Week 12: in which Hermana Saunders receives an Evangelical blessing

Dearest family and friends,
Yeah, that was an interesting experience. We’ve contacted more Pentecostals and Evangelicals than Catholics this transfer, and it’s always an interesting experience. We met Margarita on the 22nd. She had a very special spirit about her and listened closely to our message. She said we were “angelic” and that she felt something special about us. Before we left her, she prayed for us–more specifically for me, I think because I’m in a different country trying to teach in a different language. It was a very different experience from a priesthood blessing.

It’s the week of Halloween, and I have seen ONE house that has any kind of decorations. It’s a little odd for me, but at the same time, I kinda like that Halloween isn’t a big deal here.

On Thursday we took a 5-hour bus ride to Concepcion, where we stayed the night for Return and Report on Friday. R&R is a time when the newest missionaries return to the mission office to meet with the mission president and gather with the other new missionaries. It was great to see Hermana Clark again, as well as the elders from my CCM district. It was nice that they were happy to see me too. 🙂

The greatest miracle of this week was everything that happened on Friday. We had a baptism that was supposed to start at 7, but we were in Concepcion until almost 3, and it takes 4-5 hours by bus to get back to Temuco. Thankfully, our mission president and his wife were able to drive us back, which took about 3 hours, and they stayed for the baptism. I am positive that their decision to go was divinely inspired. Others of the baptism were 1. We were able to pick up Catalina at the terminal (she had been in Los Angeles, Chile, with her dad); 2. she had almost everything that she needed with her; 3. her mom and family arrived in time to bring everything else she needed and to be there for her service; 4. we had enough water in the font; 5. a member lent her a towel, which was the only other thing she lacked; 6. Claudia, an absolutely WONDERFUL member, was there to help us: and 7. all of the speakers were present. The opposition was very real that day, but we also had the Spirit to guide us, which was an enormous blessing.

One more miracle of Friday: Hermana Bazaes and I had planned to bring a simple breakfast to the family the next morning, partly to show our love and support and also because the family lives in VERY humble circumstances. On the way home Friday night, we were able to find a tienda that sold exactly what we needed, and we had plenty of time to get home. This weekend has been a demonstration of Heavenly Father’s love for His children. The salvation of each one is important, and everything is in His loving and capable hands.

It was also a demonstration of the fact that we receive miracles AFTER a trial of our faith. I’m grateful for the incredible faith of Hermana Bazaes. Where I struggled to have faith that everything would be fine, she never wavered. I’m learning every day the power of faith and how essential it is.

Last bit of news: I’m staying in Temuco Cautin with Hermana Bazaes for another transfer! (A transfer is a six-week period withing the mission; every transfer, missionaries either stay in the area or are switched to a new area within the mission.) I look forward to another six weeks of growth and learning and miracles.

I love you all! I leave you with a challenge: I love the words of the prophet Lehi in 1 Nephi 8:12. He felt such great joy in the fruit, or the love of God. And what does he do immediately after he tastes of this great joy? He shares it. My invitation to you is that you consider the joy you’ve found in the gospel. Who around you needs this delicious joy in their life? Why not share it? You literally have the opportunity to bring salvation to others. So do it!

I pray for you every day. Never forget that Heavenly Father loves you very much. You are his children, and He always listens when you pray and is watching over you every day.

Ciao! Until next week!

Hermana Saunders