***read below for Hermana Talbot's return date to Banggeerr, Maine….
First and foremost, does the phrase "drunken with sleep" exist? I think it should cause that's what I felt like on Tuesday this past week. Non-functionable. I'm not sure what is in the Santiago air or water recently, but the end of September and beginning of October has proven quite a challenge for the health of our missionaries. From chicken pox to gastritis with vomiting and nausea to hospital visits (at 3am and midnight) to all sorts of stuff. There's been calls at 2AM and practically round the clock. There was one elder who has the chicken pox (2nd missionary to have it during my time here) and has been put in his house for 2 weeks until he's not contagious with the other 3 in his pension. The poor guys had a baptism and couldn't even go to it, as well as they missed general conference. Proof positive that it's better to have the chicken pod when you're a kid than when you're an adult. Anyway, so the nursing role is quite heavy right now. However, I know the health of these missionaries is part of my duty and I will help them with a smile on my face and lots of jokes (the more stressed I get, the more ridiculous I get, and the jokes just fly out without me knowing... Hahaha.)
Fun Brooklyn fact: I am becoming an excellent rice maker. :) Yum. (and no not in a rice cooker.. good ole fashioned pot and water on the stove. haha)
Cute and funny story: one of our older investigators (70's) has started praying! It took him a long time to remember to pray and how to start... until we met with him this past week and he told us that he's been praying... So we asked him to say the closing prayer and he looks at us and says, "Heavenly Father... right?". How cute is that?! Then he made me laugh because he said in the prayer, "in the name of all of the Hermanas please bless them...". It was like listening to the most heart felt, child-like prayer. To end, he might not have said in the name of Jesus Christ or said amen, but it didn't matter. :)
Remember the guy I told you all about last week? The drunk one who guards cars? Ya him. His name is Mauricio. Anyways, so we ran into him the other night. Completely sober (miracle) and so we talked. He had a very hard childhood. His parents separated when he was 14; since that point, he began and has never stopped drinking. In the sober moment we talked, he was ready to give up drinking. He cried when I told him he was a child of God and stated he wanted to change his life. Well, I needed him to understand the message, so I have learned here in Chile to use examples or the things around me as object lessons. Well, Hermana Tingey and I had just bought some bread and chocolate milk (healthy I know)... and there were medium sized rocks all around us; so it was what I had to use. I compared his addiction to this heavy rock; that he has been carrying it around for years and how it's completely unnecessary. Then I compared the message we have to the chocolate milk. In the end, we made a trade, the rock for the milk. It was amazing to see the light in his eyes as I chucked the rock and he drank the milk. As of yet, 1 week later, he still remembers the rock (an mentions it every time we talk to him) and has not touched alcohol since. Score! Win! Shaaaaabang! :) Pray for him please.
People have started calling me a tomato... I guess it's time to start wearing sunscreen. Summer has come! The change of the season means white stuff for you all soon! I'll be home sooner than we know it. Below there's a surprise. A return date maybe. :)
Another success story. This last week we taught our investigator Alejandro about the Word of Wisdom and how we do not drunk coffee. He was astounded and said in his mind he thought we were crazy and was not going to give up coffee. Nonetheless, we challenged him to do it and to replace it with something they drink here called Ecco. A few days ago we met with him again and he has completely stopped drinking coffee, drinks Ecco now, likes Ecco, and has said chau to his coffee drinking days. Isn't that amazing?!?!! He said, in fact, that he offered Ecco to his mom and she refused to drink it. Hahaha. I truly am seeing lives changing for the better. The blessings of God are waiting for us as we live the gospel of Christ and follow His teachings. Alejandro has a baptismal date for this month. Pray for him as well, if you all could.
I got a few complements this past week. I have found a love for teaching here in the mission. Well, in college as I tutored, studied and taught friends I knew it was something I enjoyed; however, then I got here ad teach everyday, all day. As time goes on and as my knowledge and skills increase, I leave daily excited, no longer nervous, to teach the Chileans. This past week someone complimented me in two ways. (1) that I know a lot about the gospel and (2) that I am an entertaining teacher. I'm not so sure if the second one is a good thing or not, but I'm glad I'm at least not boring. :) It made me feel good this week. Maybe I am helping others see the sweetness of living this gospel.
Speaking of coming home. I have an answer as to what day!! I will be flying out of Chile the ....... (see picture attached)!!! Expect me the next day in the states. I'll send you my flight plans when I get them. :) The extension until February was denied due to the church recently prohibiting extensions for missionaries. Sooo, I will be staying 30 days extra to help train the new nurse and will be on my way after. Also the Santiago South mission (funny... my original mission assignment) has asked President Wright for me to also train their nurse, so it's gonna be an interesting end.
You all have a date now. Sorry for the back and forth for so long. I am happy. I am content. I am enjoying my time as missionary for the LDS church. As difficult as it's been, I wouldn't change it for the world.
Today we went to Pirque... it's absolutely a beautiful, bum-town, poor place. I took some pictures of the fields. Also of us 4. Hermana Diaz is going home this change so we all got together to say goodbye to her. It was a wonderful time to sit and talk... and of course, eat. =)