Staying Classy in Temuco

It has been a great week here in Temuco. It is supposed to be summertime, and even though the weather today is nice it has been super rainy all week. Holy cow. I know what they mean about the umbrellas because they just aren't cut out for this Chileno rain/wind. Anyway, I learned a lot this week. We had a Noche de Hogar with a family in our ward that is preparing to go through the temple next month (the dad was baptized a little under a year ago) and it made me think of our family nights because everyone was really focused on eating and it took us a while to get everyone focused. It was so cool to teach a whole family though. It is really hard to get that here in Chile with our investigators. Our bishop (our bishop is a gringo and speaks English so that is cool) has been asking us to focus really hard on getting our members to study the scriptures individually and as a family. 
We also had a lesson this week with one of our menos activos that hasn't been to church since she was like 11, Maria Jose. She is 19 years old and super honest and outspoken and has a lot of questions but it is really cool because they are all so genuine and she really just wants to understand. She also likes to laugh at me when I speak Spanish or say the wrong word and at first it really bugged me because I was just trying to tell her things and she was treating me like I was so dumb, but she really is not trying to be mean. I have learned to just roll with it and laugh at myself. I showed her a picture of you guys too and she asked me where I came from and thought my hair was fake. She also calls Courtney the cafĂ© one. Everytime I show people here a picture of my family they think I am the youngest and can't believe I am the shortest because here I am definitely not short in comparison. 
We had to go into the city earlier this week and I was breaking in my new shoes and they kept making my heels bleed so Hna Hawkins and I were going to have to go home and get moleskin which was going to take a lot of time and so we were kind of bummed about that. But anyway, we were in a bus driving back into our sector and some guys got onto the bus and just started handing out packs of bandaids. He just threw them into our lap and we both looked at each other so surpised. It was a miracle! I know its kind of funny and not a big deal, but we loved it and we were really grateful. Heavenly Father is mindful of all of us!
I also had my first intercambio with Hermana Peck in her sector in Llaima. Which is the area right next to ours. Our house is actually in Llaima and we walk to our sector every morning. We live with the 4 Hermanas that work in Llaima too. It was so much fun. I learned a lot and we had some really cool lessons. We had one with this cool hippy lady that has a HUGE cherry tree in her backyard. She showed us around and let us eat some. She also likes to look up anti-mormon websites so she is very confused, but has a really strong testimony of Jesus Christ. Today it is so easy to get confused and lose our way, but we talked to her about the Book of Mormon and how it can help us receive the answers to our questions. 
We have also been trying to get a lesson with the couple that has two little kids, Jorge y Karen. Their parents are members but they aren't married. We have had lessons scheduled but something always ended up getting in the way and they both work a ton so it was hard to get them both together. Anyway, yesterday as we were walking by on our way to another cita we saw Jorge outside sweeping and asked if we could come by later, and then our other cita at that time ended up falling through. The lesson we had with them was so awesome! Hna Hawkins and I are so excited about it. We have been praying and working hard for a family to teach and we know this is an answer to our prayers. They have a lot of work to do and need to get married most of all but their faith is really strong.
This email was probably really scattered so sorry about that.  This work is hard but it is so important. I am learning that more and more everyday. Time is flying pretty fast too. I am almost at the end of my first cambio. Whaaaat? I love you guys a ton!
Oh also I had a dream that I got transfered to an area that had no people and I just had to teach whatever I could find, which was usually dogs. Haha hopefully it doesnt come true.
Love always,
Hermana Meg Chalmers

 - At our classy Almuerzo this week. A classic Chileno meal except that there wasn't meat. That was rare. It was super good though. 
 - At the bus stop today with my favorite fanny pack
- view from the mall. On the far right you can kind of see the Llaima volcano


Cautin, Temuco

Hey guys! What a week. First off, we had a baptism! Valentina, the 15 year old, was baptized on Friday. It was really special that we were able to because in our mission we usually aren't allowed to baptize anyone from age 8 to 16 unless their family is baptized too or is already active. This is so they will stay active in the church. But Valentina goes with her best friend's family who are super active and anyway, we got permission and taught her all the lessons and she got baptized! It was so awesome to be a part of it. The service was simple but so great. Everyone there was so happy. I lead the music and since we didn't have a piano I didn't really know what to do so I just started singing and leading the first song and they all just stared at me like I was crazy standing up there singing. I was supposed to count down from three apparently. Haha oh well I know now.
I got to talk to a bunch of kids in the calle this week too which was a lot of fun. They were all really proud because they knew who the President of the United States is. And they are always so curious where I am from. Everyone always thinks Germany because I guess lots of people come here from Germany or something. They always ask, "What country?" after I say Los Estados but they really mean state. But yeah, I definitely don't blend in here. Gringa 100%. We also had an investigator named Thomas who is 17 come to church with us yesterday. We were super excited about it but halfway through sacrament he said he needed to go and wanted us to walk out with him. So he told us he wasn't interested and said he had, "una consulta" for us. He told us, "You two are very beautiful, but why do you wear such long skirts?" PSH. Thanks a lot Thomas. We thought he was going to have a deeply thought out question.
This week I also had the biggest almuerzo of my life. It took all I had not to throw up. It was like a pile of beans and meat and potates and verduras and then after we had eaten it all she brought out this big bowl for each of us with some kind of eggy dessert with strawberry sauce. We were dying. Afterwards we just laughed because she talked to us while were standing at the door and we couldn't even stand up straight we were so full. The Chilenos definitely like to eat.
We had a capacitacion this week as well with Presidente Martinez and the assistants with our zone and the one below us. He had us do a bunch of practice lessons with him in front of everyone. Hna Hawkins and I got chosen by our district to do one of them. We were pretending like Pres Martinez was an investigator named Gloria who needed to pray or something like that. I was soo nervous because it was in front of two whole zones and with the presidente! It ended up going pretty well and my Spanish came out better than I had expected so that was a blessing.
We also had a cool lesson with Felipe about receiving answers to prayer and recognizing the spirit and I felt like I should share DyC 6:23 and the experiece I had with it and how that scripture helped me out a lot. I sometimes get nervous talking to Felipe because he is not that patient when I talk slow or hesitate with words but he listened and the spirit was there and helped me say what I wanted to say to him.
After our baptism with Valentina we didn't have hardly any investigators progressing so Saturday we had all these grand plans to meet with people and had our cita set up with Eliaser, the guy we had found in the park with a family. All in all, every single one of our plans fell through and even when we went to Eliaser's house his wife sent us away and then we ran into him walking back with his dog and he told us he actually wasn't even interested. I was pretty bummed for a second there because I had had such a great feeling about him. The day was long but we ended up being able to teach a couple lessons and run into a menos activo family that committed to come to church. I learned that sometimes things don't go as we think they will but that could be because the Lord has something greater planned and he can see the bigger picture. Regardless, the Lord was mindful of us and blessed us with little things even though it was a rough day.
I am learning more and more here how blessed I am. Everyday I see ways that the Lord is helping me. I know I would not be able to do this alone and I don't have to either. Thanks for your prayers- I can feel them! 
I love you guys a ton and miss you all!
Love always,
Hermana Chalmers
Mosiah 21:35 (I think that is the one)
                      Waiting in the chapel for hours while the font filled with hot water. The califone wasn't                                       working that well so we had to stay to make sure that the water stayed hot.
Hermana Hawkins, Valentina and me at her baptism
                                            another baptism pic with the elders
our huge fish lunch at the mapuche market

Cautin. Week 4.

It has been a great week here in Cautin. The people here are so great and humble and I love it. They teach me a lot. Also, I am a changed woman because guess who ate an entire banana, first try no warm ups? Yo! I eat bananas and tomates like its no thing. Being a missionary makes everything taste good because we are always hungry. haha, I get teased in the casa sometimes because I will combine anything and eat it. I sent a pic of my PB, apples and cereal on bread combo. Also, for a dessert for Almuerzo at a members house we had apples, bananas and raw eggs blended up and served with yogurt on top. I don't really know if that is dangerous...Haha we ate it all, though.
This week we had us help the Primary with their songs because the program is this Sunday. We have no idea why they have us do it because all the leaders come and just watch us teach the kids. They look at me like I am crazy sometimes and its' like, I dont even speak your language okay?! Mom, we are both music leaders now!
The weather here is finally warming up so I have a nice tan line on my feet neck and arms. It still gets cold at night but the days are nice with a great breeze. Especially with all the walking we do it is great.
We have a new investigator that we are really excited about. Her name is Ana and she is a student here at the university and is so curious to learn about the gospel because she has no experience with any religion really. We prayed with her for the first time she had ever said a prayer and it was a really cool experience. I had never thought about what it would be like to pray for the first time after never really understanding it before. She teased me for cracking my wrist the other day in our lesson and I am sure you guys know how bad I am at doing that all the time. They probably think I am crazy because I do it without ever noticing. 
Today for P Day we did an activity with the zone and watched Monsters University. What whaaaaat?! It was great. We also did yoga all together which was kind of weird but still fun. 
The Spanish is coming along. The members in my ward tell me that my accent is good and I speak like a Chilno so that must be good news. It really is true that their Spanish is so different. They have a ton of slang words like fome-lame and yapo or sepo for yes. H
I have learned a lot this week about being patient with myself and learning to express myself in other ways rather than with my words because that is hard for me when my vocab is still relatively small. It is great to know that if we work our hardest and give everything we have then the Lord will help with the rest. I am trying to do my best even if it isn't amazing because I know if I do that the Spirit will guide me with what to say and how to say it so people can understand. 
DyC 6:33-37 has been a scrip that Hna Hawkins and I have been sharing a lot lately and I love it. 
Everyday I learn more about missionary work and how much more I need to learn. But it is a process and I am excited to keep learning and getting better. It is crazy the things I am finding out about myself and about the gospel that I had never really considered before.
I love and miss you all and have you in my prayers!
Love always,
Hermana Chalmers
sorry the computer is being lame so I can't get the pictures to upload. Next week!


Hola Family! My first full week in Chile was a success. Definitely a learning experience. I am super jealous of you guys for going to Hawaii without me. Swim in the ocean for me! Also, what part of Temuco was Scott in?
Well this week I have learned a lot. It is hard to understand missionary work until you are actually doing it but I am getting an idea now. First off, for meals here Almuerzo is HUGE. Like mountains of spaghetti with ketchup. They loooove ketchup. and mayo.And they love tomatoes and bananas. Haha just my luck right? Its okay I am learning to like them and I am finishing my food, which is a change. If I don't learn anything out here at least I will know how to eat all my lunch! For some service this week we helped an abuela in the ward weed her backyard. Grandpa C. would've been proud. It was a bunch of weeds and it was like 4 older ladies and Hna Hawkins and I. And we did it all in skirts. Yeah sister missionaries!
It was a holiday weekend too with Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos so that made it a little different. On Dia de Los Muertos we went to the cemetary and talked to people about the Plan de Salvation with our zone and then sang a couple hymns. It was pretty cool and the cemetary was so amazing. All of the graves were huge or little houses. I sent a picture so you can see.
Hermana Hawkins and I have been working on getting new investigators this week and working a lot more with the members, but we do have two progressing investigators with fechas. Valentina is a 13 year old girl who is so excited and interested in the church. She is suposed to be baptized this Thursday! Felipe is an older guy who has kidney problems and goes to dialysis for hours every other day and is always really down in the dumps. Earlier this week when we went to teach him, he and his wife pretty much just yelled at Hna Hawkins and I and I had no idea what was going on until afterwards. He was just feeling really pressured and his wife was frustrated with us, but we think mostly she was just overwhelmed and was taking it out on us. But it took me a while to understand that she was mad since she was talking at the speed of light. That has been pretty funny for me. When I don't know what is going on I just smile and nod when I think I should. Most of the time it works out but other times it is weird, but whatever. I can understand more and more everyday. It is mostly hard to understand the natives that talk super fast. MIssionaries are pretty easy for me to understand. 
Another cool experience I had this week was when we taught a new investigator the Restauracion. I have yet to say to first vision scripture memorized without forgetting part of it but when it came my turn to talk I felt like I should do it even though I was nervous. I did and I didn't mess up! and she didn't look at me like I was crazy for speaking bad spanish. I know it isn't that crazy but it was a blessing to me. I know that the Lord is watching over me and helping me all the time. It really is true that if you have faith and trust in the Lord he will help you right in the moment you need it. 
Hna Hawkins and I have been doing crossfit in the mornings and it's great but also hilarious because we have been really sore so when we go work in the calle we walk around like old men. Also, the dogs are everywhere! They are all pretty gross and some of them I am sure are possesed or something.
One more thing, this Sunday we were fasting for a family of at least 4 to teach because it is pretty uncommon here to teach whole families where the spouses are married. Later that day after Almuerzo we contacted a man in the park and when we asked him about his family he said there were four of them and they all lived together! Miracles happen guys! We are really excited to see what comes of teaching him because we have a cita this week. 
Sorry this email is so scattered. Emailing is stressful. Thanks so much for everything and I love you guys a ton. I can feel your prayers! DyC 84:88 has helped me a lot too. Angels are bearing me up!
Love always,
Hermana Chalmers
                                                    Hermana Hawkins and me.
                                             At the cemetary with my district on Dia de los Muertos.