Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sharing the Gospel on Facebook, and A Technical Miracle with Dallin H. Oaks Message

Dear Family,
Well I am alive and all is well.  This week our zone had P-day on Tuesday, instead of Monday, in order to go to a certain museum that is closed on Mondays.  I am happy and healthy, and hope that you all find the blessings and miracles in your lives in this upcoming week.

The transmitted conference with Elder Oaks was quite cool.  There were technical difficulties at the beginning that got everyone a bit worried, we were able to see the speakers but not hear them well.  Before Elder Oaks began his talk, President Arrington asked the entire mission, gathered together in the capilla (chapel) of my first ward in Chillan, to pray so that we could receive the transmission well.  Within 20 seconds, as everyone’s head was bowed in silent prayer we heard clearly and loudly the voices of the speakers.  It was a miracle, of the power of prayer, and an open manifestation that President Arrington receives revelation for this mission.  I love our President.

This week, well, was quite calm.  I am trying to remember if there was anything that was great or out of the ordinary.  Oh, I just remembered, something that happened last week, we had carne al disco, which I hadn’t eaten before, but I sure liked it.  The Barriga family, who by the way are awesome, y mas encima, los dos padres servieron misiones cuando eran mas joven, asi que ayudan mucho en la obra aqui.  (The Barriga family, who by the way are awesome, and even more, both parents served missions when they were young, and are helping a lot with the work here.)

Anyway, for lunch, they put on their wood stove, which is somewhat common for cooking here in Chile, a large iron disc.  On the disc they put various meats, such as beef, chicken, and pork, and they position the meats so that the different juices from the meats mix together, and the flavor is amazing.  It was a very fascinating way of cooking.  And then Brother Barriga explained some Chilean tradition of taking pieces of bread, to mop up the meat juices from the disc shaped pan (which was at least 2 feet in diameter) and then eating the bread.  We did that, and the flavor was great, but I don’t want to know how many calories were in that lunch, with all the bread, potatoes, beef steak, chicken, pork, sausage, and coca cola.  It was a lunch for the record books.  

We had a zone conference this past Thursday, It was two zones, Talcahuano Norte (north) and Talcahuano Sur (south).  It was really good.  It was focused on how to find new investigators, and it was quite inspirational.  Something missionaries did in another area of the mission, and that the Barriga family agreed to do is record their testimony and put it on Facebook as a short video clip.  The missionaries visited with a member, shared a lesson, and then asked the member to share her testimony of a certain principle.  She shared a short, heartfelt testimony.  And then the missionaries asked her to share that same testimony as they record her with her smart phone, so she could put it on Facebook.  They recorded the testimony, and then right then and there, she uploaded it to Facebook.  It seems like a creative, powerful way to find new investigators through members (the ideal source of new investigators).  We are going to do it with as many members who are willing.  The idea is that every member is a missionary.  I invite you all to consider what you are doing to share the gospel, and see if you can include this.  Family home evening idea!

Well there is a book called the power of the everyday missionary, you can read it online for free.  Look for it in the mission blog http://chileconcepcionmission.blogspot.com/ 

I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, that this is His church, and that Thomas S. Monson is his prophet.

I love you all.  I love you more than the number of rays of sunshine it would take to roast a marshmallow 99999999999999999999999 miles from the sun.

Elder Withers

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Looking Forward to Hearing Dallin H. Oaks

Dear Family,

There were some technical difficulties with my email account, but all is well and resolved.  I had to go to the mission office and we called church email people in Salt Lake.  Everything is well now, there just is zero time to write, because I am writing from the mission office, and the office people have to go run errands.

Things are going well.  Being comps with Elder Incil is quite fun.  We get along good and laugh about a lot of stuff.  I am excited to hear from Elder Oaks this Saturday, it will be broadcast live.  

There are a number of good people we are teaching, including a man with one leg who wants to get baptized.  He went to church yesterday, he uses a wheel chair, and a kind member took him in his car.  Well I really have to go.  

Just know I am happy and healthy.  The church is true.  

I love you all more than the number of raindrops that crash onto the earth and ocean in a 24 hour period. 

Elder Withers

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Conference, A Flood of Revelation

April 6, 2015

Hola Family and Friends,
Well this past week was pretty calm.  The best thing that happened was conference weekend.  The Stakes here are really thoughtful and always have a television set up for missionaries to watch the conference in English if they would like, so I watched it live in English.  I watched the Spanish talks in Spanish however.  It was cool to see Elder Zeballos speak, he has spoken to our mission before and shook everyone`s hand.  He is originally from Talcahuano, so that is exciting. 

Our mission president asked each missionary to include in their weekly letter one thing that called their attention from conference.  Here is part of what I wrote President Arrington:  General Conference was a spiritual feast.  I am grateful for the inventions of pen and paper that allowed me to take notes.  What most called my attention from conference was a talk from Wilford W. Anderson of the Seventy.  I really liked the story of the Native American and the doctor.  “I can teach you to dance but you have to hear the music”  is a line I hope to never forget.  I want to always be worthy to hear the music of the gospel, and help others tune into it as well.

I hope you all enjoyed conference.  It was a flood of revelation.  I hope that I can get an organized canal system going on to make sure all that revelation doesn’t just go to the ocean, but rather divert the flood into the fields of productivity and action, allowing each drop of God`s guidance to seep in.  

The work is moving forward and we are really happy that the convert baptisms the ward has lately are staying strong.  Pia who got baptized last week is considering serving a mission, and her mother is thrilled with the idea, so that is good news.  There is a member family in the ward, the Barriga family, that is organizing 2 family home evenings with neighbor families this week and they have invited us.  One of the families is part member and the other family is all non- member.  They asked us to share the movie “Together Forever”.  We hope and pray that they will feel the spirit and accept the baptismal challenge.  

The 18th of April will be a good day here in Chile.  Elder Dallin H. Oaks will come to Santiago, capital of Chile, and his talk will be transmitted to a number of missions.  We will go to the Gleisner chapel in Concepcion, a large chapel, and the location of the fourth church building in Chile, to watch it.  Elder Oaks will be speaking to the missionaries of Chile, so I am definitely looking forward to that.

I love my family.  I love you all more than the number of good ideas, sent from Heaven  that people received as a result of the conference this past weekend.  

With lots of love,
Elder Withers