Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August 22nd, 2016 - Week 65 "She's So Close!"

This week was great. We definitely passed through lots of trials of our faith but that's a good thing. I have gained an appreciation for life's trials here in the mission. 

Rosalia wasn't baptized this weekend. To make a long story short, we moved earth and heaven to help her get her baptismal interview, just for her to tell us that she didn't want to be baptized till the next week. If she doesn't meet her goal for this weekend we might have to stop visiting her for a while. We have been praying quite a bit to know what to do. But shes so close!!!! 

We found a new investigator this week Juana. She is the most humble person I have ever met. Her story is pretty sad. When she was 14 she was forced by her now parents in law to marry. She had her first baby at age 17 and she died 2 months later of fever. Her mom passed away shortly after. She was abused by her husband and they separated but a few months later she had her second baby. She now lives with her daugter in Chile. She has 6 step siblings and lives with a step sister and since she has nothing, she works for her. They have a salad business so when we go we always help her peel celery and then teach a lesson. She is so prepared to receive the gospel. This Sunday she had it all planned out to go to church but when we went to pick her up her step sister wouldn't let her leave the house. 

This week I had exchanges with Hermana Reneer who is the sweetest! I love living with 2 more Hermanas. Finishing our exchange we had a zone attack [I think this means all the missionaries concentrate their efforts in one area] in Los industriales (another ward in our zone). I was able to keep working with Hermana Reneer and we set 3 baptismal dates! It was an afternoon full of miracles. 

Today we played soccer as a zone and then had lunch with Familia Vasquez and it is so fun seeing people from Costanera! 

Also today I was reading in Jacob 4 and verse 3 stood out to me. 

 3 Now in this thing we do rejoice; and we labor diligentlyto engraven these words upon plates, hoping that ourbeloved brethren and our children will receive them withthankful hearts, and look upon them that they may learnwith joy and not with sorrow, neither with contempt,concerning their first parents.

After reading that my heart was filled with gratitude for the scriptures. I know the book of mormon is true and I feel so grateful for such convincing evidence of the restauration of the gospel. I am also grateful for prophets and all they do for us. I felt specifically grateful for the book of mormon prophets and their sacrifice writing and protecting the gold plates. 

Les quiero! Que les vaya bien en su primera semana de clases! [I love you! I hope that everything goes well in your first week of class!]

Hermana Freedman

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

August 15th, 2016 - Week 64 "Onions and Lemons"

Hey Everyone! 
Another great week here in Zapahuira. Hermana Gemin and I are doing well and lots of strange things have happened. First the bad news, I have fleas!  We are pretty sure we know where they are coming from but my legs are covered in flea bites....
Also this week Hermana Gemin and I were both sick with colds. We went to a members house and she and her husband started talking about medicinal foods. Her husband left and ran to the store and came back with 4 onions and some lemons. As we talked to his wife he chopped onions and put a salad bowl in front of us and told us to eat. Haha Hermana Gemin and I didnt know what to, but the hermano had just spent 10 minutes chopping onion, was crying, and so we just started eating spoonfuls of raw onion....I definteliy wouldnt suggest it and in case you are wondering we woke up the next moring with worse colds.
The work is going well here. Rosalia wasn't able to meet her baptismal goal for Saturday but we are trying to help her prepare for this weekend. She came to church yesterday which was great! Paola also came. We also have another investigator Andrea. She is so ready to receive the gospel and Hermana Gemin and I always thought she wasn't married but the other day as we were talking about the Law of Chastity she started telling us all about her wedding! We were shocked but so excited because now she can be baptized as soon as she wants. We are helping her quit smoking but she understands everything really well. She even asked if she could come to church in a skirt which is a big deal here.  Sadly her daughter woke up with a fever yesterday morning and they were in the hospital when church started. The great news is she's working towards her baptismal date!!!
It's been fun to see people from my old ward. Yesterday Isidora, Maria Paz, Hermana Vasquez, and Jael came to church to visit me. They haven't changed at all and everyone seems to be doing well.
Today is a holiday here. Something for the Virgin Maria. Our papitos took us to the beach, then to lluta valley, and then playa de los corazones which is a beach with lots of caves and stuff. It was fun and I'm glad to be back in Arica, where its always spring!!!
Hope you all have a gerat week!

Hermana Freedman

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Aug 8th, 2016 - Week 63 "44 Hours, Am I Still On a Bus?"

Hey everyone! 
This week was crazy. I spent 2 days in a bus which was super fun.  On Monday afternoon I traveled to Arica. I got here Tuesday afternoon at about 4 and Hermana Gemin and I left to work! The sector here is great! The ward is also super awesome. We had mission correlation and I was able to meet some of the ward members. On Wednesday we left for Antofagasta. I was exhausted and it was another 12 hour bus ride, but it ended up being longer because my companion forgot her documents!!! In Iquiqe they separated us and almost made Hermana Gemin stay the night in the police station. It felt pretty weird to be without my companion and I never want it to happen again but after about 30 minutes they let her go and we got going to Antofagasta again. 

Leadership council was super great and we talked a lot about repentance. Everytime we go there are more and more changes in the mission. We have started working with a new activity. Every companionship has a sign that says #todoelesp√≠ritumisional Every time we leave to work with members we take a picture and they post the picture. It's been fun and the ward members have started to participate!!!! We came back on Thursday night (after 12 more hours in a bus) and got here Friday morning. 

I've been so tired all week but the Lord always helps me keep working with energy. 

We have some great investigators here! Rosalia has a baptismal date this weekend and we were able to visit her with the bishop this week. 

We also are visiting a couple, Paola and Edgar. We went on Friday with a ward member and talked about eternal marriage. Hermana Gemin told me that Edgar wanted to get married and Paola no. The spirit was really strong and in the end they committed to be baptized and get married!!! But the best part was at the end they said ¨but we can't get baptized without our kids. We want them to start listening!!!¨ They want to be baptized as a family! We went again yesterday to talk about setting goals and then we found out that they can't be married because Paola is waiting for her that might make the process a little longer but we are all praying for a miracle that her divorce can move quickly. 

Its great being back in Arica and I can't believe that a year ago I was sitting in the same ciber writing you all, but I hardly spoke Spanish, and was just starting to learn how to be a missionary, and was in the process of strengthening my testimony. Its been great to reflect on this past year, and everything that has happened.  I love this gospel and I love my Savior!!!

Hermana Freedman

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

August 1, 2016 - Week 62 "Arica Siempre Arica, Mayor es mi Lealtad"

Wow, I definitely received an unexpected transfer call this week. I will be heading back to Arica! The same zone and stake but the neighboring ward Zapahuira! I am so excited and the only downside may be the 20 hour bus ride. I will be with Hermana Gemin from Peru and we are the STLs. I'm loosing hope that I will speak good english when I get back. Haha

This week was really great! We had 6 investigators at church again! Sandra and Maria Jose have baptismal dates for the 20th of August as does Aurora!!!! We started working more with the members to help Sandra and Maria Jose in their progress and members work miracles!!! 

We also have a newer investigator Andrea who came to church yesterday. She attended a baptism in Pimientos on Saturday and is making big changes in her life. Her process will be a little bit longer than usual but I am so happy that I could take part in her conversion. 

We also have been teaching a less active man, his wife, and daughter. Yesterday they came to church and in the afternoon we had a great lesson. It was amazing to see how Juan has started to find his tesimony again and he and his wife have really started thinking about having an eternal family.  

Looking back, my time in Maray was definitely one of the best parts of my mission. We may not have had a baptism, but I grew as a person and feel that Heavenly Father is proud of the work we have done together. I am so grateful that I could be with Hermana Chamorro. 

Love you all and sorry for such a short email! 

Hermana Freedman