Tuesday, September 20, 2016

¡Feliz Dieciocho!

Played soccer with the ward this morning
¡Feliz Dieciocho!
September 18, 1810 marked the beginning of Chile's long fight for independence from Spain. While their full-fledged independence didn't come until 1818, Chileans commemorate the inception of this journey with a two-day holiday, appropriately named El Dieciocho (the 18th), when the country declared its intention to rule itself.

Why a 2-day holiday?  Well, why not?  I think America could greatly benefit from slipping in a few two-day holidays.  As far as Chile's history goes, 206 years ago, the way it went down was that it took two full days for the country to declare its intention to rule itself.
     September 18, 1810 - First national meeting of government. 
     September 19, 1810 - First government council called.

And so, El Dieciocho (the 18th) is two days of las Fiestas Patrias - full of food, family, and dancing (local dance, the cueca). 

That's what we did with the ward on Friday night. We had an Independence Day party with churipan, sopaipillas (which we helped make), other local dishes, and some of the ward danced the cueca.

Gracias, Familia Lopez
Well, the day I write this letter is the day after 18th of September, which locals jokingly refer to as National Hangover Day in Chile. Pretty much everything is closed. Currently, I am the grateful recipient of the hospitality of the Familia Lopez and their computer. Gracia Familia Lopez.

Comps with the Pres
During the week, I went to visit Juan and Silvana with Presidente Catala as my companion! I ended up teaching the Restoration. During the lesson, president tested me to see if I had memorized Galatians 5:22-23 (the passage about the Fruits of the Spirit).  I think it went well.

Be At Peace
Tuesday we started a fast for the granddaughter of Familia Lopez. The 4 year-old has a brain condition which has rendered her incapable of bodily functions. She is trapped in a body that does not work and must relearn everything. So we added our prayers and fasting for her recovery.

Our fast was only 24 hours, but with all of the work and walking and the weather heating up - I ain't gonna lie, I was fatigued. But I just had to remind myself who and what this was all for - a little girl who needs a miracle.

At lunch on Wednesday, when we broke the fast, I had the neatest experience.  During the prayer, a distinct feeling came over me saying, "Be at peace. Your prayers have been heard. The child will be better."

Sunday, she returned home from the hospital.

Liberated on Chilean Independence Day. Kind of poetic. But the real beauty of it all is that because the Lord hears and answers prayers, a little girl is gaining a life. What a blessing.

¡Feliz Dieciocho!
Elder Connor Nef

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