Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November 23rd - Week 25 "We Are The Message"

Hey Everyone!

Great first week here in Tocopilla!!!  A little background info on Tocopilla. It's a little coastal town, about 3 hours from Antofagasta and it's one big hill. Holy cow. I have never been more tired in my life. The streets are kinda like roller coasters. Up and down, up and down, but I love it. Its fairly nice, because in 2007 there was an earthquake that destroyed everything so all the construction is new, also after the floods (this is the city that flooded with all the mudslides in the news a while back) there have been some updates to the city. I also thought there were lots of dogs in Arica but I was wrong. Never in my life will I see more dogs. They are everywhere. EVERYWHERE. The branch here is fantastic and the people are the greatest. 

I am still getting to know the people here but we were able to make a lot of contacts this week which was great and hopefully we will have some new investigators this coming week. We had one progressing investigator this week, Elena, who had a baptism date for next Saturday but it ended up falling through. She is 9 and her family is less actives, so really it's probably a good things we wait to baptize her. As of now we are really going to focus our efforts on reactivating her family and helping them create a home with more love. 

Hermana San Martin is a dream and we get along so well. She definitely speaks Chilean Spanish and I thought I was used to it but I was wrong. I can't count the number of times I have to ask her to repeat things, but hopefully after her I will be able to understand everything. She is the spunkyest person, loves to dance, and loves to move the furniture around. Haha. Last night we spent 45 minutes moving everything around. We spent the whole time laughing together. 
Hermana San Martin and Catie in Tocopilla

The highlight of this week was definitely the conference we had in Antofagasta with Elder Cook!!! Our bus to Antofagasta left at 4:30 on Saturday morning and we arrived at about 8:30. It was so fun to be with the whole mission and see some of the missionaries from Arica, and especialy Hermana Jacobson from the CCM!!! It was a little weird that neither of my previous companions were there but that will never happen again, considering that Hna. SM has less time in the mission. 

The conference was incredible and I received mountains of revelation. We were able to hear from Elder Gonzalez (President of South America South Area), Elder Soares from the presidency of the 70, and Elder Cook as well as their wives. Elder Cook had us write down 4 things and I have really been pondering them. 

1. We are ward and branch builders.
-He talked a lot about how we need to continually be building the youth of the church because ultimately they are the future leaders of the church. 

2. We succeed when we invite, regardless of the outcome.
- We can never have fear of sharing the gospel. We don't know the impact we can have!

3. If we are disciples of the savior, WE are the message.
- Our examples are everything, and people should be able to know what we believe by how we act.

4. Foucs your spiritual power on your teaching, planning, and purpose.
- For those of you who aren't in the mission maybe teaching and planning don't apply as much but really we need to always have our focus on our spiritual goals and focus our spiritual power on accomplishing our goals!

The conference was incredible and he bore such strong testimony. But...it was a little bit of a bummer because at the end there was a special musical number by some elders. they sang Praise to the Man, but there was a problem with the piano and speakers and I think they were oblivious to what was going on, but it was a rock concert. Holy cow. I'm surprised they didn't blow out the speakers. Elder Cook was painfully smiling on the stand. Always adventures in the mission. 

I hope you all have the greatest week! Love you all so much!

Hermana Freedman

Wonderful family who game this shawl to Catie as a gift!

Shout out to the Salle Family!

Goodbye to great friends!

View of Tocopilla

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16th - Week 24 Tocopilla!!!

Hey everyone! 
I don't have much time to write because I spent my whole P-day (9 hours on a bus) to get here to my new sector! Every time I travel in bus I remember that really I am in the middle of the desert...it looks like the moon (not that I have been to the moon to compare...but just trust me) and sometimes I feel like Nephi traveling through the desert to the promised land...Tocopilla!!!! I already love it. My companion is Hermana San Martin. She is from Santiago and has 3 months in the mission. One transfer less than me.

Here are some highlights from last week:
- Claudia and Patricio are starting to progress!!! We had 2 lessons with them this past week and the spirit was very strong. They expressed their desires to continue learning and shared their testimonies of what we have shared. They invited us to an Once (dinner) and Claudia had made homemade pizza, and all these desserts. They also went to a baptism this week and loved it. They said they felt the spirit and realized that it is a sacred covenant. Hopefully the elders that are arriving to our sector can help them progress!

-Also Priscilla is really progressing!!!! I don't remember what I have told you about her but she was a contact that I made with Hna. Espinoza. We never could find her when we passed for her house and all our appts. always fell through but I felt so very impressed to keep visiting her. We had 2 lessons this week, both very spiritual and she expressed her desires to change her life, and expressed that she has received an answer that this is her path God is preparing. She came to church this Sunday and cried the whole time. I am so happy for her and am sad to leave here but all the ward members were so great to reach out to her. 

-I can't believe this last transfer with Hermana Requejo went so fast. I learned so much and we are such great friends. 

Sorry I don't have more time to write. I promise I will send pictures next week....

Love you all!

Hermana Freedman

November 9th - Week 23 30 Minutes with Rachel... Requejo

Hey everyone!

I don't have much time to write this week and not much happened so this email will be short but here are some highlights of the week!

Natisha one of our investigators came to church this week and is really progressing. The YWs president even told us that she participated more than the ward members in her classes. But she is 14 so sadly probably won't be getting baptized anytime soon because she doesn't have much support from her family but we will continue to help her build her testimony. 

We also found a new investigator Natalie last week but this week were able to have a few lessons with her and she really opened up and we were able to find her need. She has family who are members and loves their example of the gospel and wants it for her family. Hopefully we can have the opportunity to share with her boyfriend at some point and help them progress as a family. They have 2 kids and Natalie is super great!

This week Hna. Requejo ended up cooking lunch at Claudia and Patricios and also on Sunday with Hna. Alma from our ward. Everyone wants her to cook for them! Her food is the yummiest and it was also great to have a little time to share with Claudia and Patricio. They are progressing very slowly but its progress! 

I can't believe the transfer is almost over. I am sad that Hna. R will be leaving. We are BEST friends. I have learned so much from her in just 5 weeks and will miss her like crazy. 

Hope you all have a fantastic week!


Hermana Freedman

Monday, November 2, 2015

November 2nd, 2015 - Week 22 "Dulce o Referencia"


I hope that everyone had a happy Halloween and is enjoying the Fall weather! Another great week here in Costanera. This week we found a few new investigators which was great and also were able to meet with some less actives, who before wouldn't let us in so that was exciting.  

Tuesday was a day of miracles. We were out working and all our plans were falling through, but we decided to visit a less active who usually just tells us she is busy and doesn't have time. We knocked her door and it was inspired. She let us in and told us that she had been praying for us to come visit her, minutes before. We were able to find her need and gain a little bit of confidence. We also visited with another less active that also never lets us in but something was different on Tuesday because she opened up and now we know  what we need to do to help her come back to church. It really is incredible to see the Lord working through me. It is very humbling to learn and understand this principle.  Despite my own weaknesses, he finds a way to work through me. 

We also had a great lesson with Claudia and Patricio this week. They still wouldn't agree to be baptized but they understood about baptism and want to see a baptism and then make a decision. Patricio told us that he thinks the Joseph Smith story is logical and that it all makes perfect sense! We just need to help them progress as a couple!

We also visited Hna. María and tricked Fabiola into staying for the lesson. She was very aware we had tricked her into staying and we all just joked and laughed about it the whole time, but we read the introduction to the BOM and started talking about Joseph Smith and she asked us if we could come and watch the movie with her, about Joseph Smith so the next day we went and all watched the movie together. Fabiola isn't progressing, but really it's just because she can't imagine that it is possible to change! But her faith is growing and that's what is important. She will have her time. 

On Halloween, a ward member sewed us doll hats and in the night, us 4 Costanera Hnas, went around to the members and knocked their doors. When they answered we yelled ¨dulce o referencia¨ (candy or references) and handed out candy. It was really fun, and we didn't actually end up getting any references but I think we brought a little bit of Halloween ánimo (excitement) to our ward so that was good. 

But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance. 1 Nephi 1:20

I loved this scripture in my study this week. Nephi is the greatest example and really when we have faith the Lord will help us. There are tender mercies in our lives everyday, we just need to recognize them!

Have the greatest week!

Hermana Freedman