Thursday, June 15, 2017

Coming home!!!!!

(Editor's note: Karissa flies in on Friday,  June 16!!!
She will be speaking about her experiences in Chile on Father's Day, Sunday June 18, at 1:00 p.m. at 29441 Altisima, Rancho Santa Margarita CA. 

Please come if you can!

Monday, June 12, 2017

And So it Begins...

hola familia! 

This is soooo crazy! I cannot believe that this is the last email I will be sending out to you guys...

3 days and then I’ll be in the temple in Santiago.

4 and I’ll be with you!!!

Haha I had my last interview with Presidente just this afternoon. He asked me how I feel. I told him frustrated. I feel frustrated.

Part of me wants to go home.

A bigger part doesn’t. He told me to listen to the part that wants to go home. :)

It was a good interview. He told me to be selective with the types of guys that I choose to date and to have fun and enjoy life.

The only thing that changes is the calling and the area, but when I received my call to be a missionary it was for life, not for 18 meses. Just as when Christ called His apostles. It was for life.

The mission has been the best experience for my life. It has been hard and trying but I am sooo grateful for every moment. I love Chile and the people here . I love my Padre Celestial. I know that He lives and that His love for each of us is eternal.

Everyone should go on a mission. It is amazing. haha oh and I just found out that as a woman, I can go out on a mission again... sooooo :)  I’m still young. I still got time. My eggs haven’t died yet. Maybe I’ll serve another mission. I think I’m going to follow the example of Alma and go home to rest for a few days or year and then go back out ;) 

I know that this church is true. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that His Atonement is pure and wonderful. I have participated in His healing and His forgiveness. It is amazing. 

I love you all and cannot wait to see you in a few! 

p.s. I still want a mariachi band at the airport!

p.p.s. For anyone in town (or out of town) I will be speaking at my church this Sunday, June 18 (Father's day) about my experiences as a missionary in Chile at 1:00 p.m. I'd love for you to come if you can.

29441 Altisima, Rancho Santa Margarita CA 92688

Monday, June 5, 2017


hey familia!!

So we went on a super fun trip today! I don’t have a lot of time to write, so I’m sending you the letter of what I wrote my mission president. 

We went to Lago Todos Los Santos, Los Saltos de Petrohue y Volcan Osorno. There was so much snow!! 

It’s been sooo cold here! Last week it was negative 2 one day. I thought my hands would fall off... hope you are all enjoying the sun and blue skies! It’s been raining here off and on for the past 3 weeks but always cloudy. I’m glad I’m getting out though because this weather is wearing on me. 

Les amo mucho!! Hasta el ultimo lunes! No lo puedo creer... que terrible... (Until the last Monday! I cannot believe… how terrible…)


This week flew by!! I cannot believe that it is already the start of week 6 of this cambio. I´m not going to lie, this cambio has been very difficult. It is so much better comp. wise and I am soooo grateful for the hna Query. She keeps me sane and going.

This sector requires a lot of work, patience and diligence. That is what I have learned from these past 11 weeks here. I never really imagined how my last cambio would be, but I never thought it would be like this. I know there are people that the Lord is preparing for us but it has been so hard to find them.

We taught 3 lessons this week. I have never taught so few lessons before in my mission. But it’s been like this ever since I got here.

I was really getting down on myself and angry and frustrated that we weren’t having more success. I just want to end strong by teaching and testifying a lot. Instead I feel like I´m ending frustrated and having rejections left and right. I was thinking about it all last week, Why? Why? Why?

Heavenly Father is very mysterious sometimes and although I still haven´t quite figured out why I´m ending here, I was able to get a response during the week and at church. It was the night that hna Query got sick so we stayed in the house. She was sleeping and I was cleaning while listening to motab (Mormon Tabernacle Choir).

I began thinking about a lot of stuff, this sector, the few investigoadores that we have and that none of them are really progressing or showing much interest, my mission in general and the fact that next week would be my last week.

I felt a lot of emotions but peace and happiness were not among them.

I looked outside and was saw the sun setting. I put the broom off to the side and looked out the window for a moment to calm down.

It was then that I felt a loving peaceful feeling come over me and the words of pres. Hinckley entered my head "todo saldrá bien" (Everything will all work out).

Then, at church yesterday when we were singing the sacrament song, the same peaceful feeling came over me and I was reminded that for Christ too, the end of His ministry was not easy nor desirable. Nor was it for Joseph Smith or many other prophets and children of God.

Although I much rather would have preferred that we have at least a baptism and teaching a lot and finding a lot of people, I am grateful for this time that I have had in this sector. It has truly tried me, humbled me and helped me grow into the person that I am now.

It is hard. It is really hard sometimes, especially at night in the cold, but I am eternally grateful for hard moments like this because I can show the Lord that I really do love Him and that I really do want to stand as a witness at all times in all things and in all places. I love my Savior and I am so grateful that He never gave up on me in the garden. No matter how hard and painful it was to suffer for my sins and my sicknesses, debilidades, and pride. He never gave up on me, so I´ll never give up on Him.

I love this work. I love this Gospel. I know it is true and it breaks my heart to leave, but I know that the call to serve is not confined to a place, rather it is a call for life.

Thank you for everything you guys do! I love you!!

con amor,
Hermana Hess

Monday, May 29, 2017

Knock, knock

This week we had an amazing experience in finding a less active young woman. We were knocking in a neighborhood at 8 at night. We turned a corner and there was a HUGE dog. It looked like a bear, literally. It was huge.

So we turned back around and the dog started to follow us. We got kind of freaked out because it looked mean. We turned another street and started to walk a little faster when another very mean dog snuck though an open gate and tried to get us so we backtracked until there was no dog in sight and we RAN.

We said a little prayer and then went to knock in a different sector which led us to a different sector which led us to the house of the less active. It was awesome because we came in just in the right moment when she needed it most.

After we left I was marveled to think of the interesting ways that Padre Celestial guides His servants. The first place that we were knocking usually has no dogs, but for some reason there were dogs that night. Had there not been, we would have kept knocking and not even gone past the street where the girl is. 

The next day we had to go to our old house to show the landlord how it is. We still had to get a pipe fixed that was clogged. The landlord told us that she has other people that want to rent out the house now so they were also going to come over to see the house.

We were all there, inspecting the house. It was all clean and nice until the landlord asked about the hot water. We showed her how you turn it on (it was off because of the clog) and she turned it on. We heard a pop and a thud and my comp ran to the bathroom to see what happened .  She screamed, “turn it off turn it off!!!!!”

We turned it off and went to see what happened.

The pipe just about burst and it was flooding poop water onto the bathroom tile. haha I felt so embarrassed because the woman who wanted to rent the house was still there looking at the house and we don’t have the best relationship with our landlord so I knew that it would be our fault if the woman doesn’t want the house anymore.

We got chewed out pretty hard by the landlord.... but whatever. It happened and passed. In the moment it was very stressful and I was mad but my companion is amazing and just started laughing so hard. I think it helped too that she didn’t understand a lot of what the landlord was saying but after she left, we just burst out laughing. hahahaha que verguenza!!! (What a shame!!!) We have to finish cleaning the house because apparently it wasn’t clean enough this week and then it will be the landlord’s again and I will never have to deal with that house again!!!! I am awaiting that day. 

Oh a funny story. We knocked a door and the guy answered. We introduced ourselves and asked if he has ever talked with missionaries. He looked at us and said with a thick accent "bye bye!" and shut the door.

haha there were many of those this week. I love my comp because she just laughs everything off.

There was another house we knocked and no one answered. Then a little dog that was next to us squeezed through the gate and went up to the door and whined. The door opened quickly for the dog and shut before we could say hi.

Another. There was a little girl jumping on the couch but no one seemed to be "home" to answer the door. We were looking at her trying to tell her to call her mom when she fell off the couch. hahahaha 

On Friday night we were out knocking and my comp said, "ahhhh it’s Friday night." me "haha yeah... why? Did someone ask us to come by on Friday and we forgot to write it down?" "Nope. I’m just wondering what my family and friends are doing right now because it’s a Friday night" oh yeah. I forgot that was a big deal in the real world... 

welp... sorry this email has been more funny that spiritual. This cambio has been a little difficult in that sense. But I’ve started reading the Libro de Mormon again in Spanish (obvio) but with a different motive. I’m trying the “Bednar challenge.”

He challenged the missionaries and just about everyone to pick a topic, like faith, and then study the BofM and only highlight scriptures that have to do with that topic.

I’m doing that but with the question ¿is the Book of Mormon really another testament of Jesucristo? It is amazing.

I love the scriptures! I can promise you guys that if you read with a purpose, they will speak to you. You will come to receive a lot of answers and come to know more powerful than ever that Jesus is the Christ and that this church is true and that this Book really does bring anyone closer to Christ. I love my mission even with the challenges!! Fight until the end! Forever strong!!!!

I know the work is the Lord’s work and that everything we do blesses us, our family, the ward. Even if we aren’t having number success, I know that our efforts don’t go unnoticed. I love the mission. 

love you all !!!! Disfruten el sol y calor!! (Enjoy the sun and heat!!) Hasta el lunes proximo. (Until next Monday).

ps i took out a lot of money because I bought stuff for you guys. And next week we are going with the district to the volcan osorno. Look up pics on google. It’s beautiful!!!


Some pics from last cambio with hna Ribeiro: 

my nemesis

Monday, May 22, 2017


hola familia!

How are you guys doing? Hopefully you are nice and warm, enjoying every moment of sun. It is sooooo cold here!!! I woke up this morning and it was 8 degrees Celsius (46 degrees Fahrenheit) in our house. It’s been raining a lot too and windy. Haha we can see our breath when we are studying. I’m so glad I have a sleeping bag! 

This week passed by really fast... on Tuesday we had entercambios with the hermana leaders. It was interesting... it POURED for the whole day.  By 7 we were soaked to the bone. No one wanted to let us in... nothing new but we were trying to keep a positive attitude through it all.

I’m so cold!!!!

The next night, we were out knocking doors and a dog ran across the street charging at us and totally got plowed by a car. It was pretty traumatizing.

Then the next day we were knocking doors again and another dog came out through a gate and almost took off my arm. Fun, fun, fun here in Osorno. 

These past few weeks have been really hard trying to find new people. Everyone is always "so busy." We were only able to have 3 lessons this past week. Not going to lie, I’ve been kind of struggling with this. It would be one thing if I knew I was getting transferred to another sector, but no.

I never really imaged how my last transfer would be, but I was hoping I could end teaching a lot and having many spiritual experiences inviting many to come unto Christ and seeing at least one baptism in this sector.

It was difficult at first to accept the fact that I am still here in Centro and that this is how I will be ending. Working hard.

I have come the realization that everything happens for a reason. I don’t know why Padre Celestial wants me to finish here, like this, but I now feel somewhat at peace about it.

We were talking last night, me and my comp, and I was telling her that yes, I was sad that I would end here for the reasons that I just mentioned. I told her that not all the sectors are like this—that there are a lot more friendly people in other sectors and that there are many people the the Lord is preparing. While I was talking, I felt a feeling of satisfaccion and acceptance. So be it. Iré y haré lo que manda el Señor. (I will go and do what the Lord says).

I am learning a lot about accepting the Lord’s timing and the importance of diligence and perseverance in all that I’ve done. I probably won’t be able to see the fruits of my labors here, but I know that somewhere, sometime down the line, more missionaries will, and I will be so happy to see and hear of the miracles they were able to see.

I know that this Gospel is true. I know that God lives and that He loves us. I love the Book of Mormon. It is an amazing book and has helped me soooo much. READ IT!!!! EVERY DAY!

tengan una linda semana! les amo muchisimo! (Have a nice week! I love you very much!)

Monday, May 15, 2017


it was so fun to see you all yesterday! love you so much! 

Mother's day phone call

All you get this week is pictures! We took a district paseo a Puerto Varas.

Monday, May 8, 2017

third time's a charm

hola familia! 

KYLE I AM DYING TO KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING!!! AND NOW I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL SUNDAY?? but at least you will be able to read it to me over skype! I guess Mexico or Chile, Santiago or Osorno!!

Sooo we had cambios last week and I began my last cambio as a full time missionary here in Chile. I am still here in Osorno... my companion, hna Ribeiro got transfered to Villarrica waaaay up north about 4 hours.

I have the blessing of training again! I was really nervous and unsure about finishing my mission training a new missionary. I was hoping to get a companion that already knew the language and how to teach and was ready to go go go. Throughout last week, I had really mixed emotions. Sometimes I would be excited and other times I would be downright angry and disappointed. But I testify that Padre Celestial knows what’s best for us way more than what we think we know is best.

I had an experience last week where I was really upset, frustrated and sad that I would be ending soon. I started praying and asking for help. The scripture from Alma 26:27 came to my mind "...sufrid con paciencia vuestras affliccions y os daré el exito" (“Now when our hearts were depressed and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.”)

A gentle reprimand followed, "¿No confias en mí?"  (“Don’t you trust me?”)

There were times during the week that yes, I trusted Him. Then there were times where I let my imagination, fear and Satan get into my head and all my hope and happiness would leave.

I learned a great lesson this past week about trusting the Lord “with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.” He knows us so well. He knows what we need and who can be the means for helping us achieve our potencial. I love Padre Celestial.

My third hijita (third time’s a charm) is amazing! Her name is Hermana Query and she is from Highland, Utah. Her mom is from Honduras but she (hna Query) doesn’t speak a lot of Spanish yet. She is amazing. She came so prepared with the best attitude!

We went knocking doors the first day and I taught her some ways to contact people. I then asked her if she felt like she was ready to knock a house. She looked at me and said, “Well I don’t really have a choice!” hahaha I love her.

She is so spunky and even though she is nervous, she tries her best to talk with everyone and testify of Christ. She is a powerful missionary. I love her so much and am so grateful that she is my last comp! She is so fun to be with! I am so blessed to be with her and have her be my last companion. We are going to see so many miracles together. 

This Wednesday we are FINALLY moving to a new house. This is the first and only time that I have moved houses on the mission. It’s stinky but at least we will be in a better functioning house! 

Last week an elder called me from the neighboring zone and asked if I knew how to read music. I said yes and he said, “Perfect! We are doing a concert on Sunday” (he called friday night) “and our pianist just told us that there was a family emergency and he can’t play. Would you be able to come and play? We are going to have a practice tomorrow and Sunday right before. Can you do it??”

I said sure because why not? The music can’t be that hard, right? And he made it sound like it was just one or two songs that I would be playing.

Wrong and wrong.

I had to play 7 songs of 10 and the songs varied between 3 and 5 sharps or flats.

And all 7 songs were accompanied by the violin.

And there was one song that was accompanied by violin and vocoles (vocals).

I was soooooo nervous. We practiced and practiced. Not one time were we able to play all the songs through without me stopping.

The elder told me, “You’ll be fine, just be calm. It is a small little concert with some members and investigators”.

We got there and they filled the sacrament room. About 14 missionaries were there with Presidente Isom and Hna Isom and many members and investigatores. I was really nervous. 

Especially for one song that was a medley accompanied with violin.

We had never played it through all the way one time.

It changed keys 3 times and was about 6 pages long.

I was praying real hard that Padre Celestial would bless my hands and fingers, eyes and brain so that I could think smoothly and play smoothly, especially that song.

It was a complete miracle. It sounded soooo goood! I never got lost on the piece and made very few errors. It literally was a miracle.

Hna McArthur videoed the whole concert. On Sunday I’ll have her email it to you guys. It was so much fun playing and I was also able to relieve much of my stress. I know that Padre Celestial is aware of all of us and He wants us to succeed. He wants us to be happy and He will help us with everything we need, even help with playing the piano.

les amo muchisimo y espero verles el domingo a todos que puedan! Sé que este evangelio es verdad. Amo a mi Salvador y Padre Celestial. Sé que existan y nos aman con tanto amor. Amo a mi mision. Es lo mejor decision que he tomado en mi vida. estoy muy triste que esta acabando. no quiero dejar Chile ni mi familia ni mis amigos verdaderos aqui. les testifico que la iglesia de Jesuchristo do los Santos de los Ultimos dias es la iglesia verdadera y unica en la tierra. les amo!!!! disfruten esta semana y comparten sus testimonios y sonrisas con todo el mundo. lo necesita mucho.

(I love you very much and I hope to see you all on Sunday! I know this Gospel is true. I love my Savior and Heavenly Father. I know they exist and they love us with so much love. I love my mission. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m very sad that it’s ending. I do not want to leave Chile or my family or my real friends here. I testify to you that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one true church on earth. I love you all! Enjoy this week and share your testimonies and smiles with everyone. He needs it very much.)