1. Negocios: these are little stores, like little grocery stores, but they are just run by random people in the neighborhood and there is one on like every corner. They just have the essentials (toilet paper, fruits, veggies, cookies, crackers, jam, candy, lunch meat, cheese, flour, sugar, milk, bread. eggs. etc.). It is awesome. If you need something really quick cuz you´re making something, just walk down the street. I´m not kidding when I say there is one on every street either.
2. Permiso!: This is like saying excuse me (i think the direct translation in "permit me"). We say it all the time (its kind of a joke with us hermanas, we say it all the time, even if it doesn´t apply). But Chileans say it when they enter a stranger´s house. I´ve noticed it as we've taken members to lessons with us. The people invite us in by saying "Pasen" (which means come in), then as they pass the threshold of the gate, they say permiso, then we hesitate until the people say "pasen" again as an invitation into their house, and Chileans say permiso when they enter the house too. (Like excuse me i´m entering your house now). Not everyone does it, it´s like an unspoken rule/etiquette thing, but I think it is so interesting, and i´ve found myself doing it now!
Well we are getting to summer now. It is HOT. And I hear its going to get hotter. We´re still in spring kind of so there are days, like today, that are a little overcast. but i´ve started wearing sunscreen on my face to avoid getting burned, and i´ve got a nice watch tan coming along. This week was a great week! It was so great because we started teaching some new people. There is no greater feeling than teaching someone about the Gospel of Jesus Christ who is really listening, who actually wants to know, and who is open to what you are saying. It is also really neat to meet someone for the first time, sense that they are a little hesitant or uninterested, and then after talking to them for a bit, they open up, start asking questions about things they really care about, and end up setting up a time for us to come back. It is also always so surprising to me how the Lord puts us in places to meet people who are ready and willing to hear the Word of God. Like yesterday we had gone to an appointment with a couple, but they weren´t there, so we were leaving the street and a little girl was in the road playing, my amazing companion who loves talking to everyone, gave the little girl a picture of Jesus and asked if her mom was home, she was! The mom came out and then said she had a little bit of time and invited us in. We taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel and watched the 20 min video of the Restoration and Joseph Smith´s vision. The woman said she had never heard that story before and we invited her to pray about the things we had taught her to find out for herself if they are true. The video of The Restoration is so poignant and beautiful (if you haven´t seen it I recommend it:) and I was reminded of the great blessing it is that we know that God speaks to His children, that we can pray to receive guidance for our lives, and that we have a living prophet today!
There is something I´ve been thinking about lately though. As we teach people about how Joseph Smith prayed and received an answer and invite others to pray to receive an answer, there are people who come back and say that they did not receive an answer: they felt nothing, heard nothing, and therefore received nothing from God. I´ve thought about this a lot. One thing I know for certain, if we ask God seeking to know the truth, He will manifest the truth unto us, through the power of the Holy Ghost. When we don´t recieve an answer, it isn´t because He isn´t answering us. I thought also about all the people before Joseph Smith who prayed to God to know the truth (I doubt Joseph Smith was the first and only person to ask). But Joseph asked with a sincere heart. He had pondered this question for years, he truly desired to know, and with this desire, he had a sincere intention to follow whatever response he received. This last part is a little hard to swallow for me. You mean if I pray to receive guidance or to know the truth of something, I may not receive the answer because I am not willing to follow it. Geesh...I can´t even think of how many times in my life I prayed for something half-heartedly or with not-so-sincere intentions. Action, this is where the rubber meets the road and great blessings are realized. When we intend to act upon the response to our question, God can trust us with the answer we seek. And when we act upon the answers we receive we begin to see the mysteries of God unfold and blessing pour out from heaven. First of all, if Joseph Smith had only read the Bible and pondered about the verse that says "If any man lack wisdom let him ask of God" (James 1:5) but had never acted upon this answer he received, he never would have had the vision he had, he would not have been called as a prophet. And then if he had not done the things that the Lord instructed him to do, the Church would not have been re-established, the Book of Mormon would not have been translated, and the Priesthood would not have been restored to the Earth through him. So here is your spiritual check-up for the week. Are you praying with the intent to follow the answers you will recieve? I know I have some improving to do!!
I´m excited for the new things I´ll learn this week! One thing I have learned so far in the mission is that I have so much to learn!!!:)
I love you, thank you for your prayers!!
Here is a link to a video like the one Diane shared with the woman and her daughter. This one is an hour long... I couldn't find the twenty minute version: http://youtu.be/1xVw6PsSinI