Miracles and Dieciocho

HELLOOOOO.                                                                                         Sept. 29, 2014
Monday comes pretty fast. They recently played Barbie Girl in this Cyber. Hahah. Anyway, this week Hermana DeGroff and I starting this thing where at the end of every day we decide what the miracle of the day was. We started it when one day we were talking in the street towards the end of the night, it had been a little bit of a tough day and we were talking about how even though things are tough Heavenly Father ALWAYS blesses us and is mindful of our situations and we really can witness miracles every day if we pay attention and are grateful. It's been fun. Some of the miracles from this past week (BIG and small)-
- We contacted a guy, Andres, that was working on the parking tickets out by our apartment and we gave him a Book of Mormon and explained to him a little of what it was about and how it could bless his life and told him we would pass by a little later on because he had to work at that same spot until 6pm. So we passed by a little while later since it was the day of cambios and we had to run back and forth between the bus terminal and our house and he had read to 1 Nephi 8! It was the coolest thing because as we were nearing him Hna DeGroff said, "I hope Andres is reading his Book of Mormon." and then as we got closer we could see him sitting on the curb reading. WAHOOO! We were so pumped. Miracle 1
- We taught Iris and Antonio the Plan of Salvation and they payed atention through the whole lesson. Iris didn't get up to do something at all! This was cool because Iris is easily distracted and is always trying to give us food or do something when really we just want to teach her. A member that is their friend, Cristian, helped us out a ton and we were able to have a great lesson and have the Spirit really strong. MIRACLE 2.0
-After leadership council in Concepcion on Friday we ate lunch all together and for our dessert we had CINNAMON CARROT CAKE: the most American thing I have eaten my whole mission I think. Wow I was so happy
- Sunday it didn't rain and it had been rainy rainy all week which was awesome because almost all the members walk to church so it made it a lot easier for the members and investigators to come on time without problems. 
- Also something funny that happened this week, we knocked this door and a girl Valeska, who is about 22 and her great grandma let us in. The grandma is like 86 yrs old and slightly crazy so she was cracking us up. There was a big Minnie Mouse balloon in their living room and as we were teaching them the grandma yelled, "It's going to fall!" and Valeska had to explain to her that it was a balloon inflated with helium and then she starting talking about how beatiful it was and that they needed to buy more monkey like that. It was so funny. She would randomly start telling us about her garden every couple minutes so it was a little tough to stay on topic but it was sure a show.  Valeska had a little daughter, Julietta, that reminds me a ton of Coco! She's so cute! I gave her a little Jesus Christ pass along card and then she kept wanting more every minute or so, so by the time we left she had like 10 cards.
I love you guys! You should look out for the miracles every day and it will surprise you to see really how blessed we are and how mindful of us Heavenly Father is.
Also I can't believe it is already time for General Conference again! CRAZY BUS
Hermana Meg Chalmers
Hna DeGroff and me

HELLOOOOOOOOO!                                                                                                              Sept. 29, 2014
This week has been great. Iris, Antonio and Francisca, a family we are teaching came to church on Sunday and loved it! The primary teachers didn't show up on time so Hermana Soria and I ended up singing songs and playing games for the first hour with the 3 primary kids, 2 that are investigators. Haha it was actually a lot of fun. Hermana Soria went home this morning so we said a lot of goodbyes yesterday at church and such. 
But I am just so pumped about Iris and her family. They are so, so awesome and prepared. We taught them about keeping the Sabbath day holy and Iris told us that she had heard them talking about that subject in the gospel principles class the Sunday before and had already decided before our lesson that she felt like it was about time she started making changes to what she does on Sundays and that she was fully committed to keep the Sabbath day holy. They have three rooms in their house that they rent out to people. One of them just got filled by a 78 year old man, Lalo, that just got out of the hospital and has no family. He is super sick and was a heavy drinker before he got sick. Now Iris takes care of him and she is just the most caring person ever. We stopped by their house on Thursday to drop off something and she was in the middle of trading her mattress out so Lalo could use it because he had peed his bed and they had moved him to another bunk bed they had in the house but the bed frame was crooked so he kept falling out. So she gave him her bed and we helped her move it because she can't do much heavy lifting. She didn't even think twice about it. Some man she hardly knows and she is willing to do anything for him. She is just the sweetest woman I have ever met. 
Also this past week was DIECIOCHO! Chilean Independance Day. The biggest celebrated holiday in Chile. We didn't work on Thursday, the 18th. We woke up and went on a hike into the mountains and I bought a kite and was super excited to use it but turned out that that day there was 0 wind. Like the only day the whole year where it isn't windy! Haha. We brought a blanket and our scrips and did some studying out in the hills then for lunch we went to a recent convert's house, Beatriz and Aida and ate A TON. They eat empanadas, anticucho (shish kabaob) and sopaipillas (fried bread?) and BBQ meat like its going out of style for 18. Aida and Bea were really excited to show us what 18 is all about so they gave us SO MUCH FOOD and we couldn't refuse any of it. It was really fun though.
The people here are just so giving and it is so awesome to see that. People who really do show charity towards others and do it without thinking twice even when they have so little. In Moroni 7 when it talks about charity towards the end of the chapter I like where it says charity never faileth and those that are found with it will be blessed. The people I have met here are so charitable and loving and you can see how blessed they are. They are happy and they have love for their families even if they don't have all the things of the world. 
I love you guys!
Love always,
Hna Chalms

 Antonio, in his DIECIOCHO huaso outfit eating a pjarito and looking like a G.
 Hna DeGroff and me
 cutie pies
 The DIECIOCHO spread
                       Me, in a food coma, when we got to our house with a sopaipilla on my face... I ate it.



Week 5 with Hermana De Groff                                                                    Sept. 15, 2014

This week was awesome. I was able to be in our area with Hermana DeGroff almost the whole week so that was a huge blessing. We found some really awesome new people that we are super excited about. One of them is a family, the mom, Iris, and the two kids, Antonio who is 11 and Francesca who is 18. They are a reference from a member who is their neighbor. He went and picked them up yesterday to come to church and as we were waiting for them at the front door we saw them walking up looking all fresh and ready to go. Iris had her side bag with her Bible and her Book of Mormon and a couple snacks because she was a little worried about being able to make it all 3 hours. Haha. It was so great though. Antonio is the smartest little guy ever. He was asking us all these questions about Jose Smith and the Priesthood when we taught the Restoration. Wahoo!
We also found this other guy, Rodrigo, who is just one of the most interesting people I have ever met. He was going to church and meeting with missionaries for like a year in 2010 but never got baptized. He told us he has read all the the BOM like 3 times because he had a lot of free time when he was in jail for a year and a half! He really threw us for a loop on that one. He is just the most calm guy. Anyway, Hermana Soria had to go up to Concepcion for a day and so on Thursday I was in a trio with Hna DeGroff and Hna Crandall (the daughter of Hna Soria) and we went to visit Rodrigo for the 2nd time. He told us that he has never prayed since 2008 and never will ever since what he did.... Well he ended up telling us that he went to jail because he stabbed a guy and the guy died. WHAT! Keep in mind my companions didn't know what he was saying so they were responding like it was no biggie. Hahah. Craziest thing. But it is really sad, Rodrigo's situation. He doesn't believe God can forgive him and that he can pray to Him even because he said he can't believe that an innocent, perfect man would have to suffer for the mistakes that he had made and that he needs to suffer them himself. We bore our testimonies of the power of the atonement and that Christ willingly suffered for us and the price has already been paid. Our responsibility now is to repent and to follow Him. I just hope Rodrigo can pray so he can feel at least some comfort and know that he still is a son of God even after the mistakes he made. 
We also did some service at an old folks home for national service day and I FINALLY got to wear one of those Mormon Helping Hands yellow vests!! Yahoo! I was really impressed by a recent convert, Guillermo (he got baptized last month), who had one of his legs amputated from the knee down about a year ago. He came to the service activity! It was the coolest thing. It made me think about the times when I feel like I have some sort of excuse to not do something or think something is too hard, when Hno Guillermo, who is missing a leg and walks with crutches, still comes to a stake service activity and helps out in every way he can. He is the most faithful member and I look up to him a lot for doing all in his power to serve and that he doesn't let his trials limit him or determine his happiness or success.  
On the 10th I completed one year in the mission so the Hermanas in the house bought a lemon pie and surprised me and wrote me some nice notes. Haha. It was really nice of them. I'll send some pics
This Thursday is Chilean Independance Day so our P Day will be on that day. All the country is pumped on eating empanadas and dancing the cueca. CHI CHI CHI LE LE LE VIVA CHILE
Its FINALLY getting warm over here! Wahooo. I went my first day without a jacket yesterday and it was pure heaven. Pretty soon I won't need to wear tights!
I love you guys! I hope St. George isn't completely under water by the time I get there. 
Love always,
Hermana Chalmers
Alma 38:2 
Some hermanas and ward members

Hermana DeGroff with her sopapilla

Stake Service Activity

Sept. 8, 2014
Hey fam! You guys are just having a straight party 24/7. I am currently in this cyber and they are playing, Hey Ya, super loud "SHAKE IT SHAKE IT" and I am picturing Courts doing a crazy little dance. hahah. 
We are in Concepcion today because we had to come up for Return and Report with our companions to see how their training is going and that we aren't beating them or anything. Haha, it was good stuff. 
This past week was a little tough with moving into our new apartment and we had a couple problems with the water heater so we lost a lot of time fixing that but I am SO happy we are finally into this new apartment and all is ready to go! It is right in the middle of our sector and we live on the 3rd floor so no more jumping around doing insanity in the morning... Haha. We are going to have to stick to running now. 
We have been focusing on finding new investigators this week and we saw a lot of miracles! One morning we had to run to go make copies of the keys to our apartment and this guy who was working parking cars yelled "hola hermanas!" I assumed he was a member so I asked him what ward he was from and then as he started to talk to us we realized he isn't a member. He told us how he used to play soccer at the chapel when he was a kid and that so many hard things have happened in his life and that he knows he needs something to help him overcome his problems. He said he has just recently stopped drinking and he wanted to stop smoking but it was so hard. The gospel can help to solve ALL of our problems! All of them! It is the answer to all of our questions and it is the only way we can really truly be happy.  We also went and visited this reference from some Elders in another area. Her name is Sofia and she just moved here from Concepcion and was so excited when we gave her a Book of Mormon. She told us how she feels like in her life she is missing a boyfriend/husband that she can trust and that really loves her. Haha. We are going to try and hook her up with some solid member and SEAL THEM IN THE TEMPLE, YO.
My companion and I did some exchanges one day this week, too. When they came home that night, Hna Degroff was telling me about how they found this really awesome guy, Hugo, but how the whole lesson she thought his name was jugo (juice in Spanish) and was calling him Jugo. Hahah. Also a while back an area seventy, Elder Zeballos, came to talk to us. When we came home to the house after his training and prayed, she prayed and thanked Heavenly Father for the training we had received from Elder Cebollas (onion in spanish). We all started cracking up mid prayer. hahah. She is so awesome, though. Something Hna Degroff has taught me is to have a good attitude even when things are hard and frustrating. She is always really positive and doesn't fear the unknown and I look up to her a lot for that.
Oh my goodness, now they are playing Brittney Spears in this cyber. GOSH. OOPS I DID IT AGAIN.
I love you guys and am grateful for you and your support and love!
I LOVE THE MISSION. I still can't believe that I am here and how quickly time is passing and how happy I am doing something I never imagined I would be doing at this time in my life. 
DyC 123:17 (my fave!)
Love always,
​Today at Return and Report with our hijas

Krishna, the daughter of a recent convert, walked home from church yesterday with us. She is the cutest!


A Fun and Busy Week!

Hey guys!                                                                                                Sept. 1, 2014
This week was all over the place. It flew by so quickly and now the weeks are just starting to blend together. Some cool things that have happened:
- Hermana Soria and I did some trade offs in Victoria about 2 hours South of Angol and when I was sitting on the floor studying, a mouse ran into my skirt. That was nice.
- Hermana Degroff and I contacted a Chilean mime. White face paint and all!
- This week we are moving into our new apartment! Finally!! 
- Our house was robbed Thursday night and thankfully they didn't take anything of mine, but they took something from all the other Hermanas in the house. Money. Camera. Jewelry.
- We have been working hard with Suyay and her family and it has been full of its ups and downs. It has been hard for them not to get discouraged with the situation they are in. Their dad told them he doesn't want to see anymore Mormons in his house anymore when he is around, which is on the weekends. That really has been tough for Suyays mom, Elvira. But yesterday we had a family home evening with them with some members and other recent converts and it was really great. We talked about the story of Lot's Wife and not looking back but having faith that the future will be better than the past. Mom, it reminded me of one time when you showed a video in young womens' about that once in a lesson. Well, we showed that video. too. I really love that story and the talk that goes along with it by Elder Holland. It talks about how as we have confidence in the future and what we can accomplish, we strengthen our faith and that having a clear vision of just exactly what it is that we want to achieve in our future makes it so much easier to press forward. We invited everyone to make goals for where and who they wanted to be in 5 years and we also did it with them. It is so awesome how the gospel can really transform us and help us to be so much better than we could otherwise. It gives us so much more direction and purpose and for that I am grateful. I am grateful to have confidence in the future and to be content with the present and not let the past hold me back or impede me from progressing. Also I am grateful for you guys, for my family! It is eternal and something that I have come to appreciate so much more. In my mission I have seen people who don't have that blessing and how much more difficult their life is. Also, I have been able to witness people who come to understand that there really is a possibility to live as an eternal family and it is so awesome how that knowledge and understanding can change someone so much. 
- Today we went to Las Canteras, this nature place close to Angol with the 6 Hermanas in our zone. The whole zone was going to go but then it rained so everyone else wimped out, but not us!! We went and had a taxi take us there and the guy driving, Humberto, was super cool and we all became friends and he showed us around Las Canteras and even hopped out of the car to take some pics with us. It was so great, haha. 
I love you guys!
Hna Chalms
Las Canteras

Humberto, our taxi driver and me

me and Hna De Groff