19 May 2015
It was so fun to TALK to you on Thursday! My companion congratulated me on the fact that I didn't cry and I spoke almost fluent English.
Remember how I said we were going to visit an investigator who had accepted a baptismal date for June 7th and we went and taught him about the Book of Mormon. We invited him to church on Sunday and he came! We were so excited to have a progressing investigator...until...after church we were using the ward list to organize an activity...and...we found... him!..with his first and last name and address. Either he is named after his father who was a member and inherited his house or he is actually a less active. Maybe that's why he is so receptive, right? He already accepted the gospel. If he is a member, there is a lot for us to remind him of because he sure doesn't seem like a member when we're teaching him.
For our P-day we went to Quinta Normal with all eight of the sisters in our group. It's a park with a lot of trees and several museums. We went to the train museum, which is outdoors and has real train cars and train engines, some of which you can climb in, on, and under. It is beautiful fall weather with leaves falling and I enjoyed being outside.
We went to the Natural History Museum afterwards—one I had already been to with Hermana Gomez, Hermana Nuñez, and Hermana Clark in September or October. I learned that the U.S. took a Chilean flag to the moon, along with the flags from all of the other countries in the UN at the time.
I also learned about the volcanoes and earthquakes here, tectonic plates, pollution, etc. Since I'm a missionary, of course I was thinking about what I read in the Book of Mormon just this morning in Mormon chapter 8.
Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be heard of fires, and tempests, and vapors of smoke in foreign lands;
Cool, right? We're living in these times! Through technology you all know when I experience a little earthquake almost as soon as I do. And we all have been hearing about the volcano in southern Chile and others in other foreign lands. And pollution? We've got that too. From the top of Santa Lucia a few weeks ago Hermana Young and I were talking about how weird it was that you can't see the mountains in Santiago, even though they are there. You also can't see the buildings in the distance. It's hazy. Google a picture of Santiago on a normal day and the day after rain and you'll see what I mean.
I also saw the exhibits of the ancient civilizations of Chile with a Book of Mormon perspective. I have recently read in the Book of Mormon about the destruction of the Nephites and the wickedness of the Lamanites who remained and fell into apostasy. And as I walked through the museum I saw artifacts from this period of time, the lifestyle of the descendents of Lehi here in Chile. I read about an eight year old boy who lived centuries ago and was sacrificed to a sun god and recently found frozen and preserved, dressed with interesting jewelry and a headdress with condor feathers. Poor thing, tiny, cold, and probably confused. Apostasy. He's in the Spirit World waiting for his vicarious baptism to happen, I assume in the Millennium.
Read the Book of Mormon! I love reading it even more as a missionary. I love sharing it. I love the chapters where Mormon, Moroni, and other prophets speak directly to us and to the people I am teaching. It's like breaking the fourth wall in theater. It makes it so real.
I am almost done with the Book of Mormon in Spanish. I have read the first half in Spanish three times but kept starting over, twice before my mission and in the mission I got to 3 Nephi when President Videla made a plan for us to read it all together. This time I am going to finish it and then I am going to study the Isaiah chapters of the Book of Mormon for a month before starting over again. Mom, make sure you get me in an Isaiah class at BYU when you sign me up for classes. And astronomy.
Read everything! I love my hour of personal study and language study. Last P-day we had an extra hour and I got to read in bed and study Jesus the Christ. I don't remember the last time I had free time to read and it was wonderful.
A couple of days ago a little boy approached us on the street and asked us to come to his house and teach him to read. He's a gypsy and my companion says that the gypsies here don't study and don't send their kids to school. I think we've contacted the boy's family before.
This coming week we have ward conference and there are a lot of activities this week in our ward. Tonight there is a movie night which we are helping prepare and Friday we are participating in a talent show. Hermana Young and I are going to sing “Glorious” in Spanish. Thank you Mom for sending a minus track because no one here plays the piano well enough to accompany us!
I love you! Read the Book of Mormon!
Hermana Eva VanCott