Monday, October 20, 2014

True Conversion October 18, 2014


Last Sunday was one of the greatest days ever. Ricardo was baptized. He is a suepr interesting guy. He doesn't really show his emotions and he doesn't have one of his fingers (not that those two are related at all...but just a fun fact). And after his baptism, I heard him saying several different times, "Wow! What an incredible experience." And he was even smiling in the end. It was so cool. One of the most beautiful miracles in life is to see someone start to smile more, not just the act of smiling, but when you can see the smile is real. It is not about the smile with the mouth and teeth, but the joy comes from the changes that that smile reflects. Really, that is why I want to be here most. I just want to see people happy. And true, lasting happiness comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So Ricardo is amazing.

Later on Sunday, we taught the familia R about missionary work and why it is so important to share what we have. They were super impacted by it. We gave them all a piece of paper and asked them to write any names that came to mind. Every single one of them wrote 2 or 3 names, and not just that, they were asking us when we could go to visit them. And every single one of them had one of the same names on their list, Alberto. He is the dad of the family. They all want to badly for him to start going to church with them. They are praying for him and he started to read the Book of Mormon this week :) miracles. The most incredible of all was Priscila (the 9 year old who had 2 pages of notes from conference). When we asked her who was on her list, she had 14 people with whom she wanted to share the gospel. Some of them were neighbors, others were friends from school. She didn't know where some of them lived, so we gave her pass along cards to give to them at school. Then for an hour and a half or so, we divided up with a member and members of the family to go and visit the people whom they had written on their papers. It was so incredible. As I was experiencing it all, the thought came to my mind, "this is true conversion." Sometimes we think true conversion comes from experience or even just over time, but they are evidence that experience is not a factor. 
Then on Monday night, the familia R invited us over for dinner. They wet through so much sacrifice to make it for us. They made like 8 gallons of fruit salad and cooked a ton of asado for us. They really were priviledged to do it. They thanked us so much for coming just to be with them and eat their food. It is so humbling to see that kind of love and service. 

This week we found an awesome investigator named Alan. He is great. The Lord is blessing us with so many miracles. Even though we only have 3 hours to work everyday in our area, He makes up the difference. He blesses us with so many miracles. The miracles of amazing members to work with us. And amazing investigators who are so prepared. I love the Lord so much. I know He lives and is SO involved in this week.

I am living the dream. I love every moment. Have an amazing week!


Elder Tenney

fotos: baptism of Ricardo!
Today for P day we went down to the "beach". Its not really a beach, but it is cool. We took a lot of pictures. 

His Limitless Miracles, Oct. 11, 2014

October 11, 2014

Hey family! 

This week was amazing. It was filled with so many beautiful and distinct miracles. Everyday is such an adventure. I am so overwhelmingly grateful to be here. Oh and I will attach the pictures of the baptism from last week too!  

So on Tuesday we had transfers, which is super busy and crazy. There is so much to do for that, so that was a lot of fun work. 

STICK SHIFT: So last week I was super stressed by it. It seemed like I could never feel comfortable driving stick shift and I felt dumb because it isn't so hard for everyone else. I was praying a lot for the grace of the atonement to be able to learn how to do it, because Elder Heaton was about to leave and he was the only one who could drive. We went out to practice, and before we went, Elder Heaton said, "do you want to say a prayer first?", so we said a prayer and I pleaded for Heaven's help and protection. Then when we went out it was incredible, it was so much easier, I felt so much more confident and at peace. I felt completely different than the first few days. It changed in just a moment. I know it is through the atonement of Jesus Christ. It doesn't matter if it is overcoming addiction, finding forgiveness, or learning to drive stickshift, His grace is limitless and so powerful. There is nothing we cannot overcome through HIS grace. 

Last night, we went to deliver a bed to some Elders in Capital, right down town where there are all the tourists places and trafic is crazy. It was so incredible. Look up "9 de Julio, Buenos Aires" in google images and you will see the street of like 16 lanes that I drove on last night. It is such an incredible experience. Never in my life did I think I would ever be in Buenos Aires, driving through the city. 

The adventure of Thursday: So Thursday, we had to go out to Zarate (the zone furthest away in the mission). We first had to deliver a bed, then go to pick up an Elder who had to go to the hospital close to the mission home, the next day. The roads here, especially outside of the city, hardly have any lines. So I missed the exit like 3 times haha. FInally we got to pick up the Elder and his brand new companion fresh from the MTC, then we headed back. It was really late, everyone was sleeping, and it began to sprinkle...then a little harder....a little harder...and eventually it was pouring. I could hardly see anything and the roads here don't really have a drainage system for the rain, so there were just huge puttles. I was on the edge of my seat, driving so carefully. I told myself, "I am getting off at the next exit, but I couldn't even see the lines so I couldn't exit so easily. So I kept going... and the 3 Elders in the backseat had no idea what was going on as they slept haha. Finally, we got off the highway, and were 10 minutes away from home. I still could hardly see anything. We got close and now in the city where we live. I turned down the street we always turn on, and suddenly I could hear the water rushing beneath the car. I breaked, but the car wouldn't stop. I had no control. I wasn't going fast, so it stopped. But then the engine shut off. I opened the door, and the door was touching the water outside the car. We were in a river of water. The Elders awoke to see that we were stuck in a huge river of water. I tried to start the car and it wouldn't start up. I prayed. And prayed. and prayed some more. Then tried again, as the water levels were slowly rising. Finally, the car started, and miracuously I could somehow get control and back out of this flooded street. Really, it was a miracle. I thought for sure we were stuck. Adventurous Miracles!!! So after that night, it has been pretty much easy to drive stick shift in anything else, so that is a blessing too!

The greatest miracle of all is Ricardo. We found Ricardo on my 2nd day here. When we first talked  with him, he didn't seem well. He looked rough, messy hair, white beard, and missing parts of his fingers. He didn't show a ton of interest and we left him a pamphlet and told him we would check to see how it went. The morning of conference, we passed by and he said he wanted to go and he was searching for change. So he went. Then Sunday, he went again, to both sessions. He began to read the Book of Mormon everyday. He said, "It frustrates me, because I don't remember anything I read." He didn't remember, but then as we taught him, he paused us to make a comment and taught even more than what we had taught. It amazes me. He even cleaned his house that he was ashamed to let us see. Now, he is commited to be baptized. He has transformed. He told me, "I am going to continue with this forever. There is no point in starting something and not keeping with it, because you will never know what you could have accomplished, and what you could have become. I am sticking with this." This man is incredible. In just weeks, we have seen the atonement transform him. Ah, I love that man so much. Faith, not understanding is what we need for the atonement to transform us. He is getting baptized tomorrow. 

I am happy. I am so grateful to be here. It is so cool to be here in the offices, driving through the city, eating in cool places, but my desire and my greatest joy by far is being a witness to conversion. There is nothing so beautiful.

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


Elder Tenney 

General Conference, October 5, 2014


Time is flying by so fast. Normally I will write on Saturday, but this week was crazy and we didn't have time for Pday so I am writing this morning. 

General Conference has been amazing! I know that this is the Lord's church. Every word spoken is His word. President Monson is His prophet. The Lord answers prayers through His servants! 

This week was great. We had the mission temple trip this week so I was busy doing things in preparation for that and also for transfers this week. 

Yesterday, before Conference, Elder Lines (senior Elder), took me out to drive, to teach me to drive in stick shift. I love that man so much. It is such a blessing to be with and learn so much from him and his wife. When we went out to drive, it reminded me a lot of driving with Mom when I was learning to drive. The only difference was when I was with Mom, she was worried and freaked out, and I was calm. This time, Elder Lines was kind of freaked out and worried, and I was too. haha. I think I had nightmares last night hearing screams of "CLUTCH! CLUTCH! CLUTCH!" I don't like stick shift at all. haha. It's not only that, but the adventure of learning stick shift AND learning to drive in Argentina, where no one follows traffic laws and there aren't stop signs, it is just "whoever gets there first". So it is an adventure, a painful one, but an adventure. But I know the atonement will get me through it. His grace has no limits! 

So on Monday, I spent 6 hours, all day basically, filling a spread sheet with all the numbers of every area of the mission, so that we could do an analysis and see where we can improve. I finally finished it, my brain was dead, I was tired, and I closed it...without saving. I felt so dumb. So, I learned the importance of stopping so I don't lose all I have done. Now every 5 minutes, I save, so I don't lose it all. 
Which is what I need to do with this time, with all my life. Sometimes we are so focussed on work work work, that we don't take the time to "save" it in our minds, we never take moments to feel the joy and remember this. The happiest moments on my mission are the moments when I pause for a second, and notice how incredible this moment is, when I am crying within myself " I never want to forget this." I just have to take the time to be amazed by the Lord's hand, and if I do it, it is all worth it, and no effort is wasted.  

I saw His hand this week with the familia R. This is the miracle family that we found on my 2nd day here. The parents are getting everything ready to get married (it is often a long legal process in Argentina) and in the meantime, the 4 children are getting baptized. They are incredible. Really. In my entire life, I have never seen children like this. 1st they had only 1 book of Mormon, and they came home from school, literally sprinting so they could be the 1st one to read it. Melina read 8 chapters the 1st day we left it with them. Federico too. Then Orlando, who is 12, read 3 chapters from Alma and explained to us in detail the story of how the chief judge was killed. They leave me amazed everyday. Yesterday, their parents couldn't come and all 4 of them came ALONE to church to watch General Conference. Priscila, who is 9, took 2 pages of notes. 9 YEARS OLD! She showed me what she wrote and it was beautiful. Pure revelation. They are miracles. They are getting baptized today in between the sessions. 

I am happy. I am amazed by the Lord's hand. He does more than I will ever know. He strengthens me in ways I don't see. He is the light that does any good that I do. I know He lives. He is closer than we will ever know. This is His work. It is HIS Church. He is guiding it all. I love Him. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

Have an amazing General conference! See His hand this week in your life. 

I love you all so much!


Elder Tenney

Week 1 in the Offices September 27, 2014


So in the offices, our P-day is on Saturday, so from now on , I will be writing on Saturdays.

This week was crazy.  I am still kind of in shock. It is crazy how in several hours everything can completely change. Life in the offices is such a change. Really, it is so different. But different isn’t bad, it is just different. It is a different stage, but you have to love every stage of life.

First of all, life in the offices. So for all of my mission, I have followed and come to love the daily Schedule that the prophet has given for missionaries (Wake up at 6:30, studies from 8 to 11, arrive home 9:00, in bed at 10:30).  And here, all of that is different (obviously with the approval of President). We are in the offices from the morning until 5 or 6 in the evening, then we go out to work. There are a lot of responsabilities that I now have: ingressing baptismal records, planning all the activities of the mission, the food, travel plans, analysis of mission numbers, and a lot of other things that I am learning. Elder Heaton, a good friend from my same group, has been the secretary and is training me for a couple of weeks before transfers. I am grateful for him and all that he is teaching me. It is crazy how bad my computer skills have become. Haha. I don’t remember anything about Excel or anything like that. Apart from all the tasks I do on the computer, my companion is the coordinador of living (the pensions/apartments of missionaries).
Also, Elder Pirez, one of my favorite companions, is one of the assistants, so he is here too. It is awesome to be with him again. I love Elder Pirez.

So for all the contracts for apartments and things like that, I go with him to do those things. Also, if someone in the mission needs something for their apartment, we bring it to them.  In the day, traffic is kind of crazy sometimes, so it is best to go at night when there isn’t as much traffic. So we drive to do the deliveries, so I now have my liscense to drive in Argentina, which is crazy. I am learning to drive in stick shift.

So life in the mission is a lot different now. Every day is an adventure. Even though it is a lot different, my purpose is still the same-to invite others to come unto Christ. So I am trying my best to always remember that and magnify that. From 6 to 9 when we are working, I need to be the best missionary I can be. During the day, I need to take every opportunity the Lord gives me to share His love and His light, whether that is with missionaries in the office or people with whom I associate. I just want to cherish and use the best I can this sacred time. I need to always remember the sacred stewardship I have, there is so much good the Lord can do if I just let him.

Miracles of the week! First of all, in Garin, Raul and Bety are getting baptized today! That is such a miracle for me. I love them so much. I wish I could be there.  Then this 1st week here, the Lord has blessed us with even more miracles. Yesterday, a former investigator called and told us to pass by, we taught her and she wants to be baptized now! So she is getting baptized this next week!

The Lord is good. Really, I am grateful for His perfect plan. Honestly, I was super sad to leave Garin. I really can’t remember a more emotionally wrenching time in my mission. But President really helped to to feel that this call was from the Lord and he helped me to see His vision for the mission and for me in this assignment. It is literally an eternal blessing to serve so closely with President and Sister Ayre. I have never met a couple with so much charity and so much vision. It is such a blessing to be here with the Lines, the senior couple here, they are incredible too. I am overwhelmed with blessings. I know this is the Lord’s plan so I can do what He wants me to do and Become who He wants me to become. 

He’s got it all in His hands. I love the Savior.

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


Elder Tenney

Fotos: We went to the temple one night for the sealing of the converts of Elder Heaton. It was so beautiful.
Driving through Buenos Aires. Really, I feel like I am in a dream everyday.
Elder Popocha y  yo. 

I Pray it Hurts September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014


This week was so great. It was filled with tender mercies. Naoto sent me a letter than helped me so much. He talked about how in these last 5 months I have, I have to rise to a new level and be the best missionary I have ever been. It really inspired me, and I feel like I did that this week. 

On Tuesday, all our plans fell through haha. We didn't have any members to help us out for the day, but I was determined to be the best I could be, and even more. We talked with a lot of people on the street, and normally I try to get a feel quickly to see if they are going to progress or not, and I still did that, but there was a difference in me this time. I tried to talk to them like it was my last opportunity ever to testify to them of the truth. When I looked at them in that way, I stopped judging with my mind, and started testifying with my heart. With every person we talked with, it wasn't just a "normal contact" this had to be an eternal moment for this person. Even if they didn't accept, I felt the spirit so strongly and I could honestly say I did everything I could for that person. The whole week I tried to do that. 

Cecilia was confirmed this week and we worked a lot with Raul, her husband. Raul is SO special. He has a hearing aid that doesn't work very well and he almost doesnt hear anything. So teaching him we have to yell and use a lot of drawings which is fun. He told us this week, "I told Jesus that if this is his way, help me to understand and to hear so I can follow it." And it has been incredible to see the answers to his humble prayer. He can hardly hear us, yet when we ask him to explain what we taught, he explains it perfectly and beautifully with even more than what we taught him. It blows me away. It is such a miracle. He reads everything we mark for him and explains what he read and how he is going to apply it in his life. Raul is SO special. I am so humbled that Heavenly Father trusted us with Raul and gave us the opportunity to learn from him and be inspired by him. He is getting baptized this Saturday! 

We taught Bety this week about the word of wisdom. She has been smoking a packet per day and has tried and tried before to quit, but siempre ends up falling back into it. We taught her about it this week, and she was doubtful. We told her that before she was just trying to quit alone, with her own strength, but now she can do it with the strength of Christ. She humbly asked us how she can receive His strength. "You only have to believe, ask him, and keep His commandments:" ..."I want to do it" she said. "Bety, will you exercise your faith in Jesus Christ, and live the word of wisdom starting right now?" we asked. She paused... laughed a little... and kept thinking..."ehhh. Yes. I'm going to do it." So she went and got her cigaretes and gave them to us. She hasn't smoked since. SO MUCH FAITH! She also is getting baptized this weekend. Bety is a miracle. 

Last night, President called at 10:30. He was talking with my companion and said he wanted to talk to me. I got out of bed, "Hello President!" He told me he had been thinking a lot about me recently and felt that I should be called to be his new secretary. So my bags are all packed and I leave now, in several minutes to the mission offices. It probably means I will finish my mission, the last 3 transfers there. So my time being a full time proselyting missionary in my own area is finished for now. 
I was praying just this week, praying for more love for these people and for the mission. I said "I want to love these people so much that it hurts to leave them." It's funny how fast He answers prayers... I cried and cried last night, knowing I have to leave these people in Garin. I can't describe with words how much I love them. All of them - the converts, members, investigators, and strangers. It is a love so deep I have never felt. I look into their eyes and I instantly love them so much and just want to help them, like I would want to help my own brother. It truly pains my soul to leave them, to not be there pouring out my heart for them everyday, to see the miracles in their lives. It is hard. But it is such a blessing to feel this love, it is something I can never forget. I have no reason to complain because I prayed it would hurt. I prayed I would feel like this. I know I gave all my heart for them and that fills me with peace. 
So now I am going to the offices and I am determined to give all my heart to this new assignment, a different assignment, but just as inspired at all my other assignments. 

I love being able to love and to serve like the Savior. I know HIS love is real. It is His love I feel. His   love gives me strength. He lives and He does it all. I love Him. 

I love this time


Elder Tenney

foto. Familia Guelet my favorite family. so great