LOS ANGELES 2.0 11-17-14
This week went by super fast. We had interviews with President and Hermana Bluth and Hermana McFadden and I did some trainings with the missionaries during the interviews. It was a lot of fun but also pretty tiring because we had to do the same one four times so I kind of felt like a wierdo just repeating myself like someone secretly really knew that I was saying the same thing I had the day before. haha. But interviews are always great. Hermana Bluth talked to me a little about the importance of the little things we do as missionaries to be obedient and how getting into that habit and keeping it after the mission is so important so we don't start a downward slope when we go home.
Also this week, we did a family home evening with an investigator, Camila and her brother's family, who are recent converts and were recently sealed in the temple a month or two ago. It was pretty cool. We watched this mormon message called "El Domingo Llegará" and her brother shared his testimony about how the gospel has changed his life and even though he has still passed through hard times he has been able to make it through and be happy thanks to the gospel. Camila accepted a baptismal date for the 20th of December! She is 20 yrs old and has a 2 year old boy.
We also had lunch yesterday with the Stake President and his family. They are the most gringo people I have ever met in Chile. They made chocolate chip cookies and we ate tacos! What?! It was wild. They have four kids all under the age of 18 and all of them want to go on missions so I thought that was pretty cool.
We also have this investigator, Andrea, that is so close to getting baptized but everytime her baptismal date gets close she disappears or something happens. DANG. She is great though. She wants to be an example for her daughters and be baptized but Satan is working hard on her, that is for sure. She always teases me because I have baby hands and my nails are short because I bite them... She says I have all kinds of twitches. Haha I must just be going crazy over here.
This ward, Villa Obispo, has made me so grateful for the members. I think that is one of the biggest things I will take away from my misson is the importance of the members and the miracles that happen when you work with them to help others to come unto Christ. The members here are so willing and there are so many of them as well. It definitely takes an extra effort to involve the members but it is so much better that way. You guys are on the other end of that so just know that having willing members to work with is such a blessing and really how missionary work should always be done.
Also, mom there is an hermana in our ward that reminds me A TON of you. It is wild! Her daughter is a return missionary that actually had to come home early for health reasons. But she has short hair like you and she is super awesome. It's your chilean twin.
Also, it is SO HOT in Los Angeles. Oh man. Last year this time in Temuco it was not at this level of heat yet so I should be in for a STG style summer.
I love you guys! Have a great week!
LOS ANGELES 1.0 11-10-14
Hey! I am in Los Angeles! It is pretty different than Angol, quite a bit bigger and the ward HUGE. My whole mission I have been in wards or branches of about 50-60 people in smaller areas and now in Villa Obispo there are like 140 members in the ward or something like that... really blew me away yesterday. Members all over the place! I'm not sure how I am going to remember all the names and stuff like that but I am excited because the members here are pumped to work with us and be a part of the missionary work and everything. It is also really interesting having the old mission president's family in our ward. Hna Martinez, Presidente Martinez's wife, taught the class in relief society so that was really cool... also because she taught about missionary work. Haha.
Also, Los Angeles is REALLY HOT. YES!
There are some really cool people here as well. We have an investigator Madaline who apparently has been taught by missionaries for a long time. She is 16 years old and super great. She has a baptism date right now for the 22nd of Nov and I know she can do it. I know it! Our ward mission leader has like no faith at all that she will actually get baptized that day which is a bummer but no importa!
I am just really excited to be here even though I do miss Angol a little. I am focused on just giving everything I've got. This may be my last area so I want to make sure I take full advantage of every opportunity I recieve to work with the members to help families get baptized!
Also this past week I did a study on the difference between confidence and pride. Pres. Bluth mentioned it and invited us to study it out. It was pretty cool. The conclusion I came to was that the difference really comes down to where we are attributing our success. To God or to ourselves. We must be confident but confident in what God can make of us and what we can do with His help. I think there really is a fine line between being prideful and having confidence but I have found that confidence is such an important thing. To be confidant is similar to having faith. Jesus Christ was confident in His mission on earth and He wasn't afraid to tell people who He was and that is what I want to focus on as well. Being confident, but confident by trusting in the Lord. Sorry I am rambling a bit.
And sorry I don't have pictures. I haven't taken any this week
I love you guys!
CAMBIOS & IRIS 11-3-14
This week was possibly one of the best weeks of my mission. So many things happened! First off, IRIS GOT BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY. Dang, we were not expecting that one. This week was the last week of the cambio and we had been hoping to set a date for her to be baptized later on in November because she kept refusing and refusing and anyway we went to teach her this past Tuesday and miracles happened. The Spirit was there so strong. We went with Suyay, the recent convert who was baptized in August, and halfway through the lesson Hermano Crisitian randomly showed up (the hermano that gave us the reference of Iris and her fam). It was just power team 2.0 with those two and by the end of the lesson we were talking about bringing her her baptismal dress to try on and who she wanted us to invite for Saturday. Hermana DeGroff and I were SO excited. The moment I realized that Iris really was going to take the step of faith and be baptized, when her attitude changed and she started getting excited for the baptism was one of the best feelings ever. When Hna DeGroff and I walked out of their house we just started hugging each other and jumping around all over the place. As it always happens, there were a couple of roadbumps for her to get baptized on such short notice... 1. The bishop was still in Concepción with his wife and son and 2. The counselor who we were counting on to help us out had his youngest daughter's birthday party that same day in the chapel. He met with us Wednesday night and tried to convince us to move the baptism to a week or two later. I kept on focusing on what would be best for Iris and the fact that she was ready and there was no reason at all to wait while she was so excited and peaceful with her baptism that Saturday. It turned out to be so great, everything. Iris was so excited and nervous too. We had asked her earlier if she wanted to bear her testimony after her baptism and she said no because she would be way too nervous but we asked her again right after she was baptized and she agreed to do it. When she bore her testimony something she said was just the best thing to ever hear, she said, "This was so beautiful and such an amazing experience but what is most important for me is what comes next." Hearing that she was so focused and determined on continuing faithful every day was such a blessing. Her daughter who studies in Temuco, Francisca, came up for her baptism that weekend and kept throwing in selfies left and right while we were taking pictures in the chape before the baptism. I'll send you guys some. It was so funny.
Also, CAMBIOS. I am leaving Angol. I won't lie, I am pretty sad. I love Angol a ton and I am going to miss the ward and the people and everything but I know there are things I need to do in other places, in LOS ANGELES apparently. It is about an hour and a half north of Angol. I have never been before but I am going to be comps with Hermana McFadden from Colorado. She finishes her mission this cambio. I lived with her when I was in Temuco for one cambio actually. We are going to be in the ward, Villa Obispo AND that is the ward where the old mission president, Presidente Martínez, and his family live so that will be fun haha. I leave tomorrow! Also, my hija, Hermana DeGroff, is going to train here in Angol! Wahooo!
It was so awesome to finish my time in Angol and with Hermana DeGroff with this week. My last Sunday yesterday, Iris said the closing prayer in Gospel Principles and it was so sweet and sincere. She prayed for her mom and prayed that God would forgive her of all her mistakes and all these cute little things. Every time before she prays she says something like, "Okay I'm still pretty new at this so I am going to give it my best shot. We will see how it turns out..." and then just starts praying right on the spot. Haha so great.
I love you guys! Thanks for your support and everything!
Hermana Megan Chalmers
CONFERENCIA DE HERMANAS 10-27-14
Hermana DeGroff and I had a really awesome week, full of some really interesting and really cool things that happened. We found this cute little old guy, Juan, who lives right behind the church. He can't read and used to be an alcoholic and drink all the time but decided about 2 years ago that he had enough of that and so he hasn't drank any since. He was telling us all about how he wants to start changing his life and coming to church. He is missing a lot of teeth so I really love when he smiles nice and big because he just looks like such a cute little grandpa. Haha.
We also came across one of our investigators, Oscar, with a group of almost drunk guys who we were talking to for a while. They were actually pretty nice and had some genuine questions and stuff and then one of the guys starting talking about how he had heard from someone that we worship Joseph Smith and then they all started mentioning all of their friends and neighbors who had once told them the same thing. We kept explaining to them that it wasn't true but they just weren't listening to us at all and weren't letting us say more than two words. It took a lot to not get really frustrated with them and lose my patience especially when I knew what they were saying wasn't true. But by the end we were able to explain to them who Jose Smith was and what he did and that we don't worship him but are grateful for what he did to help restore the church.
We also taught the gospel of Jesus Christ to an investigator, Cristian, the guy who we prayed with like 4 times in one lesson last week, and it was the coolest thing. As we talked to him about Enduring to the End and having eternal life as our ultimate goal he started telling us that he believed that was true and that one day he really believed that he would be able to see God and talk with Him and he said, "I know that eternal life is real, now more than ever." And he was just smiling so big and there was such a peaceful feeling in the room. I'm really grateful I was able to have that experience to feel the spirit so strong and so simply and to see that same spirit testify to Cristian about eternal life. So cool! The only bummer was that he told us that he has problems with insomnia (of all things!!) so he didn't know if he would be able to make it to church because lately his sleep schedules have been pretty wild and he hasn't been able to sleep at all during the night. That is the first time I have heard that reason for not being able to come to church with us. Haha.
This past Friday we also had a Conferencia de Hermanas in our chapel in Angol (our chapel is the biggest in all the mission! yeeaaahh) with all the Hermanas in the mission, Presidente and Hermana Bluth and the asistants. It was a lot of fun actually. Hermana Bluth put so much into preparing it and making sure everything was set to go. The best part was that the mission secretary, Elder Pendley, and the elderly missionary, taught us about self defense. He made sure to include the "foot breaker," the "head bonk" and of course, "the shot to the groin." He also told us that if it really got down to it we shouldn't be afraid to make them nervous with some smack talk and tell them to "run home to their mommy so she could change their diapers." Hahah. Hermana Bluth talked a lot about working in unity which helped me a lot. She used the example of bees and their beehives and how the work of one bee is so small to produce the honey we eat but that when all of the bees do their part, however small it may be, there are great results and how that is the same for us. Even if what we are doing may seem small in comparison it will make a difference. God needs every single one of us and has called us for a specific purpose. She also talked about how Jesus Christ treated women in the New Testament and the great respect He had for them. From the Samaritan woman at the well to Mary Magdalena, being the first person he appeared to after he was ressurrected. I really thought that was cool when she put it into that kind of perspective.
I love you guys! Talk to you next week!
|at the conference with Hermana Bluth|
|cleaning up afterwards|
|lunch with Familia Diaz|
|Gabby Diaz and her bunny|