I´ve got lots of exciting things to talk about this week!
First, we are very well protected now with a fence higher than all of our neighbors with lots of scary, pointy, hurting things sticking up. Mom, you say you don´t remember, but a while ago I wrote about how sometimes, if you´re not careful, and you buy your gas from the ice cream truck drivers, those very same gas (ice cream) truck drivers come back to rob you of your gas in the night time and make you have a cold shower in the morning. It makes pretty good business... I suppose.
Funny story. Sorta. Saturday, Hna. Mora and I made a bunch of cutsie invitations to ensure that all of our investigators and less actives and part member families went to church the following day. We passed by Jazmin and Diane and found that they were all working in their disastrous garden. We dropped everything, stole their pick-like-shovel-junky-tool things and worked for a solid hour. Skirts, sweaters, lots of heat, partly-messed up backs, and all. When we finished what was seriously good, hard farm type labor (grandpa and grandma would have been so proud), we were unbelievably sore and our hands were covered in blisters (they are still sore by the way). Daniela, the mom (did I tell you it turns out she´s actually a less active that was baptized at 13?! Yeah the other day she was like, "oh yeah. I was already baptized.” And we calmly explained that there are certain requirements to be baptized in the same way as Jesus Christ. And she said, "Yeah, I know. Somebody named Elder baptized me when I was 13." Our jaws dropped. She asked what she could possibly do to repay us. We said, "We are here for your service andwe only ask that you keep your promise and go with your daughter to church tomorrow.” The next day we went to church after collecting several investigators and waited for them outside... for a while... then we called and what did they say "ES QUE... we are really tired from working in our garden all day yesterday and so we´ll have to come next time."
En SERIO? WE worked in the garden, finished it, and walked to church EXTREMELY tired. But I´m over it. My hands aren´t. But my head is. Haha so darn funny.
Anyway, other investigators. I can´t remember which ones I have already talked about.
Our Golden Boy is Fernando. He´s from Peru and is a, as they say here, "si o si" baptism. He´s seriously so awesome. Fun, dynamic, hard-working, and hungry for spiritual enlightenment.
He went with us yesterday to church and had a GREAT experience. He loved how kind and loving everyone was and felt like it was a giant family. Which it is. Everyone is so kind and loving and awesome with our investigators.
Sebastian: He is our miracle boy. One night, a while back, we were coming home and found this young man who looked about Bren´s age and was locked out of his house. The poor guy couldn´t find his keys for the life of him until we had finished introducing ourselves and presenting him our message and making an appointment. Then he found them, entered his house, and we never saw him again (he wasn´t home for his appointment).
Friday night, we were coming home late from a lesson (we enter at ten unless we´re in a lesson, in which case we can enter no later than 10:30) and I recognized him and stopped him in the street. I didn´t remember who he was, just recognized his face. He told us that he wanted to learn more and had called us but that we hadn´t answered. He said his mom doesn´t allow religion in the home so we would have to go somewhere else, but that he was willing to meet us anywhere we wanted. Sister Mora said, "Well... whatcha doing on Sunday?" "Want to come to church with us at 9:30 in the morning?" "Uh, yeah, yeah I think that´d be fine." "Great we´ll pick you up at 9." Well, we say stuff like that all the time to people and they´re never home and they think were just being nice because I´m blonde. I know, weird! But he was HOME! And ready to go to church when we passed by! We were dumbstruck. Seriously couldn´t believe it. We picked him up and off we went to pick up Fernando. Turns out Sebastian is 22 and Fernando 26 and they´re practically neighbors so they´re going to be the best investigator friends ever.
Mauricio: Mauricio and his family are my personal "favorites" even though I really don´t have any favorites. It´s just that I´m in love with their family. Mauricio is a less active who married a lovely Catholic and they have three of the cutest kids I´ve ever seen in my life. There is so much love and happiness in their home. I could just spend all day there. The mom is a truly good Catholic woman who wants the best for her kids. She has a lot of interest in the Church and likes the values that it teaches. We took them a little by surprise with our first visit and asked them to be baptized, but they know if this IS the true church after all, they will want to be part of it so that their family can live together forever. We are going to have a special Family Home Evening with them tonight!
Vilches: The Vilches family is a family that was once very strong and is now inactive because of some unfortunate things that happened (the husband had an affair with some chica in the branch and her dad told him that if he ever caught him at church again he´d kill him... so that´s unfortunate). But anyway, we went to visit them a few days ago and as we were about to leave, I had a sudden impression that we needed to have a mini testimony meeting right then and there. So we did. And it was UNBELIEVABLY powerful. Even as a missionary, I haven´t felt the Spirit like that in quite some time. I mean... tangible. So cool. Granted, they didn´t go to church this Sunday, but at least we were able to help them feel the Spirit again.
Looks like I won´t be training! Thank goodness. I feel so wholly unworthy for something like that. I´ll probably continue with the normal course: companera menor, companera mayor, entrenadora.
We went to the doctor today again. Hna. Mora continues with insane back pain. We went to get her tested for urinary or kidney infections. It would appear that the logo of the Church has a whole lot of power. Chilenos love to complain, right? They especially love to complain about their medical system and how awful it is. Well, we were in and out with all of the tests and everything complete within 15 minutes. It was pretty interesting. We just gave them a document with the logo and wha-la. Prime service.
Anyway, it´s so wonderful to hear about how great you are all doing. I can´t tell you how happy it makes me to hear all of your successes and even your difficulties. I love you all so much!
WITH SO MUCH LOVE,
P.S. I randomly received two dearelders from Sister Wandry and one from Aunt Sandy and handwritten letters from Jessica Richmond and Mary Lamphier from when I was in the MTC. But I think they must have been found in the office because I think the mail system is still on strike.