Monday, November 25, 2013

The Greatest Moments

Hello All, 
This was a week of locos. Millions of things happened to complicate the work. But that didn't stop us from seeing millions of miracles as well. I've just been really full of gratitude this week. Aaaaaand it just so happens that Thanksgiving is this week! It's not celebrated here but hey, we should be grateful every day, right...?
Anyway I'm just going to describe the week in the form of a list. A list of moments, great and small. 

Singing Himno #208 (español) yet again in District meeting. It is the official hymn of Zona Tomé. 

A baptismal interview that ends up using 2 hours of the afternoon, in which we learn that the investigator hadn't understood that the Word of Wisdom prohibits the drinking of tea. 

When that same investigator doesn't drink tea anymore after the interview because she has enormous faith. 

When that same investigator, who also has hearing problems, doesn't understand the majority of the lesson on the Restoration, especially because the members present talk about a million other things that are not really related, but afterwards says "I know that everything you're telling me is true."

Being scared for our lives in the house of a less active member. We were visiting the mom and we were going to share a scripture. Suddenly we hear an angry man's voice from the background saying "How many times have I told you I don't like the Mormons!!!" We all froze and stared in silence, not knowing what to do. A minute later entered the husband, who then started to laugh, saying "Nah, I'm a member too. You're welcome here any time!" Thanks, pal. I'll come visit again once I've recovered from my heart attack. 

When a super special abuelito is baptized, even though he was being taught by the other Hermanas in our sector. That abuelito is Adrian. He's a man of great faith - a quiet retired fisherman who raised 6 children on his own. One day Hermana Suárez and I found him just knocking doors. When we couldn't find someone to accompany us we had to teach him outside the house because he lives alone. Even though sometimes there were screaming Evangelical preachers across the street, he was always more than willing to accept what we taught. Tithing wasn't a problem because he used to attend a church that took half of everyone's earnings. Despite his numerous health problems and little approval from the family, he agreed to be baptized at 80 years old. Even though I wasn't teaching him anymore, I'm so grateful I got to be here to see him reach that point.
Finding a very amiable and open-hearted family at 9:40 pm on Saturday night after a less-than-productive day. 

Seeing the blessings of an electric piano in the chapel. We decided to do another musical number to regain our dignity from the epic failure of last week. The problem is, we couldn't rely on someone else to play the piano. I played the piano part and recorded it, and then we all sang together. Preeeetty smart, eh?

When Sacrament meeting is basically a bunch of people saying how much they love their spouse. They had a few people recap what they learned in a conference for married couples last week. It was the first time I've seen our Bishop emotional. I won't pretend it wasn't uncomfortable for us missionaries. It was uncomfortable. I attempted to read Jacob 5 so as to not even think about people who don't have their hearts closed. It's a little hard to focus on the dispensations of time and the symbolism of a vineyard when all you hear is a tearful "Te amo" from the pulpit. I'm starting to understand why everyone's so weird about talking to people of the opposite gender after the mission. Here you just run away from anything that slightly resembles love, attraction, flirting, expressions of love, romance, anything. But you can't run away from the nice lady bearing her testimony in church. Así es la vida.

Loving the mission, every moment. 
I love and miss you all. Stay strong in the Gospel first and foremost, and if you're on the fence about a mission, DO IT. It will be the best decision of your life. 

Con amor,

Herrrrrrrrmana GLAZIERRRR.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Politics? Ay, no.

I love the mission. I'm learning so much that I can't even explain. Every day is so hard but so good. 

This week Chile had elections. I literally know nothing about Chilean politics. Partly because we aren't allowed to talk about politics as missionaries, partly because I don't know political words in Spanish, so even when people talk about it against our wishes, I don't understand. We dedicated this Thursday to contacting in a particular street, and were literally interrupted by a parade. A parade of cars with flags and political banners, honking and blasting music. There are some things you just can't even plan for. 

We also only had Sacrament meeting this Sunday, due to the elections. Every 3rd Sunday we have mission-themed Sacrament meeting. And since we only had the one meeting, we decided to do a musical number with us 4 Hermanas and the ward missionaries. We talked a little bit before the meeting, and planned to sing a hymn. I was playing prelude when the 1st counselor, who was conducting, asked me what hymn we would sing. I thought he meant the musical number, so I told him. But he was actually asking for what could be the opening hymn. When we started the meeting and he announced we would sing 163, Mirad Reales Huestes, we all looked at each other not knowing what to do. I was at the piano and decided to just go with it, assuming that we wouldn't have an intermediate musical number. But they still announced later that we would be singing. Yikes. We started searching frantically for a hymn and finally chose one. When it was time, we all went forward to present our "special musical number". It was indeed quite special. Hermana Rodriguez played a beautiful flute introduction to "El Amor del Salvador" (Our Savior's Love). But when it was time to start singing, I didn't hear anything. There was a miscommunication and the others were looking at "Dios da Valor" (God Speed the Right). We got to about the 3rd verse before everyone figured it out. Hermana Rodriguez stopped playing the flute halfway through the first verse to start singing, and I tried to sing as well. This lowered the quality of the piano playing greatly. I also don't know the words. It became apparent that the others were not, in fact, familiar with that hymn. In my 3 months here in Tomé, we've been gaining the trust of the members. They've seen my progress as a missionary and with my Spanish, they've seen us bring people to church and have been with us in lessons. But as we were singing that hymn, I saw all that trust tumbling down like the tower of Babel. We aren't sure now if we should do another musical number to cover up the damage, or if we should just request emergency transfers. 

I'm definitely lying about the emergency transfers part. I love every day in Tomé more. I'm also really grateful to be here because it doesn't get too hot. The sun is really strong, though, due to Chile's location and elevation. Basically everyone we talk to, members, investigators, people we talk to in the street, asks me if I use sunscreen. "Yes," I reply. Did you hear that, mom? I use SPF 50 as my daily face moisturizer. 

Really, folks, I never know what to say at this point. I could tell you about every person I've talked to here and what I've learned from them, but obviously there's not time for that. I'll just say that I learned this week a lot about the importance of preparation, the blessings of diligence, the difference an attitude makes, and what it really means to act in faith. 

I love you all and I hope this email finds you incredibly well. 


Hermana Glazier

Monday, November 11, 2013

The First Real Cambio

Photos: the complications of fitting another bed in the room
Celebrating last p-day with us 4 at Mega Churrasco. Mmmmmm.

There are now 4 Hermanas in our ward. 6 Hermanas in our house. It's been a crazy week, and I'm loving every second.

I'm not going to lie, it's been a little bit harder having 6 people and 1 shower. But other than that we're doing just great with 2 more missionaries here! 

My new companion is Hermana Rodriguez, from Guatemala. It was sad to say goodbye to my "mom", Hermana Suárez, but I am extremely happy to be with her. She radiates with a loving spirit and I already know this will be a great cambio. 

The great moments of the week:

We were visiting a less-active family one night and I used their restroom. I almost left the house with my skirt tucked into my tights. Luckily I figured it out before anyone saw, but they saw my reaction and knew exactly what happened. I'm grateful that I didn't go outside like that, but if that family never comes to church again I guess we know why. 

One night there was a temblor (tremor) that was apparently pretty strong. The other hermanas woke up kinda freaked out, but I slept right through it.  I woke up to Hermana Suárez shouting, "Hermana Glazier! Hermana Glazier!" (I sleep on the bunk above her and she thought I was freaking out up there. Turns out it was just an earthquake).

I wish I could sufficiently explain the greatness of the mission, but I will never be able to. So I will just leave you with the reassurance that I am loving it here in Tomé, Chile, and I know that the Lord's way is the best way. 

Love you all, Hermana Glazier

Meeting with all the Hermanas in the zone. 

Hermana Rodrigues and Hermana Glazier

                                                Me with President and Hermana Arrington

Monday, November 4, 2013

In Tomé, to Stay, for Another Day, Along the Way, What Else Can I Say...

Tomé has lots of rhyming words. Love that. 

I have completed 3 months in the country of Chile. What. 
3 months = 2 cambios. And, as you already figured out (hopefully) from the title, I'm staying in Tomé! Along with the rest of our zone! A lot of people are coming here, so no one is leaving Tomé. Crazy right? 

I am incredibly excited for that, because I love the members here. And the fact that we have an ocean view from our house doesn't hurt either. But most of all, I'm excited to continue working with some people that have made great changes and spiritual progress in their lives thanks to the Gospel. 

There will be some changes, though. Hna Suárez and I are now dividing our sector! She will have a new companion, and I will have a new companion. I'm pretending I'm not nervous about that part. I'm excited because our sector is really big, but I'm not sure how I'll do without Hna Suárez. I know I won't be alone, but I'm going to have to focus and work a lot harder. And the part I'm most worried about, we're going to have 6 hermanas sharing 1 tiny bathroom. I'll let you know how that works out. 

The miraculous part is, we kind of had a test trial this week. We had mini-missionaries for 4 days - young women from another stake that live the norms of the mission with us for a few days to get a little bit of the experience. My companion had an incredible attitude, even though 90% of the time all of our plans fell and we were just knocking doors or talking to people in the street. I learned that I still have a long way to go, but I was also able to feel a lot more confident in my abilities as a missionary because I had to practice doing everything. The Lord knows us better than ourselves, and I know that this cambio I'm going to continue learning even more. 

I hope this email isn't too are some of the fun, unimportant moments of the week:

Hna Suárez had her birthday! Woohoo! we came home to a clean (ish) house (gracias to the other hermanas in our house) and decorations. And then 3 different people gave us an entire cake. We ate a lot of cake. 

(Mom don't read this one you'll get worried) With my mini-missionary, a dog tried to bite me. It only got my boot, and I was perfectly fine. But before I realized that I screamed at the top of my lungs and everyone in the street looked at me. Later when we met up with my companion and her mini-missionary, she was super worried. Someone who recognized us had told her that a dog bit me. She was worried that I was in the hospital or something, stuck without any means of communication. Luckily nothing happened, but I felt bad that she was so worried all day!

We had a tea party last night (for the 20 minutes of free time that we had) to celebrate the last day of the cambio.

Probably the best moment of the whole week was when we got a new faucet. Our old was was literally the worst kitchen faucet I can imagine. It broke, which was intially kind of a bad thing. But then we got it replaced and now we have a better one. So. It's up to you all to interpret the deep life lesson there.

I have also included in this email photos of a typical Chilean lunch. In case anyone was wondering.

"The work is true amen". - Laurence Glazier. 

Love you all, more next week (obvi). 

Hermana Glazier