Since I won't get to email you all again until after Christmas I just want to wish you all a Merry Christmas! It's super weird being here in Chile celebrating Christmas in the summertime, but it's also a fun change! I miss wearing oversized sweaters, leggings, and boots.. and surprisingly enough, I really miss the snow. It just doesn't feel like Christmas here.
This week was super crazy! It went by super fast and I feel like not a ton happened. On Monday after we got done emailing, Hermana Ruiz and I kind of panicked about the spider situation and decided that it was probably necessary that we spray our house silly with raid and deep clean our room. We spent the rest of our day cleaning and spraying for spiders and then had a sleepover with the other hermanas at their house. It was super, super funny because we shared their bunkbed. Hermana Ruiz and Hermana Bailey slept on the top and I slept on the bottom with Hermana Ault. I woke up in the middle of the night and I had to pee so bad! I was sleeping on the inside against the wall, but I really didn't want to have to wake Hermana Ault, and I didn't want to try climbing over her and risk falling on her and scaring her silly, so I climbed out the end of the bunk bed over the foot post and it was the most painful thing ever. I really was so worried about how I was going to get back in bed and was just praying that I would find an easier way. To my surprise when I walked upstairs Hermana Ault was standing at the top because she had to pee too, haha! I was able to climb back into bed without any trouble.
This week we sang with the Stake Choir at the mall and for a Christmas devotional last night. We have had so many practices and have been singing so much that I have been having flashbacks to vocal ensemble and all the craziness that comes with the month of December. We sang four different hymns in Spanish and it turned out surprisingly well. We had a huge crowd at the mall on Saturday night and it was actually a really neat experience. We also had a ward Christmas dinner on Saturday night and sang 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' in English with the other hermanas for our 'talent'. I guess they liked it, because they asked us to sing it again as an intermediate hymn during Sacrament.. and on Christmas we are going to sing 'Angels We Have Heard On High' in Spanish.
Today is Hermana Bailey's birthday and the elders in our district went to a lot of trouble to plan her a surprise birthday party.. with our help. It was difficult though because they wouldn't let us in on the surprise so it was kind of stressful figuring everything out. They basically threw her a wedding with white balloons and a wedding cake in our chapel and printed out a bunch of Facebook pictures of her and her boyfriend. They called it 'Trunky 20th' or something silly like that. It was super funny and super weird, but it was kinda sweet of them at the same time!
I think that's all I have for you this week. I'm sure my email will be a a little more entertaining next week after Christmas and maybe I'll even know transfers by then!
I love you all so much and am super thankful to know each and every one of you! Merriest Christmas wishes!
Well if I'm being honest, this week was a total blur. I'm having a super hard time remembering what happened and I can't believe it's already Monday again. I guess that's good, maybe.. time flies on the mission, it really does. I have 2 and a half weeks left in my training and after I'm just a normal missionary, que loco!
On Tuesday morning Hermana Ruiz woke up with a super weird bug bite on her forearm.. it was just super red and she had these weird looking marks below that looked like someone or something had scratched her with their nails.. super strange! As the day went on the redness started to fade, but a blister started to take it's place and over time it got bigger.. we finally decided Friday morning that we should probably call the nurse, just in case. We ended up going to the clinic and found out that she had been bitten by a brown recluse!! AND SHE'S ALIVE. The doctor said that it's pretty common for nothing serious to happen, but it's also super common for something awful to happen, and usually the first 24 hours are super critical! She was super blessed, seriously, the Lord takes care of His missionaries. I'm low-key afraid to sleep now, but I'm sure I'll get over it eventually.
Wednesday night, we ordered food during planning and it was the best completo (hotdog) I have ever had and super, super cheap! I was such a happy, chubby little missionary, and I was still full when I woke up the next morning, haha!
This week we went caroling with the elders in our district, haha! Each companionship chose a day and we spent a few hours in each sector knocking doors, caroling, and teaching lessons. It proved to be pretty awesome for the other hermanas and the elders and we got a lesson out of it as well so that was super good! We got permission to go to an island called Corral in the elders' sector and we took a ferry which was such a neat experience! We also ended up singing at a nursing home and it was super humbling. I felt so much love for the cute, little, elderly Chileans and the spirit was so strong as we sang to them.
We also had a lesson with our investigator “F” and her kids this week and were able to have her friend, who is a member, there with us. We retaught the Restoration and it went really well. We were able to commit them to baptism as well and we are super, super excited to help them progress! They are such an awesome family! The member who came with us was saying that she really feels like it's “F’s” time and so we're pretty stoked!
I'm totally out of time this week, but I love you all so much! Thank you for your constant support and prayers, and please know how grateful I am for all of you! I keep waiting for it to snow here for it to feel more like Christmas, but all we seem to get is rain.. on the bright side it's still summer, so I've still got a tan, haha!
Okay, 'nada que ver' .. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!
p.s. I'm still without a camera and couldn't get pictures off of Hermana Ruiz's this week so I'll try my very best to send them all next week!
WOOOOOO.. this week was truly full of miracles, like I almost feel like it's all been a dream. Where to even begin. After P-day ended last week we were able to teach one of our investigators, “V”, that we haven't seen in a really long time due to her studies and exams. We retaught the message of the Restoration and she was super receptive and we were surprised by how much information she had retained from the first time we taught her. She was practically reviewing the lesson herself. After that we had a FHE with “I” and her sister “R” who is less active. She just barely got out of the hospital because she had viral meningitis and we figured she could use a little company so we sang some Christmas hymns and shared watched the 'Ilumina el Mundo' video and read in Luke. It was super super good!
On Tuesday we had intercambios with the Hermana Lideres. Hermana Ruiz went to Los Encinos with the new Hermana Lider, Hermana Bernal (from Columbia), and I stayed in Angachilla with Hermana Norton! I was super excited to have another intercambio with Hermana Norton because she is just the coolest! I look up to her a ton! I was, however, super scared to lead our sector and be in charge for the day! It all ended up working out though, and we only got lost once on the way to a FHE in the other hermanas sector.. so I did alright, haha. Hermana Norton has such a fun personality and an ability to talk to everyone that just kind of WOWS me. I feel like I learn so much when I'm with her, and internally I'm standing there in awe with my mouth open while she contacts people and teaches! We didn't have any set lessons that day so we hadn't yet had any lessons for the day, so Hermana Norton suggested we say a prayer so that we could use the hour before the FHE to the max. We said a prayer and then passed by for an investigator and she and her husband (who we hadn't been able to meet yet) were sitting in their front yard. They invited us in and we taught the Restoration again with her husband present and it was super great! We actuallly have a lesson with them again tonight! Hermana Norton and I were super stoked, and our prayer had definitely been answered.
I am actually almost out of time so I'm going to have to be super quick and leave out a ton of detail! Hermana Ruiz and I contacted a lady on the street who had just lost her job like maybe an hour prior and was super thankful to talk to us for a minute about the Savior and Heavenly Father's perfect plan. We had an FHE with our investigator “F” and her sons on Friday and it worked out super perfectly. We wanted to have it at a member’s house, but on Thursday night we still weren't able to get in contact with the member and thought maybe it wasn't going to work out. As we were walking home that night we saw the member in “F’s” house through the window and were able to make plans to have a FHE at her house the next night! It was too perfect. Earlier on Thursday we had a service opportunity with the other hermanas to 'cut grass' or rather, remove all the grass, for a little old less active woman. As we were removing the grass in her front yard all around her house some police officers pulled up and honestly we were pretty sure we were going to get in trouble.. arrested, possibly deported.. who really knows, but it turned out that they were just really impressed that we were out in the heat working so hard and wanted to take a picture with us to write an article about it in their 'police officer newspaper' or something like that. It was super weird and super funny!
Yesterday Hermana Ruiz and I passed by the house of a contact we had made a couple of weeks ago. We were able to go in and sing a Christmas hymn for them and share the 'Ilumina el Mundo' video with them and their daughter. It was super, super.. just perfect and after they just thanked us because it was apparently exactly what they had needed. They had apparently just been through a pretty tough week of family issues and we were able to bring some light into their lives and really lift them up. They were super receptive and we have another lesson scheduled for next week.
Seriously this entire week just felt like a dream, or maybe one big intercambio, I really don't know. But I really can't even begin to count how many times I've seen the hand of the Lord in the work this week. Heavenly Father really does know what he's doing. He has a plan, it's PERFECT, and sometimes we just have to be patient and keep working. I'm sure that this week we experienced way more than 17 miracles! I am still working on being more aware of the tiny miracles that happen everyday, because there really are so many! God is so good!
I love you all so much! Keep working and keep praying and always remember that you have a loving Heavenly Father with a plan. He wants us to be happy and he wants to help us recognize the miracles, but we have to work hard and be obedient in keeping his commandments! I think we have it pretty easy if you ask me.. so don't give up, keep on keepin' on! He knows you, He loves you, and He's anxiously waiting for you to return to His presence!