Tuesday, May 27, 2014

La manera del Señor

May 26, 2014

Hey Family! 

Sorry I am kind of late on writing this week! We went to the temple this morning, which was amazing. Ah. I love the temple. Oh and before I forget, next week I will write on Tuesday because it is transfers. The temple this morning was great. In the session I sat next to Sam Zapata, a friend from middle school and my basketball team. He is great. It is crazy to think that 6 years ago we were sitting next to eachother in English class, and now we were sitting next to eachother in Argentina in the temple. So crazy. Even though I was super tired because we woke up at 3:30 this morning, I felt so much peace and received so much there. I love the temple. 

In his winter gear.

Oh and Happy Birthday to Scott! Scott is the man. Really, I have talked with so many people on my mission about how grateful I am for his example and his desires to serve. Scott is one of my role models. I hope one day I can be as good as Scott is. I love you Scott!

This week was great. It was kind of crazy. The Lord has blessed us so so much. It seems everyday that we find some new person whom He has prepared. 

Yesterday, Sunday, was a super crazy day, so I can't really remember what all happened earlier, so I'll just start there. We woke up early and got all ready to go pass by our investigators before Church to check up if everything was good to go. 1st of all, we were walking by 2 dogs that were outside their fence (there are dogs EVERYWHERE) so that is completely normal. As we were walking by, these 2 normal looking dogs calmly watched us, then as we harmlessly walk by, THEY ATTACKED! First they ran to me, trying to bite me as I dodged their bites and managed to pick up a rock, so they ran...to my companion. So I was free and I ran. But my companion wasn't hurt that bad.... haha just kidding. So they ran to my companion and he tried to kick them as they got close. I acted like I was throwing a rock and they ran away from him so we had some space to flee. We turned the corner and thought all was well, but they followed us, so this time we really had to throw rocks haha. So finally we escaped.

Literally 1 minute later on this same street, we passed by a man, and I said, "good morning!". When he responded I realized he was really drunk. For some reason he got really mad that I said good morning haha. So he started yelling at us, "Who do you think you are?! Where are you from anyways? Germany? Hey! Come back here!" But we kept walking. We were walking when suddenly a beer bottle crashes to the side of us. We turned around to see another flying towards us. So now we had a drunk man, throwing beer bottles, following us. Luckily we were protected like Samuel the lamanite, well, that and he was drunk and couldn't throw very well haha. So we walked faster and lost him. He turned around and continued on in the direction where we had come from, where the dogs were waiting him haha. So Satan was working a lot yesterday. We got to Alejandro's house and he told us he wasn't going to go. AH! It hurts when investigators or members fall and decide not to go. So we talked with him about how going to church is what prepares him for his baptism and marriage. I asked him, "who do you think deosn't want you to go to church?"..."the devil..." he responded. We talked about how it is a war. Satan is always going to give excuses or reasons not to go, but God wants so badly for us to go so He can bless us. "So who is going to win Alejandro?" We asked him. "I think God will win..." he said. So he came! It was great to see Heavenly Father change his heart and they were so blessed for coming. 

Later in the evening we had a super great lesson with Kathy. I realized this week that in the mission, we have gotten kind of casual with things, searching more for numbers or to check the box instead of really doing what is best for every person individually (even when that option is harder). So I decided that I wasn't going to do that anymore. Starting with the retention lessons. So I called all the families I could think of, talked with everyone to see who could go with us to help us teach Kathy, but no one could. I kept going and thought of who else I could ask...and asked some more. Everyone said they couldn't, but I still prayed we could find someone so we could really do it in the Lord's way. When we were on our way to the lesson a family, who wasnt going to be able to, called us and told us they could. So we had an amazing lesson with them. The spirit was so strong and Kathy connected well with them and saw their examples. We left a powerful spirit in the home and it just left me amazed. The Lord's way is SO amazing. It is so much better than anything we could ever do. So from now on, the Lord's way is the way I will do everything. 

A couple fun stories. I was doing a baptismal interview with a little girl who is 8 years old, I asked her why she wanted to be baptized and she said, "so that I can be a daughter of God." 
Yesterday we had dinner with a less active family. All the family is less active, but their 4 year old daughter, Silvia, LOVES church and begs them every week to go. As we were waiting for dinner, I was talking with her and said something about being cold. She randomly disappeared. 2 minutes later, she came back with her little blanket that she gave to me, and told me, "so you can cover up!". Awwww. I want to be like Silvia. I love the times when you can see the light of Christ shining in people, especially in children, who are so much more pure, so much more aware of needs, and so much more in tune with the Lord's way than we are. 

Ah, I have been so humbled this week by so many things. I have so many weaknesses and am so imperfect, but I am learning that if we do everything in the Lord's way, and beg for His grace, it will always come. I know His grace is so real. I feel it everyday. Christ is everything. 

I love you all so much! Find someone who is cold and bring them a blanket this week! 


Elder Tenney

fotos: It is getting cold, so I am all geared up with my winter gear! 

Joy in Serving

May 19, 2014

Hey Family! 

This week went by super fast. It was a great week. 

So here in Argentina, obviously soccer is huge, but there are 2 teams that are the most popular: Boca and River. They are huge rivals. Anyways, yesterday River won their last game which made them the champions. So there were tons of gun shots (hopefully all just in the air haha) and people celebrating, cheering, and drinking (a lot). All of the cars were honking in celebration while the passengers stuck their bodies out the windows with flags and jerseys. We were on our way home last night from another area in the zone and we were in a remis as we looked down the street there was a mob of people with flags and everything parading around the city blocking the street. Luckily we could turn and pass around them, but it was kind of awesome. But my favorite part was when we were waiting at the bus stop. A group of 20 fans of River passed by celebrating and there was, on the other side of the street, 1 man alone walking and celebrating to himself. So he yelled to them and they all started cheering to him, and afterwards he just kept walking down the street alone celebrating to himself...alone, but apparently having a gerat time. haha. So lesson learned, it IS okay to celebrate alone. 

This week was so fast I can hardly remember what happened. We had several days where everything fell through, then we went with the back up plans, and those fell through too haha. But we kept working and we were so blessed. We found a ton of new investigators and were blessed with many opportunities to serve. 

We were praying a lot for Alejandro and Cecilia this week. The last 2 weeks they said they were going to come to church, but when we passed by on Sunday told us "next week..." so we were planning on dropping them for a while if they didn't come this week. When we passed by on Tuesday, Alejandro told me he had done all the papers so that they can be married in June! All by themselves they went and did everything! I was so happy for them. They are reading and praying. Yesterday we passed by before church and they were all getting ready! They came! It was such a miracle to see the Lord change or increase their desire. They live in such humble circumstances and have many trials, but still are making the sacrifices to change. I am excited for them. 

We are also working with Oscar and his family. The rest of the family are members. He has talked with the missionaries a lot, but never wanted to participate in the lessons. He has really started to trust us and is progressing slowly but surely. So please pray for him and his family. They are amazing.

Really, I don't remember any other big things that happened. Marianna and Kathy were confirmed this week and are super happy! (especially Kathy because River won). My companion's ribs are healing. And Mom, in response to your request/commandment I have stopped drinking water from the faucet. My companion started a diet to prepare for marriage after the mission, so he is getting smaller, and I am getting bigger from eating his food. So it's a win and a loss. Hmm.

I am so excited and grateful to be a part of this work. Everyday I feel so much joy in being able to serve the Savior. One day this week, we left our lesson and were about 15 minutes away from our apartment walking. We looked at the time and it was 8:53, so we ran as fast as we could, holding our scriptures and a container of food some members had given us. So we ran and ran, still greeting people as we passed by them, and finally got there, super exhausted, looked at the time: 8:58! 2 minutes to spare! Even though we were super exhausted and lost a little bit of our food in route, I was so happy to be able to serve that day and make sacrifices to be exactly obedient. Every moment is a joyful moment in the service of Christ! I love the Savior! 

Have a great week! Love you all!!!


Elder Heath Tenney

Saturday, May 17, 2014

He Does It All

Monday, May 12, 2014

Hey family! 

It was so so good to talk with you all yesterday. I loved it. Everyone looks great and happy. Kathy and Juan and their family were excited to meet you all. 

This week was super busy, but so great. President Gonzalez visited the mission and talked 1st with the whole mission and later in the week with the leadership of the mission. It was sooooo good and inspired. The mission is about to explode!!! He is from Uruguay. They were presenting him and a little about his life and randomly said, "and he graduated from the university of Indiana." haha. So apparently he studied in Indiana which is cool. 

After the meeting with Pres. Gonzalez, we went to the doctor of the mission so that he could check out my companion. It ends up that my companion has 2 fractured ribs, so that was part of the problems that he has had with not being able to breath. So now I'm going to stop hitting my companion while he's sleeping...;)

This week we worked with Kathy and Mariana a lot to prepare them for their baptisms. Mariana basically teaches us. Even before being baptized, she was talking with less active members who live close by and inviting them to church for her baptism. So she is incredible. With Kathy we were praying for her that she could stop smoking, she still was lacking the determination to stop. But she did it! 

Yesterday was so beautiful. 1st, Juan confirmed 2 of his children, Julieta and Martin, and later baptized his wife, Kathy, to complete his family. Then we watched our miracle Mariana be baptized. She was so happy. Afterwards all the women of the ward hugged her and welcomed her. She couldn't stop crying. I was standing in the chaple, seeing all the members welcoming Kathy and Mariana, and everyone was smiling, the spirit was so strong. I hugged Juan and told him how happy I was for him and his family. Ah, I just can't even describe the joy. At the end of the day I poured out my heart in thanks to Heavenly Father for those sacred moments. Those moments that make me beg to Heavenly Father to please never let me forget this day. It was amazing. 

With every investigator and every baptism, I think I have been expecting to feel on the day of the baptism or confirmation some sort of feeling like, "we did it!". But I really have never felt that feeling I was expecting. But what I do feel is joy. Pure joy for them. And I am left amazed, thinking to myself, "how did this happen?". I still feel like we didn't do enough to help this person get to this point. I don't really feel "proud" for our work. I am just left filled with gratitude. But I realize that I don't feel that "we did it" feeling because we didn't do it. Christ did it. HE is the one who suffered for these people. HE is the one who touches their hearts, heals their souls, and transforms them. HE is the one who does it all. So I am left with overwhelming gratitude for all HE does for these people, for the work HE did, because HE does it all. We are just the messengers. I know that Jesus Christ lives and His atonement is real. It changes souls. I am so grateful for Him, who does all of this work. 

I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week! If you can, please pray that we can find prepared families this week! We need it! :) 


Elder Tenney

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Just Enough Strength


Hey family! 

So much happened this week. We are continually seeing miracles here. 

On Tuesday, we had a great meeting with President Ayre. I was feeling really sick afterwards. We went to work and it just got worse. It was a struggle not to faint, but I was so blessed with strength to keep going. It was super hard, but I am sooo grateful for moments like that. The moments when I feel horrible and like I can't keep working, but the Lord gives me just enough strength to keep working, just enough strength to invite one more person to come unto Christ. We were talking to Tobias, a recent convert. His mom has always rejected the invitation to listen to us, but as I fought the urge to close my eyelids the impression came that I should invite her. It was even difficult to speak, but the words came out, and I invited her. For the 1st time, she actually accepted! She sat down and talked with us. I could hardly pay attention to what was going on, but I used the little ammount of energy I had to testify of what my companion had taught and invite her to church with her son. When we got home, after planning for the next day, I collapsed on my bed, feeling literally the most exhausted I have ever felt in my life, but so grateful for the opportunity I had that day to serve. We are praying that the mom of Tobias will change! 

We were with a member who went with us to an appointment and she told us of her uncle who is living with them because he had some family problems. We asked if we could talk with him, she said we could try. So we went in the house and me Carlos, we asked him if we could talk with him. The spirit was so strong from the start because we could feel how much Heavenly Father loved him. The spirit completely guided everything we said. It was so evident that Heavenly Father sent us there to him. We read the scriptures with him and invited him to come unto Christ. He came to church on Sunday! And now he is reading his scriptures and praying again. It left me humbled by the sacred calling and responsability that we have. We were literally sent there by God to be HIS hands and say His words to comfort, love, and bless His son. He does everything, we are just His hands. And to be His hands is the most incredible priviledge and experience in the world. Afterwards, Elder Hilton (we were doing exchanges) said something to me about how he liked the scripture I shared and how he had never before applied or thought of it in that way, and I realized...I never had either, the spirit taught it all. 

We are continuing to teach Mariana and prepare her for her baptism. We don't even have to do anything haha. We could really just give her Preach My Gospel or the pamphlets and she could prepare herself. She is golden. She went with us to the house of her neighbor to share the gospel with them and was testifying of the truthfulness of the church. She is reading the BOM everyday. We taught the word of wisdom and she gave us ALL 8 boxes of her tea without hesitation. (Just before the lesson she was talking about how much she loves tea haha), She is just amazing. She is going to be baptized this weekend. 

We had the baptism of Julieta and Martin Gomez! Kathy had a rough week and started smoking again, but she will be ready this next week! It was so special to see Juan, who just 4 weeks ago was inactive, become worthy and baptize his 2 children. He had tears in his eyes as we hugged after the baptism and told me how much this meant to him. Ah, it was so special. I love that family so much. 

I am happy. I love this work so much. Everyday I am overwhelmed with gratitude to be here. I love the Savior! 


Elder Heath Tenney