This week Hermana Henderson and I saw a lot of great things happening here in Arauco and some many intances where the Lord is preparing people and blessing us.
So twice this week we hit up the feria (like an outdoor market) in the morning to find some escogidos. We just set up a little table and put some of the pamphlets and pictures we had and started talking to people. It turned out to be so amazing. We had been working really hard on finding people since re opening this sector and this was one of the things we were trying to mix it up. Turns out the feria is the place to be in Arauco. We made friends with a bunch of the people selling things and they were all so nice. I think they secretly felt bad for the two white girls standing in the sun. We got free Mote con Huesillos (I am not really sure how to explain what it is, other than a chileno drink), empanadas and alfajores (a little pastry).
While were there on Saturday morning this guy came up who was walking his bike around and just stood there staring down at the pamphlets not saying anything so we started talking to him and he didnt respond at all and then just looked up asked in English, "Where are you guys from?" and then proceeded to tell us that the day before his sisters boyfriend had passed away suddenly and they were all so confused and lost as to why something like that would happen to them. He said he wasnt sure if God even existed really and he was out looking for answers and he didnt even know why he had come come to the feria that day because he shouldve been with his sister. He said he just wanted to know if his sister could ever even feel joy or have hope for a good life again. We bore our testimonies to him and talked to him for a while and after we set up a time to see him and his sister and he walked away I was just speechless. I couldve even believed that had happened. It reaffirmed to me why I am here. This guy, Mauricio, and his sister have been so prepared by the Lord in every aspect. Even the fact that he was at the feria for no reason while we were there and that we had even decided to go there, something we had never done before. It was a miracle and such a blessing. If nothing else ever worked out I know everything would be worth it if we could just help Mauricio and his sister to come unto Christ and find hope in Him. We are going to see them tomorrow and I cant wait.
The other day my companion and I were also talking about how as missionaries we go to people's houses and share with them and try to help them and when we leave their houses they still continue living their lives. They still have their problems and trials. There are some menos activos in our ward, Ema and Nibaldo. They are an older couple and she has had Parkinsons really bad for the last 5 years or so and is so bitter and unhappy about her situation and doesn't understand why those things have happened to her. Her husband, Nibaldo has to help her do every single thing and you can just tell he is so tired all the time. We had a lesson with them yesterday and one of their sons who is in his 40's was visiting. Everyone really opened up about what was hard for them in their current situation and their son really called them all to repentance in a way. That they both need to decide to be happy and look for the best in situations because our situations do not determine our happiness. We didn't even really say a whole lot during that lesson and I think sometimes as missionaries we don't need to really say anything. We need to help people feel the spirit and give them the opportuninity to open up and come to their own conclusions. To create an environment where the spirit is present. I realize more and more everyday how little we actually do in the conversion of others and how dependant we are on the spirit. We are just instruments for the Lord. Without it, there would be no success, no conversion, nothing. But that when we do work with the Spirit there is so much power and so much change. It is so awesome that I get to do this everyday.
I love you guys a ton. Thanks for everything!
Hey team, March 17, 2014
It has been an awesome week. One of the best weeks I have ever had I think. Hermana Henderson and I tried to give it everything we had all week long. We get along really well and so we knew we had to crack down if we wanted to do the work well and help this sector progress. We even wrote all over our agendas and such "Maquina Week 2014" like a bunch of squares. But it was really great to see all the blessing and miracles that came when we did our part and worked hard. Exact obedience brings miracles! I think the best part of this week was the fact that we found this 24 year old, who we have been teaching and wants to get baptized. He is probably one of the sketchiest people I have ever met, but he surprises us every day. After our first lesson we left him with the Book of Mormon to read 2 Nefi 31 and he read that, the intro, all the testimonies and the first four chapters of the book of mormon. Whoooo! We were so excited. He told us about how he had been talking with God all morning and He told him to keep listening to the missionaries because it is time for him to get his life in order. We took him to a baptism in Lota (about 45 minutes away in bus) because he really wanted to see one before his own baptism and it was the funniest experience. We were practically running to make it on time and then he tells us that he hasnt eaten all day and HAS to go buy some cookies. Then once we get there he asks a member if there is any coffee or ecco or something he could have. So then right as the baptism is starting this member runs in and sneaks the ecco to the guy so he was just slurpin on some ecco and cookies all through the baptism. Haha he also doesn't know how to whisper so that has been hilarious.
On the bus he dropped the bomb on us that he has a girlfriend, a 5 year old son and another on the way. He also told us about how he got a dog bite earlier in the week because he hit a dog when he was drunk. So that was nice. He came to church on Sunday, and the members all had a lot to say about him to us. Arauco is a really small town so everyone knows everyone and every joven in the branch knew all about him. Apparently he has a bad past and they were all worried about us. I really do believe that he has a real desire to learn and change and is developing a testimony of the church. We are passing him to the Elders in our area to continue teaching him, which is hard, but we know it is best and there are more people out there for us to teach. As long as he is able to continue learning about the gospel and repenting, it doesn't matter which missionaries are teaching him.
This week I taught almost every joven we talked to how to say, "boom. roasted."
I also made a list of "things that mean a lot more to me now" than they did before I left on my mission. I want to send it to you guys next week. I love the mission so much and it is helping me in every aspect of my life to change and become better.
Also it has made me realize the things I took for granted before, one of them being SHAG CARPET.
I love you guys!
Ether 12: 4