Companion: Hermana De León
Hey, hey, hey familia!
Oh my, I don't know if you can feel the envy I have that you guys were in Nauvoo this week. Lucky ducks! Thanks for sharing the pictures with me! I LOVED hearing about the experiences you had there ... I would say I can't wait to go there when I get home ... but I love the mission so much that I think I am pretty content to be here.
Holy guacamole, so many things happened this week. First of all, there were cambios this morning. Usually, the night before we get the news about cambios, I am a mighty wreck. I feel like throwing up and singing all at the same time. This time, I wasn't so nervous. I think that it was basically because I was SURE that Hermana De León and I were going to stay together. I mean, with Hermana Peterson and I (she goes home today!!), it was a little more likely that she was going to go because she had so much time in the sector ... but I slept soundly last night with the knowledge that I would be with Hermana De León for at least another cambio.
And once again, Heavenly Father taught me that all things happen in His time.
Hermana De León se va [is going].
I am getting a compañera that is from Chile! Hermana Bucarei!! She just finished her training, so I am going to be compañera mayor for the first time. Pheeeeew, I don't even know what to think. I don't feel so nervous to be with a Latina now ... in fact, I love being with Latinas! After being with Hermana De León, I want to be with Latinas for the rest of my mission. I am really excited to start seeing BIG progress here in the area. Senior companion ... I have been waiting for the day ... HAHA, just kidding. I actually have been pretty content in my little world of being the junior companion. With Hermana De León, I felt a little bit like the senior companion because I was leading out a LOT more of the time. I don't know. It is a lot more pressure, but I feel better able to handle it. My Spanish is SOOOO much better. SOOOO much better. And I think the people really love me here. I think I am getting better as a missionary, too. I seriously think about you being a missionary and I feel like I am not doing as well as you were doing on your mission ... but I think I will get to that point eventually. For now, I am ready to kick some butt with my Chilean companion. I have talked to her before and I really like her. We are going to get along great!
I got your package this week (waaaaaaaaaaahoooooo!), and I cracked open a fortune cookie this morning while getting ready. In the cookie, it said, "All of your hard work is about to pay off." And I really think that it will in this cambio. We are getting ready to see big miracles.
Anyways, other things from the week. Like you have noticed in my pictures, most of my shoes are broken and I have been wearing my rainboots pretty much always. I don't really mind it ... they are a little bit cold, but other than that, they don't hurt my feet or bother me in the slightest. All of the Chileans love the flower pattern, but they shudder to think that I wear them so much. I think that some of the members in the ward were a little concerned for me.
There is one lady in the ward that I just adore. She is the seminary teacher and the wife of the stake president, so she reminds me of you, Mom (obviously haha). We have lunch with her every single week and she cooks the MOST delicious food. Anyways, this week, she asked us to come by her house with a huge stack of Books of Mormon that she wanted to give away to the kids in Seminary. We toted our bags down the huge hill where she lives and popped in to visit her for a second.
We handed her the Books of Mormon and talked a little bit ... and then, to my surprise, she pulled out a shoe box and handed it to me. In it was a beautiful pair of boots. Oh my gooooooodness. I hopped up and hugged the Hermana more than I have hugged anyone in my life. "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" She was just crying. "I wouldn't do this for just any missionary, Hermana Blau," she told me. Daw. Chilean kindness never ceases to amaze me. She saw a miniscule need that I had and tried to fufill it. I hope that one day I can be Christ-like as her.
Like I am sure you saw on Facebook, we made no-bake cookies with Berenice on Monday and took them to visit some menos activos in the Primary. I haven't really thought about reactivating the Primary much, but with these visits, I saw the POWERFUL influence that children have on their parents. One visit that really touched me was to the daughter of an ex-stake president that is living in our sector. His eleven year old daughter has SOOOO much enthusiasm when it comes to things of the church, but he is menos activo ... and so she doesn't go.
During the visit, we shared a scripture with the both of them and then committed them to reading at least one scripture a day. She responded positively immediately, but her dad was a little more hesitant. "It's just that ... I don't have a lot of time ..." He began to make excuses ... and his daughter began to put him into place. "Dad, if you have time to be watching TV every moment that you have in the house, you have time to read the scriptures with me." Daaaaaang. I felt the power of the primary! We are going to start working more closely with the organizations now.
We have had some miracles this week, too. One day, we were out with one of my favorite youth of the area. On our way to pick her up, we saw the lady we were going to visit driving away with her husband to some unknown destination. Daaaarn it. Our back up plan wasn't really all that great, so we decided to head up to a neighborhood where Hermana Sara lives with her family. They are kind of always our back up, back up plan ... because they need a little extra attention and are always in their house.
Anyways, we passed by to visit them. Our recent convert was there and looked pretty distressed. She didn't say anything, but I could tell that there was something going wrong. "Hey, is everything alright?" I asked her. She just started to cry. "Hermana, my husband doesn't want anything to do with me. He is with another woman. I don't know what I am going to do!" Oh my gosh. Her "husband" is actually her pareja/father of her children, and for months she has been waffling back and forth between getting back together with him and staying with her parents.
I ran over to sit by her and hug her. We had planned to show the family Together Forever ... but I thought that ... in the moment, it might have been a little awkward. We decided to show the movie anyways. By the end of the movie, Hermana Sara was crying, too. "You know, I know that this church is true. It is all true!" She had been having some doubts and desanimo lately ... and it was so powerful to hear her say that. I really have grown to love this family, even with all of their problems. I know that Heavenly Father loves them and wants to help them. Lissette (the sweetest joven!!) shared a super powerful scripture about enduring to the end. We committed them to go have an interview with the President that night and they went. They also were in church for the first time since I have been here. Incredible.
We had a study especially for Hermanas this week about BOLDNESS. This is something that I have struggled with a little, little bit in the mission ... just because I tip toe around big issues I think. But it was a great lesson to learn. I got to practice a little bit with Hermana Oldroyd ... and I just kind of sat in awe. Man, some day I will be able to teach like her. I have felt a little bit inadequate with myself as a missionary lately. A lot of thoughts like, "Man, someday I will be as good as my mom and dad at teaching," pop into my mind frequently. But I am also learning that, with the help of the spirit, I can make someday be today. I am learning and progressing, and right now, that is what Heavenly Father expects of me!!
I love you all soooo much! Say a little prayer for me in these first couple of days!! I am filled with animo and ready to work like nuts here in Frutillares!! Have a great, great week!