August 11, 2014

Week Thirty-Four: Pioneers and Futból Americano

My favorite old and faithful women de Chile. Hermana Isabel, Hermana Irma, and Hermana Maria Luisa. :)
Area: Fruitillares
Companion: Hermana Bucarei

Querida familia,

This week was sooo much fun filled with so many miracles. We are working on building our grupo de enfoque right now, which basically means that we are on the search for investigators. We have found a lot of people that are interested and are ready (except for the fact that they are living with their boyfriends. Gosh darn it).

A ver ... here is a huge miracle that we had this week. We went and had a lesson with Katerine and Martin this week about the plan of salvation that was WONDERFUL. Martin, the little punk, has been learning how to knit (everyone here knits ... womanly attributes). ... so in the beginning, he wasn't paying much attention to the lesson. After a little bit of time struggling to capture his attention, I said, "Hey, Martin, give me your yarn." He looked at me a little funky and handed it over to me. I started to teach the plan of salvation with his yarn. First, I had him hold on to the ball of yarn and had him run across the room. Hermana Bucarei put her finger in one point on the middle and I held the string. Basically, we explained that our life is like Hermana Bucarei's finger in the eternal perspective. We told them that everything depends on the choices that we make in this life. Katerine LOVED this. I think that she knows that this is the true church.

I figured out that she basically has been stressed out that her husband hasn't been listening to us. She doesn't want to act without him by her side. I asked her what she could do to get her husband to learn about the church too. She told me that she would ask him in the night and tell us what happened the next day. Oh, I was praying soooo much that Katerine would have the courage to present the gospel in a way that her husband would want to listen. I KNOW that if she works with her family, they will progress to baptism together. I just know it!

Anyways, we got a call the next day. "Hey, Hermana's ... I talked to my husband." We were walking down a dusty road with a lot of noise, so I stopped and cupped my hand over the phone, "Yeah, what did he say??" I asked, with only a little bit of panic in my heart. "Sí. He said, sí." AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH! I screamed after I hung up the phone! Yeeeeeehaw! Familia! I am so excited to start working with them this week. This was such a miracle.

There were a couple of days this week that I was just not feeling it. I went out to work with ánimo, but I came home and just cried. We didn't have a very good focus this week, and I felt like it was all my fault, which is one of the perks of being comp. mayor. Satan just works really hard to make me feel like I am not making a difference. We work so hard every day, but when I don't see the results right away, it discourages me. The good news is that I have been blessed with a wonderful ability to bounce back. I cry for two minutes, go to bed, and then in the morning, I wake up and work the same. Heavenly Father has really been blessing me. I really can't describe specific blessings ... but they are there and I am learning and growing! Frutillares has been soooooo hard, but it also has been really rewarding.


The activity that we had this weekend was such a success. We were brainstorming activities in the last transfer and I said, "Hey, my parent's anniversary is coming up." (All of the missionaries in the room said, that has nothing to do with anything ... but I just wanted to share the fun fact with them). "Which also means that Pioneer Day is coming up!" I explained that in the United States, we celebrate the day when the pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley ... and the leaders thought that to be really weird. But they liked the idea of having an activity with pioneers, so we started to "plan." Really, our plan just consisted of the priesthood building a handcart and the people showing up in pioneer costumes ... besides that, I had no idea what was going to happen. I invited people to come and said, "Uhhhh, I think that there will be sopaipillas ... and mate. Yeah, bring mate," but I didn't have a clue what was going on and neither did the elders.

We showed up in the capilla on Saturday at 3:30 to clean and prepare for the activity. It was a really ugly day, but we prayed that the handful of faithful members would show up and enjoy the food (at the very least). To my surprise, people began to show up. All of the antiguo menos activos that we have been working with came. It was also the unofficial Give Gifts to Hermana Blau Day ... the members gave me a coat and a handknitted scarf (like, she literally used her hands to make a scarf) and a pioneer bonnet. They came dressed as pioneers and were ready to participate. We put on the movie Legacy and I had to leave the room because I was bawling. I looked at the members that were there and I was SOOOO happy. I could have died.

With Hermana Andrea Morgan and her daughter Javiera
Legacy has always been one of my favorite movies, but I have to say, I enjoyed it even more in Spanish. It was so rewarding to be there listening to my favorite movie in Spanish and to understand every word that was spoken. Wow, I am starting to get the hang of things! After we watched the movie, the hermanos put on a slide show of all of the pioneers from Frutillares. Without us knowing, Hermano Ramon (our ward mission leader/first counselor of the rama) had gone to all of the members from WAAAAAAY back and had compiled all of their pictures. This slideshow was wonderful. The ánimo in the activity was pumping. This is something that the rama is going to do yearly from now on! It was such a success.

With Hermana Bucarei
I went home and I thanked Heavenly Father for sending me to this place. The Rama has changed so much since I have gotten here. It started out as a kind of lifeless hole, but now the members are really excited. There was a great attendance in the church on Sunday! It really has been a miracle from Heavenly Father that I have been able to witness. Wow. I hope that we can push all of this energy to the obra misional!

We had the familia of Texia and Soledad in church this Sunday! We have been working with them for SOOOO long and they finally came as a whole family. They came in late to Sacrament Meeting, but afterwards, they stuck around for a little bit to talk with the people. Luckily, the ward accepted them. They came by and greeted them like nothing had ever happened. I think that Heavenly Father is preparing the way for them to come back into full activity. Heavenly Father works in his way with his time table.

Okay, to switch gears a little bit.

We had a zone activity today that was basically the most Americany thing I have done on my mission. We went out to the woods of Dichato (a super pretty beach town) and played football ... AMERICAN FOOTBALL ... and roasted hot dogs. It was such a beautiful day ... and I suddenly realized that the winter is over. Wow, it seems like it just began yesterday and now it is over. So weird. I am starting to get into the groove of this missionary thing. I have got time and experience in the mission and a lot of friends. It makes life really enjoyable. I LOVE being a missionary.

Hey, it made me really happy to hear that the Stewarts are back in good ol' Missouri. Tell them that I love them and have been thinking about them here in Chile. :)

I hope that starting school goes well for everyone this week! I CANNOT BELIEVE that that is real life. Summer just started! I am super excited that Spencer is going to drop out of school to go out on a mission. What a stinking stud. Hey, maybe the kiddos could shoot me an email or something to let me know what's shaking. I had no idea that skipping school was in Spencer's plans.

Also, I think that I am going to go to BYU when I go home. I haven't prayed about it because I still have so much time left to decide ... but I just love the idea of it. Whaddaya think?

I love you soooo much! I am so grateful for the wonderful family I have. I have this incredible back up team. I have a wonderful legacy of faithful pioneers that helps me to keep being a pioneer myself. Have a great week this week and look for the miracles and the blessings in your lives! They are always there!! I know that this is the church of Jesus Christ. I have felt that over and over again this week. I am so glad to be a representative of Jesus Christ!! It is my joy!! :)

Mucho amor de Chile,

My favorite little boy -- Juaquin. He loves to sing The Lord is My Light. Soooo cute.

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