Wow as I thought about all the crazy stuff I had to write about this week I was shocked. However, I think you guys had even more events happening. I hope things relax a Little bit, although it seems like life may be at a faster pace with a heavier weight for a little bit. In the first chapter of Joshua, Moses had just passed away, and now Joshua is in control of the children of Israel. They were supposed to enter the promised land, but it was being inhabited by other people. Joshua had to live the law of Moses and help the Children of Israel enter the promised land. Joahua felt overwhelmed with such a huge charge place on his sholders. He probably felt alone after losing his friend and the prophet, and he was unsure of what to do given the new trial. However, in the first chapter, God gives Joshua the same advice three times. He tells him to "be strong and of good courage". I especially like the ninth verse that has additional advice. Like was said in General Conference this weekend, in this life we have to stand strong even in the toughest storms. I remember the example of the tree that was used. In the strong wind and adversity the tree strengthens itself in order to survive. I know that we grow stronger when we remain faithful in the face of tribulation. Luckily, we have the help of Heavenly Father as well to remind us that we are never alone. His help is divine, powerful, and 100% real. One of the benefits of prayer is that we recieve the blessings that he wants to give to us. One of the talks in General Conference also mentioned three things that families should do in order to remain strong and united: pray together daily, read scriptures together daily, and weekly FHE. Implement these principles, and you'll have the promise of strength from a prophet. I know that lds.org has hints to help make scripture study better for families of all ages. Through the hours of study here in the misión my love for the scriptures has grown so much. I use every spare minute Reading the book of Mormon and Bible because I want to learn more. Help the youngsters develop that desire. Be strong and remember (I forget who said it) that it doesnt matter if the house is a mess, if homework isnt done, or laundry isnt washed, scripture study and prayer are worth the sacrifice.
This week got kicked off with the a bang! It was the last week of my second transfer and Hermana Castor and I were excited to get to working. We have increased drastically in the number of our investigators and we wanted to plan a way to visit all of them (plus the less actives and some members) at least once this week. However, the earth had another plan. Tuesday night there was the big earthquake. They say it was 8.3, but it really didnt cause much damage here in Arica. This city is prepared for that kind of stuff. We were in a lesson with B, the less active that we had just met (her husband is not a member). We were teaching the Restoration when the earthquake began. At first we thought it was just a tremor but it got stronger. We opened her front door and saw the cars dancing and everything shaking. There were a few Little electric explosións. After gathering her small children that were asleep upstairs we hugged and prayed. The quake lasted for about a minute I believe (or at least it felt that long). The earth stood still again and we said a short prayer of consolation and then took off to our apartment. Before entering we found a family in the Ward who told us we could go with them to their grandmothers house. She lives really close and has a room ready for earthquakes with food and blankets and candles. We ran over there trying to contact the other missionaries, but the cell lines had been cut. We felt calm and safe, but with the tsuanmi alarm everyone in the city was running carrying blankets and small children. Although we were already in a safe zone, the people still panicked. About two hours passed and the phones were restored. We received news that we needed to head to the stake center for the night. We slept on the tile floor (ouch), but were safe and tranquil. The next morning we returned to the apartment. Then that night the was a replica of 7.4, but it was short. We went to the stake center again mainly because the other sisters in the apartment were terrified. We slept on the floor again but were safe. The next morning we left and everything was tranquil. There was a rumor that the wáter was going to be cut for 2 days, and in some sectors it was, but our wáter was only gone for four hours, so that was great. On Saturday the misión president came to console everyone and make sure we were all safe. We had all been a Little shook up, but really there was no damage done here.
(This is the photo the Mission President sent to show us all the missionaries were safe!)
Really there is a peace that comes from the góspel. Although a Little worried I knew things would be fine. I am in good hands here and am being blessed. Although there was talk of it being the start of the end (hahaha) everything has returned to normal. Chile is the most sismic country in the world thanks to its position and shape, so we are used to Little tremors and movement. With the large quake the people went a Little crazy; I Heard the grocery stores were a mess and people panicked because none of the bread shops made bread for two days (a staple in the Chilean diet). But we are fine, we are happy, and we are safe. Thank you for your concern and prayers:)
Saturday and Sunday we were able to watch the four sessions of conference, and I loved it. The first sesión I think was my favorite. I had a lot of questions answered, and I loved the music. It really brought the spirit.
More exciting news! This week was the last week of my second transfer and as usual there is lots of talk about who will be coming and going. I was praying that Hermana Castor and I would stay together for one more transfer, but as the week drew to a close I was feeling more and more like she was going to be leaving. We got the phone call Friday night and as I had felt (and not hoped) she is being transfered to a super small town called Tal Tal. The offices talked to her first, so I knew from her expression and conversation that she was leaving. I waited impatiently for the phone to come to me, and nervously prayed that I could accept my future companion.
The Assistant to the President told me :Hey Hermana Biggs I hope you are getting ready..... ( I was confused by this) because you are going to give birth! You are going to train one of the new sisters!!! You are going to have a daughter! ( the person that trains is the mom and the one being trained is the daughter. plus there are grandmas and great grandmas.... a Little weird I know hahaha but tradition)
So, here I am. I just finished my training and now I am the one who is going to train. I am excited, but also nervous. I am going to be the senior companion but what if someone asks me a question and I am left clueless. Or what is my daughter doesnt like me or is a picky eater. Who knows. I am super excited and have been really praying to be prepared. General Conference really helped me understand how I can be a good example and show lots of love. Hopefully, the misión president was truly inspired with this calling. I travel to Antofagasta tomorrow to meet my hijita (daughter). There will be a short training sesión for trainers and then we will eat with all the new missionaries and then have the shoe shining ceremony where we find out who is our companion. Wish me luck....... maybe wish more luck to my hijita;) We have spent the weekend trying to tell everyone good bye for Hermana Castor and I took a million photos that I cant upload because theres not a card reader in this internet place!!!! Next week again i will have them.
A crazy week indeed. Due to the earthquakes and conference we didnt meet our goal of visiting all of our investigators and now this week I will be gone two days in Antofagasta, so needless to say my sector needs a lot of work. But change is good. It makes us stronger and we learn so much more. I have to take Hermana Castor to the bus stop tonight and it is going to be hard saying goodbye to my mama, but maybe we will meet again in the coming transfers.
I love you all and hope this week improves. Be strong and of good courage!