21 July 2014
We had a triple threat lesson this week and I need to give you the background. The Cortez family has been sharing the gospel with a friend named Janet, who we were supposed to teach previously. We tried to meet with her but there was some emergency and she was an hour late so we only had time to explain a little bit about our purpose and show her a clip from the Together Forever and gave her the DVD to take home. We didn't get to teach Lesson 1 about the Restoration as we had planned and it was disappointing, but I think Heavenly Father had a reason for that.
Another day we are walking past the police station when we hear, "¡Oye! ¿Que son?" A young police officer stopped us to ask, "What are you?" Before I arrived, Hermana Dodds taught Lesson 1 to a policeman named Mauro, who just arrived back in Calle Larga after being out of town for several weeks. Apparently Mauro had shared what he learned with this policeman, Pablo. Pablo said they talked about the Restoration for over an hour and he wants to learn more.
Flash forward to the next lesson with Janet. We are on our way to the house of the Cortez family where we are going to teach Janet and her daughter. Pablo calls us. We can't teach him in the police station but, conveniently, we are already on our way to a member's house and we are only too happy to invite him to tag along.
Conveniently, Janet hasn't heard Lesson 1 yet because we didn't have time earlier so we can teach Janet, her daughter, and now Pablo about the Restoration in the house of the Cortez family, who are all either recent converts or less active members. It counted as three lessons. Triple threat.
It gets better! Janet, her daughter Maria, and Pablo all accepted baptismal dates, with the condition that they receive an answer! And Janet watched the Together Forever DVD three times, eighties hair and all. She has been showing it to her family members and told her son, "You're just going to have to respect the fact that I'm a Mormon now, just like I respect the fact that you're Catholic."
We taught Mauricio again on Saturday. He is preparing to be baptized on August 3rd. On Saturday we met his friend, Ariel, a man who is living there temporarily while he tries to find a job. Ariel joined us for a lesson on the Plan of Salvation and taught us an important lesson in Spanish. Reino means kingdom. Reno means reindeer. Apparently Hermana Dodds has been teaching people for over a year that after they are judged they will live in one of three reindeer. Only in the Celestial reindeer can we live with our families forever. After we got that cleared up the lesson went a lot more smoothly. Mauricio asked a magic question, "I can only have an eternal family if I am baptized, but what if my family members are not baptized?" We explained that our Heavenly Father loves us and everyone will have an opportunity at some point to be baptized. We told them that he can be an example to his family. We also taught about the Spirit World and baptisms for the dead. We loved the question so much, though, because it means he is thinking and understanding what we teach. It means he wants the blessings of the gospel, has faith that he can reach the Celestial kingdom, and wants his family to have the same blessing. It means he believes what we are teaching and trusts us enough to answer the questions of his soul.
This is a miraculous area. Hermana Dodds is near the end of her mission in September and she is an experienced teacher and a natural friend to everyone. We are seeing a lot of miraculous things in Calle Larga and I feel blessed to be her companion, observe how she loves and teaches the people, and experience this success here.
Now for the fun stuff.
Not only do we have triple threat lessons, but we have triple threat meals. After district class on Wednesday Hermana Dodds decided it was time for me to try my first completo. As soon as we had finished lunch, the Cortez family called and reminded us that they had signed up in church to give us lunch. So we went to their house for another lunch. And in Chile, no one serves themselves. They serve you what they expect you to eat and comment if you don't finish it. I just couldn't eat very much at their house and they all noticed and asked about it. I told them it all tasted good, I just can't eat very much. I didn't tell them we just bought completos. But don't worry, if I start to gain weight, President Videla will let me know. We have a Chilean mission president now and Chileans are very blunt about everything. That same day I talked to a sister who has gained twenty pounds in her first six months. In her interview with President Videla he told her that she doesn't look like her photo on the first day and that she can't have any more bread. "No more pan." We're in good hands.
On Friday this week there was a fair with produce and we bought the fruit that is used in the temple movie on the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Hermana Dodds says they paint it red in the movie because it's actually greenish on the outside. The first bite had such a strong flavor and Hermana Dodds wouldn't eat more of it but I kind of liked it.
Dad, thank you for the book of Chilenismos. Hermana Dodds and I read it for our full hour of language study one day. Hermana Dodds uses phrases every hour that she has no idea are solely Chilean and not normal Spanish because she learned all of her Spanish here. For example, in normal Spanish you can add ito or ita to the end of a word or name as a term of endearment or to say that something is small. In Chile, they add it to everything, regardless of meaning. Hermano, hermanito. Casa, casita. Bolsa, bolsita. People thread it through every sentence, sometimes multiple times.
They also made up their own tu (you) form. They use the vosotos form and chop off the s. But they never use vosotros by itself. For example:
¿Como estai? instead of ¿Como estas?
¿De donde soy? instead of ¿De donde eres?
¿A donde vai? instead of ¿A donde vas?
Knowing this has helped me understand people on the street better. Before, if I heard ¿De donde soy? I would think the man was asking me where he was from, which makes no sense. Usted es de Chile, po. He means to ask where I am from.
Hermana Eva VanCott
P.S. The picture is with a real man covered in spray paint. We saw him earlier today and walked past three times wondering if he was a statue. He was standing on a stone platform in the middle of a fair, representing the copper that is abundant in Chile. The thing around his neck altered his voice so it sounded like he was speaking really high. I still don't know why.