Janelle's e-mails to her family

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another week in Ancud

Another week has flown by! I can´t believe that it´s Pday again. This week we had a Zone Conference, so that took up 1 day for travel and 1 day for conference, so that´s probably why it´s felt like a super short week. This was a stormy week. I´m trying to figure out what is normal here, because my first week and a half we pretty nice and now it´s pretty stormy...to me it seems more stormy than normal, but what do I know. Everyone here says that this is not out of the ordinary, so I guess it´s "welcome to reality". But it´s all good. I love this work. It is exhausting though! :)

This week was Vanesa´s birthday, and Monday night we went to a member´s house to help us make a cake for her. It was so good. I wrote down the recipe so I can make it for you all when I get back. Eric: you´re assignment is to find somewhere that sells Manjar, that is the key ingredient to everything here. It´s a caramel dulce de leche kind of thing. Pretty yummy. Anyway, so Monday night we made the cake for her birthday on Tuesday. Let me tell you, transporting a huge four layer cake for a mile was quite a difficult task in the middle of a downpour. But it turned out pretty good...and dry. I´ll send pictures. Vanesa was so happy when we surprised her. I don´t think she has ever had a cake like that before. I think it was way special for her. We talked to her later that night, and we were the only ones who even did anything for her birthday. Her pareja (live in boyfriend) didn´t even say happy birthday to her. Fome (lame). This was a really hard week with her. We were hoping that she could get married to Carlos, but the more we think about it the more we think that what she really needs is to leave him. Her life is a mess. I had never really met him before, but this week I did, and to be honest, he´s worthless. He changed his mind about getting married, so she wanted us to come and talk to him. On our way there, her little boy was talking about how hungry he was. When we got to the house they didn´t have any food there either. Carlos came home drunk and smoking. I wanted to yell at him...his child has nothing to eat, and he´s out spending money on beer, cigarettes, and drugs! I was so mad. When he came home that way, we had to leave. You can´t teach someone who is drunk. The more we talked to Vanesa about this situation, we realized that she really only wants to get married so she can get baptized. I don´t think she really loves him, but she has no home and no family around, so if she leaves him, she and Brian (their little boy) have no place to go. Gosh. We don´t know what to do for her. Her life is a mess, but she can´t really progress until she gets herself out of that situation. We are praying a lot to know what to do with Vanesa. This one is a tough one.

So that was one of the more challenging parts of the week. On the bright side, we have two more people with baptismal dates! One girl is 16 years old. Daniela. She lives in the house of our branch president. The missionaries have taught her before, but no one really had much hope for her to progress. During the lesson she acts totally disinterested, and pretty much how teenagers can act during Sunday school or seminary...not that I know from experience or anything ;) Anyway, at the end of the lesson my comp was writing down a reading assignment for her this week, and I felt super prompted to just ask her if she wanted to be baptized. I did, and she said, "Si." and that was that. My comp looked up and said "Si?!", and she said "Si" again. We talked to her a little bit more and we set up a date with her. We´re praying to know how to teach her because she´s the epitome of an apathetic teenager, but at the same time, she has read and prayed and knows it´s true. Oh the adventures of this mission. She´s super though. I´m excited to teach her. The other investigator that we have that has a baptismal date is Susana. She is awesome. She really wants to come closer to God. She has a pareja also, though. So we are going to work with her on getting married and obeying the law of chastity. She has a little boy that is 10 months old and he is SO cute. Love this family. I love teaching these children of God. So rewarding. I can feel a small fraction of His love for these people, and it is the best feeling ever.

As I said above, we had Zone Conference this week. It was so great!! Our mission president is so awesome. He and his wife are such spiritually powerful people. This conference totally pumped me up for this next week. I also love the fact that he´s a fellow Midwesterner. We´re going to get along great.

I´m trying to stay positive and patient at ALL times with my Spanish. I´m learning to laugh at myself and my inability to communicate in the way that I want to. I can communicate mas o menos in basic conversation, but I definitely cannot teach the way I want to. My Spanish just isn´t at the capacity to express myself and my ideas they way I want yet. Clearly, I am not a patient person, and on top of that I´m a perfectionist, so this situation is a tough one for me. I am learning a lot of patience with this one. I´m usually really good at staying positive, but I really have to push myself to speak even when I don´t want to sometimes. I just want to be fluent right now! I know it will come slowly and surely. Until then, I´m just going to keep working as hard as I can with it. I´m reading in Ether 12 right now. I think it is in verse 26 and 27 about how your weaknesses will be made strong. I found a lot of comfort in that this morning as I was studying. The scriptures are awesome. Clearly.

Well, that´s about all I have for now. I hope everyone is doing well back home. Thank you for your letters everybody! It´s sounding like things are hectic but good. Keep on keepin´on. I miss you guys, but I know what I am here for. I am learning that more and more every day.

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