Ten Animo

I love the word animo. When I got to the mission I hated it. Everyone was always telling me, “Hermana, ¿dónde está su animo?” I just thought of being animated or like a little cartoon character, always happy and fake. Then I saw it in the scriptures when Christ says
 
Sed de buen ánimo, pues, no temáis, porque yo, el Señor, estoy con vosotros os ampararé; testificaréis de mí, sí, Jesucristo, que soy el Hijo del Dios viviente; que fui, que soy que he de venir.
[Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come.]
So, see, animo is good cheer. It also means medically when someone is in a life or death situation to resuscitate or give live to someone.
Lately, we have had a lot of people to teach who don’t believe in Christ or doubt His divinity. All of my time as a missionary I’ve taught Catholics and Evangelicos, a few agnostics, but never so many people who don’t have a basic idea of the necessity of Christ. And it’s really sad. It kind of had me down because I just didn’t know how to accurately formulate my thoughts to communicate something so vital and so sacred. I was studying a lot and praying a lot to have some kind of insight on how I could explain why I needed a Savior. I started reading in 2 Nephi 4 and I felt so profoundly all of the things that Nephi testifies of. I felt an overwhelming witness that I have been sustained and saved by the mercy of Christ so many times. I don’t need to give some dramatic experience as evidence of the power of repentance, because I can have daily experiences and I have a living testimony of Him. I love how the Spirit helps me to learn things I already know. I felt the Lord “animándome”, not because I was full of smiles and laughter, but because He gave me the blessing to “be of good cheer”.  I am so grateful for the hope that comes from knowing that the most powerful being made a plan for me to be happy. A plan to give me life.
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Noche de Hogar with Marta y Rosa. We played a game with matches and I lost:)

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Fruit of the week! I don’t know what it’s called, but I love it because it’s like opening a surprise every time.

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Elder Deleon made us burritos. Mexico authentic.

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This is one of the saddest scenes of my mission. This lovely human is selling fresh churasca, and I can’t buy them because it’s street food. So hard. Obedience brings blessings, right?

And… they’re kicking me out of Limarí! I’m going tomorrow to Coquimbo, more north, close to the coast. The sector is called Tierras Blancas if you want to Google it. They say it always smells like fish there. Everyone thinks that I’m happy to finally go, but I really will miss this place. It has been the land of pending miracles.
Love you all!
Hermana Miller
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Se Nota

Ahhhh. I just had to spend a bunch of time downloading videos in English for Wani. And it seems like the L key doesn’t work very well on this keyboard, perdon.

THis week we did a huge intercambio with the hermanas and the Senior misionaries, so I was in trio with the Hermanas for a day. We talked a lot about the humility and trust to be abe to have the SPirit and the essons were so powerful!
I litterally have no time. I’m the worst. I don’t even have photos. But I live and I love this work!
Love,
Hermana Miller
(Sent February 12th, 2018)

“Ya po.” -every Chilean

I am currently writing in a little business on a street corner close to the feria. The sell marijuana pipes, an extensive collection of yarn, food, soda, internet, and fotocopias. Match made in heaven, or no?

It was a really great week. One day we were visiting members to get information on a referal and we were on our ay to the house at 9:35 pm. When ever it’s past 9 I get really jumpy. For example, the other day a grandma tried to talk to me and I ran away. It’s a reflex! Thankfully Hna Sneddon is a bit more sane and can evalute situations a bit better than me, so she talks while I am over reacting. And that’s why we have companions. Any ways, we are on our way to the house and a guy drives by and yells for our atention. Then he parks and jumps out of him car to talk to us. I was almost at the other end of the street already. Mean while, I hear him say that he is passing through a hard time and doesn’t feel like his churc fills him. He found info online and wanted to know when he could come to church. We sent up an appointment for other day in the church and he wants to get baptized and understands really well! But, he actually lives in a different sector. But it’s all good because we’re on the same team, right?
Yesterday we taught a Hatiano named Wani who is Muslim. He speaks Enligh really well. It was really weird to not only teach someone who doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ, but in English. We were with a family in Villa Seca and they could understand a little bit of the converstion, but not much. It was really beautiful experience listning to the devotion of this man. He explained that the life in Hati is so bad that if you don’t believe in God, you can’t survive. It made me think a lot about why I need a Savior to be able to change and become clean again. One of the members, Freddy, started speaking English and gave his testimony of Jesus Christ; who He is to him, why he loves Him. His English was almost perfect. It was such a powerful experience. The gift of tongues is real!
I love you! I hope you can look for opportunities this week to love your neighbors a little more:)
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 “Hermanas, do you want a few grapes for the road?” One huge bag later… I love this place.

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A member dropped off completos at our house for lunch. Welcome to Chile.

Hermanita Miller

“I’m afraid of living bodies, not dead ones”- Hna Sneddon

That’s right, we sang in another funeral. Well not funeral, it’s more like they put the casket in a room and they have a family gathering around it. Super weird.
I feel like I learned a whole lot this week. We had Zone Conference and the training that we gave and the assistants was about the power of the Book of Mormon to help people commit. I was really incredible watch it come to work as we applied it. We were teaching Daniella again and asked her if she had been praying about a baptism date. She said no because she still didn’t feel like she had the habits that she needed to do it. May new favorite Chapter in the Book of Mormon is Alma 7. I love that baptism invitation! It’s so patient and so loving. We talked about how the Spirit would help her and read from the BoM and she accepted! After 2 months she accepted! But they have to go to the South of Chile, so it won’t be until March.
I’ve also had the experience of feeling a desire so deep to help people keep their commitments, simply because I know they need the blessings to conquer their temptations and have a more fulfilling life. When a family didn’t show up at church I felt so heavy all day. We visited them and I just broke down crying and told them that I knew and felt that God was sad that they didn’t keep their promise. They came to church this week:)

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These are the houses in Villa Seca. They are made out of adobe. Basically mud mixed with grass. All of those cracks are from all of the terremotos they’ve gone through. They’re the only buildings that fall when there are earthquakes.

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Classic Villa Seca pic. Seca means dry if that sheds any light on why it has that name.
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My cute little companion. Her poor little scalp was so burnt that we had to receive permision to buy her a hat. She looks like the cutest little country girl you ever saw.
I love this place and this time and this work and this God. And you guys!
Chao!
Hermana Miller

Por si a mosca

Well folks. This week we did a lot of running around because they had to take things form our house to get the house for the new senior missionaries ready and for the Elders in Combarbala. Yesterday Mart came to church again all by herself! I love that she can recognize now that she feels better and stronger when she comes! A couple of inactive people came to church with their sons that we started teaching and it was beautiful! Maria is only smoking 3 a day! Daniela told us last night that since she learned how to pray she feels like God is answering her and is starting to get really involved with the young adults in the branch. We walked almost all the way to Villa seca yesterday and then we had to run home from Maria’s house because there weren’t any colectivos. I haven’t been so tired in a long time.
And that’s all I’ve got time for this week.
Happiness comes form following the Spirit!
Hna Miller
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[I invite you to smile, I’ll pay]

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The little things

What a week! Like every cambio, this week was the crazy one where we were working in two sectors at the same time and then we had to go to Viña for consejo. I love my new companion, Hna Sneddon. I don’t know why I don’t have pics with her. It’s not personal, I promise! I don’t have much time, but here are a few pics!
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After church on Hna Clawson’s last day, they brought everyone together and took one last picture for her. So sweet.

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When we went to Consejo de Lideres, I asked permission from Presidente to go to Reñaca Alto and visit these lovelies. They are being so brave! They’ve been going to church all this time and their moms FINALLY are going to get baptized, 6 months later! I was so happy, I don’t know what news could have made me happier.

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Benja painted us pictures of Jesus to remember him forever.

The Familia Diaz-Fuentes surpized Hna Clawson with an asado. I love this family so much. They have changed a ton! This week we taught them about the Word of Wisdom and we made goals with Maria to stop smoking. She was going to bring it down to 9 a day this last week, but she only smoked 6! They are undertanding the scriptures now! I love them so much.
We’re just working and loving and sweating a whole bunch over here!
Besitos!
Hna Miller
(Sent Jan 15)

Another one bites the dust

My beloved companion, Hermana Clawson, left me yesterday and will be going home tomorrow! Poor thing, she has to start classes they day after she gets home. But hey, gotta follow that personal revelation. 

For now I’m with the Hermanas from Ovalle Sur until cambios. Yesterday Presidente called Hna Sneddon and called her as an Hermana Lider! A few hours later we get the call with the cambios, and I’m staying here and my companion is none other than… Hermana Sneddon! I already love that girl and it makes cambios easy because I’m already with her, we just have to move her suitcases across town. Other exciting news from the cambios: Presidente is opening a little pueblo called Conbarbala. It’s right on the Andes, almost in Argentina. They’ll be part of Ovalle. An adventure for sure!
 
This week was a really good one. After the all the craziness of new Years, we found these cute little grandparents named Emelinda and Horacio. They are so cute. This time of year almost every house offers us a quarter of a watermelon. and they eat it on a dessert plate with a spoon. We met their grandaughter and she is super receptive! I don’t know if her grandparents understood us, but she did and was really excited to read the Book of Mormon.
 
I’ve been really happy here in Limari, but I just wasn’t feeling the same joy that I had felt before. After studying Preach my Gospel, it became obvious that I wasn’t feeling the Spirit work through me like before. I decided that for one day I was going to write down everytime I felt the Spirit. I don’t know if I was just more aware of the impressions I was receiving or if because I was more grateful for the guidance I was receiving the Lord gave me more, but it was one of the best days of my mission. We were able to visit and help a lot of people and they were all short visits, but incredibly powerful. At the end of the day I felt like we should visit the branch president’s house. It didn’t seem like the most efficient thing to do because he’s obviously most an investigator, but we went anyway. We found his wife home alone with their newborn baby crying. We listened to her and I felt so much empathy for her and her challenges. I was frantically thinking of what scripture I could share. Nothing came to mind, but I opened my scriptures with faith. Instantly a scripture came to mind; Alma 38:12
 
Use aboldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bbridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness.
 
This week as I’ve been studying and asking the Lord to help me know how to help these people, it always comes back to love. I had another experience with Marta who has been an investigator for a while now and just isn’t progressing. I was able to take a minute to stop worrying so much about what the Spirit wants me to say and just love her, and the words and scriptures came. Yesterday she came to church by herself for the first time! 
 
Maria and Daniela and Belen, and family that I love to death, but we lost contact during the holidays, made a big goodbye dinner for Hna Clawson, complete with asado. And they came to church!  We had investigators at church for the first time this cambio, if not longer. 
 
This cambio will bring miracles, sí o sí. Love you! I hope you can do something to recognize when the Spirit is helping you this week!
 
Besitos,
Hermana Miller
 
PS I ate chicken liver this week. Officially don’t like it.
(Sent Jan 8)

¡Prospero Año!

You don’t know New Years until you’ve done New Years in Chile. Let’s just say they had a branch activity that started at 3 in the morning. We had permission to eat dinner with a family and return to the house by 12:30am. Everyone assumed that someone had already invited us, so we almost didn’t celebrate New Years. A less active family that we don’t really know invited us… not going to lie I was skeptical, but it was really fun and a very Chilean experience. They had dinner together at 11:00. Worst idea ever. I couldn’t even think about eating again until 2:00pm the next day.  I love that their fancy dinner is exactly what they eat every day for almuerzo. Rice and chicken. But gourmet. And ALWAYS with potatoes and corn bathed in mayo. And a tomato and onion salad. Oh Chile, so beautifully predictable. All of them wear their most elegant clothes for the dinner. They have all sorts of superstitions that they do. If you want to find love in the next year, you have to wear yellow underwear. If you want to travel, you have to take a suitcase and walk around the block when the clock changes to 12. If you want to always have food on the table you have to eat three spoons of lentils. I don’t remember why, but they eat one grape for every second of the count down. At 12:00 they all leave their houses and go out in the street to watch the fireworks that are everywhere and hug everyone. They take their old clothes and make fake people and burn them in the street. Then they go visit all of their family to hug them and at 1am all the parties start. When we woke up at 7am, we could still hear the music from some of the parties.

Yesterday there were so many drunk people. But we didn’t let the haters get us down, and we found a family!
Earlier this week, we had the adventure of going to the unknown territory of Sotaquí. It’s a little super Catholic pueblo. We had a contact from there named Flor and she is a miracle! More details to come.
We’ve been focusing a lot on what we can do every day to magnify our calling as missionaries and it’s really changing my attitude in a lot of ways. I’m learning that trusting in the Spirit means being confident that He will and is guiding us and being so worried.
My companion goes home this week, so it will be an adventure getting everything ready again.
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Waiting for our mission leader to conquer Sotaquí.

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Burning fake people in the street

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I’ve been here for half a year! Sure love this little town:)

Happy New Year! I hope you are all putting lots of goals to become more like Christ in this year!
Hermana Miller
(sent Jan 2)

Mi Burrito Sabanero

I don’t know if I already said something about it, but a few weeks ago 2 Haitianos showed up at church all by themselves with Books of Mormon in hand and said that they were learning about the church in Haiti. They are so sweet, they don’t speak English or Spanish and don’t have internet, so we just have to communicate through the Book of Mormon. I love it. They other day we had an appointment with Nosias, and he left us this little note in the gate. So precious! They disappeared this week, but I think it’s just because they are working on harvesting lemons, so there’s a lot of work. So humble and faithful!

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Speaking of which, there’s a member in one of the branches that teaches free Spanish classes for the Haitianos. She has over 80 that attend. Most all of them come alone to Chile, so she organized a big Christmas celebration with them and we went to sing them carols. They all wanted pictures with us after. I love these people so much! If some one wants to look up how to speak Creol, I would love you forever.

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On Tuesday we went to La Serena, about 2 hours north to the next closest zones for a Christmas activity. The first and probably last time I will be playing with water balloons for Christmas. That Santa would be President Diaz.

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We have been working a lot with a less active family, Jose and Josefina, who live in the farthest part of sector called Canalilla. They were driving home the other day and they found a sheep that got hit by a car, so naturally they scooped it up and took it home. Their children are adorable and were teaching us how to “hacer cariño” or love on the sheep so that it wouldn’t be so sad. One of my favorite moments with them was one day we were talking about goals and Jose said that he gets mad really easily, so we asked him what he could start doing to help him with that. He thought for a good minute and said, “Well, I could start smoking weed.” Wrong answer haha.
This week we had a lot of moments when the Lord organized things perfectly. Well, he always organizes things perfectly, but it was a little more obvious to us. Several times we went to visit someone and they weren’t home so we started to write them a note. Right as we where about to leave the note, they came running to the door. That happened at least 3 times this week. One day, we were in the center waiting for a bus to come and take us to the country side, and I knew that we could be waiting for an hour. I said a prayer pleading with the Lord to send us a bus by 1:00. At 1:00, I saw the bus coming our way. On the dot. I know the Lord hears and answers us. It gives me pain to think about how many times He has answered me and I’ve been to worried and busy to recognize it.

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The Palmers are my favorite people. They drove us around in Coquimbo to visit some of Hna Clawson’ converts.
Pictures of my very Chilean Christmas:
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While I was talking to my family, the chair broke. The fat jokes still haven’t stopped haha.

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Our little tree:)

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My view of my cute little parents. It was good to remember that they are real people and emotional to say good bye. It motivated me to keep working hard!

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The Familia Miranda that hosted us for Christmas. 

Love you all!
Hermana Miller

Sed Cosolados

We had a lot of challenges and set backs this week with people falling through the cracks, but I am so grateful for the opportunity to get to know my Savior. It’s hard to love people, but it’s so worth it. My inspiration of the week is Doctrine and Covenants 64:33:
Por tanto, no os canséis de hacer lo bueno, porque estáis poniendo los cimientos de una gran obra. Y de las cosas pequeñas proceden las grandes.
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It’s not district meeting without juice boxes

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Our last lesson with Annais and Isidora

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A new candy we found called Guaguitas or Babies. They are marshmallow babies. So weird.

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A Chilean baby eating pan de pascua.

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Enjoy Christmas! I love you all! Don’t stop serving!
Hermana Miller
(Sent Dec 18)