Tuesday, March 22, 2016

La Iglesia de Piedra

We are officially on winter schedule, meaning, our routine has moved up half an hour earlier: waking, returning home, and going to bed - and rainy season is fast approaching.  Despite the chilly weather, we visited a cave on the beach today.

"Iglesia de Piedra" - Stone Church
photo: cyclingwith antonie.blogpost
The Iglesia de Piedra near Cobquecura is basically a rock on the beach with a huge natural cave the locals refer to as Stone Church. The only thing that resembles a church are a couple of statues of Mary inside.

The town of Cobquecura was the epicenter of the devastating 8.8 earthquake in 2010, followed by a tsunami. The town has since rebuilt.
Apparently, these waters are listed as a world-class surfing destination. It was pretty cold on our visit.

Teaching is Coming Along
Prayer brings change of heart
Taught a guy named Luis who is a die-hard Catholic. "I was born a Catholic. I will die a Catholic!" But at the end of our lesson about Praying to God, he asked us for more literature on our faith.

Out of small and simple things
Our work with re-activating Carlos and Pascual has been amazing. Sure the lessons are these short spiritual thoughts, but the change it has brought in these two individuals is immense. They are active members now. Out of small and simple things, huh.
Manual is behind me giving the thumbs-up
I'm ready again
Took teenage member, Manuel (who is about to leave on his mission to Guatemala), with me on splits. I had scheduled lessons with two different families.  The first lesson was with a gal who had been taught by the missionaries before, but she had moved and lost contact.  Now she was ready again. The Spirit was strong during the lesson and we gave her a Book of Mormon.

Just Pray about it
The next lesson was even better - with a family we had visited a couple of times previously.  This family is staunch-Catholic, but get this, they read the Book of Mormon every night.  When we arrived, Manuel instantly recognized them, and the connection led the conversation naturally from visit to lesson.  We taught about prophets, authority of God, the First Vision, Restoration of the gospel, and how we can know the truthfulness of these things by praying about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. "Well, I already know the Book of Mormon is true!" says the dad.

Saturday morning we had breakfast with the Elders Quorum and High Priests. It was a big Bro-fast with lots of bread with jam, eggs, ham, and lamonisa (Chilean sausage, so good).
Because investigator Luis was there, we each took turns introducing ourselves and bearing a bit of a testimony. Luis is the sister missionaries' golden investigator. From the start, he was instantly drawn to the gospel. In fact, when the sisters showed a picture of Christ being baptized, Luis blurted out, "Oh, I need to do that, don't I?" Yes, Luis, and we can help you.

His baptism is next week.

"Language Will Not Be a Problem for You"
Elder Cowley and I make a great team when it comes to conversing with Chileans.

It's really funny because we'll be having conversations with people and I will only get the gist of what's going on and Elder Cowley will be doing most of the talking - that is until a movie/show/ music/historical/etc. reference comes up. Then Cowley suddenly doesn't understand what's going on and I actually start understanding everything they say!

So weird. Makes me bond with the members more.

You know, all blessings for my mission have consistently stated, "The language will not be a problem for you. The people will understand you and you will understand them." Note the order. First, people will understand me. That has already happened from day-1. Surprised others and myself!  But the 2nd part, I will understand them, is a process. I think a bit of fear has been holding me back on this.

Like every blessing from God, there is quick Divine help and some work we must do ourselves. That's how we grow.  And for a newb, I feel I am doing pretty well. I am beginning to have full conversations with people who slur their words and have no teeth and stuff.

Happy Easter everyone.
Elder Connor Nef

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