I stay and so does Hna Salas!! AND WE HAD TWO BAPTISMS!!!!!!!!
I feel Waaaaaaaay bad that I never talk about her but I really love her. I can´t imagine why I hadn´t put it all together before but let me tell you a lot about her.
Mostly the reasons I spend waay less time on pdays writing is because Hna Salas because no one writes her. If you feel like you can write her in spanish and ....um animarla. forgot the word. PLEASE DO IT!
She doesn´t speak English but she understands me when I use simple words and speak slowly. She is improving very quickly for not having known really anything before the mission. She pronounces VERY well when reading but doesn´t understand what she´s reading. haha I only know this because when we do language study, she can read 3 or 4 verses until she gives up and looks in the spanish book of mormon to remember what it is the scripture says. She´s fantastic. She´s crazy, she teaches me to dance salsa (WOOP WOOP) and I´m learning to speak Chileno :) they have the weirdest words and it´s not slang-slang but very coloquial. (i can´t remember if that´s how you spell that.....yeesh) haha I´m losing my argentine accent a bit because we speak spanish ALL the time and it´s HER spanish. I have THE WEIRDEST accent now. A mixture of everything in my life, You people, my yankee accent slash argentine slash chilean makes for interesting looks from people we talk to. They either stare at me and speak hesitantly or ask straight out, 'you're not from here are you?' haha
Hna Salas is really incredible. She is an incredibly dedicated missionary with a powerful testimony. She is from Chillán, Chile. Remember the earthquake last year? Yeah, she was there and tells me about it. She felt really anxious and was pretty shaken about what could happen here in Gallegos or to her family in Chile after the earthquake in Japan. She is Carla Salas and was baptized only 6 years ago. At 15 she realized how crazy the catholics are....oops am I allowed to say that? Well, that´s her story is that her parents were making her study for her communion and she realized it didn´t make sense and started to ask a lot of questions. She knew that praying to saints was pretty much baloney and wanted to know the truth. Then she walked by a church she had always walked by but that day, there were a lot of rubios, yankees playing basketball. Later that week, Hermanas visited her and 3 weeks later she was baptized. She and her younger brother are the only members of her family. Pray for her parents. In lessons, I feel an immense love for her as she looks into my eyes and asks me to share my experiences in my family for having lived the gospel and how it has brought us together. When we teach about the priesthood, she shared once that she wished with all her being that her father could preside with that authority in their home, that he could have the power to give her a priesthood blessing.
How blessed I am to have a wonderful faithful family. I pray every morning and every night that Hna Salas, my dear dear friend, and the people that we teach can have the peace and comfort that comes from knowing that our family will be eternal.
Hna Salas helps me be more bold, she helps me make decisions and think quickly or else she makes decisions without me because I always ponder a long time about things. hahaah I will forever be a different person for knowing her. I will always be grateful to the Sister missionaries who ´fought´ for her to make her own decision about her baptism.
Which reminds me....................we have TWO baptisms this past weekend.
The reason I said that reminds me is because we had a little kafuffle with a parent of the wonderful girl who was baptized. Remember Fernanda Rodriguez who was baptized a month and half ago when I got here? Her sister Astrid Winter Rodriguez was baptized saturday along with a phenomenal miracle girl. I LOVE Astrid by the way, she is my version of Ruth down here. She´s very much like Ruth but then a lot like me too. She plays on a basketball team and loves sports but like I said, like Ruth :) Her own person.
The miracle was that last week in church, I was leading the opening song and Elder Lane ushered in a young woman to our meeting. He looked at me until I made eye contact and he pointed meaningfully to the young woman. I understood his look and went to sit with her when the song was over. Romina is from Ushuia and is studying here. She used to meet with hermanas about 3 years ago in Ushuia but stopped listening because her parents were opposed. She had been feeling the desire to return to church for about year and then last week decided to get dressed and come. We met with her and got to know her a bit after the meeting. We have a cita for wednesday. Pres Gulbrandsen came on Tuesday, wouldn´t he like to meet her? So she came, had an interview and Elder Wright (a zone leader who finished his mission today! Ps he´s a snowboarder from Oregon that was sponsored and decided he needed to go on a mission. He´s older, just turned 24 but was a phenonmenal example to our district for the short time I knew him) asked her how she felt about baptism. She thought it was super direct and super fast, so no. We met with her Wednesday and talked more about it. We challenged her to pray and ask if waiting one week would be enough time. Friday we met again and she said, well, if I´m ok with next week, why not tomorrow? AH!!!!! I about exploded from happiness! She and Astrid are super sweet people and now they will always have that bond of having been baptized on the same day in a frigid, cold font!.....oops haha. Yeah, there ALWAYS has to be something on the days we have baptisms. The water heater thingy they have so that the ice cold water doesn´t give our converts hypothermia BROKE. We were all prepared to spend a couple hours in the kitchen boiling water to warm up the font a little but Pres Cutini said it was all good. STILL, Astrid and Romina came out of the water with teeth chattering and barely moving. Yikes, but memorable, no?
Well, I have to tell you, the past couple weeks have really kicked my tush. There is no RELAXING here, it just can´t be done. There is far too much to do. I am fighting a weird cold at the moment. I blew through a giant package of tissues in two days and am just angry at a lingering cough is all. All is well, but walking at full speed is hard when you´ve got the wind in your face, tickling your throat and causing cough attacks haha I have been extremely blessed though. At least I have remedies and tea to soothe my throat and I know it will pass in time.
I love my Savior. I know that because He lives, we are able to withstand whatever Satan throws our way. I know that with faith and constant nourishment of that faith, we will have the strength of will and of soul to endure anything. In Mosiah, I was miffed for a minute when I read that the Lord allows for His people to be tried and afflicted to test their patience. But of course, it´s when the people began to prosper that they forgot about God and the reason behind their blessings and fortune. When we are forced to our knees, it´s because our Heavenly Father is caring for us and is helping us to remember what we need to do in order to endure to the end and be able to return to Him. We can be thankful for our trials. We are here to comfort those who stand in need of comfort, mourn with those who mourn and we provide the oppotunity so that others can perform that service for us as well. Let yourself be comforted and pray for the Lord to comfort your heart as human arms encircle you in His place.
Please tell the Rollos I´m sorry for their loss. I will be keeping them in my prayers. Will Daniel be home for the funeral? Again, I am grateful for my blessed and wonderful family. Thank you for your continual support and if you have a minute, mom and dad especially, write Hna Salas? Thank you and I love you dearly,
Love, your ever obedient and grateful,
Missionary motivational Scripture of the week: Alma 8 wahpow!