Wednesday, March 25, 2015

All Day In The Street, Just Like The Dogs!

March 23, 2015

Hola familia!

This week was great! But the work was a little slower. I don`t really know what happened but no one was home....

As for being in a trio, it`s not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I actually don`t mind it that much. More friends! And the Hermana is a good missionary, she just made a lot of dumb decisions but she told us about it and is repentant of it all. I think we were able to help her and I`m grateful for the opportunity because it helped me learn a lot too.... Cambios are on Wednesday so we`ll see what`ll happen.
 Last week we got a reference from a menos activa who just took in 2 kids. She told us she wants them to get baptized, so you know, we`re down to help. We taught them and they`re great. Pretty ¨flite¨ (fly-te) as they say here, which is like ghetto? I don`t know, that sounds kinda bad but that`s about as close as we`ll get...  Matias has 13 years and Barbara has 15. They`re into drugs and all that. The Hermana told us that Matias has been in the drugs since he was little. That just made my stomach drop because I`m like he`s 13! That`s little! They want to change though or at least find a way to have a better life than what they have right now. They`re good kids. I just think they grew up in a home where they were never taught how to make good decisions. It`s really sad, but at the same time it makes me more excited to teach them about the gospel of Jesus Christ because I know that is the only thing that can help them overcome these problems for good. It`s also cool because it`s a menos activa that`s initiating all of it. She shared her testimony of the Book of Mormon and it was really pretty. I think it`s awesome how even though she`not the most faithful member, she wants to help these kids in the best way she knows and it`s through the gospel. I think this will be a great experience for all of them.
Tuesday was crazy! The assistants call us way late Monday night and tell us that the Hermana in our trio needs to be in Achupallas at 8 in the morning for her zone conference (we already had ours). We have no clue how to get there and we honestly relied straight on prayer and faith because no one really knew how to help us either. We finally got there to drop her off but it was so stressful. Then we had to return to pick her up in the afternoon. And the transportation here is so bad. I think we traveled about 7 hours in total just to go to the area next to Viña. AH! But it`s fine. I think the bus drivers don`t realize that they`re bus drivers and not the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland but it makes it all a little more fun right?
We`ve been visiting Teresa. She has just about all her lessons now! But she`s really sick. The medicine that she`s taking just makes her weaker and she wasn`t able to come to church yesterday because it makes her tired. It`s sad because she loves coming to church but since she missed it the last week it was like the excitement about it died down and then she didn`t come again yesterday. I`m sure it`ll all be fine and I know that she`ll get baptized at some point but it just worries me still because you never know what`ll happen. She said though that tomorrow she has an appointment and she should be getting different medicine so I hope that helps and she`ll be able to come to church.
Olga didn`t come to church either. So weird, so I guess her son drove her by during sacrament and there was a Hermana from church by the door and she gave the Hermana her books and said that she`s not going to be able to come anymore but she still wants us to visit her. I don`t know what happened, but I want to know what whoever said to her to make her not want to come to church. She`s not sick, she`s just old. But so is everyone here so that`s not even a good excuse. Ah!

Sometimes I really just feel like we`re fighting against the adversary here. He always has to get in the way and mess things up. I know, opposition in all things, but it just gets frustrating sometimes when the people are progressing so well. We`ll see what happens this week tho. I hope everything will work out. Well ok,.... I know everything will work out in the end.
Saturday was like the longest day of my life. Literally no one was home, or in the streets. We spent the whole day in the streets, just like the dogs. We passed by investigadores, future investigadores, menos activos, recent converts, everyone. Nothing. We did do the stand in the plaza which was fun. We were able to give 3 Book of Mormons. I also received a wedding proposal from a crazy man, and then a lady came over and literally talked to me non stop for more than a half hour. I know just about every detail of her life down to her favorite perfume, her last grocery store receipt, and how she likes her oatmeal in the morning (she soaks it in milk overnight and then eats it with strawberries in the morning. She highly recommends it.) It`s so funny how the Chileans literally will just start telling you their life story in the street.

Then in the night we were out in the street again. We contacted this man in the last 10 minutes before we had to be back at our apartment who is awesome though! He doesn`t live in our sector but is really interested and I just felt really good about him. Just finding him made it totally worth walking through the streets for hours. Honestly, being a missionary is the best.

That`s about it, this week wasn`t too eventful. Which means this next week is going to be crazy. That always seems to happen so we`ll see.

I love you all and think of you often. You`re always in my prayers!!!

Gossip Girl

Just kidding..
con todo el amor en mi corazon, 
Hermana Evans

Thiare wearing the girls' nametags

Samantha with new hair do

Samantha and Thiare

Samantha's district

 zone conference

Thiare doing hair
Hermana Huaccha

Sister Huaccha, Samantha and Sister Hansen


Monday, March 16, 2015

Old People Just Make Everything Great!

March 16, 2015

Hollaaa familliaaa! 

This week was awesome! We had our zone conference with Presidente and we got to watch Meet the Mormons! It was SO GOOD!!!!!! Afterword I was like wow! I want to be Mormon!  They`re the greatest!

It was so cute, they had this huge projector set up on the stage on then chairs lined up in front with juice and popcorn on every seat. It was just like being in the movie theater! I`d forgotten how fun it was to go to the movies. Our president is the best! 
Then Friday as we were getting ready to leave to have intercambios we got a call from one of the assistants telling us that at 3 we have to go to the office to pick up a hermana that was going to be in a trio with us. He didn`t know any other information. We`re the hermanas that live closest to the office so if there`s a hermana that is going home early she usually spends the night here so we figured that it was just that. So we had to cancel intercambios. Then about an hour later we get a call from Presidente. He told us that there has been problems with some hermanas in an area and that he felt the best way to fix it was to have emergency cambios and to make 2 trios. Hermana Hansen and I about died because we thought he was going to split us up! But no, there`s been a hermana that is super disobedient and doesn`t listen to anything presidente says and is causing a lot of problems and is not working.  So he felt the best thing to do would be to put her with us until the end of the cambio. So yeah. Basically the plan is to make her miserable with righteousness. Since she`s arrived we`ve been even more obedient than exactly obedient and she`s followed us in everything. I`m just hoping that it`ll continue like that until cambios and she doesn`t crack or something. Ah! Stressful! But I do feel really humbled at the confidence that Presidente must have in us for sending her to be with us and not another companionship. I`m glad that Presidente knows that we`re the kind of missionaries that he can trust with this kind of thing. We must be doing something right.
The awesome thing about being in a trio is that we can now enter in whatever house! No man home alone in Chorrillos is safe! So we`ve just been teaching up a storm! I love, love love it!
We also had some fires going on here the past few days but it`s all fine where I am. It`s just super hot, like the air feels really heavy and there has been a bunch of ash falling from the air. It reminds me of how it was when we had the fires in San Diego.

There`s this cute story that is going around about a dog that dug a hole into the ground and put her puppies in it and then covered it with a pot or something and they all were saved! How awesome is that! It`s amazing animal instinct! I love being able to see acts of love and mercy in the middle of natural disasters. I haven`t heard exactly what happened but I don`t think that many homes were affected like they were last year.
Saturday was a morning full of miracles! We start contacting a random guy in the street and what do you know a member comes a long who knows him, stops and stays and talks, and testifies about the Book of Mormon and the guy becomes a new investigator! And we got a lesson with a member! Score! But then they asked where we were headed next and we told them that we were looking for an address that the  branch president wanted us to find. Turns out the guy we were talking to lives there! What are the odds! Then we ran into another member in the street that was like hey I just adopted 2 teenagers that I want to get baptized, like sì o sì, come by Monday! And we`re like yeah ok! And then we were looking at our plans to see what we should do with the time we had before lunch and there was a future investigator that we had planned to go see but he lived far from where we ended up being, but 2 seconds later guess who comes walking down the street?? Juan! The futuro! Crazy how stuff works out..... So we talked with him for a little while and put a appointment for another day. 
Funny story of the week... We were in a lesson with this old lady and she randomly is like you know why there`s no fish in the ocean here? And we`re like ok, no why? And she says because the Chinese go out in their boats in the middle of the night and steal them all!! That`s why we don`t have fish!! Man, the ab muscles that it took to keep me from busting out laughing..... Old people say the funniest things sometimes! 
Speaking of old people.... David and Olga came to church yesterday! They`re two very old investigators that we have. David has lived in the country most of his life and he walks around with this huge walking staff. He`s like a Chilean Moses or something. He always has to tell this story about the time he died but then came back to life like 40 days later. I swear if I have to hear that story one more time... He even shared it in Gospel Principles class at church... haha. And Olga oh my gosh I was just dying at church. She sat between Nora and Herminia, two recent converts, Nora is like 75 with lots of energy, Herminia is like 82 and is a little spit fire of an old woman and Olga, the investigadora is like 89 and well I don`t know how to describe her exactly but she`s great haha. And if you could have just seen and heard them during second hour. I was just laughing. They reminded me of 3 baby chicks or something sitting there talking and listening and responding to the class. It was the cutest thing. And then Herminia just hits Javier in the face with the Gospel Principle book for making some sarcastic joke. So all in all it was a great Sunday! Old people just make everything great. They make me excited to be one one day haha.

Teresa didn't come to church yesterday, we don`t know why. We passed by and she wasn`t home. I hope it`s just because they`d gone on a Sunday drive or something and nothing has happened. But we`re going to talk with her this week and hopefully she`ll get baptized next Sunday after church! Keep her in your prayers, she`s the sweetest!
Well that`s it for the week! Full of crazy changes but that`s what makes it interesting! 
I hope you all have a great week! 
Con todo el amor en mi corazon, 
Hermana Evans

 Our zone with Presidente and Hermana Kahnlein
                                                                      Viña del Mar

The girls with their new companion

A cat in the internet cafe

Smoke from the fires in Valparaíso


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Jesus The Christ

March 9, 2015

Hola familia!

I hope you guys are having a great week!

This week was great. On Tuesday we had our consejo with President. I love consejo because I get to see all my missionary friends and of course President and Hermana Kahnlein. But honestly of all the blessings that just seem to come from serving, I really am grateful for all the people I`ve been able to meet and friendships I`ve made with the people here in my mission. I just love everyone SO much! And president and hermana Kahnlein are just amazing. I seriously have the best mission president in the WORLD! Here`s my psychic prediction of the week: In General Conference next month he`s going to be called as a General Authority because they finish their mission in beginning of July. 4 weeks before me! So lame. But yeah we`ll see if I`m right, he is just too amazing and powerful and Christlike and spiritual and everything amazing to not be a general authority. I can`t wait to tell you guys about him in real life because I just can`t accurately communicate how amazing they are over email. He`s such a powerful example of obedience and diligence in my life, I am just so grateful to have him as our president here.
Also this week I FINALLY finished reading Jesus the Christ by Talmage. I just have to say that everyone should read that book!!! It is SO SO SO amazing. It`s way cool how he chronicles through Christ`s life from the pre existence through the millennium. He takes you step by step through His life as written in the bible and then pieces it with the Book of Mormon and his visit to the Americas and then goes through the apostasy and then when he restored His church through Joseph Smith to today how he still is leading it to the second coming. Oh my gosh it is just so awesome! My testimony of Jesus Christ has been strengthened SO MUCH! I love how he shows Christ as a real person, not just the Savior of the World. It shows that He really did have emotions, and reacted to things. He celebrated holidays, He liked traditions, He even got mad. He did it all but He did it in the right ways, without ever losing control. The thing that impacted me most was to realized that just because He lived a perfect life, He didn`t live an easy life. He experienced temptations just like me. It wasn`t easy for Him to overcome the temptations. He experienced the pain and the strong desire of giving in to the temptation, And yet when we say yeah I can`t take it anymore and give in, He kept persevering through the strong desires and wants. I always just thought it was easy for him to say no or to always make the right choice because I mean, He`s JESUS CHRIST! The Son of God! It should be easy for someone like Him to say no to worldly things. But He was just as human as each one of us. It wasn`t easy for Him in the very same way that it`s not easy for us, yet where we can`t keep going and give in or say well maybe just this once or make the excuse that we were born this way and can`t change, or whatever other justification we make, He kept going and kept enduring, inspite of everything else.. He kept his eye on the prize and never let it go. I really really really admire that. A lot. After reading about His life and His sacrifices, it makes me want to be a better person to show Him just how grateful I am. I want to endure like He did. I don`t want to make excuses, even in situations where it could be totally justified. I`ve heard a lot of excuses from people over the past year and honestly that is just what every single one is. An excuse. And honestly they all just suck because they just block blessings out of people`s lives. It keeps them from becoming more Christlike and taking advantage of all that Christ did for us and does for us. 
I want so bad to be like Christ. I want to have His gentle touch. I want to always stand for what is right. I want to keep my emotions under control. I want to be patient. I want so bad to be like Christ. I have a long way to go but, the great thing about the gospel is that I know that I can get there. That book is just so so awesome. I`m probably going to start it again. 
So anyway, our investigator Teresa came to church again yesterday!!! WOO HOO!!! She loves it and she is way excited to get baptized! We taught her about baptism yesterday and I shared my testimony of what my baptism means to me and she was so cute, she had to get up and hug me afterward in the middle of the lesson. That actually meant a lot to me that she did that because I know that it means she felt something through my words and she could see that what I was saying was really important to me. She was way cute too, she told us that she loves church and that she`s going to keep going even when we leave haha. I mean that`s kinda the idea. But Teresa is just the most loving and faithful woman. She loves everything and wants us to come everyday. We also had once with her and her husband Julio. He`s great too but whenever we start talking about the church he usually just bolts it up the stairs. But over once we were able to talk with him and he`s such a good guy. He told us that he`s more realistic though because he carries the responsibility of providing for the family so he can`t be as spiritual and trusting like his wife because he has to look at the reality and what really will happen. He`s really worried about their son Christian, because he has special needs and he`s worried what`s going to happen to him when he`s not around anymore. We`ve gained a lot of confidence with him this past week and I know that one day, when it`s his time, he`ll listen to the discussions too and be baptized. But I just love this family. Really they are an answer to so many prayers. 
Funny story of the week: We met a drunk Spaniard in the street the other day contacting who starting singing us Spanish love songs and he kept thanking the people of Viña del Mar for their support and love and how he`ll be having performances all week. It was entertaining to say the least haha. We gave him a card to visit Maybe he will. Who knows. 
But yeah that`s about it for now. I love you guys so much!! Have a great week!
con todo el amor en mi corazón, 
Hermana Evans

Posted: 09 Mar 2015 04:39 AM PDT
Esta vez sólo hay una foto .. pero el consejo fue tan poderoso como siempre!


Birthday potato for a zone leader
Chilean cats chillin in the sun
Cute story by Samantha's companion, Hermana Hansen:

 Fun story, we can´t drink coke in the mission, and we were contacting this guy, and he says ´do you want something to drink?´ And we´ve been walking hills all day and it´s a million degrees so of course we say YES. But then as he goes inside to get us something, we remember that Chileans drink coke like it´s water. So we´re like SHOOT what are we going to do?! So then he comes back out with just one glass of coke, and my companion says coke makes me sick, can you fill my water bottle instead? and I said yeah that would be awesome! so then he took the water bottles inside to fill them and I just dumped out the glass of coke off the cliff. The things we do to obey... but we got water all the same. Good day good day!


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Cambio Of The Phoenix

March 2, 2015

Hola Familia!!!!!

We have risen from the ashes.  This is not a Harry Potter reference! We have gone from rock bottom with the whole Alonso situation to soaring above the clouds. This week we have been working harder than before and we have seen so many miracles!

After the whole Alonso thing we were like yeah not letting this get us down, we are good missionaries. So we put the goal that every day we were going to invite someone to be baptized, whether it was a contact on the street or in a lesson, every day we would extend at least one invitation. We are now going 10 days strong and the miracles just keep coming. We have found some amazing people this week. My favorites are first, Olga. She`s 89 years old. It`s crazy, my area is nothing but hills and everyone we find is way old. It`s funny though because she acts and looks like she`s 62 or something. But she`s so awesome. She read a part of the Book of Mormon and when we asked her if she liked it she said yes because she felt like she`d already read the book before. We were like that`s so amazing!!! We invited her to be baptized and she was like well yes! Why wouldn`t I get baptized?? She wasn`t able to come to church yesterday because she had to go do tramites because she just moved here from Argentina but she`ll hopefully come next week. She`s so great though. She told us that she feels like we`re her sisters. So sweet. She`s also a crazy clean freak, she gets up at 6 every day to go out and sweep her dirt, I mean.. yeah. At least her dirt is clean dirt right? Keep her in your prayers though!

Then my other favorite we found is Teresa. She`s in her fifties and is recovering from cancer. She`s really sweet and is definitely a woman of faith. We found her while contacting her street. She lives at the bottom of the hill and down where all the rich houses are so they all have intercoms outside their fence. Intercoms are the WORST. No one ever lets you in. But she did. The funny thing was when we went back to teach her, she spent 20 minutes just taking pictures of us, with her, with her husband, with her son, in every room of their house, outside, in front of their truck. We were like what the heck. One picture ok fine, like 30.. haha they just really like gringas I guess. But her family is super important to her and her husband works a lot so she`s super lonely. She`s lost a few people and then with the whole cancer thing she is just worried about the future. We first taught her about the plan of salvation and she was like wow what you think is really pretty. We told her we don`t only think it, we know it, and that she can know too! We invited her to pray about it and to come to church. AND she did! And sweet thing, she walked all the way there. She didn`t think it was as far as it was. BUT she came!!! And she LOVED IT!! She couldn`t stay for the classes but we gave her a tour of the chapel before she left. She stopped in front of a painting of Christ being baptized and was like that`s so pretty. I asked her if she`d like to do something like that and she said yes, very much. We told her that we were planning a baptism day for the 21 of march and she said then that`s the day I`ll be baptized! We didn`t even need to invite her! haha but then it was really sweet because she was like wait, what do I need to do? It was like she committed to it because she wanted it with her heart, before she thought it through in her head. I love that! Keep Teresa in your prayers too! She`s so awesome!

Friday we had a talent show for the ward activity. It was your typical Chilean talent show complete with at least one act dancing to a Grease song and another act of the two young women dancing to weird Asian music haha but it was a hoot. Only when it ended it was 9:22 and we need to be home at 9:30, 10 at the VERY latest. But afterward the branch president wanted to talk to us about this list of people and other things and by the time we got out of the church we had 12 minutes to climb the hill to our house. And locomotion does not pass by the church that late at night and no one in the branch has cars. We`re like oh my gosh we have to run up the hill. Now, note that to climb the hill from the church to our house, going very quickly normally takes 25 minutes. So we just took off praying praying praying because getting home late is the absolute WORST!!!! So we went and I just couldn`t bring myself to look at the time as we were going, I just didn`t want to know how late we were. We get to our house and look at the time. It took us 12 minutes to get there. 12 MINUTES!!! We were like woah.... ok that`s weird. That`s like crazy record time. It was a miracle!! I know that God was definitely slowing down time or something because yeah, 12 minutes is just not possible. 

But what I`ve learned most from everything is that when we`re diligent and go to work, the Lord takes whatever actions and efforts that we`re giving Him, no matter how awkward or imperfect and He uses them to work His miracles and to do His work. He knows what needs to be done and He does it. I know that the Lord really is doing His work, He is bringing in more and more of his children to the truth, but He needs us to be His hands and His feet and His mouth. He really does do the rest. I really feel like I have done nothing this past week. I didn`t make Olga feel the familiarity of the Book of Mormon, I didn`t make Teresa feel the importance of baptism, it is all the spirit. I`m just here as a witness of it all. I know God lives, I know that Christ lives, I know that they  are active Beings, doing what needs to be done so more of their children can choose to live with more truth and more happiness.

I love this wonderful work and the wonderful people here in Chile. It`s the best. I also love you all. Thank you so much for your support. I hope you have just a wonderful week!!!!!!!!!! MUAH!

Con todo el amor en mi corazón,
Hermana Evans

Tan lines from just one day!

Weird caterpillar!

Teresa and me

Another pic of Teresa and me