Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Week #10

Hey Everyone!

This week has been so great.  It was kind of like a three day weekend, with conference and then p-day, so it has been nice to have kind of a break and be spiritually built up and edified to prepare for the next week.

Our main investigators we are teaching right now are Victor, Jacqueline Ramos, Jacqueline Mesias, and Eugenia.

*Victor is still progressing really well.  He is so excited and working very hard to prepare for his baptismal date.  He has given up a lot already and every thing we teach him he is so ready and willing to embrace.  It is such a great example of obedience to me because he hardly even questions any of the things we teach, like the word of wisdom, because he knows this church is true and he wants to keep the commandments.  He is working on quitting smoking right now and has come a long way, but it is really hard. He has a lot of other health problems. He is on dialysis.  Please pray for him for his health and for him to be able to give up smoking.

*Jacqueline Ramos is so fun to teach because she is this young mom with a little boy name Martin, who is 5. He is so funny. He always entertains us.

*Jacquline Mesias has been out of town, and she is still struggling trying to find a job.

*Eugenia is pretty new. She came to conference with us and liked it.  I haven’t taught her much because I was on splits for our last appointment with her, but I am excited to teach her.

*This week we have a new investigator that stuck out a lot to me.  Her name is Belen. Right when we went to her house she immediately let us in and was so excited to hear from us, even though we have never talked to her. She has two kids and a strong belief in God, but is looking for something more in her life.  We are so excited to teach her.

I didnt get a chance to take many pictures this week. Sorry our zone activity of paintball was cancelled, so a member came to teach us self defence and some martial art thing that lasted for a long time. It was so much fun and then afterwords we went and got fried sushi which was so good.

Church here is pretty much the same as back home just in spanish.  There are a few differences one is that we don’t always have someone who can play the organ, so the hymns are sometimes not accompanied and everyone sings really low here.  Other than that ,it is pretty much the same.

We haven’t had the opportunity to participate in service projects here, yet but a lot of missionaries do.  We always look for service opportunities and try to help the people here, but they usually don’t let us when we offer. We have learned to just always do the dishes or sweep or find something to help in the home, because people will always say they are fine when you offer to help, but they never protest when we just start cleaning. It has been a great way to serve the people here and build better relationships with members and investigators.

We have a half hour to work out every morning but it is first thing in the morning, so some morning it is hard to get moving especially when it is really cold morning, but we always try to do something.

Our area is pretty big and we do walk almost everywhere.  It is like 30 or 40 minutes walking from the top to bottom. With how small and close houses are here, that is a lot of houses.  Our church is about 15 minutes walking from our house.  We do take taxis here to get to district meetings or at night if we are going to be late or if there aren’t a lot of people around and we don’t want to be in the streets late.

There are a lot of different culture things here, but is hard to think of one in specific. You can’t put toilet paper in the toilets. You have to put it in the garbage. That’s one thing that is kind of weird and gross here.  Also we cant leave our water heaters on and most people don’t, because they can’t afford to. So the water is always freezing here that you wash your hands with.  Everyone here is just really friendly. They kiss and hug just about everyone and it is kind of cool how kind and friendly the culture is.

Oh we had a cool experience earlier this week. When we were contacting in the streets we passed this guy and didn’t contact him, because we were about to contact this house. He came up to us and asked us what we were doing and we explained that we were missionaries.  He kept asking about our church and then we offered to share more with him and his family at a later time and he gladly excepted.  It was so cool to see how this man came to us when usually it is the other way around, and how the Lord had truly prepared him.

Conference was definitely the highlight of the week. I watched all the sessions in English except for women’s session which I watched in Spanish. It was cool and I was able to understand a good amount.  I got the concept of everything, I just couldn’t understand the details, because they talk so fast and have different accents in conference. I can’t wait to read the talks when they come out.  It was weird though because the voice over is weird. It made me very grateful that conference is done in English. This is something I have always taken for granted. Here it is hard because a lot of people associate the church with the US and then when all the talks are originally in English and they can’t understand any of the songs because they are all in English its hard.  But it was so cool to have the musical number of those children in China and then the talks in different langauges.  We went in to watch both the talks in Spanish and everyone here was so excited to have a talk in there own language.  The translations are good, but not everything translates over very good so you don’t really get any of the jokes and the voices make it so you loose any emotion.  I am so excited for this amazing change that is going forth in the church as it is becoming more global. It was definitely different this time going to conference as instead of just listening for myself I was listening for things that I could use to help my investigators. It was so cool as there were many talks that seemed to answer exact things that my investigators are struggling with right now, and I cant wait to share them with them.  I espeicially like Elder Bednars talk, as he explained perfectly exactly what I wish I could explain to all of my investigators of why we do what we do.

I loved a few quotes that I want to share They are not word for word, as I couldn’t get the exact wording of all of them fast enough.
 I love the quote that Elder Holland shared about how what we do is only about a drop in the ocean, but without us the ocean would be a drop less.    This is exactly how I feel missionary work is we work very hard but sometimes it doesn’t seem like we are doing much and compared to the big picture we aren’t, but every soul is great in the eyes of God and what we are doing individually is very important because we are working with salvation. Even if we are just planting seeds, that is great because every soul is worth so much and we have to first start by planting seeds.   I also really liked the quote by Elder Chi Hong (the guy who spoke in cantonese) He said,  “äs we work hard to rescue souls, we too will be rescued in the processs.”   This is so true and I have seen this over and over again in my life and as I have worked hard to find and teach others to come unto Christ. I have found I have grown so much myself and my relationship with my Heavenly Father is so much stronger.  The final quote I want to share,  I can’t remember who it was from. He said something like: “the strength of the church is not dependent on how big it is.  The strength of our church is measure by the strength of its individuals.”  I loved this so much because it is so true.  I ready a statistic this week  in the Liahona as there was a sections on Chile in there this month. You should read them they are so true. Any ways it said that 1 in 30 Chileans are members of our church.  This statistic is so cool, but of those members, a large potion of them are inactive as retention is so bad here.  We all need to work hard as we work to become more like Christ especially as members, because as members of this church are representatives of Jesus Christ and people watch us.  We need to ask our selves if we are examples and representatives of something that would draw people unto Christ and want to know more about the church or if it is giving people the wrong ideas of our church. I know that as we work hard to become more like Christ in our actions we will in turn draw others unto Christ.

I love you all so much and I will talk to you next week.

Hermana Stringham

Tupahue 1 Zone

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