Monday, May 30, 2016

May 30th - Week 53 "Has It Really Been One Year?"

Hola!!! ¿Como estan? 

This week was a little bit slower especially since Hermana Chamorro has been a little under the weather but it gave me the chance to really focus on my faith and make the best of everything, and after all is said an done it was a good week. 

To start off with a funny story, Hermana C and I still have the old cellphone from Pimientos that we are waiting to turn in on Friday when we got to Antofagasta. We haven't turned it off because often we look for numbers and stuff like that. The other day the phone rang and the zone leaders from the other zone were calling. I answered and said hi and asked what he needed. He was trying to get a hold of the elders in Pimientos and had called the wrong phone without noticing. He thought I was an elder trying to mess around with him and started talking in a girl voice. I busted up and I think when he realized he was actually talking to the hermanas he was mortified. Haha. 

This week I had a cool experience with the Book of Mormon. I decided to write my testimony in a BOM and give it away to a street contact. I wrote my testimony and the next few days prayed for guidance in giving it away. As I left the pension on Thursday with my BOM I was just waiting for the right person. I felt prompted to give it to a woman who we found out was named Veronica. She is Catholic and randomly started talking about how much she loves reading. I gave her the BOM and she got really excited. She didn't end up giving us any information but I definitely felt like the spirit had guided me, and that that was an important moment in her conversion process. 

This week we visiited Beatriz in Pimientos and she is progressing tons!!!! She loved reading the BOM and I'm happy the elders have kept visiting her. She has been talking more and more about baptism and we just need for her boyfriend to agree to get married. 

Gladys is so close to being baptized we are still just waiting on a few little details but she continues to change for the better. Also Elli has decided to find a different house and stop living with her friend which is a miracle!!!! One step closer to baptism. 

We found a new familiy this week, Yovana and her 2 kids. Yovana has been passing through lots of trials recently and we were able to teach the Plan of Salvation. They accepted a baptismal date for the 25th of June. Only bummer is they didn't show up at church yesterday but we will see what ended up happening. 

We also have been trying to contact people from the area book and found un registro for a boy named Matias who had had one lesson with the missionaries before. We wrote down the address and went to contact him and when the boy answered the door we asked for Matias. He told us it was him and we started explaining that we were the new hermanas. He was super confused and told us he had never shared with missionaries before. The hermanas had written down the wrong address but it just so happened that there was a Matias in the address that had written! He is atheist and believes a lot in science. We shared about the gospel of Christ and committed him to experiment and pray to see if God really exists. He got pretty excited to experiment and asked us to come back. 

This next week will be super short being that Tuesday is our last zone conference with President Dalton (so sad) and Friday we are going to Antofagasta for our last leadership conference with president as well. I have loved my time with President Dalton and have learned so much. 

Today I was studying a talk President wrote and he quoted Elder Maxwell when he said,  the submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we “give,” brothers and sisters, are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give!
Consecration thus constitutes the only unconditional surrender which is also a total victory!
I loved that and love how President's focus has been on consecration and giving everything we have to the lord. I know that as we give our will to him we will find true happiness and really be worthy of receiving the greatest gift of all, eternal life.
Que tengan una buena semana! Estan en mis oraciones!!!
Hermana Freedman

Hot Chocolate with Hna Chamorro
Yes, we have are teaching someone on top of that hill!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May 23rd - Week 52 "Sandboarding"

Hey Everyone!

This week was fantastic!!!  Hermana Chamorro and I worked hard and met the majority of our goals which was awesome. Also sorry because I'm a little short on time. This morning Mamita Amanda from Pimientos took us to the dunes and we went sandboarding! So much fun! I feel like I just got back from the beach though. With sand everywhere. 

This week we had intercambios with Caldera and I was able to work with Hermana Palomino in Maray. We had a good intercambio together and were able to find lots of new investigators which was great. 

We also got all moved out of Pimientos finally! It was lots of work and we had to take a few doors out to get things into the apartment but I'm just glad its over. 

We are finding lots of people who are realy receptive here in Maray which is exciting. We met Elli this week, an investigor that Hermana San Martin left behind. She is great and really excited to be baptized! We were able to talk to her about repentance this week and keeping the Sabbath holy because she works on Sunday morning and hasn't been coming to church but we talked to her and she decided to talk to her boss and tell her she cant work on Sundays! We are going to call her tonight to see how it went. But...she lives with one of her best friends and he isn't receptive and doesn't want to listen but they can't be living together even if they aren't dating or anything if she wants to be baptized....Elli also went with us to a baptism this week and she told us she felt the spirit really strongly and knows she needs to be baptized. 

We also saw lots of progress in Gladys this week. On Saturday we went to her house and had once (dinner). Gladys has been really sick and as we were teaching our lesson she ended up passing out. When she woke up she started to tell us everything that has been going on in her life and all the reasons why she wasn't sure she wanted to be baptized and it was a pretty odd situation but the spirit was able to enter the room and we were able to resolve all her doubts. Before this lesson Gladys had been very closed off. The Lord works in mysterious ways...but now she is excited and also progressing to her baptism on the 4th!!!

I'm excited to be here in Maray and there is so much potential!!!! I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!

Hermana Freedman

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 16th - Week 51 "Slow and Steady Wins the Race"

Hey Everyone! 
It was a good first week of transfers. Definitely different than any other transfer since we are opening a sector. Hermana Chamorro and I are doing well though and are working hard together. It has been a testimony building week as I have the felt the spirit literally guiding my steps in an unknown area to find the investigators the other hermanas left us! Even with a map, sometimes the Chilean streets can be a little disorganized so I have definitely been needing divine help!

On Tuesday we had zone training and since I'm an Sister Training leader I was able to teach a class on the importance of the Book of Mormon. I was really able to study chapter 5 of PMG and it was a good learning experience. The best part is Hermana Chamorro and I have really put into practice what we studied.
I loved this quote from President Hinkcley!

President Gordon B. Hinckley declared: “Those who have read [the Book of Mormon] prayerfully, be they rich or poor, learned or unlearned, have grown under its power. … Without reservation I promise you that if you will prayerfully read the Book of Mormon, regardless of how many times you previously have read it, there will come into your hearts … the Spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to his commandments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.”
We have been inviting EVERYONE to read the Book of Mormon. It is necessary if our investigators are going to progress in the gospel. I don't think I've ever read the Introduction more times in a week but it is so powerful and hopefully when we follow up our investigators will have done something.
Heres a litte on our investigators:

-Gladys is an investigator I taught about a month ago in my exchange here in Maray. With Hermana Padilla we invited her to baptism and she accepted, so it was fun coming back and seeing how much she has progressed. She is still having a little bit of trouble quitting smoking but little by little is making progress. We are aiming for her baptism in June!
-Diana is a neighbor of ours who just has so many questions! When we went to get to know her she told us she knows the church is true but just is so tired on Sundays that she can't come to church. We went to pick her up on Sunday but nobody answered which was a bummer but hopefully we can get her more excited this week.
-Rosa and Katia are 2 young nursing students. They seemed to have quite a bit of interest so this week will always be so important to follow up on their commitments they made!
Yesterday was a day of miracles. I was a little sad at church since nobody showed up and it had been a long hard week getting to know our sector. Hermana Chamorro and I hadn't been meeting our goals for the week which I was bummed about and yesterday we had an activity till 8 in the afternoon leaving us with only 2 hours to work all day. We decided to set the goal for 2 lessons with members and 2 new investigators. We left to work at 8 and first were able to visit a member family, little did we know they have a nephew living with them who isn't a member! We were able to talk to him about faith and invited him to church next Sunday. And he is married! That's a big deal here in Chile haha. After we decided to visit a less active who hadn't showed up to church after committing to go. I was honestly a little confused why we felt prompted to visit her since our goal was to find new investigators but we decided to follow the spirit. Her boyfriend just happened to be there! We talked about the Book of Mormon and then Carol (less active) was able to share her testimony of the Book of Mormon. Tomorrow we have a follow up appointment with them and her boyfriend. Christian is so curious to learn more about the gospel! It was such a great feeling reaching the goals we had set after a long hard week. The Lord really does bless us after the trial of our faith just as we can read in Ether.
Hope you all have a great week!

Hermana Freedman

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

May 9th - Week 50 "Stuck In the Middle of the Desert"

Alo Familia! 

It was so great to talk to you yesterday and I'm glad everyone is doing so well. This past week was so great and super busy but we definitely ended off the transfer well. Also transfer calls are in and I will be closing my sector and moving to the ward next door, Maray. My companion will be Hermana Chamorro from Argentina. 

Last Monday we tried to go sandboarding. Bishop took us and the ChaƱarcillo hermanas to the dunes, or I should say tried to take us to the dunes but the car broke down in the middle of the highway.  We ended up waiting for an hour and a half in the middle of the desert for the car engine to cool down so we could get going again. We decided to make the best of it and just took pictures instead.

This week Beatriz and her daughter came to church! It was so great to have them there, but I'm a little bummed I won't be able to be at church with them in the future now that I'm going to Maray. It will be a little rough working right next door when I still have so many people to help in Pimientos!!!

Javiera is doing well, but we can't seem to help her get to church. She is progressing in every other aspect but just can't make it to church for some reason. Hopefully I can keep calling her and encouraging her to make it now that I won't be there. 

This week we also had Leadership Council in Antofagasta. It ws great to hear from President and we talked a lot about the importance of the Book of Mormon. I am thoroughly convinced that if we read it and abide by its precepts we will grow so much closer to our savior! I have seen that in my mission!!!

I also had an intercambio with Hermana San Martin this week in Maray to get to know sector a bit better and it was so fun to work with her again. And obviously we ended the night with sushi! For a minute I felt like i was back in Tocopilla.

It was hard saying bye to Hermana Caballero yesterday but I'm excited for her to see her family again and know she has done so much in her time in the mission. It was pretty great because we kept working till the last minute. We even committed a brand new investigator to baptism yesterday! The bishop and his wife invited us to eat once after we skyped yesterday. The bishop's wife made pan amasado. Mmmm, so yummy. After, we took Hermana Caballero to the bus station and sent her off. It was a good fulfilling transfer and I'm happy to have such great memories with her in Pimientos.

This next week will also be a little crazy, packing up the old house and moving everything to Maray, getting to know a new, huge sector, and my companion doesn't get here till Tuesday at 4 in the morning. Definitely working on little sleep. Love you all so much!

Hermana Freedman

Monday, May 2, 2016

May 2nd - Week 49 "Los 33"

Hello Everyone!
This past week was pretty eventful. On Monday we went to the Mina San Jose, the site of the Chilean mining accident a few years ago. Now that I've seen the mine in real life all I haven't seen is the movie. Haha. It was pretty cool to see all the different parts of the mine, especially the entrance and we had fun with the Hermanas from Maray.

I had an intercambio with Hermana MacDonald this week!!!! I was so excited and she is the cutest, most happy missionary I have ever met. I couldn't help but be happy my whole time with her. We had some good lessons and learned lots together. But...holy cow we froze to death at night. On Wedneday morning, after not sleeping we found a broken window that lets all the cold air in. And there is some weird clicking noise. They definitely need to get that figured out. The next day our mamita here in Pimientos asked us why I looked so tired and I told her I didn't sleep since it was so cold. She gave me a onesie to start sleeping in haha. But at least I've been sleeping a little warmer!

The mamita also had her birthday this week. Hermana Caballero and I made her a birthday crown and we went and sang and had cake together.

As far as investigators go:
Javiera came to church this week! We had a lesson with her on Thursday about keeping the Sabbath holy and she committed to come to church (she had left us planted 2 Sundays in a row). We called her Sunday morning and she didn't answer so we decided to go to her house. We had been fasting that she could make it to church but when we got to her house nobody answered. We turned around to start walking to church and she came walking towards her house! She had spent the night at her grandparents and was just getting back. We convinced her to grab breakfast fast and come with us! Now that shes gone once I don't think it will be as hard for her to come again.
I don't remember what I've said about Beatriz but she is the cutest Hermana that is really passing through a hard time as she struggles with panic attacks. But she has been reading her Book of Mormon and the other day shared her testimony with us of the peace she feels when she reads it! She always has lots of good questions. The only problem is she isn't married and we can't seem to find a time to share with her boyfriend and their daughters too.
This week we had a lesson with 2 less active Natalia and Mario. They are siblings and have been inactive for over 35 years. We talked about faith and at the end of the lessons Mario offered the prayer! It was so powerful and he was smiling from ear to ear! After he commented that he hadn't prayed out loud in over 15 years and he thanked us for stopping by. It was a tender mercy of the lord that we just happened to visit them when he was visiting his mom's house.
Today I studied alma 26 and was really touched by Ammon's testimony!

22 Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.
I feel so grateful that I can be serving her in Copiapo helping my brothers and sisters receive the gospel!

I'm so excited to talk to you on Sunday!!!! And this week we will be getting transfer calls too! You are all in my prayers!
Love you!
Hermana Freedman