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.)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Untitled and a little sad

.... I just am ready to move on from this cambio. It’s just been a rough 6 weeks that took me completely by surprise and robbed me blind. I will be training again. This time a gringa named hna Quirey, I think. She’s from Highland, Utah. Hna Ribeiro will be going to Villarrica. I called the AP (assistant to the president) today to ask if I could talk to Presidente and we went to see him today at 11. (We have our P day today, Tuesday, because yesterday was labor day and everything was closed).

Presidente is such a great man. The greenies are coming in today at 1:00 and he made time to let me come and talk to him. We talked for a long time. Basically I told him that this cambio picked me up, threw me down and beat me up. I don’t feel like I have the energy and happiness to train again, that I was nervous because the last two times I’ve trained have been the worst cambios in my mission and that I hate Osorno. I feel like I am useless here. No one, and I mean no one, listens to us. They are so rude.

It is hard to have a fun, upbeat attitude when I’m not completing my purpose. I literally feel so beaten down and worn out.

Presidente told me that he will pray about it and perhaps they will take a pair of missionaries out of our ward next cambio (we share a ward with elders, so our sector is really tiny, on top of it all).

Also, on P day there is nothing to do here. 

I really am praying that hna Quirey is a really good missionary and humble to accept me as her trainer. Presidente gave me a blessing and told me that he will pray about the situation and that I need not worry.

I was really hoping to leave Osorno and be with hna Heath or with other hnas who are powerhouses and work work work. but I guess the Lord has other plans for me.... I just don’t want to finish my mission feeling like this, so low, so lonely, so done, so tired, so weak.

And then on top of everything trying to figure out schooling rooming all that stuff... I’m just mentally and physically exhausted.

I started having back problems in Puerto Montt, and here, we are outside most of the day knocking doors and trying to find people to talk to. We are on foot about 8 hours every day. My feet and back are really starting to bug me. I don’t know if I need to get adjusted or what but here is always a burning pain in between my shoulder blades towards the end of the day.

I'm trying. I think, I hope, it will be okay. I was praying really hard yesterday as we were walking and scripture came into my mind followed by the words, "Don't you trust me?" I think sometimes with change and with challenges we become really narrow-minded and only focus on the now, forgetting to see the bigger picture. I trust in Presidente and the revelation that he received. I trust in Padre and know that He will be there with me. I just need to cry, get it all out, clean my face, and keep persevering.

I’m not sad about any part of my mission. I just really stressed out and don’t want worry any more about coming home, schooling or housing. And I just hate Osorno. But I’m working on getting over it so I can enjoy it. I’m fine, don’t worry about me. I want to end good and strong and happy. I just have to forget all the bad experiences that I have had here and learn to love Osorno.

Something funny... we were walking a few days ago and a spider was flying on its web and landed right in my eye. 

Something happy... AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!! HE GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYA :DDDDDD I AM SO HAPPY!!!!! We found him when I was in Punta Arenas and taught him everything. He was going to get baptized when I was there but they aren't married and she was working on her divorce to be able to marry him. Wow!!!!!! That makes me so happy!!!

Facebook pics sent to my mom

Facebook message she sent my mom. My mom had to translate it to English lol

Monday, April 24, 2017

the itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout...

hola familia! 
¿como estaispo? Just a brief hint on the title, there are millions of spiders here in Osorno! They aren’t too harmful, just leave a little bite that itches for a day. But it’s like the huge spider in Harry Potter that gave birth to all those little spiders. And all the little spiders are trying to find a home and a job.

I can’t tell you how many times I’m walking and I look at my arm and there is a spider or I scratch my head and there is a dead spider now under my nails. They all are flying on their webs, being blown by the wind. We walk into webs all the time or they are blown into us. It’s great.... 

Another funny memory... Red Hot Jesus? hahahaha remember that game? We were walking to church on Sunday. It just popped into my head and totally made my day. I started laughing out loud and my comp looked at me as if I were nuts. 

There is an old man that is sitting at a table across from me and he keeps looking at me. I looked at him and he winked at me very sexily. (…As sexy as an old man can wink.) It’s sad that I’m so used to that now that it doesn’t even affect me. haha he looks just like Stan Lee... maybe I should wink sexily back at him... I might get asked to be in the next Marvel movie.... 

ay ay ay..... I think all of you are familiar with the poem of the footprints where a guy is walking on the sand and he sees two sets of footprints and the Lord says that He was always walking by him and when the guy says that in the hardest part of his life he only sees one pair of footprints and the Lord says that that is when He (the Lord) held him. When I look back on this week and this cambio, I think, no I know, that I will only see one set of footprints.

The Holy Ghost can heal whichever hurt, frustration, pain or wound that we physically, spiritually, mentally or emotionally have. It is truly amazing. I hope that all of you at some point in your life have felt or will feel the calming, loving, soothing power that only the Savior can offer.

Not much to report on this week. I’m trying to keep a positive attitude, without entering into the mentality of “it’s almost cambios, just hold on until cambios.”

We had the privileged opportunity to have an FHE (Family Home Evening) with presidente Isom and his wife, us and one of our investigadoras.

I love the mission house. It literally feels like the temple there. The spirit is so calming and renewing inside. I want my future house to feel like that. We had the FHE on a night where I felt that I could not give anymore. I could not do this anymore. And for many circumstances, I did not want to do it anymore.

Just by walking into the house, I immediately felt at peace. All my troubles fears, anger, frustration and pains went away and I felt a calm embrace of peace, encouragement, love, support and an "everything will be all right."

We got to the house about 30 minutes early to ask for a blessing from President. I know that I have said this before, but I know and testify that he is a man called of God. I love and sustain him as my mission president. He feels like my grandpa. The moment that he placed his hands on my head, I felt a reassuring strength.

In the blessing he blessed me that I could have the strength the keep fighting that I could find joy in the work and that I will be able to know what I need to do. I am so grateful for my misison presidente and for the priesthood that he holds. I am so grateful to live in a time when we have the plentitude of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love my Savior and I am forever grateful for the strength that He continually gives me. 

Satan is very good at what he does. And like the scriptures says, he wishes and fights that every man might be miserable like unto himself. I’ve heard that everyone in their mission passes through their own "Garden of Gethsemane" on the mission. That is not to say that’s how I feel, and what has happened is anything close to what the Savior went through. But, this cambio has knocked me to my knees almost every day. It’s a good thing the Lord has asked us to pray on our knees! I think I now understand why.

It is also very interesting to see how the Lord has prepared me for this through all my other companions and sectors. Truly the Lord will never give us more that we can handle. Sometimes I wish I just wasn’t as strong.

For various reasons this has been the hardest cambio for me. Many reasons... but I am grateful for the strength that I have received and the miracles that I have witnessed. I have never had to work so hard to be happy, be obediente, see miracles, feel the spirit and enjoy the mission.

But also I have never had an experience so marvelous as to feel the Savior carrying me, literally reaching out and pulling me up from the dirt and helping me along step by step. Step by step. Brick by brick. Knock by knock, Soul by soul. Building up Sión in South Chile, preparing the way for the second coming of my Savior. Shouting the voice of warning to all who will hear.

I know that this gospel is true I know that Padre Celestial lives and He loves us so much. Every trial is worth the pain. Every cost is worth the sacrifice to know Him personally. I love Him and I know that He loves me.

I hope you have a great week and Alaina!! I hope you feel better!!! You can do this!   

ten couraje sé fuerte sé de gran corazon (I know you are strong)
kia toa kia kaha kia manawanui