Thursday, July 10, 2014

The miracle of the electric toothbrush

¨All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. . . therefore, hold on. ¨ - Doctrine and Covenants 122: 7,9.

I found this scripture this week- what a gem and how true it is! This week was full of experiences that I know are for my good, I am growing so much here in Valdivia! But I truly just have to hold on, trust and go with it!

I love Valdivia. This week was so hard.  Oh, so hard!  But so, so satisfying! I went from my sector in Franck where we had so many investigators progressing- where everyday we had to choose who to visit and who to wait on because we didn't have enough time. I have been here almost 2 weeks and we have only entered 1 house of an investigator, taught hardly any lessons and just street contacted and knocked doors for hours and hours in the rain and sleet. We are rocking the contacts- more than 150 this week (not counting knocking doors) but it was rough. 

However, I really relied on prayer and just ¨held on” and we are finally seeing the fruits of our work. The first miracle and first ¨fruit¨ was the one and only house we’ve entered. 

So, it was a man who we contacted in the street a couple days ago and he seemed really normal and a little interested. We were on our way to a meeting when the mission leader called and canceled on us. Well, it was raining and we were a little bummed because we had been in the streets all day and only 3 people hadn’t rejected us. So we were heading to a different part of the sector when we went pass this mans house and I was like "Hna want to try?" and she was a bit hesitant- I think she didn’t want another person to shut the door on us- but she was like “ok”, and I’m like "what’s to loose.  Right?”  Not sure if this attitude was the spirit but, we knock and it was his wife and they let us in! We were shocked, we honestly didn't know what to do for a minute. But then we were talking and they are very catholic so I was a little nervous and all but it was really nice and pleasant. And then she invited us to have “once” with them- (the night tea and bread)- so we accepted. Before this they really didn't seem to interested in our message- but I was hoping to change their minds. 

So I ask if we can offer a prayer of gratitude before we eat and I offer the prayer. The spirit was so strong and when I said “amen” she was crying (which we always love) and I had a couple tears. And she just explained how she felt so good with so much love and how we are dear “hijas” (daughters) doing God’s work and how sometimes she forgets to just be grateful. So I share a quote from President Monson about how God’s love is always here and never changes.  We taught a little more about prophets and just the church in general. It was so wonderful and so normal so not forced. And then I asked her for a referral- if she new anyone else who we can help or who would like this message- she not only gave us a name but we have an appointment to go with her to visit the "P's". This never happens. 

I learned a lot of lessons this week. How we may talk to hundred of hundreds of people, but Heavenly Father knows the one who is prepared. I am so grateful for this week. We have another appointment with them this week and I am excited to see what will come of it. 

Also, mom I saw all your questions about the new sector- next week I promise to have a real nice list of answers for you. Ok? xoxo
Our warm little hat's from Aunt Cinda
But something cool about this sector is, it’s the only part where we don’t have “mommasitas” (women who are paid to cook us lunch) but we eat with the members. Which is so cool! I love being with them every day. And it’s so amazing to me how some of these members truly not only give to us, but give their all to us.  It’s beautiful and very humbling. Or how one morning we were in a collectivio (a shared taxi) and the man wouldn’t allow us to pay because he was baptized a year ago and owes all he has to the missionaries of this church- even though he needs the money and his family needs it- the people here love the missionaries. 

Ok, two funny miracles of sorts. 

One, it rained a lot and all of our wood was soaking wet- our house is also very humid (I think that’s the word) but it’s where all off our stuff is wet. The walls, the tops of the blankets with little drops of water.  And we were struggling just a bit- nothing terrible- but it was just real cold because we didn't have fire. But we just prayed and prayed and we were able to make open fire (took 30 minutes) and we were able to dry the house and us and warm it up a little bit- but we had to leave, and it would be 5 hours before we could pass by the house for another log of wood.  So we just prayed and prayed and when we got back we still had fire- tears. I am so grateful for the little things Heavenly Father helps with. Now, the fire didn’t last the night and we still don’t have fire but the house is dried up a bit and the Elders gave us their dry wood (tan buenos) so today we hope to have fire. (Mom and gma don’t fret. I am dry and fine just a little miracle.) 

The second, ok don’t laugh. So sometimes I have a really bad taste in my mouth because the food is sometimes not so good.  And when I brush my teeth I think about how if I had an electric toothbrush it would help make everything more clean. I know its crazy. So I went to buy one- but they are really expensive so I was like “oh ok what ever” because it’s really just Chilean food. But then the next day I got a package from grandma simpkins and it had 2 electric toothbrushes and I actually had a little tear because I was so happy and my teeth are clean and so good. And just a funny little tender mercy. 

Also, we have contacted so many Mormons. Ha-ha they are terrible- pretend to be perfect investigators and with the perfect questions- oh boy these crazy Chileans! I love it- it always makes us laugh. The first was our first day here and he was perfect and I was totally eating it up then he started quoting the BOM (Book of Mormon) and I really thought he was an angel or something. So funny. 

Oh, and a dog ate the bottom of my skirt and pulled it all the way down (good thing I wear so many sweats and legging under my skirt.) No one was around but it was hilarious. 

And things are really, really, really good with my companion right now.

Also, we had a ward activity with the dear little primary- we have 11 kids, craaaazy!  So many!  I love the craziness.  

Oh, we had a special conference where we were able to meet the new mission president and his wife and they are gems. Both are return missionaries and so good. I am sooo excited to work with them. And because it was the conference we were able to receive mail. Wooohooo! So I got the package from gma simpkins and two postcards from Ireland. Best surprises. Please send more notes in the mail. I love them. Gma simpkins had a "who said it? Albus Dumbledore or Elder Uchtdorf" email.  And I wanted to die from laughing so hard. Gold.

Ok food experiences;

Well, I was food poisoned by uncooked eggs and I needed a bathroom and I needed one quick!  So we stopped by one members house I know and I just gave a quick little explanation and all is good. But she was using this little bender to chop and puree onions and garlic. And after, she is so dear, she had made me a puree banana to soothe my stomach.... only with the same blender as the onion. So I just sat like a good missionary and ate it and said "oh gracias” and “so yummy” and “thank you my stomach is muuuuch better." oh por favooor. 

Or, when we entered the kitchen to help with lunch and we see the talons, blood and head of the goose just chilling. 

Or, this was gold. It was a little gem for the week of America’s birthday.  We went to McDonalds’ and it’s one of the only 3 Mcd's here in the south and it was the first in almost 7 months. Who would have thought dear mickey d’s would give me so much joy. To eat a mcflurry and hamburger. Gold. Oh those golden arches are from the heavens. 

Oh, goggle "Montana magica hotel huilo." ok when you come to chile yes yea yea. One member showed us photos. And I bet it’s so expensive to stay in but to visit or the cabanas. No se. But its crazy cool. 

This week went by so fast with so many experiences, hard but so many to learn from and laugh about. 

I love being a missionary.  l love being an authorized representative of Heavenly Father in this sector- because I know if we don’t talk to the people, if we don’t share this joy and love no one else, authorized, will. I love this true opportunity to open this sector. Its crazy rocking and I looooove it. 

So much happiness on this end of the world. 

More to come next week.
Xoxoxo happy birthday 'Merica xxoxo

Hna Ball

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