(photos by Connor's companion, Elder Holt)
Wow! Another great week :D
The four missionaries in our branch climbed into a member´s cherry tree for an hour and we picked a lot of cherries. It was really relaxing just sitting in the tree. It´s amazing how many of those little berries can hide among the leaves. Missionary work is like that too. There are lots and lots of people who are prepared. We just got to keep looking, and before we know it, we found a few more right above our heads.
My companion, Elder Holt, is just as awesome as usual. A bishop from Punta Arenas, Bishop Carasco, is on vacation here, and he accompanied us to teach the lady we met a few weeks ago. She´s been struggling to quit smoking, and we haven´t been able to visit her much because it´s really hard to get members to visit with us. We did a special fast with her, along with Bishop Carasco, so she would have the strength to quit. I hope she´s doing well. We´ll probably pass by tomorrow.
This past Friday Elder M Russell Ballard (one of the 12 apostles) and President Rasband spoke to the Melchizedek Priesthood holders in the whole South America South area (which includes Paraguay, Uraguay, Argentina, and Chile). There are a lot of inactive members in the area.
President Rasband spoke about President Monson´s declaration that the Lord is hastening his work. President Monson said that this would be possible through a variety of means. President Rasband said one of these means is technology. Cell phones aren´t just for calling people, it is a powerful tool for spreading the gospel. He had everyone hold their cell phones up—which are just as nice here as they are in the USA. People in Chile work very long hours just to provide for their families. President Rasband expressed that the leaders are aware of this. That´s why technology is so amazing! It´s so convenient!
President Rasband told us he has over 700 friends on Facebook who are returned missionaries from the mission in which he served as mission president. He made sure to friend every one of them. Although he´s very busy as a member of the Presidency of the 70, it´s so easy to keep in touch, and if a returned missionary posts something inappropriate, guess who´s going to respond—President Rasband!
He told us about people he was able to rescue through Facebook and gave examples on how we can do the same through simple texts such as "Brother Anderson, this is Brother Smith. How are you? We missed you in church. We have two great new missionaries in the ward. I´d love to present them to you. How does 7 o´clock this Tuesday sound?" Every home teacher and priesthood leader is responsible to be shepherds for the Lord´s sheep. That, along with reading Jacob 5 this week (and actually understanding a bit), made me so excited to be a part of this work at this time. I love being a missionary right now.
Elder Ballard´s talk was incredible! Basically, we´re all going to die, so repent. The angels on the other side of the veil are just as hastened in missionary work as we ought to be. We need to be doing everything we can, also praying to the Lord for help. Sometimes the answer is not so obvious because it seems out of our comfort zone. At the start of this transfer, I definitely felt uncomfortable as we pushed to talk to 10 new people each day and invite them to come unto Christ. However, we´re seeing the fruits. We´ve had great lessons with people who we would have never ever met if we were not opening our mouths. This is one of the most incredible times in the history of the Earth. The Lord has prepared ways for YOU to rescue and invite, teaching of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Don´t miss it!
I´m over time now, but know that I love all of you :D