Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 8 in San Fernando: Mini Mission teacher and Cordoba Temple dedication

Talk about a ton of stuff to cover and never sufficient time to do so! This last week I reached my 10 month mark in the mission! How the time flies! Hopefully this weekly letter will be enjoyable, spiritual, and inspiring:)

Ausi and I at the Despedida a few weeks back!

So, without further adieu, let´s get started!

11 Lunes: Alma 22:4
A peaceful Pday:) The real beauty of the day was when we called President to ask him if we could continue teaching Lilian. There had been a couple questions regarding whether we could teach her, but after talking with President we were told that we could continue to teach her, and help her take the steps to be baptized and confirmed. My companion and I were absolutely thrilled! 

12 Martes: Doctrine and Covenants 123:16 "You know that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves."

A wonderful District Meeting! I actually shared a lot during the meeting. I shared regarding the chip metaphor Hermano Roberts had shared in the MTC (That we have to let people TASTE the gospel, versus showing them the bag and telling them how tasty it is. They have to EXPERIENCE it.) My companion talked about the lesson we had with the Chavez family and how we had followed the spirit. I also shared how the spirit truly was the key to everything, and that we needed to do more teaching and less scheduling for the next appointment. We were all able to learn from each other and left with a competition in the works, to see which companionship could find the most new investigators throughout the week. My companion and I excitedly accepted. (Having already lived the week, I can state proudly that Hermana Riquelme and I won! The most important result was that every one found many new investigators, and every companionship has at least one person progressing toward baptism!)

13 MiƩrcoles: Helaman 5:12 "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

We were headlong into the "new" competition by now! Elder Miles and Elder Rios had found 3 new investigators, which put them up to 4 for the week. Elder Roberts and Elder Bonilla had found 4! We had found one, putting us up to 5:) We were already feeling more united as a district:) Also, had the opportunity to talk to Lilian on the phone and check up with her. She's so amazing! She already knows So much. She was reading the pamphlet about the plan of salvation after reading the one over the gospel of Christ three or four times! She's also starting at the beginning of the Book of Mormon and is doing everything she can to understand it and apply it. She truly wants her own testimony of these things and my companion and I couldn't be more happy to be teaching her and to see the progress she is making! 

14 Jueves: Matthew 28:19-20 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and , lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

We got to go to Zulma's to teach Lilian! She taught Us lesson 2 and 3, and all we had to do was testify of the truthfulness. We also went over the plan of salvation briefly, although she didn't really need it. Her testimony is so strong already! She will be baptized this upcoming Saturday (23) and confirmed on the 24th so that she can go to the temple with the other sisters on the 30th! How marvelous is this work!

15 Viernes: Alma 32:1 "And it came to pass that they did go forth, and began to preach the word of God unto the people, entering into their synagogues, and into their houses; yea, and even they did preach the word in their streets."

We went to see Raquel, a woman we had met the day before who was mourning the loss of her husband. We managed to find her house, although we had no direct address, and stopped by EXACTLY when she was home. We came in and began sharing our message with her. At one point the spirit testified to me, strongly, that the spirit of her husband was With us. With his wife. I shared such with her, testifying that the spirit of her husband was present. As I did so tears fell down my cheeks. My companion was crying as well. The spirit hit us like a wall, overwhelming the three of us- When we left the house Hermana Riquelme turned to me and told me that she was going to say the same thing that I had said, and that the spirit had testified of such to her as well. As she shared this we both felt the tears coming back. I'll never be able to deny that feeling in her house. How close and Present her husband was. It was extremely powerful and spiritual. 

16 Sabado: Alma 17:17-18 (Scripture summary: They headed off to preach the word of God.)

10 months! 
An AMAZING day! After studying Hermana Riquelme and I went to the church to help with the Mini MTC that would be taking place. When we arrived we were greeted by a host of "mini" missionaries. The other missionaries, or members of our zone, however, weren't anywhere to be found yet. Hermana Riquelme and I helped one of the sisters prepare a gigantic, bath-tub sized vat of hot chocolate before the rest showed up. (It's starting to get cold down there as it warms up in the United States.) We were later split into 4 "missions". Hermana Riquelme and I headed off Rancagua, Chile, where my cousin Dominique is serving right now! Right before entering the classroom we were told that we would be teaching the plan of salvation, and that we had 25 minutes to do so. I was a little nervous, not going to lie, as we had nothing prepared. But, as the spirit seems to do for me lately, I was provided with the direction needed to pull something together. It actually went really well and I loved it!

Later that night we headed to the cultural event for the Cordoba temple. I'd never seen one, so I was super pumped! We watched it with Lilian on our left, and Leo (a new investigator we found during the week) on our right. Literally surrounded by investigators: what a beautiful feeling! I loved the presentation. Lots of dancing and bright colors. At the end, white strips of banner that formed a screen on which to project the temple. All around the temple thousands of flashing lights, each light a person, a soul, a Latter-day Saint. And as I came close to tears I thought, "Did Joseph Smith know how great the church would become?" I know he did.  During one of the short videos at the beginning it showed an acorn sprouting. At first it was a little leafy plant thing. But then it suddenly became an enormous tree with branches strong and sure, stretching out in every direction. It was a metaphor for how the church in South America would grow. It was a Powerful sight , to see the huge tree spring forth from almost nothing. It was just like any other acorn perhaps, but inside something GREAT: President Uchtdorf and Elder Christofferson were the authorities of the church present. Pres Uchtdorf talked about allowing this weekend to be a new beginning, a fresh slate. To start from this weekend to create your own legacy.

Cordoba Temple

17 Domingo: 3rd Nephi 11:1 "And now it came to pass that there were a great multitude gathered together, of the people of Nephi, round about the temple which was in the land Bountiful; and they were marveling and wondering one with another, and were showing one to another the great and marvelous change which had taken place."

Let me attempt to describe the temple dedication of Cordoba. Everything about the dedication was simple and beautiful. I had brought along my notebook and as the various speakers shared was able to take notes, writing down both phrases heard and impressions received. There was much shared concerning the family and its importance. President Uchtdorf invited us to record this day for our own purposes and said that we must have open hearts, willing to receive the promptings and company of the Holy Ghost. He said this was a day to be remembered forever.

All I can say is this: As President Uchtdorf so appropriately stated, "This is a day to be remembered, forever."

Hermana Dickson

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