Tuesday, April 29, 2014

We Are All Subject To Fish

April 28, 2014 

¡Bueno Día familia mía!
Sounds like you guys had a pretty busy week! But I´m glad you`re all keeping busy and happy. Shoutout to kk for playing piano in sacrament, you go girl! I wish I could of heard it! But that´s awesome! I know it´s not super fun playing in sacrament because I´ve been there too (I´m there right now haha) but like no one here in my ward in Quillota can play so before they all just sang acapela so really it´s such a blessing to have the ability. You never know when you´ll need it! Keep it up!
That´s awesome too you guys got hermanas in your ward now! Yes! Be extra nice to them and ask what kind of foods they don´t like so they don´t have to smile and nod and pretend like they don´t speak as much English as they really can to avoid saying anything about the food.
How´s kk´s wrist doing? Is it still in a splint? Maybe now I´m at the same skill level as her at lacrosse haha. Also is she still alive? I´m about to double email her but I don´t want to look desperate or anything.. ;)
This week we had cambios (transfers) but not really, because everyone stayed the same in my district. So I´m in Quillota for at least another 6 weeks with the same compañera. I was split down the middle of whether I secretly wanted to stay or leave so it´s all good.
We also had entrevistas with the mission presidente Kahnlein this week. He is amazing. The spirit that radiates off him is awesome! He´ll probably be a general authority one day. No doubt about it. The advice and reassurance he gave me was just what I needed to hear at that time. He also offered to give me a blessing and it was like a blessing straight from the Savior. I left the room with even more ganas to serve and learn and do all that I can! I´m too blessed to have him as my mission president!
Funny story of the week: I may or may not have informed someone that because of the Fall of Adam we are now all ¨sujetos a pescado¨ meaning we are all subject to fish. Really I meant to say ¨pecado¨ (flesh). I guess I was just getting my religions confused or something haha. That sure makes a difference! I also told my compañera one day that I need a ¨gordo¨in my life (meaning fat man). haha I meant to say ¨goro¨ which is a beanie. In my defense the r and d sound really similar in español. On second thought though I´m sure a fat man would probably do a better job at keeping me warm.... It´s too bad I´m just stuck with handshakes for the time being ;)
Also we´re teaching this one family and the kids are so funny. The niño, Gaberil, is a hoot. He really thinks my hair is made of gold and keeps asking if he could cut off ¨pocitooo¨ so he could sell it for ¨plata¨ aka money. That response was a HARD NO! haha.
Also AWESOME news! We´ve been teaching this part member family? I really don´t know what to call them. It´s a mom, her daughter who are members and the pareja (boyfriend) of the daughter who isn´t. Anyway they´re going to have a baby in July (the daughter and pareja) and we finally got them to set a date for their wedding! May 23rd! (Shoutout to the little gremlin who´s birthday that is....kk!) so his baptism is set for May 24th! (Samantha's birthday) Best birthday gift ever? I think so. But it´s like a month away still so I´m just praying so hard that nothing comes in the way. The mom and daughter came to church on Sunday and had a really good time. Antonio had to work so I pray he´s able to have it off for the next 3 Sundays so he can be baptized on the 24th. Keep them in your prayers!
This week I discovered something life changing. They´re called Negritas and are basically a s´more. Let me explain: two graham cracker cookies with a vanilla, marshmello like creme between them and then the whole thing is dipped in chocolate! I die and go to heaven everytime I eat it. Don´t worry I´ve already planned to buy another suitcase and filling it with just those when it´s time to come home. ¡QUE RICO!
Well I think that´s all for this week! I wish you all a week full of love, happiness, and Mr. Taco carne asada burritos! 

Con todo el amor en mi corazón,
Hermana Evans 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fuerza Valpo!

April 21, 2014

¡Hola familia!

I´m so glad to hear you all had a fabulous easter and an even more fabulous easter dinner! Thank you Uncle Kel for not mentioning anything about the prime rib, twice baked potatoes, and green bean casserole, if I knew about those I might have cried a little inside.. ;) Unfortunately easter is not a huge holiday here. The most festive thing that happened was when Hma. Dangelia, a sister in our ward (who actually went to high school in Orem so she knows how easter should be) sneakily passed me a chocolate bunny during sociedad de socorro aka relief society. My dinner consisted of arroz y pollo but that´s actually my favorite meal here so it was an awesome easter dinner none the less!

No I didn´t find any of my eye drops here so good thing you sent some! I hope they make it here too.

This week we had an activity for our principios del evangelio clase for the conversos recientes and it was a mini 28 de Sept. celebration which is the independence day of Chile. Haha I had to laugh because it was the day before easter and everyone wanted to celebrate a holiday 5 months adelante instead. Haha oh well. We had awesome food--pollo, completos, empanadas, papas! Everything Chilean and everything delicious!

So on friday we had the chance to go to Valpariso to do service because of the fire. I just love this city. Out of all the cities I´ve ever been to in my life, this by FAR is my favorite! Next family vacation needs to be here. When we arrived it was still dark out and all the lights on the cerros were beautiful! It was as if someone had draped a blanket of twinkling stars across the hills. I burned that image of beauty into my mind. A bunch of the other missionaries were there too so it was awesome to see some of my elders from the Atlanta 15! While everyone was coordinating everything we went to help organize all the food donations. I´ve never seen a pile of pasta so big in my life! Despite all the destruction I have full confidence that not one of those families will go hungry if the church has anything to do about it. The generosity of all the people there is just amazing! Then we went up to the hills to where the fire was. It was a bomb site. So much destruction. My heart just broke for all the families and people that lost everything. Seriously everything. So we got to work. I did everything from shoveling dirt and rubble and ash, to excavating the charbroiled remains of appliances and household objects and clearing away the rock of what was once walls. Some of the Elders thought they were so funny and were telling me to watch out for bodies because they ¨still hadn´t found some people¨ oh man. But then we found a bbq`d cat and I started to feel a little apprehensive haha. Oh but me da mucho peña clearing out the skeletons of burned bicycles and dvd players, chairs, and ovens and refrigerators and melted baby shoes. I wanted to cry for these people. I couldn´t help but think why would our loving heavenly father allow something so terrible and destructive happen? But as I looked around and looked past the destruction I saw the people, and the volunteers and the love and willingness and smiles on everyone´s faces. People in the hills would shout ¨CHEE CHEE LE LE¨and then everyone would shout back ¨¡¡VIVA CHILE!!¨ There was so much unity and love and generosity and strength that filled those smoky hills. Everyone came together to help, doing everything they can, offering what they could. I came to the conclusion that God lets such terrible things happen because He knows even BETTER things come of them. Things like love and unity and empathy that have value in the eternities, not just here on earth. We can only truly learn and develop gratitude, compassion, and charity in the face of adversity. Opposition in all things. The Lord really is preparing His people, He is strengthening them, He is developing in them stronger Christlike qualities. He let´s bad things happen because He trusts us enough that we can and will learn these lessons. Something as traumatic as this certainly has a way of refocusing your priorities on the things that are important--family, attitude, faith, Christ. Things that will always be there, through fires and earthquakes. The only thing left of the homes were their foundation--Helaman 5:12--when our foundation is in Christ, no importa what happens, we will not fall. At times like this I am especially grateful for the plan of salvation. It was especially special to do the service on Good Friday, looking forward to Easter, the day of resurrection, and the knowledge that with Christ nothing is lost. He rose again, Valpo is rising again, and we will rise again too. As we take advantage of the blessings of the atonement in our lives we not only will have immortality through resurrection, but eternal life, with our families. Truly even in times of great adversity, there is so much to be grateful for.
This easter season I´ve been thinking a lot about my Savior. He came to the world with his arms wide open saying ¨Come, follow me.¨ It brings tears to my eyes thinking of how much love and meaning He has behind those words. And then he died, His arms still open on the cross. And He rose again, scars and all with those loving arms still open. Because Christ rose from the dead we can raise from our fears, doubts, insecurities and mistakes time and time again. He gladly wears His scars so we´ll never have to wear ours. We have a glorious gift of repentance to heal us continually. This truly is a gospel of love and I am too blessed to be a representative of it right now in Chile. I love my Savior and I love you all!
Hope you have a great week!

Con todo el amor en mi corazon,
Hermana Evans


Friday, April 18, 2014

And We Walked And Walked And Walked!

April 14, 2014


 I seriously can´t believe it´s Monday already. This past week just flew by! Also empanadas are amazing. I don´t know if I´ve mentioned this before but it´s so true it´s worth another mention. I seriously don´t understand why these are not popular in the U.S. I´m going to buy one after this.

We walked so much this week! Our sector is really large so usually we plan our citas in the same area so we don´t have to walk the length of Chile everyday but for some reason we kept having people we needed to visit that lived way far apart. I´m far from complaining though, I welcome whatever exercise that comes my way! Speaking of which I didn´t get the workouts. Did you attach them to the last email? Maybe mckayla or dad can help you figure it out. It´s was way cool though because it´s been like SUPER hot here this past week. And we´d been walking for a long time and we were way hot and this van pulls up next to us and the guy was like ¨SEESTERS!¨ So we stopped and he was a member of the church from Santiago and he hands us these huge cold gatorades and was like I have two extras here you go! It was seriously a tender mercy from the Lord. I couldn´t believe it. The Lord truly is aware of us at every moment. 

My spanish is getting better. It´s weird, I have really good days where I can understand like 70 percent and communicate all my thoughts mas o menos and then I have really bad days where the words just won´t come and all I can do is smile and say yo sè la igelsia es verdadera.

We had intercambios this week so my compañera went to San Pedro and I stayed and one of the San Pedro hermanas came here for the day. It was great to get to work with someone else, I loved her fresh energy for everything! Also it was like my first opportunity to kind of be in charge since she doesn´t know the area or our investigadores. It was suppose to be a great day. I had 4 citas lined up, I´d studied and planned for the lessons well, looked up all the words so I could say what I wanted to say. Everything good. And then one by one all our lessons fell through. They called and weren´t going to be home. They were sleeping. They got sick suddenly. They were too busy. I couldn´t believe it. Nothing like this has ever happened to us. Thankfully I was always able to have a back up plan of people, but then those people were busy or not home or come back in 30 minutes and then they weren´t there. So we contacted a lot, and I was trying really hard not to get discouraged. We prayed to find a family. Everyone we talked to was busy though so we ended up scheduling citas for the coming week so at the end of the day our numbers were pretty low and I was trying my very best not to see it as a reflection of myself. I kept telling myself I´d done all I could have done with the circumstances. The scripture D&C 123:17 came to my mind. Do all things in your power cheerfully and then stand back and see the arm of God or something along those lines. Then yesterday we went to one of the citas I´d made with this girl Nicole. She´s Chilean but naturally blonde so we like to joke that we´re sisters. Her mom and brother were there too. (Her brother lived in the U.S. for 5 years so we got to speak english with each other and he´s awesome.). Anyway it was close to the best cita ever! They were so kind and so receptive and willing to listen. We introduced the Book of Mormon and I got to bear my testimony of receiving answers to prayers to Kevin in english! It was truly a special moment. I am so excited about this family! Leaving that house it was the first time I´ve truly felt serious pure joy and excitement about the work and the people on my mission! We danced the whole way home. And again DC 123:17 Do all things in your power cheerfully and see the hand of God ( I really should memorize this scripture, golden nugget of knowledge right there if I ever did see one) and last night we saw the hand of God. When we asked when we could return the mom was like Ëveryday! Haha.   I just love this family!

I didn´t find my eye drops yet but I´m going to look in a different place today, but it´s probably best if you send me more just in case. Also my last request of things to send is the chocolate covered açai.

I never got the email from grandma and grandpa so thank you for forwarding it to me! I love them SO much! Tell grandma Rosa hasn´t been baptized yet but we´re hoping for next week! Keep her in your prayers!

We keep having just baby quakes down here and the fires are like 40 minutes from my sector so I´m safe for now. They keep saying a big earthquake is coming but we´ll wait and see. I mean our schedule is always the same so I wouldn´t mind shaking it up. haha, get it?? ;) Earthquakes, fires, spanish, you´d think I was in California still or something. Dad has a meteor predicted next but if so I´ll take his advice, tract the trajectory and run at a 90 degree angle ;) 

I love you all so much and hope you guys are safe and sound and happy. Remember to go to church, say your prayers, and brush your teeth.

Con todo el amor en mi còrazon,
Hermana Evans

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Wings, Not A Weight!

April 7, 2014

Hola familia!

Yes everything is good and safe here! The earthquakes have been the talk of the town but we`re all good in Quillota! We`ve had mini earthquakes every day. It´s hilarious because my compañera isn´t accustomed to earthquakes and I think she thinks we`re going to die every time. There was a 5.8 one the other night and I don´t know if I´ve ever seen anyone get under a door frame so fast!. I secretly think they`re kind of fun haha that is until our roof falls in...  Everyone keeps saying there`s suppose to be a big one here in Quillota and up north within the next week so we`ll see what happens. We all have our emergency preparedness stuff so if anything does happen we´ll be just fine.

This week we went over to help a menos activa cook lunch because she didn´t know how. Oh my gosh mom. She wanted us to make chicken soup and had a chicken and some carrots and a potato... that´s it. Also my compañera was giving me anxiety because she was breaking so many culinary rules. For whatever reason the words ¨cross contamination¨ ¨salamonila¨ and ¨don`t touch that chicken, it definitely does NOT have an internal temperature of 165 degrees!¨(They use Celsius here anyway so that last one was just a lost cause) are not in my little red spanish for missionaries book so I just had to smile and say a prayer of gratitude that I was not the one who would be eating it in the end. Actually it ended up being fine and no one was sick the next day so all's well that ends well.

Also I learned this week that I´ve been using laundry detergent to wash the bathroom and bathroom soap to wash my clothes. It suddenly became very clear why I´m on a mission right now instead of getting married like the rest of my friends.

Ok so wasn´t general conference AMAZING??????!!!!!! I felt a little sad in my heart that I couldn´t be there like I was last time but then I remembered that I´m a missionary in Chile and I´m more than ok with that. Also I thought it was a lovely thought that we were all watching and listening to the same thing at the same time. When we´re united in Christ and the church, distance really isn´t that far. We have an investigator right now who I haven´t been able to stop thinking about. I just love her SO much but just about everything terrible that could ever happen to someone has happened to her. She use to have faith but after everything that´s happened she´s lost every ounce of it. To be honest, if my life was like hers and I didn´t know better, I´d probably think the same. She has no faith, no hope and thinks the world is all bad. What do you say to someone who tells you all this and looks at you and goes ¨Why me?¨ ¨Why my life?¨¨Why? Where was your God?¨ We try to explain about the plan of salvation but she always goes ¨No.¨ very firmly. ¨No. Maybe for you, but not for me.¨ I just didn´t know how I could help her and understand how much love God has for her, she just needs only look for it. And then on Saturday Elder Scott must have had me in mind when he said ¨Sincerely love those you want to help so they can begin to have confidence in God´s love¨and Ït´s easier to help others gain faith in God when they know someone who loves them in a similar way.¨ That´s so simple! Why didn´t I think of that! Exactly what I needed and exactly what I´m going to do.

My favorites this time have to be Elder Holland, siempre. Man I would love to sit down and have a cup of tea (herbal of course) with that man and just absorb his every word. He knows the Savior in such a personal way and I hope that I can develop and give testimony with as much conviction and confidence as he one day. Outstanding!  And Uchtdorf! I loved him too! Soo much great wisdom! ¨Don´t be grateful for, be grateful in¨ now that´s a golden nugget of wisdom if I ever heard one. I loved it! I loved what the prophet spoke on and the Savior`s Life legacy of love. The alliteration there is just LOVELY as well. and that Love is the essence of the gospel and I loved when he said those we meet are the proportion of people God has given us to love and serve. SO AWESOME! I loved it! ( Notice the quantity of my use of the word ¨love¨ #FollowTheProphet) The whole time I was just thinking how the prophet is the mouthpiece for the Lord so really it´s not Pres. Monson who wants us to love, it´s Jesus Christ and out of all the advice he could give us at this time, it was to love. You´ll never feel regret for being too kind--that´s a golden nugget of wisdom from the prophet as well. TOO GOOD.

Ok so that`s way cool that you guys saw Ashton Kucher! I´m super jealous! And wait who was the guy you sat next to in the restaurant?? You never said his name.. All I got was cute guy so the names Zac Efron and Chris Pine are swarming through my head. If it was either of them I hope you gave them my email address and a Book of Mormon and told them I´ll be home next July waiting.

I love you all so much! I hope you all have a wonderful week and I can´t wait to hear from you next week!! Don´t forget to tell the chickens hello for me!

Con todo el amor en mi corazon,
Hermana Evans


Greetings From Chile!

March 31, 2014 
Hola familia!!!
Hola komo estoss!
First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my beautiful madre!!! I felt bad not being able to wish you a happy birthday on your day but know that I was thinking of you and sending you good vibes from the other side of the equator! Also Happy birthday to grandpa too!!! What a great week for cake!
Speaking of birthdays, we met this guy on the street this week who based off my birthday analyzed my entire life and predicted my future. I´m suppose to have a grand spiritual revelation ( a missionary receiving spiritual revelation, He was really inspired with that one now wasn´t he?) and then based off my companion´s birthday, apparently in the past life she was Jesus Christ. I mean she is a saint, but lessbe honest here.. Interesting people here! But I just love it! Besides the odd balls the people here are so loving and kind. Everyone I meet I feel like I´ve known for years and they all just feel really familiar. It`s really neat and makes it really easy to love, but also really frustrating when you can´t understand what in the world they are telling you haha but as my friend Brooklin tells me I just gotta keep swimming!
Also there`s this lady who in the evenings walks through the neighborhoods selling mani (or peanuts as I used to call them back in the day). She pushes this cart that´s like a mini train and it toasts the peanuts inside and keeps them warm and it has a whistle just like a train and she blows it as she walks. Some nights when it´s really cold and you hear that whistle it´s the greatest tender mercy. I swear toasted peanuts have never tasted so good!
Something cool I learned this week at almuerzo is that there´s this hill here in Quiollta where Parley P. Pratt went or visited or something when he was here on a mission? My spanish isn´t quite there yet so the details are a little fuzzy. Anyway this man in our ward was telling me that Parley stood on the hill, overlooked Quillota and prophesied that one day everyone here would be members of the church! I don´t know how accurate this story is but I thought it was super cool! I´m serving in the future Utah of south america. But considering there´s like 40 people at sacrament we have a lot of work ahead of us.
We had zone conference this week so it was good to see President and his wife. I just love them! Funny story: We were practicing what to do in case of emergency so I don´t know why but President chose me, the only person in the zone who can´t speak spanish that well to go out in the hall and I had to call my district leader and report a tsunami and that I didn´t know where my companion was. But of course he tells me this in spanish and so I was kind of confused but I call and report while our DL is in the room with everyone and it´s on speaker so they can hear me. I´m confused so I report the tsunami and that I´m by myself and then my DL rattles all these instructions off to me, I have no clue what he just told me. My compañera is meanwhile whisper yelling everything I need to say as fast as she possibly can so I have no clue so into the phone I´m like que?? Mas despacio?? I can hear everyone just laughing inside. My DL responds with more Spanishspanishspanishspanishspanishspanish (Seriously, either despacio doesn´t mean what I think it means, or Chileans just can´t comprehend the idea of talking slow). So I just had to be like look lo siento, no se que es pasando, pero hay una ola (I think that`s wave, I really have no clue) grande, no se donde esta mi companera. Mas despacio por favor!! spanishspanishspanishspanish. So I´m like ok puedo leer español mas mejor que puedo entender. Enviarme una mensaje! Not my most shining moment on the mission.. I walk in and everyone just thought it was the funniest thing. If there`s a tsunami before I learn spanish, I think I might be dead either way..

 Now for the answer segment of the show
1.You and dad and a few other friends from school have been writing me, it´s different every week
2. I have no clue, I´ll ask the presidente when we have interviews next month
3. That would be way cool! But the thing with that is I´m still a missionary so I can´t do a lot of things with you guys
4. It´s not humid here at all to me, it feels just like san diego
5. Yes we walk a lot but with how they feed us I wish we got to do more!
6. ok sounds good
7. Yes! I know and love Hermana Hansen! She´s in our Atlanta 15! She`s awesome! But I haven´t seen her since I´ve been in the field since we´re in different areas
I´m excited for the package! Maybe wait another week so I can think of anything else I might need before you send it. Katie told me she sent me a postcard when I very first left back in January and I´ve yet to get it or any other letters from anyone so I have no clue how long it´ll take for me to receive the package. But I guess we´ll find out!!
AWESOME NEWS:: Rosa committed to baptism! She´s getting baptized on the 13th, that´s the goal anyway! She has the strongest faith of anyone I´ve ever known. She and her husband have a lot of financial problems so things are hard but there is so much strength in her voice when she talks. She came to church again yesterday and loved it. She´s coming with us to conference next week too! I pray everything works out! I know the gospel will help her so much in her life, it already has. I love being a missionary and seeing the changes in people´s lives. This gospel is certainly a force to be reckoned with!
Also we`re teaching this soon to be family, the wedding is in may and the baby is coming in july about eternal families. You should see the light and joy in their faces and smiles as they learn how they can live together forever. It´s truly amazing! We´re hoping they´ll move the wedding date up sooner so he can be baptized! (She was baptized when she was 8 but is menos activa). I love teaching them because you can really see in their faces and responses that they truly want this in their life! I love when people are as excited about the gospel as I am!!
That´s about it for this week! I hope everything is lovely and warm in California!
Peace, Love and Po ( I don´t know what po is either but the chileans love to add it to the end of every other word so it must be something good!)
Hermana Evans