Oh sounds like another crazy and fun week. Hermana Castor and I were talking about the post mission depression that normally accompanies sister missionaries when they return home and dont have a thousand things to do each day. I told her that I will probably avoid that because there is always something going on at my house: a new project or job, always something. She was impressed.
Tarapaca Tiene Talento was on Friday. The week was full of a little added stress trying to tie loose ends together. We wanted the activity to go smoothy and look somewhat professional, so we spent most of Monday-Thursday visiting the people who had committed to perform. Thursday night we typed up a program and went to help the Young Women decorate the cultural hall. At 4pm on Friday we headed over to the church to finish up the planning. We baked 4 cinnamon cakes (from that recipe you sent) just in case the members didnt bring their dessert assignments. We set up the projector, seats, refreshment table, and finished the decorations.
Quickly, 7 pm rolled around time for the show to begin. Unfortunately there was only 15 people in the audience and the only performers were the Elders and Young Men but they were still practicing! Chile time is much worse then Mormon Standard Time. Slowly people started trickling in and we finally had a few acts ready to perform. We started the show at 7:40. Hermana Castor stayed behind the scenes getting music and videos and microphones ready while I ran like crazy trying to arrange a program. Basically about half of the acts that had committed to come did not ever show up, but it all worked out alright because several people had pratice something and wanted to present that we did not know about. It was a lot of work coordinating who would go and when, but in the end it worked out perfectly. We had 18 different acts and an excellent presentor that made everything go smoothly. Some of the more exciting acts were a clown, a salsa dance, two of the elders in the stake showed a few wrestling moves, the Young Men did black theater which is hilarious, and the primary got all dressed up to sing Let It Go from Frozen (Libre Soy in Spanish).
To our surprise many of the member assigned to bring refreshments showed up! However, the four cinnamon cakes were needed because we had an attendance of 90 people!!! We were so happy with that number since attendance on Sunday normally is 85 and we were planning for 70. Three of our investigators came and several less actives. The elders also had a few investigators there and some members brought friends. It was awesome. Everyone said that the activity went really well and looked organized, although behind the scenes was a bit chaotic. On Sunday we had the highest attendance in the ward since I have been here which was 115. I think its all due to the awesome activity hahaha. The bad thing is that with all the hustling Hermana Castor and I did not get to see hardly any of the acts and have no photos. However, one of our friends in the ward has them all and is going to send it to us. Hopefully next week I can send some photos. But overall, it went really well.
As for the investigators: D we werent able to teach this week. He has been busy with the taxi, but we did get to talk to him two times and we have an appointment for tomorrow. He is excited for his wife to return on Saturday so that she can learn too. He is a great investigator, although he has yet to go to church. I think he is waiting for his wife to accompany him so that he doesnt feel alone. L continues to progress as well. This next upcoming lesson will be the Word of Wisdom (my first time teaching it). I am a little nervous, but I really hope the spirit will be there so that he can accept to live it. We had a Family Home Evening set up to teach him with his sister but she was sleeping when we showed up, so we still have not been able to teach her, although we have a good relationship from passing her on the street and such. Leonel is excited for his baptism and is sharing more and more with his family (which is awesome because he is a man of few words). We also got to teach B this week. He is a new investigator that has been attending church in a different ward with a friend of his. He is really curious about the gospel, but his parents are not. He is 24, but we cannot teach him in his home because his parents wont allow it. We taught him this week in the chapel with his friend, and it went really well. We want to put a baptismal date with him this week too.
AND finally our dificult new investigator. The other day, a woman stopped us in the street and said that she is member but has been less active, but she wants to go to church again. We set up an appointment to visit her (B), her four children, and C (they are not married).B and her oldest son have been baptised, but C is of a different religion and wont allow the younger children to attend church. He doesnt want them getting bad ideas there. He has never attended, but has met with missionaries several times before. He says that there shouldnt be anymore scriptures besides the Bible and if there are scriptures from the Americas, where are the Asian scriptures? It was dificult having the spirit in the short lesson, but all we could do was testify and testify. He says that when he feels the spirit "things happen" and that when he leaves church he leaves that part of him there too, so he cant pray except when he is in his church. It is going to be a challenge teaching him, but we will want to see him change. Perhaps at least we can get him to let the younger children go to church so that B can go. Wish us luck:)
The week overall went really well.I am about to finish the twelve week training program and this past week I had to take the initiative in every teaching and planning situation. It was super easy, surprisingly. I think I have really progressed and this week a lot of things just clicked. I felt more confident that the spirit was helping me to help others. This Saturday we will hear about the transfers, and I really hope that both Hermana Castor and I stay here in our ward. Hermana Castor already has 4 1/2 months here though, so it is possible that I will get a new companion. My fingers are crossed! I also finish my third month tomorrow! I am surprised at how fast the time has gone. I know in just a few more moments I will be finishing six months and then a year and then I will be home. I constantly remind myself of the short time that I have here and it gives me extra motivation to press on and try my best.
I hope you guys keep having a crazy fun time. Good luck witht the Easter Pagaent and the mob scene, dad. I know you didnt miss not being in it last year. I have been reading the New Testament along with all the other materials and am about to finish Luke. I am amazed at the love and understanding that Jesus Christ had for everyone. He taught everyone and was loved by so many, it is hard to imagine that in the end the people chose to kill him. However, it is His sacrifice that gives us hope and eternal life. Like a hymn says, He died so that we may live. Although I cant imagine what was going through the mob´s head when they were yelling "crucify him", I am grateful, that He did die because he is the only one who could have done it with such love and patience and humility. This week I played the piano for ward conference and we sang Jesus once of Humble Birth for the sacrament. I had to hold back tears in order to see the notes, but it was really beautiful. Remember to give thanks for his sacrifice.
I love you guys and hope you have a great week!