Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014

A Hermana Pday

Departing Missionaries
Dear loved ones,

We are at 70 days! Who is trying not to eat bread or drink soda? Me!

Well, I love you all. Can’t believe that Christian went through the temple! Awesome!

I hope you have a great week!


Today my companion made Argentine empanadas and some other Hermanas came over. It is always fun to be with Hermana Leishman. Then when they all left I had to hurry and make a long promised cheesecake. Then we delivered the cheesecake, taught a lesson, found two new investigators and now I am going to dream. Night night.


My jaw swelled up again. Overload of stress and lack of deep sleep do things to my face. I am so excited to go to a doctor and figure out what the problem is with my jaw in 75 days.

Tomorrow Hermana Schmidt is coming to do divisions with Hermana Volkert that lives with me. H. Schmidt is the one that came with me on the plane from Cali, was stranded with me in the Chile airport 3 hours, and then lived with me for the next 6 months. She is also the reason I now know how to make fudge. Once again I am tired. Goodnight.


Today we had the ENDURE TO THE END meeting for the people that are going home this transfer, like my companion and Hermana Runnells. There were 20 Hermanas and 2 Elders leaving. Baby boom anyone? So, we were 40 Hermanas and 4 elders in total.

I heard the saddest story in the world and I am going to tell it because I’m sure in a few years it will be funny. So, on Monday my 4 week companion and bff Hermana Leishman tells me that her wallet got stolen last week on her way to transfers. She canceled all her cards and everything, but lost all her cash and temple recommend and driver’s license. Pretty lame, right_ Well, after a week the Zone Leaders call her and tell her someone found her wallet and gave it to them. All the stuff is in it and everyone is happy! That night, the Zone Leaders go on splits with President Wright and Hermana Leishman went with Hermana Wright. The Zone Leaders brought her wallet to give to President, to give to Hermana Leishman. The elders and President return to the car, only to see that it has been broken into…

That´s right, Hermana Leishman´s wallet got stolen, again.

Isn´t that tragic? I mean, material possessions and all, but REALLY?! It couldn´t have been a better story.


Today we got to take our two investigators that will be getting baptized soon to mutual. The young men and young women are making go carts to go down a hill, and last night they were painting them. We helped make bread…and eat bread…and then ran to catch the bus home. What I love about the branch is that we always feel comfortable bringing people who aren’t members and leaving them with the members because they know how to include them and not be awkward.

Also, Leonardo and Sara went to the city to buy scriptures, hymnbooks, and other church things. They were so excited to show us their treasures! During the lesson, Leo randomly tells us that he has a goal to help one of his buddies who is a member return to church. Leo says he first needs to strengthen his own testimony so that he can share it with his friend. I am always in awe in their house. It´s like, yeah…fine… I guess ya´ll can pray and read your scriptures and give us lunch and accept assignments and visit other members who aren’t active and participate in the classes and have the goal to go to the temple and do family history work and to get sealed for time and all eternity. It’s fine. We are here to help you with all that.

Oh, and if you could bring the table cloth for relief society that would just be going the extra mile.


We have a patio table so when it is nice out we like to study in our front yard. As our neighbors pass by they see us reading our scriptures and we wish them a good day. Today, however, there was a light breeze and the magical scripture paper doesn’t stay put with light breezes or church air conditioning. I would read a page, write my note in my study journal, go back to the scriptures and be in a completely different standard work. Why am I writing this in my journal? I don’t know? I just feel like little details are going to help me remember my mission better.

The little things that stress me out sometimes.


Today we went around listening to excuses about why people won’t be able to go to church tomorrow. It was fun to walk in to the lesson with them convinced that they aren’t going to make it and then leave them feeling the spirit and knowing that it is what they need to do… now it is just a matter of using their agency well tomorrow…I have faith.

In other news, some less active members gave us dinner tonight… I still love them, even though I had to swallow 10 clams. It just HAD to be something expensive, our first dinner with them, AND something that we both can’t stand. Thankfully they had cheese on them. I would just wrap the cheese around all the innards that look like an ear drum and choke it down whole. Then drink water. Then eat a cookie. Then start over. I finished my plate and they brought out another tray of like, 50. My companion spoke up and asked if we could take them home to share with the other Hermanas. Hahah. The bus ride home was packed with people and I was so embarrassed by the fishy smell we were lugging around with us. I would have ditched them sooner but we have to return the dang Tupperware tomorrow!

Also, Sara and Leo, the amazing members who are returning to church, told us a funny story. They wanted to buy scriptures and hymn books and all that, but were going to have to wait for a paycheck. Leo went into a gas station to change in some coins for cash, but put in a coin to the slot machine just for fun. Out came 10 mil, which is like, 25 dollars? So, they used that money to buy the scriptures! Haha. We made him promise no more slot machines, but now they have scriptures and hymnbooks… what can ya do about it?

Now my stomach feels all funky so I am going to try and beat it to bed before I end up thinking fishy thoughts.

Just keep swimming.


5 investigators who have baptismal dates at church and four less actives members that all came for their second time. Wonderful, well- prepared talks. It was a good church day.

I played piano today and a women from the ward led the music. I never realized how much leading affects my playing! Haha. She was leading like she was swatting a fly away from her face, and not to the beat. I just smiled and tried to block her out of my vision and sing as I played to help. Haaha. I’m so excited to never be the ward pianist again.

The other Hermanas that live with us had an investigator at church who is one of our neighbors. He is a very sweet elderly man who is trying really hard to grasp everything. After sacrament meeting he was getting ready to run away, but I had a thought to invite him to see the rest of the chapel, including the baptismal font. So, we gave him a little tour while the other Hermanas went to teach primary, and finished at the baptismal font which was in the process of filling up because the elders had a baptism. The handy dandy thing is that our gospel principles class is taught in the same room as the baptismal font, so when we finished we had the whole class waiting to tell our neighbor we wanted him to stay with us! It was sneaky, but he felt the love and ended up participating a lot. It amazes me how we are instruments in the Lords hands in every moment. A little thought to give an investigator, who isn’t my responsibility, a church tour came from the Spirit.

My companion got to talk to her family today because it is mother’s day in Argentina. It was cute to see her little sisters and mom. Her mom is going to be arriving in Chile the 11th, and my companion will get released the 17th and be able to spend a week with her mom.


Hermana Van Cott

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