Well This just in! We had transfers today and I've been taken out of PARADISE! :( Super bummed, I wasn't expecting it, but it makes sense due to the amount of time I have there. I suppose I was just in denial because I have my baptism on Saturday of one of my investigators. I'm hoping that she can get baptized now because the day that I went to say goodbye to them is the same day she told us that she might not be able to be baptized because she was teasing her sister and her dad (her parents are less active members) told her that she isn't responsible enough to be baptized. She has the strong desire to be baptized and you know how siblings are (I won't mention names CASEY cough cough) they love to tease and pester. So we told her that she has to obey what her parents say and be good...so her baptism is in pending. If all goes well and she behaves well, she can continue with her baptism...and now I'm looking for members to go on exchanges so I can be there.
Now I am in the concrete jungle of Santiago. This is definitely a first and foreign concept for me! Lots of cars and movement, but luckily I'm not in the heart of the city so it's a little more calm. My new companion is Hermana Bossard! She is from the same group as my daughter Hermana Baez so I know her a little bit and is super sweet! So I'll get to be her step mom! Anyway she's from California and we are excited to start the work here in La Union, Santiago.
Okay ya'll wanted a long letter today haha so I'll make sure to give you my spiritual tid-bit for this week. So last Sunday we had a stake meeting where we talked about the missionary work as well as Sacrifice and the Obedience. In the meeting the stake president shared the story of what I find is the perfect story of sacrifice and that is the story of Abraham and his son Issac. I learned that as members and children of God we are asked to obey our father in heaven. As imperfect beings its difficult, impossible, or sometimes ( and I feel like I fall in this category) undesireable to obey as with the story of Abraham. He loved his son Issac, but was asked by the Lord to sacrifice his son. The thing I find interesting is that in this story sacrifice and obedience goes both ways. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, as well as Issac was willing to obey the will of his father and the Lord. I also had the time to read this week the parable of the rich youth...um I can't remember how to say it...haha... anyway it's the parable where a young man goes to Christ and asks him what he needs to do to enter into the kingdom of heaven and Christ says that he needs to keep the commandments. After saying this the young man replied that he has been following all the commandments, and then Jesus replied then sell all your possessions and follow me. In the end the man was upset and walked away. I found after reading that a lot of us now can compare ourselves to the rich young man, sometimes we aren't willing to make the sacrifices we need to obey our father in heaven. As members of the church there will always be times where we need to make sacrifices whether its with our time or our talents. And if we don't sacrifice and obey or follow up with our callings or be the members that we really need to be, we won't receive the blessings that the Lord has for us.
But, I'm glad everyone's doing great and I LOVE hearing that it's snowing!! It's still hot here ahaha but it is starting to cool down at night! Love you!!
Hermana Van Woerkom
So this week has been fantastic! We have 2 baptismal dates set for this next month! Fingers crossed I can be here for one more transfer. I´m sure praying, but I´m hoping that you will pray too haha. And we had 7 investigators at church! Yoohoo! Other than that nothing too exciting is happening here, minus that we have been without water for 5 days! Haha it´s been interesting. We have gone to a members house to take a shower for the last couple of days, but we are hoping that the water will come back soon! Fingers crossed! Well it sounds like that things are starting to get cold there in the states! I do have to admit that here it´s the same temperature, in the 90´s BUT at night its starting to cool off to the 80´s. I know crazy right haha. And I do have to admit that I get cold at night! It´s a little sad haha. I´m so glad you guys are having a blast this Halloween! You need to send more pictures!!
Well I didn´t have too much time to write this week because we were playing baseball with members and came back late. BUT know that I love you and that I pray for you every day! Keep me posted on everything and send more pictures.
And before I go HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO LINDSEY AND LONNIE! AND TRAVIS THAT'S THIS WEEK! Hope you guys have fun on the cruise and that Kellie and Travis had a great time in Japan.
Hermana Van Woerkom
So this last week was national service day! So we went around and cleaned up the streets where we lived with the members. It was nice because I got to get to know the members a little bit more. And what better way to end last week than with a baptism! Winnifer got baptized and her mom and sister ( who are less active members) came to the service to support her. It was nice to go back after 4 days haha but it was a little sad too. The members who knew I had left were glad to see me and the members that didn´t know I had left were sad to see me go again. It was especially hard to say goodbye to Gabby, one of my little buddys in the primary. I promised her that I´d be back before I left the mission and that I´d come back with my family to visit again. So yeah you now I have to keep my promise haha. They have my heart in Puerto Plata.
My area is very different. It definitely isn´t in the countryside or a small town like I´m use to. But, I´m learning to love them just as much here. The members are super nice. They are wanting to help in the missionary work as well as with my cooking skills haha. We have dates here for baptism! I´m excited to see their progression.
Well looks like your on the count down for the cruise! I´m excited for ya´ll keep me posted on everything and most importantly send the pictures of your adventures! Love you tons!
Hermana Van Woerkom
The count down begins! I'm so excited to hear that ya'll are getting ready for the cruise! Sounds exciting! Please calm Lindsey's fears and buy the kidnap insurance. Let's be honest, if anyone on that trip were to get kidnapped, as the hunger games lady would say, "the odds would ever be in her favor". haha LOVE YOU LINDSEY! But, really you guys are going to have fun but be safe!
So this week hasn't been too eventful, but we have gotten to see some special things happen. So first I'll start with one of my favorite less actives. She is such an amazing lady that has come from a really difficult situation. She's lived most of her life in New York, but now has to live here. All of her family lives in New York and she's struggling with some financial situations here. But, I have learned so much from her. She's had problems with the law and drugs in the past and seeing the situation that she's in now, it would make sense for her to feel alone and abandoned, but that's definitely not how she's taking it! In fact, it's the exact opposite, she has turned to the church and Heavenly Father for help and has overcomed almost all of her difficulties. On Saturday we had several appointments planned for the day and almost every one of them fell through. So we made are way around contacting and happened to find ourselves contacting close to her house. Once we started passing by she asked us to come in and visit with her. We shared a brief message and she opened up and said she was so grateful we came by because she was struggling through something very personal and knew that it was an answer to her prayers that we came by. In short, I can't really go into details of all that happened, but you can tell that God has plans for each and every one of us and we can be that instrument for Him is we choose to be and follow the promptings we get. It's just amazing being a missionary and seeing the true conversion we can all have if we are dependent on Him who can heal us.
Well as for Thanksgiving, we are going to party hardy next Wednesday and get our Turkey Lurkey on for P-day. Hopefully we can make it american....with the latinos haha my companion and I thought it would be funny if we did indian hats and pilgram hats...only if I could be one of the indians haha. I think we will try to make pumpkin pie too! It's not a holiday without it right?
Well here's some pictures for ya'll! This was P-day eve and we bought icecream and did face masks! And my companion has BYU vocal point and she had 70's music....so we kinda went all out haha just kidding
Love you all and take care!
Hermana Van Woerkom