"Go forward in life with A TWINKLE in your eyes and A SMILE on your face, but WITH GREAT PURPOSE in heart." -Gordon B. Hinckley

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March Fo(u)rth‏

   So remember about m super itchy bug bites that I told you guys about last week? Well, within Monday night and Tuesday, all of my “bites” had turned into gnarly blisters and for about the 100th time on my mission I felt super sick with fevers and body aches. Turns out that they weren’t bug bites after all; I have CHICKEN POXS! Luckily for me, it didn’t hit me super hard. I only have seven blisters and most of them are on my legs. The others on my hand and one on my elbow (like I mentioned last week). Also, even though it’s super contagious the Chileans aren’t afraid of it. I called an Hermana to cancel the cita that we had with her family (because she has 3 littles who have never had it) and she said, “Muy Bien! Come over! It’s better that they catch it when they are young, rather than when they are grown up.” And that has been mostly everyone else’s response too, so we have been able to go to some citas during the week, menos mal. The incubation period is about 15 to 30 days but I am betting more on that 15 days part- I should be feeling better by the end of this week. Fingers crossed!
                As for Hedder and Carlos’ baptism, it was a beautiful service. Their aunt, uncle and cousins came, and a lot of the members and the youth were there too. Hermana Fransisco (Hermana Jesse’s hubby) played a flute solo of an arrangement of church/ primary hymns that he put together and Hermana Sonia shared a poem that she wrote especially for Hedder and Carlos. The water in the faunt was warm and they both were baptized just once. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to go to the confirmation, I was banned from going to church with chicken poxs, but we heard all of the details after. They even got up and bore their testimonies during testimony meeting- que lindo.
                Yesterday marked one year since my “more like a little brother,” Tyler Robinson went up to heaven. It is crazy to think that so much time has already passed by. I feel like my mission has been a shelter for me in dealing with the reality that Ty is not here with us anymore. If anything, it’s given me a lot of strength as a missionary. When he passed away I decided to dedicate my mission to him, that when I couldn’t anymore that I would persevere for him because it’s something that he was excitedly preparing for. It was also the topic of our very last conversations together. Tyler has been my angel and example. Tyler has a strong testimony of the gospel. He had a clear eternal perspective on life and trials. He loved. He endured. He was STRONG and PATIENT. And his smile and good attitude during his battle for health has taught me so much, as I too have had to battle (in a smaller way) for my health. He has been my rock here in Chile. My friend when I feel lonely, reminding me that every little thing is gonna be alright.
Ty has also made it possible for me to sympathize with my loves, here in Chile, that have lost loved ones too. He was the first person in my life whose passing really affected me. But in that I have been able to learn so so much! One thing is that death is just the beginning step to the real life that God has prepared for us- this life on Earth is not the end for us. God loves us so much that He made a beautiful plan for us to come to Earth to learn and grow, love, have and be part of a family and then to continue all of that in the eternities. Just before Ty’s death I learned about our Heavenly Father’s love for us from a scripture in the New Testament (that later gave me so much comfort and is now one of my favorite scriptures) in Corinthians 2: 9. It taught me and put into perspective for me of how great of blessings Heavenly Father has for me and all of His children. How real of a Father He is for me and that in that reality that we really have no idea of the beautiful blessings that we can receive if we but just love God. How simple is that, really?
                I have found myself, many times, reflecting on the life that he is having right now; what he must be doing; who he must be meeting; how he must be feeling, etc. I once heard that one week for us is just a blink of an eye in heaven. That just put into perspective of how short of a time he actually has been away form us and how soon of a time we will all be together again. I miss Ty so much, but I feel equally blessed to have him as a part of my mission- everyday as I put my nametag on, I am reminded of him. He gives me an extra energy and smile because I know that he is really here with me, helping me in this work- I have felt him many times.
                Yesterday I was not really sad as I thought about his passing because I know that is doing amazing things on the other side. He continues to live, thanks to the plan the God made for us and thanks to Jesus Christ who is central to that plan. Because Jesus Christ overcame the bonds of death through His resurrection, we all have the hope of a glorious resurrection and will live again.
Ty continues to inspire and motive me everyday even though he is in heaven and for that, I have a reason to SMILE whenever I think about him.
Take care this week! Love you guys!
Picture 1: Just a little reminder

Picture 2: Funny Little Loves

Picture 3: Tracting in my sparkly vans- It's more magical that way

Picture 4: I spy a COW!

Picture 5: a surprise by the lindo elderes :)
[It says "We hope you feel better!"]

Picture 6: The Familia Orillana- they are going to the temple one day

Picture 7: 100% Rico. I really do love the milk here. Have I mentioned that yet?

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