Wow! Where did 2011 go? I seriously cannot believe that the year is gone and 2012 has started! I am really so very excited for this year... and entire year in the mission field! WOOT! So excited! I can´t believe that this week I am going to complete 6 months! En serio... where does the time go??????
So we started 2012 off with a BANG!!! Facundo was baptized!!! I learned that Satan is real and that he does NOT want these baptisms to happen! We started out the morning looking for our investigators when we got a call from the family that Facundo was going to attend with that he wasn´t there or answering his phone. No biggie, because we still had an hour, we we headed off for his house. Well, he wasn´t there!!!! We looked EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Friends houses, the streets, etc. We must have called him 500 times... NOT exaggerating! haha. The thing is that an investigator has to come to church 3 times before he can be baptized and Facundo only had 2 asistences. Well, we eventually had to go to church, first of all because we have to take the Sacrament (and obviously want to) and second of all because I had to give my talk (more on that later). The minute my talk was done (I was the first speaker, luckily) we headed out to search for Facundo so that he could attend the other branch that started at 11 (it was 10:45). With much prayer and faith we tried a friend´s house for the second time and FACUNDO ANSWERED!!!! Halalujah! Since it was the 1st, there weren´t any taxi or remis and we had no idea what to do. (the other building is really far). We prayed again and a member showed up with a car and she had felt to follow us!!! We got to the chapel at 11:05 and it was perfect! So after, Facundo headed off and we went to our lunch appointment. After, we went to look for him for the baptism and he was all ready. The sad thing was that everyone he had invited chose to go al campo instead of the baptism, but he said that he understood that the baptism is what matters and not the people. So we headed off to the baptism. The baptisms are also in the other chapel because our font is broken... we don´t have keys to that chapel. When we got there, the Elders weren´t there... we called them and found out that our zone leader was SUPER sick and they were waiting for other Elders to show up so that they could do divisions. We had to literally run to their house (we left Facundo with some members waiting outside the chapel) to get the keys because the water in the font had been on really long and would be overflowing. we got back and turned the water off (only a LITTLE mess) and got everything prepared. The Elders got there and Elder Smith quickly changed to do the baptism and we had a beautiful baptism. Everything turned out great, but we were super duper exhausted. haha. Good times. Facundo said that it wasn´t easy, but it was the best decision ever! Woo hoo!! He is really great. And another really awesome thing is that all 4 companionships in our zone had baptisms this week!!!!!! So awesome!
Our investigators are doing well. We are especially working with Raul and his daughter Marcia, Sandra, Cesar, Gustavo, Gisel, Monica, and Ezekiel. To meet our goal of 6 baptisms this transfer, we need 2 more, and we have great plans to meet that goal. Raul and Marcia could be baptized, but he is a bit reluctant. Gustavo could also be baptized...he was an old investigator that we found recently and he doesn´t feel ready after such a long time away from the church, but we are going to help him. We also have plans to pass by some old investigators and invite them to return. We know that we are going to be especially exhausted at the end of the week, but we are going to do everything possible to complete our goal.
So I mentioned that I had to give a talk in church. I really love to speak, but I was nervous about 15 minutes of Spanish in a microphone. My talk was on a talk from Elder Oaks about three things that we know thanks to the restoration... 1. The naturaleza (I can´t remember for the life of me what the word is in English... sorry) of God, 2. The purpose of life, and 3. That we have revelation in these days.
I learned a lot, and actually it went pretty well. The only thing was that my mind was in Facundo and I felt a little scattered, but Hermana Malhue said that it made sense. After, at our lunch appointment, Hermano Orellano told me that my accent was way better than when I arrived and that he understood every word. Then he said "yep, I loved hearing all about the importance of prayer!" I seriously thought for a moment that no body understood a word I said, but then he started laughing really hard. haha. He said that he only jokes with "las gringas" when he knows that they really do know Spanish. haha. It was really funny.
My understanding of the subjuntive is much better. Thank you all for your prayers! And thank you to Brad for sending me the WEIRDOS trick. That helped a ton and I am really grateful. Thank you for the tip!
Other funny thing... Hermana Malhue is learning English and she is SUPER good. I love helping her during companionship language study and she has really improved. This week, we have been focused on the language of prayer (using Thee and Thou instead of you and your, stuff like that) and she really caught on right away. Well, the other day, we were working and after she said "Oh Hermana Shelley! Thank thee for thy help!" HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA. We laughed so hard for so long. She realized right after she said it, but it was just so stinking funny. We had a really good laugh.
I am growing and learning every day. I have so much more to learn, but I learn from my mistakes and I am working to be better every day. I am so far from becoming the missionary that I want to be, but I am striving and learning every day. I am grateful for the mistakes that I make because they really do make me a better missionary in the end. I love love love the work and am humbled by the opportunity to be here. I love the Lord and the Atonement. I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father and that He sent His son, Jesus Christ to live, atone, and die for us and that He lives again. I know that we have THE only true church on the earth today and that we are lead by a prophet of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I love reading from it´s pages every day.
Please remember the challenge to read! I loved hearing that the church magazines are all about scripture study and I am so proud of you all for taking the challenge every day. I want to share a quick thought about WHY it is important.
In Spanish, "wave" is "ola." President Gulbrandsen taught us that in order for a surfer to arrive at the shore, they need a bigger OLA.
A-asister (attend church)
The things that the Lord asks are really simple, but if we will do these three simple things, pray, read the scriptures, and attend church, we will arrive in our heavenly home one day. And the bigger the wave, the more likely that the surfer will arrive on the shore. Similarly, if we are doing these things EVERY day (and church once a week) we will have a bigger OLA and we WILL arrive as a family in the Celestial Kingdom. Remember, "No empty seats."
I love you all and want to hear all about your experiences with reading from the scriptures every day. Thank you for taking the challenge!
I love you all and pray for you.
Thank you dearest family for everything!!!
All my love,
Pictures are of Facundo's baptism