Monday, February 23, 2009

Rita, Maria, and the familia Suazo

Okay, I want to tell about a few things that have been special to me lately.

First of all, Rita. She´s really amazing, and is doing so well. We had the FHE last week and it was perfect for her and her 8 year old daughter that will be baptized with her. I´m so grateful for the members that help the mission work, and especially this family. Rita has been struggling with depression, and she told us that just the day before we taught her for the first time she and her husband were talking about getting a divorce. She was really struggling, but she told us that since we´ve came there has been a peace in her house, that she is content and happy and things are good with her family. She calls us her ¨angels¨ but the thing is, its nothing that we´ve done, it´s what SHE has done, she prays everyday and strives to understand the Book of Mormon. She´s invited the Savior in her life and he has made changes and helped her to be happy! I am very content to see her and see her and her relaionship with the Savior grow.

I don´t know if I´ve talked about Maria Nohemi yet, but she is another lady we´re teaching, she´s really old and about 150 terrible health problems. She has (I don´t remember what it´s called) I think a colonoscopy or something which makes things difficult, terrible arthritis, psoriasis( I can´t spell that) all over her body, is really overweight and can´t hardly walk, but does with a cane. Also, she lives alone and doesn´t have any family to care for her. That´s just the surface of it all. But long story short, she has an incredible desire know Heavenly Father and Jesus better and to better herself. Even though it´s hard she´s come to church with us the last two weeks with the help of members to take her. But her problems would be reason enough for anyone else to not go to church. Her faith is incredible. The other day we were with her and at the end of the lesson, my comp asked her if she felt up to say a kneeling prayer, I thought for sure no, but she told us it was no problem and that she wanted to. I was a little worried, but she knelt down anyway and said a prayer. When it was over, she couldn´t get back up. It was terrifying! We were trying to help her, and she was exhorting every bit of strength she could. Hna Alv and I were nearly in tears to see her struggle and we felt really guilty... But when she got up, she just wanted to lay down on her bed for a minute. As she laid there we talked with her a little bit and asked her what her favorite food is, the most tastiest food she could think of. She thought for a long time and finally she told us what sounded the best to her. Pizza. Haha. It was so precious to hear her after thinking it out so long to tell us she wanted pizza. We brought some to her the next day and hope she can forgive us for putting her though that physical struggle. But I know she will be blessed. She tells us that she feels happier to have Heavenly Father be more a part of her life and wants to get baptized. I think she´s 80. I´m really excited for her.

One more thing I want to share... There are some advantages with living with two other Hermanas. Together we are team teaching a couple people and one family in particualr. The familia Suazo. The mom and dad aren´t married because the mom is still married to another guy, but he wont let her get a divorce. They have 3 little kids and they are being prepared for baptism, but everytime we go to teach, the whole family listens which is really great to have the support of the parents because usually we don´t have the support of BOTH parents. They are really interested and always have good questions. This family never really prayed, not even in their personal prayers, but they´ve been taught how and the importancia of prayers and are really trying to say their prayers as a family. The other day we taught a lesson and at the end, we asked the dad, Omar; to give a prayer. The whole family knelt down and the mom passed the book of mormon over to him because we always write the steps of the prayer in the back. But she she passed it over, Omar kind of patted it down like ¨I don´t need this anymore¨ and proceeded to say a prayer. What a special experience. I have never heard anyone give a more humble prayer. Omar really was talking with Heavenly Father. He understood his relationship with him and was trying to express his love for him, and his family. I peaked a little bit and noticed him using his hands as if he was having a conversation with someone and wanted them to understand. This experience and a few others that I´ve had with complete families praying is so incredible. I don´t think there is anything more beautiful than a family praying together.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Homemade Peanut Butter

Still preachin it up here. Ha. Yup, it´s great, we found one of the most beautiful families in the world. They have 5 little kids, the youngest just a couple months old. There are 3 girls, and the two little boys. One of the boys, Cristofer is 3 years old and is HILARIOUS. I want to keep as my own. They came to church yesterday (without the dad) but LOVED it, and are excited to come back next week. But guess what? They're not married. Kind of like everyone else here. We are teaching a couple other families that are progressing but just don´t have plans in the near future to get married… which makes things difficult… But we´ll see what can be done.

Rita is sooooo gooood! She is reading, and praying, and loving church and has a testimony and is a little timid about baptism but is excited. We are going to have a family home evening with her and this family in the ward who has been so supportive of the mission work. I´m so grateful for the ward members that are willing to help us out. It makes a WORLD of difference to have them be-friending the members. Rita´s daughter Barbara (yay mom!), who is 8 years old wants to be baptized too. We´re hoping to have their baptism together, it will be incredible.

No dogs came to church yesterday:(, but no one has thrown anymore rocks at me:). So it´s been a good week. It seems like I had some kind of interesting news to announce, but turns out I can´t remember it. See what happens when I don´t write things down? Oh yeah, I rememberd! Mom, and Dad, if you weren´t proud enough, know that I make my own peanut butter now (it´s VERY expensive here). It´s tasty too.

I Love you!

Hna. Alison Jones

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Roller Coaster... ups and downs

Today we spent nearly all p day in Santiago. My companion has had pretty bad back pains and now she´s getting the doctor to check it out. Why they send us so far away for the doctor, I´m not sure, but it was kind of fun to see a small part of the big city. People weren´t lying when they say how populated it is!! We got on the subway and it was shoulder to shoulder packed tight! We had to go to the doctor at the MTC here in Santiago, which means that we were right next to the temple…which means we took a couple pictures by it! It´s closed on Mondays, so we didn´t get to go in, but it was pretty neat.

Rita is doing quite well! We taught her about the word of wisdom most recently and though she has a few problems with it, without hesitation she told us she would stop smoking and coffee. My heart is so tender for her and her willingness and desire to learn and to follow Christ. These last couple times that we´ve been with her I have felt so content, so happy. I noticed that this happiness is something that I haven´t really felt to a great extent before… I really like it.

So things are going well, but there´s still the roller coaster… The other day we had kind of a downer one and at the very end of it we were doing a contact with a dad and daughter through their fence. Without noticing it, the little girl who probably only is 6, managed to find a rock about the size of an apple to throw at me with all the might her scrawny little arm had. It hit me on the arm… no big deal really, but it was kind of shocking, and a little embarassing and was kind of the last straw of the day. On the way home I was feeling kind of down but ended up sitting next to a random lady. Usually during contacts I am on the street with my companion, so if there is anything I don´t understand, she helps me out, so contacting people by my very lonesome is still scary. I was so nervous, but I talked to her and it was just fine. She didn´t want to hear more, but the good news is, I did it! Then the rest of the night I was super happy, see? Roller coaster…but a fun one.

It sounds like you are all doing so well. That´s super exciting that you got go up to a race with erik. GOOD WORK ERIK!! That´s pretty awesome. I´m definitely proud of my little bro! And tell Danielle to write me an email or something… I want to hear about these adventures…

Shoot dog, I can´t respond to all your comments, but I read them and I cherish them all in my heart :)

And I love you all so much! I´ll write next week!!


Monday, February 2, 2009

A Dog Came to Church


How are things up there? You know, up ¨there¨… in the U to the S to the A??

Last week started out kind of rough, but it ended up super good after all! Hna, Alvarenga and I have thought a lot about how we could improve and have been trying to change a couple things in our teaching method and things have really looked up! We found new people and this time I´m serious, I KNOW they are going to progress, because they are actually progressing and following through with commitments. We promised to pick up an investigator for church yesterday because she lives pretty far and doesn´t have a car, so we had a member drive us. Thing is there was only room for 4 in the car. The member, us and Rita (is her name). When we pulled up to her house, we didn´t even have to get out of the car because she nearly came running out all dressed up ready to go… AND had a friend with her and her friend brought her two daughters!! We put one of the daughters on her lap, my comp sat on my lap and we put the other daughter in the trunk (things like that fly here). We were BEAMING. The whole ride down neither Hna. or I could wipe the grins off our faces. She really liked church and is reading and praying and always feels good when she does so and wants to be baptized. So church was good, people came. During the sacrament hymn a dog walked right in because the doors were open and just walked around for a while until he plopped himself down on the ground in about the 3rd pew back. It took a while to get him out. It was really funny… haha.

We found another lady named Nataly who has a hard time reading, my guess is she is dyslexic because she says that she gets the letters mixed up and she´s always had a hard time learning but we taught her about the Book of Mormon. When we went back to visit her, she was able to tell us everything she read and told us that for some reason she could understand the Book of Mormon. It was super cool and definitely a miracle. The only problem is, she is leaving on vacation this week for an entire month (people do that here, they´ll leave for a really long time to visit family), so we wont be able to teach her for a long time. I really hope she doesn´t forget, but I think she wont because she asked for more stuff to read. :) It was a testimony to me that when the Lord has a work to do, he will always provide a way to do it, he somehow helped her understand. I know the Book of Mormon is true, my testimony of it has grown so much.

I forgot to tell you, dad, we live on I guess the south end of the street… but guess what? I sent pictures today! So you´ll finally get some, I guess in about 10 days. Sorry it´s taken so long. And with those pictures is a letter from my Companion. She´s been wanting to send a letter to you since about the first week, though Geoff will have to translate it for ya. She´s funny though because I think she wants me to send her family a letter… I´m not sure why… Though I´ve really enjoyed being her companion. She has no fear and is super bold in sharing her testimony. She´s been a good example to me. AND she´s a total spaz. I can be my goofy self and do goofy stuff around her and sometimes she beats me in being a weirdo. So we have fun and laugh a lot. But we get some work done here and there too, don´t worry ;)

Flamly: I love you all so much. My heart is so full of love for you. It makes me so happy to know that you are happy and that you love each other. I know our savior lives and that he loves us. His redeeming power is real. I love him and I am so grateful to be a missionary. You know? It´s kind of exciting being a missionary, Yes, quite often it´s exhausting, frustrating, and awkward, buuuut when I really realize my purpose here, to invite people to Christ, and when we do that it makes everything worth it. I´m excited to learn more gospel and learn more Spanish so I can do this better. I still struggle… but I´m trying to be more brave in the lessons...

Yikes, time to go. Sorry Dad and Mom that Planty has given you troubles. I told him to behave himself, but you know how they (plants) can be at times. Just give him some space, and I´m sure he´ll shape up.

I love you.

I love you.

I love you.

Love, Me.