|Las Tomillas Altas|
1 December 2014
asked an investigator if she has been praying as we had invited
her to. she proudly said yes. As we asked more about her experience praying we
found out that she has an altar with candles, incense, and.... our pamphlets.
She has booklets we gave her when we taught the Restoration and the Plan of
Salvation which have pictures of Christ on the front cover. she prays to them.
contacted a woman who said I have "cara santa," the face of a saint.
She is Catholic and didn't want to hear our message, but thinks I'm a saint. I
am. A latter-day saint. Hermana Nuñez and I joked that I could die here as a missionary
sharing the gospel and they could make me a saint. We visited Santa Teresa last
week and I remembered Hermana Dodds thinking that the humble nun who is now in
the spirit world must be embarrassed by the people praying to her. The problem
all of these saints face in the spirit world is that after taking vows of
celibacy they don't have any posterity to do their temple work right now. Oh,
how I would love to be able to.
every other day I want to stay in Calle Larga forever. On Tuesday when all of
our appointments fell through I picked someone from the back of my planner in
the investigators section. We chose a name at the top of the list--a woman that that Hermana Dodds and I had taught two lessons to several months ago. She was interested but stressed about
problems with her landlord and was frantically looking for a house to rent. She
ended up living with her sister for two weeks but recently I ran into her and
she told me she has a new house and I wrote down her address. Well when we went
to visit Tuesday and found her house I was surprised to see a house I
recognized. It was the house Hermana Dodds and I painted! FLASHBACK Hermana
Dodds contacted a woman there who was really stressed about getting it painted
so her mom, who owned it, could sell it. We changed into painting clothes and
returned to help her and her husband with dementia paint the house. These
people never became investigators and we assumed we were just doing service to
serve. We didn't suggest the house to the woman we had taught, even though we thought about it,
because she was looking to rent and not in a position to buy a house. Her
aunt bought the house and now she is renting it from her aunt. So when we
visited this week she didn't remember much so we started from the
beginning, treating her as a new investigator. We started with the usual
points. When we defined prophet and talked about priesthood she said, "Oh!
Like John the Baptist?" Then she began asking questions about baptism and
shared with us her opinion that people shouldn't baptize babies. She asked if
she could be baptized at her age. Why of course! Then she asked us what she
would have to do to be baptized. She wants us to teach her family as well. We
just have to work with this perpetual problem in Chile called no one is legally
married to the person they live with. We continued Lesson 1 up until Joseph
Smith. She asked about what happened to Joseph Smith later, after the vision,
and we talked about how some accepted his story and some did not believe him.
"No. I believe," she assured us. We also talked about the persecution
Joseph Smith suffered and how eventually he was martyred. "Like Jesus
Christ," she whispered. She has real intent, folks.
good news is that my language ability is improving slowly but surely. I'm
starting to feel very comfortable communicating in Spanish. During an
intercambio I got to talk to several members who don't know how much time I
have in the mission. Two different sisters asked if I was close to finishing my
mission and were surprised to find out that I still have a year.
Zone Conference this week President Videla announced the worldwide initiative
the church has for December called "He is the Gift." We will be
focusing on Christ and Christmas as we make contacts and ask members for
references. The church has a video to share and they are doing major
advertising. On December 7th the church will be the only advertiser on
YouTube's home page. There are billboards in Times Square in New York.
Nuñez and I left the conference inspired to share the gospel and excited to try
out a new toy. President Videla gave every sector one of those handheld things
that makes a high pitched sound to get rid of dogs. Hermana Nuñez was wishing
we had one of those recently. Our leaders receive inspiration, no?
explored Las Tomillas Altas, the far away hill where several contacts live. I
had never been there before but had seen it from a distance when I explored
Pocuro. I had longed to go there and visit the humblest houses on the hill, the
houses that don't even have addresses. We taught one lesson there and it is one
I will remember for a long time. We contacted a woman who has cancer and we
listened to her complain and tell us she didn’t have energy to do anything. We
finally got in the door when we offered to sing a song and pray for her. We
sang "Where Can I Turn for Peace?" We got to know her and her husband, an
older couple. Her husband before was abusive and she raised five children
alone before she found her second husband, who she praises when she says he has never hit
her. They both complained of their physical pains and illnesses. I testified of
the Plan of Salvation and read to them from Alma 40. We talked about the
resurrection, which I had studied that morning. She said toward the end that she
felt as if something had entered her body and she wished that we could visit
her forever. We explained that what she felt was the Holy Ghost and that it didn’t
come from us. She felt it because of the message of Jesus Christ, not because
we were there. When we left she hugged me so tightly and then when I pulled
away she grabbed my hands and whispered that an angel had visited her. We biked
home elated as we remembered the lesson and the spirit we had felt in their
Sunday we were put in charge of teaching Primary because no one showed up. On
top of that, they informed us that the Primary program is next week. There is
one girl who is only nine years old but understands how the curriculum is
formatted. She went by herself to the ward secretary and had him print the
first page of every month from the Primary manual and pretty much put together
the program herself. She told us there was a song they didn't know yet,
"The Family is of God." There's no piano but I knew the tune from
hearing my siblings sing it so we printed the words in Spanish and figured it
out. There were only four kids in Primary yesterday and one of them was
especially hard. Hermana Nuñez learned the phrase "spoiled brat" in
language study after church and she said, in English, that when she has kids
they will draw ecosystems in Sacrament meeting like Ian.
my week. I really appreciate your prayers and I am praying for you.
Hermana Stanger is going home in 2 weeks :(