Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16, 2012

Hola hola!

Cultural Thoughts about Chile for the week:

Dreams are a big deal here. Probably more than 50% of the time when we ask people how they think God will answer their prayer if they ask if the Church of Jesus Christ is the true church, they tell us they think they will receive an answer in a dream. We even had one investigator who was waiting for a dream and would't get baptized because he hadn't received a sure answer like a dream. I'm not kidding dreams are so common here. People tell us about their dreams all the time. It's kind of funny, but at the same time their dreams are really interesting and are full of symbolism.

plums the size of apples
Another thing, we are up to our ears in fruit here! First cherries, now peaches and nectarines and plums the size of apples. YUM. This is because I am living in the most fertile part of Chile. All around me are orchards and almost everyone works in the fruit. Packing it and shipping it all over the world. This is great but makes it hard for us to visit people because fruit hours are so crazy. People work all night and all day, because fruit is sensitive and can't wait for convenient working hours.

Also something that is pretty different from the States. Here people live with their parents as a norm. If you aren't married, you live with your parents until you get married. That's just how it is. And even if you are married, it is a lot more common to find multiple generations living in the same house. My companion was super surprised when I told her that when I get home from my mission, I'll probably live at home till I get financially stable but then I'll move out because I can't just keep living with my parents, I've got to be self-sufficient :)

Mission Conference

all the hermanas at the conference this week
Well this week we had a Mission Conference. I love having conferences because we get to see a lot of other missionaries that we don't normally see and we get to learn from President Humphrey. It is always so uplifting and inspiring and I leave feeling like I can do anything!

One thing that he (Pres. Humphrey) talked about with us is diligence. I never quite understood what that word meant fully, but I think I'm starting to understand. President Humphrey always like to share the example of a couple months ago a group of us new missionaries had a conference in another city. On our way back our companions were waiting for us in the bus terminal. Apparently two of the elders arrived later than the rest of us and their companions were waiting for 45 minutes for them. President Humphrey says that if they had stayed and waited for their companions they would have been obedient, and had done nothing wrong or bad in waiting.

A saying on a wall, these are super common here.
It says somthing along the lines of
''Jesus has got it! Follow Him. He's the best.''
People are really religious here! :)
But these two missionaries decided to leave the terminal and come back in a half an hour. They left the terminal to meet and talk to people. They ended up finding people to teach who were interested in their message. President Humphrey loves to tell this story to show us the difference between being obedient and being diligent. Great things happen in the work of the Lord and in our own lives when we are obedient to the Word and commandments of God, but miracles happen when we are diligent.

To me diligence is kind of going the extra mile, thinking outside the box. It's combining our best effort to make things happen with the Lord's power. I love working for the Lord. There is nothing more satisfying and that brings more joy and peace to me than to do the will of the Lord. It's when I'm afraid to act or when I want to do my own things that I feel sad or mad or frustrated.

The more I learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the reason why we are here on the earth and why Jesus came to the earth to suffer for our sins and imperfections the more I love Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation. The Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness as restored through the prophet Joseph Smith is perfect and wonderful. And I cannot but marvel at how it is changing me, and is changing people around me. Take more time than usual this week to study the Gospel of Jesus Christ and you will come to find the same thing, that your heart is filled with joy and gratitude and you are more happy!

I love you and pray that all is well with you and your family!

Ciao! Hna Bowns

great tan lines on my legs

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