Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 30, 2015 My new area Chiguayante

Along the Bio Bio river
Our view out our windows.  Our apartments are the same

Our new trio. Me with Elders Garcia on the right and Ribiero in the middle

Look who I saw at the hospital!!!  Luke Yamada from Alpine!!!

Hey everyone, so first off... its been a great week here in Chiguayante! I really like the sector, and the ward! The best thing is that it is "puro planito" here. Meaning there are no hills!!!  :) Umm, I actually really like the trio that I am in, and have found it to be WAY better than I first imagined it might turn out. Elder Garcia is from columbia and goes home this transfer (may 5) and Elder Ribeiro is from Buenos aires Argentina, but he lived the last six years in Porto Alegre Brazil, and he is like 23 and was in the Brazilian army, and has really cool stories! 

Anyways... let me tell you a little bit about my first day here, and one that I will NEVER forget! My comp had borrowed a bike from a member and we went to return it, and Elder Ribeiro and I didnt know the sector or any members, and so we get the front door and this guy comes out looking really grumpy. We say hi and stuff, and he says that what we did was wrong. And he was upset with us, because we borrowed his bike without permission, and he had to walk to work that day. We said like sorry man, youre wife said we coulde, and we didnt know that you didnt know. Anyways, Elder Garcia tells him that he needs to work that problem out with his wife, not us! And we ask to come in and visit the family. He says that you guys already know how I feel about your church, and you are going to just waste time with me, my wife (a member) is busy. We assured him,. we wouldnt be wasting our time, and he finally let us come in. We sat down and it seemed like he began to interrogate us. He tells us that he is a Jehovah`s Witness, and doesnt like the Mormon church at all. He was like "yeah I know what you guys try to do. You just try to convince people to joining your church and believing in it. But its not gonna work on me" and he starts asking us about if we have had success "convinving people" in the past... and well my companions were pretty quiet, and so I kind of stepped up to try to defend ourselves a little and really what our purpose is! That we teach, and then invite the people to pray so that God himself can convince them. Not us!

Anyways after a few minutes, he continues and he is being super negative and everything, Elder Garcia asks if he can please call his wife to come here, because she is obviously more receptive than him, and that we really didnt come to talk to him anyway, but to his wife. And he was like no thats okay! He didnt really want to, he actually wanted us to leave. My comp tells him to go get his wife, and if he doesnt like what we have to say than he can just leave, because we didnt come to talk to him! The guy was surprised and said, "Are you seriously trying to throw me out of my own home?" And he got ticked, and my companion persisted, and I was trying to lighten things up a bit! I was like "No I am sorry sir, we arent trying to offend you, we just wanted to visit your wife, maybe we can just come back another day?" And my comp just persisted and the guy was like "OKAY, if you ask me to leave one more time I am going to kick you guys out and sick my dogs on you!" (he has 9 dogs outside of his house okay?) and so he finally gets up and leaves the room, I didnt know if he went to get his wife, or went to unleash the dogs on us...? 

Finally he comes back into the room holding a book (I first thought it was the book of mormon, and that perhaps he was going to try to give us back his wifes book or something) He handed it to me and said here this is a book from my church.... And when he gave it to me, I saw that it was a Book of Mormon, and I said "This is from your church?" I was really confused... and then his wife and daughter came out from the other room and they all started smiling and were like "WELCOME TO THE WARD ELDERS!!!" and then my comp stood up and gave the guy a big hug and everything, and then I realized that it was all a big prank!!! hahaha I was so surprised, and of course I started laughing and we all laughed about it, and my face turned red and It stayed like that for the rest of the visit, haha I couldnt believe it. Turns out that Elder Ribeiro recognized the daughter from a photo on the wall and realized it was a joke and so he didnt say anything, and Elder Garcia was just "Throwing wood on the fire" and I was taking the heat!!! hahaha. It was actually really funny, and this whole family is members and they are awesome! It just caught me way off guard! haha This family pulls this prank with all the new missionaries! And the guy told me that he was being way harder on me than he usually is, haha anyway great experience to always remember!

So this ward really is awesome here. There are so many people (140) that came to church, because in Talcahuano it was like 60 or 70. Also they are super organized with missionary work, and they have a great vision for the ward, and so overall I am really enjoying it here! My companions and I get along very well, and just being able to laugh has made it so much more enjoyable. YEah the house is a lot more squished with an extra person, but thats not really a big deal! Just so you dont worry mom, things are great!! haha ;)

ALso really quick story about an investigator of the other 2 missionaries. WE had a zone fast that we could all bring someone to the church with a baptismal date. At church (literally 2 hours before we ended our 24 hour fast) their investigator Americo pulls elder Garcia and I out into the hall and leads us to where the picture of Christs baptism is... he points to it, and tell us that he wants a baptismal date! And that he doesnt have any more doubts! (before he wasnt sure how he could pay tithing and stuff) now he says it doesnt matter. HE apparently had a really profound dream, and knows that its the right thing to do. So long story short, We fasted for this very thing, We brought this kid Sebastian to church with a baptismal date, and the other elders brought Americo who did not have a date. But he left sacrament meeting with a baptism date! Truly a miracle I believe :)

God answers our prayers when we have the right desires! Fasting works! And this is the Lords true church!

I hope you guys have a great week. Love you all!!
Elder Hartvigsen

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