This week I completed one whole year in Chile! it seems like just yesterday I was getting off the tiniest plane in the tiniest airport in Osorno and shaking President Obeso´s hand for the first time. A lot has changed in one year and a lot has changed in only one week. I can say that I never planned on the mission turning out this way when I completed a year in Chile.
So Monday they called and said I had sobre cambios. I thought they meant I would leave Tuesday in the morning, but no, they called and told me I was scheduled to leave on the bus at 7pm that same night! That was a nightmare. We ran home and Hna B helped me pack while I tried not to have a break down and still call and say goodbye to members. We got everything packed up in time and headed to Puerto Montt to take the bus there.
Saying goodbye to Hna B was very hard; we both cried a lot. I know we`re going to see each other after the mission, but it was still hard. I wanted to at least finish her training. I don't think I`ve ever cried so much in my entire life.
I arrived in La Union at about 9:30pm and the hermanas lideres were there to greet me with my new companion. My new hermanas lideres are Hna C, from Valdivia and Hermana L V, (my former roommate! We were super excited! And my new companion is Hermana K from Salem Utah. She was actually Hna B's companion in the CCM. She was really sweet and really excited to see me. We got on another bus to go to San Pablo. On the bus we talked and got to know each other better and I explained everything with my knee. Her companion, Hna S, got bit by a dog a couple weeks ago so they had already been in the house for awhile too. She understand why the change had to happen.
San Pablo is un pueblito, a very small small town in the middle of nowhere. It's all campo/ country. Everyone already knows each other. We have a small rama/branch of about 30 people that regularly attend. There are tons of cows, pigs, roosters, chickens, and dogs that hang out in peoples back yards or in the streets. There are more dogs than people I swear and every morning we get to wake up to roosters... which isn't as cool as you think, it's just annoying.
The sector is small and very flat. I'ts really cold here, like really cold, and my first day it was really windy, It reminded me a lot of Punta Arenas. Flashback. There are two dogs named Johnnie and Rambo that follow us around everywhere an make trouble- bark and pick on other dogs, pee on stuff, search through garbage, chase cars... they are ridiculous. but they are funny. On Tuesday we left to work and it was great, but towards the end of the day my knee started hurting bad so we came back home. Hna K bought me a Berlin (Chilean pastry) for my one year birthday in Chile.
Hna K is really nice, she comes from a family of all boys. She is also a farm girl so she knows how to work hard. She`s very loving with the members and is everyone`s best friend. She has been very patient with me and everything that is happening.
On Wednesday we got permission from the nurse to go to the clinic in Osorno and see a doctor yay! The doctor looked at my knee and wanted to take x rays and run tests and stuff but the mission doesn't want to go through the expensive paperwork for that. so the doctor prescribed me some pain meds and creams and signed me up for 10 sessions of physical therapy. If the therapy doesn't work, then we can talk about x rays. So we still don't know exactly what is wrong, but we are doing something to help.
So this whole week was going to therapy sessions! And then coming home and staying in the house because the doctor says I shouldn't walk a lot after therapy. So I am still not working. and I think Hna K has cabin fever. We were going to therapy in La Union and the doctor told me I couldn't go out to work this past weekend; only to go to church, to cross the street, walk to lunch etc. But today we changed to Osorno because it's easier and the new doctor told me I need 2 days of complete rest - like I cant walk anywhere. so we`re starting that tomorrow. I`ve been taking lots of pills and putting on lots of creams and trying to stay positive.
This week were helped a girl with English, we shared scriptures with our Mamita, we don't eat with members- we have a Mamita the church pays to feed us everyday. And we went to a noche de hogar on Saturday. The members are very loving and funny and relaxed. Of course they all wanted to know what happened with Hna S . But they are already joking about how they`re going to kill me off, that I'm going to finish my mission here in San Pablo.... lets not jump the gun.
This week we studied, cleaned, organized, slept, baked, hung out, got to know each other, read the scriptures. Our house is small and it has all wooden paneling and I feel like I'm trapped in a wooden box. We're trying to mentally prepare ourselves for the upcoming week of more time in the wooden box.
This week is the 18th and we`re excited! It will be Hna K's first 18, its Chilean Independence Day!
I've been trying really hard to have a good attitude this week and its been hard.I missed Hna B and Puerto Varas a lot and more than 100 times the question crossed my mind "why me? why now? why everything?" But the lord helped me see little miracles and tender mercies every day that reminded me that He has a plan behind all of this.
Something that happened on monday, that I feel that I should share, and if Hna B's parents end up reading this it would be great if they could let her know.
Before the mission I had to wait a long time to leave and I did not enjoy it. I didn't understand the reason behind having to wait and suffer and stay home while everyone else left for missions. I asked Heavenly Father a million times why I had to wait. Well I came on the mission and I thought I understood why, I thought there must have been lots of reasons I had to wait.
When I was saying goodbye to Hna B, I told her ¨thank you for making all the decisions you did so you could come on the mission and be my daughter" and then she turned and told me "thank you for coming on the mission when you did so you could train me" and suddenly a light came on in my mind and I started to cry again and the Spirit told me "you had to wait to come on your mission so you could train Hna Braithwaite... you were waiting for her".
I thank my Heavenly Father everyday that he let Hna Braithwaite come into my life and that I could have this short time with her. I now know that God always answers prayers, sometimes years later but He always answers. He has a plan and a purpose behind everything. I have faith that all of this is happening for a reason. I just have to be pacient.
Have a great week!
love, Hermana Williams