Monday, August 26, 2013

Week 25 (Buin w/Hermana Irrazabal)

YIPEEEEEE!!!!! I finally got my packages! And lots of letters! BIG HUGE thank you to Alton and Debbie, the Whitakers, Nicolee, and Cynphony! You all are the BEST!!!! I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED, the letters! SO I with my packages I finally got my credit card, yipeeee!...and thus I bought a new camera today...SO I have a camera again YIPEEEEE!!! With the birthday package stuff :)(cake mix, frosting, streamers, birthday hats) I think we are going to have a mini-party in the house today and next week I can start sending pictures! WOOOHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! So cambios [transfers] are tomorrow, but we found out Saturday night that I GET TO STAY WITH HNA IRRAZABAL!!!!!! :D :D :D :D La voy a matar! [I get to kill her off] (in the mission of course). lol Initially I WAS SUPER excited because those who are in their last cabio [transfer] get to go to the TEMPLE with their companions, BUT it turns out with the new mission president, the "dying" missionaries all get together and go to the temple and leave their companions behind. FOME [darn]!!!!  I miss the temple A LOT! haha I LOVE THE TEMPLE! but all's good, my time will come lol. :)

How cool we have bears in the yard [at home in CA] again! haha Practice up! ;) ;) ;)

This week has been a good one, except that we found out that as foreigners, we can't actually be testigos [witnesses] in the wedding, BUT we will be able to be there, and THAT is the important part... actually the important part is that they're GETTING married lol, but we are super happy to have the opportunity to be there, AND to be together for this cambio [companionship transfer] too! This week we had interviews with our mission President.  Man, he is SO inspired. It's like he's called of God or something that like... weird ;) lol  He told me EXACTLY exactly what I needed to hear, for example that I am right where I need to be at this point in my mission. It was a huge relief to hear that because I'm always worrying too much lol. He also explained to me that this time in my mission it's normal to pass through this phase where thoughts of home/family creep into your mind more because as missionaries we start really adjusting to the mission life and get into a rhythm so we don't need to think quite as hard all the time and with this teeny little extra space in our mind, other things start creeping in. But that it's completely normal and it's just a phase, just don't dwell on it, it will pass and you'll get a 2nd wind that'll carry you through to the end.

OM GOSH that reminds me, tomorrow I officially have SIX MONTHS in the mission! HOW CRAZY IS THAT?!?!?!  ¿Como que tengo 6 meses?  No lo puedo creer! en serio! [How can it be that it's been 6 months? I just can't believe it! Seriously]. Time really flies in the mission!

¿Que mas? ¿Que mas? [What else? What else?] We decided to leave our investigators to come to church by themselves to see what would happen and measure their growth etc. (instead of passing by their houses to make sure they were up and getting ready/help them if they needed something/walk with them and wait with them for the bus to pass). It was scary! lol We were sitting in sacrament meeting tapping our feet. The meeting started and we had 1/8 that had arrived. But little by little (one family/pareja [couple] at a time) they started trickling in until we had 6 of the 8 investigators and their children there. The only 2 that didn't come were Viki and Waldo una pareja [a couple] with 3 little kids. They had called us the night before with some excuse I didn't quite catch for why they couldn't come. I think what really happened is they didn't have money to take their family in colectivo or bus to the chapel again (it's about a 15 min bus/colectivo ride away). We were SUPER stoked though to have the investigators and Menos Activos [less actives] that arrived there because they did it all by themselves. We were SO proud AND we really just felt the love and mercy and blessings of the Lord being POURED/DUMPED out in very large quantity over us. It really is amazing to me, incomprehensible the love and mercy of our God. It fills my heart with joy and peace. It's memories and faith building times like these that I will FOREVER be grateful for and will NEVER be able to forget. I love the Lord! I feel so very blessed to have the OPPORTUNITY to serve this time as His representative and share His gospel. It is SO SO SO true! I just love it! Querida [Beloved] familia, I love you all SOOOO much! thank you so much for your emails, your love, support, and your PRAYERS. They don't go unanswered!!! Sigan adelante, crezcan sus testimonios. Lean como familia, oren siempre. [Keep moving forward, grow your testimonies. Read together as a family, pray always] 
Hermana Davis

Monday, August 19, 2013

Week 24 (Buin w/Hermana Irrazabal)

To be completely honest, I don't really know what to say this week.  Another good week!  We continue seeing many mini-miracles along with lots of opposition from the adversary.  Apparently he doesn't like what we´re doing.  Who´d have thought? ... Ahh! that reminds me, something else that surprised me about Chile that I don´t exactly love.  They are pretty superstitious... or I don't know what you´d call it but they are like hyper aware of evil spirits and things like that and they talk about it a bit much for my liking.  They talk about people being possessed, seeing/hearing/feeling cosas feas [ugly things], etc etc. It´s something I hate to hear about lol. You know how I handle it?  Plug my ears and sing "LA LA LA LA LA LA LAAAA IM NOT LISTENING!" LOL now, of course I don't literally do that but mentally I do. I just start telling myself that people who've experienced things like that let their imagination get to them or their mind was playing tricks on them or that they are medio loco no mas [just half crazy]. lol  For example, we found a new investigator this week who is really special, like if you take the time to talk to her you can feel it.  I´m not sure if she is 100% there mentally, but she really is a sweet spirit.  She grew up an orphan and was bounced around from one orphanage to another.  She shared with us an experience she had when she was little where she was supposedly possessed, and that since that moment she prays ever night before going to bed so that she can go to sleep peacefully (because she gets spooked a lot).  She lives alone, just her and her dog, Toby.  When we talked with her it was so cool to be able to share with her and feel how much Heavenly Father loves her, and that she is a daughter of God.  We shared with her how to pray (because she recites prayers) and explained to her that she can really just talk with God and express her feelings.  She explained to us that she feels alone a lot and she doesn't really have a lot of people to talk to or many friends, so it was a blessing to be able to share with her our personal testimonies of the power of prayer and experiences that Heavenly Father really listens and answers our prayers and when we pour our heart out in prayer, he can take away our feelings of sadness, loneliness, etc.   It is amazing to me, and really such an amazing blessing to serve as a missionary and have the opportunity to share with God's children His love for them and be the vessel through which He shares His message and have the opportunity to feel at least the smallest portion of the great love that He has for each one of us.
This week we have our interviews with the mission President.  That means I´m going to FINALLY get my letters and birthday packages WOOOHOOOO! AND that I can buy a camera next Monday.
Love you and miss you a ton!  ... seriously! I am so happy here and really enjoying the work, but nothing replaces family.  I hope you all are doing well, thank you so much for the letters Trent, John, and Lucien!  I love you SOOOO much!  Be good for mommy!  Read your scriptures, SAY YOUR DAILY PRAYERS!  Be good boys, I know you are.  Love you to the moon and back times infinity (and you too Zoe) lots of loves and snuggles.  Your favorite sister in a foreign country,
Hermana Davis

Monday, August 12, 2013

Week 24 (Buin w/Hermana Irrazabal)

Answers to questions you asked me in your e-mail:

1) We still don’t know much about your companion or any of the sisters you are sharing the apartment with…who are they & where are they from? 
My companion is the bomb she is from Argentina and the next transfer is her last (we´re hoping we stay together for her last cambio) we get along super well; we work hard and have a good time together.  The other sisters are Hna Trujillo from Peru who has one cambio more than Hna Irrazabal left in the mission and her trainee Hna Garcia from Chile.  The other companionship is Hna Jaramillo (or Jarami‘SH’o) also from Argentina but hasn’t lost her accent she has the same time as me in the mission but more time in Chile because she only had 2 weeks in the MTC and she is with her trainee Hna Opazo also from Chile.

2) How often do you get opportunities to just gab away in your native language?
            As you probably figured out from the last answer, I am the only gringa in our house so I don’t ever get to gab away in my native language, but don’t you worry,  I still gab away, just not in my NATIVE language LOL but I’m really ok with it because the few times I have been able to speak English recently, (for example when my DL (District Leader) called for our numbers/statistics) it comes out really awkward.  I get like half way through a sentence before I have to pause and remember how to say something in English, but even then sometimes random words come out in Spanish mid-sentence and it feels really weird and awkward to speak in English.  I feel like I sound like an idiot, SO i just answer most of the time in Spanish or Spanglish when people try to talk to me in English.  The sucky part is that I haven’t MASTERED Spanish yet so I can’t really speak either language... its rather comical

3) Who do you get along best with?
My companion!!!!  She´s awesome!  I tell her at LEAST 3 times a week that she has to come and visit me after the mission

4) Can you or have you ever seen the Andes?  
YESS!!!!! They are SOOOOOOO beautiful! and they are all snowcapped this time of year, the only problem is that I haven’t been in an area really CLOSE to them yet so whenever its cloudy or smoggy you can’t see them well, but on the clear days they are GORGEOUS.  En serio, me ponen feliz! :))))  (Seriously, they make me happy!)

5) Now that you are really getting acclimated, what about Chile has surprised you? 
Ha-ha I still don’t know... EVERYTHING!  But if I have to pick something(s) specifically, the animals in the street EVERYWHERE!  Chile is in SERIOUS need of a pound! there are SOOOO many stray dogs in the street and stray cats, and the dogs are DISGUSTING many of them are missing limbs, missing large patches of hair, have huge nasty tumors, etc., etc. Poor things need to be put out of their misery, not to mention a pound would seriously help with the flea problem here.  And the people here are rightly known for being flojos [laid back/slack], but like everywhere, there are people of all kinds.  Sean como sean les amo igual [They are as they are, I love them just the same].  I´m really not a fan of the food, any of it lol except manjar [a caramel sauce they put on everything].  I LOVE the people here and I love how humble they are.  son de buena onda aca en Buin (alto jahuel).   [they are good people here in Buin]
This week was incredible! The day we finished our fast with Vivi we went over to her house to teach her the law of chastity and afterward we called victor on speaker phone to talk to him about them getting married and well, the phone call didn’t end so well, it was kind of like... "Shoot, that wasn’t exactly the miracle I wanted for our investigator to see upon showing her faith in fasting..." He had said how he isn’t sure about getting married because he’s not sure about how he feels, like her loves her and all but that he´s confused and that after all their time together he sees her more as a friend (ouch). SO my comp and I (mostly my comp  tan capa! [so cool]) talked to him and told him to pray about it and think about his family their kids and everything and let us know.  About TWENTY minutes later as we are getting ready to leave, Vivi is washing the dishes, the phone rings. Victor. Vivi´s hands are soaked so we pick up the phone for her, put it in speaker and hold it up to her.
"Halo" She answers. Victor says something that Hna Irrazabal and I don’t catch because one of their kids screams right as he speaks, but we see the expression on Vivis face change to bright red with an expression of utter shock..."¡¿QUE?!" she says
So Vistor repeats himself............ "¿Te quieres casar conmigo?"  [Do you want to marry me?]
"SI." Vivi answers and the rest of the conversation gets lost amongst mine and Hna Irrazabal’s screams and we hug each other, hug Vivi and start jumping up laughing and squealing for joy in the middle of their living room.  FUN STUFF! SO now we are planning a wedding WOOOH!  For the end of September.  I think Hna Irrazabal and I are going to be the 2 witnesses to sign the certificate in the civil when they get married.  QUE BAKAN!!!! [So awesome!!!]  SOOOO we´re pretty happy.
BUT I’m out of time so fam love yall! Miss you like crazy!!! Have a wonderful week WRITE ME LETTERS AND DRAW ME PICTURES AND SEND THEM TO MEEEE!!!!!  That’s your out of school home work for this week-  XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO
[An additional little tid bit Ynez added to a reply one of my letters]:
I’m sorry you were disappointed to see how much you’ve lost your Spanish abilities.  I already have fear of losing mine and I haven’t even learned the grammar well yet, but the ability to get around in everything.  It’s something think about sometimes, like what I’m going to do in the future to never lose my Spanish (ie marry someone who speaks it and teach our children etc. etc.) lol  It’s too bad that Brian gets frustrated with you trying to speak Spanish with him and wants you to speak English!  He´ll regret it when Shane comes home.  Especially when me AND Shane are home AND you are more practiced up and we blab in Spanish and he can’t keep up!  lol   Is the whole family buff and lean from all the mtn. biking or what???   Sounds like you are biking 24/7.   I’m not gonna lie I’m a little jealous lol, but I also know there will be time for all that jazz after the mish.  I love you daddy, you’re my hero!!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Week 23 (Buin w/Hermana Irrazabal)

Another awesome week this week!  I cannot BELIEVE we are already half way through this cambio [companionship change]. Time flies when your having fun/working hard lol. Today my companion and I spent the day with one of our investigators, Vivi, shopping and looking for clothes and stuff to help her appearance (for the sake of her pareja [partner]).  It was super fun!  Her and Victor aren't married and have had a lot of problems in their relationship but things have been rapidly changing.  Victor in the past has had a lot of problems with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and what not in the past, but we have really seen a turn around in him.  It's amazing!  We teach Vivi various times during the week, but can only teach them together on the weekends because Victor works driving trucks during the week.  AH! I wish I had time to explain more about them, their fam and their situation, but just know that things have been REALLY complicated!  But we have been seeing LOTS of little miracles, for example, today at the end of our shopping spree with Vivi we were sitting together in McDonald's talking, asking Vivi if they had said their prayer as a couple the night before, etc (oh and a little background info, we passed by to teach last night and we taught the lesson on baptism) and Vivi told us that last night Victor told her that he wants to get baptized.  That leads to us talking with her about them having to get married (which she knows) and long story short we set a goal wedding date with her for the 6th of Sept, in one month...AND immediately after we finished eating, we started a fast together, for them as a couple that they'll be able to reach that goal and that both Victor and Vivi will be OK with it and be prepared when the time comes (because we haven't talked to Victor yet)...AND all of this was such a miracle because we've talked about marriage many a time with Vivi and she always said no, no, no because of how Victor was behaving, how he'd have to change, how he'd have to make the first move, that she wants to be skinnier, that she wants to wait two years, blah, blah, blah, ...a list of about a million reasons why she didn't want to get married. BUT they are both really growing and progressing with their testimonies and are really beginning to understand the importance of getting baptized and wanting the gospel in their lives.  It's SUPER COOL! LOVE THEIR FAMILY!  Oh, and this is the first fast Vivi has ever done but she was totally ready and pumped to do it.  She's adorable!  I think that's all for this week with the time I have, BUT I LOVE YOU ALL SOOOOOOOOO MUCH!  Have fun at home this week!  LIVE UP THE SUMMER!  You're the best family in the whole wide universe!  I WANT LETTERS CHIQUILLOS [kids]!  
Lots of love, 
Hna Davis