Wow another week gone by. This week we really were able to see progress and it made me so happy! So I have to admit that when we first got here to Penco, it was hard. There wasn`t much progression in the ward and we didn`t have anyone to work with. For weeks and weeks we worked so hard, but the people just didn`t seem to show up at church, which can be frustrating for a missionary. But finally we were able to have 7 of our investigators come yesterday and 3 menos activos that have never come before. It was a miracle and our ward assistance went up to 126 - higher than it has been in a LONG time. Andrea, Carolina, and Emiliana (fam. Meijas) came and they all are set to be baptized on the 24th if all goes well. Then Claudia with her 3 little girls came. Jorge who is a brother of a member finally got there all on his own and then Javiera, the neice of a recent convert came out of now where too. I wish I could write more about all of these investigators since they are all so special and I LOVE working with them, but just know that they are doing great. It was a day of miracles and I am so glad that Hna Blau and I were able to be a part of it. Oh and then the reason behind the title of this email is that a member came and gave us a huge bag of oatmeal cookies at church and they are so good! My back pack was stuffed with them so you know it was a good day haha.
As a mission our focus has changed quite a bit and the only real numbers that we are focusing on are baptisms and assistance at church. That`s it. It has been really really good though and we have been working together will all of the presidencies of the different organizations to help them. Then this week we had a really cool experience where we were able to go to a funeral of the dad of some members here. Here in Penco, they have a tradition where they take the casket after the funeral service in the church to the graveyard and everyone walks behind the hearse on the way there. So we joined in as we walked in almost silence to the cemetery. I had always seen people doing this and have secretly always wanted to do it, so it was a cool experience. Some people were soo sad and crying so loud as they put the body in the grave. It was such a strange experience and it made me so sad for those who were affected so strongly because they do not have the knowledge that the Plan of Salvation gives us. I have been able to teach the Plan of Salvation so many times during these 17 months out here and every time my testimony of its truthfulness grows stronger and stronger. I can`t even express how grateful I am to have known these simple truths as a child and that it is all possible because of our savior Jesus Christ. I just gives me even more of an incentive to give every ounce of my energy to share it with others.
So last night it was almost 10 pm and we decided to talk to one of our neighbors before entering the house and she just kept asking us how our moms let us come all the way over here and that she would never let her daughters do that. She kept telling us over and over again that our moms were so so bad for letting us come. It made me laugh to be honest and we tried to explain to her that if she would let us share with her that she would know why, but she was too Catholic to let us do that. But, don`t worry mom, I don`t think that you are bad at all for letting me come all the way over here at all. In fact, it`s just the opposite. I know that this gospel has brought so much happiness into our lives that it would be so selfish if we were to keep it all to ourselves. Plus, this has been the most amazing experience of my life and so thank you for trusting in the Lord enough to let me do it. I don`t like to think about time at all, but it has hit me that time is running out and my greatest hope is that I can completely give all of myself to this work. I love this work more than I can even express and I keep trying to tell President that it would be great if he would just let me serve a 2 year mission, but sadly that`s not an option. :( Good thing the mission doesn`t stop here. I love you all so much and hope you have a fantastic week.
Con mucho amor,
So we had a dodgeball tournament with other zones this morning and so there are some pics from that. Also Javier (my convert from Santa Sabina) came and played too!!!! Then with Hna Baturite (Rebeca) now!!
Ahhh mom and Dad I forgot to mention that I hope you guys aren`t freaking out too much right now! Good luck getting set apart by Elder Holland in a few hours!!! Love you guys!