Monday, April 28, 2014

April 7th (Another Late Post)

Family and Friendsies,
Chile is finally starting to be chilly! It is such a wonderful time of year. We can be out in the streets and maintain perfect equilibrium throughout the whole day. I´ll take that over dehydration any day.
On a positive note, I think we managed to kill the bed bugs or whatever it was that was trying to eat us alive at night. (I don´t know if I mentioned that last week?). It has been fun to be able to say ¨don´t let the bed bugs bite!¨ at night, but I think I will be able to live without it. Sleepless nights imagining critters all over our skin weren´t the most beneficial for out health.
My companion is doing great, despite the fact that she saw her first dead dog this week. Ah, I remember my first dead dog in the mission. It was sad. I´m glad we made it through that trial together, and now she has a greater understanding of the plan of salvation. We keep ourselves entertained and stress levels down by making work a game. Not to mean we take things lightly, of course. This week we played ¨Don´t forget to ask for references!¨ and kept a tally of points. My comp won...humbling experience.
Some missionaries in my zone send their regards to people in the Redlands mission. Hermana Orton to Elder Steve Taylor....and Elder Skabelund to his uncle, Rick Papworth.
Conference was like the greatest superbowl in history! I loved it, and I loved it even more in ENGLISH. I put a quote from Elder Anderson´s talk on my wall today....¨You are infinitely more preicious to God than a tree¨. I know that was selective quoting, but it makes me laugh and makes me think of how the trials we go through in life help us to be stronger, just like wind helps trees to be stronger.
Our investigator family came to the Sunday afternoon session. It was fabulous! The ward members sat by them and they felt loved.
During halftime, we ate lunch with the Barrientos family (who joined the missionaries in the English room). We played the ¨Minute to Win It´ game where you get the oreo from your forehead to your mouth without using hands. Everyone got a kick out of it! My companion is a professional cookie eater. Also, humbling experience.
Speaking of halftime! It was SO COOL to see Sister Lori McBride being broadcast world wide proclaiming that she´s a mormon! I said ¨HEY! She was my young womens leader!¨ and everyone was jealous. No biggie. I like knowing famous people.
My companion and I are going to go hit a volleyball back and forth today. Oh, the life. I remember when that was a LAST option for things I wanted to do. Last week we spent Pday on a scavenger hunt for 7 layer dip it will be nice to take it easy for a few hours today.
Also, in case you haven´t noticed by now, I am alive! The earthquake was far far away in the north. We did get to feel a few mild tremors, which is always fun and makes my heart stop for a second.
Next month I get to talk to my family on Skype again! Yipee. Then, June.... well, my birthday is in June, so that is something to look forward to! AND THEN EVA COMES! I can´t wait to see her. I just keep thinking about how great of a missionary she is going to be.
Mom, you asked me about some things we have learned or been doing in our mission? Here are a few.
1. We ALWAYS carry a Book of Mormon. Good conversation starter, easier to give away.
2. We are trying to do a challenge Elder Ballard gave us of 10 casual contacts a day. It helps us to just open our mouths and talk.
3. We study from the scriptures every single day, and we are learning a lot from the bible from our mission president. We are much more effective when we can explain and expound on the scriptures.
There are a few main focuses right now.
Story of the week...
We got invited to a graduation party for our investigator, Bayron. We didn´t want to waste time, so we went in with a few plans for how we could teach even if there was a big group of people and strangers. It was a family gathering, mostly. We decided to sing a hymn and say the prayers. They asked us to bless the food. As we ate, we sat ourselves down by a couple who are family friends. We talked to them a bit and got to explain why we are here. Then, we talked to the aunt who is STRICTLY catholic. We shared with her a while ago, too, and she later said to her niece ¨I had a different idea about Mormons before I met those girls. Now I know they are good people with good intentions.¨ As we sang, I was holding the hand of the 84 year old grandma. She has really bad bone cancer and is to the point where she doesn´t talk and her eyes fixate on a spot and don´t move. The grandma loves it when we sing. We have been able to be with her for the last few weeks as we have watched her health worsen. When we were done singing ¨I know that my Redeemer lives¨ everyone clapped....including Grandma Leonila. It wasn´t exactly what we wanted, but it was how we knew that she was listening and felt the Spirit. We were in and out fast, but I can´t get it out of my head how much good we were able to do in those few short minutes. I know Heavenly Father blessed us with that opportunity because we had desires to serve Him.
If we could always look for opportunities to reach out and clarify that we are normal, good, people and ALWAYS look for ways to help people feel Heavenly Father´s love, missionary work would EXPLODE. That is what we want to happen, right?

I love you all! Have a great week! Keep doing good in the world and being examples!

Hermana VanCott

No comments:

Post a Comment