Monday, October 13, 2014

October 6, 2014

Cheesecake attempt


My empanada compared to Chileans

 Hermanas on Pday

Friend from Mountain View HS in the "gringo room" for conference

 Roomies together one last time
Fellow Citizens,
It´s official! I will be with Hermana Diaz for another 6 weeks here in Farmville! She goes home at the end of the 6 weeks, and then I will have my final companion for the last 6 weeks! Time is flying.
Today we are going to make some tacos and have a party. The other companionship that lives with us had changes. Hermana Volkert is staying, though! Phew. I need her in my life. Another gringa is coming. She is a ¨mini missionary¨from a ward here in our mission and has already been in the mission 1 transfer and is going to be here this transfer , too. Get this, she isn’t Chilean! She is Hermana Taylor, from TEXAS. Her family has 9 kids, came to Chile on vacations 2 years ago, her dad got offered work, and they stayed. It is a crazy story. She is just barely learning Spanish, so it will be fun to be her friend and help her out.
Now for the journals.
Today we went to Hermana Barrales´ house. Her son is our ward mission leader. We met up with a few hermanas because it is the last Pday of the transfer and we wanted to say goodbye to Hermana Porras. We ate hot dogs…well, completes are what they are actually called. The Chilean hot dog includes diced tomatoes and guacamole. I’m a huge fan.
At night we visited our recent convert, Andres. It was funny because we had a scripture to share with his wife, but as he read it he looked at us and said [Hermanas, you{re pulling my ear![ Meaning, [You are trying to make me realize something![ So, that my friends is how the scriptures bring the spirit that whispers to us individually how we need to be better. Also, three cheers for successful planning.
It was beautiful today. We visited Hermana Luxiola that went to church on Sunday with her family. It was her first time in YEARS going to church and there was a new light about her. She focused better and was more patient with her kids. Those are some of the blessings of the sacrament in action!
Afterwards we ran into a herd of cows because apparently it’s the new spring trend to let your cows run free and eat the neighbors´ grass. I kept thinking about the John Rowle story (the man that worked on the Salt Lake temple and lost a leg because a cow kicked him whilst milking) and I was afraid I would be a victim. No harm done. Cows are friends, and food.
Then we visited Loreto right on time to help her clean up the house for the day and feed the twins and Remi. Turns out kids all over the world hate spinach and regurgitate it. We managed to get the food shoved down their throats and had an uplifting lesson about fasting and the blessings that come when we learn how to control our bodies with our spirits.
I felt Heavenly Fathers love today as I walked alongside the blossoms and freshly grown grass fields. I know I received divine help when I was tempted to lose my patience but instead thought of some hymns. Even though I came home exhausted, I was happy. Those little miracles help me know that I am nothing in comparison to God, who can help me in ANYTHING.
Zone class. The doctrine that most caught my attention was in Doctrine and Covenants 84:20 that says:
¨Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest. ¨
I am so grateful to know that baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, the sacrament, and temple ordinances are done on the earth with the permission and authority of God.
I have never felt the power of God more strongly than when I look at 12 year old boys who have received that power passing the sacrament and extending the blessings of the atonement to me each week.
Today we got to eat lunch with Hermana Gonzalez. She is awesome and super sweet. She always asks us what we want to eat. Today was my turn and we ate salads! Yum. Even though they are covered in oil. Haha. Oh well, I’ll take what I can get.
Afterwards we read the first chapter of The Book of Mormon with her. I love being able to help members strengthen their testimonies. She has shared about how it is hard for her to read her scriptures because she can’t focus or understand it. Today we went little by little and let her explain what she learned from each verse. In the end there was a glow in her eye and she promised she would read a chapter every day!
We also taught Rosa, a lady who owns a store that we always go to on Wednesday to help her organize the shelves. She has read the pamphlets we have given her and now lets us share a message. Slowly but surely we are teaching the message of the restoration.
Rosa gave us a reference of a mom and daughter who own a restaurant, so we went straight there to contact them. We ended up having a good lesson with the daughter (who´s like, 30?) and she kept saying things like ¨I feel something special when I talk to you girls¨. She is very nice and we are going to pass by this next week to start teaching. The problem is that we have to teach in the restaurant that has a few clients that go to get drunk. We´ll have to always make afternoon appointments!
I am so excited for general conference! 2 more days! It is like heaven on earth to listen to the prophets and apostles in English. Plus, I have about a million and one questions that I need some revelation for!
Also, it hit today that I only have 3 months left. Wow. Where is time going?!
Today the focus in the lessons was on The Book of Mormon. We taught the story of Nephi going back to Jerusalem to get the plates to our children investigators. We had Patricio draw the family tree and the story as we went along. Afterwards, he was able to explain EVERYTHING in detail. I was amazed. Usually it is difficult to have things stick that well with him.
We also read a chapter of The Book of Mormon with a member family. Afterwards we all shared what we learned. The Hermana has shared her testimony of The Book of Mormon this week with her sister-in-law who isn´t a member and is going to give her a book soon. I love watching the members do missionary work and being there to help them with their questions. It is a tender moment when members begin to share the gospel naturally, because that means they themselves have become converted.
The farm life is not for me. We had our deep cleaning today and didn´t have a few supplies, so we jogged a mile and a half to the closest grocery store, and then got home and started cleaning fast. Then our neighborhood had the water cut, right when I was in the middle of cleaning the bathroom. SO, we got creative with water bottles and finished up quickly. Afterwards we made a sandwich (doesn´t require water) and began studies.
Just barely after planning I was feeling very happy with how the rest of our day went, so I began to walk like a dinosaur behind my companion. She got scared and hid behind the curtain for about 10 minutes. It´s just that walking like a dinosaur brings me so much joy. I don´t do it often, just on special occasions. I miss Gracie. I need to be with her to fully enjoy dinosaur walking again.
OH WHAT A GLORIOUS DAY! I love the gringo room during general conference.
All of the talks were so much more inspiring for me in my own language. I have a firm testimony of the scriptural promise that the gospel will be taught to every man in his own language, Doctrine and Covenants 90:11, and for that reason I am totally fine learning Spanish and sharing in this language. It was just a nice mental break to listen in English. I especially felt the spirit during the closing prayer when he prayed for the parents and the grandparents of the missionaries. I think he was listening to the spirit as he prayed because we were all very touched and felt that the Lord has blessed our parents and grandparents during this time.
Lynn G. Robbins talk about which way we are facing made me feel like a sinner…but that is good because, as mom says, ¨Repentance, like childbirth, is a happy word!¨ D. Todd Christopherson inspired me to be a true agent unto myself. Jeffery R. Holland made me want to give away all my worldly possessions and fast forever. Ted Callister´s talk made me baby hungry because I want to teach my OWN kids to pray and read the scriptures and sing primary songs. Dallin H. Oaks taught me that my capacity to love is infinite if I can rely on Christ to HELP me love the people that for me may be difficult to love. Jorg Klebingat inspired my ¨last 12 weeks¨ diet kickoff. L. Tom Perry made me set goals for the responsibilities of the family. Oh, and so much more! It was beautiful. I can’t believe I used to just eat crepes and then take a two hour nap. What a lazy bum. I could have been learning SO much. Oh well, that is why we have repentance! Now I can be better post-mission. It is crazy to think that next conference I will be home… yippee!
For lunch today Hermana Molina took the four of us to eat in a Chinese restaurant. It was fantastic and I felt like a princess.
Also, today there was a convert from the Elders´ ward that I was talking to. I told her I liked her earrings. After the conference she stalked me down, asking EVERYONE in sight for the [¨blonde!¨Then she gave me her earrings. It was so sweet of her. People are nice.
Today I woke up anxious for the next two sessions of conference. I made mac and cheese during breakfast hour to take for my lunch, because nothing makes me feel more American than eating mac and cheese after watching conference in English.
When the members of the quorum of the 70 spoke in Spanish, all us gringos ran to the chapel to listen. They all laughed because we arrived, sat down and listened, and then evacuated just as quickly to listen to the next message in English. It was like a magic act, MAKE THE GRINGOS DISAPPEAR.
I am so sad conference is over, but it will be great to read the Ensign and study more.
Tonight I tried to make cheesecake because Hermana Lastra, my roommate, is going to a new area tomorrow. As is with all my cooking experiences, nothing went right. We couldn’t find the pan, so we put them in cupcake trays. The crust burnt and the top tasted like eggs. Waaaaa. I will stick to cleaning the bathroom next time I want to serve.
Have a good week!
Hermana VanCott

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