August 25, 2014

Week Thirty-Six: Gaining My First Daughter!!

Our District -- Elders Castro, Hancock, Calizaya, Caulder, Hampton, Zeballos, and Hermana Bucarei and me
Area: Fruitillares
Companion: Hermana Bucarei

Hey, familia!

Another nutty week in Frutillares! SOOOOO MUCH HAPPENED.

First of all, there were cambios this week. My predictions .. I felt like I was going. I thought that I would go somewhere to open a sector or to be a comp with someone with more time. Hermana Bucarei has been sooo good at forming relationships in Frutillares (with the members and the investigators) ... I felt like she would be staying. But she's out of here. She is going to be in the same zone ... just with another companion. How nutty is that? I am going to be sticking around in Frutillares for another cambio!! WAAAAAHOOOOOO! I am so excited for this, and what's more ... I am training! Wow. I don't know who my companion will be. There is a good mix of gringas and latinas, so I don't even know what nationality my companion will be. I am a little bit terrified. I am also really excited because I know that training will help me to grow as a missionary! I hope that I am up for the challenge.

We had a mini cambio this week. I went out of the sector with Hermana Heslop and Hermana Bucarei stayed in Frutillares. Mini cambios are so enjoyable for me because I love the Sister Training Leaders and I love learning from their experiences and their teaching styles. With this mini cambio, we walked sooo much because we were verifying the list of members in the ward. There were so many miracles that we saw! The biggest miracle was that we were talking to everyone, and randomly a guy comes up and contacts us! He said, "Hermanas, I just moved here fifteen days ago. I was a bishop, I am a member of the church. I am sick and am going to die, but I want to die faithful in the church. Can you come and visit me?" Uhhhh, heck yes we could. It turns out that this member lives in FRUTILLARES! We went to visit his family and they are incredible. What a blessing for the Rama! They are going to be such a strength.

I have really taken on to talking to everyone. I theoretically loved talking to everyone before this cambio, but now I really talk to anyone and everyone. One day, we were walking out of a correlation meeting and I saw a family that was about to cross the street. I waved at them enthusiastically, but we were walking in the other direction and the stop light was about to turn green. I felt bad crossing them without talking to them ... so, even though the light was green and the walking man was red, I looked both ways and ran into the street singing, "Peligro, peligro!" It was soooo funny. The family looked at me like I was a crazy person. I guess I am a little bit crazy. Yesterday, we were talking to a lady that works in a shop next to the street where we always work and she told me, "You never miss an opportunity to share, do you?" Nope, I sure don't! Who am I to judge the people that are ready to hear about the gospel? I can't and so I talk to everyone.

A picture of Laney put on facebook this week. Love it!
We had to go and take a Spanish test this week to see the progress that I have made on my mission. We don't have any internet shops in our sector, so we have to go to downtown Tomé to do all things internet. Luckily, the day that we had the test, we were working really, really close to centro ... so we decided to walk. It was pouring rain, but that wasn't really that important to me. It's enjoyable for me to walk through flooded streets and to show all of the people how happy I am.

On the way to the internet shop, there was a lot of streets that were under construction. There were huge signs everywhere warning the cars not to pass by, but it looked like there were little puddles in the street and that was all. I guessed that they were patching things up a little bit. We reached one part of the sidewalk that was completely demolished, but I only saw the murky puddles ... we decided to keep walking through it. I put my foot down to walk through the puddle and my entire leg sunk into the ground. Oh my word, I was laughing so hard. I pulled myself out of this gigantic hole in the ground that I had no idea existed. I was thinking about it ... and it is kind of like choosing to break the commandments. It doesn't really look all that dangerous, even though there are a lot of signs warning against it ... and then, all of the sudden, you are left soaking wet and it is way hard to find a way out. Haha, what a random funny experience. I love the mission.
Another facebook upload. 
I also had a little bit of an epiphany yesterday with the menos activos. We had lunch with the ex-Stake president that is active (but really is menos activo), and I was trying to decide what scripture I should share with them. The thing is, this family has frustrated me all of my time in the mission. I never have understood WHY they don't come to church. It is the same with the ex-president of the Rama and with the Garrido Family. They have ALWAYS frustrated me. Hermana Peterson and I always tried to crack the whip with them to get them into shape. We taught them the doctrine ... but nothing seemed to help them to come into full activity. Yesterday, I was going to share another crack the whip scripture with the family to help them ... but I felt prompted to share a scripture that was a little more hopeful and loving. I shared the scripture and told them that I could feel the love that Heavenly Father has for them ...

And suddenly, I understood.

I felt that love.

And I realized that these people already know the doctrine (this doesn't mean that I am not going to keep teaching them the doctrine). They already know what they need to do ... and they already feel guilty about not doing it. They don't need a missionary to tell them a thousand times that they need to go to church. These people just need to remember HOW much Heavenly Father loves them and how much he NEEDS them. I have worked really hard with the Familia Garrido and they are well on their way to full activity. I remember how frustrated I was with them in the beginning and I compare that with the love I have for them now and I am AMAZED. Heavenly Father works so many wonderful things in the lives of his children. I was so sad that it took me so long to learn this, but I am happy now because I am going to be able to continue working with these people that I now love and understand so well. What a blessing!
With Familia Torres. Goooood times! :)
Our house was waaaaaay trunky this week, mainly because Hermana Oldroyd and Hermana Cañari are on their way to their houses. This also means that Hermana Harris is on her way to her house. Oh my, we went to the office this morning and everyone was freaking out. I was kind of freaking out, too. A ton of my good, good friends and role models are out of here. I am SO excited for them! I have learned so much from this group of missionaries!! I LOVE these girls, and I am excited that we are going to be able to be friends for longer than the mission.
With my mission mommy, Hermana Harris!
I have got a lot of mixed feelings. I can't believe that I get to stay in Frutillares. This is such a blessing!! I am going to work so hard this cambio to be a good trainer and to help the rama. We have the huge fest of the 18 of September. We have a ton of activities. AND WE HAVE GENERAL CONFERENCE!! Whoooohoooo! The thing that makes me sad is that Hermana Bucarei is leaving. I have really grown to love, love, love this girl. She is so funny and so sincere. I have loved my time with her. I am learning to enjoy every single minute of the mission because there is absolutely nothing that is certain ... but I know that Heavenly Father loves his children and that he has got everything under control.

I love you, familia! I hope that you have a great, great week and that you are HAPPY! :) Thank you for your love and support -- I can really feel it! You are amazing!!

Love mucho de Chile,

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