Feliz Navidad

Hey guys! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!                                                  Dec. 29, 2014
This week has been a good one, a little tougher to find people in their houses for the holidays, but still great.
As I told you on Christmas Day we went to Salto de Laja, that is about 30 mins out of Los Angeles and then ate lunch with some members that live out there. They are this old couple that are constantly fighting or making jokes or teasing so it was hilarious. 
I love Christmas here. It is so cool to be able to experience it in such a different way but also be able to feel so happy and content serving others and seeing their lives change. We went and visited a recent convert, Audelina, who is in her late 70s and lives alone, on Christmas Eve and gave her a gift and sang her some Christmas hymns. She was so happy and told us about her conversion story and how she learned to read with the Book of Mormon. We read some scrips with her and she was so pumped to read, even if she couldn't do it too fast. I love to see that we can find joy in simple things and also that if you can feel the spirit with people you love and serve, even in such a simple moment, it is so fulfilling.
On Christmas Eve we ate dinner with a young family in our ward and before we ate we watched "He is The Gift." I have seen it a lot of times, but it was so sweet to watch it there with that family with their little Christmas tree. There was a really sweet spirit present. I love when it says, "He is the Christ. He is Christmas." The joy that everyone feels at this time of year is because of Jesus Christ and His love for us.
Also, Eduardo, our investigator who we are really excited to be baptized the first week in January took a complete turn when we went to see him on Sunday saying that he just doesn't know about the church with all the stuff about Joseph Smith and the 12 apostles and such. That morning I read a General Conference talk from the last conference, "Joseph Smith" and it talks about how in the world there is so much opposition right now against the prophets and the truth especially in these latter days and that it is our responsibility to strengthen our testimony of Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon and the living prophets because it will be tried at some point. Remember those things and that the Book of Mormon is so strong and has the power against all the opposition.
I love you guys!
Hermana Chalmers

Zone Gift Exchange

Christmas morning

Salto de Laja

                                                                                                                                    Dec. 22, 2014
I don't have a bunch of time but it's all right because I will be talking with you guys this Thursday! Christmas really snuck up there. This week was awesome. I am so happy with my companion Hermana Hungria. She is just the best and we work together really well. This past Friday we had leadership council in Concepcion and we Skyped with this guy, Hermano Donaldson, who gave us a training that just blew my mind and changed my whole perpestive of teaching in the mission. He did a practice where he taught us the restoration super simplified using the pamphlets we have and it was just so awesome. He talked about how when we invite people to be baptized really we are inviting them to accept the redeeming power of the Atonement in their lives. So great. So that same day when we got back to our area we went to an appointment with some future investigators, Connie and Miguel, they are 20 and 21, brother and sister, and we applied what we had been taught that day in the training with teaching the restoration and it was one of the coolest things ever. They accepted the invitation to be baptized and The Spirit was just so strong. Hermano Donaldson said, " When we participate we allow The Spirit to teach us" and I just love that. I have been talking way too much in lessons. When people can come to their own conclusion and we just ask questions and guide their thoughts, miracles happen. 
Also, I have been teaching my comp some English phrases. Right now we are working on, "take it easy" and "don't mess with me." I taught her "see you later aligator" "in a while crocodile" last week and it's a hit. We are testing it out with all the North Americans.
Wahooo! I am really happy and excited for this transfer.
Feliz Navidad! I love you guys a ton!
Love always,
Hermana Chalms
I love Hermana Hungria

me and Hna H.


Loving Life in Los Angeles

                                                                                                                             Dec. 15, 2014
Hey! Today is the start of a new transfer. Hermana McFadden finished the mission and my new companion who is getting here tomorrow is Hermana Hungria from Ecuador. I am really excited! We came to the mission together but she was in the Chile MTC. Also I'm staying here in Los Angeles. 
This week has just been kind of a blurr, but that is a good thing I think. I did an exchange this past week with one of the hermanas who is in her first cambio in the mission and it was one of the coolest experiences. We saw all kinds of miracles. The first was a recent convert that has been struggling lately has been almost impossible to find. She is 17 yrs old and we have been worried about her. Well we stopped by that day and she was home with her sister and starting asking us questions about her personal progress and asked if we could help her out. She has been going through a tough time lately so it really was such a miracle that we were able to have some time with her. Also at the end of the day we had like 15 minutes left before we had to go into the house and we said to each other that we were going to invite someone to be baptized before the day ended. It was so great because like 3 minutes before we had to go home we knocked on this door that is on the same street as our house and a girl answered and we asked her if we could share a short message of Christ and she let us in! She is 19 yrs old and has a 3 year old son and looked so tired and worn out. Her family was teasing her that she let us in and was talking to us but I was grateful that we were still about to feel the spirit, teach her something simple and invite her to be baptized. She said Yes too! It really is so cool to see how mindful God is of us and of all of His children. I have been thinking a lot lately about our agency and the agency of others and how much it affects missionary work and whether people have the opportunity to accept the gospel or not. It is a beautiful thing to witness other people letting the spirit touch them and being willing to learn and to change and seeing it in their eyes when they really do understand or really do feel the spirit testifying of the truth.
Also, we had the primary program yesterday in sacrament and I witnessed quite possibly the cutest primary program instance ever. This little girl, Fernanda, was asked to share her testimony of what she had learned that year in primary (she is about 4 or 5) and she walked up nervously to the pulpit, stared at the audience wide eyed for like 30 seconds and then said really slowly, "You should never hurt animals.....and always leave them alone." Her little lip was quivering the whole time and then she just stared at the congregation breathing heavily until her mom came and got her and then she started bawling. Ahhh I love the primary program and good thing it's a hit in all parts of the world
I love you guys! Thanks for everything!
Love always,
Hermana Chalmers
hermana pendley, the mission secretary. i love her!

hermana mcfadden and i at the christmas conference in san pedro

hahah trying to get hermano jose to take a selfie, he didn't understand it at all haha

SOY churrasco. i love my life

Mi querida familia,                                                                                                      Dec. 8, 2014
This week was so good. I learned a lot of good things. Lots of little miracles also.
- We ate lunch with an Hermana that is recently reactivated and after we finished eating we shared a spiritual thought with her. It was my turn to share so I pulled out my scrips and turned to Helaman 3:35.
 "Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humilityand firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctifcation of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God."
I really love this scripture and I wanted to share it with her and turn it toward missionary work but as we read it, the part where it says, "they did fast and pray oft" stood out to me and I felt like I should share with her about the importance of those two things. It turns out that this hermana has been having a hard time finding a job. She barely had enough money to give us lunch and has been praying so hard for help and not knowing what else to do. She said that it had never come to her mind to try and fast as well and that the scripture was an answer to her prayers. It was really cool for her to be able to see how the Spirit can work through us to help others and also how the scriptures hold the answers to all of our questions and help us to receive constant revelation for even the simplest problems and questions.
- Also we found a family that is awesome! It is a mom, Carmen, a grandma, Teresa and the son, Eduardo. We taught them and they were super excited about it all, especially Eduardo (he ended up coming to church and even stayed after with us to watch a ward baptism!). At the end of our lesson we invited him to pray and he said he would even though we was a little nervous but it was so funny because right before he prayed he said... "yeah... Im going to turn off the lights" and shut off the lights real quick, said the prayer in the dark and then turned them back on. hahah.
- We taught some recent converts, Jose and Magdalena, (they are cousins and are both about 50 or so) and invited them to invite some neighbors or friends to a ward activity we are having next week and they ended up getting into an argument about being judgemental on what neighbors to invite and who REALLY deserved an invitation even if they would say no. Hahah it was quite the scene to observe.
- In a contact in the street the other day we talked to this really nice guy who told us, "Sorry it's just, I don't have time to be Mormon." How ironic is that one? We tried to explain to him that really the fact was that being Mormon would make all the other time he has even more worth using and really the most important thing he could be doing with his time was finding the true church and coming closer to Christ. He wasn't really having any of but I thought that was interesting what he said, such a backwards thought when you really think about it.
I love you guys a lot!
 Thanks for everything! 
Feliz Navidad!
Love always,
Hermana Megan Chalmers


Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey guys!                                                                                                              Nov. 24, 2014
This week went by real fast. We were all over the zone but it was a lot of fun- some things that happened-
I did an intercambio (trade off) with one the Hermanas in the zone in my sector in Villa Obispo and it was a really great experience. We learned a ton together. The day started off and everyone all over town was hating the missionaries. We were just laughing about it because it was absurd! Two ladies in a row yelled at us and then I went up and contacted this lady and she looked super interested and then I turned a little and she saw my name tag and left practically running. Haha but at the same time we saw a ton of miracles that day. Right before we had to go home we contacted this couple that was about to enter their house and they let us pass by. Pepe and Nieve. They were real receptive and that committed to be baptized! They have to get married first but that's all right. Also we helped this recent convert clean her house a bit. She has a lot of medical problems and was having a hard day so it was nice to help her out and she was able to open up to us a little more. 
- No missionary in our whole mission knew if Thanksgiving was this past Thursday or this coming. We were really confused but we didn't want to miss it so we made a couple calls and were practically POSITIVE that Thanksgiving was on the 20th... so we bought a "pie" and celebrated it ON THE WRONG DAY. Haha it was pretty funny when we found out. 
We have had to drop a lot of investigators this past week that just aren't progressing and it has been pretty tough. We just have to exercise faith that God has other people prepared for us in the sector. We are finding a lot of news and it has been fun and now we are just focusing on helping them get to church and progress. 
One new person we found who is really cool is named Viviana. She is a Jehovah's Witness and her boyfriend, Jesus, (right?) is Catholic. It is a hoot teaching them but they really are interested so it will be good.
I love you guys! Happy Thanksgiving!
Love always,
Hermana Chalmers

Dec. 1, 2014
Hey! Looks like you guys had a solid Thanksgiving. Over here in the South we ate some oreo ice cream and brownies in a cup and at least this time we got it on the right day so that was good. haha. 
This past week we had stake conference and a member of the seventy came and spoke, Elder Nuñez. It was really awesome. In the Sunday Session Hna McFadden and I were sitting with the daughter of a family of investigators we have, playing tic tac toe while Elder Nuñez spoke about missionary work and the importance of it all. He said he had pre asked President Bluth for the help of two missionaries and then he called an elder's name and then my name and I about peed my pants because he asked us to come up in front of everyone because he was going to ask us some questions. I had no idea what was going on. But it was actually a really cool experience. He asked me and Elder Cardoso questions about the mission schedule and obedience rules that we answered into the microphone and then he asked us to bear our testimonioes of why we came on a mission. Then he talked to each of us in front of the stake and made us promise with him that for the rest of our lives, after the mission, we would continue to pray every single day, study the scrips, serve and be an example of Jesus Christ. I said I would and it was really interesting because when I sat down I really felt the Spirit and understood, at least a little, the promise I had made with Elder Nuñez, and really with the Lord, that I will forever be changed by my mission. And not just while I am here but forever after, because that's where it really counts. 
Also, this past week I was studying on how to find people to teach and where it talks about going about doing good and I realized that the real way that we can be disciples of Christ is not just teaching but more importantly living the gospel. Show others what the gospel of Christ is through our actions and who we are. The words that we speak or teach mean really nothing if we don't have the action and true testimony behind it. I know I have a lot I still need to work on to become better and a true disciple of Christ but I want to do it! Being a great teacher or missionary or whatever, really just comes down to how willing we are to live a life like Jesus Christ. To not just teach his doctrine, but LIVE like He did.
I love you guys a ton! Thanks for everything!
Hermana Chalmers
Alma 11:40

         Happy Thanksgiving                 (on the right day)!