Chile, Week 23 (Talca Stake, Jardín del Valle Ward)

Where do I even begin?! I gave a talk in church this Sunday! It’s the first official talk I’ve given in Spanish. It was fun. =) Also this week is independence week in Chile and they celebrate ALL WEEK LONG. We’re definitely gonna have adventures.

Right now we are preparing Tomás for his baptism Saturday! He’s all ready to go and determined to endure the rest of his life. I really think he is an angel, he’s so pure. I’m so happy for him. My companion and I have felt a few times that he is pretty close to the end of his life. Hopefully not, so he can help reactivate his daughter in the church, but he has suffered a lot and is ready to rest with God again. All he’s missing is his baptism and he’ll be ready to go. He’s like a little kid, completely innocent.

The other day we were working with the list of members trying to find less actives in a sector where we haven’t worked much before. It was terrible, we weren’t finding anyone! I should have known a miracle was about to happen because they always happen in the last minute when we feel like we are working super hard for nothing. The very last person we visited didn’t answer the door either. It was late and we were getting ready to head back to the house. Just then, someone called and we stayed in front of the house a little longer talking with a member on the phone. Just then, Antonio came out and explained that he couldn’t answer the door because he was in the bathroom! His wife is a member (less active) and he always listened to the missionaries with her but never was baptized. We talked with him a long time and I was really surprised that he never joined the church. He told us that he knows the church is true and that whenever he listens to the missionaries he can’t help but cry because he feels the Spirit so strong. He’s really great and still feels a little nervous about going to church, but it was really special to get to know him and he wants to read the Book of Mormon. My companion and I both felt strongly during the lesson that he is going to be a powerful priesthood leader in the church one day. He just has that kind of spirit. 

We also are finding lots of less actives that aren’t in the list of members, but that God has put in our path. We found a man named Alejandro playing in a park with his daughter and we practically ran to contact him. He just had a light in his eyes and looked so happy with his little girl. As we started talking with him, he told us that he is a member! We scheduled a time to visit him and he is so cool! You’re not going to believe it, but his house is hidden in a little corner of our sector that is really poor and dirty and we probably never would have found his house if we didn’t see him in the park. But inside, he has a collection of antiques! Little things that he has collected and found who knows where. He also has a ton of fossils that he has found that are millions of years old! He showed us the head of a dinosaur that he has in his house! It looks just like a rock at first, but then if you look closely, it has EYES and NOSTRILS and it’s clearly a DINOSAUR! I felt like I was in a movie because he’s this quirky funny guy with crazy hair and I have no idea how he dug up all these old things that look like they should be in a fancy museum but instead they’re on his bookshelf. You meet the coolest people on the mission.

Actually, my companion and I were talking about that the other day- about why the mission is so special and why they always say it’s the best two years. The mission is not easy, ever, and it’s not the best two years because it’s fun. It’s the best two years (or 18 months) because it’s so sacred. It’s really so special to meet so many people who just let us into their lives. They let us into their lives, into their homes, and we become part of their family. They tell us their feelings and their experiences. I love to look into the eyes of every person we talk to and you can just see their soul. Behind whatever they look like at first glance there is a child of God. There is a human who has lived and loved and suffered and cried and felt scared and felt brave, and wondered if their life really matters at all. There are people who reject us and will never admit that they have all that inside, but I see it every time in their eyes and I can’t help but love them. I can’t even explain it. 

Anyway, this blog is probably way more than you needed to know about the people we are visiting, but I really could have written more. I love them so much. I feel so blessed to be here. I know I have tons of weaknesses and sometimes I do everything wrong, but I love the opportunity I have to be in the mission. I wouldn’t trade it for anything that the world could have offered me if I’d stayed home.

I love you all!!!!
Hna. Berbert

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