Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Big Changes Came...

Woo-hoo! I finished my training and now am a "real" missionary haha. But I have some crazy news, we had changes in the companionships! I am a trainer! Tomorrow my new companion will be coming and I'll get to teach her everything about the mission just like Hermana Altamirano did for me! I am kind of freaking out. President Wright called me on Saturday and told me. I don't know if it is a gringa or latina. I hope she is a latina so she can help me improve my Spanish some more. But it will be good. Hermana Altamiran will still be with me for 3 weeks until she heads home. So we will be in a trio until December 9th. I can't wait to meet my companion tomorrowmorning!
This week was fantastic! We had a lot of different activities. First was that we got to go to the temple and take Rodrigo and Nayibe to do baptisms for the dead. They took names of their parents and grandparents. It was so beautiful and they were so happy the whole time! We are so lucky here in El Parque. There is a bus that passes right in front of our apartment and takes us right to the temple in 1 hour. It is such a blessing! We are getting Carlita ready for her recommendation so she can go in the next couple weeks.
We also had a Talent Show in our ward on Saturday! We had SO many investigators and less actives who came and participated. It was so fantastic! Connie and Patricio, a young couple we are teaching, sang two songs and loved the whole night. It turned out really well! I sang Teach Me to Walk in the Light with Emmanuel (The son of rodrigo and Nayibe) he is turning 4 next week. He is so darn cute and asked to sing with me. I will try to send the video that Hna Altamirano has of us. The 4 missionaries in the ward also did a talent. We sang Si Vas Para Chile a song that every Chilean knows. Everyone was cracking up the whole time. They loved it :)
On Sunday I gave a talk in church. I was so proud of myself! I spoke for more than 15 minutes. Which is quite a challenge in Spanish. But it turned out super well! I spoke about Love and Service. And why it is important to serve with love. 
I am excited for this next week. I am really scared about training. But president and the Lord believe that I can do this. So I know I will have help and be able to succeed. We are still running around like crazy today to get stuff together for her! It will be a good challenge for me!

Hermana Flake

P.S. I am going to try to send a bunch of pictures since I couldn't last week.
Oh yeah, mom, I got my package!!!! YOU ARE THE BEST! Thank you thank you thank you! I freaked out, I was so happy!

The First is with a little four year old named Eric in our ward. We had a family home evening with his family. He is so darn cute!
The other pictures are from when we hiked the hill in our sector. In the picture with just me you can see almost all of my sector! It is so pretty

And more.. Sorry, I took a bagillion pictures this week!
-I got my package!!!
-Teaching Hna Aceituno the piano! Two of her kids: Vicente and Flor. They are the cutest, right??
-Connie and patricio singing at the talent show!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Elder Russell M Nelson Came to Speak

Wow! I have felt so blessed over these past few days. I think the most exciting thing to happen was hearing Elder Nelson speak to us this morning! Oh my goodness. It was absolutely incredible to be in a room with more than 450 missionaries and here one of the 12 apostles of our Savior, Jesus Christ, speaking to me. It was a very humbling and sweet experience. He and his wife spoke about "pure doctrine" as they stated. It was an amazing experience. He shook the hand of every missionary in the chapel. It was Santiago North and East missions. At the end of his talk he gave a blessing upon us as missionaries. It was so special. I know the words he said in this blessing are going to help me in my mission for the next year or so. 

Things are starting to get crazy over here in El Parque. My trainer is leaving in 4 weeks. It will be in the middle of a change so President Wright said we will be put in a trio until she leaves and then I will have a companion. On Friday I find out what will happen! And next Monday I will have one more companion! So crazy how quickly time is passing here. I remember when I got here Hna Altamirano told me when she would be leaving and I thought "Oh good, we have forever together." But now the time is winding down. 

We went to the temple on Friday (Probably around the same time Jess and Hyrum were in the hospital meeting McLane!!) with Carlita and Elsa. It was awesome! We showed up to the chapel that is on the temple grounds and were waiting because we couldn't go inside. Elder Nelson was giving a talk to the missionaries in the CCM. So we waited on the temple grounds. When he was finished he came over to us 4 missionaries and Carlita, and he shook all of our hands. I cannot believe he is 90 years old. He looks so much younger! It was so powerful to be so close to someone who is an apostle of God! The temple tour went really well with Elsa and Carlita. Elsa just wants to get baptized and sealed to her family forever! We are patiently, but persistently, waiting for Carlos to accept the message. We saw Carlos and Elsa on the bus this morning. They were going to the hospital to see if he could have his operation. It was really good to see them before and Carlos was very kind and receptive.

We had our Stake Conference of the Stake Javiera Carrera this past weekend. It was really great! Presidente and Hna Wright came to speak at both the adult and Sunday session. They gave great talks along with the other speakers. There were some very inspired talks. Some elders in my zone had two investigators at the Stake conference and after Pres. Wright got done giving an awesome talk about the worth of souls the 15 year old teenage girl started applauding like crazy. Poor thing, she was so embarrassed when no one else was. But seriously, everyone felt that way about his talk. It was so powerful!

I am still doing well down here in little Chile! I love it everyday. It is getting hotter and hotter, but I am loving it more and more! I know it is where I am supposed to be, without a shadow of doubt. I cannot imagine anything better to be doing with my time. 

Hermana Flake

P.S. Dang it, I forgot my camera cord... We hiked a huge hill in my sector that has a big white cross on it today. We took super pretty pictures where you can see all of my sector! I will send them next week.

Monday, November 3, 2014

P-Day with President Wright

I had a fantastic week full of work! It was crazy with two divisions and travelling over the mission and not being in my sector. But it's ok! I am alive :)

This week I started learning how to do Family History! My companion is starting to teach me so that I can help others do it too! And guess what! I found a name to take to the temple! It is so crazy! I thought that all of my work had been done. 

We are pretty excited for the progress of Carlita. She was confirmed on Sunday and we had dinner with her and her parents. Her mom came to see her get confirmed and wants to get baptized so bad! She just needs to get married. When we went to lunch we saw Carlita's dad, Carlos. He was super sick with a cold and is having an operation today. He asked for a blessing of health so we brought Jose Manuel and Joaquin with us. They are two young men preparing for their missions. They gave him a blessing and later we said goodbye and he looked completely different. He said he felt incredible and knew it was from the blessing! Yes! Miracles happen :)

We have been working a lot more with Bianca and her son Nico. We went to see her on Saturday night and keep trying to get her to church. She just won't budge. She has never been to a church before and is so scared of it. But it's ok, she is slowly progressing and I know she will get there!

Today for Pday, the four hermanas from my ward went to a volcano with President and Hermana Wright. It was so fun! It was in San Jose de Maipo. We went to a beautiful waterfall and were super close to the Argentine border! It is so awesome to think I am on the opposite side of the world than my family! So crazy, seriously.

But that's about it for the week. Just keep going. My comp has about a month left in her mission now. She is extending for like 3 weeks. So we have until December 9th together. And I don't know what will happen with my next companion because it is in the middle of a change. But it will be great! Love you all and hope all is well in Los Estados.

Hermana Flake

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Carlita's Baptism Oct. 27, 2014

Hello Everyone!

This was one crazy hectic week! But it turned out so well! It was the baptism of Carlita yesterday! Ah! It was such a special day. She is 13 and couldn't be happier in the church. We have been teaching her mom and her for about 2 months. We started just about when I got here. They are so awesome! I sang When I am Baptized with Hermana Ximena Calderon and then Carlita bore her testimony after being baptized. There were so many miracles! Her dad has been super anti for the church, but has supported her. But he said he wouldn't come to her baptism. We prayed and prayed that his heart would soften, and he came! When she bore her testimony he was crying and so was her mom! The bishop spoke to her parents about getting married and coming to church. At the end of the baptism her parents came up to us and said they want to come to church every week! We are so excited to get started with teaching Carlos, the dad of Carlita! Her mom, Elsa, is ready for baptism, she just needs to get married!

The rest of the week was great too! We had craziness in downtown Santiago for two days. Waiting for you know, like 7 hours in a building with no AC for a dumb visa paper. And then having to go back the next day. They really don't have much organization here with this stuff. It was all for my comp's papers. And we have to go back in about a month to get my visa, ugh, it is such a waste of time.

But it's ok, because the time we had to work was spent super well! We found two new families to teach! They are so awesome! The Acuña and Folsch families. With the Folsch family we had an awesome lesson! They had elders come and help them with service about 5 years ago and have good memories of Mormons. They invited us back and kept saying what a blessing we are to their life in this moment. We also found a woman, Norma, who is really interested in the church. 7 new investigators this week! We are so excited to work hard and see them this week and hopefully have great lessons! I am so happy to see how the work is progressing here! There are always appointments that we have to get to and we end up running through the streets to be able to get everywhere in time! I love how busy I am. I can truly feel Heavenly Father helping my companion and I with this work!

Hermana Flake
P.S. Sometimes you end up cleaning the baptismal font with a trash can.. and then you find a cat that has been living in the chapel.. Chile is just full of interesting adventures!

Trusting the Lord Oct. 20, 2014

Well, another week gone! Crazy how quickly time passes here! I can't believe it. This last week I hit 3 months in my mission. I honestly feel like I have been here for 3 weeks! But oh well, I am going to enjoy every moment I possibly can!
This week has been one of lots of faith. We have two investigators, Elsa and Carlita. They had a baptismal date for October 26th, next Sunday. It has been a crazy roller coaster of emotions this week. Full of prayer and fasting and trusting in the Lord's ways. I went to see Elsa and Carlita when I had divisions last Tuesday. We got to the house and Elsa started by saying she wasn't going to be baptized. She said she knew it was true but wanted more time, like a year, to be sure that it was right for her. My heart broke. I was so worried! I wasn't with my companion, I can't speak Spanish, yeah, I had no idea what to do! But I prayed and somehow the words came. I told her about Alma 32:21 and faith. She goes to church every Sunday and I asked her why. She said she goes because she knows it is where she should be and she feels peace there. I told her that I couldn't tell her that she is ready to be baptized, but that the only one who can, is our Heavenly Father. When we closed the lesson she said: Ok, I want to be baptized. It was so great! But this isn't the end. We went back on Friday to finish teaching the lessons required before baptism. We had to teach the Law of Chastity. We had been introduced to her and her "Husband" but apparently they weren't married. She can't be baptized if she isn't married... Her heart was broken. She pleaded with us to see if we could make an exception. We told her we could pray and fast, but that we couldn't change the guidelines. She asked her husband if they could get married and he said no. We are still praying for her and she is figuring things out. Her daughter Carlita is still going to be baptized, so that is great! But we are going to work hard to get Elsa there someday!
Besides that this week was pretty calm. We made banana bread for a few people who have helped us in the ward, We are always trying to bake little American things for people. Everyone is always so amazed at how different the cooking is in the U.S.
Life is still going on down here in Santiago. I really cannot think of a time that I have been happier in my life! Yeah, going out and working everyday in the heat is hard at times. But seeing the change people are making in their lives is so worth it. I love every second I am here. I love the things I am learning and applying to my life. I cannot even imagine "normal" life now! I haven't even worn jeans in months.. Super weird, right?! But it's all good. I love it here and I know it is where I am supposed to be. 

Hermana Flake

-The Lepe Family! Hermano Lepe is our ward mission leader and their son, Jonathan, got his mission call for Cordoba Argentina! They are pretty much our parents here. Every time we don't have lunch we just show up at their house and they feed us! They're the best!
-My companion and I in the elevator in our building
-The four missionaries of El Parque with Jonathan when he got his mission call.

Summer Is Coming Quickly Oct. 13, 2014

Ok... I'll be honest. I am pretty sure my body was not made for the heat. I am dying!!! And it's not even really summer yet. My little Peruvian companion was wearing a cardigan and saying she was freezing and I was sweating to death. Oh dear, I do not think that is a good sign. Oh well. I'll just eat up on ice cream and ice.
This week... was great! Not too much happened. Just the normal with teaching lessons, bloody heels from walking so much, and yep, that's about it! Nah, but really it was great. We started teaching some muslims. They are sisters who live here and we are teaching them spanish. It is great, I just get to speak in English the whole time. We started talking about their religion and it opened the door for us to talk about our beliefs. It went pretty well and are actually progressing. They are from Afghanistan and had to flee their country because they were in danger from the Taliban. Scary, right? I feel so bad for them. Their culture is so different than from here in Chile. They just want to move to the States. It breaks my heart when they say things like, "Please just put us in your suitcases and take us home with you." But I know that if they have the Gospel the quality of their lives will be so much better!
We had some really great lessons with one of our investigators, Bianca, and her son Nico. They came to mutual on Wednesday and really liked it. I love when our investigators find the courage to come to activities! It is so great when the ward can help them feel welcome.
I started teaching piano lessons to a woman in my ward, Hermana Aceituno. We had a keyboard in the apartment and a simplified hymnbook. So I am teaching her once a week. That way when I am gone someone will be able to play the piano in the ward.
Today for P-day we went to Providencia (AKA the super rich part of Chile). It was so crazy to be in a place more similar to the U.S. We went to a super market there and guess what I found... Cranberry sauce!! For our Thanksgiving dinner we will be making in a month or so. AND... Mac&Cheese.. Kraft!! Oh my goodness. I just about died and went to heaven. I am so excited. I never imagined they would have that here!
In two weeks, on October 26, we have two more baptisms! A mother and daughter are getting baptized, Elsa and Carlita. They are so sweet and we are working like crazy to teach all of the lessons before their baptism. We taught them the word of wisdom lesson last week and when we asked if they would follow it. They said: of course! And we will throw everything away in the house that doesn't abide by it! It was so great! I love seeing the people that the Lord has prepared for the missionaries. I know that this sector of El Parque is super blessed! I feel super humble to have to opportunity to be here.
In November Elder Nelson is coming to speak to the Chile Santiago North mission and we get to go too. I am so excited to hear from him! Conference was so awesome. I just want more and more! 

Love you all!
Hermana Flake

Photos: One is with me and my investigator Andrea and her son Fernando. Fernando looks sad.. but he's such a cute little kid! 
The other is of me and Martina, she is the daughter of another one of our investigators, Lili. martina is just like Isabel! It is so fun to be around her.
The other is of the four missionaries in El Parque. We were at the ward mission leader's house for his birthday. His son, Jonathan has his mission call and we are going there later tonight to open it with him! I am betting that he'll go to the states :)