Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Work in El Pino

This week I did an interesting little study with the old teaching records in the area book.  Of the 118 records of unbaptized old investigators in El Pino, 111 did not keep the very first three commitments on the record- first to read the Book of Mormon, second to pray to know that it is true and third attend Church.  That is 94%.  I also asked the other missionaries in the district to bring their records to district meeting but found that none of them had more than 15 records.  I have found that destroying old records is a serious problem.  I didn't include their records in the final count because they skewed the data because only the "good ones" were left.  Anyway, it really made me realize how important those three commitments are.  I know that anyone who reads the Book of Mormon, prays with real intent, and goes to Church will know that this Church is true and will have the desire to be baptized.  A renewed focus on these commitments has made me a better disciple of Christ.

As far as service goes, we are continuing with the English class, but that is all of the organized service we have done this week.  We are also considering starting an addiction recovery class.

El Pino is continuing to progress with a record number of people in Church this week.  A nice, round 120.  We had the overflow opened and three rows of chairs filled.  The family we have been working with will be interviewed for baptism on Saturday.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Trip to the "Jungle"

I'm doing great and my toe is as well.  We actually had a great activity today.  We went to the "living jungle."  It was an indoor imitation of a jungle environment with parrots and other birds, caiman, turtles, fish, frogs, lizards, and a butterfly house.  Mom would not have liked it. One of the guides wrapped a python around my neck.  I loved it of course.

We got some bad news about the family we have been working with. We found out that the lady is still drinking tea. She could quit smoking but she is having a really hard time quitting tea. Their baptism is still scheduled for the 30th and we have been fasting and praying for the family. On a brighter note, my companion realized this week how many miracles we have seen. We contact often, but it seems like more people have found us in place of us finding them. They have come to us asking us to pray for them, or asking for our book, or asking for a visit. It's incredible. We feel very blessed.

Sorry it's not much this week.  A lot of people wrote me and I am out of time.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Preparation Days are now Wednesdays

The mission has moved preparation days from Monday to Wednesday to better accommodate temple attendance by the missionaries and to better allow them to take advantage of cultural activities in Santiago. According to the mission newsletter, since the temple and most museums and other cultural sites are closed on Mondays, Wednesday will allow the missionaries more opportunities to experience Chile. His emails will now come on Wednesdays, and blog posts will follow.

Ben did have an ingrown toenail removed last week and is doing very well. The procedure was performed by a missionary doctor from the U.S.  He says he hasn't missed any work and he has no pain.

From his email:

This week I started studying scriptures to use in the Preach My Gospel lessons and noting them in a pocket notebook to study throughout the day. I also copied in the scriptures I have memorized. The goal was to increase my knowledge and usage of the scriptures (obviously), but also to help myself be more diligent with my usage of time. If I find myself bored waiting for something I take out my notebook and study a little bit. I have found it to be a great tool, and it has helped me become a better disciple of Christ.

It was another productive week in El Pino. The family we have been working with is continuing to progress. Last Friday, we taught about obeying and honoring the law because we only had a little bit of time before correlation meeting and it was one of the few lessons that they still needed. I was surprised when the lesson ended with the mom asking when she could be baptized. We set the date for August 30 and did a practice baptismal interview immediately. We were very late to correlation meeting, but I think it was worth it. It amazes me how the Spirit can change any lesson to a baptismal invitation. We also had a reactivation this week and as one of the formerly less-active members that we had been working with accepted a calling as Relief Society Secretary.

We helped a less-active member move as a service project this week. Unfortunately for us, we helped him move outside of our sector. We already miss him, but it was a great service opportunity.