Hola Hola!!! Wow, I absolutely loved seeing that Christmas tree up, and the stockings as well! Just boosts my Christmas spirit right up. This week was a great one as usual. Lets get started!!
We did something super cool for P-day today. About 1 hour ago, Elder Stevens and I went to the sand dunes of Con Con and went sand boarding right in front of the ocean!! It was the coolest view in the world!! Those sand boards absolutely fly down that hill. But I did realize one thing today, that I am not as in shape as I used to be. One hike up that gynormous sand dune left me absolutely out of breath and my legs shaking! Haha. We could only do a few trips down and up before we were physically incapable of continuing. What a great memory and experience though!
I am going to tell you all about a crazy Chilean tradition that happens every 8th of December. The Catholic religion is by far the dominant religion here in Chile; therefore, the grand majority of the people here worship the Virgin Mary. There are various places here where they have large virgin statues that people can go visit. For example, the Virgin of Andacollo, the virgin of santa Teresa… Every 8th of December, a large group of people go on a 50 mile trek by foot to go visit one of these Virgin Mary statues. They do this for the purpose to go ask a miracle from her. They believe that if they walk these 50 miles on foot, and then ask her for a miracle, she will do it for them. The grand majority of the people that go, end up crawling on all fours for the last mile. They do this to bloody up their knees, and make a huge bodily sacrifice. This day is so big that it is even considered a holiday for all of Chile.
Elder Stevens and I focused a lot this week on inviting people to be baptized. We dreamed about baptizing, we talked about baptizing, and we thought about baptizing. We had over 35 baptismal invitations by the end of the week. Elder Stevens and I now have 8 baptismal dates. There is so little time that we have on the mission. I am trying to take advantage of every single moment that I have to be a full time missionary.
Carlos and Jermaín are so great!! This week we did a Family night with a member family. Carlos and jermaín invited one of their friends to accompany us. The friend came, and really liked the family night. The reason why I´m sharing this experience with you is because during the first prayer, which Carlos offered, and the last prayer, which Jermaín offered, they both prayed for their friend that he would be able to come to church and become converted to the gospel as they have been. Their prayers and their desires were so sincere, that their friend actually came to church this week, and also wants to learn more about the gospel. They are going to be STUD missionaries some day. That is one of the goals of my mission, that I could baptize at least 1 future missionary. I think we have found 2! Their parents are also progressing. They have to get married before they can get baptized, but they are definitely interested. Our goal is that all 4 can be baptized together on Christmas Day. A WHITE CHRISTMAS!!!!
Love you all so much!!