Well.. I'm legal. I will now, post-mission, be able to enter a bar and order a lemonade.. maybe even with two lemon wedges. Woot woot!
This week was honestly really great. I waited for my companion for a little over two hours in the terminal in Puerto Montt, but I got to see Hermana Roney and Hermana Hanosek before they took of for Punta Arenas. When my companion showed up, I was really confused because at first glance I thought she was gringa, but President had told me she was from Uruguay so I wasn't sure she was the right one.
Well, I guess I should tell you all a little about my hija.. her name is Hermana Chilán and she is from Uruguay. She recently turned 19 but she's sure got it all together. She plays piano really well, and can play a handful of other instruments as well.. and she speaks FIVE languages.. including English (which is probably the language that she speaks the least). Oh and she already served a mini mission for a total of 7 months in Uruguay.
So long story short.. I'm not sure my trainee needs a trainer. SHE'S SO GOOD, de verdad. I mean.. it was a relief to know that I would be training a Latina.. because I knew she would already be able to communicate and I wouldn't have to teach her Spanish. I'm not really sure that I have to teach her anything. I'm pretty sure she's teaching me. I feel like I'm in my training. Maybe I should just resign, and she can take my position as mom.
She is a great missionary. She really amazes me! She's way more capable than me, but we make a good team. Even though she likes to talk and is capable of doing it all on her own, she's not the type to teach a lesson by herself and we've really taught in unity this past week. We taught the Restoration to a new investigator this week and it was such a spiritual lesson. She totally felt the Spirit, I could see it in her eyes, but she still didn't quite understand what she was feeling.
I also planned five citas in 30 minutes. I've been trying to be a little bit more creative lately.. it's not the easiest thing for me, but I've had this impression/idea to call all of the numbers in our cellphone that are listed as investigators for several weeks now. I wanted to do it with Hermana Rivero, but we never got around to it. Well this week I finally gave it a try and even though more than half didn't answer and about a quarter didn't want anything to do with us.. but there were 5 former investigators that were super happy to hear from us and we were able to schedule citas with each of them.
The day of my birthday was honestly kind of lame. I just wasn't really feeling it. One of the cute hermanas in our branch, Hermana Carol, called me super early in the morning to wish me a happy birthday, which was super sweet. The rest of the day was just really weird. We taught a woman who was super evangelica and didn't really let us teach her. She changed the subject so many times we finally just left her with a pamphlet and a prayer. Later we were knocking doors when two women from the Red Cross in Chile came up to us and asked us if we were from the Mormon Church. We said yes and they introduced us to a cute, little, old lady who needed some company. While we were conversing with her an inactive member knocked on the door and wanted to join the conversation. It was really interesting, and I think Hermana Chilán was a little scared by him.
We were supposed to have our meeting with our ward mission leader at 7:30 and we were going to do it at his house. Well we got there and he told us that he forgot to tell us, but that he and his family were getting ready to leave. Then he said he was just messing with us and let us inside. When I stepped inside there were balloons and his cute family was there waiting to wish me a happy birthday. They threw me a little surprise get together and his wife made really good pizza. It was the cutest, sweetest thing ever and really made my birthday special.
I'm so out of time.. so so incredibly out of time. But yesterday in our Gospel Principles class we talked about our Heavenly Father. It was a short, simple class.. but probably one of the most powerful classes we've had. We talked about all of the blessing that He has given us and continues to give, and about His perfect plan. He loves you all more than you will ever be able to comprehend. Each of you is a son a daughter of God. He knows you perfectly! He sent His Son so that we can all return to His presence someday. He wants us to succeed. "For behold, this is my work and my glory —to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." I know that He lives, and the He loves His imperfect children perfectly.
Hey everybody! I'm so sorry that I didn't email last week, and even more sorry because I don't have a ton of time to write a group email this week either. I just want to highlight a few things that happened this week.
-Tuesday we had a conference with Elder Bragg (Seventy) IT WAS AMAZING. I don't have words, (or maybe I don't have time) but it was truly amazing.
-We had a rama activity this week too. Noche Boliviana.. I had to direct it. I tried to crack some jokes, but I'm not very funny in Spanish. I'm still a little sassy though.
-We also had stake conference this week. President and Hermana Isom spoke and it was so cute. It's always cute.. they're just cute! Hermana Isom read her talk in Spanish and it was darling!
-We knocked a lot of doors in the rain.
-I think we ate some really raw meat, but we were desperate and it was Sunday.
-And.. for my birthday President gifted me a new missionary.. that's right, I'm going to train a newbie from Uruguay! Pray for me.
Love you all so much! Have a lovely week!
(If you have a free minute this week, please send Sister Sessions some birthday love @ email@example.com Let's fill her inbox this week!!)
Me: What happened this week? I feel like we didn't really do anything. I can't remember.
Hna. Rivero: I don't know. I feel the same way.
Well.. that's never a good sign. I guess I'll just have to start with what I do remember. Yesterday we had a baptism! I can't remember what I have said about A, but he was baptized yesterday on his 9th birthday. Since he turned 9 the day of his baptism and his parents are más o menos less active we taught him the missionary lessons so that he could prepare for his baptism. He is a cute kid and reminds me a lot of my little brother Joe. His mom definitely has some German ancestors, because she and he both look like they could be gringos.
Anyway.. A never really liked to listen to us when we were teaching him. He's super smart and has a great memory, but he didn't take us super seriously. I had to remind myself frequently that he's only 9 years old. A few weeks ago we taught him the Ten Commandments.. and when we got to the Sabbath Day he told us he had a little problem haha. He wasn't sure if he could keep the Sabbath Day holy because he likes to play soccer with his neighborhood friends on the weekend. It was actually really awesome to hear his honesty and to help him understand the importance of the Sabbath Day and the things that he could do to keep it holy and enjoy the day. He still couldn't commit to keeping the Sabbath Day holy at the end of the lesson so we were a little bit unsure of what would happen in his interview.
The day of his interview we finished teaching a few things and then reviewed (repasar haha) the interview questions. He had his phone with him the entire time and wasn't really paying any attention. He was totally disinterested and we tried desperately to explain to him how important these questions were and his understanding of principles we had taught him. He seemed to understand that it was important and had a desire to be baptized and to receive the Holy Ghost, but he just wasn't really into it. At this point we were really worried for his interview, but he passed with flying colors and the Elder who interviewed him said that he was basically teaching him. I knew he was intelligent and that he was listening.. what a kid.
His baptism was really special. The members who spoke did a great job and they bore powerful testimony too. When he came up from the water he looked so happy and then he said, "Wait a minute, I want to swim". Haha, he wanted to swim in the baptismal font. OH boy. At the end, Amaro was given the opportunity to share his testimony and it was really sweet! His confirmation will be this coming Sunday during sacrament meeting.
On Wednesday of last week we had lunch with the B family. I can't remember all that I've mentioned about them, but the Hermana is from California and she married a Chilean. They have been living here in Llanquihue for the past 3 years or so. It's always super.. stressful to have lunch with them haha! They live in a beautiful home with a view of the lake and all three volcanoes and the food is always so good, because well her cooking reminds me of home, but we always play a little trivia game based on gospel doctrine. We take turns asking questions and Hermana Rivero and I get really nervous every time because we are both fairly new members of the church and the hermano B has studied the Bible inside and out and has written two books in English (his seconds language). But it's not too bad, and it helps me learn things I didn't know before.
After lunch we had a lesson with our new investigator L. We taught the Restoration and it was so amazing. She had a lot of questions, but seriously every question she asked could be answered by the message of the Restoration. It was perfect. Unfortunately she travels a lot for her job and will be out of town this next week, but it just so happens that one of her very best childhood friends is the wife of the branch president! How great is that! We are super stoked because she has so much potential and really desires to know the truth. After the lesson with her I couldn't help but think how marvelous this work is. Heavenly Father really does prepare His children to receive the gospel and there really are so many people that "are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it." (D&C 123:12) I know that all over the world our brothers and sisters are searching for the truth, and I know that Heavenly Father is preparing His children and His missionaries to help them find it. I love being a missionary!
Wow! I have so much to say this week and yet I'm sure I won't have time to say it all, but this week flew by! Time really scares me on the mission.. there are some days that feel like an eternity and some weeks pass by in the literal blink of an eye.. this week was one of those weeks!
We have some investigators who aren't progressing very much, but they are really great people so we continue to visit them because we are confident that one day they will understand.. haha. The hermana is just darling and she is in a wheelchair due to an accident that she had about seven years ago. She doesn't speak super well, but she can communicate and she has such a cute personality! They aren't married, but the hermano has been taking care of her for the past seven years. We were able to visit them a couple times this week and yesterday we shared the video called "Finding Faith in Christ" and since we couldn't change the language from English to Spanish we just watched it in English.. which was great for me, but we were worried it wouldn't quite be the same for them.. and maybe it wasn't but the spirit sure was strong. The hermana not only thinks that I look like her daughter.. but I think she might think that I am a younger version of her daughter. She literally can't stop looking at me when we are there.. she just stares at me with a look of disbelief, but it's really sweet.
On Tuesday we had an activity in the capilla for a hermana who served here about two years ago. She came to visit with her husband for a few days. The activity was super.. cute, but it made me a teensy bit trunky haha. I'm not trunky! But I was just a little bit after the activity. She sang, there was food, and all of the members danced the cueca (a typical Chilean dance ..?) I was feelin' just a little awkward and as we were leaving my rain boots caught on the rain boots of my companion and I totally biffed it. I think only one hermano saw me, but I really can't be sure. It really was quite an athletic fall if I do say so myself.. I got up real fast and ran for the door because I was so embarrassed haha!
We also had divisions with the Hermana Leaders in Puerto Montt this last week. I spent the day working with Hermana Falslev who's actually going to finish her mission this Wednesday. We had a really great time getting to know each other a little better and teaching some of their investigators about eternal families and the restoration of the gospel. We were actually walking down the sidewalk when this truck pulled over on the other side of the road. This man hopped out and came running over to talk to us. He wanted to know where the closest capilla was because he wanted to take his friend to church. He had assisted once before and enjoyed it and wanted his friend to have the same opportunity. (1 Nephi 8:10-12) It was definitely one of the most random things that has happened on the mission, but we were stoked!
There's a fairly new development of houses (I have no idea if that makes sense) in our sector and we have spent a couple days knocking doors over there. The first day.. was not much of a success.. haha. Before we started knocking doors, we said a prayer so that we might be able to find people who are ready and prepared to receive the gospel and off we went. We knocked a handful of doors until this middle aged man waved us over and wanted to talk to us. We went over and stood in front of his gate and started talking to him. It wasn't long before we realized that he was a just a little bit wasted. He actually started informing us that he had been drinking and that his wife was really upset with him. We tried to talk to him about Christ even though we knew he probably wouldn't remember much of the conversation. I'll admit I was a little bit worried about his state of being, but he thought I was so scared. He kept telling me not to be scared and thought that I didn't understand Spanish. He told my companion.. (who was actually quite scared) that he was going to talk to her because I didn't understand anything.. he even told her to tell me that I'm stupid .. "Dígale que es tonta!" but she didn't do it.. She loves me haha!
Well a few days later in the same neighborhood we spent about an hour knocking doors in the rain and nobody was home.. at least that's what we thought. As we were knocking a door on one side of the street I looked across and saw a house with a window open and felt the need to knock that door instead. We started tapping the fence with our pens and yelling "alo" because that's how you do it here in Chile. We knocked for the third time and were getting ready to call it quits when a woman came to the window. We told her that we're missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and she told us to wait a minute and came down to open the gate and let us in. We talked to her for a couple minutes about the message that we share and her life. She is a single mom and has a 12 year old son. She also told us that she doesn't have a ton of religious background and has been to a lot of different churches but has never felt much peace. She was getting ready to leave for work so she didn't have time for us to teach a lesson, but she gave us her number and we gave her a pamphlet of the restoration.. she told us she'd read it on her way to work.. we have a cita with her tomorrow.. and she gave us some freshly baked bread and sent us on our way.. mhmm. In less than 10 minutes we had experienced quite the miracle and walked away with warm bread! We literally left walking on a cloud unsure of what had even happened in there.
Well this is fairly long and I'm pretty much out of time here so I think I'll leave it at that. I have been trying my best to recognize the hand of the Lord in the work here in Llanquihue. I obviously know that His hand is far more important than my own, but sometimes I don't take into account all that He does to help His imperfect children. I think I try to do it all myself far too often, when the reality is.. I can't do ANYTHING, not one thing.. without His help, especially as a missionary. I am so grateful that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us enough to let us progress, to make our own decisions, to do our very best, and then to help us when we fall short. I am grateful for the atoning sacrifice of the Savior, who gave His life for all those times that we do fall short and make mistakes, who picks us back up when we fall down, and let's us try over and over again. He loves you, I'm absolutely sure of it. I have seen His hand in the work this week and have felt of His love for the people, and let me tell you it's miraculous.
Well! I still don't have words for how much I love it here. Every day I walk outside with my mouth wide open in awe at my surroundings.
But let's back up a bit! I cried so much on Tuesday and Wednesday! We had a ward activity in La Unión and I think mostly I was just really sad to be leaving Hermana Roney, but like every time I had to say goodbye to a member I started crying. Then on Wednesday morning I just tried to keep busy and finish packing, but when we still had a little time left before we needed to leave for the bus terminal and we actually had to look each other in the eye... we bursted in to tears. We were able to compose ourselves while we traveled to Osorno, but when her companion arrived and she had to leave we bawled! I haven't cried so hard in a long time! It was so hard to say goodbye!!
Our house here is so cute though! I can't get over how cute it is! I love it! It's so home..y!! haha! The members here are amazing too! We don't have a mamita so we get to eat lunch with the members every day and I like it a lot because we got to know them! There is also a member her named Hermana Linda from California. She's gringa and she speaks English. Her husband is Chilean and they have been living here for 3 years now. She is going to feed us on Wednesday and is going to make us chocolate chip cookies! I'm so excited!
Hermana Rivero is darling! She is 19, from Bolivia, and is a convert to the church! She was baptized about two and a half years ago. She and her mom are the only two members in her family and her mom was baptized after her! She plays Volleyball and is really, really good. She played on like a semi-professional team before the mission and is planning on playing after the mission as well. She's beautiful, like so pretty and she is so funny! She has the best personality and is such a stellar missionary and I
Of course I don't have time to write a good email this week.. I really need to manage my emailing time better. But some things that happened this week:
-We taught a lesson to some investigators named M and S. M is the sweetest thing! She's in a wheelchair due to some health issues and she can't talk super well, but during the lesson she started crying and then pointed up and said, "Diosito" (God). It was really precious.
-We visited a less active named M and talked to her for a little while. She has a eight year old son named A who still hasn't been baptized. Half way through our conversation almost out of nowhere she said that she would like him to baptized on the 20th of August for his birthday so that it's a day he will always remember. So A now has fecha (a baptism date) for the 20th of August!
-Last night we had a few hours left to knock doors. Hermana Rivero and I decided to offer a prayer so that we could enter a house and find a new investigator. We got talking with two with a woman outside of her house and she invited us in. We shared a little bit with her and her son and set up a time to go back on Tuesday! Woot woot! Our prayer was answered!
Well folks, I'm super outta time! Thank you all so much for your support and prayers. Have a wonderful week!