Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I Can't Think of a Catchy Title. Sorry!

Mis Seres Queridos,

Another week gone.  This last week seemed to drag on and on at first (On Wednesday I thought it was Friday and Friday morning when I woke up I thought for sure that it had to be Sunday!), but as always we tried to keep busy and now that the week is over I don´t really know where it went!

On Saturday we had a meeting for all the Hermanas in the Chillán area, and they told us some new missionary statistics.  As they said in General Conference, there are now about 65,000 missionaries in the field, which is so great!  But here is something even more great - before the change in the missionary age requirement, the percentage of sister missionaries was about 9%.  NOW, there are about 36% sisters in the mission field!!!!  Wahoo!!!!!!  But the thing about sisters is that they are just a little bit different than elders.  And it makes it difficult for the elders to train them.  Something else that is hard is that our district leaders and zone leaders can´t go on splits with us for training purposes, so they really don´t know how we teach or how to help us sometimes.  But now that sisters make up such a larger portion of the missionary force, they need leader sisters to do this kind of training and to help care for the needs that elders simply can´t understand.
So recently the Church implemented a new leadership position in the mission (, a Sister Training Leader, who handles sister-specific training and mini-cambios and things like that.  The Sister Training Leader for our area (all three zones in Chillán) is Hermana Miskin, and she is going to be absolutely awesome at it!  She told us that we will be doing some kind of strange mini-cambios, though, because there are just so many new missionaries who can´t be left alone together when their companions do splits for training purposes, so more than just the two companionships will have to participate in order to always have an experienced missionary (or one who speaks Spanish, anyway) working with the new gringa sisters during these mini-cambios. I am excited about this because the elders are always talking about how when they did this mini-cambio or that mini-cambio it was the best day of their whole mission and they learned so much and the sisters have not had the opportunity to do that very often until now.  It´s going to be great.
The highlight of our week was that we had three investigators in church yesterday, and all three of them have a baptismal fecha, which is the requirement in our mission to be able to consider an investigator as "progressing."  I have never had so many progressing investigators in one week in my whole mission!  It was really a miracle and a blessing from Heavenly Father that we have been able to work with this people who are willing to come to church and to commit to prepare themselves for baptism and for a new, better life more in harmony with the teachings of the Savior.
Since I recently finished the Book of Mormon, I decided that now I want to read the New Testament, so I cut my Book of Mormon time down a little in order to accommodate for both during my personal study time.  I have loved studying from the New Testament so far, and my favorite part is using the footnotes, cross-references, and Joseph Smith Translations to enhance my understanding.  I especially love learning the Greek and Hebrew roots and meanings of the words because it so often gives depth and meaning to the verse that I didn´t recognize before!  But I learned something about the scriptures in Spanish - they´re a little more efficient because they cut right to the translation of the word.  I always do my personal study in English and I feel so inspired by what I learned about the root of this word or that word in Greek, and then when I go to share what I learned with Hermana Morán in Spanish, I look in the Spanish scriptures and there is the word already changed into its Greek meaning!  How interesting is that?  I could probably save a lot of time marking footnotes if I´d just read in Spanish in the first place, but then again I´m still pretty slow at reading scriptures in Spanish....
Anyway, I don´t really have a lot more to say today.  Just that I love you all and that I really appreciate your love and support (and your emails....).  I hope that you are all happy and well and taking good care of yourself.  And I also hope that you are still reading your Book of Mormon every day!  Even though I´ve read it several times (and I´ve read the beginning more than that, as we all have), I have learned so much this past week from just reading from the first few chapters of first Nephi.
I hope you have noticed that I have not changed your commitment for a few weeks.  That is because I want you to take it seriously and DO IT!  President Humphrey told us in his weekly email this week that in a training for all the mission presidents in the area this past week, the Area President emphasized the importance of the Book of Mormon in conversion, so I am not the only one who thinks it is important!  READ THE BOOK OF MORMON!  It´s even better than Harry Potter!
Gotta go now.  Until next week!
Hermana Burgess

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