SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED THIS WEEK.. BUT ENSERIO.
The work was kind of slow this week because well, it's summer here. Southern Chile is full of tourists and most people are gone on vacation.. The youth in our ward just got back from PFJ (EFY) ..all of which is so strange to me because, well it's January. Anyway, this past week every single one of our citas fell and we finished with a total of 5 whole lessons. woot woot! But, then I remembered we traveled to Puerto Montt Thursday afternoon and didn't get back until we had to be home on Friday night anyway.
On Wednesday there was a Worldwide Missionary Broadcast and a lot of changes were made. We used to have a total of 9 key indicators that we would report each week to our district leader, who would report them to the zone leaders, who reported them to the AP's.. until eventually they were reported to Church Headquarters.. well now we only have four: Baptisms, Investigators with a baptismal date, Investigators in Sacrament meeting, and New Investigators. It's quite the change, but I really like it. I think a lot of missionaries stress over numbers, even though it's not about the numbers. I think these key indicators help us all focus more on the people we're teaching. There was also a pretty big change in our schedule as missionaries. We now have a lot more freedom to choose when we do things during the day. We plan for our day in the morning now, rather than at night, and we have to do an hour of personal study before we start proselyting. Other than that we get to choose when we do companion study and language study during the day, and if we study for a full hour or only thirty minutes. AND on p-days we only have to do a half hour of personal study before we're free to start our day! It has made all the difference today so far!
So Valdivians always say that Puerto Montt is so ugly and that Valdivia is WAY prettier and so much better, and well I think they've been lying to me! Puerto Montt is so gorgeous!! On Thursday afternoon we had to be to the terminal by 4:30. The bus left at 5:00 and we had a three and a half hour bus ride to Puerto Montt. When we finally got there Hermana Heath and Hermana Carter picked us up because the four Angachillan hermanas spent the night with them. Before we went back to their apartment we stopped by the store to grab something to eat for dinner and something for breakfast in the morning. That night I split a cardboard pizza with Hermana Bailey and I seriously regretted it. Hermana Bailey curled my hair for me after I showered that night, and it's probably the first and the last time I'll ever curl it on the mission, but it was super nice of her and it looked cute, haha!
The next morning we had to be to the Stake Center in Valdivia at like 9:30 in the morning to be ready for Elder Stevenson. We all got seated in the chapel and President talked to us for a little bit before he showed up. When he got there we each had the opportunity to shake his hand and his wife's hand. He shook our hands and read our names as we filed through, but unfortunately my hair was covering my name as per usual, so it was a little bit awkward.. but really it only meant I got to shake his had for a little bit longer while he tried to figure it out.. so I think in the long run, it was a blessing.
We got to hear from Elder Packer (the son of Elder Packer) and his wife, Sister Stevenson, and Elder Stevenson. It was such an amazing conference and was truly so special to hear an Apostle address us as a mission. It was also really amazing to know that he and his wife are still human, even though the Spirit testified strongly of his power and authority. He closed with his testimony, which was incredible! The Spirit was so strong and you couldn't possibly doubt that he was called of God.
I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints is the true church on the earth today. I know that it is the exact same church that Jesus Christ established when he was here on earth. I testify that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and I know with all my heart that President Thomas S. Monson is a living prophet, that he receives revelation from Heavenly Father to guide us, as do his apostles. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He and Heavenly Father love us so much, and for that reason we have been blessed with a prophet and apostles. We are truly blessed! I testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
I love you all so much and hope that you know that! Keep on keepin' on! Stay strong!