Companion: Hermana Caseres
I am so grateful today to be a missionary. This week, I learned a lot of things.
One thing that I learned this week is the power of positive affirmation (thanks, Nandy). I say things repeatedly in my mind a lot. Every day in every way, my mission is getting better and better. I am a good missionary. It makes me feel so silly, but it works. I felt a lot better about myself this week and I felt my confidence coming back to me. I realized last night while I was praying that I have felt pretty much all of the feelings that my past companions have felt. I can now sympathize and understand every single thing that happened with my compies that I have struggled to accept in the past. This is a promise fulfilled that I didn't even realize until I started typing. In my mission blessing, it says that I will be able to love my companions and be able to see them as God sees them and that that would be a blessing in my life. And it is a blessing ... because as I am learning more about my companions, I am learning more about the love that God has for me. It is awesome.
I love a shift that has happened in the mission. We are now working really hard with the members. The expectation is a lesson with member every day and a lesson with a less active or new convert every day. It doesn't seem like a lot, but it has actually required a lot of effort to bring that to pass. This week, we worked SOOOO hard with the members. There wasn't a day that we didn't head out with someone from the Rama. It was such a blessing! This is something that is totally a blessing for me being here for so long. I know the schedules of the members and I have such a deep trust with them. Even the less active people are willing to go out with us!! I love that! We are trying really hard here to keep that trust going strong so that we can keep working closely with these people that I love so much.
I felt the spirit a lot this week as I was teaching. There was one lesson that we had with an Hermana in the ward that is REAAAAAAALLY menos-activa. She hasn't gone to church in ten years, she smokes sometimes ... in the beginning of my time here, we didn't even talk about the gospel with her. I love her so much, and she loves me, too. She and her husband have offered their youngest son to me as a husband. It has been incredible to witness the change in her in this time. We talk openly about the things of the church and now we are passing by to visit her every week. This progress is something that I love seeing, especially when it is with people that I love! I hope that someday she will make the decisions to be able to come back to church.
There was one day that we didn't really have any fixed appointments in the afternoon. We decided to go and visit the president of the Young Women, Noelia Sepulveda. She didn't feel too hot, but we started to talk about the girls in Young Women and how we could help them. There is one girl named Marjorie that has been hiding from us. We pass by to visit her and she is always "busy" or "getting ready to leave" which in Chilean is a way of saying that they don't have interest. As we were talking with her, I said to Noelia, "Hey, do you have a minute to go with us and visit Mayo?" She is such a great and awesome example of Christ. She didn't even blink before saying yes. How awesome is that? We went and found Mayo lounging in her house. It was a great lesson AND it made Noelia feel good about coming out with us because it specifically had to do with her calling.
One night, we were running to and fro in the hills of Tomé, trying to get to all of our citas. Our very last appointment of the day was a little last minute and didn't have anything to do with where we were working ... we were going to have to take a taxi to the Center of Tomé and then take a bus to make it to the appointment on time. The thing is, the taxis in the area where we were working are few and far between. We were working with a member in these hours before the cita, so we say goodbye to her super quickly to try and catch a taxi that had just pulled up. I began to run and I crashed to the ground. My tights were basically shredded ... and my leg as well ... but we had to make it to the cita. I picked myself and kept running. Luckily, we made it to the collectivo. Not so luckily, the cita fell ... Ah, well. Experiences.
This week, I realized that I have been whining a lot and not acting as much as I should. I realized, man, I want to be a good missionary, but what am I doing about it? I want to know Spanish ... but what am I doing about it? So this week, I started practicing. I studied Spanish every day in the morning, after lunch, and in the night. I practiced teaching with Diego. I don't know if it made much of a difference this week, but I am going to keep working. I am a good missionary. I want to be a great missionary ... for that I am going to work really, really hard.
We went to visit a lady that has been trapped in her house every day because she has to stay with her bed-ridden mom and take care of her. It was sooooo sad to think about this sweet lady and her situation. As we were visiting her, I felt sooo much compassion for her and an understanding of her situation. She just needed someone to talk to, so I let her talk. Hermana Caceres looked at her watch every couple of seconds, telling me that it was already past time to go, but I felt like I should keep listening. I learned so much from this lady. She tries so hard to serve to the best of her ability and has always been that way. I hope that when you guys (mom and dad) are bed-ridden, I can have that same kind of patience and love. Even when I am changing your diapers hahahaha.
Hey, newsflash. We had a consejo de Rama this week and I didn't feel depressed after leaving. I LOVE being in Frutillares ... because the people are so dedicated and consecrated. A lot of the problems that I have are self-generated ... because I know that it could be so much worse. We have great leaders here that are so on fire with building the kingdom of God. We are trying to grow the assistance of the branch to 85 people ... which is amazing because when I got here, only 65 people were coming every week. Little things, little things.
Also, I hit ten months this week. I don't know exactly how the time is passing, but it is becoming less and less important to me. I don't look forward to my time in the mission anymore ... because it is a little sad. I just am working as hard as I know how to every day, no matter if I have ten months or fifteen ... and things work out alright and I am happy.
So, I feel better. I still feel a little inadequate. A little weird. But I feel better. I am getting along better with Hermana Caceres and we are working hard. I realized that I am not here to please anyone but Heavenly Father ... and this is helping me to work hard for him. Because, in the end, I am going to be returning and reporting to him with the time that I had here on the mission ... and I want to be able to do it with pride!
I love you all so much!! Happy birthday to Savannah-banana!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH, 18 YEARS OLD! What the smack?? I cannot even believe it. Someday in the future, we'll be back to our good ol' bed-sharing, movie watching, DQ eating days!! But until then, I LOVE YOU!! :) Have a good one!!
I LOVE YOU!! HAVE A GREAT, GREAT WEEK!