May 18, 2015

Week Seventy-Four: Three Weddings

Hermana Maria. I look hideous because we had just been moving all her lovely things to the first floor. Oooooh yeah! She is super cute!
Area: Collao
Companion: Hermana Parkin
Hermana Parkin's Blog: A Week Full of Events

Dear familia,

Everything that could possibly happen in one week in the mission happened. I really am trying to be dedicated and give my all to the Lord. It has been having some marvellous results.

We started out this week with interviews with President. Ohhhh, I adore interviews. I am so grateful for President Arrington and all of his support that he has given me in my mission. He definitely is inspired of God, because every time I talk to him, he tells me exactly what I need to have the motivation to keep going forward with a ton of animo and enthusiasm. This interview, I really just wanted to know how I can finish strong with my mission. He gave me some good advice and told me something that I really really liked. He said, "Really, a desire to do more isn't wrong. It actually will help you to progress and become better ... but what you can't say is, 'I haven't done enough.'" And that is so true. I think that that is the biggest fear that I had -- to finish my mission and feel like I hadn't done everything that I could. But I really feel like I am giving my all, so I know that I will not have to worry with those feelings. It is just like leaving the MTC, but this time ... it is a change that seems a whole lot bigger. I just want to do it in such a way that I will not have any regrets.

The day after interviews, we had a conference with all of the people that are going to be dying in the mission. This was a first time thing, but I loved it. President and Hermana Arrington helped us to know how to die with grace and honor. It was made complete with yummy cinnamon rolls and Josh Groban motivational videos. I looked around at all of the people that were with me and I just couldn't believe it. What a crazy thing!! At the end of the conference, we all got up to say goodbye to the Arringtons, and as I hugged Hna. Arrington, I just cried and cried. Gosh darn it, Groban. You get me every time! I don't know ... I guess I am just feeling a little more sensitive these days. Ahhh, I don't want to be THAT hermana. I guess I need to go to bed thirty minutes early or something haha.

With Javiera
After the training, we had a little bit of time, so we decided to head over to our ward mission leader's house to talk about an activity that we have been wanting to do with the ward ... like a Dessert Festival. It is going to be super awesome. Our Ward Mission Leader is great, but he works so so so much ... it really stresses him out, because he really wants to help us, but he has a hard time finding the ... well, time. So, we are working really hard to just be a support for him. Some missionaries grumble when their Ward Mission Leaders aren't really working properly, but I really feel like we are just here in wards to help people fulfill their callings. And really, when I look at it from that perspective, it helps me to feel like I am doing a lot more good. If people will just fulfill their callings, missionary work becomes a breeze ... so we just have to motivate the people to get to work.

Our Relief Society is really kicking it. They had an activity for Mother's Day this week and it was great! We had our investigator there and she and her kids loved it. Her daughter that is 5 started to cry when they had to leave because she loves being in the church so much. Her mom promised her that they were going to come on Sunday ... which was awesome because she basically committed herself to come to church. It is just a case in point of what I feel like we can do if we all work together with missionary work. It is awesome!

This week was FULL of weddings. The first wedding was with Hermana Alba and her now husband Roldolfo. Actually, they were already married one time ... in Colombia. But they have been living in Chile for a little over a year now, and their marriage isn't valid here. It is a really interesting situation ... especially because they are pretty poor and can't really afford to get REMARRIED. But they have a goal to get to the temple ... and to do that, they first have to be lawfully married. We got special permission from our Zone Leaders to skip zone class to be able to be there for the wedding ... it was incredible. 

I have never seen a wedding on my mission. This ceremony was something sooo simple. It was in a random room of a courtroom (with the only decorations being a picture of the President of Chile and a Chilean flag). Only a couple of hermanas from the Relief Society were able to come ... so it was a little quiet thing. But as we were sitting there listening to the judge read their rights, I felt the spirit sooo strongly. I know that Heavenly Father is super pleased with the sacrifice of this couple!! They invited me to hold the rings so that they could exchange them and I totally messed up ... I mean, I have never had to do something like that before!! But I was so happy to be there. I love these people soooo sooo much! They are awesome! [More pictures are coming for this, but Laney ran out of time today!]

The sign in the Registro Civil for marriages!
Hermana Alba and Rodolfo!
After that wedding, we went to the church to start preparing for the wedding of Lieslie and Arturo! AHHHHHH!! I can't believe that I was a part of this wedding as well. I can't believe it. This has been two years in the making ... and I just happened to be here when it was time for them to get married. Our contribution was sooo small. We blew up more than 100 balloons (sooo many balloons. I invite you to try and blow up 100 balloons this afternoon haha) and helped to make a few decorations. 

Before ...
... and after!
We also had a special musical number that we sang with the Elders. Oh, I was so happy during this wedding. It was another moment that I could feel the spirit strongly. We sang Love at Home, and I just looked at Lieslie and Arturo and cried. Finally, they can progress as a family!! Finally!!

Practice for the special musical number.
We are like the Von Trapps!
With Sofi, Lucas, and Lieslie
The fam ...
... and I thought the decorations were appropriate. haha

Oh, the last of the three weddings was Hna. Baturite's wedding. Ahhhh, so many!!

On Saturday, we got a call that a little old abuelita convert that I love sooo much was going to move. It was a super super sudden decision, so they needed a lot of help. They didn't have anything packed up, but they needed to make the move immediately. Hermana Parkin and I went over in the morning and started packing every single nice .... thing ... that they had in their house ... and we were there for over three hours. We called it good about an hour before lunch, thinking that we would leave all of the heavy lifting to the Elders and the Elders Quorum ... well, at 3:30, on our way to our first appointment of the day, we got a call from the bishop. "Are you guys coming?" Crick, crick ... I told him that we weren't really planning on it and he kind of desperately said, "My wife and I are the only people that showed up. We need your help." So we dropped everything and left. Back to the house of the abuelita convert.

At the house, we were packing things into the back of the truck. We called a couple more people to come in and help and were able to get everything ready to go. The abuelita was moving to centro ... to a house that was on the fourth floor of a building without an elevator. She had these huge things of furniture that I had NOOO idea how the men were going to be able to haul up all of those flights of stairs ... We were almost about to head back out to start visiting, but I saw how desperate the people looked to have our help, so I looked at Hermana Parkin and shrugged my shoulders. We decided to go to help haul this stuff up the four flights of stairs. There were so many things that we had to bring upstairs -- and it was us, the Relief Society president, and this Bishop and his wife ... and that was it. We went up and down and up and down ... 100 times. It was crazy.

But it was also fun at the same time. I really felt like we were helping out the ward. I felt super tired, but I put on a happy and excited face and kept running up and down the stairs anyways. I think that that is something that I really want to be able to keep with me all of my life. I tell people every day that they can call us for whatever thing that they need and I will be there to help them ... and I like to keep with my promises like that. We ended up moving that abuelita ALL DAY ... for 12 hours of hard, sweaty work. But I feel like we were able to improve our relationship with the bishop and really show our love for the people. At the end of the day, Bishop thanked us for our energy and our service. It felt good ... and I feel like we were able to make a real difference!

It was a good week. So many other things happened as well, but I am out of time. Ah well, I will just have to share my journals after. I love you all soooo sooo much! I wish Savannah a ton of luck with her graduation!!! and I will be praying for you all every day like always!! LOVE YOU!!



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