dunudunun! dudundundundun! dunudunun! 🤘
Dear family and friends,
Hermana Silva and I have been working hard to talk to everyone in the street, which has led to some interesting encounters. By now I’m pretty much used to the fact that everyone thinks we’re quite odd, but it’s been harder for my companion. I admire the fact that she tries so hard to talk to others and to break out of her shell. She’s helped me slow down (a little bit) in the street so that we don’t rush past the souls that are searching for the restored gospel. 🙂
As I start the last week of my mission, I’m sad that I won’t be here to see my investigators get baptized. Matias, Scarlett, and Millaray were all so very close to baptism this cambio, but for reasons outside of our control as missionaries, now won’t be there time. But I have learned that faith simply cannot make others want to gain a testimony or get a job or whatnot; if it’s not the will of the Lord or even their own desire, it won’t happen. I just pray that the missionaries who come behind me will be in tune with the Spirit as they teach and will do all they can to help these people I’ve come to love.
BUT!! This weekend we have the privilege to see the baptism of the son of a recent convert! Teresita was baptized a couple years ago, and her son, Sebastian, turned 8 last month and is SUPER excited to get baptized. We’ve been teaching him the lessons, and with the help of his mom and aunt, he’s been reading and studying and thinking about everything we’ve taught him. I’m excited to teach him about the temple
and proxy baptisms
; he’s so excited for his own baptism, and I want to help him look forward to the temple and the opportunity to share this gift with his ancestors.
It was something wonderful to see the transmission
[Note: I think she meant broadcast
. –AnnMarie] with the new prophet. As President Nelson spoke, I felt a quiet and powerful confirmation that he has been called of God and prepared long before now to be our prophet and leader at this time. I’m grateful that God will never again leave us without the guide of a prophet. What a blessing.
This week we had a great lesson with Juri and Manuel, who are friends and employees of a member family, the Vilches. We taught the Plan of Salvation, and we invited another employee, Daniela, to listen as well. She listened with interest and was especially touched when we talked about the spirit world, where those who never had the opportunity to hear the gospel on earth will be able to receive it. Juri and Manuel are so excited to learn more, and they’re progressing well, thanks to the help of the Vilches. Now Daniela has the chance to learn about and accept this great message. I’m so excited to teach her!!
As I contemplate this past transfer, I’ve felt so very grateful for my time as a missionary. I haven’t met all of the goals I made for this cambio or for 2017, but I’ve grown a lot and learned so much. I’m definitely a better person, a better member, a better missionary than the Hermana Saunders who boarded the plane in August 2016. Some things I’ve learned:
- to put Christ at the center of my life
- a greater understanding of His marvelous atonement and what it means for me.
- that people have the divine capacity to change, thanks to the same atonement.
- to be more patient and less prideful (thanks to some often painful learning experiences)
- to better manage my time and to do the more important things first, not just the most urgent.
- Spanish! That has been a fun adventure. 😛
- I’ve memorized the recipe for brownies and pancakes. 😀
- how to cook and shop for one or two people
- that weaknesses (such as being hopeless for directions) are often balanced with a strength (such as having absolutely no shame about asking for directions ;D
I’ve learned so much more, but I’d need a couple notebooks to fill y’all in on all of it, so I’ll leave it at that. Know that I love my Father in Heaven and my Savior and that I’ve come to know them more personally. I know that the message to which I’ve dedicated 18 months is true. God has restored His perfect gospel and guides us today through living prophets. What a comforting truth.
I’ll see several of you very soon. (One week! I can’t believe it…) I hope this email finds you all safe and happy and faithful. Have a wonderful week, my friends!
love from Chile,