Wow. Really not going to miss these blessed internet places! The
internet is so bad and already deleted my other email. AHH! One happy
Well, I don’t feel like I’m ending and my mind can’t stop spinning
thinking about what we are going to do this month to help these people
get baptized and make plans to work with the ward council better and
the new mission leader.
More than anything I learned how important it is to serve. I know that
my mission has changed the type of person I want to be and the type of
member of God’s church I want to be. My mission has been one crazy
trust exercise. I want more than anything to maintain the love and
trust that I feel now. It’s not like I’m some saint or that I’m always
incredibly happy, but I feel content. Just knowing that I’m on the
same team as the Lord is enough for me.
Miracle of the week: I was organizing my last p-day when I visit my
converts and I got the best news of my mission. I was dreading talking
to Daniel because the last I heard he didn’t want anything to do with
the church. To my surprise he is very active and is going to receive
the Melchizedek Priesthood this month! I cried a lottle.
So many miracles this week and I’m trying really hard to not be really
mad at this computer. But I guess I’ll have to tell ya’ll when I see
you? I don’t know. But I love you all. I love this loving, patient,
merciful Savior of ours and for a Heavenly Father that loves us enough
to discipline us.
Sorry about last week folks, that was just rude. But the internet here really is the bane of my existence.
I had this moment yesterday where I was so tired after lunch and just wanted to sleep and told myself like always “one day you’ll be able to sleep as long as you want on Sunday” and then I realized that some day is in 2 weeks. I then I wanted to cry because that sounds terrible! I can’t imagine having so much free time that I would even want to just sleep all day or look at a screen for hours. The real world disgusts me as of now. I’m hoping it’s a phase.
This week was a keeper.
We’ve been teaching Estefania and Jaquelin for a while now and Estefania is finally starting to progress and they came to church last week, so we went in for the baptism date again. We did it with so much love and she understands why and feels that everything we’ve taught her is true, but she wants to do everything with her husband, and we’ve never taught him because he always works. I think we scared her away which is really frustrating.
We’ve been workign with a less active family all cambio. We had a moment of truth with the dad and he got off his chest why he hasn’t been going to church and then he came all by himself yesterday! I think their family thinks we don’t know how to speak Spanish but it’s fine haha.
During intercambios we went to a Family Home Evening for a kid that was leaving on his mission the next day. We were there when he gave his last hugs before getting set apart. So much feels! Oh my heck. I forgot that I miss hugging people! Something to look forward to haha.
Last cambio we were getting to know a new part of our sector and we went into a little business to ask for directions. The guy said that his wife was Mormon. When she came out she was really sassy and didn’t want anything. We passed their business the other day and we spent several minutes debating if we go in because I thought it would be awkward, but we did it. They invited us to have a FHE. We taught them on Saturday and took their kids to church with us yesterday! They are really receptive. Didn’t see that one coming!
We had interviews in the pensions. So obviously we took a selfie.
Love you all!
[sent April 30, 2018]
Back in the saddle again. Not gonna lie, it was kind of tiring being back into the normal schedule of things! But it was a great week. My companion and I have been studying and talking a lot about just how important our decisions in this life are and how we don’t realize how important the opportunities we give people accept or reject the gospel are. The saddest part is that they don’t recognize how important their decision to change or not is. It changed our perspective on how we work. This week I was trying to have that perspective in every lesson and trying hard to have a prayer in my heart for our investigators. Things I always try to do, but I was able to do it a bit more consciously this week and we had miracles!
We’ve been teaching Estefania and Jaquelin for a while. Jaquelin wants to get baptized but has a complicated situation with divorce and stuff that impedes her. Her daughter is always there and likes it, but never gets really into it. We felt like we needed to teach the restoration again last week. When I was saying the First Vision, the spirit was so strong and we asked her how she felt and she didn’t have words. Now she is really excited to read and wants to go to church! So exciting!
There was a woman we contacted named Fabiola who said we could meet up in the church. That normally means they don’t know how to say no. We waited with faith for half an hour and used the time to make calls. All the sudden we heard a knock at the chapel doors! She came to the ward activity that night and she was in love! She accepted a baptism date and was telling all the members that she’s really excited to go to church. She didn’t show up yesterday and all attempts at making contact have failed. I really hope she’s okay!
Tuesday we had an earthquake! It was only a 6.4, but in the 4th floor it felt way stronger that the 7.2 from last year. things fell and broke right whee my comp was doing exercises moments before. It lasted a long time, so we had shoes on and the door open ready to run if necessary! But it stopped. Don’t worry:)
my group that goes home with our trunky papers
where Hna Orton almost died haha
Love you all!
[sent April 16th, 2018]
The last week of this concert shinanagins! We performed last night and it turned out great! This time we didn’t live quite so pampered, we were in a pension with 10 hermanas with only eggs and a loaf of bread. Back to reality haha. There was a TON of people! the stake center was full and everyone seemed to love it! No technical failures. My favorite was a 5 person blues version of Amazing Grace and then we broke out into a gospel choir tempo. I don’t know how to describe it, and I don’t have any videos, but people are going to send me them soon!
Elder Cardoso, the official page turner.
Hermana Diaz, the master mind of it all
I had a bit of crisis the beginning of the week because I haven’t been in my sector and a lot of things are falling through the cracks and I just feel a lot of times like I’m not the kind of missionary that I wanted to be finishing the mission. I read Mosiah 4 the next morning and it helped me realize that the Lord is just happy that we keep on giving our offerings of obedience and humility, no matter how small they will be. It is a blessing that he so often let us be weak! This path of discipleship doesn’t have an end point, we just have to keep working and growing and He’ll make it enough.
Besitos! If this key board wasn’t so awful maybe I would have more time to write, sorry!
[sent April 6th, 2018]
Hey folks. I’m writing live from Presidente Diaz’s office. We had to come down to Viña again to practice, and our bus goes back tomorrow, so they very graciously let us write now. I basically live here now. President comes and knocks on our door in the morning to invite us to eat breakfast. He calls me over to help him with his computer when ads in English pop up. I saw him in shorts for the first time in my life. I guess you could say we’re tight. Last night I spent an hour making easter baskets out of napkins with Hna Diaz for the last dinner of the missionaries that are leaving this cambio. I am almost certain that I have gained at least a kilo just this weekend. She just keeps on buying us American food. The other night she made us chili (yes, I ate chili in Chile). She bought us throat spray so that we don’t get sick before the concert. She had formal dresses custom made for us. Officially pampered. When she saw the tan lines from my proselyting shoes she got a little concerned, but says she’s just going to put make up on my feet… to be continued.
For the few days I was in my sector, we found out that the entire world is living together! (in the sense of not being married… it made sense in Spanish). It was sad. We have all these families that we found, but they aren’t married and they are really sensitive about religions telling them to get married. My companion just called me to say that Eloy, one of the Hatianos accepted a baptism date for the 22 of April!
I want to testify that Christ lives, and if we want to have his influence in our lives, we have to make sure that our testimony lives too. We are capable of having the influence of the Spirit to guide us every day! We are fulfilling prophesies! I loved conference and I am excited to go over my notes and meditate more on what the Lord wants me to do with what I learned.
Well, everyone is asking about what is this whole singing gig. The mission is having an Easter devotional on the 8th and it’s going to be a musical fireside. They have singers form Santiago coming and all the missionaries in the South can go if they bring someone. When they came to the zone conference here, they discovered the amazing talents of a brand new hermana in La Serena and recruited her for the devotional. When they called her to inform her, we were in intercambios. They heard that I was with her and said that I could come to sing harmonies and they’d give me a song too. SO this weekend we went and spent 2 days practicing and making arrangements and organizing this whole thing. They are all amazingly talented musicians just listening to songs and copying them without any music, and I’m just along for the ride. But I’m happy to do it! I love testifying of Christ through song! We’re doing a gospel choir version of Amazing Grace and it should be amazing. We have to go down again this weekend and the next, with 17 hours in bus every time. Our companions hate us for ditching them, pero que hay que hacer.
[insert image near ocean]
Before you think we’re being rebelious, Hermana Diaz (President’s wife) took us to the beach after practicing for too many hours and told us to stick our feet in the sand to de-stress and bought us ice cream:) She loves us. While we were there we stayed in president’s house. They knocked of our door and invited us to eat cheese cake with them at 10:30 at night. Pretty weird eating cheese cake in my PJs with Presidente.
[insert image of stage]
The star of it all, Hermana Wonnacot. And yes, that is throat spray on the piano. We are that legit.
Here in Tierras Blancas we had some of the most amazing lessons of my mission teaching people that needed us! People who are searching answers and we could help them find them. But they have lots of obstacles to go to church! If you can pray for Clara and Pamela, it would be appreciated!
One night we were coming back from a baptism in the sector of the hermanas and we couldn’t find any loco motion to get home. I saw a micro and we just got on it without knowing where it went. We passed a super market that an elder told us the day before was close to our pension. We jumped off the buss and started running, not knowing where we were, just running. After like a mile we found a street from our sector and got to the house 2 minutes before 10. It was a miracle. I am so glad for the impressions of the Spirit and that we could follow them!
Love you! Happy Easter!
[sent March 26, 2018]
This was the week of ALL the intercambios.
Little by little we are making this ward love us whether they like it or not. And we are winning:)
Example A: homemade donuts. And they were beautiful too.
We have an investigator named Carlos. He’s the worst. Haha, he’s a beautiful person, he just is putting us through emational heck. One moment he’s going to get baptized next week, the next moment he doesn’t believe in God anymore. He’s a little old guy with knee problems who sells magazines in front of the hospital. He wants to do things right so bad, but he’s just kind of a mess and we don’t know what to do with him. More to come next week.
Our lovely Haitian friends. We had a huge lesson yesterday with all of them and they all want to get baptized, but they all have commitment issues. And they all have girlfriends that are basically their wives in Haiti that might be coming soon… it’s complicated. But they are great. They love reading and learning and coming to church and are learning Spanish really fast!
Surprise! Hna Wonnacot and I have to go to Viña this week to sing in some huge concert thing. Stay tuned!
Zone Con games. Classic.
Our comps hating us while we practice because they have to stay in the North while we go to Viña…
Super blurry pic of the whole crew.
Love you all! I’m so grateful for modern revelation and the clarity it gives our lives!
[sent March 12, 2018]
This week was full of miracles ( sure you’ve never heard that one before)! We found 17 new investigators. That’s never happened in my mission. Yesterday 3 Hatianos just walked into church. We have a special Sunday School class in Creole, and they loved it. We had a lesson with them that night with a member to translate, and at the end they were all saying “I want to be a member of THIS church!” It was so sweet. One of them said “I got here 18 days ago, and this is my new home” I love them so much! Teaching through a translator is interesting because we say something like “God loves us, so He gives us prophets” and the translation lasts about 15 minutes haha. We can follow a little bit of what he’s telling them, but not much. We just have to trust that he’s not saying apostasy. He was a missionary in Haiti, so he knows what he’s doing, right? I’m trying really hard to learn their names because I don’t like calling them “the Haitianos”, but it’s hard.
Another family came to church and they were blown away by how much we focus on families and that we don’t banish children form the services. Super cool! They got there late, so a hermana helped them come in from the back and was helping their baby so that they could listen to the testimonies.
We tried to be cool Hermana Liders and we went on a field trip to the Japanese gardens in La Sarena. It was the most Chilean Japanese Garden I’d ever seen, but it was still nice to see green space in the midst of this concrete jungle.
This is me riding my dinosaur side saddle to victory.
We found a new part of our sector that is HUGE!
We had intercambios with Simdempart. I love Hermana Wittemann! Especially because she introduced me to the beauty that is the Hand Roll. I’m assuming they have been a thing for a while in the states, but it’s the new sliced bread in Chile.
There’s a Hatiano named Mirbel that got baptized a month ago who doesn’t speak English or Spanish, just a few words. When he speaks it’s his own dialect of all the languages. We were talking about faith and how it has to come from your heart in a lesson, and he realized he knew a phrase in English and started shouting “I LOVE you!” He got so excited that we understood him he just kept on repeating it over and over. Hahaha, so sweet.
I love you all! Everyone has ben really good at reminding me that I only have 2 months left
I can’t lie, I miss home. But love these odd little people.
My birthday was great! It was a perfect representation of the mission. We found a new instigator, Matius, that wants to get baptized, dropped an investigator that broke our hearts and maybe made us cry, found an inactive member that made us super frustrated because she wouldn’t listen, and tried to help a recent convert from falling apart.
I love this woman! Hna Palmer does so much for us and she made me the most beautifully buttery cake of my life.
My companion is so sneaky and told the members from almuerzo that it was my birthday. Classic Chilean cakes: Mil hojas with a ton of manjar.
We celebrated with Chilean sushi (rice, chicken, avocado, and cream cheese), strawberry juice, and leftover cake. Success.
It’s been a week of lots and lots of searching people. And we’ve found a lot! We’ll see where it goes!
This is S. She’s from Hati but grew up in the Dominican Republic so she speaks fluent Spanish. We are teaching her and she is amazing and wants to live the commandments, but her boyfriend is really controlling. It’s super sad. I really just wanted to take this picture because her baby is the most adorable human I have ever seen. And I love her:)
They’re back. Fleas. Sigh. I’m just used to feeling like a dog.
My companion is Hna Orton. She’s from Payson, Utah and has been in the mission 8 months.
This photo is a summary of how we spent this week. So. Many. Buses.
Pic from the bus
We had to go to Viña for the week for consejo and training meetings. Very tiring, but I love being able to see people and have the vision of Presidente Diaz for the mission.
My sector is Tierras Blancas. It’s very different from Ovalle. I miss Limarí a heck of a lot more than I thought I would. I had to leave really fast and didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to hardly anyone. We are the sector furthest away from the coast, but in on part you can see it a little. It’s really flat and FULL of Haitianos. There are some members from Hati that served missions there. It’s not nearly as hot as Ovalle. I’ve only been in sector 2 days, so that’s about all I’ve got.