May 11, 2015

Week Seventy-Three: Miracles and Lessons Learned

Area: Collao
Companion: Hermana Parkin
Hermana Parkin's Blog: First Week in My New Sector

Dear familia,

Whooooo, long time no see! I am soooo happy that we got to talk last night ... even with the complications, it was super sweet to be able to talk to you guys. Thirty minutes isn't really that much time to catch up on a whole year's worth of material ... but I get the feeling that pretty soon we will get the chance to talk a little bit more. #fiveweeks (I seriously can't believe it!). So, I hope that my emails aren't horribly repetitive. I feel like every week is full of miracles and lessons learned ... but I am a little bit stubborn, so I feel like I keep learning the same lessons over and over again and seeing the same miracles over and over again. Ah well. Life is good. Life is actually really really good!

On Monday night, we had all of the girls that were going home in our house. It was sooooo crazy. There were so many people. I ended up sleeping on the floor in the living room and got to bed around midnight because everyone was packing and getting ready for their flights. In the morning, they woke up at 5 oclock and left the house at 6. I sleepily woke up at that time and gave Hermana Quintana one last hug. It was so sad ... because I think it hit me that we might never see each other again. It was super sad to see them go, but they left super calmly. It was like nothing had happened at all.

Right away, my companion, Hermana Parkin was able to come over to our house. She is from Utah and is amazing in EVERY WAY! Seriously, she has been a super companion so far. We work really well together, and have been able to put a few goals for what we want to happen this cambio. I really like that about her. She is super goal focused and she loves working really hard to acheive those goals. That is something that I have always wanted to be really good at, so I am already learning from her. She has really cool stories because she has done some really cool things with her life. She went to Ukraine to teach English for a couple of months on a whim. She had a cake business when she was growing up. Loco! I love her!

It has been interesting leading the sector around here. I find that I know the people a lot more than I thought I did ... and sometimes I know them a lot less than I thought I did. But it is great seeing things with new eyes because we have been able to find deeper needs for the people and to teach to those needs. I feel really confident and bold when it comes to talking with the people. I think that deep down inside, my heart is starting to recognize that there isn't that much time left to give everything that I have ... so I have to give it all! I have come home to the house happy but dead tired every day this week.

We went out with a lot of new members this week. It was awesome!! One of them was a new convert named Rodrigo ... and he is a boss! He is the one that got baptized and then helped the people that were getting robbed. Yeah, that guy. He is reading the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants AND The Power of the Everyday Missionary. Wow. His testimony when he shares with the people is AWESOME. It just goes to show you that you don't have to have a lot of time in the church to be blessed with the ability to share your testimony. You just have to share it and Heavenly Father helps it to touch the lives of the people.

Hermana Parkin had a training meeting this week for new leaders, so I was able to have the good part of the morning to really study the gospel. It seems silly to say that ... because we have 2 hours every single day to study ... but it was rewarding. I decided to study really in depth about the Godhead and I learned so many things. I think that so many people see Heavenly Father as just a person that is there ... that listens to us ... but it is a little bit harder to visualize him as a person that actually loves and cares about each one of us individually. I spent a lot of time pondering that and it was amazing to just let the thoughts and feelings come and to really learn by the Spirit. There isn't any other way to do it!

There is a family in this ward that I have been wanting to work with for a really really long time. The girls of the family are all active ... but the boys are totally inactive. The dad and his two sons have fallen off the face of the planet. Every time I pray to know who we should work with, this family's name comes to mind. We had lunch this week with the mom and her two daughters and it was so powerful to be able to tell her that God was mindful of her situation and that he was ready to help her to help her family. I know that God wants to help us WITH our families! I am so excited to start working with these people to help them to progress and grow.

We found a lady this week that is great. Her name is Carolina (like every single investigator that I have ever had haha), and we found her knocking doors one rainy afternoon. She is thirty years old and lives with her two kids and her boyfriend (BOOOO). Her boyfriend is working in the north, so they hardly ever see each other ... we're working with that. Anyways, Carolina was super friendly to us and listened to us soooo well. She has felt so lonely these past couple of weeks, and we were like an answer to her prayers! She accepted fecha (even though she can't get baptized until she gets married), and she came to church this past week!! Her baby ran around the chapel like a mad man and I was on baby patrol. It was just like being at home ... because I used to herd the babies of investigators during the Sacrament meetings there. Good times. It was worth it, because all of the Hermanas noticed that she was new and she was able to make a lot of friends! Ahhh, I love this ward!!

It is interesting because I have always looked to Collao as a kind of promised land, free of worries and cares. When I was struggling with my sectors, I would pray that I could come to Collao ... almost to escape from all of the bad things of the world. But, I have come to realize that the grass is always greener on the other side. Really, everywhere ... the church is about the same. We make promised lands based on our perspective of things. It is always just better to think about how awesome things are in the present and to really enjoy them! Everything is awesome if you think that it is!

We had a great lesson with a menos activa recent convert (that is a sad reality here in Chile). We have been trying to find her ever since Hna. Quintana was here, but we were never able to call her or visit her. She lives super close to our apartments, so one night, on the way home, I decided to knock and see if she would answer. She did!! AHHHH!! Por FIN! We were able to set up a cita and she looked at us and said, "Hermanas, I need a lesson about forgiveness. Can you help me with that?" We told her that we could and immediatly started planning to teach it. We were able to find a lot of scriptures and quotes ... and in the lesson, we were able to apply everything that we had planned/learned to her situation. She really seemed to benefit from our studies. I love this part of being a missionary. I love being a problem solver!! It's fun.

En fin, we had a great day on Sunday. We had two people in church with a fecha to get baptized, were able to make a lot of visits ... And of course, I was able to talk to you guys. That made me sooo happy. It was a tender mercy and it just got me so pumped up to work even harder these last couple of weeks. We are seeing miracles here every day!! We are working hard to be better missionaries and to help the Hermanas and the people every single day. I love you sooo much and hope that you have a great week!! I couldn't ask for a better family! Next week I will be writing from Chillan. Getting ready to make it rain haha. Thank you sooo much for all of the prayers and love.


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