Monday, January 20, 2014

Baptism in Chile, Another week for the record books

Dear Family,
I am glad to hear that you are all pretty chill with the Minnesota winter. It is hard for me to imagine how cold it is, because I am in summer.  The summer here is hot, and humidity doesn’t help much.  It would be really nice if it would rain a little bit and cool things off.    

The good news:  Lorena was baptized and confirmed this week.  I baptized her, and Bishop Hidalgo confirmed her in church on Sunday.  The oldest son was really sad that he couldn’t go to his mom’s baptism.  Benjamin was in Santiago with his grandparents and couldn’t make it.  We are hopeful that he will be baptized too, because his mom, not us, scheduled an appointment for us to teach him when he comes back.

Somebody who lives in the other ward was also baptized the same day, all of his family are members and he finally decided to join the church too.  The guy who baptized the other guy is from Chile, but lived in Nampa, Idaho for six and half years.  His wife is from Nampa.  It was cool to talk with somebody in English, about Boise Idaho.

Tina, the friend of Maria, came to church for the second time.  Maria rents part of her house out, and Tina is now renting from her.  She feels she has received an answer that this church is the original, the one and only.  It is good that she will be in frequent contact with an active member. We are quite hopeful that she will be baptized.  We have a family home evening tonight with her and Maria and some other members.

I love you all more than the number of hours it would take for this message to get to you had we been using snail mail.  I love you all!
Elder Withers  

Dear Family,
This week was another one for the record books.  We taught lessons to investigators and menos activos...and they are all progressing!  With some of them the progression feels slow, but they are all moving forward in one way or another.  Marisa is finally going to Neuquen this next weekend to get married, and we have several other people who are all kind of at the same spot. They are listening to us, reading the Book of Mormon....experimenting in their hearts, and we are working on getting them to the chapel for Sunday and on date for a baptism.  We walked a lot, consumed gallons and gallons of water, and had lots of adventures!

There is a watermelon truck that goes around selling only watermelon. The truck is so old that every time I see it I am sort of surprised and mostly impressed that they even got the thing to start.  There is one guy driving, and another in the back with a megaphone advertising.  They just drive all around town selling watermelons.  

The branch here is preparing to go to the temple in Buenos Aires.  The members who want to go have to pitch in money and they are all going to rent a big bus and travel together.  (It’s like 6 or 7 hours).  They are going to stay there for the day doing temple work and then get on the bus and travel home again.  They have been planning this event for forever and it’s cool to see the people who are interested to go and the sacrifices they are making.  

Something that is kind of sad that I have learned is that a ton of people have diabetes here, but they also don’t have any means or way to take care of it so they are just sick all the time.  It’s really sad.

When it comes to traffic here....the general rule of the road seems to be "hit or be hit"  If you walk on the sidewalks all is dandy, but the cars and motorcycles out in the road pay no attention to the speed limits, stop signs, intersections, or lanes.  It’s sometimes scary to watch!

We had interviews with president this week which really was fun.  I love talking to him.  And because we were the last ones from our district to get interviewed, they gave us a ride in their air conditioned car from the chapel to our area while they were on their way out of town.  It was sweet.

This last weekend here in La Paz there was a big triathlon.  It’s one of the only events this town has, so everyone went nuts supporting it.  It was like a parade....everyone lined the streets drinking mate.  And instead of sitting down drinking mate and watching people walk by like everyone here loves to do, they just watched them bike or run by instead.  Also, people stood on the curb with a pitcher of water in their hand waiting for a racer to come by....and then they chucked it at them.  I’m not sure if it was suppose to be considered a public service or not.....because it just looked really annoying.  The finish line was exactly 1 block away from our apartment so there were tons of cars and people.....but it has all cleared out and we are glad it’s over.  We feel like we can have our area back now, because the main part of the course was main road we have to walk on every day.  It was kind of tricky this last weekend...but it’s all calm again! 

I love you all lots and pray for you all everyday!  Keep on keeping on!
Hermana Withers       

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