What the freak.... (common "English-Chilean" phrase.). This week has been crazy. I keep singing the song from Sound of Music, "Let´s start at the very beginning.... a very good place to start," because it´s the truth. It´s a VERY good place to start!
So Hermana Urizar and I have been kind of in a slump lately. We´ve been trying really hard to not let it get to us, but when it´s weeks after weeks, it´s really hard. We realized that over time, our attitude was changing without us really noticing. We had a great weekly planning session on Sunday, but our attitudes were still bleh. On Tuesday, we had an incredible district meeting about the attributes of Christ, and we left with a different attitude. It´s funny how when our focus is refocused on Christ how things change. So we left totally pumped and we found 2 new investigators that day! That is almost more than any other week combined. The people in Independencia are always working or studying and it´s really hard to find new people to teach, BUT WE DID IT! On Wednesday, because Hermana Urizar is one of the sister trainers, we had a mini cambio. I went over to zona Talcahuano Sur, and one of the companions came to Talcahuano Norte. When we switched back on Thursday morning, this was the story from Hermana Urizar.... So we´ve been having a hard time finding Juan, the "husband" of Joselin. When we pass by, he´s always working. Well they passed by on Wednesday night, and miracle of miracles, he was home. They taught him a little bit, and then he said, I want to be baptized and I want to be baptized the 3rd of August because I want to be presented in church the same day as my baby. They are blessing their baby this coming up Sunday, and he wants to be confirmed the same day. He smokes, and he told Hna Urizar that he "cold turkeyed" last Monday, and at this point he hasn´t smoked again because he made a promise to Joselin. He also was invited to play futbol with other men in our ward and had a hard time running because he smoked. He was befriended, and it helped him to overcome the last mountain to change. What the freak. I almost cried, I was SO happy. He wants to be baptized because he wants to change his life, and he wants to live with his family forever. The hermana that was with my companion talked to him about fasting, and he wanted to fast with us for added strength because it wasn´t easy. So we started our fast with him after lunch on Thursday. What a incredible guy! They were married on Saturday, and we were able to attend, and it was his last time that he drank alcohol. He promised his mother in law and Joselin that he wouldn´t drink it again. So, they´re married, and he´s getting baptized on
After their weddingSATURDAY!!!! Please keep him in your prayers, that he can be strong. We aren´t only going to help him come unto Christ, but his wife is going to be active with him!!!!! Okay, so on Thursday we had another great day, that ended with a lesson with Hernan, Carol, and Catalina. I hope I´ve told you their story in detail, but we decided to focus more on Catalina because she can be baptized. She´s 8 months pregnant, lives with her family, and lives the word of wisdom... golden right? We invited her to be baptized on the 17th of August and she accepted!!! She has a good friend that is a member and mentioned that she always NOTICED that this friend and her family were more unified than any other family. Miracle #2. She hasn´t ever attended church up until Sunday, so right now she has one assistencia. On Sunday, Cata and her mom asked us if she could be baptized sooner because they don´t want the baptism to induce her labor earlier than necessary. SHE WANTS TO BE BAPTIZED EARLIER and not later! So we´re talking with President Arrington, but if we get the okay, she´ll be baptized on the 10th! Oh my goodness. I now have a firm testimony, that our attitude in this life is everything. If we have the attitude that we can do anything, then the Lord is going to see that we are willing to do whatever is necessary! We will also be able to see the blessings of the Lord more, because our attitude is uplifting. I like to believe that I´ve always had a really good attitude about most things, but sometimes it´s easy to get frustrated or down on things. I´d rather be happy than sad and frustrated, and I know that through the Savior, and our efforts to strive to become like him, this is possible. He didn´t atone for our sins and our pains for us to be sad and depressed in this life. Life is good :)
Oh, I know that 1 Nephi 1:20 is truer than true. The tender mercies of the Lord are EVERYWHERE!
1. I now have a huge testimony about attitude.2. When nonmembers have friends that are members who are examples in every way, eventually they will join the church. This is why it is important to do the little things, because people notice more than we think!
3. I now have a huge testimony about menos activos. If we want someone to come back to church, the first thing we need to do is show them love and invite them to do other things (NOT CHURCH right away). Maybe the movies, maybe dinner, maybe an activity in the church. Share a scripture, bear testimony, and WITH TIME, invite them to come back. We had a Noche de Hogar last week with a menos activo woman and her nonmember husband with some members. A few days later we found her mom and dad and sister that also are menos activo that live in our ward. The mom told us that her daughter is so grateful for us and that she had been super nervous to have this Noche de Hogar because she thought we were going to say COME BACK TO CHURCH. She was completely shocked when we didn´t, and is totally open to us coming into her house! We had no idea of this until after, but it is another testimony to me that all others need are friends that love and care about them.
And that´s this week in a nutshell. I LOVE this ward and could stay here for the rest of my mission. Yesterday we had lunch with the Familia Coloma (they are my favorite family by far. They are my mom and dad here. Don´t worry mom and dad, I´m being cared for). Hermano Coloma is a pretty stern guy, but with time he has opened up a lot. Yesterday, he told us that he knows that our job in this ward is to help the ward. The members, the menos activos, and he told us that the attitude in this ward has changed since we´ve come. He is so grateful for the excitement that we are bringing, and the things we are doing. It was an answer to prayers that it wasn´t just hermana Urizar and I that were thinking this. We are, through help from the Lord, helping this ward! I couldn´t be happier. Even when we were in a slump, I felt like we were doing something. They haven´t had a baptism in a while, and now we´re working to help 2 whole families come back/come in. This gospel is true, and the Lord is preparing his children to come unto him, or to come back!!!
1. Bekah. I got your book this week, and I cried like a child. I love you so much sista-friend! I have your photo, and you know which one, in my book of photos. With a positive attitude, anything is possible. I would love to hear from you more often! :) Thank you for your letter! Also, congrats on the Sophomore of the Year Award! That´s my sister :) BUT, how come I didn´t know about this until now?! Punk. I LOVE YOU!
2. Congrats to Leah, Seth, and Caleb (yes I know this is late) but for your swimming! I hope mom and dad filmed it and took tons of pictures! You are all fishes and I miss you like crazy! Also, write me you locos.
3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY this week to Miracle (who I can´t believe is turning 5 and starting school....), Daniel, and Elyssa!!! I hope your birthdays are as beautiful as you are :) I love you all!
4. Also, happy wedding week to my schnookums cousin Summer! I wish I could be there, but know that I´ll be there in spirit! I got your announcement today, and I´m so stinking excited for you!! Take lots of pictures everyone, and I want an album of photos in the near future :)
5. Jake, my companion always asks if it´s you that´s singing on my ipod when Josh Groban comes on. And it´s happened more times than not haha so congratulations. You sound like Josh Groban. And yes, Josh Groban Christmas. It´s freezing here okay?!
I think that is all. I always remember 85 things I need to say when I log off. Oh well. I need to write a little email to Henri (he got the Priesthood yesterday and Hna Oldroyd said that he´s helping out so much in the ward!), and send a few photos! (all the photos she sent today were saved as a .dat file and not a .jpeg file, and I can't open any of them...anyone out there able to help??!) Please keep Juan and Joselin and also Catalina and her family in your prayers. Keep my companion and I in your prayers too that we´ll be able to keep keepin on :) The church is true, I know this without a doubt. It is only through the church that we can be with our families forever, and this is my most favorite blessing :) I am so blessed to be sharing the gospel, the things I believe, with the people in Chile!
Seguir adelante. ¡Les quiero muchísimo!Hermana Peterson
Our Non-alcoholic drinks - so yummy!
I love my companion - she acts like a 5 year old...just like me!
Sword fighting with Sebastian (Joselin and Juan's 5 year old son)
Thanks to Stacey Christensen, the photo problem is now fixed!!