Tuesday, November 26, 2013

25 November 2013 Jump and Turn in Action

It is so good to see Elder Willden having some fun!  Even if it is simply jumping with a full 360 off of a boulder!

25 November 2013

25 November 2013

Letter to All:

¨Rain with sun, lucky day!¨  

That´s a saying here.  So Saturday night we decided to go visit Felix, we hadn't seen him for about 3 weeks, and there he was.  When we showed up he said that phrase.  Lucky day, when you find people you don´t expect to find.  He´s still going well, he´s still getting over his problems.  Hopefully we can get him to church next Sunday, he has a job now and is working a ton.

Wilmer and Flor didn´t come to church because they has a commitment, but Flor is doing well.  She has begun to defend the church when other friends talk bad about it.  Wilmer still is drinking, and I´m pretty sure he does marijuana too.  But we had a powerful lesson with them.  We asked Wilmer how he was doing with the word of wisdom and he said badly.  We kept talking and I felt I had to share Alma 22:15-18 with them.  Then I invited them to abandon their biggest sin, so that they can have this hope they desire and so that they can know God.  I was very bold with them but they understood well, hopefully they will apply it to their lives.

Genaro came to church, we had been teaching him for almost 2 months and he finally came and it turns out one of the member is an old friend of his.  So today we are going to visit him with the friend.  

Also Wendi and Isaid came to church, they are new investigators.  They are friends of Cyril.  We had always gone to the house of Cyril, but he was never there.  Turns out he´s outside of the country.  So we decided to talk to them more, and we taught Wendi and Isaid and they came to church that next Sunday.  

In church 52 people came, we had 3 investigators and the other Elders did great with 9 investigators!  After not having investigators for 2 weeks they had 9.  I told them to be patient, one of the elders in these weeks told me he didn´t want to be here anymore.  I just told him to be patient and he´ll find people ready to accept the gospel.

President Russell came to church as well, he gave a talk about the importance of being founded in the restored gospel.  How we shouldn´t be like those trees with shallow roots and that fall when a storm comes, we should have deep roots into the gospel so we fall not.  It was good for the members to hear that.

A lot of members are looking to help us in the work when we started this activity- Best Branch Missionary.  It´s going to be a great success.  We are starting to work as a team, things are flowing, and the mission leader is finally going to meet with us. The members are interested in visiting the people we are teaching.  I´m very content, president was very happy to see the success.  I just hope it will continue when after I´m gone.  I´m going to do the best I can to leave my area well off for the next one who comes by.

The other week I wrote and asked the president if I could open a new area.  He talked to me on Sunday and he said, "Sorry, 50 Elders are going to leave soon and only 30 are coming in.   So actually instead of opening areas I´m closing them."  Kind of a bummer but, oh well.  He said, ¨maybe you´ll finish the mission in Santo Tomas.......I doubt it.¨  

Also where we eat lunch the guy is an excommunicated member, but he´s going to get baptized Saturday!  I blessed his baby.  I´m so happy for him, he will be a great support for the branch now!

This week we did a little sightseeing and we had some good, good food!  

We´ll take care all!

Elder Willden

Super Elder - "faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound"!!

18 November 2013

18 November 2013

Letter to all:

Well I have great news!  I´m here for another change, but this change is only four 4 weeks.  I´m very content that the Lord has allowed me to stay for another month.  Well Damaris said she wanted a little more time to prepare herself for baptism.  So we are thinking of doing it on December 7th but we hope she can be firm on her decision.  

Other great news!  Wilmer and Flor came to church!  They said they loved it as well.  Flor said to her friend who´s a member, ¨Of all of the churches I´ve ever been to none of them have ever told me I have a purpose in this life.¨  We are so blessed to have this restored gospel in our lives.  I think sometimes we don´t realized the greatness of this blessing.  We have the truth everyone is looking for in this life!  The doctrine is so pure and special and no one else has even half of the gospel God has given us!  I am so grateful that Wilmer and Flor could see that.  They said they are going to be coming every Sunday, we want them to get baptized December 7th too!  3 baptisms and 2 families.  Pray for these 3!  I know they can make it, they are such special people it has been a grand pleasure teaching them.

The week in general was good, we found some new investigators that accepted our message with kindness and a desire to know more how it can bless them.  What I like to do in the very first appointment is to tell them of how it can change their life and how it has changed my life.  And why I am here in their home, and what blessings the Lord wants to give them.  Then we leave them a pamphlet.  I believe teaching in this manner will help people to realize the importance of this message and give them desires to read and learn more. 

Some very positive investigators are hard to find and it´s a little sad so see how they accept it with joy at first but for one reason or another they make it hard to find them again, for work or other things. But we´ll keep looking for them.  I´ve learned to not give up so fast on people.

So December 10th will be the next changes, so I should be changed then, but you never know!  Hardly anyone in the mission was changed in the past changes.  Some say that president is going to open a lot of new areas and also that there will only be 1 zone leader per zone and they will train.  I believe these plans will bring more success to the Lords work, but they are just rumors, I don´t know for sure.  I wrote the president and told him I´d love to open a new area, but if the Lord has something else in mind, I´ll go where he wants me.  So well find out haha.

The branch was going well but all of the sudden only 24 people came yesterday, it´s sad.  So as missionaries we are going to do an activity.  It´s what we did in Nandaime in May, best branch missionary!  We are going to focus on helping the members complete their duties as missionaries, all the month of December.  Then we are going to end with an awesome Christmas Activity.  I hope it will help everyone to get excited to work in the Lord's work!

We have a family that is ready to serve the Lord and ready to help us, this family was the family that brought Wilmer and Flor to church!  They are a great help for us, hopefully all of you back at home can have these same desires as this family to work in the Lord's work.  

Take care!  I love you all!  

Elder Willden 

These are called tajadas, we learned how to make them.

Tajadas are sweet-savory strips of ripe plantain that have been fried until golden and caramelized. The word tajada means "slice", and to make tajadas the plantain is cut lengthwise into long strips. Tajadas are often served alongside a full plate of food, like a garnish.   http://southamericanfood.about.com/od/saladssidedishes/r/Fried-Ripe-Plantain-Strips.htm

11 November 2013

11 November 2013

Letter to All:

Well first of all Ronald and Erasmo have the Aaronic priesthood now so that´s great!  Because there are few here who have the priesthood and come to church.  They are doing great.  I´m starting to say goodbye to everyone, because changes are probable, if I stay I´ll just have to tell them that Lord let me stay for another month.  You´ll all have to wait until next Monday to find out about the changes then!  Sorry!

Damaris is progressing toward baptism, she´s getting to know the members and she feels good in church.  It´s just hard to teach her because she doesn´t talk a lot, but she´s warming up to us.  I am happy to know I´m leaving the area a lot better off than how I found it!

Well Wilmer and Flor and having relationship problems, fights and lies and drinking.  We talked to them last night, I shared with them 1 peter 3: 7-9.  Then we continued talking and the spirit really guided us in what we needed to tell them.  We were very bold but loving.  We told them that Satan is attacking them, but that God wants their love to prosper.  They still have desires to continue forward.

We need to find some more investigators though for the future, some that were very positive to get baptized this month are taking longer but I still have faith they´ll get baptized.

Genaro and Mitchel are doing well, they have liked everything we´ve taught them, their problem is that they just don´t want to come to church for some reason, but they´ll get there.

Hopefully I get sent to an area that has people progressing because it´s sad to leave all of the people here but I´ll go where the Lord commands me.  It´ll probably be my last area too!  

Oh yeah we found Felix again riding on his puny bike haha.  Maykalin left him for good now and he is very sad about that but he accepts it, he´s been working a ton lately 4 or 5 am to like 8 or 9 pm.  So it´s really hard to find him.  Hopefully today I can find him and help him to come back and let the Savior help him.

Well no pictures this week sorry!

Elder Willden

Sunday, November 10, 2013

4 November 2013

4 November 2013

Letter to all:

Well Tuesday President interviewed us.  From what everyone had told me he was getting after everyone, so I was wondering if he was going to do the same with me, but no.  He just thanked me for all of the work I´ve done.  He told me when he first heard about Santo Tomás everyone told him about the giant problems that there were.  He was tempted to take the missionaries out of here and close it down.  But he told me the branch is doing great now, it´s been progressing. And he was happy with all of our work as a district.  The assistance is growing little by little and things are starting to roll now.  President asked me, do you think it´s time for you to have changes?  I said ¨I don´t want to leave!!¨ He said we´ll see what the Lord wants.  Then at of the end of the interview he said, yeah I´m pretty sure the Lord is going to pull you out of there.  So....it looks like I´ll be having changes...sadly.  It´s been a great experience here.  I´ve learned a lot!  Damaris came to church again, she should get baptized the 23rd of November.

We also put baptismal dates with Josué and Cyril for the 23rd.  We have about 8 people way positive to get baptized, so I´m kind of bummed about missing that.  But if the Lord calls, I have to go.  The 13th there are changes.

Josué is doing great, he told us he wants to read the entire Book of Mormon.

Cyril is awesome!  He said in the first appointment that he wanted to get baptized.  

Yesterday we went to visit Flor, they still haven´t come to church.  We had a good lesson with her.  I shared an experience with her about the importance of always going to church and never having excuses to not go.  She said she´ll come and she won´t let anything get in the way between her and the Lord.  

Later she started to talk about the problems she has had with Wilmer in the past.  She said several time people from other churches have come by trying to help them have better lives, come to Christ and all but they never really helped her.  She said, since you guys have been coming to visit us, our life has gotten a little bit better now.  She said her husband had an open her heart toward us and he really listens to what we have to say and he is changing. They fight a little less, he drinks less, and they are happier.  She said she wished she could have us visiting her every day.  She said that compared to the other people from other churches, that we are more powerful.  I told her that it´s because the message we have is true and it has great power to change people’s lives, that we don´t teach a thing, the Holy Ghost teaches everything.  But we aren´t always going to be here to help you improve your life, that is exactly why you need to come to church, because you will feel the same way there, as you have felt having us in your home.

This calling a missionary has is very sacred, some might not always recognize that we represent Jesus Christ, but those who do, will feel the spirit, change their lives, and become baptized.  Sometimes I feel that I´m not even close to fulfilling these grand responsibilities that a missionary has, but the Lord always helps me to be better and more that what I am.

The other day I read Alma 

44 Therefore what say ye, my sons, will ye go against them to battle?
45 And now I say unto you, my beloved brother Moroni, that never had I seen aso great bcourage, nay, not amongst all the Nephites.

 46 For as I had ever called them my sons (for they were all of them very young) even so they said unto me: Father, behold our God is with us, and he will anot suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone; therefore let us go, lest they should overpower the army of Antipus.

I love the phrase: ¨Father, behold our God is with us, and he will anot suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth;¨  

What faith!  Truly God is with us, he will not let us fall, let us go forth with faith like the strippling warriors!  Let us Hasten this work!

Take care!  I love you all!

Elder Willden