January 12, 2015

Week Fifty-Six: What I've Learned

Dodgeball tournament today. We won team spirit (because we lost against all of the zones with all boys).
Area: Penco
Companion: Hermana Romney
Hermana Romney's Blog: Church and Cookies!

Familia ...
Something amazing happened this week. Yesterday, we woke up and the weather was perfect. 75 degrees and clear clear blue skys. The sea was super turquoise -- just GORGEOUS. I knew, knew, knew that we were going to have a good day. And a good day we had. At Sacrament meeting, we were just waiting for all of our little families to come in. The opening prayer happened. The announcements. Waiting, waiting ... and then they came. And they didn't stop coming.

We had 7 investigators in church this week. And five of them with fecha. We also had 126 people in church this week ... which is something that hasn't happened in Crav for a LONG time. PROGRESS. All of the members are so excited and we are too. The mission is changing its focus more and more every day to where we are working with the members to see REAL growth. And it just keeps growing. I love making a difference.
at a class with Elder Scholes
This week, we were able to show the members how much we really love them. We went to a funeral of a family member of one of our menos activo families and they were SOOO grateful. It was a crazy awesome experience because we got to participate in the service. In funerals here in Penco (it only happens here), everyone gets behind the hearse and walks to the cemetery. There, they hold the service and sing songs and all that jazz. It was amazing! I felt the spirit sooo strongly that our families can be together forever ... if we strive to be worthy, it is totally possible. It is!!

That is something that I am completely sure of now. I have always known that our families can be together forever. I love that song from primary and I always have. But ... I feel like here, I have reached such a weird point. I depend soooo much on Heavenly Father that I completely trust that he is in control. That whatever happens at home is what is supposed to happen and that he is in control. I know that it is true!

Training activity about effectively using ward councils
Laney's kind of hidden, but she is in the middle of the picture
We did exchanges with the Hermanas in our house. It was so fun. I love being a STL because I get to help sooo much more, I feel like. It helps me to be more confident in my abilities and that confidence helps me to be a better missionary. We are having some problems with the Hermanas getting along and working super diligently, but I have become a great active listener ... it is awesome to see the results!

With Hermana Romney, we talk a LOT about things we have learned on the mission. She is really reflecting as we get nearer and nearer to the end of her mission. I find myself saying on a regular basis, "I really have learned ... on the mission." Did you know that I have learned a lot? I feel like I have learned a life time of lessons in a year. It hasn't been sooo easy, but it has been oh so worth it.

I really have learned to not wait to be happy on the mission. That is something that I have learned here in Penco really. I knew only AFTER I left Frutillares how much the people loved me ... and that makes me so sad. I wish that I would have enjoyed it more. I wish that I would have recognized the love there while I had it instead of worrying about the things that I might have been doing incorrectly. I feel like I have changed that one hundred percent here and I feel soo much happier. I always have had the things that I have needed to be happy ... I just waited to use them until it was too late. That has been a good lesson.
I have learned to do hard things on the mission. I have never missed a day of going out to work ... no matter how rainy/gloomy/windy/etc. No matter how tired I am. No matter the amount of investigators that we have been working with. It has been soooo hard some days. But every time I do something that I really don't want to, I get so much stronger. I am a lot stronger now than I was before and I love it.
I have learned to get along with all people on the mission. I have developed a lot of patience with investigators and companions and people in general. I have learned to love people in spite of the differences we have. I love every single Chilean that I come into contact with. I adore them! I love the members. I love the little kids. I love the drunk men. I love my companions. I have so much love in my heart!! That is something that I never ever want to forget!

I have learned to trust in the Lord on the mission. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart -- That is my favorite scripture. I feel like I have really tried to follow the spirit in my life. I have tried sooo hard to live worthy of that spirit. But I have never had to depend on the Lord so much in my life like I have had to in the mission. It would be impossible to be a missionary without the Lord. It would be too hard. I would be sooo sad. I would not have energy or patience ... I wouldn't be able to do it.
But I have seen amazing things as I have learned to depend on Him. I have seen miracles. I have felt a mighty change of heart ... without even realizing that it happened. I have prayed and prayed and prayed ... and I have received answers. Heavenly Father knows who I am. He has directed my paths every day for almost 13 months. And that guidance is so so sweet. He has made so much more of me than I could ever make of myself on my own -- and he will continue to do that.
I came on the mission with only that as a goal. I just wanted to know Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father more. And I do! I am not even close to finishing the things that I need to learn on my mission, but I feel like I know. I KNOW that this is the true church. I know it with all of my heart and I bear my testimony to these Chilean people and they can HEAR it in my voice. I KNOW! And that is the greatest thing that I have learned on my mission.
It was a great week and I know that the weeks are just going to keep getting better. We are expecting great things here! Thanks for all of your prayers! I feel them every day! I love you and hope that you guys have a GREAT WEEK!!!

Love love love from Chile,

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