Thursday, December 22, 2011

Specialized Training in Every Zone in November

"I can't believe I'm almost halfway done with my mission!"


"Time has gone by so fast. I can't believe I'm almost halfway done with my mission!

We've had a good week. We are so busy because since they left just two of us in our sector and we really have the work for four. It's crazy, but we have a lot to do. It was kind of lame, because 5 of our investigators committed to come to church on Sunday and not one showed up.

They did the rebroadcast of the First Presidency Christmas Devotional and our choir sang at the end. We got there early to practice and waited for everyone to show up. Everyone got there except for two elders, so we waited and waited. Finally, we called and they had gotten the time wrong and thought they didn't have to be there until 8:00pm...the devotional started at 6:00pm. They got there half way through the devotional and we sang at the tend and it turned out really well. They said there are normally 5 or 10 people there, and this year the chapel was packed full. Our stake president was so pleased.

Hermana Gallardo and I are getting along well. We're different. And she gives me "talks" sometimes. Like, that we need to tell the Relief Society President that we can't drink soda because it's against the Word of Wisdom. The members serve us soda at lunch every day. She also promises homeless people on the street that the church will buy them a house! But, we are working well together and that's what's important.

Lourdes is going strong in the church. She's like a totally different person. It's amazing. And Matias is getting ready to get baptized. Things are good. I'm happy."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Transfers!

Well first things first, we´ve had changes (transfers). Hermana Loza (my companion I was training) and Hermana Windous left. Hermana Loza went to the temple to an amazing companion named Hermana Palmer. I´m so happy that at she is in a great sector with a great companion. I cried when I found out she was leaving.
Hermana Windous´s hija, Hermana Gallardo, is now my companion. I´ll finish training her this change. We have the whole sector to ourselves now which is going to be interesting. Now, just the two of us have to do the work of two companionships. We have so many people to work with, it's nuts!
Anyways, this week has been good. We´ve been working like crazy. Christmas time is an awesome opportunity we have to talk to EVERYONE about the gospel. Whats nice, is that Chile isn´t like the United States because the offical state religion is Catholicism. So there are Christmas decorations everywhere. There are tons of beautiful nativity scenes. I love it. I love Christmas.
I actually had a really cool experience this week that I´d love to share with you. Hermana Loza and I had two appointments back to back, but they were on opposite ends of the sector, so we had to take micro. As we were waiting at the bus stop after our first appointment to go to our second, a bus pulled up and I felt a very strong distinct, impression that we should not get on the bus. But I was nervous we would be late, so I ignored it and got on anyway. The bus started going and I noticed a woman standing close to me and again I got a very strong impression that I needed to talk to her. Unfortunatley, there were a lot of people in between us so I ignored the prompting again. After a few minutes, I noticed she was staring at my nametag. Finally, I smiled at her. She immediately asked where we were headed and when I told her the street, she quickly explained to me that the bus we were on was an express bus that went straight to San Bernardo (which is about an hour away and in another mission!) without stopping. I immediately kicked myself for not listening to the Spirit and thanked her for her help. We were able to talk to the bus driver and he let us off the bus at a red light. We actually got off the bus right next to our appointment. I learned a huge lesson. I was reminded that the Spirit is always guiding us and we need to ALWAYS listen to his council. But also that God blesses our lives through other people. Even strangers. And finally, that you never know when a smile will quickly come around to be a blessing in your life.
I´m grateful to be here, to have the right to the guidance of the Spirit, and recieve confirmation everyday that God loves me and is very aware of where I am, where I am going, and who I need to be.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"It always get's better."

We've had another good week here in Nunoa. We've been teaching a lot. We´ve taken huge steps in working with the ward council and our ward mission leader as well. I finally feel like our ward mission leader is finally here to stay and in it to win it. And things have already started getting better.
My poor companion has had a few hard days. Last month she didn´t watch her money so she ran out of money about a week and a half before we were going to get anymore. I ended up having to buy her groceries the last week. Then, we finally got money last Thursday and she lost her card from the mission on Friday. Plus, the first part of the mission is really overwhelming and I think she feels really inadequate like everyone does at the beginning. Plus, those first few weeks are brutal on your body because its just not used to the work we do everyday. Sometimes I end up carrying her bag by the end of the day because she's just so tired and her body hurts. When we left a lesson the other day, she just broke down in tears. It was the saddest thing. Heartwrenching. I think my heart broke into a million tiny peices when I saw her so sad. I think it must be something like what a parent feels when they see their child suffer. I just wanted to take away all her problems and all her pain and give her the perfect, happy, easy mission.

I think she's a lot better now. It always gets better.

But we´ve been teaching alot this week. We´ve taken huge steps in working with the ward council and our ward mission leader as well. I finally feel like our ward mission leader is finally here to stay and in it to win it. And things have already started getting better.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lourdes Got Baptized!



"The biggest news of this week is that Lourdes got baptized! Finally! But, oh was it an adventure! The baptism was Friday morning. Lourdes didn´t want to use a normal baptismal tunica, because she wanted something special and pretty that she could keep. So we bought her a temple dress and made this cute sash with a little flower to wear. Well, the night before we decided to test it to make sure it wasn´t going to be transparent when it got wet. But it was....completely transparent, like saran wrap. So we began calling every missionary in the zone trying to find a tunica for her to wear. We found a couple, but Lourdes didn´t want to wear anything but the dress we had put together.
Anyways...her baptism was at 11 in the morning, so we planned on waking up at 5:30am to be at the capilla by 6, so we could fill the font because it takes about 4 hours to fill it up. Our alarm didn´t go off, so we woke up late. So, we scramble over there and start filling up the font, but there´s no hot water. In fact the water is ice cold. So, we make a million phone calls and the maintence guy comes over to look at it. It turns out there is no gas in the entire capilla and therefore no hot water. They call a gas maintence guy and he comes over and fixes it. But by the time we have the gas for the hot water, the pila is already full with icy water and its 9:30. We know Lourdes will not want to get baptized in the cold water, so we drain it and start to fill it with warm water. But its 9:30, it takes 4 hours to fill up, and our baptism is at 11:00.
Also, we had Stake Conference last Sunday and nobody has cleaned the capilla since and it was filthy. So, in our skirts and heals we vaccumed, mopped, and I cleaned urinals...yes...urinals.
Finally at 11:00 people start showing up. But, the font was only about to a person's ankles, so we stall. We take pictures, we introduce every single person in the room to Lourdes and her kids. And then at about 11:30 we start. We asked one of the elders to direct the meeting and tell him to stall. So we had the program, and then Elder Daines gave an impromptu talk and bore his testimony about 3 times. Lourdes had asked us to do a muscial number, so we sang, but because I was singing we asked a young woman in the ward to play the piano. But what we didn´t realize, is that she played from the simplified hymn book which means the song was about 5 keys higher. It was awful, we were skreeching. It was the worst muscial number in the history of baptisms, I´m sure.
Finally at 12:00 we can´t stall any longer and we all head over to the font. The elder that is going to baptize and Lourdes go down into the font, and the water reaches barely above their knees! But they did the baptism, and it worked. And Lourdes wore a white t-shirt under her dress so it wasn´t too horribly see through.
Hermana Windous and I bore our testimonies afterwards, and then Lourdes bore her testimony. It all worked out. It" was crazy, but it all worked out!

Friday, November 25, 2011

50th Anniversary of the First Chilean Mission





From Sister Laycock: "We enjoyed the week-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the first Chilean Mission of the Church in Chile from October 8th-15th. We wish every one of you could have been here with us to enjoy the festivities and participate in the amazing activities. It was in every way, spectacular. On October 8, we enjoyed a fireside at the Lynch Norte Chapel which was broadcast to many Stake Centers throughout Chile. We learned about the past 50 years of the Church in Chile. Then Elder Zeballos of the Area Presidency asked us what will happen in the next 50 years of the Church in Chile. It was absolutely beautiful. During the week, we had visitors and investigators who wanted to learn and discover who we are and what we know and believe. It was wonderful!

On October 15th, more than 22,000 people gathered in a beautiful open-air Santiago Stadium just as the sun was setting on Santiago. It had been rainy and cold all week, and we prayed for good weather. It was perfect... no rain at all, just clear skies and fresh, cool, clean air!

First, we were privileged to hear from Elder Richards, Elder Zeballos, and Elder Corbridge (our Area Presidency) in a fireside setting which was perfect. Then we were entertained and taught through an elaborate and beautiful presentation which included nearly 3,000 youth from throughout the Country of Chile and many others. The dancing and music and costumes were colorful and artistically designed and created. We were thoroughly overcome with gratitude and love for our Chilean Brothers and Sisters and their overwhelming National Pride. The giant jumbo trons featured none other than a video of several of our missionaries teaching and preaching the Gospel and serving their Chilean Brothers and Sisters.

Our Missionaries were part of the program. Along with the missionaries from the North, West, East, andRancagua Missions, they were seated in the stands near the stage. A touching scene portraying a beautiful, faithful family saying good-bye to their son as he left to serve his mission brought tears to our eyes and filled us with gratitude for the Missionary Program of the Church. Then the spotlights flooded in upon the gigantic force of Missionaries wearing beautiful white shirts and huge sparkling smiles. In powerful, faithful voices, they sang, "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go." It was spectacular! We felt such an outpouring of the Spirit. I don't think there was a dry eye in the entire stadium as the missionary on the stage, lovingly left his family and walked quietly across the stadium field pulling his suitcase behind him. Accompanied by the beautiful voices of our missionaries singing, it was a heart-warming setting and scene, and we were filled with the spirit of missionary work and its importance in our lives. Every person in the stands felt incredible gratitude for missionaries and the missionary program of the Church because of course, they were all brought to the true and restored Gospel by their own set of missionaries. They reverence and pay homage to all missionaries because they are so very grateful that some missionaries found and taught and baptized them. They know that without missionaries and the sacrifices they make, they themselves would not be members of the true and living Church. It was so powerful and so very beautiful.

The presentation depicted different historical episodes of the Americas along with the development of the Church in Chile. Music and dances from three continents were included with spectacular, gorgeous costumes designed and made by parents and volunteers.

We are constantly amazed at the talents and abilities that make possible these presentations. We know that without the help of the Lord, none of this would be possible here in Santiago. This was clearly a labor of love that has had remarkable influence here. Many people are wanting to know more about the Church because of this activity. We know that the positive effects of this celebration will be felt for years to come. We are so thankful to have been a small part of it all."

Pictures from the October Mission Activity

President and Sister Laycock
October Mission Activity

"A tine miracle in the very last house"

Mattias is doing great! We had another lesson with him yesterday. Hes been reading the Book of Mormon and praying, and he´s already noticed an added peace to his life and changes in himself. Its amazing. We set a fecha (baptismal date) with him last night. He is such an awesome guy. I don´t know if I told you this last time, but I feel like I´ve met him before. I know that sounds so cliche, but it is such a strong feeling. Hes come to church two weeks in a row now and is progressing like wildfire.

"We had a cool experience this week. We had a day where we weren´t having much success. None of the investigators or menos activos that we passed for were home. So we ran through our plans and backup plans really fast. We tried knocking for a bit but we weren´t having much success with that either. So, we decided to go visit a menos activo who lived a little bit farther south. So as we were walking we walked by this short little street and I said, "¿Piensa que deberíamos tocar esta calle?" And my companion said, "Sí" So, we said a little prayer that we would find at least one person knocking this street and started. We talked to a few wishy-washy people who were like, "Well maybe you can pass by another day. I´m not home all the time...but sure" but we kept knocking. We knocked one whole side of the street and then the whole other side and we weren´t coming up with anything solid. Finally we reached the last house and there was this cute lady watering her garden. We said hola, and she turned off the water and came over and talked to us. We explained that we had a message about Jesus Christ and she agreed to listen to us. Her name is Monica. So, right there at her gate we taught her the first lesson and gave her a Book of Mormon. She had great questions throughout the lesson and was excited to read the Book of Mormon. It was so cool. Such a tiny little miracle. In the very last house. But our prayer was answered and we have an appointment with her tomorrow night."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


"There is a boy in our ward, who reminds me SO much of Carter. His name is Filipe and he just got his mission call to Argentina, so last Sunday we talked to him about doing a Noche de Hogar (FHE) with his family to talk about Argentina and the mission. Well, he called us Saturday morning and asked us to come over that night. We thought it was for the NDH, but when we got there it was actually to teach his friend Mattias. We didn´t have anything prepared, but it was an awesome lesson. We taught about the restoration and he accepted an invitation to be baptized! He is super receptive and just awesome! He has had a rough life, but he has a sincere desire to repent and change. Its amazing. He came to church yesterday too! And we have an appointment with him tonight."

"God has a funny sense of humor, but he does answer prayers!"


"Wednesday was really, really hard. We worked all day, knocking and trying to visit menos activos but nobody would let us in. A few menos activios lied to us and told us that the people we were looking for had moved when it was actually them. I was feeling really lame. We hadn´t taught a single lesson all day. We had a choir practice at the end of the day, so we were walking towards the capilla (church.) We were at the end of our day and I was just praying, praying, praying that we could find somebody, anybody, who wanted to talk to us. As I finished my prayer, we were standing at a stop light waiting for it to change, and as soon as I said "amen" in my head, the guy standing next to me turned around, read my name tag and said, "Ohhhhhh....your Mormons...." in English. Lets just say God has a funny sense of humor, but he does answer prayers. It turns out this man and his wife are here in Chile as missionaries for an Evangelical church and they live on the same street as us. So we walked with them for a little bit and he told me how it was such a shame that we believe in the Angel Moroni more that Christ and all this stuff and he wasn´t very willing to be corrected. But, he lives in this house owned by the oragnization that he works for where young adults come from all over the world to have an "intense training program to come closer to God" and he invited us to come and teach everybody what we really believe. So we´re hoping to go sometime this week. From then on, everything has gotten progressively better. On Thursday we had a cita (appointment) every hour all day long! We´re teaching some people who seem to have a lot of promise. We´re excited."

Jonathan got baptized!



Jonathon got baptized on Sunday!!!!!! It was so amazing. I bawled. President Laycock came and spoke and it was amazing. Lourdes is getting baptized this next Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

First Week of Training


Well I´ve survived a week of training. My companion is named Hermana Loza, and she is from Argentina. She is very sweet and we get a long very well. She has this cute Argentina accent that I just love and I actually enjoy speaking in Spanish all day.
But, I have never been so tired. I think speaking in Spanish all day wears my brain out and being in charge of everything and always having to be on my toes keeps me on edge all day. So when I get home I´m just about dead. I feel like I go to bed exhausted and wake up even more exhausted. BUT, things are good.
Hermana Loza and I get along so well, and shes so excited to be here. Its such a help that she already speaks Spanish. She is willing to be involved and help with everything and she is so patient with me. On our first day after about an hour I gave up trying to pretend like I knew what I was doing and I told her that I didn´t have a clue and that I was so sorry because I know thats the last thing that you want to hear from your trainer. But I told her I had a testimony that I knew we were supposed to be together and that I would try to do everything I could to make this a special experience for her. She was so understanding and supportive and we´ve already become good friends.
Actually a cool thing happened on Tuesday when I went to pick her up. I was still totally stressed about training so I asked President to give me a blessing. He gave me a beautiful blessing where he blessed me with strength and peace of mind. But what was cool is what he said afterwards. Afterwards he said ¨I will promise you, that you and Hermana Loza will be eternal friends¨ It was the coolest thing, because I don´t know if you remember, but when I got set apart as a missionary, in my blessing, President Reeder blessed me with the gift of tounges and that I would make eternal friends on my mission. Cool huh?

Packages From Home!

Using and Developing Her Talents

Sundays in the mission are nuts. You spend the whole day running around. Everyone wants to talk to you and you are just so busy. Last week we got to church a few minutes early because as missionaries we were doing a musical number in Sacrament Meeting. I was playing the piano and it was a pretty difficult song so I was kind of stressed about it. So we practiced a little bit and 5 minutes before the meeting started the 1st counselor in the bishopbric asked me to give a 15 minute talk because their speaker was sick. It was nuts. So all in one Sacrament meeting I gave a talk and then got down from the pulpit and walked over to the piano and we did the musical number. I have now been called to play the piano in the Primary, specifically for the Primary program in 2 weeks.
We also have a special fireside this Saturday with an APOSTLE!!! We´re so excited. But I´ve been asked to play the prelude and the numbers for the fireside. So this Saturday I will be playing the piano for an Apostle. Then we are doing a special musical number at the beginning of December for a Fireside with our President and Hermana Windous and I are in charge of it and I´m playing the piano for that too. My poor new companion will be spending a lot of time listening to me practice for her first change. Poor thing.

TRAINING!

We had changes. I´m still in Nunoa 1 and Hermana Windous is still here too. But they have split us up. Now would be a could time to sit down... because you´re never going to belive this....we´re both...training.
Yes, you read that correctly. I, having only 4 months in Chile and 6 months as a missionary, am training a brand new impressionable missionary straight from the MTC. I almost threw up when they annouced it this morning. I´m scared out of my mind. I have no idea what I´m doing and I´m pretty sure I´m going to ruin this poor girls life. If you haven´t been praying for me up to this point, I could really use your prayers for these next few weeks. And any advice from you return missionaries would be great.

Visiting Little Old Ladies

This week has been good. Lourdes is doing great. She fed us lunch this week and it was SO good. We´ve started looking for a dress for her baptism so it should happen in the next couple weeks.

I also have great news! I don´t know if you remember Jonathan? The boyfriend of a member in our ward who dropped off the face of the earth? Well the other Hermanas found him again, have been teaching him, and hes getting baptized this Sunday! I´m so excited! Hopefully Hermana Hudson and I will be able to go.

One thing that I´ve learned that I LOVE to do is visit little old ladies in the ward who live all alone. In Nunoa 2 it was Hermana Arranda. Here in Nunoa 1 her name is Hilda and she is a Hoot! She is around 75 and shes this little round woman and she doesn´t have a single tooth! I´ll have to send you a picture. She is the cutest, sweetest thing in the entire world. She can´t see very well and she can´t hear worth a darn, but she has the cutest funniest personality.. We visit her a couple times a week because shes lonely. This week we went over and helped her shell peas and change the sheets on her bed. Her bed was piled with clothes so as we took the clothes off to change the sheets we found her teeth. Actually several pairs. I don´t know why she doesn´t wear them, but I´m glad she doesn´t, not even to church.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cultural Celebration




"The Celebration was so wonderful. They had dances from all of south America and all the youth participated. It was amazing. 5 missions from Chile were there. Santiago East, North, West, Rancagua, and Vina del Mar. All of us as missionaries sang a part of "I´ll go where you want me to go" in spanish. It was great.
We actually had an adventure after the celebration. The Celebration was held in a stadium outside our mission. It takes us about an hour to get there from our house in subway. Anyways, the celebration ended at 10:30 and the subway stations close at 11:00. So we booked it to the subway station and were able to get on a train. But the subways closed when we were about halfway home. So, we were stuck in a subway station in the middle of Santiago at 11:00 at night. We had no idea where we were or how to get home. But we asked some people directions and we got on a bus and somehow ended up on a street we knew. Then we walked to another street we knew and were able to take a bus home. But we didn´t get home till 12:30. We were some of the first missionaries to leave the stadium, so there were a ton of missionaries behind us who lived even farther away. Our poor zone leaders didn´t get home until after 1:30. We were all sooo tired the next day."
"This week flew by. I can´t believe next week I´ll complete 6 months in the mission and be a third of the way done! It goes WAYYYY to fast.

This week was good. We met with Lourdes on Tuesday after fasting with her on Sunday. She had a great experience and wants to continue with the lessons and get baptized. We´re hoping she will get baptized on the 30th or the week after. We´re going to try to set a date with her this week. But it was another huge testimony that God always answers prayers and the power of fasting combined with prayer. We're really excited for her.
On Wednesday we had interviews with President. Those are always so special. Hes so nice. He gave Hermana Windous and I an assignment for the Christmas devotional. We are incharge of the musical presentation. We´re not really sure exactly what it entails yet but we´re excited and hoping that means that her and I will be companions at least through Christmas!!!"

Chilean National Holiday Celebration


"We understand the National Pride that Chileans feel for this beautiful country! As we watched these breath-takingly beautiful Chileans perform through music and dance on September 19, we were filled with emotion and love. The Chilean people are stately and majestic. We love them, and we honor their culture and heritage. We feel so blessed to be able to get to know them and to feel of their royal birthright. They are truly wonderful in every way.

During the week of the 11th through the 19th of September, we were able to see and participate in many beautiful celebrations of this amazing Country. We pray for the Lord's choicest blessings to be upon this Country and her dear people." Sister Laycock (Mission President's wife)


Nunoa Stake Primary Missionary Activity




"Our Missionaries in the Nunoa Stake were blessed in the month of August as we were invited to participate in a training for all Primary Students and their parents. We taught the children what they need to do to prepare to become representatives of Jesus Christ as full time Missionaries. We even held a mini zone conference in which they could all to participate. What a blessing for these children to prepare now while they are so young! Excitement filled the air as we worked together to teach these young people what they need to do to prepare themselves in every way to serve full time missions." Sister Laycock (Mission President's wife)


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"It's really cool-- Birds of Paridse and Calle Lilies grow naturally here. They are everywhere and now that its spring they are all blooming and its so beautiful."


Funny Stories

"I already new the people in Chile were very supersticious, but I found out this week that there is a new superstition. They really believe that if you go outside when its cold without covering your mouth and neck, your mouth will become crooked! Kind of like if you cross your eyes they´ll stay that way... but they really believe it. How funny.

"Besides the Catholic church,alot of people in Chile are Jehovah Witness. They are called Testigos de Jehovah here. And they send out missionaries two by two just like us but they have a bad reputation because they are supposidly really pushy and mean. So a lot of times people mistake us for them which is not good. So one day we were knocking, and not having a lot of success. No one would let us in. Finally, we got to one house and we saw the woman in her kitchen hiding from us. So we rang the doorbell over and over, but she wouldn´t answer. Finally, in our desperation, I yelled out ¨Please answer the door, we´re not Testigos!¨ Hermana Windous about died laughing. Unfortuantely the woman still didn´t answer the door.

"We were walking home one night this week and saw this woman in this cute little outfit with this cute little curly ponytail trying to unload this big, heavy bag from her car on the other side of the street. She was really struggling so we decided to go help her. There were a few cars so we had to wait to cross the street. We were trying to hurry so we wouldn´t miss this service opporunity so we quickly ran across the street and as we ran I called out ¨Senora, do you need help?¨ As we got closer, she turned around. That's when I noticed her very large and nicely groomed mustache and realized she wasn´t really a ¨she¨ at all. We quickly booked it in the opposite direction and have been avoiding that street ever since.

"We were knocking the other day and most of the houses here have big gates with intercoms. So most of our knocking consists of us pushing the button on the intercom and talking with the people through the little speaker. Anyways, so we were knocking and we pushed the button on the intercom of this one house and Hermana Windous explained who were were to the woman who answered and asked if we could share a message with her. The woman explained that she was in a ¨lucha" which means like "struggle", kind of like saying "I´m in a pickle." Wanting to help, Hermana Windous explained that we could offer a prayer with her to help her through this tough time. However, the woman replied "Senorita, No, estoy en la DUCHA" which means "No, I´m in the shower." Hahaha! Hermana Windous had misheard and offered to say a prayer with her to help her with her shower!!"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Missionaries Love Their Moms!

Madeleine shared this with me while she was in the MTC. I just recently came across it and thought it was worth sharing:

"It is amazing to hear these Elders talk about their mothers. Some of the biggest, toughest Elders have the softest, most tender spots for their mothers and they bear their testimonies of it all the time. It's so sweet to see them cry because they love they love their moms so much. I think as women we play an irreplaceable role in the lives of our young men and their choice to serve a mission. I think sons will naturally value the things that they see that their mother values."

Monday, September 26, 2011

"She's one of our miracles."

Since the first day we were together, Hermana Windous and I have been talking about how we want to make miracles happen in this area. So we were knocking earlier this week and we knocked this one house and this young mother, named Alejandra, with her adorable three year old son, Maurro, came out. She immeadiately invited us in, which is a little unusual because most people just talk to us through their gates. We sat on her porch and explained a little bit of who we are and what our message was. Then Hermana Windous asked if she prayed to God. She told us she was angry at God and so she hadn´t talked to him for awhile but she didn´t tell us why. We asked if we could pray with her. After the prayer, we asked if we could leave a pamphlet. Normally we leave the pamphlet from the first lesson, The Restoration, one but when I went into my bag to get it, I was completely out. I hesitated for a second and asked Hermana Windous if she had one, but then I just grabbed the Plan of Salvation one and bore a brief testimony about how our message was for the family and that I know that families can be together forever. And all of a sudden, she opened up. She told us that she had recently lost a baby and that is why she was mad at God. We were able to bear powerful testimonies of the restored truths of the Gospel, that children are saved in Christ and that she will see her baby again and that they can all be together forever. We´ve already been back to teach her once and it went great. She´s one of our miracles :)

Hermana Bailey and Hermana Hudson with Hermana Arranda



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Translations...

When you speak in Spanish all day, you start translating things from Spanish into English and it doesn´t always work out well. I´ll just give you a list of what everything means so I can just type as I think and then you can understand.

Sector=Area (as in our proselyting area)
Changes-=transfers
"We passed by" or ¨We can pass for her" = "we stopped by" or "we can stop by her house"
Menos activo=less active
Converso-=recent convert
cita=appointment

Okay I think thats all the words that I might use that might not make sense to you!

Transfers!


I´ve been transferred! When the assitants called last night to tell Hermana Hudson and I that we would both be leaving I cried. I was so sad to leave. I love our ward, I love our area, I love our investigators. I was completely heart broken to leave. Especially both of us. But we got to the transfer meeting this morning and I found out I was assigned to the sector right next door called Nunoa 1! I´m still in Nunoa and I´m even in the same zone. I was so happy. And I have a wonderful companion named Hermana Windous. She is sooooo sweet. We´ve gone on divisions a couple times and it has always been so fun. Nunoa 1 is a little bit of a harder area because its a little bit more wealthy. But I´m excited to work with the members and really get things going. We already have some wonderful goals set.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Leonel's baptism is scheduled for Sunday

Leonel still is scheduled to be baptized this Sunday. He's seemed a little hesitant the last few times we´ve talked to him, so we´re nervous he doesn´t want to get baptized without his son Diego. But we have an appointment with him tomorrow night so hopefully all will go well. Keep him in your prayers. Can I just tell you a little bit more about him? First of all, he looks like Mr. Rogers. I can´t remember if I told you that or not. But he is so sweet. He´s started calling us "hijas" which means daughter and he always says "my home is your home, you can always come by whenever you want" Hes so so very wonderful. And he comes to church every week.
Another success we saw this week was the family I´ve been teaching piano to, finally came to church this week. It was so great! They all came and they stayed for the whole three hours. Its a single mom, with two young kids. Her name is Nelly and she is so fun. They actually lived in Chicago for three years so they all speak English. Its fun.

"I love the temple."

"On Friday we had a chance to go to the temple. It was wonderful. I´m actually so lucky because I´ve been able to go to temple here twice already on my mission. Some missionaries in our mission only get to go twice in their whole mission. But I´ve just been in the right place at the right time so I´ve been able to go. Its amazing. The temple here is beautiful. Its always fun because the sessions are in Spanish but now I can understand! I really think the Spirit helps you a lot though. I´m grateful that I went so many times before my mission and I was able to go in the MTC because I kind of already know what is being said so its easy to connect the words in Spanish with the ones I already know in English. It's always a beautiful experience. I love the temple."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Leonel is getting baptized!

"This week has been good. I´ve started to teach piano lessons to one of our less active memebers that we have been working with. Its been really fun. She´s such a fast learner and its so nice to feel the Spirit through music. It gives us a great chance to been in her home several times a week talking with her and her son about the gospel.

"On Thursday we had a zone coference all day with several of the zones in the mission. President spoke to us and it was really fun. He taught us that the way we present the gospel to people is really important. He did this great object lesson where he had one of the missionaries come up and placed this beautiful, yummy looking cake in front of him. And asked the elder if he wanted some and when he said yes, President slammed his face into the cake. It was so funny. He then compared the gospel to the cake and talked about the cake is desirable, and delicious and people will want to learn more about it, but we can´t just shove it in their face. It was great.

"Sunday was so cool. First of all, tons of people were there. Lots of less active memebers came to church and Leonel came and brought little Catalina. Diego showed up a little bit later. But the cool thing was that Sister Dibb was there with the Area Presidency! Sister Dibb as in the second counselor in the General Young Women´s Presidency, and the daughter of President Monson. We still had our fast a testimony and the Spirit was so strong. It was wonderful. Hermana Hudson got to translate for her, which was so cool."

BUT! The most exciting news of the week is....We set a baptismal date with Leonel for the 18th of September! We are SOOOOO excited!

Touring Santiego



Today we went to a place called Santa Lucia. It was so cool. First, the National Library of Chile is there. The building is probablly one of the coolest things I´ve seen. They have all these little studies with the big couches and chairs like you would imagine in a Sherlock Holms story. And big desks, and each study had vaulted ceilings with floor to ceiling bookshelves, with spiral staircases and sliding ladders and all. It was so beautiful.

Then just down the road is a castle! So cool. So we hiked up there and checked it out. It was really cool. From the tallest tower you could see all of Santiago. It was great.

Afterwards we went to this huge ferria, which is like a market. Its like the little market with all the little shops that they have in Rocky Point only times 100. It was so fun. We spent the whole day there.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"I've already been on my mission for 4 months!"




"On Friday we had a ward talent show. It was so fun. We worked extra hard to invite people and get them involved and it was a huge success! We had tons of people there and we actually didn´t even get through all the talents. It was so fun. People danced, did magic, juggled, played the piano, sang, played the guitar. It was a huge hit. Diego and his whole family came, even his ¨wife¨ and his daughter. And then we had over 10 less actives there. It was so much fun.

Then on Saturday they had the Stake Primary activiy which was called ¨A missionary for the day¨ it was the cutest thing. All the primary kids had little black name tags and were dressed like missionaries. They were divided into districts and their teachers where their district leaders. They went around to these little stations where they learned about being a missionary. They practiced making the bed, tying a tye, ironing a shirt, and even how to wake up your companion nicely if they don´t get up on time. We got to help do the stations. It was adorable. Our President was there and spoke to them for a little bit and our zone did a musical number.

We had an awesome experience this week when we were walking from one appointment to another in a different area. We were actually talking as we were walking, practicing our spanish or trying to come up with ideas of how to get our investigators to church, when a road we hadn´t noticed before caught our attention. We had a few minutes so we decided to knock. At the third door a woman immediately invited us in and a few minutes later her son came home. As we explained who we were and what our purpose was he stopped us and suprised us by saying that he was a member. He had been inactive for several years but he still had a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. As we continued talking with him we found out that he worked long hours everyday and wasn´t normally home at that time but he had felt a little sick so he had come home. It was a miracle that we had found him. We were able to testify to him that we knew that our decision to knock his door just a few minutes before he came home was not a coincidence. We testified that Heavenly Father was aware of him. That He hadn´t forgotten him and that He loved him and wanted him to come back to church. The Spirit was so strong. It was amazing."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"God watches out for his missionaries."

We found out earlier this week that our area boundaries were different than we had thought so we went to go check out the area we didn´t know about and do some knocking. We were walking down this road and Hermana Hudson said that she thought it was this other direction. So, we turned off the road to try and figure it out. It turns out we were wrong so we turned around and went back to the road we had been on to start knocking. But, when we got there there were all these people, a bunch of police cars and two ambulances. We looked for a little bit, but all we could see was a man with a leg brace on being lifted into the ambulance. It didn´t really make sense that there was such a crowd for just a broken leg. So we kept walking and we noticed all these police officers looking in yards and bushes and we heard the words ¨drugs.¨ Finally we got to the end of the street where it was all roped off and there was a police officer there. We asked him what had happened and he told us there had been a shoot out between the police and that man! And we had been walking down that street just minutes before. Crazy huh?! But the moral of the story is, God really watches out for his missionaries. We even found a future investigator in the few minutes we were off that street. The mission is full of miracles.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chili in Chile

"It snowed... It didn´t stick. But it was definitely snowing. Then the other day we ate at a members house who is from Utah and she fed us chili, so I can now offically say I´ve eaten chili in Chile!!!" Madeleine


Hello!
My name is Lisa Clark and I am a member of the church in Santiago, Chile. My husband and I graduated from BYU in December and came down here for a job. We're in your daughters' ward! They have been over to my house a few times for lunch and just to visit and I love having them over. They love playing with my little boy who is 14 months old, looking through my church cds, recipe books, and reminiscing about the U.S. I took some pictures of them today and thought you would enjoy seeing them. I made them chili and apple pie for lunch so they're probably a little homesick today! They are doing a great work here. There are so many less active members that it is mind-blowing. There are a lot of people that need them. I can tell that they are enjoying serving them and doing our Heavenly Father's work.
We love your daughters! They are amazing and we pray for their success here. Thank you for helping the
Lisa Clark

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Power of Testimony

"We had another wonderful lesson this week with our neighbor Rita. Right now she´s kind of angry at God because of all the difficulties she has in her life. She has a daughter that's mentally handicap and her sons have had a lot of injuries or physical problems. She just feels overwhelmed and like it's not fair. She´s normally pretty negative when we come for our visits. But, this time we brought a member with us named Cecilia. And she is wonderful. She´s a return missionary, she served in Ecuador, and one of her sons is actually serving in the exact same mission right now that she served in. She´s really fun and always willing to come to our appointments with us. So we brought Cecilia and at first its started off the same, with Rita being negative, but after a few minutes, Cecilia bore a really powerful testimony and things just turned around. I know when we come she just wants us to promise her that if she joins the church everything will go away. But instead we promised her that the blessings of the Gospel will help her deal with her challenges and give purpose to her trials. The Spirit was so strong. She even cried. We´ve been trying to get her to pray for weeks and she is never willing, but this time at the end of the lesson, she agreed to give the closing prayer and it was beautiful. It was just an amazing lesson and a huge break through with her."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Diego and Catalina

"Diego was the man who showed up at church last Sunday and accepted a baptismal date right there. We taught him a few times this week and the first thing we asked was if he and Carola were married...and they aren´t. We were so sad! In Chile is used to be illegal to get a divorce. A few years ago they finally passed a law legalizing divorce, but its really, really expensive. So, most people don´t ever get married, they just live together. Diego and Carola have been together for 10 years and they have a 6 year old daughter named Catalina. When Diego realized he couldn´t get baptized because he wasn´t living the Law of Chastity, it was so sad. He just looked at us and said, ¨But I thought all you had to have to get baptized was a testimony and a sincere heart.¨ It was so sad. We had to explain that you also had to live the commandments before getting baptized. We were really worried because when we asked them if they would like to get married Carola said, "No, never." But, when we went back and taught them the Law of Chastity and the importance of marriage and families and that they could be together as a family forever, she was much more receptive. The Lord definitely helps to work within the hearts of the people we teach. Its amazing. But, its also hard to get married here because its expenisive and you have to have a judge present. Scheduling the judge is a huge process that can take months. But, we have faith that it will all work out. Diego is so sweet he just wants to get baptized so badly. He keeps telling us how he just wants the gospel in his home to bless his family."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"The craziest thing happened yesterday! We were in Sacrament meeting and this man and his wife came in and sat down about half way through the meeting. They looked a little out of place so I knew they were probablly less actives or investigators. So, we went up to them after the meeting and it turned out that they were non members. The woman left, but the man, Diego, stayed for the rest of the three hours. We started talking to him about why he had come and what he knew about the church and it turns out, he had read the entire Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and the Doctrine and Covenents! So, we asked him what he thought, and he said, "Oh I already know its true." We were floored! So, we were like "so would you like to get baptized then?" And he said yes! We set a date with him right there! It was crazy. I think someone had to pick my companion up off the ground."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Views Of Santiago



These views were taken from Madeleine's apartment window in Santiago.
She is currently serving in Nunoa.

Making a Care Package for Madeleine at the Morse Family Reunion, Outer Banks, N.C.

Madeleine's family has a Morse family reunion every other year usually at the beaches of North Carolina's Outer Banks. Madeleine was missed this year.
In an effort to include in her in the reunion, her Grammy (Linda Morse) organized a Family Home Evening to make a care package for Hermana Bailey. Everyone brought things to include in the package (candy, scarves, journals, shirts, hair accessories, etc.) and then every family member wrote her a note.

Miracles Come From Fasting


"Our mission is doing a fast for 40 days and 40 nights where one companionship has an assigned day to fast. We had our assigned day this week and it was amazing. We saw miracles. Right after we said our prayer to begin our fast, we left the house, turned the corner and a man came up to us and wanted to know more about the church! Then after we talked to him, we were talking about how we wanted to give a Book of Mormon to a new contact today and then a man came up to us and asked us for one! We met tons of people that day who were prepared for the Gospel and most of them came up to us...which never happens! It was amazing. Later in the week, we had one of our investigators ask to be baptized before we could even invite her. It was so wonderful. Definitely a spiritual week!"

* in this photo: Azucena and her daughter, Christina (recent converts)
Familia Werez is scheduled to be baptized!

With Him, We Can Do Anything...Even Speak Spanish

"For most of my life I have not really appreciated the blessing of fasting and normally just begrudgingly did it every month. But, I am happy to say I now have a firm testimony of it. Chileans speak really, really fast and drop any hard sounds. Its really difficult to understand, even for native Spanish speakers. It would be like a person from Germany, who just learned English two months ago, going to the deep south. Its insane. Anyway, for the last few days it has been difficult to communicate with people, so I fasted all day yesterday for help and I witnessed a miracle. Last night we took a member with us to visit some families. I was able to understand her and have a full conversation with her for the entire time we were out. It was amazing! I had tried to speak with her before and I could not understand her. But last night, I could. I have a firm conviction that it was because of my decision to fast that I recieved such an amazing blessing. Things are still hard with the language. I cannot understand most people. But now I know with an assurity that Heavenly Father can help me, that he loves me, and is aware of my difficulties. With Him, we can do anything. Even speak Spanish."

*In this photo: Madeleine's companion, Hermana Hudson, from Missouri. Madeleine loves her!! (And her blond hair gets them in lots of doors in Chile!)

Hermana Bailey is in Chile!

"Chile is super different and but super similar at the same time. We are in an area called Nunoa. And half of it is wealthy, there are neighborhoods that look totally normal and could fit right in in the states, and then the other half is super poor and it amazes me the way some of these people live. Its crazy. We walk EVERYWHERE, so I´m SO grateful for those awful ugly shoes that you sent me last minute. There are tons of American things too. Like for lunch today, we ordered pizza fro Pizza Hut. And we went shopping at the local grocery store called Lider, its own by Walmart, so I was able to buy like peanut butter and sun chips and everything. Its great. Its fairly safe, there are some areas that are a little ghetto that we avoid at night. And I´ve only been flashed once...my third day...welcome to Chile!"

Photo: Madeleine greeted by her mission President and his wife at the airport in Santiago. She and the other missionaries had been traveling for 24 hours.

Inspirational Stories...


"This week has been amazingly spiritual. Which is saying something, because everyday in the MTC is spiritual. But this week we had the opportunity to hear from Elder Kikutchi of the Seventy. It was amazing. I know he told his story in conference, but he gave more background that I would love to share with you: Elder Kikutchi's father was a successful fisherman in Japan before WWII. He owned a small buisness with over 50 employees. At the beginning of WWII, he was called to fight and he left his family for several years. During the war he was injured and returned home. Upon returning home he found his family and the families of his employees in desperate conditions. In order to feed the families, Elder Kikutchi's father took Elder Kikutchi and his employees out to fish. While they were fishing, they were attacked by an American submarine and everyone was killed but Elder Kikutchi, including his father. With his father gone, Elder Kikutchi's family became very poor and could not afford for him to go to school, so he was forced to move away to find work. He worked awful hours in poor conditions. He eventually became very sick and was taken to the hospital. The doctors could not help him and told him that he would soon die. That night in the hospital, although being raised a Buddhist, he prayed to Heavenly Father and asked that if there really was a God, that his life would be spared. Elder Kikutchi slowly recovered and was able to move to his grandmother's house near by the hospital. It was there that two American missionaries, on their P-day, knocked on his door. He was immediately angry because these men were Americans and America had killed his father. He told them to go away, but one of the missionaries told him that they had a story of a boy his age. Elder Kikutchi gave them 10 minutes, and the elders immeadiatly testified of the boy prophet Jospeh Smith and Elder Kikutchi's heart was touched. His whole talk was just amazing. It was amazing to see how even in a langauge you can barely speak, the Spirit testifies and teaches the truth. It was amazing to see how powerful the testimony of the First Vision was. And it was amazing to realize that those two missionaries found this great man on their P-day. They didn't have to knock doors that day. But they were going the extra mile and now millions of lives have been touched. It was just so amazing. We all walked away so touched.

**Note: From Robin: Madeleine attended my institute class with me one day before she left on her mission. The teacher told the above story of Elder Kikutchi. When she finished, an older gentleman on the front row raised his hand. When the teacher called on him, he said, "I was Elder Porter, one of those missionaries who knocked on Elder Kitkuchi's door that day." He told us the story from his point of view. It was amazing."