Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Juan y Teresa!

Sent: Monday, February 17, 2014 10:39:19 AM
Subject: Juan y Teresa!

Hola Familia y Amigos!

This week was so great. It started out kind of rough because for 3
days all of our appointments were falling through as well as members
to come with us, but we were so blessed in the end of the week.
The greatest miracle was the Baptism of Teresa and Juan. I don't think
I have said much in my letters about them, but they are incredible.
The baptism was so beautiful.
4 weeks ago, it was Sunday and we were waiting at the bus stop to go
to church. Usually they come really frequently, but there werent any
coming this Sunday for some reason. I noticed a woman who was also
waiting, who looked kind of stressed, and was smoking a cigarette. I
started to talk to her, that was the 1st time we met Teresa. We taught
her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how Christ can give us
strength to overcome our trials and make us clean. She said she would
read the pamphlet we left with her and we set up an appointment to
talk with her.
Ah, it seems like that was just yesterday, and it wasn't long ago, but
Teresa has completely changed her life. After 20 years of smoking, she
completely stopped in just a week. We also met Juan! Juan is Teresa's
son who is deaf.
Juan is incredible. We have been learning sign language to communicate
more with him and it is incredible to be around him. He is the
happiest kid ever. He is always smiling and making jokes. He loves
everyone. It is amazing because now I can actually understand what he
is saying and have a small conversation with him in sign language.
I could go on and on about how much I love Juan and Teresa. Basically
we met Teresa, we taught her about the gospel of Jesus Christ, how she
can repent and change her life, and then she did it. We taught her
about the Book of Mormon and she hasn't put it down since. She said it
has given her so much strength. She reads every night with Juan,
translating to him what is happening in the book. The day before her
baptism, I asked her why she was making all these changes, she said
that she has talked with people from many churches, but she felt from
the beginning like God was telling her "this is the true church". She
had smoked one cigarette the day before her interview, and we weren't
sure if we should wait longer or not. But as we read Mosiah 18 with
her, where it talks of the people of Alma who wanted to serve Christ
and help others the rest of their lives, Who then were baptized.
Teresa almost began to cry and said, "this is what I want." We could
both feel that she was ready. We scheduled the interview, the next day
the zone leaders came to interview her. During the interview one of
the elders was talking with us and Juan. He asked us why Juan wasn't
being baptized with his Mom. We told him because we hadn't been able
to teach him because Teresa has to translate everything we say and it
takes a while. After the interview of Teresa, they talked to her for a
second, and then they went with Juan and Teresa and did the interview
for Juan too. It was kind of crazy haha. But they came out and told us
Juan was going to be baptized tomorrow too. Juan was so happy. He was
smiling so much and just filled with joy.
Sunday, we spent the 2nd and 3rd hours of church boiling water and
pouring it in the font because the water was super cold haha. It didnt
really change much, but it was a fun memory. Teresa and Juan changed
their cloths, and we were waiting outside the font, Juan could hardly
contain his excitement. Teresa was baptized first, we watched with
Juan as he saw his Mom be baptized. After, I signed to Juan that now
it was his turn, he was going to be baptized. He leaped for joy, began
to laugh and clap his hands as we walked to the font. It was hard not
to cry seeing his pure joy. I then watched Juan, pure good Juan, be
baptized. He came out of the water smiling, wiped the water from his
eyes, and gave everyone a big thumbs up. His joy was contagious.
Seeing his pure desire to follow Christ and his pure joy from doing it
filled me with a desire to never ever do anything bad again. This boy
Juan is so good, so pure, and so loving that he makes everyone around
him want to be more good and more pure. He is incredible. I love Juan
and Teresa so much. The joy I feel for them is indescribable. That joy
Juan felt is the reason Christ did what He did for us, so that all of
us who are much more impure than Juan can feel his same joy.
I love this gospel. I love Jesus Christ. I know that baptism in the
Church of Jesus Christ is the way to become completely pure, and start
a new life of discipleship.

This is Christ's Gospel. He is preparing people who want to change and
want to use His atonement. We just have to OPEN OUR MOUTHS to show
them what Christ wants them to know. Christ does all the work of
preparing them, we just have to stop worrying, doubting, and listening
to the excuses of Satan and open our mouths. So then the Savior can do
the miracles for them and change them forever.

Everyone go and be happy this week! I love you all so much!


Elder Heath Tenney

Monday, February 10, 2014

Priesthood Power

More pictures below.

From: "Heath Tenney"  
Sent: Monday, February 10, 2014 2:21:31 PM
Mission Temple Day, Monday Feb. 10, 2014

Subject: Priesthood Power!

Hey Family and Friends!

Sorry this is later than normal and I don't have much time. Today we
went to the temple!!! It was SO amazing. I had missed the temple so
much. It really was one of the sweetest experiences of my life to go
there as a mission and hear everything in Spanish, receive revelation
for our investigators, and just feel how much Heavenly Father loves me
and His children here. Towards the end of the session, I paused, and
thought "This really is my favorite place in the whole world." The
temple really is the house of God. I am so grateful for that sacred

There were so many amazing things that happened this week as always. I
hardly had time to write in my Journal this week because we had to
update so many records at the end of each day, but here are several

We had another lesson with the family R (family from last week). The
whole family was ready, reverently sitting at the table waiting for us
when we arrived. The father asked if we could give a blessing to the
children and to the house, because ever since they started praying and
having us over, there has been strange things happening and more
darkness in the house. We read with them the story of Joseph Smith,
and noted how he was overcome with darkness just before he had the 1st
vision, and Satan always comes right before we have big spiritual
changes or experiences. At the end of the lesson, we gave a blessing
to all 4 of his children, 1 by 1. It was such a sweet experience. I
felt probably somewhat like the Savior felt when He blessed all the
children. It was such a privilege. The whole family said they felt
better after the blessings and the house was filled with the spirit.
Ah, the priesthood is real!

Later, we had a powerful lesson with Omar once again. We talked with
him about quitting smoking. He insisted that he could never do it, but
we reminded him of the atonement of Jesus Christ, and what He did for
him. He had a glimpse of hope... at the end of the lesson we gave him
a blessing. It was so guided by the spirit. As we left, he said to us
with tears in his eyes, "You are going to pass by later today, and I
will say, 'In the name of Jesus, I will not smoke a cigarette!' I am
not going to do it!"

Then we also have Teresa who has her baptismal date for this Sunday.
She has so much faith. We gave her a blessing and she hasn't smoked
all of today! So we are praying she can keep it up!
There have been so many miracles here is Benavidez! I am so privilege
to be here and to bless the lives of others with the sacred priesthood
which God has blessed us with. I am so humbled and grateful to be a
servant of Christ with His power and authority. This really is His
Church with his authority! I love my life. Christ lives!

Have a wonderful week! Sorry this didn't have much detail! I love you
all so much!


Elder Heath Tenney

The spirit is everything.

From: "Heath Tenney"
Sent: Monday, February 3, 2014 10:18:49 AM

Hey family!

I don't have much time because we are going fishing...for fish...and later men. 
This week was amazing again. We taught so much. More than I have ever taught in my mission. It seems that a lot of missionaries, myself included, focus a lot on the numbers, but at the end of the day, the Lord is never thinking numbers, he is thinking of souls. So that is what I have been trying to do, never numbers, always souls. 
We had so much success this week due to the members. We had members with us so much. One night we did splits and I was with Hermano L, the highlight was hearing his powerful testimony. We talked with a girl who is part of a crazy religion here, she denied that Christ lives. I then heard this still rather new member, with so much love and power in his words, testify that Jesus Christ lives. This girl was left speechless. I felt like Amulek, watching Alma confound Zeezrom. It was so powerful. That is the future of missionary work- members boldly testifying of Christ with the missionaries. 
Later in the week we went to the house of a less active member, Blas, who hasn't come for years. We always pass by to talk with his brother who lives next door, and there is always REALLY loud music playing. That's how it was when we passed by. There were kids running everywhere and music almost bursting our eardrums. Blas has always been closed off and doesn't really want anything to do with the church right now. The spirit completely guided us to ask inspired questions and LISTEN... there was a lot of silence, and a lot of listening, and because we let the spirit do its work, not interrupting it with unnecessary words, he opened up. He remembered what he really wants. He ended up in tears telling us of his desires to stop the way he is living, to be able to have an eternal family. To end the lesson, the whole family knelt down together, in silence, complete silence, and listened to their humbled father offer the feelings of his heart to Heavenly Father. There was no place else in the world I wanted to be in that moment. The spirit was so strong. I left that home thinking, " That is the essence of missionary work." We came into an environment seemingly absent of the spirit, loud, rowdy, and we left in silence, with peace, with the family together on their knees, committed to pray together and read together. 
This work is so beautiful. I wish I could tell you about all the miracles the spirit is doing for us and for others here. The spirit is everything. I know that. I can't do any good, but the spirit can. 
I know that Jesus Christ lives. My greatest joy is to testify of Him and share His love. 

I love you all so much! HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIRSTEN! Have a wonderful birthday!


Elder Heath Tenney

Sunday, February 2, 2014

El Evangelio bendice a las familias

Subject: El Evangelio bendice a las familias
January 28, 2014

Amada familia,
This week was so good. We definitely finished the transfer well and with all out hearts. We taught more and found more people than we have found in any other week. We saw miracles.

The title of this email means "The Gospel blesses families". I have been teaching that for almost a year now and seen living evidence of that all my life, but this week it hit me even more, in a way I have never felt.

1st of all one day, Elder Goyeneche for his language study was memorizing the section in the restoration, "the gospel blesses families" in English. He asked me to quiz him on it. He then recited it in English, with his argentine accent, describing all the blessings the gospel brings, and how important families are in God's plan. The spirit hit me like a wave, and I felt and knew it was true. I thought of our family and how incredibly blessed we are because of the gospel. I felt so grateful. There is so much power in hearing truth in your native tongue. 

Later, we had a family night with Estela, Emanuel, their 2 kids; along with an amazing family from the ward, familia paz. Looking back just one month ago, this family (emanuel y Estela) was struggling in so many ways. On the night of Christmas Eve, we visited Emanuel, who was alone in his house, because all his family left. Estela had told us she didn't want to come to church or participate because this was not her religion and not what she believed. There was so much tension. One day, we taught her about the importance of going to the church to really know if this is Christ's church, we called a member to ask her to invite Estela to church, and when Sunday came, Estela walked in! That was the start. She then began reading the Book of Mormon personally, later with the family, and praying with the family. Now just weeks later, they are a completely different family. The whole family is happy. The marriage and family that was falling apart is now coming together into the arms of the Savior. 
In the lesson, we talked about their vision with all of this. Where do they want to go with all of these changes? Basically we were trying to help them set their own goals, especially Estela for baptism, because she has told us before she doesnt want us to invite her, she will tell us when she is ready. We talked with them about that, and as we were finishing, Hermano P cut in, "Really, we need to just move forward with this, because she is all ready to be put in the water." I looked to Estela, and asked her, "Estela, is that what you want?" ....."Yes." she replied. Ahhhhhhh. There are very few moments when just one word can instantly fill your heart with indescribable joy, but this was one of them, just hearing her say yes. 
I was so grateful for bold and loving Hermano P, it meant so much more to hear the invitation from a friend rather than the missionaries. We then made specific plans for what they need to do to prepare. They are going to get married in 1 month, and Estela will be baptized on the 1st of march. So much joy. 

I was so happy, but at the same time disappointed that I probably wouldn't be able to be there since transfers were today. I was praying that I could stay in Benavidez one transfer more if it was the will of the Lord, and it looks like it is because I am staying in Benavidez with Elder Goyeneche. 

It has been so incredible to see the gospel blessing families here, that phrase is SO true. The gospel blesses families. I can feel it as I teach familia S about the temple and set goals with them to get there, after years of inactivity. I can feel it as I hear Sonia tell about her daughter who had 12 years old, was the one who told her when she was inactive, "Mom, you made sacred covenants, and you need to live them." Now they are all active. And I can feel it as I listen to 7 year old Cesar (son of Eman. y Estela), telling us how grateful he is that "now all the family goes to church together." I know with all of my heart that the Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families,  it is the reason for families. It doesn't matter if a family is already happy or is falling apart, if they live the Gospel individually and together, they can fall together into the arms of the Savior, and his love will overflow into their lives. It will overpower any conflict. It will transform them. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that families can be together forever if we are forever together with Christ. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I am so grateful for my family. I love you all so much. Have a wonderful week!

Elder Heath Tenney