It is really hot here in Chile! My companion and I are sweating all day. It isn’t bad though! Christmas week was awesome. We had a great Christmas Eve. We went and visited an elderly woman who lives in our sector. She was so grateful we came. We sang her a song and she gave us an interesting ginger ale drink. I think she is close to 90. It was great.
We then saw some other people and then went to this member’s house for a Christmas Eve dinner. The dinner kind of got crazy. We arrived and the family was freaking out. The head of the propane tank in their house broke and all the propane gas escaped which meant that they couldn’t cook the turkey. They were really flustered and running all over the place. The dad left to try and buy food but all the stores were closed. The family then just cooked us some hot dogs and potatoes. They were really good and we ate some good bread. The family was really frustrated and tense though. They tried to act fine but you could tell they were really sad. This situation was bad because my companion gets really bad anxiety attacks sometimes. So with the combination of the family being really tense and the tension in the house and the food not working out, it made my companion start to get anxious. It became really uncomfortable for him and he nudged me and said he was going to throw up. I was just laughing inside but freaking out too. Everything was falling apart and then my companion was going to throw up and he was shaking from this anxiety attack. It was a pretty unforgettable experience. He was very relieved when we finally got out of there. I was enjoying it but felt bad for him. We were really far away from our house and started to walk home. My companion was feeling really sick and I also had to use the bathroom really badly. Then a random taxi driver pulled up and said that the Lord told him to pick us up. He took us home for free. It was amazing.
Christmas day we got to sleep in until 9:00 am, which was amazing. My companion was feeling really sick still because of the dinner the past night and probably because he was anxious to talk to his family. We opened our packages from our family. Then I made some pancakes. It was really fun. We then went to this other member’s house for lunch and I skyped my family! It was so fun to talk to them. So my first Christmas in Chile was very crazy but I really enjoyed it. The rest of the week flew. We had some funny experiences and some miracles! Here are some funny things…. My companion and I got yelled at by a couple of people who told us to go home to America. They told us to leave Chile. My companion is so funny because he gets a little worked up when people yell at us or insult us. So one guy who yelled at us was in his house yelling through his window. My companion yelled back at him “what are you going to do about it!” and then walked towards his window. The guy then just went back into his house. I told my companion to calm down and we left. It was pretty funny.
I see weiner dogs all the time and one day this man was walking his weiner dog. It looked just like my old dog “Dippy” but it was a miniature weiner dog. I petted the dog and played with it a little while my companion talked to the guy. It was a great way to contact this man and we asked him if he was interested in learning more about the gospel. In the end, he didn’t accept the invitation but he will definitely be more open in the future because of how nice we were with his dog and we talked to him as a friend.
We experienced a couple of miracles this week. We went to see this inactive member. We were talking to her and while crying she told us that we came on the perfect day because it was one of the worst days of her life. She told us the story of when the missionaries first met her. She said that they came on the worst day of her life and helped her change. She said that over time she felt that she was fine and slowly forgot about going to church. She said that now her life is in a hole again and we showed up at the perfect time. It was amazing the timing of us showing up. We talked to her and helped her decide to come to church. It was a miracle. She felt that this was all miraculous and that she needed to go back to church and make things right with God. But she didn’t show up to church! I thought to myself, why wouldn’t she show up to church after she cried to us about how bad her life was and how she wanted to change and how it was a true miracle from God and an answer to a prayer that we showed up to help. It reminded me of many scripture stories where people see angels or miracles in front of their eyes but it doesn’t change them. Also it made me think about the fact that “actions speak louder than words”. It is a lot easier to stay the way you are and not make any changes in your life. It is a lot harder to make the effort to go to church and to pray and work to change. But always with hard work and effort comes great blessings and ultimately change.
Here is one more miraculous experience. Yesterday, we went to see this member who we didn’t know and had never seen before. We are trying to go see the members in the ward and we have a list of all their names. We planned to see this member yesterday. We got to the house and it was an old couple. We sat down on their couch and they asked us if we were there to give them the sacrament. We told them no, but that we could. They said that someone always comes at 1:00 on Sundays to give them the sacrament because they are too old and can’t walk to the church. We arrived at their house at 5:00 so whoever was supposed to bring the sacrament forgot to come. We administered the sacrament to them and they were very grateful. It was an amazing testimony to see the endurance of this couple. They are so old and can’t do much but they make a huge effort to take the sacrament every week to renew their baptismal covenants. It was also a testimony to miracles. The one week that somebody forgot to go give them the sacrament we showed up and were able to do it for them. This week was filled with many more crazy stories and adventures but I just don’t have time to write them all! I hope all is well and I pray for all of you. That’s all for this week! Hasta luego!