June 29, 2015
Hellloooo my family!!!
This week was awesome. I really do like my new area. It´s super big so we walk a lot but it´s really tranquilo. It´s super quiet and chill. Except when Chile is playing in the Copa America (American Cup?) But I´m pretty sure the whole country is going crazy so it´s fine. Chile plays tonight so keep us in your prayers that we will find SOMEONE who´s not into futbol and will let us into their warm home. I have high faith that we WILL find someone of gold tonight. CHI CHI CHI LE LE LE VIVA CHILE!
This week in a lunch we had with a member she said something really interesting that´s been dancing around in my head. As missionaries we are always teaching right now about the Dia de Reposo or Sabbath Day. So the scripture we shared after lunch with this Hermana was about keeping the Sabbath day holy. She´s been a member for like 30 years now and raised her children in the church and she is one of the most faithful members here in Sindempart. And she goes ¨You know what? What I´ve seen in my years in the church is just that most people are just convinced while only a few are really converted. That a lot of people like the church and the teachings and how it´s all about the family but then something happens, I don´t know, they get offended or it´s a cold Sunday morning or who knows what, and suddenly all that seemed so nice and pretty isn´t what is the most important in their life. It´s a side note". She said if we really are converted we´re going to sacrifice and we´re going to do all we can to put Jesus Christ and the truth first. I really liked what she said. It made me think am I really converted or just convinced? Do I get up and go to church every Sunday because I´m a missionary and it´s just part of the schedule or because I really want to go to church and participate in the sacrament and keep the Sabbath day holy? Do I keep the convenient commandments and make exceptions for the others or do I truly obey out of the love I have for God and for my Savior? Do I like being obedient? Or is it an annoyance? Am I like the people of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon and really don´t have the desire to do bad, but to do good continually? Or is there something that I shouldn´t do but still do? Am I only convinced or am I converted? What´s the difference? I think it all comes down to our testimony. Do we have a surety, a firm conviction that THIS is the church of Jesus Christ? That God speaks to us now in this time and day? Have we read and prayed about the Book of Mormon until we got an answer? Do we hold tight to the spiritual experiences we´ve had? Do our actions reflect our love for God? Being converted to the gospel does not mean having a perfect knowledge or living a perfect life. It does not mean standing up at church and bearing a general conference worthy testimony. It does not mean having perfect family home evenings and understanding all of the scriptures. It does not even mean filling the spirit really strong all the time. Being converted is simply doing the little things constantly. Reading our scriptures, saying our prayers and going to church. It means striving to be obedient and keeping our covenants. It means becoming really good at repenting really fast. It means living gratefully. If we just do the little things we can cross over the border from being a convicted member to being a converted member so that we too can stand alongside the people of King Benjamin with the disposition to do good continually.....
I am also really grateful for the opportunity that I have to play piano in our ward. It´s weird how few people here know how to play piano, but there is always a piano in every church. So now I´m the new pianist and one thing I love about playing the piano is I get to sit in front of everyone so I can see who comes to church and who doesn´t without like awkwardly craning my neck in every direction to see if an investigador or someone came in late. So yesterday I was looking out at everyone during the sacrament and was looking for all our investigadores and street contacts that told us that they were sí o sí going to come. I got over a long time ago the street contacts not coming but I still get a little bummed when the good investigadors say they are going to come and then don´t. So yesterday as I was scanning the congregation I wasn´t seeing anyone. And then I noticed Ali. Ali, is one of our investigadors. He is 10 years old and usually he comes with his friend Nicolas, one of our other investigadores but yesterday he came by himself. I don´t know why but it filled my heart with so much joy to see him there. He was sitting on his little chair (there´s not benches in the church) alone, with his worn tennis shoes dangling a little above the ground. His hair was nicely combed and he had a cute little button up denim shirt and his soft cover Book of Mormon rested on his lap with his Jesus card sticking out the top marking the chapter he was reading. I noticed that there was a little, but good bit, of white between the dark cover and the Jesus card, meaning that he had been reading it. I just thought that was SO COOL. Lately I´ve been kinda stressed because our investigadors are all kids here. We´ve even fasted to find adult investigadors. But seeing Ali there at church alone just warmed my heart and the part in the bible when Christ invites the children to come to Him came to my mind. Is he just convinced or is he becoming converted? Time will tell but until then I´m just really grateful for the humble example of those dangling feet and combed hair.
So something funny that happened this week...... we found this new Mexican food place in our sector!! It´s been a longggg time since I've eaten Mexican food. So I ordered a chicken burrito and my companion ordered a chicken quesadilla. We take it to go and get home and unwrap it and it was exactly the same thing, but folded differently! hahaha we got a good laugh out of that. Chileans... Gotta love them.
Well that´s about it for this week! I love you all and hope you have a great week!!
Con todo el amor en mi corazon,
|Samantha's Mission President and his wife|
saying good bye. They served for 3 years.