This past week just flew by! My companion and I have been working our tails off and we accomplished a lot. I don’t have a ton of crazy stories this week but I have lots of photos!!
First of all, have I mentioned that it is hot here?? Like really hot!! We are sweating a ton and by the end of the day we are pretty smelly. I am blessed though that I grew up in California and went to the beach all the time because my skin is more used to the sun and it is darker than my companion’s. My companion is from Utah and he has to put on tons of sunscreen and still at the end of the day he looks like a tomato. It is funny.
So here are some quick stories from my week….. First, a fun fact that one of the members shared with us is that Snooki was born in Santiago, Chile and then got adopted right after birth and moved to “Jersey Shore.” Also, I had a really cool opportunity this week to do a split for 2 days with one of the assistants to the Mission President. We were companions for two days and we worked in the assistants sector. I got to ride in a car for the first time in a while which was weird but awesome. The assistant I worked with was awesome! I learned a ton from him. He really understood the lessons well and he really knew how to contact people in the streets. I also got to see what an assistant’s day is like which was pretty cool. One of the days we were together we were at this person’s door trying to contact them. While we were standing outside of the door, this guy came riding by on his bike behind us and he grabbed the handle of my back pack. He tried to steal my backpack but things didn’t work out well for him because I WAS WEARING IT. So I was jerked back really hard, but I was holding onto the door way so he had to let go. This caused the would-be thief to lose his balance and swerve into a tree. One of the pedals on his bike fell off. He then just picked up his bike and the pedal and ran away. It was pretty crazy.
Here is another funny story. Yesterday, my companion and I taught an inactive family. The family consists of a mom who recently had a baby and then the mom’s son with his wife who just had a baby, too. So we were teaching them and the mom and the wife start breast feeding their kids! (Quick note: They don’t cover themselves with a blanket) This happens to us a lot but this time there were two women. My companion and I felt really uncomfortable and just quickly ended the meeting and left. It is always really funny though when people do that. We also went to a restaurant the other day and a lady was breastfeeding her kid out in the open in this busy restaurant! Just one of the big cultural differences here in Chile.
We had a very spiritual experience at a lesson with one of our investigators, Patricia. She lives with a less active family and has a daughter and a boyfriend (who is the father of the daughter). We got to her house and we sat down with Patricia and the less active family. Then Patricia’s boyfriend came to the door. Something seemed wrong and Patricia left to get the door and talk with him. We heard yelling and she was telling him to leave. Then he left and she came back crying a little and sat down. The daughter asked her where her dad was going and hugged Patricia, her mom. Patricia started crying and holding her daughter really tight. We all sat there in silence while she cried. (This is something that I have noticed in the mission field. You never have a lesson where you go to the house of the investigator and teach and the spirit is super strong and you have a member there testifying too and things just go perfectly and then you leave.) There is always something going on that changes the entire game. Like women will be breast feeding their kids or the house will smell awful or in this case the investigator has a serious problem with her boyfriend and she is crying. Then you have to improvise and follow the spirit and pray with all your might that you figure out what to say. So we sat in silence. I was just thinking to myself, What do we do! We have no idea what is going on. Obviously there is a problem! We had planned to teach something but it would have been irrelevant to Patricia at this moment in time. So I was just praying and pleading for some guidance to know what to say to help Patricia. She stopped crying and we ended up talking about Christ and how through the Atonement all of our pains and trials can be made lighter and that we can always pray to God for comfort and strength. I think it helped her.
Another thing that I have learned in the mission field is that we have no idea what is going on in people’s lives. That is why we need to follow the spirit to know what to say and how to help. God knows what they are going through and through the spirit he can tell us what to say so that we can help them. It ended well but Patricia was still obviously troubled. She felt better and bore her testimony to us that she wants to get baptized and do what she needs to do to have peace in her life. She came to church yesterday. It was awesome!
We had a lesson yesterday with an investigator named Alvaro. He brought up an interesting question. He asked us how we came to know that the Gospel is true. My companion said that it was through the experience of praying and receiving a spiritual answer. I thought about it and my experience has been more of a process over a period of time. It hasn’t really been one big experience for me. It has been many spiritual experiences throughout my life as I have stayed on this path that has witnessed to me that I am on the correct path. Also, now I can look back and see the amazing blessings in my life. I can see how great my life is and by observing other people’s lives I can see how much worse life can be without the gospel.
I was reading a scripture this morning that relates to this. It is in Alma. Alma is talking to Zeezrom about how the devil works. He says that Satan works through subtlety. He tempts us to commit small sins until we are fully caught in his chains. It is a process over time and if we take the road of Satan we will eventually be able to look back at our lives and see how miserable we have been. I believe that for most of us, God works with subtlety too but to promote goodness and happiness. He prompts us to make small changes in our lives until in the end we can look back and see how great our lives are.
I have been learning so much. I love my mission. It is awesome! It is not some magical, amazing thing like a trip to an amusement park though. It is definitely really hard. There are many times when you are just beat down and tired but having faith and pushing through those times is when God will really bless me and you and raise us up. Thanks everybody for all your support. I hope all of my letters are interesting and fun to read and I hope that you can learn something from them! That’s all for this week! Ciao!