Wednesday, July 11, 2018

July 9, 2018 - Discurso (In Spanish)

Hermanos y hermanas 
Estoy agradecido por la oportunidad que tengo hoy para compartir un poco de mi conocimiento y sentamientos en cuanto al evangelio con ustedes. 

En el Libro de Mormón leemos sobre un hombre llamado Ammón que fue enviado de la tierra de Zarahemla a la tierra de Lehi-Nefi para averiguar acerca de sus hermanos. Allí encontró al rey Limhi y a su pueblo, que estaban bajo el cautiverio de los lamanitas. El rey Limhi se animó por las cosas que Ammón le compartió sobre su pueblo en Zarahemla; el corazón se le llenó con una esperanza y un gozo tan grande que reunió a su pueblo en el templo y dijo:

“Por tanto, levantad vuestras cabezas y regocijaos, y poned vuestra confianza en Dios…
“Mas si os tornáis al Señor con íntegro propósito de corazón… y le servís con toda la diligencia del alma… él, de acuerdo con su propia voluntad y deseo, os librará del cautiverio”.

Las palabras de Ammón tuvieron un efecto tan profundo en la fe del pueblo del rey Limhi, que hicieron un convenio con Dios de servirle y de guardar Sus mandamientos a pesar de sus difíciles circunstancias. Gracias a su fe, pudieron crear un plan para escapar de las manos de los lamanitas.

Por un momento hermanos volvemos a la invitación del rey.... “Levantad vuestras cabezas y regocijaos, y poned vuestra confianza en Dios…

poned vuestra confianza en Dios 
Eso es mi enfoque hoy, poniendo nuestro confianza en el y mostrándolo con nuestras acciones.

Como podemos hacer eso hermanos? Poner nuestra confianza en El? 

Pues podemos aprender eso del señor mismo—

“Si me amáis, guardad mis mandamientos…

“El que tiene mis mandamientos y los guarda, ese es el que me ama; y el que me ama, será amado por mi Padre, y yo le amaré y me manifestaré a él”.

Es algo básico no? Amarlo y mostrar ese amor guardando sus mandamientos. Mandamientos que realmente están allí para nuestro beneficio. 

En fin, el mejor manera para obtener y mostrar esa confianza es venir a el y seguirle. 
En el libro de Omni capítulo 1, versículo 26 encontramos  una fórmula simple para venir a Cristo: 

 “Y ahora bien, mis amados hermanos, quisiera que vinieseis a Cristo, el cual es el Santo de Israel, y participaseis de su salvación y del poder de su redención. Sí, venid a él y ofrecedle vuestras almas enteras como ofrenda, y continuad ayunando y orando, y perseverad hasta el fin; y así como vive el Señor, seréis salvos." 

podríamos hablar acerca de este versículo todo el día, pero yo solo quiero tocar en cada principio rápidamente. 

1. en primer lugar, hay que reconocer que Jesucristo es el Santo de Israel. En otras palabras, debemos tener Fe en Cristo. debemos creer que existe y que él tiene el poder para salvarnos. debemos creer que él sabe el camino para volver a Dios.

 2. en segundo lugar, debemos participar en su salvación y el poder de su redención. Simplemente tenemos que arrepentirnos . con el fin de llegar a él tenemos que ir en su dirección, no llegaremos a Cristo andando el camino del mundo. 

3. en tercer lugar, debemos ofrecer toda nuestra alma como ofrenda. debemos amar a Dios con todo nuestro corazón y desear servirle a él. Tenemos que darle todo lo que tenemos: incluso nuestros talentos, tiempo, y amor. 

4. En el cuarto lugar, debemos continuar ayunando, orando y leyendo las escrituras. Me encanta algo que el presidente de la estaca de Elche compartió una vez en una reunion. El explicó que nosotros, no somos “de” la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los últimos días Santos. Sino que, SOMOS LOS SANTOS de la Iglesia de Jesucristo en los últimos días. Y que hemos de actuar conforme a eso cada día de nuestras vidas.

Una vez que ya hemos empezado a acercarnos a Cristo. El, cumpliendo su promesa, vendrá a nosotros.” 

“Allegaos a mí, y yo me allegaré a vosotros; buscadme diligentemente, y me hallaréis”

Cuando llegamos a este punto y tenemos Cristo en nuestro lado podemos hacer grandes cosas. 

Nefi tenia este confianza y fe en El Señor. Me encanta sus palabras: 

“Si Dios me hubiese mandado hacer todas las cosas, yo podría hacerlas. Si me mandara que dijese a esta agua: Conviértete en tierra, se volvería tierra; y si yo lo dijera, se haría.
Ahora bien, si el Señor tiene tan grande poder, y ha hecho tantos milagros entre los hijos de los hombres, ¿cómo es que no puede enseñarme a construir un barco?”

Si el Señor podría hacer todas estas cosas, como es que él no puede ayudarnos a pasar una prueba? ¿cómo es que él no puede responder a nuestras oraciones? ¿cómo es que él no puede llevar una carga de nuestra vida? ¿cómo es que él no puede ayudarnos a vencer una tentación que hemos luchado todos nuestra vida? EL PUEDE hacer esto y no solo eso, sino MUCHO MÁS. Y lo hará! Pero solo si mostramos nuestra fe y confianza haciendo las cosas que el nos ha pedido hacer.

Cuando Cristo dice, "no temáis ", él esta pidiendo que nosotros creamos en él. Está pidiendo que nosotros le amemos. Recuerden que "el amor perfecto desecha todo temor." 
Cuando el dice, "venid á mí", se nos dice "Mirad hacia mí en todo pensamiento; no dudéis; no temáis." él nos dice "No temas; cree solamente." 

El nos dice "Confía en Jehová con todo tu corazón,y no te apoyes en tu propia prudencia.". 
"Porque yo, Jehová, soy tu Dios, quien te sostiene de la mano derecha y te dice: No temas, yo te ayudaré."

Uno de los relatos de las Escrituras que siempre me ha conmovido espiritualmente es cuando Jesucristo caminó sobre el agua para reunirse con Sus discípulos que viajaban en una barca por el mar de Galilea.
El relato está registrado en Mateo:

“Y ya la barca estaba en medio del mar, azotada por las olas, porque el viento era contrario.
“Mas a la cuarta vigilia de la noche, Jesús fue a ellos andando sobre el mar.
“Y los discípulos, viéndole andar sobre el mar, se turbaron… Y dieron voces de miedo.
“Pero enseguida Jesús les habló, diciendo: ¡Tened ánimo! ¡Yo soy, no tengáis miedo!”.
Pedro oyó ese maravilloso llamado de aliento del Señor.
“Entonces le respondió Pedro y dijo: Señor, si eres tú, manda que yo vaya a ti sobre las aguas.
“Y [Jesús] dijo: Ven”.
Pedro era pescador y conocía los peligros del mar; sin embargo, estaba comprometido a seguir a Jesús, día y noche, en barco o por tierra.

Imagino que Pedro saltó del barco sin esperar una segunda invitación y empezó a caminar sobre el agua. 
De hecho, las Escrituras dicen: “… anduvo sobre las aguas para ir a Jesús”. Cuando el viento empezó a hacerse más fuerte y feroz y las olas se arremolinaban a sus pies, Pedro tuvo miedo “… y, comenzando a hundirse, dio voces, diciendo: ¡Señor, sálvame!
“Y al momento Jesús, extendiendo la mano, le sujetó”.

En ese momento el Señor estuvo allí para ayudarlo, tal como lo está para ustedes y para mí. Extendió Su mano y llevó a Pedro hacia Él y a un lugar seguro.

Hermanos y hermanas el Señor Jesucristo está allí con su brazo extendido siempre . Les invito a poner su confianza en el.

FREESTYLE (fill extra time) 



-TESTIMONIO 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

July 2, 2018 - Algeciras

Hey guys! Well this is probably going to be my last long weekly email because I want to enjoy the last couple of p days I have left and not have to worry about writing so much. Also our church is an hour away so it's not likely that we go all the way there to write on mondays.

Anyways the week was good. Y'all aren't going to believe this but I sang a duet for a special musical number in our zone meeting haha. I still don't know how they convinced me to do that...

Transfers were also cool. I just had a 3 hour bus ride down from Sevilla. It was cool cause it passed through some old pueblos that were part of my area in Cadiz. Also passed by a really cool little town called Tarifa. It's the farthest south tip of Spain and is famous for kiteboarding. Super sick, there were hundreds or kites out there! I sat next to a lady who spoke Arabic and taught her a bit using Google translate haha 

The new area is good. I really haven't gotten to see a whole lot of it yet. What I have seen though is beautiful. We have an amazing chapel that just opened 2 weeks ago. It is small but super super nice. Like nicest church I've ever seen. All the doorframes are stainless steel and the whole building is just super modern and tech decked. It's weird though because the branch is tiny. There were only 14 people in attendance this Sunday. Four priesthood holders. Two of them make up the branch presidency. It's one or those branches were the missionaries do basically everything haha. We bless, pass and teach. Really different from my last area with a ward with over 100.

The only down side here is the piso. It was pretty wrecked from the trio that was here before. Also my shower had tons of black mold. Super gross.. I dumped bleach all over it and let it sit for the day and it's all disappeared now. Also we don't have AC which makes it really difficult to sleep. I just lay there awake sweating all night. I guess that's what I get for complaining about the heat in Sevilla hahaha.

We also found a really cool service opportunity. We went and helped out at a soup kitchen. It was way fun and cool. We became good friends with the people there and now we're going to go work there every Wednesday morning!

Another weird thing was we switched missions this week. We are now officially apart of the Madrid Mission. It's really weird because our two missions have had two completely different cultures and you could tell right away. We were added into the Madrid group message and they all started sending GIFs and all sorts of other weird pictures and stuff which is totally not acceptable for our mission. We weren't even allowed to have the phone numbers of missionaries who are outside of our zone before and they have a mission wide group message they just chat on haha.. Also it's weird because they speak in tú and vosotros instead of usted and ustedes. That's the weirdest thing to get used to.

Anyways we are currently on the bus to Sevilla to meet the new mission president. Pretty excited. His name is President Bussey, from Seattle. Sounds like a cool guy.

Well yeah that's it. Love y'all hope you're having a good week!

June 25, 2018 - Globos de Agua

Alright well this email is going to be really short sorry...
We bought 850 water balloons from costco and had a massive fight in the parking garage then it took a little longer than we thought to clean up. So here we are now with a few minutes to write. 

The week was good. We taught Victor a couple of times. He is going to be baptized this saturday. Unfortunately I will already be gone but I’m hoping to get to skype in to see. 

We also saw some really crazy stuff in our area. Its pretty cool haha basically a little city of gypsies. It was super funny because a teenage kid just walked up to me and took the pen out of my pocket. I was just standing there like what just happened? He just starts writing something on his arm then his friend is like “He’s not gonna give that back!” The kid who stole the pen looks up at his friend goes OH YEAH!?? Turns around and hands it to me haha. Still convinced he would have stolen it if the friend hadn’t taunted him out of it lol. Gotta love tres mil... 

Anyway yeah I’m doing good. Excited to head down to Algeciras in 2 days. Yayyyy haha the trio is getting kind of old. Just ready to be back to a regular companionship.. 

Anyways love ya’ll have a great week! 

- Élder Alex M. Childers 

June 18, 2018 - This time for Africa

Hey well the week was fun. We had our last interviews with President Andersen and the very last zone conference of the Spain, Málaga Mission. As you can imagine it was pretty emotional. All the sister missionaries were bawling haha.

My last interview was cool. When I walked in Pres asked if I was excited to be part of the Madrid mission. I was like “yeah I mean I was fine with going to either mission. Then he’s like “well you’ll be staying in the Madrid mission but It’s going to be a little bit different than we had originally planned, I’ll tell you after the prayer. I’ll tell you right now, I cant remember a single thing that was said during that prayer haha. My mind was just rushing. Anyways the prayer ended and he told me the plan. I will be going to Algeciras for my last transfer. They just opened a church down there and president wants two seasoned missionaries there to get the little branch animated and help it grow with the excitement right now. So I will be with Elder Dunford, he’s from my trainee’s group so I met him about a year ago. Anyways the area is super cool. Its at the very southern tip of Spain. Right across the bay is Africa. My area also includes the rock of Gibraltar which is a little territory of the U.K. Basically just a little english city which is cool. I’ve heard there are monkeys there so that’s cool. Also to get out to the rock they close the airport runway and you walk/drive across it. That will be way cool! Hopefully all the airplanes don’t make me too trunky haha. 

Other than all that the week has been pretty good. We taught our investigator Victor all of the commandments. It was cool because when we asked him if he would live them every single time he had a huge smile on his face and said “Yes, of course.” Pretty cool to see true conversion in people. He had a date for this Saturday but he needs another interview so we had to move it up a week. Unfortunately I won’t be here but I plan on skyping in to see it :) 

Cool example that randomly came to my mind when Victor asked about the Gift of the Holy Ghost this week. Loss of the presence of the spirit is like pain to the body. When we have pain in the body it is a signal that something is injured or wrong. The spirit works in the same way. When we have it present we feel comfort and peace. In its absence we can feel anxiety or hopelessness. In both situations if we don’t look for a cure the problem can rapidly become much worse. That is why it’s important we work toward reattaining that spirit as soon as we feel the loss of its presence.  

Hey well love you guys. Hope all is well :) 

Shout out to Brent Childers for being the best dad ever! Love you and happy Father’s Day! 

Pues adios!

- Élder Alex M. Childers 

June 11, 2018 - Trio

The week started out really good. After going to the cathedral last Monday Elder Whittington and I spent the rest of the week contacting in our area. We got a few futures which was really cool. On Tuesday we had a really good district meeting also. One of the focuses this transfer is learning the language better so for district meeting the natives had to only speak english and the rest of us Americans obviously spanish. We learned that the Madrid mission does all of their meetings in english... that will be a weird change. 

Tuesday night we started exchanges. I went with Elder Mckimmey first and we basically were contacting for most of the afternoon. We met some very interesting people in the sketchier part of my area. One guy we contacted acted super nice until he started tearing the pass along card we had given him in tiny pieces and threw it at us. It was fun though. Then we were able to have one lesson with a recent convert in our area. We taught him the plan of salvation. Except we used the puzzle and tried to have him teach us. It was pretty cool. On Wednesday morning Elder Rigby and I went out together. We taught a less active guy who used to be on the high council. We read Ether 12 with him and learned lots from one another. When we were walking back we got a call from Elder Whittington. He just said that he had big news but that he’d tell us when we got back. President had called to tell him he was getting emergency transferred. Elder Coleman who was my comp in Benidorm messed up his ankle really bad playing soccer. He was in a small pueblo called San Lúcar. They are the only two missionaries there so instead of being able to put his companion with another set of elders they had to take Elder Whittington from here to replace him. Now I am in a trio with the other two elders here in Sevilla. It was super sad cause Elder Whittington and I were having such a good time working together.. We literally only had a couple of hours for him to pack up and say some goodbyes because his train left early the next morning. 

Now I’m here in Sevilla still with Elder Rigby and McKimmey until transfers in a few weeks. President told me on transfers since the mission will change they will close their area, McKimmey will leave and Elder Rigby and I will be together for my last transfer.  Until then its a really complicated situation because we have to try to cover both of our areas. Which happen to be on opposite sides of the city. It takes a little over an hour to get from my area to theirs on bus. So for example we had a lesson scheduled on Saturday in their area at 4. We left at 2:45 got to the park where we were going to meet at 4. The person never showed up. Then we had to bus an hour back. So we basically lost two and a half hours of our day. These next few weeks are going to be complicated.. 

Anyways I’m alive and well. Its a little weird having two companions. Difficult to keep the piso organized. Elder Whittington and I had the place super organized and clean then basically within 2 days it got wrecked. Kind of driving me crazy haha but I’m just using my time at night to try to keep up on all the little messes made.. Must be one of the last little tests of my mission haha. It’ll prepare me to have messy kids I guess haha. 

Well love you guys. Sorry I didn’t get a letter out last week. Hope everyone is doing well :)

- Élder Alex M. Childers 

May 28, 2018 - Dogs and Los Americanos

Well its been a pretty basic week.. nothing too exciting happened. 
We contacted a whole lot. Found 4 future investors.. hopefully some of them will turn out. The people here are more closed off which is surprising cause its a big city. 
Anyways we have two investigators to work with right now so that’s pretty good. Unfortunately neither of them were able to come yesterday. 

The area I’m in here is pretty interesting too. It’s two more wealthy areas that surround this place that’s literally a slum. Whenever we go to the other side we have to go all the way around because we aren’t allowed to get near it. Its a pretty crazy place haha

This week we were visiting some members and I had an rough experience haha. So they have this dog that was abandoned. They found it in the street about 2 years ago. So it is still super nervous and scared around people. I was trying to get it to trust me the whole time and I finally got it to calm down and was holding him on my lap. I had him there for like 10 minutes but when we were about to share our message I went to set him down. I started lifting him up when suddenly he freaked out and peed all over me! It was nasty haha instantly it smelled super bad. Yeah so anyways that was awkward just sitting there teaching covered in dog urine. Sorry it was kind of one of those you had to be there moments but I thought y’all might enjoy knowing about it.  :)

Oh yeah yesterday when we got home at the end of the day a bunch of little kids who live in our compound came chasing after us up the stairs. Yelling ¡LOS AMERICANOS! They wanted to come inside our piso but we told them they couldn’t. I remembered I had some tootsie rolls in my bag so I ran up and grabbed some for them. Anyways it was funny because we talked in our doorway for a while to a bunch of 8-10 year olds sitting in a semicircle crisscross applesauce style haha. We ended up teaching them the plan of salvation and gave them all pamphlets. Super funny time.

Well sorry this is kinda a lame letter haha not much to write about this week... 

Love y’all!

- Élder Alex M. Childers 

May 21, 2018 Short Week Update

Another good week here in Spain. It was sad leaving Benidorm and saying bye to everyone. Seems like my time there went by so fast. I was there for 3 months, the same amount of time I have left in the mission which is scary! Anyways the branch was pretty sad to see us go. Elder Coleman and I had become really good friends with some of the members there. They are pretty bummed to only have one set of missionaries now but it is just one of the many changes that have to happen with the mission closing this upcoming month. 


So far all has been going pretty well here in Sevilla too. Elder Whittington is great we are working hard and getting along well. We have already had some really great lessons and found two great new investigators. I’m excited to see what this transfer brings. 

Today we played some volleyball in the church and ate in the food court at Costco 😋 soooo goood hahaha. My comp accidentally left his iPad there so we had to go all the way back. Luckily we found it but kind of ate up all our time going all the way back out there..

Well love you all sorry this is short, busy day!


- Élder Alex M. Childers