Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 19 - FIRST week in the mission field

My last week in the CCM was great! We were able to practice contacting a lot and towards the end, we went out with "real" missionaries in the field. Hermana Vieira and I were doing contacting and ran into a man who was sitting at a table reading something about trying to learn English. He was Korean and had been living in Santiago for a year and a half. We sat down with him and talked to him about some of the things we believed. He was an Athiest, but had many questions. Our 10 minutes of contacting turned into a 30 min lesson. He was very receptive to everything that we had to say. In the end, we gave him a Book of Mormon, but he said he would rather not have discussions. He said he wanted to see for himself first. Unfortunately we both forgot what his name was (something in Korean) but it was great. He asked a ton of questions too.

During the end of the CCM we were able to prostelyte con the other missionaries in the field. I was with Hermana Godfrey and we went out for a couple of hours. All of the appointments fell through but we decided to visit some less-actives and do some contacting as well. We met with one woman named Amelia. She told us how she was baptized ten years ago because of her son, but after her son died she had "lost faith". It was such a humbling experience. She told us that she wished that she had faith. And I told her that if you have a desire to have faith, you do. It´s acting. And that God is mindful of all of His children.
Our area is "the Plaza". not gonna lie... kinda like the hood. I don´t know the rest of Santiago though. There has been Elders in our area for the past few years so the concept of having Hermanas is new to a lot of the people in our barrio (ward).In our areas we do a lot of "door" contacting. At the gate- everyone has gates. if they don´t have a temblor "doorbel´l" we have to shout HALLO from the street. It doesn´t always work for the first time, but in this case their is always an opportunity to talk to the neighbors. And yes, there are a ton more dogs. As common as people. I have to be concious of the ground when I walk because more than likely you will step in dog poop.
My companion is Hermana Salazar. Ella tiene 19 años y es una entrenadora con 3 meses en la misión! (She is 19 and is a coach with three months in the mission)  She is from Mexico. ANd she is very helpful and Kind. It´s hard for her to adjust to a new area as well. And it´s been hard for her to be a trainer, but she said I came easy already knowing Spanish,, haha. And I think I have a lot to learn...
The members are great here. A different family is expected to prepare lunch for us everyday at 1:30. This way we have gotten to know the members. Just like Alex, they feed us a ton-.and then seconds. And I am not that large. And they all LOVE to talk. We are only expected to stay there an hour, and it´s very difficult to leave. We share a message and then we are on our way to appointments and contacting until about 10 at night. Our area is a little bit dangerous, so it´s been hard to stay out past 8. we are thinking about doing our studies at night rather than in the morning. But we do have a great view of Santiago from the window of our apartment building. we are on the 10th level- It´s pretty empty, just a small portible heater at night, but it´s nice.
Some of the experiences that we have had this week. One of my first days here we went to visit a few less actives in the Ward. We went to visit Hermana Claudia Valazques. she has 2 boys a Liam y a Danial que tienen 5 y 8 años. So much fun (i buy these candies called Frugeles -thx dad- and share them with them) . It´s so sad though. They basically live in a shack. A lot of trash is piled up around their house. We shared a message on faith and the Hermana Claudia was super receptive. She promised to come to church (this was thurs) and She came yesterday with her 2 boys. it was very difficult in sacrament meeting, but we are planning to have an fhe with the rest of her family tonight. Her husband has made some poor decisions but you can tell she wants to be faithful. Governmental issues too,, we are praying for her and her family. my companion and i also had a day where we talked to everyone on the street. Within 45 minutes we had 5 lessons on the street. 4 of them became new investigators. We went back to talk to 2 the other night who said they had to reschedule, but I absolutely love it. I love to watch their eyes, because you can see that the understand. you can sense that they are feeling the Spirit. Not only to feel the impressions of the spirit, but to watch someone else experience it for themselves is incredible. No hay nada tan (There is nothing so) incredible. La obra del Señor esta acá. Me encanta las personas con todo de mi corazon.  (The work of the Lord is here. I love people with all of my heart)
Elder Bertho--- No one can say my name either. Soy hermana "B" here. 
 Everyone speaks so fast here. I am super humbled and grateful to have my companion with me. 
Get this, we had some ward chilean lunch with raw pig skin (didn´t learn that until after) but a lot of fruits, veg and beans and rice. and tons of PAN. (bread)  
Keep record of my cheeks getting bigger. its inevitable here. to all of the Hermanas jajaja.

I hope that you are doing your part in missionary work as well. Being here has given me the opportunity to realize how important it is. To give everyone the chance to hear it, and if we aren´t the ones who will change people, we are always laying groundwork.
(The last statement is my favorite from Jasmine's letter - love that little girl - she is amazing!)

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