As directed by the area presidency, we fasted for rain.
6 July 2015
"You're free!" was Hermana Nuñez's Fourth of July greeting as she left our house after exchanges and gave me a hug. She's so funny. Hermana Fullmer and I sang "America the Beautiful" from the English hymn book before companionship study.
Although it may have looked like the Fourth of July here and sounded like the Fourth of July here, it was really just a soccer game. Hermana Fullmer and I pretended that people were decked out in red, white, and blue clothing, inflating red balloons, roasting meat, and watching fireworks because they love us and want to celebrate our country. It sure has felt patriotic here. They're just missing forty-nine stars is all.
We may have had to be in the house from five o'clock onward but we didn't miss much of the game, the last of the cup between Chile and Argentina. When Chile won we joined everyone at the window, opening it to cheer with everyone on their four stories of balconies in front of us. There were car horns, clanging, flag waving, children running through the street in patriotic colors. I've never seen a Fourth of July quite like this one. They won the game at eight and there was still noise for several hours.
Our investigator’s husband went to church yesterday for the first time! I called to give his wife a wakeup call like I've done before even though she is always already up. He answered, as he has before, but his time he said, "We're getting ready for church. I don't have to work today." For the next few minutes I could hardly contain my joy. My companion was laughing about how excited I was. It's better than Christmas. What a lovely Sunday morning surprise.
Our investigator shared her testimony in fast and testimony meeting. She introduced herself with her name, said that she was an investigator, that she was there for the third week, and that she longs to be baptized and become a member of the church. She said there was no doubt in her mind that the Book of Mormon is true and that there is a living prophet. I was beaming and proud. I prayed for humility because sometimes I feel possessive of investigators. I knocked her door. I taught her. I saw her progress. She's mine. But I know, like I've said earlier, that the Lord prepared her and I shouldn't feel proud. I just have the desire for all of the members to know how great she is and now I think they do. Is this what being a proud mom feels like? The bishop commented after that she is more "intellectual" than the rest of us because she knows what a testimony means. She shared a real testimony even after several people talked about the soccer game and one lady talked about how she missed her son who is serving a mission and how her son-in-law doesn't quite measure up (her son-in-law was in the congregation, by the way.)
On Tuesday we had lunch with Hermana Diaz, who informed us about the family home evening they invited our investigator and her husband to the night before. I'm so proud of them all. That's exactly what we need members to be doing.
Our investigator talks like the golden investigator examples you usually only find in Preach My Gospel. She says things like, "My search ended." We did some service with her, helping her tidy up a patio space where she is going to start an herb and medicinal garden, a hobby to distract her from smoking. (She hasn't smoked in about a week and says the smell is repulsive to her now. We didn't even have to persuade her to quit. Her first Sunday in church she informed us that she was quitting, before we even taught about the Word of Wisdom. She has tried to quit many times without success but this time it has worked). In her patio we found all sorts of photos of her family, Catholic rosaries and mementos from First Communions, a letter she had written to God, and a letter from her late mother to her which uses the LDS term "Heavenly Father." We assume the letter must have been from a time after she had begun taking missionary lessons. As our investigator scowled at her husband’s corner of things I told her about my parents and how my mom claims her territory of empty space by calling it "my stuff." In Dad's defense, I bragged to Hermana Fullmer today at a museum that my Dad would know how much everything was worth. A lot of the art was very recent and I have no idea how much it is worth.
I offended someone this week. We went to an appointment with a contact and when we saw that he was an elderly single man my companion asked if we could leave the door open, explaining that it's a rule we have. He said, "The thieves will come in." We thought he was joking. People usually understand or at least respect our rules without making a fuss. We entered and he closed the door. We (mostly I) insisted and he insisted that thieves would come into his house. I offered that we could take some chairs outside to talk there and that he could keep the door closed, but he didn't like that idea. We ended up leaving the stubborn man without teaching him but not before he showed us a cake he had baked for us that we weren't going to eat for our rudeness. Strange.
"Happiness isn't expensive," Hermana Fullmer commented as I gave my spare change to an old man with dreadlocks who was dancing in the street, oblivious to the bustle of the city around him.
Last week we went to the Planetarium. Picturing many galaxies I felt so very small in comparison with the incomprehensible grandeur of God's creations. The show we saw was called "Dark Universe." My companion and I were talking before the show about the Light of Christ. As we looked at diagrams on the wall I was able to explain to her about the few frequencies we see as visible light, drawing on my limited knowledge of physics. There are so many things I am excited to study after the mission.
The show was from New York and I wish I could have seen it in English because the European Spanish accent is harder for us to understand, especially with scientific terms we don't use every day. At the end they had something short from the University of Santiago about neuroscience which made my day. It compared the number of neurons in a brain with the number of galaxies (something like that...) and ended with a quote about how both continue to be a mystery. It was just fun for me to see some familiar neurons in a giant domed theater. It's been a while...
This P-day we went to La Moneda and saw an exhibit called Great Masters of Iberoamerican art and we had pitas for lunch.
Happy Independence Day! Hope you have a great week!
Hermana Eva VanCott
CHI CHI CHI LE LE LE VIVE CHILE
Our view of the game.
The rest of the pictures today are from La Moneda. They have a new exhibit.