Winter in June

ANGOL 2.0                                                                                                                          June 30, 2014
Hey guys! This past week was really awesome probably one of the best of my whole mission. Our investigators here are just so amazing and teach us so much everytime we are with them. On Sunday we were sitting in sacrament with one of our investigators, Angela (that speaks English) and the bishop's 4 yr old son, Facundo, walked up to her during one of the talks and handed her a pass along card and then ran away. Haha she looked at us and laughed and said it was probably a sign from God. Facundo is always helping out all the missionaries and when the bishop comes with us to lessons sometimes he brings him and it is the cutest thing. He gets so excited to be a missionary when he is older. 
So yesterday was just a hilarious day overall. We get to church and right by the front chapel doors there is this dying stray cat. It was like moaning and rolling around and at the point of death. It was creeping everyone out really bad and all of the leaders had already started their classes so what do we do? Well, my companion that grew up on a farm killing animals grabs a broom from the kitchen and wacks it to death! Not exaggerating. I had to stay on watch while she did it and it was a sight to see. Hahah oh man never going to forget that. Then we had to get it into a garbage bag and get rid of it. I never imagined having to know how to kill and dispose of a cat would be important. Haha
Also this past week I got a little sick and almost completely lost my voice. I sounded like an old smoker guy. AND my companion is really into singing a hymn to start every lesson so that was pretty funny. My voice was cracking all over the place with all the singing. The Chileans don't really understand how the common cold works and think it is literally from the cold weather or like they always say, "cambio en temperatura" the change in temperature. They all told me that I got sick and lost my voice because I don't wear a scarf to cover my neck and because we are always going from really warm houses to really cold outside all day long and that is BAD.
 Hahah my favorite Chilean sickness is "boca chueca" or crooked mouth. According to them it happens when you drink something really hot like mate or Ecco and then go outside in the cold air right after. What happens is that your mouth goes crooked. Haha they really believe that! So lots of times when we knock on a door the person will answer with a towel or scarf covering their mouth. Gotta be real careful over here. 
We got permission again to watch Chile play Brasil. Whooooo! We watched it while we ate lunch at a member's house. It is a mom and her two sons and their grandma. It was hilarous because the little grandma kept just staring around asking "When is this going to be over?" or "How do we know when the game is done?" 
Things are going really well over here and I have felt so blessed to be able to work in this sector in Angol. The people here are amazing and I am learning a lot especially about loving these people and teaching them out of love. A family we are teaching, Elvira (mom), Suyay (daughter) and David (son) are so so great and are so willing to change their lives for the gospel. Unfortunetaly their dad is against all types of religion. He works in the north of Chile during the week so we have never even seen him and they keep it a secret that they are meeting with us and going to church and such. It is really sad because the mom, Elvira, wants to get baptized so bad. She is trying her hardest to live all of the commandments and continue learning but she says that her husband won't let her get baptized. Suyay can because she is 22, but Elvira and David no. We are praying a lot for them, for a miracle! Pray for them! 
I love it here and even though it is FREEZING cold the work has been really great. I have been learning and witnessing lately the importance of our thoughts and how they really determine so much of who we are. I read Alma 12 and it made me think about how we can make sure our hearts really are not being hardened and what that even means. I was thinking that it means that we stop being teachable and letting things change us for the better. I have seen that a lot out here that the moment we stop being teachable is when we fall away and things become hard. Sorry I kind of just ranted this week but hope you guys are all doing great!
I love you guys! Thanks for everything!
Hna Chalmers
 Hna Rosdahl talking to Elena. She is an investigator that is hard of hearing and can't see very well but is so sweet! 
                             Suyay making a cake at our family home evening we had with them.
                                                    Hna rosdahl and I
                                         Mom, this one is for you. CAT YOGA!

 ANGOL 1.0                                                                                                                         June 23, 2014
I am in Angol! I love it here. There are a lot of hills in my sector so we get a good workout everyday and even though it is colder than Arauco you don't feel it because it is a lot dryer. My companion, Hermana Lettie Rosdahl is great. She is from Nampa, Idaho, is 19 yrs old and has been in the mission for about 6 months. She also knows Kelly Redding. They lived together at BYU Idaho and she visited her house once and met all her family. Small world! I have already learned a lot from her. She is super excited to work and learn and it is really awesome. We have already seen a lot of great things happening in this sector. We did some pretty crazy things to find new investigators this past week, including teaching some lessons in a hospital and also finding a new investigator in a civilized jail. Haha, sounds pretty bad when I actually type it out. It is this jail that is really just an area that is technically a jail but really is a lot of little houses. It is for people that still have jail time but have been well behaved. It's really just a high class jail I guess. And they can get permission to leave and come back sometimes. Anyway, we taught this lady, Fabiola, about the Book of Mormon and she is really awesome and has 2 years left in jail but next week is going to be able to start leaving on the weekends! 
Oh! We have this investigator, Angela, that I just love. She is an english teacher and wants to practice so we teach her in english and gave her a BOM in english that she studies. Man, she is just so awesome. She is a witness that there really are people prepared by the Lord to find the gospel and accept it. She has the greatest desire to follow Jesus Christ and when we were in our first lesson we started talking about baptism and challenged her to be baptized. It was the most interesting, spiritual experience. It was like she had been waiting for us to ask. She just smiled at us and said she knew we were going to ask her that. She says she is really nervous but after we talked about the steps of the gospel of Jesus Christ she said, "well then baptism really must be what I am missing because I feel like I do have a lot of faith and am trying to repent. That must be why I have felt like I am missing something in my life." Oh we were so excited. She says that she has felt so much more calm and peaceful since she started reading the Book of Mormon and listening to us teach. Yeah!! It is really weird teaching her in english. Well, not weird just really different. Even when we do speak it is in awkward english but that's all right. I said the closing prayer in our lesson yesterday and it was just all over the place mixing spanish and english. Hahah. It is important to Angela though. She says that the gospel and praying and the book of mormon are more meaningful to her in English because she has to make an extra effort to express herself to us and to read as well. I can definitely relate in that aspect. 
Also we got permission to watch CHILE play today in the World Cup against Holland! WAHOOO. It is insane here with all the World Cup madness. When Chile is playing everything shuts down. No one goes to school, all the stores close and you can just hear people cheering and sounding off these loud horns all over the place. When we walked out of the member's house where we watched the game today after Chile lost 2-0 it was real real quiet and solemn everywhere. CHI CHI CHI LE LE LE VIVA CHILE!!
Also another thing, in a lesson this past week this little 9 year old girl prayed something along these lines, "bless my mom and my family and please bless us with health and please bless all the people in the world that have cancer. amen." So sweet!
I am learning a lot this transfer already. Presidente Martinez's last day in the mission is this Friday and that is when Pres. Bluth gets here! We are all really excited to meet him. 
I love you guys!
Love always,
Hna Megs

                               Hermana Rosdahl and me at the bishops house for lunch eating ice cream 
                                          (me and my companion and then below, him and his wife)

                                          Angol, Chile
                                          Chile's fans at the World Cup.
                                       Me and Hna Rosdahl sporting red jackets
                                                    Angol after the rain

Hey guys,                                                                                                                      June 16, 2014
Our family is just all over the world right now! 
So I am being TRANSFERED. I am going to Angol! It is further south and further away from the coast. We were so thrown off because Hna Garcia and I really thought I was going to stay. I am going to miss Arauco a lot. I really love it here, but I am also excited for a new adventure in Angol! My companion is Hermana Rosdahl (I'm not sure if that's how it is spelled) from Utah. I've never met her before but she has been in the mission for 4 months or so I think. This past cambio was only 4 weeks long because Presidente Martinez is leaving so it has just flown by. It is kind of a bummer that I only get to be with Hermana Garcia for a month. 
We had a conference with all the mission this past Friday in Angol and it was the best. It was wild to have over 200 missionaries in one chapel. Holy cow. President gave us some parting advice (His three things he told us to remember were to 1. Believe - believe that we are daughter and sons of God, the he loves us and that our missions can literally change our lives, that we can do and accomplish so much more. 2 Obey God and the principles that we are out here defending and 3- Endure - search for the help of the heavens and remember that sometimes the Lord doesn't take away our problems but gives us the strength to endure them.) 
Something that marked me that he told us was that we have no excuse to say "we don't know how to do it" about anything put in our path because we were prepared and instructed to be missionaries at this time. Really it applies to anything we are doing at any point in our lives. Before this life we were prepared to endure our trials and learn from them so we CAN DOOO IT.
We also had a time for every missionary in the mission to bear a quick testimony. It was really spiritual and also really long, haha but I enjoyed it a lot. Presidente after talked about how the battle between good and evil before the second coming will be a battle of words, of testimonies. I thought that was pretty cool. Sometimes it still surprises me to experience the power in a simple testimony. The Spirit is able to testify so clearly and you can just feel it.
 We had a lesson this past week with an investigator, Celinda, who is super evangelical but super pumped about the Book of Mormon. When we came for our second visit she had read all the way to 2nd Nephi! Hna Garcia and I were just sitting there with our mouths hanging open as she showed us how much she had read. She was sick when we had last stopped by before that so we only had time to leave her daughter with a Book of Mormon for her that we had written in for her a little note. She didn't know anything about the BOM and had just started reading and loved it. So so cool. It is has been interesting to see the diference in our investigators that are really taking the time to read the BOM and understand it and those that aren't and to see how it correlates with their progression and understanding. It is the keeey!
Also, with the World Cup it has been a little tough to set up appointments on days that Chile plays. The other day we did this contact with this cute little old lady and she even refused to let us come on Wednesday when Chile is playing after telling us she doesn't even like futbol or watch it but she has to support her country at least. 
Love you guys! 

                                          Hermana Garcia and me trying to keep warm
                       Me, Hermana Henderson and Hermana Fonseca at the conference

                                          World Cup Fever!
Hermana Garcia and me at the conference


Four weeks of Letters and Pictures...

JUNE 9, 2014

AYOOOO. This past Saturday we had a branch activity that we prepared as a surprise for the members. We did a reenactment of the Iron Rod in the chapel and had a rope cord running through the hallways and then in the classrooms we had temptations. One of them was our second counselor eating doritos and watching Iron Man 3, another was Hermanos watching the World Cup, and another was Hna Garcia and I with two huge cakes. It was hilarious! We weren't positive if it was all going to work out, but it did! We got a ton of members to the cake. Hahah. At the end we decorated the room with a "Tree of Life" that was really just a fake Christmas tree with small yellow balloons all over it. We also had a plate of these white bon bons as their fruit. 
It was so fun to see all the members go through. The Torres family went through all together and the mom, Rosa, kept stressing out that her whole family wasn't going to make it through to the end all together. Sadly, she lost her son Seba to the fĂștbol. I will send some of the pictures I took.
Also, one of our investigators told us that she thought mormons couldn't eat chocolate or drink soda along with the coffee, tea and alcohol and that it had been on her mind for a while but she was afraid to ask. Who knows how long that has been holding her back! 
This Friday we have a huge conference in Los Angeles to say Goodbye to Presidente Martinez. It is so weird to think that he won't be our President after this week. But it has been really awesome to see our mission really dedicate ourselves to the work lately. We have been trying to focus on "changing the details." I have seen it make a huge difference. It is so true that the small acts and decisions determine the course of my mission. The simple, small thoughts, actions and words make up who we are. I am trying to better myself in that aspect. To change the details to be more focused and diligent in the work. 
Hna Garcia and I have seen a lot of blessings with the branch and with our investigators lately and it is a testimony to me of the importance of the small and simple actions and thoughts. If we can just align our desires with those of the Lord then we will be so happy and succesful.
I love you guys!
Love always,
Hna Chalmers
                                           my companion, Hermana Garcia, with a cow
                                            The "Tree of Life" from our branch activity
                         The zone activity we had today. we played soccer and volleyball and then... 
                                                     ...ate some peruvian food the elders made.

JUNE 2, 2014

Hey guys! I am praying for you all this week! I can't believe Cam is already heading out. Elder and Hermana Chalmers 2.0! 
Yesterday at church we had all kinds of great experiences. One of our investigators, Cecilia finally came to church! We were so so happy. A member, Rita, went and practically pulled her out of bed and brought her breakfast on the go so they wouldn't be late. I am so grateful for that lady. Cecilia stayed for all three hours and during our gospel principles class we had a lesson on gifts of the Spirit and she came to the realization through a question she asked that what she had felt in her church wasn't really the spirit of God because she hadn't felt completely right about what they were doing and that she needed the correct authority in her baptism for it to be valid. It was amazing. The Spirit was testifying to her and teaching her as she asked and answered her own questions. 
Also, in sacrament we went pianoless since we came a little late because we were getting an investigator and so the Hermana leading starting singing the song to the tune of a different hymn and the congregation got about halfway through the song before we all realized we were singing the wrong tune. The branch president had to get up and stop everyone so we could start over. There were even a couple Hermanas that shouted out what they thought the actual tune was from where they were sitting in the congregation for the director coupled with the other half of the members shushing all the kids that were laughing, it was hilarious. President Brand even explained that "hermanos y hermanas, we aren't professionals, we are all just trying to do our best" for all the non members so they wouldn't think the mormons are a hot mess. hahah. There is never a dull moment at church over here.
One of our favorite members, Hermano Rigoberto, is the older guy who has a lot of medical problems. He has to walk with this big cane and have someone help him, but he still walks to church every Sunday with his wife, Juana. He gives us lunch the day after he gets paid every month and tells us stories of when he was branch president back in the glory days and all kinds of hilarious and slightly innapproriate jokes. I think Dad is going to be like Hno Rigoberto when he is older. Anyway, he bore his testimony in church yesterday. It took him a couple minutes to walk up to the podium, with a bit of help from some Hermanos, but he was just smiling the whole time. As I was listening to him share his testimony and thought about how I have never once heard him complain. He has all the excuses in the world to be grumpy or irritated but he isn't at all. It makes me think of Elder Uchtdorf's talk about gratitude and choosing to be grateful IN our situations and circumstances. I have seen that it really is true this past week that our happiness is our choice. It can be independant of what is happening around us if we want it to be. We were put to the test this week on Wednesday when a huge thunder, wind, rain storm hit Arauco. I have never seen or felt rain that strong in my life! My umbrella was completely broken by the end of the night. There were mini lakes in all the streets. Hna Garcia and I just had to laugh about so many crazy things. Trucks splashing the crud out of us, our umbrellas turning inside out in front of a crowd of people and looking like hobos when we got into a house. Could've been the worst day ever, but it actually was pretty fun and definitely something I will always remember. That night was pretty wild, too. The wind and rain and thunder kept waking us up. Hermana Garcia said that in the middle of the night I frantically asked her if the power went out a few times, too. Haha. I dont remember.  
Anyway, good luck this Wednesday! I love you guys! POY
Love always,

Hey Team,                                                                                                                     MAY 26, 2014
I still can't believe Cam graduated this week. You are so old! Looks like you guys have just been partying it up.
My new companion, Hermana Garcia is awesome. She is 20 as well but is really short and tiny. Everyone thinks that she is a younger member that is out on splits with me. Haha. We get along well and I am learning a lot from her. She helps me out with Spanish and I help her out with English so it works out great.
This week we saw some pretty crazy stuff in Arauco. For example-
We taught a lesson to an investigator, Marisela, while her husband was giving a guy a tattoo in the same room! 
We were on our way to a lesson with this couple who are very active evangelicals and had told us in the lesson before that they went to this one church, but didn't like the pastor so they decided to create their own group and hold services at their house (great apostasy, am I right?). So anyway, we were walking to their house and there was music playing really loudly that you could hear from down the street. Well, as we got closer, turns out it was their house and we had walked into their church services. Hna Garcia and I were standing their, jaws dropped, staring into the window where we could see a bunch of ladies singing, crying, dancing and yelling to the ceiling while their little children stood by looking pretty scared and to make matters worse, as we were standing their an inactive member that lived close by walked right on in to join! Never seen anything like it before. 
We went out and worked with one of the youth in our branch, Sebastian, all afternoon on Saturday and turns out that nobody wanted anything to do with the missionaries that day. We couldn't get into any houses! But Seba stayed with us the whole time as we went through all the plans we had. It was really cool to see him working hard as well. We knocked on some doors and after the doors where no one answered he would casually leave a pass a long card on the doorstep. I love the members here. You guys should go out with the missionaries! 
- Yesterday I gave a talk in sacrament about being spiritually prepared by doing the simple things- reading scriptures, praying and going to church every Sunday. I mentioned Cam and that he is leaving on his mission soon and it choked me up a little bit. I can't wait for him to get out there! The mission is not something I could have ever expected and it makes me really happy and proud to know that Cam gets to do the same thing at the same time. 
Love you guys!
Mosiah 7:33
                                       Aurora and Maxi - the branch president's kids
              Sebastian (Seba), the member that went out with us all day Saturday, taking a breather.

                                                         my companion while we are emailing

MAY 19, 2014

We found out about transfers today! I am staying in Arauco and Hermana Henderson is going to Temuco Cautin! Where I started out! Hermana Garcia is coming here. I have never met her before but I am pretty sure she is from Guatemala. It is definitely going to be weird getting used to a different companion especially after being with Hna Henderson for a while and not living with anyone else but I am excited for something new! 
This past week we focused a lot on finding new people to teach and it was a lot of fun. We found some really awesome people. One lady, Flor, was the craftiest Chilena I have ever met. Almost all of the decorations outside and inside her house were homemade. She had some hubcabs she had painted like flowers and wind chimes made out of keys and all kinds of cool stuff. We also met Marisela, a Colombian that moved here 2 years ago because she married a Chileno who we love. Oh! And we found Pamela, this lady who, when we met her, told us she had 3 sweet little daughters that she loves so much. Well, come to find out they are all dogs! It was hilarious. 
This week we also took a trip to Concepcion because Hna Henderson had to get an xray of her heel and it was kind of a shock after living in Arauco and being so used to a small town. We were so overwhelmed with all the cars and people and noise. 
Also, earlier this week we had a pretty crazy experience with some recent converts, V and M. They are a very interesting couple. They got married a little less than a year ago and it was both of their second marriages. V is in his 30s and M in her 50s. Anyway, we felt like we needed to stop by and visit them and when they opened the door we could tell they had been fighting or something. So we sat down and started to talk with them and they both just started arguing like crazy and about how hard it is to be married and all these things. Victor also told us that he had a dream about me and my companion that we were telling him to put on this metal armor so he could carry this heavy backpack he had (the Sunday before Hna Henderson and I taught gospel principles class in church and taught about Repentance. We used the example of the backpack full of heavy things and then taking them all out to show repentance and forgiveness). At many points during the time we were at their house I just had to pray that the Spirit would help me know what to say because I had no idea. After a bit they started to change and calm down and look more at the things they could improve on instead of all the negatives. It was interesting to see how it honestly didn't matter who was more right or who could prove their case better. I can see a lot clearer now how the gospel really is the solution for all of our problems, for M's and V's as well. When we put the gospel first everything else will work itself out. 
Sometimes as missionaries I think we are put into situations that our past experiencies don't cover and we don't fully understand so we can learn how to rely on the Spirit to guide us to help others. I felt that with V and M because of course I have never been married or had problems like that. But it didn't matter because it isn't really me that is there to help them anyway. I need to do my best to let the Spirit work through me because that is what will really guide them to change in the end.
Love you guys!!