And that’s the life motto: I just do not understand, and I guess that’s okay.
Transfers were today and I get to stay in Independencia with Hermana Paolantonio! Hermana Sterling is still in our casa, which is happy too, she keeps me laughing. She’ll be with Hermana Forest, who I hear is from Brazil. I’m excited to meet her.
A few things about life here… We start with Sunday, studying, calling our focus group to remind them about church, Sunday meetings, the big planning session, and in the evening we work. Monday is preparation day & usually we go to Concepcion to visit the office, write, buy groceries, see everyone, etc. Tuesday is District class and that is such a fun morning to see the whole zone & share how our investigators are doing. So many good friends there. Usually we have an English class to help those gifted in Spanish to learn a bit of English, and we always play a game which makes it so fun. In our mission, the 11th commandment is to talk to everyone (at least 10 contacts a day –good contacts), and the 12th would be that everyone leaves fluent in English & Spanish. Usually the Elders take turns planning the English class and it is a good time. Once we got to play Mafia (Lamanites v Nephites).
Everyday we eat lunch with a member and it is usually way more food than I can eat. I always leave in a food coma. Sometimes lunch is just a funny experience because Chileans are so sweet & will feed you until their fridge is empty. After lunch we come home to finish some studies, and then we go to work from 4 to 10.
On Wednesday evenings we have something called Noche de Deportes (sport night), and it’s pretty much a high anxiety two hours because all these Chileans are playing futbol and I’m expected to play, which is a problem because I neither play futbol nor speak Spanish, so you just imagine what that’s like. I get laughed at a lot because they take this stuff seriously, but it’s all good clean fun. Sometimes in the evening we’ll have a Noche de Hogar, which is like a family home evening, except we’ve had one every day of the week except Monday, which is fine, just makes me laugh.
I had my first empanada today and it was so yummy. Hermana Paolantonio is going to teach us to make empanadas de Argentina in a Noche de Hogar later this week because we made a deal with a less active member. We told him that if he came to church we’d bring food to the next lesson. It worked.
If you could, please pray for Familia Barrientos, one of my favorite families here. This is a split family we’ve been working with ever since I got here. The father is less active and is trying to quit smoking so he can baptize his two daughters, 12 and 14. We’re working to strengthen their testimonies and help him quit. They are making so much progress, especially after our special fast with him. They are so close & really add a lot to the ward.
I’ve also been praying for two other investigators we have, Irma and Marta. I contacted these two during different weeks, but they remind me so much of each other. Irma lost her husband not too long ago, and Marta recently lost her son. We’ve been itching to teach them more about the Plan of Salvation and see them at church, but they are so busy at the moment. It’s summer here, so a lot of people are on vacation or spend a lot of time with family, which is good, but it makes our job of scheduling a little difficult. Both of them were so interested initially, we’ve been praying really hard for them to accept us again.
A little update on me… life is still a struggle, but what’s new?
I still have no energy, literally. It’s becoming hard to brush my hair, eat, make my bed, you name it. I’m having a rough time doing thins these days. I’ve actually passed out out so many times I’m grounded to the house unless we have a set appointment, in which case they gave me extra money to use a collectivo or bus. I have a little something on my forehead from my incident fainting in the street last week, and now whenever there’s a loud sound in the apartment all the Hermanas come running, “Hermana Holt”! I need help walking most of the time & the nurse calls everyday. None of this is good.
We’re working as hard as we can, but I’ve been feeling guilty when I faint and we can’t leave. I don’t understand how this happened. I’ve never had a problem fainting before in my life. I’m learning a lot about prayer and patience, but I’m starting to get a little worried.
I have an appointment with medico tomorrow for blood tests, etc., so we’re really hoping they find something. I’ve been praying for some answers so I can stay in Independencia and work hard again. It feels so good to work hard as a missionary.
A scripture that literally came to life for me this week…
I don’t remember for sure, but I think it’s Alma 26:12. “Yea, I know that I am nothing, as to my strength I am weak, therefore I will 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.”
It means a lot more to pray for strength when you literally can’t stand.
Reliance on the Lord is everything.
I love you. I pray for you.
P.S. Familia Barrientos, pretty Chile, cute Chileans, & haircuts.