First off, I just wanna say how much I wanna see baby Aftyn. She looks so freaking cute.. I can´t believe I have 2 nieces I don´t even know yet.. it´s crazy. I´ll give you guys a quick update on the week real quick, then just some thoughts I had while reading your letters and looking at the pictures. The week has been pretty good. Saturday was EXTREMELY hot. Sunday too... it got up to about 104 degrees on Sunday, and like 100 on Saturday. To top it off, Saturday was fast sunday so we were out from 3:30 to 10:00 in hot weather without water. It was difficult I´m not going to lie, but we just kept at it. At 9:30 we get a call from a member telling us our clothes are clean and then we need to go pick it up. We drop our plans we had, and go pick up our clothes. On the way, we contacted a guy named V. Anyways he told us he wanted to hear our message, and then we could pass by anytime. He actually lives 2 houses down from the member that had our clothes. We get our clothes, and start walking home. Then we think.. why don´t we just go to him now? So we turn around, walk 10 minutes back to his house, and share with him. We shared about baptism, and he said he would get baptized if God answered his prayer. We invited him to church, and to be baptized on January 24th. He came to church and enjoyed it, and after sacrament meeting he had to go home. I asked when we could go back, and he said he wanted to meditate a bit in his house and stuff first. We haven´t talked to him since, but he seemed to like church. I´ll keep you guys updated. J is doing really well. She had to work on Sunday, but she said that should be the last Sunday she should have to work. We had an appointment with her, and she told us that she had read the chapter we left her in the Book of Mormon. She said she continues to feel that warm feeling when she reads. She also said she feels so good in the church (that´s where we meet with her) and she´s feels super tranquila... (tranquil? Or just calm or whatever I don´t really remember the word) She´s progressing really well. We verified about her baptism date on the 24th and she said she was talking to her friend about it (returned missionary of 10 meses) and that she had told him she feels it MIGHT be a little soon, but the member told her that was Satan putting those doubts into her mind. She proceeded to tell us that she felt pretty good about the 24th, but will continue to pray about it. We brought a member with us that actually lives by her, and after the appointment they went to basically Walmart I guess and went shopping. Haha we´re excited for her so pray for V and her. S came to church and so did N, so they´re also progressing well. The mission is awesome when you have people progressing and people to teach. I know how much I´m going to miss it. It´s also very hard, stressful, and tiring. Walking 6 and a half hours a day in 100 degree weather obviously isn´t the most exciting thing and won´t be something I miss, but teaching people, seeing the changes in them, making an impact on their life, and just all around Chile is something I will definitely miss. Anyways, we had mission counsel today again. We learned a little bit more about how to work with the members. We will be teaching zone class this Thursday, so hopefully all goes well. They took some pictures of a balloon activity we did to help us understand the work with the members even more so you can look at the blog and see if they post them. That´s about all for this week. We´ll be meeting with J here pretty soon, and she´s definitely our best investigator. Also F's parents came to church to do a baby blessing, but he couldn´t because he was with his real dad.
While reading Mom´s letter, and seeing the pictures, it made me really think about our life before coming here. I started thinking about how sad we get when someone passes on from this life. That made me think of all the people that were with Aftyn at 8:05. I obviously pictured Grandma Neilson for one, and just thought how hard it probably was for her to say goodbye to Aftyn. I´m sure they understand God´s plan well, but I imagine it´s still pretty hard for them. The joy we get as we see a new member come into the family is amazing. We know that child is so pure as it just came from God´s presence. As people here, it´s honestly a privilege to be here on this earth. We know that we need to learn a lot, and progress and become more like our Heavenly Father. It is hard yes, we all know, but that´s why we have families, the Gospel, leaders, the scriptures, and prayer. The veil obviously impides us from remembering our life before we got here, but that´s why we must act on faith. We must act on faith in order to be able to overcome our trials. We are born into this earth pure, we learn and progress, and our mortal bodies grow old. How great it is to be able to read Alma 40:11-12 and have that hope that one day we will live with our Father in Heaven. For us to be able to do that, we need to do what we are asked on this earth. We need to learn how to apply the atonement in our lives. Many people believe in Christ, but don´t know how to apply the atonement personally to them in their own lives. (Jon touched this subject with a quote he sent me) That is why we have this Gospel. The Gospel helps us to learn more about Christ, his atonement, and to progress and receive the saving ordinanes that we need. That is why it is so important to raise children in this Gospel in a loving and caring family, like I have been. I´m so grateful for that and the mission has definitely helped me to understand that a little more. We all have weaknesses, but as we rely on prayer, those weaknesses become strenghths. Anyways, those are just a couple thoughts I had. But wow, Aftyn is freaking adorable and I just wanna hold her and Brielle at the same time :) I´m glad all turned out well.. I was definitely praying for you guys.
Thanks for the updates on Utah. Sounds like they´re freaking killing it in basketball. Can´t wait for some March Madness... gonna be so sick! As for football, hopefully Whit stays and can hire some good coaches. Keep me updated. So Gleason´s home.. that´s crazy. Jay emailed me and told me how awesome it is to have him back.. Jay is such a baller. As for the bed situation, go ahead and get the new bed. I think it´ll be nice having a longer bed for my long legs. It´ll be better to have the double bed in the other room for the nefies. (nephews) Yes Mom, you´re the only one that tells me I¨m the cutest missionary... :´( hahaha anyways I love you all and I´ll talk to you guys all next week!
p.s. I got my harddrive... thanks so much!!! :)
Baby Aftyn 6 days old