Where did the week go?

I swear it was just barely pday. Something funny, when I was sending my letter, Hna Ruiz saw our address and said, “Vive en Jupiter?” Ha ha ha ha.

As for this week, our “numbers” weren’t great, but we were still very blessed. We met with the familia Gorigoitia and watched the Only a Stonecutter movie and had a great discussion about staying faithful and perservering always.
Tuesday was my first real day as a real missionary!  (she completed her official training period) Crazy! Which is weird, I actually do feel different. Now that I’m more accustomed to mission life, I can focus on the more important things, like becoming a good teacher. 🙂 We did lots of fun contacting this day, including less actives from la lista.
Wed was SO long. I felt like this elder from the District videos – “I’m so tired, so I don’t know why I’m so happy.” There are long days like this one, but they are all still good. We probably contacted about 2000 people (mas o menos), no not really, but lots of antiguo investigadores and the houses in the streets. One guy, Willy, started crying when we were talking to him! He feel really alone, I felt so bad. Then I look at Hna R and she is about to start laughing! Ha ha. That’s my comp! Oh, another random thing, there were some borrachos (drunks) around 4 or 5 (early, right?) and they yelled some things at us. Normally, it doesn’t phase me cause its in spanish/ I cant understand it. But this time they said some things in english, which I understood perfectly. Freaked me out a little bit, but I’m fine. 🙂
Thurs was Hna Gonzales´ cumpleaños!! We had to have cake for breakfast (so difficult :P) because Hna Ruiz and I spent the night in Buin again (for her consejo the next day). Also, we went in the morning to San Bernardo for her carnet stuff, and on the train, I talked to someone! Kinda a big deal. It wasnt perfect, but he understood me! Woo!
Friday I spent in Buin with Hna Zelaya again. We are pretty tight now. She also taught me a cool analogy – that the scriptures are like the yummiest food, but you can’t know that you love it (or know they are true) unless you try it for yourself! 🙂 I loved spending time there, in the morning for exercise, we went outside their house and passed a volleyball! So fun. And Hna Davis from California made me breakfast! So nice.
Saturday we contacted an antiguo that was taught by other hnas earlier this year. She was really receptive and remembered alot! Hopefully we can continue to visit her. We also met with Carmen, the mamá of Marco, one of our recent converts. Obviously the elders who taught Marco tried to teach her, but she’s very catholic, not very receptive. So initially we just tried to befriend her and casually get to know her. And know we are teaching her more the lessons and she’s been pretty receptive! Even reading the book of mormon! Pretty awesome. We also had a fantastic lunch with my favorite, Hna Rebeca. She spoke some english, the CUTEST. Like, “I’m fine” and “whatever”. Ha ha ha. She also taught Hna R and I after lunch how to make super yummy bread. YES! Lastly, we had our english class. No one showed up at first, so the elders were just teaching Hna Ruiz, mostly slang, like “sup playa”. But then we practiced writing a letter (see pic) to Hna R´s imaginary boyfriend and she said “I don’t think on you”. Ha ha.
Sunday was way good. We had a sacrament meeting on the meaning of the sacrament! I have this little acronym that I like to think of during the sacrament that helps me remember the covenants we make – its easy. TAKE the sacrament: Take his name upon us, Always remember him, Keep his commandments, and Endure to the end. 🙂 You’re welcome. After church and a quick choir practice, we had the most amazing lunch ever. It was this tasty roast meat stuff and rice…No kidding, I probably ate 12 oz or more of the meat, and two plates of rice. So good. Later in the evening we had the official choir practice for the christmas devotional we are going to have in Buin. Elder Archuleta is going to sing! Woah woah. And I’m playing for our branch choir..so nbd. The pic I attached with the sheet music has Elder Archuletas handwriting…you could probably sell it for big bucks 😉 Later later we had a lesson with Javier and Celia..and it was my lead. It went fine, but still freaks me out to speak so much.
Overall, a good week. And this week is gonna ROCK. 🙂 Love you all and thanks for everything!!
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Green and nerdy

First, they are super green here. Clothes lines, recycle bottles, etc. I LOVE CHILE!
Second, in about a year we are gonna get the hardcore technology. Right now we are verifying the old fashioned way where people live – by visiting every single member. In Paine there is a list of around 800 members (the branch is about 150) so that gives you a good idea of how many menos activos we have. But the idea is to put all of these names in the my lds system that in a year when we get ipads, we will be able to pull up maps and see where members live, less actives, etc. Pretty sweet, right? Thought my favorite nerdy papi might be interested.

Staying in Paine !

STAYING IN PAINE! YAY!!! I am seriously so stoked, you don’t understand. And with Hna Ruiz too. In fact, our entire ZONE of Buin is the same, minus one new sister coordinator because one just left! Hna Ruiz said that in their meeting, Pres Warne said he has a lot of trust in the Buin zone and that there are a lot of excellent missionaries here. 🙂 But before he told us for reals, our district leader called and said I was going to Curico, Hna V to open a new sector, Hna G to train, Elder Horsely to train, and Elder Angel to Buin – we were all freaking out. It was horrible. Then he called back and told us the truth. Not cool! But I’m just happy that I’m here. 🙂

As for the week, as you know, I spent Monday in Santiago. It was a crazy experience, thats for sure. It was nice coming back to Paine and being able to breath! We had a fun experience in the evening too, our investigator Alyeen turned 11, so we had a little party with their family. Crazy, right? I told Hna Ruiz, there’s NO WAY people in the US would have the missionaries over for their birthday! We had some cake, snacks, and gave her a card. They were thrilled to have us, so it was fun.
Wednesday we had an AWESOME district class about successful missionaries. We looked at examples from the scriptures, like Paul and Alma and what they did to be so successful. And they had a ton more baptisms, but we can still learn a lot from them! I also had fun Wed with the branch choir, this time singing! Someone came and taught them warm up exercises, it was so silly…I started crying. Ha ha. Love them.
Thursday was another fun day…Divisiones! I should probably get used to them, with Hna R being coordinator. This time Hna Opazo (chilena) came to Paine with me. Its still crazy being in charge of your sector, but she helped me out tons, with talking and all. But I spoke a TON. Most in one day of all my mission! She told me something cool, that she ALWAYS sees a miracle during divisiones. And ours: we contacted a random house and found a less active member…was an elder at one point! Don’t know what will come of it, but it was interesting.
Another interesting thing..I have no more fear. When 85% of your spanish is about the gospel, you quickly lose the shyness of talking about it, cause its all you got! In the evening we were waiting for someone to open the chapel gate and a man walks by and asks (a bit creepy) why we were the most beautiful in the world. I dont know why, but I literally said, pointing to the chapel, “Por que tenemos el Evangelio de Jesucristo”. We got talking and he said he would come to sacrament mtg next week. Ha ha. We’ll see. 🙂
Then Sat… BAUTISMOS!! Crazy, right? For two sisters in a less active family. Alyeen (her birthday earlier, remember?) and Geraldine. I LOVE this family and it was an awesome experience. We stressed hardcore trying to find 2 white dresses, but we had some miracles. And the service was super simple, but I know it was a beautiful day for them. And the water was cold! They and Elder Horsely were all champs! 🙂
One last thing. I’m talking a lot more now, which is good. It also means I have more of those funny stories from making mistakes. The best was this: Hna R asked if she could borrow some “jabón”/ soap. I heard “jamón”/ham, so I said, “No tengo jamón, solamente queso/cheese”. Yep, we laughed pretty good with that one. 🙂
I just have to say, I love being a missionary! As I finish my training this week, I feel more ready than ever. I’m having an awesome experience! Love you guys so much! Have a wonderful week!!
Love, Hermana Clawson

Celia and Javier

To answer from the other email, Celia and Javier havent been married yet, but we DO have a date for both the marriage and baptism! Woohoo! And it makes me so happy, Javier has mentioned more than once that his goal is the temple. Amazing, right? And I secretly hope that I’m still here for my birthday and Christmas too. Not to mention the things I just mentioned. But I can’t stress too much about it…I’ll have time for that when I actually know this week. 🙂

Keeping the sabbath as a family

So, we are gonna start with Wednesday. We started what I was most nervous for this entire transfer: DIVISIONES. Where I was in charge of our sector! Ahhhh!!! Luckily I was with Hna Villareal, who I live with, so she was able to help me out. It didnt go perfectly, and we were a little lost sometimes, but I learned a TON from her and I did it! Woohoo! We met a really funny lady, Maria. At first when we were talking, she kept saying things like, “You just have something special”, “you are so sincere”, ” you have a glow”… Seriously, totally cliche. I was thinking, “This is one of those miracle moments where someone is super duper prepared!!”. But then when she found out we were “mormons”, she said, “Oh, no. I dont like the Mormons”. WELL YOU LIKED US 5 SECONDS AGO! Ha ha ha.

Something else kinda cool, I’ve been playing the piano for the branch for a christmas devotional they are going to have in Dec. The problem is, transfers are in 2 weeks, so I dont know if I’ll still be here! We’ll see! But I love spending time with all of them, even though I’m dang tired of playing “Regocijad, Jesús nació”. 😉

Thursday was… HALLOWEEN! My first real holiday in the mission field! Not gonna lie, its little sad to miss my favorite part of the year, but I had a good day. Its not celebrated as huge here, people didnt find it weird for us to visit, even in the evening. We contacted lots of doors too, but no one opened or gave us candy. 😦 But we had a fun “noche de hogar” in our casa and I gave a little lesson, we had a “special musical number” by Hnas Villareal and Gonzales, and ate completos and candy! Also, that evening there was a 6.6 earthquake in Santiago. We “felt” it here. Well, others did. I only noticed a picture moving, didnt really feel anything. But everything is okay here!

Friday I just have to say that I bought a ham and cheese empanada and it was DELISH.

Saturday we visited Hna Pilar, who turned 80 years old! We bought her cake and icecream and visited her and her daughter. She is alone most of the time, so she really loved it, was SO happy. 🙂 We also watched the Restoration movie with Angelica, who is ready to be baptized this week! Woohoo!!!!! We watched with Hna Amanda, a less active, and her husband, a non member, so it was cool all around. I also had a special moment in teaching a less active family about keeping the sabbath day holy. We’ve been working with them the entire time I’ve been here and I took the lead in teaching this lesson. And sunday….

THEY CAME TO CHURCH. All three meetings too! So happy. 🙂 That day we also had a way cool lesson with Juan and Veronica, who are less actives and the parents of 2 daughters over 8 that havent been baptized. I’ve had lots of experiences where the kids LOVE church, love the lessons, love the learn about the gospel, but their parents hold them back a little bit, which is sad. But this lesson really helped them feel the importance of living the gospel principles as a FAMILY.

And today, we had a way fun P day activity. The 2 zones here in Buin went to a park called Aqua Buin, we played fútbol, fuzbol, pingpong, and ate bbq and cake. It was fun to have a big group and just do some normal things!

So…that was this week. Another great one! LOVE YOU ALL AND WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!!

Love,
Hermana Clawson

Octopus Lasagna

Some exciting news: Monday we found out that Hna Ruiz is the new sister coordinator! Woohoo! I don’t know exactly what that means for me (other than an extra meeting), but I’m excited for her! Just goes to show what an awesome missionary she is!

Tues I had a funny experience with this family. Ercelia is less active and her family has lots of problems. Her son in law was drunk when we visited, came out of the house with his guitar, tambourine, and evangelist bible, and starts talking to us about how he drinks to solve his problems. Hna Ruiz marked a chapter for him to read in the bible instead of drinking. 😉 I thought he was gonna start singing, but he didn’t. But what was really funny was that he went back into the house and brought out these mugs with a drink inside. Obviously, we were like, “Uh, what is that?”. “No!”, he said, “Bebida! No alcohol!”. Ha ha ha.

Wed was SUPER bizarre too. On the way back from our district meeting, we rode in a colectivo…..he had a STUFFED HUMMINGBIRD in the windshield. Creepy much? We went straight to lunch where apparently I ate octopus lasagna. I’m not even joking you. Its a good thing I had no idea what it was before hand. It wasnt my favorite, but it really wasnt bad, so… yeah. Interesting. 🙂 One final funny thing: that same day we went into a little almacen to buy some pan and queso, and this little girl turns to Hna Ruiz and says, pointing to me, “Ella es suyo?” As in, she’s yours? Hna responded and laughed, “Mi compañera, sí!”. Ha ha ha.

Thurs we went to Huelquén, which is SUPER country. As in vineyards, tons of way pretty flowers, bees buzzing super loud in the trees. It also meant a LOT of walking – the most I’ve done in my mission. So by the end of the day we were pretty tired, took a little breaksita on some swings (pic).

Fri we taught seminary again. It has become a way for me to track my progress! This time I was able to speak WAY more, and actually TEACH something (and least I hope so).

Sun like usually was amazing. I’ve become really close with some of the members, and I love spending time with them. One cool experience we had: We had planned a noche de hogar with a family and 2 less active members. But the 2 last minute weren’t able to go. We went over to the family’s house (sidenote: they had baby chickies, so cute) and the Hna had a friend over. Well, being super awesome, Hna Ruiz took the opportunity to turn it into a lesson and we were able to share with her, and have plans to visit her more! Crazy how sometimes the Lord has other things prepared, right?

Overall, I really learned this week that its the small and simple things that make the difference. Because over time, these small things amount to GREAT things. Oh, and we are super excited because we secured a date for matrimonio for Javier and Celia so that means she also has a date for baptism! Woo! Finally!! I’m way excited for her to be able to receive this blessing. I was also really proud that we accomplished our goals for investigators in the church (4 for 4) and investigators with a date for baptism (6 for 4!).

Thanks for all your love and support! As Ellen always says, sending it right back at ya! 😉

Love,

Hermana Clawson