Monday, December 19, 2016

T Minus 6 Days

hola familia! ¿como estai? 

This week fleeeeeewww by! The weather here is really bipolar. One day it is pouring rain and the next it is stinking hot! But I guess that is how the south of Chile is because it’s been like this for my whole mission. And I’ve come to the conclusion that hot showers don’t exist either... oh well at least we aren’t wasting a lot of time and money for water! 

This week I want to share with you two experiences that were awesome. 

We were teaching a woman for the 3rd time. The lesson was The Plan of Salvacion. When we began teaching about the mundo de los espiritus (world of spirits), she began to cry and then began to tell us her story.

About three years her dad passed away and then right after her mom suddenly passed away. She was really angry and fell into a severe depression. She hid herself in her room for months, practically abandoning her children because of the sadness and pain of her parents’ deaths. Her husband and sisters tried to help but she told them that if they ever talked about God again in front of her she will never talk to them again. Her sister sent missionaries of another church to her house and she stopped talking to her sister.

Then one day, three years later, still depressed but doing a little better, we knocked on her door. Her first reaction was to hide and so she did. We knocked one more time. She remained hidden. One more time we knocked, and something deep inside her told her to open the door, so she did.

After we left, she felt at peace for the first time in many years. After the second time we passed by and left, she began to smile. Her kids and husband noticed a difference in her and asked her what was happening. Her youngest son of 3 told them that his mom was receiving two tìas (sisters) that are helping her be happy.

The gospel of Jesucristo is HAPPINESS. It changes peoples’ lives, their perspective, it gives them hope. I love this gospel and I testify that it is true. Miracles happen. They occur according to our faith. We can choose to open our eyes and believe or not.

When she told us this, my comp and I just about cried. It was such a tender moment and to know that we had been guided by the Lord to find one of His daughters that needed help.

But the thing that was the most awesome was the fact that her 3 year old son saw a difference and knew that it was because of us (our message and the Holy Ghost).

The second experience was very similar. We are teaching another woman and she said the closing prayer. In her prayer, she thanked God for sending us, acknowledging that we are His servants. She said that she has been feeling really depressed and alone for the past couple of months and that her fears have overtaken her, but now she feels a new hope and peace about her. 

I know that this church is true. Every single day my faith is strengthened by many awesome people that desire to change their lives and desire to grow closer to Padre Celestial. I testify that it is only by acercandose mas a Cristo que podemos obtener la felicidad que dura por toda la vida (getting closer to Christ that we can obtain the happiness that lasts for the whole life).

Igual, Eduardo got baptized this weekend! It was so awesome! He got really emotional in the beginning and cried a little during the talks. He is awesome and I am so blessed to know him and am grateful for all the other hermanas who have taught him and helped him get to this point. He is such an example of charity and humility. I could go on and on with stories of what he has done for others... but time is always my enemy...

Today we went on a beautiful hike in Puerto Varas... but both of our cameras died early on.... luckily it’s free and we live about 20 minutes away so we are going to go back in two weeks. It reminded me of my high school grad trip/ 20 anniversary trip when we went canyoning. It was super green and forestry and smelled soooo good.

Welp I love you all and can’t wait to talk to you and see you in a few days!  Cuidense mucho!

¡hurrah por israel!

Padre Celestial is so awesome! hna Hoskins was my first comp in the CCM and we were in a district with Elder Feagai and Elder Greenwood. Now one year later we all saw each other for the first time in a year. And hna Hoskins is in my district and Elder Feagai is my district leader. Elder Greenwood is in our zone! And we’re all together for the first time exactly a year later for a zone activity.

Dan Jonesing it!

Monday, December 12, 2016

a bunch of gibberish and random thoughts

hola familia!

So just a side note, this letter is a compilation of my thoughts, well-being, experiences and reflecions of the past 3 weeks of being in missionary in a huge city. 

And on another side note, no mom, I still don’t know what time we will be calling on Christmas....but IF YOU ALL CAN SEND ME QUESTIONS OR THINGS YOU WANT TO KNOW FOR NEXT WEEK I CAN HAVE SOMETHING PREPARED BECAUSE WE ONLY GET 30-45 MINTUES. I’ll send my questions next week so that way we use our time effectively :)

And it looks like we’ve been celebrating birthdays AND Christmas wrong all these years. Here they celebrate the 24th and the big day. On the 24th, everyone is eating and celebrating. Then at 12 midnight, Viejo Pascuero (Father Christmas) comes and delivers the presents. The kids open all the gifts and then go outside and play with the toys. All the neighbors are outside celebrating until the sun comes up.

Then on the 25th everyone is knocked out and asleep for the day... should be a fun day of knocking doors and disturbing the peace :) 

This past week, I won’t lie, was really difficult for me. Like I said the week before, out of nowhere the routine of doing the same thing every day got to me and I was trying to fight the feeling of discouragement.

Luckily I have an amazing comp and she was able to help me. It’s hard because in the city everyone has things to do and people to see. When we visit other towns, it’s a loong walk and I felt like we were wasting so much time walking. Also, the ward is huge and I still see new faces every week. There are so many names so many streets so many people.

On the plus side, there are many streets where the missionaries have never knocked and many times we talk to people and they say that they have never talked or visited with missionaries. What?? You never hear that in Futrono or Punta Arenas!

With its ups and downs, I turned to the scriptures and learned an amazing lesson. I love the Book of Mormon. It is the book of secrets and holds the answers to all the questions that we have. I was reading in Alma 49. The dos (two) chapters before it is the story of Lehonti and of Capitan Moroni.

49 talks about how finally the nefitas (Nephites) were enjoying the peace and instead of being still and enjoying not having to fight, Moroni caused that the people should be busy constructing and fortifying their city. Then, it says that the Lamanitas came to attack and they started with Ammoniah (ciudad) because it was less strong than the others. To their surprise, Moroni and his people had worked long and hard to protect the city and the lamanitas couldn’t find a way to enter and attack.

So the Lamanites decided to go attack the city of noe (Noah) because it was known for being the weakest part of the land. Much more to their surprise, the lamanitas found that the land of noe was more strengthened and fortified than the land of Ammoniah. We read in vs. 20 "y asì estaban preparados para defenderse contra os lamanitas" ("and thus were they prepared to defend themselves against the Lamanites")... 23 "y asì los nefitas dominaron en todo a sus enemigos" ("Thus the Nephites had all power over their enemies"). 

I love the war chapters because there is so much that we can learn. What can you learn from this chapter?? I’ll share with you what my liahona said.

I learned that we need to continue to strengthen and fortify our testimony during times of peace (no problems, trials). ¿Do I pray to God in peace as sincerely as I pray to Him during a trial? ¿Do I study the scriptures like I do when I need comfort, guidance and hope? Or is it only during those trials that I really pray and really study the scriptures.

During times of peace, am I preparing myself for when Satan comes and attacks? Am I preparing now? Many times in our lives, we have highs and lows. I have noticed that during the lows is when I really pour my heart out to Padre. That’s when I really study the scriptures. What a hypocrite am I!

I need to be preparing myself for the trials (studying, praying with real intencion) in times of peace. There is never a moment of relaxation from prayer and the scriptures. If we act as the people of Moroni, we too will be prepared for when Satan attacks and we too can dominate in todo (all). 

As a new covert said in sacrament meeting this week "I have a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. But it is still in construction and will be for the rest of my life." He and his wife are awesome. They were baptized about 7 months ago and are two of the strongest members that I have seen on my mission. 

Yesterday as well, we had an interesting experience. There is a lady in our ward that we reactivated. Right now she is passing through a very difficult family crisis. She suffers from diabetes and yesterday she was so worried that she forgot to eat breakfast and take her medicine.

I was sitting next to her in soc soc (relief society) and she started moving around weird. Her body could not support herself. I knew that she hasn’t been sleeping good, so I thought that she was just really tired. I put my arm around her to let her sleep on my shoulder and found that she was drenched in sweat. I asked her if she was hot and she looked at me and couldn’t talk. She was becoming unconscious.

I nudged my comp and we lifted her out of the room and took her to the foyer to get some air. Some others came out too and we began asking her questions and found out that she hadn’t taken her medication for the day and her body was going into glyco shock.

We got her some cookies and the elders lifted her into a car of a member and we raced to the hospital. I was in the back with her trying to keep her awake. By the time we got to the hospital she was unconscious. Two hours later, the doc came out and told us that she was okay just really low in blood sugar. It was an interesting experience.

I was frustrated because I don’t remember anything of first aid that I learned. It started when I entered the field, and with all my comps it passed the same. I don’t remember any of my studies, songs that I liked, bands, movies, what I used to do to pass the time.... haha nada. I hope it comes back when I get released... :) 

We are going to have the baptism this week of Eduardo! He’s the one that I spoke about last week that stopped smoking. He is amazing and like a little grandpa to us. 

Welp... I have a lot more random thoughts and life changing experiences that has happened but I am out of time. I see the world in a whole different life, from being here in a big city and from having another comp from Colombia and this time being able to understand everything she is telling me. I’ll just say that we are soooo blessed to live where we do. We are so blessed that all our family is still alive and well. We are so blessed to have the freedom that we do and the safety that we enjoy. We are so blessed to have the gospel in our lives and know who we are and why we are here. 

I love you all and hope you have a great week!  Sorry for the randomness... this week has really changed my perspective with everything and I’ve had a lot of deep thoughts so it’s hard for me to concentrate. haha you should read my journal... it’s pure random thoughts. But I love you all and can’t wait to talk to you in 3 weeks!

Don’t forget your questions!!!!



love ya!

hurrah por israel!

our lunch for the past week

us and HNA HOSKINS!!! and her wonderful compy

always be prepared with a rain jacket. we leave in the morning  and it is really hot....and in the afternoon... anything can happen

Monday, December 5, 2016


Hola familia!

This week was very interesting... out of nowhere I was hit with extreme “I-just-want-to-wear-pants syndrome....” I hope it will pass soon.

I want to share with you guys a few experiences that I had this week. First a funny one, second a sad one, and third a triumphant one.

1. We were knocking doors for about 3 hours and finally someone lets us in. We were very tired and I think Padre Celestial knew we needed something to laugh about so He whispered in this woman’s ear to let us in.

She’s Evangelica. They are very religious and their way of expressing their beliefs is a little different that how we do it. When someone prays, and they say something you like (for example, please bless this family) they shout their agreement with an AMEN! or HALLELUJAH! or SÌ. Or if it is something that they really like, with an ¡AMEN HALLELUJAH OH SEÑOR JESUS!

…and keep in mind, we are still praying. It’s fun praying with them, haha and hard to keep your focus if you’re the one praying. Soooo my comp prayed and the lady shouted and then we started to teach about how we can be a light and light the world this Christmas.

I guess she really liked what we were saying because we would be talking and then she would shout “¡AMEN!” or “HALLELUJAH!” jajaja we they asked her how she is going to be a light this Christmas and she starting talking and getting really tense and passionate and then she started talking really loud in a different language.

For the evangelicos penticostal, talking in tongues happens when you "feel the spirit." It sounded like she was talking in Slytherin or the language of Voldemort. My comp then nudged me and gave me the let’s get out of her look. We thanked her for her comments and time and asked if she could leave us with a prayer. She did so and began speaking in tongues again. jajaja it was a fun experience. 

2. After we had the lesson with the penticostal lady, we were walking down one of the streets and saw a man passed out on the sidewalk. This is a common scene and as we walked by he smelled heavily of liquor. We stopped for a moment because we weren’t sure if he was breathing.

Then one of his neighbors came out and began tapping the man’s face to wake him up. We decided to help because it was super hot outside and he was in all long clothes and was lying out in the sun. When he came to he was very disoriented and looked like he had heat stroke. We got water to cool him off and called the police. They said they would come but never did.

We waited for about 20 minutes and then he passed out again so we called an ambulance. They finally came about 30 minutes later and took him to the hospital.

I can’t tell you how many passed out drunk people I have walked passed, without thinking. But it was when we were helping Alì that I really felt God’s love for him. The spirit testified to me that he is a loved son of God that has had a really hard life, and for the trials and temptations has fallen. But he is still valued and loved.

He came to again and started hallucinating. We tried to calm him down and he began punching. Another man came by to help us and finally the ambulance came.

I know that we will never comprehend really the love that God has for us. It is so real and so pure. No matter what we do, He will always love us. I was able to feel that love for Alì, a poor drunk man with 3 yellow teeth that smelled like a porta potty. 

3. We have an investigador that’s called Eduardo. He is going to be baptized on 17 of diciembre. He is awesome!!! He is willing to give up everything to follow Jesus Christ.  He is 60 and has been smoking for 40 years. About 10-15 cigarettes a day. That was before the missionaries knocked his door (he’s been investigating for about 6 months). Now he only smokes 1 every other day and is working on quitting all the way. miracles happen!!!

Eduardo said that it’s because of the Book of Mormon and going to church that he has been able to quit smoking. I am so proud of him. He is a great example to me that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real and works. I testify that it is true. There is so much power in studying the scriptures, praying., and attending church. Not just physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. 

I love this gospel and I know that it is true. I love the Book of Mormon and I love the person that I am becoming. Never have I felt more confident and more sure of myself. Never have I felt more confident and more sure of my Father in Heaven. He lives and He loves us oh, so much. 

Have a great week! And smile! Because we are the light of this world!!!

sooo.... things might get a little expensive... just outside of Puerto Montt there are TONS of hiking and waterfalls and awesome stuff. And it costs money... to rent a bus and enter in the national parks. :) As a district we went (rented a bus about $10 mil cada persona... $15 dollars) and hiked to the Los Saltos de Petrohue. It’s about an hour out of Puerto. Soo cool!! 

It was a guided tour and part of it we got in a boat and went around one of the islands. I’ll send more fotos of it.

And dad, you’re distracting me.... I’ve already dicieded that I’m going to change my major to Rec Activity and minor in business. During the summertime, we’ll be working our family run guiding company :)