Cultural TidbitsChileans are very loving...''de piel'' they say (Translation: of skin, which in English could mean warm).
Just like in english some names have corresponding nicknames, spanish names do to! Like Richard - Dick, Elizabeth - Liz, or Charles - Charlie. Here are some in spanish that I have learned: Rosario - Challo, Franciso(a) - Pancho(a), Rodrigo - Yallo, Alejandra - Jany. At first I didn't get it, why sometimes people called francisa pancha, or alejandra jany, but now i get it:) they're nicknames!
Also here almost everyone attends a private school. so school kids are always in uniforms. it is really rare if people go to a public school. so that means that a lot of kids travel in one or two public buses to get to school, depending on where you wanted to attend school, the school you could afford, or that is of a better quality. and almost all the school have religion attached to them, catholic or evangelical. And lots of kids (and adults) go home for lunch...they have like a 2 hours break to get home, eat and go back to work and school. (I told you lunch is a big deal here:)
Okay here's the update!
ChangeThe only thing that doesn't change about life, is that there are always changes. I'm a little shell shocked today because (1) one of the sisters living in our house finished her mission and went home today...it reminded me of how short my time here really is! (2) i fully expected to stay here in this sector, if someone had to be transfered it would be my companion, but here's the shocking truth....i'm being transfered! again! I just got here 6 weeks ago and i've got to pack my bags once again. I am being transfered to be companions with a sister who has been in the mission for 3 months...so i'll be senior companion...eeeekkk. this will be the first time in my whole mission that I have all the responsibility. That means i have to manage the phone, our goals and numbers, and lead out in teaching and making contacts. wow. stay tuned for next week to see how my first week goes! talk about trial by fire...here we go! the exciting thing is that i'll be living in the same house with my MTC companion and a sister that i dearly love that i have already lived with:) I love transfers! they are always so exciting and bring such surprises.
The PearlsYesterday i had to give a talk in church and decided to talk about giving our heart to the Lord through sacrifice. There is a story that I heard as a young women from one of my church leaders that has always stuck with me. I call it "The Pearls."
There is a little girl who has a string of pearls. She loves her pearls more than any other thing she owns. She take them everywhere, she cares for them, plays with them, even sleeps with them. Even though her string of pearls are false, they are her most precious possession.
Every night her daddy tucks her in and gives her a kiss goodnight. One night he asks his daughter, Do you love me? The little girl with a big smile replies, Oh yes daddy! I love you SO much! Her daddy replies, Will you give me your pearls? With sadness in her eyes the little girl shakes her head and says, I love you daddy, but I can't give you my pearls, they are my most favorite thing. Her daddy smiles and says goodnight. The next night her daddy comes to tuck her in and give her a kiss, he smiles and asks her, Do you love me? The little girl responds, Yes daddy, you know I love you. He responds, Will you give me your pearls? Again with sorrow in her eyes the little girl says, Not my pearls, daddy, here take my teddy. I do love you, but i can't give you my pearls. Her daddy smiles and says goodnight.
The next night the little girl expected the request. Her daddy came to tuck her in and asked her one more time, Do you love me? The little girl responded, Yes, daddy I love you very much. Her daddy replied, Will you give me your pearls? The little girl with tears streaming down her face, reaches out to place her beloved pearls in his hands. She says through sobs, I love you daddy, take care of my pearls, they are the most special thing i have. Now her daddy with a big smile pulls out from behind his back a small rectangular jewlery case, he opens it to reveal a beautiful shining string of real pearls.
Sometimes our Father in Heaven asks us to sacrifice things that to our temporal understanding are precious and special, so that He can give us in return that which has real value and is priceless in comparason. Sometimes He asks us to sacrifice things that maybe we don't value but just can't give up. He asks for our time, money, talents, for our pride and fear, He asks us to sacrifice expectations and unrealized dreams, He asks us to sacrifice righteous desires and best laid plans, and more than all that He asks us to sacrifice our sins, to give them up so that He can sanctify us. He doesn't always ask us to sacrifice these things, but surely there will come to all a moment in our lives where He will ask us for that which we value most, or that which we just can't give up. With all the sacrifices He asks of us, whatever it be, they can all be summed up into one request He makes to us, '' Will you give me your heart?''
I have thought for a while how it is that we can give our all to the Lord, our whole heart. And as I was preparing my talk and discussing some ideas with my companion she told me that we can only really truly give our heart to the Lord when we sacrifice that which we value when He asks for it. We give our heart to the Lord in the small and big sacrifices of our lives. We give our heart to the Lord by sacrificing 3 hours of every Sunday to go to church, sacrificing 10% of our income to pay tithing, living the law of chastity in a world that doesn't value virtue, not drinking coffee or alcohol to live the Lord's Word of Wisdom, and on and on. Some of the sacrifices He asks are very personal, to some He asks to sacrifice their life to serve a mission for a time, to some He asks to sacrifice schooling to have a family, to some He asks to sacrifice better job opportunities to live honestly, to some He asks to sacrifice precious time and energy to serve in His church.
He asks these sacrifice to give us the opportnity to give Him our heart and by theredoing to be sanctified and made worthy to enter into His presence. We are here to prepare for eternal life. Sometimes I forget that. But that is His work, as it should be ours.
I love the Lord and I love His work.