Dear Family and Friends,
here are the Times and Seasons of Montero (or all the weird things that I have seen or done):
-We were literally chased by a flock of crazy huge ducks, that are a special vicious species. Like several people have told me they are known to kill dogs. But literally I was running down the street.
-I finally saw my first chulupaca. Luckily it was dead but still terrifying. It is a huge insect that walks the streets at night that I didn’t believe in at first but now I do. Its literally as big as my whole hand with fingers extended. So basically more like an animal than insect.
-I ate a chicken heart. It was in my soup and when I picked up my spoon there was a heart in it. Like those diagrams in anatomy. And I wasn’t going to eat it until my pensionista pulled the old rich American card and said well we eat everything because we´re poor. So then I just stuck it in my mouth and wanted to cry.
-literally this is the truth. I thought it was rumor. Shakira is a baptized mormon and her family. But all inactive. I know because one of the elders in my district is from Colombia and he said her whole family is in their records listed as inactive haha. Shakira shakira.
Wow, in the last couple of weeks there have been some big changes for me here. First of all, I had been praying before cambios that I might receive another companion. I love my first companion, but there were many things in her form of teaching and working that just really were not good for our area. At an activity I met another hermana from Chile, hermana huenchur. This was a week and a half before cambios, and after the activity she just kept coming to my mind repeatedly that she could be my next companion. When cambios happened, it came as almost no surprise when I found out that hermana huenchur was being transferred to be my new trainer. Both my old companion and hermana huenchur were very surprised by the cambio, and at first really upset. And in my mind I was just thanking God for answering my prayer haha. After hermana huenchur arrived in Montero it took almost no time at all for her to see the cambio was inspired. She has 17 months in her mission, so this is her last area and I am her last companion. I feel so privileged because in only a week and half she has revolutionized my outlook on our mission because of her experience, positivity, and love. She has a very large scope of what missionary work is. It is very difficult for a lot of missionaries to see people and not just numbers, in their wards and with non members. Hermana huenchur is all about focusing on people and being sure that the spirit is in our lessons, and that we are not just teaching to check something off. Already I have seen a change in some of the less active people my last companion had had no hope for, because our approach with them now is love and service first, than teaching the lessons with the spirit second. It has really been such a huge blessing in my life. More and more I feel why this work is so important.
This week Jexael was baptized. He was basically converted by two other elders in our zone, and than after he moved into our area we taught him the last lessons and prepared him for baptism. He is so great and strong and already is working with us as a ward missionary haha. We also found a girl this week, and it was a miracle she was in her house, who I LOVE. She has the coolest spirit, and she was taught the lessons before, and even attended church a few times, but, like many others, her mom is completely against mormons and so she was never baptized. She is 21 years old, and accepted a baptism date from us already, but it will be difficult to work around her mom. I am going to ask Emilene, one of the girls baptized a couple weeks ago, to accompany us to the next lesson , because Emilene was baptized in secret too. Nobody in her family knows because her mom is SUPER catholic and really hates mormons. So hopefully they can bond and Emilene can share her strength and testimony.
Also we had a zone conference with our mission president. It was the first time I got to actually hear him speak besides my tiny little interview in the beginning. And I LOVE HIM. His spirit is so extremely bright and he is so sincerely loving. I was feeling the spirit pretty much constantly the whole time he talked and bore his testimony about the prophet joseph smith. I just feel so privileged to be in this mission with this president. His wife is amazing too and is always worrying everyone is going to get dengue from the mosquitos.
Anyway, I love you all! My Spanish is still the worst, but i am becoming more and more comfortable with my life here and I love trying every day to be better and hone my self so that I can serve more effectively.
Love Hermana Bingham