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








Sunday, July 9, 2017

July 8, 2017

That's too bad that the babies peaced out this week, (We had his Sister and his nieces visiting for a month, but I told him they headed home) I'm excited to see them. I'll probably start being nice to them.
One of my companions, Elder Smith, is pretty much a cowboy and we're planning a trip to go hiking and fishing in the Uintas. I love hiking. 
Actually for the 4th of July we had a zone conference and Hermana Diaz (the mission president's wife) loves gringos so she went all out for the lunch. We had hamburgers and hotdogs with chili. She tossed up flags everywhere so it was really cool. The opening hymn was the Star Spangled banner and wow that is a powerful song. In the conference the mission presidents wife was talking a little bit about the history of Joseph Smith and out of no where our President busts in dressed up as Joseph Smith and gives us a sweet training. It was super funny because President is almost 60 and Chilean. 

This week we went top chef and we made Chicken Cordon Bleu for lunch and it turned out pretty well. It was actually fantastic. 
We met a Haitian guy in the street that had only been in Chile for about a month. He didn't really speak a whole lot of spanish so me and Elder Smith tried to use our french skills to talk to him and that day in the morning we have memorized like 5 verbs and we used them the best we could to talk to the guy and then we figured out he spoke a little bit a english so we had a tri-lingual contact. It went pretty well so we're going to pass by and see if we can teach him. 
We've been teaching Victor a good amount. He's doing really well. He's got his date for the 16th of July and he's progressing really well. He's got a testimony of the Book of Mormon and he wants to get baptized. He's doing well, there's just a couple points we want to explain better. 
For a spiritual thought here's something from Preach My Gospel about patience: Patience is the capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious. It is the ability to do God’s will and accept His timing. When you are patient, you hold up under pressure and are able to face adversity calmly and hopefully. Patience is related to hope and faith—you must wait for the Lord’s promised blessings to be fulfilled.
I really liked that because it's not just enough to suffer, we have to "suffer with joy." We can find joy in the journey and it has a lot to do with being patient and not letting the little things get to us. 
Love you guys a lot!!
Elder Cheney


Red, White and Blue ties!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

June 6 and 20, 2017


June 6
So I wrote a couple days ago and not a whole lot happened, but there was a miracle for the other companionship that's in the office. A Haitian named Jaque went to Church two weeks ago and he loved it, a friend invited him. He speaks Spanish, Portugues, English very well and he speaks French and Haitian Criole natively. He is super funny. He got to church a little bit late on Sunday and it was testimony meeting. So he sits down and then decides to stand up and give his testimony of the Book of Mormon. He starts off with "Good morning brothers and sisterss" in English and he has a teddy bear voice. But he's 6'5 and black. So he looks intimidating but when you talk to him he's the nicest guy ever. Anyways he gave his testimony and he did it in like 3 languages and in his testimony he talked about how he was going to get baptized and be saved. It was awesome and then he agreed to get baptized this Sunday. He agreed to all of the commandments so he's good to go. He's a great guy so I'm looking forward to meeting him more. 
We played soccer this morning with President and it was pretty fun. I think I'm getting a little better so watch out on the intramural field! But I still have a long ways to go. We have changes this next week starting monday so I'll have the super busy week again. I won't write until Saturday the 17th of June. But until then eat your veggies, say your prayers, and love your neighbor!
Love
Elder Cheney
June 20
Hey fam,
It's been a short weekend, so not a whole lot happened. Sunday in church we had a confirmation of the Haitian guy, Jacques. It was really awesome and he's super excited for the gospel. It'll be fun to keep teaching him. I'm going to learn a whole lot because he asks really good questions. Yesterday we taught him and we spent like 40 minutes talking about priesthood and authority and he understands pretty well. But it'll take a while before he can understand better some of the doctrine. 
Today we played volleyball with President and it was pretty fun. It was the first time we played volleyball in the office. Oh yea and so you know now I'm in a trio with Elder McAllister (my last companion) and Elder Smith. It's pretty fun, I like trios because there is always someone to talk to. 
I was listening to some conference talks this week and one that I really liked was from Elder Yoon Hwan Choi. He said that his father said: "... build a strong relationship with Jesus Christ. Don't look around, look up!" I really liked that because in the church sometimes it is easy to look around and feel small with all the spiritual giants or feel discouraged because the members aren't perfect. But our relationship or perception of the people around us is not going to be what gets us through this life. It will be our personal relationship with the Savior. I know that we can build a relationship with Him if we want to. He is always there waiting for us. He invites us to come unto him. 
This next week should be pretty calm, we have some names of people to go find (referrals) so hopefully we'll be teaching a lot this week. 
Love you guys a bunch!!
Elder Cheney



Monday, June 5, 2017

June 3, 2017

So it's been a little since I wrote but we passed it well. You guys never told me that Melissa moved to Texas! Now she probably will never catch a visit from any of us. Bad luck. (She didn't actually move to Texas, Rae is doing an internship in Texas this summer, then they will go back to Oklahoma.  Melissa and the girls are visiting for the month of June!)
This week we got to do a couple service projects and they were pretty cool.
The first one we picked avocados off a families tree and it was fun. The mom and the daughters speak french because they're from Tahiti or something like that. I tried practicing a little bit, but looks like I have a long ways to go haha. They have some exchange students that are staying in their house from the states so we met some girl from Florida that is here. 
The second one was for a family that has a little baby. They live in a small one room house with a little kitchen and bathroom attached. We went because they had a lot of mold growing in their house because of humidity and the baby was getting sick. So we got all of the mold off the walls and whatnot and then we put up some kind of anti-mold paint. We'll be going back in a couple of days to finish painting. They are a really cool family, the wife is from Colombia and the guy has been mission leader like 6 times he said. They were super nice and they made us a nice kiwi lemon drink thingy that was super tasty. 
Also this week we had Elder Packer come to the mission. He's the son of the apostle. It was a lot of work to get everything ready, but the trainings were really great. He was talking about how as a general authority he has lots of meetings, wakes up early to travel, spends lots of time on airplanes, and does a number of other things that usually aren't enjoyable. But he said "It's all worth it because it's true." It's worth it to push through the harder parts of life or of things we have to do because we know that Jesus is the Christ, His Church is restored, and that families can be together forever. So it's worth it to do all the stuff that He asks of us. 
Hey I love you guys a lot and hope that you enjoy having the babies over there!
 



 
Elder Cheney