Hello family and friends,I hope you are all just as excited as I am for GENERAL CONFERENCE! Woot. Mark your calendars and remember that it isn´t a vacation from church.
The spirit works in subtle ways. We were on the bus on our way to a family home evening with the branch president, his wife, and our recent convert and his family. The plan was to get off at the recent converts house and then walk with them to President Rivera´s house. As we were approaching where we would need to get off if we were going to President´s house, I had the thought that we should get off there and then call our investigator. I looked at my comp, told her, and really quickly hit the button to stop. We got off and called Andres, and it turns out they had already walked up to the house. It was crazy how it happened. There were no problems, everything went perfectly well. However, if we would have gotten off at Andres' house it would have taken a half hour to get to presidents house and everything would have been delayed. It was so simple and yet so guided by the spirit. We talked about the spirit in the family home evening, and it was perfect because we had a simple story fresh on our mind. I love knowing that Heavenly Father knows more than me, it gives me comfort.
Also, I want to write a few pointers for relationships that I have learned. I love my companion that I have been with for the past 10 weeks, but we are polar opposites and that sometimes means we want to kill each other. But, here is what I have learned from the situation to apply to my future relationships…
First. You decide to get along. Let’s be honest, it is a conscience decision every morning if you are going to like them or not.
Secondly, food should not be a vice. If you don´t want to chit chat, there are better ways to say, ¨hey, I’m tired, can I read a talk or the scriptures for a few minutes?¨ than shoving a piece of bread or chocolate bar in your mouth.
Thirdly. Happy couples serve. If I haven´t done my part and tried to help my companion, chances are she aint feeling my love.
Fourthly. It´s not necessary solve every problem - just the big ones. The little things can be handled with patience and mercy and recognizing that we both have weaknesses.
Fourthly, it´s important to set goals TOGETHER. If there aren´t goals, there isn’t a chance in hell that we will work together in unity.
Fifthly, there is never a winner. The closest thing to a winner is just someone who decides to not get mad and tries to reason things out with love.
Sixthly, When the house or environment is clean, everyone is calmer and can feel the spirit better. Thank you Momma for teachin´ me that!
Seventhly. Now I am just making up numbers because I´ve forgotten English. IF NECESSARY, a little gift or card or something can being in the love. WARNING: NOT A WAY TO SOLVE EVERY PROBLEM. But everyone likes to be encouraged for doing good things and it is nice to receive a little something out of the norm.
Eighth. Confirming plans and talking frequently about what we will do during the day, hour, week, etc. is a good way to avoid miscommunications or overbooking.
Ninth. It´s ok to recognize that I am not perfect, and that it is impossible to fix everything at once.IM NOT PERFECT, OK? It´s a process that thankfully lasts eternally.
Tenth. I decided I will need to marry someone that shares my love of changing out the toilet paper roll and keeping the floor clean. That´s the bottom line.
Today I had divisions with Hermana Inga. She lived with me for 6 months in my old ward and I love her to death! She´s from the jungles of Peru…intense stuff. Also, it is a tender mercy because she knows me so well and really helped me to relax and laugh after these last few stressful weeks. I can´t believe she is going home in 13 days! It´s insane. I was there when she completed the 9 month halfway mark! Awwwww….shucks.
Not every day is a fun day. Some days are dark and cold, even if it is SUPPOSED TO BE springtime. Then you go to bed and pray for a better day tomorrow.
I feel like I got beat up. We cleaned the yard of an investigator and hauled huge branches out to the street, and then I got put on rose bush duty. It was fun looking at the bush, but not so fun sticking my bare hands and arms in to cut the dead branches.
I finished that mess up and then we went in to help her make lunch. I got put on salad duty. Chilean salad is lettuce with lemon and salt. My cut up and poked to shreds hands were stinging all afternoon!
Afterwards we were dead tired and walked in silence to our next appointment… it was a joke. The woman spoke at 100 mph and not even my companion understood her…but her two little kids danced together so it was all worth it! We have a return appointment for a day when we HOPEFULLY are going to be more alert.
Here is a list of things I saw today that prove that the second coming is near…
A baby drinking coke in her bottle.
A woman who could NOT look away from her cell phone for 2 seconds while we spoke to her.
A creeper man on a bike who was going uncomfortably slow. I turned around to see what his deal was and caught him in the act of staring at our bums. EW.
That is all. Apart from that, it was a great day! We shared the video about the restoration with the Navarrette family who we have been teaching for a while…and I kid you not, EVERYTIME we show that video SOMETHING happens right before, during, or after the vision. Someone falls off a seat, the video skips, the glass of water falls, the baby farts, the neighbors’ house explodes… it’s like, reallyyyy?! They FINALLY focused, and now Satan is jealous that their attention is on the message and goes in for the attack. The church is true, no worries. Thankfully we always teach and share the story the appointment before so that they can feel the spirit there…
Also, I made cheesecake to take to a less active that has no idea that he is a member, who is the partner of our star investigator and they have 3 kids together: a pair of 1 year old twins and a 3 year old, all boys. Slowly but surely we are gaining his confidence. We just need to be able to share with him more! Here´s to my nightly prayer and great faith that I am striving to have.
The cheesecake was a hit!
We watched the general women’s conference in the house of a member with all of the relief society. The LIVE broadcast was a little bit skippy and we ended up having a 30 second break every two minutes to ponder…haha. We had two investigators there.
Also, today we stopped by to invite an Hermana and her sister in law who isn´t a member to the activity. They were making empanadas…so my companion joins in to help them. I´m there freaking out because I haven´t made empanadas since last September. I decided to try one, and I put too much meat juice in it and it was all floppy and ugly. They all started laughing. The sweet Hermana starts trying to save my sad empanada with more flour whilst telling me that everyone has to start somewhere! Haha. I stopped and snapped a few pictures instead. Sad day. However, I was comforted knowing that the cheesecake turned out well.
I'm so tireeeed. PDAY IS TOMORROW.
Here is the good news… today at church…drum roll please…we had 3 investigators and two less active members who haven´t been to church for more than 8 years! FINALLY, they came (this is the woman who makes us sandwiches ).
The talks today were well prepared and the spirit was really strong. I think I feel the spirit more when I am not stressing behind the piano, too. Every other week I get to rotate with Hermana Volkert.
After sacrament meeting we went to primary because there were about 10 more kids than normal and only the primary president was there. THANKS TO MY WONDERFUL MOTHER we made it out of there alive. I just kept thinking, ¨THIS is why my mom was the chorister for all of my childhood! ¨ I saw her preparation during the week and learned that you can´t just bring cookies and ¨wing it¨. The president was stressed and couldn’t control the little ones, but I started to lead them in some primary songs singing at different speeds and in different tones to start while the president organized the things. We also played ¨hide the picture of Jesus Christ¨ and then the kid had to find it while the rest sang. In the end we sang a ¨Child’s Prayer¨ in two groups and it was a miracle! We left that primary room sweating and zombieish, but it was fun. I missed my class in the Suncrest ward…they were all so reverent and well behaved!
Love love love,
Hermana Van Cott