Monday, January 27, 2014

Week 48 (San Fernando 2 w Hna. Casteñeda)

This week was a good one!  We has our interview with Pres. Warne Thursday and, as always, it was EXACTLY what I needed.  It's like he's INSPIRED or something weird like that ;) because he ALWAYS tells me exactly what I need to hear, gives me the perfect advice and always helps me to calm down and not be so hard on myself. lol  Seriously, that man is so inspired.  Something that meant the WORLD to me when he said it and that helped me to let up on myself a little is when he reminded me that the Lord knows our hearts, and He knows the desires of our hearts and that is what counts, that He LOVES us and isn't a condemning Father.  He also told me that he (Pres. Warne) doesn't worry about my obedience and dedication to the work, and that he felt very strongly that Hna. Castañeda and I were meant to be companions at this time.  He reminded me that we as missionaries are called "to serve" it doesn't say in our letter that we are called to serve only Chileans or only investigators or that the only way we could serve was by baptizing people; it just says "called to serve" ...that can mean companions, leaders, other missionaries, etc.  He said maybe our mission here in San Fernando 2 (as a companionship) doesn't include baptizing somebody (because he knows it's a tough sector) but that the most important thing is that I (and we) keep doing our part and doing our best to SERVE, uplift, and strengthen those around us. 

Yesterday was a SUPER good day!  One of the converts I taught in Buin came to visit the branch to surprise me (Patricio).  I guess he made friends with one of the recent converts here in SF2, Belén, who is 16, on FaceBook, and they started talking and he decided to come visit to say hi to me and to get to know her.  It was super good to see him and to see that he just keeps growing at leaps and strides.  He wore his compromiso misional [missionary commitment] pin to church and he told me he can finally start his mission paper work this Tuesday because he will complete his 6 months of being a member, and then in 6 months more he can leave on his mission and he is DYING to go.  He is doing so well!  The week before I left Buin he got called as the first counselor in YM's and he's only 18!  Also, Samy told me this week that Rene [a convert from her last area] already has the priesthood and is blessing the sacrament, so he and Ana get to church early every week to take care of that; and that Ana already has an assignment in Relief Society as well as an visiting teaching asignment with Hna Paty (mi mama Chilena de Buin).  I was SO happy to hear about all that and to hear about their progress!  They are all SO great!  It makes me so happy!  

OH! back to yesterday night the four of us sisters got home and before we started our planning session, we got into a spontaneous water fight using out water-bottles... INSIDE the house. It was pretty epic and SUPER fun!  A great de-stresser.   Hna Garcia ended up locking herself in the bathroom to try to hide, but then we went to the bathroom window on the other side and started spraying her from there until she finally came out of the bathroom and my companion showered her with a 2 liter bottle of water. The whole floor was SOAKED but luckily it's all linoleum or tile so we finished our planning and mopped it all up, no damage done.  I took a video of the house afterward...mainly the floor. hahaha  I'll try to attach it.  It's in Spanish though. ...ooops, just tried and it's too big to attach so I'll send the "after" pictures.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Week 47 (San Fernando w/ Hna. Castaneda)

¡Hola, hola!
Howdy fam!  How's it going?
Another week gone and past... but at least that means summer is closer to ending. haha 
I am such a baby lala when it comes to being hot.  This week I couldn't sleep very well at night or it took me forever to FALL asleep because I was too hot.  By the end of the week I was getting pretty creative, sleeping with frozen water bottles, wetting my hair and sports bra with cold water before climbing into bed... fun stories.  BUT the most amazing news of all is that we bought a fan today so now I will sleep like a baby! YIPEEEE!!! hahaha
This week we had another missionary meeting with the missionares from our particular branch to see how it was going with the new divisions in the sector and to see if we wanted to keep with them or take them out.  We ended up deciding to keep the divisions as far as streets and pueblos go, but to divide the recent converts and less actives name by name so that it would be better balanced between the 3 companionships so that we all have people to woke with and so that each person could get the attention and support they need.  Things seems to be going better now with that. 
The Zone Leaders said that Pres. Warne says that with all the missionaries we have in the mission (we are over our limit of how many missionaries we can have), there won't be as may arriving now, so the mission is naturally going to shrink back down and for that reason there will be some sectors closing in the future. It wouldn't surprise me if they closed one of the sectors here in San Fernando 2.
This week we also had exchanges with the "cordinadoras" on Thursday and they were VERY inspired and came in the perfect moment. The cordinadoras (Sister missionary leaders) gave us lots of great advice and suggestions. They are great!  I think I mentioned there are lots of sisters in my new zone and I already love them ALL.  They are super great!  Lindas todas. :)
Let's see, what else could I tell you about?  I'm good!  Happy!  Working hard! h! and I have a new theme song that you can download from in the part with music, it's called "mountains to climb" if you don't already know it you should download it and listen to it ALL day every day! LOL 
OH! I got a package this week!!!!!  The one with a the snacks and christmas decorations and little toys! I LOVED IT!! THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH! it came in perfect timing! :) and thank you so much to the Gunnoe's for the earrings!  I love them!  I wore them every day this week! :) 
That's all for now, but....
I LOVE YOU ALL SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO STINKING MUCH!  I'll let you know how things go in interviews this thursday. BESOTES!  love you!  miss you!  portense bien! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 46 (San Fernando w Hna Castañeda)

Hola mi hermosa familia!
Have I mentioned that we are in the middle of summer? It's KINDA hot outside. lol 
It's been like 33 to 35 degrees Celsius all week. I've never been much of a water drinker, but its amazing how heat will change that. I'm just grateful I'm not in Argentina or Brazil or any of those places where it gets CRAZY hot.
This week has been one of perseverance and learning. I learned the importance of expressing feelings or impressions IN the moment to help us work TOGETHER better and be more efficient with our time, work habits, etc.  I feel so blessed to be in this sector, I can really see the hand of the Lord and see all the answers for many past prayers where I have asked to learn certain/specific things.  Getting here and getting the feel for this sector and getting to know my comp, leaders, the branch, etc I have been able to see and realize that it is like a glove fit to my needs to learn and grow, and it's exactly according to the Lord's will.  I never stop marveling at His great love, wisdom, and MERCY.  My testimony of prayer has grown so much recently. There are many times during the week where I get to moments where I feel like I have nothing more to give, when I wake up in the morning exhausted, or feel that my tank is running low and we are just starting the day, and in these times I have been able to kneel down and express EXACTLY how I am feeling to the Lord, my concerns about the day, about being able to work in a way that will be pleasing to Him when I'm already feeling exhausted etc, etc and pleading for strength, understanding and ability beyond my own, and with out fail, He has given it to me. He gives me the energy to keep pressing on, to put my whole heart might mind and strength into the work.  He gives me strength and ability to overcome my MANY weaknesses.  I've come to love and understand prayer and the Savior's grace like I never have before.  I just love the lines from the Hymn "Did You Think to Pray"
"Oh, How praying rests the weary! Prayer will change the night to day. So, when life gets dark and dreary, don't forget to pray." 
Don't forget to pray!  Prayer is AWESOME!  It's a chance to recharge our batteries, clean the slate, erase negative feelings, you name it!  SO... when life gets dark and dreary, DON'T FORGET TO PRAY! :) 
Something else I love about my companion, she likes to play fight and pour water down my back when I'm least expecting it... I always gasp from the surprise of cold water trickling down my back, then turn and say to her... "¡Gracias!... ¡Fresquito!" 
Fam, I love you so much! Y´all are studs!   
Sending lots of love and hugs, your favorite missionary,
Hermana Davis
PS: I'm not lying about the Bell's Palsy...Look!  It's all better!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Week 45 (San Fernando w Hna Castañeda)

Hey fam!
This week has been a good one, but also a long one. We are working in a little branch (normal attendance is around 30 or 40) and there are 6 of us, two companionships of sisters and one of Elders. The Elders just got here in a whitewash, poor guys haha. But anyway, with all the new missionaries and changes the Elders wanted to try dividing the sector between the 3 companionships, so we agreed and passed the majority of our investigators and other people that we were working with on to the other companionships that are now in charge of them because they live in their part of the sector. It was really ok with me and my comp because neither of us have much time here so we didn't break any heart strings passing along people. But the funny thing was that less than 24 hours after we had divided the sector in three the Elders called us saying that they'd already walked their whole sector and wanted to see if we were going to work in a certain area of ours, because theirs is really small. My companion then lovingly RE-explained to them that although on the map our sector looks really big, it is actually small as far as people go because there are a lot of factories and fields, but we agreed to take out the limits between ours and the elders sector to have more space and what not. So this week we spent the majority of the time contacting and trying to figure out the limits and our way around our sector.  I'm not going to lie, I didn't feel really productive, but when you're just barely starting in a sector there aren't a lot of options. This coming week my comp and I are planning on asking for more references and utilizing the list of less actives MORE.  The good thing is that we have lots of faith and animo!  [enthusiasm] :) 
I am already learning so much in this new sector and even things I had been wanting to learn before (like my list of goals/way to improve) and I can already see how this new place and new circumstances are helping me improve and will help me to continue to do so and learn so many new things! It´s exciting really :) 
Other than that, not too much is going on.  Fun fact, the branch pres here is from Ecuador and has a special, tradicional pony tail. It was kind of funny when we entered his house because my comp wasn't ENTIRELY sure it was his house but she told me "this is it" and we knocked on the door and went inside and even so I had to ASK if he was the Branch Pres because he looks really young and because of the whole pony tail thing...but hey, cool! Also, we have been asking and offering to serve the people/members that we DO know a lot so that we can gain their confidence and it JUST so happened that the BPs wife needed someone to teach relief society, so I got the opportunity to teach.  Despite the nerves (which have gone away a LOT on the mission) I really enjoy teaching in church.  What else? What else? Things with my companion and good, I really admire her a lot because she really strives to be diligent and change to be more Christ-like and the difference shows. She has a really stong personality but it seems to me like she has really learned to master it here on the mission.  Something I absolutely LOVE about her is that she ENJOYS playing with hair and giving back scratches.... SCORE!!! haha She´s great, I already love her. 
ALSO I just realized this week (don't remember if I said this already) that this is the first time I've lived with another gringa haha and there are also a lot of other gringas in the zone and in our district meeting on wednesday I leaned over to my companion and whispered in her ear, "I feel weird being with so many gringas!" and she just started busting up and told me I couldn't say that lol   fun things! 
OH! otra cosa [another thing]! there is a LIDER relatively close by here, its like the Chilean version of Walmart-  double score!!! 
OH! my face! haha my face is all better! I mean there are probably little differences that I could still see if I made faces at myself in a mirror, but until today, we had no mirror in the house, and for as much I will not be sending a picture because I didn't have time to make myself beautiful to send one, but rest assured, I'm 99.99 percent better. :)
LOVE YOU ALL SOOOOOOO STINKING MUCH!!! Thanks for sending my saludos to Sammy, you're the bestest!  Lots of love and hugs and kisses!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO