Monday, November 28, 2016

November 28th - "#ILUMINAelMUNDO" - Week 79

Hola Familia!

Heres a quick rundown on the week. 

-Someone told me he thought I was 33...
-Hermana Reneer and I had exchanges
-Rosalia came to church again (she canceled her baptism but she's just gotta be feeling it, so I know her time will come and I was happy to see her at church again)
- The Avendaños continue to comment on the changes in their lives. This week they specifically shared the power of prayer in their lives and the peace they have felt praying. 
-The sisters and I celebrated Thanksgiving the other night with hot chocolate and Christmas lights
-I flooded someones house after breaking the bathroom faucet (dont worry mom and dad, we already have everything figured out).
-The Christmas Initiative is the best thing in the world! We have been working tons with the video and the pass along cards. People are so receptive after watching the video. 

But mostly I just want to take the time to thank all of you for being so supportive during my mission. I have felt your love and prayers! 18 months passed by too quickly but, this has been the best experience of my life and I have never felt happier. I have come to know my Savior as I have read the scriptures daily, prayed, worked with my companions, followed the spirit, and as I have done my best to help others come unto Christ. I can't really express how I feel because I am just overcome with emotions. I know this is the true church and that God calls prophets to guide us. I know the Book of Mormon is true and I have been blessed as I have studied and applied it to my life. I know Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of us and knows us perfectly. He is there during the goods and bads. I also know that ALL of us need Christ and that God will always prepare people to receive the gospel. As we sincerely pray for opportunities to help and find them he will lead us to our brothers and sisters who need help. I will never be able to repay my savior for his sacrifice but I am willing to do whatever Heavenly Fathers ask of me. I am in his hands and will always be in his hands. I love my savior and I love this gospel. I love Chile. The culture. The language (its not spanish just in case you are wondering. I will come home speaking Chilean). And most importantly the people. I have made another family here. The mission has changed me! 

I'll see you all soon! I love you and thanks again for everything! 

Hermana Freedman

November 21, 2016 - "The End is Close But Far From Done!" Week 78


As the weeks are winding down I feel I am seeing more and more miracles. This week we had a ward activity and it was a talent show. Hermana M and I sang in Tagolog which was definteily a challenge (theres a reason I was called to speak spanish and not something different...) but it was super fun. This ward is awesome! 

This week we visited Pablo a few times since his grandma has been stuggling a bit. But when we got to Pablos house he ran up and hugged me and then told me he had been really sad and hadn't wanted to come to church. I asked why and he whispered, I'm not good enough, I always make mistakes. I think when he said that it really made sense to me why we baptize after we are 8 years old. I was able to see how concious Pablo is of the necesity it is to have our savior Christ because none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. We were able to talk about repentance and Pablo has started coming to church again! 

Rosalia came to church this sunday and bishop talked to her about her baptism and she's excited for this weekend! We also went to her house this week and read Mosiah 18 together and were able to talk about the importance of enduring to the end. 

The whole Avendaño family came to church yesterday!!!!! It was a miracle! On Monday we had an FHE with another family in the ward and talked about faith. Ending the lessons Mauricio asked to speak and started crying as he shared his testimony of the gospel. He mentioned the changes he has seen in his life and also expressed his desire to be baptized. He's still not sure exactly when but at least he's gotten to the point where he wants to do it. At church yesterday the ward did an awesome job fellowshipping them. We also stopped by their house after church and talked about family history work and eternal marriage. It was such a great lesson and sister Avendaño started telling us tons of stories about her family and pulled out pictures. I know the spirit of Elijah really is spreading throughout the world! We talked a little about choosing a baptism date which they still aren't sure on but I know their moment will come. I'm beyond happy for their family and their progress (even if I may not be here for their baptism). 

Also we visited one of our newer investigators yesterday. His name is Jean Pierre. Previously we had just contacted him and shared a Book of Mormon. Anyways we stopped by becasue we had some missed calls from him in the morning. He told us that he was outside the church but wasn't completely sure it was the right church so he didn't go in! But we taught lesson 1 and he accepted everyting AL TIRO like they say in Chile. He told us he wants to be baptized and has a baptismal date! 

Have the greatest week! Heres a scripture I loved from my study this week! D&C 103.9

 9 For they were set to be a light unto the world, and to be the saviors of men;

I know that we have all been sent here to help others come to know the gospel. Christ is our savior and it is our job that our brothers and sister can come to know him, love him, and serve him!

Hermana Freedman

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Nov 14th, 2016 - "The Restoration" Week 77

Hey everyone! 
This week, we had some really neat experiences here in Zapahuira. I was able to live one of my lifelong dreams and play the piano in the primary program. I don't know why I always wanted to do that so badly but now I'm content because this Sunday I was able to play for the primary program.

Rosalia didn't come to church yesterday but we had a super awesome lesson with her on Tuesday. I was on an exchange with Hermana Walstrohm and we went planning to teach her faith. During the prayer I felt strongly that we should talk about repentance so we read from Alma 34. She started sharing really spiritual experiences she had had and the differences she had seen and felt in her life since we had stopped visiting her. Then the conversation naturally switched to baptism and she chose her baptismal date! It was great for me to see how she was acting her faith. Now we just have to help her come to church....but Tuesday was definite progress. 

The Avendaños are honestly ready to be baptized but they just won't choose to do it. This past week we went and talked about the priesthood since we are reviewing everything with Ignacio. 
Paula and Ignacio came to church this week but Mauricio waited outside. Tonight we have an FHE planned and with the ward coucil have made plans to fellowship them really well. 

I also was able to visit Costanera yesterday to say bye to a few people. It was great to see old faces and catch up!

The highlight of this week was a lesson we had on Saturday night. We went to the house of a less active named Gary. I don't remember if I mentioned him before but his older brother has down syndrome and about 2 weeks ago got really sick and was hospitalized. Becuase of that the rest of Gary's family has been really receptive to the gospel. We had been stopping by lots to pray and share spiritual thoughts but on saturday when we got there there was a group of 15 people, family and friends all there waiting for us to pray with them. We prayed and were able to teach the restoration. As I stood up (since it was in a big room with a big group) to share the restoration the spirit filled the room, but in a way I had never felt before on my mission. Everyone was silent and listening attently. Tears filled my eyes as I testified of the restoration and eternal families. Hands down one of the best experiences on my mission. 

This week I have really pondered on a scripture in Isaiah 40:28-31. Its something Hermana Ferreira shared with me. 

 28 ¶Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that theeverlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searchingof his understanding.
 29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
 31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew theirstrength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Looking back on my mission I have gone through times where I have felt tired, or that I'm not doing enought but I can testify that the Lord has walked with me every step of the way. We will never be perfect but we have the potential of a God. We can reach the highest hights thanks to Christ and his atonement. I love you all more than I can describe! 

Hermana Freedman

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November 7th, 2016 - "Ilumina el Mundo!" - Week 76

Hey Family! 
How's everyone doing? Hermana Macaballug and I are doing awesome. This week was great! As far as investigators are going....we have some really great investigators but haven't been able to keep in touch with them. They don't answer their phones or doors and for lack of contact they don't progress. Everyone is super busy being that its almost summer break and everyone has to finish school....but we have been trying to find new investigators and its gone really well (now hopefully the same thing doesn't keep happening). 

This week we had to say bye to Mauricio because he moved to Santiago, but I'm happy Ignacio is doinig so well and a great influence to those around him.

Leadership council this week was awesome. I loved it and Hermana Ferreira introduced the new Christmas iniciative! "Ilumina el mundo"! In the area down here this past Sunday and next Fast Sunday they are doing an area wide fast, for those who don't know gospel. To invite the ward to join in hermana M and I took a picture all wrapped up in christmas lights and had the bishop's wife post it on facebook, inviting the members to light the world! It was a hit and the members got a good laugh out of it. I love the scripture that went along with the fast. Alma 6:6...

 6 Nevertheless the children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God.

I know that when we joining together as saints to fast and pray for other god will always hear our prayers. Fasting has taken on a new meaning for me here in the mission and I love fasting! The blessings are incredible. We were honestly able to see the blessings of our fast yesterday at church, because Rosalia came! All by herself. She asked us if we could start visiting her again and oh man I'm so excited! Ignacio also shared his testimony on baptism yesterday and it was super powerful. He shared what he felt as he was baptized. Also, yesterday a sister pulled me out of sunday school to talk. She covered my eyes and when she uncovered them Hermana Requejo my second companion was in front of me! I was shocked but we got to catch up a bit and it was so good to see her!

Today we went and visited the morro with the hermanas de (from) Pukarani. We had a fun time sitting up on top and looking out at the ocean. I love Arica and am so grateful to be here! 

Les amo muchísimo y espero que sean luces para el mundo!!! (I love you so much and hope you are lights to the world)

Hermana Freedman

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

October 31st - "Nararamdaman ang Espiritu" Week 75

Kumusta ka? Well this week was fantastic! The highlight has definitely been working with my hijita. Her name is Hermana Macaballug and is from Quezon City in the Philippines. She basically came pre trained...which has made my life a lot easier. She is trying to teach me Tagalog but I'm not having much luck. 

This week was so much fun. Hermana M makes me laugh tons and it has also been really fun to think back to the beginning of my mission and think about far I've come as a person and missionary. 

We got here on Thursday morning and I could tell Hermana M was super tired. She took a nap in the afternoon, but on Friday was just as tired. We went to an investgators to teach a lesson and when I finished saying the prayer we all looked up (me, Andrea, and the member that was with us) and Hermana M was zonked. We couldn't get her to wake up and she was snooring the whole time. So Hermana Paola helped me teach the lesson while she got a little afternoon nap in. 

It has been super cool to see how real the gift of tongues is. I have seen it in my life but I'm seeing it in her life as well. She understands really well and can always find the way to get her point across and isn't scared to talk. She jumps right in during lessons. The best part though is seeing how real speaking the spiritual language is thought. She may not recite the 1st vision perfectly or explain super well the concepts but the spirit is always there and we have found super receptive people lately. I'm so grateful to have her as my comp these last few weeks. 

The highlight of the week was Ignacios baptism! On Tuesday night while I was traveling to Antofa, bishop called me and told me he had interviewed Maurucio and that he was worthy to baptize Ignacio. So Mauricio was able to baptize his brother and it was so cool seeing how in the process of reactivateing someone we were able to baptize! Yesterday was Ignacios birthday and he receive the best birthday present ever! THE HOLY GHOST! and THE PRIESTHOOD! And as Maricio blessed the sacarament I couldn't help but get all teary eyed and feel so grateful that God had used me to help 2 brothers progress together in the gospel. 

Anyways, I love you all so much and hope you have a very happy halloween. It's just another normal day here which is weird...till next week!

Hermana Freedman

October 24th - "Birthdays, Baptisms and Babies" Week 74

Aloooo! How's everyone doing! I hope the answer is fantastic because if you asked me I would definteily say fantastic! This week was super exciting. I don't even know where to start. 

We worked between our ward and Hermana Larsons ward this week but I'm not sure how. Heavenly Father made our days longer and we were able to accomplish lots. This week we found lots of new investigators and I was really able to see how God prepares people to hear the gospel. On Thursday the whole zone worked in an area ¨pukarani¨and Hermana Gemin and I didn't have to do anything. We were literally led to house after house where they let us in. It was incredible. We were able to help the hermanas in the area and found lots of new investigators and set baptismal dates. That was such a fun experience. In our area we also found new investigators too. 

Mauricio and his family are doing super well. Mauricio (dad) had his birthday this week so Hermana Gemin and I made a giant birthday poster and decorated his car, then called to sing to him, and at night they invited us over for a bit to celebrate with them. But the most exciting news is that Iganacio (Maricios litte brother) is going to be baptized this Saturday!!! It was a miracle. On Tuesday we went over with plans for his parents to have their baptismal interviews. They ended up leaving and left our zone leader with Marucio and Ignacio. Since there wasn't a woman in the house we couldn't enter but our zone leader went in and started talking to the 2 of them. Ignacio, usually wasn't super participative but our zone leader invited him to have his interview and he accepted. HE PASSED! And when his parents got back and he told everyone he had made the choice to be baptized it was crazy! Maruicio (less active) was beyond excited as were Hermana Gemin and I. They invited us to lunch yesterday and we were able to repass a few of the commandments and plan his baptism and everything. His parents are also so close, but don't want to have their interviews quite yet because there are a few changes they aren't quite willing to make in their lives. 

Michael, the new investigator we found last week is also progressing tons. This week he wasn't able to come to church since yesterday there were elections in Chile and he was called to count votes in Putre which is a pueblito about 2 hours from Arica. On Saturday we had a lesson with Michael and a less active member we are working with. We taught the restoration and the word of wisdom. He had read the book of mormon before the lesson and also told us that he has a smoking problem but committed then and there to stop smoking. Every time we talk to him he tells us that he's excited to be baptized and that the desire is there. 

So now that I've talked about birthdays, and baptisms, here comes the last part. 

We got transfer calls on Friday and Hermana Gemin left to Copiapo this morning. I will be staying here in Zapahuira with my brand new guagua (baby). I will finish my mission training which I'm so excited about. I travel to Antofa this wednesday to pick up my new companion. I'm so excited to be with a new missionary because there is a special spirit that new missionaries have. They have a vision that sometimes I think its easy to lose after weve been out for more time. 

I love you all so much and hope you have the best week! Have fun carving pumpkins and drinking apple cider!

Hermana Freedman

Monday, October 17, 2016

October 17th - "And Then There Were 3" Week 73

Como esta familia??? This week was absolutely crazy and took lots of unexpected turns. The biggest change is that I will be finishing this last week of the transfer in a tripanionship. On Thursday afternoon we had a zone attack [this is where all the missionaries work in one area] in one of the elders sectors and while I was out working with Hermana Reneer, Hermana Gallardo from Simon Bolivar called me telling me she had been admitted to the hospital because she had an infection and a few complications from a prior surgery. We thought they might put her on antibiotics and something but the next day called us she would have to go into surgery! I just happened to end up being on an exchange with Hermana Walstrohm (an hermana I live with) helping her with her visas papers when President Ferreira called from Argenitna (where he was at an area conference) telling me I needed to go pick up Hermana Larson (Hermana Gallardos companion) because we would be finishing the transfer in a tripanionship while Hermana Gallardo recovered from surgery. To make a long story short at the last minute they decided it would be better for Hermana Gallardo to go to Santigo for her surgery so she flew home yesterday. It was insane how quickly everything happened and it was really sad to see her go but she's going to work on getting better to get back out on her mission. 

The work (that we were able to do in-between time in the hospital, etc.) this week was good. On Tuesday we visited the Avendaños and we had such a fantastic lesson. They haven't been reading their scriptures so we keep reading with them every time we go. We were in 1 nephi 2 and it was so interesting to see how we were able to apply the chapter to their lives being that only a little while back they were sent to the desert, leaving their life in Santiago behind. Paula Mauricio's mom was really touched and this week they came to church!!!!!! They still are reluctant to accept a baptismal date but we are seeing progress with their family which is so exciting. 

We also found a new investigator Micol this week. He is in college, likes music, reading, and is buena onda as they say here in Chile. As we got to know him a bit he opened up that his mom had died when he was 1 month old and that his dad raised him. His dad passed away 3 years ago. We talked about the plan of salvation and I love being able to testify about the eternal nature of families since it is the blessing I treasure most! 

This week I loved Isaiah 55:9

 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are myways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

With everything that happened this week, I felt so comforted to know that gods plan is always the best plan. I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week! Transfer calls this weekend! I will be sad to not be with Hermana Gemin anymore but at least we will see each other pretty soon...
Hermana Freedman