"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: Be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves."
- Matt 10:16
This scripture is the motto of my week!!! As a missionary you have to be a bit of an actress....all the time. I'm learning lots in this sector.
Also, I was told I look like I'm 25. No comment for that one.
We had a bit of crazy week, but always a good week.
Primero, our referral from Washington DC said he can't get baptized because he is starting a yoga class that goes from 5am-7pm Saturday and Sunday. For a year and a half. I have no comment for this either. Yoga or baptism? I've been on my knees a lot this week.
Also we taught this lady that is so awesome! I've never had someone so fully understand the message of the restauración like she did. When we introduced the Book of Mormon her eyes lit up. She said "!Un otro testamento de Jesus!!!!!" and then went off about how excited she was. So amazing. The Lord really does prepare His people.
This week was the meeting with all the mission and we got lectured on obtaining referrals. Hermana Aspitia & I have had a lot of success with referrals, so Presidente called us up in front of the whole mission and we had to tell the story of some of our referrals. Yes I had to speak in Spanish in front of my whole mission. I thought I was going to die. People said it made sense, but I don't believe them. Anyways, it was a good experience for me.
I sure love you all and hope things are well in your part of the world!
I hope you are all well. This week was rather eventful! Please excuse my spelling as I have one hour and this keyboard is in spanish!
I went to the campo con [translation: "countryside with"] Hermana Correa! My sector is the very top of the mission right in the city, and often I don't feel like I'm in a different country, but going to the boonies of the mission made me realize...I am not in America anymore! It was super awesome. Hermana Correa is from Brazil and is super passionate about....everything. I learned a lot from her and it was a very quiet and pleasant time away from the craziness of the city.
We also had cambios [translation: "transfers"]! Nothing changed though, but my comp is now a sister trainer leader and trainer! I love her and learn loads everyday. We communicate super well now and at 10:30 when it's lights out we can actually talk to each other! Her english is hilarious also.
This week it rained, so much that yesterday we had to stay in our house. It was weird not to be on the go. Also I experienced a rather big earthquake during my morning exercises the other day. I think i'm officially a Chilean missionary!
I love the people here. Every time we enter a house they always pray for us at the end of the lesson, even when they have just met us! It's so awesome.
One of the most interesting things that happened this past week was while contacting, we knocked on this door and this lady let us in super openly. We started talking to her and all the sudden I could not follow the conversation. Next thing I know my comp stands up and the lady starts feeling the face of my companion. I soon realize that this lady is blind. She told us that she doesn't usually let people in, but said that due to her blindness she can sense energies. She then said that we had a beautiful energy. Cool, right?
She also felt my face and hair and said I was a gringa for sure, hahahaha! And then we began the lesson. I started talking about the great apostasy and asked her a question. She responded by telling us her life story, haha. And we ended up changing and talking about the atonement.
This lady was born seeing, and married this man who beat her. One day he kicked her in the back of the head, and she hasn't been able to see ever since. I was absolutely heart broken. We live in a crazy world, but luckily we have a Savior. I encourage you to read Mosiah 15:1-9 but begin with verse 9 and read backwards. It's amazing!
Yesterday our referral from Washington D.C. came to church and loved it! This guy is the coolest and we have another lesson tonight. Super, super awesome!
Thank you for your love and letters! I take pictures and read them later because my time is very limited! Sure do love you all!
We had quite the week! A week of milagros...or in english, miracles. ;)
The first miracle occurred while knocking on a door earlier this week. We waited...and waited...finally we started looking around the street, checking things out, as usual. Next thing I know I see this cute old man, and then I realize that it was this cute old man we had been looking for for two weeks! He gave us an incorrect address earlier, but was super interested in talking to us. My jaw dropped. Let me put this in perspective for you. Our sector has about 100,000 people. What are the odds? You never see the same person twice, and if you do it's your sopapilla lady, but that's a whole other story.
Anyways we ended up teaching him and he came to church yesterday. We also taught his son and turns out just a few days earlier a member of our ward had given his son a Book of Mormon. We had the best lesson with them, and I can't help but see the hand of the Lord in this. Unfortunately his son is moving to Columbia this week, but will meet with the missionaries there. He told us that "I came to Chile for a job, but really I think I came here to find this gospel."
We also went to the temple this week with three recent converts! These ladies have my heart! Irma, pictured below, is 81. She did 1 baptism and called it good, but seriously she's 81, a recent convert and doing baptisms. How's your faith? She also kisses any picture of Jesus she sees and call us "mis Hermanas" or "my sisters." Mi corazon!
Also this week at the temple I saw my MTC companion Hermana Grover! Best day ever!
This week I saw the spirit work through me and it was amazing. We got done teaching Irma and we were trying to decide where to go next. I looked across the street at this apartment building in which a reference lives, whom we had not been able to make contact with. We got a call from Washington DC a few weeks ago with this person's information, but we could not contact them. We left a Book of Mormon in the mailbox, the desk person called every time, but nothing. I got the strongest feeling to try again yesterday.
As we walked in, this man held the door for us and then stood next to us while talking to the people at the desk. He asked if there was anything in the mail for 2106, the people said no. He walked away and we said what number we needed, which was, you guessed it: 2106. My companion said "It's you!!! We need you!" The man turned around and saw us and was super confused. But we figured things out and yes it was him! He saw a documentary about the church and wanted to know more. He's been reading the Book of Mormon and is excited to meet with us again! He also said he never answers his phone and so it was nearly impossible to come into contact with him. Talk about timing!
I hope my miracles made sense! Haha, I'm being serious when I say it's hard to write in english!
I love you all and I know the church is true! I encourage you to read the talk "Faith is not by chance, but by choice" by Neil A. Maxwell. I love this time I have to devote to gospel study! It's amazing and I learn so much everyday! Read the Book of Mormon every day because that book is for our day! I love my mission almost all the time, but even in the hard times I love it because it is an experience that I will never regret!
Here are some photos from our p-day and the temple!
P.S. A side note from Hermana Brinkerhoff's sister-in-law here. I was contacted by a woman from Utah who recently visited Chile and met Josie at church. She sent me the following picture , which she asked that I share, and said this about Hermana Brinkerhoff:
"She is seriously incredible! I served a Spanish speaking mission and I didn't have anywhere near the confidence she does for only being out a few weeks! She was understanding everyone and I was able to see the beautiful confirmation of the girl that got baptized that morning. You all should be so proud of her!!"
Hola! It's Hermana Brink here living big in some sketchy computer place in Republica, Chile.
I hope all of you are doing so well!
This week was a bit more slow...I developed a cold and spent half the week blowing my nose. It's not fun to be sick as a missionary.
Alright let's talk about conference. Never have I enjoyed conference that much. Maybe it was because I miss english. They had all five of us gringos in a special room for english. We were like this little gang. It was awesome! I was comps with Hermana Beardall from Gilbert, AZ durante la conferenica. Sooo fun! When I saw the George girls in the choir I screamed a little, but quickly gathered myself back up, but when I saw Kim George during the last song I started crying. It was awesome.
My favorite talk was the one about resurrección (all of us gringos were crying during that talk by Elder Johnson) I know the family is forever! Sister Oscarson's talk made me think of my family and how awesome and strong my mom is. So my friends, do you really believe it? If not make some changes because this gospel is the real deal. This is Christ's church on the earth. I know it, and I will continue to grow that faith!
I also loved how much the atonement was mentioned. In the MTC an elder said "I am grateful for my mission because I get to let other people experience the atonement" Hermana A and I are going to really center our message on that because everyone we talk to says "I'm 40. I've sinned. I can't change." That is not true! And just when I thought it couldn't get better Elder Holland gets up. I have never felt so spiritually fed by any conference. I think it's because now I have to translate and teach this stuff, so I take it with new eyes. I also love how blunt the talks were. They had a get-down-to-business feel.
The experience this week was on Saturday. We went to this family's house to teach them. about 20 people live in this house so it's so hard to teach. We try to teach the mom and the daughter, but it's always so crazy. When we got there we were talking to the mom about something...I don't remember. Part way through the daughter tapped me on the arm and said "Are we going to pray? I want to pray" Oh my gosh. My heart exploded. I then looked at her Book of Mormon and in cute 8 year old handwriting was written her name. Children are so special.
This week I came to the conclusion that the people of Chile don't need me...the fact is I need them. They are wonderful loving people who make me feel so loved. For example yesterday we were leaving the chapel and this Brazillian lady grabs my arm and starts chatting with me almost all the way back to our casa. I held a conversation with her and her strong accent! Milargo. The gift of tongues is real and when we give the Lord all we have He blesses us.
This is Christ's true, restored Iglesia en la tierra. Sorry for the spanglish I can't help it!
Love you all!
Here are some more photos from our trip to historic Santa Lucia! Hermana Damian goes back to Peru this next week and I am super sad. She's the best!