Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March 28th, 2011

Buenas Tardes,
I´m glad to hear that you are all doing grand! Its great to have so many letters in my inbox! You are the best ;)
I have had a great week here in my world. This week we had a ward party, a luau. It was fun. It was supposed to start about 8:30 or 9 and they said the opening prayer at 9:35. There is Chile for you.. haha:) But it was good I think. We had to leave at 9:45 to be in the house at 10 but I heard that it was fun. But we  had a little problem. Our investigators didn´t like that we were playing all kinds of music and stuff in the chapel (we don´t have benches, just chairs, so they move them and had a dance floor) so he doesn´t want to go to the church anymore or listen to our lessons. His wife didn´t like it but still came to church yesterday and said we can still come by. We honestly didn´t know what to say to them. It probably wasn´t the best thing they did but the church is for activities and that is the only room that can fit us all. So who knows.
The stake relief society also had a social for the anniversary. They talked about missions and how they need to prepare their kids to serve. So all the missionaries in the stake came and we sang Called to Serve. It was really good. I love hearing a whole bunch of missionaries singing about the work. A lot of the sisters were crying so hopefully they send their kids out... haha:)
We had an AMAZING lesson on Saturday. There is a lady (Clara, or Clair in English) who has been coming to church for 3 years off and on and has been listening to missionaries off and on for all this time too. We taught her a little last week and talked to her about baptism and she said she isn´t ready and wants to organize her life before committing and all this stuff. She is getting divorced and has a boyfriend in Chicago and has a 8 year old daughter and all this stuff so she wants to wait til after her divorce then get baptized with her boyfriend and move to the US with her daughter. But we went back and were teaching her on Sat. We were talking about baptism again and all the blessing that she will receive. She started crying and said, there is something different about you two from all the other missionaries. You have something about you. Last time you were here, I almost said that I would get baptized, but they weren´t my words, it was like God wants me to do this. AH, it was so amazing. She said she will prepare to be baptized and we told her to pray about the 24th of April. So hopefully she gets a strong response about it and will follow. She is soo great and is practically already a member. She said, bishop is going to laugh so hard when he hears that I´m going to get baptized because he has been telling me this for 3 years. Por fin, there is a reason why I´m here in this area at this time. LOVE IT!
So last Monday when we couldn´t do anything  because freaking Obama, (Liz, I´m not sure what he was doing here, but  the people were all talking about it and all the ladies think he is good looking. It´s funny because they say they don´t know anything about him but they like to watch him on the TV. It´s ridiculous. But they think that we, in the us,are a bunch of rich people who have all the opportunities in the world. But they are nice to us anyways. All the kids ask if we know Justin Bieber or Hannah Montana ...haha) anyways, we went to our apt and made fudge. But the recipe isn´t made for Chilean ingredients or stoves. It started to burn before we even added the chocolate so we had to hurry and put it in the pan and break up chocolate bars (chocolate chips are super hard to find here and they are as expensive as gold) so we were trying to mix it in the pan and all that jazz. It didn´t work out too well but we are still eating it anyhow. It´s more of like a smore in a pan ( a little burnt with marshmallow and chocolate ...haha)
But that is pretty much my week. We are working hard and I´m trying to make Hermana Dymock more trunky but she is super focused. I´m soooo excited for General Conference! We get to watch it in English as missionaries so that is even more exciting! On Sat we have our time change so we will only have a difference of 2 hours (right now it´s 3). But have a great week. Keep me updated on all the new news and remember I love you like crazy and miss you. But just think, in a year from today, I will be waking up in my own bed! Wow, crazy to think about. The weeks just fly by.
Thanks for everything! Enjoy work, home, kids, all that jazz. I´m glad to hear that Easton had a good party and that Annies play was good! Party some for me ...haha:)
This is Clara and her daughter Valentina
This is the luau with Matilde and Alex (the ones who got offended), but they are great
All the food at the luau was soo good! A ton of yummy fruit! (I remembered how much I love chocolate covered strawberries!)

Monday, March 21, 2011

March 21st, 2011

  Hermana Dymock and me, today. As we were leaving the house we realized we hadn´t taken any pics this week, so this is our first week of our last change together :)
How has the week been for you all? I´m sure you are all busy, but I hope life is good! It´s been a good week here in the south. The weeks keep flying by! This week we had a little miracle happen. On Saturday we were walking from one appt to the other and this kid about 19 years old comes running by then stops and says, Hermanas, I have been looking for you. I am a memeber from Valparaiso but my family moved here about a year ago and I´m inactive. But I have a friend (Boris) who wants to learn more about the church. Can we go visit him right now, he lives close. So we went and it turns out that he has gone to the church a lot to learn more but he said it´s always locked. Anyways, we set up an appt for Sunday (yesterday) and we went and there was another kid there who said he was a member too but inactive for a lot of years. So here we were sitting with 2 inactives (Nelson and Victor) and 1 investigator (Boris). We were talking about basketball and how we decided to serve a mission and all this stuff, then when we started they were all sorts of spiritual. Hermana and I were thinking, ok, when are you going to act like 19 year old boys again. But the lesson was so great. We taught about the restoration and watched the DVD and Boris said he thinks its true and wants to pray about it but he accepted a baptismal date for the 17th of April. It was so great and the other 2 boys asked what they needed to do to come back and start over again. Victor said, I know God has sent you here to be our angels to help us come back because we know what we should be doing and we want salvation and you have reminded us of all of this. I know it´s true and I want to be a strong member of the true church of Jesus Christ. I was thinking, where did this huge spiritual giant come from?! but it was a great lesson.
We also started teaching Jorge (the family from Mexico) we taught the principles of the gospel and he was so cute. When we asked him why he wanted to get baptized he said so I can be with my family forever, because I love them. It was so great. His dad was up taking pictures to remember his first lesson and all of that. They are a great family. But we don´t know when he will be able to get baptised, because we have to wait for his dad to do some stuff to be able to do it. But he (the dad) hasn´t smoked in a week! So we are super excited and hope that he can keep it up. Another investigator of ours hasn´t smoked in a week too, so it´s been a good week for that! :) We are still teaching people who need to get divored and married so we have no idea how long it will take. Probably about 6 months until they can get their divorces through. But hopefully everything goes fast.
Oh man, this week I ate a lunch where I thought I was going to die. This member always serves a lot of food but it was horrible this time. We had lasagna. It was HUGE!!!! To compare it, the pans of lasagna that you can buy at Sams Club that we usually eat between our family, I ate almost half of that size in one meal. It was a huge pan and she had cut it in 4ths. It was HORRIBLE!!!  The whole time I was praying my heart out that I didn´t barf. It was good tasting but just so much I thought I was going to burst. I was seriously making the plan in my mind. Ok- if I throw up I will run outside and do it on the street but then I remembered that her gate is probably locked, so then I was going to go to plan b where I just run through her bedroom into her bathroom and hope I make it to the toilet. Because I was seriously nervous that I was going to loose it. But we made it through and to say the least we were walking a little slower afterwards.
I was thinking that for after the mission I am probably going to need a plan to stop drinking soda. I have drank soo much here it is ridiculous. I will have to change my ways when I get home so I don´t die at a young age from all the soda... haha:)
Not much new happened. We came in contact with some investigators who had left for vacations, but now they are back so hopefully they can progress. But that is pretty much it for this week. We have more people in the church now that school is back in. Yesterday we had 115 so it was good!
I hope you all have a great week and enjoy everything that is going on! For  Pday today we can´t do much of anything because Obama is coming into Chile today and will be  in downtown so we can´t go (which is where EVERYTHING is) so we are just going to kind of kick it today- freaking Obama!!!  I LOVE YOU! Thanks for all your support and prayers. Enjoy your first day of spring!!! It´s my first day of autumn, but it´s still hot so it feels like summer still. (which I don´t mind)

Monday, March 14, 2011

March 14th, 2011

Hi all,
I´m glad to hear that things are going good! Everyone is busy and excited for spring I'm sure. Today is the first day it feels like fall here, my fingers are hard to move because they are cold, so my letter might be a little short because I am typing so slow... haha:)
I have a new address because the mission is changing offices so from now on send anything and everything to
Mision Chile Santiago Norte
Sucursal Correo Patronato
Casilla 60
and only use the us post office. Because if you use FedEx or UPS or Algo, it probably wont get to me.
This week was good. We have been working hard and teaching a lot. We had breakfast as a zone this week before people changed, so that was really fun. One Elder from here in Chile is such a good cook! He made the best bread and ahh, it was good. I´m still here in the same area with Hermana Dymock. This is her last change so it´s going to be crazy. I'm excited to stay here, we have a lot of investigators whom I´m excited to help. They are sending Elders (from my zone) to the Island of Juan Fernando for the first time since the earthquake and all that jazz (over a year ago) I´m a little jealous that I´m not going... haha... but things are good here.
We have been teaching a lady (I´m not sure if I told you about her) Sandra, we talked to her in the feria and she took all the pamphlets and a Book of Mormon. When we went to visit her she had read half of the BOM. Its so great. She was asking us about the tithing pamphlet and all. She is cute but has some problems at home with her daughter. She is progressing and wants to get baptized when she knows more but she needs to get divorced and get married. So it will be a process but hopefully she keeps working for it. That is the problem with a lot of our investigators. They have all these things to sort out so it will be a long process, but who said the salvation of souls was easy?!
Yesterday we were sooo happy though. Por fin we had investigators at church. We had 3 there for the sacrament and then 2 came after. It was so great! And this ward is so good to include them and help them. In this ward, I almost feel like I´m in a ward in the US. There are priesthood holders, young men to pass the sacrament. It is so cool! We had 112 people there yesterday (normally there are about 80) so we were super happy.
We had a training with President May this week. It was good, about half of the time we talked about rules (I guess we are just super rebellious or something) but it was good. And then we also had intercambios. I went to the other Hermanas area (San Francisco) and it was fun. I liked it because they had a little bit of everything (rich and poor) in one street it was almost dirt floors, but in another it was like a suburb home in the US) It was a good change for a day. Here it is rich but the people are still pretty nice so it´s not horrible. But I do like places a little more ghetto.  :)
In our English class this week we had a lot of new people and some from the week before. Its so fun to help them, they get so excited to say little things, I love it. I realize how much English and Spanish I don´t know. But it is super fun. There is one lady, Karen, about 30, who comes because she wants to help her daughter learn English. She came with a long list of words she wanted to learn that she had seen from billboards and heard in songs and on the TV. She is so awesome, she walks in the church and is so excited to learn the most simple things, and is so grateful that we give the class. I´m sorry, I think my spelling has gotten worse but hopefully you still understand. As far as my Spanish coming along. I feel like I can actually communicate myself. I can´t say a lot of things in the way I want to say them but I'm not a mute anymore... so its progress haha:)
That is pretty much all that happened. The weeks are just flying by and I don´t make anything exciting happen. I´ll try to work on that so my letters are more interesting to read instead of me just rambling on. But it´s good to hear from you all there! I hope life is good! Liz and Joel, I´m sure your talks were amazing! That´s one thing I'm not a huge fan of here. The Bishop will just announce from the pulpit that Hermana Whyte will give us a talk and then I have no idea what to say. It´s one thing if I was speaking English, I could just make up a lot of stuff, but in Spanish it´s pretty interesting ( I just bear a really long testimony... haha)  I got a dear elder letter from Katherine Merrill. I will try to write her when I have time but tell her thanks for the letter. Ahh, good old Jr Miss, I miss going to that. Hannah will be a great Jr Miss! I´m sure she did amazing! I actually had a dream about her and her Mom the other night. Annie and I were at their house and they wouldn´t talk to me, just Annie. I thought it was weird but then when we went to leave I went to kiss Peggy´s cheek (like they do here) but she was smoking and blew the smoke in my face so I just said bye and we left. It was so weird. Anywho, sorry about the tangent, half of you don´t even know who I'm talking about but ya...
Thanks for all you do! You are so great! I hope and pray things are good and that you are all enjoying life. Keep me updated on everything exciting. (oh man, the stuff in Japan and everywhere, we hear all about it, but it´s so sad/crazy, did it do much to the other places?)
This is a picture of the family Urea Carter (Luis, Alma (yes, her whole family are members, obviously), and their son Jorge). They are inactives who moved here from Mexico (Tijuana) and are trying to reactivate and baptize their son. They are from Chile but lived in Mexico for 6 years. So we went and got them for church yesterday and they just looked so good and we are so excited for them to come so church I took a picture:)
 Well, I hope you have a great week. Remember there is a missionary in Chile who loves you!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March 7th, 2011

Wow, I have been out for 6 months tomorrow. Crazy! It seems like it was just yesterday I was there, but also seems like years. I had a good week this week. We started it out with some excitement... Monday night Hermana Dymock wanted to wax her legs so we warmed up some wax and put it on. Then when we got done I decided I wanted to wax my eyebrows so I put it back on the stove to warm up. Well, we got peeling off the wax of Hermanas legs and forgot about the wax on the stove until we saw the smoke come into the living room. So I went running into the kitchen and the wax was on fire. I freaked out and didnt know what to do so a went outside and got the gate guys and they came in and helped us... haha:) It wasn´t too bad but there was smoke everywhere for a hour, but it was wax so it didnt smell like smoke so that was good. But we are going to repaint a little bit of the kitchen so no one knows. (This definitely doesn´t get to Pres. May... haha:)
We have been putting up a table in the faria on wed and sat announcing English classes (by the way I LOVE the faria, it is the greatest place to buy whatever you want, but the fruits and veggies are cheap. I bought 2.2 pounds of grapes for 1 dollar, its great! And they are super fresh so it´s even better) but anyways, we had our first class this Sat and we had about 12 people there. It was really fun. It´s so funny to listen to them speak but then I have to remember that this is what I sound like to them everyday. But it was good.
Also this week we were in heaven because for lunch a Hermana served us tacos (it is impossible to find Mexican food here) and it was so good!!! I never thought I would miss beans so much... haha:) But we have been teaching a lot this week. Peoples lives are so complicated, it would just be so much easier to live the gospel, then we wouldn´t have so many problems! Matilda, one of our investigators, needs to divorce and get married but she doesn´t want to marry the guy she is living with because he is an alcoholic and she doesn´t have a job so she 
can´t kick him out because then she won´t have any help with the bills....ah the circle of life. But she came to church this week (we had stake conference) and all they talked about was getting married and serving missions. It was a little different but what she needed (hopefully it wasn´t too strong) but, it was good. And then we stayed and watched 2 boys get baptized from other wards. It was fun to be there.
I have had weird dreams this week. Sat night I went to bed without flossing my teeth and had a dream that they fell out and I didn´t have money to fix them and the mission wouldn´t help me so I was just so flustered (I´m never not flossing again, it was traumatic... haha) and the other night I had a dream that we were at a members house and we turned on the tv and there you were on skype, so we said "hi and Joel was trying to get everyone´s attention to come to the computer, then Hermana Dymock, said I couldn´t talk to you guys and she shut off the TV... haha:) So those were my weird dreams this week. (not that they are important, just something to talk about because nothing exciting happened this week)
We went to teach some girls English that we talked to in the faria and they said they want to  learn more about what we believe because they don´t really go to church or anything. So we are going to teach them tonight and hopefully everything goes good. Also, we gave a lady a Book of Mormon in the faria and we went to teach her yesterday and she had already read to the middle of Nephi and likes what she has read. But she and the guy she is living with needs to get divorced and they need to get married but they are working on it and she said when they get married she will get baptized but it will probably take about 4 months more. So hopefully she can keep leaning and everything.
That is pretty much everything that happened this week. I don´t have any cool stories of dogs or anything but maybe next week...haha:) On Sunday we have changes, but I don´t think Hermana Dymock or I are going to change. I think I will be in this area for another 3 months but only time will tell. So, I will keep you updated.
Sounds like things are good there. Mom and Dad, have fun with the boys and AnnMarie good luck with your performances and at the doctor! (be sure to update me on everything that goes on) and like always good luck with work everyone. Tell everyone "Hi" for me and that I love them! Amber, have fun with your sisters and enjoy some peace and quite :)
Thanks for all you do for me and hope you have a great week!
Bueno, voy a excribir un poco en español para que papa puede tener algo para leer. Pero, no sé que decir, pero, le amo and gracias por todo que lo hace para mi. Es un buen ejemplo and el mejor papa en total el mundo! Soy super bendecido! Ojala todo esta bien y esta disfutando todo. Con tanto amor! Steph

Tuna, a fruit here that is kind of like a kiwi but not as good and the seed are hard and just kinda weird, but we eat it a lot for dessert at the members houses
My district bowling last week. me, Hermana Dymock, Elder Tello from Peru who only has 3 weeks left in the mission. and Elder Vance from IF who came with me.
Hermana Campos from El Salvador and I in intercambios this week. She made papusas. I was in heaven, I felt like I was at the Salvadorian restaurant I always bought them at in Logan (well its more just like a hole in the wall restaurant, but sooo good!)
Hermana Dymock and I celebrating her 17 months in the mission and me my 6 months. So we had a quesadilla and popcorn (strange combo I know)

Me showing off my cheleaness (that probably isn´t a word, pero soy cheleana!)