Monday, February 16, 2015

Hola familia!
¨Be not afraid, only believe."  -Mark 5:36

Yesterday I taught our New Testament class on the miracles of Jesucristo. This was one of the theme scriptures. Which I absolutely love.

Not only was it a theme scripture for yesterday’s class- but really a theme scripture for my months here in Puerto Cisnes and especially this week. It is so hard here. Which I love- it's cool to see that it's hard and different. Then work to find why and how to ¨fix¨ it. Kind of like a game. But there are many times when I really just have to believe no more.

And the thing is it always works out so good.

But this week we came down with a stinking nasty Patagonia cold. It has been rough because we have had days of really, really sun- scorching hot. Then we had 3 days of straight torrential rain- without end. Then again really hot sun. 

Our immune system quit on us- and we were dying. We had a bit if time in the house but I was going crazy. So we tried leaving and teaching but people would not let us in because we looked and sounded so bad. But now we are out and working and looking and sounding real nice.

But it was good because we were warm all the days and plenty of tissues to keep us going :) I was sitting doing my study and sometimes I would have moments where I realize how uncommon my life is here. Like reading "preach my gospel" all the while throwing nasty tissues straight in the fire next to my desk, like its the most normal thing. Love.

Ok the coolest lesson of the week. One of ¨those¨ street lessons that I love so much. So we were out doing contacts (just talking with the people in the street, knocking doors, you know.) when we saw a lady who was obviously distressed. So we greeted her and she explained her son, who is mentally handicapped, was lost. We offered to help look for him and that was it. We went one way, her other, and it all turned out well.

But in the hustle of it all we didn't get her address or phone number. Boo. So we were thinking about her but didn't know how to visit her next. But the next day we were out doing our work and all of our plans fell through. And we had gone through our next plans for the next hours. So I was just going and remembering people along the way we could visit... turns out it was a straight up map to her house! Heavenly father sure love us because how ¨lucky" were we.

Looong story short- we ended up talking to her about her son and the plan of salvation. I started off by explaining how we could see the love she has for her son and how it was possible to see how scared she was for him. I explained how many times people are scared for what will happen after this life- for them and their families, etc. 

She had been looking down at a pass along card we´d given her and she looked up with so much love and fear and tears and simply whispered that she was scared. We were able to testify of the plan of salvation and I was able to share my experiences with dear Curt and what we know through revelation for those who are ¨special¨ and all about the love Heavenly Father has for her and her son. Right there in the Street we read the scriptures with her and left her with a pamphlet of the plan of salvation and plans to visit this week.
I am so grateful for this experience. It was my favorite part of the week. 
 ¨Be not afraid, only believe. ¨

Another favorite experience now (in the moment not so much.) was that this week we have knocked over 100 doors. Literally. I have a map that we are filling out and completing and I did the count. With over 100 doors only 14 opened up. 

It was hard to keep going, and honestly I felt I had to keep going a little bit alone because my companion had giving up just a bit. I just have to have faith to keep knocking, keep looking and keep trying. Because good will come. It always does.

But we found one who might be an option to really teach! Hopefully more to come. :)

Ok fun gems of the week.
-We had a crazy ¨service project¨ ha-ha.  We were walking and saw an older lady walking with two bags full of meat. She wasn't struggling but it definitely looked uncomfortable for her. So get this, we walk over to see if we can help, to which she gladly accepts and goes to pass me this bag of meat. But she’s all, (ok first a cute grandma right) "your friend should help you because its heavy"- to which I smile because she’s older and I am a fit young one. But she refuses to pass it to me until I have one side of the plastic bag and Hna C has the other. Ha-ha then she lets it go.

OH MY GOSH. It was sooo heavy. This little army grandma totally stood us up. It was more than 10 kilos of meat. Which she was carrying in one hand because the other hand was full of a different bag of 5 kilos. So funny. We just look at each other and carry this crazy thing down by the beach to her house. So funny.

-My companion and I have a competition to look for wishing rocks. Thank you mom. Ha-ha it’s so fun. We are full of bello deseos.(beautiful wishes)

-We were knocking and one of the 14 doors was a man who opened up and I had the hardest time contacting him because I was just trying not to laugh to hard- his shirt was one of those ¨proud army wife¨ shirts. (This happens all the time- when they don't know what the shirt says- its only cool to have inglish.)

-Other door story. This older man opens and we start explaining who we are and he’s all "yeah, yeah, I´m a missionary too. But we´re competition."

 And I say, ¨oh sweet. But we´re all just helping Jesus right?¨ Ha-ha.  However he started to quickly run away (well more old man shuffling) before I can finish... I´m guessing not. Sometimes they are so scared of us and I don't know why. Ha-ha.

-One of my very favorite members had the ¨quote of the week¨
¨Hermana ball, with the way you sometimes sit in a skirt I´m guess before the mission you were the 'rather be camping' than 'a dance party' kind person¨.
(Ha-ha don´t stress mom, I really, really am elegant missionary lady-like. sooo don't stress ha-ha)

Well family I got to run. Lots o love. Have a happy week in Hawaii and send happy sun vibes this way!

xoxo teaching my companion the words to "Come, Come Ye Saints" in inglish- but cracking myself up in the rain singing ¨All is well. All is wet. ¨ xoxo
hermanita ball

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Looking for rainbows...

Oh, we are in the library writing right now and I wish I could just send you a feeling of what’s going on. There is a huuuge party. That’s the thing with the Patagonia. They have dance parties- crazy huge fiestas all night and all day. But I am going to try and focus now- the only problem is the music is so strong that the computer is actually shaking. Ha-ha. 

But here’s the week: 

We were only in the sector for a couple days. But before we traveled to Coyhaique.  We had 2 cool little experiences. 

The first was with a member- we are focusing on really strengthening them. It's cool to help really build a branch, I love it. 

Contacting at the Festival of the Fried Fish
But we are helping them with Sunday stuff and also focusing on the Book of Mormon in their houses. We started 1 nefi 1 (1 Nephi 1) with a member to help her start reading the Book of Mormon. I have learned bunches about enduring to the end. Just getting through the hard and seeing the blessings. For example, usually it's with dogs in the street- but this time is was just straight up crazy in her house- but we kept going said our prayer and starting reading. It was a bit crazy and then it got silent- the spirit was so strong and we were able to finish the chapter and testify and more so, have her testify of the Book of Mormon. Then the noise immediately started up again. 
The work is slow and hard in Puerto Cisnes. Honestly we don´t have much ¨success¨ in the eyes of others. But I love it because I have learned how to really listen for the spirit and see miracles in the small things. 

The other cool experience was, we were knocking doors and happened across a member who is active- but not really. We chatted with him but because he lives alone so we couldn’t enter. So we asked about references- if he knew anyone who we could share with. He said no, like they usually do. 
But then we explained that when we ask for a reference it's for someone who is struggling, financially, with family or health to try and help them. Or someone who isn’t struggling but who could use a message about Jesus Christ. He thought for a minute and showed us his neighbor 2 houses down. So we ran over and contacted her. Had a little leccion (lession) and then this week went back and taught. It was awesome. She is a rock star. She met with the missionaries before but it was years and years ago. We have a lesson with her tonight and I am way excited to see what happens. 

Then we bused to Coyhaique. We had a rooooocking conference with presidente. He and the Hermana Obeso are so loving. I found a theme a lot of times about how it isn’t the situation- but how I look at it. That each sector is prepared and is ready; we just have to get to work. It was amazing. It also was a fun conference- the first 30 minutes of the 5-hour conference the lights and power went out so it was all in semi darkness- but that was part of the adventure. Then after the conference we had lunch and I ate piiiiizza. Oh I could just taste ´Merica. It was crazy. We also had a bunch of fun the conference with the ap's (assistants to the president). I love serving in this zone. 

Then it’s been crazy. We have had to do a lot of the work stuff of the mission and I have now been in the bank for about 4 hours, the FBI for 2 hours and the registro civil (civil registration) for 2 hours as well. But we had some solid contacts while waiting. So it was cool. 

Then we bused back to Puerto C in the craziest bumpiest little crazy 4 hours of my life. Seriously, it was craaaazy. But we got back in perfect timing, about 20 minutes to drop off the stuff and then prepare for a branch activity. It was rocking!  

We applied every part of the conference. We had it on obra misional (missionary work) but the two parts. One, with the work in the temples and with family history. And the other, with members as missionaries. It was so good. 

My favorite part was we have an inactive that is returning to activity that we have been working with a lot. Her son is on a mission and as a branch we all sat and wrote him notes or drew pictures (I got the idea from the poster the ward sent me. Love) and it was so good- because she saw how much the ward was supporting and truly loves her son. But also, because fhe (Family Home Evening) was about missionaries, she works she saw how she could be part of the same work but here. Wooohoo. We now have plans to have a noche de hogar (Family Home Evening) with her this Friday because she wants to be part of it. Woohooo. 

Also, ok news, on S. progression is slow but a happening. I am just so grateful to see the spirit changing her life. I love it more than anything. I am just scared because we have transfers the 25th of Feb. and we are all pretty sure it's me. I hate it when I think about it, like right, now honestly I just fight tears. I love Puerto Cisnes so much. The branch is also struggling. (I love it) they want to write president and ask if I could stay- ha-ha. But it’s ok because in ward council yesterday, my main bff (best friend), our branch presidente, brought it up but then just mentioned that we have 2 weeks to kick it in. I trust pres. but I never want to leave. 

And this is why. Yesterday in our New Testament class we were reading about when Jesus is with his discĂ­pulos (disciples) and they are fishing and he tells them to leave it and follow him. Right? Then we get all the little comments- (remember this is a little fishing town)... like "wow what faith. They left before even cleaning and eating the fish." Or, "wow they left it all, weren’t they scared that it would get stolen if they didn't pack up, you know you can´t trust anyone with your fish."  Oh my gosh, I love it. 

Well family I got to run. We have had little tender mercies with the weather these last two weeks. Sun! And I took off my fleece tights for the first time in my mission. But the rain boots are back and it was a little hard to take to the streets again- but because Heavenly Father loves us can you just look at that rainbow. 

This is what I love. It’s the perfect Puerto Cisnes photo- rain boots, dogs and crazy beautiful Patagonia. 

xoxo Hna ball

Monday, February 2, 2015

Professional ground sleepers and ice cream eaters

Hola familia. 
What a week. Seriously you’re not going to believe it. Sooo goood. 

So first I’ll finish off with where I finished off last week- Coyhaique! 

We had the ever-classic fhe (family home evening) with familia Soto, that I love so much. Then the next morning we bused off to Aysen for intercambios.(sister training) I love Hermana Torres so much. She is from Mexico and darling. (we had a 10-minute chat about the perfect Mexican taco.)  

We kicked it and it was really fun and really, really rewarding. I loved it- we finished the day and were laughing and smiling, talking about all our little lecciones or experiencias (lessons or experiences) and she said she has never had a day like this in the sector! LOVE. It was so good. 

The next day we bused back to Coyhaique and had intercambios with the hermanitas. (sisters) I was with Hermana Jopia- who has become a real dear friend here. We had one of ¨those days¨ in the mission. One where we walked for 1000 miles and contacted everyone- but only entered one house to teach the last 45 minutes of the night. It was such a long day- but also so good. We finished with tired feet and so happy.

After all these little trips we are becoming professional ground sleepers and ice cream eaters. 

Then we returned back to my good ole happy home right in time for the coolest day of service of my life. 

So Friday we prepared and went over to the Hermana Teresa’s to make close to 100 sopiapillas for the branch activity the next day. (They are so yummy) that night the big party started up- pesca´o frito.  (fried fish)

They had a crazy party all night long- it started at 10 and ended at 5 in the morning. So the next morning the branch got together to do garbage clean up duty because we were literally the only sober group in the whole village. Ha-ha. 

So every year they do it because the plaza gets filled with bottles and cans. But we cleaned up and had a sopiapillas eating party.  Then they all went to take naps and we went to work. 

That afternoon was the BEST. Get this, so the city builds a house for someone who is in need. They then have it on top of huge trees and it is floating in the ocean. Then the boats all bring it in (our branch president Ancamil is a captain of a boat so he was in one of the boats. so cool) 
Then they pass out these ropes that are suuuuuper long. And all the people grab and then we literally pull the house (completely made and with all the stuff) across the whole village (it really isn’t that big ha-ha but still) 
And the streets are lined with people singing, cheering. The firemen are spraying everyone with water (there are literally thousands of us) and we pull, pull, pull running then there is a little break while they are re-arranging the trees that we are pulling the house on- and during this time there is a band in a big truck and they play and everyone dances these cute Chilean dances. 

It was the coolest service project I have ever done. 

It was also was cool because we had a bunch of lessons right there pulling along. We also contacted people from all over the world. It was cool because as we were pulling we could hear people pointing out ¨hey it's the Mormons¨ it was way fun. 

We had a crazy lesson with a group from Germany and Switzerland. I sent home a picture but it was so crazy because I attempted to teach in inglish.(I thinks she means English :) ) It was so weird. It was the first time I have spoken in inglish in a very, very long time. 
The real last was with Hermana Parkinson. I don’t have problems writing in inglish each week- but I literally could not speak. It was the weirdest thing. I couldn’t remember words and the order was off and I would start in inglish and then find myself ending in Spanish. It was wack. I LOOOOOVE having Latina companions.

Also, I love serving here. I love Puerto Cisnes more than anything in the world. I am so happy. I explained last week how in other sectors or a different part of my mission how I would be completely terrified to just get up and talk. But that sure has changed here. Honestly, this sector is hard. There aren’t a lot of people, and its hard with time for example in these 2 weeks 7 of the 14 days we are in Coyhaique (we are going to Viajar again on miercoles. Wednesday) but I love it because I am learning so much. 

And I love the branch. They are so sassy! And it’s cool because we do a lot with them. For example, yesterday it was fast meeting- but there aren’t many of us so those who got up got up but we still had a lot of time left in the meeting so president gave me that look and I got up and just shared. 

Ha-ha yesterday’s analogy, with the rope for the house as the iron rod. Ha-ha it rocked. But then the next hour I taught the New Testament class, (we have the primary and then our class for todos all) and then the next hour we went and taught primary. 

As I am writing this I really hope I am not sounding like I’m full of myself or something because no. I still struggle it out with Spanish. But I just love it here because I really have so many opportunities to try and figure it out. Love! 

Well family. I got to run. But I sure love you. 

xoxox also there is one part where the weekend of parties all took place and the trees and ground and just the air still smells like fried fish. Good old Puerto cisnes.xoxo

Hna Ball