April 20, 2015

Week Seventy: Crazy Stuff

Area: Collao
Companion: Hermana Quintana

Dear familia,

First of all, congrats to Savannah for getting the Thomas S. Monson scholarship. Geeez louise ... I always knew that I had a genius for a sister!! I can't wait to hang out in Provo with you!! Oh my gosh ... living the college life!! WHAT A BLESSING!

So, this week was just crazy. There is no other way to describe it. Drama, miracles, following the spirit ... ayayaya, just another awesome week in the mission. I know I say it every week, but every week, the mission just gets better and better. I love it so much. (Did you guys know that I hit 16 months this past week? And that my first converts are no longer new converts?? Ahhhh!!).

First of all, we had TWO MINI CAMBIOS THIS WEEK. Oh my word, it really is no joke being the Sister Training Leader of fifteen girls. It is awesome because we are really trying hard to make a difference in the lives of these sisters. The first cambio that we did was in Penco. AHHHHHH! I was sooooo happy that I got the chance to go back!! I was with Hermana Paolantonio from Argentina. She is awesome ... and has followed me to every sector that I have been in. It is so funny. She already knows a lot about me just from the things that people say about me (like the fact that I can eat a banana really fast. Not sure how the people found out about that one ... butchaknow). It was so weird being back in the house and walking the same streets of Penco ... because everything was just the same. Everything but myself. Even though it has only been a couple of weeks since I left there, I feel so much different. I can feel that I am getting better and better as a missionary ... even though I still have quite a bit of time in the mission. It's an every day effort.

We were able to see so many people in this cambio that I didn't get to say goodbye to. It was a tender mercy from the Lord. The Hermanas didn't know the people that I wasn't able to say goodbye to, but in the plans were everyone that I loved so much. I didn't even realize that I loved them so much and soooooo deeply until I left. But when I came back and felt that unconditional love and confidence from the people in Penco, I was overwhelmed. Heavenly Father has been sooo sooo good to me. He has helped me so much on the mission to love and feel loved. I remember that Aunt Laurenda sent me an email a while back that said, "Love your mission and it will love you back." It is sooo true!

After that, I had a crazy experience with one of the Hermanas in our group. She has been struggling for a while with depression and things like that ... but we have been helping her to overcome these issues. When I got back from the mini-cambio, she was bad. I invited her to come into my study room so that we could talk it out. And talk it out we did. She told me about everything that was going on and all of the things that she was feeling ... and again, just like the many many many times I have worked with the Hermanas of the mission, I felt a deep and unconditional love for her. I looked for the scriptures and flipped them open to a random place ... and found a perfect scripture for her. Later, one of the elders came to give her a blessing and said exactly the same things that we talked about. I am impressed every day with the pure knowledge that our Heavenly Father has. He knows us each so perfectly and individually.

Another day, another mini-cambio. I led the sector with Hermana Orona from Uruguay. She is SOOO AWESOME! SOOOOOO AWESOME! I was super impressed with her diligence and her awesome ideas for the work. Three years ago, she was baptized in the church and now she is out here sharing her testimony with everyone ... even though her parents don't really support her with what she is doing. Man, that requires so much courage and dedication. But for her sacrifices, she is really being blessed in every aspect of her life. I am really amazed every day at how awesome the missionaries are. Every one of them have the best intentions and are trying their very best to hasten the work. It is amazing.

With Hermana Orona, we did a weird mini cambio where we changed after lunch ... so we had all of the morning to work as well. I wasn't really sure what to do with this time, so I decided to go to the internet place to work on the ward directory (cleaning it up and moving records) ... quickly, I realized that there wasn't that much work to be done, so I told Hermana Orona, "We are going to find someone." We left the ciber and started walking. A year ago, I came to Collao on a mini cambio. I remember really well where I went on the cambio and as I have been getting to know the sector better, I have been able to visualize the people that we visited with Hermana Oldroyd. One of these people was a less active girl that we taught ... I was really impressed by her during the mini cambio that I had, but I have never been able to find her. With Hermana Orona, we turned into a passage way and I found myself standing right in front of this girl's house. It was a miracle that we found it ... and the door was already open.

We called, "AAAALOOOOO." A lady that was 60 years old looked out her open door and let us right in without any questions. We chatted a little bit about her life and then shared a scripture and she started to cry. This menos activa girl that we had visited such a long time ago had left the house, leaving her mom in a huge house alone. She said, "Last night, I was praying and had a long long long conversation with Heavenly Father. I let him know how lonely I was feeling and I asked him to send me angels to help me. And here you girls are. You are my angels. You are the answer to my prayers." Awwww. It was just another testimony builder that God hears our prayers. Amazing.

As a mission, we had the privilege to hear from Elder Oaks!! It was a Skype broadcast from Santiago, but it was soooo uplifting. All of the mission got together in Chillan and it was exciting. When I entered the chapel in Chillan, I heard this screech louder than anything I have ever heard in my life -- it was Hermana Caceres. Ah, I love that girl. She sat next to Hermana Quintana and I for the entire conference and we talked and talked and laughed. Another weird thing about time passing on the mission ... all of the hard and sad moments become duller and duller. They are impossible to remember -- but the happy moments are always there. I am grateful for the good moments.

Yesterday, we worked hard to find new investigators ... because our old ones are not really progressing. We went on splits with two girls from our ward and I said a prayer in my heart that we would be able to find someone -- anyone! We didn't have that much success for the first twenty minutes that we were looking ... but I visualized a house in my head that we had contacted the other week and decided to head in that direction to try and find someone. We arrived at the house and ... a little old man opened the door and invited us in! We had such a great first lesson with them! I know that Heavenly Father will always prepare the way for us to reach our goals.

There are soooo many more experiences that we had this week that I want to share, but I don't have any more time. I know that this is the true church. I know it with all of my heart and I feel the power of that statement more every day. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I hope that you have a great, great week and that you guys are enjoying every good thing!! I love you all sooo much!


PS. Mom, I got the Easter package today!! Thank you SOOOOOO MUCH! It came with perfect timing!! :)

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