Wow, ADVENTURAS! How fun. Yeah mom, Grandpa has written me a few letters about this familia that he still keeps in contact with. That's so sweet! When you save a girl, you save a generation!
So, are you ready for the big news!! MY COMPANION! She is from missuri . . aka Zion, and she is 19 years old. Her name is Sister Young. She is the second oldest in her family, and the 4th missionary. Her mom served in Germany around the time when the Berlin wall came down, her dad served in Concepcion Chile (YAY CHILE!) and her older brother served in Nicaragua. They also live on a family farm. Like they have cows, sheep, and a large garden. Its kinda scary how similar we are. I look at her and see me, or how I was 16 months ago, expect that she is more humble than I was and is VERY patient. She was in the MTC here for 6 weeks. She has so so much faith.
Our week was crazy, cause we picked our companions up on Tuesday in the office, and we didn’t end up getting back until 8:30 pm. But, I still took Hermana Young out to work for the last 30 minutes we had of that day. Then, on Wednesday was the Chile game, and we aren’t allowed to watch the games, or work during the games . . . well its kinda impossible to work. So we had district class in the morning and then our weekly planning session. In the end, we only had about 2 hours to work that day.
Then, on Friday we had fase 1, its like orientation for new missionaries. So we had to go back to Santiago, and we got back to Santa Maria at like 7:00, just in time for our weekly noche de hogar in the chapel. Basically, Saturday and Sunday were our only normal days to do missionary work, and we just worked worked worked! I am afraid that I might kill my companion before she can kill me . . .jajaja. No, she's great. She keeps up with me . . . jajaja. Our numbers didn’t turn out so good this week, but I know that I worked, and I gave what I had to do. I remember when I used to worry about numbers, but in the end all the Lord has asked is that I work with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. So if I do that then I will be completing with the Lord, and it is the Lord who will judge me in the last day, not the zone leaders, not the district leaders, and not my mission president.
Yesterday was a miracle day. I gave another talk in church, and this time I talked about missionary work. Probably the best talk I have given in Chile. We had 5 menos activos in church! Three were part of that group o 18 year old boys that just all went inactive around the same time, about a year ago, and the other two were a married couple. So that was bakan! But, lo mas Bakan fue cuando church finished like three members came up to me and asked if they could work with us that day . . ummm . .wait . . what? When does that ever happen? oh wait . . . yesterday!! It was great. So we spent the day with the members visiting less active members. We entered into a lot of houses that we usually can never get in, but with a member at our sides, doors were just opening.
We ended the day with a noche de hogar in the house of the familia V* . . . two of those young 18 year old inactives are a part of the familia. They are fraternal twins. They have started coming back to church. And in the Noche de hogar, R* bore his testimony, and talked about how this last year and a half that he has been inactive he has been missing something, and gone from place to place looking for whatever it is he lost, and then he said that coming back to church has filled him again, and he feels good. The smile on his face, and the spirit that his words invited, brought tears to my eyes. He has changed. I think that is what I love most about the mission, watching people change.
Being with Hermana Young has helped me see my own progression. When I got to the mission I literally knew nothing about missionary work. I thought I did, but the Lord has humbled me until I was finally teachable. Then He taught me how to do His work, and how to help His children. Now, I am able to teach all that I have learned to another. And Hermana Young is so much like me, that I literally feel like if I pass all my knowledge on to her, then a part of me will stay here in Chile.
This morning we played basketball again. Jefferson, I challenge you to a duel when I get home. I basically made about a third of our teams points today. Dribbling . . . not gonna lie, I suck. But if you pass me the ball and I have a clear shot, I'll take that, and about 40% of the time I make it. And if I don’t have a clear shot, I will pass it to someone who does, then run in for the rebound. Yeah, I know, impressive.
The mission is just full of so many moments. Happy moments, sad moments, crazy moments, ridiculous moments, heart breaking moments, and heart mending moments. You find yourself in so many situations that not even your unconscious mind could have come up with, and sometimes you feel so full of joy that you just want to throw your head back and sing, while other times you wonder if you can make it through the day. But, you always do, and the Lord always gives you new days and new chances, new challenges, and new solutions. Sometimes its hard, and sometimes it feels natural, but in the end ... its always worth it.
Thanks for all the support, all the love, and all the prayers. Yes, I got the package, and I love it! I'm not gonna ask for anything else cause . . well . you know . . jajaja. I love you all so much!