Companion: Hermana Hillary Harris
Companion's Blog: http://hjhmissionabroad.blogspot.com/2014/04/el-don-de-suenos-gift-of-dreams.html
FAMILIA ... holy canole, this week was nuts. (If I understood correctly, your week was pretty nuts, too!) We left the internet place last week with only a little bit of time left of P-Day left ... which was a bummer because we were hoping to sneak a nap in. It ended up being super worth it, however, because we watched TOGETHER FOREVER!! I don't know how I have gone my whole life without remembering seeing it ... I just sat and cried for a good little bit. I suddenly realized why in the world it was so important for me to share this message with everyone I possibly could. It was because I wanted them to have this special knowledge I have of the Plan of Salvation! Believe it or not, sometimes it is easy to forget this. It is easy to focus on teaching styles and the things that could go wrong and not knowing Spanish ... but, believe it or not, when I focused in on this purpose, I found that I had a sense of drive that was deeper than contacting just ... one ... more ... person. I was more interested in SAVING these people. I don't mean SAVING like, saving in an Evangelica church ... I mean SAVING these people from the sorrow that comes from sin and from death and sadness. This was such a better motivation.
We had a lesson with Carolina and her daughter this week that was super sweet. We were going to watch Together Forever (because after I watched it, I kind of got obsessed with it ... Saturday's Warrior status), but their DVD player wasn't working. Carolina the Younger has been having some doubts about joining the church just because she feels so foreign and we really haven't had the opportunity to teach her, but she told us, "Yeah, I feel weird, but I am going to stick with the church. I was praying last night and I really felt like this was what I needed to do." Carolina SAY WHAT? Our jaws dropped. We watched a couple of good, feel-good Mensajes Mormones and after, both Carolinas were crying. "This is what I want," said Carolina the Older, "This is what I want for my family." They are so prepared. I can't even believe it. Unfortunately, they have to wait to be baptized because Cesar is working outside of town until the. Siiiiiiiiiigh, paciencia. Paciencia.
Mirta is a sweet lady that we are teaching. I can't remember if I told you about her or not, but she feels the spirit super strongly during our lessons but does NOT want to be baptized again. Anyways, we left her Alma 32 to read during our last visit with her. When we came for our lesson SHE HAD READ! We talked a little bit about the seed of faith and asked her about how she felt during our lessons. She said that she felt like her faith was increasing and I sneakily said, "Then is this seed GOOD or BAD?" She said, "Why, of course, it is good! It is like my garden that I have. It just grows and won't stop!" She kind of had a mini realization there. It was another jaw-drop moment for me. The Spirit just helps me so much in knowing the things that I need to say to certain people. It's really incredible!!
We had a Noche de Hogar with the Obispo and his family and Jaime! This was awesome because we got to teach him a little bit OUTSIDE of his super Catholic home. We watched Together Forever and talked about what a blessing it is to have an eternal family. This was incredible. Jaime doesn't really get too excited about our lessons, but he ACTS on them. He has been reading the Book of Mormon EVERY NIGHT and has been attending Mutual and other activities without us inviting him. It is crazy! He really has this desire to know, and when we give him things to think about ... he does it! He thinks it through and is curious about different concepts of the Gospel. I love teaching the Jovenes in this area, because they are SO interested. I sometimes wonder if missionary work could be the same in little old Missouri? I am SO grateful to be in Chile!!
We're working with a family who's dad was EN PUNTO to be baptized. He got his baptismal interview and was SO excited to be baptized (just before we got transferred in), but the Zone Leader said he couldn't because he didn't have a testimony of Joseph Smith and this father got super offended. He wants NOTHING to do with the church. His family is SO active. The mom is a gem! The kids are attending seminary and one is the secretary of the ward. It is so sad that this man is a little hardened to the church now -- but we're working with them! We had a lesson yesterday with the family (sin padre) that was really good and SHORT. Short lessons are such a struggle for us, so this was a big accomplishment. There are two little five year olds in this family that are WILD, and they were kind of distracting from the spirit. So, when we got done with the lesson, Hermana Harris went about doing good by talking to the mom and forming a plan to help the father ... and I went about doing good by building paper airplanes and distracting the kids. This weirdly helped me to feel like I was doing something worthwhile. Even though I can only talk well SOMETIMES and the other times I just talk with my face and hands, I am starting to feel more and more like I am winning these people's hearts. It helps that I am trying to follow the spirit, but it is nice to be feeling like a human being again. :)
There were some things that happened this week that I can't really share that made Hermana Harris and I so much closer. We really are able to help and lift each other, which is awesome! I felt so interesting during this week, because there were times when I felt like I was not measuring up ... and that stunk ... but there were also times when I felt SUCH a strength from the Savior, and a peace that helped me to work harder than I knew how to, and handle other burdens, and stay happy! I had some days when I was just working according to my own strength with a little bit of the guidance of the spirit and other days when I gave everything to the Lord and I was just so happy! It is crazy that we don't opt for the second option all of the time. It seems like such a difficult thing to do ... to give everything up to the Lord. But I am starting to learn that really ... that is all I can do! And it is EASY! I am going to start applying this more and more in my life. It seems like I learn about consecration more every week ... because it is something that we can ALWAYS improve in. There are SO many things that I can improve in!
We worked SO hard this week ... but our goals this week are going to push us even further! We are going to work more effectively with the members. We are going to have activities and mini-noches de hogar. We are going to coordinate with the auxillaries. We are going to find and teach. I am going to study Spanish more. I am going to make a hard core effort to learn it better and better. I am going to study in the mornings more effectively. This is a week of EXCELLENCE! A week of STRIDE LENGTHENING. And I am so excited to do it! Stretching a little bit past what I can do hurts just a little bit ... but I know that the end results are going to be amazing! Thank you for your prayers! I can totally feel the strength that comes from them!! Anyways, I hope that you enjoy a completo or two this week ... and that you watch together forever. Maybe once or twice remember your little missionary. I am doing well and things will only get better. Here's to another bakan week!! :)