Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Week 17

Hello hello!

So this week went by really fast ironically, since last week was rather slow. Unfortunately, I also don't have too much time to write cause we have a busy day, so I just wanted to share a quick experience and a cool video that I saw this week.

We taught one family that is very christian, very kind, and had an incredible experience. After teaching them about Prophets and the Restoration of The Gospel, we invited them as with everyone to go directly to the source of all truth, even God himself, and ask if the things that we had spoken were true. My companion and I felt prompted to invite them to prayer in that exact moment. We all got down on our knees, and had Juana say the prayer, asking in specific if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was true. During the prayer, that indescribable feeling overcame me. As Juana finished, my companion asked her how she felt, and what she thought. She responded that she felt it was all true, because of the spirit she had felt since the moment we had entered the house, and strongest in the moment when she began her prayer. With the biggest smiles on our faces, we confirmed her belief with our testimonies and assurity that this is the restored church of the Lord Jesus Christ. We left the house still smiling.

Here is the video, its only about 3 minutes so give it a look!

Have a great week!
Elder Bernal

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Week 16: "Keep laughing"

What's up everyone?

Alright so I will be straight honest and just say that this seemed like a long week. Now that its over, it seems fast, as does just about everything, but honestly this one was a tough one. A tough one with the language, a tough one with the work, and lots and lots of chastenings. But as we all read from earlier, "despise not thou the chastenings of the Almighty" am I right am I right?

As my brother has helped me learn, some of the best remedies to anything tough is to just Keep Laughing. SO, this week, something funny happened with my Spanish when we were in a lesson. One lady was asking about who Joseph Smith was and if we prayed to him and such. As we explained that Joseph smith was a prophet like all the rest that God has called, I then asked her, a catholic, "Tu oras a la papa?" What I was trying to get across was that does she as a catholic, pray directly to the pope? But in Spanish, the word Pope is EL Papa, NOT LA Papa. So what I actually said was Do you pray to the potato? And let me tell you this lady DIED i mean she would not stop laughing. Like literally, we had to stop the lesson and just finish there because she just thought it was that funny. So even though they just ripped me apart for not being able to speak Spanish, it still got some good laughs.

Passing through an interesting time in the mission. Lots of work with lots of people, and lots and lots of lessons to learn. But the people here continue to be so nice and loving, always willing to lend a helping hand to strangers. Always brings a smile.

Attached are some photos of me and a few of the Elders here! Elder Bake is my companion and he is the tall one, awesome awesome guy. And in case you are wondering, yes, all of these pictures are absolutely candid and real...

Have a great week! Keep Laughing!
Elder Bernal

Monday, May 19, 2014

Week 15: "Get up and win the race"

Feliz Dia de Las Madres!!

To Kristen and Rosy, my beloved mothers, I publicly express my love and gratitude for you in my life. Thank you so much for all you do and know that your son sends his love all the way from Mexico! 

Once again, another killer week. I cant keep up with all the blessings and miracles that happened this week but things are just going awesome. One thing that really sticks out to me is how kind and polite the families here are. So many families here will drag us into their house and beg to let them give us food or water or anything just to be courteous. Good thing too because I'm always hungry and can never get enough of the carne asada. Its almost becoming a problem.

Speaking of Mothers Day, I got to talk with the rest of the family! So great to see you guys and hear your voices!

On a spiritual note, we had one lesson this week that was very special. We met this one man and his wife who were super cool, and the husband was telling us about how how really wanted to turn his life around and had always admired the standards of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We met them one evening, taught a lesson, and invited them to make the change in their lives, accept the gospel, and be baptized. The husband accepted almost instantly, without a single doubt, but his wife was a little hesitant. As she explained why, she broke down into tears and realized that the reason she was feeling that way is because she was scared, but in that moment realized it was the right thing to do. Upon the second invitation, she accepted. Her husband closed with a prayer, and gave thanks that the elders came to help change their lives. When we opened our eyes, his wife was still in tears because of how powerful she felt the Holy Ghost. It is moments like these that me so happy to be doing what I´m doing, and to be a missionary for the Lord. To be able to bring happiness to the lives of others watch it all happen is an incredible, incredible thing.
Lastly, my companion says he hears me talk in my sleep, so one night he woke and up and wrote down all the things I said. Its kind of long but I wanted to share it with you.

So in reality, my cmpanion showed me this poem and I thought it was awesome, and that it was something that we all might like to hear. Just like the scripture I shared last week, we will all have challenges, struggles, but they only make us stronger. No single person in the history of the world ever lived a life without falling. In fact, those that were successful and reached their potential probably failed countless times. But what separates the two is those who decide to get up. We are all here participating in the race of life, but the catch is there is no finish line, no first place, no competition amongst others. It is a journey between us and our Father in Heaven. The way we will know if we have won first place, is if we always "get up, and win the race."

Have a great week everyone! Run hard!

Elder Bernal

P.S. Check out this weeks adventures!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Week 14: "He can even work through a watermelon."


OK SO this week was like literally the best weak of my entire mission so far. Like honestly SO many cool things happened and we had sooooo many miracles that were just clear and obvious blessings from the Lord. But like seriously this week was awesome.

1. K so coming in at number one we had a lesson with a mother named Aglae and her family. We have been visiting them for a few weeks now, and about 3 years ago she was about to be baptized but she was not married with her boyfriend and so she could not, but nonetheless she still wanted us to come back. In of the lessons, we begged and begged to get her boyfriend to say the closing prayer and he was just too nervous and embarrassed, but my companion and I really pushed him and he finally did it. It was awesome but what was even better was when we came back and talked to them. We talked about how families can be together for ever, and how the Gospel is specifically designed for the families, and the spirit was very strong in the room. At the conclusion, we invited Aglae to say the prayer and she just straight up was like no sorry no chance. But we pushed her a little bit, her husband even started to encourage her, and instead of waiting to see if she would, we just closed our eyes and bowed our heads and just waited until she would do it. She kept being like no no i cant i cant or sorry now, but after about 20 seconds of just dead (and kind of awkward.. ) silence, I finally heard the beginning of what was one of the most powerful prayers I have heard thus far on my mission. As she finished I literally got up and fist pumped the air because I was so happy. This family is just so special and its a beautiful thing to watch them grow back together as the spirit enters their lives.

2. We had just finished a Zone meeting and we were walking up a street when two rando`s just shouted our names from their car and invited us to eat. At first I was like food yes and then thought k rando`s no. But it turns out that they were actually gringos from Utah that were visiting the area because the father was here with his daughter and she is going to serve here in a month! We had some time to meet with them and filled the daughter in on how awesome her mission is going to be. Super cool.

3. We stopped and chatted with these two dudes selling watermelons in the straight. As we began talking, they told us that they had just finished talking with the sister Missionaries about 2 hours prior, and the craziest thing happened. They hadn't been having any success with selling watermelons, and they thought they would just pack up and leave but then here came these sister missionaries, and they began to chat. Within the 15 minutes that the sisters were there, 6 people had come by to buy a watermelon. The sister missionaries told him this was no coincidence, and that God was giving him a taste of the blessings that lie ahead. They left him with a Book of Mormon, and then they came to our area where they met us. Now, as we had spent a few minutes talking, this guy was so shocked at the success they had while the missionaries were with them that he couldn't stop talking about how surprised he was. I told him that it was no coincidence, and that it was God working through these means. He then told me that if it was true, that if someone were to come to buy a watermelon within the hour, he would go to church the following Sunday, convinced it was not just by chance. ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER HE SAID THOSE WORDS, a lady came by bought a watermelon, and the man was left in awe. I bore my testimony, told him of my knowledge of the church, and then bought a watermelon myself just so he would know that there the miracles of God are not coincidental.

4. Elder Bake, my new companion, is a stud. We literally have a blast together, and even though we are both gringos, we talk more Spanish than I did before, and are helping each other learn tremendously. We woke up early one morning and ran to the ocean, took a swim (SYKE!), skipped a couple rocks, and then jogged back.

5. I was reading in Job this week because he is just a stud and I came across a scripture that is so sweet I want to share it with you guys, "Happy is he whom the Lord correcteth, therefore, DESPISE NOT THE CHASTENING OF THE ALMIGHTY. (Job 5:17) Like come on you don't have to read scripture to know that that is so awesome. The lord corrects us to make us stronger. When you are facing a challenge or you feel like life is beating you up, just know it is for your best benefit.

There were literally so many other little miracles that happened this last week that would take forever to tell and I am running out of time, but basically I am just loving life so much. I am having the best of times right now in my mission and things are only getting better. Hope you all are doing well, you are enjoying that summer season coming up, and living life to the fullest. Les amo a todos!

Elder Bernal