First, some business....
I will NOT be extending my mission. I will be home on January 21. I know that it is strange, but I will try to explain. Monday night, I started feeling really weird about the extension... I just sort of brushed it off. I had received my answer and President had already given me the new date. Tuesday it was on my mind again. Wednesday I was feeling strange as well. Thursday night, I got a call from President and he said that as much as he wants me to extend and as much as I want to extend, he had been praying and he felt that he needs to let me go on my original release date. When he said that, I felt that it was correct. I don`t know for sure why the answer was yes and then no, especially for only three weeks, but I feel sort of like Abraham. I had to demonstrate that I was willing and now I am not being asked to make the "sacrifice." I really hope that Grandma hasn`t bought her plane ticket yet... if she has, I will just have to wait 3 weeks to see her I guess. Surprise, huh? I don`t really know why still, but when President told me that he feels that he has to let me go at my date, I felt that there will be some reason... there is always a reason I guess.
We had a FANTASTIC semana. The 4 Suarez kids were baptized. Roxana, the mom, has to quit smoking and get Sundays off of work, but I have never seen someone so determined to be baptized and I know that she will be. Her testimony is growing each day. The baptism was absolutely beautiful and there was SO much support from the ward. I have loved seeing the conversion of this family. Maxi, the 15 year old son, quit smoking, cut his long hair, and took out his earings. I am so proud of him. Sofia, Julieta, and Milagros have really just blossomed in their understanding. All are doing wonderfully. I am so proud of them. The ward has been so great with them. One of the recent converts brought Maxi a full suit coat! He said that his son had grown out of it and they didn`t have use for it, but it looked pretty brand new to us... Our ward is fantastic. I feel so very blessed.
We have seen a lot of wonderful miracles for changing the way that we are verifying. For asking questions about their conversion instead of their actions, our investigators are really progressing. Marcela and her son Jonas are just wonderful. Every time we leave, Jonas writes a summary of the things that we taught that day and the things that he will do because of the lesson. He reads the book of mormon and writes summaries... DId I mention that he is only NINE??? What an example. The older kids and the husband still don`t want a ton to do with the church, but I know that they will see the examples of Marcela and Jonas. They will be baptized on the 10th, and the whole family will surely be there. We will make sure that it is a very spiritual experience so that they can make the decision to be baptized as well.
Hermana Hualpa is so wonderful. I am just so proud of the missionary that she has become and for all that she does in the work. She has been my companion, my sister, but even more than that, my friend. I love her dearly and am so grateful for her. She is truly an amazing missionary and I can`t even imagine all that she will become! I am so grateful for all that she has taught me. We have really worked hard this transfer and learned more than ever how to follow the spirit. We have also had a LOAD of fun! I am truly going to miss her....................
......................... yep, that means changes. We got the call last night. Hermana Hualpa is now in Tigre with Hermana Hill! That is really fun because it is right next door and we will be able to see each other. So fun! She is going to have a lot of success there, I am sure of it!
As for me??? I have been called to train again. haha. I have been feeling that that would be the case. I will go to the mission home tomorrow to meet her. I don`t know anything about her, but we are only getting one Sister this transfer, and all I know is that she is Latin. I am SO grateful for that! haha. Perhaps another Chilean... we will see I suppose. I feel very humbled by the call and excited to learn all the knew things that she brings with her.
I love this work! I have truly seen miracles in my mission. I cannot believe how fast it is going! Yikes! Tell Lauren that I love her so much. Send her my "welcome home" and tell her that I would love to hear from her. I cannot believe that she is coming home on Wednesday. How quickly the time went.
I love being a missionary. There is truly nothing like it. Thank you all for your love and support. I am so blessed with the best family EVER. Thank you for always praying for me and thinking of me. I know that I don`t always have the chance to respond, but I love getting the letters and emails. They are the best. Keep doing the wonderful things that you are doing. The Lord will bless you all so much for doing the small and simple things of reading, praying, and attending church. Pray for missionary experiences and then ACT in order to find them. I know that you will.
I love you all!
Pictures: 1. Gonzalez family (recently reactivated)
2. Carvajals family (baptized 5 mos ago)
3.Suarez kids-Maxi, Mili, Sofi and Juli
4. Suarez family