Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 17: The Gift Of Tongues is REAL!

This week was awesome. Elder Christensen and I have been doing so much work. Elder Christensen said that he has never been teaching this many people all at one time. But the week started on Wednesday. Literally though. I don't know what happened to Monday and Tuesday. If anyone knows where Monday and Tuesday went, can you tell me? Thanks:) On Wednesday I really tried to do things that I needed to get done, and not be the following trainee, and rely on my Elder Christensen to do everything. I kept thinking of the quote: See a need, Fill a need. There is always a need, like always, and It's our jobs to fill that need immediately. If you push the need off to the side, it will become lost or forgotten, that's why it is so important to fill that need immediately. Elder Christensen has taught me that when ever you have a good thought about something, write it down immediately. Don't wait, because if you wait, you will forget. So I give that same challenge to all of you: when you have a thought about doing something later, write it down, either on a piece of paper or in your phone, or somewhere where you can look back to it. Because the spirit gives amazing ideas, like really though, I think He is pretty good at it. So if you have a good thought, write it down!!!! 

Still on Wednesday (btw). We had a lesson with Milton, Lorenzo's son. We taught him the 3rd lesson: the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I studied more for that lesson, than I think I have studied for any other lesson on the mission. We had a really good plan laid out prior to the lesson as well so we were expecting it to be a bomb lesson, and guess what? IT WAS!!! Not only was it good, but I understood everything that was said. It is usually super hard for me, especially because Milton and Lorenzo are from El Salvador, and have the strongest Salvadorian accent. But when Lorenzo was talking, I understood and was following along. In the lesson I was so overjoyed that I literally was laughing. I couldn't believe I could understand him. Usually I just sit there and nod my head, like yeah that makes sense, then I usually ask Christensen: what did he just say? But no!!! THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS FOR REALS!!!!! The spirit was so strong and I LOOOVVVVEEEEDDD it! I know that learning something new takes hard work and dedication. But if we really focus on accomplishing little goals at a time, the final goal will be right around the corner. It's just like my dad always said: "You can't eat a whole whale all at once, rather you take one bite at a time".

On Thursday everyone in our zone had interviews with our mission President. It was really nerve wracking, because my mission president scares me. I don't know why. But don't worry I got through it. He gave a lot of great tips and points on how I need to take action. He also said to read "Adjusting to Missionary Life" again. I remember doing that in the MTC, but I really skimmed over it, because it really didn't apply to me. But here in the field it is much different, and that booklet has really helped me. Every time I have free time (which is like never) I do it and it helps so much. So all you missionaries out there, I challenge you to read that again.

Friday and Saturday were both amazing. I'll start on Friday. Guess what? You'll probably never guess, so I'll tell you ;) I finally shaved!!! Yeah that's right. It took a whole 18 years for those facial hairs to be cut off, but it finally happened. I used Elder Christensen's old electric shaver, and I think I pressed too hard, because my face hurt for the whole day. But besides that, we had planned to teach 3 lessons with a member and another lesson but every single one canceled; it was so sad. But the positive thing was, was we taught English Class and we had 4 new dudes that showed up . . . and I'll tell you a bit more about those 4 dudes in a few lines down. Saturday's are the day that we go and visit all less active families. We got the opportunity to visit with 3 families. The Farley's, Raul (he is just a single dude, so I guess he isn't a family) and the Martinez'. They were all so amazing. We also invited them to the one and only Halloween party that the 3 wards in our building have. So yes, we had a Halloween party and it was so much fun. We had 10 less actives come and 8 investigators come. It was incredible!!!! It was great because the ward rented a bouncy house, made a gallon of dip and it was sick (name that movie). Great turn out, after we had worked so hard to get everyone there. The less actives and all the investigators met so many people in the ward. I loved it!!!

On Sunday, we were planning on getting a ton of people to church. But it was raining so hard on Saturday and Sunday, that the streets were flooded all over the place. So when church started we only had one investigator come, and we were pretty frustrated. But half way through sacrament meeting, those 4 dudes from English Class showed up. It was a miracle!!! They thought that English class was at 11 on Sunday, but in fact it was Church. After sacrament meeting a lot of the ward members went up to them and said hello and introduced themselves. T'was amazing. Even more amazing was that all 4 of them stayed for the 3 hour block. Also another amazing event that happened on Sunday was, we had a Mission President's Fireside. What happens is all the Spanish missionaries go and sing in a fireside, and recent converts and President Mortensen all give there testimonies. The best part, was at the very end when we sang Army of Helaman in Spanish. I got the chills so bad. The spirit was so strong.

I have one quick challenge before I go. This week we have been trying to focus our efforts on the youth. I have been sharing with them some of my favorite talks from General conference (Your four minutes by Gary Stevenson, and Mountains to Climb by Henry B Eyring; are two of my favorites) and encouraging them to read them and share them with a friend. Some of them came back and told me how it went on Sunday, and they said that it went great. That being said, I give the same challenge out to each one of you. Find one of your favorite talks or quotes or scriptures and share it with a friend. Help lift a person up this week. 

Have a great week all you lovely people. Remember that Heavenly Father will help us with any challenge or trial we face, as long as we have faith in him and WORK through our challenges. 

I love you all. 

Love Elder Heiner

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Week 16: Hoarders, Elderly Convention, and The Temple

This week was filled with service opportunities. Our first one came on Tuesday. We had the opportunity to help a family in our English ward clean out their garage and house because there were people who were coming to inspect it. We were like . . . YEAH we would love to help, because I feel like that's what us missionaries do, is help personas. Entonces, we went and helped. When we got there and went inside, their house was filthy. Everyone be grateful for what you have because this house was just awful. I don't have words to describe how awful this house was. We helped for an hour, but they just had us move trash to the side, to clear out this one area. It was insane!!! It definitely made me grateful for what I have, because there are elementary school kids who live in that house and I can't stand to think what they go through.

But now on to the positive side of things of service. We had an awesome chance to help at an Elderly Convention because we are "ELDERly" hahaha. . . see what I did there? I thought it was good. But we had the opportunity to serve people and give them food, and other things. We had our whole zone helping out, in our bright yellow shirts, and it was a lot of fun. There were a few elderly who wanted us to come to their house and help them out with more service. I was like of course. I'm excited to help them soon. But the Elderly Convention was so cute to see all those really old people with their spouses dancing. Precious!!! I was like, I hope this is like me and my wife one day.

On Wednesday I had the opportunity to go on an exchange with Elder Norton. It was fun. We first went to Felix's house. He is this really old man who is less active and he is a hoarder (just to let you know). We went to throw away some of his stuff, and all he told us to do was fold plastic bags and put them in a bucket. He was being really stubborn and wouldn't let us throw anything else away. We started thinking of ways to throw things away but he caught us every time. It was fun and really funny. He really didn't like Elder Norton because he always caught him throwing away things, but the good news is that he never caught me . . . Wahaha (That's my missionary evil laugh). We started ripping bags and that helped a lot, but then he caught us again. SOOOOO . . . yeah I now can say I have folded plastic bags and put them in a bucket, one more check off my BUCKET list ;) After we got done folding plastic bags at ol man Felix' house we went and strolled down to the border of the mish, and took some pics of Houston, because E. Norton had never seen the sky scrapers. So after we looked all cute and such we went and taught a recent convert lesson with Raul. We taught him family history, and it was amazing the spirit was so strong. I love teaching the Plan of Salvation and Family History because the spirit is really able to testify that the things we tell them our true. I am so grateful for the opportunity to know where I am from, why I am here and where I'm going after I die, because there are so many people that do not know this truth. 

On Saturday we had the opportunity to go do baptisms for the dead with Lorenzo (who was baptized a week ago). It was amazing being in the temple again. The spirit was so strong. Lorenzo said that it was such a wonderful experience. He was so happy. He had the biggest smile on his face in the temple. I love the temple. I encourage you all to go to the temple. Especially you guys in Utah, because there are so many people who have to drive so far just to get to the temple and in Utah its just right down the road. But I love the temple and I love the peace that I feel there. If any of you haven't been in a while, GO!!! If you can't go inside, go sit on a bench in the temple grounds, because the spirit is so strong on the grounds as well.

The rest of the week was amazing. I am coming closer and closer to my savior everyday. I have pleaded with my Father in Heaven in my prayers for guidance. I have such a strong testimony of prayer and I know that it can bless lives. If your life is hard and you have a lot of trials in your life, CRY UNTO OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN!! HE IS THERE!!! I love you all and I hope you have a lovely week. 

Love Elder Heiner 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 15: Peanut Butter Jelly Time, The Cops, and Milagros

Wow time flies when you are having fun (Elder Freeman that was for you). This week was fun, stressful, a bit nerve racking, and FAST!!! Our mission does an event called 8 week Follow-up. What it is, is all the missionaries who came into the field on August 12, get to have a big meeting with nuestro Presidente (our President), to see the progress on our teaching. Prior to the meeting, we had to complete 3 outlines of the first 3 lessons in PMG (Restoration, Plan of Salvation, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ). Before the 8 week follow up, on Monday and Tuesday, I was stressing so much. I thought we were going have to teach all three lessons, but thankfully we just taught parts of each lesson. It was awesome to see Elder Fitt and Hermana Bowman, because it brought back good memories from the MTC. It was weird how much I missed them. It felt like just yesterday when we were the only ones left in our tiny MTC room, just the 3 of us, being taught by Hermano Mecham. It's crazy that it's already been a transfer and a half since leaving the CCM (MTC). Anyways, when we started teaching during 8 week, President came over and sat right next to me. I was like "come on President you could have sat by 29 other missionaries." He stayed for like 10 min to hear my lesson about the Apostasy (btw our lessons were in Spanish, and I struggle with teaching in Spanish, English is just fine, but Spanish es mas dificil ((is more difficult)). Finally he left and it was a relief, like I was much happier. Before he left he gave me a few pointers to practice Spanish more (I saw that one coming haha), and to simplify things down. I'm grateful for the guidance that he gave. I know that the gospel doesn't have to be complicated. If the spirit bears witness to the investigator that these things are true, it doesn't have to be super long. Overall 8 week was a great experience. I learned so much. Elder Christensen and I have already been using a lot of the tips that were given. 

Guess what . . . It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time (EXTRA EMPHASIS)!!!! But we lost the Jelly. But that's ok. On Thursday we got the opportunity to go to a peanut butter factory, to help serve. Every month, a companionship in our zone gets to go to the Peanut Butter factory, and make and process peanut butter. We had heard a lot of good things about it. When we got there, the guy who was introducing it, told us: You all are going to love your jobs extra much after you do this job. I was like, why? (All scared and such, was my face). So for 5 hours we basically put lids on to the peanut butter. The time went by soooo slow. I think someone might have turned the clock back a couple hours, because it just dragged on and on. But don't worry, I am pretty good at putting on lids. You guys would be proud. Well on that note, lets get to some milagros (miracles).

This week was packed with things to do. We didn't have too much time to go finding, but we managed to open up a slot of 45 minutes on Thursday to go knock some doors. We had found this giant apartment complex that was really hidden, that had never been knocked in the history of Elder Christensen's Liberty experience (Liberty is the name of our area), entonces (then) we didn't know what to expect. On our 3rd door there was this 6 year old girl was looking at us through the window of her apartment, and just was not going to open the door. Finally her mom came, and we did our door approach and the mom let us in. The little girl was absolutely sure that we were the cops!!! It was really funny and cute all at the same time. The husband came into the room and we taught both of them the beginning of the Plan of Salvation (there names are Hector and Jennifer). The spirit was super strong and they were glued onto us. We had just finished telling them where we came from, when we left them on a cliff hanger at why we are here. It was kind of like when my mom told my sister and I stories when we were small, and said, "I'll tell you tomorrow"; It was like that. I was even shocked that we left them off right there. But I know it left them wanting more, which is what we know they need. We are going to meet with them on Wednesday and are really excited. In the rest of that 45 minute period we had knocked, maybe 10 doors, and had found 4 new investigators. Heavenly Father blesses his children when they put an effort to accomplish a goal. 

Another miracle was partaking the sacrament. It was amazing to renew my covenants with Heavenly Father, after not doing so in 2 weeks. Sacrament meeting felt extra special. I am grateful for the opportunity to renew my baptismal covenants every single week, and be clean. It is an incredible blessing to take the sacrament that should never be taken lightly, and I am oh so grateful for it.

Thanks Mom, you are the best mom in the whole wide earth. Thanks family for the lovely box of happiness. The pictures from home are so cute. I can't believe you found giant stuffed bears at Costco. Everyone looks and sounds like they're doing so good. I love it.

Well I hope all of you have a splendid week. Remember that you can get through any trial with the help of the Lord. Even if it is something smaller, like learning a new language. I know that y'all can do it. Because everyone is a child of God, and He loves us, so He will help us along the way.

Hasta Luego everyone. 

Love Elder Heiner

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 14: General Conference and I was Stalked?

Our awesome zone. Take 1.

This week went by so fast, and not too much happened. We had a ton of lessons fall through, which was super sad, but sometimes those kind of things happen on the mission. Everyone says that they don't have any time. It was really funny because we went out finding and we knocked this door and the person said: sorry I don't have enough time, but she was watching TV. and I was like, come on I've heard better excuses than that. But that's ok, she just wasn't prepared by the Lord to hear the truth, but maybe one day she'll be ready.

A few things that happened this week that are pretty amazing is, we got 4 referrals this past week. Elder Christensen said that it has been so long since we had even received one referral. I definitely have a testimony that every member is a missionary. One of those referrals was from a less active named Hermana Cosillo, and the guys named is Joe. He speaks English, and he definitely has been prepared by the Lord. We taught him the restoration and he felt the spirit very strong. We asked him if he can read and pray about if these things that we taught him about are true. He told us that he is a bad reader but that he will try.  We followed up with him and he said that he had read for 3 hours. He would read the Book of Mormon, then ponder it, and then read again. He read 5 chapters, but when he told us about them, he knew those chapters. He didn't just read to read, yet he read to be spiritually nourished. Plus he came to the priesthood session and then came to both sessions on Sunday. We are excited, because we are going to set a baptismal date with him tonight for November 1st. He is so prepared.

We have another huge blessing that has come up in the past 2 weeks. Lorenzo, the guy we just baptized, his son who is 17 just got here from Salvador. Lorenzo has been teaching everything starting from the restoration, and his son is understanding it. Man I love Lorenzo. Milton, is Lorenzo's son's name, has come to church twice, and we are going to set a baptismal date the next time we go over to his house. Lorenzo has more of his family still coming over from Salvador and I can definitely see this family one day being sealed in the temple. 

So General Conference was absolutely splendid. I had a lot of questions going in which most of them were answered within the first session on Saturday. My favorite talk was by Dieter F Uchtdorf and I loved when he said this, "Brothers and sisters, if you ever think that the gospel isn’t working so well for you, I invite you to step back, look at your life from a higher plane, and simplify your approach to discipleship. Focus on the basic doctrines, principles, and applications of the gospel. I promise that God will guide and bless you on your path to a fulfilling life, and the gospel will definitely work better for you. God will take you as you are at this very moment and begin to work with you. All you need is really a willing heart, a desire to believe, and trust in the Lord. As you exercise a little faith and begin your walk as a peaceable follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, your heart will change. Your whole being will be filled with light. God will help you become something greater than you ever thought possible. And you will discover that the gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed working in your life". Many times we have doubts with the gospel, or within ourselves. In that moment when you are feeling defeated, take a step back, and look at your life from a higher plane. Don't look at yourself through mortal eyes, because you might miss something, look at yourself the way our Heavenly Father sees you. I know that you will see a difference.

Thanks everyone for your support and help with getting me to this point. Thanks mom and dad for the packages, and the coat. Even though it still is 80 degrees every day, I have heard it gets freezing, like Elder Fong in Canada haha, but thanks again. Tell Kim and Janise thanks for the package and the card. Also can you ask Grandma and Grandpa if  they knew a Tonya Anderson from Star valley, because she is in my English ward and she said she grew up with some Heiner's in Star Valley. I also love hearing how the families doing and I'm glad that William actually loves me. That was the #cutestvideo ever. I'm also glad dad didn't stalk me when he was here. You didn't, right dad?!!!! Cause if you did I would have gotten all crazy up in here!!! Probably not right here or anywhere but you never know. But it was really weird knowing that he was in my area. Plus we went to visit a guy kind of close to the Castillos, so technically I was like 2 minutes away by car from my padre (father), so that was crazy!!!! 

I love you all and I love hearing how your lives and missions are going. Stay strong, and never forget that your Heavenly Father loves you. He has a plan for all of you.

All of you, stay #cute, and remember who you are. 
Hasta Luego 

Love Elder Heiner

Our awesome zone, take 2.

Here is us missionaries with some random people from the Houston 5th ward. Elder Nortons face is the best.
(He is on the right side of me.