Wednesday, December 30, 2009



Matias and the branch president

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Matias got baptized!

Wow. Another transfer has come and gone. I can`t belive how fast it went by. This last transfer was like a dream. Matias got baptized!!!! Oh, it was so special. Though kind of sad because his family didn´t come to support him. Though nothing could have wiped away his smiles yesterday. Matias has the purest heart. I have decided that Sundays are the craziest day of the week in the life of a missionary. Actually I decided that clear back in my first transfer. It`s incredible the roller coaster that you ride as a missionary....one second you`re on top of the world, in the very next 20 seconds you`re about as low as ever and then in the same hour something incredible happens and everything hard about the day is made up and life couldn`t get better. Sometimes I feel like I am floating on clouds. It`s incredible.

Have I mentioned Karina y Pablito?? They are a mother and son that are preparing to be baptized. They are incredible, I always leave jaw dropped from the sharing with them. Pablito is 8 years old. He is so cute and the only thing he wants to do is get baptized. We taught them on Saturday about tithing and when we finised Pablo asked if he could pay his tithing. We told him he didn`t need to pay it because he still isn`t a member. But when they got to church he came proudly with his tithing envelope in hand ready to pay his tithing. They stayed for the baptism of Matias (the husband of Karina actually came too!!). Pablito said that when Matias went in the water he felt something in his chest, ¨like happiness!!¨ Oh! He is so incredible. We`ve been teaching Karia for a while and she keeps having crazy cool experiences with the Book of Mormon. It has answered a lot of her questions. Though she has still been looking for a more definite answer. She reads from the beginning of the Book of Mormon with Pablo every night and she said that the other night she wanted to read something that reached her more. So she opened the book and landed in Alma 32....and she LOVED it. It couldn`t have been an answer more obvious to her. She said she read the chapter like 3 times and every time she found something new that she said hit her.

And some new news... Today arrived two elders that will be working in the same sector as Hna. Olson and I. There has been a lot of growth as a branch and the area is HUGE so presidente put two more missionaries here. I`m really excited, but it will be interesting sharing a sector with elders.

Hna. Bonilla left, but came Hna. Pastrana. She was the ¨daughter¨ of Hna. Olson. It`s funny because we live with Hna. Black too and she was my ¨daughter¨ of the mission. It will be fun.

It was GREAT talking to you. It`s true, it seems like you`re just around the corner. I really loved it. It`s good to hear you`re all doing so well. Tell Grandma thanks for the christmas money. I love you all so much. I really really do!!! I hope you have a great new year! !

CHAOOOO!!!

Hna. Jones

Thursday, December 24, 2009




Miranda family


Matias, Matias, and Mauricio

Merry Christmas!

Okay so this week was CRAZY!!! But it ended. Whew! Just kidding... kind of.... But really. It was crazy. The sad thing is Matías didn´t get baptized. Acutally it`s not too sad because we moved his date to THIS weekend. He should be ready then. We almost didn`t have another baptism, but everything worked out. I`m not exactly sure how but everything always seems to work out in the end! I have really seen the hand of our Heavenly Father in this work. Working miracles! I have been thinking a lot lately about my blessings. I know my Heavenly Father loves me, and I feel this blessing muy grande en mi vida. I know he loves everyone of us. I feel so strongly that this is certain, though sometimes I don`t do well at sharing a love for everyone. What a great time it is to start a new year, with new goals...eh?

Yesterday in church we kind of had an interesting experience. We had a lot of investigators in the sacramental meeting, but one of the members brought her daughter that is about 40 years old and has a mental problem. That`s great that she came, but she got up in the middle of the meeting and started walking even up in on the stage and then started shouting and crying but crying in a really scary way... I felt so bad for her, and for our investigators that went for the first time.

We had a Christmas devotional yesterday...which was incredible!!! It was with the whole district and everyone sang Christmas music (even the missionaries!) A youth orquestra came too, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

I am really enjoying my time with Hna. Olson. I laugh a LOT with her. It`s actually fun knocking doors because... I`m not sure why... But it is. We get a kick out of the crazies (that I love, not judge) and we work well together. Transfers are this next week, so I am praying that we can have another transfer before I leave Guadalupe. Oh! This next week they are going to put a pair of elders in our branch, so we are going to be 4 missionaries here!! I am so excited. Guadalupe has needed more missionaries for a long time because this area is giant and right now we`re on fiiiaaaaaa!!

Well, I hope we can all remember CHRIST in our crazy busy holidays. And that everyone has a sweet-dog Christmas. Speaking of dog, the other day when we got up in the morning we found a dog in our front lawn. Just laying down, being lazy...The thing is we have a fence around our house so I have no idea how how she got in! It was funny.Okay, I`ll be talking to you all in a few days! I love you all so much!!!

Hna. Jones

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Actividad de la Navidad

Hola!

I got the package!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I was squealing with joy when I saw the box full of knee highs. I was becoming desparate...hehe. But thanks a lot, and thanks for the CD`s dad... (hehe), and the christmas candy. I am going to share it with my district mañana. I also got the package from Grandma.. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I Love you grandma, and i Love eating christmas fudge and caramel...yumm! Thank you for thinking about me.

Okay. Whew, that was a lot. But I want to talk about what happend this week... Like I said last week Javiera and Valentina had plans to be baptized on Saturday. Right? Everything went so well in their preparations. They had prayed and recieved testimonies, they have felt the spirit and reconized it. They LOVE church and read their scriptures everyday...So Saturday in the morning we went to review the baptismal interview questions before their interviews. Everything went well with Valentina (who`s 10 years old), and then we talked with Javiera (who`s 12 years old). She answered all the questions with confidence and shared her testimony. And then in the last question that asks if they are ready to make this covenant with God, she answered ¨Actually, Hermanas, I want to talk to you about something...¨ And then told us about an experience she had just days earlier when she was visiting her grandma and Dad. Turns out they totally tore her down in her testimony and her desires to be baptised. Told her things about how she`s doing something dumb and doesn`t understand. She told us how she left so confused and had been praying for an answer to her confusion but still didn`t feel anything. But she had her interview with the district leader, though decided that she wasn`t going to be baptized in the end, at least not right now. We felt so sad.. i didn`t know what to do. So we supported her and prayed with her and for her and fasted even and then came the day of her baptism. When she got to the church with all her family she saw us and said, ¨Hermanas, I`m going to get baptized!!!¨ OH! I jumped and squealed and she did too. It was wonderful. She said that she had been praying so much, but right when she got to the church she felt GOOD and she felt like it was right after all. Turns out more than anything she got cold feet... but she was baptised with her little sister and it was beautiful. They were both so happy and explained how they felt so happy and light. She was giddy even. It was awesome (not so awesome leading up to it, but in the end it was sa-weet! I love this family so much.

We are planning a triple baptism this weekend! Three little boys... Well, two 12 year olds, Matias (the friend of Mauricio) and Yoni, the missionaries have taught him since 4 months ago! But now he is ready and his mom is returning to the church too!! And another boy named Christopher, he is 11 years old. His family is returning to the church too. It`s BACAN!!!

I am so happy with Hna. Olson. I feel like we make a great team. She helps me a lot if I worry or get stressed out...(it doesn`t happen too much)

Yesterday we had the actividad de la navidad with the whole mission!!! It was awesome. We just played sports the entire 5 hours together. I got sun burned on my lips. Ouch. That stinks it is so cold there. Did you know it is HOTTTTT here? It doesn`t feel a thing like the Christmas season. Not a thing. But the people seem to be more receptive to the message, to hearing about Jesucristo.

Okay, that`s all for now.

CHAOOO!

Hermana Jones

Monday, December 7, 2009

Refreshment

!Hola, todos!

No, I haven`t recieved the Christmas package yet… but I am sure it has arrived. The only ¨down part¨ of being here in the south of the mission is that mail doesn`t come that often. But there is a christmas activity next Monday in Rancagua, so I`ll be hoping to get it there. Woohoo! Is it really Christmas time? It feels like… summer. The hot weather has come and it`s staying…I come home and the only thing I want to do is shower the dirt and sweat off. Nice, huh?

Alrighty then. Last week…is over. It was rather rough (ruff!). Mauricio has had a few things happen in his life this past week that have weighed him down quite a bit. This has weighed us down a bit. He has been suffering too, and it hurts my heart so much. But he is going to get through this trial and thankfully he has a lot of support from the church leaders and the youth. But you know what? Matias, the friend of Mauricio is doing so well! He went to Church for the first time yesterday and is more exicted than ever to be baptized.

AND guess what??! You remember Andres and Gabriella and their hijitos?? Well, the not so great news is that they are not going to get married right away like they planned. But for a handful of reasons that I don`t feel like explaining they will be getting married in a few months. And there Gabriella will be baptized. BUT her two daughters Javiera and Valentina are going to be baptized this weekend!! Oh, they are so special! I feel so good when we teach them. They have taught me so much, they are just little girls but have so much faith, and love and desires to do good. Also Gabriella. She can`t stop talking about the change that the gospel has brought in her life, in all aspects. And Andres and his kids too. I love this family so much! Tonight we are going to have a family home evening, and they have all of the assignments. I love family home evening too. And speaking of family home evening this last Friday we had a ward family home evening and hna olson and I had to do the lesson and I was terrified! But it turned out alright.

Funny story… we are teaching this kid named Oscar. He is actually about 19 years old but has a mental disorder and he acts a lot younger. But he is absolutly hilarious. The other day we went to teach him and when we got there he went to prepare a ¨refreshment¨. With all sincerity in his heart he came back with a bowl of three or 4 pieces of broken bread and a cup of a tiny bit of poured water…. Because that`s how we like our refreshements… I guess you had to be there…



Monday, November 23, 2009

MAURICIO SE BAUTIZÓ!!!!!

This week we aren`t doing anything special for Thanksgiving. I think we`ll buy a pie or something. But next week for district meeting our zone is going to have a Thanksgiving lunch.. with turkey and all ;) And for Christmas-we`re listening to Christmas music now!!- The mission is going to have an activity on the 15th I think .

Okay…guess what???? MAURICIO SE BAUTIZÓ!!!!! Wow, it was incredible his bautismo. It was very special for him too. It was even better than I expected because Hna. Flake was able to be in attendance (the assistants are usually really strict with letting people go back to areas for baptisms… so it was awesome!!!) Mauricio became very emotional during the program and even cried a whole lot…but was crying because he was so moved. It was very beautiful to see him baptized. His mom and sister (who usually don`t care much for what is the church) came to the baptism and they were also moved to tears. They were also able to come to his confirmation the following day.

I want to tell ya`ll a story about this other kid named Matias (he`s in the picture with Maurico coming out of the font).

This week we were walking along the street (walking in the complete opposite direction of the church) when we see Mauricio headed toward us in the opposite direction. When we stopped to ask him what he was up to. The conversation went something like this…

Hey!, where`re you headed?
To the church!
Oh, okay, why are you headed there?
We have an appointment
With who? (we thought it was with a leader in the church or something)
With my friend Matias (That`s weird we thought…who`s Matias?), Oh…with who, Hno Raymon?
No, with you guys
With us? We don`t have an appointment today.
No, but My friend Matias wants to learn about the church too, so I told him to meet us in the church at 6, so he should be waiting so let`s go.
But we`re not even headed to the church, how did you know you would find us there?
I don`t know, I just knew we`d find you, that`s all.

And so he did. He found us. He had the faith that he would run into us somehow at church. Do you know how big San Fernando is!??!! The odds of us running into him are very slim… but look what his faith did. Wow! So we started to teach his friend Matias (he`s 12 years old) and he is totally set on getting baptized!! He is so adorable and has many desires to learn. We compromited him to read and pray about it and he did and said that when he prayed and asked if Joseph smith was a prophet and if the Book of Mormon is true, he felt peace and joy… woo whoo!! Mauricio practically taught the entire lesson to Matias.

Even on the day of his baptism, we met up with Mauro because he was going to accompany us in an appointment with Matias and he came wearing his shirt and tie and carried around a briefcase bag with all his church books in it. As we taught this lesson to Matias we listened to Mauricio share his simple but powerful testimony of Jesus Christ and the trufulness of his gospel. I felt so happy. I felt so overwhelemed with joy. I truly can`t describe the joy I have felt here in the mission. I feel so blessed.

Welp, tengo mucho mas, pero el fin del tiempo se acerca…les quiero, les AMO mucho mucho, y siempre les tengo presente en mis pensamientos y mis oracions… Que tenga una buena semana!!!

CHAO!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chocolate Covered Garlic!

So transfers came and went again. Crazy huh? All during this transfer Hna. Flake and I talked about how happy we are to be working together in Guadalupe with this branch, the members and investigators. Everything was going too well….They decided to change Hna. Flake to Rancagua. We were certain that we’d be together another transfer because she only has 3 months here in Guadalupe. I know changes are good and all, but it was truly heartbreaking to be split up….(haha sounds like a break-up, no). Pero, de verdad!! The truth is I am a little worried about some of our investigators, some of them took it a little hard that Hna. Flake was going to leave. I know it`s about the gospel, not the missionaries. This is obvious, but it can still be difficult to see a missionary leave, testimony and all. But everything will be alright! Know who is my new companion?? Hna. Olson!!! Yes, my dear sweet companion from the MTC. We’re back together to make our mark in Chile  This will be fun….! Mauricio and Matias both are doing so well!! Matias is happy with his baptism, and we were able to teach his dad two times this week (he`s never before listened to us!!) . Mauricio is well too! (He`s the one in the picture… and yes, I am aware of the swastika too...they said he looked like hitler...?) Mauricio had a really rough week. He is experiencing a lot of adversity from family, ¨FRIENDS,¨ school and whatever other thing… But he is really excited for his baptism and hasn`t lost his excitement.

And… FRANCISCO SE BAUTIZÓ!!! Oh is was so bonito su bautismo!! He is SO CONTENT. He feels good. It was so beautiful to hear him describe his feelings when he was confirmed. He is so happy, so excited for this new road that he has taken. Andres and Gabriela are so well too!!! And GUESS WHAT!!!?? Gabriela and her two daughters are going to get baptized!!! She told us after going to church this last time how good she felt. She is Catholic and would go to mass every once in a while. But she said when she went she would come back the same person. But she said that when she went to the church of Jesus Christ, she felt something very different. She felt GOOD, and left a better person, with desires to do better. She felt changed even after one time. Her daughters (Javiera (12) y Valentina (10)) say they LOVE church! Valentina said she felt like Jesus was at her side the whole time they went. They even all of them with Andres and his kids went to church yesterday too! We set their baptism date for the 19th of Deciembre. Because Gabby and Andres need to get married… and they are going to get married!! Though Gabby cried a lot when Hna. Flake told her that she was leaving … though we`ve been praying a lot for them. For all of them in fact.

There are a bunch of other exciting things going on… I`ll keep you tuned in on the details…And guess what we did to our zone (hehe!!) Well, we had an activity with the zone the other day and so we decided to make a ¨treat¨ to give to the elders. So we bought a little chocolate and a little garlic and melted the chocolate and made chocolate covered garlic. They all thought they were eating chocolate covered peanuts! It was great!

Well, I realized that I never conversed with you guys about my leaving date, but still things are not set in stone.

I love you love you so much!! And thanks for updating my blog!!!!

CHAO!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My favorite weekend so far...

Hi hi hi

This week has been incredible! And this weekend was one of my favorite weekends in all of my mission so far. Since I didn´t get to write in my journal about it all I will do it right now…how lucky you all are to read my journal ;) Though it wont be any different than my other emails…

Here goes.

WOW. I can`t believe the miracles that are going on here in Guadalupe. I am going to start with the lesson that we had with Mauricio the other day. Hna. Claudia (Mauricio`s teacher that introduced him to the church) accompanied us in the lesson. Before we could teach him anything we followed up in how he`s doing with the law of Chastity… He confirmed that he is doing great and then proceeded to tell us a story… (keep in mind he is 14 years old). In his behavior management group his religion teacher didn`t show up for class. He said that they were all just sitting around bored so he decided he would teach them. So he got up in front of everyone and started to teach the gospel. He started out with the Plan of Salvation and using the pamphlet (that he carries around with his book of Mormon) he drew the outline (but made it more interesting so the kids would get into it) and then taught them faith, repentance, and baptism. And to top it off he taught them all the law of Chastity and eternal marriage. He said that they all started to tease him but he told them that this is really serious and important for their happiness. They all went quiet and he taught them. And testified and introduced to about 35 kids something that they have never before heard of. As he told us what had happened with such sincerety and excitement Claudia cried with happiness. I felt such a joy!! The next day Claudia and he went to Santiago and saw the temple. He told us about how incredible it was and made him feel to just be there. Amazing no?

The next day Matias got baptized! It was a beautiful baptism. And know what? His DAD CAME!! His dad would never listen to us. When invited he would just laugh and tell us his ¨diabolic¨ and then leave the room. But his dad came. Right after the actual baptism he quickly left even though we still had the other half of the program to do. We thought maybe he didn`t feel comfortable being there and we were confused. But when we went to their house afterward Fanny told us it was because he got emotional and even began to cry…he couldn't explain it and got embarrassed so he left. But the next day he and his entire family came to church for the confirmation. And let me tell you, it was one of the most wonderful sacrament meetings! The primary did a program and the songs and the ¨talks¨ they gave were pure and full of love for Heavenly Father and their family. I felt so good! It made me love my family even more.

And you know what else? When we got to church and I shook Franciscos hand he looked at me with a huge grin on his face and the first thing he said was ¨I gave a Book of Mormon to my daughter!! ¨ He did! And he was so excited about it. He has been preparing for his baptism and he is so HAPPY and changed. We challenged him later on in an appointment to move his baptismal date up to this weekend instead of the next and he said he wanted to!! Also, we have been teaching a family muy especial. The dad was a member but made some not very good choices in his life. His ¨pareja¨ his girlfriend and he are living together and have 4 young kids together. She is very catholic but says that she always feels something special when we share with them. We love them so much and are so excited for their progress She has been sincerely looking to see if the church is true but hadn`t gone to church yet. But yesterday one of the most beautiful sights was to see all 6 of them file into the sacrament. All during the church the members talked to them, befriended them, invited them to activities and family nights and talked to her (Gabriella) about her doubts. Oh it was heavenly!!

This branch has been incredible to help us with the work. We have members that are so willing to come with us to lessons and help us teach. We have a mission leader who is excellent and hilarious. Hno. Arriagada. Yesterday he came with us to a couple of lessons. As we were walking along we came across a ditch of water that we needed to cross. Hna. Flake and I jumped it no problem but he had his nice shoes on and he didn`t want to chance it, so he backed up about 10 steps and ran and then jumped! It was a hilarious sight because he`s 50 years old and about half the size of me! …you just have to know him.

Later we went and visited Alex. He is a ward missionary and a recent convert. He comes from a not very good home and was really sad yesterday in church so we all visited him. And it was a very special experience.

Oh I am so happy.

Times up I need to go. I love you all so much so much!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

I love you all so much!

This week continued very well. Matias continues with his baptismal plans this Saturday. Whoohoo!!! He is doing so well! Francisco also is doing fantastic. He is so eager to learn and obey and everytime we go he is more and more excited and enthusiastic about his baptism! He has learned how to pray because he never before did. He`s getting to know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ like he has never before done. Mauricio also is incredible. The members of this branch are incredible to help and come to the lessons and are really befriending and supporting him. Yesterday we had a lesson where we had only officially invited one member to accompany us but when we got there 3 other members just showed up to support and share their testimony and help teach. It was incredible. We couldn`t do the work without the members. As we were in this lesson I couldn`t help but feel so much love for everyone of these members and Mauricio! I want to share my love and concern better. Though sometimes I feel like it`s hard to do that and that I don’t do it very well. When I went to bed last night I felt an overwhelming gratitude to my Heavenly Father for blessing me so much. I feel like I haven`t done a single thing to deserve so many huge blessings… To have the gospel in my life, to be here in Chile, to know these wonderful humble people to know who I am, to be able to be clean of sin when I repent, to feel this love and to have my friends and especially my family supporting and loving me. For having been raised and taught well the good things from the bad. I don`t know what I did to deserve it all, but I am very grateful.

I love you all so much!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Matias...Mauricio...Yonathon...Francisco

Hola hola!

¿Cómo están??

How´s it going???

It´s going well here in Guadalupe!! Matias is doing so well. He is really excited for his baptism on the 7th. We have been focusing a lot on his family too…his mom and brother that are menos activos. Diego smokes a lot, and has been a little reluctant about returning to church. He didn`t know if he really wanted to repent of everything, because it´s a lot easier to not do the right. He has been really struggling inside, but we`ve been lucky to have a lot of youth in the branch befriend them and encourage them. The other day we got to their house and Diego was more than excited to see us. He had been thinking about everything and decided to ask Heavenly Father if he should follow in the church… and he said that he went outside and looked up in the sky and asked him. He said he walked inside and it was like he heard a voice or a distinct thought telling him that yes, he needed to make this change. The answer is obvious, but he needed the confirmation… and that got him so excited he read all of the faith, repentance, baptism, etc… pamphlet and even answered the questions that are found on the back. And he was SO excited to show us (because he usually never followed up with the commitments). It was awesome!!! Haha, and then He said Hna. Flake and I are like ¨good witches¨ because when he does smoke we get all sad and disappointed and that makes him feel bad but it´s like we´re good because it´s like we`re happy at the same time because we always smile… it was pretty funny, I`ve never been called a good witch before…

And then there is MAURICIO!! Mauricio is a young lad of 14 years. He goes to a school that is right in front of the church. From what I understand it`s like a school or place similar to ¨The Journey¨ because there assist teenagers from rough backgrounds and little support. But one of the Hermanas from the church is a teacher there and introduced us to Mauricio. He is such a special kid!! He is definitely someone really prepared to receive the gospel. We taught just one lesson and committed him to read and pray to see if the message is true. He had never in his life prayed before but said he`d do it. We saw him the next day and he was SO HAPPY!! He said that he kneeled down and ¨conversed with God¨ and he felt happy and full of joy. Since then says he feels different and is really excited and determined to be baptized. When we taught him for the first time I really felt something special. We asked him to describe how he felt in that moment and he said he felt relief. … and he is hilarious!! It´s really fun teaching him. I am really excited for him.

Also… The Hermanas were teaching another youth named Yonathon. He has gone to church a few times and has really liked it, but wouldn`t be baptized because his family didn`t want him to be baptized because they said he is too young to decided what he really wants. We were able to teach him AND his mom this week and were able to talk to them both about it and she decided to give him permission!!! He is really excited. This is one of the sweetest most tender hearted kid.

And… last but not least there is Francisco (Felix Francisco Valenzuela Pinto to be exact). He is a 45 year old friend of a new convert here in Guadalupe who has had contact with missionaries before but never really was taught. But he had a Book of Mormon and decided to read it. He read the whole thing in 6 days! He is what he calls an ¨intellect¨ but recognizes this as a weakness and wants to learn more and even wants to be baptized. He believes that it is all true but wants to feel it more profoundly in his heart so he is just starting to pray. Because he has never prayed before either. He said that when he read the Book of Mormon the first time he read it to read it, but now he`s reading it to understand Jesucristo. !O que bonita la misión!

Our Zone is a lot of fun. It´s quite small so it`s pretty united. Though Hna Flake and I and our Zone leader are the only gringos, so all the latinos call it the ¨Black Zone¨…interesting, but entertaining being with them all. My companions Peña and Bonilla are still really crazy, and Hna Flake and I are doing great. I feel like we are growing a lot together because we both seem to trip up on the same things, but then we are working to be better and learn from our mistakes. I know I wouldn´t be able to do any of the stuff that happens here without my Savior and his love. Today we had a conference de todas las Hermanas in the mission and we sang ¨I feel my Savior´s Love¨ from the primary songs. This song always touches me so much.

But that`s about all I`ve got for ya this week.

Oh yes, I haven`t sent in my answer (about the departure date) but I am thinking more May instead of March. Está bien??

Monday, October 19, 2009

1 year down!!! (but who's counting.... mom???)

Hola hola!

I am doing well here in my area San Fernando. Last week was kind of rough, but it all seems to work out in the end. And this week will be better. But we are still preparing Matías for his baptism on the 7th. He is doing so well! His mom and 16 year old brother (who have been inactive) went to church on Sunday and are ready to come back!! Diego (the 16 year old) has an addicion to smoking, but we have a huge group of EXCELLENT youth in this branch that have just taken both Matías and Diego under their arms and are becoming good friends. We have a leccion with them today and 3 of the young men want to come to help out with the leccion and to support Matías and Diego!! It´s stinking awesome!!

There is not a lot of new news but I am doing well. I even played soccer again this p-day. By the time I get back I´m going to be pro ;)

Well, I`ve really not got much to say, but things are moving along well... I am happy and I love the Lord Jesus Christ. I know that he lives and loves us and that this is HIS work! I love you all mucho

Monday, October 12, 2009

Playing soccer - a bucket-o-fun igual!

Hola familia

So this week (like any first week in a new transfer) has been crazy! I always thought that Machali and Graneros were big areas, but turns out Guadalupe is the biggest sector of the Hermanas in the mission. My companion has only had 6 weeks here and so she still hasn´t learned the area very well…. Which means we did a lot of walking around in circles (to say the least). But we had a lot of fun doing it! And Heavenly Father is patient with us because he´s helped us a LOT even though we´ve been a little disoriented (but don´t worry Dad, we´re being smart). The other day we were walking around trying to find a house of an investigator (that I still hadn´t met), and found ourselves walking along on a certain block. There we found this little old lady with a cane in one hand walking a tiny little poodle in her other hand. So we stopped to talk to her. We quickly realized that she wasn´t quite all together in her mind but we listened to her anyway tell us about her son and his work in the military a few times. We invited her to listen to the message and as we tried to say good bye to her she would just keep talking about any old thing that didn´t really make sense. We said good bye like 3 times and even tried to walk away but she just sped up and started hollering after us. About 10 or 15 minutes had passed by and my companion and I started to get curious why this lady wouldn´t let us go. Maybe there was a reason? We both felt this so we both listened to her once more and then out of now where her daughter and granddaughter came walking around the corner. That´s it!! We both thought that the reason we had to be talking to this old lady was because we needed to find her daughter and granddaughter. We started talking to them for a minute and they agreed for us to write down their address and stop by some day. A few minutes later we said goodbye and started to walk down the street and not 10 steps later a woman had just left her house to go somewhere and bumped into us. She said, Hey, Hermanas, my son wants to get baptized, is that okay??... For real! We found out that she was baptized years and years ago, her and her son - but they went inactive, but wanted to come back to the church and her 12 year old son, Matias, wants to be baptized! We taught them right away and it was awesome! He wants to get baptized the 7th of Nov because it´s his mom´s birthday. And you know what? We never would have found them if that old lady didn´t talk to us for so long. The timing would have been off and we would have not ran into this woman. Miracles happen every day and it makes me know with more and more firmeza that this is the Lords work, these things aren´t just a coincidence. We´re also teaching a woman named Maria Elena. She is the sister in law of Elder Zeballos… he´s the Area President here in Chile. He even spoke this last general conference… how´s that for pressure?? Eee…

But it´s exciting. I am really happy to be here in the mission. This time in the mission is incredible. Sure there are stinky moments, days… but the good all out weighs the bad. I am so happy, so grateful to be here. These experiences, relationships are priceless. It´s quite warm here. A week ago it was still winter. But now it´s like summer. I love it! Today being p-day we played sports with the Elders. Since they ALWAYS want to play soccer, I usually just chill out and write letters. But today was different. I decided to not be a party-pooper and play soccer too. It was quite the sight I´m sure (to see me chasing after the ball) but a bucket-o-fun igual. Welp. I am praying for grandma and grandpa and you guys and everyone. I love you all so much. Keep being good.

CHAOOO!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

San Fernando Transfer

¡Hola?

How`s it going?? It´s going well for me… Did you go to conference? I did, and I enjoyed it to my heart`s content! We were able to get a few investigators at the conference, so I ended up watching a couple of the sessions in Spanish this time (I watched it all in English last conference). It was a lot of fun, though it just isn´t the same actually listening to the actual voice of our prophet and apostles. I loved, loved, loved it! I had a few specific questions sitting in my heart and they were clearly answered by a few of the speakers. I am so grateful to have a modern prophet!

Other news… and significantly big news… I am no longer in my cozy little place in Graneros. I`m in another cozy little place in a city called San Fernando reeeeeeaaaalllllllyyyyyyy faaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrr awwaaaayyyy from anyone else. They call the San Fernando Stake a whole other mission because if is so disconnected from the main stream of things. During my whole mission I have been so close to Rancagua that I would see a lot of people and there is the center of the mission. BUT I have heart GREAT things of this stake and area. My companion´s name is Hna. Flake. She´s from Vernal Utah. She´s really nice and we seem to have a lot of the same goals and desires for this next transfer. We are determined to help each other progress and be happy in this transfer. I am really excited. Though like every transfer into a new place brings a little bit of intimidation… But it´s going to be a great transfer… I can feel it in me bonez…arrrr! Also, we live with two other missionaries in our house. One from Argentina (Hna. Bonilla) and one from Ecuador (Hna Peña). They are both CRAZY! So this will be a fun transfer. Geoff, which mission did you serve in Ecuador? She says she´s from the Guayaquil South.

Though arriving in a new area obviously means leaving another… This is the stinkiest part of the mission. They don`t tell us that we are leaving until a day before so I tried to slip out of my home and ward family as quietly as possible, but I had to at least say ¨good bye¨ to a couple of people. Like Mercedes. And I almost didn`t say good bye to la familia Pizzarro because I knew it would be too hard, but they came and found me last night. It was horrible. I disliked every moment of it. They were crying, I was crying. Mercedes cried. I cried with Natty (a member here that I got really close to). Blah. Blah. Blah. No one told me about this part of the mission… leaving the people you love so much. Or maybe they did tell me, but I didn´t listen. I just feel a big pain in my heart, these people mean so much to me and I am going to miss them so much…la familia Suàrez, Sergio y Ilda, Obispo y Natty….aahh I have learned so much from them and they will ALWAYS be a part of me. But I guess that`s a part of life, huh? Right now I will focus on the people here in Guadalupe and I´m sure I will love them just the same. I just hate the thought that I may not ever see my friends from Graneros again…until heaven (a little dramatic?). Or facebook. Haha, jk. But not really, everyone has facebook…miiiish!

Whelp, I`ll let you know how it goes in my first week of my new home ;)

I love you all so much. Muchisismo in fact.

Chaooo!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cristina

Hola!!!

Spanks a million for your sweet sweet emails!! I weawe wuv wu gwuys…

That`s pretty awes that you could see a little bit of Chilean culture with that program. It`s true about the vineyards! There are a lot, and they're huge!! I am getting really excited for the summer because that`s when they start selling grapes again and the grapes are incredible (and ginormous!). Dad, I am sad to say but I don`t think I`ll be able to go to the seaside during the mission… There is only one sector on the shore and there are only elders over there  But I`m right tucked up in/near the mountains, so I get the best of the other world . The rainy days are getting farther and fewer between and the sun is showing itself more. I have a very VERY faint but noticeable watch tan line. Muahaha...let the farmers tan begin!!

I`ll start with last week (since I wasn`t able to send the email with last weeks events)

Cristina got baptized!!! It was so awesome! But a bit crazy too…okay, it was REALLY crazy. Remember how I`ve mentioned how our baptismal font is super fome (dumb)? Well, it did the dumbest of all dumb things for her baptism. Someone went about 3 hours earlier to fill the font. We got there about a half hour early to check on everything and all was well. The font was filled and even a little warm. So we went to work for a minute. But when we came back at the hour of her baptism we went and checked on the font. The scene, when I looked down in the font, was worse than the scene of a horror movie because it had completely drained. THE FONT DRAINED ITSELF!! (we still don`t know how it happened) I am sure my face warped in terror and panic because the bishop just kept saying ``Don`t worry, don`t worry`` as he ran around the corner with the fire hose. Yes, the fire hose. So we ended up blasting the ICE cold water and filling the font in less than a half hour. I was so worried for Cristina, but she said that she didn`t even feel cold even though our bishop who baptized her was shaking like a dog! She was so happy and it was very special!

Mercedes was confirmed this last Sunday too. Since her confirmation her countanence has changed 100 percent. Before she was often very sad and depressed but now she walks around with a new bounce in her step. Her family says it`s like she`s glowing  Mercedes told us she is `contentisima` that she got baptized. I love her so much and she makes me so happy! It is amazing to see the changes that gospel of Jesucristo brings into the lives of people. It`s really incredible. But the trial is, she still has her many health problems. Yesterday we had quite the big scare. In church after the sacrament meeting I went over to accompany her to the next class and she stood up but said she didn`t feel well and passed out in my arms. It was terrifying, but luckly there were a ton of people there and they all ran to help. They quickly took her to the hospital and there they gave her something to help. She is going to Santiago today to do more tests. She gets tests taken like every week to figure out what exactly is wrong and what they can do, but no one seems to have the answers. We talked to her yesterday in the night and aside from the scare, she was doing very well and had a lot of animo (I can`t think of a better word in English). And she only asked for our prayers. I love her so much and I feel so bad when she is sick, but she seems to be handling things better than she ever did before.

We`re also teaching another family, Gayardo Navarro and they are so incredible!

So the Chileano independence day came and went. They are crazy about it and decorate entire streets with streamers and balloons. The missionaries had p-day that day and our zone decided to celebrate Chile`s independence playing PAINTBALL! It was awesome, and I still have a couple fading bruises...

But everything is well. I love you all so much!!

CHAO!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mercedes se bautizo!!!

Hola

¡Sí, Mercedes se bautizó!!! Yippeeee!! It was so special too! Once again we were worried about the water being hot because that was Her biggest concern for her baptism (since she is very elderly). When the bishop went to fill up the font he forgot to turn on the water heater, so it was freezing cold about half the way up until they realized it was wrong but by then it was too late to drain it and re-fill it because it fills really slow… So she had to be baptized in luke warm water. I about had a heart attack because I was sure MERCEDES was going to have a heart attack! But it all worked out alright because she said the water didn`t bother her at all…( I was thinking of the story you told me again dad, about the old lady you guys baptized in freezing water!) It was an experience really special for Mercedes and for all. She got to the church a little early and so all she wanted to do is sit there quietly and read her Book of Mormon before her baptism started . None of her family wanted to support her in her decision to get baptized and she was very sad for that leading up to her baptism, but yesterday she said she wasn`t sad at all because she knows that all though her family wasn`t with her, she wasn`t alone, but was with Heavenly Father. In her testimony after she kept saying ¨!Estoy felíz! !Estoy contenta!¨ Ooohhh, it was so beautiful and very touching.

We are planning another Baptism this week, her name is Cristina and she is 31 years old. She has 3 kids and they are all investigating the church too, but just Christina will be baptized this week. She was an investigator of the Hermanas. She is incredible!!!! And we`re very excited for her and she is too 

Last Friday we all had to enter our house 3 hours early because it was el día de rebelde de los jovenes… adolescent rebellion day… apparently it is really dangerous, but nothing bad happened, we were safe inside our house….This week they have their independence day on the 18th. This day is HUGE they have been preparing for it since weeks ago. I am excited to see all the festivities (we get p-day that day too).

Monday, September 7, 2009

The "downs" get lower, but the "ups" get HIGHER...

We've taken some ¨hits¨ lately and they have been kind of stinky… As time goes by it seems like the ¨downs¨ somtimes get lower, but the ¨ups¨ by far have gotten even HIGHER. This week I have felt so touched by the spirit, but from things that would be considered so small and insignificant to others. By the simple acts or testimonies of the members or the sincerity of an investigator in their search to feel complete in the Love of Christ. I have felt very strengthened in my testimony of Christ and his love for me and for others. I really can`t begin to understand it all, but I have at least felt it, and seen it manifest in others. I have also felt a very strong convicion that these things are true. I have always known it, I have felt it, but just yesterday as I was sitting in the testimony meeting listening to these people testify of the simple truths, I knew it is true all over again. Few times have I felt so strongly that this IS the church of Christ. That I`m not just doing something good, or even something right, but that the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the things we teach, are TRUE.

Remember Mercedes?? She`s had a lot of complications with her health, but she is moving forward and is excited to be baptized (it should be this weekend if she doesn`t get sick again). She was able to go to church yesterday and even bore her testimony!! It was awesome, but kind of funny too… her testimony had a very ¨Evangelical¨ swing on it because she kept saying ¨señor, SEÑOR!¨ in her testimony. Hehe. But I couldn`t stop grinning, she makes me so happy.

Also, SERGIO and ILDA are doing SO WELL!! In the beginning, Ilda didn`t want to get married even if Sergio could get his divorce, but she has had such a change of heart and now says that she will get married. She even went to church and liked it. Sergio has an appointment with a Lawyer today para averiguar como puede tener su divorcio. WHOOHOOO!!!

So a couple weeks ago it was really hot here (during the day). There was a lot of sun, I even left the house with a short sleeve shirt a couple times and everyone thought that summer was just about here, but it looks like the weather was just playing dirty tricks on us because the clouds and rain have made encoré entrance. Winter is still definitely here. I have officially had 3 umbrellas die on me. I will have to show you the picture of how my last umbrella died next week (I don`t have all the means right now to send pictures again).

If there is ever a break in the rain all the kids are outside flying kites. It`s such the ¨hip¨ thing to do here. Though the kites are really different. The barrel of string is like 20 times bigger, and they are made to put your entire hand inside so you can move it around and do funky tricks with the kites. It remindes me of when the ¨yo-yo¨ fad went down when I had about 11 years. Or when I was 11 years old (same thing, Stewart). But even the ¨cool kids¨fly their kites, it´s awesome.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Transfers Stink!

Hi hi hi
Hola hola hola

Okay. Where do I start? I´ll start with today. Transfers stink.

They came today and took away our other half. Hna. Pinto and Hna. Bartholomew have left our area and have only been gone but I already feel a huge emptiness in my heart. I don´t think I ever anticipated the bonds I would make with my companions, I never thought I would make such friendships with my latin friends... It´s one thing to say good bye to another gringa knowing that in months I´ll be seeing them in reunions in Utah, but it´s another thing saying good bye to my companions from different countries! Who knows if I will see them again? I will see Hna. Pinto in conferences coming but Hna. Muñoz (my comp from Machalí) left for her home today and I don´t know If I will ever see her again  I will see what I can do about that in the future... Okay, sorry for being dramatic. But....

I guess I didn´t tell you the reason why they closed out one of the Graneros sectores. It´s because a lot of sisters from the mission left for their homes and very few came into the mission. Which means there are a few sectores left without anyone so they closed a lot of the areas where there were 4 missionaries. I am not going to lie, I´m a weeee bit nervous for this coming transfer!! This last transfer has been for me probably one of the busiest tranfers of the mission. We have never worked with so many progressing investigators (which is a GOOD thing), and now the whole mission is putting a huge emphasis in the less active members trying to re-activate them that there was hardly room to do contacts, but now with the investigators of the hermanas...less!! But I know we can do it... Heavenly Father trusts us. We can do it. Pero...yikes...

Rember Sergio? Well.... We found out that he isn´t married to the woman that he is living with  It turns out that he is married to someone else but his real wife left him about 25 years ago and took a lot of stuff... like his house and a whole bunch of drama is with that but he says it is very unlikely he will be able to get this divorce. He is really sad. Because he wants so badly to be baptized... But you cant get baptized when you're living with someone without being married and he and his pareja dont want to separate, they´ve been together for 30 years. I have never found someone so sincere in his desires. He has read about half the book of mormon and is so excited about the things he is learning. It breaks my heart to see him discouraged about it all, because it´s something that he wants... But he is going to work with lawyers to see what he can do about his divorce.

Mercedes is doing well... She is the CUTEST most dearest old lady next to my grandmas. I love her so much, but she has had some pretty crappy health stuff going on but is so earnest in her desires to learn also.

We are teaching another family. Pamela y Hans and their 3 little kids. They are really great, though have had some really rough times in their marriage. Hans used to always leave on the weekends and drink and do other stuff and it´s been so hard on Pamela. She has wanted to give up so many times. But we started teaching them and things are progressing. Even though there are still problems with Hans, they are progressing!! They started doing Family Prayers and say they can see a difference in their family! Hans called us ¨little angles¨ that have come to their home but it´s not a thing we´ve done, it´s the miracle of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It´s learning repentance and patience and love and respect. And these things and only through Jesus Christ that we change and are made better.

There is a lot more going on but I will keep you updated on these people!

CONGRATULATIONS mommy on getting the new job!! I had no clue that you were looking so intensely. You need to keep me updated on how that all goes. Do you like it? What do you do? Do you work with the patients? And congrats on Geoff graduating! That´s pretty sweet. I enjoyed the pictures. Send more! Of danielle and erik too! If you want...Gracias...  I think it´s funny dad that you asked about the elders being ¨flirts¨ with the sisters. Because I have actually been quite surprised to see it. Usually only between the latin missionaries. It has really surprised me. Nothing bad happens but I would definiely call it flirting. Though they wouldn´t admit it. Except Hna. Pinto had a crush on our district leader. It was hilarious. But the Chruch is true.

Oh how I love you. My heart is full I feel so much for you all I never thought my heart could love my family and my companions and the members and the people we teach so much. Incredible.

I love you!!!

Hermana. Jones AKA: AL

Monday, August 17, 2009

Graneros II is closing in one week!

HOLA

I am doing well here In Graneros. It´s rained a bit this past week. This makes everything more fun!

Luis and Mercedes are doing so well. The elders from Codegua don’t have a baptismal font in their church, so they have their baptisms in our chapel. So we took Mercedes to their baptism yesterday and she liked it a lot. Before the Jovencito that was going to be baptised wanted to take a big picture of all the people that went, his friends, members and the missionaries so I was about to take the picture for them all when Mercedes hobbles in the photo shot right in the middle of everyone. It was really funny because they don´t know her, she doesn´t know them, but wanted to be in the picture. She is so sweet. But she is going to have to have heart surgery in a few weeks and she is really nervous for that…

We were able to meet another Man named Sergio. He is about 75 years old or more. We taught him and his wife once ( she is a member, but not active) and I was sure that he wasn´t really listening because he kept making comments that didn´t have anything to do with anything (but were really funny)… But we left him a Book of Mormon and marked 3 Nefi 11 So we showed up to their house a few days later and Sergio had finished reading 3 Nefi! He is fascinated by it and kept talking about how the book clears his doubts about all his religious questions… He kept saying how into the book he is and just wants to keep reading more. We invited him to church on Saturday and he came! And he liked it  We taught them again yesterday and He said he wants to be baptised. And he is so excited about! It is pretty darn awesome. He and his wife Ilda are so sweet and I have already fallen in love with them both. I`m really excited for the journey to come!!

So, do you want to hear the news? Maybe this news doesn`t mean much to anyone but it is a pretty big deal here for the missionaries in Graneros. Turns out that few people arrive in the mission this change and many leave. This means that the mission has to close a handful of sectors. They are closing Graneros II in one week. This means that Hna. Bartholemew and Hna. Pinto will be leaving without replacements and THAT means that Hna. Black and I will be taking over all of their investigators and work. And their work is HUGE. These missionaries do a lot. I am a bit nervous for this because we already are really tight with our own work, but we will have to do all that they are doing too, and I´m honestly not sure how that`s all going to work out…but…. What can you do, take it with a grin? I just hope that we will be able to maintain everyone, I really don`t want to kill their sector because they are working great things right now…

Buutttt…. How are things? What will be your new email address mom? That`s really crazy that everyone is starting school again. Time flies and I don`t like it!!! I cant get a grip at how fast time goes. But I love you both so much and I want you to know that!!!

CHAOOO

Monday, August 10, 2009

More little miracles

This week has been interesting!! My companion has been really down, and it has made things a little difficult. I don`t resent that, I just feel bad because I want to help her but when I try talking to her about why she`s sad she kind of closes off. It worries me, but yesterday she seemed a lot more cheerful. I think it´s just been a hard adjustment. I think she`ll come around. She really is incredible but she`s really hard on herself. She admitted that she`s a perfectionist and so when things fall through or if she doesn’t understand perfectly she gets upset. But the truth is she is incredible! And she speaks well and teaches well but wants to be the perfect missionary right now. I hope I can at least help her! I know your advice would be to just love her and be patient, and that`s what I`m doing.

But We`ve been able to teach another couple this week named Luis and Mercedes. They are about 65 years old. They are a reference from one of the members that lives across the street. Luis and Mercedes have lived through a lot of really rough things in their life and right now Mercedes is going through some pretty serious health complications. She will have to have a second heart surgery here soon. The first time we taught them they both just cried the whole time. It was heart breaking to hear how Luis loves his wife so much and he just wants her to be happy but feels like God has abandoned them and at times questioned his existence. Mercedes is just tired with life and depressed and doesn`t really feel like going on. But we were able to teach a little bit about Christ and His atonement and how they can find the strength and comfort only through him. The second time we were able to bring one of the members to their house and taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We talked about everything and when we invited them to be baptized Mercedes said something like ¨Well, I would think that first of all I would need to repent of all my sins¨ As if that was something impeding her… but that`s just what will prepare her!

The Hno Roman and Sandra (the members that gave us the reference) went over one night to give Mercedes a blessing of health. She said that when she received the blessing she literally felt like something was being taken away and immediately felt a great relief from much of her pain. She said that she had a lot of faith when Hno. Roman gave her the blessing. Luis became very emotional and described how he felt at that moment as well something warm in his chest. The next day when they told us about this Mercedes was hobbling around so content! It was incredible.

They both said that they probably want to be baptized, but that everything depended if they liked going to church or not. So they went to church…and liked it!! They seem a lot happier, and in just a few days.

It´s incredible to see these miracles. I know that Christ lives, and that his power is being made manifest in the lives of all of us. I feel so blessed to be a part of this work!

There is a talk given in this last Ensign (I think) called ¨Opening the Heavens¨ … read it!! Sometimes we have so much inside of us and know that we need to give it all up to the Savior, but sometimes we don’t necessarily know how lay our burdens, our struggles, our feelings at the Savoir´s feet, but this talk really helped me see the first step of how we can do that. By putting aside personal time with the Lord, I am lucky enough to have an hour extra of study time because my companion has her greenie hour. I have been using some of that time to have ¨personal time¨ and it has been very special to me.

Little Miracles...

This week we`ve had a lot of adventures, we`ve been able to see a LOT of little miracles, a lot of things have been very touching to me.

The other week The familia Suárez wanted to go to church (they are the family with the little girl Jocelyn that just got baptized). But they live a good 25 minutes away from the church. They don`t want anyone to give them a ride but would rather walk. But the other day it was raining pretty hard. When it rains in Chile, everyone becomes a little home hermit and doesn´t go out for anything. I don`t blame them, really. But you can imagine it is hard getting people to go to church when it rains (not many have cars). But this particular Sunday just about a half an hour before church started it stopped raining. And I didn`t even think twice about it, really. But later when we went to a lesson with the Familia Suárez. Juan, the dad told us how they really wanted to go to church, but didn´t want to go out in the rain, so they said a prayer and right after the rain stopped just long enough for them to arrive… and then it started up again. It was so touching to see how much faith this humble little family has.

The other day we were trying to find this family that we had taught one time. They were really receptive and really good but weren`t there on the second visit. So we kept going back and back trying to find them. We found them once and set an appointment and when we went again they weren`t there. It was sad… but then we said, ¨there´s probably a reason we keep being brought out here¨ I was determined to figure it out and so we started knocking doors and the second door that we knocked a young mom answered and let us in. We were able to teach her and she told us that the message was an answer to her prayers because she`s been going through a hard time. We have only taught her that one time, but we`re excited to see what happens next!!

Also, the other day we were looking in la carpeta de los ¨muertos¨ or the folder of all the investigators that have died…or the missionaries have stopped passing by for one reason or an other. We found one lady that the missionaries taught a while ago, but stopped because they she wasn´t really progressing and also wasn’t married and didn`t have plans to do so. We stopped by her house one night and there was obviously a big party going on so I asked her if it was someones birthday and she said they were celebrating a wedding. But she told us to stop by another day in the morning. So we went back like 3 weeks later (because I had almost forgotten about it) and taught her. Turns out that the wedding that they were celebrating her her home was her own wedding with her husband. She also said kind of the same thing how she has been praying a lot for certain answers to her prayers and the very day she had been asking for something we showed up. She accepted a date to be baptized in a few weeks and we are so excited for her! Her name is Mabel and has so much faith in Christ and is a good example for me. It really amazes me how Heavenly Father prepares his children to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have seen too many small little miracles like these to doubt that this is the Lords work, we are merely the little wheels that keep it rolling.

I feel so blessed to know who I am and what my purpose is. I know that Christ loves me and I can be happy through him, through repentance and forgiveness!!

I am happy to be with my companion. She`s been a little homesick this week, but she`s okay…. I had to eat some food off her plate the other day during lunch at a members house because my poor little companion couldn´t eat it all. She`ll get used to it soon…

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Some recent pics...


The P-day - usually a bunch of missionaries gather at this place called "Lasagnas" to eat Empanadas! They are tasty.

This is Hna. Hatch, Hna, Descalzo, y Yo!







La Familia Pizarro-Guzman


Yessica, Kata, Lucia, Leonardo









Yocelin and Sebastian

Monday, July 20, 2009

She's here!!!

¡¡¡It´s a CALIFORNIAN!!!

Yes, I am a mother. She´s a healthy little blonde with much enthusiasm for the work of the Lord. I almost wanted the sister from columbia for my companion just so I could say I have a Columbian baby...ha.... But really I am very happy with my new compaion. Her name is Hermana Black and she´s from San Jose California. She is so sweet and has this angleic little voice and a pleasant way of teaching. And she speaks a good amount of spanish. It´s just hard for her to understand, as it is hard for any gringo whether they speak spanish or not. It reminds me of my first days when we walk out of a lesson and she tells me she didn´t understand a darn thing. But just like I mastered early on the art of laughing and nodding at the appropriate times, she also does well with this. I definitely feel a greater responsibilty being a trainer, but Hna. Black is pretty awes, and love her and I know we will have a good 3 months together.

I really feel happy in the mission. It seems like with every transfer, or compaion or maybe just with time I feel happier and more and more enthused to do the work. I feel very much that my savior loves me, that I have a purpose in life and He wants me to be happy. I can see that in the people here too. It makes me sad when people don´t feel loved and don´t think that there is much hope left in the world, because that clearly is not the case. Obedience is the key. When we find people that are unhappy it is always because there is disobedience to God´s commandments. If we obey, we´re happy. The concept is simple. I love the parable in John 15 ... Jesus talkes about how he is the vine and we are the branches. We can not live with him, we are nothing, we are dead without him. But he pleads with us to stay with him, and the way to stay with him and in his love is by obeying his commandments. There´s a lot more that someone could pull out of this parable, so read it, it´s good.

We´ve been lucky enough to have relativley pleasant weather thus far, but it sounds like we´re going to see a lot of rain this week :P We keep finding really good people, but then something happens and they aren´t home or are busy... But we keep working the same and are hoping to see some progress in a few of them.

Sounds like you guys are having a good summer. Is it really July? How weird. I am doing the right things to keep warm, don´t worry. I´ve got this water heating pad thingy and I put it in my bed at night and it´s like a little space heater for my blankets. It´s cozy warm...who needs in-door heating anyway ? My prayers are with Grandma and Grandpa. I hope they can both find the relief they need.

Thanks for everything.

I love you all dearly!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

I'm going to be a Mother!!!

Rumor had it.

I am going to be a mother.

Or as the rest of the mormon world knows it, a trainer.

I think I denied it long enough that I was sure that it wouldn´t happen just yet, but it appears that my subconcience knew it all along and all last week I was eating a lot more than normal. When my district leader called me to tell me the news he asked if I have been feeling strange lately becuase I am going to me a “mom” and Hna. Pinto yells “ she´s been eating like a pig!” What´s even more ironic is that on Wednesday I complete 9 months in the mission...just enough time to have a kid. Turns out that I don´t get my new companion until tomorrow, so yesterday and today I have been staying in Tupahue with Hna. Olson (my old companion from the MTC) until tomorrow because she too is going to be a trainer. All we know is that one comes from the USA and one comes from Colombia. We´re excited but also really nervous. Okay, I´m REALLY nervous. I feel like I am still a baby in the mission and there´s so much I still need to learn. But I´m going to follow your advice, Dad, and just do my best. I feel now more than ever the importance of being worthy of the spirits guidance. I hope I can be a good example to her and that it can be a good experience for us both.

Yesterday we had a stake conference. It was really good. One of the speakers talked a lot about Chist and his Atonement. It got me thinking a lot about what I am doing so that the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ wasn´t in vain for me. Anybody can be an “active member” of the church, learn things every Sunday and even teach lessons, but we don´t all actively live the gospel of Jesus Christ somtimes our understanding of the Atonement isn´t more than a superficial knowldge. Let´s face it, no one will ever fully understand exactly what and how He did what He did. We can study it and read about it and teach about it all we want, but if we aren´t living the gospel, our understanding and faith in Him will be just that- very superficial. How do we live his gospel and apply the atonement then? Repenting. Washing ourselves with his blood. Changing and becoming better people through His grace. I´ve always had this knowlege but now I have an even stronger desire to live his gospel and understand better Jesus Christ and what he did for me and for everyone. I feel like I have barely only skimmed the surface, that my life is just starting on the journey to undetstanding.

It was the last week of Hna. Descalzo´s mission. I cried when she left. I seem to get more and more attached to my companions as they go. Also, we have an investigator that we´ve been teaching since the begninning of this transfer named Fabiola. I have come to love her and her two little kids very much. One Monday we had a Family Night with her and some members in the ward, and the very next day we got a call from the same members that her house had caught on fire and burnt down during the night. We were so worried but were relieved to find out that she and her kids are okay. That someone noticed the flames from her house at about 1 in the morning and went to wake her up. If they hadn´t waken her they would have been gonners. She has moved to live with her parents in Rancagua so we can´t teach her anymore. I didn´t realize how much I had become attached but I´ve felt kind of an emptyness in my heart when I think about her. Though we´ve been in contact with her through phone. Though her progress is going to be a lot more difficult because her parents don´t want anything to do with the chruch. But she plans on moving back if she can get her house built again. I am hoping for this!!

Welp, I´ll let you know how it goes with my new companion. EEKK!!! Okay, I am okay.... It´s okay.

I love you so much ! !!

Chaoo!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Yocelin

Flamilia

Thanks for your email, Dad… sorry you had to go through all that just to get an email out before I check my email. I love you so much! Reading what you said about Mom and Erik and then that experience with Erik made my heart swell with such emotion and love for Him and my whole family. Although I´m about as far away as away can get (which really is far, I just discovered yesterday that the star constellation ¨Orian¨ is upside down), I love you as though I was right there, or…something like that, but the point is my love for my family has only grown!!

The weather here in Chile, or at least in the Rancagua region is really confused. One day it will be freezing cold, it pours rain all day and it seems like the whole world is coming to an end, and the very next day it´s blue skies and feels like early spring… I´ve heard some people say it´s a sign of the times…

I feel like all the hard word in Machalí is paying off here in Graneros! We were blessed enough to see another person baptized last week! Her name is Yocelin and has 11 years. I love her so much! I don´t think I´ve ever met an 11 year old with so much wisdom and understanding of spiritual things. She has such a sincere heart. At her baptism she shared her feelings in the chapel and described her baptism as something very special, that she felt something very special but couldn´t describe her feeling exactly. And yesterday she was confirmed with the Spirit. Her parents are very supportive and want to be baptized too. They come to church every week but they need to get married and Juan (the dad) still doesn´t want to get married for some reason he always says ¨más adelante.¨ meh. But they are well. Also Yéssica and Leonardo are doing great, Leonardo received the priesthood yesterday. They are very happy and it makes me happy.

During the week we made no-bake cookies and we gave some to their family. Kata kind of poked the cookies around because I guess they don´t look very appetizing but when she finally tried it she couldn´t stop talking about them. They want to have a family night to teach them how to make no-bakes…haha… at least the one thing I know how to make without an oven are making it big here in Chile.

Also something really neat…The other hermanas are teaching a family but are not married. The mom wants to get baptized and I guess she´s been going to church for about 6 months now, but her husband still doesn´t want to get married (it´s a problem here). But Lea is very patient and knows that one day she´ll be able to be baptized. Yesterday during the testimony meeting Lea got up and bore a simple testimony of Christ all the while with a huge smile on her face. She has the most beautiful smile and it was so touching to hear her feelings for the Gospel. I feel so blessed to be able to experience these things so simple but so significant and building.

Hna. Descalzo leaves this Sunday for her home . I am really nervous for the transfer. There has been this terrible rumor going around that I will be training a newbie next week. Now don´t get me wrong, training isn´t bad. It´s good. But it´s better when you have more time in the mission and feel better about your Spanish. Oye, I´m really hoping it´s just a rumor. I think I´ll be ready to train in about November or December.

Welp,

!Chao!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

La familia Pizarro-Guzman se bautizo! Woooo hooo!!!

Well, hello there.

La familia Pizarro-Guzmán se bautizó! Whooohooo!!! The days and moments leading up to their baptism were a little crazy. Just about all that could go wrong did go wrong…needless to say I was a little stressed out and had a small emotional break down just minutes before the service started. But it was in the privacy of the primary room so no one saw and it only lasted about 1 minute. I consider that good since I haven´t had a break down since my training (I´m still an emotional girl) But amidst all the adversary, it didn´t stop them from being baptized! I enjoyed your story Dad, about the 80 year old lady that you baptized and how the water was ice cold…because the same thing happened with the family Pizarro!! Though the water wasn´t quite ICE, it sure wasn´t a pleasant hot tub. But it all worked out so beautifully. Yéssica was so nervous and Kata también. But they were all very content and happy. They were filled with emotion and so happy. I can´t explain how they were, but it just warmed my heart to see them so happy and squeaky clean (hehe). The ward here has played a big role in their progress and are being so good to support and help them along the way. We´re happy for this. I wanted to send pictures today but there is some kind of holiday and everything is closed so I couldn´t print them.

You asked me Dad how my shoes are holding up. I haven´t been wearing my shoes much lately because it´s cold, but the boots I bought here to keep me warm died last week so just now I bought another pair that I think will hold up for the winter. They have a slight heel, which makes me even taller. I´m already about a head taller than everyone here.

Yeah, well I want you to know that I love you so much. It was incredible to see this family take this step together. It made me think of how much I love my family. Heavenly Father knew EXACTLY what I would need in my life to help me along the way and to give me happiness so he let me be a part of our marvelous family. I am so grateful everyday for this and so grateful to be here in this moment. Do good things and say your prayers always.

Chao!!

Alison

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Elder Oaks

Hola

Sup

So this week has been pretty amazing. We´re seeing a lot of miracles in the sector here in Graneros!!

But I´ll start with the conference on Tuesday. Elder Oaks came and talked to our mission and Santiago East Mission. It was so cool!! One thing good about being a sister missionary is that we get privileges that the elders don´t (neener neener!). Out of the 300 missionaries that went we being sisters got the front row seats and center at the conference. My compañera and I were seated on the second row… and it was in a stake center so that is REALLY up close and personal. Elder Oaks wanted to shake hands with everyone but since there was a handful of sick missionaries he didn´t want to contaminate everyone so he had this great idea to shake elbows. Yes, shake elbows. As my turn came to shake elbows elder Oaks looked me straight in the eyes and said ¨Hello Sister¨. And I think I said ¨hola¨ or something like that. It was pretty awes. As we had seats so close to the front we were able to watch him greet every one of the missionaries. With every single one he would look them straight in the eye and would pull a goofy grin as he said hello. It was very entertaining this part… but the COOLEST part of the whole ordeal was the advice and counsel and spiritual motivation he gave. Before the conference I had been thinking about questions that I would like to get answered. Questions that had to do with the missionary work but also questions that pertained to my personal spiritual wellbeing. I wrote down my questions, being very specific with some of them. I was absolutely amazed at the results. I felt like he had read some of my questions and was answering them directly for me. I felt so blessed to be in the presence of this apostle of the Lord and to be so edified. I could really feel my saviors love. I know that the true church of Christ. It was all the more testimony building to hear from a true apostle of the Lord.

Yessíca and Leonardo Pizarro continue the same…excited for their baptism. But the GREAT news is that their daughter of 9 years has decided to be baptized too. This Saturday their whole family will be baptized and I am so excited!! It´s been amazing to see the changes in them. AND the have a little baby named Lucia that is 1 year old. She is the most adorable funny little baby girl I have known in my life. I think I will name my daughter Lucia… hehe.

The other Hermanas in the house had a baptism this sunday. His name is Domingo Roman and he is 80 years of age. His wife (83) got baptized 30 years ago and has been faithful ever since. She´s been patiently waiting for her husband to follow her into waters for 30 years and yesterday I have never seen a happier couple. Hna. Roman shared her testimony at the baptism and it was one of the most touching things I´ve experienced. She expressed her love for the husband and her love for the lord and the joy in her heart and it brought me so much happiness.

I think that my senses are all messed up because of the cold weather because I´ve been singing Christmas songs this whole week. It feels like the Christmas season and I forget that you´re all enjoying the heat. This last week has been especially cold and it will only get colder yet. Friday I got to experience the true beauty of missionary work because it rained and it POURED and the streets flooded and we all got soaked (even with our rain coats and umbrellas) and had to change our clothes half way through the day. Haha. It was fun… Speaking of Friday it was my birthday. I didn´t want to make a big deal about it so I didn´t mention it to anyone. Sure enough it came and went unnoticed by anyone. It was funny… but the following day my companions figured out and threw me a ¨surprise party¨ after lunch with birthday hats and cake and everything… ALSO today I received the package! Thank you SO MUCH mom and dad. I feel bad that it costs so much to send me a few things everytime, but it will all come to great use and I LOVE the pictures. Also it seems like Jessie hosted a letter writing party and I got an envelope of letters from my pals. The letters made me laugh a lot.

I´m so proud of Erik and Danielle and Cali for all of their big accomplishments these days!!

Today we had a sisters conference in the mission home and it was so nice to see all of the sisters in the mission and eat a lot of good food.

I am really happy to be here in the mission. I think I will be really sad when my companion leaves this change because I really like serving with her. It seems like every change (or transfer) gets better and better.

I love you all so much.

Chao!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ugly Dog Contest!



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Contestant 7

Monday, June 15, 2009

Familia Pizarro

HI HI HI

Thanks for the emails, you´re great, really. No, really!

Things are going well here in Graneros. We are teaching a familia named Pizarro. Yéssica and Leonardo (and their daughter Kata, but she´s not usually there). I really like this family. They have a goal to be baptized on the 28th. Since they´ve known the gospel they have made a lot of changes in their life and are so happy and excited. It makes me happy to see them so excited for their change. Everytime I can see a change in the hearts of people I am so happy and amazed. It has become obvious that any change for the better that happens in a persons life is done through their faith in Christ and his power to heal. It all comes down to the atonement of Christ…when we can try to understand who Christ is and what he has done for us we want more than ever to do the right and love others. I feel so blessed to be here and to be learning. I feel like in my understanding of what Christ has done for us I haven´t even skimmed the surface. But I know that somehow he did what he did and made it possible for me to be clean and happy if we live his gospel. And that I can be happy forever. I know Christ lives today and loves us. I hope I can always be learning about him and striving to know him.

You mentioned Dad that I am close to my hump day in the mission. Am I glad, sad, mad? I haven´t actually thought about it much. Probably because it doesn´t seem like it´s so. I still feel like I am barely starting, just learning the ways, getting the hang of things etc… Get what I´m diggin chicky dude? But I´m happy to be here, I´m glad to have had the experiences that have passed and hope I can make the next part of my mission the best eva.

Sounds like you guys had a good time in Moab! When I went with my friends the last summer I liked Dead Horse Point too. I think it was my favorite part. I could look out forever on the beautiful creations of God. Like you said it is pretty incredible. We can´t even comprehend for a moment the power and love that God has for us. Men are that they might have joy. Amen to that!

As for the swine flu… I didn´t know that Chile has been hit the hardest. But the mission sends us emails like every week reminding us to do just what you told us. To be super duper clean, carry around hand sanitizer, wash up every moment we can and so forth… Don´t worry, we´re aware and being careful. You can rest your smelly little head tonight ;)

Good to hear Erik´s not going to take off to be a brave little soldier just yet. And good luck to Norm. My prayers will be with him.

I regret to say that I still haven´t gotten the package. I am sure it´s just fine though floating around somewhere in chile waiting to arrive in my hands. Like they say, belated birthdays are the best. I actually don´t think anyone said that, but… it´s okay.

Hna. Pinto, the other Argentinan that lives in our house tells me that my accent (besides sounding gringa) sounds like I´m from Brazil, or that I sound like someone that speaks portugese that trys to speak spanish… My companion concured her acusation. So that´s the word on the street these days. I really like the ward here in Graneros. I don´t know if I mentioned in my last email the the newly called Bishop is only 24 years old, but has a lot of enthusiasm for the mission work, so we get a lot of support.

Oh! And that conference that I told you about with Elder Oaks is going to be something a little different… He is actually going to be speaking with our mission and the Santiago East mission tomorrow in Santiago! I am so excited, it feels like Christmas! But this means that we have to get up at 5 tomrrow morning to make there with time to spare… ick. But Yay!

I love you!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The smell of coffee... makes me want to eat toast!

¡Hola!

Here I am in Graneros. I´ve been here a week and so far I LOVE it!! Graneros (like Machalí) is a really big sector, but the streets are more organized and it´s not as confusing (the directions). Right here in the city of Graneros and about 5 blocks away from our house is a Nestle factory. This means that the air almost always smells like coffee. They say that sometimes it smells like chocolate, but I have only smelled coffee. And for some reason it makes me want to eat toast. I don´t know why, I´ve never eaten toast with coffee, but it just seems like it´s what you would do. We live relatively close to a mountain range called ¨Cordillera Costal¨ and I´m already in love with the sunsets over the cordillera. It´s very beautiful. But we´re not in the mountains like Machalí so the winters aren´t as terrible….though the cold that we feel supposedly isn´t even the beginning. I found a nice cozy coat for pretty cheap the other day that will keep me toasty warm.

Yesterday we arrived at church a little early so I was playing around on the piano before people were really there. But the bishop must have thought that I played so he asked me if I would play the piano for the meeting because they don´t have anyone to play the piano in this ward. I told him that I actually don´t play, but just the top hand on a few of the hymns so he asked me if I would do at least that. I consigned thinking ¨how bad can it be?¨…. it was a DISASTER!!! I don´t think I´ve been so embarrassed in my life. At least the first hymn was disastrous, the other 2 weren´t as painful. But still kind of painful. But it must have been sufficient because Bishop assigned me as ward piano player. Shoot dog. This will be interesting…

I am really happy to have my companion. She looks like Sammy Lira (Michelle Lira Chestnut´s little sister…CONGRATS ON YOUR BABY SHELLS!!!). We are working with some really good families and I feel very content and happy to be here. I feel like I fit well with Graneros and I am really excited for what´s to come! Yesterday was the baptism of Ester. My companion also had a baptism yesterday at the same time so we weren´t able to travel to Machalí to see the Baptism of Ester. I thought that would be okay, since that´s just what happens sometimes. But for some reason I felt so sad Saturday night that I would be missing it , I just laid in bed and cried. I couldn´t figure out why I was crying, since her baptism is happy and all. It was probably a mix of being an emotional girl and because Ester has come so far and I just wanted to see her happy face on that day. But it´s good. I sent a letter to her today. I also sent a Birthday card to Danielle girl and an envelope full of pictures. Hopefully it makes it. I still haven´t gotten the package, but they always seem to take longer than letters.

Looks like you had a hip hoppin´ time in Vegas. That picture of you and Cal is hilarious! It worked well to send the pictures like that, you should do it more often. If you want to…

Oh! Elder Oaks is coming to Rancagua on June 16 (Dani´s b-day!)!!! He will be talking exclusively to our stake and another and we get to go and listen. I am really excited for this.

More next week…

I love you dearly!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bye bye Machali... Hello Graneros!

Thanks for the pictures!! And just today I got Erik´s graduation announcement. He´s so grown up! It amazes me how fast time goes and all the growing people do in such little time. And speaking of growing up… I got the pictures of Danielle and my mouth DROPPED. I don´t remember her being so grown up and womanly. What´s happening to my family? It´s a good grown up, but holy cow! She looks so beautiful…did she get hair extensions? Sheesh. It´s Bud, and Babe…but they´re big kids now.

Okay, for the news… I´ll start with Machalí. We ALMOST had the baptism of Ester yesterday. She arrived at chruch but told us that she didn´t want to get baptized that day because she had just started her period and that it was very heavy and didn´t feel comfortable being in the water. I know, ugh. I´m pretty sure it wasn´t a cop out, but it was all kind of anti climatic. But I am used to it now ;) ha… Nah, it´s okay. She´ll be baptized this Sunday. I wont be there to see it  But that´s another part of life, right? Yes, I moved from Machalí this morning to a place called Graneros. It´s a little bit north of Rancagua. I really am going to miss Machalí, but more than the city, the view, the streets, the dogs... I´m going to miss the people. It was heart wrenching saying goodbye to some of the members. They´ve been my family away from my family for the first 6 months of my time here in Chile. I really hated saying good bye and only told a few people in the ward because I knew I would have turned into a basketcase if I told the others. I´ll just be sure to write them letters from here on out. We had a lesson with Daniel and Ester yesterday and at the end took a few pictures. I don´t know if I mentioned that Ester has a kid. His name is Jordan and is 5 years old. Jordan was really sad that I was leaving and wanted to tell me yesterday that he had fallen in love with me, but was too shy. Instead Ester told me and Jordan gave me a big hug. It was probably the cutest thing I´ve seen yet.

So, like I mentioned earlier I moved to Graneros. We will be living as 4 missionaries again. It was really nice living just me and Hna. Muñoz the change before, but I really like living as 4, it´s a lot of fun. My companion´s name is Hna. Descalzo. She is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I know, the Presidente Resek must like me because he´s put me with really good companions! I feel so blessed. Also, in the house is Hna. Bartholemew, she was in my district in the MTC and also Hna. Pinto, she´s also from Argentina. I´m really excited for this change. I feel really good so far (even though it´s only been a couple hours), I feel like I am going to be really happy here with Hna. Descalzo. AND she´s a little bit taller than my other companions. Still shorter than me, but at least I won´t feel so giantess.

Mom and Dad I know you are very concerned about my well being, physically and spiritually. Don´t worry, I´m healthy (though I think I gained a few this last change, we ate a lot…) and I´m doing what I can to edify my mind and spirit. I wont be liar pants and tell you that it´s been all fun and games, but I´ve not ever been unhappy. The poopy times (there were quite a few) have been good for my learning and all I can do right now is look forward and keep feeding my soul with good things by learning and loving and serving the Lord. Everyone is different, I´ve realized that the missionary that has the language down to a point before his training is over and the missionary that has seen 4 baptisms in one change are not better of a person than the missionary that has struggled a little more along the way. Heavenly Father loves us all the same and is happy with what we can do and what we´re striving to do.

I love you so much, I am so proud to be your daughter. You´re all really swell.

Keep saying your prayers.

Chao for now.

Hna. Jones (Honez)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bien, bien, bien...

Bien, bien, bien…

This week in church Daniel was confirmed. It was really a neat experience, and he is really happy. His sister, Ester, has made a world of changes in the past month. She has struggled to stop smoking, but this week we had a fast with her and Daniel to help her stop smoking….and she hasn´t smoked since! She tells us that she´s had enough of her old life and is ready to make this change. She and Daniel moved here as of a few months ago from Antofagasta (it´s really north in Chile). We don´t know the half of what she´s been though, but it seems like she´s been through a lot, and I mean a lot of really crappy stuff before. She recognizes that all of these changes that she´s made in such a short time (about 4 weeks) has only been possible through the power of Jesus Christ. She knows it and is so happy for it. She is such an incredible example of faith humility to me. I love Ester so much and it makes me so happy to see her happy in Christ! I know our Savior lives and only through him can we change and become happy and better people. I know it because I have experienced it in my life and have had this marvelous opportunity to see the power of his love manifest in the lives of others.

Though you can never be certain with the coming changes in the mission, we´re about 99% sure that I will be leaving Machalí in a week. I had to give a talk in church yesterday (it was terrifying! But now it´s over…phew!) but while I was up there in the stand I could look out and see the faces of everyone of the members in the ward. I am really going to miss them and I am going to miss Machalí. They say that this sector is one of the most beautiful in the sectors where the sisters serve, so I will most likely be looking at not as pretty scenery for the rest of my mission. It´s been quite the crazy first 5 ½ months in Chile. Plenty of ups and downs and all arounds. For example… Recently Juan Carlos (the deaf mute that we have been working with since January) hasn´t been going to church, nor has he been in his lessons…it was almost like he has been avoiding us. We found his wife the other day and she told us that the most probable reason that he hasn´t been around for us is because he´s got a deaf mute friend who´s a Jehovah´s Witness and he´s been learning from them…as his friend can actually speak sign language better. Yeah. It was painful to find out. I left the conversation with his wife dumbfounded and heart broken and even cried a little bit. But what do you do, you pick up and move on, right? And you keep spreading this message of hope and happiness with others. Though I am going to miss Machalí and the people and the experiences, I´m happily awaiting this change of area. 6 months is a long time to be in one place…I´m running out of places to knock doors 

I´ve had a really good time with my companion too. I´ve learned more from her in 5 weeks than I thought I would.

Rory sent me an email the other week with an idea of something to do to make contacts more fun. He gave me the idea of picking some random word that doesn´t relate to anything (like hummingbird) and try to work it into the contact. We thought why not, and as I flipped through the dictionary I found the word ¨compota de manzana¨ That means ¨applesauce.¨ It´s been really funny trying to figure out how to use the word ¨applesauce¨ in a contact.

The other day just at the end of the night we were about to head back to our apartment. We were walking in the street and there didn´t seem to be anybody around to see us, so for no good reason we decided to run the remaining block. Just to run…maybe because we hadn´t run in a long time or something… I´m not sure why we decided to… any way we started running. I thought ¨hey, this feels good!¨ so I tried to pick up speed and took about 5 steps and PLOWED it on the ground. Pretty hard. I took a big slide on the ground, but luckily hands first. It tore a giant hole in my gloves. I felt a little embarrassed but we laughed it off. I didn´t realize how bad it was until we got back to the house and realized that my nylons were pretty much shredded and my legs were all scrapped up and bleeding. How´s that for graceful?