Monday, July 28, 2014

"¿Que es lo que sabe?..."Jesucristo"

From: "Tenney, Elder"
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2014 3:51:06 PM
Subject: "¿Que es lo que sabe?..."Jesucristo"

Hey family!

This week was another great one. 

Funny/awkward story of the week: We went to pick up our clothes from a less active member who washed them for us. In Spanish, sometimes "it" and "she" is the same. The teenage daughter came out and told us the clothes weren't ready yet. "Oh, okay! Then, tomorrow we'll pass by in the morning to pick it up."... she understood it as, "We'll pass by in the morning to pick you up." She then asked  slighly confused and slightly excited, "You're going to pass by to pick me up tomorrow?"..........    ." clothes..."  "Oh..." "Well have a great day!" hahaha. 

One of the blessings of serving in an area is the blessing to see the people who you taught become faithful members. This weekend Mariana went to the temple for the 1st time. Tears came to my eyes as she told me of how special it was to enter the temple. Then yesterday Victor received the Aaronic priesthood. Ah, I am so happy for them. 

This week was tiring. In the area, the last 2 transfers we have been blessed with miracle after miracle. It has been incredible. We had a baptism almost every week and were finding prepared people every week. Recently, I feel like I am working even harder and my faith is stronger than ever, but we aren't seeing those same miracles. We had to drop a ton of investigators and were left with 2.  Lucas was going to be baptized yesterday, but something happened and we completely lost contact with him. 
So we are left with very little. I was searching for revelation to know where to go and what to do to find the prepared people. As we planned for the week, I felt we should go to an area where we had never worked before, so we planned a day to go to this other area and pass by all the names we had there. I was so excited for it. I had all the faith that we were going to find the chosen people and explode this area. We passed by all the less actives in the area, not one of them came out, but I didn't get discouraged. I was even more excited to talk with the next person. We talked with tons and tons of people. In every moment I was praying to know what this person needs and I followed what I felt. I felt the spirit strongly as I testified to many people, but contact after contact, member after member, there was no success. Finally in the end of the day we were blessed to find someone,  but then the next day he sent us a message saying he didn't want to talk with us anymore...And to add to that, a dog attacked us and I ripped my pants defending myself hahaha. It was super funny. Anyways, I was super disappointed, but not discouraged. 
 At the end of the week, I was exhausted and stressed. I was thinking, "why aren't we seeing the miracles that we saw the entire last 2 transfers? Why am I stressed? This is the Lord's work, I should just trust in him." But I began to question my faith. Why am I stressed and worrying if I have faith? 
Saturday night, we had a lesson with Lautaro, our only investigator, who is 10 years old. He lives with his grandparents who are members, but he needs the permission of his mom to be baptized. He is such a good kid. We were trying to help him open up to learn why he really wants to be baptized so he can share that with his mom. For some reason, he was really timid this day. We asked him several questions and the response, "I don't know..." "why do you want to be baptized?"..."I don't know..." haha. Then finally I said, " Well Lautaro, what do you know?"..."Jesucristo.." he said. Jesus Christ. I just paused...and really didn't have anything else to say, I was humbled by the profoundness of his response. 
Lautaro reminds me of my own love for Jesus Christ. I don't know what it takes to receive all the miracles we need, I don't know where the elect are, I don't know what every person needs, but I know Jesus. And I have faith in Him. The stress, confusion, and frustration I feel in some moments does not mean the absence of faith. Faith doesn't mean we don't experience sadness, opposition, or internal conflicts. Faith is what we choose to do when we face the confusion, stress, sadness, or frustration. 
So I am not worried. I have faith in Jesus Christ. My faith is stronger than ever. I'll never stop asking, searching for, and acting on His inpsiration. I know He lives and that is the most important thing. I love the Savior. I love trials and the opportunity to truly show my faith in Him. 

I love you all so much! I'm so excited to tell you about all the miracles we will see this week! 

Have a wonderful week! 


Elder Tenney

Mi amigo Victor!

From: "Tenney, Elder"
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2014 1:22:33 PM
Subject: mi amigo Victor!

hola familia! 

Sorry I don't have much time again... the good news is I am getting better at soccer.We have been waking up at 6 and playing soccer for our exercise which is fun. I made a goal against 2 latinos so that definitely went in my journal.

Anyways, this week was awesome. I was doing a baptismal interview with a 14 year old girl this week and wow, it was one of those many moments where I was just overwhelmingly grateful to be here. This 14 year old girl was so determined to stay faithful in the church. She told me, "it doesn't matter how cold it is, how much it is raining, I will go to church every week." Her name is Maria. She doesn't have much support from her parents, but she goes with her brothers every week to church. Ah, these humble faithful people inspire me. 

This week we worked a lot with Victor to prepare him for his baptism. Victor is incredible. He really is the most humble man I have met on my mission. He read the whole book of gospel principles and is filled with a fire of enthusiasm for the gospel. We were teaching him and his friend Lucas. We asked a question to Lucas and after Lucas answered, Victor said, "I testify of the words of my companion..." and continued to share his own testimony haha. It was so awesome. Saturday, he came to the church for his interview, cleanly shaven, and had taken out his piercing he has had since he was 15. It may not seem like a big deal, but it was something important to Victor. It fills me with such amazement to see changes like that. To see the atonement of Jesus Christ transform someone. 
Sunday finally came, it was such a special day. Victor came to church alone. Victor didn't have a single family member or friend at his baptism because he lost the majority of his friends to follow this path. Really, teaching Victor has been incredible, different than every other investigator I have taught. I feel such a deep love for him. The first time I met him I really felt like I had met him 3 weeks later, we were awaiting his baptism. He looked nervous and like he felt alone. I asked him if we could read something together. We read in Mosiah 18:8, 10,11. At the end, when it talks of the people shouting, "this is the desire of our hearts (to be baptized)..." and they clapped their hands for joy; Victor said, "this is how I feel. This really is the desire of my heart." 
Victor was then baptized, without any of his friends from the last 32 years of his life. But I know how happy his greatest friend is in Heaven. I was so happy for him. I love that man so much. He is a good friend and I know we have been friends for a long long time. 

I know this work is ETERNAL! I want everyone to be there in the Celestial Kingdom, everyone. I love the Savior so much. It is a sacred prviledge to see His grace in my life and the lives of my brothers and sisters.  

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


Elder Tenney

Friday, July 18, 2014

Los Argentinos humildes

July 15, 2014

Hey family!

So we had transfers today. Elder Pirez left to become the new assistant to President. He will be really good for the mission. Elder Peralta stays here with me, and the new zone leader with me is Elder Mederos. He is also from Uruguay. I really am so excited to work with him. This is his last transfer in the mission. He is filled with so much love. I really am honored to serve with him.

So this week in world cup... first of all, President gave us permision to watch the game last wednesday. It was really fun to watch it with Oscar and his family. Argentina won in penalty kicks, so that was super fun. We then had to run back to our pension, but we had to go the back way to avoid seeing people. Everyone fled from their houses the moment Argentina won. They all headed to the park to eat, drink, and be merry. But I couldn't let anyone see I was a gringo, because gringo and german is the same to them haha. It was an adventure. A car full of drunk argentines passed by and screamed "Argentina!!!" and we had to act like we were celebrating too or else it would be dangerous, so we screamed back, "Sí! Argentina!!!"haha. But we got home in time and safely. The people were so crazy outside. 
Then Sunday, we were in the pension basically all day after church. Argentina lost, but they still found reason to drink and celebrate haha. So they paraded through the streets (much less than the previous night) to celebrate that they got 2nd place in world cup haha. But now everything is basically normal again. I just don't make jokes anymore that Im from Germany.

This week it was amazing to see the changes in Cecilia after her baptism. Before she was really shy. She listened to us, but never looked us in they eyes or asked questions. But the day after her confirmation, she was a completely different person. It was amazing to see. She is already helping her inactive sister and sharing the gospel with friends. Ah! I love conversion. 

I dont have much time because we are going to play soccer... The work is going super well. This last week we really didn't work that much because we had to go to the hospital twice at 4 in the morning because E Pirez had some problems, but he is okay now. But we are finding more and more prepared people. I know there are people everyday to find. The world is ready! 

I love this work. I am happy and cherishing every moment. I love you all! Have a great week!


Elder Tenney

Fourth of July Wedding, July 7, 2014 letter

July 7, 2014


This week was sooo good. It truly was a 4th of july week I will never forget. 

1st of all, mundial (world cup) continues... We had an awesome devotional this week as a mission. After the devotional President told us we were going to have a cultural activity haha. So after the devotional, we all watched the Argentina game on a huge projector. It was really fun. This week he told us we can watch the game with members. It is so cool to be here during this time. The people will be so humbled and prepared if Argentina loses ;) 

There were a lot of great things that happened this week, but the best day was the 4th of July. I began the day singing "the star spangled banner" to my companions, which I surely enjoyed more than they did. After getting all ready, wearing my patriotic suit and tie, we headed off to the wedding of Alejandro and Cecilia. I was filled with so much pure joy. It all seemed so surreal. 3 months ago, when we first met this family, they were broken, Cecilia said she wouldn't get married, and it seemed like there was no way to help them. Now, 3 months later, we were on our way to their wedding. I pondered the transformation we saw in them, I thought of Alejandro and his great faith. Even when we dropped them and didn't think they could progress, he kept going. He, alone, did all the papers so he could get married; He led his family in prayers every day; He read with Cecilia who can't read. He did everything. It was a miracle to see the enabling power of the atonement in this humble man who just wanted a new start. I truly felt like I was on my way to the wedding of my brother, which was a tender mercy with Garrett's wedding next month. 

Here, in Argentina, weddings are different. Basically you have to go to a government building and a woman there reads to you about marriage and the commitment you are making to your spouse, they ask if you accept this commitment, and you sign a paper. You also have to have 2 witnesses, so I was one of the witnesses. Alejandro and Cecilia couldn't afford a ring, so I gave them an "HLJ" (CTR) ring haha. So they used one of those cheap CTR rings as their wedding ring in the ceremony. It was really sweet. I think you can see it on Cecilia's hand in one of the pictures. Also, after weddings, it is a tradition to throw rice on the couple as they are needless to say we bought some rice to throw haha. It was all so fun. 
Then the most important part, they were baptized that night :) they were so happy. This couple truly is a miracle for us. It really blows my mind how they changed. They both had to leave so much behind for this, and it was by no means easy, but...ah, what a miracle. But the miracle wasn't just them, it wasn't their will power, nor our teaching, the miracle was and always is CHRIST. It was HIS power who strengthened and pushed Alejandro to keep going even though he was all alone. It was HIS strength that gave Cecilia the ability to forgive and forget the mistakes of the past. It was HIS inspiration that HE sent to us to know how to get the help of the ward. HIS spirit that inspired the members to help. That is the miracle. He is the miracle. The power of Jesus Christ that He grants to every one of us as we follow Him is the miracle. 

I testify that we can overcome any weakness, addiction, or fear through HIS strength. Everyone can change because HIS miracles are available for everyone.

I'm loving every moment here.

Have a wonderful week 


Elder Tenney 

The moments I always dreamed of. June 30, 2014

June 30, 2014

This week was awesome. This morning we had to go to the doctor again, but this time for Elder Peralta. He had an ingrown toe nail so the doctor had to cut it. It looked painful, but I have to admit, it was kind of funny hearing his high pitched screams haha.  But he is okay now! 

This week was awesome. We had an emergency zone meeting because the zone had a really bad week and we weren't accomplishing what the Lord expected of us. Things improved a lot this week and every companionship seems to be more obedient now. 

So before my mission, all my life I dreamed of the mission and imagined the incredible experiences where people would just be amazed by this message. This week there were experiences that were exactly like I imagined, where in the end of the lesson both the investigator and I were left in aw by this message. Ah, I love this so much. 

We also had the baptism of Aldana this week. It was a miracle. She has changed so much. In the morning Satan was doing everything to stop her from being baptized. There were so many problems that happened. But Heaven's help made it possible. She was so happy. That night, after the baptism, we talked about the last several weeks, the challenges she faced, and the person she has become. I could see the light in her. It is one of the most joyful things to see these people weeks after applying the atonement and being transformed. I know that power is so real. Her baptism was such a miracle. 

Yesterday I went with the Elders quorum President to visit a friend of a member. His name is Mauro. He told us of the problems in his life, he recently seperated from his spouse, who has a lot of problems and he is really worried about her and the children. His wife treated him horribly, but he still cares so much for her. I told him that I know God truly loves him and wants him to hear this message. We had planned something else, but I felt he needed to learn about the restoration. After several minutes, when I began to talk about the atonement and what Christ did for him, he paused me, "wait..." he said. He thought for a few seconds. "When you talk about these things, about Christ...when you say his name, I feel something, there is peace in your words...I feel peace, at home, comfortable. It is something I haven't felt in a really long time." Tears filled my eyes, because this moment is what I have always dreamed of, really, I hardly felt worthy to be in this moment with Mauro. We read in Galatians to show him what he is feeling. After he accepted to be baptized, I taught him about prayer, he said, "Could you please pray for my ex and her kids?", I asked him if he would like to say a prayer for them, and to know if the things he learned were true, if this really is the true church of Jesus Christ. He then said one of the most heartfelt prayers I have ever heard, pleading with his Father for the people he loves so much, who have lost their way. And pouring his soul out in gratitude for the opportunity to hear this message of Him and to know if it was true. I was in a hurry to leave because there wasn't anything better that we could do for him than to leave him with the spirit that was in that home. We left, and I walked away feeling like I was in the same dream I always had as a kid dreaming of this moment. 

I am sooo privildged to be here serving these people and witnessing these miracles. I love inviting others to come unto Christ. 


Elder Tenney

Share it like Mika! 6-23-14


Hey family!
We had to go to the doctor this morning again so my companion could get some x rays because he still has some problems, so I don't have much time, but this week was good!

President called us this week and told us we would be getting another companion. So now we are in a trio. Our new companion is Elder Peralta, from Paraguay. He is great. There are a lot of challenges about being in a trio, but I love the challenge and opportunity to grow. 

So we went to the zoo this week! It was good. It was very...north american. I saw a white tiger which was cool. 
Argentina won again in the world cup. People turn into animals during soccer games and after haha. It is awesome...when they don't throw things at you because your American. And that didn't happen this week so it was awesome. There was a crazy woman driving by in a car and screamed, "Woooo! Lets go! Lets go! Argentina won! what are you doing (pointing to a group of guys walking on the street) We won! What are you? peruvians?" haha. Everyone says the US is playing really well, so thats good.
Anyways, this week we saw miracles with Aldana! Aldana was super prepared. She had some doubts about her baptism this coming week, but she has been reading the Book of Mormon everyday and it took away all doubt. I asked her if she had been reading the Book of Mormon and she said, "of course! Isn't that obvious?" haha. So she is all good for her baptism!
Another miracle we saw this week was with my favorite members, the family of Oscar (who still isn't a member), but his wife and daughters are incredible. Mika, who is 16 years old, wants to go on a mission. This week she made the goal to talk with the people in her classes about the gospel. And she asked all of her classmates for their address and asked if she could pass by with several friends from her church who teach people about Christ. She gave us like 8 addresses! It really is an inspiration for me. She doesn't have any fear and was so happy to be able to share the gospel. Even when people said no, she wasn't discouraged, just said "it's okay..." and shared it with someone else!
We also had the baptism of Martin this week which was great. His Mom and her boyfriend came to the baptism. His mom before didn't want anything to do with us, but still wanted martin to be baptized. At the baptism, I talked with her boyfriend, miguel, and he is super prepared and he wants to be baptized too! It is such a miracle because Martin needs support from his mom and maybe this is the way to get it!
So things are great. I am so grateful for the time I have here and the opportunities to learn. I love the gospel! It is what people need to be saved and be happy, so don't be scared to make someone happy! Everyone should go and share it like Mika!
I love you all so much! I will have better awesome experiences next week!

Elder Tenney

Cambios del espìritu! June 16, 2014


 Familllyyy! Hey! 

I don't have much time because today isn't p day. This week it changed because our zone is going to the zoo on thursday with President!

This week was so great. There were so many amazing moments. We were so busy so everything is kind of a blury memory.
As I'm sure you know, Mundial (world cup) has started. It is so crazy here. I love it. It is so awesome to be here in this time. Everyone has their argentina flaggs out, they are selling argentina things in every store, and literally everyone watches the game. It's not like in the US where there are people who don't like sports, so they don't watch the super bowl or something like that. It doesn't matter what you like, everyone watches when Argentina plays. Luckily we were able to go to the house of Oscar and his family. He was watching the game, but we were able to talk with the rest of the family while he watched the game, then when there was a break we taught a short lesson. We had to get home early because everyone celebrates with fireworks and gunshots, so it is kind of dangerous. When we were walking home, it was awesome because literally no one was on the street. I only saw 1 car on our way home, and usually there is a good amount of trafic. It is such an awesome cultural experience. 
Anyways, this week it was so awesome to see the changes in Bianca after receiveing the gift of the holy ghost. We were teaching her parents, and she tapped my shoulder, and asked me, "there are lots of poor people, right?" I responded "yeah,"."We have to help them. They don't have food, or a place to live. We need to help them, right?". Tears filled my eyes, because we were sitting in her house where 9 people live that is only a little bigger than my bedroom at home, and they are always eating either bread or rice, because they can't afford anything else. And she was so concerned about the "poor people" who need help. I responded, "yes, we need to help them."
 Later in the week her parents gave us a referral of a neighbor,so Bianca went with us. We talked with a woman who was very catholic and set on that and told us she didn't want to talk with us. Bianca tapped my shoulder and asked me, "Should I tell her she lacks the holy ghost?" hahahaha. It was so funny. I almost said yes...but decided it wasn't the best idea. But really it has been so awesome to see the changes in her. 
Yesterday, we had a lesson with Aldana, a single mother who we found this week. For some reason, I felt that we should teach the plan of salvation. As we taught about this plan God has for us, the spirit was so strong. She told us about her grandfather who raised her, who passed away. She said she wanted some way to help him or something. We told her about the temple and she started crying. It is literally the first time she has heard where is her grandfather, and what is her purpose here and to know it is ALL thanks to Jesus Christ. Ah, it was such a beautiful moment. I love the gospel! She is going to be baptized on the 29th! 

I don't have much time, but we also were so blessed with miracles on Sunday of investigators who came and less actives. One miracle was Rosa, she hasn't gone in 13 years, when she was 16. At church, I thanked her for coming, and she was bawling, she told us thank you so much, and told about all the great memories that she remembered and the peace she felt there. 

I love this gospel and this calling so much. It is such a beautiful thing to bring the good tidings of Jesus Christ to these people. There are so many people who have never heard the truth, who are suffering, whom we can help. The gospel of Jesus Christ is what they need. It is the only thing that brings lasting peace and joy. 

I love my mission so much, it is such a sacred priviledge to be here and help these people. Christ does it all. 

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


Elder Heath Tenney