Sunday, August 4, 2013

July 22 Life in Renca

July 22, 2013

HOLA.  How is everybody doing?  Wow!  SO many letters this week!  Thanks for all the love! I can´t tell you how wonderful it is to receive emails.  I don´t know if you knew this, but we can also get DearElders.  We now have district meetings every Wednesday, so we get mail on Wednesdays.

I´m in love with Renca and I´m in love with my companion.  She has been here for 5ish months and knows the area really well.  Two elders recently left and gave us a giant chunk - where we have now decided to focus our work - so it´s kind of like opening a new sector- just like I did in Los Andes.  It´s hard, but so great.  I thought I was going to be working in the shacks, and we do a little bit, but we mostly work in this new area that literally is just like Highlands Ranch.  Every house or condo looks exactly the same and looks like Firelight but on a teenier scale and without heating….. obvi.   It´s really nice.  We have giant green hills backed by the snow-capped Andes all around us, but we´re not really IN the mountains.  Kind of like Roxborough except you know how in the US, if you live on a hill or an area with a view, you´ve got super expensive property and a nice home and whatnot?  Nope. Here, if you live on a hill it means you live in a cardboard house that reeks of dogs mixed with no place to go to the bathroom.

Hermana Mora is one of the most awesome people I´ve ever met.  Not kidding.  She is downright HILARIOUS.  She´s also a sister training leader, as was Hna. Anderson.  She works hard and loves to learn.  I mean LOVES to learn.  I think maybe it´s because she´s a recent convert.  She just soaks everything in and can´t get enough.  The scriptures, the lessons, the doctrines, all of it.  We´ve decided that she is going to learn English here in the mission.  In fact, we´ve decided she´s going to learn it here with me.  We estimate we´ve got about 8 weeks together in total... granted we never know.  But we are so funny.  I speak and study and plan in my gringo Spanish and she speaks and studies and plans in her very strained broken English.  We must be hilarious to watch on the street.  People are probably like.. uh... why are those two girls speaking arabic?  It´s amazing though how fast she is learning. I mean really.  The gift of tongues is so real.  I see no reason why she won´t be fluent in 7 more weeks.  We have changes next Monday, but we´re 98% sure that we´ll stay together.

Remember how I told you about the cute little gas trucks that are just like ice cream trucks?  Right.  Now think about every little kid movie and how the ice cream truck drivers are the super evil bad guys.  Right.  Turns out that sometimes when those nice gas truck men install your gas they come back in the night time to rob you of it.  Darn.
That´s all I have to say about that. Needless to say, someone is coming to raise our fence and put little stabby points on it.  Yep.

 Story time.  Yesterday we had a lesson with a less active family who should have NEVER EVER been baptized. They clearly have NO IDEA what kind of covenants they made or even what the church is about.  But there was a cousin visiting who we decided to teach while we were there so, we were teaching about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Right?  As we began to explain that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, similar to the Bible, but based in the Americas, one of the BAPTIZED members of this family said the following:

“Listen.  You know what?  This can´t be true. This can´t be real, because the Americas didn´t exist when Christ was on the earth. The tectonic plates hadn´t formed the Americas yet and there DEFINITELY weren´t people here.”

My companion and I were stunned.   Stunned.  Can you really be saying this right now?? In the calmest possible voice I could manage, I explained that Christ only came 2000 years ago and that the whole Pangaea situation occurred millions of billions of years ago.  And where in the HECK do you think your ancestors lived? Did the American people just all of a sudden exist the day you were born?  We were seriously blown away.  We laughed about it all nght long.

The nonmember cousin who was slightly more intelligent said something along the lines of "wait, I think the Americas were here, but they just weren´t discovered yet."  And I calmishly explained that that was a true fact from, a European standpoint at least.  Anyway.  It was ridiculous. 

Hna. Mora and her old companion fasted a few weeks ago in desperate need of some investigators. (Our numbers aren´t so hot right now).  Anyway, they found an amazing family who had been unbelievably prepared to receive the gospel.  We have been working closely with this family and expect them all to be baptized soon.  The cool part though is that our stake  got a bus to go to the temple Tuesday.  We got permission to go as well with this investigating family to tour the grounds and walk around.  It was an amazing experience.  So powerful.  They even got to enter the lobby where the cute little receptionist explained to them how they can obtain their recommend and one day return to be sealed forever as a family.  So cool.

They found Jenifer first.  They began to teach her and she turned into an absolute missionary.  She taught her daughter, then her mother, then her sister, and now we´ve recently gotten in with the husband as well.  She and her “husband” are not married but want to be.  Her sister smokes but wants to quit.  The mother and daughter are totally ready.  It´s awesome.  The power of fasting is incredible.

Today we went to Plaza Italia downtown and had an activity with the 6 of us sisters that Hna Mora is in charge of.  We had a lovely picnic and enjoyed a little sun.  It was so warm here about a week ago but it recently got very, very cold again.

Foot is doing well!  I ice it every night even though it doesn´t hurt.

Ok everybody!  Until next time! Thanks again for all of the love and for the updates on your lives and the pictures and the testimonies and everything else. 

Hermana Thomas

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