My first cambio!!!!! Holy cow, it is a lot of work to swap all the missionaries every six weeks haha. I have no idea how President and the office does it. I have a feeling my appreciation for them is going to increase this cambio because... they are ALL in my ward here in Osorno! My district consists of the assistants to the President, his secretaries, my district leader and his companion that both work in the office tambien, and my new compañera Hna. Howell. Haha not sure what we did to be in a district like that, but I think its safe to say I´ll learn a lot! ;) haha. President is also in our ward, and our bishop is Elder Goodman that is here serving a mission wife his wife (matrimonio missionaries). Our house is close to the mission home, and we live with two other hermanas that are both from Peru. Our house is huge, but a poco of a disaster because during cambios and such lots of hermanas come and stay in our house. It is unofficially called the ¨mission home of the hermanas.¨haha So basically yeah... I am in the middle of everything here in Osorno! :) Oh, and just fyi... being close to the office means that I can receive letters SUPER quickly right now, so if anyone feels like writing me a letter, go for it ;)
I have only been here for three days, but I have already learned lots! This sector is a lot different that my sector in Valdivia. It is super quico or rich haha, and some of the houses are gigante!! Our mamita is a recent convert and she and her family live in a HUGE house and have a lady that cooks for them (and us) food that is super yummy, and super healthy, without tons of pan! Yay! I just might actually lose a little bit of the weight that I gained in Valdivia haha. But even though this area is more wealthy. the people I have met so far are seriously so great! WE have had a few lessons with menos activos, miembros, and investigators and I am so surprised at how willing they are to learn and their dedication to keep their commitments!!! Obviously we are going to have our own struggles, but so far I am so pleased to teach people that are progressing and keeping their commitments :) Everyone says this sector is of "oro" and I am super super excited to work here! :)
It hasn't been without its desafios though haha. Hna. Howell has only been here for six weeks and we both just finished our training, which means to some degree we have no idea what we are doing haha. I´ll admit I was a bit frustrated the first day or so because she doesn't know where a lot of things are (and I don't either yet), and we are both used to doings things a little bit differently. We both have very distinct manners of studying and planning and teaching and the first couple days were a little rough. But I was praying super hard that we could have unity and as soon as I started to feel frustrated I decided... No! I am going to be happy and we are going to work together and it is going to work out! :) So I humbled myself a bit (or a lot haha), prayed really hard, and yesterday was so awesome!! :) We contacted people and had four really awesome lessons and I learned that I actually love teaching with her. She talks a little more slowly (something I need to work on) and it has been helping me so much in the lessons! Not only do people understand us better, but we also give ourselves more time to listen to their concerns, listen to the Spirit, and then respond in a manner that is best for them. It is such a great feeling! I know we still have lots of work to do in our companionship, but she is seriously so great and her desire to serve and focus on our purpose and help these people is so honest and sincere and I have already learned tons from her! :) Also, we never speak Ingles because she wants to work on her Spanish and I do too, so I can definitely feel that I am going to improve my Spanish even more with her. I am super excited for this cambio! :)
Okay, not much time but in case you didn't know... I love you all SO MUCH!!! I am so glad you all are my family! I want you all to know that I know this church is true and that we have the great responsibility to share it with everyone. I am so excited to work here in Osorno! Even though its freezing haha. Love you all, more next week, and BE GOOD because ETERNAL LIFE IS WAITING!!!! :)
OTRAS: Thanks to the VanWies and adorable Clara Reese for their letters!!!! I absolutely loved them and they were so sweet and kind!!! I am super excited to try out that recipe Clara! You all are awesome and thanks for the support! :)
Okay, no tengo nada de tiempo so I am going to be really fast haha. We have a zone activity and we are going to the beach and anyway no time haha. BUT... lots to say! so fast :)
First, I am so glad you all had to much fun with the family last week! S excited for sweet little Emma that is baptized now. Woot woot!!1 Love you, sweet girl :) Also glad you got to see Grandma T and the rest! Will you tell Gram that I love her and hope everything is going well and will email her next week when I have a bit more time? Also, Mom to clear up your doubts... I LOVE hearing about everything that is going on at home! Seriously is my favorite :) I love your animos and hearing all the stories so keep it coming!haha.
Okay, so lots of changes this week. Cambios like I told ya and guess what.... your Chilean is going to Osorno!! Haha pretty crazy, but I am already heading to my second area. It is crazy! I leave Wednesday and my new campañera is a gringa from my group in the MTC haha, so we both just finished our training and are going to be learning how to be ¨normal¨missionaries together. Haha should be an adventure :) But I know her a little bit and she is super funny and sweet, so I am excited :) Also, it will be fun to be close to the mission home for a bit too and close to the volcano woot woot! Also, pretty sure my new Pday is Saturday so just a heads up... you should write me before then ;)
Well since I am leaving, that means that I have to say goodbye to all my people here in Valdivia.... ahhhhh!!! It is so crazy! I love these people so much and it is going to be hard to leave. Yesterday in the ward when I got up to bear my testimony in sacrament meeting at the request of the bishop, I felt like King Benjamin giving his final words to his people before he died. Basically I wanted to call them all to repentance and remind them to follow Christ ALWAYS because I want to see them in the Celestial Kingdom, but.... I decided to share my testimony and tell them how much I loved them instead ;) haha I seriously have loved this ward so much! The bishop and his family, my Mamita, all the women that went on visits with us, Francisa (who sadly is in Santiago this week :( :( ), our ward mission leader... just everyone! My first family in Chile! Not to mention our investigators.... William, Morelia y Coni, Paulina, this new women America who is AMAZING and going to get baptized I just know, and lots of others! It is sad to leave and not be able to see their progress anymore, but standing up in church yesterday and looking out at everyone I felt super strong that I am leaving this area better than I found it and that I helped strengthen the faith of some while I was here and that is what I wanted to do anyway :) Plus, not to mention all the love and hugs and ¨pass by my house before you leave!!!!¨¨ that I got yesterday haha. Talk about feeling loved! Man, I just love these people :)
Okay, seriously no time but just wanted to say that with all these changes I have been thinking lots about happiness and how I want to always be happy and positive in the mission and how the biggest way we all can feel happiness is through Jesus Christ because He is the ultimate source of gozo. And when we feel his love it just feels us up and we have the desires to come unto Him and do what He would have us do. I love 1 Nep 11:21-23 that talks about how the fruit of the tree is the love of God, and Alma 31:41-43 that talks about how we can develop this love and nourish the fruit through patience, faith, and diligence. Sorry I cant say more about it haha but just remember that the ultimate source of happiness is the LOVE OF GOD and thus we need to nourish our own love of God by obedience and service and all that jazz! :)
I love you all so much and hope you have an amazing week!!! Cant wait to read your emails! I love this work, I love my Father in Heaven, I know I am supposed to go to Osorno, I know this church is true, and I AM HAPPY because eternal life is waiting!!!! :)
Holy cow, so I have no idea how, but this is my final week of my training! We have cambios the next week and it is possible that Hna. Yepez and I will still be compañeras but it is more likely that one of us is going to go (and that I might train someone......) and AHHHHH!!!!! It is just crazy! I can´t believe it haha. These months have flown by and I seriously feel like the mission is going to be over before I know it! SCARY. haha. But anyway... this week!!! Tons happened :)
First off... progress con Morelia! :) So right now she is our biggest focus because she has a fecha and we have been working really hard with her and her daughter Connie too. Connie is 18 and started listening to the lessons a little after we started teaching Morelia so right now we are trying to catch her up on everything and their schedules are super different right now so this week we had lessons with them at different times. Anyway. we love them so much and love talking to them and stuff but for some reason we have been having a lot of trouble teaching them lately. It was like we were talking about things not related to the gospel more than the gospel and the Spirit wasn't as strong in the lessons and they weren't keeping their commitments and just aghhh... it was like we could literally feel Satan trying to stop their progress on all sides! And it was weird because we are having so much success in our lessons with other people! It hit a low point on Wednesday this week when we left their house after helping Connie and talking to her about her problems, but didn't really teach anything. And as soon as we left it hit me super clearly that if we kept going in this direction, Morrelia would not reach her baptism goal. Hna. Yepez and I talked about it and prayed that night and I remember feeling horrible and just crying and crying. Seriously horrible. I realized that I wasn't fulfilling my purpose as a missionary and if we didn't change, these two people that we love so much weren't going to come unto Christ. And I didn't want to leave feeling that way. The feeling continued during study the next day. Suffice if to say, we both learned a LOT about the Atonement in those short hours. But Hna. Yepez helped me realize that after we have recognized our wrongs and go through that repentance process, it is over. It is done! Christ paid the price for our sins and our job after we repent is to look forward with hope and change. I seriously felt like Alma the Younger when he describes his despair and then his joy after the Atonement haha. Although it was hard, I am so grateful for that lesson I learned!
Connie & Hna. Yepez
And after that.... things got better :) That day we had an AMAZING lesson with Connie, really focusing on her and learned so much about her beliefs and everything and holy cow, she has such an open heart and faith and desire to draw close to Christ. I am so excited for her! Also, we had a better lesson with Morelia on Saturday and she attended church yesterday!!! FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woot woot!!!! :) There is still lots to improve and I can still feel Satan trying to make us fail... but I know that we are back on the right track now and we WILL win! :)
Speaking of church, yesterday was a day of miracles! :) We had been fasting for people to attend church again and we woke up to SUN! You have to understand there is NEVER sun on Sundays haha and it is usually super cold and people use that as an excuse. Well, yesterday there was sun and there were tons of people at church, including Morelia! And it was fast Sunday and I love hearing their testimonies in this ward and seeing their progress... I always cry haha. I sat there in Sacrament Meeting with Morelia on one side and Francisca on the other and just thought ¨Holy cow... so many changes in the lives of people here! It is amazing!¨:) I know we haven't had a baptism yet, but we have seriously seen the lives of people change so much members and nonmembers and it helped me realize that we are making a difference :) I seriously love this ward and these people so much!
Also, we had intercambios with the herman leaders this week and I learned lots! First, I had to lead the sector again and I am always amazed at how much I learn doing that haha. Its like you are so much more aware of everything when you are in charge, and I felt so much LOVE for the people we taught. It was also a nice surprise that I can talk and understand just about as much Spanish as Hna. Foster, who is finishing up her mission this next week. Haha I guess I CAN speak Spanish ;) I also learned so much talking to her about her regrets and things from the mission and the biggest one was our relationships with the investigators. She had an investigator that she was best friends with but she didn't get baptized and when Hna Foster left things went downhill. And she told me about all the regret she had for a long time. I just remember thinking of Morelia and how I DO NOT want to feel that way. I have been studying a lot about my purpose this week and have realized that I am here to PREACH about CHRIST, not just be friends with the people. And if I am not doing that, I am not fulfilling my purpose. After this week and that horrible day I think I can say lesson learned! I am a missionary of Christ and preaching the gospel with help these people more than anything else I can do :)
Sorry so long today haha, but to finish real fast I just wanted to share a scripture that I love. Helaman 15:7-8. The steps to conversion! :) It all begins with knowledge, then faith in Christ and then repentance, change of heart and walking in faith until the end! I love the talk of Ann M Dibb about Ï know it. I live it. I love it.¨ I know that once as we learn about the gospel and then APPLY IT, our hearts change and we can truly say that we love the gospel. I LOVE THIS GOSPEL!!! :) I am so eternally grateful for my Savior and His Atonement and sacrifice for me. I need it. I have so many things to work on, but I know through Him I can change and become better and more converted unto the Lord. I have soooo much still to do in the mission, but I am so grateful for the opportunity to repent and mejorar cada dia. Just like it says in D&C 50:40-41.... I know I am his ¨little child¨and He wont ever leave me solo if I just come unto Him. I love this gospel and I love this mission! I am a representative of Jesus Christ and I am going to help others feel this happiness and joy that I feel because of my Savior! :)
I love you all family!!!! It sounds like from last week that you all are doing great! Mom that camp was awesome, Dad that work is great (and i always LOVE your emails and thoughts! thanks you so much dad :) and that the kiddies are great! Cant wait to read this weeks emails as usual. Tell them all hello and that I miss and love them so much! I hope you all remember every day how much we are blessed to have this gospel and how much peace we have because of our Savior. Without Him, we are nothing! Keep choosing the right and look for opportunities to share the gospel in little ways everyday. I love you all SO MUCH, so be good because ETERNAL LIFE IS WAITING!!!! :)
PS: Funny story for the week... the elders brought an investigator to church yesterday that was a little (or maybe a lot) weird and in THE MIDDLE of sacrament meeting, he came up to me and shook my hand and tried to kiss me on the cheek (that's how they greet each other here but we cant as missionaries) and when I wouldn't let him he got mad and went back to sit with the elders. Bahaha. The elders said after the meeting he just wanted to ¨go talk with the sisters!¨ Bahaha the elders felt so bad. Oh the people you met in the mission!
Holy cow, can you believe it is July already??? I can´t! Haha. It is crazy that I have been here in Chile for two months! Madness haha :) And let me tell you it is the coldest July I have ever experienced ;)
Okay, so this week! Crazy, as usual haha. We started out the week kinda of rough, but it turned out alright :) We were trying really hard to focus on getting people to church this week because that has been our biggest difficulty so far... and without going to church, no one can get baptized, so... yeah haha. It has been kind of rough. There are TONS of menos activos here in Chile so half of the work we do is trying to reactivate them, plus our investigators that we want to come to church. Anyway, we decided to fast this week for people to come to church, specifically Morelia. Because on Tuesday, a miracle happened with her!! So we have been teaching her and whatnot and she knows the church is true, she just hasn't accepted a date yet because she didn't feel ready and was afraid of failing. Well... Tuesday we passed by her house to she how she was doing (she has been looking for work these past couple weeks and has been super busy with that) and we were talking to her about her interview that day and whatnot. Then, right out of the blue she said, Öh, and I am going to be baptized on July 13.¨ Just like that!! Haha we about choked! We asked her what happened and she explained that God has been fulfilling His promises and so she decided it was time she fulfilled hers too. MIRACLE!!!!! Holy cow, we were so excited!! Sadly, she didn't attend church and so her fecha is actually the 27 of July. But she WILL attend church! just pray for her :)
ANYWAY.... so were fasting to get her to come to church, and also other investigators and menos activoes we had been working with. Well Sunday rolled around and we hadn't been able to have another lesson with Morelia because she has been so busy with her entrevistas and we couldn't get a hold of her to fijar una cita. Just after she had committed to baptism too! Oh man, I don't need to tell you how sad it was Sunday morning when once again we couldn't get a hold of her to come to church. Suffice it to say it was a bit rough and I think it shook my faith a bit. But that morning I was studying so hard, focusing so hard on having faith, faith, faith and doubting nothing. I felt like our fast had been for nothing and I didn't understand if it was something we had done wrong or if it was just her using her agency. But... we went to church as usual, and although she wasn't there, about 5 other menos activos that we have been working with were :) What a tender mercy from the Lord! Morelia might not have been there, but others were, and THAT was what our fast was for :)
We also had a couple AMAZING lessons this week with a couple new investigators. One is named America (legit, right?) and she is basically a dry Mormon. Holy cow, I am so excited to teach her again! Also, there is Janet and her daughter Paulina and we had an incredible lesson with them and Francisca yesterday. The Spirit was so strong and Janet and Paulina are keeping there compromisos and reading and were so great for Francisca! We talked about the Plan of Salvation and as I was bearing my testimony to them, I could just see Janet´s eyes shining as she looked at me and I knew she knew it was true. And then, all of the sudden Francisca started to cry and told them about the good feeling she had when she remembered these things.... and this is someone who has been inactive for years! Oh my goodness, it is so incredible to see how her testimony grows every time we goes with us to a lesson!!! She is progressing so much! And Janet and Paulina are seriously amazing. So excited for them!
Also, we planned an awesome activity this week about the historia familiar with the ward to help`them get their names and stuff to go to the temple in August. Not a ton of people came, but a few did and it was awesome to help them. Hna. Martini, the family history hermana, was there helping us too and her passion for the work is incredible. There family history trees aren't like ours in the US... they basically have to start from scratch to find the information about their ancestors and put in the computer and then have it to do work in the temple. But they are all so excited, especially Francisca! The spirit of family history work is seriously incredible and I cant wait to do more with it later :)
Okay, sorry this email it everywhere! haha. But I just wanted to thank you Mom for your faith. It is seriously such an example to me. Yesterday when I was struggling before church, I just kept thinking about all the times I know you have prayed for me and I have seen miracles in my life because of YOUR prayers. For example... the fleas haha. We had them that one week but after that, hardly never. And I know it is because you say every week that you are praying for us :) And I just kept thinking... if Heavenly Father can answer Mom´s prayers about something as simple as fleas, He can answer mine and help others get to church. And He did :) You are such an incredible example to me of faith Mom, and I love you so much!!! We have talked to so many mothers and daughters here that have problems, and my compañera tambien has shared experiences with me about her and her mom and how it was rough. But every time I talk about you I always say....¨My mom is my best friend, and my hero and an angel and I want to be just like her!¨ And you seriously are :) I am so eternally grateful to have you as a Mom and for your sweet, loving example and everything you do for us kids. You are amazing! And I hope you LOVED camp and survived the bears and squealing girls and didn't die of a stress attack! haha :) I love you so much and remember that I am always cheering you on and praying for you and Dad and the kiddies everyday :)
Okay, got to end real fast, but pictures next week! Oh, and could you send my your recipe for cookies and brownies and the oatmeal chocolate chips cookies recipe too?? Haha that would be great! Also, I just wanted to share 2 Nefi 27:23.... Heavenly Father is a God of miracles. We just need faith :) Haha I am learning everyday to have more faith, and you all should too!! I love you all and miss you and feel SO BLESSED everyday to have such an amazing family! Have a great week! Choose the right, read your scriptures, pray, smile, and do your family history work and be missionaries because... eternal life is waiting!!! :)
Okay, crazy week so here I go with the stories! First off, TY CONGRATS ON THE MISSION CALL!!!!!!! Dude, I am so excited for you! Wisconsin is going to LOVE you! Holy cow, I cant believe it! Haha Ty I am so proud of you! You are going to be such an AMAZING missionary!!! Bahhhh! Also, I loved hearing all about Alaska in your email! You should definitely email me again! I want to hear all about your adventures and mission prep and whatnot :) I only read quickly about where you are serving but I cant wait to read all about your experience. Oh heck, I wish we could talk! So you should email me :) Love you SO MUCH! Soo proud :´)
Okay, on to this week. Basically it was awesome! We FINALLY had one of our awesome investigators in the church yesterday and Francisca, the menos activo that we are working with. And it was so amazing to see how interested and attentive she was to everything. She has been dealing with a lot of depression these past few years and tried to commit suicide earlier this week. Pretty sad :( But it has been amazing to see her testimony grow just in these past few days! She loves going to visit investigators with us and was asking all sorts of questions in church yesterday, and is super excited about our family history activity that we are going to have with the ward this week and wants to learn more and more about the gospel. It is so amazing to work with her! And yesterday we had a lesson with a new investigator who is PERFECT for Francisca! We cant wait to take her to a lesson with this new investigator :)
Also, I love my new district so much!! We got new zone leaders, who are in our district, (one is from AZ btw and went to Skyline! he is older, so i didn't know him but he is in AJ stake and lives down the street from Marlee Roberts haha. Elder Madsen. anyway its cool that we know lots of the same people) and we all just had s much animo and excitement to work in our meeting this week. It is awesome to feel the unity in our district and then see the results. We had awesome lessons this week and have such an awesome feeling about this week... it is going to be a week of miracles, I just know! :) Our poor leaders though... we put them through quite a lot this week haha. First, after our district meeting, Hna. Yepez and I ran to the bathroom and the elders thought we left, so they left without us and when we went to go leave we discovered that we were locked in the capilla!! Haha they locked us in! So we had to call them to have them come let us out... boy did they get a good laugh out of that! Then, two days later, we came back to our apartment after lunch with the Mamita and realized that we didn't have our keys.... haha so we had to call our leaders and again, this time telling them that we were locked OUT of a building. And yesterday, for the worldwide training meeting, we accidentally went to the wrong stake center haha. Third phone call... ¨¿Donde estan elderes?¨ Haha oh my goodness, the SHAME! We all got a good laugh out of all the experiences, but I promised myself that I would not cause problems for my district leader! (BRIAN... this is for you and all other district leaders our there! haha) And I may or may not have said in a bit of desperation... ¨No tenemos problemas!! Promesa!¨ Haha. We don't have problems!!! Haha Anyway, after that adventure of a week, Hna Yepez and I are on a quest to redeem ourselves ;)
Speaking of worldwide mission training.... OH MY GOSH that meeting was incredible!!! I think Mom, you attended it right? Not sure who else did, but oh my goodness the spirit was so strong! It was amazing. I just felt so excited and pumped for the work after and so humbled to think that I am a servant of the Lord right now in this time. and the new Internet rules are kind crazy no? Haha not sure how I feel about all that, but it will be lots easier for sure to communicate with investigators. Just everything though... the talks, the videos, all the missionaries in the Marriott Center at BYU, the prophet, everything! I was so overwhelmed by how amazing it was :´). I know that this work is increasing rapidly and with the help of all the members working together, we are going to see miracles. We really are in the last days and the most important work we can all do is missionary work! People need this gospel!! Every time I hear the prophets and apostles speak, it is just amazing how strongly the spirit testifies.
I loved so many things about the meeting, but I especially loved the emphasis on the LOVE we need to have to do this work. It really all starts with the love we have as members and missionaries. They need to feel the Spirit in order to have a desire to change, and our purpose is to help them feel that spiritual atmosphere. And we can only testify in the way that they need and with the Spirit when we have that love for them! Because when we have love, we listen to their needs and Heavenly Father gives us His promise that we will be able to testify in a way that can touch their hearts, and thus help them feel the Spirit. And it all starts with our love for them. I love the pray of Alma in Alma 31:34-35.... the perfect example of a missionary prayer! Their souls really are precious and we can help them when we have that Christlike charity. That is my goal this week to have more love :)
Family, this gospel is true!! I just loved the videos yesterday that showed the kids growing up and preparing for missions. I cried and smiled as I thought of you kiddies preparing for missions! I love you all so much and hope you have an amazing week! Mom, have a great time at Girls camp! Also, I am glad you are all safe from the fire! I love you all!!!!! Choose the right and be missionaries today! People need the gospel and eternal life is waiting! :)
Okay, lots to tell this week! We had ward conference and there were lots of activities and my compañera and I got sick for a day because of the food (or something haha. we love the food de la mamita but it always makes us feel a little funny no lies) and so it was kind of a crazy week. But we also had lots of awesome experiences! :)
First, we had an awesome lesson with an investigator named Fabian! solo and so it is hard to set up appointments with him because we always have to have another hermana. But we finally had another lesson this week!!! And man, the spirit was so strong!!! :) We taught him the first lesson because the last time we taught him about the plan of salvation and he was so receptive! As usual haha. It is cool because he always reads the things we give him to read and we know he has a real desire to learn. We had the Mamita Moya with us (she is the bishop´s wife) and she was so great too! It is so amazing when the investigators can hear the strong testimonies of the members testify too. Anyway, it was just so awesome because he was understanding everything has this real desire to read the Book of Mormon. He kind of reminds me of Rod... he is successful in his work and whatnot and just kind of enjoys life by himself, but when he makes a compromiso he keeps it. Which is awesome in this work because so many investigators don't keep their commitments, and without commitments they can´t progress! Anyway, awesome awesome lesson! We are so excited to see his progress! And afterwards the Mamita was so excited and just kept saying ¨He has got to talk to the bishop... I just have the strongest impression that he has got to meet the bishop.¨ Haha it is so awesome when the members are excited for the investigators too! :) Also, just that day we had had an incredible zone meeting with our new zone leaders (who are awesome btw!!! We just feel so pumped and excited after talking to them!) and they were talking about how in every sector there are men who are predestined to be Priesthood holders and how the Church needs these Priesthood holders to function. And that day we felt like we found a future Priesthood holder in our area! :)
Also, updates on Morelia... she couldn't attend church this week (sadly...) BUT... she and her daughters DID attend an activity in the capilla on Friday! And they had so much fun!!! Man, it was so cool because they just looked like they belonged in the Church! They were talking with lots of people and the Bishop and it was so neat to see them all (especially her daughter Connie) get excited about the activity there and want to come back. And little Danae!! She just ran right up to me and clung to me the whole time! Haha ¨Hermana Teeples! Hermana Teeples!¨We are basically best friends ;) I just love those girls so much and we are working and praying so hard for Morelia! She has the desire and the testimony, just needs to conquer her fear! We have a lesson with her tonight and are super excited for it :)
Other awesome thing this week is that we went and visited the family history center! Man, that place is so cool! Our ward right now has a date in August to go to the temple and Hna Yepez and I have been thinking and planning activity to encourage them all to go. We are planning an activity to help them search and find their own family names to take to the temple, so that is is more personal and exciting for them. And when we were talking with the family history lady, we just got so excited! She loves the work so much and is thrilled to help us. It is amazing how powerful the spirit of family history work is and how excited people get as we talk about it. We've been talking about it in almost every lesson with members these past couple days and you can see the interest and excitement on their faces! It is cool because lots of people here in Chile has tons of ancestors real close like grandparents that need their work done and we are going to help them! Woot woot! Haha family... family history work is so amazing! It is such a testimony builder that this gospel is for EVERYONE and includes the whole family of the earth! Ya´ll should get involved :)
One last thing... today I was studying about the Atonement and reading the talks in the Ensign about How we know when we are accepted of the Lord and how the Lord always wants to forgive us. I was studying and I realized something that I had never realized before. Heavenly Father sent His Only Begotten Son... Jesus Christ paid for ALL of our sins and sorrows. And for what? What do they receive for their sacrifices? Us. They receive US. That is all they want and that is all they have ever wanted. For us to live with them in an endless state of peace and happiness! All we have to do is follow the way. They sacrificed their huge part, and the only thing they ask of us is a broken heart and contrite spirit as it says in 3 Nefi 9:20. And when we sacrifice our tiny little portion we can receive a remission of our sins and all of their blessings! It just hit me how incredible that is. We sacrifice little so we can receive blessings for ourselves, but they sacrificed everything so WE can receive everything. Oh my goodness I started to cry haha. It is so simple!!! We just need to become as little children and come unto them. I love in 3 Nefi 9:21-22 how it talks about that and then in D&C 50:41-42 it says that we, his ¨little children¨will be His if we just do our part and make our tiny little sacrifice! Wow. This gospel is so incredible and so simple. I don't think it is a coincidence that we have to become as little children to inherit the kingdom of God... because we are children and the sacrifices we are asked to makes are tiny in comparison to those He made for us. We just have to humble ourselves and do it! :)
I love this gospel, I love my Savior!!! With all my heart! And I am so grateful and honored to be a missionary for Him. I just hope I can do some good here in Chile in His name haha. I love you all so much and I hope you have an amazing week!! Eternal life is waiting!! :)
Okay, so this week... lots of firsts! :) For example, first time that I have experiences the joys of fleas,and I dare say it wont be the last! haha. There are zillions of dogs in the streets always here and por eso, we have fleas! Ahhh haha not something I would wish upon anyone. But its all good... we just itch itch itch and shake our clothes everyday haha :) Also first time I experienced an EARTHQUAKE!!! AHhhh!!!! Bahaha, nahh it was super small and i could barely feel it but I do remember feeling my vision go funny like I couldnt see straight because the earth was moving of something... turns out it was ;) Also this was the first week that I honestly truly desired to be an elder for a moment (or few) because we keep finding so many awesome, interested people that want to hear the gospel but they are men that live alone and we cant enter without another hermana! Ahh the frustration! haha. I think we literally contacted 4 or 5 sincerely interested people in one day and they were all men that live solo. It was kind of sad haha. But I know we have this rule for a reason and we just have to work hard to get members to go out with us so they can have the gospel as well! :)
To be honest... this week was kind of hard. All week long we felt like every person that was interested we couldn't get a hold of or couldn't pass because they lived solo or our lessons fell through. And every person that we were teaching had a testimony of the gospel or part of it at least but wasn't keeping their commitments. We felt like we were teaching but we weren't having any results. And I was feeling kind down haha. We our teaching people but no one is receiving salvation!!! It came to a climax when Angela who we have been teaching basically said (after an awesome lesson where we felt the spirit really strong) that she didn't want to get baptized and felt like we were obligating her to do things. Ahhhh Angela! The one who was sharing folletos with everyone before! Haha I might have shed a few tears after that lesson. BUT... things are always worst before the storm breaks :)
And on Saturday night the storm broke!!! We had a lesson with an investigator Morelia who we have been teaching for a month or so and it was hands down the best lesson we have ever had! She has taken lessons before and she is so great and has a testimony strong already but has had problems sticking to her commitments. She lives with her two daughters Connie 18 and Danae 6 who I just ADORE and we always have good lessons with her but this was different. She bore her testimony to us about the spirit she feels in the capilla and how all her burdens just seem to vanish and about how every time she reads the BOM it just makes sense and she feels like it is true. She has such a strong testimony and we asked her straight up.. what is holding you back from baptism?? She said fear... fear that she doesn't know enough yet and isn't doing enough to be baptised. I felt like I should share Ether 12:27 and when she read it she immediately started to cry and bore testimony again of how she just knows these things are true. We told her that baptism is just the beginning! And she doesn't need to know everything before and we and Heavenly Father and here to help her. Oh my gosh, the spirit was SO STRONG in that lesson! She hasn't committed to a fecha yet, but she will :) She promised to get baptised before we leave Chile haha... I just want it to be while we are HERE in Valdivia! Oh man, best lesson ever! To hear your investigator bear testimony over and over! I love her and her daughters so much! Pray for them! :)
Family, I know this work is true! I have been reading lots in the Ensign and it was just a reconfirmation to me that we are literally in the last days and we all need to work TOGETHER to help this work. I love Jacob 5:70-75. I love how the Lord calls his people to labor WITH and the blessings he promises. He promises that we with receive joy and we can all rejoice together! I also love the blessing in Mosiah 4:12. There are so many blessings awaiting us if we just keep the commandments and share the word! I have personally felt my testimony grow so much because every time I bear it it is a reconfirmation that I know these things are true. And just as it says in the scriptures we will receive more knowledge and be full of joy and feel God´s love as we do these things. I love you family!!!! Pray and look for opportunities to share the gospel!! :)
No mas tiempo but I love you all!!!!! Cant wait to read your emails!!! thanks again for all your support! i feel it everyday!!! Have a great week! :)
Holy cow, I cant believe another week has gone by. And this week marks my first six weeks... cambios are this week and I'm not going anywhere, but it is crazy that I have actually been here long enough for a whole cambio! Haha wow. LOCO! :) And this week itself was pretty crazy. Pero it was definitely an awesome week!
So first off, we had intercambios this week with the sister training leaders and since our apartment is the largest in the area, they stayed in our house for 3 days. Boy am I grateful that I only live with one compañera!! Haha. We had tons of fun together the 4 of us, but I will definitely admit it is harder to focus when there are four of you. It kind of felt like a big slumber party the whole time haha. Tons of food and laughs and such :) And the day of the actual intercambio when we were working with the other sisters, I learned so much! I had to lead my sector with the other hermana, and it was a bit intimidating, but I discovered that I can actually do it! I can lead the lessons and contacting without a problem, and people understand me! Woot woot! Haha naww, I knew that before but it was a nice confidence booster, Also, the hermana that I tracted with is so awesome! She has this amazing talent for talking with people about the gospel in a totally nonthreatening way, but at the same time has so much energy and enthusiasm. Every time she contacted it was something like... We have this awesome message in Jesus Christ that we want to share with you!!! It reminded me of prophets in the scriptures who couldn't be restrained, and gave me mas animo... because we really do have an incredible message to share and when we contact people we should say it like that! :) Aww man, basically I discovered you can learn a lot from other sisters and I am super excited for our next intercambio.
Other crazy thing this week was.... my birthday!!! Oh family.... you all are literally the BEST FAMILY IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!!! Ryan, Kris and kids included! Thank you so much for the package!!!! I LOVED all of it and it made my day!!!! But Mom, I just about cried when my leaders handed me my box and saw how much it cost haha. I cannot believe you spent that much!! You crazy generous loving woman! ;) I love you so much! And we had a little party just for you with all your cute decorations! Haha pictures attached. I need to explain that day though.... So because this week was fast Sunday we knew we couldn't celebrate Saturday night with comida so we partied Friday and Saturday instead haha. We decided to make cookies Friday night and open my package then, and then make brownies on Sunday. So Friday night was super crazy and we had tons of awesome lessons, but there was a huge storm and we got back completely soaked. Planned quickly and then tried to make the cookies fast so we would have time to eat them and open my present. Well, in the midst of this craziness (don't have much time in the night) the power went out in the huge storm!!! Haha luckily our oven is a gas oven so we were still able to cook the cookies, but we only had a tiny little candle and couldn't see very well. Entonces.... lets just say the cookies were a little over done because I couldn't see them and my poor compañera who has never had chocolate chip cookies ate crunchy ones for her first time. Bahaha. And then we opened up my package in the dark, taking pictures of everything to see what it was. Hahaha suffice it to say, it was a crazy night! But we had so much fun and laughed the whole time in the dark! And I LOVED my package!! Oh thank you so much! The Ensign and food and card and MUSIC and scarf... you all are the BEST!!! I love you so much!!!! Sunday night was a bit more organized, and we had an awesome party then too with all the decorations haha. Happy bday to me! :)
Okay, sorry this email is so random! I want to send pics and my mind is crazy right now haha. But just so you know we taught people this week too, It wasn't all fun and games ;) We are still working with all our investigators this week... William, Angela, Morelia, Fabian and all and getting them going. We had a couple awesome lessons with members and are just trying to keep helping their testimonies grow! Also, I love the members so much and our ward was so amazing yesterday. It is so incredible to watch their testimonies grow. I pretty much cried all during testimony meeting haha. It is amazing to hear the testimonies of the members, especially when you know a lot of their back stories. I am starting to love these people so much and admire their testimonies so much! The spirit was so strong in the ward yesterday and I remember just praying and wishing eternal life with their families for all of them! I know that this gospel is true and I know that families can be together forever and I feel so blessed to know that MY family is an eternal family. And I just feel so sad when I know they aren't doing the things they need to do to reach that goal. I feel like that is how Heavenly Father feels when we don't do the things we should to have eternal life. We have answers and gospel right in front of us and when we don't follow it I know He is overwhelmed with sadness because that is exactly how I feel when I see people I love not follow through with the knowledge that they have....
Family, obey the commandments!!!! Heavenly Father has given them to us not for His benefit, but for ours. And we cant do it without Him. Jesus Christ himself said in John 5:30 that He cant do anything without the Father. How much more then do we need His help?? But I know that when we do all we can and put all our faith and confidence in the Father and obey all his commandments, we will receive His divine help. I love the promises in Moroni 7:33 and John 15:10. That is all He wants for us... to be encircled in His love and receive eternal life :) All we have to do is do our part!! :)
I love you all so much and thank you all for the emails! Cant wait to read them, as always!!! :) And I loved the emails from last week! What an amazing experience for Ty and Jaden and ALL of you! I was grinning from ear to ear while reading that. I seriously feel so blessed to have you all for eternity!!! I love you so much and pray for you all everyday! More individuals next week when I have more time but I want to send pics this week so el fin! I love you all!!!!! Ryan Kris and family, you all too!!! Have a great week, do your part for Heavenly Father and keep the commandments! Eternal life is waiting! :)
It sounds like you all have been super busy! My little family of missionaries, holy cow, I am so proud!! That was such a cool experience with the couple at the ward garage sale thing. Look at you giving references to the missionaries! Woot woot!! Haha I love you all so much! And it sounds like that activity was super awesome too :) Dad, thanks so much for your letter and encouragement last week, and I am super excited to read the rest of your letter this week. I love hearing from both you and Mom :) Kiddies! Done with school, eh?? Holy cow, I cant believe it is summer already. Here it is super cold haha. Winter is just starting! Have tons of fun for me, and play outside in the sun lots, okay kiddies? Haha I miss your faces Jaden, Carter, and Kaci! I did the raptor for my compañera the other night and totally thought of you all. Love you! And Ty, dude you are a graduate now! Holy smokes! That is so awesome :) And you are an elder too, right?? Moving up in the world! Good luck with all the traveling this week to Alaska! You are gonna do great! Email me, k? ;) Jakey, you gotta take care of everyone now! Send me pics of your awesome new and improved room and try not to break too many hearts this summer :) Haha love you all family!
Okay, so how is Chile?? Awesome!!! This week we committed two people to a baptismal date in June!! Woot woot!!! I am so excited! :) One is Angela that I told you about last time. Her testimony is really growing and on Saturday we had a lesson with her and her sister and amiga. She wanted them to talk with us haha. We were a ¨surprise for them haha. And then they all three attended church the next day! Aww man, it was so awesome! Our goal is to work with her to understand the importance of baptism and attending church and help her have the encouragement of her family. But she is on her way, and gosh it is so cool to see her excitement and desire to share the gospel! :)
The other is a little 9 year old boy named William. His parents and older siblings are less active and he wasn't baptised when he was 8 cause he has mild autism and the obispo was concerned he didn't understand the concept of baptism. So now we are working with him and teaching his the basics but he is understanding excellently and has a date and we are super excited! Just got to make sure his family is attending church and helping him along. He is such a cutie though... reminds me of my favorite 9 year old boy named Carter! ;)
Other than that, we have been doing a lot working with the less active members in the ward (specifically women) and there are TONS! It is so sad because they all feel like they don't have friends here and basically tell us their life stories haha. But if they could realize that they all feel the same way and they need to help each other, it would be awesome! Right now, we feel like the official visiting teachers of the RS haha and are trying to think of a way to help them feel more united. The Church is starting this new assignments program here in Chile is June to help reactivate members and we are stoked about it. Our role is to visit the less actives and give the bishop ideas of assignments for them to help them have a reason to come to church. I know that this program is going to bring miracles and I am so excited! :)
One other story haha. We have been working with a less active named Francisca this week and it has been awesome to see her growth already! Her family is active but she has been in depression for a few years and hasn't been coming to church. Once again, she just needs a friend. So we have been working with her and in a week she has changed so much! Yesterday she even went with us to teach a lesson and bore an awesome testimony! That lesson in itself was great. When we walked in, Favion was watching LOTR and I knew from that it was gonna be great ;) hahaha. Really though, he was so receptive and literally said I want to be baptised in the same way Christ was... in his first lesson! It was so cool :) And even more great, was he started talking to Fransica about a job (she has been looking for one in child care) and he just happens to work in the same field (quite successfully I might add... I think he is pretty high up there in management or something) and told her to send him her resume. Haha can you say awesome?! That lesson benefited everyone and was such a testimony to me that Heavenly Father works in all sorts of ways to help His children :)
Anyway lots this week, sorry this is so long haha. I just want to share my testimony that I know this is the Lord´s work and we are here to accomplish HIS will. I was reading in the Lorenzo Snow book for this year and he said that we cant always do what we want to do, but when our will is in line with God´s we will have the power to do what we NEED to do. I loved that! It was an awesome reminder to me that I am not here to receive recognition for me works, I am here so others can glorify God. I loved that so much! Read 3 Nephi 12:16. We all have been given this amazing light in the gospel, but it is so others can glorify God. Never forget that family and amigos!! Everything you do... do it for Heavenly Father :)
I love you all so much and I know that this gospel is true and this is the work of Heavenly Father. This is gonna be a big week... intercambios with the sister training leaders Wednesday and I am kind of nervous haha. Plus my bday and Mom thanks so much for sending my package! Super excited for it! :) You all are the BEST!!! Love you with all my heart and excited to read your emails! Keep letting your light shine and remember to give the glory to Heavenly Father. Christ did. So should we :) Eternal life is waiting!!! :)