Monday, May 11, 2015

I'm Dutch. I'm a scientist. And I'm a Mormon

A baptism in Calle Larga of a woman we taught.  This makes me so happy!

11 May 2015

Dear family,

Happy Mothers' Day! I am excited to talk to you on Thursday and I hope you are working on that song you were going to sing for Christmas :) We talked to Hermana Young's family yesterday at the Roman family's house (notice I'm practicing my English and I didn't say the house of the family Roman) which is where I will be talking to you at approximately 6:30 my time. 3:30 your time I believe. 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The weather is cooling down and last week when we went to Lider in San Pablo we noticed that the store was picked through and crowded. They were selling scarves, there was jazzy music playing, and I even found Christmas sticker labels in the craft aisle. My cold cleared up substantially on Monday which was a Christmas miracle. Two weeks ago I bought a Chilean nativity, a souvenir I had looked for in November and couldn't find. I was going to just put it in my suitcase to bring home but I thought, why not, and unwrapped it to put on my desk. We exercised to Christmas music. I didn't feel like it was Christmas when I talked to you on Christmas but now it's hard to believe it's May.

We are starting to teach one of our investigators from the very beginning again because he still has a lot of doubts about the nature of God. We started with talking about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the premortal life and our decision to follow God's plan. He has been reading everything he can get his hands on, even buying books from the fair in the street about hope. He told us about what he is reading and mentioned some statistics about how the Netherlands has the greatest number of agnostics, but that there are those who are starting to change. He also talked about how the majority of scientists are atheists. My companion and I smiled. He knows that I am Dutch and that I am a neuroscience major. I recommend that all future missionaries declare science majors at least until they return from their missions. Just kidding. It helps me, though.

We taught the teenage boy we have been teaching and his grandma more about temples and family history. He looked sad. As we were leaving he walked with us to the gate and said, "This is all beautiful for families in the church but my family members have other beliefs." That comment tells me that there is a lot he understands but that he needs a wider vision of God's plan. We explained that he can be an example for his family. We also promised him that if he keeps God's commandments God is obligated to bless him. He knows what will work out best which is why He gives us commandments. They weren't able to visit the temple on Saturday but we hope to be able to go this week or in the future.

Remember the young man in our ward who invited the lady who cut his hair to church? We had an appointment with her but she wasn't there. We stopped by again to talk to her but she was busy. Then yesterday we arrived at church and she was already there! Even before us! That young man had been visiting her as much as we were and insisting and she came! I'm so impressed. 

Two paragraphs of paranoia:
We have brown recluses in this house too! Summer is ending and the spiders from outside are finding warm places to hide in our apartment. We've killed four in four days and found several dead ones. We're calling the office today so someone can come and spray something or do whatever it is they do to get rid of spiders.

We are putting together our emergency backpacks according to Hermana Videla's instructions. With natural disasters happening all over Chile and other parts of the world we are feeling warned. If there is an earthquake, know that my emergency backpack is ready. As we were putting things in, Hermana Young said she had a feeling that she is going to use it. 

I saved something happy for the end...
We got to go to the temple on Thursday. I loved the session and the gravity of covenants in general was reinforced in my mind. We make covenants with God. I'm pondering how I can help my investigators understand that as they prepare to make covenants. 

I remembered that last time I was inside the Santiago temple was while I was in the MTC. That day I was wondering if I could really handle eighteen months. I have now been a missionary for eleven months and I wish I knew then how fine I would feel now. 

I'm excited to talk to you on Thursday! Love you!
Hermana Eva VanCott

Hermana Young had told her parents that she dyed her hair, which was true, but when we found this wig at the Roman family's house it made for a good skype prank.

All of the things Hermana Videla says we should have in an emergency backpack don't fit in one backpack. Hermana Young added a fanny pack :)

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