Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas is in the Air

Well, today we get like 3 hours of P-day to get some stuff done, so I get to write! This week has been so weird and crazy and fun! It feels a whole lot more like Christmas this week than last week. It was actually raining here! Ah!! I was so excited. It is summer here and was super hot. But this weekend we had to use leggings and our big winter jackets because it was freezing. It was so great though! I felt right at home! But now the heat is coming back. It's ok, I got a taste of Christmas!

Hermana Christensen and I had a pretty good week together! We had some divisions and I went to Apoquindo. It is the super rich sector of the mission, where President Wright lives. Oh my goodness! It was so different than my sector. It felt like I was back in the states. So insane! But then when I got home to my sector of El Parque, I was so happy! I love my sector and ward!

Yesterday we sang... so much! I sang Oh Holy Night in sacrament meeting. Then later that day we went caroling. It is something that is not done in Chile. Everyone thought we were weird. But that's ok! We went to see some less-actives and investigators. We sang a Christmas Hymn and then gave them some manjar cookies and truffles. It went really well! We found a less-active member we had never met before and he wants to come back to church! Then we sang with the ward choir at our apartment buildings. We set up this whole sound system. I sang Oh Holy Night again and a bunch of people came out of their apartments to listen! It was pretty awesome! Then we went to a feria for Christmas that is in our sector and sang again. It was a pretty cool activity!

On Saturday we had a Conference with President Wright and our whole mission. So many missionaries! We are changing the way we do things a lot here in our mission! Before, we would have goals with how many lessons with investigators we wanted to have in a week, how many with less-actives and so on. But they have changed it. Now we aren't counting how many lessons we have in a week. We are measuring it all by how many people are in our sacrament meeting. We have to keep track and make our wards grow by 10% this next year. Yesterday we had 103 people at church. I was so excited yesterday! Hermana Miryam Valdebenito came to church! She is a less-active who got super offended and left the church. We have been working like crazy with her for the past few months. And yesterday was the first Sunday she came back! I was practically jumping for joy!

I am getting so excited for Christmas! I cannot believe we are already here. I have never realized as much as I do know how important families are. Really, families are the way we can be happy here on Earth. I am so grateful to have family who cares about me and wants me to succeed. Families are a central part of our Heavenly Father's plan for us. Be with your family this Christmas. There are a lot of people we visit who are going to be alone. We are trying to see everyone we can so they can be happy and feel God's love. If there's someone who needs a friend, be that friend. It is an incredible feeling to serve someone and develop the love of Christ for them! Love you all. Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas! 

Feliz Navidad!

Hermana Flake

1..Making manjar cookies with the Youth in the ward. Hermana Christensen is addicted to manjar!
2. When I sang my solo I had to use this weird microphone. I felt so awkward...
3. McDonald's for lunch today... we were craving something SUPER gringo :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Concert at the Temple

This week has been one crazy long ride! But it has been fantastic! It started out a bit rough with Hna. Altamirano going home on Tuesday. She was my trainer and taught me everything I know! Hna Christensen and I went to the temple with her Tuesday night and said goodbye there and she took off for the airport. It was pretty rough being excited for the next day. But it was so good. I realized just how much the Lord is capable of. It is pretty crazy being two gringas in my sector! But it is so much fun! Hna Christensen and I just have adventures all day long, it´s the best!
We had something going on just about everyday this week. Whether it was the temple, a Zone Conference, divisions, or other meetings. Today I had to go into the center of Santiago and do all the work for my Visa... OH my heavens. I waited in one building for (I am not exaggerating because I got a ticket with a number on it and it said what time I entered the building) 4 hours! But I got it all done! Yay!
Yesterday was so awesome! We got to go to the Christmas Concert at the Temple! You need to watch it! I´m pretty sure it is on! And a big plus, lik 80% of it was in English. Marvin Goldstein came and played the piano and some other woman from Arizona sang. It was super pretty! My favorite song was by three young girls singing a sassy version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." Super impressive! And there were a bunch of Nativity scenes. And lights everywhere! It was like a mini temple square! But with Palm trees :)
I am so excited for Christmas! We have Christmas lights up around the apartment that mom sent me. I got my Christmas Package and everything is waiting underneath the tree. I can´t believe I´ll be talking to you guys in like a week and a half! How exciting! I won´t be writing next Monday because our P-day is on Christmas. I hope you all remember the importance of this time. I have learned so much being away from home during this season. It really isn´t that important to have a long list of things you want. But it´s important to keep the Savior in your heart. I am so grateful that He lives and loves each one of us.
¡¡¡¡Feliz Navidad!!!!
Hermana Flake                                                             

We really like gigantic completos.. at 10 o'clock
at night...because yeah, we're really healthy

At the Christmas Concert yesterday! We went with
Carlito (recent convert) Antonia and Flor (cute
members) It was such a fun day!

Pictures of the Chapel Open House we helped 
out with on Saturday!

Car selfies! traveling home in the car after the
concert! Herman Christensen and me!

We Went to the Zoo December 8, 2014

Wow, where do I even begin? This week was full of miracles, laughter, and lots of missionary work! It was a fantastic week! Ok first off, I want to share what I am most excited about... A new investigator we have!! His name is Camilo and he is probably the coolest person I have ever met. He is what you would call a "Golden Investigator." But like really. Ok, cool. Here's the story:
On Saturday we decided to go contact the references we had received from the offices. There was one for our apartment building so we went to meet Camilo. He was super super friendly and invited us in to talk more about the gospel but he lives alone so we couldn't go in. (We can only go in when there is an adult woman with us). So we told him we would come back in an hour. So we called our ward like crazy to find someone who could come with us. NO ONE COULD. We were praying like crazy. Finally a young woman said she would leave her family party to come with us. Such a sweetheart! So we went to see him. We left him a tarjeta of He is the Gift and asked him to watch it before we came back. (Which is the coolest video ever. If you haven't seen it, look it up on youtube. It's life changing!!) When we got in his apartment we sat down and he had watched the video and was looking up more information on So cool. And then we started by teaching him the first lesson of the Restoration. He was so interested the whole time. You could just tell that he was hungering for the gospel like Enos, in the Book of Mormon. It was incredible. We asked him to come to church with us the next day and he said yes. And guess what... HE CAME!!! Ah, we were like freaking out. He brought his Book of Mormon and stayed the whole time. He was introducing himself to members saying, "Hi, I'm Camilo and this is my first time here." He is so friendly. He is 25 and already wants to go on a mission. He told a young man in the ward that he would like to get baptized. We have a crazy schedule today, but we are going to try and see him. Even if it is during our time of P-day. He is awesome!
Ok, yeah. I was really excited. But about the rest of the week. It was super great. We have quite a few investigators that are progressing, less-actives that are coming back to church, and super great recent converts. Our mission focus is baptize, reactivate, and retain. President is working really hard to have all of his missionaries focus on all three of these points. It is great because we focus more on balancing our week with these goals.
Today for P-day, we went to the National Zoo of CHILE! Yeah! It was way awesome! It is on the Hill San Cristobal and super cool! We got a lot of great pictures and I saw a lot of my favorite animals... minus pandas. Dang it. But it was fun! It was the last P-day of Hermana Altamirano. She goes home tomorrow. I am kind of dying inside. I will finally be alone with Hermana Christensen in our sector. It will be great though! Tomorrow we get to go to the temple! I am way excited to finally go again. It has been months.
This week was fantastic! I wasn't sick at all and got to work my head off. I love weeks like this. When you feel like you are just running and running. And then you realize the week is gone. And then you look back and see all of the work that has been accomplished! It is a great feeling! I hope you all have a great week. Love you lots!
Hermana Flake

Monday, December 1, 2014

Another Crazy Week of Sickness

Hello All!

This week has been a bit of a challenge for me. My health has been in a crazy rollercoaster... but I think I have been able to find a solution. So it's all ok!

It all started on Wednesday. I felt pretty crummy. I had the chills, my body ached, and a raging head ache. But I didn't want to say anything to my companions and be a problem. So I just kept going. We went to lunch and then were in the streets walking for about 3 hours. It was blazing hot and my body was slowly dying. We finally got into a house and taught some less active kids. I used their bathroom and almost passed out. But I just kept pushing myself. We went to another less active woman's house and I was just trying to stay awake and not throw up the whole lesson. My companions asked if I was alright and I said Yeah, it's not a big deal. So we kept going. We went to visit an investigator, Bianca, and she looked at me and freaked out. She made us go home because I looked horrible. I went home and slept until the next day. Apparently a crazy lot happened while I was sleeping! Bianca went to mutual and told the whole ward I was on my death bed. People were calling President Wright, people wanted to take me to a hospital, it was craziness! Just so you know, I had like a flu or something, definitely not dying.

The next day we had a Meeting for the New Missionaries. So I took Hermana Christensen and President Wright told me I had to go to the doctor that day. We scheduled an appointment and went to President's house to wait. Blessing in Disguise! It was Thanksgiving! So we got to eat Thanksgiving with President and Hermana Wright in their house! It was crazy. I wish I had felt better and been able to eat more. But hey, I'll take what I can get. I went to the doctor and he said I had a virus and told me to sleep for 2 days.

Now I am better! But life was crazy for this week. The food here is super hard on my stomach. So the mission nurse has a diet that I have to be on. So now I can't eat with the members at all. Kind of a bummer. But I just want to be able to work! It was so lame being stuck in the apartment for 2 days straight. I just wanted to do stuff! But now my body is healed and I am good to go! I have learned so much about patience and prayer this week. Sometimes your body can't do everything you want it to. But I had a lot of time to read my scriptures and understand why this was happening. I realized that I can't be a control freak and do everything perfectly. But that I have to rely on the Lord because His ways are higher than my ways. There is a reason for everything. And somehow, everything works out.

Lo Siento, pretty lame letter this week. I didn't get to work much. It was horrible not getting to see my investigators! OH! But some exciting news! Rodrigo, our recent convert (the husband of Nayibe) was made Elder's Quorum President! It is his first calling and he's been a member for 7 months! Pretty scary right? But he is so awesome. He'll do a fantastic job.

Hermana Flake

Photo: Last Monday at a birthday party. The last piece of cake I'll get to eat for awhile.... 

Hermana Christensen November 24, 2014

Hello Everyone!

Well, I got my new companion! Hermana Christensen, she is from Arizona and knows the Shirley's! She is super awesome and happy and great! We get along super well and are working hard together. It is great that we still have Hermana Altamirano with us for 2 1/2 more weeks. This week was kind of super lame... I had to go to the dentist, I got the flu, and was super sick. But it's ok. I am better now! And now we are working like normal. I felt so bad that Hermana Christensen's first few days I was sick. So here's the story of this crazy week:

Tuesday! We got up early and went to the mission office to get Hermana Christensen! I practically freaked out when I found out I would be training a gringa! But that's alright. She is learning Spanish and is trying so hard! She will learn it way fast, I just know it. We had a crazy time getting back to our sector because the metro has been having problems. So the buses were packed and we had all her suitcases. It was craziness. But we got back and went to a lesson and then had our English Class in the church.

Wednesday! I woke up and flossed my teeth, you know, like I am supposed to. And my filling fell out. I had this huge hole in my tooth. I called the mission nurse and she told me I had to go to the dentist. We scheduled an appointment and went. Ok... let's just say I hope I never have to go again. It was one of the sketchiest experiences of my life. I opened my eyes a few times as he was putting a new filling in and I almost passed out. He had pieces of random metal scraps and yeah. Whatever. I am alive now so it's not important. But it cost me a bunch of money so now I am way poor for the month... ugh. But then when we were on the bus coming home I started feeling like I was going to throw up and got this strong fever. I found a seat and slept on the bus for like 45 minutes. When we got home I couldn't move because I was exhausted and the fever was horrible. I slept. and slept. and slept. I ended up sleeping for like 30 hours... It was so great that Hermana Altamirano is still with us! Her and hermana Christensen were able to leave and go to lessons while a member stayed in the apartment with me. It was so lame...

Now I feel a whole lot better and the fever is gone. We went to see a less-active family on Saturday and they all have the flu. I started feeling sick last Monday, the day after we had a lesson in their house. pretty sure they're the reason I was sick. But oh well!

Yesterday was a great day in the chapel! Hermana Christensen shared her first testimony in the ward and did a great job! We had 6 investigators in sacrament meeting! So there is a woman in our ward who is named Sharon. She got pregnant and had her baby and the father of her baby isn't a member of the church. They blessed their baby yesterday in church and the father came, his name is Eduardo. Sharon was talking to us, she is seriously so awesome, and told us that Eduardo wants to hear the lessons from us! We are going to go teach him this week! I love new investigators. 

This week has been one hectic thing after another. But really I have learned so much. It has been hard. The responsibility of training a new missionary is really big. But Hermana Christensen has the desire to be an obedient and fantastic missionary, so I know that we are going to have a lot of success together. I am excited for this coming week!

Today we are having a mini-Thanksgiving in our apartment. We invited some other hermanas to come. We will be having a squash-pumpkin pie (because they don't have real pumpkins here) cranberry sauce (YES! I FOUND CRANBERRY SAUCE) funeral potatoes!!!! (that cost like 40 bucks for all the ingredients...) and some chicken (because turkey doesn't really exist either). It is kind of a lame Thanksgiving, but that's ok! We are excited. My companions are so annoyed with me. I keep singing my family's Thanksgiving song "Gobble, gobble, gobble, Fat Turkey" It makes me so happy!!!! 

Hermana Flake

The trio of El Parque!
Hermana Christensen and I!
Me moving a matress (All by myself) to get the apartment ready for Hermana Christensen!