Querida Amigos y Familia, yo espero que todos tienen salud y sentir el amor yo tengo para cada uno de ustedes. Son en mis oraciones siempre.
La Capilla Abierta (the open house we did last week)
A lot to report on this week, and as usual not a lot of time to get it all down! That, and I write a lot, so bear with me. (We are so grateful that Mallory's job at the BYU faculty center last year increased her ability to type super fast so she is able to share so much with us in the little time she has to write!)
September 15th: This was the last Pday we had. After emailing we headed over to the church in Chacabuco and played soccer/volleyball and had some delicious taco pancake things. We also stopped by the Puchetas per the norm to get our fingernails painted. Hermana Pucheta decided a soft purple with white flowers would be perfect for me. I'm not one to go that girly, but it's cool to go over to their place every Monday and get our nails painted in different ways.
Beautiful nails and great milk shakes!
The Pucheta family is truly a second family to me, and I've really gotten to know the whole family really well! I'm certainly very thankful for them and all that they do for us, like keeping us fed and giving us dinner every night. (Her family is very grateful too!!!)
September 16th: We had Zone Conference today, which consisted of jumping in and out of the shower, scarfing down a bowl of cereal and catching the collectivo/subte to meet up with the other people in our Zone. When we got to Linears, where the conference would be, we had facturas (delicious donut like things) and juice before listening to a talk by Uchtdorf and listening to President and Hermana Ayres. Their focus was on the Book of Mormon, which instantly drew my attention, as it is through this book that I know Christ and have a testimony of Christ and this church. I know how important it is and how key it is to every person's conversion to Christ. After the meetings we were each given our own, individual pizza. I didn't make it through the whole thing, but I tried;)
Later we got to teach Miguel and his family for the first time, which was such a powerful and spiritual experience! He actually opened the door, and invited us in! This in itself was a momentous occasion. However, upon entering things only continued to improve. We talked about the Restoration of the Gospel, and I was priviledged to talk about Joseph Smith. I shared in the prophet's own words his experience: Vi una columna de luz, mas brillante que el sol, directamente arriba de mi cabeza. Y esta luz gradualmente descendio hasta descansar sobre me. Al reposar sobre mi la luz, vi en el aire arriba de mi a dos personayes, cuyo fulgor y gloria no admitten descripcion. Un de ellos me hablo, llamandome por me nombre, y dijo, senanlando al otro, Este es mi hijo amado. Eschuchalo! Much harder to type out than to say! The spirit was so strong as I shared this, and I could feel that Miguel and Monica could feel it as well. I also bore my testimony about the book of Mormon, especially the power of 3rd Nephi 11, and we invited him to read it and to pray about it. We ended the lesson with a kneeling prayer that Brenda Pucheta gave. It was such a beautiful experience, and seemed like a CCM lesson, everything worked out so well.
This was also my 2nd month anniversary in the mission! I had ice cream for my first time in Argentina to celebrate. We were with Guillermo and Brenda, and I can easily say that the ice cream in Argentina is just as good as that in America;)
September 18th: For studies in the morning I decided to read over 3rd Nephi 11 in my Spanish book of Mormon, to refresh myself for when we would teach Miguel and Monica again. It was such a cool and different experience in a different language and with the view of a missionary! I highly recommend studying this chapter. Such powerful insights over the Holy Ghost and how we feel it, Baptism, and Missionary Work. And these are just a couple.
September 19th: Lot to report on from this day! First off we had lunch with the Bishop's wife and their kids. They were watching the Lego Movie in spanish, which brought back fond memories. As we were finishing up the food, which was spectacular, the daughter of the bishop came in with two of her friends. We were just about to share a spiritual message. I had had one scripture picked out, but changed in favor of the two nonmembers we now had. I shared 3rd Nephi 11: 10-11, and bore my testimony over it. It wasn't anything big or long, but as we left one of the girls thanked me. I think maybe the spirit had been given the opportunity to touch her heart. I hope so.
After this we visited Milagros, a less active member. We had the chance to hear a lot about her life, and then invited her to come to church.
Then we had our appointment with Miguel and Monica! Brenda wasn't sure if they'd be there or open the door, as it had seemed too good to be true the first time, but Miguel was there and invited us into their living room. Monica wasn't there, and he explained that they were seperated and that he was taking care of most of the kids alone and working as well as managing the house. Talk about a hard working father. We talked about 3rd Nephi 11 and how his reading had went and then talked about baptism. We invited him to be baptized and set up a date of the 5th. As all of this was going on the spirit felt so strong. I invited him to read Alma 32 about experimenting on the faith, and we ended with a kneeling prayer that he offered. In it he prayed to know quickly and soon as to whether or not baptism was right for him and to recieve an answer as to whether this path was right, as he thought it was the right path for him. I'm sure I was glowing as he said that, the spirit was so warm and present.
To top off a great day we got milkshakes with Brenda. :) (Picture of milkshake above)
September 20th: One of the cool events of this day was visiting by Hermana Nelly. We've been by quite a few times, for lunch or just to talk, but this time her nonmember husband was there. We had met him at the Capilla Abierta and he had seemed really nice. Once again he seemed really nice, and talked with us. He takes his son to seminary every morning at 6am and listens to the lessons. I really hope that the spirit can touch his heart and that he can develop a desire to join the faith that his family has been a part of. I have faith that this is possible, as all things are possible with God. That night while we were at the Capilla Brenda talked to me about the mission. There wasn't a lot I could do to help, but I could listen and offer her a hug. She's working on her papers right now and Satan seems to be working just as hard on her, trying to disuade her. I hope she can push through and go on a mission. It would be such a blessing, not only for her and the people she would serve, but also for her wonderful family. I love her so much and pray for her.
Brenda is Wonderful!
September 21st: This morning we went on splits, I with Brenda and my companion with Fatima to pick up our various investigators for church. Brenda and I were going to look for Miguel and for Raquel. Both fell through for one reason or another, but when we got to church we saw that Domingo had made it.
After church and a baptism of the Elders we went to the Montiel's, where we had a meal fit for kings as we usually do. They're another family that I really feel has taken me in here and I feel very comfortable and at home when I'm with them.
At the end of the day we walked over to John's to visit him. He seemed a little down. I felt inspired to share Doctrine and Covenants 6:10-11 with him, about our gifts and how they come from God. I told him that one of his spiritual gifts from Father was sharing the gospel with others and how he was an example to me of this. I felt the spirit and I hope he did too. He did seem in higher spirits when we left:)
Serving at the hospital last week
Mallory is front and center
The most significant thing that happened this week was a revelation of sorts, or an eyeopening thought. I realized that through these first two months on my mission how much I have changed. How much I have grown to know and have a personal relationship with Christ. This is something I never really understood until coming out here. Until having these experiences, meeting these people, having times of feeling so insufficient and lost. The church, the Savior, and the prophets have become so much more precious in my eyes. I wouldn't give this up for the world and I couldn't have found it any other way.
I love this church. I know without a doubt that it is true and that it is the church of Jesus Christ once again on the earth. I am as sure in this knowledge as I am in my knowledge of who I am, Mallory Lynn Dickson.
I love you all and pray for you.