Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rocks Thrown All Missed, Zone Conference in Argentina

Dear Family,
This week was another awesome week in Concepción.  Not one day goes by without something crazy, funny or testimony strengthening happening.

Yesterday, someone on the opposite side of a fence threw a handful of rocks at me and my companion, and miraculously, not a single rock made it through the slats of the fence that stood between us and the person throwing rocks.  It was a normal Chilean fence with thin steel poles spaced about 4 inches apart.  It would take skillful aim to hit the fence, but every one of the 5 or so rocks missed.  I count it as a miracle that not one rock made it past the fence.  I felt like Samuel the Lamanite in the fact that God was diverting the projectiles.  For me, it was a confirmation that God is completely aware of us, and is protecting us.  

Our investigator, Kathryn, who had her baptismal date originally for yesterday, just doesn’t quite feel like she has received an answer yet if the gospel is true.  We are praying for her.  She is still reading the Book of Mormon daily, saying her prayers, and going to church, so I hope she will recognize an answer when it comes.

It is getting colder, but my clothes are holding up great. On shirts, and pants, I am doing fine.  The sweet sister who does our laundry seems to just lose socks.  The other 3 missionaries in our house have noticed the same thing.  Don’t worry about sending any clothing because I am doing fine, and I can buy socks here.  

Last Monday, after writing, our zone went with the mission president to see an old warship that has been turned into a floating museum.  I got a lot of awesome pictures.  Also, before going downtown today, we climbed the table rock of Concepcion.  It is a large hill that has a big cross on top, a lot like Boise’s Table Rock.  

I love you all, more than the number of people waiting to find the gospel.
With Love,
Elder Withers

Dear Family,
Life this last week was wonderful.  Last Monday we didn't end up watching Frozen because it wasn’t available....but the Elders didn't say anything.  We showed up to the chapel to watch what we thought was Frozen and the movie started out with weird monsters and dark buildings and mystery music....ha turns out they picked Hotel Transylvania, a movie about Dracula and his daughter.  It wasn't the worst movie I have ever seen, but it also wasn’t the coolest.  It was definitely picked by Elders (and we are always out voted with things like that because we are the only Hermanas here in La Paz!).  It was pretty funny in some parts though.  We watched the whole thing in Spanish.  And then that evening had zone conference.  I got a big beautiful stack of letters from people who love me.  It was awesome, I was in heaven, and it took me 2 whole days to read everything (as in 2 whole day’s worth of free time).

We also had a zone conference, with President and Hermana Giuliani, and the Assistants.  It was sooooo good and it was so fun to have President here for the day.  We hardly ever get to see him.  And the Assistants each gave a talk, which were both really good.  One is from Argentina and the other Brazil.  I knew one was from Brazil, but I didn’t know the other one and from Argentina, who is a blonde white boy.  At first I honestly thought he was from the States.  But then I heard him speak and I thought, "There is no way.....his Spanish is wayyy too good!"  Ha.....turns out he is from Bahia Blanca, Argentina.  The conference lasted all day long, but we had a break in the middle for lunch and they took us to a big hotel, where we ate a really fancy meal like royalty.  The Elders all had to walk to the hotel, but President gave us a ride in his sweet car so we didn’t get rained on....perks of being a girl :)  President really is awesome and he has been pretty sick lately with a cold, but he still opens all the doors for his wife and us Hermanas, and is a good leader.  I will miss them when they have to go in July.  At the conference they also warned us that we have an especially cruel winter coming.........bring it on.  Apparently when there is a harsh summer, a harsh winter follows.  She said be ready for -10 to -20 degrees C (-4 F).  I didn’t realize that the weather was so extreme here.  

My sweet companion Hermana Galan is a convert, and her conversion story leaves a powerful impact every time she shares it.  People can’t say to her, "Oh you grew up’s what your parents taught you."  Because she grew up Catholic, didn't like that church, and converted.  It’s fun to watch people as she shares her testimony.  She also knows the Bible like the back of her hand, if there is a question someone has, she knows a good place to look in the Bible, and if she can’t find one....I usually know where to go in the Book of Mormon.  We make a good team :)  Ha.....she also has this psycho weird obsession for noticing security cameras.  She points them out to me all the time, and I’m just like....."Uh, yep.....there´s another one!"    

We had a lunch appointment on Saturday with the Quintana family.  They have 11 kids, and all are grown and don’t live at home anymore...but there are always at least 3 or 4 grandkids hanging around.  Anyway we show up, and she kindly offered to take our jacket and bags so we could wipe the mud off of our boots on the grass.  I finished wiping the mud off, walked in the door.....and found Hermana Quintana trying on my jacket.  Haaa.....she is kind of a big lady, and she got her arms stuck in the sleeves.  It was a hilarious scene but I tried really hard not to laugh.  I helped her get it off and asked her what she was doing......she said "I just wanted to see how it looked!"  People here are so charming.  

President switched our schedule for winter time so that we are inside earlier.  It has been really nice, because it’s getting colder and colder each day.  

I love you all lots.......more than all the Argentine women who love their soap operas, and all the Argentine kids (like 5 and under) who love to play soccer bare foot in the streets!  

Hermana Withers 

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