email sent 5/16/2011
So this week was really emotionally charged. I don´t have a lot of time (welcome to my life) but here are some highlights/lowlights.
a) The ward had an FHE on Tuesday night for Daniel´s farewell. The bishop asked us to do a musical number so we sang I´ll Go Where You Want Me To Go in Spanish and English. My companion made me start it out solo. Soooooooo nerve-wracking. Public singing has NEVER been my strong point (I´m sure you all remember), but everyone liked it I guess. Even our roommates (the sisters from the other ward that live with us), who had to hear us practice it like 50 times.
b) Wednesday morning we decided to visit a woman named Clara who lives in our apartment complex who said that we could go by in the morning (which is rare). As we neared the building and then started climbing the stairs, we noticed a very strange smell. When she opened the door, it was apparent that it was coming from her house. The whole apartment was really smoky and she told us to come in. I started talking about the Restoration and my companion wrote a note to me in her agenda that said "Smells like drugs. What is that?" with an arrow pointing to my right. I looked and saw nothing. After a pretty short time, without finishing the lesson, we exited the scene. When we left, my companion informed me that there was a HUUUUUUUGE bong right next to me and that Clara (who´s like 75, by the way) was definitely doing drugs right before we went into her house. We REEEEKED of drugs and had to go change our clothes before we could keep working. Unfortunately, there was nothing we could do about the hair, backpack, scriptures, etc. So ridiculous. Why am I so naive?? HL was not okay with it. Haha.
c) Thursday evening we were hanging out, doing missionary work like always, and we decided to go see Danaees to tell her about Mutual on Friday. We walked into the apartment and her mom, Daniza, walked out her bedroom looking horrible. How are you? Bad, do you want tea? No, we just came by to tell Danaees about Mutual tomorrow. Danaees is leaving tomorrow. What? To go where? Copiapo to live with my mom. She just started sobbing and said that Danaees would not come out of her room and didn´t want to talk to her mom and that she had arranged everything with her grandmother (bus tickets, school, everything) and just all of a sudden told Daniza that she was leaving the next day. Wow. HL (Hermana Lindner) went into Danaees´s room to go talk to her and I stayed with Daniza in the living room. She just kept saying she wanted to die and she couldn´t believe something so horrible was happening to her, and I just kept telling her that it would be okay. Not sure how. After about 30 minutes HL and Danaees came out and said that we were going to buy a soda. We went to a little store across the street and drank Sprite out of glass bottles while Danaees talked about Justin Beiber (what is up with him, by the way?). We walked back to her apartment and said our goodbyes. I assumed HL had done all of the convincing possible, but just as we were about to leave HL said "By the way, there´s still time to change your mind" and Danaees started looking really weird and I asked her if she had asked Heavenly Father about her decision. When we told her to ask him if Joseph Smith was a prophet she said that there was something inside her that told her yes but she didn´t know what it was. So, she can get and recognize answers from God. Perfect. She said that she hadn´t really prayed about it. I told her that she knew that God knew what was best for her and she just had to listen to him to be happy. She said that she knew that it would be the right thing to stay. Without saying anything else, she got reeeeally happy and said "I´m going to stay!" Her mom was in her bedroom crying, so we sent Danaees to go tell her and waited in the living room. After a few minutes she came out, we went to tell Daniza goodbye, and she hugged me soooo hard and said that she would thank me for the rest of her life. Another account of the missionaries receiving amazing inspiration and saving someone´s life. So, we´re still good there.
d) Finally, yesterday was the day Daniel (Elder Albornoz) left. At 9:30 am, right before Sacrament Meeting, they set him apart. It was a really cool blessing, as all setting aparts are, right? His sister had come up from Antofagasta with her darling daughters and they were all in Sacrament Meeting but left right after (well, after taking like a hundred photos, haha). We ate lunch with a family who lives in the same building as the Albornoz family, so right after eating lunch we stopped by to say our final goodbyes. He was soooo happy and his mom was sooo sad. We took a picture of the whole family for them, and on the way to the airport they dropped us off at our house. I got unreasonably sad (he reminds me a lot of Chase and I felt like I was seeing Chase go off on his mission-- an occasion that I luckily was not present for, since I surely would have cried buckets, just as I did yesterday afternoon) and we went out to work a little late. We struggled through the afternoon, and it just got increasingly worse as almost all of our investigators that we´ve been teaching forever killed themselves. It got to the point at 8 pm that I couldn´t handle so many people rejecting this wonderful message anymore and started crying again. We sat down on a rock (it was FREEZING, as it had already been night for like two hours) and I tried to get myself together. Tough. I went to bed 40 minutes early with a pounding headache and woke up today happier. And with more faith for the future. We´re having 3 baptisms on the 28th! And we´re having zone conference this week, which is always great. And I know that I´m doing the work of the Lord. And I know that Elder Albornoz will be a WONDERFUL addition to the mission field. So, it´s all good.
Thanks for your letters this week! I love you guys and I pray for you always. Have a great week!