Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Last Email Home...

It's been an awesome week.  We had a baptism yesterday.  Again, I`ll show you pictures when I get home.  I guess I`ll have to start packing this week.  

Well, I`m excited to see you all.  Its weird to think about, but I`m happy.

The mission has been amazing.  If I were to describe it to anyone the first thing I would say is that its the best chance anyone can have to change forever.  I feel like I`m coming home a different person, a better person.  I hope I can now be a better mom, a better sister, a better daughter, a better member, with any luck someday a better wife :)  Its amazing.  I still have a long way to go, but this last year and a half are irreplaceable. It will forever be a sacred experience in my life.  I know that this church is true.  That God is real and that the magical ideals that we talk about everyday as blessing of the Gospel are a reality and are possible for anyone who is willing to do what it takes.  There is no other way.  Thank you for all the support you have given me over these last 18 months.  I love you more than you`ll ever know.  Thank you for being my family.  Les amo.

Can you believe I`ll see you in 15 days?!  So crazy.  You can call me Hermana Bailey when I get home if you want, it might help me adjust a little better haha.

This week has been great.  Its getting a lot warmer in the high 80s.  Its nice.  Our investigators are doing awesome.  We have a baptism this Sunday with one of our investigators, Amaia.  Hermana Chamberlain is awesome.  We get along really well and its been a really great transfer with her.

It doesn`t really bother me to talk about whats going to happen when I get home, because it doesn`t really feel real yet.  But I think mostly I would just like to spend time with you guys.  I would like to get some clothes at some point because I seriously have nothing, but we don`t necessarily have to do that there if thats not something that everyone doesn`t want to do.  I would love to go to 6 flags, I love rollercoasters.  So that would be fun. I never have be to La Jolla before, but really I`m up for whatever you guys want to do.  I`m sure that whatever you plan will be lots of fun.

I got my flight itinerary today too.  So weird.  This is going to be my last normal week, because my last week is full of meetings with President, and mission tours, etc.  Its so crazy.

Monday, October 15, 2012

We`re doing good down here.  Starting to warm up a bit, which is nice.  We`ve had a great week. 4 of our investigators have baptismal dates for the end of this month or the beginning of the next.  We have been so busy.  I don`t know if I told you last week but we`re visiting 62 families (Investigators, Less Actives and Converts).  We just don`t have time to visit everyone every week.  But we`re working on finding a rhythm.

A lot of people came to church yesterday.  Two investigators came for the first time, which is always a blessing. They changed the Relief Society Presidency a few weeks ago.  The new President is a doll.  Her name is Sandra and she is the sweetest thing.  So we`ve been working pretty closely with them and the Elders Quroum Presidency.  Its really important to work with the ward leaders and try and help the ward be involved in the missionary work.  

On a totally non-related topic. Chile is really big on fads.  And the newest fad is this nasty Tibetan Fungus or Mold.  They swear it does everything, cures cancer, helps your vision, improves circulation, helps you loose weight, the whole bit.  And we`ve been hearing about it for months now. Well, Hermana Chamberlain and I finally jumped on the bandwagon and we`re taking the fungus.  We have noticed any changes yet.  But its only been 4 days.

Well, I think that's about it for this week.  We have Elder Bednar this Saturday, so say a prayer for me that I`ll be able to play the piano piece well. 

More Pictures From Apoquindo:

Wasn`t Conference amazing?!  I loved it.  I don`t know if Conference is just different as a missionary or if this Conference was even better than normal.  I think its probably a little bit of both.  But, I felt like one of the underlying themes of the Conference was a focus on us becoming better members of the church.  I loved Elder Bednar`s talk about the difference between having a testimony and being a convert.  He`s actually coming to our mission in two weeks.  I`ve been asked to play the piano for a musical about pressure.

What did you think about the change in ages for the missions?!  So cool right?  Caroline are you thinking about going?  It is seriously the best.  You should totally seriously consider it.  I remember praying when I was 19 that the age limit would be changed so I could go on a mission early...

This week with Hermana Chamberlain has been great.  She is so fun.  We have the same sense of humor and she's just such a great person.  But what's really nice is that she's willing and knows how to work.  She totally carries her weight and really makes the work fun.  I love being with her.  

All our investigators are doing well.  We're preparing for Bastian's baptism on the 28th and we have 3 other baptismal dates for the end of this month and the beginning of the next.  Hopefully we`ll be able to get them all ready and baptized before I have to leave. Luis is still trying to quit working on Sunday but he's ready and just waiting to be baptized.
Things are going well.  It's still pretty cold here.  It's been rainy lately.  It's so weird to think I'll be coming home soon.  It doesn`t feel real.  I feel like it will be just another transfer and I`ll be staying here in Apoquindo and be able to continue working as a missionary.  5 more weeks...sooooo weird...

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's been a good week.  On Saturday night we had the ward party to celebrate September 18th, which is Chile´s independence day.  It was so fun.  I think I sent you a few pictures from that with us all dressed up.  A hermana in the ward lent us two of the typical dresses.

Monday was super fun.  We went with the Familia Vergara up into the Andes mountains to go play in the snow.  It was the first time that Hermana Achucarro had ever seen or touched snow.  It was lots of fun.  The drive was about two hours and it was amazing.  We stayed up on top of the mountain for about an hour and then drove back down.  It was lots of fun.

The week flew by.  We had a Zone Conference with President Arnold, who is the area president of the South America area.  It was really good, but it looks like our mission has a problem with obedience.  It was sad to see.  But he gave us a lot of great counsel, and taught us a bunch so I think we´ll be able to do better.

This week we had a lesson with Luis and President Wright.  It went pretty well.  Luis is basically ready to get baptized, and wants to get baptized with all his heart but he works on Sunday and hasn´t been able to find a way to switch his schedule or find another job.  But I think the lesson we had with President really helped to motivate him and hopefully things with be able to work themselves out soon.

We also had a great meeting with our ward mission leader and finally put together a ward mission plan.  And the ward just came up with this awesome retention and activation plan that we´re super excited about.  So things are going really well.  Our converts are doing awesome.  Camilia had an interview with the bishop yesterday to extend a calling, I don´t know what it is yet, but she should be sustained next week.  I´m so excited.  We also found some great old investigators.  We found them on Saturday, taught them a great lesson, and they came to church on Sunday.  And Sacrament Meeting was awesome and they loved it.  So I´m excited about working with them.

Can you believe I´m about to start my last transfer?  It doesn´t feel real.  It makes me sad to think that some of these people we are working with are going to get baptized and I´m not going to be here to see it.  And there's a chance that I could never see any of these people again in my life.  Its hard to think about. 

It's starting to warm up here.  And everyone is getting ready for the 18th, which is Chile´s Independance Day!  I´m so excited.  It's a big deal here.  We´re going to a have a fun week this week, and next week too with all the festivities. 
This week has been good.  I´m finally 100% better after being sick for over a month.  Tomás recieved the Holy Ghost yesterday :)  And the missionary work continues to progress.  We found a lot of people this week that we had lost touch with.  And we´re trying to start and find new people to teach because everyone else is getting baptized. Luis is doing great, he's ready to get baptized, he just has to wait till they switch his work schedule.  Camila is awesome.  They are working on a calling for her and we´ve started helping her with family history.  Tomás is super excited to serve a mission and has already started collecting his toys that he can sell to start saving money.  It's so cute.  We bought him a piggy bank to start saving.  His cousin, Bastian is doing awesome.  We´ve kind of lost track of Karen because her mom doesn´t want her to go to church anymore because she doesn´t want her to get baptized.  :(  Oh well...
The coolest thing about the mission is that you can see the gospel in action and watch it change the lives of people.  It's amazing to realize that all the things I´ve learned since Primary and have always trusted to be true, and really and actually very, very true.  Its amazing.  We meet so many people who are so unhappy and I just want to pound it into their heads that what they need is the gospel!  If they would just live it they would be so much happier!  And that all these worldly things don´t matter.  We are literally children of our Heavenly Father, which means he loves us perfectly.  Our worth is inherent and nothing we can do can change that.  It also means we have the capacity to become like Him, just like every child can become like their parents.  It also means we were born with some of His qualities, just like we are born with characteristics of our parents.  And if everyone could just understand that, really understand how special they are and everything they were created to be, they would be so much happier.  But it's all very, very true.  I know it beyond a doubt and I´m so, so, so happy and grateful to be able to help other people learn how to be happy.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I´ve attached a bunch of pictures from the baptism of Tomás that we had yesterday.  It went really well.

We spent most of our week making sure we had everything ready for the baptism so I don´t have much else to report.

The missionary work is going well.  We will be baptizing the uncle and cousin of Tomás in October.  And we´ve got some other people we are teaching that are good prospects.

The time is going by so fast.  It's crazy!

This week was good.  I'm feeling alot better.  I still have a bit of a cold, but other than that I'm doing good.  Camila recieved the Holy Ghost yesterday.  She is now officially a member of the church! 

I guess the biggest news is that we had changes.  Hermana Achucarro and I are staying together.  This will be Hermana Achucarro's 5th transfer in this area (thats 7.5 months)  and my third (4.5 months) and our third change together.  

We actually had this great specialized training with President this week about the Atonement.  He talked and taught about how to access the power of the Atonement, not only for the forgiveness of sins, but all our problems.  It was super cool.  We were able to turn around and use it with our investigator Luis.  It was great.

But everything is going good.  The missionary work is moving along and we're trying to keep up.  I'm out of time, so I'll talk to you all next week!