Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 3 in Chile!

Hello Friends and Family!!

The only story that I really remember from Dad´s mission is when he talked about how he bore his testimony to some people at some point in time and he doesn't know that it made any difference to them, but he told us that in this moment he felt the spirit so strongly bearing witness to him that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  At least that is what I remember of the story... Dad can correct me if I am wrong.   I had an experience this week almost exactly like this and it just made me think of Dad.  I was bearing my testimony to this woman who has been investigating for a while but this was the first time I had met her and I was bearing my testimony to her of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and how it would bless her life and her family.  It was a simple message but the spirit was so strong in that room as I was testifying of this that I just couldn't help but cry... a lot... and I don't know if she felt it but I know that my testimony, although it was already very strong, was strengthened immensely by this experience.   I KNOW that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that even if we read a little bit each day, blessings will flow into your life and into your home.  I know that this is true because I have read it and I still read it every day and I witness the miracles that it brings each day into my life.  If you are reading this right now and have not yet read the Book of Mormon and Prayed about it's truthfulness then you have to read it.  I can't imagine my life without this book and I want all of my friends and family to understand just how amazing and beautiful life can be for you and your family when this book and this gospel is part of it.

Another amazing experience that I had this week was with a referral that we got from a member in our ward!  We were looking for this referral and knocking (or rather banging on fences with a rock and saying "Alo!") on every door that could possibly be our reference (Because all of the people here in Chile are AWFUL at giving directions) and we came across this woman who was just going into her house (who turned out to be the neighbor of our referral) and we struck up a conversation with her and then asked if she would like to learn more about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ could bless her life and she said she did and that we could come back on Sunday.  Soooo long story short we went back to her house yesterday and she was SUPER receptive to our message and really thought about the things that we taught her.  When we were explaining the story of Joseph Smith and all about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, she kept asking to know more and more and when we taught her about the Book of Mormon and what it was, we had her read the second to last paragraph in the introduction of the book and we know that she felt the spirit very strong in this moment that this book is the word of God.  As she was holding the Book of Mormon in her hands and reading just in the introduction she started to cry and said that she didn't understand why she was crying but she just had a lot of emotions.  We explained to her that she was feeling the Holy Ghost testifying to her that this book is true.  She then asked us if we had read and prayed about the Book of Mormon and received an answer. My companion said that she had and then I said "I have read, I have prayed, and I know that this book is the word of God."  Then she started to cry again!  The spirit was so strong and this woman was truly prepared.  In her prayer as we were leaving she said that she know that God knew that this was the right moment to give her this book.  WE COULD NOT BELIEVE HOW PERFECT THIS LESSON WAS!!  This gospel is true.  There is no other way that a nineteen year old girl with about two and a half weeks in a foreign country in a foreign language and a twenty year old girl with a year in a foreign country in a foreign language could teach such a powerful message.  I realized in this moment that I have NO idea how to teach this gospel. NO IDEA! But the spirit does... this gospel is way too big and amazing for me to teach but with the help of the Holy Ghost, this gospel is undeniable!!

I am so thankful for the opportunity I have to be the Lord's hands here teaching this gospel!!  I am so so so very thankful that I made the choice to come here because I am already being blesses immensely for being here!!

I love you all so much!!

--Hermana Harvey

I don't know if you can see it but the rain is going SIDEWAYS! almost haha This is taken from our window of our house.

We have LOTS of rain here.  This is one of our streets that we walk to get to our mamita's house.

After having a HUGE bowl of soup at a members house, they brought this out! They could have warned us!! Then I wouldn't have eaten two pieces of bread!
Then they brought out the dessert... I thought I was going to die! But it was delicious! Lemon Pie :) o pi de limón
On a swing near one of our investigators who wasn't home for our appointment

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hello Family and Friends!

One thing that I am really surprised about is that I have not cried yet!!  I thought I would be crying myself to sleep every night because of not being able to understand the language and all that but, honestly, I am learning the language very quickly and can understand a LOT now and I am happier than I have ever been in my life!!

We had one street contact the other day who just came up to us and asked us who we were and said that he used to be a member when he was very little and needed to talk to us.  He told us that he was suffering because his wife had died three years earlier and that he needs us to help him. He said he planned on killing himself the next day and that he didn´t have anything left to do with his life.  We shared with him that he has a loving heavenly father who knows him individually and that Jesus Christ understands exactly what he is going through and that through his help, we can all become happy again through his atonement.  After talking to him for a good half hour he said that he was going to cut his hair (which he said before that there was no point in doing because he was going to kill himself anyway) and that he was going to go to church on Sunday.  Well when we called him on Sunday he was drunk so he said he couldn´t come but we still have hope for this man.  He is still alive so that is a good sign.

A funny thing that happened was a man on the street said to us "Ustedes son verdaderas gringas?!" Which means "Are you guys truly ... from the united states.. or white girls...?"  Haha as if he had never seen any before.  We laughed, told him yes, and walked away because he was obviously very drunk.. lol

We learned to make empanadas this week!! We helped make them for the ward Diez y Ocho activity! It was great!! Empanadas fritas are the best!! The activity was fun!  I loved seeing the youth in our ward dance the cueca! It is a beautiful dance!  They also eat mote con huesillos for dessert for every single diez y ocho activity.  It is really weird but I actually kinda liked it!! But very weird.  Hermana Paxman cannot eat it haha she almost gags thinking about it.  

Hermana Paxman and I have gotten a lot closer the past few days because we have been stuck in the house for our activities.  I love her so much haha We have lots of fun together!  We were joking that we were going to tell the man who always comes by to cut our grass that we´re good and hold up our scissors and we actually went out a couple days ago and started cutting the grass with scissors! Haha it was definitely a lot of fun!!
Eating empanadas at the activity! I love the dress of the girl in the backgroud!! There are lots of these dresses around on diez y ocho!! Adorable!! cueca dresses!

me, our ward mission leader, one of our investigators, his son who was recently baptized at the activity eating our dessert ;) mote con huesillos  This is an amazing family!! It is as if they have been members all their lives!! Just clearing up a few details before they get baptized!! It´s all so exciting!!
chopping wood!  It´s not all that hard.  And we have to do a lot of it! I actually really enjoy it!

I covered my backpack with the rain skirt the mission gave us and wore the one mom made me! LOVE IT! Thank you again!!

my companion and I in the rain!

Monday, September 15, 2014

1st P-day email from Chile!

Sister Paxman and me
Getting ready to do some service.
Picture from the bus in Central Puerto Montt
The mall in Puerto Montt
Hey Family and Friends!! Thank you to everyone who wrote me this week!! I love you guys!! Welp... I have a lot to tell about this past week but very little time to say it all so I will try to be concise! (First of all... I cannot spell in English at all already and it is getting worse every day so please correct anything that I spell wrong... It's worse because spell check is in Spanish on these computers... Thanks!!) First of all, I know that mom will want to know all about my Mamita. Yes, I have a mamita, but we only eat with her for almuerzo (lunch) when she is not able to fine a member for us to eat with. She doesn't do our laundry, we bring our laundry with us to the chapel on Sundays and whoever we go to almuerzo with that day washes our clothes. Everyone here is so nice and the members always invite us into their houses when we stop by randomly. They are so sweet!! The food has been really good so far! Nothing weird yet. We had Spaghetti for almuerzo at the Mission Precident´s house and then for Cena (dinner) we had completos (hot dogs with everything you can imagine on top of them). The put manjar on a bunch of their deserts so I have had that already a couple times! :) It was pretty great! Just pretty much caramel :) I have not yet had Pichanga but my companion says that she has and that it is excellent. I'll probably end up having it during the festivities of next week! The 18th of September is a HUGE holiday here and apparently there will be a lot of food :) Soo!! I have to tell you about a couple of experiences that I have already had with investigators!! First of all, while I was still in the CCM, I prayed during one of my last study times there that I might come across a scripture story that would be exactly what my investigator in my first lesson in the mission field would need and I was directed to study about when Christ walked on the water and Peter came out to him and walked on the water to get to him. Entonces, my first lesson that I had was with the family Canales and I could hardly understand what was going on because he speaks so quickly but when I shared the story, I felt the spirit really strong that it was the right thing to share in that moment in my broken Spanish. A little later on in the lesson my companion shared that I had told her that I wanted to use this story in the first lesson because of my specific prayer that I had said before coming here and explained that the Lord hears and answers each and every one of our prayers. After the lesson, Hermana Paxman (my companion) explained to me that our investigator had said that this story was exactly perfect for him in that moment!! It was amazing! :) We are now working on getting them baptized on October 11th so she went today to finish her papers for divorce and then we have planned that they will get married on the 10th of October (that is one of the biggest problems we have here), baptized on the 11th, then go to the temple in Santiago for baptisms on the 17-18th with the ward!!! We made them a calendar to try to help them to stick to their goals for these things and they are really excited about all of it and so are we!!! :D Miracles!! I don't have any more time now but I love you guys so much and I'm learning and growing every day!! My companion only speaks Spanish to me and I'm only allowed to speak Spanish so I'm learning quickly :) I think Hermana Paxman has actually forgotten a lot of her English.. haha Love you!! --Hermana Harvey
From the airplane. This is Osorno!
Me with my Mission President and his wife. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Leaving the CCM

A nice missionary couple, Brother and Sister Jones, sent us this picture of Madison's district as well as a power point presentation of all the districts that were leaving the Mexico City CCM today.

Off to Chile!

I don't really get a P-day this week I don't think... I'm headed to reception at 3:30 today to get on a bus then we're headed to the airport.  I only have about 15 minutes to write right now so I won't be able to give too much information.  I might be able to write more later today right before I leave but I'm not sure.

I have bad news... We aren't allowed to call home in the airport.  I'm not sure why but I barely even get to email before I go.  I'm sorry about that... 

I have a flight with LAN airlines at 8:27 to Santiago and then I'm not sure the second airline but we're flying in a "Air Bus/ Jet" from Santiago to Osorno at around noon.  The first flight is about 8.5 hours long then we have quite a layover... about 6 hours... then the second flight is about 1.5 hours.  So it should be an exciting night :)

I'm all packed now which is exciting!  I want you to know that I am completely at peace with going to Chile right now.  I'm feeling about the same as I was on the way to the airport (remember how it was strange how little emotion I had.. haha).  I never really have broke down about leaving and I a still comfortable with the idea of leaving.  I am nervous about not knowing quite enough of the language and getting to know a completely new, fast, slurred dialect of Spanish but even that I'm not all that worried because I know that I will have the Lord's help and everything that happens happens for a reason and is for my good.  

I just want to tell you a quick story then I have to get off!  So we do this thing at the CCM called TRC where we can have volunteers come in so that we can teach them lessons and we had this man come in who has only been a member for 2 years and we were talking to him for quite a while and we were in a group of 6 missionaries teaching him.  One thing that was really cool was at the very beginning of the lesson I could not understand what he was saying, but then I think I started getting used to his spanish (I've noticed that it is always harder for me to understand people's Spanish in the first few moments that I am talking to them but then you kinda get used to the way that they say certain things and I can understand them.)  So after a little while I was able to understand just about everything he said.  Which was awesome because he was definitely speaking at a normal speed :)  Then he told us after a while of talking that he needed help understanding how to receive personal revelation.  He said that he only ever received answers in his mind and that he wasn't even completely sure if it was his answer and Hermana Snyder shared with him the scripture about how we receive answers in our mind and in our heart and I shared with him that we all receive answers differently and as we go to church and read our scriptures and pray, we can recognize how the spirit speaks to us individually.  I also shared with him that there is not just one way that the spirit speaks to each of us but that I have felt the spirit in many different ways and am still learning to recognize all of the ways he speaks to me.  He closed the lesson with a beautiful prayer and then after I was thanking him for his time and for sharing his experiences and he told me that as I was speaking he had goosebumps!  I was soo excited to tell him that this was the sprirt testifying to him of the truthfulness of my words.  He said he knew and gave me a huge smile and firm, double-handed handshake and thanked me.  It was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had!  I was able to be the Lord's tool in helping this man to know another means by which he receives revelation!  So cool!

No time for pictures this week... But know that I love you soooo and I have lots of pictures to get to you later!! :)

--Hermana Harvey

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Week 5!

I didn't do as well this week about keeping notes of everything that I wanted to tell you guys throughout the week so this email is probably going to be a little bit shorter than usual.  Sorry about that.  I'll try to do better next week.
So remember in my email last week how I said that we were going to be doing cross-fit with an hermana here who is an instructor?  Well... we did... and I almost died!! Okay... Not literally but I LITERALLY couldn't breathe when we finished the workout.  I almost threw up because I couldn't breathe and then my companion got sick with the combination of the hard workout and the thought of me getting sick.  So that was pretty much the hardest thing in the world.  haha and I was sore for days afterward which Hermana Snyder decided meant that we needed to continue doing crazy cross-fit workouts every day to work out the muscles.  So pretty much yesterday was the first day this week that I'm been able to walk normally because I wasn't quite so gosh darn sore.  Crazy Hermanas :)  But I know it's good for me because we're going to be walking a LOT in Chile and I have to build up my strength so that I don't completely die the first couple of days.

I only have one more week in the CCM then I'm headed out to Chile!! I cannot believe how the time has flown by!! I don't know Spanish yet!! Okay I know quite a bit of Spanish now and I can understand pretty much everything but I can mostly just speak gospel Spanish... I have a pretty hard time just having a normal conversation with someone but when I teach a lesson it's not too hard because those are the words that I use all day long.  So I'm going to have to work on my conversational Spanish a lot more!! In a week from today I will be either headed to or already in Chile and I will not be speaking any more English!! So that should help me to get the language a lot faster!

Have I told you how musical my district is?  The guys are constantly singing which is super fun!  We started practicing out musical number for when we leave the CCM.  All of us have a special musical number when they leave.  We decided to sing "Mas Cerca Dios de Ti" because our district sounds so good when they sing it!! They guys have amazing voices!! I also got "A Child's Prayer" and "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" in Spanish which is super exciting because I LOVE both of those songs!!  :) 
The hermanas in our Casa who are from Mexico and Peru left Sunday night!! It was so sad!  They were sobbing and hugging us and saying how much they were going to miss us!! I am going to miss those girls so much! We had some fun taking pictures the night that they were leaving :) haha  I'll send some of them.  

I love you all so much and I miss you!!

--Hermana Harvey
 Oh I forgot to say that we went to the temple today!! Well, we went to the visitor's center(I think I told you already but the temple is closed right now) ... and it was gorgeous!!  I was sad that we couldn't go in to do a session but the spirit is so strong even in the Visitors Center!  We watched an amazing video about eternal families and it was so touching!! I know that families can be together for all of eternity through the ordinances performed in the Holy Temples.   The temple is a beautiful and wonderful place and I am so glad that we got to go!!
Part of this mystery solved!! We found it open when we were walking on Tuesday!! I think the mirror is just for decoration and it stores the hose!! Interesting!


Hermana Snyder and me at the visitors center

Taking pictures the night our Hermana's left.  It was a challenge to get us all in at once!!  Hermana Peterson is in the front in the first picture haha I love it!

Me again!

We just had to do a Beatles picture.  I think I was the only one that didn't really get the concept of how to make myself look like I'm walking when I'm really not. Haha.

gorgeous hall in the visitors center at the temple

All of our district that is going to Osorno.

On our way to the temple we saw lots of workers.  Look at this dude's broom!! they were all like this.  I feel like he's about to fly away on his broomstick!!

The whole district!
We all dressed up for our going away pictures for the CCM slideshow on Sunday and we all ended up matching with red, white, and blue in our casa so we just had to take a picture :)