The library drum event looks really cool. I hope Ivory and Aspen had a lot of fun. The movie you went to see is in theaters or was it some event as well? Here in Arica there is only one movie theater and it only has one room. They play each movie for like two weeks and have two or three showings each day. Usually the movies come pretty late from the states, so there are a lot of complaints about it. However, most people just go to Peru to see the new movies. The theater there is apparently much better, bigger, and cheaper.
Anyway..... I did get transfered. I am reluctantly spending my last day here in Arica. My bus leaves at 8:00 tonight and is heading to Caldera, a little town in the south of the mission. Its about a 18-20 hour bus ride. It is going to be a little branch with about 50-60 members attending. The whole city has a population of about 8,000, so I am excited. It is supposed to be a little greener than Arica but much colder:( I am a little nervous for that seeing as I brought one jacket and one scarf. I think I will get good use out of the tights I have. Luckily too, a member gave me some really cute blacks boots, so I will be able to keep a little warm. My companion is Hermana Palomino from Argentina. She was Hermana Castor´s companion here in Tarapaca before I arrived, so I already know a little about her. It should be interesting. We are going to have a blast I am sure. Some other great news is that the house is one of the best in the mission!! It is a big house and only the two of us live there. Hermana Fernandez (whom I currently live with in Arica) served in Caldera and is super jealous, so I am excited. Six months in an "interesting" department and now I am going to the celestial kingdom of the mission. I am excited about that. I think overall it is going to be a great experience; however, I am super sad to be leaving the people here. I have really gotten to know so many loving and great people in Arica, but I guess now its time to say goodbye. I am sure that I will return one day to visit them all. Plus, I ate some guauba (not sure how to spell it). Its a fruit that has a legend for bringing people back to Arica. Hopefully it works with me:)
This week we had a lot of chances to meet new investigators again and that was awesome. I think we have 5 new people that we are teaching, so there is lots for my hijita and her new companion to do here. Unfortunately, I wont be able to see the new investigators progress, but hopefully I will get to hear about it.
We have one investigator that is really interesting. We have visited him and his wife three times now, and its definitely a challenge. The first time we got to have a lesson, "M"just kept talking and talking and was super skeptical about everything we said. He had been to many churches and went on several mini missions with his Evangelical church. His life had been difficult since the beginning and at the time he found a lot of hope learning about God. However, after some events in his church he started falling away from organized religion. He had spoken to LDS missionaries about twenty years ago and attended with his family once. He was super bold and opinionated, and I was nervous that we wouldnt be able to teach with the spirit and get to the point of the restoration of the gospel. Luckily, I had the short video of the first vision on me, so we opted to use that so that the spirit would have a chance to teach.
It went amazingly. His skeptical remarks stopped for twenty minutes while he and his wffe watched the gospel being restored. He told us that he had gotten emotional during it and was moved by the message. he also noted that he knew the film was designed by man and intended to cause such a reaction in the viewers. However, he liked it and invited us to come back.
The second message was just about the same with his remarks and attitudes. We were teaching the plan of salvation and it was going well, until we got to the end. He started making all kinds of comments and questions. My companion and I tried explaining and answering his questions, but it seemed that nothing was good enough or that our explanation lead to even more questions. Some dealing with the lesson, but many not. We explained that faith was required and we relied on the scriptures to show him the truth. In the end, we had to just keep testifying of the love that God has for us. We testified and testified and tesitfied. Soon it was time to return to our house and we had to finish. He still had some specific questions that he wanted to know about ( the main one was why would a loving Heavenly Father let a young mother die and leave her children alone in the world.) We explained and testified, but I dont think he accepted the response). As we walked home, Hermana Alonzo and I reflected on how the lesson went. We were trying to think of a new scripture that we could use or a new way to explain what we had said.
As we were reflecting about everything, the thought came to me that really maybe the lesson wasnt about converting him or helping him learn. It was for us. The discussion had given us numerous opportunities to use the topics we had studied, to share experiences that we had had in our lives, and to testify. Even though he didnt seemed convinced with our explanations, I was truly edified in thinking of all the knowledge that we had shared, of all the things that I knew that I had experienced and learned. It is "M's" job to pray to ask if what we had said was true. However, I was mystified at the spirit that I felt as my companion and I talked. I know that if nothing else, that lesson was for us. It helped us to see how much we believed and knew. We have another appointment with him and his wife on Wednesday, that sadly I wont be able to attend, but I know that if he accepts the message, he will do great things in this church and world.
I hope you guys have an awesome fourth of July. Enjoy the cool weather and fireworks. The fourth of July is the 2nd birthday of my beautiful Tarapaca Oriente ward, so keep these amazing people in your minds too. I love you all and look forward to writting you from Caldera next week!
Today we ate at the agro which is like a farmers market but much bigger and less higenic. I ate picante de guata and it was delicious:)
Rain fell on Wednesday. It rained!!! Just barely but it was awesome!
Another photo from the playa Corazones
This is the "S" family. They are less actives that we have been working with. They are awesome!