???El fin se acerca!* (3/11/2013)

Wow it is strange to be sitting here writing my very last email as a missionary. Where has the time gone?? I cannot believe that a year and a half has gone by, wow! That is all that I can say!! This has truly been the greatest time of my life! I cannot believe it is coming to an end! But I know that I now must go on with another part of my life and even though I would love to stay here, the Lord has other plans for me now!

This week was an amazing week. I prayed all week that this week could be one of the best weeks of my mission and it truly was! I know that the Lord listened to and answered my prayer! For the first time in my ENTIRE mission we taught 20 lessons which is what we should teach every week. We also found a lot of new people to teach, and new FAMILIES! I am so sad that I wont be able to stay here to see these people progress in this gospel but I know that my companion is going to take good care of them and that she will keep me updated! At least I hope so! Haha. Every day this week we taught about 3 or 4 lessons and we did contacts, that used to just happen on good days and it happened almost every day this week! We were truly able to see the Lord??s hand in our lives this week and I just love this work!

One of the families that we found is super great. It is a young couple and they are MARRIED (can you believe it?!?) and they currently arent going to a church but they are super interested in our message. When we went to share with them the first day it was like we already knew them. The mom was super open with us and just talked to us as if we had known her forever! They are a great family! We challenged them to baptism and they said that if they receive an answer to their prayers then they will be baptized!! They asked us how we baptize in the church and when we explained that it is by immersion they said oh yeah perfect that is the right way! This family was truly prepared and I know that we were guided by the Spirit to contact them and go and visit them!

This week was also full of goodbyes! I still havent cried yet, but surely tomorrow or Wednesday for sure will have some tears involved….haha I am trying to be strong. I said goodbye to an elderly woman that we taught a little bit and she was so sad! She was crying and was just how much she would miss me! It just made me so sad. She said she was going to miss her ??gringa vecina??* hahaha. I will miss my ??abuela vecina?? tambi???n.* Today and tomorrow I have a few more goodbyes to do but not very many. We are going to work hard as well so that I am not just losing the last two days that I have here!

Well Wednesday I am leaving Villarrica at about 7am and then I am headed to Osorno for the day and there we spend the day with President and the others who are also going home. Then from there I am headed to Santiago by bus in the night time and we should be getting there about 7 or 8am on Thursday morning and then Thursday night I will be on my way to the United States de nuevo.* Wow….it is so bittersweet!

Well I just want to finish this last email with my testimony. I know that this church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet called to restore the gospel, and what a blessing this gospel has been in my life! I love this gospel so much! I love that I have been able to share it this last year and a half of my life. For any of you who are wondering if you should go on a mission, my advice to you is do it. You wont regret it, like I said it is truly the greatest time of your life. It is hard, but it is so worth it. I love this work, I know that it is the work of the Lord and I am going to continue sharing the gospel even when I am not a full time missionary. Share the gospel with your friends, family members, with EVERYONE! There are people waiting to hear this gospel, we need to open our mouths and share it m???s!

I hope you all have a great week and I will see you all on Friday!!! :)

*Translations by Dad:
???El fin se acerca! – The end is approaching! (There is a hymn in the Spanish hymnal titled “El Fin Se Acerca”, and the English version of the hymn is “The Time Is Far Spent”)
gringa vecina – Gringa neighbor
??abuela vecina?? tambi???n – “grandma neighbor” as well
de nuevo – once again
m???s – more

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Chi chi chi le le le, viva chile! :) (3/4/2013)

This week was a pretty good week! I cant believe it went by so quickly! I am now officially in my last full week as a missionary! Where has the time gone?! Well I have decided that I am going to work SUPER hard and make this one of the best weeks of my whole mission! Even if I just plant a bunch of seeds here in Villarrica, I know I am doing the Lord??s work and that other Hermanas* will be able to help nurture those seeds and see the fruit m???s adelante.*

Well this week was also filled with many experiences! First, I think it was Wednesday night we had a thunderstorm! For the first time in my WHOLE mission we had a thunderstorm and it just so happened to be in the MIDDLE of the night hahaha. At 1am I woke up and it was hailing, and it was SUPER loud hahaha. Then at 3am the lightning and the thunder started. My poor companion has NEVER experienced a thunderstorm in her life and she was pretty freaked out so we said a prayer and talked for about an hour because we couldnt sleep! Then the thunder calmed down a bit and we got back to sleep. Hahah needless to say the next morning we were pretty tired considering we lost an hour of sleep! But Chilean thunder is super different! It sounded like the ground was literally cracking. I thought we were going to have an earthquake or something but thankfully it was just a thunderstorm! Haha it was a funny experience though!

Then yesterday, we had District Conference (since we arent a stake) and it was via satellite from Salt Lake and Elder Corbridge spoke, then Sister Burton, then Elder Andersen and then the prophet! It was soooo great! I had no idea we were going to be able to hear the prophet speak! And the coolest part was that this was a district conference just for South Chile! The southern part of Chile was definitely blessed to be able to hear and listen to the prophet and his apostles! I just love listening to the prophet because I just always feel the spirit so strongly! I know that Thomas S. Monson truly is a prophet of God and we are blessed when we listen to and follow his counsels. The things that he tells us dont come from him, the come from our Heavenly Father, and we must always obey! I also know that when we are obedient we are truly blessed! I just love the prophet! And in less than a month we will get to listen to the prophet again! Woo-hoo! :) I cant wait!

We also had a pretty cool experience this week, well yesterday actually. My companion and I had a bunch of contacts to do and it was actually pretty warm yesterday and I was SUPER thirsty. Well anyways we were close to the house and so we decided to head to the house to fill up my water bottle and do contacts on the way. Well the first people we contacted on the way didnt want to share with us so we kept going and the second person we contacted was a girl named Shirley. She was sitting on a park bench with her son in a stroller and we started talking with her and we asked if we could share with her and she said yeah, sit down. Haha so we sat down and we talk her there at the costanera (like the beach but the sidewalk before the beach). She was super receptive and was really interested in what we shared. It was truly the Lord that guided us to go that way because we had never done contacts there before. I know that the Lord guides us to those who are prepared to listen to and receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I just love being able to share this message every day! I am honestly pretty sad that this time is coming to an end but I am just going to make the most of it and I know that the Lord will continue leading us to those who are waiting to hear this great message!

Well today is my second to last Pday so we are going to eat lunch with one of our investigators and she is going to teach us how to make Lemon Pie!!!!! Yummmm! My comp is going to teach her how to make a Peruvian lunch (yup Kari I am eating Peruvian food in Chile too! haha) and then we are going to learn how to make pie! It is going to be a great day! :) Well I hope you all have a great week!

*Translations by Dad:
Hermanas – Sisters
m???s adelante – later on

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Just another week in paradise :) (2/25/2013)

Wow! I think I am now in crunch time! The other day I realized that I am now down to my last two full weeks as a full time missionary. Where did the time go?! I cant believe that this week we will be in March! Holy canoli! Well I have decided that I am going to make the most out of this time that I have and these last two weeks are hopefully going to be the best two weeks of my mission! I have faith and I know that we are going to be able to see miracles here in this sector!

Well this week was a pretty good week, we had zone conference this week which was AMAZING! We had to go to Valdivia and so we had to leave super early, our bus left at 6:50 am. Well funny story, so we woke up early and got ready and at 6:30 we called the taxi so that we could go catch our bus. Well the taxi company had a 20 min wait, so we called another, same thing, so we called another and the same thing. So we started worrying a little bit and I said, well hna*, lets run! So we prayed, left our house at 6:30am running in the darkness of the morning. What a joke! Hahaha. Well my comp isnt the best runner so I was running and then waiting and running, well needless to say we were about to miss our bus and the whole time we were running I was praying for the Lord to bless us with a taxi. One passed by but it was full so we kept running and then right when we had just about lost all hope, the same taxi came back but empty! He stopped for us and we got to the bus about 3 minutes before it left. It was definitely a MIRACLE!!! Another pair of Elders from Villarrica lost* the bus and they got there like 2 hours late so you can see why it was so important that we got to our bus! But I know that the Lord listens to each and every one of our prayers, even if we are running and praying in the street! I know He listens and that we are all important to Him!

Anyways our zone conference was AMAZING! One of the 70 was there Elder Ceballos (or Zaballos, I am not really sure!) but I truly feel like I learned so much! I wish that I would have had this conference like at the beginning of my mission but it truly gave me a ton of animo* to just make the most out of these few short weeks that I have left here as a missionary. We learned a lot about the importance of just truly having the vision to baptize, to help others come unto Christ and to just have buen animo* while we are doing it! I dont remember everything but it was truly just fantastic! I love the zone conferences because I always learn so much!!!

Today for Pday we went out to Pangipulli to have a BBQ with the senior missionaries that are serving up here with us now and it was a lot of fun! We had to wait almost 2 hours for a bus and then we came back super late, which is why we are writing so late but it was super fun! We met up with our whole zone for the first time since I got here too! It was great! It made me laugh though because it was totally a gringo BBQ, we had burgers, potato salad, chips and jello! I felt like I was back at home! :)

Well I dont really have a lot more time left but I hope that you all have a great week! :)

*Translations by Dad:
Hna/Hermana – Sister
“lost the bus” – in Spanish would be “perdio’ el bus”, which means “missed the bus,” but “perder” is Spanish for “to lose”
animo – excitement
buen animo – “good excitement” or a lot of excitement

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Another rainy week! (2/18/2013)

Well this week has just flown right by, just like they all seem to do! I cant believe it is Monday yet again, but here I am writing another email! Well this week was a pretty good week. It was rainy just about all week long and the weather has changed, in the mornings it is super cold and in the evenings it is super cold as well! I think I liked it better when it was hot! Hahah. Okay maybe not but still, I think I like the weather that is right in the middle! Hopefully the weather will warm back up this week! I sure hope so!!!

Well this week started out super great, we were teaching a lot and then it just kind of didnt keep going great haha and I am not sure why. We have realized this week that we need to truly find new investigators to teach! We dont really have a lot of people that we are teaching right now and the people that we were teaching, well one of them went to the campo* for a month and the others arent really progressing so we are back to the finding part again! But the Lord has truly blessed us as we have been working to find new people to teach here in Villarrica. We have been knocking on a lot of doors recently and we have been finding some great people so I know that this week will truly be a great week and hopefully we will be able to find a lot more people to teach!

This week, or yesterday actually we were able to teach our Branch President??s wife. She isnt a member and her daughter recently passed away and it has been something super hard for her so we have been trying to work with her and yesterday we talked a little bit about the Plan of Salvation and about how she can be with her daughter again after this life and she said she would read the folleto!* I sure hope so! She truly is so great and I know that this gospel will be a great blessing for her and for her family!

We also had an activity for our branch this weekend! We watched 17 Miracles and we made popcorn! We actually had a pretty great turn out too! The movie is also super great! For those of you who havent seen it, you should see it! It is super great and super sad but it is totally worth it to watch it! I think this weekend I truly learned a lot more about the pioneers and all that they had to go through! Well I am out of time but I hope you all have a splendid week! :)

*Translations by Dad:
campo – field – like saying “going out to the country”
folleto – pamphlet

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Rainy days! :) (2/11/2013)

Well here it is Monday again and I am trying to remember what happened this week! This week was actually a pretty good week! We still havent found a ton of new investigators but the Lord has truly been blessing us here in Villarrica. We have slowly but surely been finding new people to teach and many times this week I have seen that the Lord puts us where He needs us to be in the exact moment that He needs us there. I dont know how to explain it but sometimes you just realize that if we had gone a different way or walked up a different street we wouldnt have talked to that person or we wouldnt have been able to share with that person. It is amazing. I love being a missionary and I am making the most out of this short time that I have left here to serve the wonderful people in Chile!

This week one of the less active members called us and asked us if we could come over and so we did. The member had called us because she was upset with her daughter and she wanted us to talk to her but right when we got there her daughter left and her nephew showed up. Her nephew is about 18 years old and he was pretty upset, he was actually crying and he told his aunt that he had been kicked out of his house. We talked with him and we were able to share a short message with him. I know that the Lord needed us to be there to help comfort this teenager in this time when he needed comfort. We might not be able to see the fruits of all of our work here as missionaries but that isnt what matters, what matters is the work that we are able to do. And if I was called to plant a million seeds, then I will plant a million seeds! I have learned to truly humble myself and put myself in the Lord??s hands. That is truly the only way that we can do this work. What a great work it is that we have to do as missionaries as well!

I cant really remember a whole lot else that happened this week, I just remember that it was a good week! It was SUPER hot this week and then on Saturday it started raining and it has been off and on raining since. It is actually kind of nice to not have to worry about putting on a ton of sunscreen and being so hot! Haha. But this city lives off of tourism and this is the last month of tourism here so hopefully it clears up! This weekend there was a concert as well like a block from our house, and as all concerts are, it was LOUD! I am pretty sure we didnt get much sleep Friday or Saturday night….haha. It is weird too to hear so much music that isnt church music hahah but luckily the concert is over until next year! Woohoo!

In other news or ward mission leader changed and our new ward mission leader is a convert and is super excited to be the new ward mission leader. He has a ton of energy and animo* for this work so I know that the work here in Villarrica is going to keep progressing. I cant wait! I love this gospel and I love that I get to wear a plaque representing Jesus Christ each and every day. This is truly one of the greatest things I have ever done in my life, no doubt! For those who are thinking about going on a mission, do it. I promise you wont regret it. Its not easy, but it is totally worth it. I absolutely love being a missionary!

Well I hope you all truly have a great week! Enjoy the snow for me! :)

*Translations by Dad:
animo – excitement

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Ya lleg??? Febrero!* (2/4/2013)

Holy canoli, where is the time going?! Well we are still in summertime here in good ol Villarrica, and yes it is still hot! I am getting a nice tan though! Haha just kidding. Anyways, this week was an interesting week….it was a week of ups and downs I guess you could say but hopefully this next week is a better week!

This week started out a little hard for my comp because one of her family members passed away and she found out on Tuesday and so we spent most of Tuesday at home because she got pretty upset and had a migraine. Then on Wednesday we had to go to the doctor, for my comp as well (for a different reason) and then we had to go buy her medicines and bueno* long story short we ended up losing like over half of our day to work on Wednesday. But on Thursday it was back to work! I feel like I have such a short amount of time left and I truly want to work the most that I can, but I know that this next week will be much better!

This week we werent able to teach Isaias but we invited him to church yesterday and he didnt come….again. Dang dang dang. I think that we are going to have to stop sharing with him for a time because he doesnt want to complete any of the commitments that we have left him so we are just going to keep working and try and find new investigators to teach! Manuel also didnt come to church yesterday, dang it! Manuel works on Sundays and so it is really hard for him to trust that if he doesnt work a Sunday that the Lord will truly help him. I guess that is where the faith comes in to play, and for some people that is one of the hardest things to do, put all of your trust in the Lord. But Manuel is super great and I know that as we keep sharing with him he is going to grow in his faith and I know that he will be able to come to church.

We have been trying and trying and trying to find new investigators and that has been something hard here for us recently but I know that as we keep working the Lord is going to help us and that we will truly be blessed. I know that there are people here who are ready and waiting to hear this gospel and I know that we are going to find them! Hay que tener fe y paciencia!

Well I am running out of time but this week my comp and I have been learning about the Book of Mormon and I just love that book! I have truly learned how important it is to read and study it daily and make it a part of our lives. I know that it is another testament of Jesus Christ and that through reading it with the Bible, we can truly grow in our testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. I love that I get to share this book with the wonderful people of Chile. Like the Mormon Message, I just want this book to fill the world!!! Well I think that is about it! I hope you all have a great week!

*Translations by Dad:
Ya lleg??? Febrero! – February has arrived!
bueno – like saying “well…”
Hay que tener fe y paciencia! – You have to have faith and patience!

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Happy Groundhog??s Day! :) (1/28/2013)

Wow, Monday again? The time is going by faster and faster, here it is almost February! Where did the time go? Well here in Villarrica we have been working hard and enjoying a little less heat! Luckily the weather has gotten much more tolerable which is definitely a blessing! This week we worked hard and our numbers werent the best that we have had but we had days that were super great! We had one day where we were going from cita* to cita to cita. I love when we have a lot of work to do! :)

Recently we have been teaching a man named Manuel who sells vegetables in the street. We always go to visit him and teach him and he is actually really receptive. We have been teaching him for a few weeks and the other day we were teaching about the Plan of Salvation and somehow the topic went to baptism. I felt strongly that we needed to challenge him to baptism and so we did! We challenged him and he accepted a fecha* for the 23rd of February! He couldnt come to church yesterday because he was working but he truly is so great, sometimes you can really tell that the Lord is truly preparing people for us to teach!

This week we have been sharing a lot with a lot of different people. We always seem to have a lot of lessons but our investigators arent really very reliable, for example half of them arent there when we have citas*, so we are really trying to find investigators that are truly waiting for this gospel. We visited this one lady this week too who has shared with missionaries before and her family are actually members (her cousins and aunts and uncles). She was really receptive and I have truly been able to see that the Lord is preparing people for us to teach. I have truly learned that we must trust in Him always and do the best that we can and He will truly lead us to find these people that He is preparing for us.

Every one of us are truly sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father who loves each and every one of us. Yesterday in church, a member of the bishopric (or branch presidency I think it is called) gave a talk and he said that when the missionaries first came to his house he thought, oh they just want to baptize me and so he didnt want to listen. Then he said poco a poco* he began to listen. He shared his testimony yesterday saying that he now knows that they just didnt want to baptize him, they truly just wanted him to be happy and to find this happiness that the gospel brings. This is what we are doing as missionaries, truly just trying to share this happiness that we have found and help others so that they can truly be happy as well. I love this gospel and I know it is true. I know that it blesses lives and that it blesses families. I love that I get to share it each and every day.

Well I am just about out of time but I hope that you all have a splendid week! :) Oh and Happy Groundhogs day! :)

*Translations by Dad:
cita – appointment
fecha – date
poco a poco – little by little

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