Tuesday, December 22, 2015

December 21, 2015- Trio Part 2

Hola familia y amigos, 

Feliz Navidad! It`s been raining and sunny every other day here so it doesn't really feel like Christmas. This week was crazy, a ton happened. 

On Tuesday my companion, Hna Torres had to leave for Punta Arenas. She has a lot of stuff and it took her a long time to pack. I had to convince her to leave things behind. We kind of had an emergency transfer when the zone leaders called and said that we needed to be in Rio Bueno in an hour. Hna Torres freaked out and started laughing hysterically from the stress because she wasn't going to be ready in one hour. Two hours later we made it to Rio Bueno! 

Apparently all Chilean airports were going on strike so we had to hurry and send Hna Torres on her flight to Punta Arenas before they closed everything.  I stayed with the hermanas in Rio Bueno, Hna Kogianes and Hna Torres (from Argentina). Yes, I got to be companions with Hna Kogianes again! 

Hna Torres2 (Hna Torres from Argentina ,I shall  call her Torres2) was finishing her mission. She was supposed to be in Osorno on Wednesday but with the airport strike no one was going home. Crazy cambios happened and she stayed in trio with us (triplet companionship) on Wednesday we traveled to Osorno to drop Hna Kogianes off at the terminal so she could travel to Valdivia to be with her new companion. I stayed with Hna Torres2 and we waited for my new companion Hna Villena. She arrived 2 hours later. 

Hna Villena is de Ecuador! She came from Valdivia, Rio Cruces and knows Rodrigo and Margareth! She has 4 months in the mission. I'm her third companion. 

 Hna Villena and Torres2 and I stayed and worked in trio in San Pablo for three days. Hna Torres2 was a good sport, but she was stressed out about not going home, her family was probably freaking out. We joked about how she was in overtime and her authority card already expired so we should be able to have tons of lessons with member present haha. But it was super fun to work with both of them. Hnas Torres2 and Villena are really relaxed and quiet and chill, the opposite of Hna Torres de Colombia haha. I miss her and su merced haha. 

On Thursday we had to build a giant Bible costume out of cardboard. The zone leaders asked us to make one for a Christmas activity the next day. I never knew a Bible could take so much time to make. But it was fun to get to know the hermanas better. 

We taught the Familia F on Thursday.We invited them to be baptized and they told us they're tired of the missionaries always asking them to be baptized. They don't feel prepared and they want to wait.... it was a little disappointing, but at least they were honest with us. They said they have desires to be baptized in the future but not so soon. They want to investigate the church for a couple years... so they're not really progressing that much right now. but we're still going to pass by every once in a while to read the Book of Mormon with them and invite them to church. 

Their son, V is 29 years old, but looks like he's 24. His progress is different. He likes the church but he works a ton. He's gone for 3 or 4 weeks at a time so he can't commit to anything.  We're going to keep trying with him. 

Friday in the afternoon we had a big Christmas missionary activity. We went to Osorno and a choir sang Christmas carols in the plaza and we contacted and passed out balloons and cookies to everyone. The elders dressed up as the Bible and the Book of Mormon and took selfies with people haha. 

Saturday Hna Torres2 finally went home!  We sent her to osorno in the morning. We had fasted that she and the other missionaries would be able to go home and  a day later the zone leaders called and said she was going home. Miracles happen!!!!!

It was super fun to be in a trio, I'm going to miss Hna Torres2. 

Now Hna Villena and I are together just the 2 of us in San Pablo. She`s used to busy crowded Valdivia so she got here and was like "where are all the people?" haha. The members are super excited to be able to 'kill me off', or rather that I'm ending my mission here. They say they are already planning my farewell party. 

Sunday we only had Victor in church. It was our Christmas program and I sang a solo of Away in a Manger. We did the same missionary activity in the plaza of La Union and it went well. We walked a lot 

Hna Villena caught a cold. She`s not feeling very well but she`s still really excited to work hard and be here in San Pablo. 

It was a great week and time is flying by and im really enjoying the 12 Days of Christmas packet that Mom and Dad sent me. I'm trying to improve on being more grateful and prayerful during the day. 

I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas! I know that Jesus is the Christ and that He lives and that He is the Savior of the world. I'm so grateful to be His missionary. 

love, hermana williams

Saturday, December 19, 2015

December 14, 2015 - The Final Countdown

Hola familia y amigos, 

I have officially started my last transfer in the mission. In exactly 6 weeks I will be coming home. Scary. We found out transfers today in the morning...

I am staying in San Pablo and Hna Torres is going to Punta Arenas to be in my first sector Ovejero!!! I am receiving a new companion. She`s Latin. That's all I know. I can't even remember her name... but she's relatively new and she`s coming from Valdivia. 

I think I'm more excited that Hna Torres is going to Punta Arenas than she is... she`ll be able to see Victor y Blanca and Nibaldo and everybody!!! 

Well the most exciting part of this week is that Marion was baptized!!!!! She was baptized and confirmed on Tuesday and the baptism was beautiful! I sang Abide With Me Tis Eventide. In the morning we had to clean and fill the baptismal font and the water was way too hot, we had to turn the cold water on and wait a bit so that she could enter haha. After the service we borrowed her husband's keys and ran to their house and decorated it with white balloons and gifted her a hymnal. It was awesome. She was baptized by an hermano in the Branch, because her husband doesn't have the priesthood yet. But they are super happy and excited to go the temple next!
Marion's baptism.

On Thursday we had a huge mission conference and a member of the Setenta came to talk to us, Elder Texeira. It was awesome to listen to him and he gave us tons of advice and guess what.... I SAW HERMANA BRAITHWAITE!!! It was a glorious reunion. We ran and embraced each other like a slow motion movie scene haha. It was so good to see her and it was hard to say goodbye afterwards. 

Friday we had intercambios with the hermanas lideres and I went to Osorno again with Hna Call. Hna Call finishes her mission this week. It's funny because I was her first intercambio when she was called as hermana lider and friday I was her last intercambio. Sweet. 
Hermanas Williams and Braithwaite reunited!

Saturday the branch had a big luau Hawaii activity and the Familia Fuentealba came! It was hilarious because their daughter, Karen is 11 years old. She really wanted to go to the party but then her parents said no, we're going to Osorno... and she cried! She cried so hard that her parents changed their minds and they all came to the party haha. We had a blast and they showed a short 10 minute video from the church about us Mormons, It was awesome. 

Sunday we had 2 investigators in the church. Victor came alone because his family ended up going to Osorno after the party and didn't get home until super late so they never woke up in the morning. We picked up an elderly man who we contacted yesterday and said he wanted to go to church with him, We walked with him and a member and he stayed for all the classes.We`re going to visit him on Wednesday, His name is Osbaldo. 

That same night there was a young women's activity and we brought Karen to it and she really liked the program; she wants to come to mutual now. She`s only 11, but more young woman than Primary. 

It rained really hard all weekend, so I take my words back about sunshine and heat. But the pulgas (fleas) are back. They are eating my ankles. One bit me right where my spider scar is.
Hnas. Williams & Torres at Branch activity.

We`re getting closer to Christmas, we've been sharing the new video with people and I`ve been trying to sing everybody Christmas carols haha. We still don't know all the details for Christmas yet, I don't know with whom we are going to skype... probably in the Relief Society Presidents house. but I`ll let you know next Monday. 

San Pablo Branch Activity
Those are all the highlights of this week. I'm really excited for my last transfer... it doesn't feel real.  I'm determined to make the best of my last 6 weeks. I'm grateful to be a servant of the Lord. 

Thanks for all the letters and love, 
have a great week!

love, hermana williams

December 7, 2015 - Here Comes the Sun!

Hola familia y amigos, 

This week was great! It`s starting to feel like summer here in San Pablo. The sun has come out and we've been dying under the heat haha. I had my first sun burn of the season, but don't worry mom, I've been putting sunscreen on everyday. San Pablo is beautiful in the summer, with tons of roses and cherry trees in bloom. Hna Torres says there are no cherries in her country, so she's been taking tons of photos and stealing tons of cherries off of people's trees. 

This week we had lots of lessons and contacts and walking in the sun. Nothing really that exciting no crazy mission stories. 

Monday we taught the familia F and it turns out their oldest son is more receptive than they are haha. He hasn't been living in the house with them for awhile for work, but now he is.  He was super excited about everything we had to teach. He told us he wanted to come to church on Sunday!

On Thursday our mission president, Pres. Obeso came to San Pablo for interviews. I had a real nice talk with him. We mentioned our investigator Marion to him and it turns out he already knows her. He came to church in San Pablo once and she was there, This was over a year ago. He knows that she's been attending church and investigating the church for a long time. We explained that we put her with a baptismal date but it keeps falling because she has to work on Sundays. We thought that she needs to attend church at least 3 times with us but he told us that's a lie! She has been investigating the church for so long that she can be baptized whenever she wants to. We don't have to worry about church attendance or reteaching her the lessons or anything! MIRACLE we were shocked and so happy. 

We ran to Marion's house to tell her the good news but before we even explained what happened she told us that her job didn't renew her contract and now she`s not working. Sad that she lost her job but at the same time its a miracle because now shes not working every Sunday!!!! We told her the good news and invited her to be baptized. She said she wanted to talk with her husband and pray about a specific date this month. 

Friday we found a grandma who investigated the church for a super long time because her husband was member but she never got baptized. Her husband passed away a year ago and the missionaries stopped coming by because she wasn't progressing. We taught her the Restoration and we had to yell because she can't hear very well. We explained that she can be sealed in the temple to her husband so they can be together forever. She told us that she has been having tons of dreams where she sees her husband in a suit and tie telling her to get ready and dress herself up because they need to go get remarried.... like to get sealed in the temple!!!! It was super awesome to hear that; the Spirit was super strong. We invited her to be baptized but she`s so old that she really can't comprehend the need to ¨change religions¨we're going to keep working with her though. This woman needs to be baptized !

On Sunday we committed the familia F and their son  V and Marion and her less active husband  to all come to church. We set out super early in the morning, calling and picking them up, in the end they all said they would come on their own. We got to church and it started and time passed...... and we were on the edges of our seats..... and they all came! We had a total of 5 investigators, 4 less active members and a total attendance of 40!!! Thats huge!!!!! We were so excited. 

It was fast and testimony meeting and the testimonies were awesome, the Spirit was strong and towards the end, the dad of the familia F, dagoberto, got up and bore his testimony!!!! Our jaws dropped to the floor! He said that he`s really happy to be here in the church and to have the missionaries visit him and it looks like now they know which road they need to take in life...... :) 

After Sacrament Meeting Marion announced her baptism date..... December 8th!!!! tomorrow!!!!! it's a holiday here in Chile and its the only day that both she and Marcos can be there! We were completely shocked! We were praying that she would choose at least 1 day before the transfer, this weekend. But she decided on Tuesday! We are so happy!

Marion had her baptismal interview this morning and she passed. We spent all day yesterday running around to get everything set and ready for Tuesday. After more than a year investigating she's finally getting baptized! She`s super excited! 

It was awesome because in my interview with President I expressed to him some discouragement because I haven't been able to see a baptism in almost a whole year.  He told me that answers to prayers sometimes come faster or slower than we think :) This time it was faster. 

So the familia Fuentealba and the Marion need tons of prayers. 

That was the best part of this week. 

A big hug for Sarah White and Kaylyn next week from me! Tell them to write me haha. 

I testify that Heavenly Father answers prayers and that miracles are real and that He loves us a lot. I'm really grateful for this week and so excited for the weeks ahead. 

Thanks for the love and support. 

love, Hermana Williams