Sami singing the song she wrote

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A week of Miracles

Sami had a great week with lots of missionary miracle moments! And she actually sent a nice newsy letter to tell me about it!
Hna Enders and I saw a ton of miracles this week! We had our zone conference on Wednesday in Talca so we came back charged from that and with a resolve to search out all the less active members on the ward list (our ward list is 39 pages long and only about 120 people attend church actively). So we wanted to clean up the list and find some inactive and less active members to teach to help strengthen the ward and hopefully gain some more of the Bishop´s confidence. The next day (Thursday) we picked some names and looked all morning, we found some new investigators (from houses were the members didn't live here anymore) and some inactive members who were willing to receive visits from us. We were feeling pretty good about it, we had an efficient morning and everything. Then in the evening, we had an appointment with our investigator Pedro Barrillas (a contact of our Zone Leaders when they were working with us in Constitución), and Pedro is always great at inviting his friends or neighbors to come it and share with us because he feels so good when we share (the Spirit) and he always tells us of blessings he sees after we are there (the hand of God). It´s pretty cool. So anyway, we are sharing with him, his son Pedro, and one of his friends named Pancho. Then he invites 2 more people to share with us. We were talking about the Book of Mormon and by the end of the lesson, all 5 of them wanted their own Book of Mormon.

One of the men there (they were all old men with the exception of 13 year old Pedro who made the cutest comments about how youth today are straying from the good path), is the husband of an inactive member. When he married his wife she was an active member of the church and he was very Catholic. He told her that he was the man of the house and that she couldn't go to this church anymore so she stopped. Then a few years ago he started questioning his testimony of the Catholic church and studying about the reformation. He was really interested in the Book of Mormon and asked if he could buy one and he invited us to his house this coming Thursday to share with his wife and all his family. So please pray that that goes well.

One of the other men is named Hector Fuentes. He also invited us to his house to share with him but before we left he asked us if we knew Jaime Fuentes (one of the YSA who has been a member for almost 2 years). We said that of course we knew him and asked if they were related (same last name and everything). He laughed and told us that he is his DAD!!! We didn't know that Jaime had a dad (he lives with his mom). Well he does, and we shared with his on Saturday night with Jaime there too. Not only did Hector invite a friend to share with us (her name is Francisca and she is another miracle)but he also told us that from that moment on he wasn't going to go anywhere without the Book of Mormon (we went over to give him his copy and explain more about the Restoration). It was really hard not to sit there with my mouth hanging open. We don´t usually hear that as missionaries. But this isn't even the end of the story. Hector and Francisca both came to church on Sunday and they LOVED IT! They absolutely loved it and want to follow he rest of their lives. That is what they told us. We are going to invite them both tonight to prepare to be baptized (we have an appointment with both of them, but in their separate homes). I am so excited. Seriously. So many miracles.

Even though we have seen a lot of miracles, we still need more. Gladys and Diego haven´t come to church for a few weeks. We haven´t been able to find Gladys (she is NEVER home) and whenever we talk to Diego he acts really strange so we still don´t know what is wrong. I´m really worried about them and it´s tough because I want to help them but it seems like what we are trying isn't working. I guess we need to trust more in Heavenly Father on this one and see what we can do differently to help them better.
We have interviews this Thursday so hopefully I will be able to be even more recharged afterward. Thanks for being great and loving me.

Hermana Smith

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Short letter - but lots of pictures!

Sami did not have much time to write this week (Monday was still part of the celebration for the 200th anniversary of Chile Independence).But she did send lots of pictures.

You will have to be satisfied with this photo essay for this week. The pictures took a long time and my companion is waiting for me now... This week was great but we didn't spend hardly any time in our sector working (hermanas activity didn't end until Tuesday, then we had a meeting in Talca Wednesday and 18 started Friday and hasn't ended yet) Hopefully we will be able to get back into the groove of things fast.

Photos up until now. The Hermanas activity, my adopted mother here in Chile (Hna Fishbeck / I´m her assistant...), when Oscar came (I still haven´t forgiven Hna Enders for not telling me that my bangs were parted down the midde but it´s good for a laugh anyway)
 Sami and Hna Fishbeck
Hna Fishbeck (the Mission secretary)
 Sami and Oscar (a convert from Concepcion) when he came to visit in Constitucion

We flew kites and everyone had to help me put mine together and fly it (I had never flown a square kite before...). It was sweet. There were two casualties and one close shave while I was flying it (I hit 2 people, it was so funny. I died laughing). Pictures from 18 de Septiembre.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hermana activity

Hey Family,

I don´t know if I will be able to watch the videos you sent today.(we sent videos of a family Labor Day get together at the beach) My P-day is a little different because we are having an Hermana´s activity in Conce! We are all together and it is so fun. We all slept at the mission home last night and this morning we went bowling in the Mall. Sweet. I only broke 100 once. Hey, it´s been awhile.

On Saturday Oscar (a convert from Concepción who was baptised right after Sami left for Constituión) came to visit me in Constitución! It was great but he didn´t have a lot of time to be there. I felt bad because for some reason we could not fix any sure teaching appointments. None of our investigators wanted to share that day or they were busy so we only got to share with one person but it was so cute. It made me so happy. He would say something and then look at us and say, ¨is that okay?¨ like he didn´t want to teach any false doctrine. So great. AND. He gave me the best bag in the whole world. It is so Chileno and so Oscar, it´s my new proselyting bag because it actually fits all my stuff. And he brought ¨verdadero chocolate¨. That is Spanish for ¨true chocolate¨.

When you come to visit I will definitely want to spend some time in Conce and Santiago, visiting converts, and also in the South so you can look and see if there is anything specific that you want to see. I have already decided that I want to come back to visit soonish, but I don´t know how I will get the money yet... So we´ll see. I think the buses are good here but I don´t know what you would think. We could definitely make it on bus but I don´t know if you would like it. And just so you know, public bathrooms don´t really exist in Chile, and if they do, they charge. Para que sepa.

I have a new companion, Hermana Enders. She is from Los Angeles, CA and she has the same amount of time as Hna Robertson. She cracks me up, seriously. I am so excited to keep working with her and help some people prepare acceot the Gospel in their lives this cambio. We haven´t had any more baptisms here in Constitución these weeks. We actually don´t have a lot of people that are progressing very well towards baptism because we don´t have people that are attending church regularly. We are trying to help people make it to church Sundays so they can start to develop their ability to receive personal revelation from God. We do have some great investigators that I really want to help make it to church. Pedro is this middle-aged guy that had an accident a year ago where he was hit by a truck and almost died but he survived, obviously, and is really recuperating well. He is finding new investigators for us. It is so great. he knows SO many people from work and ALL his neighbors so whenever we are with him and people pass by he makes them stop and introduce themselves to us and then tells them that they should share with us so they can find more peace in their lives. Amazing. We´ll see where this goes.

I´m really sorry to hear about Jessica´s (my daughter-in-law) dad.  I know he was suffering for a long time and it was probably hard for her to see that. Being a missionary has really helped me appreciate the Plan of Salvation more. Teaching people who have lost close family members and helping them know that there is a way that they can be with them again is so great. I know that having that knowledge will really help Jessica find find a comfort and surety that there is something more there.

Well, I want to give other Hermanas a chance to write their families so I will share more next week and let you know how the activity turns out. Have a great week!!

Hermana Smith

Saturday, September 11, 2010

letter from Sept 6 - short but sweet as usual

Cambios. Hna Cortes is going to Linares and Hna Enders is coming here to Consti to be my companion. Hna Rockwood (from Santa Sabina) is here on an emergency transfer because Hna McCombs is having problems with her foot. Here are some photos from when Hna Egbert and Hna Rockwood tried to dye part of my hair (it didn´t work, at least it didn´t show up). All that show for nothing. We are going to have a sister´s activity next week so I will be able to see Hna Robertson and Hna Meikle, bueno, and all the other Hermanas...
The pictures of baby Alice are SO CUTE! I can´t wait to meet her. I hope we will be friends.

This week was a little tough. We didn´t have any investigators in the Church but we will be working like crazy this week to help people make it to Church on Sunday. I´m really excited to work with Hna Enders, I don´t really know her because I was in Conce when she got here (she has the same time as Hna Robertson) but I have heard good things about her from Hna Egbert (her mother). Hna Cortes is going to Linares. I´m really going to miss her. I love her so much. I already told her that I was going to visit her in Panama. It won´t be the same without her here but I know that she needs to move on to a new place and everything.

I´m really starting to develop a strong love for the members here. It always happens as a process for me. One by one I start to love them until I love them all. I´m so glad that I am here with these people, they really are so strong and such amazing examples of faith and perseverance. I´ll write some more with my next email which hopefully will include some songs for you guys.


Hna Smith!
And some pictures - some from last weeks baptisms 
The swimming pool brought to Constitucion by the assistants to the Pres for the baptism
Sami getting her hair colored by some of her the other hermanas