picture 1: would it be going to far to try fresh cow milk?
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
So...I´m in the COUNTRY!!! Seriously all of my misión dreams have come true being here in Quimey- before I got here EVERYONE told me that it was the best sector in the mission and now I am coming to realize that this is true. It is so crazy how different the city life is compared to the country side of Chile. For starters, we have cows outside of the villa where we live….yes, COWS!!! Our first day here I reminded everyone that we saw that there are cows here…also my companion thinks I am crazy because I just kept jumping up and down excitedly screaming, (with as much quiet dignity that I could muster as a missionary) “WE HAVE COWS!!!...COWS!” And get this, you can buy fresh milk any day of the week! This whole campo [country/field] thing really is so exciting for me. And along with Old MacDonald´s farm, our sector is Gigante! The other day we took a 20 bus ride just to get to a little pueblo that is part of our sector- and that isn’t even the furthest place in our sector. So we´ll never have an excuse for not having people to teach since well…there are millions and millions of house to tract.
As for my hija, she is the sweetest companion ever! I just met her and I already love her with all of my heart. Her name is Hermana Reyes (pronounced Ray-shh-es with an Argentinean accent) from Plottier, Argentina. We have been working so hard these past few days to fill up our sad empty white-wash agenda with appointments. The Lord has blessed us for our efforts because in just 3 days, we have been blessed to find 9 new investigators. I don’t think that I have taught the message of the Restoration so many times in one day, on my mission, since I got here. It is such a blessing for us because Hermana Reyes is really understanding the message and perfecting her teaching skills. She is going to be a pro after twelve weeks. She is also such an example to me for her faith and desire to be here serving a mission. She is a convert to the church of only 2 years and she is the ONLY member in her whole family. She is so strong and I know that the Lord has so many blessings in store for her and her family. Also one more fun fact, my hija likes to run!!!! Ah. You guys don’t even know how hard I have been praying for a companion that likes to run. Yay for endorphins and burning off the sister missionary weight.
Go TEAM! We are excited to get to know this sector better, to meet more loves and continue seeing the miracles that this gospel brings into the lives of those who embrace it.
So no worries over here! Life is good in the countryside. Thank you for all of your prayers.
Xoxoxox, Hermana North
picture 1: would it be going to far to try fresh cow milk?
picture 2: Outside of a members house
picture 3: I've never been so excited to see a cow
picture 4: Country side sun sets! LOVE
picture 5: Our welcome home breakfast! The members in our ward are the BEST
picture 6: How you feed 6 missionaries. Churry Pan
picture 7: Mi casa es su Casa! We have a HOUSE.
picture 8: Cordi- the mission´s puppy. She has a tie just like the Elders
picture 9: Coolest flower ever!
picture 10: A cute surprise on my pillow from my sweet compañiera
picture 11: green fields really do exist still...I've been deprived in the city
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
So I never got to share my thoughts regarding general conference two weeks ago! It just makes me so happy to know that we have such amazing and inspired leaders, to guide us, who are inspired by our, ever so aware, Heavenly Father. There were so many amazing talks given that can be applied to each one of our individual lives. I’m sure that many of you guys were touched by the words that were shared, but if you didn’t get a chance to watch it here is a link:
Take a moment and watch one of the talks. Personally, my very favorite talk was President Eyring’s talk that he gave on Sunday morning. He talked about the importance of our choices and how we choose our Happiness in life. This was actually also something that I was thinking about in my personal studies this morning, about the Plan that our Heavenly Father created for us.
Before we came to this earth, we lived with a Heavenly Father and Mother who taught us and loved us. They gave us a beautiful gift called agency- the ability to choose for ourselves. It is amazing how big of an impact that our choices have in our lives, an impact that goes beyond this life here on earth. Our choices will follow us throughout eternities. These choices obviously don’t include the choices that we make when choosing what we are going to eat for breakfast or choosing to wear the pink skirt or blue skirt in our day, but more the choices that we make that can lead us and others to joy or the opposite. It is a Big deal, this whole choosing thing, but something so comforting to know is that God is so aware of the choices that we make and has devised means to help us in our path. He wants us to be able to live in happiness and He knows perfectly what choices that we can make in order to live happily, but He gives us the opportunity to choose for ourselves because that’s the way that we can experience true joy and true trials. We are here on Earth to choose right from wrong and, from our choices, gain experience. I have felt the blessing of my own agency as I have been here serving in Chile as well as seen many people exercise their own agency. Sometimes it’s rough when our loves choose not to accept this gospel message or when we see the negative effects of a bad choice, but God knows and he will always take care of us- as long as we choose to let Him. That’s the key.
So long story short, choose to watch a conference talk, or two.
This week we found out some equally exciting and nerve-racking news. Can you guess?? WE HAVE CAMBIOS. And you all know how I feel about change. I am going to be training a new greenie again in a new area called Quimey (it’s about an hour South from San Miguel). Another crazy adventure. I have no idea what to expect. I will have so much to fill you guys in on next week. I ‘m due on Thursday- say lots of prayers for me that day.
Love you guys! And thanks for all of the love that you guys keep sending! Heaven knows that I need it, it means so much to me.
Xoxox, Hermana North
picture 1: Don Lucho- He has the most amazing story and the most happy camper that I know. My day is always brighter when we run into him in the street
picture 2: Sushi time.
picture 3: The best kind of lunch when you have a cold
picture 4: The centro looks like Europe
picture 5: Yaqueline our Colombian Love
picture 6: Art work in the Centro
picture 7: At our multi-cultural stake activity. We are in Itally
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
So do you want to know something super funny about the Chilean culture regarding missionaries? They are so used to having elders run the blocks that when they see us, Hermanas, they call us Elders but in the feminine form aka “Elderas.” I can’t tell you guys how many times we get: “Hola Elderas” or “Mama, mama, it’s the misionera elderas.” At least twice a day. Half of them don’t even know that sister missionaries existed until they meet us. Maybe this new wave of missionaries going out means that in 15 years, the elders will be called Hermana Elderes…now that would be funny!
As for my favorite missionary moment of the week…that’s a hard one! We are seriously just so blessed to be serving here in Depatamental. We have the most supportive members to help us out in lessons with our investigators and we also have some of the best investigators. We went from having zero investigators to qual quier investigador- sweets miracle from the Lord. But my most favorite is when we have the opportunity to have these sweet missionary moments spontaneously when we are walking around in the streets… looking for a place that sells empanadas.
This week Hermana Leavitt and I ran into an inactive member in the street (even he called us “Elder”). He told us his story about why he hasn’t come to church and it was no surprise to find out that it was because of an offensive comment that another member made to him. We immediately reminded him about WHO he made his baptismal covenants with- God not the ward members. Then he said that he would come to church eventually, but that he was just waiting for a feeling from God to tell him that he needed to go back (As if two Elder Misioneras weren’t a sign big enough). We asked him what kind of feeling that he was expecting to feel and he said, “I’m just waiting to feel that thirst for the gospel, like water. Once I’m thirsty, I will drink water.” To which we responded, “So should we wait to drink water until we are dehydrated? Or should we drink water every day so that we don’t get sick.” Then he said, “Well maybe if I wait until I am really thirsty then I will appreciate the water more when I drink it” (Later Hermana Leavitt described this comment as being "one wacked up metaphor.” Ha ha). We then proceeded to teach Ceaser about the importance of doing the little things each day to stay hydrated. I told him that because he has lacked to do all of the little things, that the spirit isn’t in his life, maybe HE IS DEHYDRATED and he just doesn’t realize it because he can’t feel the spirit. This is so true in every aspect of our lives; if we aren’t living in a way to invite the spirit of God into our lives then we will never feel the spiritual promptings of God to choose the right aka to keep drinking water. I know that God loves Ceaser so much and that he wants him to come back to church and drink of the living water that Chirst has provided for us. (Wow. This is getting very figurative, my middle school English teacher would be proud). Ceaser told us that he would start to pray every day asking for the desire to come back to church. We ot to see an automatic change, in him, within 15 minutes- favorite missionary moment.
I hope that you guys are all enjoying football season, I sure do miss it! But on the plus side, summer is coming. YIPEEEEEEEEEE!!
Xoxox, Hermana North
picture 2: SUBWAY! We had been craving it for a while...you don't find this kind of food just anywhere in Chile
picture 3: Always love running into our investigator Jose (middle) walking down the main street here.
picture 5: This was a two story carousel!
picture 7: Peanut butter smores = heaven in my mouth
picture 8: Just sitting on a drum
picture 9: Cute little almacen "Hay Pan"
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Once upon a time I learned a really cool lesson on my mission….
So we have been working a lot with an inactive family (mom and daughter), Anita and Tamera. Over the years of their inactivation they have both gone off the deep end with doing drugs and other things that bring, life, problems. Tamera has made mention to us that she wants to change and that she wants to come back to church; just that right now she doesn’t have ganas (the desire to). Its sad for me to hear this just because she knows that she is hurting her life, she can feel what is causing her unhappiness and she knows what she needs to do, yet because she is too lazy right now and she isn’t willing to take the necessary steps to repent. And as for Anita, she knows her mistakes and she knows that she CAN repent, but she says that she is too old and that she doesn’t feel like going through the repentance process. Hearing her excuse especially made me so sad to hear.
Growing up in the church, I remember learning about the Plan of Salvation and about how it was our own choice of what kingdom that we ended up in in eternal life. It was crazy to me that anyone would choose to live in the Terestial or Telestial kingdoms (the lower of the three where God doesn’t live) when they could chose to live in the highest and best kingdom- Celestial. I never knew that anyone would actually want that for themselves, but after talking with Anita, it opened my eyes and I realized that she is not the only one in the world that feels this way. It broke my heart. It was really hard for me to understand how to help these Hermanas. I just couldn’t find a way to relate to them (especially Anita) no matter how I tried. I said a million prayers in my heart asking Heavenly Father to give me some inspiration or a scripture to share that could touch their hearts and my answer came (like they always do). I was flipping through my scriptures and I opened up to Alma 22- the story of Aaron, the missionary, and the King’s conversions. After coming to and understanding of the gospel, the King had a desire to change and he was able to come to a forgiveness of all of his sins. He was able to pray to the lord with a broken heart and contrite spirit. It’s an amazing story of repentance in the Book of Mormon. It shows us of the great power that a simple desire has. Because the atonement is INFINITE there is no sin that can keep us away from reaching our highest potential as children of God- this is what we taught them.
In my life the way that I have only ever had a desire was through the love that I felt for someone or something. Love invokes desire. When I’ve been led to confessing and forsaking my sins repentance has come from the LOVE that I feel for my Heavenly Father and the love that I feel from him; not because it is a commandment or because someone told me that I need to do it. When I am closest to God I feel His love more strongly in my life. This closeness comes through doing the little things like reading my scriptures every day or praying, going to church, etc- any of those typical seminary answers. As we do those little things, we are fulfilling our promises with God, we can have His spirit with us and that sprit is what helps us to make good choices and to recognize when we have made bad choice. When we recognize those bad choices, the sprit that we feel (aka: the love of God) gives us that DESIRE that we need to repent and CHANGE, which in turn allows us to progress.
There is GREAT POWER in a SIMPLE DESIRE
After teaching this principle to them, I realized that I really could relate to them in this situation. I think that this is something that we can all really relate to. Even though we all sin differently, Christ’s atonement works the same. I know that Tamera and Anita have a lot of work cut out for them because when one has distanced themselves from God, after making covenants with Him, its harder to come back (Alma 24:30), but it is possible! I know that a simple habit of prayer in their lives will help them to gain this desire or “the ganas” to change, to use Christ’s atonement in their lives. He wants to help us but only if we let him.
This week also marked a very special event- Cecilia’s baptism! Its amazing to me of the HUGE changes, physically and spiritually, that the gospel has brought into her life within a 3 month period. I told this to Cecilia that I couldn’t believe that we were at her baptism and she just smiled and told me, “You better believe it! This is how God works.” She looked absolutely BEAUTIFUL and 100% happy. Even though life is full of trials we still have a million ways to be happy and feel at peace. As long as we follow Christ in our lives all things spiritually and temporal will be taken care of, we have that promise (Mosiah 2:41).
...and she lived Happily ever after.
love you guys! xox
love you guys! xox
pic 1: Lama pens that our ward mission leader brought us from their trip. SO CUTEE!
picture 2: She's perfect!
picture 3: Hermana Elena invited us over for her 70th Birthday. She melts my heart
picture 4: The most amazing lunch from Domino
picture 5: We made lunch!
picture 6: la familia Coloma and Cecilia