Janelle's e-mails to her family

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Glad dieciocho is over...now back to work!

Hola Familia bonita!
Sounds like things are going pretty well back in the casa. Dad, thank you so much for your advice about the ward in your last letter. That was really exactly what I needed this week. It is a little hard to make the adjustment to a new ward, but I am trying to focus and all the good things that they do, instead of all the different things. I am very blessed to be in this ward. There is lots of work to do, and I am just trying to help in any way I can. You gave me some good ideas of how to help the Bishop here. He has a very big calling…no counselors to help either. Bless his heart. Mom, I really loved your message about being grateful. That is so true. I am really trying to work on that. Sometimes when I find myself complaining, I just have to stop and think about what I´m saying and just remind myself that I am a missionary. That is the biggest privilege that I have ever had in my life. I need to be willing to do anything that it takes to call myself a disciple of Jesus Christ. When life is hard…welcome to the Savior´s life. The best lives ever lived were not easy ones…they wouldn´t be fulfilling if they were. We have to be grateful for the trials we are given. They are only opportunities to improve and grow, and become closer to our Savior.

Things are really pretty much the same old thing here. We couldn´t work very much since the last time I wrote you all on Thursday, so to be honest not very much has changed. This week we didn´t have many appointments, and we couldn´t leave the house without set appointments…to say the least, I got pretty bored the last four days, but today is the last day of the holiday, and tomorrow all is back to normal. Thank goodness. I am really ready to get back to business.

We did get to go to the ward activity for Dieciocho. That was way fun. I got to see the Cueica for the first time…it´s pretty sweet. The Cueica is the national dance of Chile…everyone knows how to do it here. A little girl in the ward tried to teach me…I got it on video…I´ll show you when I get home. To say the least…it was clear that I am a gringa…I wasn´t the best Cueica dancer there.  Oh well.

We are going to be having another baptism this Saturday! This will be Claudia…the woman that is deaf. She is such an amazing person to me. This ward is not an easy ward to be deaf in either. Mostly it is made up of very elderly people, and I worry about her being able to communicate with people very well, but she can read lips very well. I can communicate just fine with her, but then again, I do speak much slower than most in Chile. But we are going to work with the Bishop here to assign some people to help her understand, whether it is learning signs, talking slow to help her read their lips, or taking notes with good old pin and paper. Hermana McMaster can speak/sign pretty well in American, and there are some that are different, but she can understand pretty well. I am nervous that when she leaves it will be difficult for me, but I am trying to learn as much as I can and help the ward do the same so that she can get the most out of meetings as possible. She is so smart and so faithful. I am pretty sure she would come even if no one was helping her understand. She´s really pretty independent, which is good. There are a couple of inactive people that can sign fluently, so that actually might be something to get them motivated to come back and serve. Pray for us to come up with a solution. I know that she is doing her part; we just have to figure out how to best help her…we have to do our part now.

Well, also this week we had interviews and capacitacion with Presidente. It was awesome. I told him that I am a bit worried that soon I am really not going to be the new sister in the mission. He told me that I really need to be focused on progressing and growing up as fast as I can, because we have a lot of sisters leaving soon, and he´s going to need me as a leader. I am a little worried about this, to be honest. But I am going to really try and push myself really hard this cambio to learn as much as I can fit in my head, just so I can be a better servant and be available to do whatever the Lord requires of me. I am scared, though…I´m not going to lie, but President expressed his confidence in me, and that helped a lot. Now I just can´t let anything get in the way of my progress. I think this is the point in my mission that it is beginning to change from just a really cool experience to a whole lot of responsibility. But I am really grateful for the opportunity to become the missionary that the Lord has in mind. Yesterday was a hard day, just because I realized that this is not going to be easy to do, but really I know that I am going to grow so much. I am grateful for the opportunity. Here I go. Thanks for your prayers.

Well, because I don´t have much new news this week, I´ll tell you all a little bit more about Punta Arenas. It is a lot colder and really pretty windy, BUT the houses here are heated with gas stoves instead of wood stoves…and we are very blessed to have one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom, so when it is cold we turn them both on and we are roasting in no time! We have the warmest house in the mission I think.  Unlike in Ancud, we don´t get to walk by the beach everyday to citas, BUT you can see the Magellan Strait from our house…pretty legit. I think one P-day we are going to get up early and go watch the sunrise over it…and touch the point of the world where the Pacific and Atlantic meet…who knew!? The food here is pretty much the same. Although the mamita here lets us serve ourselves, so we don´t have to eat as much food as we did in Ancud…thank goodness. Hopefully I can drop a few pounds here.  Oh man, gotta love the fact that everyone is shoving food in your face. I love Chileans! Que mas…It´s warming up a little bit now. I got lucky to be here in the Spring and Summer…I hear it gets pretty bad snow in the winter. Also the Spring and Summer is when the penguins come!!!! So before too long, ya´ll will be getting pictures of me and the birdies!  Get excited…I am.

Well, that´s about all that I have time for, Familia mia. I love you all tons. Thanks friends for your emails. Love you guys. Sent off some letters to you all this week.

-Hermana Bertagnole

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