Monday, March 31, 2014

Conference Preparations!

Querida Familia, 

HA. Sometimes I just have to laugh at how bad my missionary brain is. I imagine it is something like ¨pregnancy¨ or ¨nursing¨ brain, but I can´t quite tell you THAT yet. I´m sure my mommy can sympathize. The reason I say this is because me and my companion went to Jumbo (a store) this morning as our Pday activity. It is quite a hassle to get there, but we arrived fine. The whole goal of going was to get root beer for conference weekend, because it is the only place that sells it. So, we arrived. We shopped. We left and got a Dunkin´ Donut, then we went home. The moment our house door shut behind us, we realized we didn´t even look for root beer. BAH. Oh well. 

Sorry that my letters are turning out to sound like a five year old wrote them. I am losing my grammar knowledge and my vocabulary is dwindling (ooh, big word!). Reading Jesus the Christ definitely helps, but it is mostly gospel vocabulary. Oh, and I finished that magnificently large libro full of doctrine this week. I might have done celebratory dance! 

This week we had quite a few funny experiences. Really, in the mission, I am just learning that the majority of life is lemons. This last Tuesday I was in divisions with my good friend, Hermana Megan Runnells. I had made a bajillion plans and back up plans, and we went through them all in about an hour. I decided to take us to the house of a less active member. There we received a very warm welcome from a very nice man....who basically told us we are on the highway to hell and to hurry up and repent. I thanked him for his concern on behalf of my damned soul, and gave him a pretty picture of Jesus Christ, even though Mr. Nice Guy didn´t want to listen to a word I had to say. In return, he gave me a little card with the words ¨How to get to Heaven from Chile¨. It was like an answer to my prayers....I´d been wondering JUST that! So, now I know I can follow Mr. Nice Guy´s example and say the short recited prayer and continue being a huge jerk to the rest of the world...and eventually arrive in Heaven. Or I can keep trying to live my covenants that I have made and keep serving the very nice people, like Mr. Nice Guy. 
Sometimes I just wonder ¨WHY AM I HERE?!¨ but then I think... ¨NO REALLY, WHY AM I HERE?¨ and then I stop and ponder and realize...¨Nine more months.¨ Missions are hard. Missions test your brain power to the max. They make you want to go home and take a full college schedule, work full time in a sweat shop, and have 20 kids....because sometimes that seems easier. However, at the end of the day, you are just tired. Ha. No, I´m kidding. At the end of the day I can always look back and see how Heavenly Father has helped me to learn a little more, to have a little more faith, and to help someone else. That´s the good part.
For example, we are teaching this REALLY awesome family. The mom is a member, but she was baptized and then stopped going. She hasn´t been for close to 30 years. Her sister is a member, and actually passed us the reference. Now we are teaching the husband and her two kids, and her older sister. They all live together (except the active sister, she lives a street over). They are taking care of their mom, who is 84 years old and has cancer really badly. They are so great. 

Well, the other day we found them all in a wreck. They are exhausted and going through a hard time as the Grandma´s health is going away. We went over with Hermano and Hermana Barrientos to invite them to a family home evening this last Friday. Then, on Saturday, the other counselor and bishop came with us to their house to give the Grandma a blessing. The spirit was so strong. The grandma was in and out of understanding what was going on, but she did want a blessing. After her blessing, I looked over at the oldest sister who is the primary caretaker of her mom. She reminds me of Aunt Lisa, so patient, loving, and just willing to serve! I walked over to her while everyone was looking after Grandma and asked her if she wanted a blessing, too. She started crying and just nodded her head. We made sure she got that blessing. When we saw them later that night, they were so peaceful. The grandma had been asking to go to church all day, and the sister said that she felt a burden lifted. We explained that the power of God is on the earth today for that very purpose. It isn´t for men to boast about, or to use authoritatively. It is to serve. Also, it was good to show her how much faith she has. We know that priesthood blessings only work according to our faith, so the fact that she felt better was a testimony to herself that she is getting closer to God through listening to the message of the restored gospel.
Love you all! Remember to be nice to everyone. That is all it takes to make this world better. Be nice.
Hermana VanCott

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