Monday, February 22, 2010
From Kent 2/22
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.
Posted by Gary at 7:01 PM