Wednesday, June 17, 2015

6.17.2015 Santiago News Continued

Funny thing happened this week. I went to one house, where this cute old lady lived, shes a member and she was in charge of giving us food. I was excited because i was really hungry. I went with my comp and with two other missionaries, latinos, one from peru the other from Chile. And also a member from our barrio, caesar, to give an imagine of this kid, he is about to leave for his mission, hes barely reaches my shoulder, he loves rapping, freestyle, and its one of the biggest personalities. lots of fun, he helps us a lot when we need a member to come us with to lessons. Well we all went, when we got to the house, it was very very short. I couldnt stand up straight. All the people of chile are just tiny, just tiny. haha So we all sit down, and she serves us this huge portion of stew. Just an awful amount. i prayed to finish it, haha, and it was a miracle i did. I was so happy i finished all the food. 

Then the old lady takes our plates, and tried to take ceasars spoon . HE said no, dont take it. She said, No you need a knife and fork for the steak. I just froze, like a deer in the headlights. The old lady left the room, and i just grabbed his shoulder and asked if their was more food coming. He said just smiled and so did the rest of the missionaries, I was like youve got to be kidding me. She came out, with new plates for each of us, rice and steak. IT was if she cooked a crockpot of rice for the each of us, and two pieces of steak for each. I thought i was going to die. haha I couldnt finish it, so when ever the old lady wasnt looking, caeser ate the food. Just grapped the spoon, and just poured the food down. hha After eating his own plate as well. I dont know where he put it all, it was actually amazing to watch. haha 
    
There are many spiritual moments, funny moments, difficult moments, sad moments, happy moments, and there all memories that i will cherish. Its been humbling to see the power of the Spirit affect and change hearts. This elderly lady we taught, first time just contacting on the street, we talked to her, and i just could feel the spirit guide everystep, evening to asking her if she would be baptized by the restored authority. You could just feel the spirit reach her heart, i could just see it work in her. She didnt say yes, but she is coming with us to church and accepted other invitations. Just from one contact, one lesson the spirit was so strong it changed her heart to action. Amazing to witness. There are many times where i know this mission is exactly where i need to be, there are many times where investigators, contacts, open their hearts and i know exactly how they felt, or feel. ITs growing my testimony in revelation. That my calling comes from God. 
      
I really do enjoy p-days, but i more enjoy the other days more, there are just so many unbelievable moments, where i just cant resist smiling and just saying, oh how i love the mission. Even in the bad moments. My partiarchel ( i dont know how to spell the word in english) blessing, helps me a lot to grow my testimony in Christ and their are words from God. Then i learned the greatest love is the love that drives us to action. That is the love i am trying to develop for all i come in contact with, its hard, but i keep trying. My invitation is to grow and develop that love, always remember Christ, when you say you have faith in Christ, follow Christ, and take His name upon you,  you are a representive of Him. So this week will you serve all that you meet? It doesnt how much, or how little, just serve in the name of Jesus Christ. 
                                                                        Love, 
                                                              Elder Rivera

6.17.2015 Testimony

 "Dear Family, 
          
I first bear my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its truthfulness, happiness and it is the one way to reach our goal to live with our Heavenly Father. Second, i bear my testimony of Jesus Christ, He is our Elder brother and our Savior and only through Him can we be saved from our state of corruption to perfection and happiness. The power of His atonement is infinite, it covers, expands further than we can imagine or comprohend. Confind in Him, and He will rejoice in your faithfulness. And know I love you all so much, and the greatest gift i can give to you is my own testimony. So i say this all in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." 

6.17.2015 Updates from Santiago

Dear everyone, 
           
I love you all so much! I hope you all had a fantastic week like i have! First this week I really took to heart that in order to come unto Christ I must know Him. I decided to study Christ and His works. I decided to read in the Bible. i read this great chpter in John 15. I realized as a disciple of Christ, i am a branch, while Christ in the ¨"vine."As a missionary, i have the privledge and calling to represent Christ. It helps me act the way i need to. One part of verse really hit me, verses 14 and 15. Christ refers us as friends, "YE ARE MY FRIENDS" These words touched my heart and grew my testimony of His love and that He is the Savior. And in verse 15 He states clearly He doesnt consider us servants, because servants dont know what their master does, they do things blindly. Thats not what Christ wants, that why Christ invites, invites. He wnts us to use our agency to choose Him, because only through that true faith can we grow. 

As a missionary i am here to invite all people to come unto Christ, through His teachings, and through His gospel we can know him and choose Him. Verse 27, "BECAUSE YE HAVE BEEN WITH ME FROM THE BEGINNING" I read this line I immeditely thought about the pre-life. We have been with Christ from the beginning, being on this earth is evidence of that. I cant imagine how it felt when Christ sid those words to His apostles. 
        
I love studying more and more every day, and my testimony has grown in Christ this past week. And i have learned more the missionary and man God wants me to be. This week we had an activity, called noche de hogar. In this activity i had a very short time to write a letter to my future family as if i was an old man and it was my last words to my family. Here it is, i want to share it with you. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

6.10.2015 Santiago News

Dear Everyone!
    
Hi, i love you all! So i just went through my first official week in the mission. It was full of ups and downs, miracles and amazing experiences. First, i want to share some spiritual experiences. First, we found this family while we were walking door to door. Well here everyone has gates, so we have to knock and then yell a couple times, hello!  i feel so rude yelling each time. haha but here its normal, its just how they get the attention of the people. so we met this family, a large family with a little girl, they let us in, which was a miracle itself, usually they never let us in on the first meeting. So it was exciting, the family turned out to be nonactive members of the church, newley discovered, miracle, then we started to share a message and the whole time it was really noisy with the little girls and the kids. But then my companion, started to share the first vision. And it became very quiet, and every just looked  at the photo of jospeh smith praying, even the little girl, Lindis age. She stood infront of the photo and just stared at the photo. Then when my companion finsihed the first vision, the little girl just looked up and said to my companion, el luz, the light. I was so atonished, the spirit testified so strongly the first vision to this amazing family. It had to power to calm the whole family. I testify of the power of the spirit testifying the first vision, its one of the things i read that testified to me This church is the Church of Christ. I truly do love reading Joseph Smith history. 

Second experience, we were teaching this other wonderful family, a great family, we they progressing great and they dont call me elder ever. They always call me Danny or Daniel. They know my first name and my companions. They call my companion elder, because they cant pronounce Ogden. Their own son is named Daniel as well, they like to call me their second son. They are sweet, and the father is a really funny, always teasing people, especially my companion. its really funny. Well, they were doing great, then we heard something had happened, the mother of the family told us she was told some stuff that made her mad. My companion and I knew someone had shared with her some false info on the church, we were nervous, but ready to help her. We went to their house, she then told us everything she was told and we were about ready to speak, when she spoke and said, I didnt believe any of it, its just not true, the person had no idea what she was talking about. I know you are representives of christ and are here to help. We sat their honestly astonished. 

Later my companion told me he never had a investigator react that way to false info about the church. She continued that with so much opposition in her life right now because she is progressing must be a sign she is on the right path. Again we were just smiling and astonished. We shared with her the frist vision of Joseph smith, she told she felt like joseph smith, that the darkness is coming right now, but the light will some come. My companion and I were just smiling the whole time, she has such strong faith, the family are so strong in faith, they were ready for christ to be in their lives. i am so happy for them. Also first sacrament sunday here in chile, i didnt expect much people since my companion told me only about thirty usually come. But we had the most people come, 58 people! it was another miracle, and we saw many inactive members we invited go to sacrament. Then to finish our sunday, the last contact we did, where we have gone often but were never invited in, we were finally invited in. 

We discovered a great family, we thought it was only one person living their. But an entire family was there, we talked for a long time, they are great parents with good kids. Teenagers. Sunday was filled with miracles with many new families to teach and investigators growing my faith. It was so great to see! I love being here. its great to see how the teachings of Christ help families be more united and really show their love for each other. One family we taught at a party, we didnt know they would have so much family over, but they wanted us to share a message, so we did. plan of salvation. an elderly lady

More info on my mission, there are many inactives here, many are baptized, but barely anyone actively participates, so we do a lot of visits with inactives. I have a great mission president , very wise. So like i said last letter in my mission we wake up at 7¨-30. Which is great, but my companion and i wake up ealier to have more time to workout. haha One of the passions we both share. We also in our free time at night workout more. haha we are probably the most fit missionaries. haha Also here the food is interesting,  Its like american food, i dont consider it latin. haha its american with latin influences, but trust me, nothing tastes like it does back home. haha its good, but man it can be so strange. Also i m drinking matte, its a herb drink. Its so so bitter, but its great for my stomach, and tastes better with sugar. And i have decided on a accent. haha Columbian. I want to have a columbian accent when i go back home, i dont want any other accent. haha Luckily my companion has a columbian accent. 

Till next week, i love you all! 

Love 

Elder Rivera

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

6.3.2015 Chapter 2

Dear everyone again, yes i have much time to write, i am pretty fast at writing, yes! haha First some info on my mission, we get up here at seven thirty. sweet right. also we do so many things for our p day. its great. ive been all over this giant, giant, giant city. ill send photos next time. But i love it. 

The house i live in is great, but out of the city in a much more peaceful town, like the town of grandma (moms). just like a biger version of santana. it has two rooms and a bunk bed, but tons of closet space and it happens that my companion and i are very consious about how we look. hahaha its funny. 

I really do enjoy my time here. I road the metro, crzy, crazy, so crazy. hahaha but fun. also i ate mexican tacos today, i know i know, im in chile and i eat mexican food, couldnt help it. haha Also i blend in pretty well, i saw castles and huge giant univerities, this city has everything. My companions name is Elder Ogden. Hes becoming a good friend. 

6.3.2015

dear everyone, 

super fun! left our home of alcantar super early in the morning. i felt extremely nervous and worried. then when i go to the mmeet the two assistants, i flet more comforable. we went to santaigo sur. okay one my sector is part of the outskirts of the city, which is nice. its fantastic here, i lov ethe people. we arrived at the cappila and met with president ook and his wife. super kind. Funy thing President cooks wife, takes everything serisoulsy, so president cook teasers her all the time. its hilarious. i have an amazing mission president. he truts in all of us to be super hard working and obediant, bt he teaches with firm love. its fantastic, he is very wise. okay i found out that my mission is the smallest mission of all south america. apparently i viewed the wrong map. haha its really small. TINY! 

the people here i have met are kind. also we record progress here differently, we are the first ones to do this type of pogress recording, the people over souith america missions is now approving this to other missions. my sector, or area of mission is the weakest, many many many inactvidos. i met this mazing kind, sweet family, not members, they let us in we talked. they really are a diamond. just amaing, i call them my miracle family, they have stayrd togother through everything, and have separeted themselves from wordly things, and they arent even members. mom, dad, and daughter of twenty three. amazingly kind and humble, and extremely funny. i couldnt stop laughing. my companion, is amazing, the best missionary. when i first saw all the trainers, i hoped it would be him to train me, i just felt he could teach me a lot. and when they said his name and mine. i was realy happy! i dont have apicture to send, my camera doesnt connect to this computer. but he looks just like a young luis miguel. ahaha hes told me everyone tells him that. we have many similarties in personality and what we like to do. its awsome. he just as passionite in exercise and working out as i am. this morning we worked out together in his home made gym. haha it was awesome. also hes set the bar high on the type of missionary and person i want to become during my mission. i am his laft companion. he leaves on the day i will complete two years of being a member of the church. and hes from utah, and he going to leave in orem and go to uvu, and we have so many more connections, i feel like we will be very good friends even after our mission. <he has a girlfriend, who is really funny. its been funny to see all the types of things she sends him, its hilirious. 

I keep receving so many blessings in my life, and i know its only possible because i decided to follow christ, and start with that covenant, baptism, every since then, God, Christ and the spirit have helped me grow and grow and change in so many ways, and its very humbly to reflect. I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. I love you all! Oh ill share a spiritual experience, i was in the capilla, and we had time to share our testimonies, i sat there praying to have the spirit, because i felt super nervous, then i felt the spirit in my chest, and heard the words, now you have my spirit, will do as i ask. bear your testimony. i sat there, and i knew i had to get up, i did. afterwards, i felt peace and joy. 

I know as we follow the holy ghost blessings will come. I can already feel my testimony growing. which makes me so happy, its hard work, and wow do i get tired of walking, but its great. today i spent the day in the main city, in the center. SO MUCH ENERGY. everyone has something to do, an agenda, its crazy loud and never queit, its kinda really really great. explored a medevial castle, which asended to a very high tower looking over the city, took pictures. my companion is very energetic and loves to go everywhere for the pday. i want to know the city like he does, so when he goes i take out the missionaries i get as companions out and about as he does for me. we also ate several types of food, delicious. yum. I love you and have a great week, my pdays here are wednesday. Also yes it does get cold here, its freaking crazy when the sun is out and everything is green, but its cold. so strange. Know that i am happy. Love you all so much. thanks for all the letters. 
                                                   
Love, 
                                     
Elder Rivera