Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Living in a shower

Hola familia!

This week I have studied a lot about Jacob 5. It is way to perfect. I am pretty sure when Zenós  (Isaiah) saw the viña (vineyard) he really saw Puerto Cisnes. I had a talk yesterday in church and I explained what I had studied and I guess I kind of called everyone to repentance. The truth is, it got really ¨real. ¨ But I love the teachings- of the tree that was working well and their fruit was coming. The Lord saw it and saw that it was good. So they kept working, in the same way and when the Lord returned he saw that it was bad. So what did they do?  They changed it up. Made a new plan and together went to work and cleaned up the tree.

There is one part I especially love. I love the verse 47. “But what could I have done more in my vineyard? Have I slackened mine hand, that I have not nourished it? Nay, I have nourished it, and I have digged about it, and I have pruned it, and I have dunged it; and I have stretchedforth mine hand almost all the day long, and the enddraweth nigh. And it grieveth me that I should hew down all the trees of my vineyard, and cast them into the fire that they should be burned. Who is it that has corrupted my vineyard?”

It´s become my theme. I know that at the end of my misión I will have to kneel before the Lord and tell Him what I’ve done. And this is my plan. I am so happy with the way I have served- but the end draweth nigh and I've got to work aun mas (even more). You know? So here’s the plan to be able to say that I nurtured Puerto Cines everyday and gave it my all.

This week we had a really crazy experience. I don´t know how to explain it over the computer so I am not even going to try. But get this- so we went down again to work on my visa- the good old 8-hour bus ride to stop by a government building and wait to be attended. But I said this last time- that when we were there it really wasn´t for my visa it was because the girls needed help.

Well it turns out that this whole visa thing is either ¨lucky¨ because let me tell you- Heavenly Father loves his daughters so much. We were suppose to have a mtg on Wednesday so we bought our bus tickets to go to the government the same day, the night before the elders called us telling us we had to change our bus tickets for the mtg on Wednesday but we couldn’t because it was about 10 at night and the bus left the next morning at 5:30. So we decided to just go down and then have the mtg by Skype. We did everything and when we finished we stopped by the Hermana's to see how they were. 

Long, long bus rides

The last time we had been there it was a bit rough. But we had talked to them on the phone and all was good. Then when we were there we were able to see that they were super and all. 40 minutes before our bus was supposed to leave we had this crazy experience. And we had to cancel the bus for the next day, do emergency intercambios and stay the night because they were scared. Crazy- sleeping on the ground in our clothes, no food or toothbrushes and the next morning we went to the reunion (meeting) with the elders like it was nothing ha-ha.

But it was a very, very spiritual intercambio. I am so grateful for how aware Heavenly Hather is. As a Hermana líder I have been able to see Him place us in the exact place that we need to be. I feel as a Hermana líder here I am literally changing lives. I am learning so much for my own life and I can see and feel what Heavenly Father needs for them. I just love them so much.

I was able to be with Hermana C in the intercambio. She is a rockstar. We are really, really dear friends. She is going to go to BYU after the misión so you will be able to get to know her. A real champ. But we had a killer lesson. We taught an atheist and his catholic wife the plan of salvation based on their questions of gay marriage. I feel like I have never before taught the plan of salvation so clearly and we really taught well together. It was crazy to see what pure testimony can do to turn a situation around. I love it.

This week we are also able to teach J 2 times. (Hermana O’s son). It was really good. The first lesson he totally smacked me down. Oh boy! I still struggle quite a bit with Spanish and he gave it to me straight. He is awesome and tells it direct. But he gave it to me. One of those times when you just have to sit and take it like a missionary as I get smacked about the language and my teaching. It was so good but so humbling. 

Needless to say we went back to teach the restoration and I just prayed and prayed. We taught him in a didactic way and it was very, very successful. I love being humbled, oh it hurts in the moment but I think its one of my favorite parts about being a missionary.

Also we have taught M a couple times. She has her 3 kids and they are very receptive.  I really think that M is going to be a wonderful member- I am not sure if it s going to be while I am here because of problems with her marriage... or lack there of. No one is married here and it’s very hard to get it all situated. But I love seeing her progress. She gets it. You know? Yesterday we taught exactly how the church Jesus established is exactly the same today and she ate it up. Love.

Oh get this when we were in Coyhaique we got mail.  -The umbrella card from mom. Love. Dad-postcard with gma-gpa ball.  And 5 letters from gma ball... some where from December! Crazy ha-ha.  But life is good. We are hauling and it’s awesome.
We leave our laundry and then cut their wood
It’s also freezing. Literally freezing. Like bone hurting and sleeping with all my clothes on. (Literally the coats and stuff I used for skiing at home barely works for sleeping. Plus some.....)  But it’s quite the adventure. We crack ourselves up a couple times a day blowing hot air and whispering into our hands ¨Jack¨ as if we were in the water after the titanic slowly dying.

Well on that happy note. I got to run. But I sure love you soooo much. xoxoox Hna ball

May 18, 2015
Well, we just found out cambios.... and as we guessed I am going to finish strong here in MY PUEBLO. Crazy! We are going to celebrate with President Ancamils family tonight with a cow head! 

Hahaha mom I loved your letter. (This part- "it has been rainy here,I know you are laughing because we really don't know what rain is like. But we keep saying, "I know how Ali feels." Yes, I know we don't really know how you feel but we like to think we can connect with you. :)) 

Ha-ha Ok, let me tell you about my week. We have had a good ole Patagonian storm. Like torrential rain and tropical storms kind of thing. The kind where we literally didn´t sleep 2 nights because the windows where shaking and I thought they were going to burst and the whole 2nd floor of our house was shaking like a mini earthquake. Or the kind where we got the call that we couldn´t leave our house because it was too dangerous because the tin on the roofs could fly off and the wind was at 120 kilometers per hour. Ha-ha, or the kind where all our church meeting were in the sacrament room because the top floor had rain damage. And where our umbrellas ripped apart! The life of the Patagonia... Living in a shower! Love love love. I really have a true, deep love with our fireplace and my rain boots. xoxox. 

The rock star lessons of the week. 
M- She taught us to cook, Picarones. Mmmmhmm. So good. And it was so good because we got to know her son and we had an awesome lesson with them. He has 17 years and we talked about the plan of salvation. We watched one of the churches videos and then explained it and they were really touched, she shed a tear or two and when we asked him what he like he said the part about families after this life. They explained that they hadn´t heard of this and he´s all ¨we (as humans) don’t know anything about what’s going to happen after this life...¨and we´re all- Ýeeeaaaah, but we do. ´ Needless to say he is very impressed and they are way excited. 

Also, Hermana N-- love.  We knocked on her door and she’s all, "I’m sorry I didnt remember we had an appointment." And we explained that we didnt have an appointment but just thought about her and wanted to know if she had time right then. We entered and she started to explain how the night before she was praying for guidance because she was in a rough situation and didn´t know what to do. She explained her story and we were able to read about when the Nephites were in servidumbre (servitude) (I cant remember the word mom. sorry ask dad. it's when they were in debt with the Lamanites and had to give their things to them and serve them and all that stuff right) 

a treasure I found in the bathroom this morning
Well the Lord explains to the pueblo (village) that he understands what’s going down. And then He strengthened them- the classic. He didn´t take the challenge away, but gave them the strength so they could continue cheerfully and patiently with extra strength for the burdens they carried. It was so good. One of those moments where we could really listen and then reply right there. Love. 

Ok. Then Hermana O. Oh mi abuelita. (grandma)  So a year ago her husband passed away from a disease here that they get from the rats in the woodpiles. And you remember her son J; well he came down with the same disease. They were in the countryside so he was there for a couple days with out going to the hospital and it got pretty bad. They ended up taking him down to the hospital in Couyhaique and he was in one of those rooms where no one can enter unless they were an adult and covered in the white HAZMAT suits. Crazy. So we stopped by one night when we heard what happened and Hermana O was obviously scared. We were able to chat and then we all kneeled together to pray. She asked me to say the prayer and it was obvious that after she felt calmed. So much so that she then asked Hermana Rodriquez to also pray and it was such a pretty experience. I was holding her hand and after words I could just see it in her eyes, one of those calms that only come from Christ. 

Some strange fruit the I love here
2 days later she told us that the next day he was coming home from the hospital. We prayed specifically that the doctors would know what to do and that the medicine they found could work so he would be made whole. A literal miracle! Love, love, love. Today we are going to stop by to see him and here’s what I think. He has never had time to meet with us for his work- but he is going to be in house recovering and that means we will be able to teach! The Lord works in mysterious ways- be it the miracle rat disease! Ha-ha. 

We also found and taught the cute little Chilean 90 year old shmuegel (the lord of the rings creep) dude. Love. So crazy. 

This week we had 2 cool little things in the church. One is that we are starting to have trainings on the red manual from the church for all the organizations and it is really successful. Sometimes I feel like when I read about ¨building Zion¨ in Doctrine and Covenants the Lord is specifically talking about Puerto Cisnes. 

We also had a little thing go down with the Sunday school class and they gave us the manual late at night Saturday night. So we went with it and split the class into two groups and each had a parable. Then they had time to read the parable and then explain it to the other group by acting it out. Sooo goood. 

Our group had John 19:1-10. And it was fun. We had one of the less actives reading the parable scriptures as we acted it out- President Ancamil was Jesus and came in and 4 of us as women made it so Hermana S (who was acting as the little man from the parable who couldn´t see Jesus.) Well he climbed the tree jumped on a chair... and out of excitement hit his head on the light. We all lost it in the act. Very unprofessional and very fun. We then all sat and analyzed the stories. Way cool class. 

I left my drive at the library.  Someone found and returned it to me
Last thing, so we had a little miracle. 33 for 1. We knocked 33 doors. I kept track at number 7 as a joke but then it got real. In this rainstorm I said no one would let us in and we finished our plans in about 15 minutes. So then we knocked doors and knocked doors. 

All the ones I hadn´t known the people or who we hadn´t taught. And no one answered. So I was getting a little frustrated and it was right before lunch and just prayed that please someone would answer. Someone. And then next two doors answered. Yea, they rejected us. But they answered! 

Then later we had 10 minutes before correlation we knocked a door and they didn't just answer... but let us in! We were able to get to know them and sing "I am a child of God." They are an older couple, cute grandparents, but it was a little tender mercy. I am so happy to be here. It’s going to be a crazy cambio but I am really happy. Now we just tease 33 for 1 Hermana. 33 for 1. 

Here’s to starting this next week like a crazy! 
Well family. I love you! xxoxxoxo Hermana ball

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Movie promoter and missionary extraordinaire

¨Choose to act for yourself. Be motivated from within... work and become self reliant, set goals, overcome mistakes, gain experiences, and finish what you begin. ¨- Elder Hales talking about Puerto Cisnes :)

Skype was cool. You all look old. Ha-ha. But really what a miracle- a week without Internet. We ended up doing our district mtg over a 2-hour phone call. Booo. So glad we didn´t just have to talk on a phone!

The truth, it was weird for me to talk with you guys. My companion told me I didn't even use all the time, only 30 minutes. And that right after I was stressing out and went like a maniac knocking down doors teaching lessons.  I like seeing you guys but am sooooo not ready to see you guys.

Ok don´t have much time today- so here’s to the spiritual, the branch, the movie theater and the funny.

The spiritual. We have been trying to work on my visa for months now. It’s pretty crazy. But I got the word that the government was off strike and I needed to go in as soon as possible. So we were planning on bussing down to Coyhaique on Thursday but felt really strongly we should go Tuesday. 

So we canceled the one appointment we had (which is why we weren’t going to on Tuesday) and headed out on the 5:30 am bus.

We got there and did everything on my visa and had time to stop by to visit the Hermana’s. We sat down with them to see how they were doing and they just burst into tears. Explaining a couple of rough things that had happened. And how we were literally God sent. That they didn´t know who they could talk to because its not really a talk over phone thing and then hours later we knocked on the door. 

It was amazing. We were able to talk for a bit and me and Hna R were in so much unity- the words and scriptures just flowing. It was really, really crazy. The spirit was so strong. We ended our little time with them; all of us kneeling in prayer and it were one of those moments. Love.

The branch. Is good. This week we kicked it. Let me tell you- we have been trying to get the visiting teaching thing going here and to no luck. So we went big. Made a plan, decked out the relief society room and worked with the president. We turned everything upside down and it was so good. More to come.

The movie theater- we turned the sacrament room into a theater and it was awesome. We watched "the book of life" with is way cute.  But it was really successful because the closest movie theater is in Coyhaique where we did the Easter activity- but it is only open a couple times a year for old ancient movies. And then the closest real movie theater is an airplane ride away. We are going to keep doing the activity and hopefully it will be more successful each time.

The funny. Hermana N. love her so much. She called us yesterday asking if we could go with her to visit her father’s grave. Which was darling. But then the funny part- then they took us on a whole tour of the countryside of Puerto Cisnes. We´re all "ummm we need to work."  And they are all "noooooooo." Ha-ha. Oh boy. We have a family home evening tonight and we are going to talk more about temple prep. - Looooove.

Well family. I’ve got to run. I love you. xoxoxox Hna ball