So this week has been super busy! We had a zone conference on Thursday and then had to take the bus 5 hours to Concepción right after to attend Return and Report on Friday.
Return and Report was great! It´s when all the newbies in the mission that came in at the same time, get together and have a conference. President Bluth and his wife talked about how we can be better compañeros (companions) and how to get the most out of your mission. I loved what Hermana Bluth said. She quoted `Choose what you love and love your choice´ (ie. mission, spouse, occupation,etc). We choose what we love, and things don´t go as smoothly as we expected and we sometimes forget that the path we chose was our decision. We need to remember why we originally made that choice and think of all the blessings that came as a result. `The secret to contentment is being grateful for all your blessings.´
On Satuday, we had a baptism!!! It was an amazing experience. It was the first baptism for both of us (Hermana Rimmasch and myself)! The Spirit was so strong during the baptismal service. Hermana Maria Christina is friends with Ramón and brought her family to support him. She was crying tears of joy the whole time.
Ramón is really special. I knew he would make this life changing decision the moment I met him. I don´t know how, but I just felt it. I remember when Hermana Rimmasch and I were sitting outside while out district leader was interviewing him for the baptism, I was praying in my heart that Elder Contreras would be sensitive to the Spirit and that Ramón would feel the comfort of the Spirit. As I was doing this, in my mind I saw a picture of Ramón dressed in white baptismal clothes and the verses of scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 18 ran through my mind. I felt a true and heavenly joy for him in my heart. I imagine it was like what Heavenly Father feels.
`If it so be that you should labour all you days in crying repentance unto this people and bring save it be one soul unto me, how great will be your joy with him in the kingdom of our father.´
I´m so grateful for this opportunity to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord in helping to bring his children back to Him. It´s truly a sacred and marvelous calling!
On Monday we had an activity for the whole mission area (that's why I couldn't write until today)! It was super cool to see every missionary in the Concepción sur (south) mission. There are about 240 of us. They held the activity in Triguien about 1 hour 45 minutes away from Curacautín at a school. The school was cool because it was set up like a log cabin summer camp campus.
Each zone had to create a banner and a gritar (cheer) for the competition. We called our district the ¨Victoria Vikings¨ and sang La Bamba. There's a video of it. I´ll send it if I can get my hands on it. Each zone received a t-shirt too (great for memories!) with the name of our zone, the motto and the symbol for Concepción Sur. Our shirts are pink :p
After the competition of gritars (cheers) we played a bunch of sports. The first was a volley ball game with water balloons and towels. It is SO MUCH FUN!!! You should try in our ward with the young women! Tambien (Also), we had a game soccer base ball. Unfortunately, the ball we used for it was shaped like an egg after all the punting and abuse it had been through. It added an unexpected spin on the match.
We also had an epic match of dodge ball. One sister from Columbia couldn´t believe it was a really game. She had only seen dodgeball in the movie `Chicken Little.´ An Elder on the opposite team is nick-named `Samuel the Lamanite.´ I now know why. Near the end of the match, it was down to 6 of us and only him. I don´t know how he was able to avoid all the bombardments of balls and pegged us off one by one until he ended up winning!
(The story of Samuel the Lamanite is that of a prophet who as he was preaching on a city wall, those launching arrows at him from below could not hit him or harm him.)
For lunch they fired up the BBQs and we had burgers and completos (hot dogs)! Mmmm! I love barbeque!
For a surprise, we watched `Conozca a los Mormones´ or `Meet the Mormons.´ If you haven´t seen it, I suggest you watch it. It´s super cool and explains a lot about our beliefs and values. I´ve also decided to move to Costa Rica someday! One of the families in the movie lives there! It is SO beautiful! Hermana. Arce was sitting next to me during the movie. She´s from Costa Rica and she started to cry when she saw the mountains and the sea.
It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know the other missionaries in our area. As well, it was a reminder for me that as missionaries, we are not alone in this work. I loved it when everyone sang `Called to Serve.´ I felt a great unity between all of us.
Well, I´m running out of time. Wish I could write more. The Spanish is coming along. Es mas mejor que al primera día. (It's much better than the first day)
Love you all!XOXOXO
Look at all those Sisters... and President Bluth photo bomb!
Ramon at his baptism. What an awesome day!
Elder Averado and Elder Lopez, myself and Hermana Rimmasch and Ramon's friend, Hermana Maria Christina.
The kid in elder Averado´s arms is Rafa. He is 9 years old and is the son of Maria Christina.
Amazing fun water balloon volleyball towel toss!
Playing sport games on the field