Monday, January 13, 2014

December 9, 2013- Changes on the Island

Mara told us last week that she would be transferred off the island sooner than later.  Initially, her companion was transferred back to Santiago and Mara was made senior companion with a new sister coming out to the island.  Well, her current companion who is absolutely terrified to fly, basically refused to fly back to Santiago alone so Mara offered to fly back with her, giving up her chance to stay on the island.  So, two new sisters came out to replace both of them.  She is super sad to leave the island and the people but she is also looking forward to being back in Santiago.  She will now serve as senior companion in her new area. 

  This week has been crazy!  On Friday, the new sisters came in.

And with them came your package!!!!!!!!!!!!  The one from grandma has not arrived, but we opened yours and shared with everyone an early Christmas.  It was so thoughtful.  I haven`t read the notes. I decided that those I can take with me and read on Christmas day.  Candy corn, peach rings, chocolate, and fruit snacks. Couldn`t even believe how well you know me.  Not to mention cosmetic things that we so DESPERATELY needed.  We`ve wanted one of those little spongey things since day one on the island.  Thanks so so so so so much for your love and thoughtfulness!

So...the new sisters.  Sister Casique from Peru, and the other is Utahn, Sister Pederson.  The four of us live in our very very teeny cabin.  We sleep on the uncommonly hard and cold floor... or rather... we lie there and pray that God ends the night quickly.  It`s been a little difficult with them here. The people here sort of, accidentally fell in love with us... and they were not quite ready for an abrupt change.  Some investigators say that they are never going to attend when we leave because they love us to much... and this is bad.  Very bad.  So we`re working hard to make sure that the work we have done here continues upward when we leave.  From what we understand, we will be heading out Wednesday. But the honest truth is that, here, one never knows what the future may hold.

Church yesterday was the best darn church in the history of history.  Gladys, an investigator who we absolutely adore with all of our hearts, came to church.  Patricia, a member who was Relief Society President for 17 years and then went inactive for a very very long time came to church.  You can find the story of Patricia and her also inactive brother Adrian if you type in Isla Juan Fernandez (or maybe it`s Robinson Crusoe) in It`s awesome.  But even with their miraculous story, they both went inactive. But regardless!  She came!  And BRUNO!!!!!!!!!!!  Loco Bruno also came, though he came late.  Why?  Because this weekend a giant navy ship came in, bringing tons of specialist doctors to the island like what they do in third world countries. It was the coolest thing ever.  My companion has a skin problem on her hands that the incompetent doctor tried to burn off and made much worse and so we got to go!  We got in this little tiny boat that absolutely FLEW across the waters to the giant naval ship and we had A BLAST. When we got there... turned out that the appointment was on land and that we had been misinformed.  It was the best misinformation I`ve ever received.  Who cares about burned hands when you can fly like a speed racer to a navy ship? So.  Awesome.  

Anyway, we are getting ready to head out this Wednesday. I`ve never been so sad to leave something behind.  I love the people here so much.  As if they were my own children.  Maybe that sounds creepy.  but that`s how I feel.  And that`s how I try to view people.  When I view them as if they were my own children, I desire even more their salvation and try to do everything and anything possible to make sure they understand the message that we are carrying to all the world.  I`ve been getting scared to go back to Santiago.  they say it`s unbelievably hot, but more than that, I`m worried about all the pressure that there is now. Because President Essig is ending soon, he`s really putting the pedal to the metal and whoo!  It scares me.  But it`s a good scare.  As the Lord`s representative, I`m certain that what he requires and expects of us is what the Lord requires and expects of us and has revealed to His servant.  I`m scared, but excited to get working and feel a little bit more like part of the mission.  Should Be fun!
Keep up the good work!  Lots of love!
Sister Thomas

This is a little extra personal note that Mara wrote to me.  

Want to know something cool?  Yesterday, I also taught the Joseph Smith lesson!  The teacher told us that she would be unable to attend church, and so I immediately volunteered. It was cool to be teaching and thinking that we were teaching the same lesson at almost the same time.  I have never once put in contacts - only wear glasses occasionally, so no, don`t worry about that.  Tell grandma that the Chirinos, when they receive the package, will retrieve it and put the mission office address and send it to Santiago.  No worries.  Hahahaha Justin told me that his friends thought he looked like Peter Parker.  I`d love to see a picture!  How cute! (Justin got glasses and told Mara all about them)
Love you!

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