Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2, 2012

Feliz Año Nuevo!!! Happy New Year!!!

Can you believe it´s 2012?

I can´t. Weird.

This past weekend was crazy! We had a double baptism on Saturday night, a young married couple. After the baptism, Hermana Lopez and I went to their house for a new year´s dinner. it was probably one of the most delicious meals i´ve eaten here, and almost every meal here is delicious. we ate this meat that was a beef of some sort with bacon and cilantro rolled up. wow. and there was shrimp, and these potato puffs, and corn and tomatoes (you can´t eat a meal in Chile without tomatoes). And for dessert, a chocolate-y cheesecake! YUM. I was so full!

We had to head back to our house before midnight though. So at midnight the four of us hermanas celebrated in our house. we could see fireworks from our upstairs window and we ate 12 grapes at midnight (some random tradition). it was pretty simple, but it was fun. I haven´t set my new years goals yet, but i have a goal to set them :D And remember how a couple weeks ago I told you how hot it is here....well we are officially in the heat of summer and it is even HOTTER. The other day Hermana Lopez and I were talking about how we don´t really visibly sweat all that much. Then we took off our backpacks and had a good laugh when both of our backs were visibly soaked. So much for being ladylike and not sweating a whole lot!

Here is your Chilean culture minute for the week: Baby cologne is pretty common here. i had never even heard of it before (maybe those of you with babies are familiar with it). it´s everywhere. hermana lopez bought some for herself because it smelled good.

Also common here is men driving around in the streets selling food (onions, tomatoes and eggs mostly). They drive slowly through the streets with their megaphone saying a stream of words that is almost inperceptible. it took me forever to realize they were saying what they were selling ´´huevos huevos 2 kilos 2 mil pesos, 2 kilos huevos 2 mil pesos, 2 mil pesos 2 kilos huevos´´ over and over agin mooshed together ´´cebollas tomates tomates cebollas´´. I still jump everytime I hear them because for some reason in my mind, somone driving through the streets with a megaphone is associated with an emergency. The first time i heard the megaphone i thought in my head ´´what is going on? do we need to evacuate the house?´´ but no on even flinched and so i learned that no, it was just a man selling tomatos:)

As for an update on me, I´m doing great! I am slowly doing more things, talking more, teaching more, etc. I am starting to understand more! Wahoo! And I´m learning so much everyday. I am learning about life, about people, about myself, about the Savior, about the Gospel, and about how i want my future to be. One thing i learned today as I was thinking about a lot of the people we talk to everyday can be summarized in two scriptures:

Matthew 22:36-40
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


John 14:15
If ye love me, keep my commandments.

A lot of people that we talk to say that what is most important is to be a good person. Some people even say that that is all that we need to do. We don´t need to go to church or any of that, just live the best you can.

It is very important to be a good person and try to be like Jesus, but that is only half of what is necessary to receive and retain a remission of our sins and eventually be able to live with God again. I like to think of it as Jesus says, first it is most important to love God, and in John we can see a clarification, that to love God means to keep His commandments.

These include repenting and being baptized, keeping the ten commadments (which includes keeping the sabbath day holy) (and which were received and taught to the people by the ancient prophet Moses), and keeping commandments received by modern day prophets such as the Word of Wisdom. This is the first and great commandment, to keep the commandments of God:) and the second is to love your neighbors, or in otherwords, love others like Christ would; be Christ-like.

If we keep the commandments, but treat others badly, we won´t receive the fullness of blessing and glory that God has in store for us. But also if we are the most Christ-like person in the world, but don´t keep the commandments of God, we won´t receive the fullness of blessings and glory God has in store or us either. We need to do both! On these two commandments hang all the law and prophets. These two commandments are vital!

I think for part of my goal setting this year I will try to set a goal in each of these two comamandments on how to live these commandments more fully and with more exactness in the coming year!

I wish you all a wonderful year full of new and good changes and growth; with progression and success! I love you and thank you for your love and support and prayers!

Hermana Bowns

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