I have been called to serve an 18 month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Chile, Osorno. I entered the Missionary Training Center in Mexico City on July 30th, and was there for 6 weeks learning the Spanish language, and getting missionary training.
I then went to the Osorno, Chile mission, where I will joyfully serve for the remaining time.
Well... I have now been in Punta Arenas for 6 months and we received the news this morning that it is time for me to move on. I am headed to Calle Calle (I don't really know how to spell that yet...) on Wednesday. That is a town inside of a bigger city called Valdivia (pretty much the other extreme of my mission!). I have heard that it is GORGEOUS there. I've seen lots of pictures and from what I´ve seen it's true! But the pictures I saw were in Summer haha and it is supposed to be the rainiest city in our mission so that should be fun :) So.... As transfers always go... I have lots of mixed feelings. It is sooo hard to leave all of the people here that I have grown to love so much but I know that there are great adventures waiting for me in Valdivia!! So I'm excited. I know that the Lord knows better than I do what I need... and right now, I need to leave Punta Arenas.
I already know my new companion!! It's Hermana Sarceño from El Salvador. She was here in my zone in Punta Arenas with me and she is tiny and super fun!! :) You'll see what I mean when I send more pictures later :) She was working as a PE teacher before she came on the mission so I'm going to improve my workouts in the morning! :)
We saw a bunch of miracles this week!! One of which was Vanessa and Chrístian!! We had a lesson with them on Saturday and we dedicated the whole time to answering questions and explaining the Restoration until they could really understand. In the end of the lesson, we asked them if they believe that Joseph Smith was really called to be a prophet and if we have a prophet today and Vanessa said "I believe it! I don't know why I believe it but I just do. I can feel that it's true." We explained to her that she had been feeling the Holy ghost testify to her of the truthfulness of our message. They both told us that they always LOVE when we come to visit them because they can feel something different when we are there and they just want more of that feeling. We invited them to be baptized on the 25th of July and Vanessa said "¡SÍ!" and Chrístian said "I believe I will be even more than prepared to be baptized that day." We testified to them of the truthfulness of this gospel and the importance of this decision that they are making and Vanessa just started crying. She said "I'm sorry. I don't know why I'm so sad all of a sudden." And we explained to her that she was not feeling sad. She was feeling the Spirit and that that is what she is going to feel as she prays for a confirmation of her decision to get baptized. IT WAS AMAZING!!! I am sooo happy for them!! I'm also sad that I won't be here to see them get baptized but I know that they are in good hands here with Hermana Snyder.
I love you guys so much!! I'll let you know next week what it's like in Valdivia!!
This week was honestly pretty hard. I didn't realize how draining it would be to walk in the ice and snow every day... all day... haha but we are usually blessed with lots of appointments so I can't complain! :) And it is GORGEOUS!!
Funny story real quick... We were walking to our district meeting on Tuesday and we have to bring a computer so that a couple of the elders in our district can skype in and so I was carrying the laptop and walking in the snow quickly because we were running late and I fell! It was stange because it was like... one second I was just fine and dandy walking and then the next moment I was on the groud! The good news is that there was lots of snow so it was like a big pillow!! :) haha so that was fun.
We had an activity this week in which all of the missionaries sang and we watched videos about Jesus Christ. It went pretty well :) But we diffinitely sang like a choir of missionaries... haha latino missionaries. But that's okay because the chileans ALWAYS say that the choir sang like a choir of angels.... no matter what they sounded like! But the videos that we watched were great!! :))
Love you guys!!
For P-day today we went to play in the snow!! :) It was super fun!!! And only about 15 minutes driving to get there! :D FUN!!
Yes.... I am having a white JUNE!! Haha crazy! Hermana Snyder and I feel like it's Christmas!!! :) It's been a little cold this week... and when I say a little, I mean a lot!! Haha we get to ice skate everywhere we go!! :) Super fun!! I'm sending a couple pictures of the snow but I didn't get any super good pictures. Next week hopefully I'll have better snow pictures :)
So... one of the miracles that we had this week real quick!! We were trying to find a few people that we had contacted in the street and, as happens many times, we realized that someone had given us a fake address so as we were knocking doors on the street that they said they lived, I noticed a girl seated in her house, looking at us from her window. I told Hermana Snyder that she was looking at us soo... like any good missionary... we took that as a sign that we needed to knock on her door and talk to her. A girl named Andrea answered and we stared with our typical, "Hello, we're missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." As Hermana Snyder was saying this, I noticed another young girl inside look up very surprised and stand up and Andrea look back in surprise at her friend. The girl who was inside, Lydia, pushed her way through the door to give us each a hug! That was pretty shocking... She said that she was a member of the church here visiting her friend who is not a member and that she had something to tell us. She said that just as we knocked on her door, she was finishing telling her friend about how the missionaries had knocked on her door, the message that they shared with her, and how she came to know it was true and.... guess what... that's when we showed up out of nowhere and knocked on her door!! WHAT?!?! Sometimes we don't even realize that God is leading us in each and every thing that we do until things like this happen!! CRAZY! We are meeting with them this Friday!
We have still been finding lots of new people to teach!! One of these is named Solange and she is ADORABLE. I don't really know how to explain how she is in other words... But she is really sweet, soft spoken, and dresses adorable. Have you seen the show The New Girl? She looks and acts kinda like the girl from that show but more sweet and soft-spoken haha ANYWAY... We taught her about the Restoration and she loved it and said that if she received an answer from God that it is true, she will be baptized on June 27th. Well... she didn't go to church yesterday so we're going ot have to wait a little longer but it's great because she really has desires to know if it is true!!
We also received a reference from our investigator, Victor, to go and visit one of his neighbors (They knew a young woman lived there and that she works as a nurse and has a little daughter but that's all they knew about her)! When we knocked on their door, her husband answered (Chrístian) and he told us that we could come back on Saturday. So, of course, we came back and when we got there, his wife (Vanessa) told us that she was really surprised when her husband told him that we were going to come because he doesn't even believe very much in God and NEVER thought he would want to hear what we had to say. He explained that they had seen missionaries pass by the house many times and always wondered what they believed but they had never knocked on his door. So when we came along this day, he decided that he wanted to listen and learn. We shared with them about the Restoration of the Gospel and and they loved it also! They said that we could come back any time we want!! haha so we set up an appointment to see them next Saturday when they will both be home together!! I am so excited to teach them more!!
Lots more happened this week but it's too much to write here... If you want to have more details, someday you can read my journal :) it will all be there!!
I love you guys!!!
OH! And it snowed!! Didn't stick in our area but you could see it up in the hills!! :) So pretty!!
Some of the miracles that we have seen this week...
went to have a lesson with Madeline and Gonzalo and we were a little
nervous because Gonzalo has been acting differently so we know that
there is something wrong so we were praying that we would know what to
say and how we could help him. We decided to watch a video about the
Atonement of Jesus Christ and the love and forgiveness that we can feel
through his sacrifice. When we put Hermana Snyder's pen-drive in the
computer, it started playing some random so we said oh, "no, no, that's
not the one." But Gonzalo said, that's okay. This one's good too so we
can watch both (he obviously had never seen it before and was just
assuming it would be good). So before we even started, we watched this
random video that started playing by itself and it was PERFECT. It
talked about the guilt that we feel many times from our sins and the
addictions that we may have and that we may feel as though there is no
way out but through the atonement of Jesus Christ and through his love,
we can all be cleansed. It was beautiful!! God knew a lot better than
us which video they needed to watch.
passed by the house of a woman named Roxana who the missionaries have
passed by before and she said, "Oh.. I don't have much time right now
but.... yeah. Come in." I was surprised at this moment (we never really
know what to do at first when people say that we can come in after
knocking on their door because it doesn't happen all that often) so we
just started talking to her about what our purpose is as missionaries
and asking her some questions to get to know her religious background.
She told us that she is from the Evangelic Church (about half of the
population of Chile is part of this religion) and that she had come to
know that this church is not true and that it is better just to love God
and pray and live according to his teachings in your own way. She
explained to us that she had a dream in which Roxana was sitting next to
all of the other members of her church and they all had dried up leaves
in their hands. Their pastor then told them to go up one-by-one and
put their dried up leaves on an old dried up tree. She said that each
and every one followed his instructions and each leaf fell to the
ground. When it came to her turn, she said that she would not put her
leave on the tree because the tree was dead. The pastor said that she
had to put her leaf on the tree because it was his tree and she refused
and as she refused, we looked down at her own leaf and it was half-dead
and half-living. She said that she knew in this moment that her church
was just another dead tree that she should not participate in. I felt
the spirit very strongly as she was sharing this dream with us and I
know that it was real! And I Understood her dream!! This was the first
time in my life that I have been blessed with the ability to interpret a
dream! (exciting right??) The leaf that was in her hand came from two
different sources... one was the dead tree of her pastor and the other
was the tree of life! The true church of God. We shared with her a few
scriptures from 1 Nephi 8 to try to help her to understand her dream
better and let her know that there IS a true church. Roxana is living
her life up to this point as if we are still in the great apostasy but
we bring the good news that the church of Jesus Christ has been restored
to the earth!! All there is to do now is to pray to God to know if it
is true and take God's invitation to "prove me now herewith to know if
these things are not true." I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints is the church of God and that as we pray to God, we
can come to know for ourselves if this is true! And I know how much joy
that this truth can bring to the lives of others as they come to know! I
also know that Roxana will be able to know for herself if she prays,
asks God, and does the things that he asks of us to test it for
But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties,even to an experiment upon my words,
and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.
have also been focusing a lot on inviting people to be baptized! We
have invited 4 people this week to be baptized! And not one said no! No
one really said yes either.. but they didn't say no! Haha They told us
that they need to study more, understand more, and pray more before they
can say yes. And that is EXACTLY what we want for them! It's even
better than them just saying yes to make us happy because they really
want to know for themselves! We don't want anyone to be baptized without
knowing for themselves that what we are teaching is true. And when
they do know that our message is true, we want them to be baptized
because it is the only way they will be able to live with their families
and with God after this life! We invite people to act because we love
them and we want them to be happy for ETERNITY!