Wow, what a week! I have never felt so much energy for the work before. I don’t know what changed, but I just feel so excited everyday to work. My companion, Hermana Mendoza from Mexico, is awesome. She only has a month more in the mission than me. They told us that we are equal co-companions so that’s kinda unique. We are opening a new sector (called Jardín del Valle in Talca) for sister missionaries so we both showed up knowing absolutely nothing. The first day we didn’t even know where to begin!
We’ve had a lot of adventures this week, walking around like crazies with our little maps because otherwise we both get lost. The apartment is a whole other adventure. The elders that lived there before left us all kinds of little surprises. We’ve had a lot of problems with the shower not working and water leaking or no warm water at all. Our first day we just heated up some water on the stove and poured it over ourselves with cups to shower. The bunk bed doesn’t have guard rails on the top bunk and the other day I rolled right off in the middle of the night and fell like 6 feet. Scary! We also didn’t have any food except for oatmeal and mashed potato mix. I’ve never eaten so much mashed potatoes in my life. One day I tried putting sugar in to see if it would taste like ice cream. Ya… but don’t worry. Finally P-day has arrived and I bought a bunch of fruits and veggies.
So, like I said, I’ve never felt so excited about the work. A couple days this week I woke up early and couldn’t go back to sleep and was just thinking about how we could help this sector. We’ve really felt super-inspired to use members a ton and the broadcast with the prophet this Sunday just confirmed our feelings. The first Sunday in a new sector they let us bear our testimony to introduce ourselves to the ward. I took advantage of the moment to invite all the members to act. There is a statistic (maybe I’ve already mentioned it in a blog, can’t remember) that for every 800 contacts the missionaries make, we’ll have one baptism, but for every 14 contacts that a member makes, we’ll have a baptism. So I invited everyone to write down the names of at least 14 people they know who aren’t members and start to pray about their list and who might be ready to receive the gospel. We’re already making plans with the members and it can be something really natural (they can invite their friend to a family home evening, church activity, or “once” which is kinda like a mini-dinner) and we get to know their friends there and plan another time to pass by.
I’m really excited to work in this new ward because the members are really great and a lot of them have been members their whole lives. In my previous sector the whole ward was new converts and everything was kinda crazy. Things are more stable here and people are so willing to help out. Also the people are more rich, but not the snobby kind of rich. It’s just really obvious that they are righteous and the Lord is blessing them in spiritual and temporal ways. In fact, in the US they wouldn’t be considered rich, but compared to my last sector they definitely are. In Conti, lots of people lost everything in the big earthquake/tsunami so they are super poor but sweet and more humble.
Last night we met at a chapel at night and read scriptures until 1:30 in the morning and then traveled all night to Concepción for the last time to say goodbye to the mission president. It was really great and there were tons of missionaries. In the end everyone had a little moment with the President and his wife and they let us give them hugs (the only hug I will give a man my whole mission haha). Also I had to say goodbye to a lot of my friends who are staying in Concepción and my mission “mami,” Hermana Lovell. It’s kinda sad, but I know it’s the Lord’s plan. I feel in my heart that Rancagua is really my mission and where I’m supposed to be (in a way that I didn’t feel before with Concepción).
Gotta go, love you all! Share the gospel with everyone and pray for opportunities to serve. 🙂 Thanks for the letter from Ken and Sheila and Amanda and everyone else who wrote me lately! Love you guys! Oh, and happy late birthday to my grandma! Miss you and love you tons! 🙂