"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

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hermana Gothel‏

This entire week, The Chilean influenza knocked me out, I was really sick. On Monday night, I got the chills while we were teaching Cecilia, but because it was so cold outside, I just shook it off. Tuesday came and I couldn’t even get out of bed. I slept all day. Wednesday came and I was even worse than Tuesday, with crazy fevers and body aches. All my body wanted to do was sleep. I felt so bad for Hermana because she had no one to talk to, and if I was bored, can you imagine how she felt? But she was my hero because she kept me alive, giving me medicine, walking me up to eat (even though she practically had to force me) and keeping the work going by calling out investigators and the ward members. On Thursday I had high hopes of being better, but unfortunately, the crazy fevers and aches didn’t seem to go away. I started crying this day because I was so frustrated with myself. I had such strong desires to go out and work but all my body let me do was sleep- it wasn’t letting me work. I felt like the evil Queen from Sleeping Beauty had cast a spell on me!
On Friday morning, I was reading in a book called, “Our Heritage” in my studies (Yay, I finally felt okay). It made me smile as I felt the Lord comfort me in my frustrations of ALWAYS being sick, as I read a missionary experience of President Joseph F. Smith. It talked about a time when he was serving in Hawaii and “became ill with a high fever that prevented him from working for three months.” THREE MONTHS PEOPLE! I laughed at myself in that moment- Why am I such a Baby? Real life still happens on the mission, but as long as we take care of ourselves, the Lord will always find a way to have His work fulfilled in the way that he planned. So finally on Friday we got to go out and work. As we stepped outside, Hermana Birtcher started singing, “Just feel the grass the dirt just like I dreamed they’d be. Just feel that winter breeze the way it’s calling me. And for the first time ever, I’m completely FREEEE!” My poor companion, I was her Mother Gothel for the week…it was literally our first time stepping foot outside in three entire days-I thought that I was on my death bed. Well maybe that’s being a little dramatic.
One of the first loves that we went to go visit was Cecilia. By now we have taught her all of the lessons! She is so ready for her baptism. She understands the gospel principles so well; she is practically a member already with the way that she answers the questions in our lessons together. The Sprit really is teaching her and preparing her. It’s fun to be able to watch and be a part of her conversion. The only desafillo is helping her to quit smoking. I know that she will be able to do it! She has the desires to quit and so the Lord will give her strength. Last night we had a Noche de Hogar with the Familia Muñoz and they were talking about their conversion stories and one of the stories couldn’t have been more perfect for her! It was very similar to Cecilia’s situation, in that Hermano Muñoz’s dad had to quit smoking, but he was a crazy smoker, or how they say it here, “El fue muy bueno para fumar.” Hermano Muñoz said that if his dad could quit smoking that he knew it was possible for anyone to quit. Cecilia said, “If I could quit smoking, I would have been baptized yesterday.” She really wants this and she realizes the blessings that the gospel can bring into her life. I just keep telling her ¡SI SE PUEDE! As of now, she is only smoking one a day.
The last days of this week I had the opportunity to have my last lessons with my loves here in San Miguel- absolutely bitter sweet. We have cambios! I am going to be in a new sector called La Cisterna. It is actually really close to San Miguel (Probably like a 15 minute drive).  And get this; I am not freaking out this time. This past transfer, I have learned to have more faith and TRUST in the Lord’s abilities versus my own. This is His work, so as long as I listen to Him and do my best, He will help me complete what needs to be done in this new area. Along with my new sector, I am going to be a MAMA! I am going to be training a new missionary come tomorrow! And as of now, I am the only Hermana trainer in our entire mission aka the first Hermana trainer in the Santiago Sur mission! Can that go in the History books? I cannot wait to meet her. We are going to see so many miracles together. This is going to be one crazy adventure and I have NO IDEA what to expect but whatever it is, I am ready for it.
I hope that all is well back home! You guys are always in my prayers. Much love.
Xoxo, Hermana North

     picture1: Last play date with Jose and Sergio. 

picture2: Zoyla my Catholic love :)
picture3: Nildita (she made me cry, I love her too much)

picture 1: Cooking with Hermana Birtcher's new companion. She's from Nicaragua

picture 5: Super jealous that Hermana Birtcher is gonna be eating yummy food this change. Absolutely delicious, her companion is amazing!

picture 6: Go hard or go home

picture 7: I made him cry and then he made me cry and then he promised to go to church on Sunday! So worth the tears. I'm gonna miss this guy

picture 8: The bestest missionary force that San Miguel has ever seen! Go team

picture 9: Familia Muñoz one of my Favorite couples. I've never laughed harder before

picture 10: My ward mission leader and His linda wifey

picture 11: Never dull with the Hermana Sonia

picture 12: La querida Silveria y Traviesa Marita

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Super BIG important Little things‏

If I could list of a brief list of the events that took place in my week this week, it would be like this: Vicky bought me new red lipstick, Chilean banana power, broken window = window ghosts, talking just like Barbie to teach English, freezing cold weather, broke my tooth losing to an Angry Bird pillow fight, chicken face for days…..but that might be hard to follow because…well, it was one crazy week. Really, I can’t really explain what happened. Just know it was eventful and a little wild. (I promise that I behaved).
I was thinking about something really cool this week, regarding the gospel of course. And maybe you guys already knew about it and this light bulb is probably just now going off for me (not really surprised) but I’m gonna tell you about it anyways. So you know how sometimes life just seems so hard? Especially living some of the commandments that the Lord has asked us to keep. For example, reading our scriptures every day, or praying, or going to church or for a missionary…being on time. So this week was just so especially hard for Hermana Birtcher and me. We actually did a fast to be more obedient this week, and every obstacle imaginable seemed to get in our way. I am not saying that we were "chueca" missionaries this week, but I am just saying that it was harder than normal to be obedient. I think that so many times as children of God our patterns of obedience tend to go up and down like a roller coaster ride throughout our whole lives. That’s just because we are imperfect. But there IS a way that our patterns of obedience can be more of a progressing line, a way that we can always be on the right hand of God and have more faith like, the Book of Mormon hero, Nephi. All of Nephi’s life, he had perfect faith and never doubted the Lords will. On the other hand, his brothers, Laman and Lemuel, seemed to always fall into that roller coaster pattern- like most of us. So how do we gain that perfect faith like Nephi? Through prayer! And not prayer where we are consoling the Lord, but the kinds of prayers where our ears and eyes are open and our hearts are willing (figuratively of course). I found a scripture in the Book of Mormon that went so perfectly with this, Jacob 4: 10- “Seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from His hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that He counseleth in wisdom and in justice and in great mercy, over ALL His works.” This is obvious right? The part that says to take the Saviors counsel and not to counsel Him…however, I think that so often we make the mistake of doing the exact opposite, without even realizing it! When we pray to the Lord asking for help, especially during a trial or hard time, we should pray for inspiration to know what blessings we need. The Savior knows exactly and perfectly the things that we need in those moments of weakness. Pray in gratitude, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this experience” and then listen to what you need. Our answers come through the Spirit of the Holy Ghost. How do we feel the Hold Ghost? Through service, scripture study, missionary work (Temples), good music- the little things. Do the Little things. Don’t worry about the BIG things, there is no such thing in the Church of Jesus Christ. I am going to be focusing on the little things this week and making small changes in my actions and thoughts so that they can be more perfectly in line with the actions and thoughts of the Lord.
This week in Chile has been FREEZING Cold. Like a cold that hurts everything. It snowed in a place 30 minutes from us the other day...which is not normal for Santiago! I was born to be in warm beach weather, this might not work for me! What was the Lord thinking? Just kidding.  What did we just talk about up above? Ha ha! I am learning to deal and love it.
Xox, Hermana North
I want to make a shout out to my Broskee, Danny and sister-to-be Kiley! They got engaged this week! I am one hundred percent and absolutely so excited for you guys. (Everyone ask them how they got engaged! Such a cute proposal).

picture 1: my love Jocelyn :)

picture 2: She was trying to hide from the camera but I caught her

picture 3: angry bird pillow fight, I lost

picture 4: Supa-FREAKS

picture 5: My hermanita 

picture1 6: the sweet view of the mountians

Monday, July 15, 2013

Bitter Sweet, but Mostly Sweet‏

It was a bitter sweet week this week. Lets talk about the bad news first, just so that we can get that out of the way. So this week we had to say goodbye to some loves from our zone…and you guys know how I am with goodbyes. This change was extended because of the new mission president and new mission, so Hermana Birtcher and I won’t know if we have changes for another 2 weeks, but for those who were going home, they had changes. Worst ever because the Elders that were leaving were all so great, my BFFFFFFFFFs. (that’s a lot of F’s- And I am not exaggerating). So today it feels a little lonely in San Miguel, but I know that the Lord will bless us with new loves that will teach us new life lessons and give us ANIMO. I have also been battling the Flu these past couple of days. No worries though…ahemmm, Mom, because EVERYONE (like always) has been taking great care of me. Marita made me fresh squeezed orange juice, Cecilia let me sleep on her shoulder during church, Hermana Andrea bought me magic drugs that make me feel better and Hermana Birtcher made me cinnamon tea- because I told her that my mama made that for me when I was sick. They are the best and I am already starting to feel better!
This week Hermana Birtcher and I had the opportunity to learn more about the Nature of God. At the beginning of the week our district leader, Elder Barela (RIP), called us and asked if we could teach the class during our weekly district meeting. It came to a surprise to him that I actually was really excited to take the offer. I had been thinking a lot about my old calling as the Gospel Doctrine teacher in my ward before I came out on my mission and how much I missed teaching the class! It was such a great experience for me, and great practice for my new calling now. Also, I love to teach…like I’ve mentioned before. We had two days to prepare the class and the topic was up to us. As we discussed what we should teach, we decided to base the lesson on an article that one of my sweet friends had sent me (thank you Kiley!), called The Lord is not the Acuser, by Maurine Proctor- a MUST READ by the way. http://ldsmag.com/article/6069 There was so much to learn from this article and I am so grateful for the chance that we had to teach. Because you know, you always get more out of the lessons that you teach than those that you teach to; at least that is what I’ve always experienced.
Something so important to understand as we try to live the gospel of Jesus Christ is to understand (conocer) who God really is. And not to let ourselves make up who he is from what we experience in life but to let him show us and teach us who he is. As we come to that understanding, really knowing that God is our Perfect and Loving Heavenly Father (Matthew 7: 7-11), we can then submit to his will, to pass through our trials with peace and faith that every little thing is gonna be alright. So how do we learn about the Nature of God? The only way that we can come to know God is through prayer, fervent and sincere prayer. The kinds where your whole heart is fully into it. On your knees, pleading for an answer. Those kinds of prayers. When we strive to actually talk and converse with God as we pray, he will teach us and help us understand who He really is. He will teach us little by little, line upon line, precept upon precept (2 Nephi 28:30).
This week we had a tender mercy from the Lord as we got to see Carolyn Zambaro (the Elders investigator) be baptized. Her story is one of those miracle stories. So sometime in May, the Elders began teaching Aurora (Carolyn’s mom) and Carolyn. They were two of the cutest investigators that I’ve met; I fell in love with them right away. We got to know them really well because the Elders are in our ward and Jaime and Aurora got baptized on the same day. Carolyn had BIG desires to be baptized, but she had to quit smoking first. It was a big desafio for her because she smoked a lot. She would leave it for a couple of days and then go back and for months, she tried to quit but couldn’t. Finally the Elders gave her a priesthood blessing to help her quit and here comes the miracle part…ten minutes after the Elders left the appointment, Carolyn felt really sick and drove to the hospital. There they found out that she had cancer in her pancreas (or one of those organs) and that they needed to do emergency surgery. A week later, she was baptized. She was so happy on her baptism day and there was such a sweet spirit at the baptismal service. I am so happy for her and so glad that the Lord was able to help her receive this amazing Blessing. Even if He had to force her to quit, sometimes that’s just better.
I hope that you guys are having a great week back at home! Keep me posted on any exciting news… and all of the normal news too, I like everything! ha
Les quiero Muchisimo

Xox, Hermana North

p.s: I loved this talk from the June ensign. It goes perfect with the must read article, http://www.lds.org/ensign/2013/06/improving-your-personal-prayers?lang=eng ENJOY! :)

picture 1: Yummy homemade, pretty keish for lunch

picture 2: I'm gonna miss this district. Never a dull moment. 

picture 3: I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

picture 4: Hermana Carolyn's baptizm. Just love her with all of my heart.

picture 5: All of the elders that taught her.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Going South for the Winter‏

Its official people… I am now in my second mission, The Santiago Chile South Mission. Who would have ever thought that Hermana North would fit in in the south? I remember when I was in elementary school, the running joke that everyone would ask me was, “Hey! Michelle North, are you flying south for the winter?”  Now that joke is becoming a reality since it is winter here. (Super cold by the way, but at least the mountains look Beautiful). With the crazy amount of new missionaries coming out to serve missions, the church had to make 58 new missions and so they split the Santiago Chile West mission and added a little bit of the Rancagua Chile mission. With all of the splitting and cutting and changing, I ended up in the smallest mission in the world. Our new mission is like a little baby ant compared to the other missions. CRAZY! So with a new mission, also comes a new mission president! I am so excited about this because well, our new mission president is awesome. I have good feelings about him, which is really comforting since we kind of have to have lots of respect and trust in Him. President and Sister Cook are my new loves! We had a conference where we got to meet them and the sprit was felt so strong; it was one of those “get excited about the new changes and Do Work” kinds of meetings. It was a big shock to me when President Cook asked me to help translate Hermana Cook’s talk for her, but it was such a great experience. (I can’t take all of the credit though; The Elders in the front row helped me out a lot. Ha). This week we continued to celebrate and sing Birthday songs because on Tuesday was Hermana Birtcher’s Birthday. She is 20 now! One year older and wiser too.
Our sector has seen so much progress from this week. It is amazing how much it has changed in the past month. We have been working really hard with a lot of Faith (that is the key to this work) and slowly but surely we are starting to see the fruits of our labors. I have had the tendency to get impatient with our efforts, since sometimes I just want results now! But the Lord knew that I have a weakness in that area, so he sent me the most optimistic and best pep-talker companion. I feel so blessed to be with her.
Cecilia is one of the best investigators I know. She is so anxious to learn and she says the sweetest prayers. I love them! I wish that you could hear them. Lately she has been praying to receive a testimony of the Restoration and of Joseph Smith and she hasn’t received a sure answer yet, but she wants one. We talked to her about a greater power for prayer, which is the power of fasting. How when we pray with a specific purpose and then fast (not eating or drinking water for 2 consecutive meals) the Lord will bless us. It is an opportunity for us to give a sacrifice to the Lord so that He can teach us more perfectly, so that we can be more receptive to the inspiration and blessings that he wants to extend to us. We asked Cecilia if she would fast with us so that she could receive a sure testimony and she said YES! It actually wasn’t a big surprise to me because she has a lot of faith in the Lord, but it was just another way that Hermana Birtcher and I could see her desire to progress and learn.
We have had so many crazy experiences this past month, with my Hermanita and with our Zone. I don’t think I have laughed so hard before. It makes me happy to know that even though I am a missionary, I can still be ME too. I was nervous going into it because of all of the stereo type sister missionaries, but in reality, the only thing that should really change is our conversion to the Lord. We can still rock our cute clothes and laugh hard while serving the Lord. That is the key, the Lord calls us to serve in specific areas because he knows that our personality can touch the hearts of certain people. My love for my mission grows more and more everyday! And when times get hard or stressful, we just gotta find ways to laugh. Take care Loves! I am so happy here J
Con Mucho Amor,

Hermana North

Here is my new Address:

Sister Michelle Christine North
Mision Chile Santiago Sur
Casilla 544
San Bernado, Santiago
picture 1: I sang Happy Birthday to her in my opera voice. She thought it was Funny! Love this missionary :)

picture 2: New mission

picture 3: My love Maria Jose. She calls me "Tia" (Jose's sister)

Picture 4: It makes me happy seeing these fruit vans, they are everywhere. You don't see these in Orange County

Pictures! (Week of Sister North's Birthday: June 27 - July 1st)

Picture 1: Divisions with Hermana Gonzales had to be one of the craziest experiences I've had. Love her Argentinian guts

picture 2: All I wanted all week was Chicken. So they gave me a half of a chicken! I couldn't even finish half of it! Crazy portions here in Chile.

picture 3: Sitting next to Cecillia at church was the best present I could have asked for. The Lord provides miracles

picture 4: Best Surprise! Walking in for lunch and the whole house was decorated for my Birthday! So sweet :)

picture 5: the candles say "2?" This was one of the 5 cakes that I enjoyed this day. So much CAKE!

picture 6: "Felicidades!" Love this man. He makes me smile. One of our menos activo (less active) that we have been hangin' with

picture 7: Zone BBQ! We ate Carne from Heaven...and my favorite part was playing Football. The American kind. POR FIN! :)