Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Painting a Daycare Center


"I hate transfers. It breaks my heart every time. Anyway, I have been transferred to a sector called Cordillera, which is in Puente Alto, or the southern part of Santiago. And it is GHETTO! It is the most ghetto sector in the mission for Hermanas. The Hermana whose spot I took here told me that it's not unusual to hear gunshots while teaching a lesson. No big deal...

My new companion is named Hermana Vindas. She is from Costa Rica and really sweet. I think we'll get along just fine. We live with two other Hermanas, but they correspond to a different sector, and we share our sector with a set of elders. It seems like there is a lot of work to do. My first priority is to track down the Bishop and meet the ward mission leader.

Other than that things are pretty normal. We've been experiencing a lot of little earthquakes lately and they have been stronger and more consecutive than normal. We've had about 4 or 5 this week. They say that this is exactly what happened two years ago with the big earthquake. So, we'll see what happens."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

One of the Most Spiritual Experiences of my Mission!

"I actually had two really special experiences this week. The fist was when we did divisions with the new missionaries from the CCM (MTC). We were knocking a street in another sector and towards the end of our time tracting, we knocked on the door of a business where a man named Raul works. As we talked to him, we explained our purpose and a bit of our message. He responded that he didn't believe in God, that his life had been too sad to believe that there was a God in Heaven who loves him. We began to testify to him of his divine nature and how that in deed there was a God in Heaven who loves him dearly, and for that very reason He had sent us there that day to tell him that. The Spirit was so strong. We promised him answers to his prayers and the happiness he had always been searching for and invited him to church. It was a beautiful experience. It's amazing to feel such love for people your've only known for a matter of minutes.

The second experience was with a menos activo in our ward named Sonya. We visited with her yesterday and finally got to the bottom of why she became inactive (she is an endowed member of the church with a firm testimony). We were able to, again, testify of Heavenly Father's love for her, we talked about the power of the covenants she has made with Him, we talked about the healing power of the Atonement, and we promised her healing and strength and love and finally, set a plan to get her back to church. It was one of the most spiritual moments of my mission.

We're also teaching some great people. We've started teaching Matias again because he finished his last exam in the university and that's going really well. We're also teaching this wonderful man named Ian. We're not too far along with him, but I'll keep you posted. We're also working with two eternal investigators, Fidelina, who lives with her boyfriend...but we are working on that...and Felecita, who is an absolute doll. She is married, and has been investigating the church for more than 25 years. She has a strong testimony and we're slowly working with her towards baptism.

We've also seen a lot of progress with our ward this week. They set some mission goals, and each organization has called a representative to come to our meetings and help us. We're planning an activity for every month this year and they also called five new ward missionaries! We're really excited...hopefully we'll get to stay for awhile to see it all work out.

We cleaned a cat lady's house this week. It was probably the nastiest thing I have ever done! We also painted a day care center and went to the temple. It's been a good week."

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mission Christmas Activity 2011

Sister Laycock (from the Chile Santiago East Mission Blog):

"Our mission Christmas activity on Monday, December 5, 2011 was a great success. During the day, we gathered at one of the beautiful Santiago Parks where we played games to build team unity and love among our missionaries.

Then we went to the Lynch North Chapel for a Fireside and Christmas meal together. It was a wonderful day full of fun, learning, and love. At the end, we watched "A Christmas Carol" and ate real popcorn and empanadas. Our missionaries were happy to see this movie, since President Monson had talked about it in his Christmas Devotional talk on December 4.

We were very grateful to our Assistants, Elders Stark and Deaver, and to our Office Elders, Elders Orozco, Besich, Tooley, and Smith for their diligent efforts in planning and preparing this activity.

We all felt a renewed desire to serve the Lord as we reviewed our goals together and planned for the month of December to be a "White Christmas." We love our missionaries very much. They are obedient and diligent. They are working so hard to bring the true and restored gospel of Jesus Christ to their Chilean Brothers and Sisters."

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy New Year!

"Hope you all passed the New Year nicely. Unfortunately, ours was super fome, which means lame. We had to be in the apartment at 8pm. And everyone was out of town or preparing for the parties so nobody let us in. New Year's is actually a bigger deal here than in the United States. Way bigger than Christmas. During Christmas, hardly anyone said, 'Merry Christmas', but now everyone says, "Happy New Year' and gives you a huge hug and wishes a million blessings for you! They do tons of fireworks too, but we couldn't see any because of where we live.

Other than our New Year, we've had a great week. We've been working on a new ward mission plan for the last little bit and I think we've finally found how we want to help strengthen the ward. We want to focus mostly on the menos activos, there are tons! It's incredible. So, we're planning on working with them and helping the ward plan frequent ward activities to help strengthen the ward and help make the transition to come back to church easier and more smooth for the menos activos. We feel confident that through our efforts we'll be able to find part-member families and more people to teach and the ward will be in a better position to fellowship them. We're excited about that!"