Thursday, June 2, 2016

Ode to Futrono

Hola Familia,

We have cambios (transfers) this week and guess where I’m headed!! Down under! At the bottom of the world. Yep. I’m going to Punta Arenas aka PATAGONIA!! This Wednesday I’ll be on a plane to Punta Arenas. Right across from freaking Antarctica. Joey will finally get his pic of a penguin. Goodbye rain, hello snow... and I thought it was cold here....

I’m like melting in my seat right now. Too bad there are a ton of rules against climbing and hiking.... if you’re at the airport in one year to pick me up (crazy that I’ve already been on my mission almost 6 months now!!) and I never get off the plane, it’s because I never left Chile:)

This week, we got a call from Cristina, the daughter of Hermano Telmo (the ward member dying of cancer). Cristina said that we needed to come quick and sing to him because he was really bad. When we got there, he didn’t even realize it was us. He was in so much pain and barely breathing. All his kids where there with their families. The veil was really thin and I could envision the angels that were next to us, waiting to welcome him home.

While we were there, it was really emotional for me because I kept getting flashbacks of Russell’s death with everyone in the hospital and at John’s house. Although it was really hard, it strengthened my testimony that the grave has no power over us. Thanks to our Savior Jesus Christ, we are saved from the pains and sorrows that death and separation bring, if we live our lives according to His will.

I don’t know how Hno Telmo made it through the night, but he did and he is a little better, which is also really worrisome. I am going to miss singing to him every day and teaching his daughter. She was my first real investigator here on the mission and is almost ready for baptism. She has chosen a date but is waiting to tell us.... she like surprises.... :)

The prisons here are also very overcrowded and 3 weeks ago they let over thousand people free. 15 of them are here in Futrono.

On Saturday, we had a lesson with a woman that just got baptized 2 months ago in an evangelical church. It was our second lesson with her and we were talking about false prophets when she turned to us all serious and said, "Hermanas, you guys need to be careful. My pastor told me that there are 2 men from the prison, dressed up as women and are going around preaching a false doctrine of Christ. They are knocking on doors and trying to get into the houses of people. My pastor said not to open the door to any two men dressed up as women. You guys need to be careful when you are out walking at night!"  

hahahaha thankfully she had no idea that her pastor was talking about us. Hna Meléndez and I weren’t sure if we should laugh or be offended....

It’s been a great 4 1/2 months here in Futrono. I have learned so much about the type of member that I want to be and the type of member that I never want to be. I have grown to love the people and have gained a better knowledge of my Savior´s love for me and the patience that our Heavenly Father has for all of us.

My only wish for you guys at home is that you take your calling seriously. Magnify them. Help lift those around you. There are so many hard members here and it is for lack of taking callings seriously. Especially visiting and home teaching. They are such simple callings yet sooo vital to the doctrine of Christ. If everyone would do their home and visiting teaching with more intent, with more love, with more conviction, if everyone could really be friends with the families and people they are over, I’m certain that we would have a big ward here in Futrono.

I am so grateful for this chance and for this time that I had here in Futrono. It took all of me and all of my faith and trust in the Lord to learn how to be happy here. I am going to miss this challenge. We are so blessed to live in an area where people actually do their callings. I want so badly to return here after the mission and live here for a year, teaching and devoting all my time to help strengthen the members. 

Sorry this is so long... if you made it to the end, high five for you!

I love you all lots

les quiero!

Next email will be in paradise!

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