Sunday, July 23, 2017

Juan in a Million

Elder Garcia and I on a trip to the snow

While we continue to teach our ongoing investigators, and zone conference (focused on the Plan of Salvation) was awesome, I want to take some time to introduce you all to one of the new people we have started to visit and teach. His name is Juan.

We met Juan on Thursday when we were knocking doors. My companion decided to randomly lead off with the Word of Wisdom (not our usual starter), but something worked because Juan invited us inside to discuss biblical evidence for it. We read from 1 Corinthians 15 where it says that our bodies are temples, and we should treat them as such. Juan seemed to like what we were saying and committed to live it.

Nachos with the Sotomayors
Flash forward a few days:
We pass by on Saturday to check in on Juan. Turns out the dude had not only read the Word of Wisdom pamphlet we'd left with him, he had ALSO started to live it - completely cut out coffee and tea from his diet. Even better, he asked us to teach him another lesson. OK! So we started teaching him about the Restoration.

Part way through he interrupted us to tell us about an out-of-body experience he'd had. A while ago, he died in the hospital, and his spirit left his body and tried to go to the Spirit World, but he couldn't get in because he was "locked out." So his spirit then returned to his body, and he revived even though he was already being sent to the morgue. Luckily the shocked doctors came rushing over to help him out.

He also shared with us a dream he had where he was alone and dying in the desert when out of the blue a dove flew out from his shoulder and gave him the "water of the life of Christ."

Because he shared these experiences with us, we had a good discussion about what all of this could mean. The Spirit in the room was strong as I told him that he was saved so that he could find the restored gospel, and that we were there, like the dove, to bring him God's word.

He accepted the challenge to be baptized and to come to church. Sure enough, he came on Sunday: in fact, he even arrived early before we did! BLESS YOU JUAN!

with Hermanas and Leandro in Ward Council

It's people like Juan that make this work so rewarding. He's so open to hearing the gospel, and when he hears what we have to say, he doesn't just like it - he does something about it! Juan is opening himself up and is willing to let God come into his life and change it all for him. Juan, my companion, and I - we can all see the change happening already.

I hope Juan continues on this journey he's started, and I hope the same for the others we teach, and for the millions out there that are currently being taught, or will be taught some day.


I love the gospel, I love the Lord, and I love all of you.

Have a great week everyone,
Elder Connor Nef









Sunday, July 16, 2017

Short Message This Week

The work continues to go well, everyone! We have two people committed to baptism later on this month, and a few others in our teaching whom we have high hopes for. 

We're working and studying hard. Here's a scripture from my studies this week:

For if there be no faith among the children of men 
God can do no miracle among them; 
wherefore, he showed not himself 
until after their faith. 
Ether 12:12


Eating hamburgers with the Uribe family.

Have a great week everyone!
Elder Connor Nef












Sunday, July 9, 2017

Happy 4th!

with Pancho, Elder Garcia, and Jose
Happy Fourth of July this past week everyone! My district and I celebrated our Independence day with a barbecue because yours truly here loves a good bite of liberty for lunch. Appropriately, many of the streets of Chile have names like "Independence", "Liberty", and so on. It's helping me get in the mood.

And let me just say that there's something in the air besides freedom and justice for all: the work is picking up here in Parral, and I am loving it. So many people are coming out of the woodwork with an interest in the gospel, and many of them have a connection to members of the church somehow.
Check out this horse hoof I discovered on the road. Cool.
Andres, for example, is a young man with a girlfriend and young daughter whose mother was a strong member that recently passed away. He says he doesn't like religions, but he does like ours. Or there's a sweet elderly couple whose daughter is a member, and they treat us missionaries like their grandkids. All of them came to church this week -- the first time this sector has seen investigators in church in a long time. Awesome!

Member involvement is also keeping our energy high. Leandro, the ward mission leader, continues to be an inspiration in how much effort he puts into his calling. Pancho is another member who, since his baptism five years ago, has accompanied all the missionaries in teaching investigators. And Jose, even though he's not much of a talker, heads out with the missionaries every single day. We so appreciate member help. They're the best.

In other news, it is futbol (soccer) season here in Chile, and that means that everyone drops everything to watch the games. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone (excepting missionaries of course): schools cut classes and show the games in the gym when the Chilean team plays. My mission president even asked us to pray that Chile wins. It's fun to see people so in love with a sport.
A view of the Andes from Parral
And I'm feeling that love directed to me as well. Parral is a gift to me. I feel so much love here: from the members, my leaders, other missionaries, my companion. It's such a blessing to feel all of this while doing the work of the Lord because it's like a reflection of the Savior's love for me.

I love you all,
Elder Connor Nef