Saturday, March 14, 2015

2 de Diciembre 2013

2 de Diciembre 2013
Como le va?
  Happy thanksgiving to you all!   I did not forget about thanksgiving down here, even if it isnt a national holiday in Chile.  When we were eating almuerzo, I thought only for just a second about how you were all probably hiking my colorado rockies and eating till it hurts.  The picture of Justin made me laugh...hahaha.  too much food.  But it sounds like you all had fun at the staceys cabin!
  So this week.  It had its up and downs.  Hermana Bravo and I have been thinking lots about Carolina and we kinda felt she wasnt quite ready for baptism.  The thing is, she  is super attatched to her other church because she is used to it.  Shes attended that church her whole life.  So we decided we should review the restoration with her.  We went with our elders-elder condor and araya and explained the restoration.  The thing is, shes really confused.  She recieved a blessing for health from the elders and felt so much better-and knew it was the blessing!  but she doesnt want to leave her church completely still...even if she feels good at our church.  We told her the thing she needs to do-more than ANYTHING is to pray because, as we tell everybody, we arent here to convince people, we are here to (as the missionary purpose states) INVITE others to come unto Christ, and do all we can to help them!  
  Heartbreaking phone call 2 days later...she doesnt want to continue.  slam.  We were sad, but we at least felt we had done all we could for Carolina and we hope someday she will accept the gospel from future missionaries!
  We taught Claritza twice this week.  She accepted a baptism date! yipee!  but once again, the barrier returns-getting her to church.  we offered to accompany her but she said no.  Pucha.  Anyways, she didnt come yesterday, but we left a bunch of notes and a video between days and want to have a noche de hogar with her tonight (ah family home evening.)  anyways, shes awesome!  We really need a member though.  Members are key.  sometimes, its hard in a branch because we literally have 5 active women in our relief society, and there is only one who is her age. 
  We want to bring alejandra, one of the investigadors de los elderes.  shes AMAZING.  she comes to church with lots of animo and one of her daughters got baptized.  the other was going to get baptized, but poor thing, was afraid of the water!  but the elders are working on that =)  anyways, alejandra has a flipping firm testimony and i love her!  She cant get baptized yet because of a few family problems.  We want to bring her in a lesson with Claritza, as they both have daughters sort of the same age.   We got to teach alejandra a little bit about baptisms for the dead because the elders went to vina for a meeting, and it was so fun!  Her daughter got to go to the temple with our district (as in branches, not mission district.)  dang do i want to be here the day alejandra enters the waters of baptism.  you can tell that is literally the thing she wants the most. 
  It continues to be super hot here.  Ive stopped buying the little water bottles and headed for the big 1.6 liters.  One day we saw the elders walking, both of them with huge bottles of water, and what the heck?  broke down and bought one more me too.  Yesterday, i told my companion i feel like im in africa, or jerusalem or something with all the dry mountains and palm trees.  so ive never been to either of those places, but thats how i imagine them...haha.  
  I got the package!  i hid it in the closet for a day, but then opened it last night.  Well done on the sticker.  thank you thank you thank you!  thank you mom and dad! mmmmm. (has jenn seen that video yet >=) lol.)  i was pretty much psyched.  we are really getting in the rhythm of christmas down here too. we saw a few lights on one street and we decorated our own christmas tree mini, and listened to Christmas music.  thanks for the christmas cds too.  we were so dang excited!  on one of them it was lo, how a rose eèr blooming, on it and thats definitely one of my favorite christmas songs.  it makes me think of germany and stuff.  its a pretty song!  also, i requested we sing christmas songs in church yesterday, and sure enough, we finished the meetings wiht, "far far away on judeas plains."  merry christmas kevin. 
  we taught our investigator marie helena again.  shes a little stubborn, but shes coming around!  I think we can set a baptismal date with her soon.  shes got some word of wisdom problems, but she wants to keep the commandments soooooo there ya go.  we havent been able to find her for a little bit thought =(  we heard she was in the hospital.  when we were teaching her, theres always somebody who comes in to greet her or something-like a neighbor.  this time, it w as a cute little chubby boy with socks and sandals.  it was so cute.  he was like the little kid on youtube who sings the cupcake song. lol.  if you know what im talking about...
  the scriptures ARE THE BEST THING EVER!  i know i say that every week, but for reals.  I was reading in 2 nefi 4.  flip nefi, hes so cool!  its like so beautiful how he writes and all.  but boy is it chastizing.  anyways, ive been trying to apply scriptures more in my life.  sometimes im good at personal application and sometimes no.  my goal has been to apply the principles more in my life, from the scriptures and preach my gospel.  I like how nefi is sorrowing for the natural man inside of him, but rejoices in God, and puts his trust in God.  its exactly what we need to do.  we are sinners, but we can put off the natural man and become saints.  we can put our trust in God and keep his commandments.  
  yesterday a guy from coquimbo visited us and spoke to me in english. it totally caught me by surprise.  i felt really cool because i didnt immediately begint o speak back in english.  my goal is to only speak spanish for the next (less than 9...) 9ish months.  even if i have a gringa companion.  with an exception of christmas and mothers day.  lol.  thatll be interesting.  i dig spanish.  
  we had intercambios with the hermanas from illapel.  i was in salmanca with hermana ortiz! shes from guatamala.  shes super awesome.  she has one transfer less than i do.  it was so fun.  
  i feel happy.  i feel obedient and like im starting to get the hang of this missionary work.  im starting to enjoy it more and more and starting to be able to express what i really want to say or feel in spanish.  
  I love salamanca.  the branch is awesome, even if the weather is an oven outside.  
  Yes hair is super blonde.  haha.  i think its partially the water and of course the sun.  I wear sunscreen everyday.  id probably be dead if i didnt. lol.  i learned that we already have a fan inside of our heater.  sweeeet. 
  oh man!  i got the conference ensigns in the package and literally wanted to jump off the walls! ok yes. nerd. but seriously. i will be marking those puppies up like crazy and reading them!  after all...i read in the talk from elder hales that it is a commandment to read the conference talks =D 
  we had fast and testimony meeting yesterday.  cute little jordan, the convert of hermana bravo bore his testimony.  hes only 12!  he went up, totally a  "matt hanks was just baptized pleased stand" dealio, and said somebody in his school gave him a video.  the video was antimormon or something, and the boy told him to watch it and something about mormons.  jordan said,"no." and left.  then said he knew the church was true.  what an example little jordan is!  man if only we could all be steadfast like him.  i love that little jordan.  love him!
  i thought i would fill you in on what i eat for breakfast.  i eat leche con platano.  it sounds gross in english, so ill let you translate that one. but its super good.  every morning.  then i eat granola or scrambled eggs (chileno style >=))  
  well thats pretty much it for this week.  life is good!  This week had its ups and downs, but i think one of the ups was that i started to see my potential a little bit better than before.  I feel like i can become that missionary that i want to become.  and i pretty much love it!  mission life is the best!!!  im staying positive and i am doing all i can to be obedient and all.  plus, i feel like i can understand lots more of chilean spanish than before.  they talk so dang fast.  
love you all. totally want a christmas card. did you fotoshop me in? nah just kidding.  happy christmas harry!

-hermana emily hanks

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