Friday, May 24, 2013


Elder Heath Tenney
2922 Dunstan Dr., NW
Warren, OH 44486

Sent: Monday, May 20, 2013 2:32:12 PM
Subject: Bendiciones

Hola Familia!
This week was so great. It was actually really hard, but really good.
So on Thursday, we tracted a lot and had no success (in terms of people inviting us in or back). And I mean, I was used to that. But it was really hard this time because there were many people who were just angry about it. They literally would yell at us and tell us "we don't need your church" or other things like that. I always left those houses feeling sad, not because they hurt my feelings or anything, but because the very thing they are rejecting is what they need to not be so angry and really find peace. It is hard to see people unhappy who seem to be okay with unhappiness. Heavenly Father wants sooo much more than that for us.
Later, we had a super awesome lesson with a less active lady. We planned to talk about the importance and why we go to church. It was such a good lesson. We really let her share and ponder how she has felt when she has come to church. We talked about how church and the sacrament gives us the spirit that we need to get through the week and be happy throughout the week. She said "So many things have been going right in my life recently. My kids all got jobs, one just finished rehab, and so many things are going great. But I really just am not happy. I know I should be." She then explained that she now realizes that it is because she hasn't been coming to church. We invited her to come to church and to feel of the spirit there and receive the strength she needs to be happy throughout the week. She said that she really wanted to, and that she would come. Ahhh. I can't even explain the peaceful, yet consuming joy that comes when you see someone change and realize for themselves what they need to do to be happy- and the answer is always Christ.
That night we had a lesson with Jessica and Sabrina. We felt like we should review our purpose in being there with them. So we shared that and basically said "Our goal,is to help you to know that these things are true, and act on that, because it will bring you soooo much happiness." We then asked them if they had a desire to know if these things were true. Jessica said she wasn't really sure..."I think so, but I dont think I'm ready for that yet." she said. Then Sabrina said "No. I really don't". Wow. that hit me hard. I know it may not seem like a big deal, but I just felt heartbroken because just a few weeks earlier she said she really wanted to know. We could see her progressing and really trying to know. But she just said "no." That was really difficult for me, because she is SO close to indescribable happiness. But we won't give up on her. We had a pretty good lesson though, but I'll admit, I left still feeling a hole in my heart.
Then we had a lesson with a couple new investigators named Ashley and Zack. They are about to have a baby and they really want religion to be a part of their kids life. But we got there and everyone was smoking and drinking, so we tried to teach a lesson, but the spirit really couldn't be felt in the environment we were in, so we ended early. So this day was kind of hard for me, and when we got home, I just thought, "Wow. This was just one of those days where nothing goes well." And I sat there pondering. But then I remembered our awesome lesson with Sister J, and I realized there was good this day. I prayed and asked for forgiveness of my ingratitude. I just needed to find joy in the good that did happen that day. And if we are living righteously and doing our best, there is always some good- even if it is just "I felt the spirit throughout this day". How much better can a day be than that? So this day definitely taught me to just rejoice in the good of everyday, and learn from the not so good parts, but I shouldn't let that determine my happiness.
On Friday we served so much. It was awesome. We served for like 5 hours and it was hot, so that was awesome.
Saturday we had an amazing lesson with the P. family again (the family from Puerto Rico). We brought Brother W. with us who served his mission in Mexico. It was an amazing lesson. People open up so much more and instantly have a connection with you when you speak their native language. They told us about these incredible dreams they have had, that are so special. But Lus, the mother, told us about one dream her son had, and then no one believed him that he actually had this dream. But then we talked about how something similar happened to a boy in 1820. We shared the 1st vision with them and I was able to bare my testimony to them in spanish. And we shared "El libro de Mormon" with them (Book of mormon). They were so excited that it was in spanish and super excited to read it. The spirit was so strong. They are such an amazing family.
Then on Sunday I got to go and visit Valentine (the man from Mexico who only speaks spanish). We talked about the Book of Mormon and the Bible. He shared with me some things he had been studying. And he really expressed how grateful he was to have me there because he can never talk with anyone about the gospel since no one speaks Spanish at church. He shared his favorite scripture with me from Alma 32 about how the souls of men are so precious unto God. It is hard for me to write this all out because I guess its something you just have to see and feel. But hearing him explain why he loves the scriptures and why he loves that verse just brought this incredible feeling into me, like I was feeling the spirit for the 1st time. His sincerity and pure desire to do what God wants him to do is evident in his voice. He told me that it is hard because he has no one to talk to about the gospel, so it is pretty much just him and God. But he studies every single day, to feel close to God and to learn more about what He wants him to do. He told me he prays every single day for the missionaries. It meant SO much to me to hear that. Here is this man who has only been a member for about 6 years, he can't talk to anyone about the gospel except Heavenly Father; He can rarely come to church because he works so much; and he hardly knows me. But he prays for me and all the other missionaries every night. This probably doesn't seem like that big of a deal to anyone else, but I am so filled with gratitude for this man who is determined to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even if he is alone.
So I was able to use my Spanish twice this week! It was so exciting. And I absolutely know that the gift of tongues is real. There is know way I could understand a Puerto Rican family speaking Spanish on my own. They speak SO fast. But somehow I did it. The spirit is so real.
I absolutely love being a missionary. Other weeks I have said that, and I think I said it more out of the thought like "Wow. I am really a missionary now". But now, I really love being a missionary, not just wearing the name tag and having the title. I love going into people's homes and telling them about Jesus Christ. I love feeling exactly what Heavenly Father wants this child of His to hear, and seeing their entire countenance change. I love being able to serve people and see them smile. I love feeling the spirit the entire day and being happy! I love being a missionary.
I love you all so much! You are in my prayers every single day!
Elder Tenney

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