work Sundays, she never knows until 10 the night before (when we have to be home) She still is reading every day and loves it, though her mom is super Evangelical, so we can't teach the lessons in her house. That's actually better though, because now we HAVE to be with members. Her son, Felipe wants to come to Church and be baptized as well, and her niece Avivana as well.
• Cecelia- Not so great this week, both our appointments fell through but she's still nice to us and likes to talk with us, we're guessing something her husband said or what-not, so we're gunning to share with him this week. But she does feel the Church is true and likes all the family emphasis.
• Suzana- She's about 40 years old, asked for pictures of Jesus a few weeks ago and we were able to find her (por fin) and teach a lesson. She said she wants to learn more and get to know the Church (she lives very very close, that's a bonus). She has a great Christian upbringing, not solidly related to a Church (Catholic, but not diehard Catholic, just diehard Christian), learned to read with the Bible, read it cover to cover before 10 years old. Trick with her is that she's not married, but she understands and feels that it's wrong and that she needs to get married, so that's great. Not often at home though.
• Karin & Claudio- Young family that we found sunday night (week ago), have a son and currently have been questioning Catholic roots, specifically about baptism. They're having a bit of a struggle in the marriage right now so are turning to Christ for help. They really want to learn more, but both work Sundays, so it'll be tricky, but not impossible.
Be good, have fun, keep your elbows off the table, chew with your mouth closed, remember who you are and what you stand for, don't let it get you down.
The Gospel's true, God loves you, so do I.
Have a good day, doo good work, love ya love ya!

Elder Kent Pimentel