Wow. I cannot believe that in three days I will have been in Chile for one whole month. In some ways it seems like I got here yesterday, and in other ways it seems like I have been here forever...I love it here. It has certainly stolen my heart. I was reading a church talk about Chile this week and it said something like the beauty of Chile is enough to break your heart and the people are so nice that they can put your heart back together again--so true. :)
This week was a good one. I am learning a lot. Also it seems like the more Spanish I am able to understand, the easier it is for me to love these people and what they are going through in the individual lives. I am learning to push myself with the Spanish. I am trying to stay relaxed when I speak, because sometimes when I worry that I don´t know how to say something perfectly, my mind freezes and I don´t remember how to say anything at all... oh the life of a new missionary! But I am learning that people (most anyway) really appreciate my efforts of learning and are more than willing to help. I am trying really hard to learn how to speak in past form--it´s hard to teach about the story of Joseph Smith and the Plan of Salvation when I struggle saying things in the past form. I told my compi that everyday I´m going to write a short story in Spanish and she´s going to correct it for me. I´m so glad that she speaks English as well as she does. She is way smart, and has been such a blessing to me. I couldn´t have asked for a better trainer. A Latin to help push me to learn Spanish, but a Latin that is studying to be an English teacher, to help me in tight situations. I am one blessed Hermanita.
Remember the story I told you about my first door knock my first day in the field. The woman´s name was Barbara and she let us in right away, and we got to teach her a lesson? Well, we had a hard time finding her after that. She was sick. We went back again this week to try and teach her, and we found her. She told us that she was sick because she had a miscarriage. We had no idea that she was even pregnant. We talked to her and served her. She and her family are moving to another part of Chile, and so we won´t be able to teach them anymore. I don´t even think that it is in our mission anymore, but we got to teach her and help her move. She and her family are so great. I love them tons. I hope that they will get to meet with the missionaries again. I know that they are prepared to hear this gospel. I am sending a picture of her and her 2 sons and us at her son’s birthday party. They´re super cute, her sons. Barbara speaks English pretty well, so I gave her a English BOM to read side by side with her Spanish BOM, and I told her the promise about learning a language by reading the scriptures in that language. I hope that she does it. She seemed pretty excited. I miss her already--my first door knock, lesson, and investigator...I wish she was my first baptism too, but some other lucky missionary will get that opportunity soon I hope.
Excitement for the Mundial (World Cup) is starting already. I think it starts June 10...I am excited to get to be here for it. I can already tell it´s way bigger than the Super Bowl. My compi told me that in Argentina, grown men cry when their team loses. She confessed that she cries too. But I´m excited.
Also, I received another testimony that prayers are answered. On Friday, Hna Aponte and I were walking from our house to an appointment and she reached into her pocket and her agenda was no longer there. She was sure she brought it. And for those that have served missions, you know how important that is...she has the phone numbers and addresses of all our investigators, members, contacts, etc. We backtracked and couldn´t find it, so we went to go see if it was in the house. It wasn´t. Before we left we said a prayer that we would find it fast so that we could get back to work. We said amen, and headed out the door. When we walked out of our fence our neighbor called for us and said that she found the agenda outside the fence right after we left... We have a Heavenly Father that loves us, and if something is important to us, it is important to Him, no matter how small.
We have a lot of great investigators right now, but we are working on getting them to keep commitments. I have been studying this for a few days now, and we are deciding to try and study Preach My Gospel better as we give commitments. I can tell studying HR before is helping me out. We made a plan of action that hopefully will work. Commitments are everything for these people...they are our Salvation. You have to start small before you can make the big ones. I think the people are interested and want to learn the Gospel, but they either don´t fully understand the importance of reading, praying, and attending, or they just forget to actually do it. To some degree that is our fault as the missionaries, so we are going to try and improve in that regard. Pray for us.
Well, that´s about all I have as far as news goes...one last funny story: My languages are super confused right now...hahah. I was talking to a member that is about our age, and I was teaching her in an English class on Saturday. When the conversation was over, we kissed cheeks and I turned around and said to her and her friend "Chau ya´ll!" ...... WHAT? It was way funny for me...but pretty much only for me because I am the only person there that knew what ya´ll is... anywho, I thought I would share, because you all can appreciate it a little bit more than Chileans.
Oh, Mom...I will move the curtains behind the stove, but just as a word of comfort, there is no need to worry. We haven´t used the stove or oven once since I have been here. We pretty much eat cereal and bread at night for dinner. We have way too much to do to cook. Somethings never change...
Thank you thank you for all your letters. I love hearing from you all. I love you all so much, and I miss you but I heard a quote that I really liked: A missionary is someone who leaves their family for a little while to help others live with their families for eternity. I love this work. I am trying to be better and work harder at it. Thank you for your support and for making this possible for me.
Friends: Thanks for emailing and writing! I can only send emails to family, so I will write you all via snail mail :) but don´t worry the letters will come in a few weeks :)
Hermana Berta (That´s what they call me here...they think my name is too long :)