Monday, September 15, 2014

Baptism of Nayibe!

This week was full of craziness and so much work! It was fantastic! First off, the baptism of Nayibe! It was yesterday and it was such a special day. Her husband, Rodrigo, (who got baptized a few months ago) baptized her. She was so happy. It was a wonderful experience and one I will never forget!
We also found two new investigators who are truly prepared! One is named Andrea. When we visited her we shared a little about our purpose in being in Chile, that we want to help and bring happiness in her life, and that Christ can help her personally. She talked about how she has always felt she has a purpose but never known what it was. And she got emotional when talking to us about Jesus Christ. It was a tender moment. We saw her later in the week on the street and she was so excited to see us! We have another lesson with her tomorrow and we are hoping she has made some more progress!
We also met Loreto. She is an older woman and very intelligent. She believes in Christ and studies the Bible but doesn't have a religion. We taught her the first lesson about the restoration of the fullness of the gospel and she got so excited. We talked about the Book of Mormon and she was so engaged. We pulled one out of bag and wrote our testimony in it and then handed it to her saying it was a gift. She had a look of shock on her face and said: A gift? Really? I can read it? And we told her yes and she got so excited. We asked her to read the introduction before our next visit. And she said she would read the entire book. She was excited to get started right when we left. Yeah... it was a pretty great visit!! Unfortunately we don't get to see her in forever.. This week is the week of their Independence Day here in Chile. So practically everyone is out of town visiting the beach or the South. 
I love seeing the miracles that are happening all around me. It is truly incredible to see the hand of the Lord so prominently in my life. It is pretty hard to do this. The language is coming.. But it is pretty frustrating at moments. 
Oh. This was a week of feeling thrown under the bus for Spanish. I should be grateful... but it was crazy. First off, I am in a district of only Latino missionaries. Second, my companion and I had to teach the district lesson on Tuesday and it freaked me out. Third, when I got to church on Sunday a counselor in the bishopric said I would be giving a talk... in 5 minutes. And play the piano.. So.. I pretty much died. But it is alright. With all of this practice my Spanish is coming along better and better. I feel very blessed and know I am having so much help from my Father in Heaven. 
I love you all! Hope you all have a great week!

Hermana Flake
Pictures: One is of Nayibe's baptism, Sushi a few days ago... SO GOOD! and one of last Monday. It was Hermano Caldaron's birthday and we had once, had a little Family Home Evening, and played music. It was great!

Monday, September 8, 2014

El Parque!

Wow, another week gone! Crazy how time is in the field! This week has been fantastic! Just a lot of walking, getting to know people, and being confused by Spanish. You know, the usual! It is pretty great though! 
We had a stake activity on Saturday because the month of September is Chile's Indepence Day of sorts. It is crazy with Chilean pride everywhere! I love it!! We bought a flag for our apartment and need to buy some more stuff to decorate even more! On Saturday we had a bunch of empanadas and it was great! But unfortunately I got some kind of bug. Because for the next 2 or 3 days I was sick with the flu. Ugh, it was pretty miserable. I tried to go out and work a bunch but my body couldn't really handle it. Shoot. But I feel way better now, so it's not an issue!
Today we went to San Cristobal. It's a big hill where you can see most of Santiago! It is so beautiful, I'll attach some pictures. Of course there was a bunch of smog, there is always smog. But it was so beautiful! We met up with a few other sisters. It was fantastic! Then we had pizza... oh how I miss American food. I am quite happy with the food here. But there are times where I just crave my mom's cooking.
Next Sunday I have my first baptism! I am so excited! The woman's name is Nayibe and she is so awesome! Her husband got baptized 5 months ago and they have two sweetheart boys. They are so awesome and I can't wait to see her get baptized! She is so ready and it's so exciting! I am hoping our other investigators can come and see! It has been a great week. And I look forward to the work we can do this next week too! Love you all!
Hermana Flake

Sunday, September 7, 2014

First Week in the Mission Field

Friends and Family!

Wow! I am actually in the mission field! I have been here for a week and wow it is so crazy! My companion is Hermana Altamirano! She is fantastic! From Peru and goes home in December! She can understand and speak pretty good English, so it is way helpful. But there is definitely a language barrier. We are in El Parque! It is about 45 minutes from Santiago, but is still considered Santiago. It is pretty awesome! The people are so great here and I have loved it! It is a completely different world here. I don't even know how to describe it. I have never been anywhere like it. People are in very humble circumstances here. There is graffiti everywhere and some streets have houses made out of tin and have no electricity. It is very different. The church building is definitely the nicest place in the entire area.

Hm, where to begin? My last week in the CCM was great! I went on splits to the Santiago Sur mission! We went to a city called Ciudad de NiƱos. It was a lot different than this area too! Way poorer. I was really sad to say goodbye to my district when we got our trainers on Tuesday. They were definitely like my family. But I can't get over how great it is! It is super hard here. I cannot speak Spanish at all... But it's ok! I can usually get my point across. And during lessons I teach a point as well as I can and then my companion explains it more. It works pretty well. Each day gets better and better.

We live in an apartment building, on the 10th floor. It is so great! I wake up every morning and study. And I look out the window and see the beautiful Andes! They are gorgeous! I can't get over how pretty of a country this is. I love this area. The ward members are fantastic! Everyone is super nice about my Spanish. There are some members who speak and I have no idea what they are saying. And then others speak and I can understand almost everything. My companion said it took her a couple months to understand the sueper Chilean Spanish.. and she is from Peru! They just speak super badly sometimes haha. I live in an apartment with my companion and one other companionship. They are in the same ward with us. They are Hermanas Chavez and Leishman. Hermana Leishman is from Lehi! She graduated a year before me. 

I am getting accustomed to everything. I have definitely been humbled this week. I feel pretty unintelligent a lot. It is something I had never really experienced before. I feel frustrated that I cannot even express my feelings the way I want to. But it is ok. I am relying on my Heavenly Father more than I ever have before. It is a learning experience and I am grateful for it. I love being a missionary! I love teaching people! We have a baptism on September 14. A woman named Nayibe is getting baptized. Her husband Rodrigo got baptized in April and she couldn't because she was pregnant. But she had her baby and can get baptized now. She is the sweetest. Their family is from Columbia and they are just great! We also got 2 more dates for baptism. Elsa and Carlita, a mother and daughter. We taught them the first lesson and felt inspired to invite them to be baptized on October 12 and they said yes! I am so excited to continue teaching them and help them prepare. This is a wonderful area. There is so much work to do!

Sorry this was such a crazy long letter! So much has happened! Oh, and today was my first Pday! We made Peruvian food and it was so good! Fried Sweet Potatoes, pesto pasta, and some super good meat. I love the food here. Some isn't my favorite.. But I have been able to eat everything. 

Hermana Flake