Tuesday, April 26, 2016

New Area...short message...cool story


HEY I ONLY HAVE 15 MINUTES but I am in my new area as district leader again... 1 YEAR AND 6 MONTHS AS A DISTRICT LEADER. LOL My comps name is Elder White...
Yea Rossi and Leo were really upset I was leaving and Carmen and Rossi were bawling crying... BUT I HAVE AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE BUT THEN I HAVE TO GO!!!

So this week I went to a members house and she and her boyfriend (who was my investigador)  asked us to go with them to visit a less active family from the ward who was visiting another branch (because it was easier to get to...) We showed up and they looked at us very lovingly.. the Daughter said THANK YOU FOR COMING! My mom needs a blessing... She had been sick for awhile.. I asked when was the last time the Missionaries or a Priesthood holder had passed by.. They said NEVER. This was the first time in almost 15 years that someone had passed by...  We had an incredible lesson and gave the blessing.. At the same time I felt inspired to ask if their home had been dedicated.. But BEFORE I could even ask we had ended the lesson in a kneeling prayer and the very advanced mother who also knelt down asked me immediately to dedicate her house because she had felt bad things there for the past few weeks... I was so grateful to be the Hands of the Lord that day. The Sisters were beyond Grateful and made that whole Sunday worth the time I spent in La Herradura...
BUT REALLY I HAVE TO GO... LOVE YOU BOTH!!!! It is pretty far... It was a Hour bus ride and a Taxi in an old 1980 pickup to get here.. But hey I have to go... I love you a ton. I am in an area called La Vega and my little pueblo is called Las Framboyanes ... LOVE YA!!!

Elder Hefner


Did Jesus Visit Russia After His Resurrection?
By Mark J. Stoddard · January 6, 2016

It was in front of me and I could only stare and mumble, “Thank you.” Hardly the grateful gesture I wanted to give to the Russian Orthodox priest proudly standing before after he’d given me his gift. In May, 1992 this rather large Russian Orthodox priest gave me that gift of a phonograph record commemorating the 1,000th year of baptism in Russia.

But I couldn’t take my eyes off of the cover of the phonograph record he had given me as a token of his respect to me for my lecture on free agency and enterprise. The Berlin Wall had fallen, Gorbachev had instituted a radical restructuring (perestroika) and openness (glasnost). As part of this awakening in the USSR I had been invited by the recently retired Deputy Minister of Higher Education to speak some of the leading new businessmen and women in Moscow, Russia.

To hold that phonograph record and see the painting on the front left me speechless.

“Who painted this,” I asked him.

“A great painter for our church about 1900; Mikhail Nestorov who painted so much canvases of faith,” he smiled so broadly as our translator proclaimed the history. “His Holy Rus is a favorite of all of us and it hangs today in the Russian Gallery in Leningrad.”

“What does it depict?”

“Our Savior visiting ancient Russia or Rus.” The translator didn’t wait for the priest to provide the history. “We all know this story.”

“Tell me, Igor,” I asked quietly, “and please ask him where this story came from.”

Igor wanted to tell me, but obliged and asked the priest. They let me know Nesterov based his painting upon an ancient Russian folk tale about how Jesus came to visit the Russian people after his resurrection.

“Who are the haloed visitors behind him?”

The priest smiled and through Igor said, “Nestorov was no fool. He placed the three leaders of the Church of his day in the painting standing in for Peter, James and John.”

By now I had let the import of the painting settle in and looked up and shook my head in assent. Then we embraced and said we hoped to meet again. “You teach me much and I wish to show gratitude.”

I thanked him more profusely now.

Later in 1992 I was invited to have lunch with a person they called the Metropole Peterim, the highest authority of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, and chairman of the ruling council of the entire church. This gentleman is similar to president of the quorum of 12 apostles in the LDS church. (I’m told by some that I didn’t get the right title, but, it’s what I heard and it matters little if I wrote it right because whatever came out of my mouth when I tried to say “Metropole Peterim” pleased him.)

After the lunch and tour of his headquarters, I asked him if he knew of a painting where Christ seemed to be appearing to the ancient Slavic people. He said that he did, that it had been used for a special phonograph record cover and that the original was in their private archives. I asked him where the artist got the idea of such a scene.

He replied solemnly that it was “inspired by an ancient folk tale that said after Christ’s death he visited the Slavic people, ancestors of the Russians, to bring his gospel. The people who listened to Christ were the humble and lowly in the farms and countryside. They took upon themselves his name which when written phonetically in our characters rather than Cyrillic is Kristiany. The word for peasant in Russian is Kristiany. Those who believed in Him took upon themselves His name.”

I asked the Metropole if he believed that Christ actually came to the lands of present day Russia and Ukraine. He nodded, stroking his beard.

“It could very well have been. But perhaps the more likely truth is that the apostle Andrew came through what is today’s Russia on his final mission. But, it could have been exactly as the painting shows.”

I then asked him, “Who would the three apostles have been?”

“In all likelihood, Peter, James and John, though one may have been Andrew.”

“Then you have no trouble,” I pushed, “with the concept that Christ may have visited other people on the earth after his resurrection?”

He smiled and looked up at me, his eyes dancing with a twinkle. “You like Book of Mormon? No. No trouble as you say. It probably happened.”

I’ve spoken to other orthodox priests who recount the same story. Since then I have been in contact with the gentleman who is the Metropole’s assistant and secretary and have received permission to reproduce the painting. He said they are happy to give permission since the painting has little value to them since the artist is now in disfavor with the Russian Orthodox Church. They say he had strange ideas. But, they liked him enough to feature this painting on the cover of their phonograph record celebrating 1,000 years of baptism in Russia.

It all makes one think of Christ’s words as told in John 10 — “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold. Them also I must bring. And there shall be one fold and one shepherd.”

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

SEVERE TRIALS and amazing communion with the Holy Ghost

Amazing communion with the Holy Ghost

Well this week we had a week of SEVERE TRIALS and amazing communion with the Holy Ghost. Carmen got baptized ! WOOOO ! She is going to be SUCH a strong member of the church. We have found a brand new family that is AMAZING. We had an incredible experience with them this week. We left on of the neighborhoods in ruta towards another neighborhood ( they were about 2 miles apart ) and I remember putting my head on the head rest for a few moments to shut my eyes and relax. That's when the Spirit hit me VERY hard and said GO BACK. It was so clear it actually startled me. I waited to check if it was actually the Spirit because we had 3 other lessons planned and the minute I got out of the car it hit me again. I told my comp and confirmed with him what it is I had felt and he told me we had to go. We got in and canceled all our other appointments. We went to the house of a man we had passed. All I said was that we were missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and had a message of a restored gospel. The man who's 17 allowed us in immediately... We left an hour later after he asked " Why are their so many churches in the world and only One God?" WE HAPPILY EXPLAINED lol He accepted to read the Book of Mormon in an Instant. As we left once more to return to our neighborhood THE SPIRIT CAME AGAIN AND SAID GO BACK. I couldn't believe it... it was getting a little late but we obeyed. We felt we should go to a particular investigators house who wasn't progressing. We went but her grandpa was the only one there. We started to share with him and we felt good. That's when a couple of 20 year old guys came in and sat in on the lesson. THEN ANOTHER came in. We talked about the restoration and our purpose as Missionaries. THAT'S when the third who came in started firing off questions with sincere honest intent. After about 30 minutes explained the Restoration and The Spirit World the three accepted Books of Mormon and a return date for Sunday all promising to read and pray and leaving with huge smiles on their faces. Turns out their other brother was listening in from the corner of the house were we could barley see him as well and wanted to know more this Sunday. IT WAS INCREDIBLE. The next day the Spirit guided us to do ALMOST THE EXACT SAME and we had incredible success every time we went back or to a different place. Talk about incredible!!!!

Don't worry about us... The Lord has protected me my entire mission... And my blessing from the 70 said that I will end my FULL TIME MISSION with honor... AND we have gotten like 2 free rides this week FROM RANDOM OLD investigators of the missionaries! Talk about awesome... OH AND the other was a less active! TALK ABOUT COOL... It was my first time in a car newer than 2010 in a year and 4 months.... WOW
 Fun Fact as Missionaries we pray at least 12 times a day... Hey I have to go now!!! We have a lesson!!! Love you guys... Talk to you later!!! HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!
Elder Hefner

We gave away 72 in less than 90 minutes

AND THIS IS THE SUPER DISTRICT HATO DEL YAQUE. I am by far the oldest, they call my the true ¨elder¨ here ... lol Elder Laureano has 2 months now... Elder Garcia 1 month and Elder Corder 6... And me A YEAR AND 4.

Conference Weekend

Hey ma! Wow looking good!! I missed dad a lot this week during priesthood session! I got to watch a lot of conference but I missed parts because me and Elder Corder´s kids got lost in Santiago trying to get to conference (DON´T TELL PRESIDENT) lol. ANYWAYS I have been thinking about my car after the mission and I have decided that If I have ridden in 1990 honda civics without seatbelts and holes in the floor... I am going to drive one after the mission as well!!! LOL  Glorianne doesn´t even look like she had a kid... TOTALLY UNFAIR lol The miracle is that we have a baptism this Saturday! AND ONE AFTER IT AS WELL!!!! WOO :) They will probably be the last two Saturdays in my area because transfers are the 20th... :( Also that was the most I got to watch conference since October of 2014... IT really brought my spirits up! Keep President Monson in your prayers, his talks were very short and he looked VERY tired... 


We had an activity as a zone to give away Libros de Mormon. We gave away 72 in less than 90 minutes with stories of INCREDIBLE MIRACLES. The people we found were READY! One of the occasions was when I saw a group of 4 older men who looked pretty wise in reality sitting and talking. I called over Elder Mora and Elder Montero and the four of us went and talked with them. Several more people gathered around to hear. one man said I DON´T BELIEVE IN THAT BOOK. By the time we were done every single person including the man against us left with a Book of Mormon in hand and a desire to read... Until the point that one man actually told us that he had studied the book 2 TIMES THROUGH ALREADY, but now that we showed him how to study it more he was going to read through it AGAIN! The others accepted to read and study the book especially the man who was against us. IT took Elder Moras INCREDIBLE gift of the Spirit of teaching and several strong testimonies of the Book to open the hearts of the Brethren to let the Spirit in to testify. NOTE FOR YOUTH: DO NOT COME ON A MISSION WITHOUT A TESTIMONY STRONG OF THE BOOK OF MORMON. After we found people who had had the missionaries in there house before and had EVEN gone to church, but because of moving houses or changed missionaries the missionaries stopped passing and they were more than willing to accept the missionaries again! As well we had a reference from a member who told us to go by a family. The family started out saying they were catholic and weren't interested. SO me and my companion just started talking about who we were eventually the whole family came in to the room and started asking questions! After 5 minutes we had taught the entire restoration and the Spirit was palpable in the room... ESPECIALLY after I said the words of the First Vision. We will be returning this week :) IT was a good week! Love you! I will sing if the Savior stood beside me as I RUN RIGHT NOW!! We are late love ya!!! BYE!!!

Elder Hefner

Following the normal father son tradition of going out to eat before priesthood session... We went all out and went to McDonalds...

These are all the american 
Elders who got to watch conference in english... Love you all!!!
Elder Hefner

Sunday, April 10, 2016

He saved me from Spiritual death when I was 16

This is my companion climbing trees to find fruit for us... Money was kind of tight so we stuck to natural juice... IT WAS GREAT!!

Sorry I am running late today! We were talking to a few people before coming!! But this is the message for the week! This week we had a miracle... We have someone who will be baptized not this Saturday but the following and then the Saturday after we have someone else who will be baptized...  I am doing better mom please go to sleep. I am FINE. I am grateful for ALL you are doing TRUST ME. You are doing way to much as it is to be worrying about your boy who is 500 miles away. You have to put faith in the Lord that he will watch over me and protect me as he always has. He saved me from death when I was 4 years old for this exact reason. He saved me from Spiritual death when I was 16 for this exact reason. I HAVE to suffer a few things in order to stay humble and rely on him. ALL MISSIONARIES HAVE. From Paul to Ammon. Last night I had a heart to heart with my companion and he literally said something that quoted my patriarchal blessing. He told me that he had no idea how it is that I suffered so much and still kept going. He said I was a pure example to him of a missionary. It gives him the strength to keep going. My Patriarchal blessing says ¨You shall bring many souls unto Christ, YEA even by your example will you bring them to Him.¨ Mom He is my everything. He is the reason I exist. He´s my purpose. I found a scripture that I absolutely love that explains why I am here. It is found in Doctrine and Covenants 65 its says 

 Hearken, and lo, a voice as of one sent down from on high, who is mighty and powerful, whose going forth is unto the ends of the earth, yea, whose voice is unto men—Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
 The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth.
 Yea, a voice crying—Prepare ye the way of the Lord, prepare ye the supper of the Lamb, make ready for the Bridegroom.
 Pray unto the Lord, call upon his holy name, make known his wonderful works among the people.
 Call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth upon the earth, that the inhabitants thereof may receive it, and be prepared for the days to come, in the which the Son of Man shall come down in heaven, clothed in the brightness of his glory, to meet the kingdom of God which is set up on the earth.
 Wherefore, may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of heaven may come, that thou, O God, mayest be glorified in heaven so on earth, that thine enemies may be subdued; for thine is the honor, power and glory, forever and ever. Amen.

I testify that He lives. He suffered. He paid the price. I can go through a couple of trials of health and Spirit... Because HE went through it 10 billion times over. Love you Mom and Dad
Elder Hefner

And us wearing our new ties mom sent us! I am officially 197 pounds... First time in AWHILE!!!

Also this is the dog who lives next store! She has a baby puppy... 

Finding out about missionaries in Belgium

Zona Bella Vista! 

HEYYY sorry the office just called and also a less active family lol BUT I AM ALL YOURS NOW!!! WOW WHAT A WEEK! :) MARY LOOKS SO OLD AND GROWN UP... I am pretty sure it gave me grey hairs....
Loving the new hats Ma sent to me and my companion!! 

Finding out about missionaries in Belgium

I JUST heard about the Missionaries in Belgium.... right now literally...someone saw us at the internet cafe and said there are missionaries like you that got hurt... I heard an Elder got hit... Is it true?? Oh my gosh... Are they alive??? (I shared with him what happened) Wow what a relief for those missionaries. I will keep them in my prayers tonight. Oh my gosh... I will call my District and we will have a district prayer tonight at our Missionary Correlation meeting.

Area 70 visit

Oh no he didn´t call me to speak... BUT HE CALLED ME TO BE HIS COMPANION and he asked me to teach PRESIDENT and his wife and ¨3 kids¨ the kids were my "son" and 2 other sisters from the zone.... TALK ABOUT A NERVE WRECKING EXPERIENCE lol We talked about how to effectively use members... In front of about 100 missionaries...

A great week

Well this week very quickly... we helped save a marriage... Helped a lady who has passed through EVERYTHING YOU CAN IMAGINE know how to know if the Book of Mormon is true... We had 6 people accept dates for Baptism and we found 4 new families to teach who are all VERY INTERESTED in our message. We have learned just how dangerous pride is and we are completely unified in our companionship... We also gave a blessing of health to Elder Cordero and he has  recovered VERY QUICKLY....

Talk to you all next week! Love ya HURRAH!!!! LOVE YA BYEE!!!

Elder Hefner

Prep day Soccer and Volleyball!!