Hola familia mia:.
Well, I am no longer Chilota, I am Magallanica...but considering that I was born (in the mission) in Chiloe, I might always consider myself Chilota...we´ll see. So yes, Magallanes is my sector here in Punta Arenas. This whole area in the southern part of Chile is technically called Magallanes...You´ll have to do some research to find out all the reasons, as I am still not exactly sure. From what I understand, supposedly it is an "independent republic" but I am pretty sure that it is still very much part of Chile. They do have their own flag though...but I think that is kind of like the Confederate flag in the United States. :)
Anyway, my new compañera is Hna. McMaster. She´s awesome. This is her last cambio in the mission, so it´s kind of sad, but she´s a really hard worker, and I am learning a lot from her. She´ll be way fun to work with. My first Saturday here we had another baptism! It was a young man, Miguel, who´s mom and step-dad are recent converts from May, and he has been working with the sisters for awhile now. His step-dad got to baptize him! He is awesome. He´s 17 years old and just a really good kid. It was neat to see their family get completed. Sandra and and Amador (his parents) also have another little girl who is 4, and she is adorable. They want to go to the temple so badly so they can be sealed. They are just a great family that is going to be such a strength in the ward here. I am sending pictures!!! It was a great start to the cambio.
Also we will be having another baptism the 25th of September. She has been working with the missionaries for a little while now, and she has been coming to church as well. Her only problem was she was living with a menos activo member and they are not married, but they are going to get married the 24th so we challenged her to be baptized the 25th and she eagerly accepted. Claudia and her future husband, Boris, are deaf...so I am learning a new language now too. I am learning how to sign now! It´s so fun. It´s different than sign language in the US, so sometimes I get confused from what little I remembered from those classes that the sister missionaries used to teach, but it´s way neat. Claudia can read lips really well, and to be perfectly honest, she understands the concepts way better than almost any other investigator. She is so smart. It is such an inspiration to me. We are trying to get the members to at least try their best to communicate with her at church. There is one young man that can sign, so we are enlisting his help to teach a sign class to the members. I want to take it too. I can pray in signs now though! It´s fun and she is so sweet about it.
As far as the transfer goes, I have learned that it´s kind of like starting all over again...I am learning and praying for a love for the people all over again, just like I did when I first got into the mission. I hope that it comes sooner now that I can understand them, and communicate with them more now. I know that it will come. I am learning to work with different members, different leaders, different investigators, etc. but they are all great, so I think the love is coming quickly. I already just love Hna. McMaster. She´s great. I feel blessed to have her as my comp. Also I am SO happy because I get to see my Mama Aponte about 3-4 times every week. It is so so great!
My focus this cambio will be the same as last cambio. The family. I just have realized very quickly that that is where success is on the mission. I realized it with Miguel´s family. I am realizing that it is so much easier to become inactive when you´re family is not there to support you. I don´t worry at all about Miguel being inactive, because right now it is easy for him and his family to have the goal of the temple. It is within their reach, they are so close they can almost touch it. And that is driving them. Without that it is so easy to lose sight of what the real goal is. I really want to help the members activate or complete their families and GET TO THE TEMPLE! I learned this week just how important and crucial those covenants are. They too are necessary for our Salvation! We are praying hard to find a family that is prepared and ready to here this glorious message. I just love having that as the focus. And I feel even more strongly about it this cambio than the last. I know that there is at least one prepared and waiting in this sector.
As far as the weather goes here, it´s cold and windy, but it isn´t as bad as everyone makes it sound...but granted I am here during spring. ... but I hear the wind will get really bad. That´s ok... I´m tough. :)
Also, the reason that the Pday is Thursday is because of their Independence Day. It´s the 18th of Sept. and this year is the 200th birthday, so it´s going to be nuts. Lots of borrachos, so we are only allowed to work on set meetings for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It´s taking a hit on the work, but I know it´s for our safety...I´m going to get so bored in the house though. Oh well, supposedly this holiday is bigger than Christmas. And people just party for 4 days straight...I´ll send pictures of the Ward activity (it´ll be calm compared to the others, hahaha).
Well, that is all I have time to write for now....
OH funny thing: The law here for the 18th of September is that everyone has to have a flag waving outside their house for the entire month of Sept. or else you get a ticket...Luckily our house owner took care of ours. We have the Chilean flag and the Magallanes flags hanging. I figured Scott would get a kick out of that law.
LOVE YOU ALL TONS!!!!!!!!!
(HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHELSEA!!!!!! Love you!)