Monday, March 3, 2014

A Full Pew

We have learned here that most things that involve food go well:) Haha which is why our Tarapaca Tiene Talento night will include a variety of desserts to bring in the people. We are moving ahead full throttle with our ward activity, and I think many people are super excited! We already have 10 people that want to present and we have not even gone to the classes on Sunday yet.

My clothes are holding up well so far. Wearing the same thing does get boring pretty quickly, but I do have a few skirts packed away. I figured when I open my luggage again it will feel like Christmas and it will be a wardrobe update. We will see if it works. My shoes are dying. I have only worn one pair since the beginning so I still have the other two that are brand new, but I thought one pair would last a little longer. There are already some holes in the soles and I have to shine them every other day to hide the stratches. I figure if I can make them last til the end of March I can toss them and start wearing another pair.
This week was pretty great. On Tuesday we went with our crazy less active "J". She was the one who had attended church the other Sunday for stake conference. I really felt like she was improving and getting things straightened out, but then she called us and said she needed us to come over immediately. I will spare the details, but I left the visit wondering if what we were doing was helping. We spend all day talking to people and then in the end they dont show up to church or they dont want to make commitments and they stop progressing. I enjoy what I am doing, but in that moment I just felt like we really weren't seeing much progress in anyone. However, Heavenly Father loves us and when we ask with faith for things that are just we will receive the blessing. This week in church we had three less actives sitting with us (and 3 children who are under 8) and 1 new investigator!! We took up an entire long pew!! I looked at all of us sitting there and felt so blessed and like my efforts were bearing fruit. It was a great Sunday.
I had another awesome experience with prayer earlier this week too. We have been working with "R" and "M" .  M is a less active (who went to church this week, R was working in another city) and R is an "atheist" who believes in a Supreme Being and Creator", not exactly atheist if you ask me, but whatever. The last lesson we had with him we talked about God being our Heavenly Father. It makes sense if we were created by something that that being would be our father. He agreed and we encouraged him to pray and ask if someone was there, if someone was listening, and if this someone loved him. He agreed that he would that night, and said the concluding prayer in our lesson.
In Preach my Gospel it tells us that we should be constantly renewing our testimonies. We can always be asking to know if the Book of Mormon is true or if Thomas Monson is a prophet even though we may already feel like we know the truth. I read that part a few days after our lesson with R and decided that I would take the challenge to ask if Heavenly Father was there and listening. I asked in the morning and like normal the answer didn't come then.
That night we were having a FHE with an active family, but their father is inactive. He says that one day he just stopped feeling the spirit and didnt need to go to church any longer. I decided to focus the message on building strong families and wanted to share a Mormon Message that I could kind of recall. The family let me use their computer for a moment and I found the Message. It is a video called Earthly Father, Heavenly Father. We watched it and the whole family was touched. I could hardly speak to give the rest of the short lesson I prepared. I realized that that short video was an answer to the question I had had that morning in my prayer and that although it was a simple question, something I already knew the answer to, it was still answered. It is a great video and you guys should definitely watch it. The message of the video also helped the family I was teaching and really brought the spirit. I was so grateful that the idea to share the vieo had come to my mind when we were planning. 
The work is moving, slowly but surely here in Arica, Chile, and it sounds like you guys are making a big difference there in Mesa. Keep a journal of all the great missionary experiences that you are having so that you can remember. I love you all and hope you continue to do great things!
Hermana Biggs

Excerpt from letter to Bailee:

This week was a great week in the mission feild. We found a new investigator who is really receptive. His name is "L" He lives on the last street of our sector and in a part that is a little ghetto so we hardly ever go there. We had an address of a less active member on the street and decided to go and find the less active. However, the address didn't exist! But since we had not been on the street before and it was still daylight we decided to make contacts and knock on the doors of the houses. Thats how we found L. We have taught him twice and he came to church with us on Sunday! I was so happy to see him progressing in a short amount of time. However, we are going to run into some problems soon. A few years ago, he was attacked while working downtown selling seafood. Several people beat him and he lost his memory and has spinal damage so he can hardly walk. He doesnt remember much of his past, which has one bright side because before the attack he was an acoholic, but among the cons is that he can not read or write. He doesnt remember how, although mentally he is totally coherent. To go to church we had a member pick him up and help him to every class so that was great, and we are thinking that we can download some chapters of the Book of Mormon and he can listen to them instead of read. He is really great and we hope to see him continue to progress.

Advice to Ivory:
Keep up on the piano, this past Sunday I had to play the piano in sacrament meeting, because there is no ward pianist!! It was terrible and I was so nervous. I only knew two of the three hymns and messed up big time on the first one, but I can still improve (hopefully). Keep praticing now so that when it is needed you can share your musical talent:) 

Answers to questions:
Aspen wanted to know if there are any dogs.  

There are lots of dogs here that dont have owners. They wander around in the streets all the time and sometimes they start to follow my companion and I. There is one dog that always tries to bite our ankles but he is little and has some problem with his teeth, so it doesnt hurt:)
Worst food and best food?

The worst thing was definitely the hairy soup, but the other day I was served this peach drink that was pretty terrible too. They had boiled the peaches and then added cinnamon or something. You drink the water of the peach and then eat the boiled peach too. it was all I could do to finish that thing, and then they asked if I wanted more! NO THANK YOU
The best thing hmmmm. The bread here is super delicious and at 7pm it is fresh out of the oven at a local bread shop. We go a few times every week and buy a slice of cheese and a piece a of bread yummm. I love it

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