How nice to hear about the great weather up there. The weather isn't too bad here in the city, but it really does cool down at night...like a lot!!! But it's fun to wrap ourselves in blankets and read the scriptures :)
To be honest, I kind of forgot it was Easter until the senior missionary couple that shares the sector with us came up and said "Happy Easter!" and I was like, "Oh yeah! Today's Easter! Whoa..." But it was a good Sunday :) The lesson in Gospel Principles was the best! They talked about the priesthood, and Elder Garrison shared a really powerful story about when they gave a blessing to his neighbor. The Spirit was definitely felt. He told about his neighbors that had 7 children, and felt like they needed to add one more to the bunch, but the mother had a really bad heart condition. She was already pregnant with the 8th child and were told that because of her heart condition, she wouldn't live. Nobody ever lived. So they prayed and fasted and talked to leaders of the Church, and they told her it was okay to have an abortion because her life was at risk, but they prayed and fasted even more and felt they needed to continue. So the husband asked Elder Garrison if he could give his wife a blessing, because he was afraid that if he gave the blessing, he would say what HE wanted to happen, not what God wanted. So Elder Garrison gave the blessing, and in the blessing he said that she would have good health throughout the pregnancy and that she would live long enough to get to know her baby, and for the baby to get to know her. Well, they went through with it and everything, and the baby and the mom both lived and the baby was super healthy, normal. The mother lived 7 months to get to know her child, and then passed away. And they named the baby Faith. But because of the priesthood and the blessing, and the faith of everyone, she was able to give birth (the only case in history to live through giving birth) and live 7 more months. It was powerful. How blessed we are to have worthy men posess the power of God and be able to preach, heal, and serve with that power. Do you realize that without the priesthood, we wouldn't be able to progress in the plan of salvation? We wouldn't be able to be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, make and keep sacred covenants in the temple, like the sealing of families, and of course the work for the dead. The priesthood is essential!
This week, we lost two investigators. Both of them want nothing to do with us anymore. But we didn't hear it directly from them. Someone else told us what they had supposedly told them. We don't know what happened with either of them, but oh well. That's all part of missionary work. People have their free agency, we can't force them to listen to us. But I sure hope that one day they might see missionaries again and feel something special and want to talk to them again.
So Antofagasta is gigantic, right? Well, I'm new here, and Hermana Rojas is kind of too. She's been here already two transfers, but since it's HUGE, she still doesn't know a whole lot about the city. Well, the other day we wanted to go back home from the mission office, and we got on the bus that we THOUGHT headed by the house...wrong. We ended up heading for the other side of the city!!! Pucha....it was hilarious, we were laughing our heads off, but also a little worried of how we were gonna get back to our side of Antofa. We recognized the chapel where the zone leaders go, so we got off there and took the bus that we KNEW for SURE headed our way. Oh boy, that was a nice little adventure.
On Friday, it was the birthday of an inactive, and his wife (also inactive) invited us over for lunch. They are really nice less-actives who rent out bedrooms to foreign students. They invited like, EVERYONE. We met one girl that's living with them right now from Lithuania (I don't remember, is that how it's spelled in English?) and another girl who used to live with them from Belgium. We had a really great conversation! They asked us questions about the church and everything. And I felt sooooo much love for them, especially the girl from Belgium. I wanted so bad for her to feel that there IS a God, who is her Father, and that He loves her SO much. It was a really good talk!
The zone leaders had a baptism on Saturday, and we took our investigator, Karla (who still talks to us!), to go see what a baptism is like. The lady being baptized was the sweetest lady ever. She's a little old lady, maybe late 70s, who is just so beautiful. As soon as we walked into the chapel, we could immediately feel the Spirit so strongly. The little old lady had the biggest smile on her face. It was a really beautiful service. They showed videos about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and it was just so wonderful and beautiful, I couldn't help but cry a little and just smile. This is the true gospel of Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ suffered and gave His life, then was resurrected all for US. So we can overcome spiritual and physical death as well. He loves us, DE VERDAD. And I felt so much love for Him, for what He did for me.
Because of Him, we will live too... http://easter.mormon.org/
Con todo mi corazón,
Hermana Jennifer Howell