March 30, 2015

Week Sixty-Seven: Collao!!

[Mom Note: We aren't sure what is going on in this picture. It was on the mission blog. Laney's mission president
is in the middle of some sort of teaching moment, and Laney is reacting in a very Laney sort of way. :)]

Area: Collao
Companion: Hermana Quintana

Dear familia,

What a whirlwind of a week. What a crazy, incredible whirlwind of a week.

Hermana Quintana is like a little Peruvian ball of fire. This week, we just worked and worked and worked. There are no hills in Collao like there are in Tome and Penco, but I came home dying just the same because of all of the work. I love Hermana Quintana for so many reasons, but I especially love the hard work that she is putting in at the end of her mission. What a great example.

Familia Figueroa
Familia Poblete
It was a little bit hard to leave Penco (granted ... Collao is like, 8 miles away from Penco ... so it's not that different). I really loved the people in Penco, and I was surprised to see that they really loved me, too. When we went to take pictures with the members and to say goodbye, it made me so sad. New situations, new people, new everything awaited me ...

Presidente Navarro and Solange were SO NICE and drove all the way from Tome to be able to take us to the terminal in Collao. My suitcases are officially the heaviest things in the world ... more than 75 pounds ... so it was hard to get them to even fit in the car. I wasn't really thinking about that when I packed. It was even harder to get my suitcases into our 5th floor apartment. Presidente Navarro picked them up and put them on his shoulders like Hulk ... and somehow made it to the top floor without dying. I was super impressed.

Familia Zuchel
Familia Zuchel Part Two
Collao is like paradise. There are a ton of YSA ladies that are willing to come out with us. There are a ton of investigators that are progressing. We have a washing machine. Like I said, PARADISE. I already love these people soo much. I have been loving them since the beginning of my mission.

One of our investigators is Liesley (said, Lesly). She is the ALMOST wife of a Menos Activo and has been investigating the church for a couple of years. Her divorce papers are almost done and she has a marriage date for the 24th of April with a baptismal date the day after. It is awesome to have lessons with her because she is basically like a member already. She knows that everything is true, so we just have to keep helping her to feel the spirit so that she can eventually get to the temple.

Familia Mejias
Familia Olave Ortiz
I am feeling a little bit dizzy here in the Ciber (I think that my stomach is feeling los calzones rotos that I ate yesterday). So ... that's why my email is a little bit lame as of now ... but to make up for it, I will tell you a story.

In the mission, we are starting to show a new video (maybe you've seen it?). I don't have any idea how to say it in English, but it is called Gracias a que El Vive ... and it is super! [In English it is "Because He Lives." Check it out HERE. It really is super!] We have been showing it to all of the people that we have been teaching this week.

Yesterday, we went to visit this little, faithful abuelita named Hermana Matamala. She is 82 years old, but she has gone to church almost every week after the day that she was baptised. Like every Chilean lady, she loves to talk ... so Hermana Quintana and I prepared to show her the video and then share something little afterwards to be able to get to our next cita. We watched the video and it was super spiritual. We talked for a couple of minutes about Jesus Christ and how what he did for us is awesome. And then Hna. Matamala took it in a totally different direction.

"I am going to tell you a story ..." is the beginning of a chaotic lesson here in Chile. So began the hermanita. She then began to tell us about how, coming down from the bus on the way to church that morning, her skirt had fallen down and the elders had seen her. Her laugh was so cute when she told the story. We just laughed and laughed ... but we had to get back on topic. She said, "Man, I was so embarrassed." And I hopped in and said, as seriously as I could, "Well, you can be sure Hermana that Jesus Christ understands exactly how you felt in that moment."

I lost it. I just laughed and laughed harder than I had laughed in a long time. We were able to share a quick scripture and bear our testimonies ... It ended up being a good lesson.

I really am grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Even though it sounded like I was making a joke in the lesson with Hermana Matamala, I do know that Jesus Christ understands every pain and sadness that we have felt. He knows what embarrassment is because he felt it, too. He knows how to help us and make us feel better. On the mission, I have frequently felt of the divine influence of the Atonement. It is something that I will be grateful for the rest of my life.

I am so EXCITED for Conference!! I will keep my eyes out for the St. Robert group in the huge crowd. The church is TRUE. It is guided by Jesus Christ himself. I know that He lives. I know that he loves and knows each one of us personally.

I love you all so much! I hope you have a great, great adventure filled week!!


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