Week 34: in which the well runs dry

Dear family and friends,

I love that old saying, “You don’t miss the water until the well runs dry.” Well, I got a taste of that on Tuesday when we woke up and had no water in the apartment. Then I was very grateful for the counsel to always have an emergency store of water–even more grateful that I listened! That was the only way we were able to cook and wash dishes before we went to the district meeting. You don’t realize how much water you use until you have to pour and heat all of it yourself. 😛

Chile played soccer against Argentina on Thursday night, which meant that absolutely NO ONE wanted to talk to the missionaries. 😛 I’m grateful for the new schedule that allows us to study at hours like that. As we were studying, we could hear shouts and cheers from the other apartments. I love soccer, but it’s a little more frustrating in the mission. 😛

I think one of the greatest struggles in the mission is watching people literally hold the Restoration in their hands and refusing to accept it or just not listening. We’ve talked with a few families and other people who have said that yes, Christ’s gospel needed a restoration, but it’s “impossible for that to happen because the people today are so messed up and just want things for themselves.” But experiences like those make it even sweeter when we find someone who is accepting of the message and makes changes because of it. I love teaching Gabriel and Lorena, and I was so very happy when the whole family (Gabriel, Lorena, and Martin, Lorena’s son) went to church on Sunday! And they enjoyed it! The members were really great too: one of the sisters came and sat with Lorena, and Benjamin, a recent convert of the elders, invited Martin to the Primary classes! We also had a few members at church who haven’t attended for many months. It was wonderful to see those people progressing.

On Friday we had an intercambio with the training sisters. I worked with Hermana Calderon, a very spunky Colombiana. Every single one of our appointments fell through, but we saw some miracles. One of our appointments was with a reference; when we got there, he wasn’t there, but one of his employees was! So we taught her, and she accepted the invitation to be baptized!! She’s in Hermana Calderon’s sector, so Hermana Lange and I won’t teach her, but it was still cool. 😀

I had the idea a couple weeks ago to contact people in the street using the Cootie Catcher game (AKA Fortune Teller). It’s actually been pretty effective; it catches people’s attention, and I feel a lot less awkward about talking with them. Instead of revealing their “fortune” at the end of the game, we wrote several questions like “Will I be with my loved ones after I die?” and we ask them how they would answer it. Then we share with them how they can find that answer through the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s great. 😀

Every day I learn more about the Atonement, grace, and progress. I’m grateful for the experiences that have made God’s hand even more evident in my life, and I’m forever grateful for His infinite patience. I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn from the best missionary and teacher, Jesus Christ. I won’t do everything perfectly, but I know He’s helping me at least do it a little better every day,

I love you all! I invite you to watch General Conference this weekend with a question. I promise you’ll find the answer and the strength you need to act of that answer. I’m so excited for Conference weekend!!

Be safe. Be kind. Be patient. And remember who you are!

Love from Chile,
Hermana Saunders