Monday, June 22, 2009

No Puedo Creerlo! I can´t believe it!


Yesterday was probably the most perfect day ever! So I could really see my progress with Spanish from day to day during the first few weeks here (I started typing "aqui" the Spanish word for here) and then in the last two weeks the progress seemed to halt. Especially last week I was having a super hard time understanding people. It felt like a block in my brain. I couldn’t even understand my companion, from day one I have always been able to understand her! So yeah, you can imagine my stress and knowing me how impatient I was becoming. Then Saturday everything changed. We had a lesson with Jose Zuniga our recent convert and his Spanish is super rapido (fast) and sloppy, so I have never been able to understand him very well. But on Saturday night I understood almost all that he said, it was a miracle! Yesterday I understood way more in church than normal and could understand everyone we talked with. It was super amazing! I am grateful to feel like I am progressing again and I just pray that I won’t fall back into not being able to understand.

Ok, so yesterday. First all of our converts were in church. Guido and Jesus were confirmed and Jose received the priesthood. It was very beautiful and it made me so happy. I am seriously having a hard time writing in English by the way. About half way through the meeting people started turning around to look at people entering in the back door of the chapel. I didn’t want to follow suit and so resisted turning around, but then curiosity got the best of me and I turned around.

The first person I saw was Patricio and his son Patricio. We found Patricio last Tuesday, we visited his house with the intent to contact an old investigator, but it turned out that they had moved out and he moved in. When we arrived at his house I thought it was abandoned and was surprised when he answered the door. We contacted him like normal and he quickly and happily invited us inside. He had spoken with missionaries before and they had never returned to visit him. We went into his house which smells strongly like animals because he has four rabbits in cages by the door. It was seriously the most humble circumstances I have seen. There are gaps in the walls everywhere allowing the cold air to enter. Patricio was dressed all in gray and had a scraggly beard making him look homeless. We taught him the first lesson and he readily agreed with everything. He studied in the Bible a lot, knows a lot and is super humble. He has studied English and actually knows it quite well, he was super patient with my Spanish and kept asking do you need me to speak more slowly? We set his baptismal date for the 12th of July. We visited him again on Thursday and everything was completely different. He had shaved, was dressed like he was ready for church, there were plants in his living room, and a tablecloth on the table. I thought, "wow he really wants the gospel in his life." It is pretty incredible that he attended church yesterday for the first time and without us picking him up. I am so excited for him.

After seeing Patricio, which brought me a lot of joy, I saw Teresa and Chris. Wow I wish that you could have seen my face. Who knows what it looked like but wow was I surprised. They sat behind us and of course I started crying and crying. I think it was because it was such a big shock. It was so special to see them. Chris said that mom said to him, "Just find her, don’t break any rules, but please find her." They did a lot of searching and I am so grateful to them for their efforts in my behalf. They have a movie to show you in which I cry again. Sorry for that and don’t show it to people because I am pretty sure that I look pretty ugly. I had a really hard time speaking in English, sorry about that too. I still have more news and not much time so wait till Friday when you see them and they can tell you all about our visit.

Yesterday was perfect. I received so many blessings. Last we received a call from Presidente May. He only calls the missionaries that are training. Which of course is my companion once again. He said, "Hermana Cuevas I have a new assignment for you. You will be training again this transfer." This is her third time training! In a row! Then he said, "Can I talk to your companion?" I thought what! He said, "Hermana Arnold I also have a new assignment for you, you will be serving in Los Andes with Hermana Spielman this transfer." Wow! I was so surprised. I definitely did not think I would be leaving Los Mares. I was in shock all night and didn’t sleep very well. I love Los Mares and it was super difficult to leave this morning. It felt like I was leaving my family again. I love the people there too much. I think that I maybe love people too much, because it is super super hard for me to say goodbye. I got to see family Ceron, Jesus and family Yanez this morning before I left.

I am now in Centenario in the Andes mountains. I don’t really know much about here. We had to travel an hour and a half to get here and we are surrounded by hills and mountains. It is beautiful. Hermana Atkin was also transferred to this zone and I look forward to seeing her on Wednesday. My companion is Chilena and from Concepcion. She trained last transfer and seems so sweet. I am going to continue to learn Spanish rapidly and am excited to find those waiting for the gospel here in the country. I had a feeling that I would spend time in Los Andes, but I didn’t know it would be this soon!

I love being a missionary. I love hearing from all of you and anticipate hearing about all your upcoming adventures! I got the letter about caving this week and loved seeing the pictures. Thanks for all the gifts you sent! Hermana Cuevas loved her necklace and I love mine. I think you can still read my thoughts even though I am far away because I really needed those games and was specifically thinking of asking for you to send "Strength for YOuth" pamphlets. Thank you!

Love you,

Every Monday I can’t believe it is already Monday again. Time is going by so fast.

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