Thursday, March 26, 2015

"streets of Macul are sacred"

I always feel like I don't have anything to say by the time Monday rolls around. I promise stuff happens here in la mision Chile Santiago Este, but it's like trying to write a Christmas list right before Christmas--there's just nothing you want in that moment, but you have to write it anyway. I'm not saying I don't want to write you all, I'm just trying to make excuses for my extremely lame emails!

This week Eduardo (a less-active member we're working with) baptized his friend, Fabian!! Fabian and Eduardo are best pals, even though there's a good 15 year age difference between the two. Fabian has been an investigator for who knows how long, but he finally made the decision to be baptized! Eduardo has been at his side the whole time and it was AWESOME to see those two in the baptismal font. They are hilariously weird and I will send pics later on. Fabian showed up in his pajamas haha it was great.

We helped Alicia get names ready to take to the temple this week! She's going to do the baptisms for her sister and her grandma. We all felt the spirit so strongly looking for those names, entering the information, and especially when we reserved them for Alicia to do the work. She was in tears as she explained the feelings of peace and joy she has. It was pretty intense and super spiritual. We're so excited to go to the temple with her this week! I'm feeling the Spirit of Elias and I want to start working in my family history! Pa, can you send me all the datos you have from mom's side of the family? Good-bye P-day naps.

We found a great new investigators named Carlos this week! We were looking for the address of a less-active member (in the shady part of town that we never work in), but couldn't find it, so we asked a guy working on his car. We got to chatting and when I asked him if he believed in God he was like "Of course, but I need more knowledge. I don't really know how to follow Him more or what He wants me to do. How do I follow Him? Do you guys know what He wants me to do?" psh, oh buddy, do we know! We talked to him a little about the plan of salvation and he is super excited for us to go back! We put a cita (I don't know what that is in English...appointment?) and we're going back this week! Prayers, por favor :) Also, in case you're wondering, we never did find the address of the less-active guy.
I went to Diego Portales to do divisions and boy was that a party. We spent like 7 hours contacting in the streets in 100 degree weather. Not that I don't LOVE Deigo Portales, but I really, really, reaaaaallllllllllyyyyyyyy LOVE Macul. Oh, there were transfers and I'm still in Macul. Surprises all around this week! I think I would love to end my mission here, if that's possible. I guess we'll see.

The day we found Carlos, I contacted a lady in the street with a pass-along card with a picture of Jesus on the front. I gave it to her and she just started laughing and is all "That's not Jesus, that's Peter!" I tried to kindly explain to her that it was, indeed, a picture of Jesus Christ, but she just kept craking up. By the end of our interaction, she was wiping tears from her eyes from laughing so hard. Silly us, handing out pictures of Peter, thinking it's Jesus the whole time. When we left, she was still laughing like maybe we're the crazy ones haha it was journal-worthy.

This week I was studying Alma 23--the chapter where the lamanites put away their weapons of rebellion. This chapter is amazing, so go study it because I don't have time to write down all the amazing things I learned! STUDY IT! 
What touched me most about this story is the complete conversion these people experience. Verse 6 says that those who were converted never again fell away (that could be a bad english translation). These people "abandoned their weapons of rebellion." They stopped doing all the things that were wrong and worked towards perfect obedience. 
We all have weapons of rebellion, but what can we do to have that type of conversion? What do I need to do to bury my weapons of rebellion and never again fall away? Verse 15 says that they experienced this conversion because they came to a knowledge of the truth and repented. Truth is "an understanding of things as they really are, were and will be." So these people understood the plan of happiness that God has for all of us--that led them to repentance. 

When I read that, I thought of a story in Luke 7, when the woman washes Jesus's feet with her tears, then wipes them with her hair. For me, she is an amazing example of a repentant heart. This woman was a sinner, so when Simon saw that she was at the Master's feet, he murmured in his heart. Christ tells him that this woman's sins are forgiven because she has loved Him. He goes on to say that Simon didn't even offer Jesus water for His feet, but the woman bathed His feet in her tears, ect.
Now, Simon is the one who invited the Savior to His house. This woman found Jesus there, but Simon was the one who let Him in. But, when this woman found Christ, she adored Him and loved Him and worshipped Him. Simon let him in, but this woman served Him and recognized the power He had to forgive her sins and heal her.
I think that is the difference between believing and being converted. It's easy to "invite" Christ in, but how many of us are showing our love like that woman? How often are we completely humbling ourselves before Him and giving Him everything, recognizing who He is? When we understand that Christ is our Savior and exactly what His Atonement does for us, we experience the repentance of this woman and the conversion of the lamanites. When we recognize who He is, we are ready to give Him all of our might, mind, heart, and strength and abandon our weapons of rebellion to follow Him. That is my invitation to you all: Find your weapons of rebellion and bury them for the love you have for the Savior. Study His Atonement and what it means for you. It means everything.

The streets of Macul are sacred to me because they are where I have come to the knowledge of Christ as my Redeemer. His Atonement is everything. The conversion comes when we use His Atonement in our lives. The Church is true.


Hermana Aponster

P.S. Letters in the mail for the following individuals: Ella, Sam, Liv, Abe, and Jac. BESOS.

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