Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I Love To "Sea" Chorrillos!!!!!!

November 24, 2014

Hola familia!!

Wow so this week was crazy! So much happened and I feel like it´s been 2 weeks since we last talked. It´s weird how time is always the same but sometimes it seems fast and sometimes like SUPER slow. But this week the time didn't go by slow because it was like bad and I was miserable. It was just like so much happened that it feels like it should be 2 weeks!
So Wednesday was cambios (transfers) and in the morning I got a call from Presidente Kahnlein. He´s sending me home. JUST KIDDING. He actually called me to tell me I'd been called to be a Hermana Líder Entrenadora. I don't know how to explain it but I guess it´s the hermana version of a zone leader, but not quite. So that´s what I´ll be for the rest of my mission. Which means that I changed areas too. So now I´m in a sector called Chorrillos which basically is a huge hill overlooking Viña. I'm seriously in heaven. We have the most beautiful view of the ocean from our house and basically on whatever spot of the hill, and we overlook the city of Viña and everything. So all day, everyday, we are just walking up and down hills overlooking the sea. It´s awesome!!! And my compañera is Hermana Avery who is just amazing. We´re like best friends. She´s from South Jordan, Utah, but grew up her whole life in Maryland so she says words like water funny. But honestly it´s so nice to finally be with an American after 3 months. Finally someone with the same culture!! I´m so glad to have someone to actually laugh with and quote Nacho Libre ( You have no clue how applicable so many of those quotes are ). I think I'm the happiest I've ever been in my whole life. And that´s saying something because I´ve had a pretty happy life. 
So this week we were teaching this little raisin of a old man, named Luis. He´s like 80 years old but looks like he´s about 100 and he had a baptism date for the 30th. We taught him all the basics and he was going to come to church with us. So we called him Sunday morning to make sure that he was up and getting ready and he told us that after the last lessons about temples that he didn´t believe in any of that stuff and that he never wants to come to church again and that he wants to return his Book of Mormon. It was really sad because he was so receptive. It's especially weird that it was temples that made him not want to get baptized instead of the word of wisdom or tithing or whatever, but like the greatest part of the whole gospel. But we went to his house anyway to talk with him and he didn't answer so we´re going to pass by again in a few days and see what happens (he has a little bit of dementia (spelling?) so I'm hoping that he´ll forget or something and be good to come to church next week). We're also teaching this lady Gabriela who is just precious. Her children got baptized a few months ago and are super awesome! The missionaries before were teaching her mom too but the mom just died two weeks ago, a week before her own baptism. So now Gabriela is even more motivated to come to church and be baptized because she knows how important it was for her mom. She´s even quitting smoking and everything to do it! She´s awesome. But the problem is her husband who doesn´t want them coming to church because he doesn´t want to be left alone ( I think that´s the dumbest thing I´ve ever heard) so we´re going to try to talk with him this week. 
We´ve also just been doing some killer contacting this week to find investigadores because those are the only two we have. We found this one guy, Javier, yesterday who I swear is one of the chosen ones. He´s so prepared! AND he´s married!!! You have no clue how rare it is that a 26 year old guy is married here. But he is! We seriously walked away going 'oh my gosh he´s so going to get baptized'! Ok so we might say that about everyone, but I have really great feelings about his one.
So I love all the pictures! You guys are babes! Although I´m slightly jealous that you went to Wicked without me..... And the temple lights are beautiful!!!!
I love the gospel. Everyday I know more and more that it´s true and that everyone needs the opportunity to hear it! I love sharing my testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Jesus Christ with people in the streets, on hills, in their homes, in cabs, in the metro, in whatever place and whatever time. I´m very grateful to have it in my life and that I get to share it in a place as beautiful as Viña. 
Con todo el amor en mi corazon, 
Hermana Ebans
(There´s a member here that refuses to say my name right, apparently it´s more Chilean this way)
Hmmmmm.....What would you order????

Saying Good-bye to Barbara and Bruno

Saying Good-bye to Raquel

The Vista!!!!

Views of my new area!!!!

More views!!!!

View from our window!!!!

What we eat when we cancel lunches!

Check out all those stairs!!!!!

Beautiful Vina!!!


Friday, November 21, 2014

Where All The Cool Kids Hang Out!!!

November 17, 2014

Hola familia,
I hope you all had a great week and that this email finds you good and well!! 
So on Tuesday we had an interesting experience. We were walking down the street and this guy in a truck pulls over next to us and stops us. He goes, Hey, where can I get one of those books?! He points at the Libro de Mormon in my hand. And we´re like This book?? El Libro de Mormon?? I was taken by surprise a little because the people usually just don´t ask for the book. (though, let´s be honest, people should be lining up to read this marvelous book!). And he was like yeah! I found a part of the book a while back, and I want to finish reading it! I want to know what happens. How can I get a copy of the book?? And so of course we´re like here take it! Actually I gave it to him for a price: A prayer. That after reading the book, if he would pray and ask God if the book is true. He said he´d pray. But that afterward he wanted to find us and for us to explain to him about the book. We said of course! And then we tried to take his address but he wouldn´t give it to us. I was like but how will we be able to explain the book to you if we don´t know where you live! And he was just like, no I will find you. And after asking him like 3 more times for his address he still wouldn´t give it to us. Then he gave us the homework to read psalms 146. (I really did read it. It´s very pretty.) And he drove away never to be seen again. At least for the week. We´ll see if he really does find us this next week...
Also we had a super amazing lesson this week with one of our investigadoras Priscila. I can´t remember if I´ve mentioned her yet but she always has like crazy dreams, about an angel giving her a white fruit. When we taught her about the restoration it was really hard to have the spirit testify because there was a lot of distraction with her little kids.  So we decided that for the next time we´d watch the video about the Restoration. I was praying the whole time that the little girl would behave good for the part of the first vision so she could feel the spirit testify in that moment. And she did! It was perfect! We asked her how she felt and she said really peaceful. We asked if she had prayed about the Book of Mormon and she said yes and that she believes it´s true! So then we invited her to be baptized and she said yes! Only the problem is that she works Sundays and can´t come to church. She´s trying to change her schedule though. We´re praying and fasting for her that she´ll be able to! But keep her in your prayers!! 
Also it was super cute. We were teaching Diego (the little boy who got baptized a few weeks ago) about the gospel of Jesus and we were playing this game we made and the game had a CTR (choose the right) sticker (well more accurately HLJ sticker) and we asked him if he knew what it meant and he was like Yeah! It´s the club for Jesus! hahahaha that made me laugh.  He´s a smart kid. 
Anyway those are some of this weeks´s highlights.... But know that I am happy and healthy and I have some pretty sick tan lines now too. I love this gospel. I love being a missionary. I know it´s true. And I know not because I was born into the church and I´m just following some tradition of my father´s. I know it´s true because I´ve tried the commandments and received the promised blessings. I´ve tried the promise at the end of the Book of Mormon and I´ve discovered for myself that it´s true. I know it´s true because I´ve seen it change the lives of others. I´ve seen the gospel and it´s glorious teachings work inside people and change them on the outside. I´ve seen it change lives. I´ve received answers to my prayers in ways that I can´t explain. I know that God lives. That He listens. That we are His children and that He shows us the way to return back to Him successfully. And I know that the way is a path of happiness and security. Of confidence and meaning. And He gives us the choice if we want to follow that path or not. I hope that we can always choose the right and be a member of Jesus´club--it´s where all the cool kids hang out. 
Family, I love you! Have a great week and choose the right!!
Con todo el amor en mi corazón,
Hermana Evans
This is Estephanie.  She lives with an inactive member of the church.
I taught her how to make cookies.  It's crazy, nobody here makes cookies like
we do.  It was funny, they didn't believe me that the balls of dough would
flatten out, so we made one pan with the balls and then the other pan where
she flattened them out like a cookie.  ha ha, guess who won?  Yep, that's
right, I did!  But then they claimed she did because her cookies were bigger!
So, we named it a tie!  ha ha!!!!

Awkward district photo after our activity last week!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

He Gave His All!!!!!

November 10, 2014

Hola familia!!!
The weeks continue to fly. I think Chile is on a different time loop or something. But I had another great week and I´m sure the next will be just as great!

So this week I had probably the most interesting lesson yet on my mission. So we're teaching this lady, Maria Angelica. She's like SUPER evangelist. She's even taken it upon herself to be a self appointed missionary. She just walks around all day, guided by God and talks with people on the street or in buses about Jesus and how they should open their heart up to Him. But the thing that worries her is she's not baptized and she knows that's what she's missing. So we invited her to Barbara's baptism and she came. So when we went to meet with her afterward, she told us that she doesn't know if she can change her religion. She was born into the Pentecostal and that's what she knows and doesn't know if she wants to change. We explained that the gospel isn't going to take anything from her beautiful relationship with God and that in fact, God wants to add to her knowledge and strengthen the relationship even more and that's why He sent us to her.  Then she told us that as she watched Barbara go in the water she felt a fire in her chest really strong, that she hadn't felt before. We explained that that was the Holy Ghost testifying to her that the baptism was done by the authority of God and something true. She was like 'yeah' and we could tell that she was thinking about it. I then asked her if she remembered when we taught her the steps to pray and how God would answer her prayer. We explained that through the Holy Ghost and feelings and peace and joy and tranquility that we can know and feel something is from God. We asked her that if she prayed if she believed God would tell her what to do and she said yes. So then we promised her that if she prayed with us right then and asked God if she should be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints she would receive her answer. So we kneel down and she prays out loud. And she just starts crying. Like crying, crying. I´m talking waterfalls here. And then the praying gets even more crazy. She starts sending hysterical glorias a Dios. Hallelujah gloria a Dios. I didn't know what to do and I peeked over at my companion and she was like really confused too so we just kept quiet. Meanwhile I'm just praying that she'll receive an answer and accept a date to be baptized. Then she finally (after like 10 minutes, not even exaggerating) stops and quiets down and tells us that she feels the same fire in her chest. We tell her that's her answer! Now I'm sending glorias a Dios. And then she starts praying like evangelica gloria hallelujahs thanking God for her answer. She's crying hysterically and blowing kisses towards the heavens AND THEN she just starts laughing! And it's not even laughing it's more like cackling. I seriously thought that when she'd look at us her eyes were going to be red or something like some evil spirit possessed her. Luckily no red eyes. But then she looks at us and is like, but wait. Why do I have a headache now?? And we're like well you have been crying a lot.. She was freaking out that it was because maybe she shouldn't be baptized, but then reasoned that it was probably a devil trying to keep her from making the decision. She seemed content with that explanation so we just went with it. Long story short... she accepted a baptism date and promised to come to church Sunday. 2 days later we went back for our next lesson. She opens the door finally and the first thing she tells us is that she's not going to be baptized. We're like what are you talking about remember the fire in your chest?? Anyway after talking a little she let us come in and we read with her in the Book of Mormon, 2 nefi, chapter 31, when he's talking about baptism. After much talk she finally settled down and accepted her baptism date again and said she'd come to church. And then Saturday morning we got a phone call from her. She told me that she's been thinking it over and we shouldn't wait for her Sunday and she's not going to be baptized. When I tried to ask her what made her make this decision she hung up on me mid sentence. So we have no clue what happened. I´m sure her pastor or someone said something to her... But even though she's a little.. expressive with her faith, I felt really sad about her decision. It's like the people just don't know what they're turning down. So after the phone call we said a little prayer for her and continued on with our day.

I compared our experience with Maria Angelica with that of Barbara. Barbara received the feeling in her chest and followed through with it. And now has a beautiful testimony of the gospel and is a thousand times happier. I know that not everyone will accept the gospel but I know that for those who do, their lives are changed for the better. I also know that it's not a reflection on us or our testimonies if the people we talk with accept to continue or don't. Our duty as members of the church is to share and invite. The choices others make is a reflection of their own obedience, not ours. I feel so grateful for the opportunity I have just to share, it's not important what happens after. I know that our efforts have far more greater value to God than the results and so as it says at the end of my favorite novel ¨We beat on, boats against the current¨sharing the gospel with all that will hear (you're my best friend forever if you can name the book). 
Also as we were leaving another house this week, I noticed a wooden sign they had hanging on their door. It said ¨How can I give so little when He gave His all?¨ Anyway I really liked that. And it's true. I was meditating on that question and I know that I have to give my all. And that maybe my all really isn't a lot in the end. But, it's all I have. And I think that in the Bible the story about the widow and her mite, it's not the sum amount that matters to God. Like the widow, I'll give all my MIGHT, heart, mind, and strength and that has greater value to God than whatever other thing. I love this gospel. I love my mission. I love my Savior. 
Wishing you all another great week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
con todo el amor en mi corazon,
Hermana Evans

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dulce o Truco!!!

November 3, 2014

Hola familia!!

I seriously can't believe how fast this week went by! And how fast the month! How is it already November???
I hope you guys had a great Halloween!!!! They celebrate it here too but it's more a new thing and I guess every year it gets a little more popular! Holidays are like great days to find people because everyone is together. And we happened to be contacting in the evening so I decided to turn it into trick or treating because, why not? Only we were the ones with the REAL treat, the gospel of Jesus Christ!! So we'd go to the houses and we'd call out 'HALO' like normal and then when they answered I'd go 'dulce o truco'! Not everyone found it as funny as I thought it was, but we did find a new investigator out of it all!. And we have a lot of good futuros that we're going to pass by this week. And even though I'm a missionary this year I wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to dress up for Halloween either, so I had my companion switch name tags with me in the evening so this year I was an Argentinean!! haha. So all in all I'd say it was a pretty successful Halloween! Also I got a pretty wicked sweet tan line across my chest from my shoulder bag. I think this is the first Halloween that I´ve gotten a tan! Another treat!
This week we also had intercambios (exchanges with another missionary for the day) so I got to work with Hermana Lucas who's from Guatemala. She´s like the sweetest thing I´ve ever met and we had a lot of fun together! We had a lesson with this one investigadora that we found last week. It turns out she has like crazy dreams. Now usually the people here are like pretty superstitious about their dreams and the dreams are like super crazy weird and usually I walk away just thinking the person is crazy. But this lady has this dream that an angel comes to her dressed in a white robe and gives her this white fruit to eat and she said that it was suppose to be the most delicious fruit. And like it's the end of the world and everyone is going crazy but she's super calm and the angel tells her that she doesn't need to fear and she's like together with her family. I was like woah, so then we read the story in the Book of Mormon about Lehi's dream and explained to her what the white fruit meant in the dream-eternal life. Then she told us about this other dream she had where it's like the end of the world or something but her husband was always with her, he always stays being her husband. I mean I'm no fortune teller or ancient indian dream interpreter but the dreams have a lot of gospel symbolism to me.. We taught about the plan of salvation and invited her to be baptized. She said yes! But the problem is that she works Sundays.. BUT she doesn't want to and has been trying to switch schedules. I'm praying for a miracle. Also we found ourselves with a menos activa that we found in the street a few months ago. We've been teaching her and her daughter who isn't a member. After one lesson with them I left them the story to read in the Book of Mormon about the conversion of Alma the younger  and when he saw the angel and how he received forgiveness. So there´s two tellings of the story. One in  the book of Mosiah and one in the book of Alma, right? Well I wanted to leave the one in Alma where it's Alma telling his sons about his experience but I got them confused in my mind and left them the one in Mosiah. Turns out there was a scripture in the version of Mosiah that really touched the heart of Vilma that's not in the version of Alma. She told us that she felt like through this part that God was really talking to her. It amazes me how the spirit works. I think this was one of the only times that I can be right by being wrong.
But the work continues on here in good ole Limache. I feel really thankful to be a missionary at this time. I was thinking about it the other day and I really think that serving a mission has been the greatest choice I've ever made. I've learned so much and experienced so much and I really like the person that I am becoming thanks to learning and applying the gospel everyday in my life and helping others do the same.
I love you all so much! 
Read your scriptures and invite someone to church this week! You won´t regret it!
Con todo el amor en mi corazòn,
Hermana Evans
I've been on my mission for 9 months!!!!  Half way done!!!

Baptism of Barbara