We just got done playing THREE HOURS OF SOCCER!!! So fun! I seriously miss playing soccer with people who actually know how to play. Hermana Castleton kills it. She has such a sweet, innocent personality....until she gets on the field. Really fun to see her competitive side come out today.
When I went to the doctor this week, we weighed ourselves and decided it really wasn't that bad that we had only gained 10 pounds after almost half of our missions. We made ourselves feel good about ourselves and were feelin' groovy and all right. Within 20 minutes of leaving the doctors appointment, an Elder told Hermana Castleton she looked like King Kong and a random person told me I looked like Jell-o. :\ We stopped feeling good about ourselves after that. jajaja
This week really was amazing. The weather is so pretty and I just love our area. It's true when they say "time flies when you're having fun". I can not believe we already have changes next Wednesday. Pleeeease pray that Hermana Castleton and I can have one more change together. I know I will stay here but she's already been here 3 changes so the chances of her leaving are pretty good. Nooo. It's fine. I will accept whatever the Lord and President want.
|Doing service work. : )|
This week I want to write about Ana Maria. Remember Leland, the super rich awesome dude from Adam West's mission? He LOVES the missionaries. He is always inviting them over, feeding them, giving them gift cards, taking them on cruises, etc...But for some reason, he just doesn't want to get baptized? Well, that is Ana Maria. She lives by herself, is 58, never has been married and seriously could be the next Mother Teresa. She loves to be outside, taking care of her 2 dogs and all of her crazy plants that she grows. The missionaries never have had a lesson with her but she has always stopped them to talk when they are walking by. She always tells us that when her neighbors or friends talk about about the mormons, she gets "the burning rage of a defensive mother's heart and explains the mormons are nothing but healthy, loving people who don't like to party with alcohol or drugs".
"My name is Rod. And I like to party." (Hot Rod, thank you very much.)
She's just a straight up sweetheart. This last week, she invited us to her house to have once (dinner) with her. She made us homemade bread, lemon pie and sandwiches :) After living alone for so long, with not very many friends, we learned that this lady was just dying to talk--so we let her talk, telling us her entire life story of being abused, having her mom\bff die when she was 18, being forced to live with her evil step-mom who was only 5 years older than her and being abandoned by her dad after finding out that her 23 year old wife was cheating on him. Ana Maria had to figure out how to live on her own. Her dad finally came back 18 years ago because he was dying and needed someone to take care of him. She accepted with loving arms and quoted Matthew 6:14-15
"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
I asked her if she had always been this wise and loving. She laughed and said absolutely not. I'll never forget what she said after that "I was in my own world, on my own time, selfish me until my Dad came back...That's when I learned how to be happy. All of my life I tried to be happy working to have everything...I never made it...I never knew happiness until I learned that it's not about working to have everything...it's about working to have nothing. We must learn to forgive and always give of ourselves." She has full on dedicated her lief to giving to those around her. She works to have money to help those in need and never gets caught up in buying worldly materials. She is truly just an angel. Someone that I really want to become.
How easy it is for us to get so caught up in ourselves, the things that we don't have or what we can never become. Ever since our lesson, I just keep looking for ways that I can help someone out....help someone carry their groceries, open the door for the person behind me, saying hello to someone who looks like they are having a bad day. It's been incredible to see all the extra smiles I've received. I just feel happier when I am thinking about others. I am really starting to feel like a representative of Jesus Christ. I wish so badly that this women would accept the gospel into her life. She is too wonderful to not have all these extra blessings. I know Heavenly Father is very aware of our situations. He will take care of her and all the good she is doing in this life. I love the gospel so much. This plan is perfect and I love being a missionary here in Chile.
Everything is great with everyone else. We had our first lesson with Javiera and her mom yesterday after they made us Almuerzo! I think she will take a while to open up a bit but I know with time, she will come around. Family Alquinta is doing great! We are still teaching Joaquin and working with family to get callings and keep up the good work with enduring to the end!
This week, 18 Septiembre, is Independence Day here in Chile. Aka, we are not going to work at all this week. The kids have 10 days out of school and no one has work. And wanna know where everyone in Chile goes to celebrate this week? Yup, here in Coquimbo. it is CRAZY. Everyone is here. Drunk as ever. So many people sleeping in the calles (streets). We will probably just start teaching the dogs. Like I told you, they always listen.
Looks like I will be getting a colonoscapy next Tuesday. The doctor thinks it's best because it really is a mystery of why this keeps coming back. I also have had a terrible cold the last couple of days and really just feel pretty crappy. Please keep your prayers coming--they are very much appreciated!
Mama, your email sounded like things really are crazy at home! TAY CONGRATULTIONS. You are finally going to get your driver's license....with Becca! :) So proud of you. Beggz, congrats on making, not only one spot, but TWO spots in the Nutcracker. You're killing it! Cam, tell Huggins I say hi. I don't know if she will remember me but she was always one of my favorites. Did I tell you a sent you a letter last week? If I didn't, I sent you a letter last week. Also, does Mrs.Hinckley still have lots of dandruff? I am not trying to be mean. It's just a question.
Okay, I love you all soooooo much. "Thank you sooooo much!" (Hermana Castleton and I are always quoting Hot Rod so it's just natural for me to do it in my emails.)
OKAY, I love you.