Tuesday, March 18, 2014

An Earthquake, A Tsunami, An Old Woman and A Hoarder

This week went pretty well. We had some more less actives at church. Last week the youngest son of a family came had come by himself, but this week he brought his older sister! We have been working with them a lot and are hoping that the enthusiam to keep bringing the family to church will grow. The son is 12 and was assigned a talk for next Sunday! and the sister that came is 16 and she wants to have an interview with the bishop to start working toward her temple recommend. After being a member all of my life, I forget about how powerful the spirit can be felt in church. Sometimes I worry that if it is not 100% quite during the sacrament or if there are children running all around, that the investigators or less actives wont be affected by the spirit. But it really does touch their hearts in even just one visit. We are seeing a lot of less actives become fully active and want to change and that is really awesome.
Guess what?!!! We found D, the taxi driver, again!!!! He was not trying to avoid us; his family had gone of vacation to Santiago for 20 days. We have had 3 lessons with him and he loves to learn. He is reading the pamphlets we leave and always has questions. We retaught the restoration to him and he said he would pray about the church and modern day prophets. He is excited to watch general conference; however, he is nervous about attending church for the first time because he doesnt know anyone there. We are hoping that this week we can bring members to our lesson and that he will feel more confortable with attending. We are so grateful to have him back in town and it was a real blessing to see him again. During our last lesson, I really felt that he was progressing. Not just that what we were saying was interesting or that he was listening because he wants to hear the "good word", but that he is actually progressing. He wants to learn more and more and is very open to the things we are teaching. After bearing my testimony about prophets and the book of mormon, he shed a couple of tears and said that what I had said was really important. He wants to know if it is true. I saw true progress this week with him, and I am very grateful. He is not leaving town any more, so we will have plenty of opportunities to teach!
I dont know if it was on the news, but there was an earthquake here yesterday. The epicenter was in Iquique (another city pronounced E-key-K) but it reached Arica too. I dont know the strength in Iquique but here it was 6.5 and lasted for a little less than a minute. I have felt two trembles since being here, but this one was strong and a lot longer than the trembles. We were in a lesson with a less active when it started and she started to get really worried, because it didnt stop after a few minutes. But all is well! It passed and there is no destruction at least for here in Arica. We were fine and continued on teaching after it passed. It wasnt until a few hours later that we got a little worried. Apparently there was a tsunami warning too, so we had to go to our apartments early. Plus, in other sectors the missionaries live really close to the beach and not in "safe zones", so we had a grand sleepover last night with 2 other missionary companionships who had to sleep on the floor. It was a lot of fun and there was no tsunami. In fact, the warning was lifted three hours after the earthquake but just as a precaution the mission president wanted everyone in safe zones.
I like the trembles and the earthquake was a little sketch, but it mainly just feels like a mini roller coaster. Apparently some of the other missionaries were in lesson with people much more frightened. One of the companionships that stayed the night with us said that the little old lady they were with took off running telling everyone to get to the top of the hill. The missionaries went with her, but were startled with how fast she could move. They tried asking people along the way about the conditions and such since they werent too worried, but the lady kept yelling at them to move faster and get to the top of hill. Once they got there she made them stay until the mission offices called and said they need to spend the night with us, but that things were perfectly fine. They thought it was super funny that this little old lady took off running up the hill. I guess she was really worried about the tsunami.
That was all the excitement for this week. We are all perfectly fine and had a great sleepover with the other sisters. People in our sector were super calm since it is a safe zone on the side of a hill, so we really didnt have anything to worry about.
We are continuing to visit with L, the man who doesnt walk well and lives in the last street in the sector. He is progressing a bit and went to church for the third time this month, so we are hoping that we can keep teaching and help him retain the things we teach and gain a testimony for himself.
Oh I forgot to mention the service we did this week! Our old mamita for lunch is having real struggles with packing and moving. One day we went to visit her and she started crying because she felt overwhelmed with the work and with the whole idea of changing cities and homes. We volunteered to come and help so that she could get started and feel a little less overwhelmed. We had never been in more of her house than the dining room and one bathroom, but when we arrived we saw the two storage rooms filled to the brim with random stuff. She was overwhelmed not knowing where she could put things or how to pack everything away. She said that everything she touched would just get transfered from one room to the next because it didnt have a designated place. She was tired of having to touch the same things over and over again.

Luckily, thanks to someone, I am a master organizer  I have also watched a lot of clean sweep hahah. So I said lets start in the first storage room and in one corner, I got three boxes, one to pack, one for trash, and one for things that were going to stay with the house. I just started picking up things and asking "pack, keep or trash?" At first it was hard for her to throw things away. She had lived in the house most of her married life and of course "everything has a purpose". SO I had to remind her that she was moving and that she could start anew. Soon she got the hang of things and we finished the entire room in just over 3 hours.
She was super grateful and her husband as well. More than half of the things went into the trash and then we put some stuff out on the curb for people to take for free. I was so glad I could help and was bragging about all the experience I have because my crazy mom makes us work in hoarder houses hahaha (not those words exactly). But they (including my companion) were really amazed.
Of course I am not one to keep anything, and I let them know that just about everything I own is here in the mission with me and fits in two suitcases (one if I didnt have the tower of you know whats :P- we sent Emilee with an 18 month supply of feminine hygiene products :) ) hahah so I got the nickname throw away master. But it was really what they needed. We went back the following day and did the same thing in the second storage room. The movers are coming with the truck on Thursday so I assume we will return between now and then to help.  Oh the skills I have learned, Thanks mom:)
Hermana Biggs

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