Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Independencia... I'm a legal citizen now!

Juan Carlos didn´t get baptized. He keeps smoking. But he promises this time he´ll stop. The wife of the family we met last week called us before our appointment and told us that she´d been talking with her pastor and after talking to him she felt like she was sinning to listen to us and asked if we wouldn´t come back. And Roberto (the super promising dad) just hasn´t been in his appointments. Blek. BUT we found another family that seems even MORE promising than the other. And we ended up finally finding RITA the other day. I was so happy to see her again. Turns out just about her whole world is falling in on her right now, so she´s had so many difficulties lately, but wants to continue, but much slower this time. I sure hope so. I know planting gospel seeds is great and all, but sometimes I would like to reap the harvest too, ya know?? But we´re working on it. We found more people this last week than we have in a LONG time, so we´re excited to work with them.

This week we had to go to Santiago to get my visa. It was quite the adventure/process to become legal. Santiago is huge! There are a lot of people. I really enjoyed watching the people voluntarily mash themselves in the metro tren. I enjoyed it so much, I tried taking a picture. I thought I had taken off the flash so the people wouldn´t notice, but it turns out the flash was on and I got a couple of unwanted looks and I felt a little foolish…but hey, I got the picture.

I love being here, it´s a pretty great feeling to share a testimony of Christ and his gospel!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A few pics

Taking a break to smell the flowers... or kiss them...
Ha ha!

This is the beginning of a pretty steep hill...

My companion and a roomate walking to a lunch appointment.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Juan Carlos

We didn´t see the baptisms of Rita, Nohemi, or Juan Carlos this Sunday, it seems like we´ve had quite a large amount of opposition lately… We have almost lost contact with Rita, a lot of it has to do with her husband, he is forming quite a large obstacle, but we´re certain that good things will happen with her. La Nohemi…bless her heart… The day before her baptism, she had the interview. Turns out she had a slip up with the word of wisdom either that very day or the day previous, and they need to be clean for at least two weeks before baptism, but she will be baptized, I feel a special caring for her. Annnddddd JUAN CARLOS. I only mentioned him last time, but he is incredible! We´ve had quite the week… It started off with him telling us that he couldn´t be baptized after all, and felt terrible for it, but couldn´t tell us why not. He said he was super embarrassed to tell us anything, so all we needed to know is that he wouldn´t be getting baptized and didn´t think he could continue learning from us. He finally wrote us a note and it just said that everything about him contra el evangelio de Jesucristo. But if we HAD to know more, we should ask his wife (who is deaf too, but can hear a little and can talk a little more). So what did we do? We asked her what was up, of course! She told us that indeed, quite a bit of things were going on in his life that aren´t so lovely. We ended up talking to him soon after that and he told us about all the alcohol and cigarettes, pornography, and abuse to his wife that have been dragging him down. In this moment, I think he felt a bit of liberation and determination to change because he went to his bedroom and brought out all his pornography videos and smashed them to pieces on the table and tore out all the tape (yes, they were VHS) Then and there he brought out his coffee and ciggs and dumped it all out. It sounds dramatic (because it was) but he was so sincere and I´ve never seen anyone look so relieved…and although it´s only been a few days, I KNOW he is going to stick with his change, he wants it so bad, he wants this change. He´s read so much, we gave him the Joseph Smith Sunday school lesson book thing that the Sunday school teachers use to teach from and within a week he´s read the entire thing. He taught us a thing or two about the gospel yesterday it was pretty cool. I´m learning a lot more sign language too! I don´t know if it´s different than American sign language… hopefully I can remember it throughout my mission.

I´ve never really been good at expressing my feelings about stuffs, but Know that I am so grateful for this experience. That the feelings I have when I see Juan Carlos with a broken heart and contrite spirit fill me with such hope and joy. There´s so much more with this story that I can´t even touch on, but know that it´s pretty amazing, and you all should be jealous ;) But I know that these changes, his desire to be good, to be happy, to love have only come through Jesus Christ. I know my Saviour lives. I Know He loves everyone of us and that the power He has to change lives and to bring happiness to people is real.

OH! Real quick because I'm out of time! Changes came and went and I ended up staying right here in Machalí with my trainer! (though I'm not being trained anymore, the extra hour of study time is officially gone…yikes!) But we´re super content. I think Heavenly Father knew that I wouldn´t be able to handle the stress…


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Digging up "Dead Investigators"

Okay, so I´m just going to say this first thing, but we´ve had a bit of a rough week. Rita was supposed to be baptized yesterday, but all week we´ve had all kinds of problems. Satan has been working super duper hard to keep her from baptism, but we thought it was all going to be good. She had her interview and everything but the day before (Saturday) we called her to comfirm our last appointment with her before the big day and she informed us that she wasn´t going to be able to make it to her baptism. She´s had problems all her life with depression, and something from her past got brought up and she´s fallen into really bad depression again. So much so that her husband was taking her to the doctor. But since Saturday when she told us she wouldn´t be baptized we haven´t been able to talk to her or find her in her home. Perhaps she wasn´t quite ready, though everything was so perfect and she was SOO excited. I don’t really understand how it all happened; it kind of feels like a bad dream and we´ve been super worried about her. But we´re hoping to find her today or at least talk to her on the phone. Just to talk to her and see how she´s doing would calm a lot of worries and anxiousness.

But on the bright side, we´re team teaching (with the other hermanas) this man named Juan Carlos. He´s deaf and mute, but he is SO COOL! He can read lips really well, so we can jump that obstacle, but it usually takes a long time to teach him because for not being able to talk he sure does talk a lot. He signs everything he says and by his actions we can figure out pretty well what he is saying, and if not, we write what needs to be communicated. He is super funny, and a really happy person. We´ve been teaching him for about a month or less and already he had read in the Book or Mormon until Alma. He tells us he can´t put it down and he has a date to get baptized this Sunday, It´s pretty awesome, I really like teaching him, though I don´t do a whole lot… My companion is pretty much amazing because she knows a bit of sign language and picks up on the signs really fast (I´ve even learned a few things!).

I´m a bit nervous because we have changes this next week. It´s about 99% likely that my companion will be leaving the sector and I´ll stay and show my new companion the ropes in Machalí. This scares me a little bit… Or maybe even a lot bit… I didn´t realize how big our sector was until we had our district leaders come in and help us find more people one day and they said ¨your sector is GINORMOUS!¨ Some members told us there are about 80,000 in Machalí. I don´t know how correct that is, but we´ll see what happens. Ha, you´d think with 80,000 people we´d find more, eh??

Moms and Pops….I forgot to answer a couple of questions in my last email… I don´t know anything about the big earthquake down here. It must have missed us, so no worries. Though the first few weeks I was here, I felt a couple baby earthquakes. It was kind of fun. The other hermanas that I´m living with right now are from Utah. One of them, Hna. Olson was my comp in the MTC, so that´s been nice. I can´t believe I didn´t mention that before. And I´m super sorry to hear about Erik´s car. What poop brains ( the robbers). I feel a little better knowing that he´s just doing National Guard instead of the Army, but keep me posted. I know you will. I´m super proud of all Erik and Danielle are doing (with junior miss, council, debate, track… sheesh! Remind her to take a breath once in a while!), and with the person that Cali is... I´m so blessed to have this family, and for mom and dad that express and share the love they have for me and all of us kids. I couldn´t ask for anything more. No, dad I can´t read your blog... stinky, huh? And Yes. I´m pretty sure I´ll be all set for Mexico in a little while… but don´t make me trunky now, I just started ;)

I told my comp that you replied to her letter, and tells me she wants to reply again to you guys. But remember who your daughter is… haha, jk. So she knows a little bit of English, right? It was super funny, the other day she turned to me and said ¨I want to make pee pee¨ haha. Directly translated it works. But we got a kick out of that one.

Last week we had an activity in the ward called ¨cosechon.¨ We dug up a bunch of ¨dead investigators¨ and tried to revive them. We invited the entire ward to be a missionary for a couple hours and accompany us on splits to find these old investigators. We only had 5 people show up… but it was just enough to do splits with the 4 of us missionaries, but I´ll tell you what, I was TERRIFIED to take Hna. Mery around our sector, because I still don´t understand her Spanish super well. She speaks about chileano as you can get, but it was actually really fun! We didn´t get into a single door, but it was a good experience for us both ( I hope).

Yes, mom, I know the Elder Horlachaer from Aunt Nan´s old ward. He´s my district leader! Small world, huh?