Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hermana Mercado's Last Letter from Chile!!!!!

Well, Maria officially died. When we went to go visit her Monday, she wasn't home. And she didn't answer her phone. We were able to find her a little later in the week, and from the conversation we had, she just isn't ready yet for various reasons. It made me really sad, but I know everything will be ok in the end. 

Juanita is still going strong, and excited to prepare for her baptism in January. Love her. 

We also found a few new people to teach, my favorite being Alejandro. He's a 60 something year old single ex-hippie who takes care of his 80 or 90 something year old mother, Sara. She is a hoot. The cutest little old lady ever, who doesn't follow the conversation very well, but she gives a lot of love. "Cuando ustedes quieren, pasen no mas!" She was caressing Hna Venegas's arm through the whole lesson, asking if she was cold and wanted a sweater, and telling her she wants her Mamita to come by and visit her. 
Alejandro had had a friend who had become a member of our church a while back and has gone on to be a bishop. Still, he didn't know much about us and was interested in learning more. It was a great lesson and he was very receptive.

Since it was my last Sunday, Hna Venegas and I offered to do a musical number in sacrament meeting. We sang a duet of "What Child is This?", a mixture of english and spanish. 
And I had my despedidas, where I can invite all my converts, members from each of my sectores, to come to the mission office to officially say goodbye. A little testimony meeting and "once" despues. Also recieved a few going-home gifts. It was good.

So this is it folks. This week is going to be a little crazy. We, the "campeones", (missionaries finishing the mission) have a temple trip tomorrow, a special trip and lunch with President Wednesday, and then a Christmas Conference with the whole mission and getting on a plane Thursday. 

Hna Venegas convinced me to get a haircut before I come home.
I'll probably write one more entry when I get home to finish this thing off, but for now, just know it's been great, and I'll see you all soon! 

--Hna Mercado  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hermana Mercado with her Chicken for Thanksgiving!

Hermana Mercado, Hermana Venegas and Alexandra at the Santiago Temple!

Hermana Mercado and Hermana Venegas

Hermana Selk and Hermana Mercado at Zone Conference

Hermana Venejas made Sopapillas

With Cecilia and Sofia making cupcakes at evening RS

Hermana Mercado's 66th Letter from Chile!

We were able to get in contact with Maria again. She had smoked so we had to push her fecha back. Then we lost contact with her again. When we were able to reconnect, she said that she was unsure if she should be baptized, since she still struggles to not smoke sometimes, and she also feels that she might actually be leaving her husband behind by being baptized since he was baptized Catholic. We did what we could to help her resolve her concerns and in the end invited her to pray to know if she should prepare to be baptized. Things are a little tense, but we trust that we've done everything that we can and it is in the Lord's hands. We have to respect her agency. We'll be verifying with her today to see if she feels that she should move forward. We hope to be able to help her to continue to progress towards a fecha. 

But, miracle, we were able to put another fecha with one of our new investigators last week! Juanita! She is a sweet abuela in a wheelchair who's been handicapped her whole life. We shared the plan of salvation with her. As she shared with us the challenges and difficulties that she's had in her life due to her disability and her relationships in her family, my thought was, she is so humble and prepared, which made me think of Alma 32:6. After the lesson, she said that before, life didn't have meaning to her, but now it all makes sense. She readily accepted the baptismal invitation. And she came to church! She was warmly received by the members and loved it! Not to mention it was our primary program, so that was a bonus.

Found quite a few new investigators this week with the help and guidance of the Lord. I know he is leading us to these great people. 

We were able to meet Cecilia and Rodrigo, Sofia's parents this week and share a little bit with them. And then Cecilia and Sofia came to the Relief Society activity on Wednesday to learn how to decorate cupcakes for Christmas!

Yesterday, we were knocking doors, not getting many results, so we did the stop and say a little prayer technique. Next door, the lady (Isolina) let us in. We were able to share with her, her husband, Octavio, and her little nietos. They're from Peru. After the closing prayer, she shared with us that her father is seriously ill. He's never been ill. She had been in the shower before we had come, thinking why is this happening, and had started to cry. It was just a little bit later, when she was drying her hair that she heard us calling at the door. She says she thinks God sent us to her from heaven. :)

I know God loves all his children and is mindful of every single one of our needs. I know that the fulness of his gospel is found in this church. There is no doubt in my mind. And he gives everyone of his children the opportunity to hear it. 

--Hna Mercado 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hermana Mercado's 65th Letter from Chile!

Good week. Wednesday we went to the Relief Society activity with a couple of our investigators. We learned how to make sushi. It was quite delicious. 

 The weekend was a little slow, and the sun was a little strong, but we kept on truking. We were in contact with Maria almost everyday since her baptism is coming up. We had great lessons on the law of chastity, word of wisdom, and tithing, and she humbly and willingly accepted all the commitments. We were going to go to the temple gardens with her on Saturday, but at the last minute, she called and canceled because her daughters came to visit and didn't want to go. So we just went with Alexandra, one of our recent converts. It was a good experience. But we were definitely bummed that Maria couldn't come. 

And then she didn't come to church. She didn't answer the phone when we called and was out when we passed by her house. So we haven't heard from her since Saturday. We're going to try and get in touch with her today. We hope she's ok. 

But, tender mercy. We were out knocking doors in the hot sun on Sunday, not getting any results really, when a car stopped by the side of the road and low and behold, out came la familia Torrejon and Rocio from Ciudad Satelite! It was great to see them. And Rocio is going to be heading out on her mission to Brasil in February! So proud of her! Then Sis. Torrejon pilled us into her car to meet her uncle and aunt (who aren't members) who live in our sector. So we had a nice little get to know you and message with them. They're not very interested right now due to health problems (her aunt just had heart surgery a couple of months ago) so she's resting most of the time, but they said to pass by in the future. Maybe not a "golden" family for now, but a seed was planted. And seeing friendly faces and being able to get into a house definitely lifted my spirits.

--Hna Mercado  

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hermana Mercado's 64th Letter from Chile!

It was a great week. Working hard. Made lots of "new friends" (aka contacting). Found a few new people to teach. Sofia and Cecilia (daughter and mother) who have family in the states who are members, so they want to learn more. They have a cute little dog named Puffy. We also met Suad (Arabic name supposedly) but she is 100% Chilean. She's a yoga intsructor, and very in touch with the spiritual and accepts all religions. She would like us to teach her son, to expose him to more spiritual instruction. And on the way to internet, we met Rosa. She actually stopped us to ask if we were Jehova's witnesses. We presented ourselves, our purpose, and offered to say a prayer to bless her home. She invited us right into her home because they are having a challenging time. It's amazing how Heavenly Father is putting people in our path. 

The best part of this week had to be that Maria accepted the invitation to be baptized! We are going to be helping her prepare for the 7th of December. And we had a very special moment with her in gospel principles on Sunday. She is widowed and loved her husband very much. The class was on eternal marriage. In the middle of the class, she started to cry, and said, "Can what I'm hearing really be true?" She had been told after her husband died, that his memory had been taken away and that he wouldn't remember her, so she should just let him go and try to move on. How grateful I am to know that we continue to be the same people after we die and that we can be together with our families forever. And now Maria knows, and she has her eyes set on the temple. 

--Hermana Mercado

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hermana Mercado's 63rd Letter from Chile!

Highlight of the week. Conference with Elder Holland. It was so good! We had the conference with him Tuesday in the morning  in the city and since we are on the coast and hours away from civilization, we went into Maipu Monday evening to stay the night. We got to stay the night with Hna Selk y su hija, Hna Puchi! It was so great to see her! I love that woman. It was a little weird because she is living in my first pension but working in a diferent ward.

So Tuesday morning we got up at 4am to get ready to leave and get there early (we wanted to get good seats). Elder Holland is very funny and very passionate. Take away message I got: the Lord doesn't want 14 month or 16 month sister missionaries. He wants the full 18 months. So working to the end my friends! 

Side note. I also got to see Hna Moody in the conference because all the missions of Santiago got together to see Elder Holland. It was so good to see her!

It was a good week, but my mind is kind of a blur. That seems to happen a lot. But changes. We got a bit of a surprise. Both Hna Rodriguez and I are leaving El Quisco. But it is being left in good hands. Hna Marquez will be doing a whitewash and training there. I am now in el barrio Los Libertadores en la zona Los Cerrillos. City. Our sector is la plaza de Maipu and a little more. But I'm excited. I'm with Hna Venegas the hija of Hna Bigo. She was in my zone when I was in Ciudad Satelite and she is awesome. So she'll be my last companion to send me on home. We have a lot of work to do. It's gonna be good. 

--Hna Mercado

ps.I'll send pictures next week. this computer isn't reading my camera. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hermana Turville stuck in the stairs!

"The cutest Kitty in the world"

Hermana Mercado and Kitty


Trick or Treaters

Misioneros de Quisco

Ensalada de tomates y maiz

Misioneros de Quisco

Hermana Rodriguez gets a hair cut!

Hermana Mercado gets a haircut!

No bake cookies, yum!