Monday, June 8, 2015

June 8, 2015 A June snow storm!

My favorite Colombian, Elder Ospina

Hola familia ¿Como estai? (as they say it here in chile ;) )

Its been a crazy week with wild weather here! I have definitely gotten a good use out of my rain coat, pants, and boots here! Mom they work like a charm. THANKS! It hasn't rained like super hard here... but thing is, it just rains ALL DAY without stopping. Granted we have had some sunny days, because we haven't even technically changed into winter yet!

But today added a crazy chapter onto our weather story for the week. Because for the Pday zone activity we went up to Las Termas de Chillàn. Its a super cool mountain ski resort! And it actually dumped down snow the entire day up there. There was only about 5 or 6 inches on the ground... but  think it poured down another 4 or 5 while we were up there! It was the best June snow storm I`ve ever seen before ;) haha And actually the reason why I am writing so late today is because of how long the whole excursion actually took us. We woke up at 5:30 and had to drive a ways to get there, and after being up there for a few hours and getting on the bus to come back home, the bus driving had serious troubles putting chaines on the back tires. We literally sat in the bus just waiting for over 3 hours while they struggled to put the dang things on. Haha I think it would have been pretty dangerous to go down the canyon without them, so thats why they took their time to get them on good! Anyways, it was actually a way fun activity.

They had some natural hot springs that were cool to LOOK at. (haha I wanted to jump in) and we just enjoyed the day throwing snowballs, and exploring and taking lots of pictures. Which I will try to send some of the best ones in the coming weeks!

Umm, we are starting week 6 today... and so next week we have cambios! I think Elder Sellers could definately stay or go, so its kind of still up in the air still. I will keep you posted though!

I dont know if you guys got to watch the funeral for Elder L. Tom Perry... but it was super good! We got to spend one morning watching it, and It really gave me a lot of respect for Elder Perry. Mostly because I didnt know much about him before... but he seriously made such an impact on so many peoples lives. and hearing all the good things said about him, made me wonder... that if that were MY funeral... what would be the things people would say about me? OR what would be the example that I left here on earth after I die? Its definately some good personal soul searching to do. To make sure we are really and truly living up to our full potential, and being the christlike disciple that we should all be!!! :)

And well, one spiritual experience I had this week was the opportunity to visit with this one less active guy in our branch. He was actually the Branch President before our current one. (side note, the past 2 branch presidents are inactive right now.) Its crazy!!! THERE IS A TON OF WORK TO DO HERE! Anyways... long story short, this guy is such a good guy. And has incredible potential, mostly based on the fact of how good he is with people. I can just see this guy being a great leader in the church... but truly wasting his talents away. Beacuse while he was branch president, and after being endowed in the temple, committed a really really serious sin. And not wanting to face the consequences, basically asked to be relased from his calling... and stopped coming to church. (That was like 3 years ago ish) Anyways, we have gone by a few times to visit him, and mostly be his friend. (he is like 35 ish) but this past week we had a lesson with him while he was alone, and he really opened up to us. He basically told us the whole story of why he doesn't come to church, and how he has so much shame to come back, because of what all the members will think of him. 

And this guy, knows so much about the scriptures, and tells us all the time that he has a burning testimony that the church is true. And that he will never doubt it. But just doesn't quite feel like God will forgive him, because of the severity of his mistake. And the reputation that he might have, and how it could possibly be repaired.

Well, we were definitely blessed with the spirit, because it came to my mind instantly what we needed to share with him. It was alma chapter 36. Now he didn't really remember the story of Alma the younger, so we gave a brief summary of his story. How he was one of the most "vilest of sinners" (scriptural terms) and he was literally trying to destroy the church. Along with the sons of Mosiah. And he even tells his son Helaman in chapter 36 that he had murdered many souls (in other words, brought many souls away from the saving gospel of jesus christ). After the visit from the angel, they ultimatley ALL turn their lives 180 degrees around. And Alma becomes one of the GREATEST missionaries in the Book of Mormon. And this guy was worried about his reputation. Alma had one of the worst their could be I imagine (especially being the prophet's son). So we talked about how anyone can change. And be forgiven! The atonement has NO LIMITS. Anyways, I think we really helped him understand the power of the Atonement, I know that I felt the spirit strong, and know that that is exactly what we needed to share with him.

Whether he decides to make the changes and return to church will be up to him. But we cannot be fully repentant until we fully accept the atonement, and say to the Lord "okay... I will do anything to be forgiven. Whatever it takes. Thy will be done. Not mine!"

I know for a surety that the Atonement of Jesus christ works. I have seen it work countless times in my life, and in the lives of others. And the atonement is infinite. Which means there is no excuse to believe Satans lies that "I cant be forgiven." Because we can!!! 

I love this gospel, and know its true. I love you guys all so much, and hope everything is well back at home! Have a great week!

Elder Hartvigsen

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