May 25, 2015

Week Seventy-Five: Perfect Love Casteth Out All Fear

Baking with Marlene de la Fuente

Area: Collao
Companion: Hermana Parkin

Dear familia,

This week was awesome. Hermana Parkin and I are getting along so well and we are working really hard together to bring people to Christ. I just can't believe that it is P-day already. Work work work ... that is the answer to having a great time on the mission.

We had a mini cambio with PENCO this week and in preparation for this mini cambio, I was really set on STAYING in my sector. I didn't want to go to Penco to dar jugo no mas (that basically means to waste time saying goodbye to people). So, we prepared the mini cambio that way. I was going to stay in Collao ... but it just didn't feel right. I prayed about it and I felt like I really needed to be in Penco with Hermana Sheppard. So that's what we did. I gave the Hermanas a call and said, "Hermanas, I do not want you to plan a single cita with my investigators or with people that I knew. I don't want anyone knowing that I am going to come. Okay?" They promised and I went, knowing that Heavenly Father had something that he needed me to do in Penco.

Hermana Valle
It was so nice to be back. Penco was definitely my happiest sector. I loved the people, I loved the area, and I was just happily working every day. Walking up the hills makes me feel great. Breathing in the sea air makes me feel wonderful as well. I want to be near a beach when I get home. A year of living beach side ... wonderful. I was amazed at the plans of the Hermanas. We went and saw people that I loved and I feel like I was really able to help them. I love them so much in retrospect that I wasn't really afraid to tell them how it was. Perfect love casteth out all fear.

Mini-Cambio with Hermana Sheppard.
We are underneath a T-Rex at the Dinosaur Park
of  Conce.
At the end of the day, we ran into Mauricio Ulloa (that one super porfiado convert that Hermana Romney and I worked with a ton). I was so happy to see him. He is still super porfiado, but as we were on our way home, I felt like that was the reason that I needed to be back in Penco. I needed to help the Hermanas to find him so that they can start getting him to come back to church. It really is the little things that make a huge difference. In life ... in the mission. I haven't been able to see all of the results that my mission will have, but I am super excited to keep in contact with all of these people. When I said goodbye to the people in Penco, it made me a little bit sad. A little bit ... because I probably will never see them again. Thank goodness for social networking. 

It was a good mini cambio.

I got my last stack of Dear Elders from Dad. In one of the letters, it had one of my first blog posts from the mission. Oh, I was amazed! I have changed so much without even realizing it. Wow! I went from not knowing any Spanish ... to knowing Chilean. I went from being afraid of talking to people ... to talking to people fearlessly. Wow.

It rained a lot this week. Actually, it is starting to turn to winter here. The mornings are FREEZING. My hands are dying because I don't have any gloves. But it's okay. It makes things a lot more exciting. Like a game of life and death. We put on sweaters and sweaters and jackets and rainboots ... and those hideous but really awesome floral shirts that I love so much. I love winter mission fashion.

Thursday was a national holiday in Chile. Thursday was also an awesome mini cambio that we had with Chillancito. This time I did stay in my sector with Hermana Valle. We were able to find sooo many people! Like, five! We walked into houses of menos activos and everyone was gathered together (because no one was working)! AMAZING! I felt so much power as we taught these people. We invited every single one of them to baptism. We invited all of them to come to Christ. I have been learning more and more (and it is the end of my mission!) about why baptism is so necessary. And as I learn more and more the need, the more and more compelled I feel to find the people that need it and help them to get it as quick as possible. It helps me to be more efficient and a better missionary. I continue learning my purpose.

Lieslie is still doing great. She is such a prepared investigator (and not just because she has heard the lessons 8 times). Apparently, Arturo is going to get his rights to the priesthood back in the coming weeks and it is possible that Lieslie will get baptized on the 6th!! AHHHHHHHH!!! That is so exciting! I really feel like we have gained the trust of this family. On the way home from a lesson with them on Friday, Arturo said, "You know, I don't really like gringa missionaries ... but I really like you guys. It's obvious that you get along well ... you are spiritual ... and you are willing to work hard. I like you guys." I have never felt so happy and accomplished in my life. It meant the world to Hermana Parkin and I! We are working soooo hard to be good missionaries. We are working so hard.

On Saturday, we started working on our Family History Work. There is this kid in our zone named Elder Hepworth that is a family history nut! He loves everything to do with it, and his enthusiasm is so catchy. We got on and started trying to find names to take to the temple and I found some people right away! It was amazing! I also was able to print off some stories about ancestors and it blows my mind. I want to know more and more about my past ... because I feel like that will help me to know where I am going.

The familia Colombiana continues being one of my favorite families in Chile. I love them so much! Roldolfo decided to come out with us one day this week when it was freezing cold ... and even though he had a flu and the cita fell through, he kept a smile on his face. We went to buy him a chocolate bar and I found myself thinking, how on earth can I become like these people? How can I become more like all of these people on the mission? I admire everyone so much for so many different reasons. I guess that really the most important thing is to be working every day to be more and more like Christ, because that will really help me to be more like all of these people that I love so much.

This week flew by like a dream and I know that next week will too. I am praying every night to be able to give my all and I feel Heavenly Father helping me to do that every day. I feel like He is happy about the things that I am doing, and that motivates me to keep going every day. I know that this is the true church. I am excited to be a missionary at this time. It is such a blessing!

I hope that you have a great first week of summer!! Enjoy the heat and the ice cream! I will enjoy the cold and the ice cream haha. I love you so much and pray for you every day! :) LOOOOOOOVE YOU!

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