Week 31: in which the week ends with a bang

Dearest family and friends,

¡Hola de Chile! This week I saw the truth of one of my favorite quotes that says, “To get what you’ve never had, you must do what you’ve never done.” This is my first week with Hermana Lange, and she’s helping me do things I’ve never done. She´s showing me how to really talk with the people that we contact. Before, I often had a difficult time saying anything after they said “no,” but I’ve learned how to keep the conversation going a little bit longer. In the conference with Elder Packer, I remember that we talked about the people who don’t accept because they don’t understand, and as we’ve worked with connecting every contact ASAP to the Restoration of the gospel, I’ve seen people go from, “Heck, no, ciao!” to “Oh. That actually makes sense. Sure, pass by later.” And I’m learning how to really talk to EVERYONE, from the cabby to the lady with the cute dog.

This week shot by, and we had an explosion of miracles on Sunday. We didn’t have any investigators at church, but in the evening we did divisions with the hermanas caps (training hermanas) so we could find people in our sector. And boy did we find people!! I couldn’t believe it; almost every door opened, and if they didn’t let us in, they either accepted a return date or politely refused. Hermana Lange was given a couple really good references. Hermana Robinson and I talked to two guys who were both really interested, and we set a return date with one of them (the other’s wife was really sick, but he said we could pass by later). Collectively, we found 9 new people to teach, and we have so many great future investigators!

I’m learning that miracles come AFTER faith and AFTER we do “all that we can do.” As I’ve worked in this sector, I’ve thought often about what my dad always said: “Work smarter, not just harder.” I was wondering how on earth I could “work smarter” with my companion. I had pretty much accepted that it’s just how this sector is and that the people aren’t really receptive. But just like any plant, the sector will bear fruit if you nurture it the right way. Saying “that’s just the way it is” is an excuse, not a reason. I’m determined this week to do the things I’ve never done so that I may bring forth the fruit that is waiting in Villa Obispo. I love being a missionary!

People have asked us a few times this week, “With so many terrible things in the world, how can I believe in a God that allows so much suffering?” I’ve thought about that often, and I wonder, “With so much suffering in the world, how can you not believe in God?” How can you not believe in the one being who can heal and change hearts, who has given us the tools to confront every difficulty in this life, who sent His Son to take upon Himself all the suffering and pain of the world? I love what Ether [12:4] says: “…whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world…” I know that I could not live without the peace and hope that the atonement brings. I cannot claim to understand even a tenth of the world’s suffering, but I do know that there is someone who understands perfectly and has the power to heal and renew anyone who will accept Him.

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I love working with Hermana Lange. She’s spunky and very sure of herself, and she works hard. She is also my first companion who gets all of my nerdy references! Whoo! She loves Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, etc, and we’ve also had fun making musical references. It’s great. 😄🤓

I love you all! I hope you have a marvelous week! Be safe, be smart, be kind. And remember who you are! Besitos!

Love,
Hermana Saunders

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