Chile, Week 05 (Constitución)

Ward activity with skits and other entertainment

Ward activity with skits and other entertainment

Dressed as Elders for a funny ward skit

Dressed as Elders for a funny ward skit

[Dad’s note for the photo above: To summarize the skit, a wife alone at home is visited by a lawyer, a knife salesman, and the Elders, and when her husband comes home she hides all of them in her house. The husband suspects someone has been there, and he threatens divorce. The lawyer jumps out to offer his services, so the husband threatens to kill him. Then the knife salesman jumps out and offers his sharp knives to kill the lawyer. The confused husband now says that he just wants to know the truth, so the Elders jump out and offer to teach the truth.]

Warning! It’s a dramatic blog post today! Gonna get personal. I wasn’t actually going to write about the biggest thing I learned this week, but I feel like I should. Maybe it can help someone else reading too.

As you know, yesterday was Mother’s Day! I got to talk to my family! It was beautiful to see the faces of the ones I love so much (using Skype). It felt almost unreal, like a dream. We talked about our lives a little, and Chile. Then before I knew it, our time was up! We said quick goodbyes and that was it, over. It wasn’t until we hung up that I realized that I wouldn’t talk to them again until Christmas and that we really hadn’t talked about anything at all of importance. I still didn’t know how my family was doing, really. And I didn’t share how I’m really doing in my heart. I didn’t share how I’m changing and becoming someone new and how it’s hard but it’s beautiful and that my testimony has grown so much. After hanging up, I just started crying. And then I didn’t stop for an hour. We missed our next appointment. Thank goodness my companion is so patient and loving.

Visiting with a family of new and reactivated members

Visiting with a family of new and reactivated members

I cried a lot last night and my heart has been filled with a lot of regret since. I cried because of all the things we didn’t say and then the moment passed and it was too late. I cried because I realized I could spend my whole life that way and never deeply connect with my family or let them know how much I really love them. As we said goodbye, I could see in their eyes that there was a lot more going on than what we talked about. So many feelings that weren’t expressed. I’m not going to let that happen again.

2-hour bus ride to weekly district meeting

2-hour bus ride to weekly district meeting

I feel like I’m really learning how to love people. To love people, you have to tell them and show them. You have to let yourself feel in the moments you have now and not later. Really, let yourself feel the emotions in your heart right now. Let them fill you up and spill out and change the way you live. Don’t be afraid of them. Don’t hide them. Don’t cover them or bottle them. Just feel what you feel when you feel it. Let the people around you know. It’s not selfish to talk about how you are feeling inside, the deep personal parts of you. It’s selfish not to. If you really love people, you give them all of you. You give them your heart, mind and soul. And as you do that, your love for them will grow and you both will recognize it.

Typical Chilean bus stop

Typical Chilean bus stop

I’ve also been thinking about how badly I want to be with my family forever in the Celestial Kingdom in heaven. I only testify about it a million times a day. Now I know why we can’t be in the celestial kingdom if we are not sealed to our families – why our fate is also held in the hands of our family members. It’s a group effort, a family effort really. We can’t make it unless we are all there and it’s not because God wants to punish any of us. It’s because it really wouldn’t be heaven, a fullness of joy, if we didn’t all make it together. To have a fullness of joy in this life and after, we HAVE to be sealed with our families and that HAS to mean more than just the physical ordinances. Just like being baptized doesn’t do any good if we don’t live the covenant we’ve made. Being sealed to your family won’t mean anything if you aren’t sealed in your hearts as well. We need to be sealed in every way — united physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We have to communicate with each other, the deepest things we feel inside and the sacred parts of our heart. The sacred covenants we make with the Lord are not things we can just cross off of a list. We have to live them our whole lives. They are the reason we are here and nothing is more important than that in this life.

Typical store (bread and fresh cheese)

Typical neighborhood store (bread and fresh cheese)

I love my family so much and I hope they know it! I love all of you who care enough to read this even though I know you have lots of things to do. You’re the best!

Hermana Berbert

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