Tuesday, December 16, 2014
77th Blog …. time is drawing near ….. 5 more yipppppeeeee
Last Sunday was fast and testimony meeting. :) There's this cute grandpa, Hermano Barrera, in our sector. Hey, I think I've sent a picture of him before. The one when we're making empanadas. Anyway. So he's just this cute, quiet grandpa who rarely ever gets up to the pulpit. Well, this past Sunday he totally did. And he sang in MAPUCHE!! It was the coolest thing ever, even if it caught me off guard. He was talking about how they used to translate the hymns into Mapuche a long time ago in order to sing them. It was so cute and he was so shy about it. I might not understand diddly squat of Mapuche, but it was equally fun!
Family, let's have a Skype date okay?!? Christmas Day? I've still got to figure out who's house we're going to in order to give you a time, but give me some ideas of when you'll be available. Dad and bros: I'm 4 hours later than you. Mom and Joy: I'm 2 hours later than you.
Martin went to mutual this week. He's just such an amazing kid. And he totally went on his birthday cause he didn't have anything else better to do. The crazy butt, though, is waiting to live the Word of Wisdom until the end of this week so he can party with his friends for one last time. He's a pretty amazing 15 year old kid. We taught him the entire Plan of Salvation in like 30 minutes and then asked him to teach us the plan. He totally did it. Perfectly. I'm excited to see him progress and to see his life change. He was just made to be a missionary.
I just had to write this down. Our zone leader, Elder Mamani, was in our district class. We talked about attributes of Christ and recent experiences we have had. He stated that he admires all of us English speaking missionaries for our courage to learn and speak a different language. I had never heard that from a Latino before and it made me realize how much courage that actually takes to speak Spanish. I admire Hermana Cook and Hermana Tingey for their constant effort to conquer this language! They're champs. I am grateful for my Spanish and the blessing I have been given to learn quickly.
Zone conferences are the bomb!! I absolutely love learning about the gospel. My mind, at times, just explodes in amazement of the plan God has for us. He really does love us and wants us to live with Him again. I have learned so much about the gospel, here on the mission, and cannot wait to learn more when I have Internet access. :) Also, Hermana Cook sang at the conference a BEAUTIFUL song, "More Like Thee" and accompanied her. Hermana Wright asked us to sing a few weeks ago and I thought the song was really slow and boring... until we got practicing it and I learned how spiritually lifting it was. We also learned that so far in December, as of the 10th, there have been 14 baptisms. According to President Wright, this is the highest number so far at the beginning of a month. We are expecting to give our Savior a huge, return to sender gift of love this year. #heisthegift
We hit a record this past week of how many sick calls I received during the night. 12am. 3am. I have been so tired. I wake up in the morning to the alarm and feel more tired than I did when I went to bed the night before. One morning, I was filling up my water bottle and needed to dump out the old water from my bottle. I literally went to the window of our 14 story apartment to dump it out. Can you say loca?
Ramon. The 30 year old Chilean "wow kid". He's a little odd, not gonna lie. He wears a black, leather, rain hat with black James Bond sunglasses and his shirt was on inside out. An honest description. Haha. So every time we would say something he'd say, "wow...". Example: Us - "We have a message about Jesus Christ to share with you." Him - "wow, I'm so interested in that." Us - "We'd love to pass by your house tomorrow and teach you more." Him - "wow, at what time?". Hahahahahaha. Not even joking. :)
12-13-14. Totally happened this week. That's the last run of numbers for a while... just so you all know. It's very important information right there.}
We went to Aguas de Ramon again! I think it's a yearly adventure. This time though, it was just us three. Until... we ran into this 21 year old girl from Brazil hiking by herself... she was lost and had lost her friend on the trail (scary!). She spoke very good English and it was fun to talk to her in Spanish, her to talk back in Portugues and to undertsand it. YES! Anyway, she hiked with us to the waterfall and back to camp. We found her friend back at camp after we got down (thank goodness). It was record time that we got up there, sat at the waterfall, and got back to camp. It's supposed to take 2-4 hours. We got up there in like an hour. GOOD WORKOUT RIGHT THERE. I honestly think I am sleeping at the computer as I am typing. It's the first time we've sat and relaxed all day long. But let me say, I was wonderful to get outdoors and smell the wonderful smoggy air of Santiago. =)
News break: Alejandro PASSED THE SACRAMENT for the first time yesterday!! He was sooo happy and content. After it was over, he said he loved it and that it was "quite easy". Hahaha. We are working with him tomorrow with his Family History so we can get him to the temple for baptisms before I come home. That's the goal!
President Benson said that one of the greatest things about Christmastime is that it increases our sensitivity to things of God: “It causes us to contemplate our relationship with our Father and the degree of devotion we have for God. “It prompts us to be more tolerant and giving, more conscious of others, more generous and genuine, more filled with hope and charity and love—all Christlike attributes. No wonder the spirit of Christmas touches the hearts of people the world over. … For at least a time, increased attention and devotion are turned toward our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” This Christmas, as the spirit of the season permeates our hearts, let us do something that expresses our feelings in an outward way, showing that we understand that the babe born in Bethlehem is the real Redeemer.
President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95) gave some practical advice that helps us do that:
“This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.”
Without Christ, there would be no Christmas. Without Christ, there can be no fulness of joy. Without His birth and His Atonement, we would have no Intercessor, no Advocate with the Father, and no Mediator who makes it possible for us to return to the presence of our loving Heavenly Father and live together as eternal families.
May we all remember who we are and to help others along the way.