Monday, February 27, 2017

Something's on the Horizon

Hola familia!
when the elders ate here yesterday.... I'm surprised I ate it all!


This week has been really strange weather-wise! When I last wrote, it was raining all week, then this past week it rotated a few days being rainy or really, really hot, humid and muggy.

Then on Friday it was freaking hot without a cloud in the sky.  We went to bed without blankets and woke up at 4ish freezing cold. 

Saturday was cloudy and freezing. 

Sunday was cloudy and a little cooler and today it is still cloudy and cold.

Something is going to happen. This weather is not normal. Many people are talking that we are going to have another huge earthquake and tsunami because this was how the weather was a few weeks leading up to the huge earthquake and tsunami in 2010 here in Chile. And to make it even more suspicious, all of the sudden, President is stressing the importance of being prepared for natural disasters and having our 72 hour kits ready. We just got a new updated emergency plan too. 

what happened here? It's like Pompeii. Yep its a gato

The Lord is trying us right now. All of the sudden, no one wants anything. I was really having a bad time with all the rain, stress about figuring out entercambios (exchanges) with all of the hermanas (we also got two new hermanas that were added into our zone just this past week), so yeah, I was a bit stressed.

I don’t remember what day it was, but we woke up to the sound of rain and I was not happy.  I began to pray for help and that Heavenly Father would give me the strength and patience to work today. That He would bless me with peace and joy in being outside in the rain. All the morning, I was angry but praying for help and joy. Throughout scripture study and comp study, I tried to think of positive things but the negativity swallowed me and I felt like I was stuck in a thick wet cloud with no escape.

I said one last quick prayer for help and animo (cheering up). Then, when we left our apartment and I stepped outside in the rain, I felt a sweet feeling come over me. I felt that Heavenly Father knew my situation and that He loved me. I felt so happy and so blessed to be able to be in Chile and blessed that I have legs that work and a healthy body so that I could leave every day to teach people about Jesus Christ.

That was one of the best days that I have had in the rain. Yes, it rained all day and I was soaking wet and no one let us in, but I felt a peace and a love from Heavenly Father that it didn´t matter to me at all.

Many times, we pray for peace or help and then just stand there waiting for it to come. We have to pray in faith, meaning we pray and then we act in what we know we should or ought to do. Once we take that act of faith the blessings come.

I could have faked being sick and stayed in the house all day, but then I would have, One, lied and felt bad and Two, I would have been even more frustrated and angry.

If you are searching for answers or peace, pray and then act. I promise you that you will get the answer or peace or courage that you need and seek.

This Sunday Eduardo got the priesthood!! It was awesome!!! It was just like his baptism—a very sweet happy experience. He was grinning ear to ear. That night we had a lesson with him about baptisms for the dead and he said that he was already planning to go to the temple for baptisms in December.

haha he also got a calling. He doesn’t like staying for the second and third hour, so the bishop gave him the assignment of opening and closing the church on Sunday. He told us that now he has to stay for the three hours because he has to close the church. But he was really happy about it and happy that the bishop and Padre Celestial trusted in him to have this responsibility. It is so awesome! 

It´s crazy how fast time has flown by! I feel like I´ve lived in Chile my whole life. I think it is going to be really rough coming back. I am so used to the disorder in the streets, the way of life, the language. I am used to the food, although it is SUPER unhealthy because they fry everything and eat the same thing day in and day out. But, I still have a few more months so I´m going to stop talking about coming home…

Sorry it’s short. I’m not feeling to great. Hna Adams had a fever last night and my nose is all stuffy. Pray for me that I don’t get more sick please!

Love you all like an ingrown toenail!

Have a great week! Make someone smile :)

les amo

the first few pics are of where we live... in a rectangle box.

Puerto Montt

last Monday we spent the most part of our p day helping some hnas clean their apartment from black mold that was growing in their room. 


all of us


Isla Tenglo in the back

Monday, February 20, 2017

Rain, Rain Go Away

 #4monthsleft ... back when it was sunny

back when it was sunny

hola familia!

Sooo can I just say that I am soooo fat. And am sooo glad that I don’t have anyone waiting for me because I think he would run away screaming. If you don’t want to get fat, don’t eat 3 potatoes every day. Don’t cook all your meals with tons of oil and salt. Don’t eat a plate full of meat everyday if you have no say in what they feed you.

The scripture in Isaiah "my soul delights in fatness" applies to missionaries. Literally. I feel so gross. When I get home I’m NEVER eating chicken, potatoes, salt, oil or bread again. We are going to ask the prophet to add to the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 4 that says "serve with all your heart, might, mind and strength" to say "serve with all your heart, might, mind, strength and body."

If you want to be a consecrated missionary, you literally have to consecrate everything.

Last Monday night we had an interesting experience with a man that literally serves Satan. It was really scary in his house. We knocked on his door and he asked if we were Christian. We said yes and he said please, come in! His mom lives with him so we went in and started talking to them.

Long story short (I’ll have to tell you guys later because it’s a good story) he told us that one time he tried reading the Book of Mormon but the Holy Ghost forbade him to do it.

This man is really Evangelico. We challenged him to pray about it and ask God if he should read it. He said no and then proceeded to tell us about a time when he asked God to help him with something more than once and that a figure came out and broke his thumb.

Then he went to a religious retreat for his church and they started chanting and doing voodoo stuff and now he literally fears God and that God whispers to him at night and tells him what he needs to do to "help his work move along."

I was thinking, "Man, I wish I had the priesthood, I’d cast this devil out of him," but it was pretty scary.

When he started talking about his experiences with "God" his eyes changed. It’s really hard to explain but it was as if they grew darker. I started testifying and talking about Christ and I’m not going to lie, I was surprised how forward I was. I told him that he was deceived by the devil and that he needs to repent or Satan will have complete control over him. We told him that God doesn’t send "angels" to hurt His children when they ask more than once for something.

Then we ended with a quick prayer and ran. 

…And that pretty much was our week. haha I think Padre Celestial has been reading my emails and now is telling me, “Is that right hermana Hess? Yeah, let’s see just how much you practice what you preach.”

It started raining 4 days ago and hasn’t stopped. I miss the sun. It’s always so depressing here when it rains. This week was really hard for that. We don’t have a fire or a heater so there isn’t anything but a blow dryer to dry our wet clothes.

Haha every morning I’m reminded of our fun canyoneering adventures when I put on my still wet stockings, rain jacket and rain boots. I’ve been wet for the past 4 days.

When it rains, all the houses are really humid, ours especially because there is no heat source so nothing dries even when we are in the house. We have to be really careful not to get foot fungus. My boots soaked through 2 days ago.

And on top of that, no one wants to let 2 soaking wet girls into their house... yesterday we spent 3 hours straight outside in the pouring rain knocking doors.

back when it was raining... o wait... it still boots were hurting my feet so i went out in my summer proselyting shoes.... it took about 20 seconds before they were soaked through. not that i noticed though because my stockings were already wet.

Our investigadores live in another publacion that we have to take a bus to but the bus doesn’t run Sundays so we had the opportunity to work a little closer to our house and knock, knock, knock.

Not going to lie I was in a bad mood. People sometimes are very rude. But hey, at least it wasn’t freezing cold! Just really wet. 

Yes mom, I got the shoe inserts and they help a lot! But I think my foot pain is just because I’m standing up all day and walking. And I’ve been doing this for more than 375 straight days. My feet are just tired. And my back. And my shoulders. Everything is tired.

It’s funny because the first 3 months as a new missionary, I felt with all the energy of the sun. Everyday I walked with the triple combination, the Bible, water, snacks, pamphlets, examples..... but with time my back began to complain and yep there goes the examples. Yep, there goes the Bible. There go the snacks. Ya, I’ll carry the triple if you carry the pamphlets…

You know you’ve been out for a while when your body starts falling apart. Oh! I finally got my birthday present!!! (The one sent in October…) Thank you!

So we were walking to lunch down a really steep hill and there was a patch of moss from it raining so much. My comp didn’t see it and stepped on it and totally biffed it hard core. We thought she broke her wrist because she landed on it. It swelled up pretty good but thankfully it was just a fracture. It still really bothers her. But our zone leaders made us "blondies" to help her feel better. 
...still raining!
 hope you have a great week! les amo tanto! The mission’s great!

so this saddens me... we get this when we have 4 months left. it's our flight info because the office is starting to buy our flight tickets.

you can't make me go...
this is for Joey

this guy was waiting for us when we came home...

back when it was sunny...

Monday, February 13, 2017

OC Takes Puerto Montt

hola familia!!

como estan??? So.... one of my best friends now is in her country with her family and its really depressing... but my new companion is AWESOME!!!!! Her name is hermana Adams. We met one time before the mission in Brother Greiner’s mission prep class. We left for the CCM at the same time but she had to go to Provo because her visa didn’t come in time. Then we met up with each other in the airport in Santiago 6 weeks later when we first arrived in Chile. We were in the same district our first two cambios and we go home together. Same day. Same airport. She lives in Laguna Beach, near the high school and church. She’s awesome.

I am so grateful for the mission for many reasons. One of them is all of the amazing strong people that I get to meet. There are so many people and missionaries here that are truly my heroes.

Hna Adams is a convert of 2 years. At her year mark in the church she left on the mission and when she completed a year in the mission (same day as me) she completed 2 years in the church. She is amazing. She is the most obedient companion that I have had. We are going to see so many miracles together.

It’s funny because usually the first week is a little awkward. New comp with different habits, way of living attitudes, character. The first week we are always trying to get used to each other and the way one teaches and todo (all). haha but with hna Adams it was like coming home. We have the same habits and the same jokes and everything. The only hard thing is speaking 100 % in Spanish. She also is an amazing teacher and I have learned a lot from her. I am so grateful she is my companion. Padre is so good. 

This week was a week without any sleep. We went to bed really late the last two days leading up the when hna Cordoba left, helping her pack and crying. It was really sad. I’m traumatized. I’m never leaving Chile.

Then Wed night some hnas that got transferred from Punta Arenas to farther north stayed in our house and had to catch their bus at 7 am so we had to go down to centro with them at 6:30.

And then Friday night the hnas going to Punta Arenas stayed in our house and had to catch their 8 am flight the next day so we had to leave at 5 am.

Saturday there were problems with some of the hnas in our zone and Sunday night we stayed up talking about what we could do to help another companionship of hnas that are also having problems. 

One thing of many things that I have learned in my mission is the importance of COMMUNICATION. Without it we have nothing. If we don’t talk and share how we feel, no matter how harsh it might be, we will eventually explode and end up destroying more than if we had only opened our month the first or second time that we were annoyed.

I am so grateful for the mission in teaching me this. Really, any type of broken relationships can be fixed if the two WANT to fix it and WORK to fix it (by exercising and developing Christ-like attributes…see Preach my Gospel, chapter 6).

We were listening to the Priesthood session of the April 2016 General Conference this morning while we were cleaning the house (fun p day activities:) and one talk really stuck out to me. I testify that it is true and that it works because it saved the companionship of me and hna Cordoba. It’s the talk by President Uchtdorf "In Praise of Those Who Save." They are words of wisdom.

Here is another talk by President Uchtdorf that talks about being grateful in any circumstance (“Grateful in any Circumstances,” April 2014 General Conference). That too is another thing that I have learned in the mission. It is so easy to get discouraged.

Elder Holland said that it is okay to be sad, it is okay to sometimes feel frustrated, but we should never get discouraged because discouragement weakens our faith. Think about that!! When we are discouraged, whether on the mission or in life, as a member in the church, and we don’t want to continue pressing forward, we are basically telling Padre Celestial that we don’t have the faith sufficient to believe that good things will come. That we don’t have faith sufficient in the Atonement of Christ and His resurreccion.  

Do you have sufficient faith? We are just as happy as we make our minds up to be. haha you all know that I have foot problems or arch problems. Every morning when I get out of bed, my feet hurt so much. It hurts to walk in the beginning. When I’m walking to the house at 9:30 at night my feet ache. But one thing that I learned from hna Braithwaite is that we need to suffer with joy. I think of the scripture 
"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" (Isaiah 52:7)

I think of my ancestors who left bloody footprints in the snow on their way to Zion. I think of the homes that they left behind, the friends, the family. I am so grateful for the early members of the church and for everything that they gave so that we can have this gospel in our comfortable homes. I think of the young men who crossed the Sweetwater River time and time again to carry across many of the tired, dying saints. The young men’s service affected them for life. Mine will only affect me until I get home.

There are so many other people who have given so much more than I have. I am surrounded by missionaries, members, converts and investigadors who have given literally everything to come unto Christ and am truly humbled to be considered their friend. Yes at times our lives may seem really hard. And it is ok to take a 5 min pity party.

But after looking down and moping, we need to look up and thank Padre Celestial for His eternal love for us, for Christ, for the gospel, for our testimonies. Happiness is a decision. And decisions determine our destiny. I want to be eternally happy in the Celestial Kingdom with Russell. Who’s with me?

I love you guys so much. Thank you for all of your support and love and prayers for me. Remember that every day is a new day. DECIDE TODAY to be happy. To fix broken relationships. To develop charity, see others as Christ sees them and YOU. 

les amo mucho! disfruten esta semana y no se olviden de SONREIR (Enjoy this week and do not forget to SMILE) :D

Monday, February 6, 2017

Sad Endings, New Beginnings

hola familia!

This has been a week of miracles and tears, sad goodbyes and remembering just how blessed we are for this time to represent the Lord. hna Cordoba leaves for Colombia this Wednesday. I am so sad to see her go. She was and is by far my favorite companion. With her I learned so much. With her I really felt that I became an adult. With her I came to know Padre Celestial y Jesucristo even more.

The first cambio with her was really rough. We did not get along one bit. We are so different, with different backgrounds and experiences. With her I learned how to make something out of nothing. I learned patience and hope.

There were times when I thought that I couldn’t make it another day. I felt like a zombie at first, just going through the motions, waiting and hoping for cambios....  we both knew that our companionship was in trouble right from the start.

It was a weird relationship. We acted like work partners. The only thing that united us was that we were missionaries. There was a wall in between us that was slowly sucking the life and joy out of the mission and out of both of us. Comp inventories were brutal. I felt like I was stuck in a bad marriage.

Then the week before cambios we decided to start praying together right before bed. All during cambios week, I didn’t feel like I was leaving and neither did hna Cordoba. Our relationship was still really stressed and a friend wouldn’t be one of the words I would have used to describe her. But I felt like we were trying and I felt like there was hope.

I had really mixed feelings about cambios. I was hoping for cambios so that I could enjoy the mission more and hopefully get along better with my new comp. but I also felt that there was hope on the horizon. I knew it would be difficult but I knew that I would progress more as a person if we stayed together. Every night I prayed that I could accept God’s will and if it so be that we are together for one more cambio that He would give me the strength I needed.

Cambios came and went and we never got called which meant that we would be together for one more cambio. The first 2 weeks were just as difficult but I testify on the power of prayer. After about a week of praying together, we began noticing a difference in our companionship.

I’m not sure how, I’m not sure when, but now she is one of my best friends. I could be with her for another cambio and be every happy. She taught me to be confident in myself. She taught me to serve everyone. She taught me about the power of forgiveness. In these two cambios with her, I needed to learn patience, humility, and confidence. She needed to learn to use nice words, how to build others up, and patience.

But recognize that this is just one-sided. I’m sure she’d say something different that she learned, like patience, long suffering and humility, from me.

I am so graaaateful for these two cambios that I have had with hna Cordoba. I love her so much! We both were what we needed to continue to progress, we both helped each other develop more Christ-like attributes.

None of this would have been possible without the divine help of Padre Celestial and prayer. Prayer changes hearts, it changes people, it changes us. Like the song, en verdad (truly), prayer can change the night to day.

The next time you feel like you can’t do it, that you feel like a zombie just going through the motions waiting for the trial to end, WAKE UP!!!!! Get on your knees, then get up and learn. Get up and go to work. Get up and trust in God and in good things to come because they always come. 

I am going to miss la hna Cordoba. She has changed my life forever. I am so grateful that we were able to have two cambios together. haha like I said, with the other 2 comps that I have been with for 2 cambios, by the time 90 days came around I was really ready for cambios, but with her I could’ve stayed one more. Miracles happen. Sometimes we just have to accept the will of God and let things play out with the hope that tomorrow will be a little better.

Oh and just so you know.... my camera got a virus and I lost all my fotos of the past 7 months....

love you all and hope you enjoy this week!!!!

Last zone activity

Us and our ward mission leader

Edward and Virginia