Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sept 26th, 2016 - "Un Bautismo" Week 70

¿Como estan? This week was super great and the highlight was definitely Pablo and Annets baptism!!! It was so great and I felt the spirit so strong. I have loved teaching Pablo and Annet and it was amazing seeing how their decision to follow Christ impacted their less active parents to bring so much happiness into their lives. The day couldn't have ended better than with women's conference. I especially loved the first talk that Sister Bingham gave on charity, not judging other, and bringing the light of the gospel into our homes. 

Rosalia still isn't keeping her commitments but for some reason Hermana Gemin and I just don't feel it's right to stop visiting her. We are honestly a little confused because she explains the gospel really well and seems to have an understanding of the commandments but has a hard time internalizing it and following through with the faith she has. We have found a new hermana to fellowship her and we are hopeful that she will be able to help. We love her and want to help.

Mauricio and his family have been busy with lots of family visits which is great but has been hard because we have not been able to visit as frequently.  We have an appt. with them tonight and are hoping to set a new goal for their baptism.  

This week I loved my study in 1 Peter 2: 21-25

 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ alsosuffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye shouldfollow his steps:
 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when hesuffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to himthat judgeth righteously:
 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on thetree, that we, being dead to sins, should live untorighteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
 25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are nowreturned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
I have been studying the atonement lately and love how this scripture describes us as sheep going astray. We are all imperfect but Christ is looking out for us and paid for everything. It is never to late to return to the fold and all we need to do is follow his example. I am beyond grateful for Christs example. I love you all so much!

Hermana Freedman

Sept 19th, 2016 - "Puro Chile and STEAK activities" Week 69

FELIZ 18 de Septiembre!!!! I just have to brag for a second that my day here in Chile is way better than yours. Haha. This week was really great and full of lots of good experiences. 

Before updates on the people we are teaching, yesterday everyone was out in the street celebrating Chile, at one point Hermana Gemin and I were knocking a door and a drunk man walked by, he started whistling at us and just stopped and starred. When we started to walk away he put his arms out to his side and started yelling "talk to me about God. Tell me anything you want. Talk to me about God." The way he said it was so funny. Hermana Gemin and I just busted up and then his family from inside the house yelled "Look, he fell in love with an Evangelical". It was funny!

Mariela still won't accept a baptismal interview but we had a really awesome lesson with she and her son. This time we actually taught with the spirit and SHE asked inspired questions to her son, which was awesome.  

Pablo and Annet have passed their baptismal interviews and will be baptized this saturday!!!!

Mauricio and his family are fantastic! Maruicio is a golden less active. We went and talked about the restoration again and the Book of Mormon and they committed to read and pray to receive their answer and to come to church this coming Sunday.

We also found a woman who was almost baptized 20 years ago but she wasnt married. Now she is separated from her husband and when we had our first lesson with her she told us she wanted to be baptized!!!! She will have to change a few of her habits but we are excited that she has the desire to be baptized. 

On Saturday there was a stake activity in a camping site here in our area. It was really fun and Hermana Gemin and I went in typical Chilean dresses. It was a hit .They had a giant BBQ and I have never eaten more steak in my life! They had kites and games and we had a really fun time. 

On Wednesday we went to Antofagasta for a conference with Elder Bragg. The conference was super great. I loved what his wife shared about prayer. I was able to learn lots from the spirit. 

Sorry for such a short email!!!! We are at a members right now celbrating Fiestas Patrias. This morning we made empanadas and have played typical Chilean games. Now we are gong to eat BBQ for lunch. 

Love You All!

Hermana Freedman

Sept 12, 2016 - "Semana de la Patria" Week 68

Halo Familia y Amigos!

Another transfer has come to an end but I will be staying here in Zapahuira with Hermana Gemin. We are both super excited to be able to work together for 6 more weeks!!! And, the best part is that we get to pass Fiestas Patrias together!!! We are both super excited for the 18th (I have only been talking about it for a month now...).

This week we finished teaching Pablo and Anet all the lessons and they have their baptismal interviews this week!!! As usual, we have run into a few problems but this time with her grandma but Hermana Gemin and I are working with the ward to get things figured out to meet the goal we have set with them! 

Mauricio came to stake conference yesterday! His family took us, but we couldn't convince them to get out of the car and come too. Little by little... Mauricio has been reading his scriptures every day. We have been trying to work with the ward to help his family but the problem is that when we invite members to our lessons for whatever reason their family stops progressing. Its a weird situation. 

Mariela is still progressing. Last monday we had a lesson with her. I went determined to help her understand the importance of being baptized and when we starting asking her questions she started responding and letting my pride get the best of me, thought I could convince her to be baptized....that never works and it was one of those moments where Heavenly Father really humbled me. At one point I asked a question and felt the spirit prompt me to start talking about forgiveness. I couldn't see what that had to do with our lesson on baptism so I asked her son who is a convert what his hopes were for his mom were. He said that he didn't want her to be baptized...the lesson crashed and we achieved nothing. I felt horrible, and we left her house both upset with what we had done. I immediately prayed asking forgiveness and Heavenly Father gave me another chance. We were able to enter Mauricios house and we taught the plan of salvation. The spirit was present, we asked INSPIRED questions, and they accepted a baptismal date! It was a great learning experience and never again do I want to let myself get in the way of the work. Later in the week we were able to return to Marielas and talk about what we should have taught. We talked about forgiveness and she opened up about other things that have been going on in her life that have been impeding her progress!

Alma 26 vs 12: "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my own strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."

You should all celebrate Chile this week! That would be cool. Ill be celebrating too!


Hermana Freedman

September 5, 2016 - Week 67 "4 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed"


This week flew by, especially since on Tuesday I worked in a different area for exchanges and Thursday Hermana Gemin and I went to Antofagasta for leadership council. Exchanges were good. I worked with Hermana Gallardo, from Santiago and she is Hermana San Martin's best friend. 

Leadership council was also really great, and I love working with Presdient Ferreira. We talked a lot about having faith to baptize and the importance of clearly inviting people to repentance. We also learned how to have ward council and I learned tons! I must admit, the trip was exhausting, but always worth it. 

We have a few progressing investigators!!! We are teaching the grandkids of some less active members and they are the cutest. We are teaching Pablo and Anet and they have baptismal dates for September 24th! They always read their BOM homework that we leave them and every time we go to their house they are waiting outside to greet us. Too much love! 

We also witnessed a miracle this week! We have been working with a less active convert Emanuel. He is a deacon and he lives with his mom who is catholic. Recently his mom Mariela has passed through some difficult challenges, specifically the death of both her parents. She has really struggled understand why that had to happen. We had taught the plan of salvation, the restoration, and talked a few other times about eternal families. She just didn't seem to get it (or we were more likely teaching badly...), but this weekend we were able to fast for her. We fasted for help understanding how to explain so that she could understand the importance of being baptized to have an eternal family. This weekend when we went we asked lots of inspired questions and were able to teach about the gospel of Christ. In the end she finally committed to read and pray about the BOM, and....accepted the baptismal invitation!!!! She has the goal of being baptized this weekend and we are just trying to see if we can find time with her work schedule to teach her everything she needs. She came to church yesterday with her son and the ward has really stepped up and helped us fellowship her family! We should have a baptism soon! 

I love having the chance to fast and I know the lord blesses us when we humbly accept his will and seek his help.

Oh, and yesterday night with the Pukarani hermanas we pulled our mattresses out on the balcony and slept outside. We had such a fun time. And....more exciting news! We are in September which means that chilean independance day is coming up ! Im beyond excited!!! Viva Chile!

Les quiero!

Hermana Freedman

Sunday, September 4, 2016

August 29th, 2016 - "The Rains Came Down and The Floods Came..." Week 66

What a week...the weather has been super strange here in Arica. There have been huge wind/sand storms and on Sunday it rained! It didn't just drizzle, it actually rained! 

Anyways we have had a really hard time contacting our investigators. They have all seemed to drop off the map. But that didn't stop us from enjoying our week, and it forced me to look for all the miracles. 

We planned the ward activity on Wednesday and it was super fun! We had everyone start together in the cultural hall and we explained that we had 8 activities planned, some related to the gospel and others just to have fun. They had an hour to use their time doing what they wanted. However, after participating in an activity they received stars. In the end we all gathered back together and our ward mission leader had decorated the cultural hall and separated it into 3 separate places. He started talking to everyone and told them they had just been resurrected and were waiting to be judged. He ended up diving them in groups according to how many stars they had. We were able to illustrate the importance of filling our lives with good things, that help us progress spiritually if we want to get to the celestial kingdom. It was super fun! 

We had lots of contact with Rosalia this week being that her baptism was scheduled for Saturday. On Wednesday we visited her and reinforced the importance of keeping the Sabbath holy. She asked what we needed to bring to her baptism and we got everything planned. On Saturday Hermana Gemin and I went to the chapel about 3 hours before the baptism to start filling the font. We locked up the chapel and left to work. We had a lesson and then went to pick up Rosalia. She wasn't in her house and wouldn't answer her phone so we decided to just sit there and wait. It got closer and closer to 5 and we didn't know what was happening! We asked our ward mission leader to come pick up the keys and open the chapel for the members that were there waiting. Rosalia never showed up and when she finally called us she asked if we could postpone her baptism. We decided it would be best to cancel her baptism until she is really prepared and keeping better her commitments. We called the elders to ask them to tell the ward mission leader we had decided to cancel the baptism and they asked if he had told us what happened. We ran to the chapel to find that the font had overflowed and flooded the church hallway! Oops....we helped clean up. I never thought I would be able to say that my investigator didn't show up to her baptism and that the church flooded as a result... (when it rained Sunday, the soccer court flooded too...wasn't the best week for the chapel).

We felt we should visit a woman that wasnt in our plans. As we got to her apartment complex we realized the lights had gone out. As we knocked her door a man walked down the stairs and said "my son is a member of your church".  We asked if he was there and he said there was no problem if we went and visited. We climbed the stairs knocked the door and 3 people showed up in the door. Mauricio is a less active that moved here with his family a month ago from Santiago. They invited us in and we sat down and started talking. Mauricio was baptized 6 years ago and his family often went to church with him. When we started talking he said, just about 2 minutes ago I told my mom that she shouldn't worry because the light would come. Then you showed up on my doorstep! I was right!!! He told us his birthday was the next day and that they were waiting to celebrate. He also told us he had lost his Book of Mormon in the move. So i told him we had the best birthday present ever and handed him a Book of Mormon. He started weeping and told us he was beyond happy because he had been asking God to help him find his way in life again. 

I love feeling that the Lord puts me where I need to be exactly when I need to be there. He is aware of all his children and he loves us all equally. The gospel is the brightest light we have to offer to the world and we should never be ashamed to share the gospel!

I love you all so much. Be lights!

Hermana Freedman