We had a great week. Some cool news! Sandra Vega and Jose Gonzalez got baptized! I taught them both in my last area and Sandra is the one that told me that she wanted me to baptize her on my last night in that area. So that is super cool that I saw some fruits from my labors there.
Also this week, we had a funny lesson with a less active member. She is a really good friend of ours so we can be pretty bold with her. She likes to smoke but likes reading the Book of Mormon also. We read a little about the “iron rod” in 1st Nephi. We talked about how the iron rod is symbolic of the scriptures. So she told us that she is holding onto the rod well because she reads the scriptures pretty faithfully. Then my companion replied, “yeah, but you can’t have one hand on the rod and a cigarette in the other hand. It doesn’t work like that.” It was really funny at the time.
Church on Sunday was awesome. This ward is really well run. I had my last interview on Monday with my mission president. He leaves before the next cycle of interviews. It was crazy and weird because my first day in Chile feels like it was yesterday. I remember sitting in his office with him when he first interviewed me. A lot has happened since that day and I realized that I have changed a great deal. It was great to reflect on this. His last words of advice pertained to the scripture in Alma 37 that states “O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.”
Today was awesome because in the morning we went to a wedding!! One of our investigators named Ivan Soto got married to his wife who is a member. So now he will be getting baptized this Sunday, which is exciting. He was one of those eternal investigators that never made the decision to get married so that he could get baptized but he finally did it. The wedding was interesting to witness. We went to a city building and they handled all of the paperwork and then there was a little ceremony where a guy said some things and then they signed the papers. They are a great family and Ivan is going to be a great member.
Today we bought some new ties and that’s about it!
This has been a great week! It was a long one because we have been working for a week and a half without a P-day. But it all paid off today because we went to the temple! It was so awesome! It has been a year since I last visited the temple so the experience was so awesome. The Santiago Temple is small but it is very beautiful.
We had a lot of fun experiences this week but one of the best experiences of the week was last Wednesday. The secretary of the mission called us and told us that we needed to go visit a hospital to give a health blessing and that there would be a member waiting for us there. So since we are a threesome, we organized splits and Elder Quispe and I went to the hospital. We had to travel a distance because the hospital is in the West Mission boundaries. So when we arrived at the hospital there was a member there waiting for us and really excited to see us.
We sat down first with her and she explained the situation. She was from Las Condes, which is a nice part of Santiago and her cousin was sick in the hospital. She said that her cousin had started to cough blood a few weeks before and they took her to the hospital and then she got worse and worse. So when we got there she was in intensive care and in critical condition. It was really intense. We went to intensive care and had to wait in a waiting room because they only allowed two people in at a time and for only five minutes. The member had been praying and fasting that the blessing that we gave would produce a miracle. She wanted a miracle because her cousin was not a member nor were any of her family members. She thought that a miracle like this might convince family members of the importance of faith in the Lord and the gospel. I felt nervous but confident. I really learned that you always have to be ready to use your priesthood authority because there are times when everyone is really depending on you and possibly needing an important blessing.
So they let my companion and I pass into the room. We had to walk through a hall and we were required to wear gloves and a gown. But first we had to wash our hands. Then we walked into the actual room. The member’s cousin was hooked up to so many tubes and in a coma-like state. It was very intense. We gave the blessing and then had to leave the room. The blessing was powerful and I felt the spirit so strongly as my companion administered the blessing. We left and the member thanked us. I don’t know what happened to this poor woman who was very sick but I hope that a miracle occurred! That’s the coolest story of the week!
This week was awesome. My new companions are great! We get along really well and the time is flying by. The new area here is awesome. The members are great and the ward is really well run and the investigators we have are also really good and a lot of fun. They are really energized and joke around all the time and are super funny. I really can’t explain it in words. You would have to come with me to visit them and you would understand. We have one investigator that loves the church and knows it is true but he is so crazy!
So his mother-in-law came over and we were talking about the restoration and our investigator Alexis comes out of nowhere with this example of how there is only one true church. He stuck his hand up with the back of his hand facing his mother in law and put his other hand on top but with the palm facing down so that the palm of the top hand only touched the middle finger because the middle finger is longer than the other fingers. Then he said, “Mother in law, there is only one true church. All the churches point up to God like my fingers but only one touches heaven! And it is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!” Then he grabbed his pinky and said “Mother in Law, you are like this finger here! Not even close!” It was so funny! We were all dying laughing. He did the whole thing in a really funny way so that his mother-in-law was not offended.
Another great thing that happened this week was that on Friday we were walking to an investigators house and as we passed through some houses I saw a lady outside on her porch that looked really familiar and then I realized that it was Sister Sara Castillo from Easter Island! I remembered that she had a house here in Santiago but I forgot that it was here in Alberdi! She was the Relief Society President on Easter Island and she came to Santiago a few weeks ago with three other sisters to do Temple Baptisms. One of those three was Maria Tuki, my convert. So she let us in and we talked for a while! It was so awesome. The first thing she told me was that I looked skinny, ha! It was so weird to see her. She went to church here in Santiago yesterday and she goes back to the island in about 2 weeks. She is doing great and told me all about what was happening on the island. Those are some of the stories of the week!