(San Fernando District, San Vicente branch, final week with Sister Pérez)
Ok. For all of you who are concerned about my lice, I’m sorry I mentioned it. Haha. But I am proud to say that I am now 100% lice-free (thanks to some powerful bug-killing shampoos).
Hermana Pérez is gone to Venezuela and these pictures are the last of our little tiny zone. There were so many changes. I think one person from every companionship has gone. )-: The exciting news is that they combined our zone with San Fernando (about 40 minutes away by bus) so we’ll travel every week to meet with them. Now we are a HUGE zone and probably the zone with the most hermanas in the world. So I’ll be doing divisions [splits] like crazy. I´m so excited.
Right now I’m staying in the house of Hermana Giles, Hermana Castañeda, and Hermana Davis. This house was a bread business at one point and it has a huge mud oven! Like I could fit inside it! (By the way, mud ovens are the secret of Chilean bread, so I don’t think I´ll be able to replicate it for you all when I get back). I’ll see if I can send a picture next week; I’m having camera problems at the moment.
Oh, and my new companion gets here tomorrow. She is from Argentina and her name is Hermana Noguez. She has been in San Vicente before and has the craziest reputation I have ever heard. Everyone tells me that she is really tall and loves to eat. One of the members when he heard that she was coming back, said, “She’s coming back? Wow, the kitchens of San Vicente are going to shake.” I won’t mention some of the crazy stories I have heard. But everyone really loves her to death. This sister has lots of personality. She’s also like 30 years old. This will be her last transfer in the mission and then she returns home. I have a feeling we are gonna have adventures. (-:
The biggest adventure this week… we got lost. Hermana Pérez and I took a different bus to get to our lunch and we didn’t pay much attention to where it was going. I felt like a lot of time had passed and looked out the window… and we were in the mountains! And there were a ton of giant windmills. Nothing familiar. The driver told us that we had already passed the stop a while ago and that the bus didn’t go back until later in the evening. We had him drop us off right there in the middle of nowhere. Then we walked for a long time and got to lunch late. It was kind of fun.
Spiritually, I can’t even begin to write all the things I learn every day and every week. I don’t even know where to begin. What I do know is that I’m changing. Hopefully I’m changing for the better. I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior and elder brother, Jesus Christ. I’m learning more and more not to do things My way, but Their way. I’m only a messenger. God knows His children and what they need. I’m learning to listen to the Spirit to know what message He wants me to deliver to them. I’m not preaching My Gospel, but His. Learning the language of the Spirit is way harder than learning the Spanish language, and way more important. It’s different for everybody, but I’m starting to figure out the ways God communicates with me. I’m still figuring out the power of communicating with Him directly through prayer, and indirectly by following the counsels of His chosen servants on the earth.
One of my favorite lessons this week was a lesson on repentance. We started out by talking about all the things we like to create as human beings. I like making movies – planning out the camera angles, working with the actors, editing it all together, etc. Some people like to build their careers, their houses, their Facebook, etc. We are constantly creating and changing and tweaking to make all these parts of our lives more fulfilling and more perfect. Then we talked about the most important creation of all – ourselves. All the rest will fade away with time and when we die we aren’t going to bring it with us, but what sticks is the person we have become. Our traits, talents, knowledge, and relationships with other people and with God are the only things that we are going to bring with us after this life. We talked about how frustrating this life would be if we couldn’t make mistakes, if everything were permanent. It would be like writing a book in pen, without being able to edit anything. What gives us liberty and the ability to reach our potential is the ability to change. Repentance is the eraser for the book of our lives. The best books ever written weren’t scribbled out and published immediately, they had to pass through intense processes of editing and changing. With the help of an editor, who can see mistakes we have missed, we can create something more beautiful and more perfect. Christ is our editor. Repentance is the eraser. Baptism is ending the practice and starting the real book of our life from zero. The lesson was really powerful and the Spirit really strong. I learned a lot too.
Thanks for all who are reading my blog. Every once in a while I get emails from people I don’t know who are reading. That’s always exciting. It also makes me think that maybe I shouldn’t tell the whole world when I have lice. Haha. Thanks to my family for the Valentine’s Day package! I totally wasn’t expecting that and it was really kind of you! My companion also appreciates the chocolate! These are little details of the mission that just make everything better. (-: Anyway, I love you all and I’m grateful that you are a part of my life. Keep being strong and faithful so we can all be together again in the Celestial Kingdom again someday.