March 23, 2015

Week Sixty-Six: Heavenly Father Answers Prayers

I love them so much! I was pretty much bawling when they took this picture.
Area: Penco
Companion: Hermana Antillon


There are so many things that happened this week. Here we go with the most random letter of the world.

We had a great mini-cambio with Hermana Sheppard and Hermana Osborne. I went with Hermana Sheppard ... and I just love that girl to pieces. She makes me feel like a rockstar every time I am with her. Actually, she makes everyone feel that way. I always learn so much about love on these mini-cambios. I understand a little bit better now why CHARITY is the most important Christ-like attribute ... without love, nothing else really works.

I hit 15 months in the mission this week. To mark that day, there were a bazillion earthquakes. It was the first time that I have ever felt one! We were studying and I suddenly felt really dizzy. The doors were rattling and the furniture started to move around. It kind freaked me out ... even though it was really exciting, but all of the Chileans were like, "Ah, that wasn't anything." It's just like the time I have on the mission. It seems like a crazy thing, but really, it isn't anything. Ayayaya, the time has just flown by so quickly. I can't believe that I just have three months left, but I am determined to make them the best three months of my life. I have learned so so so much and have met so many people that I love ... and I am just excited to keep on working with that.

This week, we found a menos-activa and her non-member daughter. We were able to talk really openly with them and got to know them almost immediately. The daughter was running around a little bit to control her three little kids ... so it was a little difficult to start the lesson. Finally, she was able to sit down with the baby and listen to us. We pulled out our hymn books and asked if we could start singing a song ... everyone was alright with it, so we started to sing Secreta Oracion (Secret Prayer?). Slowly, the look on the baby's face turned from a smile to disgust. He started to cry and Hermana Antillon and I had to stop singing. We were laughing so hard. We sing so badly ... that a baby cried.

We had a good lesson with Ivonne this week and with her pareja. I LOVE THIS FAMILY. The kids were waiting anxiously for us to come. Ivonne said that her daughter had been asking all day when the Tias were going to come (Chileans say tias to all types of ladies). The whole family is showing a huge interest in the gospel. It is a MIRACLE!! We just teach the doctrine and they seem to get it. Ivonne is reading the Book of Mormon really well ... well enough to ask us what the Urim and Thumim are. I am so excited to see them progress.

Sister Study this week! Whooooo, it has been a hard cambio with the Hermanas here in Penco. We decided to make a breakfast for them before the study and it turned out really well thanks to the Pancake mix that mom sent me for Christmas. I only caused two explosions on the crazy Chilean stove top... it was a good cooking experience. We talked about the Atonement and how it can make us clean. How it can help us to become more and more perfect. I have never felt so blessed by the Atonement as I have on the mission. I know all of my weaknesses pretty well by now ... and I know that Jesus Christ can help me to overcome them.

That day, we also had the first session of Stake Conference. Hermana Solange called me a couple of weeks ago to see if I could sing in the Conference and I was all for that! I got to sing a song called, "Familias son eternas," and I think that it turned out pretty well. The better thing than singing was getting to see all of my peeps from the stake. Josue Castillo, the eternal investigator that I had in Frutillares showed up! That was exciting! Also, I was able to see Manuel!! I love that man sooo much! He is progressing so well. Actually, he just got the Melchezidek Priesthood. At the end of the conference, I loved going to all of the people that I know and greeting them. Hermano Carlos Torres told me, "You are the second most well known person in the stake behind Presidente Navarro." Haha, after a year in Penco ... I have come to love these people so much.

Even better than the stake conference on Saturday was the conference on Sunday. The talks were awesome -- all focused on the Atonement. I sang "Be Still My Soul" and I was so humbled be all of the compliments that I got. I am so glad that I can use my talents for something out here.

I also got the chance to go back to Frutillares for the second Sunday session. We had lunch with Hermana Solange ... it was like a dream come true. When we drove into Tome, it was bizarre. I have come down that highway three thousand times, but this time was so different. It was different because I am different. I am a better, happier person. When I walked into the chapel, I felt like crying. It was so familiar. It was like I had never left. I was bombarded by so many hugs and kisses and handshakes and I love yous ... I don't know what I did to deserve that much love.

This is the bulletin board in Frutillares.
It made me think about the law of the harvest. Like, what you sow you also reap. I thought about the process of sowing -- it makes you dirty and it is hard work, but the harvest is so great. As I looked out at the congregation of Frutillares, I was moved to tears. Look, there is Manuel! Look, there is Carlos (my golden investigator that stopped listening to us). There is the beginning of my harvest. It isn't going to stop. I will be harvesting for the rest of my life. As I took pictures with everyone, I felt so happy. I felt so complete.

We went and surprised the familia Cisternas. I snuck into their house 
(because their door was open) and when they saw me, they started to scream ... 
I hope it was because they were excited haha. I love them so much!!

Tomé is a sacred place for me. It will always be a sacred place for me, because really ... it was there that I learned to love the Savior. It was there that I had to depend so much on Heavenly Father's love and guidance. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father gave me the chance to be there. I promised everyone that I would come back, and I really hope that I can!
The Familia Cartes
To find out about cambios we had to take a picture with five dogs.
It didn't end up turning out to be too hard.
That was the perfect way to end off my cambio in Estaca Penco. We got cambios this morning and I am leaving ... but not too far. I am going to COLLAO (it is basically Concepcion)!! Which is my dream sector, the sector that I have been praying to go to all of my mission. Now I am going there to kill Hermana Quintana de Peru [For readers not familiar with missionary lingo ... Laney isn't actually going to kill anyone. It just means that her companion is finishing her mission and heading home in six weeks. :)]. Hermana Antillon is also going back to Chillan (they are closing our sector ... say what?). It was so crazy to hear that, but I feel like this is just another confirmation that God listens to my prayers. He really loves us, you know?

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

Love, Laney

Our zone hoodies (there are latinos in our zone ... but none of them
wanted to buy hoodies -- too hot where they are from haha).

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