We received this note and picture from Sis. Tina Cheney. She and her husband Tom Cheney are serving a mission in the area office for several South American countries. The Cheneys are from our ward in Waxhaw (no relation!)
This is a picture of Tina with Daniel's Mission President.
We are having a wonderful week with the amazing Mission Presidents of
the great South America South Area here in Bariloche. What a great
Mission President Elder Cheney is serving with!
I will send a sweet picture from yesterday.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
October 10, 2017
So my last week here in the office is going to be pretty crazy. Hermana Diaz (our mission presidents wife) isn't here for change week and she's the one that is in charge of food. President took Chef Cheney too literally and now I'm in charge of food for the week. So I have to make a dinner (like a fancy, real dinner) and a couple of lunches. I'll get help from the other guys but I'm like the food coordinator I guess haha. But it'll be fun.
One of the guys we're teaching right now is Tomas, he's Haitian. There are a bunch of Haitians
that are getting here to Chile so we've been talking to a ton of them. They don't speak a whole lot of Spanish. Some speak a bit of English. In the office we've kind of been trying to learn French, but it's pretty hard haha. Tomas is a good guy, he left his family in Haiti to come here and work. We talked about prophets last time and he understood pretty well, he was interested in the idea of prophets to guide us.
This week I reread one of my favorite scriptures in 1 Nephi 10. This is right after his father, Lehi prophesies and teaches a bunch of stuff that was kind of hard to understand and believe. Nephi tells of how he was desirous to see and know like his father had seen and known. Then he shared in verse 19 " For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round." The secret to great knowledge, a grand testimony, is that there is no secret! We have to diligently seek and be patient in that search. And when we have an open heart and real intent then we can learn of the truthfulness by the power of the Holy Ghost. It's important to be consistent and deliberate in our studies of the scriptures and our prayers.
Love you a lot Mom!! Thanks!
October 18, 2017
I don't think I ever went to Charleston with you guys... but sounds like a lot of fun! We went to the Biltmore house one time for a field trip and it is massive. It's a pretty cool place. (I was telling him about some things we did with his Grandma and Grandpa Cheney when they visited)
It was the first time Elder Merkely had gotten flights and he accidentally asked for the wrong day haha. But we got it all figured out. He learned how to do it haha. (I kind of panicked when we received an itinerary from Church Travel confirming that Daniel Cheney would arrive in Charlotte on October 18. Yikes!!! I sent the office an email and they said that was wrong, and a new itinerary was coming. We did get the new itinerary--Daniel will be coming home January 10 at 8 in the morning!!!!)
The dinner went pretty well. We made way too much food. Like wayyyyyy too much. But it went well, we made chicken, some sort of beef thing, cheesy potatoes, a couple salads, garlic bread, cream corn, and we had a couple of cakes. And salmon. So it was a pretty great dinner. I was in the office up until yesterday, then I got on a bus (alone for the first time in a year and a half!) It was pretty dang scary, even though it was about 2 and a half hours away. Now I'm here in Los Vilos! It's the Illapel Zone. It's a bit further north of Viña, but not too much. My companion is Elder Hucks, he's from American Fork, Utah. He was in my zone back in Huanhualí so I kind of already know him. He's a really cool guy.
I don't know the sector all that well, I got here at like 5 yesterday, but we're going to have a pretty busy week with a good amount of people to teach. It's pretty hard to meet a ton of people and remember where they live, names, faces, who they are, after leaving a different sector with a bunch of people. But in a week or two I'll be fine.
I'm pretty excited to be out in the field, even though it'll be a lot different from the office, it'll be nice to focus in on the sector. Actually yesterday when I was coming up on the bus I was reading in the Book of Mormon, and right in the part where it talks a bit about the stripling warriors. It's such a great part, in Alma 56 it talks about how the Nephites were trying to defeat a Lamanite army and Helaman leaves with his boys to draw them out. The lamanite army follows them and they begin a race of sorts. Behind the lamanite army comes the army of Antipus to fight the Lamanites from both sides. So all three of them are running after each other and trying to escape. The army of Helaman wakes up one day and realizes that the Lamanites aren't following them anymore. It could have been that Antipus had caught up and needed help in the battle, or the Lamanites had laid a trap for them. Helaman says to them "Therefore what say ye, my sons, will ye go against them to battle?" Then in his letter to Moroni he says "45 And now I say unto you, my beloved brother Moroni, that never had I seen so great courage, nay, not amongst all the Nephites 46 For as I had ever called them my sons (for they were all of them very young) even so they said unto me: Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone; therefore let us go, lest they should overpower the army of Antipus....Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them." They rose to the occasion and chose to be valiant and strong. In our lives God gives us "Moments of Greatness," where we can choose to rise to the occasion and be valiant. The stripling warriors had never foughten but they trusted in the promises of the Lord. We have moments like this every day, some big, some small, but we have to choose to be great, or to deny ourselves the chance to grow and progress. Even though these decisions can seem small, they will have all the difference at the end of our lives.
I'll send some pictures next week! I don't have any haha
I love you guys a lot!!!
Friday, October 6, 2017
This week was pretty crazy, there's just always something to do. For example we're writing early because we have to take a missionary to the airport in like an hour or two. But it's nice to be busy and not bored haha. We had the baptism of Fabian this week and it was really cool. A ton of people got to the service to support him. The family was really excited after to work now to get sealed together. I put some pictures of them down here. Fabian was smiling the entire time, he was so happy. I also think he just liked the attention haha. But it was a really special service.
The Goulds are going home, they are the senior couple here. I've been in the office with them for 7 months so I'm going to be pretty sad when they get out of here. Yesterday we had a good-bye dinner with President and Hermana Diaz (very tasty by the way) and they're heading off tomorrow.
I think my favorite talk might have been from President Nelson or President Eyring. I liked how they reiterated the invitation of President Monson and the importance of reading the Book of Mormon every day. The promise from President Nelson was pretty powerful: "My dear brothers and sisters, I promise that as you prayerfully study the Book of Mormon every day, you will make better decisions—every day. I promise that as you ponder what you study, the windows of heaven will open, and you will receive answers to your own questions and direction for your own life. I promise that as you daily immerse yourself in the Book of Mormon, you can be immunized against the evils of the day" I've really been trying to make sure I dedicate a portion of my study to the Book of Mormon and focus on what it means for me and how I can apply those teachings in my life. It's been amazing to see the day to day applications that I can take out from that Book.
I was reading a BYU devotional this week on "The thoughts of our Hearts: Why we do the things that we do" and it was very interesting. He talked about how there are basically two ends of the spectrum of why we do things. On one end is the Love of the World. On the other Love of God. He then asked that we think about why we went to Church last Sunday. Sincerely think about it and the reason that you went to Church last Sunday. He offered some possible answers, my parents made me, to be sociable, habit, take the sacrament, learn in the classes. There are a lot of different answers and they can be scattered on that spectrum. Knowing the reason of why we do what we do we can see if we our satisfied by our motives or if we would like to change for better, purer motives. Just as important as what we do is why we do it (I'm pretty sure that is from a Church Leader). So thinking a little bit more about "Why am I going to say this prayer?" "Why am I going to study the Book of Mormon everyday?" "Why am I trying to be nicer to other people?" will help us get much more out of the small and simple things of the Gospel.
Love you a lot!!!
Sunday, October 1, 2017
This week was sweet and there was a bunch of stuff that happened, so I'll try to sum it up the best I can:
They're starting to call me Chef Cheney now. Since I don't have a specific assignment in the office I'm on lunch duty. I made chicken enchiladas and they turned out pretty well. Also Elder Gould had his birthday so I made some Chicken Cordon Bleu, and it was pretty rico also, I made it for like 13 people, so I'm also catering events now. If you have any other recipes that I can try send them to me!!!
Also a recent convert in our ward, Teresa, got married. It was pretty cool I was able to be a witness. It was a civil wedding, so not as cool as a temple one, but they were really happy about it. They have plans to get married in the temple when they can.
We found some haitians this week that we are teaching. They speak a little bit of spanish and a whole lot of french and criole. So me and the office guys are trying to learn more french to be able to teach them. It's kind of like being a new missionary that doesn't understand the language. They are really humble and they like to talk to us, but it's hard to get them to commit to anything. They want to go to a baptism we're going to have this week so that is going to be good for them.
Speaking of that, Fabian is a chico that we're teaching, his family was a little bit inactive but they've been going to church really strongly for a couple of months and they have some goals to go to the temple and get sealed. He's a cool little guy, he's like 10 or 11. So he'll get baptized on Friday.
I have an invitation for you guys, share the Gospel this week! On twitter, facebook with someone at the store, just find an opportunity to share the Gospel with someone that needs it!
Love you guys!
Friday, September 22, 2017
This week I was able to go to Huanhualí my last sector and spend the day working there. It was a ton of fun, it was like I never left haha. One of my converts there is going super strong and going to seminary every day and going to the temple with the ward. She also wants to go on a mission so it was awesome to see how much she has progressed. Also there is another kid that got baptized a week or two after I left that is getting his papers ready. It was a really fun day and great to see the people I worked with before.
Yesterday was the 18th of September and it's pretty much the 4th of July here. So everyone has a barbecue and we eat a ton of food. We were able to do a zone activity and we went to some sand dunes in Concon. We played soccer, threw a frisbee around, and tried to fly kites but it didn't work out so well. They all got shredded haha. But it was a ton of fun just to run around on the sand.
In the pictures I had with President in one of them and that was the ward activity we had for the 18th. He dressed up a bit with the hat and the poncho. He danced cueca, a traditional dance here so it was super funny to see him dancing.
I'm reading the old testament and today I was reading about the temple of Salomon and it was pretty cool because it talks about a font that was put upon 12 oxen.
In Alma 35 it talks about how the Zoramite converts were cast out of their homes and they had to flee and be refuges in another land. They had to give all of their worldly possessions up to be able to believe as they felt was right. Maybe we won't have to give it all up but we will have to make some sacrifices to be able to believe and worship. That might mean a couple friends, old habits, or a couple of hours on Sunday but we should be willing and ready to make those sacrifices when the Lord asks us.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
We wrote early today because we are going to go do a p-day with the Goulds and the assistants. You'll be getting some pictures of that. Not much has happened in these past couple of days. You never responded to my other email!!! Do you and dad have any advice on what I should do? (He's trying to figure out work/school after mission, and he will get back the day AFTER classes start back up at BYU :) Can you try to find me a sweet job? Just so I can have somewhat of a plan when I get back.
Hey this is something I just shared with a friend:
This week especially I've felt so grateful for the chance to be a missionary. It's like Ammon was saying that when they started they couldn't have imagined the blessings that God was going to give them on the mission. I've seen a lot of changes in myself, stuff I never thought about before the mission. It's has definitely been the best almost two years of my life up until this point.
I'm very grateful for this chance I'm having to serve a mission and to be able to meet so many people. I've learned a lot from the Chileans and from my companions. I've grown a lot closer to my Heavenly Father and I've learned about how I fit into his plan. And how others fit into that plan. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that through him we can repent and be happy.
Thanks for everything mom, I love you guys a lot and I hope the family is doing ok!
Friday, September 1, 2017
As you can probably tell by the time I am writing this it was a long trip.It was really fun and we got a lot of stuff done, but I'll tell you about it after answering your email.
I asked him about anything he wanted to share from the Book of Mormon for my seminary class.
One of my favorite quotes about the Book of Mormon is from President Joseph Fielding Smith: "No member of this Church can stand approved in the presence of God who has not seriously and carefully read the Book of Mormon" It just goes to show the importance of reading and truly studying the Book of Mormon.
One of the most powerful experiences or testimonies I've had with the Book of Mormon is with our last convert, Victor. He started reading the Book of Mormon at the beginning when we invited him. His learning curve was so much faster than other people I taught. He would leave lessons with a couple questions or doubts and he would come back with his own answers that he had found after searching and prayers. Some answers he read and some were given to him through the Spirit. When we read the Book of Mormon with prayer and real intent it will answer our questions, we will feel the love of God, and we will be on the path to exaltation. In my own life it has given me a foundation in the Gospel and I have set a goal to read it every day and I think that is what has helped me most to get through tough times. Ponder and sincerely read the Book of Mormon. There are days when I am tired and it's hard to get through a chapter (I still have to read my chapter today) but I know God will bless me as I ponder in the stories and words that are in there. It has expanded my mind and given me a vision of what God has planned for me. I am grateful for the sacrifices of many people to make the Book of Mormon possible and I know that it is the word of God that is meant to guide us through these days.
Tell your seminary students to share their testimonies with me too! I like to read them. Also I forgot but can you thank the primary kids for me? It was really cool to read their letters and they gave me a lot of ánimo! I love me some handwritten letters.
So we left on Tuesday, me, Élder Smith (my companion), and Élder Gould (the housing guy). We went up to Coquimbo which is about 4 or 5 hours to the north. The goal was to buy 4 matresses with the frames, fix 3 windows, patch up about 4 walls, and drop off various things like rugs, blankets, and heaters. It was pretty intense and we were out until about 10:30 tuesday and wednesday night. It was fun too because it was the first time that I was in the North of the mission, so I've only heard stories of it for a year and a half. It was different from what I thought, I was thinking that it was going to be a barren wasteland but it was more like a resort. It is really nice up there. We got to go to a place called Vicuña that is about and hours drive from Coquimbo so we got to see all parts of the mission. I can't find my camera right now, but I'll send some pictures next week. We took our p-day today to move some more matresses and patch up a wall and then we drove back down too. We got back pretty late, but it was a good trip. It was nice to work on the houses and get out of the office a bit too.
This week will be change week (Woooohhhhhoooooo!!!!), so I won't be writing until next Saturday, the 9th. Wow, August passed by quick.
We're still not sure about the changes, we should find out tomorrow (companions and whatnot) but the assisstants said that there might be a couple of surprises so I'll keep you updated next week.
I think might spiritual though will be the above mentioned about the Book of Mormon. Thanks for the email mom, it's nice to hear from you guys. I love you a lot!!