This week has been a good one. It rained cats and dogs Friday. That day we had interviews and I went to La Rioja on exchanges. In La Rioja we visited two ten year old girls and the lesson hit me hard. We got there and it was raining, we went in their gate and from what we heard it sounded like the older sister didn´t want us to come in the house. So we sat around a small table and I had to use my umbrella because there was a tear in the tarp right over my head. We sang and prayed and then their Dad got home. He walked in and asked what we were doing outside of the house. He went in and situated everything so that we could teach them inside. It was really nice of him, especially since I was thinking he was going to get mad that we were teaching his daughter. The house was very small and poor. We went over the restoration and when we started to talk about Christ´s life the girls started to tell us about school. The two girls are a little bit overweight and their schoolmates call them fatties. And when Belen jumps while playing at recess the kids all say, “earthquake.” This killed me. Why are we mean to other people? They are two beautiful daughters of God. I told them that they are beautiful and to not worry about what other people say. I really felt so bad. I am going to be a lot more careful with my words and one day I am going to teach my kids to love everyone.
I got a really good letter from Ben explaining how to effectively use questions. It has helped me a lot this week. I wrote to Ben about the following experience we had last night. We read Mosiah 5:7-8 with some less active members and analyzed the death out of it. They were a young couple that went to the temple and were sealed and now they don´t use their garments and haven´t been going to church. By asking questions we learned a lot about them and helped them realize what they need to do in their lives and why. It wasn´t just the traditional talk about praying, reading, and going to church. It turned into a discussion about progress and how we need the Holy Ghost to help us progress. Everyone has the light of Christ, so they know the good from the bad, but sometimes we don´t know exactly how to accomplish the good and that is how the Holy Ghost helps. I learned so much from the lesson and I felt the Spirit so strong. It was the perfect teaching situation that Elder Holland talks about in that talk you sent me. Where no one wants to be anywhere else in the world doing anything else than be there learning by the Spirit. My goal is to bring the Spirit to the home and heart of the people, it is just the most important.
On Tuesday we had our first lesson with Jean Richard. He is from Haiti and has been in Chile for about two years. He works in construction and doesn´t really have friends. He speaks French, Spanish and a little bit of English. He told us that you can study Spanish or English in the schools there and he chose Spanish. He is eating up everything we teach him and is so excited to meet members of the church. Bernardo is helping us teach him. There is a slight challenge-he works everyday and that means he can´t go to church. But he wants to find another job, so he is preparing to be baptized in June to show Heavenly Father his faith and desire to do the right thing. Please pray that he can find another job!
We have transfers this Sunday. The whole ward is saying goodbye. It is funny because someone will walk up to me and say, “You´re leaving next week?” And then I have to ask them where they heard that, it sounds like everyone is talking about it. Who knows? Maybe I will be here for one more.
Love you all, Hermana Arnold
I went to a flower shop this week and forgot to write about it in my letter. I left with almost tears in my eyes. I didn´t realize how big a part of me flowers are and how much of me is missing without them.
They say that the next earthquake is going to be in the North in Antofogasta and it is going to be HUGE. They also had a pretty strong tremor the other week. I have heard it is really hot there.
I love my camera by the way! I learned how to use it a little better this week. I really have needed to work on my patience because when I got the camera I didn´t have the patience to read the manual and now looking back at all the pictures I have taken I realized that they could have been much better if I had taken the time to learn how to use the camera. Silly Amy.