Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Coolest last day ever!

What a crazy week. Seriously.

First of all, everyone here has been reminding me for weeks and weeks that I am "dying" in the mission.... all about how I don´t look to good, you know the jokes? It´s really not funny to joke about- but it's to ironic. My last days in the mission... and we had a full on 3 day funeral. 

Our dear Hna V passed away. It’s been a crazy couple of days. It was really, really beautiful service. They had a 2-day viewing... from 8am to midnight at the church. We were able to have a lot of lessons there with the people about the plan of salvation and we could feel the spirit so strong. We were also able to sing a couple of musical numbers, which were pretty. 

We had a crazy experience with the catholic priest... stories to come.... :) and then the 3rd day we has the funeral. Ohhh my, the church was filled. There literally wasn´t room. It was interesting because it was the first funeral in the church so a lot of people entering had very wrong ideas about the church. With the members, we went all out, everyone explaining what we do, little tours and testifying. A lot of people expressed how wrong they were about their ideas of the Mormons. I think we are going to see a lot of success here thanks to the work of the members this week. 

Well, we went to the cemetery and it couldn’t be in a more beautiful place. They’re on the ocean side with the super green mountains. IT was raining. But one of those Patagonia rains you know? It was crazy - like a movie. But really, really spiritual. 

What else happened this week? Oh we were followed my three men and had to stop to hide in a little shop. They followed us. The guy went to call the police but then they left. So then we ran to our house and locked ourselves in. Said prayers and all was well... well the next night we were getting ready for bed and saw that our gate was opened and we heard noises outside of the house. We freaked a little and called a member... thinking maybe it was the guys. 

Well long story short, the member came with his flashlight and found all these footprints and we got pretty scared because our windows don´t lock. So we went and had a sleep over in the relief societies house. It was honestly really, really crazy. Now all is well and safe and we haven´t had any more problems. That night we were at Hna ´s house they robbed a lot of our wood but nothing else. 

Also the N update. Oh I love this little lady. So last Monday we went to the waterfall and it was rocking. Seriously so cool. Then last night we had a darling family home evening with them. And tonight we are going to head back for a little treat and goodbyes. Shoot it’s going to be rough. I love her so much. She and R really have become family. 

I don´t have an older sister... but N really is that sister. And R is so sweet. He treats me as if I was his daughter. I am so happy that I have been able to have so much time here in Puerto Cisnes just to see them grow so much. They have completely changed. I cannot wait for a couple months more when they enter the temple! I love them so much. 

Here in the Patagonia as a missionary I’m not just a missionary. Ha-ha there is always a new adventure. This week it was working the carneceria with E.  I rocked it. (I really did nothing but get grossed out and way to excited about the cow head) 

Then yesterday was a rough little day. Last day at church. Presidente is such a punk and made me give a farewell talk. I am going to miss this branch so much. I feel like my talk when really well.  I feel so honored to have been here in Puerto Cisnes.

Then today we went on the coolest adventure. Seriously. We hiked up to Bosque Encantado and then to a waterfall. Today saw more than 50 waterfalls on the little drive up... we have had so much rain! Its crazy. 

Also get this. So we got the call from president obeso last night and turns out that they will be talking the sister missionaries out of Puerto Cisnes. We have only been here for about a year and of that year 7 months were with me. But they are going to bring Elders in. Crazy. Ha-ha it’s really funny because every time we have bought something for the house I’ve bought everything pink, pink and pink. It was always the joke that in the future the elders will sure love it. Ha-ha hopefully elder O is cool with living in the Barbie house. Hahhaahha. 

Well family. This is it. I really can`t believe that today was my last day. We bus out tomorrow at 5:30am... and the next 4 days I’ll be traveling. 

I was reading in Alma this morning and think that Alma 29:9 is a gem. It says it all.  "I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy."

Shoot. Now I’m just crying into the keyboard and can`t see anything. But this adventure has been such a joy. I am so happy. I love being a missionary so much because I have figured out that being a missionary is just learning how to be a disciple of Christ. I love my Heavenly Father so much and I know Him. I love having our families name on my name badge and right there with it the name Jesucristo-Being able to represent the two most important things in my life. You guys and this wonderful, joyful and happiest gospel. 

I really, really am going to miss it here, miss being Hermana ball... but I can`t wait to apply all these crazy experiences. And can`t wait to see your punk faces in the airport. 

Les amo. xoxox hna ball

Monday, June 22, 2015

Life in crazy Patagonia

June 15, 2015

¨We walk in His light. Our journey on the path is personal and well lit with the Saviors love. ¨ -Rosemary Wixom

This week was pure crazy. One of “those” weeks. The kind with 11 hours in the bus and only 2 lessons in our sector. 

Oh boy. So like usual we got up at 4:40am to get ready to bus out... but this time no light. Ha-ha thank you so much grandma simpkins for the head lamps- we use it daily for one reason or another. But, we got all our stuff together and headed out to wait on the road. There isn´t a bus station here- the bus just passes on the side of the road and you never know really what time it´s going to there. 

Sometimes we wait 15 minutes, some times an hour. Well, we head and see that a bus had crashed into the light post at the end of our street. Here’s the crazy thing. It had just crashed before. The police were their and all. But the craziest thing- that lamp post is where we wait for the bus because it’s a nice light for the super obscure mornings! So to say if we have been waiting there that would have been us! Craaazy. I can´t even explain how crazy that morning was. We are just here in the pouring rain with my headlamp and the police and the workers and all then they all leave and we ended up waiting about 40 minutes soaked through. I love Patagonia. Seriously is way too much fun. 

But we were able to make it right in time for our meeting with the Elders where they brought us mushroom and chicken empanadas.  So its was all worth it, ha-ha. And mtgs with the Elders means; mail. I got the last letter from grandma ball- so sad. I’ve loved these ever week. And I got dads letter from Perú... love that it was from the same hotel we stayed in. So cool. And mom I got your package. xoxox. 

Hermana Torres
But intercambios were rocking. It was sad that they were my last. For almost half of my mission we´ve been rocking the intercambios and I love them so much. We hit it hard and ended strong. 

I was with Hermana Torres from Mexico. We had a really successful day. A lot of lesson really, really good. 

Hermana Pinto

One was the best. It was a young couple and we taught about the book of Mormon and I have never had a lesson like it before. It was perfect. They were so interested- seriously my whole mission I haven´t seen someone so completely fascinated and excited to know more about the Book of Mormon. We watched a little Mormon message with them and right as it ended I went to say something and he is all- "again. I have to see this again." So we watch it and they are just glued to the TV. Then they were asking such great questions. 

She had a Book of Mormon from the Hermana’s but he didn’t have one. He was so excited that I ended up giving him mine that I use in the street and I think he was touched that I gave him mine that was marked with my notes. It was so cute because he held it like a gem. I am so excited for this family. They are killer. Can´t wait to be their best friends in the Celestial kingdom. 

Then in Aysen I was with Hermana Pinto from Colombia. We stopped by to teach a less active and we were teaching her the different steps of the gospel with a focus on the Sacrament.   We have a little cute example thing to teach it, so I was kneeling next to her and she just cut us off and looked right at me and explained that that morning she had had a dream that two angles came to her and had a candle and they were helping her light this candle and it was brighter and brighter and she knew it was a candle of ¨Gods love.¨  She explained that she knows that she dreamed about us, that we are her angels. It was really, really darling. 

We also got to teach G, she an investigator who was just baptized. It's cool with the Hermana’s because I have had so many intercambios that I have been able to teach their investigators a lot and know them pretty well. Almost like my investigators. When we were heading to teach her we saw the branch presidente and his daughter so we had them come with us and had a killer lesson on daily book of Mormon studies. So cool. I love the book of Mormon. I seriously love this book so, so, so, so much. 

But in this intercambio I achieved a new personal best. Hahaha. I chopped 3 freaking full on wood stumps. Like the whole tree base into small fire starting parts in less than 20 minutes. So sorry to brag and all but it really was siiiick. 

What else happened? Oh I slept on the floor on a little sleeping mat that has gone through it all.... a fire, has mold and I woke up this time with more than 20 nasty flea bites all over. We have tried to get rid of this but are in the process of getting a new one. I used to just sleep on the cement and I think it was better, hahahaha.  But my back and spine got pretty bad so it was back to the mat. Ewww. 

Well family. That was this week.

I love you. 

Oh yeah and don´t you like the quote of the week. That's what I love about this gospel- its purely personal and so lovely. 

xoxoxo hermana ball. 

June 22, 2015

¨He see´s who you really are. He looks on your heart. And He loves you because you are His child. Seek Him earnestly and you will find Him. ¨ -Elder Uchtdorf.

This is one of my favorite parts of being a missionary. It is seriously so cool to explain to people that they really are a child of God. And what that means. 

But family. Get this. Yesterday at church they told me only one more Sunday and then I am home. But really? What? 

Happy father's day dad. We were in our district mtg for Skype and I almost skyped you. Seriously. We get to call for mother’s day, so why not.... :) 

This week was crazy. Here´s a quick rundown because we are going to go explore a waterfall with Norma and Rodrigo.

Speaking of Norma. This week we were with her 4 times. If one of us mentions that I only have a week left the other starts getting teary. So we just don´t talk about it anymore. We stopped by and watched a video about the atonement that is so powerful. We all ended up in tears. It’s the very best at the end of a lesson to hear them explain... "I never realized what the atonement was.... ¨ followed by a pure testimony. ?ove. 

Then we had a cute family home evening. They really are family. That family where the "knock- and-walk" with a little ¨hola¨ happens and then we set the table and I know here all the stuff and what she needs before even asking. That whole... can you get the hot chocolate? And it's already in my hands. Ha-ha I love them so much.  We can laugh so hard and then feel the spirit so strong. Love. 

Then we had a road trip. We had to head to Coyhaique so instead of the nasty bus we took their car. Chilling with the music, stopping for empanadas and just busting up for 4 hours. Love. 

Then we helped R with his first ever talk in church. We were all there with our scriptures and the other books throwing out ideas and they are so cute. They were both really nervous for him and he rocked it. He really opened up with us and it was such a dear really special experience. He gave a rock star talk. Seriously one of the best I’ve heard because it was given with so much humility and heart. 

Ok, enough about those little punks. I could go on and on. But when we were in Coyhaique it was crazy. 
Crazy with the Hermana’s. Also, we had interviews with presidente and he is the best. I went in and he just looked at me with that little pres Obeso look and is all "Hermana ball, how you feeling?" It was so good to chat with him. 
Then he talked to me about why I have 7 months in this tiny little pueblo. It was amazing to hear about the real revelation he has received. He knew he felt so strongly that I had to stay here. I guess the elders where saying that I needed changes. That no one can stay in Puerto Cisnes so long because it’s rough. And he said he wanted to be sure. He said one day he called me. And I remember this call. He asked a bunch of just random little things and then that was all. He said he did it because he simply wanted to hear my voice, feel a little bit of my spirit and he said again he just knew it. It was confirmed that I had to stay here. 

I am so grateful. I have really learned so much here. So that was really cool to hear. 

It was crazy to have my last bus ride home from Coyhaique. There’s this crazy feeling at the end of the 4 hours when we cross a certain bridge and right then you can see all the lights of the little houses in Puerto Cisnes. Every time we are there, there’s a little moment of just breathing in and out. You know that feeling of home after a long trip? It was bittersweet this time. Shoot. 
Cow legs for dinner?
But here in Puerto cisnes we have been rocking it. It’s been cold. Last night they say it got to minus 4. 

Ok little gems of the week. 
-Everyone cooks and warms the house with fires so it’s not uncommon to have a fire start. It’s crazy because an alarm goes of and I feel like I am in a world war bombing. And we just stop and listen to see if it’s close to us. Crazy. Lucky they are used to it so nothing bad happens. 

-We had to make a 20 second video of what we´ve learned in the mission. I tried and just ended up crying. So we left to walk around.  And God loves me so He sent over this huge beautiful lab. It jumped up and both hind legs and literally gave me a hug. And made me scream and laugh. I know it sounds crazy but I know, I just know, that it really was a little love message from my Father in Heaven. Its funny and all but also it was so crazy perfect that I just think about it and feel so happy. 
President and Hna Obeso in front of our church building
Then we were sitting in lunch and get a call from president obeso. ¨Hermana where are you?¨ ¨We´re in Puerto Cisnes.¨ "Oh, us too! ¨ 

President made the crazy 8-hour drive to be with us for an hour and a half. It was so wonderful. We ran out of lunch. Met up by the beach. Went and ate a completo (Chilean hotdogs) chatted and laughed and then took him on a mini tour of Puerto Cisnes. Him and Hermana Obeso had never been here and I’ve chatted with them about coming for 7 months. So they finally made it down my last week. Love, love, love. It was soooooooo cute to be with them. 

Well family. I've got to fly. There´s a waterfall waiting for me! I love you. 

 Like elder Holland always says ¨Gods plan is total victory. ¨  so here’s to finishing this week strong. Because it total victory no mas.

xoxo hna ball
I taught them the Wendy's fries in frosty idea.  They loved it!
This is my last week. Crazy. I can't even believe it. Ha-ha and no one here believes it either because there have only been sister missionaries here for 1 year and of that year 7 months were with me so they all think I just moved here. Ha-ha

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

"I spy Jesus"

June 1, 2015

¨Obedience is a choice. It is a choice between our own limited knowledge and power and God´s unlimited wisdom and omnipotence. ¨ -Our dear L. Tom Perry. 

Well family. Can you believe today's date? The freaking 1st of June. This means I have less than a month left until I am headed to Osorno to fly out. 

We´ve figured it’s going to be quite the adventure leaving my little village. Days of traveling, about 5 buses and 2 airplanes just to get me to Santiago. Crazy. But lets not talk about that anymore right? 

We had a really, really successful family home evening in the church. 3 adult investigators and 4 kids! We showed a Mormon message from the youth that shows the José Smith story but for today. Super cool. 

Then we played games. Hahaha. I died. 

So we split up in two groups and they had music from all decades and started a song and who ever knew it first would stand up and start singing the words and dancing. Ha-ha. I ended up winning Bon Jovi (thank you mom) and that one song that’s all ¨Your beautiful its true, I saw your face.¨  Yes, I have been here for a very long time but it was the first time they saw the remote control as the microphone Hermana Ball. So, so, so good. It was the perfect activity because everyone was laughing and singing and so, so, so successful. Hearing these lovely Chileans sing English. Classic. 

We also have seen a new success with S. She was at the activity and loved it. We were also able to teach her twice and it was a good week. You see those little kittens? Those are only 3 of the 6! Crazy. We teach with them all over us. I know your thinking but Hna ball you´ve got the craziest allergies how does that work?  Let me tell you, God is protecting us! 

Ha-ha after an hour of 6 cats crawling over me just small problems. Its crazy cool. But this week in branch council we talked about a plan for S and this Saturday we are all going to fast for her as a branch council. MIRACLES TO COME. 

We have also had success with our red handbook lessons. We have been teaching them with presidente Ancamil and we are seeing a lot of changes in the branch. Like yesterday we had a 5th Sunday combined lesson from the members that was out of this world good. Love. 

The truth is we are trekking on. Its rough here. This week we only had 4 lessons the whole week but we are just pushing forward and working. It’s rough but I´m learning a lot. 

This week we also traveled to Coyhaique. We were there for one mtg and then we got a call that we needed to go back to work out visa things for my companion. So it turned into a crazy 2 days. With 6 hours to sleep and 16 hours on the bus. I am dead. Bruised knees and a bad back- but that’s the Patagonia. :) 

It’s getting pretty wintery here. So cold. So much wood to carry. But we have put blankets around the drafty parts of our bedroom and started studying there above our beds in the mornings. 

Umm what else is new? 

Oh, we had a rock star family home evening with the president Ancamils family. They are so cute. 

One of our lessons was with a really, really, really religious lady. She let us in and then gave us lots of tea and lots of bread. She just kept it coming and way after we were full it still was coming warm off the fire. Ha-ha because like she says ¨In a house of the Lord bread and water never lack¨ and she literally gave it all until we were completely stuffed and she was just about out of bread. 

Well family. I love you muchly. Keep on keeping on. -Hna ball

PS  We write in the library here and they have a warm little fireplace in the middle and soft Chilean music. I love it.  

But this sector is really hard. Please pray for us. I have now seen it with all three of my companions. There is a stage where there isn’t much excitement and a bit of depression here because it is so slow and really cold and hard. It’s hard because we have a lot of pressure from the Elders especially with stinking numbers-, which mean nothing but yet means it all. Ya know? Shoot. 

But just send some love this way right. Maybe this fast Sunday we can all fast together for us to be able to simply have a really joyful week. Xoxoxo 

June 8, 2015

¨Dream beautiful dreams, then work to make those dreams come true. ¨ -Spencer W. Kimball. 

Being a missionary is a dream. Really. Sometimes I don´t know how my life is so good. This week in a zone mtg we watched a video with the songs- "I hope they call me on a mission" and "to bring the world his truth." (Ok, well the zone watched it and we listened to it from Skype because there was so much rain the video part wasn´t working well because of bad connection. ha-ah) but it was so good to remember that this has been my dream for years- really my whole life. And now I´m just living it up! 

This weeks gems. 
-We have officially left S. Dang it, it hurts. But she just really, really doesn´t want to succeed. It’s hard but this week we had final lessons with her and were really, really clear. But nope. However, after we made the decision it was clear it was correct because we left one and then focused our time in other things and found 5 new investigators. This is a record for Puerto Cisnes, seriously. It doesn’t happen. But it was cool because each new was in a different part of the work. 

1. Went to buy a salchipap (It's a Chilean meal) and the lady is all "oh you guys are the Mormon. I hate Mormons." Hahaha, so we were chatting with her and then what do you know?  We are watching "gracias a que él vive" on her TV (the picture is like an I spy picture. Can you spot Jesus!!!) her husband died a couple of years ago and its been really hard for her. We chatted about the plan of salvation and it was cool. 

Everything is aways wet!

2. So we were with our investigator and her friend came in. We were able to chat with both of them and then our investigator ended up testifying of it all. Super cool. Today we are going to have a family home evening with both of their families. 

3-4. A mother and daughter. We knocked their door in December and January but never could teach and then lost contact with them. Then this week we were with a less active and her and her daughter were there. The next day we went and had a killer lesson on the first part of the plan of salvation. It was awesome because she was really, really involved. And get this, the mom is like 38 and her and her husband are married.... the first of our investigators to be so!!!! So hopefully lots of new to come. 

5. We were knocking doors in the rain. But more like a super deep shower than rain, and a lady let us in. I think out of pity, hahah. But we were able to teach her a bit and we found out she has met with missionaries before and her sister is Mormon. It’s been cool. We only were with her for 30 minutes because it was right before a mtg but we´re going to head back a see what comes. 

Ok my hand hurt so much to type. Its freezing cold! Ha-ha I almost can´t type. So just a short letter this week. 

But it’s been a rainy week. The kind where the muscles hurt and when you step out side you get soaked and where it hits the ground so hard it bounces back up. Its crazy to see. But it’s always amazing- because we had 4 days straight. Night and day with out the rain stopping. Then we had the break in the storm and it was beautiful! 

This week was also president ancamils birthday so we celebrated it was a lamb!!! Yum yum yum. I love this family. I love the Patagonia and I just love it here. 

Last night we had a rock star fhe with N. Yáll are going to loooove her. 

Well family I got to go or my fingers are going to fall off!!! 
Xoxox Hna ball