Thursday, September 29, 2016

Spring has Sprung

hola familia!

Haha the weather here is so crazy! Just a few weeks ago, it was low 0 degrees to the 20’s and then this past week I woke up to a glorious sound outside that I haven’t heard since I got to Punta Arenas. There were birds chirping outside! And now all the trees have little buds on them! The weather is getting warmer haha and I don’t like it. Yesterday it was in the 40’s and I was sweating... about a month ago, the sun set at 4 pm, in the dead of winter. Now, in the beginning of spring it doesn’t get dark until 8. I’ve heard in summer the sun sets at 12 am. I hope I’m here to see it!

The General Women's Conference was great! We watched it live at 9 pm and it ended at 11 pm. We watched in the house of a member with an investigator. Then, her husband (the second counselor) asked if I could give a talk in church the next day...

Heyo dang!!! I wish I was there to hear and see Jake's setting apart! I imagine it was super genial (great)! Jake wrote me and it's amazing and crazy to see how much he has matured just hearing his writing voice...

A fun experience I had this week: We were walking to a cita (appointment) and on the sidewalk there was a street dog (not uncommon at all) then all of the sudden, I had the impression, “be careful, that dog will try and bite you.”

The dog looked harmless, soaking in the bright sun, but I’ve learned very well to listen to that voice. We walked past, me closest to the dog and hna Cookson on the other side of me. All of a sudden the dog jumped up and tried to bite off my calf. Knowing it was going to happen, I quickly dodged the bite and picked up a rock to throw at the beast. All of the sudden, 5 other rottweilers came out from behind the fence and ran in for the kill.

Luckily I had my nunchucks in my backpack and remembered a fair amount of the cage fighting skills I’ve picked up in the streets... anyway, I karate chopped the beasts and sent them howling away to their mamas.

Hahaha no broma (joke). But the part about dodging the bite is true. There have been lots of other moments where I have felt the guiding presence of the Holy Ghost protecting me from danger. 

This week as well, we finally got back in contact with Mario and have begun teaching him and his family. He is so awesome and it is amazing to see the change and peace in his eyes. This week was really cool because we were in a lesson with him and his family and a member. We were teaching the Plan of Salvation. Nothing like being able to testify to 6 people in the same small kitchen/family room. I thoroughly enjoy teaching and testifying, but nothing beats it when you have a family and they are all listening and asking amazing questions!

We also met an awesome young mother named Liset. She is so prepared. I don’t have much time so I will tell you about her next week. But it is so true what Preach My Gospel says! “If you are working hard and doing all you can, you will be led to the people who the Lord is preparing.”

Oh yeah! Haha I'll tell you about our other investigators next week, I'm out of time...we have cambios (transfers) next Wed. I want to stay here so bad! We have so many great investigators and a baptism for every weekend in Octubre!!

I love you all! Have a great week! Prep for General Conference! The best way to do so is beginning with fast and ending with the first session and breakfast cake! Haha going to miss that...

les amo

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Over the Hill

hola familia,
 I feel really old. Jaja but really.

I love you guys so much! Hope all is well. This week I have learned a lot about being positive and loving people by not seeing who they are ahora (now), but who they can become. We as humans have power to do great things, but when we pray for charity we are given power to change lives. 

The thrill of flying comes after the fear of falling :))

Yesterday was 18 de Septiembre (the birth of CHILE so everything was closed). We had to be inside at 7 en vez de a las (instead of) 9:30...for safety. Lots of people were drunk... there was a guy peeing on a fence across from the street. I wanted to get a pic but hna Cookson said, "That's downright wrong..."
Just about everyone we talked to were drunk or a little buzzed... and no fireworks, but everyone flies kites because it’s so windy and there was a huge carnival parade in Centro but it’s out of our sector so we couldn’t see it.

Our new Mission President, President Isom and his wife are now here. All I know about him is that he speaks Spanish and his wife does not. Supposedly we are going to meet him before transfers which are the 5 of octubre.

Here is a letter we received from them:

Dear Sisters and Elders,
We are happy to be with you here in the Chile Osorno Mission. In the last three weeks we have received many blessings and tender mercies which have helped us prepare to come to Chile quickly. We have met with Elder Bednar and received our call from President Eyring. We testify that these men are apostles of Jesus Christ and our call, such as any calling, are from a loving Heavenly Father. We hope to meet each of you very soon. Until then then we send our love.

President and Sister Isom

Sorry it's short. I love you all. Keep reading keep praying keep loving keep laughing.

Hermana Hess

Sunday, September 18, 2016

para siempre Dios esté con vos (God be with you)

hola familia,

Well as you know, Presidente Obeso is going home this week. He has cancer. Luckily they caught it early on. He is going back to Mexico and then to San Diego to have an operation. After that, he´ll be in his house disfrutando (enjoying) time with his grandchildren.

I love my mission president and his wife. They are people called of God. He is such a great example of trusting in the Lord. He told us many times that he has no fear. That we need not be sad because the new mission president is better than he is. Presidente Obeso left us with the parting advice of ¨rompe sus cielos¨ and ¨Hay que hacer cosas¨ jaja

Oh something that I forgot to mention.... Alejandro wasn’t baptized this week because Maria is separated from her husband not legally divorced. The divorce was supposed to be finalized last week and then they would get married and then that Saturday he would be baptized. The witnesses didn’t show up to sign the divorce doc. so the divorce didn’t go through. Which means that now we have a law of chastity violation. We talked with him, and I really felt the power and authoridad of my calling when I told him that he needed to separate and live alone until they got married. Alejandro told us, with pain in his eyes, “Hermanas, I’ve stopped smoking, I’ve stopped drinking. I’m sorry. I can’t do that. We’ve been living together for 4 years. I can’t.”

The day of his baptism passed and yesterday he went to talk to the bishop to see if there was any way he could be baptized and still live with Maria. It’s sad, but also really cool to see that not only does he have a testimony, he is feeling the need to be baptized.

They have another date with the judge Oct. 15 and now by law the witnesses have to come or they will be arrested. But it really stinks because then they have to wait another 9 months until she can legally get married to prove that Maria isn’t pregnant by her first husband (so she doesn’t try and get child support saying that the dad walked out on her and left her) There are a ton of Chilean laws that are super old and really dumb. This just happens to be one of them....

BUT we found a super awesome girl who accepted baptism for the 24th of this month. She’s gone to church 2 times and is progressing sooo fast. It’s a funny story how we found her. I’ll tell it another time because we don’t have a lot of time... but yeah! Her name is Veronica. She prayed for the first time out loud this past week and it was such a tender spiritual experience. There is so much power in prayer.

love you all! Tenga una buena semana (Have a nice week)! Jake, Joey, write me!

Last photo with Presidente and Hermana Obeso

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


hola familia,

I’m running out of interesting titles... but anyways... haha, Mom and Dad, you both started your emails with "I’m sorry but this one is going to be short…" 

…Like father like daughter ;)

I’m sorry but this one is going to be short…

We are working hard and feeling tired. But good :) Lots of stuff happened this week with lessons and investigators. The only thing I’ll say is that I wish Satan had a body so I could slap him in the face and tell him to leave my investigators alone. 

But with that said, life is great. There are a lot of changes going on with our mission. Some for good... others... we have a conference with our mission pres. tonight, which is really strange. Hopefully it’s all good news. He is really sick and just found out that he has cancer. We are all praying for him.

I love my presidente de mision. He is a man called of God to labor with us in the gran pais de Chile (great country of Chile).

Read your scriptures, pray, and when you go to church, be there both physically spiritually and mentally. (Which means LEAVE YOUR PHONE IN THE HOUSE!)

Have a great week! Love ya!

Hurrah por Israel 

making apple empenadas

cat had babies 4 days ago

I know I'm allergic to cats, but...

proud mama

Thursday, September 1, 2016


hola familia! 

This week (haha as all are) was fantastic and very hard. First off, to describe the title, about 4 days ago, Hna Cookson started crying after comp study out of frustration with the schedule. In the morning we only have an hour for both people to shower, get ready for the day and eat breakfast. It has never been a problem for me because I shower quick, eat oatmeal, and only spend like 5 minutes for make-up and maybe 3 for my hair. For La Hermana however, it is really hard because she is used to two and half hours of showering and getting ready with makeup and hair... she told me that she doesn’t feel pretty anymore and feels really ugly because she doesn’t have enough time to do everything.

"I just want to feel pretty again," she said.

Hahaha well Padre Celestial heard that and that day was probably the funnest day in the mission. We got sooo many cat calls, guys trying to ask us out, one guy asked me to marry him and when I said no, he turned to La Hermana and asked her to marry him. As we shook hands goodbye, another guy kissed our hands. Others commented on our beautiful eyes and we received many other comments from practically every single guy in Rio de la Mano.

Every time a guy said something, I turned to Hna Cookson and asked ¿do you feel pretty yet? 

Pretty Girls!

We were knocking doors and ran into my new best friend. Her name is Sara. She’s from Chicago and lives here in Punta Arenas. She teaches English and is also a tour guide in Torres del Pine. We are teaching her and its weird because we are teaching in English... but!!! Haha it’s also really hard because we talk a lot about climbing and being in the back country. She offered me a job for after the mission on her guiding crew....  plus she said that when I come back she’ll take me into the park for free and show me around since we can’t go in right now... 

Now on a more spiritual note... this week I had one of the most spiritual moments yet on my mission. It was in a very messy house with a single mother whose young kids have a lot of attention problems (along with Aspergers) that I felt the reality of my call. I could feel the same power and authority that I received when I was set apart. I could feel an overwhelming feeling of the love that God has for her. It was sooo cool to teach her and help her and testify and promise blessings to her.

When we first entered, her house was a disaster. she looked really tired and depressed. There was no hope or happiness in her eyes. When we left, her hope was restored.

When we went back 3 days later, we found her cleaning her house with a new light in her eyes. She was smiling and looked really peaceful with a new confidence and peace around her. She told us that she had been praying many times during the day. That was the compromiso we left with her because she told us she hasn’t prayed since her mom died 5 years ago and that’s when her life became really difficult. Her house is completely turned around. She said it was a miracle. She feels happy and confident in her trials, she wants to get things done and she has a new attitude about everything. It was incredible to see this huge change in her and I know it is because now she is inviting the Holy Ghost into her life and asking for the divine help of God. 

I also want to share another personal experience I had. I’m not going to go into details (sorry mom) but I testify of the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

I know when we hear “Atonement,” we think only of sinning and asking for forgiveness. That is only one part of the Atonement. Another part is using the Atonement to make up for what we lack. For the past couple weeks, I have been tried sooo much in my patience and love in a way that I never have had to deal with. Last week I was thinking that I could not last any more. Every night and morning I prayed for love and patience. I pled that He would bless me with His love and patience that He has for His children (that I sometimes lack), but I felt nothing. Then on my worst day, I felt a small prompting to do serve.

My first response was no! I don’t want to!

It came again and I decided to follow. Again, I testify of the power of the Atonement. Afterward, I felt an overwhelming feeling of God’s love that He has for His children. His has blessed me with so much patience and love for those that I lacked and I am seeing miracles. I am becoming a new person and it hurts a lot, but I know that it is who God wants me to be.

I hope you all are using the Atonement every day in repenting and asking for the strength you need to overcome your trials and shortcomings. I love my Savior. I know He lives and I will stand by Him forever.

love you lots!!!

yeah... flash back to OVER A FREAKING YEAR AGO!!!!!! I cannot believe it. I thought of it like 2 days ago at like midnight. I cannot believe it.

I love Punta Arenas!