so much has changed this past week all at once and so much has happened. im going to try to remember everything. But know that i did make it to valdivia, im safe, i like my new companion and im burning to a crisp!
Monday and tuesday were hard. I spent both days packing up all my stuff. i had to send one of my suitcases by bus again and wont get it for about 2 or 3 weeks. I had to say goodbye to a lot of amazing people. a lot of people from the barrio and familias. had to say goodbye to our new investigators Daniel, cristian and ana. we had a lesson with them on monday. did a tour of the church, i sang savior redeemer of my soul for them and we taught them the rest of the restoration. it was so awesome and the spirit was so strong and they all said that they werent completely sure if the church is true yet, but they can feel something special and different in what we have to teach and that they have met a lot of other missionaries but with us, this time is different and they want to learn more. we are all best friends and it was so hard to have to leave them. i felt like right when we had new people to teach and everything was so perfect, i had to leave.
tuesday i said goodbye to victor and blanca. we had a short family home evening with Juan, shared the Because of Him video and all bore our testimonies of the savior. I cried a lot. we ate the last supper together haha and took photos that im sure victor has already sent to you. they gave me a scarf that Blanca knitted and victor gave me a little penguin statue and carved a message underneath.
also said goodbye to Juan (Johnnie) we're going to see each other In utah in a year because hes going to go to school. but it was still hard to say goodbye. he's my best friend and i already miss him a lot.
on wednesday i had to be in the capilla at. Victor and blanca dropped us off. Hna Jenkins and i spent our last precious time together and hanging out with Elder Lopez and Elder Marshall. I sang Savior redeemer of my soul for them again. saying goodbye to the elders was super hard, especially because i dont know if im ever going to see elder lopez again in this life. i cried with them and i cried for hermana Jenkins. its so funny because with her i started out real apprehensive, i wasnt sure if i was going to like her that much but she ended up becoming my best friend and sister and every moment with her was the best. 6 weeks wasnt enough with her.
went to the airport, hermana coombs left too so we got to leave together. Victor and Blanca and their son victor antonio met us at the airport, they helped us with all our stuff and made sure we were good to go which i was really grateful for. we said goodbye, victor likes to do etch artwork in glass so he gave me a glass vase with torres del paine and punta arenas and their names etched into it. blanca gave me the footprints in the sand poem in spanish that she had bought one day and i said i loved that poem, so she wrote a little note on back and gave it to me. and victor gave me a handwritten letter that i will treasure and carry with me for the rest of my life. i cried real hard when they walked away.
i remember back last year when i was still deciding whether or not to serve a mission, or when, and the impression came to me that the Lord has great things to do and people to meet in store for me, but i would never reach that potential or future if i didnt take the first steps to serve a mission. Victor and Blanca are part of that great future that God had in store for me. if i were to end my mission right now, or if victor and blanca were the only people i met for the rest of my time here, they make my mission 100% worth it. i will be eternally grateful for the opportunity to know them.
wednesday was long. i ended up taking a plane and three buses to get to valdivia and i didnt get in until. so hermana conde picked me up and we went straight to the house and went to bed.
Hermana Conde: shes from peru, close to Lima, she is the youngest of 7. shes been in the mission for almost a year and shes 21 years old. shes super tiny and short but really funny and sassy. shes definitely not sugary sweet molly mormon so we have a lot of fun together. when we first met she was a little icy because before me she had a gringa companion who refused to speak spanish, or speak at all. so after she tested out how good my spanish was and realized that i could understand her, i was willing to speak spanish and wanted to improve, she warmed up to me haha. dont get me wrong there are still moments when she talks really fast and i cant understand her, or when we're walking in the streets and i cant hear her and i have to just nod and go along with it haha. but its fun to speak completely in spanish now. Im pretty sure we get along and that were friends and we have fun, she loves listening to christmas music and wearing the color black haha.
valdivia is absolutely beautiful, sunny and hot! we died a couple days this week, im just not used to it and i am honestly not equiped to handle the heat. ive switched from hand warmers to sunscreen. and lots of it.
theres another set of missionaries hermanas in our ward. Hermana Alonso from ecuador and hermana meready from california. hermana maready likes to speak english with me a lot... so i just try to respond in spanish. we have a lot of fun. its like having three sisters (but we do live in separate houses)
oh yeah, our house is a little bit bigger now! but the bathroom is still so small i have to sit sideways on the toilet so as to not squish my legs up against the opposite wall haha.
the ward is really nice, there are about 70 people that assist. we're working a little harder on getting members to come to lessons with us. its hard during vacations. we have two main investigators that ive met so far, Daniel (18) whos super timid and shy but is progressing a lot and Claudia (21) who can speak english (im kind of tired or people speaking english haha)
the work is a little slow here, but we're gonna change that real fast.
we have the costanera in our sector and a huge bridge that crosses the water and lots of parks. its super fun, but hard because all the people we contact are tourists and we cant visit them.
ive realized that chileans are a little icy when you first try to talk to them (at least here in the south i dont know about santiago) but if you can gain their trust then they'll open up and be your best friend and its so fun to see them change. chileans love to laugh and have fun and joke around. you really have to relax and have fun with them. i love it.
its been a little hard this past week, just with the heat and not having a lot of people to teach and ive been pretty homesick for punta arenas. i honestly think im more homesick for punta arenas than for my home in washington, sorry mom and dad.
but i need to stop complaining and just start working harder. there's a lot to be done here. and a lot of change that i need to make in myself.
im excited for this new opportunity. its kind of hard to be back on square one again with not knowing the people or the area but at least this time i can speak spanish haha. i needed the change because i realized that even though i loved it there, i wasnt progressing much in punta arenas. now is a pride check and im learning to be humble and follow the spirit and work harder. im grateful for all the blessings and help ive had from the Lord and im excited for all the new people i will meet and amazing things the Lord has in store for me. I know that with faith in Jesus Christ i can do all things.
love, hermana Williams