Week 19: In which Hermana Saunders experiences growing pains

Dearest family and friends,

Hermana Bazaes transferred up north to Arauco, and now I’m serving with Hermana Chavez from Bolivia. She’s pretty great, although as with everything, it was a transition. 🙂 This week has really stretched me, and it’s been hard, but I’m also grateful for what I’m learning. Since Hermana Chavez doesn’t know English, I have to rely completely on the Spanish that I do know. I realized that I know a lot more than I thought, and it’s a good feeling. Some days I feel a little like I’m walking in too-big shoes and stumbling a lot, but I can feel Heavenly Father helping me. I know I’m not alone in this work.

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I don’t think I really understood “love the members” until I led the sector this week. Until this transfer, I think I’ve mostly been going through the motions of missionary work; my heart was definitely in it, but I felt like I was mostly following Hermana Bazaes. But this week as I’ve taken more initiative to talk to the members and investigators and plan to meet their needs, I’ve felt something special growing in my heart. I feel my love for them growing, and I love the work more too.

On Monday we spent time with several members for a kind of farewell for Hermana Bazaes. The members show their love through food, and it’s really good food. Not great for the waistline, but…

On Tuesday morning I saw Hermana Bazaes off at the bus terminal. It was the weirdest feeling watching her drive off in the bus with me standing in the terminal. I waited with other missionaries who were also waiting to receive their new companions. We waited for about six hours in the terminal; at one point, a few missionaries pulled out hymn books and started singing Christmas hymns quietly, and then an elder pulled everyone together, and we sang for the other people waiting in the terminal. We sounded pretty good, if I do say so myself. 😉

This week a lot of things fell through, but it was just an opportunity for us to see the people who needed us and for Heavenly Father to show us tender mercies. Also, there are so many fresh fruits and veggies available here, and the flavor is fuller here than in the States. It seems like everyone has at least one fruit tree, and we pass so many cherry trees absolutely bursting with ripe cherries. BUT all of the ripe cherries are at the top, waaaay out of the reach of two poor sisters on the ground. But yesterday a member gave us a huge bag of cherries; we ate about half of them on our way home. They where so good! I am a happy hermana. 😉

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I wish I had all day to write, but that’s all the time I have today. I love you all! I appreciate your prayers, and I know Heavenly Father is listening. I know He loves you individually, and He wants to help you. You are His children, and He has a plan for you. Have faith in Him, and let Him lead you, and you´ll find your life is better than you could ever have made on your own.

Ciao for now! Have a great week!
Love,
Hermana Saunders

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