Thursday, July 12, 2012

After many tribulations come the blessings

But what they don't tell you is that after a lot of blessings, come the tribulations. Funny how life is a big wave, full of highs and lows. We had a fantastic weekend, and had 7 investigadores attend Church with us, our personal record so far in Lagunillas, so that's pretty awesome. Truly, the Lord has blessed us with a lot of success the past week. However, opposition in all things. I'm writing you all today instead of yesterday, because I spent all day yesterday sick in bed. I woke up yesterday morning with a 102.2 degree fever, a crazy sore throat, and an upset stomach. So late last night, the marvelous, wonderful, brother Gavilán that lives in front of us took me to urgent care. Turns out, I have purulent tonsilitis. So they shot me up with two injections which at least helped me sleep through the night. I'm still house-ridden, with the same awful sore throat, but the fever's a bit better, so that's good. With the medicine that Brother Gavilán went to go pick up for me today (seriously, that man is a saint), I should be feeling better within 1 or 2 days more. I'm glad and thankful that I have so many people here to help me and a companion who is very patient, but I am prettty bummed that we're going to miss a lot of oportunities to work this week. And this a pretty important week too, with a baptism tomorrow, and lots of progressing investigadores that need to be visited. But whatever happens, I know everything will turn out okay. The Lord won't sacrifice this tremendously important work for a silly little infection, so in the mean time, I'm putting my trust in him and, as said by Victor Naborsky in the Terminal, "I wait."

I'm super excited to hear about Goin' to Zion, for some reason I found myself crying while reading about all the preparation and the involvement by the missionaries. What a remarkable evening it's going to be! I hope to see lots of photos después!

I'm sorry to hear about the situation, Dad. I know how you feel, when I'm sick I have like zero motivation to do anything, just wanna rest. I hope one day I'll overcome that though, and be able to work till the very last day, and then some. (Awesome video that I highly recommend that talks about why we have trials and what we should do in the middle of them, and after them) It's about 10 minutes but totally worth it.

Tomorrow Daniela will be baptized. We're super excited, and I'm praying a ton that I'll be able to feel better enought at least to attend and be there for support. Wish her luck!

Very cool to hear about the two conversion stories back at home. I love hearing about them now more than ever, being a missionary and having seen the process. I feel like I wasn't sufficiently clued-in before the mission in terms of new members and being a support to them and everything. But I've made a promise to myself that after the mission, I will always do everything possible to help new converts feel welcome and loved. Happy to hear that these two young people have are involved in support systems as well, like attending BYU and being part of the show, as that age between 18-25 is the age when people most commonly go inactive. Keep em animated! (That doesn't really sound good in English, oh well)

Heather, AWESOME to hear about the move plans. Pretty cool that everybody comes back to Georgia after their time away. Georiga's always on the mind, I suppose, and beckons us. Good luck with all the complications that can be presented during your arduous journey, may you all arrive safely home :)

Ashley, if I can give you  my personal opinion (take it or leave it), I say go for it! Prepare youself and just do it. Everything else will wait. It will be a lot harder to make the decision to go more years down the road, and it would be sad to for you to think your whole life what it would have been like if you had served a mission. I promise that if you put yourself in the hands of the Lord, that he will take care of all the rest. You'll always have opportunities to study and other things afterwards. Serving a mission is the best thing you will ever do. Period. But again, that's just my opinion. You should council with the Lord and with your Church leaders. The apostoles and prophets teach us to take a decision, and then confirm it with the Lord. If you do this, you will know what is right. I admire you very much, Ashley, for your desire to serve. Sé de buen ánimo, and go forward with faith. Sometimes taking big decisions in life is like choosing between different types of cookies. They're all good! They're cookies! So just choose one and everything will work out. Love you, sis.

-Elder Wilcox
Awake and excited waiting for lunch one day
 Falling asleep waiting (that couch was delightful)
 Shout out to all mis seres queridos out there
With the Concha family, they're a wonderful family that's been inactive for about five years and we're trying to help them come back. In the last lesson we talked a bunch with Brother Concha about his experiences as a missionary and as we helped him to remember what he used to feel in the church he began to cry (first time I've seen him show much emotion. He's usually poker-face in the lessons) and told us about how he suffers everyday being away from the church. Upon telling this to a few members that know the family, they told us that that's never happened with them, and that they're usually ni ahí (completely disinteresed) with the missionaries and members that visit them. So I think we made some real progress. They're such a great family and I feel an unusual connection with them, so I'm hoping that perhaps we're their destined misionaries that are going to be able to help them come back into the fold
Pichangas!!!! Our first pichangas (the lady in the store just around the corner from us started selling the other day, so we jumped on the opportunity and were her first customers) Pichangas (also called Chorillana) are a classic chilean junk food, similar to the Canadian Poutine, that consists of french fries, lots of meat, onions, eggs, olives, cheese, avocado, and basically whatever else you wanna throw on there. There's lots of types of pichangas, but french fries and meat is always the constant.
Me and our brand new wood-burning stove. I'm so happy and toasty!
 Me with the pichangas
 Getting pumped about the stove.
 Elder Wilcox with tonsillitis (day 2 of house arrest.)

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