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, November 24, 2014

Week 55: First Baptism

I finally had my first baptism in the mission! And it was at the beach. I have always wanted to see a baptism on the beach. His name is Hermano Feliciano. His wife is a member and his son and daughter are both on missions right now. Lots of people get baptized while their kids are on missions. God takes care of the families of missionaries. His family has been members for about eight years, but he never really looked into the church much. This past year, he started listening a little to the missionaries. Then with Hermana Dietz and me, he came to the conclusion that he wanted to get baptized. He and his wife are super great people! They help us with so much as missionaries. It was fun to be able to be a part of his baptism. It made me ubers happy! :D

This week we were able to visit one of our investigators a second time. She really seems like she has desires to know the truth and what God wants her to do with her life. My companion and I have high hopes for her. We also have a couple other people who seem interested to know the truth. We feel like there are a lot of good possibilities in this sector. I feel very excited for this area! We have a lot of people who may be ready to receive the gospel here. 

My companion and I get along really well! We are always joking and laughing during the day, which makes everything else easier. So all is well.  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 54: Christmas Carols

Today was cambios again. Luckily I will be staying in Talcahuano with my companion, Hermana Dietz, who is super great. Hermana Wallis (one of my CCM buddies) will also be staying, and another American will be coming to live with us.

We missionaries tried something creative this week, and did face painting for kids so we could talk a little with their families. It was fun!

I auditioned, and have been accepted into a little choir in my ward. A guy here sings really well, and wants us to perform something special each week until Christmas. There are five of us and we will be singing every Sunday. I never thought that I would join a little choir. It will be practically like doing solos.

Face Painting

Giddy with Anticipation

Ready for action!

What's up with the tv?

No wonder this place has gates.

Hey, get back here!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 53: One-Year Out

Can you believe I’ve been living in other countries and speaking Spanish for a whole year now? I only have six months of my mission left. It’s a lot - but it’s also like nothing because I know that will go by super fast. I don’t know whether I feel happy, nervous, or sad that my time is nearly finished here. It’s strange. My second trainer, Hermana Tejerina from Bolivia, goes home in one week. Also Hermana De Leon, who I lived with in Chillancito, is leaving. It’s weird/sad that so many of the missionaries I’ve gotten to know are starting to finish their missions and leave. I can’t believe how time flies!

This week I feel like God has blessed us and guided us to where we should go. We had many instances where things all seemed to happen as if planned and we were really in the right places at the right time. This hasn’t happened often on my mission, and then this week it seemed to happen all the time. It made me so happy, like I was really doing something important. :) Hopefully next week we will continue to have more success.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 52: Many Members

This has been a good week! Not necessarily a whole lot of "success", but good nonetheless, with some little miracles here and there. I have had very few migraines lately, which has been awesome! :) My companion and I are getting along well, and we have high hopes for our still newish sector. We are having very slow progress since we’re both new here, but things are getting better. Hopefully we will have more and more success in the coming weeks.

There are more members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints per capita in Chile than there are in the USA. The church website reports 583,359 members in Chile, which has a population of 17.62 million (3.3%). There are 6,398,889 members in the USA, with a population of 316.1 million (2.0%). In contrast there are only 59,389 members in South Africa with a population of 52.98 million (0.1%). So there are a lot of members of the church in Chile. That explains why we find so many less actives when we are out talking to people in the street. Interestingly, almost all of the less actives desire to come back to church (or at least realize they need to be going to church), but it’s super hard to get them reactivated. It’s a lot like gaining weight. It’s harder to loose weight than to gain it. It’s also harder to become reactivated, than it is to just stay active. I don’t know if that really makes sense, but it did in my head. 

Some unusual finds:

Topiary Lounge Chair

Tree Sweater

Bomb Zone?