Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Letter # 33 04/29/13

Queridos Amigos y Familia,
Well, there have been a lot of changes since I last wrote. I didn't realize things were so bad with Dad-- or could have been so bad? I'm still not sure what's going on but I'll continue to pray.
We got another companion. One of the other hermana missionaries got really sick and had to go home for surgery, so they split up another companionship and we ended up in a tripod. So now I'm training in a tripod while opening up a new area in a white wash. I'm tired. There are pros and cons; the new hermana, Hermana Calderòn (from Lima, Peru) is super energetic (and when I say energetic I mean energetic like throwing flubber against the wall) and she's great to have around because I'm kind of serious. Hermana Hansen speaks very little Spanish and Hermana Calderòn speaks next to no English, so I often have to keep track of two conversations at once going on in two different languages. There have been a few personal/communication issues between Hermana Hansen and I, we have had a lot of problems resolved and I feel much more ready to face and enjoy the rest of this transfer. The problems mainly included the fact that although we have many of the same interests and the same determination to serve the Lord, we have very different forms of expressing that. I am introverted. Hermana Hansen is extremely extroverted. We had a long talk the other night and cleared up a few misunderstandings and bruised pride. I regret that this has been one of her first experiences in the mission but we both learned a lot. There is more responsibility on my shoulders than I am used to having, and that has affected how I interact with my companions. I'm working on it, and the Lord is helping me deal with the stress.
We had an awesome experience with one of our investigators, Claudia, last week. We found her on our first day in the area and she has been reading the Book of Mormon. She is a faithful member of a different church (evangelical) but they don't believe that baptism is necessary for salvation. I don't know how you can read the bible and think that baptism isn't necessary, but that aside she has a lot of faith in Jesus Christ. I think she started listening to us because she loved how sincere and tenderfooted my companion is. She keeps listening because she feels the spirit. The elders also serving in our ward were going to have a baptism last Saturday, and Claudia had committed to attending. The baptism fell through, but Hermana Hansen had the brilliant idea to take her on a tour of the meetinghouse, instead. The spirit was so strong during the tour. The youth in our ward were having mutual at the same time, and Claudia has a teenage daughter and I think she was really impressed with the church's youth program. We ended the tour with an explanation of the Sacrament in the chapel, and she committed to baptism! Now to help her arrive at her baptismal date, May 18th. Prayers on her behalf are much needed. I can only imagine how much her baptism would help my Oro, Hermana Hansen-- me too, but your first baptism of the mission is something you probably never forget.
La Paz is the best area in the best mission EVER! We are seeing so many miracles every day and I am so grateful for the prayers on our behalf. The Lord is pouring out blessings over us.
With all my love, yours always,
Hermana Phillips

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