Hello to all you Gringos.
I had a slight panic attack last Monday. I didn't get time to tell you all about it. So I'm at the internet and I get a text message that Hermana Wright was trying to call me. So I call her back and she says to me that there's a new update in church policy about missionaries going home. If a missionary has been booked their returning flight ticket and there happens to be a need to change that flight, it is only changeable with Quorum of the 12 Apostles' authorization. Wow!! So Hermana Wright was calling very concerned that we weren't going to be able to get me home January 19th because my ticket got booked months ago for December and wanted to let me know they were looking into it... Phew.... I then told her that I had received my ticked in my email this past week for January 19th and to not be worried about it because I had kept Elder Sheffield (who books tickets) updated on the wishy-washiness so he would not book my ticket. We both had a very grateful moment that my ticket had never gotten booked before we knew what date I needed to come home... Otherwise, it would all be up in the air again.... Such drama my life holds! (and I've never even been a dramatic person!)
Ohhh hilarious story: Happened last Sunday. So the Bishop's 4th son, Thomas, (turned 2 this past week) is always up on the stand, even though the Bishop hates it and his wife tries to keep his attention. It's a long lost battle really; but hilaious for everyone else. Because he will be coming up to the stand and look at his dad. His dad will give him "the eye" or shake his head... but to no avail. He climbs up anyway. So this past week he comes up to the front and has this HUGE plastic dinosaur, which inevitably talks as well. Haha. So he goes around roaring and clomping during fast and testimony meeting. It was quite entertaining. Hahaha.
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!! I have seriously found a love for it these past few weeks and am so grateful to be here. Maybe my stress is going down a little. Hahaha.
Here in Chile, I think I've mentioned this before, September 11th is a dangerous day here in Santiago. Well in some parts. So we made a connection this past week... September 11th forever ago was a day when there was a revolt and there was a lot of young people killed. And because that generation was killed, that's why there are a TON of old people and little kids. Literally, it is so hard to find a young adult here in our sector. But that's why!
Hermana Wright called me this past week and told me she wanted me to go see Hermana Cook, the new mission nurse that comes to me next week. She said that Hermana Cook was feeling nervous and a little in the dark, so she suggested we go see her to give her a little heads up. Well, I thought that was a great idea, but not as a teaching basis... more like a friend basis. Soo I met her on Thursday. We went to the CCM and had lunch with her and her companion. It was wonderful. On the outside, she's very calm, cool, and collected. I told Hermana Tingey that she's going to have to grow a thick skin here with the missionaries and the Chileans. We are very excited to receive her in one week. I still can't believe that I'm going to train someone to take over my responsibility as nurse and also as a missionary with Hermana Tingey. Isn't that crazy? I'm gonna have a daughter (as they say in the mission)!!!
Remember when I ate pavement at college right before finals and had to have stitches in my upper lip and everything? Ya well, I almost ate pavement again. But this time not at the hands of Silas pushing me, but at the hands of Hermana Tingey pushing me in a wheelchair. So we're returning a wheelchair back to Dr. Johnson and it looked terribly stupid for us two to just be pushing this wheelchair down a busy street, so she tells me to get in. I'm thinking, yes, this ole body is gonna get a break. So I get in the wheelchair and just kept my feet up (I did not put them on the footrests) and thankgoodness for that because we come to a curb and BOOM I go flying forward in the chair. Luckily, I catch myself with desperation; Hermana Tingey and I start laughing after the shock disappears. Only to find there's a garbage guy who watched it all and is also hysterically laughing. Hahaha. We laughed for about 2 minutes, right after I got out of the wheelchair and walked (feeling stupid as we walked down the street with an empty wheelchair was the better option after all).
We have met lots of great people recently. We are hoping all of the contacting and knocking on doors will pay off. One family is Cristian, his wife, and 2 kids. We always passed by Cristian because he owns a little store and was always outside. He got our attention though because he always said hello to us with a smile. So one day we both said to each other, "we need to go talk to that nice guy with the little store". And we did just that. Only to find his 2 sons running the store. We talked for a while and his oldest son, Diego, told us that he had been to the Mormon church a few times and liked it. Then we stopped by the next day and talked to Cristian and he told us his mom had just passed away 3 months earlier and how much it still hurts. He actually cried and believe me he is a macho guy so we knew it hurt to talk about it. Anyway we testified of the Plan or Salvation and the Book of Mormon, left them with a prayer, set up an appoitment for the next Monday, and off we went happier than ever. They are an amazing family!! So genuinely happy and humble. I hope they see the worth of our message. Oh ya....the best part is: it's a young family (practically a miracle in our sector).
Creepiest moment of the mission: okay, I don't even know why it creeped me out so badly, but we contacted this old guy outside of his house. He was sitting on a chair in front of his house and there was a gate between us. So we just talked to him for a second, then all the sudden in the window above his head, between the glass and the curtain, I saw a cell phone slowly come up with the camera side towards us, stay for 2 seconds, and go back down. I was creeped out more than ever in my life. I couldn't even speak. I have no idea why it scared me so much, but I was struck dumb. Isn't that the creepiest thing that people take pictures of us?!? I guess its a reason to put makeup on everyday. Haha. But seriously, that is so creepily weird!
We had a special conference today with Elder Russell M. Nelson from the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, his wife, Elder Viñas (70) and his wife, and also President and Hermana Wright. It was absolutely wonderful. I am going to miss the inspiration and Spirit one can feel in their presence as they encourage us to continue working with all heart, might, mind and strength in missionary work. I have been inspired more and more to continue on with the work of salvation after the mission and also for the last few months I have left. I thank God and my Savior that I have a testimony that there is a living, true prophet and that he has 12 apostles, just as our Savior did. I know this church is the same that existed when Christ was on the earth. Everyday that I testify of such, my heart swells with pride to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. =)
I have found another favorite scripture. It is what I wish for every member of the church... to welcome all with open arms (no matter their past, culture, weaknesses, or personality) and to establish the restored church of Jesus Christ. "Nevertheless, the people of the church did have great joy because of the conversion of the Lamanites, yea, because of the church of God, which had been established among them. And they did fellowship one with another, and did rejoice one with another, and did have great joy."(Helaman 6:3).
May we all be accepting and loving this week and forever, that we may accept the love the Savior has for ALL people.
Love. Love. Love.
P.S. I don't know if I said this or not, but the address to the mission has changed a little. I will let you all know next week what it is.
P.P.S. Don't send Christmas packages! Save your money for when I get home... I want lots of presents and date nights. Hahaha. =)