What? & Why?

Sydney is serving a year and a half for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Chile Concepcion Mission from November 2013 - May 2015.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 42: Happy Birthday!

This was the last week before transfers and it was a good one. The past six weeks went by very fast. My companion, Hermana Davidson, is leaving. :( She is going to Talcahuano Sur and will be a Sister Training Leader. It makes me sad, but we had fun together. It was a nice break from all the stress I’ve felt in the mission (most of the stress comes from companions). This cambio was much needed. Now we are both recuperated, so we can move on again. I will be staying in Penco, which I’m glad about, since I am happy here near the beach. I will be with Hermana Montañez who is from Mexico. She seems very nice, so I’m excited. She has the same amount of time in the mission as me, and I feel like we can continue to have some good success in the area. :D 

In District Class on Tuesday, the zone leaders asked me to direct the hymn. As we were about to start, they all began singing happy birthday to me. After class, they surprised me with two yummy chocolate cakes they made. That was nice and fun! 

Is That Mary Poppins?
RIP Party

On my birthday, Hermana’s Baturite, Harris and Davidson (those living in my house) surprised me by decorating our study room. They also made me a card and got me some earrings and candy! :) It was such a nice surprise. That day I had a mini-cambio with Hermana Baturitè, which went well. We got to play soccer in the evening as a mission activity, to get to know investigators. When we got back to the house that evening the Hermana’s surprised me with homemade lemon pie. They sang to me and I got to blow out candles and everything. :) It was a good day.

Saturday morning all the missionaries in the zone prepared for a stake activity. We blew up balloons and decorated. It was a good time. Later in the day, we got to participate in the activity. The hermana’s and I had to act a part. It was interesting. Ha-ha!

On Sunday, Hermana’s Davidson, Baturitè, and I threw a little surprise going away party for Hermana Harris because this was her last transfer.

As for something spiritual, here is my thought for the week:
In 1 Nephi 17:20-21, Nephi’s brothers are complaining about having to live in the wilderness for so long (8 yrs). They are saying that if they had stayed in Jerusalem instead of following their "foolish fathers" dreams, they would be happy and enjoying their wealth instead of suffering. However, Jerusalem had already been destroyed, so they most likely would be dead if they had stayed. As I read this I thought that we don’t know what God has planned for our lives. He knows all and is a perfect, loving Father who wants the best for us - so we need to trust in Him. We should be grateful for every moment in our lives, even the difficult ones. Everything we experience is for our benefit.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Week 41: Weary Optimism

Unfortunately, we had very little success teaching this week. :( We were able to get our goal of 140 contacts, but almost all our appointments fell through. All of the promising investigators we found last week wouldn’t answer their phones or they said they were too busy to receive us again. That was very frustrating, because we felt so good about all of our lessons last week. Maybe this next week we will have better progress. Since nobody wanted to talk to us, we just walked almost all day -
everyday. Needless to say, it was a week of aching backs and feet. Ha-ha! Then we went to the doctor again and he said he officially doesn’t know why I get my migraines or how to prevent them. That was a bit of a bummer. Other than those things, we felt good about our diligence and work, and overall happy. 

We attended a ward activity on Friday where we ate yummy sopapillas and had karaoke. On Sunday I got to attend the baptism of someone the elders taught. It was the first convert baptism I’ve seen on the mission. It was good to see! 

Today we had a fun zone activity called "The Great Race". We had to go all over Penco, Lirquen, Valle Hermoso, and Penco Centro finding things on our list and taking pictures with them, all within an hour. We had two teams - girls against the guys. We were smart and took a minute to split up the list before we took off running in different directions. We won; so now the guys owe us candy or something. :) 

There were some ups and downs to the week. We are expecting this coming week to be much better! We want to finish the cambio strong.

Beautiful View
Itty Bitty Auto

Sad Doggies

The Winners!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 40: Paint Ball and Pizza

This week was another week full of little miracles. Hermana Davidson and I continue to work hard, and we are finally starting to see the fruits of our labors! These last two weeks we have felt so thankful to God for all His little miracles for us. I wish I had enough time to tell you all of them, but I shall do what I can.
Today for our zone activity we went to play paintball. It was so hard to see! The masks aren’t very clear and when its cold, your breath makes them fog up instantly. We were all just playing blind fire. I learned how to breath less so I could see. lol! In one of the rounds, I killed three people. I was so proud of myself. :) But then I got shot in my thigh a couple times, and that kind of hurt. Then one hit my hand and that REALLY hurt! I think it felt worse because my hands were cold and numb. I felt like I was going to throw up because it hurt so much. After about 10 minutes it felt better again. The knuckles are still quite swollen, but it doesn’t hurt any more. It just feels fat. But that is WAR man! Just gotta suck it up!

This is WAR!
Suck it Up
A Slice of Home

After that we all went to PAPA JOHNS PIZZA!!! Oh my goodness, it was so yummy! I have sure missed having good American pizza.

Yesterday, one of the less actives that we are teaching attended church, and also one of our recent converts. We were excited about that. We actually have some people who are starting to really progress now. :D  As we were walking towards the end of the day, we crossed a street to head back to the house for the night. Instantly after crossing my companion started crossing back again, although she had no idea why she felt like she should. I was confused and just followed. Once on the other side we went speak with a lady who we hadn’t noticed before. She was super receptive, and invited us to her home so she could hear our message. We were in shock. Usually when someone learns we are Mormons, they want nothing to do with us. :( She did the opposite. We talked with her at her house, and she told us that she really wants to find out what Gods path for her is and what church is true. We were very excited!  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Week 39: A Week of Rain & Miracles

Well, as the title says, this week it rained almost every day. My companion has a good attitude about the rain and likes it, which helps me to learn to enjoy it a little. Also, this week we saw lots of little miracles. It’s interesting to see how the Lord really is in control of everything and has a plan for us all.

One of the miracles was that Hermana Davidson and I had stopped by the home of an active member we weren’t planning on visiting. While we were there, she told us that she was having a really hard week and that she had been praying that God would help her feel better. Just as she was starting to wonder why no missionaries had visited her for a while, we came knocking. So we were able to share a message to help her feel better.

Then on Sunday the Relief Society teacher had an assigned topic to teach, but she said she felt like she should teach something else. Instead she shared a General Conference talk about depression and trials, and overcoming them. This message was perfect for the member that we visited earlier in the week. I know nobody else knew she was struggling besides us. It was such a neat miracle to see.

Also on Sunday, our two recent converts and four less actives went to church. We were so happy! It’s crazy to see how the gospel changes people. We had FHE with a recent convert and all her family with lots of little kids - which was crazy. Haha! We went to a choir practice, because all of the missionaries in my zone will be singing in the choir for the stake conference.

Today, we had a zone activity. We all went to the chapel and played a volleyball, soccer, and pivot ball. Then we ate French toast and played a game called "psychiatrist". It was fun. :) After I get done writing, my companions and I are going to go eat at an all-you-can eat Chinese buffet to celebrate our (me and Hermana Davidson) 9-month mark. Woo!

Attractive Rain Gear