Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Message of Humility

The Monument of Santiago De Los Caballeros
The flowers in front of the house I will now be taking care of lol (hopefully he inherited his Abuelo Tonin green thumb) 
 Week of March 18th

So this week was very interesting. We finally organized our teaching wall and looked at all the people we are teaching...: We have over 16 investigators and 7 less active families.. most of which are part member and we will probably start teaching their spouses... The Lord is keeping us busy. We are working none stop and I love it. Let me tell you of the faith of one of our investigators.. He and his wife need to be divorced from there spouses then married in order to be baptized (that is the situation with EVERYONE here.) He is actually part of the family of our ward mission leader. It will cost 20000 Pesos to do that.. THAT'S A LOT here. So he asked our mission president for help. He has already saved up half of it and president is helping him with the other half. But to do that he has to clean the Chapel for 10 weeks... So he is. We have already been teaching him for 3 months and his only desire is to be baptized and finally take part in the Santa Cena... Cleaning the chapel here isn´t easy... IT´s ALLL tile flooring. So you have to sweep the whole chapel and then mop all of it after. TALK ABOUT DIFFICULT. We are helping him do it. I don´t care what anybody says. THAT is a sincere desire. I wish everyone we taught was like him. My Spanish is progressing rapidly and I feel more and more domincan Every day.. Apparently I am so dark now a lady asked me if I was from the Dominican Republic haha (We spend about 9 hours in the sun everyday.) The work is moving on very quickly here. I have been given the opportunity to sing in a Quartet tomorrow for a president of the 70. I also have a solo in the song. It´s a Poor way faring man of grief... I got the call last night at around 10. Just during the rehersal it was powerful. The one thing I think I learned the most this week is
¨To Seek the Spirit, The Best way to do that is to move your feet and open your mouth¨ - Presidente Douglas
Lots of love
Elder Hefner
A note from us: We could not do a blog on the week of March 18th for Elder Hefner's mom had to have emergency surgery. Imagine that on his P-Day! The extent of my e-mails were: "I am awake" and his reply was:
hahahaha GOOD! I have to get off now though. I love you a ton! I feel like this next week will be a great one. Love you mama. I sent you my first letter today ALL IN SPANISH!!! :) 
I hope the recovery is a fast one!!! LOVE YOU Talk to you next week!!!!!

Btw The Picture of the Ice Cream... I treated the district with my personal money... I figured it is what you and dad would want me to do.. Love you guys!!

Week Ending March 25th - My message of Humility

So this week I was taught Humility... THE HARD WAY. I had the opportunity to sing for half the missionaries in the mission (120) and Two members of the 70 .. AND I CHOKED. It was a song I had sung A TON.. one of my favorites. I knew the music and I just ate it. I have never performed that bad in the HISTORY of my singing career... Everyone knew it too. I walked off the stage with my head hung Lower than I thought possible. I knew it was the Lord humbling me but it was a Painful pill to swallow. My President knew it too. The seventy did his best to reassure me as I walked off the stand. I sat with my head between my knees for the next 7 hours during that meeting. Three days later I caught Influenza.. which here consists of your bones and muscles being on fire and it hurting to move even a muscle (Don´t worry mom I am Perfect now lol...still have a only a fever) But the Lord really wanted me humble and now I know why. The days following, The Spirit has been with me and to be honest I have finally been happy. I went through a little bit to get here and I was honestly searching for happiness. I found it through the Grace and pure love of our Heavenly Father. If you can read First Peter Chapters 4 and 5. Only through humility are we able to put of the natural man and become as a child. There is a reason Christ was always with Children. My companion and I Are working to the very end. We weren´t able to leave the house for a couple days but now we are back on fire. Why? BECAUSE THIS IS THE WORK OF THE LORD. PLAIN AND SIMPLE. If ANY doubt. If ANY want to know for yourself I BEG you. Go to your closest friend who is a member of the Church or go find some missionaries. Ask for a Book of Mormon and The lessons. I can Promise as an authorized servant of the Lord, having been called by a Prophet of God That If you read from it´s pages and ask with a sincere heart if these things are true you will receive an answer through the power of the Holy Ghost. I know that my Redeemer lives. HE IS and always will be the Savior of the World. Come unto him. He is calling. He does not ask much, only a willing heart and a sincere desire to know. I testify that he invites all to repent and be baptized. It does not matter what you have done or where you come from. It does not matter your nationality or your skin color. It does not matter if you are rich or poor. We are all children of God. He wants us all to return to live with him again. I testify that all may come and I invite you to do so now. In the sacred name of Jesus the Christ. Amen. 
Elder Hefner

Some inspiration sent to Elder Hefner...

Message from Elder Holland:

"So don’t worry about being homesick. Don’t worry about being new. Don’t worry about the language. None of that matters. It will not matter. God loves you and this is the truth and you can do it! Just reach down, pull up your socks, and go to work. This is a time for you to go out. I plead with you. I plead with you, in the case of the Elders, to have a 24-month mission! Not 23, not 22, not 19, not 16, not 14…to have a 24-month mission! Sisters, have an 18-month mission—not 15, not 11, not 6. Start fast. Run hard, and to the tape! You can rest later.
Plan right now! Plan right now for the stories you will tell your children about your mission. Live right now in every way to look them in the eye and put them on your knee and rock them on your lap and tell them as I am telling you, that you loved every day of your mission. That you worked your head off! That you've never worked so hard in your life. That you were tired and sweaty and dirty and hungry and you knew how Paul felt and you knew how Peter felt and you knew how Mormon felt and you knew how Moroni felt. And I promise you that your children will remember and never forget it, and they will cherish it and hold it dear for their mission and so the generations go. So life is lived and this dispensation is pursued, and the Kingdom comes and Christ does arrive, whenever that is."

 thank you so much!!!! I felt the Spirit supperrr strong! That is EXACTLY what I needed to hear.. YOU GO MAMMA!!!! Thanks for following the Spirit... I am so glad to have a mom and dad who Love me so much.. Really thank you for everything...  

Gosh I can not tell you how strongly I felt your love while I was sick. While I was on my bed sweating it out It really felt like you were there sitting with me putting your hand on my shoulder. Really you have no idea how much your work at home is blessing my life. PLEASE keep up the missionary work!! Elder Hefner

Monday, March 16, 2015 though I am wearing the helmet of Salvation

Exchanges and today's picture March 11, 2015


(Elder Hefner e-mailed at 1:30 PM...he usually emails at 5 PM but I had told him that on P-Days I am glued to my computer waiting for his e-mail...I asked why so early...)

because we are in another part of the Island visiting Elder Flores old areas ... lol I am sending my experiences now and SUPER SPECIAL PICTURES AFTER!!!

Wearing the helmet of Salvation

So this week has been amazing.  I have finally felt as though I am wearing the helmet of Salvation. My mind and Spirit is being protected from all that is around me and the work is flourishing. We had so many experiences this week that I can´t begin to describe them all now. Let me just tell you two experiences though. The first was with a man who is less active and hasn´t come to church in awhile. He is a recent returned missionary and so is his wife. We had TWO strong appts fall through and the Spirit told us someone else needed a message. It was in this moment that this brothers name popped into the head of me and my companion at the SAME TIME. We immediatley went. I opened up my scriptures and it was as if my scriptures fell open to DyC 50 to the favorite scripture of Shelly Rowland. I gave it to him to read and he then started to weep. He began saying how tired he was. He works all day and studies at night to support his new family. My comp began teaching him and he felt our message of truth. We then did the laundry for the house and helped him clean. He came to church the next Sunday. Yo tenia el mensaje sobre familias y ahora el y su esposa quiere volver a la Iglesia. (My message was about families and now him and his wife want to come back to church)
Giving Service

We had a noche de hogar a su casa ayer con Luis Duverge nuestro recento converso y el espiritu fue muy muy fuerte.(We had a Family Home Evening in the house of Luis Duverge, our recent convert and the Spirit was so strong) 
Luis cooking the Platanos (Plantains) ! Btw i love platanitos (Sweet Plantains) now... lol 

...and making MOFONGO (delicious entree made of plantains) FOR SCRATCH with Luis Duverge and his son... They make their mofongo with chicharon (pork skin) in it... and not the hard kind like just straight pig fat..: SOOOOO GOOODDD lol

Mi segundo experiencia fue con un persona en el Calle. (My second experience was with a person in the street.) He walked up to us and said hey I am a member of your church and I want to come back I just don´t know how. Will you please come by and teach me... He lives only 5 blocks from our house... We are teaching him now and he is coming to church Sunday... We also have about 8 new investigators... There is so much work to do and not enough time to do it in... I am not kidding when I say that every five houses is a inactive member... the ward list has 800 people and only 80 go to church every Sunday.. The Lord is hastening his work...

A message to dad

Thank you so much dad... I CAN´T even tell you how strong the Spirit has been with me this week. Pero en serio mi Padre Celestial tiene mucho amor para mi.(But really, my Heavenly Father has lots of love for me) Yo se esas cosas es verdadera. (I know this things are true.) I love the mission. The Lord is answering every single one of my prayers. He promised he would in my Patriarchal blessing TWICE. The Lord keeps his promises. I would be a liar if I didn't say that i am exhausted. I LOVE IT THOUGH. I was praying not to be homesick and now I can't imagine going home. I am being given a love for these people that I never new existed in me. I walk into homes and I feel like I am home. The love these people have is incredible. I honestly don´t want to go home. I am loosing myself to the work... Thank you so much for the words you have given me. Honestly I know every missionary says this but I really feel as though I was born to do this work. Not only for now but for the rest of my life like my patriarchal blessing says... I promised my Father in Heaven before this life that I would and right now I need to learn how to in order to take the Gospel to ¨Every Kindred Tongue and People¨ I love you pops I am glad you are doing great now. The Lord was only testing your heart for the callings you will soon receive. Only the Men with the Strongest hearts and the Strongest love for the Lord can and will lead his church. Talk to you next week!

The District making Papusas (Just homemade tortillas with meet and cheese rolled into a ball and smashed and fried)  from Guatemala! SOOOO GOOD. Elder Clase had HOMEMADE SOFRITO!!!

Elder Hefner celebrated my birthday

MAMA WE CELEBRATED YOUR BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! With a match as a candle... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA We had a fiesta last night listening to Nashville tribute band and eating cake! It was legit! lol Happy Birthday mama I love you!!!

Elder Hefner

I cannot describe the many emotions I felt when I saw his early e-mail. I felt happiness and sadness but above all I felt so much love. Love for my son, but more so love for our Heavenly Father. He helped with Elder Hefner's homesickness by allowing him to receive the same message from both Tim and I. We both felt prompted to remind him about wearing the armor of God. Tim said on his email to Elder Hefner (which I did not know about at the time):" Stand tall this is a battle that you are fighting in a literal spiritual battle put on the breastplate put on the helmet... Put on the whole armor of God and you will be successful."  And I said to Elder Hefner: "Elder Hefner....the Spirit has guided you every is not going to be easy....but I know you can keep going...think of ways out of the ordinary to keep going...I just remembered my vision of you with the Armor of God at the Temple...Put that helmet on my Elder! You are a stripling warrior!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Every trial a missionary faces is for other people...

MY planner for this transfer

hey Momma (anytime my kids start like that I know something is wrong)

Hey mom. This week has been really rough I can't lie. But I can share with you that every trial a missionary faces is for other people. Acts Chapter 16 Paul was beat and thrown into prison just so that he could teach the Prison guard the Gospel and Baptize his family. " The worth of souls is great in the sight of God" I have learned that this week. I am exhausted. I am pushing through it though. One thing I learned before the mission is that through the greatest afflictions the greatest opportunities for sharing the Gospel are found. In D&C it talks about the people who won't bear chastisement well will not be counted worthy to stand in the last day. I love you momma a lot. This week the thought of returning home dishonorably kept me going if I am going to be honest. We are told to write home only about good things but really I could use all the Love I can get right now... Love you 

Us in a RUTA... It's a mini taxi that is a 1990s toyota that dominicans manage to squeeze 6 people into not including the driver lol

Update on Tono and the guy from the bar

Tono is doing ok.. we are getting him to try and keep commitments but the guy from the bar "Chicho" is doing fantastic!  His real name is Jose but every one calls him Chicho lol ...He is drinking less!

I told Elder Hefner Jonathan Serrano from OCSA was reading his blog
That is awesome! Johnathan is an OLD friend. We were in OCSA together since 6th grade. I have known him since I was 10 lol He is a great guy I love him like a brother.

Spiritual Experience and Message to ALL Fathers

I had the opportunity to help a young man who is preparing to serve. We walked up to his house ( we felt we needed to go there) at 9 at night and we saw him leaving with two very QUESTIONABLE looking girls. We reminded him he was coming out on Sunday with us and helped him from making a wrong decision that night. Also right after we got to go to the patriarchs home. He lives 5 mins from us. We went and he was finally there. Let me tell you, when I walked in it was like I walked into the Temple. The Spirit hit me like a wall. I thanked him for his home and then testified that A home can be like a piece of Heaven here on earth because his truly was... I believe that every home can be this way. Fathers, YOU are the spiritual head of the house. Your actions and faith affect the entire household. If your actions aren't inline with the example of the Savior, your house is just another average house where the Spirit isn't invited to be 24_7...

I told Elder Hefner about Madsen Senden's missionary call to Panama City, Panama
THAT'S AMAZING!!! But I won't be able to speak to him when he gets back... I will be speaking Dominican not Spanish..> BIG DIFFERENCE! 

We can see the hand of the Lord on the pictures Elder Hefner chose for his planner. We can see him pleading Heavenly Father for strength and guidance. Every trial a missionary faces is to bless others. As a family, we see the blessings of Elder Hefner's missionary service on a daily basis.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Man at the Bar...

The man at the bar

So this week we were walking down the street in the farthest part of our area.. We passed this bar with SCREAMING loud music and the Spirit was able to touch me and told me to go talk to this man who was very very drunk. Because of the music, I could only say Hi and then leave. As I was walking away I felt a regret of not being able to talk to him because of the music. We continued for about 200 more feet and the Spirit overwhelmed me almost to the point of tears and told me to go back and invite him to leave the Bar and listen to our message. He needed to be rescued. We then did so, and Elder Flores felt the same after I told him. We went back and didn't even have to ask him to leave. He said he wanted our message and led us to his very humble home a little ways away. We sat in the front porch of his house on the Dirt and he apologized for his living situation. We told him it wasn't important. He then began to cry and asked us why we came back. I looked him straight in the eye and said ¨ Porque usted es un hijo de Dios¨ (Because you are a child of God) With that, he sobbed. He told us that a Minister has promised him that God was going to send men to rescue him and that we are now here. He said other missionaries and people always kept walking. He couldn't believe we came back. I was praying the whole time that he would be sober enough to understand our message. His eyes were bloodshot red from trying to find comfort at the bottom of a bottle. The love I felt for this man came Directly from the Savior. Then the Miracle happened. He looked up and his eyes began to clear. They went from Blood red to White in a span of 2 minutes. We then began to teach. We testified with the full power and authority of our calling. Elder Flores asked how many 1 liter beers he had had that day and he said between 15 and 20... it was only 4 PM... He then said that that was his last today. The man then said OK and chucked the bottle of beer out the window, or at least were a window should have been... it was just a concrete wall with a hole in it. He then began asking where he needed to start and was testified of the restored gospel. As we finished and were walking away he asked us ¨Why if there is one Savior there are so many churches¨... He was ready and he will change. I testify that the Field is White already to Harvest. 

Luis the Salsa Dancer got baptized

So we had our baptism this week...His name is Luis.. His wife WAS an inactive member and now his whole family is rock solid in the Gospel. His is a very famous salsa dancer on the island. He owns a gym and is an AWESOME mechanic! 
He was the first person I have ever invited to be baptized!...

2 of our baptisms last week received the Aaronic Priesthood on Sunday! They both have dates to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood in May !!!!! Frankarlos wants to serve a mission and is ALREADY starting his paperwork!!!!!!!! He´s only been baptized for 3 weeks!! Also Andres got the priesthood of Aaron as well ( He is the baptism of Elder King and Elder Henze) and he has a date for the higher priesthood as well. These men are STRONG. They will be the next Bishops and Stake Presidents. They ask to come out with us to TEACH!!! It is amazing 

This is a picture of my first zone! Transfers were today so almost all of them are gone.
Elder Hefner, Elder King, Elder Henze and Elder Flores - Our last District Service Project together!!! The project was Just flooding a house and scraping down walls.. That's normal here... When they mop they flood the whole house.. LOL
Me with a GIANT the worlds biggest "Pilon" and this is what happens when elders party and forget to bring blankets... I AM A REAL DOMINICAN ! lol

This is not my Mission, it is the Lord´s. I am only a instrument. This happens everyday not just once a week. I know that the Lord wants his children back. This is the Eleventh hour and he is calling the labors in one last time. We MUST reap with all our might to harvest those who are ready for the message of the gospel. This is my testimony in the Sacred name of my Master and Savior Jesus the Christ. Amen. 

Love you talk to you next week!!!

Elder Hefner

The monument of Santiago... It´s a massive statue with Jesus at the top. We call it touchdown Jesus because he is literally making the symbol of a touchdown.... LOL