Last email??? Last B-Day? Who knows.... As Hermana Cook said, "You're gonna be a RN and a RM." Cheesy my dear friend. Haha.
Hermana Tingey moment: an investigator asked us about the church's stand on Euthanasia. So we got talking about it after in the street and Hermana Tingey says, "Youth-in-Asia?" I do not understand what that has to do with anything. Hahahahahaha. Love her.
Bold moment: so there's this homeless drunk that has his eye on Hermana Cook. We were sitting in a park a week ago, he came to us sober and told us how he believes in God and that he thinks Hermana Cook should be his girl. Bahaha. So every time we walk by he always whistles at her, makes a comment, or offers her something (this week it was a Barbie doll hahaha). She just kindly walks on and says no thanks. Hahaha. Well, I got sick and tired of the comments and the whistles. So, imagine this... I said something to him as we were walking by. "You know what? If you had more respect, we'd probably talk more." Later that night we passed by him again... he didn't say a word until I said hi. WIN!
This next week is going to be CRAZY! We have District Class (of the which I am teaching 15 minutes of it), lunch with Dr. and Hermana Johnson (what a treat!!), an extra temple day with Hermana Tingey (I really am spoiled here. Thanks President!), divisions with Hermana Bohman again, a special 24 hour divisions with Vania (she's coming to sleep at our house and be a missionary for 24 hours... how cool is that?), once with some members, my last interview with President, packing, etc... I don't think I will have any time to think about home or pack... PHEW! Better to be busy than bored huh?
We ran into this amazing, coolest guy ever. He's a science/math teacher and he is sooo creative! He wanted to teach his students about forest fires. So he created this experiment with different sized PVC pipes and a grid. The point was to show that fire excelerates with wind and always goes uphill. He showed us a video and I wanted to go to his class to learn more! People are so creative and so smart when they put effort into it!
It is soo hot!!! 90-100 degrees for the past while. I have never sweated so much in my life. Last Sunday, I'd never been so hot an dehydrated in all my life. And just so you all know, it's really hard to fast as a missionary, walking in the streets enjoying the hotness of a Chilean summer. Now that's a real fast! I now know fasting after the mission will be easy as I sit in my house in the coolness of wintertime. =)
Speaking of wintertime. So I got thinking about what I want to do when I get home. Obviously I'm gonna hug and kiss my family (cause Chileans kiss everyone), get released, eat something, etc; but I got thinking about after. Sit and talk to my family? Sleep? Get online? Visit friends? What...? Then I had this brilliant idea. I said to myself, "Self, tell Mom to pack a picnic lunch and go talk for hours outside in the lovely summery day." THEN I REALIZED IT'S WINTER THERE! Fail fail fail. My dreams totally destroyed. Snow shoeing maybe? Mom, we need a plan... and it definitely needs to be a warm one.
Something funny: President Wright was talking about his son being up with their little grandson during the night. Then it hit! I realized all of the medical calls received during the night, even though I was tired and needed to worry about someone else, was a great preparation...for children! As you can see mom, I am thinking in the future. You may get grandkids before your 60. :)
Two testimony strengthening experiences: (1) it was late one night; we needed to get back to the house. However, I felt the need to contact one last lady who was watering her "dirt" in front of her house. I signaled to Hermana Cook to contact her and she did. Claudia. But oh did it not turn out the way I had expected. She had very abrupt and hard mannerisms. She told us she had no desire to talk to us, that she new all about the Mormons, and she wasn't convinced of anything we taught. She bashed everything we believed for about 20 ear-aching minutes; we just stood there and listened. Honestly, it was a terrible feeling. I tried to focus on the beautiful moon, coolness of the night, etc... but it was impossible to escape the sick feeling. Then she took a breath and I jumped in. She immediately cut me off; well, my patience was running thin and so I kindly asked her to listen to me because I had just listened to her 20 minute speech. I bore her my testimony; I felt the spirit testifying of my words. It was a heart burning and tear jerking moment for me. I felt edified as I shared. She listened... but not for long. THEN she said, "And this is exactly what I didn't want to do, talk to you..." Excuse me? Where's the loveand respect? Ya anyway, I put my hands in the air and told her she was not obligated to listen nor to talk. And she walked away offended... (2) Ramon, slightly weird... It's the 30 year old Chilean "wow kid". Ya well, we had our last lesson with him a few weeks ago. We taught him about the Book of Mormon; he immediately rejected it saying it was written by a man, refused to read it because it wasn't part of the Bible, and told us we were absolutely wrong. I can't even tell you how much we tried to testify to him; he just still had his wall up. We told him we wanted to teach him more and told us that we could visit again if we taught from the Bible only. I informed him I couldn't do that... and he went his own little merry way. Well, I hope something I said touched their hearts. I hope they felt something. And if not, that's okay; I think those lessons were just for my own benefit. My testimony of the restored church of Jesus Christ, the priesthood, prophets, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, the plan of salvation, the commandants, and so much more has been beat to death here in the mission; but it's only gotten stronger. I know I am here teaching and testifying of the truth; it's changed my life and it can for everyone else as well.
Carlos, Dayana, Jadiel, and Isabela are truly a ray of sunshine and hope! I don't think I've told you all about them. They live next to a member family...which is perfect! The members invited them over continually for Family Home Evenings and such for the past 2 months or so; they always came and loved their time in the FHEs. Then, when the member family gave us the reference, we came into the picture and started teaching them the lessons. They're absolutely amazing! They always read and pray; in fact, they've seen a difference in their lives with just praying and reading as a family for 2 days. The gospel is powerful! The sad part: they're going to leave Santiago until March for work. However, we are going to send the reference to other missionaries; they can followup and teach them more. :)
I went on divisions with Hermana Bohman last week and we saw the famous Violeta! From when I taught her 10 months ago, you wouldn't think she has changed much; however, going back to see her, I saw a huge change. The gospel truly does changes lives if we live it. Violeta was in Viña del Mar when Hermana Bohman told her I was coming (what trickery!) and so she specifically came back to Santiago to see me. It was fun to see her face and see her tears when she saw me. Ahhhh. We taught her about having the goal to get to the temple and the plan of salvation. It was interestingly weird and yet fun to be in my old sector again. A lot has changed for the better!
This past Monday, I received an email from Hermana Berthelson, well from here on out to be named Berthelson. It was a hilarious email! It was also a reality check as I realized all of what she said will happen to me too. I have always had a fear that I will come home, changed, to an unchanged environment. I am ready to come home, but hope that at the same time I will be able to continue on this spiritual progression. I hope my "wake up to reality moments" will be things that I can positively change from my "before the mission life" and not be a shock to those around me. I am a better person for the time I have dedicated here in Chile as a missionary and I hope to continue the same things I have lived and preached here in order to become a more dedicated disciple of Christ.
I have been making a list of things in the mission and in Chile that I will miss and also that I won't miss. It's quite the interesting mix. Here it is. I'll explain more when I get home.
Going to Miss:
Ferias. Little and big.
Mini-supermarkets in houses.
Random guys in street selling stuff. (ie: garbage bags).
Metro people singing. BIP.
Nasty, smelly meat markets.
City life. Living so close to everything.
Saying "HOLA" with a smile to everyone you pass.
Buses that drive so crazily that you almost fall over.
Different colored houses.
Dogs in street and metro.
"Halo" in the ghetto.
Besito y abrazo.
Beautiful sunsets and rises in a 14th story appartment building.
Shooing flies outside.
Fresh fruit all year round.
Not Going to Miss:
Hourly changing, extreme climates.
Drunk and high people in the streets yelling at us.
Whistles and kissing sounds by men.
Dogs everywhere barking and pooping.
Not having Internet or a phone.
Not having $. =)
Going to Miss of the Mission:
President and Hermana Wright
Always having the scriptures and willing to learn.
Studying for someone else.
Conferences with President, the Apostles, and 70s.
Not having to cook.
Study time everyday.
Condtant impressions of the Spirit.
Teaching the gospel daily.
AM exercise daily and all-day walking. (okay, maybe I won't miss the last part.)
Calls for numbers and announcements.
The joy of seeing a life change and feeling you made a difference.
QUITE THE LIST HUH? I'm sure I'll get home and it'll grow even more. Reality checks, here I come!
Axa. Almost 20 year old. She's amazing! I honestly love that girl. It was friendship at first sight. She's just so stinking cute. I met her with Hermana Tax one day and ever since we've been trying to find her. Finally she finished her first semester of law school and we've been able to teach her during her vacations. She loves learning, has a ton of questions, and honestly believes many of the things we believe. I am excited to talk to her after the mission and see how her journey with Hermana Tingey and Hermana Cook continues. :)
Light. We all need light in our lives. The sun, candles, electricity, etc. It's something we absorb and use to our own benefit. However, I am recently realizing that people can shine. We have had random people from the street and also members tell us that they wished they had the same light in their faces as we do. I've been thinking a lot about this and just happened on a talk which said this about missionaries:
Their countances exuded light. Why? We eventually concluded that there were a number of reasons for the faith and power displayed by the missionaries: the mission president was an effective teacher, the missionaries were obedient and responded to his teachings, and like Ammon and the sons of Mosiah, they studies the scriptures, they fasted and prayed, they worked hard, and they "taught with power and authority" (Alma 17:2-3).
Soooo. It doesn't sound like missionaries are the only ones who can have such a light in their countances!!! The requisites... faith, obedience, scriptures, prayer, fasting, and teaching with power and authority... are available to all. It just might take a little spiritual effort. May we shine so the light can be seen an shared with others. Look up Luke 8:16 and Doctrine and Covenants 50:24. =)
THINK ABOUT THIS....
Obedience is the price.
Faith is the power.
Love is the motive.
The spirit is the key
Christ is the reason.
I will be home soon... I feel it's time...and as Berthelson said, "I'm single, bilingual, and ready to mingle.". =)
For the last time..... Maybe...
Love Love Love
P.S. Hermana Tingey moment: just so you all know, Hermana Tingey is not a "freakin' hecky riggy wooz". Her off the top of the head word for a person who watches weird YouTube videos all day long. Hahahaha.