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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28, 2015

It was a good week finding some new investigators and less-active members! We were happy to see three brothers that we are teaching in church this week for their first time in a long time (the ones we popped the bubble wrap with), as well as two other less-active members for their third time this month!

I got a call last night that I will be changing sectors. I was really surprised because changes are tomorrow and they didn’t call until 12:00 at night. I was pretty sure the newsgivers had already gone to bed. I’ve been here in Trinidad for my whole mission so far. I will miss these people and I will miss Hermana Vergara, but I know that the sector is in good hands. I don’t know where I’m going or who my companion will be. All I know is I have to pack my bags and be at the chapel tomorrow morning and there they’ll tell me where I’m going and who I’m going with.

Spiritual Experience:
Yesterday we were passing by a house of a less-active woman that we visit. We yelled at the gate and instead of the lady answering, her husband answered. He seemed a little scary... but both Hermana Vergara and I felt like we should see if we could learn more about him. He finally said we could come in, where he and his daughter were. He was really reserved and closed-off at first, but then all of the sudden he spilled out an experience he recently had while he was getting surgery on his head.  He’s also even baptized! His desires, personality, and heart are completely different than what I originally percieved as my first impression. I learned from him that you really just can’t judge a book by it’s cover. I don’t know men the way God does, so we really do just need to follow the spirit.

I was on exchanges with Hermana Stokes from Tremonton, Utah. We had planned to do an hour of contacting. Up ahead I saw two joggers coming toward us pretty quickly. I told her that at times like this I get urges just to flip around and start jogging with people and talk about the gospel. Next thing I know the two guys pass us and Hermana Stokes does a quick U-turn and I hear, “Can we share a card with you?!” and then all of the sudden I was sprinting behind them too because I had to be able to see and hear my companion... oh man. Haha I did not expect her to do that.  I was laughing so hard thinking, man! I’ve finally found a missionary that’s more impulsive than I am. Haha She’s great.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

July 20, 2015

It's been a pretty weird week. Most of our citas were first-timers and the rest of the time was contacting and knocking doors. Something we learned this week is that God has many kinds of children with many different personalities. Haha It's always great meeting lots of people. The good news is, two of them have sincere interest and want to learn more. We also had a meeting with our new president and learned that we will now be able to go to the temple once every three months! I'm so excited! Before we could go once a year. Our prep day has also been changed to Tuesdays.

We contacted a lady right outside of what I thought was her house. I asked her if we could come in for a minute to share a short message. She said yes and led us to a little room-shack she lived in behind the house she was entering. When we got in there it was pretty weird because she just started talking and talking and wouldn't stop sharing all these theories and stuff. My companion finally got a word in and asked her if we could start with a prayer. After I said "Amen." I looked up and her eyes were filled with tears. She said she was touched. It was just a testimony to me that sometimes we need to relax all of our worries, personal speculations, and fears and just talk to who is really in charge. 

Last night we were in a lesson with some less-active members. After reading Mosiah 4 as a family, one of the boys noticed that there was some bubble-wrap sitting in the middle of all of us. He suggested that for the activity we all just pop the bubble-wrap together. So we did! Haha then we all were just cracking up laughing at how easily entertained we are. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015

The good news is it finally rained this week after walking through smoggy air for quite some time! The bad news is it was really hard to find anyone to teach outside or to let us into their house. We did knock a lot of doors though and set quite a few appointments for this week. Pray that they're there when we pass by again! 

Spiritual Moment:
During a lesson, my companion asked our investigator how it was going with the Book of Mormon. I was a little worried about her answer because she's a woman who has read many, many books. I guess I was just worried she didn't understand the difference between this book and other books and that she was going to say, "Oh it's good. I like it." or something like that. As I listened to her answer I realized how little faith I had in that moment. She said, "It's amazing. It's a feeling that you don't feel just by reading anything." She then read us out-loud a verse or two she recently came across and said it went straight to her heart. She knows it is the word of God because of the Holy Ghost. Not for what we've said in lessons or for the words on the pages. The Spirit is truly what testifies of truth!

People here always get in debates about how to prounounce my name, because people from Utah don't prounounce the T and other north-americans do. I have a Peruvian roommate who got so frustrated one time when we were explaining how to say it without the T that now she just calls me Hermana and then does two grunts. haha. Every now and again I'll just hear from across the room "Hermana Mahuh! Una consulta..." haha

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015

It's been quite a week with the Copa America going on! We actually weren't even allowed to be out on the streets on Saturday for the big game because it was a little too crazy out there. But hey, we won! Viva Chile! Haha. I was so happy because after they won, they shot off fireworks in the night and I could see them all over from our apartment window so high-up. I got to taste a little 4th of July. We also met our new mission president, his wife, and his 15-year-old daughter. They're  great people and great leaders. The saddest part of the week is that, with the new division of the ward, we also had to split our sector and leave behind to other missionaries about half of the people we were teaching. We'll still be able to see them in the chapel on Sundays, but I still just felt so heartbroken to not be able to teach them and see their progression. 

Spiritual Experience:
The other day we passed by the house of a member just to use her bathroom. As we were leaving, she starts telling us all about this spiritual experience she had getting off of the metro one day quite a while back. She talked with this guy and they got onto the subject of their beliefs. They were both going through a really hard time and both started crying. She said she just felt the spirit so strongly while talking to him. She didn't remember much about him, only his first name and that he worked and lived somewhere by the street called Rojas Magallanes. She said, "I don't even know why I'm telling you guys this, I've told the companionships before you guys and no one ever found him. I don't even know his address or full name." Well, as she was giving us these little details, we put it all together. He is Erika's husband, our investigator who just accepted a baptismal date. The hard time he was passing through was when he found out she had cancer. We'd never met him before because he's always at work, but after talking to the member we decided to pass by where he worked. He just instantly started thanking us and God for visiting his wife and we are hoping to find a time to teach both of them together soon. 

The other day, Hermana Vergara and I had to go to Central Santiago to do some of her paperwork. We left really early in the morning, trying not to waste time. As the sun came up, Hermana Vergara points to my nametag and says, "Hello Hermana Vergara." I had accidently grabbed one of hers off the table instead of mine and we were both walking around as "Hermana Vergara." haha

Friday, July 3, 2015

June 30, 2015

We got a great surprise at church on Sunday. They split Trinidad Ward into two wards because it's growing so much! I'll be staying here, the sector will just be changed a little bit. Two companionships will stay in my ward and the other companionship will go to the south ward. We will be able to continue working with our investigators that are progressing even if they're outside of the new-cut sectors. So, we'll be able to keep teaching Javiera and her grandma, Erika, and the Contreras family until their baptisms hopefully! Erika finally accepted a baptismal date and we're grateful to be able to be working with her goal of July 19th. 

The COPA AMERICA has been going on, and I don't know if you'd believe how into it they are! During the games everyone barbeques and watches the games with family and friends, and there is literally almost NO ONE on the street. (Except for us missionaries.) From the sound of our 1,000 neighbors though, Chile won last night. Chi-chi-chi! le-le-le! Vive Chile! OLE! 

Tomorrow President and Hermana Wright leave and President Morgan and Hermana Morgan and their daughter come. On Thursday we have a meeting to meet them. 

Spiritual Experience:
As a companionship, we've been working on leaving stronger commitments. We decided to put all our faith into what they tell us: if we showed our love, we could not leave a commitment too firmly. On Monday, we were in the house of a less-active man that we've been teaching since I got here. He said he was pretty far away from returning when I first got here and he wouldn't commit to any of our invitations. After a little time, he started following through with little commitments, but then we hit another dead end. We decided we needed to state it clearly and strongly that he needs to come to church and set a goal to renew his covenants. We'd said it before, but never so directly and firmly. If he didn't follow through this time, we knew we'd have to stop teaching him, because he wasn't progressing. We did it as clear, firm, and strong as two young girls could and afterward told him that we bear testimony of this because we love him and because God loves him.
He came to church for his first time in years on Sunday.

Funny Story:
We knocked on the door of a less-active member's house that we had a register of one day. She ended up being a really funny older lady and let us in. She was really receptive and we've got a goal for her to go back and work towards taking the sacrament. Yesterday we went to our third appointment with her and her daughter answered the door and let us in. We sat and talked with her while we waited for her mom to come out of her room. When her mom came out, the daughter asked her, "Mom, did you know they split the ward last week?" She responds, "OH NO!!! I can't believe it. I hope they didn't split me from my friends!" The daughter shakes her head and laughs and tells her she doesn't have any friends that are still in the ward. Her mom got all offended and starts racking her brain to think of people she knows from when she went to church. She'd say a name and the daughter would reply, "They moved years ago." She'd try again and the daughter replies, "They went inactive three years ago." And every time the elderly lady would say "Ah shoota.." until we were all just cracking up laughing.