Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hermana Mercado's 46th letter from Chile

First, I would like to apologize if I was a little bit melodramatic in my last email. Mission life gets hard sometimes and Satan was working on me a little bit. Don't worry, I'm better now. 

Last week had a lot of highlights. Tuesday, we met with Romina and Alejandro. Romina is less active, but she shared with us that she wants to start coming back to church. Alejandro (her husband) shared that he would like t learn more and see if the church is something that could be good for their daughters (they have the two cutest little girls, Daphne and Helen). Then, near the end of the meeting he revealed that he had been baptized in the church several years back. So, another less active, not an investigator. But we're really excited to work with them because they are such a sweet family.
That day we also had a really sweet lesson on the restoration with Oscar, an investigator who's been meeting with missionaries for a while. His wife is a member but inactive at the moment, but they are amazing people. He believes everything that we taught him, but his only doubt is that he doesn't believe a man can see God. The room was on fire in that lesson. He's committed to reading and praying about the Book of Mormon to know if what we taught him is true or not. 

Wednesday was a little rough. A lot of our citas fell through so we ended up doing a lot of contacting and I don't know what was wrong that day, but it seemed like everyone we talked to was angry about something. But we ended the day well, visiting with Lucy, the mom of Marienela, a menos activa. Her husband passed away last week. She says she loves it when we come by. We always bring peace into her home. We're starting to teach her.

Thursday was great. We had a Zone Conference with President y Hna. Barreiros and Elder y Hna. Zeballos of the Seventy. It was just the piuck me up I needed. It reminded me that we can work miracles with the help of the Lord if we will only exercise our faith. It also reminded me that we need to be happy. It also helped that I got to see Hna. Selk. I love that girl. She had changes and is now in the Zone where I was born! Olimpo! She's living in my first home! Crazy.

Friday we were able to visit with Karina again. She is doing great and saying her prayers! She even offered to say the first prayer in our lesson! We're helping her to start reading the Book of Mormon now. I was tired by the end of that day, I fell alseep during the closing prayer after planning for the next day. Hna. Choc had to say "Amen" twice to wake me up. 

Saturday, we didn't have a lot of set plans, so we were contacting SIMI. We weren't having a lot of success, so when were standing outside of the next house on our list I started to pray really hard, something to the effect of "Heavenly Father, please help us to find someone who'll let us in". A woman came to the door, all I said was "Somos misioneras de la Iglesia de Jescuristo...", she told us to hold on, went inside for a second, came back out and said "Pasen!" She wasn't the person we were looking for, and she had never shared with missionaries before, but she said that all who share the word of God are welcome in her house. Telma. We also met her sister, Berta, neice, Jesenia, and son Josue. And their willing to learn more! We were alos able to visit with David and Olivia, contacts we had done a couple of days earlier. 6 new investigators in one day! The Lord is amazing.

Sunday, Carlos and Felipe came to church again! We weren't able to meet with them this past week but we have a cita to teach them this week. Lucy also came to church with Marienela! And the day was good. 

The gospel is true. It brings us peace and happiness.  

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Penaflor Zone

Paloma and her Chicken

Hermana Mercado and Anais

Bar-b-que with the Familia Torrejon

Elder Watson flying

At the Air and Space Museum

With Hermanas from her Zone at the Museum

The Hermana's from Sara's Zone

Las Hermanas at the Museum

The Hermanas leaving the museum

Hermana Mercado's District before changes.

Hermana Mercado's 45th Letter from Chile

Well, let's see. I don't remember if I told you guys, but last week for P-day, the whole zone went to an airplane and space museum. That was fun. We had as our tour guide, Hno. Vasquez, the secound counselor from Ciudad Satelite. That was fun to see him again. Afterwards we went to the mall that was close by (Plaza Oeste) for lunch and to shop a little. I didn't really buy anything just printed pictures.

This past week I also had divisions with my Hermana Lider Entrenadora, Hna. Fuentes. That was a good time. She's from Mexico, has one more change than I do and she's amazing. She reminded me how to enjoy every day in the mission, because our time here is short. 

We started teaching a couple of antiguos, Carlos y Felipe, and they are amazing! They are reading the Book of Mormon and already have a testimony of it and the restauration. But when we invited them to be baptized, they said they felt it wasn't the right time yet. They have other situatons and responsibilities going on in their lives right now, and they don't want to get baptized and then have the church be something that they put aside. So we're working with them. They came to church! 

We've started to teach English classes. We had a pretty good size group this past week, but we hope to have more people this week. 

I hit 1 year in the mission. Man, I feel old. But at the same time, I feel like I just got here, and there is still so much that I have to learn. Gah! 

I told myself at the beginning of my mission that I never wanted to feel trunky, but as the end comes closer, it really does get harder. I can just feel my body getting more tired. Especially when everyone asks you how much time you have in the mission, and now the reaction is always, "Ah! Te queda pocito!" Having divisiones with Hna. Fuentes helped a lot. She has less time than I, and she really is taking advantage of everyday. I pray that the Lord can give me the strength to do what I need to do, to focus everyday on how I can help the people here, and not waste time getting distracted. This is time I'll never get back. And my time is not over yet.

--Hna. Mercado

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hermana Mercado's 44th Letter from Chile

Oh mission life. It is filled with the happiest and saddest moments you'll ever experience in your life (well, up to this point at least) and it's amazing how many highs and lows one can experience even within one week, especially in a whitewash. There are days when we don't get into one house, and then there are days where we have some of the most powerful spiritual expereinces I have ever had. 

One of the highs this week was when we met with Karina for the first time. She is a less active that some other Hermanas found in a cosechon last week in our sector. She is 19 years old,and got baptized when she was 11. She went to church alone for a while (her father is a member but went inactive), but after the death of her grandfather, she stopped going. When she met with us, she told us that the day the other Hermanas had come by her home, she had just had an encounter with other members at her work who were sending gifts to their friends on missions, so when she came home and heard that the missionaries had been looking for her, she took that as a sign. She wants to take advantage of this opportunity to become closer to God. We shared with her a mini lesson on prayer, and man, the spirit was so strong! She committed to praying everyday. At the moment, she can't come to church because she works on the weekends, but she told us that she wants to stop doing that soon. She is amazing! And she wants us to meet with her and her boyfriend next time. 

We also meet President and Hna. Barreiros (pronounced Ba-jei-rus). They are awesome! And so funny. We got to have lunch with them, interviews and lessons. They have a lot of energy and a lot of enthusiasim for the work. I wish I had my notes with me, because they shared a lot of great stuff, but I can't remember! I do remember that they want to have a zone conference all in English in about 6 months, so Hna. Choc and I are only speaking English in the pension so she can practice. She speaks English very well. 

Changes coming up next week. I don't think I'm going anywhere, but it will be interesting to see what happens!

Love you all! 

--Hna. Mercado

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

photos from Hermana Mercado

Hermana Muriel y su Familia

Hermana Choc helping to make pan.

La Familia Lopez

Hermana Mercado's 43rd Letter from Chile

My mind is a blur. Sometimes it's hard for me to remember what happened just the day before. I know it rained a lot for a couple of days this past week. The roads were like a river. And we have a lot of dirt roads in our sector, so those turned to mud. Luckily, Hna. Choc and I bought rain boots a few weeks back, so we were prepared. 

We had a lot of appointments set up for one of those rainy days. It was raining that morning when I woke up. In my experience in Chile, when it rains, it usually rains all day long, so in my morning prayer, I included, "Please Heavenly Father, if you could let it stop raining before our appointments so people don't cancel, that would be great". It stopped raining right after lunch.

We started to teach a great family this week. Oscar and Marcela. The Elders had been teaching them a couple of months back. And they have three young boys. And the cutest little puppy I have ever seen! But that's besides the point. Marcela is a member, but hasn't gone for a long time. Oscar is not a member, but really open, asks a lot of questions and is reading the Book of Mormon. I love them! 

Things are hard a times, but things are good. And the members are amazing. I think one of my favorite families so far has to be la Familia Lopez. El Hno. Lopez is the 1st counselor in our bishopric, and really funny. They have two sons that are married and already gone from the house. All that remains is their daughter Genesis. She was born the same year as boy, but she's already serving as the 1st couselor in the Relief Society! She is amazing. Working, and studying, and always willing to help us out. And they're all really funny. 
And la Hermana Muriel. She is a sweet heart. Her husband works in the stake, so she spends a lot of time at home alone taking care of their 5 boys! Ranging from 16 to 2 years old. Samuel! He is so cute! But she is always so happy. She helps to lift my spirits.

And now we have a new President. President Barrieros. We get to have interviews with him this Friday, so I'll let you know how that goes. 

Love you all!

--Hermana Mercado