Tuesday, November 19, 2013
So bitter sweet news for the week. We got killed...well not literally, obviously, but our querido Pedro and Natalia decided that they are going to start going to the Evangelical church that they live next door to; for the sake of convenience no mas. Ah! It broke our hearts to hear those words come out of Natalia’s mouth. We really loved them and seeing their progress, their need and desire to follow Christ, made it harder to just let them say goodbye to us. But they have their agency and sometimes we just have to be patient- a lesson that I have learned a million times with a handful of my loves. I did say there was sweet news, though. And this is the kind of sweet that has an extra cherry on top! So in the same day that we had to say goodbye to Natalia and Pedro, we ran into a super cute dog in the street, (the perfect conversation starter by the way) whose owner was watering their front lawn. We started talking with the daughter, Gisella (20 años), and then her mom came out, Valeska, and then the brother, Juan (16 años), and little by little we started talking about the church with them. They told us that they have relatives that are members of the church and that they have been wanting to learn more! They invited us in and we got to meet the rest of the family- the dad, Juan, and the younger brother, Brayan (13 años). My favorite part of that whole night was when Brayan asked us if he had to be baptized to be a missionary too. We told him “Yes” and her told us that he wants to be baptized so that he can serve a mission! This week we were able to teach them more and invite them to gain a testimony of the Restoration. So like I said, it was very sweet. Hermana Reyes and I feel so blessed to be teaching them and seeing their excitement to learn and progress is inspiring. There will be a lot more story telling about them in the weeks to come for sure.
Now for the news that you guys have been waiting for....President Holland’s visit to our mission was such a HUGE blessing in so many ways. First off, he is HILARIOUS! I love how Real of people apostles are...they have to be reverent in General Conference, of course, but it was a treat to be able to see his real personality come out in the mission conference. Both him and his wife got some laughs out of us, all 900 of us missionaries. President Holland shared something that really stuck with me and that was this: We need to master the Book of Mormon.As in Embrace, Adopt and Love the Book with all of the blessing that it brings into our lives. He brought to attention a promise in the Book of Mormon, that many of us have read maybe without even realizing, found in 1 Nephi 1: 11-12. It talks about the vision that Lehi had when he received the Book of Mormon. It says that when he read it that he was “filled with the Spirit.” This is something that we ALL can have in our lives when we read the Book of Mormon. How important it is in our lives, right? When we have the spirit in out lives we can make better decisions, be happier through trials and understand difficult things. It is essential in our conversion too. And if we just read the Book of Mormon, we can have the blessing of the Spirit...but not just have it, have it “poured upon us;” be drenched in the spirit of the Lord. So read the book! And Love it.
I hope that you guys are enjoying the sweet spirit that this time of year brings into our lives! Since they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here, they are already celebrating Christmas with all of the decorations, music and all! I am so excited.
Xoxoxo, Hermana North
picture 1: My Fuentes! Happiest reunion of my life! Missed my mama very much (she goes home TODAY!)
picture 2: my long lost companion, Hermana Harper
picture 3: translated for its literal meaning this could sound really weird...but calzones rotos (broken underwear) is a yummy chilean dessert
picture 4: President Cook, cooking
picture 5: Baking with la querida Vicotria, our innactiva soon to be activa ;)
picture 6: WE FOUND MORE COWS!!!! my compañera really thinks that I am crazy now..but it's just so cool!
picture 7: Breakfast: my favorite part of the day
picture 8: the best is being barefoot and hypothetically speaking with my love, Hermana Leavitt
picture 9: mama y hija
Monday, November 11, 2013
This week was super fome (Note from Danny: "Fome" in Chile means "Sucky" or "lame") teaching wise, we got destroyed, all because we got super sick. My lovely compañera has the brilliant idea to eat berries off of a wild tree in the street. I asked her if it was safe and after she persuading assured me that it was okay and completely normal, or in her own words, “They’ll wash off in our stomachs,” I believed her and tried some. Yes, I’m that person whose picture shows up in the dictionary when you look up the word “gullible.” The next day (plus two days after that) we were both sick in bed with fevers, nausea, fatigue and REGRET. Never again will we wash strange berries in our stomachs; even if they were delicious.
We got sick at the end of our week, but at the beginning of our week, we had our very first divisions. My hija went to another area and I got to spend the day with a sweet hermana from Utah- Hermana Tuttle (with a Spanish accent it is pronounced “Toot-le”…how unfortunate. Haha!) Our day together started out in the back of a cop car…well actually it started out on the micro first. We were on our way to teach some families that live in a pueblo called Valle Navado. The problem was that I have only ever been there once in my life (and that was when we had our tour guides, aka the elders, with us) so of course we got off on the wrong stop. We started walking and walking and walking when I finally realized that we were lost. Oops! Luckily for us there was a cop car pulled off to the side of the road so we asked them for directions. Supposedly we had gotten off way earlier that I had thought, but luckily for us they offered us a ride. After thinking about if we should take the offer, or if we were even aloud to ride by ourselves with them, I finally justified it for the sake of our investigators that were waiting for us in Valle Navado. Plus, it was a teaching opportunity!
When we got out of the car (we laughed at how funny the whole situation might have looked to people driving past us- two mormom missionaries getting out of a cop car…) we started our quest for lunch. That day we had to buy lunch for ourselves because we had interviews with President Cook. We had no idea how hard it was going to be to find lunch. Since it was past lunch time, every place had already sold all of their food! Finally we say a sign of a restaurant that sold churascos and completos…but OF COURSE, when we got there the owner was just leaving to buy food for the night. He told us that they open at 7pm (and it was only 3 o’clock). Sadly we walked away and I just so happened to step in dog poop- GROSS! I turned to Hermana Tuttle and said, “Herman Reyes once told me that its good luck when you step in dog poop.” We just laughed and literally the next moment the owner of the restaurant drove by and said, “Hey! I’m going to cook for you guys. Come over!” The poop worked! They guy was so awesome. He opened up his cute little restaurant just for us. And they food was esquisito. The Best part of that was that he told us that he wants us to come back to teach him and his family. They are very creyente evangelical members but they are open to hearing more about our beliefs.
During my studies this week, I was reading in a lovely book from the church library called “our search for happiness,” by Elder Ballard. Something super awesome that stuck out to me was a section that explained the godhead- “We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in his son, Jesus Christ, and in the Hold Ghost.” All three of the members are essential and important in each of our lives, but so many times, I think that we neglect the equally important role that the Holy Ghost has in our lives. The book taught that the mission of the Holy Ghost is to testify of truth, particularly as it relates to the Father and the Son. It’s simple and obvious right? But then it went on to explain something beautiful that, I consciously, never really realized:
“If we believe in God with all of our hearts, it’s only because that significant truth has been confirms upon our souls through the power of the Holy Ghost. If we love the Lord, it’s because the Hold Ghost has moved upon is and spiritually introduced us to His eternal reality and condescending grace.”
I’ve always know and taught that it is through prayer that we can communicate with our Heavenly Father. Through our studies of the Savior and our personal use of His infinite atonement, we can know who Jesus Christ is, BUT in all of those action, the Holy Ghost is the one who works to bring us to an understanding of all things (John 16:26). It is the force that allows us t feel Gods love (Galatians 5:22-23), so that we can love His back. Only through the Holy Ghost can we progress as children of God, in our relationship with our Heavenly Father and brother, Jesus Christ and everything else! The Holy Ghost is so essential, as is God and Jesus Christ. So we should pay more attention to the promptings that we feel from him and take the time to learn more about him too. He’s important!
Oh and a little piece of exciting news…Ahemm…PRESIDENT JEFFERY R. HOLLAND, of the quorum of the twelve apostles, is coming this week (tomorrow) to speak to us and all of the other missionaries here in Santiago. We could not be more excited to hear his inspired counsel for us and this area. I’ll keep you guys posted on that lovely event- STAY TUNED!
Xoxox, Hermana North
picture 1: Rincon de Mana- the restaurant that we ate at
picture 2: Ive never had a churasco that tasted to good before...YUM
picture 3: Zumba class outside of our window...totally took advantage of the class while Hermana Reyes slept.
picture 4: Back to work! It made us happy even when people never opened their doors
picture 5: the custest dog...i'm still in love with the dogs here
picture 6: We lived off of Jello for a while
picture 7: The custest little, best friend, funny face making, chilean babe- Domi
picture 8: I was amazando the dough for empanada and made a heart...without even realizing it! So RAD
picture 9: Tree climbing on Sunday afternoon
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
People! Hermana Reyes and I set our very first baptismal date this week!!! It’s for December, just a month away- woah, when did that happen? Yeah, I know that is a lot to take in seeing that you guys have no idea who our investigators are…so I’ll fill you in. Last week we were knocking on doors, we found a family who had been taught by the missionaries in the past but they stopped taking the lessons because they moved far away. Fifteen years later, we knock on their door and they let us in. After teaching the restoration to them in that first meeting, we all felt the spirit really strong. Natalia (la mama) and Pedro (el hijo) both expressed their feelings to us of the changes that they want in their lives. They come from a rough past of drugs and other things and they want a change. The beautiful thing about this is that they can have that change in their lives. The atonement of Jesus Christ offers that blessing to anyone who has a true desire. After expressing this to them, we could see that light in their eyes, the light that the gospel puts into the lives of those that live it. At the end of our visit with them, Natalia told us that she knew that the Lord blessed them by sending us. That absolutely melted by heart and I knew that it was true- this message is so perfect for them. This week we were able to see their progress as they prayed and read the Book of Mormon, which lead us to inviting them to set a date for baptism. They were so excited when we told them that they could be baptised just like Jesus Christ, they chose December 7th. Keep them in your prayers.
This week on our way back home from San Leon (a little pueblo 20 minutes away from the main part of our sector) I met a joven named Mario on the micro. He was super nice and when I told him that I was a mormom missionary, he asked, “What is the difference between Mormons, Catholics and Evangelicas,” which set up the perfect setting to explain to him about the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ. For my first time ever I taught the first lesson in its entirety on the mirco. I even recited to him Joseph Smith’s first vision (In the moment I couldn't decide if I actually should do it because it is such a special experinece, but I am glad that I did!) Even thought we were on a BUS, the sprit was there! He said that he felt peace hearing about the prophet Joseph Smith and that he wanted to learn more- to know if it was really true. I gave him a Book of Mormon and took down his address so that I could pass him off to the missionaries in his sector (unfortunately he lives in La Cisterna, close to San Miguel). And if that wasn’t good enough, when I turned to look at my compañera, I saw her writing down the phone number of another contact that she made all on her own- so proud of my hija.
Just one more super RAD highlight of the week. So remember how I told you guys that we have cows??? Well…of course Hermana and I went to knock on the door to see if they wanted to hear the gospel. At first they weren’t very interested but as we talked to them, they started to open up; turns out that our Relief Society president is related to them. Also they told us that before the missionaries used to come and teach them. When we asked why they stopped learning, they told us that they were just too busy with work, aka: milking their cows. AH! Light bulb- WE CAN HELP MILK YOUR COWS!!! (That’s what went off in BIG fancy letters in my head). We told them that we offered service and they accepted! Can you believe that? Yes, me, I milked a cow this week! I asked the hermano if it was safe to drink the milk straight from the cow and he literally pulled out a mug, squeezed out the milk and gave it to me to try. You better believe that I tried it…AND LIKED IT! I am such a natural country girl…Taylor Swift did me some good after all! Haha.
So as you guys can see, we are falling in love with our sector and the people here!
p.s: Hermana Reyes has been so excited all week to liven up our front yard with flowers and plants and it was everything that she talked about every time she saw someone’s garden or heard the word plant. While we were teaching Pedro and Natalia this week, the uncle walked in and said, “Who left that plant by the door?” and excitedly Hermana Reyes said, “You guys have plants too?” awkwardly, Pedro excused himself outside and Natalia continued by explaining to us that the plant that the uncle was referring to was marijuana. Ha ha. Moral of the story: we are teaching the word of wisdom this week.
picture 1: TURTLE TALK
picture 2: WANTED- Jesus. ha ha!
picture 3: The difference between latin skills and gringa skills...I have a lot to learn from my hija
picture 4: the yummiest Lasagna I've ever had (chilean portion sizes are HUGE)
picture 5: I couldn't finish...nice try though!
picture 6: Our Halloween costumes. So original right? ha ha
picture 7: COWS!!! the little one is named Princessa
picture 8: The sunsets here just don't compare to the city
picture 9: I love it here!
picture 10: professional cow milker!
picture 11: our neighbors are the sweetest! House warming gift