Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Another Week Come and Gone

sometimes it hits me and I'm like wow I'm in chile. wow I'm at the end of the world
Hola familia!

This week was wonderful! Haha La Hermanita (Sis. Cookson) and I are learning a lot of things... I’ve never felt more at fault and more weak/challenged than this week in the mission. But I testify that God hears our prayers and answers them in His time.

Haha funny story, we almost lost an investigator because of my lack of understanding... haha we are teaching the family that I told you about last week that accepted a baptismal date after the first lesson. They are from Colombia, which usually their Spanish is super clear but this guy has a lisp and it’s soo hard to understand him. Anyway, we are teaching him and his daughter.

I called his daughter the other day to see how she was doing and said something about her dad.

She was like, "who?"

"You’re dad, Mario."

And she got all Colombian at me and was like, "umm you mean my HUSBAND?"

I just about died.

I started apologizing and she hung up on me.

Then her husband called me and was like, "my wife just told me that you thought that she was my daughter..." and I started apologizing otra vez (right away).

We worked it out. But ironically, I didn’t feel bad. I knew that I had done all I could to understand them and obviously I misunderstood, but I can’t help it.

Haha and I thought I was getting better at Spanish. Yes, it is difficult but I am learning a lot.

Also, I am learning a lot about working as hard as you can and not getting the results or any that you desired. We worked really hard this week, knocking doors, teaching lessons, inviting people to church and baptism. In the end, none of our investigadores (investigators) came to church because they were sick or had other commitments.

One of our investigadores with a bap date is struggling with depression and it is really hard that we can’t do a lot to solve her problems and help her. The only thing that we can do is invite, testify, serve, love and have patience.

 Although it feels like we are working with no rewards (them coming to church, accepting bap. or completing with their commitments) there are so many little rewards throughout the week. Like when Marta prayed and thanked the Lord for sending his servants to teach her about His will for her. Honestly there is no other reward that when the people can recognize you as a servant of the Lord. Or when you feel prompted to stop and knock a door and the door you knock happens to be of a less active that is really struggling and wants to come back to church but doesn’t know how. 

I love this work. We are doing great things here in Rio de la Mano. I know whose errand I am on and there is nothing greater that I could be doing. I have felt the authority and power of my calling in the hardest moments, in testifying of my Savior. A mission is the best choice anyone could ever make. I love my mission. I love waking up every day and being able to devote all my time effort and energy in helping others. I am so happy. 

hhaha a fun story (not really) we were in the house of a less active (a two room house that reeks of cigarettes and has mold all on the walls and all sorts of bugs crawling around). We were teaching her about the Book of Mormon (less active and never read or heard of Book of Mormon....) and all of the sudden, her son who has Asperger’s, threw their ash try at me and got all the ashes of the cigarettes all over me. We had to go back to the house and change because I smelled sooo bad. 

Pero bueno.... hahah gotta love the bad with the good :) patience....patience....patience...

I took some money out for more wool socks :) if it gets any colder I'm buying a longer coat, but I think I can tough it out until September when spring is.

Tenga una buena semana (Have a good week)! Les quiero mucho!

Glad that everyone is well!! Tell all the cousins that I love them and say hi!

yo sé que vive mi señor. le quiro con todo mi alma y estoy tan agradeciad por todo lo que él ha heco para mi. soy tan debil pero sé que con su ayuda puedo superar cada desafío que tengo. (I know that my Savior lives. I love Him with all my soul and I am so grateful for all that He has done for me. I am so weak but I know that with Him I can overcome any challenge).

love you all so much! til next week. i want more info!

dog eating a dog... eat or be eaten in patagonia
read it!!

love the colors here

we found the penguins!

 itsss cooollllddd.....

you know Antartica is across the street when you leave like this...
 hna cookson y yo

mi hija
mi perrito
getting ready to leave la casa

getting ready to snow! its so cold

Monday, July 18, 2016

Snow in July!

Hola familia! 

Como estan? Hopefully warmer than I am!! It snowed Saturday night. I love it. It’s been sleeting for the past week, so I’ll take the snow any day. At least it doesn’t leave me soppy wet. Haha today the sun came out for the first time in 2 weeks! I feel so happy. 

Mi hija is Hermana Cookson. She is from Orem, Utah. She’s super cool, but having the same struggles that I had adjusting to mission life and the language. It is so crazy because I knew I had come far, but until I started training, I hadn’t realized how much I’ve grown. It’s a milagro (miracle). God is definitely helping me. Before Hna Cookson came, I could understand everything about 85 % of the time. But I think a blessing of being a trainer is that now I understand about 99% of the time.

Hahaha its great... but also has its disadvantages. Being two gringas here, we had a few men come up to us over the past week and say/ask some very inappropriate things.

Haha a funny story... we began talking to a man while crossing the street. My comp was talking to him and he began asking us some inappropriate things. She didn’t understand so I cut in and told him that we are missionaries and have a standard that is called the Law of Chastity and explained it to him. He then began explaining something and I told him that we had to go but my comp, wanting to talk to everyone and not really understanding kept talking to him. Then he asked her if she was for hire. I said “no!” grabbed her arm and walked in the opposite direction. Haha she then turned to me and asked, “What was he talking about?” I told her and she just about died. 

On a holier note, we had to postpone the bap date for Dennis because he wants to be baptized with his mom and sister. His mom works two jobs so she is behind a bit in the lessons. They have a new date for 30 de Julio. It was sooo cool. We taught his mom, Marta, this week about the Law of Chastity and Tithing. I was a little nervous because she has a boyfriend and they have money problems. But after I explained it, Marta told me, “Well if it is a commandment of the Lord, I will obey.” What faith!! 

We had a stake activity that the Obra Misional was in charge of last week. It was La Gran Noche Colombiana. Super genial (great) and we got a family reference from it! Hna Cookson y yo visited the family Saturday night. I was a little nervous for this lesson one, because Mario has a really thick accent, and two, I was in charge of the lesson. La Hna helped when she could, but I felt like I butchered it big time. At the end, I asked then how they felt, Mario y Yoana. They said super good, that everything makes sense and that many of their questions were answered.

Only through the power of the Holy Ghost could they have understood perfectly of my Spanish. It was a miracle. Then, Hna Cookson invited them to be baptized (no one says yes on the first lesson) AND THEY SAID YES!!! This is the first time in the mission that this has happened. Usually they say, “for now, no but when I know it’s true probably.” THEY SAID YES!! And Mario came to church yesterday. They are sooo prepared. The Lord has many great things planned for the people here and I am so blessed to be a part of it and witness the miracles.

The Gospel is so true. Answers come through studying the Book of Mormon. Waiting upon the Lord will always bring blessings!

I love the mission :) Best decision ever!

Have a great week! Love you lots!

…I’d sent pics but the computer isn’t reading my pen drive... urgh

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


hola familia! 

So this week we got rid of the lice! I had to shave my head, one because the vinegar ruined my hair and two because there was no other way. My comp didn’t want to get them because she has really thick hair and is leaving to go home tomorrow..... is it breezy or is it just me? I believe Kyle wrote me a letter that if I shaved my head he would shave his too! I want pics! I want a video!

yeah... I look like a cancer victim.

jajaja just kidding.... I still have my hair :) one of the members in the ward is in the army and gets good discounts on stuff, one being the shampoo that kills lice. Another member had the brush that takes out the moving lice (minus the eggs) and Hna Torres is a pro de egger. I’ve been clean for about 5 days now! 

This week was really difficult comp-wise... but I have learned a lot from Hna Torres. Both good and bad. I know that God will never give us anything that we can’t handle. I now comprender (understand) what it means to "wait upon the Lord" a little better. 

A little bit about my ward and investigators:

We are a ward of about 249 members. However only 37 attend church and are actively practicing the faith. I don’t know much about our bishop, only that he is amazing. He works 2 jobs, is a convert of 5 years and his wife and children are less active. We are small in number but large in testimony.

We are teaching a family of three from Colombia. Marta (mama), Dennis and Korin. They have a bap date for the 23rd of this month!!! However, they are struggling with a few things... we are working with them to help them overcome their addictions.

Another investigator is Rosalia. She is 67 and amazing!!!  She has so much faith. I love visiting her and the comments and questions she has. She is really prepared. She didn’t accept a bap date because she has a problem of accepting living prophets. So ahora (now) we are working with her about that. We read the liahonas (Church magazines) with her and some of the conference talks that have passed. 

There are a few more investigators, but we have lot to do today... so we are cutting it short. 

Hna Torres is off to Colombia tomorrow and my new comp is coming Thursday. She is a gringa. Her name is Hna Cookson. She’s from California and I am her mama! Hahaha yep, President asked me to train. I’m really excited. We are going to do great things. The newbies always are super excited and want to work really hard!!!

There was something else I wanted to write but I forgot....

Oh I remember!!! Christina, my investigator in Futrono got baptized this past Saturday!!!!!! Wahooo!! :D

we are eating well...
 Love you lots!! Take care this week!

Friday, July 8, 2016

This Week in the Books

Hola familia!

This week.... where to start... how about with a funny story?

Tuesday. We were eating lunch with the mom of our Bishop. Everything good. My comp looks at me with a puzzled look and then reaches and pulls something out of my hair. It was a bug about the size of a tick. No biggie... hahha bugs crawling on us is nothing new.

I watch as her eyes get big and she began saying, "No no no no no oh hermana no no no no hermana no!!!! Oh no! Hermana! Abuela! Es un piojo!"

Shoot! I thought, it really must be a tick or some form of a tick that can live in 0 degree weather. Hahaha, the eyes of Abuela got super big and she shouted "Fuego! Ahora!" Hna Torres threw the bug in the fire and then grabbed my head and began looking for more. All of the sudden she said, “Ay no! Hermana!!! Ay no no no no no no no!!” She began pulling out little eggs from my hair.

Turns out “un piojo” is not a tick. It’s a louse.

That day she took out about 200 eggs from my hair and about 45 living lice ranging from the size of a chia seed to the size of an adult louse. As Hna Torres was de egging me, she told me that our family of investigators all have them. She noticed it the last time we went over to their house about 5 days ago. It is really cold so I have my hair down all the time. There are 4 girls in the family, so I got it from them when we would hug them goodbye.

The next morning I washed my hair with vinegar. Haha that was almost a week ago and still my head smells faintly of vinegar....

Kyle, Jake and Joey, you guys have no idea how blessed we are to live where we do. Lice is a plague here. Most of the kids have them because they live with the dogs and cats and their houses are not good. My comp told me that she had lice for 3 years when she was in school. It’s just a part of life growing up in South America. 

…Not going to lie, it isn’t fun having lice when you’re in a lesson and you can feel them crawling around your head…

But oh what a blessing it has been! Every night Hna Torres de bugs and de eggs my head. During this time, we have gotten to know each other so much better. I have so much more respect and patience for her. No, I don’t agree with many things she does, but I understand her better and realize that she is here for a reason, and it is to invite others to come unto Christ. For that, I can be happy that she is my comp. I am so grateful for her. I am grateful that she is my companion. Plus if I had a gringa comp, my head would be even fuller with lice, hahaha! Hna Torres knows a lot about lice and is a pro at de egging (from much experience).

Guess what I have!! It rhymes with mice and they are not very nice....

We had a sleepover last night with the six hermanas that are here in Punta. Para despedir la Hna Torres (to say good-bye to Hna Torres—she’s going home this week).

There was me, 2 from Chile and 3 from Colombia. Again, you guys have no idea how blessed we are. My comp and the 2 other Colombians told us stories all night about times that they have been robbed in the streets or been held at gun point for information and money. They all have been beat up too by the rebels. The hermanas don’t travel by bus if the distance is longer than 2 hours because the rebels and drug cartels do paradas (stops) with the people on the bus and it’s is a guarantee that you will get robbed, clothes and all, and if you resist, they will shoot you. My hna leader was in one of these buses and they beat up a man because he refused. 

While everyone is celebrating Independence Day, with fireworks and parties and all, I’m sitting here in a ciber, still trying to wrap my mind about it. You have no idea how blessed we are to live where we do, that we can leave our house unlocked while we walk over to the neighbors... we are so blessed. 

This week also, we had an investigator come to church!! It was awesome! This is her second time coming to church. Saturday night we shared a really awesome experience we had in church the Sunday before. Our investigator is soooo prepared and is progressing really well.

Unfortunately, she told us something after church that crushed my heart. She asked us, "Why are there so many people on their phones? Nobody seemed to be listening to the talks or paid attention during the bread and water. You guys told me that church is really important and is the highlight of the week, that it is a place where we can receive revelation, yet no one seems to care. Everyone is on their phones or sleeping..."


You guys are an example for the investigators. It breaks my heart when they are so excited to come to church and they have the faith that they will receive revelacion and then they come and NOBODY says hi or welcome. Nothing. And then everyone is on their phones or sleeping. This is a huge trial we have with our ward. 

The church is a sacred place. We are recovenanting with God that we will follow him, that we will be His disciples. It is a place to receive comfort, solace, and revelation. It is a place where we can feel the love and unity of the saints in our area. Yet so many go in with the attitude of another thing to check off the list. If the talk isn’t interesting, check Facebook or watzapp. During the sacrament, where are our thoughts? How many blessings and inspiration have we denied because of our own self-interest?

This week, we also visited a less active x-bishop and less active returned missionary. That too made me think a lot. It is so sad. I could see in their eyes the regret, the pride, the anger.

Three things we teach to everyone here: OLA Orar, Leer, Asistir (Pray, Read and Go to church). If you do that every day, with real intent, you are set to go.

I think the biggest lesson that I’ve learned so far is the type of member that I want to be when I go home. God loves us so much. We are so blessed. Read your scriptures.

love you all!

$710 pesos (about $1.40) well spent

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


hola familia!

Guess who won the Copa America (American Cup)??? CHI CHI CHI LE LE LE VIVE CHILE!!! Hahah I’ve never been a fútbol (soccer) fan, but know.... it’s the only thing that anyone ever talks about. The USA team is pretty bad... Argentina y Colombia both wiped us clean.

Last night was the finals between Chile and Argentina. They are arch rivals. The game began at 8 pm. We work until 9:30. Hahaha we knocked sooo many doors and nobody answered. We were the only people outside. It was kind of creepy. Haha we could hear the whole game. Everyone had their tv’s super loud and would shout if they got a goal or yell at the ref if something bad happened.

At 10 pm, just about everyone in Punta Arenas ran outside to celebrate the win. I wanted to go outside to see everyone but we weren’t allowed to leave for safety. It sounded really cool! There was lots of music in the street, cars were honking and celebrating, people were yelling and cheering.


Celebrating the Win!

Our botanical garden

This week.... was really hard…

Problems with comp and we are now dealing with a different problem due to my comp’s lack of understanding that YOU STAY WITH YOUR COMP AT ALL TIMES. And it’s not just sight. It is SIGHT AND SOUND. We had an issue with a member in the ward and it was messy. On top of that, an investigator that we had began asking me if I could come visit him alone without my comp.... and another investigator, he was walking us to his gate and he casually put his arm around me. I just about punched him in the face. Of course my comp didn’t see because she was already a good 10 feet in front of me. I am so angry. I’ve tried talking to her about it, that if I am talking to someone, ESPECIALLY AN HOMBRE, she can’t just walk away or walk ahead of us!! Then the next morning, we were in a taxi and the 59 year old taxi driver asked if I had a boyfriend. Because if not, he’s looking to get married and can make me happy...

But yeah... that’s been my week. God’s probably sick and tired of my prayers for help and pleas for patience...

Oh, I donated blood for the first time on Wednesday. Almost passed out. It was for a service project for the zona. The next day both my comp and I got super sick. It gave me a good opportunity to serve her which I think helped a lot. We were able to have a good heart to heart igual (same) on Sunday and I can know say I’ve walked a few feet in her shoes. I understand her a little bit better, and I have a new respect for her. I think we would be friends if we knew each other outside of the mission. Unfortunately with respect to the mission and our goals and point of view on missionary work, we don’t see eye to eye. 

Today we visited a museum of ships modeled after Magellan. It was soo cool!!! Dude after the mish, when we come back here you guys are going to love it!!! It is sooo cool!!! 

Hope you have a great week!!! "When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, when you are discouraged thinking all is lost, count your many blessings name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done..."

Easier said than done, but it helps!

Les quiero mucho!!!

los barcos...pirates of the caribbean aaallll the waaay