Wednesday, September 13, 2017

September 12, 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!

Elder Cheney

Friday, September 1, 2017

August 31, 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!!
Elder Cheney

Thursday, August 24, 2017

August 23, 2017

Hey it was a pretty long week, we had a bunch of stuff to do in the office. But I learned a lot this week so it's all good. Last week for pday we went walking around Viña becuase it's a very pretty city. We took some pictures with the water and I found an anchor. Today for pday we made some pancakes and watched a movie that President recommended for us. It's been a pretty calm day so it was nice to rest up a little bit.
Changes are coming up, this change I'm going to start training the next secretary. I don't know who it is but we've got a great group of guys out here. In like a week and a half I'll know who the new guy is.
This week we started teaching a less active lady, Yael, with her two kids. The oldest Francisco is 10 and he accepted to be baptized. They are a really cool family. They live in a tiny house that is pretty unfinished. We go there with a member and they only have two chairs and they sit on an old matress. It's really humbling to be able to teach them and see how happy they are with so little. We've only taught them a couple times so we're still getting to know them, but they're awesome.
This week I found a scripture I really liked. It's in Psalms 37:4-5:
4 Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
If we trust God and ask in faith, according to His will God will bring it to pass. We just have to learn to trust God and leave the things we can't do up to Him. That being said, we have to take care of our part and do everything we can, remembering that without God it'll be impossible.
Love you a lot!
Elder Cheney

Thursday, August 17, 2017

August 15, 2017

Yea thanks for keeping the blog up, that's been really cool. The pcitures I attached today are from a car ride that we just started taking a million pictures, so that's kind of what Viña looks like. You guys haven't sent me any pictures! I don't even know what you look like anymore! Just send me some stuff of Cosmo, the house, or whatever you're doing.

You can choose to share what happened yesterday with everyone:
There was a missionary that was going home and he needed to be at the airport at 6am. So me with the other office guys we left to go take him a 4:30 and to leave at 4:30 we had to wake up at 3:30. The night before we got to bed at like 12ish because we did a dinner and stuff with the misionary that was leaving(he was the assistant). So we didn't get a lot of sleep haha. We went and dropped him off and there were some complications with that, but we raced back to get to the zone conference at 9. We got there literally at 8:59 and walked in when they started the first hymn. Then we had that all day and right after instead of getting some stuff done in the office we had some appointments so we headed over there and taught. We went to bed like normal at 11 so we were all pretty wrecked. President gave us permission to sleep in to 9 this morning so I feel like a million bucks. I should sleep in every day, haha just kidding. But it was a pretty hectic day yesterday. It's going to be a busy week too. 

Yesterday we had a family home evening with the Cortes Family and apparently they know David too from a ward they were in in Santiago. They said I'm funnier but they still liked him. They're going to help us find some more people to teach, they are a really cool family. 

This week we found a guy named Luis. Or maybe Igor. We were walking down the street and my companion was like we need to knock the door. We knocked on the door and it was the easiest contact ever. The guy looks at us and he's like "You guys are out this late? Come on in!" It was pretty sweet and we went in and talked to him for a bit and me his wife and son, Benjamin. His wife didn't participate in the lesson, but while we were talking Benjamin(he's 10) brought us juice and cake from his birthday party. He was a super cute kid haha. We talked to Luis a lot about eternal families. It went really well and he invited us to go back. 

Tell Dustin not to plan out the end of his mission before he starts haha. But it would be cool if everyone was out there before he leaves. 

This week I read a story in the Book of Mormon that I always like. It's about Alma the elder when he recently started preaching and teaching people. It's in Mosiah 23-25ish and you should definitely read it. But one of the scriptures in there Mosiah 23:21-22 says "Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith. Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people." This was a group of people that was recently converted and baptized, they were keeping all of the commandments and doing everything right. But with all that there was a reason they had to pass through more trials. Sometimes in our lives we're doing everything right, but for some reason there are a lot of challenges. That's becuase God is preparing us for the future. He gives us chances to grow and increase our faith. At the end (without spoiling the story) the people of Alma were able to bear all the burdens that were put upon them with patience and joy. It all depends on our attitude and if we are willing to put more confidence in God than in ourselves. 

Hey I love you guys a lot!! Have a good week!
Elder Cheney


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

August 8, 2017

So we had a miracle last night, it was a pretty late night in the office and we get back to the pension and change and everything and I'm writing in my journal and the assistants called me. They asked for some help to pack up the car because they have some zone conferences this week and they had to finish up their presentation. So we went back to the office (with Elder Smith) and we tossed a ton of stuff into the mission van. A ton of packages, tables, boxes of books of mormon, and other materials and food. And we finished up finally and it was pretty late at that point (They had promised it would only be like 15 minutes). We headed back to the apartment after to go to bed and we realized that we didn't have keys. We were outside the door just hanging out ringing the bell and calling the other two elders in the apartment, but they had already fallen asleep. I guess they were sleeping like logs because no one came to the door. After about 20 minutes of that we started planning on sleeping on the floor outside the door. So we sat there for a bit calling them and then my companion said "And I haven't even said my prayer yet tonight." And I had a brain blast so we decided to say a prayer. We knelt down and started saying a prayer and I only said "thanks for letting us help the assistants out" and then the door opened! It was pretty awesome and immediate answer to the prayer. Elder Clark had woken up some how and came and helped us out, good news we didn't have to sleep on the floor all night, bad news is that would have been a great story.

This week was pretty busy in the office, we had a lot of stuff to do. And this week will probably be pretty busy too haha. But we've been able to get out and teach a bit. We taught a less active family with a son that isn't baptized and at the end the mom prayed so that there was a big change in the house and that the Spirit could be there. We have a couple appointments this week that should be pretty good so we'll see how that goes. 

Also I haven't had companion exchanges since I've been in the office so me and Elder Smith planned out an interchange for this week with the zone leaders, we're both going up to their sector to work for the day. That's going to be a ton of fun. 

Not that much else happened this week, just a lot of paper work! Thanks for the letter, love you a lot!!
Elder Cheney

Sunday, July 30, 2017

July 29, 2017

(I asked him about how you teach people to answer questions about the Church)
Um that's an interesting question because there is a ton of people on the street here that have heard a bunch of things about the Mormons and have a ton of different ideas in their heads of who we are. A lot of times it isn't true but sometimes it is. I think one of the most important things is that the person has the desire to know the truth, not just ask. Because a lot of people ask but they don't listen to the answer. But if we actually want to know the truth and we learn by the Spirit we'll be able to learn the things that matter and feel okay with some things that might not have a clear answer. We can't get the answer to every single question or doubt we have, but we can feel the Spirit testify to us and help us to discern the truth.  That was mainly for people that aren't members but even as members there is always going to be more that we don't know than we do know. A lot of times as missionaries we have to invite the people to trust in their testimony of the Book of Mormon and just pray to God for a confirmation that something is right or that it's ok. It's hard to type coherent thoughts in an email but I hope that kind of makes sense.

This week was pretty long, it was transfer week. I realized I speak a lot of spanglish and that you guys probably don't understand some things I say. We were with the new missionaries and we were doing some trainings for them and I said "pensions" and that doesn't exist in English and I can only use house or apartment. Also changes, sector, and interchanges are transfers, areas, and exchanges. So I said something like " Yea, we have change week this week and all the missionaries had their new changes and moved to their new sectors." And they all just looked at me with really confused faces. So it'll be interesting to try and communicate with someone that doesn't speak any spanish. It's pretty hard and I feel self consicous. 

Also this week we had the baptism and confirmation of Victor. It was super cool. He gave his testimony after the baptism and everything. He's a super cool guy. In the picture we're all wearing ties that he gave us. He said he picked them according to our personalities. He got us pretty well. He's going to get the priesthood this week that's coming up. He's doing a ton of family history work so he's starting off strong. He's super fun to teach because he understands really well, and he expects logical reasons for why we believe stuff. So we can share scriptures and explain and he'll understand and remember. It's amazing. 

Time is weird on the mission, but it definitely does not feel like 5 years. It might just be because my absence is a lot more noticeable. (I told him his mission seemed like it was extra long for some reason : )

Stuffed shells sounds pretty dang good right now. I think one of the first meals though, is going to have to be just the classic roast beef, mashed potatoes, and rolls. It's an old favorite. 

The changes went pretty well, my trainer Elder Gonzalez went home, so that was weird. There was a bunch of stuff to do as usual, but we got through it. It always fun to be able to see a ton of missionaries during the week, because there's a lot that pass through the office. 

The next time I write will be Tuesday. Next week should be a little bit more calm. Now I'm only companions with Elder Smith from Utah. A new Elder, Elder Clark, got to the office and he's with Elder McAllister now. So we're back to 4 in the office again. 

Love you guys a lot!!!
Elder Cheney

Thursday, July 20, 2017

July 19, 2017

Honestly, I'm having a good time in the office. We can't go out as much and some times it's really stressful to have a lot of office work to do (yesterday we were there until 10 doing stuff), but I like it. It's good experience and we're helping people. But there isn't a lot of new stuff so that might be why my letters are lame. But I'm doing peachy. 

Speaking of peachy we had one heck of a day today. We went to a huge flea market(the biggest in the "state") and we looked at a ton of stuff. I got a tie for about 30 cents and it's pretty dope. i'll send a picture with next week or something. And after we drove out to a beach called Quintay and it was super pretty. We threw a frisbee around for a while and then played some volleyball (we stayed far from the water). It was super fun and we were able to run around a lot so that was cool. Next week we have changes so it'll be a pretty crazy week. I'll have pday next saturday (the 29th). 

Some news with Victor. It's been going really well. We've talked a lot about baptism and he wanted to get baptized we just couldn't get a day set up. Today he called us and was like "Yea, I'm going to get baptized Saturday" And he's super excited for it. Yesterday he went to the family history center and worked there for like an hour and a half. Sunday in church we used a card from the area with some goals for the temple, sabbath day, and self reliance. He put under temple get baptized for his ancestors, sabbath day he put do an extra fast every month and go to church, and under autoreliance he put get baptized and confirmed. Then he shared his goals with the stake president. He's a really cool guy, he's 62, but he acts like a 55 year old. So we're going to be planning the things out for his baptism this Saturday!!!

Have a great week and pray that I get some sleep!!!
Love you!!
Elder Cheney

p.s. I think I'm going to start putting spaces because makes my letter look bigger.
An extra email to his dad:
The office is really nice, but sometimes it gets stuffy in there if we are there too much time. We haven't had completos in a while, but we've had a lot of avocado.
I miss the Lake House, it's so fun over there. One of my companions is from Logan and he's pretty much a cowboy so he's getting me pretty excited to go backpacking and fishing up in the mountains. My other companion went to BYU before the mission and he's going straight from the mission to BYU. He's getting there 2 days after classes start. I think that would be horrible. I would not want to get to school late and just off the mission. I think it'll be good to have time to work and whatnot. 
Just now we had a ward conference and there was a lot of focus on the temple. There's the temple in Santiago and they're building one in Concepcion and now they want one here in Viña. Did you know an Elder McCracken in your mission? Our investigator went and he loved it. He's so prepared to recieve the Gospel He says he feels like God has called him and chosen him. He calls us his spiritual guides its really awesome to teach him. He's going to get baptized this weekend and confirmed. We're going to get him to go to the temple in August. He's already started on his family history work. 
In my mission one of the things I've learned or acquired is a love for the scriptures. Before it was a pretty big chore to read the scriptures, but now it's so awesome to have a hour to be able to read and study the scriptures. It has helped me a lot in my teaching and in my own life when I have scriptures in my mind. 
Actually we gave one of the Liahona magazines to Victor and he loves it. He read the two from President Monson and he said "that's great it just makes so much sense, we have to have charity or we're nothing." It's the best feeling ever to teach someone that understands and wants to learn more.
Love, Elder Cheney