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 Perú 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!


Monday, October 23, 2017

Hi everyone! My letter is short today, because I`m running kind of short on time again....

I`m glad to hear that the family is doing well! As for me.... this was a pretty good week, helping new investigators, (and old ones too) progress toward baptism. We have several that have lots of desire to receive their own answers to be able to be baptized, such as Raul and Cristina, that are good friends of the bishop, and are very humble learners..... as well as Josè, who is a young man that has lots of real intent and has quickly picked up on our challenge to start reading the Book of Mormon... as well as his girlfriend Fernanda, who is the daughter of a less active member. However, none of these investigators came to church yesterday, for different reasons. :( But, we`ve just got to keep working hard, and the Lord will bless us for our efforts. Yesterday was also the mission farewell of Pablo.... our ward mission leader. He left last night, and is serving in Brazil! The ward is doing great as well, and we`re continuing to help the people that we find each day! Love you guys so much, and hope you have another great week! I`m doing great, and enjoying being on the Lord`s errand. :)

Love, PJ

Monday, October 16, 2017

Hey, Everyone!

I´m doing great! This week was a really good one. Last Monday night, we had interviews with President Ferreira, and then we had Zone conference and lunch with him on Tuesday. Also, In the night between Monady and Tuesday, there was an Earthquake here that was a 6.3 (That´s something super common and relatively small here.... but in any other part of the world, it makes the news! hahaha!) We just woke up, and then went back to sleep. We didn´t even get out of bed! hahaha! But the yellow building that you saw in the photo (last week) is right next to our apartment building. But It´s the exact same building model. Anyway, the rest of the week, we were visiting and trying to find investigators. We had four investigators that came to church (two of them came by themselves, without us inviting them!!!) There was a young man that came with several less active members, and a woman that was curiously looking outside of the church, and we invited her to come back when the meetings started. And she came!!! It was great! We alse had an amazing lesson with Raúl and Cristina yesterday (the bishop´s friends), and we taught the Plan of Salvation. We felt the Spirit really powerfully, as did they, and when we finished explaining, I asked them if they would like to have Eternal life, and they quickly said yes. We then asked them what they thought would be their first step towards Eternal Life. They quickly recognized this first step, or covenant for them to take, as baptism. They are progressing tons, and we´re working hard to help them, and find more interested and willing investigators. Today, we went to a place called the Morro de Arica, that´s like a big plateau at the bottom of the city, where Chile won a battle, and claimed the city from Perú. We also played Volleyball and Frisbee with the zone, and I got burried in the sand. hahaha!

I´m glad to hear that the family is doing well. I hope you all have a great week!


Monday, October 9, 2017

Hey, Everyone!

Sorry again for last week! But as for your questions, My companion, Elder Pasigan, speaks Spanish, English, Tagalog, and the native language of his specific island: hiligynon (I don´t know if that´s how you spell it).... But yeah!!! And the other two Elders in our apartment are both from the US. One is from Pleasantview, and the other one is from Florida. As for conference....we had a gringo room, which was great! I always like watching conference in English, because all the speakers are actually speaking my native language....

But as for the investigators that are progressing.... I had mentioned a little bit a 19 year-old girl named Belen. She previously didn´t believe in God at all, until bad things started happening, and she desperately wanted to know if He existed... so she prayed and felt that she had recieved a confirmation of His existence. She later came in contact with missionaries in Santiago, and when she moved to Arica, she put her own name in the church reference system, for the missionaries to visit her. She has progressed a ton, and this whole week we were preparing her to be ready to be baptized.... and so, on Sunday, she was able to make this sacred covenant with her Heavenly Father:

It was a good week, and we were able to see the fruits of our labors. We are now working with several other investigators that are also progressing rapidly toward baptism, such as a couple named Raúl and Cristina that are friends of the bishop and his wife, and have tons of desire to follow God and are willing to be baptized when they recieve their own answers through prayer.

Now, as for the photos that I took from leaving Calama and entering Arica... there are a lot. It was super sad to leave behind the Oasis ward, because I truly grew so close to them, and several of these families in the photos truly became my family while there...

Hope you enjoy the photos!!!

But I´m glad to hear that you guys are doing well! We´re just working hard to prepare the other investigators to be baptized. Hope you have another great week (and that I sent enough photos) ;)

Love, PJ