Hola familia y amigos,
Yep that's right, today is my sweet 16, I complete 16 months in the mission!
I'm pleased to report that this week nothing crazy happened! There were no freak accidents, injuries, dog drama or hospital visits. It was a normal, average week in the life of a missionary.
On Monday I passed the day with the hermanas lideres and worked with them in their sector. It was great to be able to work without holding back for my foot or my knee. The doctor in the clinic told me I'm good to go with my spider bites. They have already formed into nice little scars that I will have for the rest of my life. It will be a great mission story. I was talking to our ward mission leader the other day and he said that you haven't served a mission in Latin America until you have a scar somewhere to prove it! haha.
On Tuesday Hna Torres and I reunited and it felt so good haha. I saw Hna Pinto in the bus terminal! She's doing great and loves Chiloe but she said there are tons of hills to climb and the house they live in is haunted. Other than that she`s good. It was great to see her and hang out with her and Hna Torres for a little bit. Two Colombians together is a real show.
On Tuesday we were also able to contact 4 cute old grandpas that have known eachother for over 50 years and meet up at the same park bench everyday in the plaza at about 7pm. We made plans to come visit them the next day to teach them the Plan of Salvation and bring them cookies but it rained all week so they didn't meet up outside.... Today it's sunny so we`re hoping to find them again haha.
We also contacted a 22 year old girl with her 4 year old son in the plaza, At first she didn't want anything to do with us but then she opened up when she heard Hna Torres speak because she loves the Colombian accent. Hna Torres has a very unique way of speaking and it really calls people's attention. We talked with the girl, Pamela, for a while and made plans to visit her in a couple days, she was really cool. We took a selfie with her haha.
On Thursday we called the same Pamela to see if we could come visit her, she said she was at a friend's house but told us to come over because her friend wanted to meet us too and hear Hna Torres 'accent. So we found Vanesa's house and they let us in and were super nice and fun and Hna Torres made them arepas from Colombia. We taught them the Plan of Salvation and the Spirit was super strong; it was an awesome lesson! They were super receptive. We set up another day to come back.
What's super cool is that Pamela is a cousin of a member family in the ward.
on friday we did service and helped our mamita cecilia do yard work in her patio. dad, thanks for always making me do yard work when i really didn't want to. now i understand why you always said that we had to do it so we would learn to work hard. thanks for not letting me be lazy (even though i was still pretty lazy)
We taught the familia F and our RM friend Aldo came to the lesson. It was great because their 22 year old son who works Puerto Montt was there and Aldo was able to build confidence with him and the rest of the family. Hna Torres made her famous arepas rellenas and Colombian hot chocolate. Delicious. I want to visit Colombia one day. We taught the familia F about the Book of Mormon. They`re struggling with their progression, we feel that we are running around in circles with them.
Saturday we planned a family home evening for the whole branch and investigators and friends and we were going to watch the movie Meet the Mormons... but in the end only 5 people came and they were all members and we couldn't get the movie to stream. We had an awesome lesson about the Atonement and watched Mormon Messages instead.
Our investigator M had a baptismal date for the December 5th and then she had to work last Sunday and couldn't come to church so her date fell through, We put her back on for December 12th... but she didn't come to church yesterday either. We even called and reminded her a billion times and called and woke her up in the morning and we offered to go pick her up but she said no she would come alone ... but then never showed up. So her date fell through again. We are feeling a little exasperated but we have faith and determination that this woman will be baptized!
Our mamita served us pasta with red sauce three times this week and then we ate the same thing with members yesterday. We don't want to eat pasta ever again haha.
Yesterday we contacted a lady who was really nice and we talked with her about the Plan of Salvation and we were about to ask her when we could come back to teach her when she realized we were Mormon missionaries... turns out she's a less active member who was baptized years back and became less active because the Branch President said something that offended her. We listened to her rant for about 20 minutes about how mad she was and how she swore never to come back to the Mormon Church. It was sad.... it hurt my heart. We tried to explain to her that Christ's church is perfect, but the people in it are not. She wouldn't listen. You would think that after 16 months of hearing lots of stories like that, it would stop hurting, but it doesn't, you just get used to it. But i'ts okay, I've learned that we should never let anything get in the way of our personal salvation.
Overall it was a good week. We are struggling to have more support from the members. We planned to have a mini training for the members in how to help the missionaries but they never gave us time to do it. We have some good ideas to get the members pumped.
It wasn't a very exciting week, thank goodness, so there really isn't anything super interesting to write. We didn't celebrate Thanksgiving, I tried to get Hna Torres and other people excited about it, but they didn't really get it. We did eat arepas with the familia F... so it was kind of the same thing. I missed my family dearly on Thursday and thought of you all a lot (without getting too trunky)
Something that I've learned on my mission is: if you`re not happy, work harder. We are never in a standstill moment, if we are not progressing, improving, we are moving backwards. We should always strive to be better every single day, which comes with hard work and dedication. I bear testimony that God lives, His Son Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and that this is their work. I am grateful to be a missionary.
love, Hermana Williams