Monday, August 31, 2015

Goodbye August...hello more miracles in September!

Another photo with Canelo! (Seriously the cutest dog ever)

Hello everybody and goodbye august!
August was a pretty good month. September's gonna be even better!
This week are transfers, but I'm stayin' here in Paso Ancho! And my kid Elder Gonzales's sticking around for another transfer, too! That surprised me a lot because normally when a new missionary finishes his training, he or the trainer has changes, but we're just chilling together still! So I'm pretty excited. It'll be great to have 6 weeks with a companion where we've already got the rhythm and everything down.
So this week we saw some super awesome miracles. I have just seen how the Spirit touches the hearts of people.

For example we have this great investigator! And she has been doing everything and steadily receiving her testimony. But she kept saying that she was "50% sure" or "50% ready to be baptized" When, really, she had her answer already! Anyways, on Saturday night, she called the member that we've been working with with her, and told him that she had felt the firm impression that she needs to get baptized, now. Even though there's some barriers she knows that she's gotta get baptized! And her 2 sons are also doing well. So it seems like the 3 of them are gonna get baptized in September.

A lot of things like that! They were literally miracles! Nothing about showing people how they need to do anything, simply seeing the desire grow out of them out of nothing! it's been really great and I can see that the Lord is really prospering our district. we have a lot of really great possibilities for baptisms in September.
It's honestly just been an incredible time here in Paso Ancho. On Sunday we had an attendance of 136, which is a new record. It's a really high attendance and it looks like it's staying there! There were enough seats for approximately 5 more people. So things are looking good for our goal here, the expansion of the chapel. Apart from that, people are bringing friends to the church, and we're meeting people who want to come back to church, and everything's just working! It really is a testimony to me that God's will can't be frustrated.
There's a scripture which I love in Alma 50 (or maybe it was 51), that talks about the time that the people were living as being the happiest time that had existed among the Nephites. That's pretty much how I feel! We have to be sent challenges, and that's a part of life, but God also gives us times to enjoy and just have things go right.
I love you all! Have a wonderful week.
My new epic chess set! My companion always makes me be the conquistadores =(

Missionaries with Jackilyn!

Elders with Lorena!


Monday, August 24, 2015

I love Paso Ancho!

Tracting this week

Hey everyone! I don't have too much time this week (too busy seeing all the wedding fotos), but I wanted to share 2 things.

Number 1. I've been here in Paso Ancho for 4 months now. When I got here, the ward had 1 convert in the first 5 months of the year, and the attendance was about 85-100. This Sunday we had an attendance of 134, and instead of 1 convert, there's 9. It has been so wonderful to see the miracles happen in this ward. 50% raise in attendance, people joining the Church, and just a huge change in the attitude of the ward. After church, it's now normal to see the majority of the people associating with each other and making new friends. It has been so great, and wonderful to see that I've been permitted to be a part of God's plans in this ward.
Zona Los Yoses!
Service Project!

 211 Selfie with Marcos :) 
 215 Garuto! My favorite cat here. It's like a man version of Tina!
 221 We made some rockin homemade juice! No pitcher? no problem! Laffy Taffy's got the answer.
223 Chillin under a fruit tree!
224 Elder Gonzalez with Canelo!
268 Happy birthday, Hermana Turner!!

Number 2.

First off, an explanation of the week
This week has been great. Just absolutely wonderful. When the days have ended, I have been wishing that we had had 3 or 4 hours more to work. I've just felt absolutely wonderful. Area's going well, my kid is doing well, the District did well, everything is awesome! I am absolutely in love with being a missionary. In love!

That ties in with the second thing, a sweet experience from this week.
On Friday, one of the missionaries in my district was pretty down. She had had a rough few days. I talked with her and did what I could, but felt pretty helpless. I remember in my night prayer asking specifically that she could feel how I've felt these days about working, and about being a missionary. with that, I hit the hay and life kept on goin.
Then, Saturday night rolls around! While talking (I talk with my missionaries every night), she told me that she had something way awesome to tell me. Ok, what is it? She told me that she had had a great day that day. Awesome! But the next words that came out of her mouth floored me. She said something like this: "Elder Henry, it has been so great today. I just feel exactly like you did yesterday! I felt like the day went by too fast! I wanted more time to work!"
It was a real testimony of how God answers prayers. And when we pray for specific things, it's really easy to see his hand when He does answer. 
I love this work. I know that, truly, when we are in the service of our fellowman, we are in the service of our God. I have felt so uplifted as I forget about myself and just try to help others. Sometimes my companion makes fun of me, because our nightly prayers take so long as I pray for them, name by name.
I love you all and hope you have a great week!--Elder Henry

Welcome to the ZOO!

240 Hey, jaguar friend!
242 Somebody wanted to eat me!
 229 First station, exotic birds!
232 The big birds like this one in the zoo weren't in cages for the most part, just chillin there on wood structures.
236 Hey there Simba!
 253 Just a funky flower that you don't see back home
 230 Turtles have some crazy parties

 277 More cat friends :-)
278 He hopped from my bag to Elder Gonzalez's!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I feel like Spongebob!

Photos wouldn't work this week, so here is one from an awesome member a couple weeks ago =)

This week was fun. It got kicked off with a good Monday and Tuesday, but the fun stuff started Wednesday.

We had a multi-zone conference with President Duncan! (Area President). It was really great. I got a lot of good ideas out of it, and I liked that he focused a lot on Faith in Jesus Christ. That we shouldn't be jumping to the topic of baptism before we teach them about faith and repentance. All in all, it was awesome. Lots of good new stuff to work with.

Then on Thursday we started the day off early with service at 8:30 in the morning, and we rushed around to finish lunch to head off and do an interview at 1 PM which then got canceled when we were about 30 second from the bus, so the day calmed down and we got some good work done. We found a new investigator who's super awesome. She lives with her grandma, because her mom died when she was little, so we're excited to go back and keep explaining her about the Plan of Salvation and how she can be with her mom forever.

On Friday we went to Los Tirrases! Which took forever. From Central Park, the bus took like an hour and 15 minutes. So we get there to do the interview and when we show up to the house, they weren't there :( So we headed on back to our area. We got back super late, at 6:30, but we were still able to fit in 4 lessons.

Then Saturday and Sunday were pretty normal days.

I think that I've turned into Spongebob.

The mission is funny because it sounds really, really routine. Wake up at the same time every day to study at the same time then eat and head out to work at the same time all day and we don't get payed! Exactly like Spongebob :-) But as I've given all I have to the Lord, I've seen that he fills me with joy. I simply enjoy it! I can forget about time and everything about life, and just focus on a few people looking to have a better life and a few missionaries to become better missionaries, and better people. 

I'm ready I'm ready I'm ready!

I've been reading a ton in Matthew this week, and It's been really interesting to me to see the dialogue between the Pharisees and Jesus. It makes me think a lot about the relationship between obedience and grace. The Pharisees were (ridiculously) obedient to the rules, but simply didn't understand the principle of grace. Christ paid for all of our sins, and nothing that we do pays for them. We could never! Our obedience is supposed to be a token of our love and dedication to follow Christ, but if we don't do it out of love, then it's not really useful. I've felt a change in my personal happiness and I've felt more fulfilled as I've started to obey simply out of love instead of obeying because A. I have to do it or B. because there's a present waiting for me.

I love you all! Have a great week.
Elder Henry

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Do Your Best, God Will Take Care of the Rest

Ran into some of our friends from the west mission in central park!

Ezequiel's baptism :)

Check out the size of that cactus! WHAT?!

We found a church! (we went to San Francisco to do an interview).

more San Francisco exploring, some fun looking shrubbery.

Dance Alliance performance!

Sunbrella! The sun was super hot so my comp whipped out his umbrella so that he wouldn't burn... which made me laugh. :-)

Making Venezuelan arepas with the Alvarado family! Yumm
Hey everyone! I'm sorry that this letter is gonna be real small, the time seems to have escaped me today. (He had some surveys to fill out before he could write, he wasn't wasting his time =) )

This week we got to go see Dance Alliance! (the traveling dance group from BYU-Idaho). That was something super unexpected (I never thought we'd have permission to go) but really enjoyable. It made me remember that, sometimes, we get so focused as missionaries on the work and numbers and this and that that we don't take time anymore to just enjoy the beautiful things of life.

Aside from that, it's just been getting used to my duties as a District Leader. I got a little stressed out but remembered that the important part is doing our best, and trusting that God really will take care of the rest. I know that God will touch the hearts of people and of my missionaries, too, if I'm doing all I know how to do and trying to work through the Spirit.

I love you all a ton! August is gonna be a great month. Have a nice week!

-Elder Henry