June 1, 2015

Week Seventy-Six: A Consecrated Missionary

Hermana Parkin and I. I love her soooo much! We have been working really, really hard together.

Area: Collao
Companion: Hermana Parkin

Dear familia,

I can honestly say that this has been the best cambio of my mission. It is the last cambio, but I am working hard every day to make it a good one. I am praying harder than ever to be able to give my all and to finish strong. And this concentrated effort really is making a world of difference. I have never felt so good in my life. I have never felt so much enthusiasm for the gospel of Jesus Christ as I do right now, in this very moment. I love it so much.

This week has been so wonderful. Every week has been so great. I feel like now that I only have one more letter to write ... I don't know what else to say. We saw some miracles. We made some awesome contacts. It all is the same but so different at the same time. I am feeling so much joy in the routine of things. It is a good feeling.

The Scholes and me.
We had a class of Elder Scholes and it was a great minute to reflect my mission a bit. We have had these trainings ever since the third cambio of my mission. I have learned so much about how to teach well and how to communicate the gospel in such a way that people can feel the spirit and act according to those feelings that they have. I am soooooo grateful for these skills!! They are going to last me for the rest of my life (just like all of the other things that I have learned on my mission).
It was super super funny during the meeting, because I was the oldest person of the mission there. I ran into a newbie that is serving in Frutillares (Hna. Herrera) and I started to ask her about the people there that I love so much ... she couldn't see my nametag, so she asked me my name. It was so funny to see the look on her face ... "Everyone talks about you!" More and more as I have been on the mission, I have realized that I really don't deserve anything like that. I am sooo far from perfect, but it was super funny to see this new missionary just starting out with this learning process that I am still working on. It never really ends.
Sister Osborne and me at the E'Scholes class.

Our mini cambio for the week was with Barrio Norte. I was in Collao with Hna. Saunders and we had a great time! Hermana Saunders just started the mission last cambio and she is the sweetest thing in the world. We worked really hard to obtain our goals and were able to do it! At one point of the mini cambio, we were walking around with a member trying to find someone to teach after one of our appointments fell. I had a feeling that we should go and visit a menos activo family that the elders are working with named the Familia Castillo. The only problem ... I didn't know exactly how to find their house ... and their house was on the opposite end of our sector. But we decided to go anyways.

After praying and making a few phone calls, we were able to make it to their house. The spirit was sooooo strong in this lesson. We talked about small and simple things, and it was so sweet, because Hermana Saunders was trying to express herself, but couldn't exactly find the words to say. Hermano Walter (the dad of this family) said, "Some day she will learn." I nodded and said, "I know that that is true. I was in her shoes a year and a half ago ... and now I can joke and communicate and everything!" 

And suddenly I realized that we are all in this process. We are all trying to become more and more like our Savior and Heavenly Father ... and it is a BIG GOAL. Learning a language is also a BIG GOAL. But I feel like we have been given the tools and the time to be able to learn to do it. I sure hope to have more time to work on being more Christ-like. I know that I am so far away. Really, we all are ... but Heavenly Father loves us so much and is soooo patient with us in the meantime.

The family committed to come to church and I just KNEW that they were going to keep their commitment. It is amazing what the Spirit can influence us to do.

Our ward really is catching on fire with missionary work. It is awesome to see! We are finally having frequent meetings with our ward mission leader. We are finally having meetings with the bishopric. We are finally getting together a focus group as a ward. It is amazing because it helps SO MUCH to have that support of the ward. I feel like I never really understood that before the mission, but now I want to go home and just start working working working as a member. It is such a great opportunity to keep building the kingdom!

Hermana Camila Puchi, Leslie Yañez, and Rosa Placencia
We had an awesome activity of desserts on Saturday! We have been announcing it like crazy and planning like mad-women and it worked out really well. We had 5 investigators that came and really, really enjoyed it! I feel like the KEY to success with an activity is FOOD and PEOPLE. If those two things are there, the people are going to have a great time.

Our activity.
Today was my last consejo as a leader in the mission. I am so grateful for the chance that I have had to be serving as a Sister Training Leader. I have been able to grow sooo much and learn so much more. Heavenly Father really truly loves me. I know that I am so inadequate, but He still felt like I was ready to be in this position to help so many other people. It just makes me so happy!

Hermana Parkin and I were in charge of the activity for consejo and it was awesome. We have been planning it for a good two weeks, because we wanted it to turn out perfectly. Our theme ... CONSECRATION. Say what? I really had no idea how we were going to find an activity for consecration, but we were able to brainstorm a lot and the Spirit helped us to know what to do. We ended up playing spoons with a ton of distractions. Hermana Arrington helped us a TON ... she brought in cookies while the Elders and Hermanas were playing as a temptation. It was so funny to watch how into the game the Elders got. Nothing could distract them from getting their spoon. I felt so much power as we applied it to consecration. "What are we doing to eliminate the distractions from our mission ... which is so much more important than a game of Spoons?" No distraction is worth it. Nothing is worth losing the Spirit.

Our consejo was SOOO good. I loved learning more about how I can be a consecrated missionary ... and really, a consecrated member of the church. The call that I have to become more like Jesus Christ isn't something that is going to stop when I get off the plane in Springfield. No way! It is for all of my life. All of my life, I need to work EVERY DAY to apply the Atonement in my life and to seek the inspiration of the Spirit so that I can keep progressing. It is a promise that I have made ... and I intend to keep it! That helps me to feel good about ending the mission. It is just the beginning of an eternal progression.

My heart is so full. It is so full. I feel like I am a blubbery baby all of the time now, because everything makes me cry. I am just so grateful to be alive. I am grateful for this time that Heavenly Father has given to me. I feel like I am making the best of it with what I know to do. My life is great ... and it will continue to get better. 

I love you all sooooo much! Remember that Christ is the most important thing! His atonement is everything! I hope that every week we can work to be just a little better and a little more dedicated!! I am doing everything that I can to give a little bit more every day. :) I'm praying for ya!


Hermana Antillon and me. Baaaaah, the last time that I will see her in the mission. :((

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