Monday, July 29, 2013

Week 22 (Buin w/Hermana Irrazabal)


THIS WEEK HAS BEEN AMAZING!!!! I can't even begin to express how much I am in LOVE with my sector, the people here, my mission! EVERYTHING!  It's the most amazing thing!  I really feel like I am beginning to absolutely lose myself in this work and in my love for the people!  This week my comp and I met and or exceeded almost every one of our weekly goals!  We had SEVEN investigators in the church this week, including 2 couples who brought their 3 children each.  It feels GREAT!  Hna Irrazabal and I ran around like CRAZY on Sunday trying to entertain and keep those kids quiet because they are all super young and not very disciplined. We brought note books, crayons, colored pencils, chocolate, cereal, EVERYTHING we could think of and we had to chase them all over the church because they didn't want to go to primary or they were thirsty or WHATEVER REASON!  It was super, super crazy but funny to look back on. 

This week we had a baptism!  WHOOPEEE!  I'll try to remember to send pics next week (don't have time this week).  Our investigator Patricio got baptized and man was it a spiritual baptism!  Probably the strongest I've felt the spirit in a baptism since it was my own!  He cried and cried during all of the talks before the baptism, then when he came up out of the water he just hugged the branch Pres. and CRIED!  HE SOBBED!  The Spirit was SO strong! (and this guy is NOT a crier!)  He really is one of those chosen ones that Heavenly Father prepared to be found.  I came in like half way through him receiving the lessons and I really feel like we hardly had to do anything.  He understood and read the chapters in the BofM and pamphlets and everything we gave him and more!  He is awesome and is chomping at the bit to start preparing to go on a mission. 

We had a lot of really cool experiences this week.  It's amazing to me how, with no personal experience whatsoever, the Spirit can instantaneously turn us as missionaries into mouth pieces that can work as the most experienced addiction specialists or marriage counselors or whatever it is the Lord needs us to be as His representatives to help His children in the moment when they need it.  I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! 

 Love you to pieces familia!  Disfruten su semana!  Hasta Luego! [Enjoy your week! Until later!]

Monday, July 22, 2013

Week 21 (Buin w/Hermana Irrazaba)


I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE my new area! We are working in a branch of about 70-80 members assisting and we have TEN missionaries (including a senior couple)!  We have 4 Elders and then 4 Hermanas too.
In the house I live in we have SIX hermanas! ... its a tiny house for 6 hermanas! its and adventure to say the least!

Oh just an FYI, in Rancagua we only have an hour to write our families.... I'm going to die.

This week has been amazing!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE (times infinity) my companion! She is absolutely AMAZING! AND Buin is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO different from Lontué!  Lontué is super campo [rural], but Buin is like small city.  It is so easy to get anything you need here!  THEY EVEN HAVE A MCDONALDS!!!!!!!  I think my comp and I are going to go eat there after we finish writing... I have never been so excited to see or eat McDonalds in my life...come to think of it I don't think I've EVER been excited to eat at McDonalds before today!  Our house is cute but, like I said, small for 6 hermanas.  We only have one shower, and that gets a little complicated, but we all get along really well and are super happy! Honestly, the first day we went out and worked here (my birthday) I thought I was in paradise! AND the coolest part is that where we are working is still a little smaller town kind of place (we have to take a taxi to get where we are going everyday).  AND our investigators, OH our investigators!  I LOVE THEM SO MUCH ALREADY!  We are working with a couple families and with quite a few people with a LOT of problems such as alcoholism, addiction to drugs, prostitution, BUT it is amazing to be able to feel of the Saviors love for these people and learn to see them as the Savior does.  Even more amazing is being able to SEE what the gospel is helping them to do and that it really CAN COMPLETELY change lives!  It's such a blessing to be able to work with them and see them changing little by little.  This weekend we have a baptism, our investigator who is getting baptized is named Patricio and he's like 18 years old and has a great testimony and a great attitude!  As much as I LOVE LOVE LOVE all the people in Lontué, I almost feel like I have finally arrived in the Promised land after wandering in the desert.  BUT I can't even begin to express how much I have learned and how much it has strengthened me to have worked and struggled there!  I wouldn't trade it for the world! 
My companion's name is Hermana Irrazabal (accent on the second "a") she is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is the Sister Missionary Coordinator, and SO amazing!  I want to BE her when I grow up!  She is SUCH a good missionary, so dedicated and diligent and LOVING, everything!  And SOOOO adorable!  I'll have to send some pics after I buy a camera.

Anyways, times almost up, BUT I love you all to pieces!  I hope you are living up the summer and enjoying all the time together as a family!  You're the best family in the whole world!  Be safe!  Make the kids send me letters and pictures while they have a little time at home ;) XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Birthday (almost)

Guess what!!!  I'm leaving!  I totally called it.  I'm not going to lie, I'm really, really going to miss Lontué and all the people here and the friendships I've formed...and especially the converts, BUT I'm very excited to go see other parts of the Rancagua mission and go and work in the new area where the Lord needs me.  My new area is called Buin, and it is actually the farthest north in the Rancagua mission (from the farthest north in Concepcion to the farthest north in Rancagua) lol.  I don't remember the name of my new comp but she is from Argentina and is lider entrenadora de las hermanas (training leader of the sisters).  Today (even though we have cambios and everything), the zone got together for another barbeque and mini get together for my birthday, yeah...I'm loved ;). lol  It was super fun, gosh, I love my zone!  We took a bunch of pictures and wrote in each others mission books and ate meat and also CAKE!  Woohoo!  The zone sang to me and everything, it was way awesome! 
This week Hano got baptized and confirmed.  Gosh, I love that kid!  I'm going to try to send pictures and maybe even a video of the activity from my comps camera if I can.

The baptism this week was super awesome and I love the people here SOOOOOOOO much.  I hope it's OK with you mom and dad...I've been promising everyone that I will come back and visit when you guys come pick me up.  SO, we already have stop number 1 planned out.  I can't bear the thought of never seeing them again, so, just so you know, that's the plan! lol 

As of yet, I have not received the packages you sent, but I'm hoping Wednesday in our district meeting I will get them, but if not, no biggy.  I'll get them soon enough.  
OH!  Something I forgot, last week we had our zone conference with the new mission President!  He is great!  He sat at our table while we were having lunch so we got a little more time to talk to him and it was really fun because I had the opportunity to make him laugh, and he is funny too!  I was like, YES, good first impression with the Mission Pres!   I made him laugh!  Score!
Other than that, not too much is going on.  Love you tons and tons and tons!  Congrats daddy on serving so faithfully for the past 5 years.  You are my hero para SIEMPRE [ALWAYS].  LOVE YOU!  Kiss the kids for me and smother them in bear hugs for my birthday. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Week 19, (Lontue w/ Hmna Rojas)

[My apologies.  This is an old post that was accidentally deleted and by re-doing it & putting it back on Ynez' blog I am probably re-sending it to everybody]

Howdy, Howdy! 
Estoy super feliz! [I am super happy!]  Today has been super fun! 
A fun little story from this morning.  The District Leaders called us this morning at like 8 A.M. to tell us we were going to have a Zone activity - play soccer and have a barbeque…and he also INFORMED us that we would be having it here in Lontué, and that the Zone Leaders needed us to find a barbeque to use...AND that we had 5 minutes to do so!
"Lo harán? Estan comprometidas para hacer lo?" [“Will you do it?  Are you committed to doing so?”]

"5 Minutos?? No sabemos, Elder.  Pero vamos a hacer nuestro mejor esfuerzo!"  [“5 minutes?  We don’t know, Elder.  But we will give it our best effort!”

"Pero no se preocupen Hermanas, tenemos harto fe en ustedes.  Yo se que ustedes son capaz para hacer esto!"  [“But don’t worry yourselves, Sisters; we have crazy faith in you two.  I know that you are skillful/capable enough to do it.”]

SO, we started calling people in the branch like mad …AND...we did it! lol  Then later, the zone leaders called, (in Spanish): "Hey Hermanas, do you have a hair drier by any chance?"


"Dont worry about it... have faith!" 

"OOOOO.K..... "

Five minutes later the phone rings again and once again, it’s the zone leaders.  I answer: "What do you need?  my straightening iron now,


"Haha, no...but, do you have stuff to paint finger nails??  Just kidding, we need an extension cord!" 
Fun stuff.  We’ve got the best zone in the world!  I wish we could all stay for our whole mission. lol!

Fun adventure this week: We locked our keys inside our house.  None of our windows open, BUT, there is a window in our bathroom that opens into our shower that doesn’t close.  We’ve got it covered up by cereal boxes taped to the wall.  We ended up having to kick in the boxes and I climbed in the window.  To be honest, I don’t know how I did it!  The window is tiny!  Let’s just say it didn’t feel very good.  I’ve got some pictures in my comps camera that I’ll send. 

Otra Aventura [Another adventure]: one of my boots broke this week. 

The zipper broke off one side, so I had to walk around for the day with some rubber bands holding it shut (pictures coming!) until Shania, our recent convert, gave me some of her boots that didn’t fit her.

It’s been a fun week!  We had companionship study with our District and Zone leaders and we did some practices for Sarita and her family, practicing being bold.  It really paid off, because even though Ramon (papa) is super closed and stubborn about meeting with missionaries and talking about religion, one night we talked with him about religion for almost an hour, AND he let us come over and hold a family home evening with them.  We showed them 17 miracles. BUT the coolest thing, the climax of our week, was yesterday, our District Leader called and told us that the Zone Leaders wanted us to go and get Ramon to sign the baptismal form (to give his permission) for Hano, and they wanted us to find out if he was willing to marry Sarita so that she could progress…or if not, we needed to drop her as an investigator.  I’m not going to lie, on the way over there, I was shaking in my boots!  We arrived at the house and they had a bunch of friends over visiting, but we called them over anyway and asked if they could talk for just a few minutes.  At first, we asked permission for Hano.  (Just a little background, they have asked permission to baptize Hano before, and Hano and Sarita said that when they asked, Ramon got angry and said, “no”, he wouldn’t ever give permission because Ramon is Evangelico [even though he doesn’t go to church] and that Hano was baptized Evangelico). - After we asked Ramon, he said, face of stone, "You want my permission to baptize my son?"
"Hano, you want to get baptized?"
"You know what that means?"
"That means no complaining on Sunday morning if you are tired or don’t want to get out of bed. That means you are committing to go to church every Sunday morning and I never want to hear any whining about “I’m tired” or “I dont want to”... You really want to be baptized?"
"Are you sure?"  
Ramon goes quiet...
"Ok... then, you have my permission."

I almost jumped for joy right then and there!  It was super awesome!
However, we then talked to him about getting married and he said, “no”, that he is not willing. So we have to drop Sarita as an investigator, BUT I’m really hoping that with time Ramon will soften up even more (especially if he is able to come see Hano get baptized) and eventually they will all get baptized and become an eternal family!  AHH!  I would love that so much, I really love their family!  

One time, we were talking with them and somehow, bears came up.  I told them about dad’s bear how it’s mounted in the living room and how I’ve eaten bear meat and everything…and "that’s why I am so strong" (joking around of course) and now Ramon calls me "Oso" [bear]…or "Gringa" - depends on the day. 
SO anyway!  Hano is getting baptized this weekend!  WOOOOHOOOOOOOO!  (We bumped it up a weekend in fear of cambios, [companionship changes] which we will know next Monday). I’m scared to death.  I have really fallen in love with this sector and especially the people here.  I have been begging Heavenly Father to give me one more transfer, but also to let His will be done.  He always knows what best for us.  We will see what happens!
Something else, I got sick again this week.  I randomly woke up one morning with a mild case of bronchitis, but I’m getting better now :). 
Tomorrow we have our conference with the new mission president here in Rancagua, por fin voy a saber algo acerca de la mision Rancagua!  [Finally, I will know something about the Rancagua mission!]  lol 
I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another broken shoe

Monday, July 1, 2013

Week 18, (Lontue w/ Hmna Rojas)

I GOT YOUR PACKAGE!!!!!!  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!  You are the best family in the whole wide world!  It was perfect, perfect, perfect!!  

SO, it turns out, today is the "official" first day of being part of the Rancagua mission, but as of yet we haven’t done anything or met anyone in Rancagua.  We got an email with a little bit of information (but not with the address of the mission).

On July 9th, we will have a conference with the new mission president here (and with the other Zone that came from Concepcion) but as of yet, we have no idea when we will be meeting with other missionaries from Rancagua, having a conference, etc. 

BUT more importantly.... I SCORED MY FIRST GOAL TODAY!!!!!!  We play soccer almost every P-day, so it’s about time! I’m getting better little by little! lol but the Elders are patient with us sisters. 
Things have been great this past week!  Nothing too crazy. 

Our “golden” investigator is really tough to find!  She has gall bladder cancer (at least I think its gall bladder, I’m not entirely sure which organ "vesicula" translates to).  She is almost never at home because she has been going to Santiago and Curico more often than every other day for tests and things like that.  She is waiting to have the operation to take out the tumor but she also doesn’t have money to get it done.  In short, I really believe she will get baptized, but it’s really hard to find her at home and even harder for her to attend church. However, we had a cool experience with her last night.  We brought a recent convert with us just to go and check if she was there and to get to know her and share a little lesson.  When we first entered, it was super awkward, but when we got started and shared a scripture and everything, our investigator turned and asked a question to the recent convert, Isabel, and it just took off from there!  It was awesome!  We (Hmna Rojas and I) were sitting there, realizing just HOW much they have in common!  It was kind of nuts!  The great part is that now I think they will be SUPER amigas, the only bad part was that they got along SO well that Hmna Rojas and I literally had to CUT in and interrupt them mid-sentence to finally say, “we NEED to leave now, we are sorry, but we have to get home before "curfew"”.  Hmna Rojas and I are still learning the skill of controlling the lessons, because Chileans really like to talk, and a lot of the time they start out on topics that has to do with what we’re talking about or the question we asked, but then, without breathing, they start rambling on and on about things that have almost no relation at ALL!  It’s a tough line because you have to ask questions to be able to understand the people you are teaching and know their understanding, etc…it is a KEY tool in teaching, but at the same time, sometimes it’s easier not to ask questions because you know they will just take off talking a mile a minute and there goes 10 minutes…and there we are totally off track of the lesson and we have to try to find the nicest way to cut them off and then try to tie things back into the lesson.  Oh, the adventures of missionaries serving in Chile... I LOVE IT!
Recently, we started working with Sarita and her family again.  We left them a while back (when I was with Hmna Joglar) because they weren’t progressing (because of the dad of the family). But we felt inspired to start working with them again.  Let me tell you, Ramon (the dad) is as hard as a rock!  OH, is he stubborn!  Sarita has been investigating the church for over a year now, but things are complicated.  We have been trying to just get our foot in the door with Ramon, soften him up a little bit.  We are working with Sarita, teaching her a lot about the power of faith (and learning a lot about the power of faith ourselves).  I think she is scared to believe or hope because she doesn’t want to be let down again, but we have been praying a lot for them and really feel like now is the time.  We are also trying to use Hano (the son) to get to Ramon, and being as creative as we can possibly be.  We will see what happens! 

As far as my birthday present wishes that you asked about…I have no idea what to do, because either way (gift card or small package) I doubt either will make it to me in time. :P  I’m going to try to just shrug it off and accept it…I mean, what’s ONE birthday in the service of the Lord??   Also, I think the Monday before my birthday is transfers. My guess is that on top of not being able to get anything in time, I will most likely be transferred and moved to a new area, with a brand new comp. and where I won’t know anybody yet.  (I’m trying to prepare myself for the worst; with the attitude in mind that the Lord is using these trials to shape me)...we will see what happens!  The only thing I can think of that I would like is maybe some laffy taffy (no banana please) and some work out videos, in our house right now we don’t have anything to play DVDs but by the time it gets to me things could be different…and when I do have a DVD player, I would like to be able to start using them immediately.  I’m thinking some short (ideally, 30 mins) Jillian Michaels or something like that.  (But, if you find good ones that are longer I will just have to wake up earlier to work out).  Other than that, I’m not sure what to do.  I’m trying to be more diligent about eating better, but it’s tough because, really, there is NOTHING healthy here except eggs and light yogurt (and we are always craving something hot because its frigidy, freezing here AND we don’t have a stove or anything.  Oh, and there are also aren’t any kinds of healthy snack here.  The closest thing to a healthy snack you can get (besides fruit) is a kid granola bar that you would have to eat 3 of to be the least bit satisfied…and they are loaded with sugar.  I’m looking, but like I said, its hard!  I’m always open to suggestions from home and always asking other Hermanas what they do.  Any suggestions??? We have a microwave (thank heaven) and this thing that is pretty much like a giant hot plate, oh, and an electric teapot (best invention ever, outside of fleece tights).  The only problem is that we share our electricity with like 3 houses and so when we plug in or try to us these things at the same time, the power shuts off! and we are always using them all at once because we don’t have time to use them one at a time and there are two of us wanting to eat!  The cool thing is that we discovered that even if we don’t have power or light in the bathroom, we DO still have hot water in the shower (WOOT WOOT!) 

AHHHHH, I only have like 5 minutes left, BUT I love you to pieces family!  I miss you like mad!  I hope all is well and WARM at home!  Don’t miss me too much ;)  Have a wonderful sun filled week!  (bask in the sun extra for me! and I’ll make sure to soak in even more rain for you guys ;)  You’re wonderful magical fantastical! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO LOVE YOU!!!

Week 17's letter received a week late.

Sorry my letter is coming so late today!  [Actually, a week after it was written].
We had our mission conference to say goodbye to our mission president today in Concepción, so we just got back to Lontué a little bit ago. It was really fun visiting Conce for the last time and seeing all my buddies from other Zones and my MTC buddies for the last time.  The only other missionaries from my MTC group (generation) [that are changing missions too] are: Hna Berbert, Hna Tidwell, and Elder Jensen.  Saying bye was pretty sad but there are so many things to look forward to that it makes it a lot easier!  It was also super sad watching Pres. and Hmna. Humphrey leave after we sang them "Para Siempre Dios Esté con Vos" (God be with You Till We Meet Again).  Everybody was crying!  But their words and testimonies that they left us with were so powerful, animating, and touching!  It was a super cool experience, one I will surely never forget!

Nothing out of the ordinary this week, but I can tell some funny stories about borrachos [drunks]. There is this one guy in Lontué; I swear he is ALWAYS drunk!  And whenever he sees me, he stops and tries to speak English to me.... He knows like 3 words... But this one time we ran into him, we were walking on the sidewalk minding our own business, and he came riding by on his bike, sees us and halts.  He starts trying to speak to me in English: "Espeaking engleesh?" and of course, I play dumb.. "HUH? What? No entiendo, no, no hablo ingles."  But he wouldn’t stop bothering us.  He persists every time! (for example, one time he took me by the hand AND WOULDN’T LET GO, and said to me, "Yo se lo que tu haces." [“I know what you do”]... Creep!  I don’t think he understand that I am a MISSIONARY.  This time he persisted until my companion finally stops him and says, (in spanish) "No! My companion doesn’t speak English!" 
"Does she speak Spanish?"
"NO, and she doesn’t understand Spanish. She speaks... uhh, Japanese!"
"Ohhhhh... then explain to her what I said."
Then he tries to continue on, on his bike but crashes into to curb, does an "s" like curve then continues riding crookedly down the street. 
Fun fact about Lontué, it is SURROUNDED by vineyards and wine-presses, SO the wine here is super cheap, hence more drunkards. FUN STUFF! lol
Anyways! I don’t have a ton of time, but I love you all SOOOOOO much!  I hope you have a WONDERFUL, fun-filled, adventurous week!
You are always in my prayers!  I’m so proud of my siblings!  Thanks to the Primary for the poster, I love it! That was SOOOOO sweet!

P.S., found my camera cable... lost my camera