Week 10: in which the hermanas declare “No mas dulces!”

Dearest family,
Yeah, that lasted about a day. BUT I am eating lots of fruits and veggies, and sliced up carrots to bring for snacks this week. The carrots here are HUGE!

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Attempted selfie at Puerta Saavedra. We had so much fun, and the weather was perfect.

Whew! Tomorrow starts week 5 in the field! Holy cow! I’m feeling more confident in the language, but I often still feel pretty discouraged after some lessons. One day I mentioned this to Hermana Bazaes; she looked at me and said, “Hermana Saunders. How long have you been here?” I stopped and thought about it and felt a little better. She and I have a really hard time sometimes, but she is always encouraging. She really is a great missionary.

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Casa photo. We’re gorgeous. 😉

We met Carlos on Tuesday. He is a reference from the family Locomillo; Catalina and David Loncomillo will be baptized this Saturday. (YAAAAYY!) Carlos is seriously gold. He accepted the baptismal invitation during the first lesson, listens intently in all lessons, and came to church this Sunday–he walked by himself when we didn’t show up right on time. He loves the church and is excited to learn more, to know his Savior better and to become clean. We are so excited for him!!! He needs to quit smoking first, but he wants to quit, and he’s already cut down on how much he smokes regularly.

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Me y mi companera

We spent several hours on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday painting the house of a less-active member, Hermana Angelina. We had fun. She has had so many problems in her life, and she’s in the process of making major changes, so she wanted to paint EVERYTHING. We painted the bottom-floor rooms different shades of white, and the kids rooms are bright colors. She has four kids, all under the ages of 8, so we’ll see how well the white works, but she wanted more light in her house, literally and figuratively. I met her about three weeks ago, and the difference in her face is amazing. Dad would have cringed so hard at how we did the job, but I finally realized that the most important thing was that Hermana Angelina felt the love and confidence we had for her. Really, it was an amazing thing.

I started reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning in Spanish, side-by-side with my English one. It’s slow going, but I’m learning so many things. The BoM is truly a wonderful and true book. If you haven’t read it, read it now! 😀 I love 1 Nephi 2:2-7, 15. Lehi left behind everything except what was necessary to both follow the Lord and save his family. He was very wealthy in his home, but he had an eternal perspective that allowed him to leave behind everything; he knew what was most important and where the real treasure lay.

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This week we also met Miguelangelo. Oh, that was a fun contact! He was the very last door of a very long day, and he was friendly and personable. For some reason we started talking about the Plan of Salvation, and at one point he said, “I like your church! I’ve never met someone who believed the same thing I do!” 😀 😀 😀 He believes basically the same thing but sees God as an energy. We set a time to meet him in a couple weeks, and we’re looking forward to talking to him again. He’s also VERY sharp. He pointed out that (apparently) Hermana Bazaes has a slightly different accent in her Spanish (she spent several years in Peru and is from northern Chile), and he also said I have a hint of French in my Spanish. (That actually made me happy. Yay French!)

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Today was P-day, and the zone took a bus to Puerta Saavedra (I think that’s how you spell it…) It was a beautiful place, and a perfect day for the beach. We played several games and took a million pictures. We played “volleyball” with blankets and water balloons, which was tons of fun. 😀

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Every day I am grateful for your love and prayers. Really, God honors those prayers, and He blesses us for our faith and obedience. Do all you can to keep the Spirit with you. I’m learning–through some really rough days–how crucial humility and the actual words “I’m sorry” are in a relationship. Even if your not a missionary, in every relationship you have, you are so much less productive and powerful if you offend the Spirit—and He is very sensitive. I also love what President Uchtdorf said in the General Women’s Session: that faith can bring miracles, but it cannot 1. counter someone’s agency, and 2. replace God’s will and timing with yours.

I love you all so much!! Keep your head up, and look for God’s hand in each day. I promise it’s there. Remember that you are literally a child of God with divine potential. Say your prayers, read your scriptures, and learn to say “I’m sorry.”

Until next week!
Love,
Hermana Saunders

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