"Go forward in life with A TWINKLE in your eyes and A SMILE on your face, but WITH GREAT PURPOSE in heart." -Gordon B. Hinckley

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Who knew that a Dog could...

Family and Friends!! How has your week been? I feel like I was just sitting here in this cafe writing to you about my first week! Time flies by so fast, I cant even believe it. I´ll be at two months on the 30th. Sometimes I can´t pay attention to how fast time has gone because I come to the same conclusion everytime...time disapears on the mission. Just like magic, or something!
This week was absolutely amazing! There are just so many wonderful people here in Chile. Also, I´m pretty sure that they receive Sister missionaries so much easier than the Elders. Being a girl is way better than being a boy. I knew that before but now it is totally obvious. Ha ha. Anyways, this week Hermana Fuentes and I were knocking on doors, aka yelling ´´Allo!´´ (Because here they have gates in front of their yards), and unfortunately for us, this day was one of those days where being an girl didn't matter too much. We weren´t having much success with talking to people, they kept telling us ´´I´m busy right now´´ or ´´Come back later´´. On top of that, it was really sunny and there was no shade, which made not getting into houses a little more discouraging. The awesome missionary that my lovely companion is suggested that we should say a prayer. I know, it sounds silly, I thought it was silly...such cliche missionary moment right? But having faith and knowing that the Lord could help us with this small thing, we prayed. Hermana Fuentes asked our Father in Heaven to lead us to someone who we can help. After the prayer, we knocked on a few more doors but no one answered any of them, so we just decided to head to our next appointment with our investigator Nilda. As we were walking, we walked by a house with the cutest dog ever! It was jumping up and down and NOT barking, which was a full on miracle in an of it´s self! Of course I had to stop to pet it. When I was petting it, it was so soft and so loving! I told me companion, ´´We have to knock on this house! I wanna play with this dog!´´ She laughed but because she loves me, we went up to the gated and called ´´Allo!´´ and that's where our little miracle came about. A lady named Alejandra, around 32 years old, came and opened the gate. We were talking with her and she was so sweet and really open to our message! We found out that she teaches at a Mormon Elementary school here in San Miguel called Liahona, so she knows about our church but she isn´t a member. She has three little kids between the ages of 3 and 7 and she has THE CUTEST DOG IN CHILE. I couldn't help but smile when we were talking with her! Thanking Heavenly Father, over and over in my heart, for answering our prayer. It is amazing to me that even the little things that we as of Him, He will always listen to us and help us. Even if it is just talking with someone so that we can feel Happy. I know that the Lord is so aware of us! He loves us and always will bless us, if we ask Him for those blessings. We are going to go meet with her and the Fam Bam tomorrow actually! I am so excited. I can not wait to get to know them better...and their cute dog!
Today was such a fun day. Our Zone all traveled to Brisas de Maepo, which is in the East Mission, for a super pretty hike. It was so much fun to get endorphins and enjoy some fresh air, but it was also a really hard hike! A lot of  people were struggling going up the mountain, but our zone is so awesome because we all were encouraging each other like ´´keep going! You can do it.´´ And I was thinking how that hike could relate so much to our faith as missionaries...Wow, that sounds like a direct quote from the Bachelor minus the missionary part. Sorry about that, I´ll stop now. But you guys get the point. Haha! Oh gosh, ´´You know you´re a missionary when...´´ Anyways, we all made food for a picnic and once we got to the spot, we all brought out the food and shared the LOVE (remember what I told you guys about the food here?) I love our zone so much! Everyone is so united and work really hard. We have seen so much success in our areas and the best is being able to help each other with ideas in teaching investigators as well as helping the members. 
I hope that you guys are all doing SUPER (a word everyone uses all of the time here) well! I so appreciate all of the letters and emails! Keep them coming. I loving hearing from back home!

Special shout out to my Mammasita! HAPPY BIRTHDAY Cheeks. I love you so much! I will be thinking about you all day on Thurday! Make an extra wish for me. xoxox

1: They don't have these in California! My new obsession- The Metro

2: Reunited with Hermna Harper and Hermana Selk at the Greenie Reunion

3: The beginng of our hike, look at that lovely city smog behind us...FRESH AIR!

4:The Indiana Jones Bridge! You should have seen us so excited jumping up and down on that thing. Just like the inner 5 year olds that we are

 5: Wild horses that we came across. REAL nature, people

6: Empanadas! Yes, I made that one

 7: Nilda our investigator, ella es un amor

8: Empanada making for Noche de Hogar with the Araya Family

Monday, March 18, 2013

Rainbow Houses, Fruit Galore and Little Pieces of Heaven

I'm in Chile! And today marks day 6. Wow. I don't even know where to begin. We'll first off, I seriously LOVE IT here and I can tell that I'm just going to continue to love it even more. I am in area called San Miguel and I feel so blessed to be in this area because it is one of the safest places here in Santiago. Heaven knows that I needed that. And everyone that I have met is so nice and super laid back, they are so loving to us missionaries, EVERYONE. There are lots of older couple and families that live here. It is actually a lot like Mission Viejo! Except for all of the colorful houses, tons of dogs everywhere (I am obsessed with them, my companion makes fun of me for it), and of course all one million of the fruit stands. Yummm. I heard great things about the fruit here before I got here and I am happy to say that the rumors are true people! Their fruit is real! I bought the smallest strawberries ever (like the ones you grow in your garden) the other day but they tasted soo sweet! 
I am also so blessed to have one of the sweetest companions, Hermana Fuentes. I call her my mama because she is training me; and I'm her pequeñita (her little). She has beautiful long brown hair, the most loving personality and is from Encenitas, Mexico!! Being companions with her has been such a blessing for me because it has forced me to speak Spanish 24/7! And I have learned so much about really Loving the people here. I thought that I knew how to do that, but she takes it to a whole nother level. Everyone she meets, it's as if they were best friends already. Through the way she teaches you can just tell how much she just really cares for these people and I am continually learning from her every day! 
Since being here I have met a ton of people, as you could probably guess.One of my absolute favorites is this little old lady, Marita, who is known as the Abuelita of San Miguel. I always want to go visit her because she makes me laugh and so happy. It just feels like home when I'm around her. She owns a fruit and vegetable shop with lottery machines inside. Whenever we go to visit her, she always takes such great care of us. She buys us juice and feeds us always (here people show their love with food! So it is important to always eat everything. Even if you are so full that you feel sick. I have experienced this first hand every single day!) She is a convert of 12 years but is less active in the church, so we have been working with her to help her have the desires to go to church every week and to strengthen her faith. (A lot of the work in this area is working with less active members). 
Another experience that I have had with a less active member was with a lady named Isadora. We went to her house a couple times during the week but she was never home, but one day when we were walking down the street, one of her neighbors recognized us and told us that Isadora was home if we wanted to go visit her. We didn't have plans to go but we decided to go last  minute, because Hermana and I both still had never met her before. We rang her door bell and the minute she opened the doors her entire countenance changed and she said Oh its the missionaries! Come in, come in. As we met with her, she told us about her family who live in Peru and about the hard times she has been having with her health. She really doesn't have very much. It was such a humbling experience for me to go and get to know her. She lives in a tiny two room place(I cant even call it a house). It has a kitchen and a bedroom. Probably the same size as a standard master bed room, if that! She has been having troubles with her health and she said that she is really low on oro (money). What was so amazing to me was her willingness to give and also her faith. She offered us food (Chile 101: when you enter someone's house, make room in your tummy. They will always feed you. ALWAYS) even though she didnt really have  very much for herself. As we taught her about the Atonement  how we are never alone in our afflictions, she bore a great testimony of her faith.    And I felt like she was our miracle for the day. My compañera (companion) and I left with big smile on our faces. Even though she is going through so much right now, she has so much trust in the Lord and our job is to help her feel his love so that she will have desires to come to church on Sundays and to continue to follow him. 
I have leaned so much this week! About having faith, about loving the people more and about how aware the Lord is of all of His children. I feel like I have said this a lot, but I know that Heavenly Father loves us, I know that He lives. As we do His will and have faith in Him, he will help us through all of our challenges. It has not been completely easy being here. A lot has changed and I have definitely experienced hardship.  With homesickness (Yes, it has finally hit me Mom and Dad!) and with struggling with the language- what I can understand regarding the language is gringa, unfortunately for me, they speak Spanish here. And really really fast Spanish to say the least. Many times this week I have felt alone, even with my sweet companion, but all of those feelings went away once I thought about the people here and why I am here. As I serve others I am overwhelmed with happiness and I feel the Lords love! Crazy how when we help others we receive greater blessings. I am so happy here. I am so motivated to do great things here with a great purpose- to help the sweet people in San Miguel to recognize their eternal potential and help them draw closer to Heavenly Father. I know that this gospel brings so much happiness! It has brought so much in my life and as long as I continue to live the principles, I will be happy always. And the same goes for all of you back home!  
Life is good in Chile! I love you guys so much!
xoxox, Hermana North
picture 1: Hermano Day! My fav MTC teacher

picture 2: My very favorite District! Good luck on your missions!

picture 3: My Travel compañeras! 

picture 4: Arrival in chile! Such perfect weather

picture 5: All of the new Hermanas and Trainers in Santiago, Oeste

picture 6: My new life!

picture 7: Hermana Fuentes

picture 8: Marita! Always feeding me.

 picture 9: Our view from our Awesome home
 (loaded with a gym, balcony, laundry room, and security guard- my favorite part)

Friday, March 8, 2013

How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days

Like you all know, I really do have the best of friends here at the MTC. I could not be more blessed to have them in my life. This week was our last week here. Our last Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, ever. So every night we have been celebrating, taking advantage of every last second that we have with each other. The other night we were dancing and singing in our room, like the quiet dignified sisters that we are, and the most amazing thing ever happened. Worthy of adding to my bucket list right then and there and then checking it off. So as we were singing our hearts out, I opened our window and yelled out "Ladies of New York, Frost yourselves!" (quoting my favorite movie, How to Loose A Guy in Ten Days) and then an Elder yelled back, "Frost this!" I am not even kidding. Then the very next day, I was playing basketball during Gym and I made a basket from the top of the key. Yes me. I'm not athletic at all and before I knew it I was scoring another HTLAGITD moment to add to my bucket list.
I have been able to feel Heavenly Fathers love so strongly this week. At the beginning of my week, I got a letter telling me that one of my very loved friends had passed away. I can not even begin to explain to you how hard this news hit me. Even with the knowledge that I have of the Plan of Salvation, of where we will go in the next life, I found so much discomfort and sadness. But the Lord is aware. He know what I need and he took care of me so quickly. I had so much peace when I came upon a scripture in D&C 42: 45 where is says, "Thou shalt live together in lover, insomuch that thou shalt weep for them that die, and more especially for those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection. And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them." I know that Tyler is going to get all of the opportunities to live a happy life even on the other side. He is still going to have the chance to serve a mission, fall in love, get married, have a family, and live a healthy and normal (heavenly) life. The Lord has things prepared for him, just as he does for us. I know that Ty is so happy now, and that the pains that he felt here on Earth are no longer part of him, that he doesn't even remember them! And that is what has given me so much peace. I will miss him everyday and always love him. Now I have an extra angel watching over me while I serve. I know that he is Happy, so so am I.
I am leaving the MTC in four days! I can not believe how fast my time here has gone. I ran into a girl at the temple today who served in my same mission and she said that it is so beautiful in the area that I am serving in. I can not wait to meet those Chilean people. I know that I am going to love them so much, well I already do! 
Take care everyone! Chao
xox, Hermana North

picture 1: The best way to describe our time spent together here at the MTC. Gonna miss them.

picture 2: Surprise! My dearest mumsy and popsicle came with me through my last temple sesh at the Provo temple! So great to see them.

                                                                               picture 3: Lets go do work!!

picture 4: Mamasita tan bonita

picture 5: Mis compnieras favoritas

picture 6: Just love her!

picture 7: There is nothing like a nice warm foot bath before bed. And they all judged me, until I showed them the light.

picture 8: Temple cafeteria run. A nice break from the MTC food :)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice

People!! This week was filled with the most lovely people, exciting speakers, happy birthday to you songs some bitter sweet goodbyes and of course some sparkle. But can I just say first off how much I have appreciated all of the love that you guys have been sending me this week! Thank you so much for all of the letters and fun packages that have made even the Best days even better!
 So Tuesday night is what we like to call our little "Happy Birthday Miracle." So we actually had two birthdays, Hermana Mecham (my companion) and Hermana Crosby (my personal fitness trainer). I guess double the birthday equals double the miracle because...Drum roll please...an APOSTLE came to speak to us for our Devotional!!!!! And not just any apostle, Elder M. Russell Ballard, the one who helped put together the glorious manual that we study every single day, Preach My Gospel. So maybe I should clarify because Yes, I know sometimes it is the norm for apostles to come speak to missionaries at the MTC and people have their cool stories about it, but we have been waiting and waiting and waiting for a devotional or fireside where we too would get that experience. And after getting our hopes up every week, this week we all just accepted the fact that this week wasn't the week. So that is why it is our little miracle and a sweet birthday present to our Hermanas. I learned so much from Elder Ballard. And isnt he so sweet, because the first thing that he said when he came up to the pulpit was", "You look so beautiful! But that is probably because we have more sisters here." haha. Those poor elders. They are beautiful too, we sisters just dress better. ;) Aside from that sweet compliment, we were taught and tutored about how much the Lord loves us and about what our responsibility as servants of the Lord is. He reminded us that "[We] know a lot already." That was refreshing to hear because it is True! A lot of times we may be afraid to speak about the church to others or study and memorize gospel wateriness in order to teach, but the best way to teach is from the heart. We can share the gospel by bearing our sincere testimony and sharing our experiences with others and the Spirit will help them understand the rest. Confidence is key and as we capture the vision of what the message is that we have to offer to the world, we will come to see that the message is GOLD(or in my case,Glitter). People are searching for that gold everyday; the gold that brings eternal happiness. The gospel brings happiness because it brings us closer to God and helps us understand through His perspective our purpose and potential here on Earth (Wow, that was a lot of p's). I read a scripture that I absolutely LOVE in Corinthians 2:9 where it says, "But as it is written  eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things with God hath prepared for them that Love Him." I love this because it shows how God can do so much more with our life than we can with our own. He has blessings in store for everyone of his sons and daughters if we just have trust in him and abide by his words. Elder Ballard left us with a blessing at the very end of his talk, when he said, "I bless you my beloved fellow missionaries, with a large capacity to love the Lord even more than you could imagine you could. As you have that love, you will have the strength and power to carry on and endure to the end during those hard times." I have seen my love for the Lord increase so much as I have been here at the MTC and I know that that love will only continue to increase as I serve his sons and daughters and help them come closer to Him. I know that we all have a Father who is in Heaven. He wants the best for us and has blessings prepared for us, ready for us to receive when we come unto Him. I love Him so much and can not wait to live with Him again.
The rest of my week went super awesome! I got to be a host to the new missionaries that just came to the MTC on Wednesday  Which was super weird for me because I feel like I was just being hosted yesterday! It was so fun though, I met the sweetest sisters and even some sisters that will be going to Chile with me! And by the way, I found out that I am leaving to Chile on March 12th at 1PM. What?!!! It is so crazy how time has flown by so fast. I am so excited to get there and start my mission. Because lets be real, my mission hasn't really started yet. So many people in my zone and friends that I have made here are already in the field serving. We all had to say goodbye to them on Monday night but it was bitter sweet since they are going where they should be and we will get to catch up through mail. Although, I have to admit, the MTC all of a sudden feels so empty even though 800 missionaries came in on Wednesday.
  Anyways, I hope that everyone is having a great week! Love you, until next week! 
xoxox, Hermana North  

picture 1: M to the C to the Noche

picture 2: Hermanas!

Picture 3: Letter reading on the top bunk! Party in the USA.

Picture 4: Sometime I blame our delusion on the questionable cafeteria food

picture 5: We were Hosts to the new missionaries this week! I feel like I was just hosted yesterday Yesterday! Crazy.