Monday, November 17, 2014

God Be With You 'til We Meet Again - Sister Hannah Avery

Written by Sister Hannah Avery, serving in the Chile Vina del Mar Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Hermana Avery overlooking Vina del Mar, Chile
Hello family and friends!

I hope that you all had a great week! This week has been one of the hardest, yet sweetest, of the whole mission for me.

We started out the week normal. Teaching, contacting, etc. Super great. We got to Wednesday, which was R's 70th birthday (our investigator with a baptism scheduled for the 30th of November). She came home from having dialysis and felt horrible, so the little surprise party we had planned for her ended up not happening. We decided to have it Thursday afternoon.

Vina del Mar, Chile
Well, we woke up Thursday morning and went to visit G** (R's daughter, who also has a baptism scheduled) and she wasn't home. So, we called her and she said that she was in the hospital with R** because she had felt really sick all night. She said that she would call us with news, and let us know what we could do to help.

We waited all day long to hear from them. We ended up in N's house (a recent convert) and as we walked in the door, G** called us in tears and said, "Hermanas, I need you! Please, my mom is going to die tonight or tomorrow. There is nothing the doctors can do..." We were like, "whoa, what?!," and called our district leader to see if we were allowed to go to the hospital to see her. It was 9 p.m. and we have to be home by 9:30, so we were shocked that they gave us permission. We ran over there as quick as we could, saw R** in a hospital room packed with about 10 other people (in beds), and she looked awful. They were injecting morphine to help with the pain. I am not sure what she had, but she looked bad. We stayed there to try to held calm G**, and then we had to go home. We told her to call with any news at anytime during the night.

Friday afternoon, we were anxious and not able to find anyone to teach. We visited with J** (our convert) and got a call from G**, telling us that R** had just died 5 minutes earlier. We were in shock, cried, etc. It was crazy. Like, I had just seen her, taught her for the last 4 weeks getting her ready for baptism, and then she just died. Out of no where...

At first, I was angry. I thought, "This area is so hard to work in and we FINALLY had a baptism scheduled, and then she died?! How could this happen?!" I was really beating myself up, because I thought, "I didn't baptize her, and now she is in the spirit world waiting for her baptism to be done in the temple. How did we not get this done sooner?!" I was really upset. I had gotten attached to R**, and I loved to teach her. She understood everything perfectly, and was an angel. We had to yell when we taught her because she couldn't hear very well :) But she wanted to be baptized and understood everything we taught her. She clapped her hands for joy when we told her about Joseph Smith's first vision, and that we had a living prophet, Thomas S. Monson. She had tears come to her eyes and was so excited and happy when we taught her the plan of salvation and how she would see and could get to live with her dead husband again. She said she would do anything to be baptized like Christ was. She quit smoking and drinking tea and coffee on the spot..... I couldn't wrap my mind around how someone so wonderful and willing could be taken away so suddenly, especially before her baptism...
My area of Chorillos

I prayed. I prayed day and night, and told Heavenly Father how I felt. I told him that I was sorry for not finishing teaching her, and for not baptizing her. And then I felt that overwhelming peace that I love, the Holy Ghost, telling me that everything would be okay.... "My will is not always your will. Trust in me".... I told Heavenly Father at that moment that if I couldn't finish teaching her, to please pass her along to my sweet baby brother, Jonathan, to finish the work that I started so that she can be ready to recieve the covenants of the temple in a year. Since then, I know for a surety that R** is okay, in a much better place, and that she will be ready for baptism, just like we were working on before she died.

G** told us this week that she wants to be baptized no matter what, because it's what her mom wanted and what she needs to be able to enter the temple and do the baptism for her mom in a year. Blessings come from hard things! We don't always kow why, but the Lord does! We are doing better, and trusting more and more in the Lord everyday <3

Well guys, have a great week! I will talk to you all next week! I love you soooo much!

xoxoxoxo Hermana Avery

 15 Months (November 10, 2014)

Just Beccause God Loves You That Much  (November 24, 2014)

My dear family and friends, PLEASE read this book!