Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014

The "slept on" bread

Leo and Sara and President and Hermana Rivera

Dear You,
The big news is that Elder Nelson is coming the 10th of November and we are going to have a conference with my mission and Eva´s mission! It is always an amazing experience to hear an apostle speak.

I feel like I need another year in the mission now that I have gotten the hang of language, working effectively, and how to balance my own strengths and weaknesses. I´ll just keep doing my best for the next 77 days! 

Onto the journal entries. 


Today we made tacos. It was like a fiesta in my mouth. Then we took a nice nap and sat in the sun for a second writing letters. Ahhh. I love pday. Hasta la proxima semana!

My companion and I set the goal to wake up at 7 instead of 7:30. She studies ¨The Living Christ¨ in English while her mind is fresh and I do an extra half hour of stretching-meditating as I ponder my place in the eternities. Promptly at 7:30 we go to run, then we shower and begin the day like normal. I love running in the morning. It was hard at first to get used to running, but my slogan is ¨Slow and steady wins the race!¨

Yesterday my companion went behind my back and gave money to Hermana Volkert to buy some yummy Chilean bread. The thing is, the house GOAL is to NOT buy bread. So, they were all secretive in buying and passing the bread. They ended up laughing and telling me last night. It wasn’t a big deal or anything, but I was exaggerating my disappointment for added affect. My companion decided to at least wait until the morning and not eat it at night. So, this morning Hermana Diaz asks Hermana Volkert where her bread is. Hermana Volkert tells her she hid it in between Hermana Diazs bed blankets (in a bag). Haha, so my companion comes out of the room holding two pieces of normally fluffy Chilean bread that now look more like tortillas. Hahahahaha. I couldn´t stop laughing. That’s what you get when you lie to your companion. Ahaha. Poor girl.

Today we got to set a baptismal date with Marcia. She still has to go to church…that is always the challenge… but she feels that our message is true and she is praying about it. She is wonderful. She tells me I can live with her post-mission, so maybe I wont have to worry about the California or Utah situation…I will just bunk with Marcia. 


Today we had our district class. Ellie´s cousin is still my district leader! Woot.
This morning the branch seminary teacher frantically called us and asked if we could teach the seminary class because her granddaughter is in the hospital with pneumonia. We gladly accepted, but had to rearrange a few plans. After lunch we ran to see the few people we had appointments with. They are wonderful women who have desires to progress. Loreto, the mom of the 3 little boys under age 3, is going through some financial worries. In the meantime she is planning an extravagant fiesta for her 3 year olds birthday. She was stressed with the money of providing fun and food for the little kids and their parents. I just looked at her and said ¨He´s three. He is going to be happy with anything. You don´t need to spend money on things that have no worth in the long run.¨
We talked about the scriptures in 3 Nephi 13Ñ 30’34 that promise that if we put the kingdom of God first, he will provide for our physical needs. The spirit helped us to explain to her that she didn´t need to go into debt or a financial crisis just to ¨compete´with the other kids’ birthday parties. We helped her see that she could do something simple and special and that her son will be just as happy.
Even though it might not seem like the most SPIRITUAL thing, it was a good application of how the gospel blesses and applies to our temporal lives. The world is full of competition, things we need, the latest and greatest, but in the end those are all things that confuse us in our divine purpose to return to live with God. Loreto summed it all up nicely at the end when she said, ¨Thanks for coming by. I had thought of every other solution except turning to God. I am going to pray and fast about it.¨ You go, girl!

Then we went to Rosa who owns a little store. We help her organize the shelves and are slowly teaching her the lessons. Today we were in a rush, so we didn´t really plan to share a message, just to pray and do service. The spirit rebuked me for that bad planning when Rosa says after the prayer, Ï found a Book of Mormon and I want to read it!¨So, we pushed aside our rush and helped her to understand a little bit about The Book of Mormon. I feel so blessed that even though I make mistakes and think more with my head than with the Spirit at times, the Lord is present in His work. The genuine truth seekers will always progress, even if Hermana VanCott is a fool.
As we were walking home, a bus stopped to offer us a ride. Marcos, the driver, asked us if we prayed as we were getting off. We told him that yes, of course we pray! He then told us to pray for him. It touched my heart to know that people really do recognize us as the servants of God and they want to use their faith to get closer to him. 


Today we gave teaching records to our investigators so that they can have their own personal copy and track their progress. Also, it will help because a lot of the times the investigators think they need to know as much as brother or sister so and so who have been members 50 years before they can be baptized! It was fun to watch them mark off the things they remember that we have taught them and the commitments we’ve invited them to do. They realized for themselves that they ARE learning and progressing. Good idea that our zone put as a goal to help us see better, quicker, progress. 


We taught Loreto today. She always surprises us with her questions. Today she had read some article on ¨How the Church is Racist¨. We had planned to reteach about the apostasy and restoration, and that theme fit in perfectly. We were able to explain how the restoration is an ongoing process and that we believe in all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and that he is going to reveal more in the future. We read the declaration about how all males, regardless of race or color, can receive the priesthood. The interesting thing is that all we did was guide her. The spirit taught her more effectively than we could have. It helps me to know that EVEN when people attack the church with worldly information, the spirit is always a more powerful source to receive the truth. We talked about how Joseph Smith revealed more about the Godhead and the characteristics of God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost than any council, scholar, or government during the apostasy. If that isn´t modern revelation, I don´t know what is.
I hurried and made myself a dang quesadilla before we started planning and looked out the kitchen window to see 3 middle aged men passing by and laughing at how I burnt my tongue on the cheese. How rude. Let me eat in peace! 


This morning we received a reference from the office. It said that the family just moved to Pirque and have been inactive for over 10 years. After lunch, a teaching seminary to the youth and a nonmember friend, we headed for the reference. The problem is in Pirque, directions don’t work. The directions are all ¨climb this hill, float down the river, when you see a small goat hiding behind a rock and a family store that sells bread, you´ve arrived. Oh, blue door.¨ So, we were grateful that the reference had a phone number! Finally we met up with Sara, who begin to tell us her story. She was baptized and active for 10 years while living in a branch. They she inactive for silly reasons. She has been with Leonardo, her husband, for 3 years. They have been having some problems with a few vices that he has like smoking and alcohol. As they were talking about their beliefs one day, the church came up. Turns out that Leonardo was baptized when he was younger and went to church a few months and then stopped going. Leo drives a bus, so he was working at the time. However, Sara told us that they WOULD be at church tomorrow. She went and got him a suit jacket and ironed his clothes and everything. I am just AMAZED at this work. Sara told us that they have started to pray together before eating, sleeping, and when they wake up. She asked us right there for a Book of Mormon because hers is in her old house. Even though I haven’t seen many baptisms in my mission, I know that the scriptures in Doctrine and Covenants 18 are true. ¨Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God¨…¨and how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!¨I know this is true because every time someone who has distanced themselves from the church wants to come back and begins to pray and work with their leaders and the missionaries, the joy is indescribable! 


THEY CAME THEY CAME THEY CAME! THEY LIKED IT! THEY STAYED ALL THREE HOURS! THEY MET THE MEMBERS AND MADE FRIENDS! It could not have been a better day. An investigator who is the wife of a recent convert came, even though her husband was at home with a bad tooth ache. She loaded up the baby and drove a half hour and arrived with the biggest smile on her face. She said, ¨I told Andres that I had to come because I didn´t want the missionaries to come over and scold us!¨One way or another. Sara and Leo showed up, and the change in the light in their eyes and faces was dramatic when they left the church. We went over to their house tonight with the branch president and his wife so that they could get to know them and know where they live. It was a wonderful experience and they are willing to serve and help the branch in any way possible.
Have a great week! 

With all my love, 

Hermana VanCott

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