Monday, July 23, 2012


Oh my goodness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I NEVER thought that I would be able to write those two words together!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, it is true! I went to CONGRESO this week and we had a BAPTISM!!!!!! My three favorite things, Baptism, Congreso, and Hermana Malhue were all in the same place this week and man, was it ever a ball!!! This traveling thing is definitely a challenge and I don´t feel adequate much of the time, but it is SO FUN!!! On Tuesday, we went to our District meeting here in San Ignacio and at the end, the assistants called me and asked how much time I needed to be in the mission home... I told him about 3 hours since we were out of our area and I would need to get home, pack a bag, and then travel the 2 hours there. He told me to get there. haha. So we raced home on the bike, I threw a bag together ( I was only going to be there 2 days), and we raced off. haha. Good times. I made it to the mission home where Congreso was having interviews and got to have an awesome interview with President and then head out with Hermana Malhue and Hermana Hermosa. Oh man, we had a BALL! We went to visit an investigator, Diego right away who had the attendance to be baptized on Sunday. Well, he wanted a nothing! We started to teach him and he started coming around and we realized that his only doubt was that he didn´t want to be baptized and then make a mistake and have it be for nothing... so we committed him to read and pray. The next few days, we did divisions and I went with Hermana Malhue and Hermana Hermosa headed off with a member. Hermana Malhue and I were in charge of Diego for the week and we had some really fantastic lessons with him. Slowly, he began to come around and we really saw his faith building. We had a lot of faith and we just knew that he would be baptized. He already had all the lessons, so we just focused on reading the Book of Mormon and building his faith. It was fantastic. He went to his interview on Saturday and had a really great experience. He came out and said that he knew he had to be baptized but wanted to wait to be able to invite everyone. We asked who he wanted to invite and he said the members of the church (the other YSA) and so we told him that it would be great that we could see them at church and that they would stay, but then he just didn´t seem to want to. It came to my mind to ask him if he would feel better if we did it in the evening and he perked right up and said "that would be great!" and from there, everything was fine. Oh what a miracle! When he entered the water, I was just filled with joy! The Lord truly fulfills his promises. I thought of a hard night in Congreso a year ago when I was on my knees, trying to figure out how to baptize and felt so peaceful that I would baptize with Hermana Gonzalez and Hermana Dunn in COngreso... well, two days later, I was shipped south. But then, Hermana Gonzalez came to me in Ushuaia and we baptized, I´m with Hermana Dunn and we baptize, and I had the huge blessing of being in Congreso and baptize. The Lord is truly merciful! 

It was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO great to be with Hermana Malhue. I just love her so much and needed to be with her. There was something different in our companionship and I will always be grateful for that. She is amazing and I know that we are going to be the best of friends, even though we live so far apart! We just had an absolute ball and I remembered so many things that she had taught me. It was a true blessing. 

It was so much fun to see everyone from Congreso! I was able to see Monica, an investigator who got baptized after I left, and she is doing great! The best was to see Saríah Valle, the Bishop´s daughter! She is so special to me and has written me consistently during my mission. It was really perfect because we ate lunch with them the day before they left for winter vacation. When she saw me, she let out a little scream and started crying. It was really a special moment for us. She is doing great and getting so big! She had just turned 11 the week before. 

Like I said, I had a great interview with President and it was just what I needed. We talked about my personal preparation to take the Sacrament and how I can make it a really special experience. He invited me to form a plan to make taking the sacrament a very spiritual and cleansing experience. I began to use 5 min of my personal study every day to study the Atonement and then to really make sure that I am repenting daily, and man! Did it ever change my Sacrament experience. It was really special. So I want to ask you all... how do you prepare to take the sacrament? What helps? What are some things that you have done to be able to really feel the power of the Atonement?

I love you all so much! I love the work! Being a missionary is just the best! I love seeing the hand of the Lord in the lives of all these dear people and seeing the change that comes upon them as they come unto Christ. I know that the Temple is the house of the Lord and that we are going to be an eternal family. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I know that we are led and guided by a living prophet. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that the Church is true. I know that the Atonement is real and that we can repent every single day and be cleansed and then when we go to take the Sacrament, we can complete that repentance process for the week. I LOVE being a missionary at this time, in this place, with these people. Thank you so much for all of your prayers! This week, I have been able to see this traveling thing as a blessing and a huge adventure. It´s going to be fun! 

Love you all!
Hermana Shelley

pictures: 1. Sariah in Congreso
                 2. & 3. Diego's baptism in Congreso
                 4. Monica in Congreso
                 5. Hermanas Hermosa, Shelley, and Mulhue (Her companion from Ushuaia)

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