"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, May 21, 2013

Pretend like it's the weekend now

Thanks to this lovely winter weather, Chilean style- sunny and bright one day and then freezing and rainy the next day, I spent my weekend as Sleeping Beauty, sick in bed. It was such a bummer, but things are looking up because I am almost to that point of feeling better. No worries though, everyone here is taking really good care of me. I can't tell you how many phone calls I have received from my investigators and the members in the ward, calling to make sure I am doing okay/ making sure I am resting, in bed. Also with the amounts of times that I have had to call the Medico since I have been here in Chile, we have become good friends. She emails me each week of things in her week and she sent me pictures of the coast here in Chile. Making friends even when I am in bed sick = winning. Just had to throw that in there. It made me laugh when I got her email this week.
Hermana Fuentes and I have had one of those super great weeks as missionaries. I don’t really know how to explain it, but maybe I can explain it through some of our experiences from the week. So as you guys probably know, as missionaries, we have a schedule that we follow every day. Wake up at 7:30 AM, exercise, get ready for the day, study until 12:30, have lunch, and then teach people until 10PM, it’s the same routine every day, which can definitely get boring. For that reason, it is so important for missionaries to find new ways to find people to teach or to have fun while working at the same time. Something that Hermana Fuentes and I are really good at is finding those little things in the day that give us Anima to keep on keepin’ on. The other day we found these magical leaves on the trees where you can break them apart to make what is like confetti! They are the coolest leaves…needless to say, that day we had little tiny leaves all in our hair and in our blouses. And later that night we were laughing so hard because of how ridiculous we probably looked, but it was an exciting discovery for us at the time. No judgments, we like how we play, just gotta find those little moments in the day to change things up-
“This is how we do it!” (Love that song)
We also had such an awesome week with Jaime. We continue to learn and grow along with him every visit. He is so excited for his baptism on June first. When we were talking about it with him, he told us that maybe one day he can become a bishop, YUP!  That’s my investigator, already thinking big. ;) When we were at church, he was talking with everyone and I could totally picture him as a really strong member of the church. He has the most loving personality and loves going to church each week. This week was the first week that he was able to stay for the last hour of church, the Elders Quorum. It was such a precious little moment for Hermana and me because when we were dropping him off to the class, it felt like we were dropping off our little at his first day of school. But really, I stood in the door way watching him, looking at what seat he would choose, hoping that he would make good friends and feel comfortable in the class. No worries though, our ward is so awesome and he fit in just like any other member of the ward. After Relief Society, Hermana Fuentes found him in conversation with some of the Hermanos of the ward and it just made me so Happy! He told us that he has such an amazing time.
Something that I absolutely love about Jaime, is something that I learned from him this week. When we were teaching him about the word of wisdom, we were talking about the blessings that we can receive with our health physically and mentally when we follow it. This conversation brought our relationship with Jaime even closer. He told us about how he has been battling prostate cancer for the past 2 years. That the only cure that he can has at this point is to have an operation, but he said that he doesn’t want that because he wants to die a Man. Ha ha. And he doesn’t even want to try chemo because his sister died while she was doing chemo treatments…Yeah, I know, wow! When I first heard this my heart broke. I just felt sad because I felt that cancer has been a sickness that has been haunting so many people that I love right now. But something that lightened my mood was right after Jaime said that he had cancer, he told us that he was Happy. That he is sick, but he doesn’t feel sick. (Which is why he never told us about it before, nor does he tell anyone about. Shhh. This is our little secret). He told us that he wants to live the rest of his life as normal as possible and that in the Lords time, he will go. He feels so strongly that the Lord has blessed him with so much and he is grateful for Hermana and me for the comfort that we have brought to him since we met. He said that we came in the exact moment that he needed us. I just love his optimism through so many afflictions. I know that the Lord has so many blessings in store for him and his family. We are going to take Jaime to the temple here in Santiago for one of our lessons this week. We are so excited!
On Saturday, while I was sick in bed, it rained and rained and rained! I have never seen it rain so much before! I loved it, it was just the medicine I needed to relax and get some sleep. Don’t you just love the sound of a good rain storm? And to put a cherry on top to my sicky day, Hermana Fuentes made me some Banana Pancakes (Jack Johnson style) to cheer me up. She is the best! And so is Maple syrup. It has been so long since I have had it, I think that I could have eaten the whole bottle! They only sell maple syrup in the foreign goods isle of the supermarket. What a sad joke for the Chileans. Anyways,I hope that you guys have a great week! Thanks so much for all of your love! I love hearing from you guys. Soak in some sun for me! Heaven knows that I need it! Everyone here thinks that I am white. (It’s probably true by now).
Mucho Amor, Hermana North
picture 1: Jaime :) He makes the best hot chocolate

picture 2: Isidora made us Peruvian food. YUM

picture 3: Rockin Isidora's glasses

picture 4: Banana Pancakes and Maple Syrup.

Picture 5: Confetti leaves

Picture 6: Siempre feliz con Hermana Fuentes

Picture 7: Clowns

picture 1: Party Animals. Happy Birthday to Nati. Love this family <3

Monday, May 13, 2013

Just Do It

It was so great talking with the family yesterday! Minus the fact that they wouldn't play Taylor Swift for me (my only wish), but I wont get into that right now. ;) I hope that all of the moms and future moms had a lovely mothers day. Hermana Fuentes and I celebrated the day by sleeping in! (aka: 7:30AM because there was no ward council). It was so nice. We spent our first Sunday morning without meetings with ease. Hermana made french toast and then we enjoyed it in...or on bed, while watching the Joseph Smith movie (one of my favorites!) We were having the most relaxing morning ever, until we got a call from the elders in our ward asking us to up with them before church so that we could meet their investigator. I told Elder Fowers, "Of course, we would love too! We'll be ready in about 30 minutes,"  which followed with his response, “Umm…well Hermana North, church starts in 30 minutes.” Ha ha. Ooops! Also, I forgot to mention that it takes us 40 minutes to walk to church. So Hermana Fuentes and I ran around our apartment getting ready in five minutes to go meet the Elders in ten minutes. Winkled skirts, half curled hair and all, we ended up taking a taxi and walking into the church building being greeting by our investigator, Jaime. Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? Ha ha! Qué vergüenza. It was one interesting morning to say the least.
Speaking of Jaime, I have some really exciting news for you guys! Let me start at the beginning. So on Wednesday we had a lesson with him. Before we started the lesson, he came out with my favorite pastry here in Chile, Mill Ojas. He bought it for us once before and I fell absolutely in love with it, so when I saw it this time, I knew that this lesson was gonna be a really magical lesson! We talked a lot about faith with Jaime (Book of Mormon: Alma 32). He is progressing so much and my favorite part is that he is always so persistent with his questions. He has also been following through with all of the commitments that we have left with him, which shows that he wants this for himself. He talked to us about how much he loves how he has felt ever since we have been coming to visit him. He calls us his angels, (Awe! How sweet). At the end of our lesson with him, I felt the spirit so strong and just knew that he was ready to start preparing for a baptism date. We asked him to be baptized on June first and after promising him that we would keep teaching him (of course), he said “Yes”. So now we are working really hard with Jaime, so that he can be ready for June first.
I have developed such a strong love for the Book of Mormon this week, more like an obsession with reading it actually. Something that we did a lot this week was invite people to read it, our investigator as well as the members in our ward. There is just something so empowering about that book. My very first time reading it, I didn’t cache nada. (Translation: understand anything), but I stayed strong and read it all the way through. And over the time that I have been able to read it over and over, my understanding for it and my love for it has grown. Even though I am reading the same thing every time, I always learn something new! That is what has been on my mind this week and has been so mind blowing to me, but really. I love the gospel so much because you can take one principle and learn about it for hours and hours and days. There is so much we can learn and so many ways we can be influenced by one single principle. Take faith for example. We start by learning that faith is the very first principle of the gospel. Then we can learn how to cultivate it, which leads to learning how it can affect our lives if we have it and then after that we can learn how to apply it in our lives which then could lead to learning how to deal with trials and then that might lead us to learning how to have faith in the atonement, and so on. The gospel of Jesus Christ enriches, enlightens, and brings happiness and love into our lives when we study it and use it. That's another one of my favorite things about the gospel, that we are invited to study and learn for ourselves. In the introduction of the Book of Mormon it invites us to read and ask Heavenly Father in prayer if the words written in it are True; if it is the word of God. We aren't invited to ask our Mormon friends or go to the bishop or the missionaries, we are invited to find out for ourselves through our Heavenly Father. He is there for us always, and knows that the only way we can grow and really learn is by studying it out on our own with the guidance of his spirit. His gospel is simple, but life changing. So JUST DO IT, because it is True. I know that because I have received my answer and continue to have it confirmed everyday.  
I am so grateful to be here in Chile serving a mission for the Lord. He has given me so much and this is just a small thing that I can give back. I have seen so many blessings in my life, and miracles every day, thanks to Him. As I serve the people here in San Miguel, I learn so much and am even more blessed than before. People might see this as a sacrifice, and on the rough days it may seem like that, but I really can say with all of my heart, that my mission is the biggest blessing that the Lord has given me.
I love you guys so much! May you feel the Saviors love this week and continue staying close to Him.
Chao until next week! xoxoxoxox, Hermana North
picture 1: We made 100 of these oreo truffles! And not one was left over. Yumm

picture 2: These dogs always come up to me in the street. They think I'm their owner bc I named them one time. Funny thing is though, they respond to those names now. ha ha. Romeo y Carlos

picture 3: one thing that you can always count on here in Chile, other than the fact that there is always bread at lunch, is pretty sunsets. Always

picture 4: Lalo. Un amor

picture 5: Making oreo cake balls for our moms here in San Miguel (thanks Lauren for teaching me! Everyone was so in Love with them)

picture 6: The little Floppy. Hermana Jazmins cute puppy

Monday, May 6, 2013

Let the Magic Happen

Thanks for all of your letters and saludos this week! It sounds like there are a lot of changes going on back at home. But you know what? Change is a good. Something that I learned once was “Our life happens where our comfort zone ends.” Change may be scary sometimes (or all of the time for me), but that’s where we have the opportunity to grow, learn and progress. Whether the change is a mission (I am so excited for all of you to get out there), or marriage (congratulation!!), or moving to a new part of town, starting a new adventure or any other gem that life brings us, just remember to love every little or BIG experience.
Come what may and Love it.
I celebrated 3 months as a missionary this week and have been blessed with some of the best, funniest and scariest experiences. All in the same week! It started off on Tuesday, April 30th. One of the young adults in our stake, Daphne, came tracking and taught lessons with us. It was so awesome being able to see how excited she was to teach and knock on doors (one of my favorite things to do my first week here in Chile). Also, this past weekend, I went on divisions with Hermana McCarty (one of the Hermanas that was in my travel group). I had so much fun with her and we also saw so many miracles in our day- Greenie power. One of which, I will never forget. We were walking down a neighborhood, to find someone in the street to teach, and we ran into a man named Jorge. He was outside of his house raking leafs and after seeing that we were missionaries, he all of a sudden got really busy and told us that he couldn’t talk. Hermana McCarty told him. “Well, before you go, could we sing you a song?” (I totally love her for this, even though we were in the middle of the street and people were walking by…but as missionaries, we can get away with weird things like that).  Jorge said yes and after we sang to him, his entire EVERYTHING changed. And all of a sudden he was asking us questions, telling us about his family, practically inviting us over for Thanksgiving dinner! It was a little miracle for Hermana and me because we didn’t have any set appointments for the day and just wanted to find someone to teach. Hermana McCarty and her companion are going to go back and teach him and his family in the coming week, but how awesome is that?? Music is a powerful thing, it can change hearts, even if you can’t sing…and heaven knows that I was not blessed with that gift.
As you know, Spanish is my new language here in Chile. It speak it 24/7, but the problem is, I am still not fluent…at all! Sometimes I talk and I know that I don’t make sense so I just smile really big hoping that at least they can feel my love. Anyway, being here learning the language with everyone around me listening to every word I say, I’ve had some interesting experiences that I just can’t help but laugh at. One happened when we were with Lalo. He bought us sopaipillas to try (one of the yummy foods you have to try here in Chile) and of course, before we ate, we said a prayer. “We” being me.  As I was praying, I said, “Padre Celestial, te damos gracias por estas almas que vamosa a comer…” translation, “Heavenly Father, we give thee thanks for these souls that we are about to eat…” Oooh No! I think that word I was looking for was alimientos…close, but not really! I didn’t even get to say another word after that because everyone broke out laughing. I had to laugh at myself too.  It’s all good though, because thanks to moments like these, I can really memorize vocab.
One last story, I telling you, this week was just so good! The other night, Hermana Fuentes and I were sitting on Lalo’s porch waiting for him to get home to teach him a lesson. All of a sudden we heard someone say, “Hola Chiquititas.” And when we looked over we saw a man walking towards us doing the drunk walk. When I realized that it was Lalo, my heart literally dropped and I felt completely confused! (aka: mini heart attack) First off, Lalo never drinks and secondly, all I thought in those couple of seconds was “What are we supposed to do, teaching drunk Lalo?” But no worries guys, it was a terrible joke that our hilarious investigator played on us. The minute he realized that we believed him, he broke out into laughter. Fue una broma. Ha ha. I told him that I don’t like his jokes, but now looking back at it, it was really funny.  I am just so glad that drunken Lalo doesn’t exist.  Phew, that was scary.
This coming week we get to go to the temple! I can always use a trip to that place. It makes my heart happy! I hope that you guys have a lovely week! I get my first phone call on Sunday. Talk to you soon family! I’ll be sending all of my love to everyone else through my Daddy-O and Mama.
Xox, Hermana North
picture 1: My sweet companion always leaves me surprises!

picture 2: Chocolate makes the world go around, but Super 8 makes the Heavens go around. My favorite candy here!! 

picture 3: "Chi! Chi! Le! Le! Viva Chile!!"

picture 4: Antoinetta one of our investigators

picture 5: Sometimes you just have to laugh at your self. (disclaimer: one second before this was taken I almost tripped and fell on my face! I'm always just so graceful)

picture 6: My tracking buddy

picture 3: Jazmin got a new look! 

picture 1: Tracking with Daphne

picture 2: The tiniest car I've ever seen!

picture 3: Sopaipillas and Empanada and Tea! All of my favorite things

picture 2: just taking their carriage for a ride through the streets

picture 1: Happy Birthday Lalo!! He turned 27( plus 50)