May 17, 2010 (Rain!!!!!)
So, where do I start with this crazily amazing week$ (sorry, the question mark button on my keyboard isn't working... Weird...). I'm finally sending pictures!!!! Yesterday was one of the craziest days on my mission because it was a day that I never thought I'd have here in the driest desert of the world, the Atacama Desert. It rained! I'm sending lots of pictures of the rain, the flooded city, my flooded house, the sunset last night, the city this morning after it rained, a statue of a couple mining dudes (we live in a little mining community), etc. I hope you enjoy! :)
It turns out that it hasn't rained like it did yesterday for over 20 years here in the northern part of Chile. It was crazy! And we got soaked! :) It rained all day long. Here in Chile, we're just getting into autumn/fall weather, and it is getting really cold. It's lucky that I bought a nice little jacket in Copiapó last winter or I would have died last night walking around in Diego de Almagro! It snowed a ton just 15 minutes away from us in the hills. It was so beautiful this morning to see all the different colored hills -- blue, red, green, pink, purple, and white. It was amazing, but cameras just sadly can't capture all that you can see with your eyes.
Oh yeah, don't worry too much about our house. We have a little patio that filled up like a swimming pool while we were at church and flooded in beneath the patio door. It didn't do any damage to our things, it just took a couple hours to get all the water out. Our little house was like a lagoon! But at least I enjoyed it. And we got some good pictures. :)
However, the greatest part about this week was not the rain. It was seeing our Heavenly Father's miracles in the lives of His children. A few weeks ago, Elder Howard and I felt an impression that we should go visit a former investigator of the church, Marcela, the mom of an inactive young man. We visited her, and she told us all about her story. She felt really discouraged and down because she couldn't stop smoking. She had gone to church many times, and she has a strong testimony about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the church. She even went to a baptismal interview, but she was honest about her smoking addiction and the Elder told her that she couldn't be baptized.
Of course, after Marcela was told that she couldn't be baptized, she felt even more discouraged and stopped going to church. A few missionaries passed by her house and, seeing her discouragement, told her frankly that if she didn't WANT to progress, they would stop visiting her. And they did. That was a few months before we got there. We decided to first talk about the Atonement and help her set goals to overcome her addiction. A gleam of hope was in her eyes. We kept going by and encouraging her, and even though she fell back into her old ways a few times, we just tried to be positive and keep a strong spirit of encouragement and love in her home.
At the present date, Marcela hasn't smoked in over a month. She is happy, and she says that she feels the spirit strongly in her life and in her home. She has experienced first hand the Atonement of Christ in her life and the power in the Gospel. We challenged her to be baptized, and now there is nothing stopping her. She is going to be baptized this Saturday. Yay!
Needless to say, I am very happy that we could help one of our Heavenly Father's daughter to have the joy of the Gospel in her life. I really do love being a missionary! It has been a great, fulfilling week, and I know that the Lord is working miracles in our little town, Diego de Almagro.
I hope you all have a wonderful Spring like day while we are heading into a cold winter! I love you all, and I hope the best for you. Take care! You're all in my thoughts and prayers.