Monday, December 29, 2014

78th Blog….. Calling all of the hooligans in Hooliganville

78th Blog of Hermana Talbot

Family... Dearest hooligans... Hi. :)

18 months in the mission!!!! One more to go for the record of 19 months! I spent this special day in the temple and at President's house. It can't get any better than that!

Alejandro had a break through with family history! First time sitting down at the computer with the family history consultant, Solange, and he had a great time! He came to the computer not knowing who anyone was after his parents... and he left knowing his grandparents. :) Gotta love family history!

Story time: we got a reference from the office of a Juan Ignacio. He's 21 years old and is absolutely wonderful. We met him that same day and set up an appointment for 2 days later. Thursday came and we taught him in a park. We simply asked him, "For you, who is God?". I cannot even express what I felt as he told us his feelings about God, his Heavenly Father. He spoke of a father, someone who loves him and knows him. He spoke of someone who is interested in his life and who is there to help in every way. I sat there astounded. I felt the Spirit as he was talking. My eyes filled with tears and I felt edified by my investigator's testimony. I never realized how much these people can and are changing me. My testimony is much stronger. I know, just as Juan Ignacio knows, that Heavenly Father loves us all more than we can comprehend. Bad news... he's moving... BUMMER.

I had my Temple Day and Day of Honor with President and Hermana Wright this past Thursday!! I still can't believe that I'm coming home. I feel bipolar when it comes to my feelings, but I think I'll normal out soon. Haha. So this change there are almost 40 of us who are going home. It's one of the largest groups to leave the mission at one time. In fact, for all of us to have our Day of Honor, they had to split up the Elders and the Hermanas because it isn't possible to feed us all at one time. So all of us Hermanas had our own special day with the Wrights. Cool!! It was better off that way because we didn't have to act like ladies (ex: playing basketballs in dresses haha). It was a wonderful day. I have many memories to write in my journal. It was a great goodbye, even though I'm not leaving with the group on the 29th of December. I've got a little more time to play. :)

Funny fact: Hermana Tingey and Hermana Cook have been struggling with names recently. We're not sure why, but they've been calling each other Hermana Talbot!!! Bahahahahahah. It's so funny to hear them talking and then hear the exasperation after they say my name. Pure shock and shame. Bahahahaha.

Second story time: okay, 2 less actives. We always pass for them. Always. They're never home or never have time. They can be very short tempered, but also very loving people. I have entered their house maybe 4 times since I've been in this sector (almost 10 months of passing by for them) and 2 of those times were while Clarina was working inside her house and 2 others to offer service. However, POR FIN, we got into the house this past week and we had a bomb of a lesson (as Hermana Cook called it). I talked a lot. Ooppss. But I know the spirit was present and there were very inspired moments as I poured my heart out to them and them to me. Also, they made me feel wonderful for 2 reasons. (1) They said I was the first missionary who had come into their home of the which they felt I was truly interested and worried about their spiritual lives. [Side note: I was very bold with them and told them how it was... they must have liked it.] Anyway, (2) as we were leaving Miguel said to me that he was happy that Clarina got was she wanted and accomplished a desire. Her desire was for me to come back to their home before Christmas so the two of us could talk. And lo and behold, they came to church for the first time in about 5 years. How amazing is that! Those are the little breakthroughs that make this all worth it. All people can change!!

Speaking of changes. In South America, we're changing the way we count lessons and people in our key indicatores! For the first time here in the mission, President called a meeting of the entire mission to let us know about these changes. I am so excited to see the photos! So starting 2015, we will not be counting lessons with members, recent converts, or less actives, references, and progressing investigators. Wow! What a change! However, I am excited because now our focus will change. We will look more toward ordinances and those who are progressing. Also we are starting to report the total assistance in the chapel every Sunday. The area presidency of South America are crackin' down! Yyyahhhoooo!

It's the little things: we were in the metro contacting people as we were traveling to a reunion and all the sudden I saw something that lifted my spirits. This teenager, a very tall and white looking Chilean at that, pulled out his cellphone. I thought nothing of it, until I saw Moroni sounding his trump at the top left corner. He started reading and had a thoughtful look on his face. I immediately reached over 5 people and tapped him on the shoulder. I asked him, yelling at that, "Are you a member?" He said, "Yes." with a big grin on his face. I responded, "I have an assignment for you to do." and gave him 3 'El es la Dádiva' (#heisthegift) cards to hand out before Christmas. He accepted the challenge and we got off of the metro. It warmed my heart to know that a youth in the church took his precious time in the crowded metro to read about the gospel and strenghten his testimony in Jesus Christ. Every person, young and old, should aspire to do just the same.

Have courage, stand for truth, testify of Christ, strengthen your testimony... I'll do the same. That's a promise. :)

FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! May we remember the reason we celebrate Christmas. It's not our birthdays. It's the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Had He never been born... had He never offered Himself and completed His mission, the Atonement, there would be no hope for any of us. Let us celebrate Him, forget ourselves, and serve those around us.

Hermana Talbot

P.S. We had a missionary ward activity... We Hermanas did synchronized swimming. It was sooo much fun. Too bad I can't send the video. :P

P.P.S. Last photo... it was of today. We had a Christmas Devotional with President Wright, Hermana Wright, and their oldest son, Jonathan. We ran into a whole bunch of people... one of them being Hermana Allred! Kodak moment. =)

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