Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Nov. 16, 2015 Leaving the 99, and looking for the 1

Hey everyone! well... this has been a great week, and I had
 two really cool experiences that re-testified to me the importance,
 and the significance of the scripture found in Luke 15

3 ¶And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4 What 
man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of
 them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the
 wilderness, and goafter that which is lost, until he 
find it? 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on 
his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh 
home, he calleth together hisfriends and neighbours,
 saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have 
found my sheep which was lost. 7 I say unto
 you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety
 and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

So the first is this: We brought Eduardo Maldonado to church
 with his wife and 2 kids. He is an inactive member as of years
 ago... and is like 36 years old. And we went to go pick them up
 in the morning, and he was dressed in his suit and everything, 
and his wife (evangelical) and his little 9 year old (nonmember)
daughter were dressed so pretty and all ready to go to church. 
As we were talking to him and walking to church he said "mis 
padres estàn contentìsimos que me estoy acercando de nuevo 
a la iglesia" basically "my parents are SOO HAPPY that I am 
returning back to church". Because his whole family is active
 in a ward in Talcahuano, he is just the about the only one in the
 family that is away from the church. But I could just imagine
 the joy his parents would feel seeing him and his family coming
 back to church again. Seriously, sitting in church with that family 
and Santos (who has a baptismal date for Nov. 28 and who is 
progressing super well) was truly a sweet spiritual experience! :) 

Just thinking about the importance of looking for the 1 lost sheep.

And the other experience was this: leaving to lunch one day walking
 out of our apartment there was a man behind us with a toolbox in his 
hand who kind of called out under his breath to us "hermanos ELDER"
 and so we turned and started talking to him for a bit. the other 2 elders 
with us just kept walking and went to lunch, but this guy began to tell 
us that he got baptized a long time ago and has been inactive for a long
 time. but used to be ward mission leader, and in the bishopric and lots 
of other callings. But he is separated, and living in Coronel with his
 girl friend (he was like 50 years old) and goes to the Catholic church 
each week "just to hear a little bit of the word of god". But doesn't
 practice their religion because he knows our church is true..... but 
said he cant go back to our church, because of how he is living, 
and he recognizes it, and everyone would judge him for being there. 
And then what happens next was the coolest part. I asked him "Oh Victor,
 so you feel like you cant return to church because you would feel 
uncomfortable with everyone looking at you because you cant really 
take the sacrament... right?"  he said "YES, thats exactly right" Then 
we were able to boldly testify that it only matters what God thinks, not 
what other people think of us. And this gospel, is a gospel of healing.... 
and a gospel of change! And that the Lord loved him, and knew his 
situation, and wants him to return to church, because even if he isn't 
worthy to take the sacrament now... thats the first step on the miraculously
 sweet path to repentance! I also told him to go talk to the Bishop, because 
the bishop will always lovingly help us get back on the right path, with
 the saviors help, and without judging!

And he just began to cry. And I just felt an incredibly strong spirit of love
 at that time. I felt like I loved this guy Victor so much! And I felt like God 
was directly using us as instruments to tell him how much the lord loved 
him, and needed him back on his team! So we gave him a huge hug and 
then went to lunch. And about 5 minutes later when I was thinking about
 everything that just happened.... the words from my mission setting apart
 blessing came clearly into my mind "you will see members who have lost
 their way, or new investigators. You will be a master teacher, perceiving
 their very thoughts, like King Lamoni. Its a spiritual gift." And basically
 for the past 15 months I have been trying so hard to live worthily, and 
working hard enough so that I could see at least one of those promised
 blessings I have be fulfilled. And the spirit testified to me that I saw it 
fulfilled. To everyone else it may have been a really small and virtually
insignificant little thing that happened. But to me, it was exactly the 
spiritual jump start that I needed :)

We are the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Its our
 responsibility to go out and find all of our brothers and sisters that
 are lost right now... and bring them back. Because the worth of
 souls is great in the sight of the Lord! :)

thats basically the things that happened this week. haha sorry it was 
so long. have a great week, and talk to you guys next week!

chao chao

Elder Hartvigsen :)

Attachments9:47 AM (22 hours ago)
Pinata for the party for the Elders going home

The Elders who are going home, or "dying"

Party for them with amazing Mexican food

An Hermana from our ward made all of this!

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