Tuesday, April 29, 2014

ummm....màs milagros

Monday, April 28, 2014


This week was great. I am so grateful to be with Elder Pirez. He is excited to work and that is the greatest thing in a companion. We worked really hard this week. Even though we still dont really know the area or the members, we have been blessed with miracles! 

This week we had our first zone meeting. It went really well. We have a lot to improve in the zone so it was great to get started. Afterwards, we watched the priesthood session of General Conference that we never got to see. Ahh! It was so good! I loved all of it, but especially President Uchtdorf's talk! Never going to sleep during the Restoration! 

This week we were teaching Kathy and once again our prayers were answered! I have been praying a lot that she can feel the desire and fire again to be baptized, not just do it because she was invited to. And as we talked with her, she told us she was determined to actually do it this time. She told us, "I decided that I am doing it for sure this time. It doesn't matter what happens, I'm going to be baptized. Even if I can't stop smoking before then, I'm still going to be baptized." haha. I was so happy about her determination. Such a miracle! But we had to clarify with her that it is kind of important to stop smoking first haha. We set goals with her, gave her a blessing, and she committed to stop smoking! She wasn't able to quit in time to be baptized this week, but as of yesterday, Kathy has quit! We talked with the Bishop, and he is going to talk with her husband so that her husband can get some things in order to be able to baptize her, julieta, and Martin (their kids). It has been such a miracle to see the Lord work in them, to see them have the desire to read the Book of Mormon, and see the enthusiasm in them grow. So they are all going to be baptized this week! :) 

On Saturday night, we were sitting in Stake conference, when my companion leaned over and told me, "I can't breathe..." and he had sharp pains in his heart. We walked outside the chapel, I called another Elder over and we gave him a blessing. I had thought that my companion said, "can you give me a blessing?" Afterwards, a nurse from the stake checked out to see what was wrong and told us we should go to the hospital. I was on the phone with Sister Ayre, talking to her in English, asking questions to the nurse in spanish, all while trying to remember all the medical terms in Spanish I never use haha, and not to mention my companion was sitting there, not being able to breath. So it was kind of an intense stressful situation. An angel member drove us to the hospital, they took some tests, gave him some medicine, and he is fine now, which is a miracle. But afterwards, Elder Pirez told me thanks for the blessing, and ends up he didn't say anything about giving him a blessing, like I thought he had said. I am confident that thanks to the blessing and his faith, he is okay. And we made it to the hospital in time. So my inability to understand the whispers of a urugayan's slurred spanish was a miracle. I know it was inspired by the spirit. Miracles are everywhereeee!!!!!!!

I love this work. We are praying hard and working hard and praying hard some more. And we are seeing miracles. A woman named Mariana just walked into the church on Sunday, because she felt like it was calling her. She came with us to conference, loved it, loves how friendly all the members are, we taught her on the bus, and now she is going to be baptized. So basically I am left amazed every week at all the Lord does. This is His work. These are His children. I am soooo blessed to be a witness to His miracles. 

Everyone have a great week! What miracles has the Lord done in your day? Love you all!


Elder Heath Tenney

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

El espiritu hace TODO! (The spirit does everything)

April 22, 2014 
Hola Familia! 

This week was so great, once again. I am SO grateful for Easter. It is so interesting to see the ways holidays are celebrated here, everything is different, but it is great. Here fro easter, basically the only thing is chocolate eggs. They make these delicious chocolate eggs and decorate it with frosting and they are really pretty, but better than plastic eggs because you can eat it! So Easter was great. We went to transfers this morning and now I am with my new companion, Elder Pirez, de Uruguay. He is a stud. I am so excited to serve with him. Elder Stewart leaves tomorrow to spend a week with his parents in Argentina before going back to Chicago. He has been great. 

This week we were praying a lot for Cathy. She is great, the whole family is great, but they have been lacking the enthusiasm to be baptized. And the only way to gain that enthusiasm is if they are keeping commitments to repent and read the Book of Mormon, which she hasn't been doing because she is really busy. Last week, we explained the importance of reading and doing things for herself, and I began to really pray for her with all my heart, praying specifically that Heavenly Father would help her to read. In every personal prayer I said, I pleaded to the Lord. Then when we visited Cathy, she read! I was so happy. There was such a difference in her and the family. I know that it came from Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for His miracles! It seems like such a small thing, just that someone read a page from a book, but that is a miracle. I know that God will answer our prayers if we are mindful of what we are praying for and praying for all of our hearts! They also came to church on Easter! The whole family! She loved it. They are going to be baptized next week. Thank you so much for your prayers for them! 

There weren't any huge experiences this week, but there were many  moments when I was left amazed by what the Spirit does in this work. We were teaching a couple about the law of chastity to invite them to be married so that  they can be baptized (a lot of missionaries don't like teaching the law of chastity, but for some reason I love it. I think because Satan despises that lesson, so it is always great.) But I was simply testifying to them about the truthfulness of the Law of Chastity and the blessings, it wasn't really an intense lesson or anything, but when I began to testify the Spirit just flooded the room and everything in this little house was calm. I could feel the spirit testifying to this couple and to me, that these things are true. It is moments like those, that happen everyday, that leave me amazed and humbled because I realize how little we really do, the spirit does everything. We just have to testify with our hearts and follow the spirit, then He will touch the hearts of the people. 

The highlight of the week was the despedida. We have a big meeting at the end of every transfer where the Elders that are going home share their testimonies and converts or investigators come. We had a great meeting, afterwards I saw Elder Goyeneche and his companion. When I saw him, he said, "I have a surprise for you..." When he said that, my mind immedietely jumped to Omar, who I taught for 4 months in Benavidez, and love more than anyone else in Argentina, but never got baptized. Elder Goyeneche pulled out his camara, went to a photo, and said, "look at all of them, starting here." I looked down at the little screen, and saw dressed in all white, Omar with his beautiful family. I saw him and Elder Goyeneche together, all in white, just before his baptism. Tears fell down my face as I looked through all these photos. I cannot describe the pure joy and love that I feel. I hugged Elder Goyeneche as I remembered the hours we spent planning and praying for Omar. We had dropped Omar before I left, and the Elders didn't go back, but last Saturday, he called the Elders, told them he found new work, and he wants to be baptized, but this time he is really really going to do it. He said, "No, I am going to be baptized now. I'm determined. If I can't do it now, I will never do it." So they set up everything, he stopped smoking, and was baptized. Ahhhhhh!!! Omar and Rocio already have plans for the temple in a year. 
I also saw the familia Acuña from Soldati. I left right before the baptism of Jessica, and I found out there that the rest of the family was baptized the week after I left. So much pure happiness. 
Elder Goyeneche.  (Elder Engebretsen is in the background to the left.) 
I am just so amazed by what the spirit does for us. Sometimes I think that people don't get baptized because of my faults or even that people do get baptized because of things that I do, but neither are true. Any good that happens here happens because the spirit truly touches the heart of someone, because the spirit brings conversion. I am so overwhelmed with gratitude for Heavenly Father's miracles and for His love for each one of us. I am so filled with amazement at all of His miracles. I have no doubts that this is His work because these are His children, whom He loves so so much. 

Happy Easter! I love you all so much! Please keep praying for Cathy! :) 


Elder Tenney

Sunday, April 20, 2014


From: "Heath Tenney" 
Sent: Monday, April 14, 2014 11:41:18 AM

Hey family and friends! 
1st of all, Happy Birthday to the greatest Mom in the world. She is such an inspiration to me. She is one of the only people I know that by just being around her, you can be filled with a desire to serve others more. Which is exactly how the Savior is. I am so grateful for her Christlike example. I love you Mom! 

This week was kind of hard for me, but great. Serving in a new area is always hard for me because I want to go 100 miles per hour and give everything, but it is hard to do when I know nothing about the area. But it was great and I am getting more and more familiar with everything. 
This week we were teaching a less active family. Normally their 10 year old son doesn't really listen, but we made an effort to include him and he stayed! We talked about the Plan of Salvation and how the entire family can return home to live with Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. And to do it, there are things we have to do to prepare. Leo, the 10 year old, asked us, "what happens if 1 of the people in the family doesn't do the right things? Does that mean we won't all be there together?" and he began to cry. His Mom answered him and told him that is why it is so important that we are all faithful. The tears of this 10 year old hit me and helped me feel more how important all of this is. Leo listened attentively to what he needs to do to get there- have faith in Jesus Christ, repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. He committed to help his family read the scriptures and go to church to be able to live these things. It was a tender moment, a moment when I was so grateful for this sacred opportunity to help people see how important all of this is. We don't teach because it is a hobby, we teach because souls are at stake, families are at stake, and they have to know that, they have to realize how important this is. 

On Friday, I was feeling kind of a lack of enthusiasm for some reason. I was praying to be able to have it, but still was lacking. I was determined to still do everything I could for the Lord even if I wasn't feeling excited about it. We weren't having much success passing by peoples houses. So I was praying that He would guide us to someone. I looked at my agenda, where the night before I had wrote several less active families, so we decided to pass by one of them. I was praying the whole walk there that someone would be there whom we could help. We got to the street and none of the houses had numbers on them haha, great. So I basically just guessed, "This house looks good...". Then I clapped my hands, having no idea if this was even the house of a member. A man walked out and didn't say anything, but then started saying something about Doctrine and Covenants, so it was the right house! But we met Miguel and his family. They are great. He hasn't been to church in 18 years, but in those 18 years he has read the Book of Mormon 5 times and the Bible 3 times. He is married (which is rare in Argentina), and his wife is not a member. We talked with for several minutes about their faith. We really just told them how much Christ loves them and invited them to feel His love in the Church. They didn't accept, but there is no way they couldn't feel the Love of Christ. The spirit was strong. So we have another appointment with them next week.
 Afterwards, I was filled with the energy and enthusiasm I lacked. It was such a miracle. Heavenly Father answered my prayer. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude. I learned that enthusiasm and fire in this work doesn't come just because I want it. The enthusiasm and fire come when we are working with the Lord in every moment. It comes when we are constantly praying for and looking for His miracles. And if we constantly are pleading to Him and seeing His hand in every moment then the spirit will always testify that we are not working alone. And that is where the joy comes from, not just from working, but knowing that we are working with the Savior of the World. 
I know that Jesus Christ lives. I am so grateful for that testimony. I love Him and His work! 

I love you all so much! Have a great week!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Off to Garin. April 7th letter.

Hola Familia!
Heath Tenney  On:Apr 04/07/14 10:47 AM

Oh, 1st of all, please do NOT send any packages. There have been tons of problems with the packages and basically none of them have been arriving. But letters are still all good :)

This week was a roller coaster, we saw many miracles. I LOVED General Conference. Ah, it was so good. We didn't get to watch Priesthood session because it started at 9 here, but I think we will watch it at some point this week. 
We worked really hard to prepare Jessica for her baptism. Seeing her progress has been incredible. At first, she didnt even listen to us. She respected us, but viewed it all as unimportant and preferred her life in the world. But the young single adults in our ward are incredible. They invited her to several activities that she went to and loved. She realized how happy they were and clean. So she listened and told us she wants to be baptized. Just 2 weeks earlier she was fighting with her family, didnt help them with anything (especially her single mother). But this last week, she got a job to help her mother, started helping her with things in the house, and is reading the Book of Mormon everyday. The atonement is SO real! In her interview, the Elder that did the interview was asking her about the word of wisdom, and she said it means we shouldn't do anything to damage our body, so she paused, thought for a second, and took out her lip piercing, without the Elder saying anything. She is so ready. The spirit completely changed her. It fills me with so much joy to be able to see those changes. 
Later we have Walter, who we found the other week. The young single adults (AGAIN!) just completely took him in and encouraged him. Brought him with them to the temple and to dances. The only think that kept him from being baptized was smoking. We gave him a blessing, set goals, and the next day he went to the temple grounds with the young single adults. In 4 days, after smoking for 10 years, Walter went from smoking 20 every day to NOTHING. Ah, it is so incredible to see the atonement completely take over someones life.
After talking with Walter and Jessica and seeing the miracles in their lives, I was filled with so much joy. We went home, and to add to my joy, I was making a smoothie. Suddenly, the phone rang, and President was calling. I answered, he told me that he needed to make some changes, and felt guided that I need to go to Garin. I was in shock. So I packed my bags, and in the morning I left to Garin, to serve as a Zone Leader there. It was so hard to leave Soldati. I love that area and those people so so much. And sadly I missed the baptism of Jessica, but the important part is that it happened. But, I am so happy to be here in Garin. I completely trust in the Lord and in what He needs me to do. 
My companion's name is Elder Stewart, from Chicago. He goes home in 2 weeks. So basically, I need to learn everything super quick haha. But I am so excited to learn and be ready for then. 
General Conference was so so good! I love it because it always hits me how real all of this is. That this really is the church of Jesus Christ himself. He really lives and is guiding this church. Thomas S Monson really is a prophet of God. I know these things are true. I love the Gospel so much. I know that Jesus Christ truly lives and is blessing us with miracles in His work, if we just have the faith and the eyes to see them! 
Everyone have an amazing week! Watch General Conference again for me. I am jealous that you can do that. I love you all so much!
Elder Heath Tenney

mejor que disneylandia March 31st letter

Sent By:
Sent ByHeath Tenney  On:Mar 03/31/14 11:35 AM

Hola mi familia!
I am jealous that you got to watch the general women`s broadcast, that sounds like it was so great. I am SO SO excited for general conference this weekend. Ah, it is so incredible. It is amazing in missionary work too because we can say, "we know there is a prophet of God here today! Come and listen to Him with us!" It is so simple, we can just invite people to come and listen and decide for themselves if these are the prophets of God because we know that they will feel it if they just come! These times are SO incredible. We are so so blessed to be here in this time. 

This week in Soldati has been crazy.There are some crazy and bad things happening, which is sad. But it also is the evidence that these are the times of which prophets have testified! Every day is an adventure here, I love it.
This week the familia A (beginning initial since this is public - by Heath's mom) was having problems. They were all fighting and arguing, then just when things were at their worst, we showed up. The moment when we arrived we could feel the tension in the house. We sat down and it was silent, no one was talking nor smiling. After a minute of silence, I asked what had happened, Ana, the mother, exloded into tears telling us of all her stress in the family; how the kids are always fighting and no one ever helps her with anything. It was another one of those moments where I feel so inadequate, when I think to myself, "I am just a 19 year old kid. How can I help these people?" But the spirit never guides us to think about ourselves when there is someone in need, so I pushed that to the side, and prayed. Jared, the member with us who is preparing for his mission calmed everyone down by sharing his testimony and telling them every family has problems. We then shared with them 2 nephi 4. When Lehi died, and Nephi didnt have the support of his family, and was feeling alone. Later, we talked with the daughter who was part of the cause, and we set goals with her and talked with her about what Christ wants for her and her family. She committed to do better and change to prepare for her baptism. Later that night we called to see how everything was going, and they said they fixed everything. They were all out on a walk together, laughing and happy. Ah, it brought so much peace to hear them happy. That experience is just another testimony of one of the greatest lessons I have learned here: It doesn't matter who we are or what weaknesses we have, what matters is The Savior, because He is the one who fixes problems. He is the one who heals broken wounds and heals the broken family. We just have to make ourselves worthy, submit ourselves to him, then watch the miracles that He performs and stand all amazed.
We also had a meeting for trainers and new missionaries this week. It reminded me of that meeting I went to 1 year ago in Ohio, when I was the new missionary. It brought back many great memories. It filled me with a desire to be even more like the missionary I want to be. It is surreal that it was a year ago that I was just starting off. I am filled with indescribable gratitude for this time. It goes by so fast, it is like a roller coaster, the best roller coaster ever. Even better than space mountain in Disneyland...but with more light...and your neck doesn't hurt as much afterwards. But really, ah, I love this time SO much. After the meeting I was filled with so much fire and was talking with people on the train, taking every opportunity I could to help someone feel the love of God and testify of Jesus Christ. I felt the spirit so much. Sometimes, I justify not talking to someone because we only have 2 minutes before we get off the train, but the Savior wouldn't think that way, he would think, "what can I do in 2 minutes to bless this persons life?" and if I just think like that, the spirit will always be with me to help them. 

Things are great here. We have several super great guys who are preparing to serve missions who just inspire me. They go with one of the 4 companionships of Soldati almost every day, they always share their testimonies, talk with everyonw, and are filled with such a desire to just help our investigators. One Young man, even set up a time to go teach (on his own) to one of our investigators who we had to leave behind. It is incredible. I don't know if any young men read these, but if there are any, be like these young men. Don't just prepare for your mission, be a missionary. Be the missionary you want to become right now! If you do, you will start of day 1 being in love with your mission.

Soldati is amazing. It is still really hard, but we have been seeing so many miracles through following the direction that Heavenly Father gives us. This work is His. I know that Christ lives! I am so excited to hear what He has to tell us through His servants this week!
I love you all so much! Have a great week!
Con mucho amor,
Elder Heath Tenney

¡El Mano del Señor en todos lados! March 24th letter

From: "Heath Tenney" 
Sent: Monday, March 24, 2014 1:04:14 PM
Subject: ¡El Mano del Señor en todos lados!

Ahh. What a week. 
This week was soooo filled with grace and miracles. I look back at this week and am so filled with gratitude and amazement for all that The Lord did. He is so good. 
First of all, we have these investigators who are wonderful. They are all siblings, their names are Leidy, Alex, and Gabby. They have been going to church every week for over a month, have received basically all the lessons, but still were lacking something to commit to be baptized. I had been thinking and praying a lot about what they need, and the thought came that they don't understand the spirit. So we followed that prompting, and Ah! It was incredible. We had a family night with them with a member family and we talked about what is the spirit and how it feels. The members' testimonies were so powerful and simple. We encouraged them to look for those feelings as they read the Book of Mormon. 
We passed by just the next day and BOOM! They were so excited to tell us about it. They felt it! For the 1st time, they really felt the spirit and knew it was true! They told us that they really want to be baptized now. They still haven't committed to a date, but man, it was such a miracle to see the Lord change their hearts. 
All week, the Lord placed people in our path who are prepared. He prepared us and used us as instruments in His hands. The greatest moments are when we are teaching a lesson, I pause and instead of thinking what to say next, just think, "what does this child of God need?" and plead for the spirit to guide me. Then boom, the spirit breaks the silence. I begin teaching in a way I never ever could before and the spirit floods into the heart of every person in the room. That is grace. That is what the Lord did for us this week so many times. He really is the reason for any good that we do. He is the one who teaches and uses us as His hands. He amazes me every week. 
This week Deborah and Fernando were having a rough week because of some problems with moving. In Preach My Gospel, there is an amazing part in chapter 5 called "the questions of the soul" where is lists questions the Book of Mormon answers. Anyways, I love it because it can help anyone with any trial. So I invited them to read Mosiah 2 together and to start and end with a prayer. They did it, and in the middle of the night we received a message from her. She told us, "My Brothers, you cannot imagine the peace that the book brought to us. We were feeling stressed and all bad the whole day, but that changed everything. We feel so much closer to God. Thank you so much." Ah! It was yet another miracle. The Book of Mormon can help everyone. 
Lastly, this week we taught Brian. He is the son of a recent convert, but he has always had a really hard time staying for the lessons and never wanted to listen to us. But this week he told us he wanted to be baptized. He stayed focussed, participated in all of the lessons, and he started to pray! He was baptized yesterday. It was so great. 
I love this work. I really am so happy everyday. One of the biggest lessons I am learning on my mission is how to be unconditionally happy. In Preach My Gospel, where it talks about the Plan of Salvation, it says that the purpose of life is the have joy and prepare to stand before Heavenly Father. So having joy is our purpose of existing. Having joy and preparing to stand before God are designed to coexist. I love that in the gospel of Jesus Christ, we can have joy in every stage of life.
Have a wonderful week!


Elder Tenney