Tuesday, January 26, 2016

January 25th - Week 34, "Reunions are Awesome"

Hey Everyone! Another great week here in the MCA!!!

This week we headed to Antofagasta on Wednesday for the worldwide missionary training! It was such a cool experience and was so great to receive counsel from the leaders of the church! 

As far as people go:

-Manuel is leaving today which I'm sad about but also super excited because he will really be able to change his life one he is out of Tocopilla. 

-Alex and Leslie are progressing slowly but surely. The hardest thing is getting them to church because they always travel on the weekends. But getting people to church is always the struggle here. I think the people here in Chile use magnetic pillows and it's impossible for them to get up in the mornings. 

-We also have an investigator Margarita that is so close to having her testimony but we just can't seem to help her get up the courage to pray. It was crazy the other day we had an FHE in a members house with her and right as we finished and were in the street leaving a car started rolling down the hill and crashed into Margaritas house. But nobody was hurt which was good. Poor margarita but she was really calm about it and we are just trying to keep giving her animo (excitement)!

-We also found 2 new investigators Carlos and Catalina. They are siblings and were a contact we made asking for an address. Carlos is atheist and Catalina is just confused. There are both young 24 and 14. We have had a few good lessons with them talking about God and I have so much faith that with time they will progress. Hopefully we can get them to church this Sunday if not the next. The only thing we can't get them to commit to is pray. They read everything we leave for them but they won't pray!!! Sometimes agency gets the best of us. We have another appointment with them on Wednesday and we will see their progress. After the first lesson with Carlos we promised him that he would find work if he kept meeting with us and sincerely took interest in the gospel. Yesterday he told us he found work!!! That was a miracle. I love how as missionaries we can promise blessings and Heavenly Father always comes through. 

-We also are finally teaching Diana and her son Juan! On Saturday we had it planned out to teach them the plan of salvation but when we went we asked them where they were in the BOM and they were in 2 Nephi 31. Definitely the spirit guiding the lesson. We were able to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and they both expressed their desires to be baptized and accepted baptismal dates for the 6th of February. They didn't come to church yesterday so we will probably end up moving their dates back a bit. We are excited and just need to start working the members to get them excited to come to church!

This week I was thinking a lot about Ether 12:27 and how the Lord will help our weaknesses become strengths if we humble ourselves and allow for the lord to help us. I want to share that I know that principle is true! I have seen it in my life, especially here on the mission. 

Love you all so much and enjoy the snow! 

Hermana Freedman

Catie and Hna Scalise in Antofagasta

Diana, Juan Carlos, Johan

Manuel Before He Left South

Monday, January 18, 2016

January 18th, 2016 - Week 33 "Oh, There is Someone in the Darkness"

Hola Familia,

This week was pretty great! Here are some highlights of the week:

-On Tuesday we went to Calama for Zone Training. It was the best the weather has ever been there.

-On Tuesday night at 9 we went to the chapel to look for keys that an investigator left. Hermana Challco and I were outside unlocking the gates and a man walked up to us. I had talked to him before at his house and he recognized me. He started to ask if we were going to have English classes anytime soon. I started to explain that if other people were interested we could possibly do it. He went on to tell us that he learned English from watching "I Am Legend" and he related the whole story line. I actually was scared because he kept looking towards the chapel and pointing and yelling things in really broken English like "oh there is someone hiding in the darkness" or "Run, there coming". Hermana Challco and I tried to interviene about 10 times with little sucess. In the end we were too scared to enter the chapel so late at night even though I know the chapel is one of the safest places in Tocopilla. 

As far as investigators go we are finally seeing progress!

Manuel has decided to be baptized in the South. His mom called us and explain that she wants to be able to see his baptism, which I completely understand so his plans as of now are to leave in the next few weeks. I am so excited for him though and feel really fulfilled with the work we have done. He even told us we will always be his missionaries which made me really happy.

Estella is the grandaughter of our primary president and she is the cutest! she is 9 and is living here in Tocopilla for a few months to visit her dad. Hermana San Martin was teaching her before she left to visit her mom and now that shes back we are teaching her again. She is so smart and understands everything and asks the greatest questions. Reminds me of Jilly.

Yoselin is a reference we recieved from Fernanda (a member here). She is also really progressing and hopefully we can choose a baptismal date this week. She invites all her family to listen too. Tonight we have an FHE planned with her and Fernanda and tomorrow we have an appointment scheduled with her family. 

Alex and Leslie are a young married couple we are teaching. Leslie is awesome and is almost done with 1 Nephi. Alex is a little more hesitant and it's harder to teach him because he is always working but Leslie has been coming to church and we are really excited with their progress. The only bummer is that they are leaving all of February. 

Everything else here in Tocopilla is pretty normal. The only thing is I am convinced that the other day like 3 drops of rain fell. Don't know what is happening here in the desert of Chile, but I'm praying we WON'T have rain. Rain here in Tocopilla = disasters....

Hope you all have the greatest week!

Hermana Freedman

January 11, 2016 - Week 32 "Same Old, Same Old"

Hey Everyone! This week was super normal. Just the same old mission life. 

On Wednesday morning I biffed it running. That was awesome. Took a good piece out of my hand but I'm alright. I think Hermana Challco was hoping that after that we wouldnt run anymore, but she's not quite that lucky. I love running in Tocopilla because my view is the beach!

Hermana Challco is the greatest. A rockstar. We are having fun together and I think she is feeling more comfortable which is good. Sometimes, more like all the time, I feel like she has 7 months in the mission and I have one month. She explains things so clearly and has such a strong testimony. 

Manuel is progressing lots but his grandma wouldn't let him come to church yesterday so his baptismal date fell through. He has plans to leave for the south of Chile to live with his mom for a while to get away from his tempations here in Tocopilla, on the 20th. But when he found out he couldn't be baptized he asked if he could postpone his trip to be baptized here before he heads south. He wants to leave tocopilla feeling like a new person. We continue to pray for him and have faith that whatever is supposed to happen will happen. 

We also had a new investigator Leslie at church yesterday. She and her husband are investigating but will be leaving for all of February so we are trying to get them progressing before their trip!

We continue to find new investigators and are hopeful that we will find those who are ready to accept the gospel!!! 

Sorry I don't have more to write. This morning I studied the talk that Elder Maynes gave in conference about having our lives centered on Christ. One thing I love about the mission is I get to watch people in the process of centering their lives in our Savior. It is incredible to see how happy people are when they do that! I know this is Jesus Christs church and when we live the gospel we are happy! 

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Freedman

Monday, January 4, 2016

January 4, 2016 - Week 31 "Feliz Ano Nuevo!!!"

Wow!!!! So much happened this week!!!! I don't even know where to start!

First off, Happy New Year! New years here was pretty great. Here in Tocopilla lots of people build "monos" and at midnight they burn them. On New Years Eve a member drove us around Tocopilla to look at some of the monos. Some of them are huge! A member brought us a traditional new years dinner to the pension and Hna. Challco and I ate our midnight dinner together. At midnight Tocopilla was covered in fire. There were fires everywhere, and also fireworks, and wish lanterns. I don't know how Tocopilla didn't burn down to be honest. But it was a fun experience. The not so fun experience was not sleeping because there were music and fireworks all night. 

On January 1st Tocopilla was empty, all day! I counted and we walked past 22 people in the street, in total....There was nobody. Somehow we managed to have a few lessons though which was good. 

On Wednesday I officially became a "mamita" and I am so excited to be training! It will be a great experience and I will learn so much. On Wednesday I went to Antofagasta and we had a few meetings with President Dalton. It was fun to be there because 2 hnas from my group are also training, and also Hna. Clawson and Roldan!!! We were only missing Hna. Espinoza and we would have had all the Costanera Hermanas there! When all the greenies walked in...one of them had on the same dress. I just pretended not to be embarrassed...we had a little "MCA who wore it better". (just kidding, and anyways, Hna. Pebble wore it better. But maybe they should start doing that in the mission news letter. Just like the magazines) 

I will be training Hna. Challco. She is from Cuzco, Peru and is a convert of 2 years. She is super soft spoken, really humble, and the sweetest. I will learn a lot. We get along really well which is great. 

As far as the work goes:
-On Monday and Tuesday I worked with Fernanda, a member here in Tocopilla. She served her mission in Utah! It was fun she talked in English the whole time, and I spoke in Spanish! We had 2 days full of miracles and found 8 new investigators!!!

-Darinkat and Jacqueline aren't progressing which is a bummer. All our appts with Darinkat have fallen through but we will keep trying

-But....as of right now we will be having a baptism on the 16th!!!! His name is Manuel and he found us! Miracles!!! We had 4 lessons with him this week, he has been to an FHE with the YSA, and came to church yesterday. He has faced a lot of challenges in his life but is so willing to change! In just 7 days I have seen him change so much! I am so excited for him. The other day we also went to teach a lesson and his grandma sat in and listened. She told us that she found Manuels BOM the other day, so she started reading it. She told us that its better than the Bible and that she wants to keep reading. I have so much faith that we can help both of them progress!!! 

-We also are going to start teaching a woman named Diana this week and her son. Her mother in law is a member and Diana is an old investigator. She recently got married so now she can be baptized! We found her on new years when we decided to pass by as a plan z. Long story short, we ended up eating BBQ with them, sharing a scripture, and committing her and her son to be baptized! I left pretty happy. Hopefully we will see progress with her!

I hope you all have a great new year and keep up the good work with your resolutions!!!

Hermana Freedman