Thursday, April 28, 2016

April 25th - Week 48 "Sea Breezes"

Hey everyone! 

Glad you had a good week and that Mike, Caren, and Elizabeth got back safe! Can't believe a year and a half flew by so fast!

This week was good, nothing out of the ordinary but definitely a good week. 

Last Monday we ate lunch in a park here with the hermanas from Palomar and ChaƱarcillo. There is a little zoo in the park but it was closed so we just looked from outside.  We saw horses, goats, guinea pigs, and birds haha. 

Tuesday after district meeting I went to Caldera and had intercambios with Hermana Carcamo. It was nice to be back by the ocean. We had some good lessons and it was good working in another sector but I missed Pimientos!!! 

We were finally able to meet with Javiera again. We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and her mom who is less active shared such strong testimony! Javiera committed to baptism again but still isn't coming to church. But she just needs a little encouraging. She wants to leave and work with us this week which would be awesome! Its a little hard to have constant contact with her because she lives in the elders sector and is a little far from where we work but our goal is to help her be baptized and reactivate her mom! 

On Friday night Hermana Caballero and I got back to the pension and were absolutely exhausted. We planned and crashed. At 2 in the morning the alarm started going off and both of us woke up so startled and completely groggy. Haha I would have loved to see us frantically trying to turn off the alarm, but Saturday morning we had a good laugh about it. 

Nobody came to church yesterday which was a bit of a bummer but we just gotta keep working! 

This afternoon we are heading to Mina San Jose with the hermanas from Maray, where the 33 miners were trapped a few years ago. Ill make sure to send pictures next week!

Hermana Freedman

Omni 1: 26 And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

April 18th - Week 46 "Che Ha E Mormon"

Hey Everyone! This week was so great and we had a BAPTISM!!!!! 

Daniela was baptized this week and it was so great. She is the happiest person and with the gospel in her life is even happier! It is such a good feeling at church to see her marking her scriptures and manuals at church and she is just another evidence to me that the gospel makes us happy. 

This week we also had a mini MTC activity with all of copiapo and all the missionaries from the 2 zones here which was so fun. We were able to work with the youth and teach them more about the restoration and the gospel of Jesus Christ. The activity was meant for them but in the long run as I was teaching two 16 year old girls I think I received more personal revelation than they did. 

We had one investigator at church yesterday. Her name is Arolinda and she is 87. She seemed to like it and has been progressing during our lessons which we are super excited about. We are hoping to set a baptismal date with her this coming week! 

During intercambios Hermana Alarcon and I found a new investigator named Beatriz. She is the most loving person I have ever met and stopped us in the street to ask us what church we are from. We were able to set an appointment and Hermana Caballero and I went the next day to visit her. She lives with her boyfriend and their 2 daughters who are 17 and 12. We have only been able to meet with Beatriz but had 2 lessons this past week and she is reading the Book or mormon and saying her prayers. The only road block (other than the fact she isn't married) is that she suffers from panic attacks and can't leave her house to come to church unless someone from her family is with her so we need to have a lesson with the whole family. 

This week Hna. Caballero started teaching  me (or trying to teach me) Guarani, the native language in Paraguay. I'm definitely happy I was called to teach the gospel in Spanish!  It is much easier. It has been fun and we always end up laughing lots together. The only phrase I've managed to get down is che ha e mormon (I'm mormon). But its a start. 

Going along with the theme of the restoration from last week I have 2 more experiences I want to share with you all!

The first is from intercambios with Hermana Alarcon. We went to visit an old investigator that I had never met before but Hermana Caballero had always pointed our her house. She let us in and there were tons of distractions, mainly the TV that her mom was watching. Her mom refused to turn it off so we decided to try our best to invite the spirit. We shared The Restoration and we could tell that Soledad wasn't all that interested, but...she definitely couldn't deny the spirit of the first vision. After the lesson she wouldn't commit to do anything so we decided to make the best of it and started asking for referrals. We ended up receiving about 15 referrals! That never happens!!!! I know it was because she had felt the spirit of the restoration, and now we have 15 future investigators!

The second was easily one of the most spiritual experiences I've had since being out on my mission. On Saturday night Hermana Caballero and I were a little bummed. We had been at the chapel since 8 in the morning with the Mini MTC activity which was fantastic but went until 8 at night (with all the baptisms included). And I cant say that it wasn't incredible having a baptism either but Hna. C and I were a little bummed that we only had 1 hour to work the whole day, and we wanted to meet our goal for new investigators! During the Mini MTC activity I was really impressed to work on having more faith. We left to work and we decided to offer a prayer together. After the prayer we went straight to work. We decided to only visit future investigators and tried 3 houses with no luck. As we walked past one house I felt impressed to stop and knock the door. I had seen the woman that lived there in the street with her granddaughter before but we had never managed to set up an appointment or anything. We knocked the door and the woman told us she didn't have time. We felt the need to keep talking to her and with a little convincing ended up teaching her and her daughter! We taught the Restoration in 5 minutes (something president has encouraged us to practice lots) and the spirit flooded the room. She accepted the invitation to read the Book of Mormon and also the baptismal invitation. We left spiritually recharged and immediately offered a prayer of gratitude to our Heavenly Father. It may not be an experience that is out of the ordinary, but these kinds of spiritual experiences are those that most mark my mission. Experiencias muy sencillas y muy poderosas (very simple and powerful experiences). 

Also I loved studying Joseph Smith history this week and was really impacted by how much Joseph Smith pondered and questioned. The key to our spiritual progressing is questioning and pondering! If we never do that we will never recieve revelations that help us progress! 

I love you all so much! And in case you are wondering yes I'm ok after the earthquake in Ecuador. We have had a few big temblores here but nothing out of the ordinary. 


Hermana Freedman

Friday, April 15, 2016

April 11 - Week 45 "Cumpleanos Feliz"

Alo Familia and Happy Birthday to Dad and Andrew!!!!!!!!! Have the happiest of birthdays! This week flew by...

This week Daniela had her baptismal interview! We left and had breakfast with her before heading the the chapel. Fresh bread with homemade jam....oh man. so yummy. We have been doing lots with Daniela and she is all ready for her baptism this Saturday! 

One fun thing Hna. Caballero and I have started doing is studying as a companionship in the park. Since we usually study at 1 but at 2 have to walk to the mamitas for lunch we were wasting so much time walking to the house and the house to the mamita. We decided to start studying in the park and I love it! It feels so good to be outisde in the sun. But its starting to get really cold so I'm not sure how much longer it will last.

This week we had intercambios with Maray. I worked with Hna. Padilla from Lehi. We had the craziest day! We went to visit an investigator and when we got there her house was a disaster with toys everywhere and she was having a birthday party 2 hours later in her house. We helped her clean up, sweeped, and just as it was clean and we were enjoying fresh pineapple juice, her little boy tripped with juice in hand and the whole living room was covered in pineapple. We cleaned up again and shared a small spiritual thought and as we were leaving a new couch showed up so we ended up helping her move her furniture. Haha it was a "show" as they say here in Chile. 

I had my last interview with president Dalton this week which was so weird [she will get a new mission president in July]. I can't believe it is almost time for President Ferreira to get here. President Dalton is the greatest and always has the best advice. One thing that he has talked about lots lately is the importance of finding new youth to teach. He also recently challenged the mission to study only the restoration for 30 days, write a lesson plan, practice the restoration every day during companion study, and pray during the process for a deeper understanding of the doctrine. It has been the greatest experience of my mission. The whole mission is seeing miracles!!!! This week Hna. C and I have found 5 youth!!!!! And when we teach the restoration it is so powerful. 

I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that we have the priesthood on the earth. I know that baptism is an essential ordanance for our salvation. I know that god loves and knows us. I know that The church of jesus christ of latter day saints is the true church. Love you all so much!

Hermana Freedman

The result of the terrible floods last year in Copiapo

Thursday, April 7, 2016

April 4th - Week 44 "April Fool's"

Hey Everyone! 

I had a great first week here in Copiapo and am loving my new sector. Copiapo is beautiful! There is so much green (as green as the desert can get) and it's good being in a bigger city again. Hermana Caballero is great too and we get along super well. The house here is a little poor and there isn't a shower head. There is just a little tube that we use. Every time I shower I feel like I'm using a power washer, and the bathroom looks like it's been hit by a power washer too! And....I didn't know that we can't close the bathroom door, and I locked myself in this week. That was super fun...Also there are moths attacking the ceiling and they leave holes and all these little pieces of something fall down everywhere. It's constantly raining confetti. I think they might be celebrating my arrival to the house.

On Thursday Hna. C and I traveled to Antofagasta for leadership council. It was great to learn from president and I'm excited to help out all the other hnas. here in Copiapo! 

On Friday Copiapo played a good April fools joke. We left the pension and it was raining (really sprinkling, but after not seeing water fall for 10 months, it was like rain to me). Hasn't rained since but the sky has been really gray lately so who knows what will happen. 

The people here in Copiapo are so great. We have a few progressing investigators. One of them is Daniela. She is from Santiago but moved to the north to find a new life after living through a rough period. She has a baptismal date for the 16th and we taught a few lessons this week on the commandments. She is so fun to be with and every time we go she puts a bowl of fruit in the middle of the table and we teach while we all eat fruit. Tonight she invited us over to learn to meditate haha. 

We also have an abuelita Norma that we are teaching, Her husband is sick so she is always at home taking care of him. I have only met her twice but I love her so much, and can see how hard it is for her to have her husband suffering. I want so badly for her to accept the gospel and the peace it brings. 

The definite highlight of the week was CONFERENCE!!!! There were so many good messages and I received so much revelation. I loved Sister Oscarsons talk about belief and knowlege, and also President Utchdorfs talk. As a missionary obedience is so important (really for all of us it is important) and I loved how he talked about the link between obedience and faith. Faith is something I have been trying to develop more of recently and his talk really got me thinking about the importance of obedience if we want to have more faith, and that if we have faith we will be more obedient. I hope you all received your own revelation. I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!

sister Freedman
All the Sisters in the Copiapo Zone.  Catie and her companion on the bottom. A former companion Hna San Martin on top in blue.

They have never met before but these are cousins in law through Amanda Seeley MacDonald's husband James.