Berta is baptized!!

Lorana! 

BERTA GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was awesome! She was so excited this week and had been preparing a lot for her baptism. She went through some nervousness the day before but then she got over it by singing her favorite hymn “How great Thou Art”. She was really anxious to just get in the water and get baptized. It was awesome. 

So we had the service on Saturday at 5:30 pm. It was a beautiful service. We started at the church and I gave a talk. A tourist who is also a member of the church attended. He is Colombian but grew up in the states and went to the University of Utah and also went on a mission. He spoke Spanish so that was great too. He came to the baptism and helped drive people down to the beach in his rental car. It was a beautiful day! My companion and I sang “I Need Thee Every Hour” at the waters edge. Then we all got in. This time we had the witnesses get in the water too. So my companion baptized and I was one of the witnesses along with the Branch President. The water was a little colder than the last baptism but way warmer than California ocean water! The baptism went smoothly. Then on the way out of the water Berta got up on a rock and shouted “woo-hoo”! So we all stood with her and posed for pictures. She was so excited. She will be a great member. 

Then we all went back up to the church and finished the service. Yesterday we had the confirmation. I got to be the one to confirm her. It was a little nerve-racking but I think I did a good job. After her confirmation, she stood up and shook our hands and then said “Yay” as she turned to the rest of the branch. We all laughed. The branch was very excited. 

The key to her conversion was her friend Elvira who is one of the strong members in the branch. She had been teaching her and had been a great example for her for a long time and finally she decided to refer her to the missionaries and now she is baptized! Member missionary work is very important!! 

This week was a great week. We also did a service project that involved serving food at a “Curanto”, which is an island luau celebration. That was fun but we smelled like smoke afterwards because they were cooking huge pieces of beef on a fire grill. 

We have also been finding some new investigators and teaching a lot. That was my week! 

Elder Neser

 

Elder Neser moves into a new house!

Hola!!!!! 

We had another great week on the island. All of our investigators are still progressing well. Berta didn’t get baptized this week but she will be getting baptized on Saturday. She is so excited and ready to get baptized. She has a strong testimony of the church and has a great friend to back her up. 

We moved houses today! Our house was too big and the owner of the house is kind of crazy so we decided it was time to go. We found another house that is smaller and the owner loves the missionaries and the church. They are not members but they lived in Michigan for a while and they know a lot about the church. All day today we have been working on the move. We had to move everything out and to the other house and then clean our old house. It took a while. Luckily it never rained and there weren’t any big problems. So we are happy in our new house. We can’t see the ocean from our house any more but I think we will survive!! 

My companion’s bike broke. We were riding to an investigator’s house and all of a sudden my companion started hearing this clicking noise and then the axle on the bike wheel exploded and flew off. So we had to walk the bikes to the bike shop and now he is renting one. This week flew by really fast. I can hardly remember what happened!! Ha! 

We have this one investigator named Haumaka. He is 12 years old and the grandson of one of the active members of our branch. He is so great and loves the church. He wants to get baptized and has a testimony but his mother and stepfather won’t give him permission to get baptized. So we have been working on that. We went to his house this week to talk with his parents. We got there and sat down and started talking with Haumaka. Then his stepdad came out and started yelling at us and Haumaka. The stepdad told us to get off his property. So we left. It was a bummer! So then we went and talked to the grandma who is a member. She then called up the stepdad and told him that he has no right to kick anyone off the land because he has no right to it. What that means is here on Easter Island only native Rapa Nui people can own land. Chileans have no right to any land. Haumaka’s stepdad is Chilean. The whole property is actually Haumaka’s. It is crazy because here the kids at a very young age inherit big pieces of land. Sometimes they even have houses. The parents take care of the land until the child is old enough and then the child lives on the property or rents it to others. A lot of Rapa Nui people rent their homes. There are also a lot of native Rapa Nui who are unemployed. So in the case of Haumaka, his grandpa died and had a lot of land. But the grandma is Chilean so she couldn’t receive any of the land. So it was passed down to the next generation. So all of the grandkids inherit the land. We are still trying to help Haumaka get permission to get baptized and we are praying a lot. I am doing great and loving the mission. That’s all for this week! 

Elder Neser 

 

Berta is getting baptized!!

Hola! 

This week was so awesome! We are really excited because one of our investigators named Berta approached us and said that she wants to get baptized! She will be getting baptized this Friday! We are so excited! We have been working with her for a while. She is the friend of one of our strong active members. She has a great testimony already but she had to get over some of her fears of baptism! 

It is starting to get a little bit warmer here. There is not much of a change in the weather temperature yet but they say that it will start to warm up a lot more. We are still teaching Alberto. We went over to do service for him. We helped him clean out more branches and cut down trees off of his land. Then he said that he made lunch for us so we accepted his invitation. His friend had caught this huge tuna that morning and gave him a chunk of it. So he cooked half of it in a frying pan and the other half he used to make “ceviche”. Ceviche is just raw fish that is left to sit in lemon juice and eaten with vegetables. I guess it is like sushi. It is a delicacy here and I love it! The lunch was very good. Alberto is still progressing and he came to church yesterday. 

Things here are just going well as usual. We had a great lesson yesterday with the husband of a member. He is a non-member and never has wanted to talk to us before. He is nice but when we ask him if he wants to share his thoughts or comments, he always says no and goes off to another room. So yesterday we went over to check on the member and he came out and said that she was very sick and was probably going to be sent to Santiago for further treatment. We were talking on his porch and he was really bothered and confused. So we asked if we could come in. He said yes and I was shocked. So we went in and sat down. Then he just explained the situation and that he didn’t know what to do. He told us that he doesn’t know what is wrong. He was sad. Then he started to cry. That was crazy because he is a big, tough, hardened man. Then he told us a little about the trials that he has been through in his life. We told him that he could pray to his Heavenly Father and receive comfort. He then went on to tell us that he loves when we come over. Even though he doesn’t talk to us he said that we just bring a peace to the home and it really helps his wife. He told us that we are always welcome in his home and welcome to talk. We then left him with the pamphlet on the “Plan of Salvation”. I was so amazed. He was so different and had a big change in his attitude. I think that the Lord is preparing him to listen and try and understand the gospel. He then gave us a bunch of fish and bread. 

We also have two members that were previously really inactive come back to activity. They are strong in their testimonies and are going to be a great help for the ward! We are very excited about that. That’s about it for my week! 

Elder Neser