What a great week it has been filled with the usual highs and lows of the missionary life.
Firstly, we went to the temple!!! As I told you last week, we were going to go with Victoria and Marcelo. I was so excited to be able to visit the temple with them and introduce it to them from the very beginning of their spiritual journey. However, the morning of the temple trip, we called them and they told as that they were sick and could not go. I was so sad. They had to go. I thought of how it would be in the last day when were are called to see if we will enter into God´s house and how some will be spiritually sick or out of shape and will not be able to enter.
The temple trip was still amazing. We arrive in Santiago at about 11:00 AM. After waiting in the line for the 11:30 at the front desk of the temple (yes, there was a line) for about 15 minutes they told Elder Boyd and I that the session had been filled. (Our ward´s session was scheduled for the 12:30 session. We just wanted to do an earlier session so that we´d have more time). We them went to the store and bought garments and other supplies. However, the line there was incredibly long and we were in the store until about 12:25. We ran to the temple, changed faster than Clark Kent and barely made it into the session.
During the temple I was thinking and praying a lot. I was surprised by the fact that I understood everything in Spanish! Well, I understood the translations of the words, but not the full meanings of the words. However, one thing stuck out to me in particular. Last weekend we had a mission fast. One of the purposes was to find ways to be more obedient. As we fasted and when I was in the temple this last weekend I have thought a lot about obedience. I know that I have to be obedient. The Lord does not want an "average" missionary—He has enough of those. He wants superb missionaries—missionaries that are diligent and obedient with exactness. In the temple I was praying and thinking and realized ways that I have to improve in. I know what the Lord wants of me and I promised Him that I will make the necessary changes in order that I can be exactly obedient. As always Jesus is the prefect example of perfect obedience. During the session, I realized how when the Father gives a command to Jesus or Jesus to his chosen servants, they did not complain or ask questions. Rather, they simply respond that they will fulfill His command. That is true obedience--no questions asked, completion of all that has been asked.
The temple was definitely the high point of this week. Now for the lows...
We have dropped the four other investigators that had baptismal dates. None of them are coming to church and are not keeping their commitments. I felt the pain as we left behind four investigators that had baptismal dates. It truly pains me to see how close these people were coming to the waters of baptism and entering the path towards the celestial kingdom, only to not progress on the baptismal pathway.
We are now back to the ground zero of missionary work: finding.
Now for some cultural notes.
I have not talked about washing clothes yet. Here in Chile, nobody has dryers and very few have washing machines. Most of the people wash the clothes be hands and hang them to dry. Luckily, we missionaries have mamitas who take care of our clothes. However, as of the fact that we are in winter now and the sun is hardly ever seen due to the clouds, clothes do not dry very well. It is funny on the days when the sun does peek around the clouds, everyone rushes to hang up all their clothes.
Speaking of rushing, in the states, if you were to hear a friendly little jingle of bells playing songs like "Take me out to the ballgame" blasting through your neighborhood, you would (or at least, I would) come running to by an ice cream from the ice cream man. I only made that mistake once here in Chile. Here, instead of having ice cream trucks, we have gas trucks. Not quite as tasty as ice cream. Only the very rich people here have built in gas lines. So, if you want to have a warm shower or cook on the stove, you have to have a gas canister to hook up to the stove or water-heater. Those trucks drive around dropping off and picking up gas canisters. So, if you ever come to Chile, you want fall for the tourist trap of flagging down a gas truck trying to buy ice cream! :)
I love my mission!