Thursday, September 19, 2013

Boat Or Donkey?

Comments in red by mom

Monday, September 16, 2013

Not sure if you received an email from President saying we would be writing tomorrow, but nobody told us P-Day had been changed, so we got permission to write today... otherwise, we would’ve had to wait until Thursday and I told him my dear mother might fall over and die.                    (I appreciate her looking out for her mother)
Not sure if we will be able to communicate in la isla.  We heard from one elder that we have to handwrite our letters, send it on the once-a-month boat, and hope for the best.  But we hear a lot of things so who knows. (I am still praying for internet on the island but I think that is pretty far-fetched at this point.)

Turns out there was a bit of drama with the sisters over the whole island situation.  Not entirely sure what went down, but I guess people were praying, even fasting to get sent there.  Some felt like they had received spiritual assurances that they would be "the chosen ones."  The only ones who KNEW they didn`t even have a chance so didn`t ever think about it are the ones who are going.  I guess some of the sisters were really mad.  Not really sure how you can be angry over the Lord`s decision of where you will serve, but I guess that`s their problem.

Today we had a Zone Training where we learned about how to better maintain our recent converts.  Guess how many of Chile`s many, many church members are active.  Guess.


Yep.  That`s all. Ten Stinking Percent.  Not for long.  All we need is one extra zero on the end.  That`s all.

My companion and I are doing very well.  We understand the weight of our new calling and are doing EVERYTHING within our power to strengthen our testimonies, relationship, teaching abilities, etc.  We understand that this is not going to be some tropical paradise with pina coladas as all of the other missionaries and members seem to believe.  We set very specific goals to strengthen ourselves in every way possible before our departure date which we received today: October 1st.  We are allowed to bring one bag with everything (books, clothes, everything) that weighs NO MORE than 10 kilos.  Not sure what the math is on that, but it`s basically a backpack. (I knew she wouldn’t be able to bring much after watching several tiny, 6 person planes land on the island….thanks to youtube.)  President stopped by the zone training this morning before everyone else arrived (by chance my companion and I arrived early... or really exactly on time)  and he explained  a little bit more about everything regarding the island.  On our list of things to bring, the only thing that says IMPORTANT is a Patriarchal Blessing... which is of course the only thing I don`t have. (I mailed it to her about two months ago but apparently it still hasn’t arrived) The mail strike is officially over, but things are coming in very slowly.  Could you scan it to me this week please?  Anyway, the tickets are bought for our tiny little plane ride for Oct. 1st, but it depends on the weather.  They will tell us the day of if we will actually be going or not.  If not, we will anxiously wait each day after hoping that the weather clears up. (The airstrip is very small with mountains surrounding it so the weather has to be absolutely clear or they will not be able to land)  When we arrive, we have two options to get to the city: donkey or boat.  We opted for the boat, but if it doesn`t arrive we will go by donkey.  BY DONKEY. (The airstrip is on the south side of the island and the town is on the north side with mountains in between.  The boat ride is two hours.  I can’t imagine how long it would take to arrive by donkey.  Oh, how I would love to witness that experience!! He says that certain rules are a little more lax on the island, but that all rules apply unless we call to change them.  We explained to him that we are not going to the island to relax and that he doesn`t need to worry about that.

When I arrived in Quilicura this week, I arrived to a companion rather... disanimated.  She has been here for about 9 months and feels as though she has talked with every person, knocked every door, etc.  We did not have a single appointment lined up.  Welpt.  I (we...?) changed that REAL fast.  We now have tons of appointments and excellent investigators with real interest.  I think it was good for her to see that it doesn`t matter if you`re tired, other people are looking for truth and we are the ones who have it... sooooo we`ve gotta give it to them!  She did have one solid investigator, Veronica who had a baptism lined up for the 29th of September.  We taught her Saturday and she had some serious doubts.  Not about the Church or anything, but rather that she wanted to push back her baptismal date two more weeks so she wouldn`t be tired and she would be more prepared.  In this lesson we were also teaching with two recent converts present.  I looked around expecting someone to answer (including my senior companion) and everybody just looked... tired.  I don`t even know.  So I just opened my mouth and began to speak and beautiful words came out and the Spirit testified to her what she needed to do.  We told her to pray and ask specifically what date the Lord wanted her to be baptized. The next day at church she came up to us and said, "Just so you know, I`m going to be baptized the 29th."  I may or may not have cried.

Lots of long stories short. I learned a lot this week about how being tired... is not ok.  It`s just not.  We can be tired in the Celestial Kingdom.  Our time here on earth (and even more so in the mission) is just way to short to get tired.  If you think you`ve knocked the same door a thousand times, knock it again.  But for Heaven`s sakes do it with the Spirit.  What good does it do if you do it tiredly?  It was also a good lesson to prepare us for the islands.  We learned today that there is an attendance in church of 12, 4 of whom are missionaries, but that the elders recently found one investigator that they have been teaching and his family.  One is good.  659 is better. 

I received a letter from Grandma today!!  A delicious recipe!  Woohoo!  Thanks so much!  Not sure if there is other mail or not, but if there is, they say it`s trickling in a little bit at a time.

Lots of love,
Sister Thomas

P.S. we now only have one hour to correspond with family and friends instead of an hour and a half.  That does not mean write less.  If I have to I`ll spend the money necessary to print. (As I previously mentioned, if you email Mara, please remember to keep it somewhat brief.  Highlights are best.  It looks like her already short amount of time on the computer just got shorter and we want her to use most of her computer time writing.  We also realize how important it is for her to receive mail so please don’t stop writing her.  Just remember short and sweet!!)

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