|With Sandra and Roberto, the "water" neighbors|
October 6, 2014
So one thing I’ve learned a ton about on my mission is WATER! I’ve learned it’s important to stay hydrated and drink often from my special little missionary filtered water bottle. I’ve learned the rainstorms I experienced in Colorado don’t even compare to the rain here in Uruguay (but man, I think if I experienced that crazy hailstorm I would beg to differ). I’ve learned having your water cut is NOT FUN. Let me explain the last point a bit...I guess the elders in charge of finances accidentally paid all of our water bills to a different account. So we were without water Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Mom...those body cleansing wipes you sent me with sure came in handy those few days! A sweet lady in our ward named Hermana Sandra, who lives a few houses down from us, let us fill up huge buckets of water with the faucet outside of her house! We used this precious water to wash our dishes, wash our faces, brush our teeth, and flush our toilets. Hermana Sandra was just so nice to us and even said it was a miracle she was able to serve us because she had been praying for service opportunities! And she took a picture of the four Hermanas in our house, printed it out, wrote us cute notes, and gave them to us. What a gem! But anyway, we have water in our house now and I am currently staying up to date on my showers so don’t worry!!! And last, but most importantly, I’ve learned there is such a thing as spiritual water! I will explain by inserting a bit of my letter to Presidente Smith from this week:
"Hola Presidente! ¿Como ésta? This week has been a very interesting one. On Wednesday afternoon around lunchtime, our water got cut in our house. It was a very stressful situation, but Friday morning, our water returned! Before this experience, I never truly realized how dependent I am on water and how amazing it feels to have water after not showering for a few days! As I think about this past week, I now realize I was also in need of a different kind of water...spiritual water. Don’t get me wrong, I love the mission, but it is by far the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. For some reason or another, I felt really down this past week. I am by no means a perfect missionary. Teaching lessons is still a difficult thing for me, I am not as patient with others as I should be, I get super time stressed, and I easily fall into the trap of focusing on my own afflictions before others´. I know the Lord has blessed me with specific talents and strengths, but for some reason, this past week, I began to focus on what I’m doing wrong and all the mistakes I’ve made throughout the mission. I didn’t really feel like the normal Hermana Dixon! Metaphorically speaking, I was spiritually dry. But you know what? God always sends us little raindrops. Raindrops like sweet Hermana Gordillo who listened to me and gave me counsel even when I was being grumpy. Raindrops like finding the scripture DyC 58:42, "He aquí, quien se ha arrepentido de sus pecados es perdonado; y yo, el Señor, no los recuerdo más," and realizing if the Lord doesn’t remember my sins, then why should I dwell on them? Raindrops like listening to General Conference and remembering how sweet the gospel truly is, how much President Monson and his apostles care about us, and that Jesus Christ knows how it feels to be an imperfect Hermana Dixon. Raindrops like giving besos to all the sweet people in Uruguay. Raindrops like being forced to pray harder than I’ve ever prayed before. Raindrops like remembering my mom’s last words for me before I left were, "You’re going to be great," and that through the atonement, I can work a little bit every day on becoming great. Raindrops like seeing one of our investigators and her daughters in conference!!!!!! Quite frankly, this week kind of stunk. But I am so grateful for all the raindrops I’ve been blessed with and for the opportunity I have to STRETCH. I know the Lord knows me better than I do and knows what kind of experiences I need in this life. And I know the gospel is so so true and that by living it, we are given raindrops in abundance. We’d better get our umbrellas ready!"
So yeah, this week was hard but full of so many raindrops! And, before I forget, let me tell you a bit about the investigator I mentioned in my letter. Her name is Hermana Silvana and she has four cute kiddos. She has lived with Hermano Walter for many years and guess what...they are getting married THIS Thursday! I am so excited to see my first Uruguayan wedding. Hermana Silvana and Hermano Walter and their family have been investigators for about a year and have been visited by so many missionaries. It makes me so grateful for all the missionaries who have been here in Fray Bentos before me! We’ve been working with this sweet family a lot and I am really growing to love them. On Thursday night, Hermana Gordillo and I stopped by their house and they were busy painting little wooden puzzle thingies (Hermano Walter is a carpenter). We had the opportunity to paint with Hermana Silvana and just hear about her life. She’s been through a lot but is so strong. I am so grateful for this fam! I love you guys so much, and I can feel your prayers all the time! OH! And as for conference...I watched it in English. There is an Elder in my district from Utah who has only had a month or so in the field who wanted to watch it in English, so Hermana Colwell from Montana (she lives in my house and is just so fun) and I watched it with him so he wasn’t left alone. A part of me wishes I could have seen it in Spanish, but I was grateful to understand all of it!
LOVE YOU ALL!!!