Monday, June 1, 2015

Transfer Day -- Staying in Los Mares

Hermana Riveros bought macaroni and cheese because she had never tried it before.
I also taught her to make egg in a hat.
She thinks I'm a professional chef. I told her it's little kid food. Gross.
1 June 2015

Dear family,

My new companion is Hermana Fullmer from Detroit, Michigan! She and Hermana Young switched places and now Hermana Young is with Hermana Ward. Hermana Fullmer is 20, went to BYU for summer and fall before arriving in the mission and was studying physical therapy. She only has two transfers left so it is likely that she will finish here in Los Mares with me. It's a great coincidence because Hermana Dodds was her trainer the transfer before I arrived. I remember the first few days of my mission hearing all about Hermana Fullmer as people asked where she had gone.

I am Leader 1 now which means I will stay in my sector for exchanges. No more traveling for now. Our group is mostly the same. Hermana Nuñez and Chavez are still together. Hermana Alonso is going to train a new missionary who arrives tomorrow. Hermana Riveros (who was in our trio for a week and a half) is in Curacavi with Hermana Souza. 

This past transfer has been incredible, probably one of my favorites of the mission. I loved working with Hermana Young and I love this ward. I am so excited for a new transfer with Hermana Fullmer.

Happy birthday to Adria this week! Seventeen! 

Our member/investigator will not be getting baptized on Adria's birthday because he is most definitely a member. He visited the ward where he investigated the church as a youth and talked to old friends. They assured him that he was actually baptized, although he doesn't remember it.

A young man we have been teaching could possibly get baptized the 7th, though. He was supposed to be baptized yesterday and wanted to, but during the week as we taught him we suggested that he prepare a little bit more. He was eager to be baptized the 31st of May but agreed to keep preparing for the 7th of June. And then yesterday he didn't even show up at church. I'm not sure exactly what to do with that kid except pray. Your prayers for him are certainly welcome. He has a lot of doubts about the priesthood. We try to explain that it is about service and not about rank. He really wants to be baptized but doesn't understand the covenant. He is eager to make a promise that he is not eager to keep.

Please pray for our new member in Llay Llay as well. I saw Hermana Santander at the transfer meeting and she told me that our new member didn't go to church the last two Sundays. That really discourages me. Retention in our mission is about fifty percent but for some reason I thought the people I taught would be different. The young man in Los Mares who was baptized my first week here hasn't come to church the past two weeks because he has a nocturnal schedule. We visited him yesterday with the YSA leaders who are his friends. His friend who was also baptized is firm. I want to make sure that the young man who is preparing to be baptized is READY!

This week was interesting to be in a trio. We had planned an exchange for Tuesday. I try not to schedule them for the last week but Hermanas Alonso and Moreno weren't able to when we originally scheduled it. Then on Sunday Hermana Riveros mentioned "I have to go to get my ID on Tuesday." Uh oh. I ended up going with Hermana Riveros to get her ID and we met in the office and sent Hermana Young with BOTH Hermana Alonso and Hermana Moreno for the day. Hermana Riveros and I taught together in Los Mares in the afternoon and I got to test drive directing the sector before Hermana Young left for good. Later in the week we did divisions (splits?) with a future sister missionary. It's really easy when you're in a trio and you don't have to find two members to come with. During divisions Hermana Riveros and I contacted a referral from a man in our ward, his daughter's boyfriend. We taught him and his girlfriend together. He was visiting our sector and doesn't actually live in our ward but we have another appointment to teach him here with the members. He is agnostic, just like Hermana Riveros was before she found the gospel. 

We taught an atheist. We contacted him in front of his house and he explained his firm lack of belief. He talked a lot, telling us about how he studied and teaches nuclear physics at Universidad Catolica. We finally got in his door when Hermana Riveros asked if he believed we have souls. He said that was a good question and invited us in. He talked a lot, listened very little, and interrupted us. As part of his speech, he quoted Aristotle, something about how you need a thousand words to tell a lie and one word to tell the truth, yes or no. I thought it was ironic because it was part of his long rambling monologue about the universe, the Big Bang, etc. When I finally had the chance to speak I asked, "What was it that Aristotle said?" He repeated the quote. "And how many words did you just use?" He admitted that it was a lot and understood what I was trying to say. He insisted that he wasn't lying. I told him I didn't think he was but that there is more truth that he could have. I told him I hadn't had the chance to speak but that I didn't need to. I handed him a copy of the Book of Mormon. He promised that he would read it cover to cover but that he wouldn't believe any of it. I told him that if he opened it with that attitude perhaps he would not learn anything, but that if he opened his mind, just as he had as he studied nuclear physics for forty years, that he would learn something new. He said I was right and corrected himself. For the first time in that lesson I saw a spark of hope. As we left I told him that I am studying science as well. His eyes lit up. I asked him if I could be a scientist and a believer. He said that I could and then said, "I shouldn't say I'm an atheist. I'm a scientist and I'm not a believer... today." I think we're going to visit him again. 2 Nephi 9: 28-29 I met a learned man today.

That's my week. I love you all! Have a wonderful week. I sure will!

Hermana Eva VanCott, who will never be nineteen again...

P.S. "Forever Young" is playing in this cyber and I am having flashbacks to watching Napoleon Dynamite. It's like celebrating my birthday in elementary school all over again. How did they know?

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