Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Oh How Beautiful To My Eyes!!!!!

July 20, 2015

Hola familia!!!

Wow! Rain in San Diego in July? That's awesome! It's like you guys are in Chile or something... haha!!!
This week just flew right by but it was a great one! First we started the week off with a great miracle. All our appointments were on Tuesday night. So, my companion and I were walking around outside, it was freezing and no one was home. No menos activos, investigadores, or future investigadores! We just got to a point where we had an hour left before we had to be back in our apartment, and we had no clue where we should be. We just wanted to teach! So we were like well we could go contact this neighborhood of houses where we don't have anyone. (We tried contacting there before but hadn't had any luck and we didn't want to walk all the way over there to have no luck again and have it be a waste of time), so we decided to pray about it and see where God needed us to be.  So we prayed and then we just stood there and thought and I just then had the thought that I should look at my agenda  book and see what we had planned for that time of night. We had planned to pass by a future guy who lived in the other direction so we went looking for his street. We couldn't find it so then we looked again at the agenda and decided to go find another future investigor that we had planned for (which took us to another neighborhood) but they weren't home either so we decided to just contact the house next door with a light. A very nice lady answered and we were able to put an appointment with her for another day. So by this point we only had about 15 minutes before it was time to head home so we contacted another house with lights. As we were 'yelling' outside a car pulls up, which is always kinda awkward.... but the guy was really nice. Then his wife came out and we explained to them who we were and what we do and she says, ' oh you talk about God! I love talking about God! It makes me feel so good! Come in!!' So we go in, teach really quick about the Book of Mormon, clear up some untrue thoughts they had about the church, say a closing prayer and the couple became new investigadores! It was crazy! Like literally we had prayed to be able to find someone to teach and God gave us 2! BUT, He sent us on a little goose chase in the other area, which led us to another future lady, so we could arrive just in time to find the couple together! The timing could not have been more perfect! Such a great, great miracle!
Then another day of the same, no one being home, so we were just street contacting and I contacted this girl and she was like wait, I´m looking for a church to go to, can I go to your church?? She didn´t end up living in our sector but we gave her the direction of the church and told her she was always welcome. It was just awesome because after a lot of rejection it was just great to see that someone actually cared about God in their life. Also it was nice to be on the other side of the invitation for church and have someone asking US if she could go, instead of the other way around!
This week we also had our zone conference with our new mission president and his wife. They are so awesome! It was a lot different from Pres. Kahnlein but not bad different or good different, just different. He´s a convert to the church and was just over all the seminary and institute and he is an awesome teacher. He just gets so excited about it all. He talked about turning principles of the gospel into values in our life, and how to do it. He said first you have to know the principle or be familiar with it, then you have to apply it or live it, so then you can feel it and it becomes a part of who you are. I really liked that. 
Also... funny story. We were walking down the street and there was a dad who was trying to calm his little girl in their yard as we were passing. I happened to have my hair in a braid and he goes, 'look honey, the princess from frozen! I haven´t seen that movie but I´ve seen a picture of the princess with the blonde hair and EVERYONE here tells me I look like her! haha. Also on Sunday a little girl tapped me on the shoulder from behind and gave me a sticker with the frozen girl on it!  hahah!  So those are the highlights of the week....
Yes, the rumor is true, turns out this will be my last email home. How weird is that???? I mean unless President Monson receives the revelation that girls can have the option to extend for the full 2 years (He´s still got a week to receive that, so fingers crossed!) 
One of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon has come to be Mosiah 18. I just love how the people after listening to the teaching of Alma clap their hands with joy due to their great joy and desire to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized and how thousands are baptized there in the waters of Mormon. (I wish people reacted the same here).... But the part I love is verse 30 where it says 'how beautiful the waters of Mormon are to those who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer'. It makes me think, what are my waters of Mormon like? Well mine is actually really large. In one part there´s lots of yellow and green countryside with small dirt passages and there happens to grow the most delicious tomatoes and lots of avocados. In the other part, it´s filled with steep hills and the houses are supported up by tall skinny posts. And, as you climb those hills, just as you think you are about to die of exhaustion, you turn around and there is a sparkling view of the sea. There also happens to be lots of fleas and lots of dogs, but... the bread is always delicious!!! And oh, how beautiful it all is to my eyes for HERE I´ve come to the knowledge of my Redeemer. Mission Viña del Mar is my waters of Mormon!
The mission has not only been the best decision of my life, but for my life. It still hasn´t hit me that it´s winding down. For all I know, I'm just going to stay a missionary in Chile for the rest of my life. (haha I bet you´d love that mom ;) ) I know there will come a time though, very soon, where I´m just going to cry. Really hard. But really, you know, I´m ok with it ending. I just have this sense of peace about it.  I feel I´m exactly where I should be at this point in my life. I get that life has to go on and that the purpose of this life is to progress to become more like God and you just can´t reach your full purpose in the mission. I´m so grateful for all I've learned and for the goals and perspective I now have. I´m excited to be able to put it all in practice for the rest of my life.
I can never begin to express what it means to me to be a missionary of Jesus Christ.  And while I love, love, love being a missionary, I´m even more grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ because that doesn´t have an 18 month time stamp. I´m so grateful for the promises and covenants that I´ve made with God and Jesus Christ in my baptism and in the temple for I know those are eternal and are what bind my heart to my Heavenly Father and my Savior. I know that Christ's church was restored through Joseph Smith and is true. It´s true! It´s so true! I cannot emphasize it enough. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that the heavens are not closed, but there are blessings being poured out of them every day, every minute, to those that love God and do His will. I know and put 100 percent of my confidence in the promise at the end of the Book of Mormon. Any person, where ever they are can pray and ask God if that book is true and if they do it sincerely, they WILL receive an answer. To know that book is true is to know that the gospel of Jesus Christ HAS been restored and is here on the Earth today. I have seen so many people receive that answer. I myself have received my own answer. I have worn my badge with the name of Jesus Christ over my heart for sufficient time that even when they take it off of me, it will be engraved there in my heart forever. I love my Savior. He lives. 

I love you guys so much. I can´t express my love and appreciation for your support and sacrifice for me to be here and have this wonderful experience. Thank you! and.... see you soon, I guess? haha weird! 

Con todo el amor en mi corazón, 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Do You Guys Ever Get Sad???

Friday, July 10, 2015

Chile Campeon De America

July 6, 2015


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Convinced or Converted???

June 29, 2015
Hellloooo my family!!! 
This week was awesome. I really do like my new area. It´s super big so we walk a lot but it´s really tranquilo. It´s super quiet and chill. Except when Chile is playing in the Copa America (American Cup?) But I´m pretty sure the whole country is going crazy so it´s fine. Chile plays tonight so keep us in your prayers that we will find SOMEONE who´s not into futbol and will let us into their warm home. I have high faith that we WILL find someone of gold tonight. CHI CHI CHI LE LE LE VIVA CHILE! 
This week in a lunch we had with a member she said something really interesting that´s been dancing around in my head. As missionaries we are always teaching right now about the Dia de Reposo or Sabbath Day. So the scripture we shared after lunch with this Hermana was about keeping the Sabbath day holy. She´s been a member for like 30 years now and raised her children in the church and she is one of the most faithful members here in Sindempart. And she goes ¨You know what? What I´ve seen in my years in the church is just that most people are just convinced while only a few are really converted. That a lot of people like the church and the teachings and how it´s all about the family but then something happens, I don´t know, they get offended or it´s a cold Sunday morning or who knows what, and suddenly all that seemed so nice and pretty isn´t what is the most important in their life. It´s a side note". She said if we  really are converted we´re going to sacrifice and we´re going to do all we can to put Jesus Christ and the truth first. I really liked what she said. It made me think am I really converted or just convinced? Do I get up and go to church every Sunday because I´m a missionary and it´s just part of the schedule or because I really want to go to church and participate in the sacrament and keep the Sabbath day holy? Do I keep the convenient commandments and make exceptions for the others or do I truly obey out of the love I have for God and for my Savior? Do I like being obedient? Or is it an annoyance?  Am I like the people of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon and really don´t have the desire to do bad, but to do good continually? Or is there something that I shouldn´t do but still do? Am I only convinced or am I converted? What´s the difference? I think it all comes down to our testimony. Do we have a surety, a firm conviction that THIS is the church of Jesus Christ? That God speaks to us now in this time and day? Have we read and prayed about the Book of Mormon until we got an answer? Do we hold tight to the spiritual experiences we´ve had? Do our actions reflect our love for God? Being converted to the gospel does not mean having a perfect knowledge or living a perfect life. It does not mean standing up at church and bearing a general conference worthy testimony. It does not mean having perfect family home evenings and understanding all of the scriptures. It does not even mean filling the spirit really strong all the time. Being converted is simply doing the little things constantly. Reading our scriptures, saying our prayers and going to church. It means striving to be obedient and keeping our covenants. It means becoming really good at repenting really fast. It means living gratefully. If we just do the little things we can cross over the border from being a convicted member to being a converted member so that we too can stand alongside the people of King Benjamin with the disposition to do good continually.....
I am also really grateful for the opportunity that I have to play piano in our ward. It´s weird how few people here know how to play piano, but there is always a piano in every church. So now I´m the new pianist and one thing I love about playing the piano is I get to sit in front of everyone so I can see who comes to church and who doesn´t without like awkwardly craning my neck in every direction to see if an investigador or someone came in late. So yesterday I was looking out at everyone during the sacrament and was looking for all our investigadores and street contacts that told us that they were sí o sí going to come. I got over a long time ago the street contacts not coming but I still get a little bummed when the good investigadors say they are going to come and then don´t. So yesterday as I was scanning the congregation I wasn´t seeing anyone. And then I noticed Ali. Ali, is one of our investigadors. He is 10 years old and usually he comes with his friend Nicolas, one of our other investigadores but yesterday he came by himself. I don´t know why but it filled my heart with so much joy to see him there. He was sitting on his little chair (there´s not benches in the church) alone, with his worn tennis shoes dangling a little above the ground. His hair was nicely combed and he had a cute little button up denim shirt and his soft cover Book of Mormon rested on his lap with his Jesus card sticking out the top marking the chapter he was reading. I noticed that there was a little, but good bit, of white between the dark cover and the Jesus card, meaning that he had been reading it. I just thought that was SO COOL. Lately I´ve been kinda stressed because our investigadors are all kids here. We´ve even fasted to find adult investigadors. But seeing Ali there at church alone just warmed my heart and the part in the bible when Christ invites the children to come to Him came to my mind. Is he just convinced or is he becoming converted? Time will tell but until then I´m just really grateful for the humble example of those dangling feet and combed hair.
So something funny that happened this week...... we found this new Mexican food place in our sector!! It´s been a longggg time since I've eaten Mexican food. So I ordered a chicken burrito and my companion ordered a chicken quesadilla. We take it to go and get home and unwrap it and it was exactly the same thing, but folded differently! hahaha we got a good laugh out of that. Chileans... Gotta love them.
Well that´s about it for this week! I love you all and hope you have a great week!!
Con todo el amor en mi corazon,
Hermana Evans
Samantha's new Mission President and his wife
Samantha's Mission President and his wife
saying good bye. They served for 3 years.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Up Up And Away To The North!

June 22, 2015

Hello family!!!

I was so glad to see from the photos you sent that you guys had a great Father´s day! That breakfast looked just amazing! I almost forgot about waffles... and that´s just something that should never be forgotten. 
Lots of great stuff happened this week. Starting with.. CAMBIOS (transfers)! President called me the morning of cambios and I was released as a hermana lider (sister leader) for my last cambio. I knew it was coming because he´d told me at the last leadership meeting but I was still really sad. Only I got all awkward on the phone and when he told me that I was being released I responded, Que bueno! (ok good) ahhh I felt dumb. Lots of thoughts going through my head and I just wanted to be willing to accept whatever call or position so that was the first thing that came out of my mouth. Sometimes I can´t think really fast in Spanish haha.
But really I am so so so grateful for the time I had as a hermana lider. Obviously as a leader you´re not better than everyone else. You actually see all the weaknesses in yourself more than ever but I just loved being in a position to help and serve other missionaries. I got to meet so many more people than I would have and I got to form some really great friendships and I learned SO much. I learned how to break out of my comfort zone as there are so many situations where you feel awkward but you just got to be the best example so you make it happen. I´ve seen so many miracles. Days where there were literally no appointments and I´m on an intercambio (spend a day with another companion in another area) and we just find so many great people. I´ve got to see hermanas that are new and shy and how they change and develop so quickly and become powerful missionaries. 
The thing that I´m most grateful for is how I changed thanks to that calling. As a leader I found myself becoming more naturally concerned about what I was doing, saying, spending my time, thinking is this how Jesus Christ would do or say it?   When I was in a situation that I didn´t know how to handle, what would Christ do? What would He say? What counsel would He give? Does my example reflect His? Do my actions show the love I have for Him? Living with such questions in the front of my mind I have been able to strengthen my own testimony of Him and His character and I feel like I´ve been able to grow and progress not only as a missionary but as a person. I have a clearer vision of how I want to live forever. I want to be the first person to volunteer to take food to a house or to help someone clean. I always just want to be willing to do what the Savior would do. I´ve found so much happiness in the service. Also I´m grateful that I got to experience what it´s like to be released from a calling. I know that´s not going to be the last time in my life and while it´s hard, I´m grateful for the experience. 
So with cambios I packed up my bags and went to my last cambios meeting. So weird! It was also the last meeting of President and Hermana Kahnlein as they will leave the mission at the end of this month. We sang Called to Serve as the opening song. Called to Serve is better in Spanish because it has 4 verses not just 2 like in English. I realized halfway through the first verse that this was the last time I was going to get to sing Called to Serve in a large group of missionaries as a missionary. I just stopped singing and I just listened to the middle 2 verses. There is nothing like the sound of a room vibrating of the voices of a hundred missionaries, set apart to preach the true and pure gospel of Jesus Christ, with the power and authority to invite people to be baptized, singing Called to Serve at the top of their lungs with as much conviction as their testimony. If I didn´t already know the church was true, I did in that moment. Then I sang the last verse with as much love and force and energy as I could. I love being a missionary!
President Kahnlein talked about the last chapter of the Book of Mormon when Moroni was saying goodbye. The last invitation of the book is to come unto Christ. I am so grateful for President Kahnlein and how until the last moment He is always inviting us to come unto Christ and telling us if we just have the faith anything, literally anything is possible in missionary work. That the grace of Christ is sufficient to make up for any weakness or imperfection so we cannot have fear. We have the power and authority and we need to use it  every day, every moment possible. 
Then there were the cambios. So now I´m in a place called Coquimbo, in the NORTH! The best part of it all was Hermana Hansen had cambios too and she got changed to go up north too so we got to ride on the bus together! It was like a 5 or 6 hour ride up north. Looks like the president is sending us up to the boonies to die. But it was a fun ride. We were on it with other friends--one elder that is going home with us and another elder that arrived in the mission with us and also there was a Hermana who just got to the mission. She was really cute, she was asking us about miracles we´ve seen or what we´ve learned the most and what has changed the most and it was just so cool to hear and share stories. Even in the same mission everyone has had such distinct experiences and to hear them just strengthened my testimony and made me want to work even harder. I can honestly say that I´ve had SUCH A GOOD MISSION. SO GOOD. The mission is like a string of a lot of little things. Contacts, smiles, fallen appointments, stopping to offer service, scripture reading, silent prayers, worn out shoes, fasts, conjugated verbs, going to the wrong door, that weave together to form miracles. The spirit has never said to me so clearly in my ear go to that door, walk down that street, share this scripture, but I´ve seen that by just striving to do what is right and by being obedient, the things you naturally do as a consequence are guided by the spirit so everything always just works out. It was so cool to be able to reflect on that kind of stuff with other missionaries in the bus. This is really the Lord´s work. 
So like I said I'm now up north and it´s really pretty. I know that Heavenly Father loves me because I´m still next to the beach. I can see a little of it from our house and the church building that we go to for district meetings has one of the prettiest views. My companion is Hermana Carlson from Michigan. I was REALLY hoping to end with a Latina but God had different plans. I absolutely love my companion though. She´s 21 too and has  only been on her mission for 3 months but she studied Spanish before so she speaks amazing Spanish. I wish I could have spoken as well as she does when I had 3 months. I´m really grateful to be with her here.  I know that we´re going to see a lot of miracles. 
Our investigador Nicolas accepted to get baptized on July 4th on Saturday! He´s 10 and his sister got baptized with the Hermanas here a month ago. He´s so cute, he´s just so excited to learn about God and he´s really smart. He makes me laugh with some of his comments haha. But it´s awesome. Also, almost everyone we contacted this past week was strangely receptive so I have high hopes for this coming week! Yay for the North!
 I hope you all have a great week!!!
Con todo el amor en mi corazón, 
Hermana Evans

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

No, It`s Just I Cut My Hair Everyday People

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cabello or Caballo!!!

June 8, 2015

Hola familia!!!!!
Como estan??? Espero que esta carta les encuentre super bien!!!  Esta semana estuvo super bien para nosotros aqui! 
We started teaching some people of GOLD this week that we`d found last week. One, her name is Hashly (like ashley) and she is just golden! We taught her lesson one and she was like wow it is just so easy what you guys tell me! All I have to do is read the book and pray and ask God?? Wow. Ok, I'll do it! hahaha  It always makes me smile how people are always so surprised at how easy it is. I also think that`s one reason why so many people don`t do it afterward, because of the 'easiness of the way' as the Book of Mormon puts it. But I just love it so much that it is so easy. Makes our job a breeze. The problem with Hashly is that she lives with her boyfriend. They`ve lived together for 13 years and they have an 11 year old daughter. When you ask what she wants most she tells us to be with her family for forever! haha so we taught her the plan of salvation next. And she loved it. It was a completely different perspective for her but it made sense. Embarrassing....moment. We`re teaching about resurrection so I share the scripture in Alma that teaches 'not even a hair of your head will be lost'. So in español there are two words for hair, cabello and pelo. I always say pelo because that`s what the Chileans say more and cabello is just too close for comfort to the word caballo which means horse and I ALWAYS get them confused. So I`m reading the scripture and guess what I say?? Yupp.. not one horse from your head will be lost. Ooops. But she was really nice, she didn`t even say anything about it.- I actually didn`t even notice that I`d said that until afterward when we were walking home my companion told me hahah oh well...... But so we teach Hashly the plan of salvation and how we can live with our families in the celestial kingdom and she just starts talking about marriage herself, without us having to bring up the subject! She told us she`s scared of marriage ( I don`t get why, they are basically married) BUT she said that if she keeps learning and feels like this is true that then she could get married! Ha! It was great because we wanted to talk about the marriage thing but she brought it up on her own. It`s so cool to see how the spirit works to guide thoughts! We`re going to keep teaching her and I hope that she will be able to recognize her answer!
Also we met this guy named Hernan. He told us he was going to come to church but then he overslept... Anyway yesterday we taught him lesson 1 and he accepted a date to be baptized!! For the 28th! 
Also yesterday I had about the biggest stress moment ever. So Tito who got baptized on my birthday found new work! Awesome right, blessings of the baptism! No! Because it meant he had to work the next Sunday and didn`t come to be confirmed, so yesterday sì o sì he had to come to be confirmed! We talked to him everyday and he would say, yes, yes don't worry I`ll be there Sunday. We call Sunday morning to confirm and he says that he has to work! and that he's actually at work right then!!!!  I was like ¡QUE! No. You have to come to church! You have to receive the spirit! I was like this isn`t a game. What are you doing?? SO we talked a little and then he was like no it`s fine I`ll be there. And he came! He just left his work (he`s a security guard) And he came to sacrament meeting. I was really impressed at the faith that he showed to make that sacrifice. And after sacrament he went back to work and as far as I know right now, it`s all fine. I don`t know how many people would just leave work to come to church, but he did!  We`re working with another member of the ward to help him find new work so they don`t keep making him work on Sunday. Please keep him in your prayers. But now he`s confirmed and we`re all good!!! 
One more miracle of the week. Saturday we were walking out in the street ALL DAY. Like the dogs. Our appointments fell through. Typical. And there`s soccer games all day so no one wants missionaries in their house. I was just praying that we could find new people to teach and give out Books of Mormon but everyone was rejecting us. It was night and we were tired and we were right next to our apartment so the thought of just turning in a little early was tempting with how our day had gone. But NOPE! I have a theory that it`s in the last 10 minutes of the day that the miracles happen. So we kept working and were just passing by a future investigadores and we knocked on one apartment door and they were there and invited us in!! It was a complete miracle because it was  9:20 in the night! They were a little family (living together but not married. But details, details!!) But my prayer of all day was answered in the last 10 minutes!! It was awesome!!!
Well I`m out of time but I hope you guys have a great week!!! I love you all!! 
Con todo el amor en mi corazon
Hermana Evans
These are photos taken at a leadership meeting.....

Samantha and her companion

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Do You Need A Ride???

June 1, 2015

Holllaaa familia!!!

Como estan??? I hope you`re all just great and wonderful! I`m just great and wonderful here! Gosh I love it soooo much. 
Well I don`t really know where to start since not too much happened this week. It was super chill....
I met one of the investigadores of the other hermana's here from before. She`d been super busy so I hadn`t gotten to meet her yet and oh my gosh she is SOOO amazing! Her name is Carolina and she has 3 kids. She reads the Book of Mormon A LOT and she calls us her gift from God. She has a testimony and doesn`t even realize it. And her little girl who has 4 years calls us the ¨Niñas de Jesus¨ haha that made me smile really big. BUT the big problem is that she can`t come to church because her husband who isn`t even her husband because they aren`t married hates religion and doesn`t let them go to church. It hurts me so much because she has so much love for everyone and is so humble, but she just can`t come to church to keep the peace in the house. BUT she is trying to find work, so she can leave him and still take care of her kids. Basically what she needs is a miracle!! Please keep her in your prayers. She is just golden!!!! 
We had the coolest miracle ever... So we left her house a little late and were running so we could get home on time, but to be honest it was looking pretty bleak of our chances so I`m running and just praying that a member passes by in their car or something so that we can get home on time. Then as I finish a prayer in my head, a car passes by with two ladies and they ask if we need a ride!!! Get in! And we`re like ok! Thanks! Ok so now as I write that I realize that it sounds kinda sketchy to just get into a random car but I promise that normally I would never do such a thing unless it was a car sent from God as an answer to a very frantic prayer as this one was. DO you know how many woman drive in Chile???? I`ll tell you. Not many. It was seriously such a huge blessing!!!! We arrived home with 2 minutes to spare!
A few days later we were walking down a dark dirt street and we have to walk up this hill of just loose sand. It`s night, it`s freezing cold and I was just like you know what would be great, if someone just stopped by and offered us a ride just to the top of the hill. Literally 2 seconds later an empty bus passes by and stops and the guy says, I`m going up to the top, can I drive you guys up?? And I was like YES!!! Literally immediately. It was way cool. 
It`s so awesome to be able to see how God really does answer prayers. I think that is the lesson that I`ve learned the most during my time here in the mission. That God really does listen and that most of the time the way He answers is through other people. And through maneras (miracles) really simple.
As I said, this week was really chill and nothing huge happened. We didn`t find any families or teach any lessons where the people had a super spiritual enlightenment but we were working hard and doing all we could and we received the help when we needed it and asked for it. When we do our part, God will always do His and will help us. I love that so much. 
Another thing that I realized this week is just how much I love speaking Spanish. It`s gotten to the point where I can just sit and listen and understand without even thinking about it and then I can respond and it just all feels natural. I can`t even tell you how awesome it is to be able to express thoughts so fluidly in the Spanish language. I love being able to pose questions and the people have to think and they little by little start to recognize the spirit and the plan of God. I also love to see how really we`re not too different. I sit in our lessons and I look around and usually its a Chilean, a Brazilian, and a gringa and we`re all talking about God and families and sharing personal experiences and it is just so cool to see how people can come from places so distinct yet are filled with the same questions and the gospel provides all the same answers that we all need. It is sooo so clear that when it all comes down to it we aren`t Chilean or American or Columbian or Peruvian or what ever, we are just children of God. I don`t have the words right now or time to think and find them to express how amazing it is to realize that. But it is just awesome. I just have soooo much to be grateful for here. I love it sooo much! 
Ok so funny story: We had visited a menos active (less active member) and she gave us a reference to pass by her neighbor that supposedly is super great. So we go right afterward to pass by the neighbor, (she told us to not say anything that she sent us because she hadn`t talked to him before), so we yell, "ALO" and this guy answers the door wearing shorts and a very nicely trimmed beard and a cute little kitten in his hands.  We introduce ourselves and he goes oh no we`re homosexuals here.... And it just caught us both really off guard hahaha and I was like what do we say???  So I said,  well we talk to everyone! hahah...  and he just goes yeah, so no thanks.  But he doesn`t even close the door and is just there staring at us! jajajaj I was like uhh what do you want us to say?? So then we just were like, ok have a great day before it got too awkward. hahah well it was probably funnier in the moment then how I`m telling you now but we got a good laugh out of how awkward it got haha. 
Anyway, I`ve run out of things interesting to say but know that I`m happy and healthy and I don`t have nearly as many flea bites here as I did in Chorrillos.
I hope you all have a great week!!!
Hermana Evans

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Alma 50:16

May 25, 2015

Hello family!!!!!

I opened up my email and it was loaded with a thousand emails!! I literally thought someone died or something.. and then I realized that something did. My childhood. I`m officially an adult! AH!! It`s awesome! I can legally say no to alcohol now! Haha, but seriously, thank you so much to everyone who sent me birthday wishes!! I feel super special :)
 My week here was awesome awesome awesome!!! Everyday is full of miracles. It kind of weirds me out sometimes haha not going to lie, but I just think it`s so amazing that Heavenly Father can focus in on every detail in every life as if He has all the time in the world for every single person. He really does have all the time in the world and is willing to do whatever he needs to, no matter how long it takes. I feel like life on Earth is like a very elaborately stitched blanket, with threads weaving in and out of each other in a manner that almost seems to not make sense when looked at up close but as you step back it makes the most beautiful pattern. 
So first, we find ourselves with this lady from Cuba. She comes to us and is crying and we`re like what happened?? And she says nothing, I`m fine, I just moved here from Cuba a few months ago and I just miss my family that`s all. Turns out she was studying with the Jehovah Witnesses in Cuba and thought that we were them. Dang it. But it`s fine, we cleared it up and she said that another day she would like to talk to us.  So, then we went to our appointment, but the lady wasn`t there! So we walk back up the street and we find ourselves again with the Cuban lady and she comes over and she says, actually I have time now, can we talk. So we talk and we end up teaching her the Restoration on the street! She was super interested and accepted a Book of Mormon and said she is going to pray!! Just like that. Our two citas that we had had fell through and thanks to that we found ourselves with her again, a little later, when she was ready to listen! Timing is everything. Looking back at it I can see how God was working to give this lady, who`s far from home and feeling alone,  a chance to learn about Jesus Christ and find comfort in Him and His gospel.
Also, we had a lesson with our investigador, Tito on Tuesday. He`d been having doubts about Jose Smith and if he was a prophet or not. So I had left with him my triple so he could read Jose Smith history. We got there and he had read a little and said that he had prayed but still wasn`t sure. We talked about baptism and all that but it always came back to him saying that he wasn`t sure and that he wanted more time because he needed more knowledge and had to do more research. So I was just thinking look, obviously he hasn`t received an answer that these things are true so he hasn`t felt the spirit testify that these things are true. Once you feel the spirit there is just no denying it. I was thinking in the promise at the end of the Book of Mormon, that if you pray with true intention you WILL receive an answer. Not maybe you`ll get one, but you will get one. I know that is a true promise. I trust in that promise. So I was like look, how about we kneel down, right here right now, and you say a prayer and you just ask God if Jose Smith was a prophet and if the Book of Mormon is true? Yeah? And Tito was like ok. So we did it and he said a very simple but sweet prayer. He asked if the Book of Mormon is true and if Jose Smith restored the church. Super simple. Not one pretty word or anything. Boom. And as he closed his prayer, he was crying. He felt the spirit. That promise at the end of the Book of Mormon, that promise that has been tried and tried and fulfilled time and time again has once again felt strong. I can`t even begin to describe how strong the spirit was in the room. He knew that it all was true, even if he didn`t know everything or understand everything perfectly. He just knew in his heart. He stood up and reached out to shake my hand and said thank you. So we sit back at the table and after a little bit more of silence, I asked him, what God was telling him right then. And Tito goes, arrepiéntete y bautìzate.  (repent and get baptized). So I asked him how he was with Sunday and he said that Sunday would be great! hahahaha just like that!!!! Literally 10 minutes earlier he was saying that Sunday was too soon and now he was like yes please, Sunday! Literally as a missionary, I feel like I do absolutely nothing. Because I don`t. The spirit is so powerful. The Lord really does His own work. I`m just so grateful for the opportunity that I have to watch it all go down. I feel like I have front row seats to the greatest show in the world. 
So Tito passed his interview and was baptized yesterday! On my birthday!! Best birthday yet????? That would be a full hearted ¡¡SÍ!! 
I remember learning in my Anthropology class that in other Indian cultures on ones birthday they give gifts to everyone, instead of others giving gifts to them. I always thought that was really interesting and I was thinking this past week, what gift could I give to Heavenly Father for my birthday? Well, I wish I could say that I gave him a baptism, but even that wasn`t me. But I hope that through the baptism and every lesson that we teach and every contact that I do and every scripture that I share, He knows the great deep love that I have for Him and for Jesus Christ. I know that really there is nothing that I can even give them, only my will. And I hope that They know that They already have all of it. I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon. I am so grateful for the lessons I am learning and for the miracles that I am seeing. I know that God lives, I know that He loves us, and I know that He works endlessly, night and day so that every one of His children can have the opportunity to have not only happiness in this life but endless joy in the eternities. I hope I can keep progressing and everyday for the rest of my life become a little bit more and more like my Savior. 
The baptism was super super beautiful! Tito`s mom who is already a member was crying through out the whole thing! At the end, we asked Tito if he wanted to share his testimony and he said YES! Which was awesome because usually they say no because they`re still kinda shy but he stood up afterward and just expressed pure gratitude. It was so sweet. And then afterward, he told us that we now have to teach his wife and daughter! The fact that they came to the baptism is awesome because Tito has been living with his mom because of problems in the marriage, but he just wants to be with his family and I hope that the gospel will be able to help them! We`ll see, we have a family home evening with the whole family tonight  :)
Then afterwards for my birthday we ate Papa Johns pizza with a family with a chocolate cake! SOOO GOOD! I felt like I was at home. Then we went over to the Bishop's house in the night who said he wanted to talk to us about some stuff and they surprised me with PANCAKES!!!! Hahaha I`ve never blown out candles from a stack of pancakes, but it was awesome!!! There was even American maple syrup! Did I score or what????? So all in all it was a really great awesome day! Most people on their 21st birthday go out and party all night long, but I wouldn`t trade my experience here in Chile for the world. I know that my party will continue with these people in the celestial kingdom  :)   Alma 50:16.

Well I`ve ran out of time! So until next week... 
I love you all so much!!!!!!!
Con todo el amor de mi corazón, 
Hermana Evans (21)

Achupallas Leader Conference.  Can you find Samantha????

Monday, May 18, 2015

More Faith Than Sleepyness People

May 18, 2015

Holaaaaaaa familia!

Oi, como voce esta? tenho saudade de voce. Aonde fica o banheiro? That`s about all I got for my Portuguese this week. Before you get TOO impressed, I just said, hello, how are you?  I miss you. Where is the bathroom? Haha buena no?