Monday, December 11, 2017

Hey, Everyone!!!

You were asking me about the transfer... and it´s the 17th (next Monday)... we´ll be getting the call on Friday, so I´ll tell you guys next week what happens. About Elder Jennings, he ends this transfer... so he goes home in a week. (He only has a cambio more than me). And yes, I got the Christmas package :) As for the Christmas conference, we had a normal zone conference where President taked with us about how we can improve as missionaries and help the investigators better. Then we played a game with all the missionaries, that was similar to musical chairs, and after several rounds, we recieved the gift that was under the chair we were at (becuase we all bought presents before, and put them under the chairs). I ended up getting a Chilean soccer ball. Then we had lunch, and there were strawberries and bananas and chocolate fountains, and then we watched Kung Fu Panda! hahaha!

Anyway, this week for me has been good too!!! We´re teaching Michelle and Fernando, who are from Ecuador. They have tons of desire to be able to progress and be baptized, so they can recieve all of the blessings that God has for them. We´ve talked to them to be able to put a goal to be married, but because they´re new in Chile, and they´re doing the paperwork to get Chilean identity cards, they can´t get married here until they have those identity cards. But the bishop´s wife is also from Ecuador, and they suggested that we could look into the possibility of them getting married in the Ecuadorian consulate in Arica... but we´ll see how that goes. We´re also helping a woman named Paola, who is what we call a ´´dry member´´ (She has everything of a typical member.... but she just hasn´t been baptized!) All her kids are baptized, and she´s coming to church, and knows basically all the doctrine of the church and has recieved her answer, that it´s true.... but she hasn´t gotten baptized, because she doesn´t want to get married... It´s kind of frustrating to see someone so close to their blessings, without being able to have all of them... but we´re trying to help her feel the need to get married. Anyway, Hope you guys have another great week, and i´ll talk to you next Monday!

Love, PJ

Monday, December 4, 2017

Hey Everyone! I don´t have a lot of time left, so this is going to be kind of short... But this week, we went to Iquique for a Christmas conference with the mission President, and we´ve found several new investigators as well... such as Fernando and Michelle, who are from Ecuador, and have tons of real intent to know if the church and the Book of Mormon are true. During the Christmas conference, I was also able to talk with Elder Jennings again, which was cool. Anyway, I´ll talk to you guys next week, and let you know more about the investigators!!!!


Monday, November 27, 2017

Hey, Everyone!!!

I´m glad you had a great thanksgiving break, and had fun with the family! As you can see, Fabian got baptized this weekend, and his mom was able to come to see it as well. The baptisms are always really powerful moments for us as the missionaries, and for the participants, but my companion and I both felt that this was a particularly powerful baptism. The entire morning, I had been super stressed out about filling the baptismal font, and rushing from place to place getting everything ready. However, when the baptismal service began, I silently asked in prayer for the Spirit to be with me and that I could be calmed. The rest of the day, I was full of peace and joy. Sometimes, we are so focused on getting everything ready for the baptism, that we lose focus a little bit, on the baptism´s purpose as the key to a person´s salvation. It´s the need of changing one´s focus from something good to something better. I was reminded of the story of Mary and Martha.... and I realized that I had to put aside the busy, stressed way of Martha, and insted, opt for Mary´s disposition to focus instead on the Savior above all things.... knowing that we can trust Him to guide us in all our choices and needs of the day. Anyway, i don´t have more time right now... but I hope you had a great week, and below is a photo of me and my best friend! ;) hahaha!

Love, PJ

p.s… A few weeks ago they called me to ask which airport I´ll be returning to, so I told them Salt Lake City, UT…. I´ll get the itinerary in mid-December.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Hey Everyone!!

I´ve been doing well (though I forgot to take photos..... Sorry, I really don´t generally take many photos.. but I´ll take some this week to send to you for sure!) :) As for the investigators, we´ve had some progress, as well as some disapointments. Alicia got back from Santiago, but she said that she recieved news from the doctors that her health isn´t as great as she had hoped and has to follow a strict medical treatment. She told us that she has started suffering from depression and that she doesn´t feel up to talking with us for a while..... that was really sad, and we tried to explain that the gospel is the thing that will help her most to regain peace of mind and heart, but we´ll see what we can do for her. As for Fabian, his baptism will be taking place this Saturday. It wasn´t able to happen on Saturday or Sunday, so we´ll have it this weekend instead. As for the other investigators, we have a new investigator named Daniel, that is a young man from England that came to Chile for a few months to teach English. He understands enough Spanish to teach English...... but because he speaks so little spanish we´ve gotten to teach the lessons in English, and give him a Book of Mormon in English. It was really hard at first because we never speak English, let alone teach in English, but it was an amazing experience, because as we were teaching the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I felt impressed to share the First Vision... but as I have never memorized it in English, I was hesitant, but I continued to feel the strong impression and started with the little that I knew from the beginning. However, after the first sentence, the second entered my mind, and the third, etc... until I had recited something that I had heard hundreds of times in English but had never memorized. The Spirit was very strong in that moment, and it reminded me of the promise in Doctrine and Covenants that our mouths will be filled with the words we must say in the very moment that we are to share them. It powerfully reminds us that this is the Work of the Lord, and never ours.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving! I´ll let you know how Fabian´s baptism goes... and I´ll send you more photos!

Love, PJ

Monday, November 13, 2017

Hi Everyone! This week has been good. We`re waiting for Alicia to get back from Santiago, because she had to get several medical exams done, and we have to see when she`ll be returning. We have taught her and her husband Leo several times, and she especially has tons of interest, and commited to read the Book of Mormon to be able to recieve her own answer. We`ve also been working with a man named Fabian that had problems with alcohol and cigarettes, however, when we began teaching him about repetence he realized that he wanted God`s blessings in his life, and has completely dropped his addictions, to have the opportunity to be baptized. We have his baptism scheduled for this weekend, but we`re not sure yet if it`ll be Saturday or Sunday. He`s made tons of improvement and really wants to change his life with Christ`s help. We`re also helping a couple named Paola and Esteban that have been investigators for a long time, and all their kids are baptized.... but they are not married, and therefore cannot be baptized yet, as well as feeling nervous about making such important commitments. However, we`ve talked to them a lot about these sepcific topics, and they really just need help understanding the importance of recieving these blessings as soon as possible, to have a stronger and happier family. We continue to help the investigators understand the importance of making covenants with God to recieve His blessings, and we`re working hard to find more people to teach. Have another great week!

Elder Checketts

Monday, November 6, 2017

Hey, Everyone!!!

This week was a good one! The investigators are doing great!!! We've found several new investigators that must have been prepared for us to find…because several of them have hearts & minds that are very open, and are quickly able to understand the doctrine that we teach. We currently have several that are active in other churches, but that actually helps them understand a lot, like if the Book of Mormon were true, we could only know by way of prayer, directly asking God. They surprisingly are very interested and are progressing! There´s an older Catholic couple named Alicia and Leo, and Alicia especially has found a lot of interest in what we share, and has promised to read the Book of Mormon, to be able to receive her own answer, and know whether or not its true. Leo is EXTREMELY Catholic, meaning… it's difficult for him to understand different doctrine… EVEN if it's supported by the Bible. However, Alicia has helped us a lot, because, although she is Catholic as well, she is very open minded and has admitted many times how what we teach really makes sense, such as baptism with an age of accountability, and by immersion, or baptisms for the dead, and Eternal LIfe.

We also have an investigator named Ana, who was told by her Pastor that she shouldn´t talk with us or read the Book of Mormon, but has decided personally to do both, in order to recieve her own answer. We also recently met a man named Eric that believes in God, and said that he never has been baptized, but has always had the question of which church is the true church that was established by Christ!! We´re seeing miracles with the people that we´re finding and teaching!!!

As for your question about Halloween... we just kept working (though it wasn´t a very productive day). And no, the church didn´t have a halloween party. There are lots of people here, that actually look at halloween as an evil American holiday to worship the devil...... so..... The church doesn´t have a party for that, here... My companion and I are doing well and getting along.... On Friday, the missionaries got calls for transfers, but nothing happened with us, so we´ll continue to work together at least until the 17th of December.

I´m glad to hear that the family has been doing so well, and everyone is enjoying what they´re doing. Anyway, hope you have a great week! Love you!

love, PJ!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Hi everyone!  It`s funny that you have been talking about it getting colder and the snow in the mountains and such...... I think this winter may change my mind about the cold... as I haven`t experinced it in a long time!!! hahaha!

Anyway, you were asking about the investigators. We`ve haad some ups and downs with different people. Last week we found a Colombian man named Jorge that had lots of interest in our message and even began reading the Book of Mormon... however, he didn`t make it out to church.... and when we had the opportunity to meet with him after the first visit, he kept telling us that it doesn`t matter if we go to church or not because we can have God in our hearts, and everyone that believes in Christ is worthy to enter Heaven. We tried to explain the importance of church, but he kept coming back to the point that ``God is love``, and found it difficult to accept that God is also order. In the same visit, we were interrupted by a man that told us the church sends missionaries from the US, because we`re spies for the government! hahaha! We also found a young woman from PerĂº named Tanya that works in a hotel. She has tons of interest in the church, and wants to learn more and ask God if the Book of Mormon is true.... however her job makes it complicated for her to come to church, and her boss told her she couldn`t take time off to attend. So that kind of stinks... but we`ve also been teaching a woman named Ana, that is active in another Christian Church, and after the first visit she told us that she`d read the pamphlet we gave her, and we also gave her a Book of Mormon. When we saw her again, she told us that her pastor had told her to not read the Book of Mormon or continue talking to us. We told her that if she wanted to know if the Book of Mormon is true, the only way would be by reading it. She is now progressing and has decided to read the Book of Mormon anyway, because she truly wants to know if it is or is not the word of God. We`re continuing to help the investigators progress, and seraching for those that are ready to hear our message. Anyway, I`ll talk to you guys later! Love you!