Wow. This week was definitely a challenge. A lot of problems, prayers, tears, questioning why, growth, learning, etc. I still don´t understand why I´m here in Carrion, on my third transfer, with a companion on his second. I´m basically his second trainer, but I don´t know much more than he. I prayed a lot this week for help with this. It´s been difficult.
On a more happy note, his abilities to speak, do contacts(something that was difficult for him), and teach, have improved immensely in this past week. I know it wasn´t all my teaching, but mostly from the Lord, and I´m grateful for His help. Things are getting better.
On Friday the 18th we celebrated Chile´s Independence Day. Here they prepare for a week, and celebrate for 2-3 days. We went to the Bishop´s house Thursday and ate Empenadas, a Chilean food. Friday we had a barbecue, with hot dogs, sausage, beef, chicken, and potatoes. It was way great. And Thursday night there was a stake party in the stake center. We had permission from President May to go for two hours, with an investigator, but we still had to be in the house at 10, and couldn´t dance or play sports. It was pretty fun. We got to hear some good music and see some of the culture of Chile. I really enjoyed it.
The ward here is really great. The members are willing to help us; the recent converts are really faithful; everything´s great. I love the ward. And the bishop is really amazing. And his family´s great. They actually remind me a lot of the Brady´s, and Kylie and Lauren. I don´t know why, but that´s what I think everytime I see them. They´re really a great family. We had lunch with them yesterday, which was a fun adventure. We ate fish, clam, crab, and lobster. The interesting part was that it was the whole clam. We had to pull the shell open, scoop out the meat, and put the shell in a separate bowl. And the lobster claws, too, which was even harder. But it was pretty fun, even though it really didn´t taste to good, and my hands still smelled like fish all day even after washing like three times. It was a good dinner.
At lunch Saturday with the 2nd counselor in the bishopric, he asked what instruments I play. When I said I play piano, he asked me if I could play in church. So yesterday I played in Sacrament meeting and Priesthood and will probably be the ward pianist now.
We have 25 people with a baptismal date right now, which is a lot. More than I´ve seen in all my time in Renca 1. We´re probably gonna end up dropping some. There are a lot that I still don´t know, but also a few that I´m really excited about.
Fernando is about 11 years old, and really wants to be baptized. He´s received all the lessons. He actually was going to be baptized yesterday, but his parents wanted him to wait one more week. So we have to wait until this Sunday. Also, tomorrow we´re going to teach the rest of his family, and hopefully they can follow his example and join the church. Anibel is in his late teens, early 20´s, I´m not sure which. He´s a little shy and quiet, but a good person. He´s been reading the Book of Mormon and praying but still hasn´t received an answer to his prayer about baptism, so we have to help him with that. He was the investigator we took to the party Thursday, and met a few members of J.A.S. (Jovenes Adultos Solteros, or in English, YSA, Young Single Adults) and now has a few friends in the church, which is good.
Maria and Mario are a couple who have received a lot of lessons, and are preparing for their baptism. But they have to stop smoking and drinking coffee, which they said really won´t be too bad. They also were in church yesterday. I´m excited for them.
I learned a lot this week. I guess it´s true that we can learn from our trials. I´m still having a hard time and still learning a ton. But things are getting better and I know the Lord is with us. Romans 5:3, 4 says "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope." I know that this is true, that with tribulation we can acquire patience, and with this, experience and hope. I have gained a lot of these things this past week. I´m grateful for the opportunity to be here and for all the things I am learning. It´s definitely a great experience that will help me throughout all my life.