Saturday, October 4, 2014

I’m Thankful I Could Grow Up In A Ward Where There Are Lots Of Families Active In The Gospel.

September 22, 2014
Besitos from Santiago!! Wow. Sometimes I cannot believe I am a missionary haha. It’s crazy!! This week went by fast! It was hard because there was the holiday on the 18th, so it was not too easy to contact and set lessons. People were partying all weekend haha! But every day is a party when you’re a missionary, am I right?? Good times.

So on the 18th we had another meeting with all the new missionaries. I cannot get over how much I love my mission president. Presidente Wright and la Hermana Wright are amazing!! They are so sweet! Whenever Presidente Wright bears his testimony I just feel the spirit so strongly. It is evident he has a burning testimony of Jesus Christ and the Restored Gospel. I feel so blessed to be one of his missionaries!!

So I don’t have too much time to write, but I’ll share some experiences from the week. The evening of the 18th, Hermana Gomez and I went to a members home. Her name is Ana Maria, and she lives with her brother, Marquitos, and one of her kids. Her brother Marquitos, was baptized earlier this year. He is so sweet and special. His brain cannot develop completely, so he has the mentality of a 17 or 18 year old. But his faith is so strong. Ana Maria and Marquitos are both faithful members of the church. They do not have too many physical blessings, but they are rich with the love of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Hermana Gomez and I shared a message with them about hope for the future. I shared my testimony with them regarding faith. It was a great experience because I was able to share my testimony with them, and I did not focus on the language. I did my best to try to express my love for them. I told them I could feel the Holy Ghost present in their home. They are both so sweet. Ana Maria shared a little of her testimony with us. She told us how grateful she was for us, and that we were one of the greatest sources of strength. It looked like she was about to cry because her eyes were red and teary! Ahh! It was so presh! So sweet. The faith of the members here is crazy. Some of them have sad lives and sad histories with their families, yet they press forward with complete faith in our Heavenly Father. Hermana Gomez had made a cake for them (I would have helped, but I was doing my language study, important stuff!). Ana Maria had bought some bread with delisshhh cream in the middle. It was so yummy!!

On the 20th we went to another members home for lunch. They were having two other families over for a little fiesta. Hermano and Hermana Ortiz Cortes. Both of them served missions. They have two sons who are too presh. They remind me so much of my cousin Brody haha. We had a lot of meat and salad. It was so fun! I have a picture of me, Hermana Gomez, and the mom. They have a lovely house, and it’s probably one of the nicest houses in our area. They are so nice and humble.

So yesterday one of our investigators came to church! Her name is Constanza. She is like five feet tall, and is probably 70 years old. She is soooo sweet. She was falling asleep a few times haha. But she told us she really enjoyed it. We went to house last night and shared a message about how the Gospel blesses families. She is not married, and has no children. She has told us she feels alone, but she has faith in God and Jesus Christ. She is very receptive. I invited her to be baptized, and she did not give us a straight answer.... but Hermana Gomez and I think it’s possible. Speaking of, my companion is amazzzzing. Hermana Gomez is the best. She teaches me every day about true service and work. She has only been baptized for like two and a half years, but her faith is firm! I’m so blessed to have her as my companion and madre. Love her!

Our ward is great. A lot of inactive people. Sunday when Sacrament meeting starts there is probably like four or five pews worth of people haha..... so different than sunny Southern California. But as the meeting goes on, more people come. Our Bishop lives in the same apartment complex as us. He is great! His job is hard, but He is always thinking of others. The members are cool. It’s hard because most of the members are from part member families or inactive families. Even just walking around and riding the bus, it’s easy to see the family is not a priority for most people here. A lot of tragic stories and broken hearts. It’s truly humbling. I am so thankful for my family. SO THANKFUL. I’m thankful I could grow up in a ward where there are lots of families active in the Gospel.

On Wednesday night we made cookies with the recipe you sent, Mom! We hit the street with them and were handing them out with pass along cards. We stopped to buy flowers for one of the Hermanas that lives with us (she was having a hard week), and a mom and her young adult daughter walked by. We said Hola! But we didn’t talk with them because we were in the process of examining Las Flores. But when we were done, we started walking down the street and we saw the daughter sitting on the side of the sidewalk. We said hello to her, and asked if she wanted a cookie. She said yes, and she asked if we were the missionaries from the church on Lynch Norte (the street were our capilla is). We said heck yes we are!! No we didn’t, we just said yes. LOLZZZ.  But she told us how she had met with the missionaries a long time ago, but she could not remember much because she was really young. She told us she wanted to meet with the missionaries again. WHAT?? Hermana Gomez and I were so excited. She lives in the sector of the other Hermanas in our ward, but it was a great experience. Good comes from service, yo! I testify service brings blessings. And cookies! Cookies are always a good idea haha.
So one hard thing that happened this week.... well. One day we stopped a man on the street and talked with him. His name was Carlos, and he seemed interested. We gave him a picture of Jesus. Hermana Gomez talked to him about the Church and I kind of just my head nod thing because it’s still hard to follow street contacts haha. This whole language thing!! Anyway, the next day we were walking across the street from where we had met Carlos...and we saw the picture of Jesus ON THE FLOOR. IT WAS SO SAD. It was only about 100 feet away from where we had met Carlos and we knew it was him.... it was sad!  We were like, Carlos porque???  But as I was reading in the Book of Mormon this week I found a verse that really struck me in 1 Nephi 19:9. I only have my Spanish Book of Mormon with me right now, and I can’t connect to right now (inconvenient, I know!). But it basically talks about how people rejected Jesus Christ when He was on the Earth...but He still suffered and died for us.... because he LOVES us! And this scripture really comforted me. Even though not everyone is going to accept the Restored Gospel, it’s important to keep working hard. Because somewhere out there in the streets of La Reina (the name of our area), someone is searching for the truth. Someone is searching for the love of our Heavenly Father. Serving a mission is hard!! So hard! But it’s worth it! I love it. I’m grateful to be a missionary. It’s changed my life. Seriously.

Ok, so last thing. Today when we went to a store that is kind of life a Chilean Walmart, MICHAEL BUBLE CAME ON THE RADIO. I JUST ABOUT DIED. And it was Haven’t Met You Yet.....CAN YOU SAY TENDER MERCY???? I was so happy. It was such a great time. I miss listening to Him. But it’s all good because I am a missionary!! I’m in Chile!! Life is good. Love you all. Make it a great week. Every day we have the chance to follow Jesus Christ. We have the chance to reach out to those around us and lift them up. Choose happiness. Choose love. Peace out! Yooooo.

Love, Hermana Mittleman

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