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, January 26, 2015

Week 64: Chocolate Creations

This week I have been so busy that the week just went flying by. All week we had tons of lessons! We had to run from one meeting to another sometimes just to make it to them in time. We spent very little time contacting in the street. It makes me super happy to be busy like this. It was such a good week and we could really see the helping hand of God in His work.

Monday my companions and I went to a huge international art fair. There were so many cool handmade art items and unique articles from countries all over South America. There was even a stand from Easter Island. Easter Island is part of Chile, but it is far off the coast and they have their own ancient language. The guy at the booth taught me some words in his language.

Thursday we had a mission-wide cleaning day, so we spent half of the day deep cleaning our houses. It made us all very happy and now the house is wonderful to enter. :)

Saturday we had a Chocolate Festival activity, and it was fantastic! There were lots of yummy chocolate creations. The only problem was that a lot of people ate too much chocolate and felt sick the next day. I felt fine - high chocolate tolerance. My companion and I made Oreo truffles and won for the Best Flavor. WOO!

Sunday the talks at church were great for our investigator, Hector. One speaker even talked about covenants. The talks and the lessons helped us tremendously with the lesson that we planned to teach him later. It was like God chose the lesson topics perfectly so we could help Hector understand the importance of baptism. AND Hector has decided to be baptized this Saturday! I have never met anyone so prepared by God to be baptized. We’re so happy for him.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Week 63: Great Joy

Everything has been super good here in Talcahuano. I love this area a lot - members, investigators, and my companion - everything. I feel that I have learned to really love the mission more since I’ve been here. I am beginning to feel like I never want to finish the mission because I love it, even though it is sometimes difficult.

Many miracles happened and I feel good about our efforts. One day we went to the home of a member who we did not know well. We thought they would not be home because parents usually work during the day, but we decided to try. When we arrived, almost the whole family was at home. We shared a lesson and encouraged them to read the entire Book of Mormon this year. One of the children cried a little during the lesson and had a great desire to read the Book of Mormon.

We spoke with the mother afterwards and she told us that this child has been very ill and depressed recently. Today he was the most cheerful she had seen him for a while, and she was very grateful that we had visited. We felt very good that we followed the impression to go to their home that day. God controls his work!

This week we taught our investigator, Hector, almost every day. He has visited many other religions and has studied the Bible a lot. He understands all that we teach him so quickly; the more we teach him, the more he desires to learn.

On Sunday our super bueno investigator, Hector, came to church. He also came to a FHE with us that night, with Hermano Feliciano (my convert) and his wife. Hermano Feliciano bore his testimony about why it’s important to be baptized and resolved some doubts that Hector had. He talked about how special his baptism was, and that he will always remember Hermana Dietz and I because we were the ones who helped him get baptized. It made me so happy! I thought of the scripture D&C 18:15- “And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!” I really felt that joy yesterday. :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 62: Week of Miracles

Monday, my house companions and I got Pizza Hut pizza and ate it on the campus of La Universidad de Concepcion. Later we visited a member and she gave us a fruit called Golden Berry. I have never seen such a fruit, but it tasted good. Then we shared a message with her and her nonmember husband. Afterwards we got to talk with him and got to know him better. He showed us his talent of playing the harmonica. He was super good. The cool part is he came to a social gathering at the church on Saturday, and he came to church on Sunday for the sacrament meeting too.

Golden Berry

Tuesday, I hit my 14-month mark.

Wednesday, we got to teach our atheist investigator. Even though he doesn’t believe, he is open to listening, praying, and reading the Book of Mormon. He has the desire to believe, and like it says in Alma 32 - just a desire to believe is what a person needs to be able to plant the seed of faith.

We also visited some less-actives, Hermana Mirta and Fransisca. We were able to help get Fransisca excited enough to sign up for EFY. I hope she goes because it will help her a lot.

Thursday, we had a mini-cambio, and I stayed in my area with Hermana Morroquin from El Salvador. It was a fun day, especially because she had served here about eight months ago. She got a chance to see everyone again and how much the ward progressed. With the help of Hermana Morroquin, one of our investigators finally understood the importance of baptism and accepted a goal to be baptized!

Friday, we had our first lesson with Hector. Hector went to church in Chiguayante and afterward told the elders that he wanted to learn more. Since he lives in our area the elders referred him to us. Our first clue that he was super great was after we set up the lesson date, HE called US to confirm the meeting. That NEVER happens! For the lesson we talked about the restoration of the gospel.  Then on Saturday we taught Hector about the plan of salvation and why we’re on earth. He has studied the Bible a lot, and he said everything we have taught him makes sense. He has already accepted a date for baptism.

Saturday, we cleaned the chapel and then went to a good-bye surprise party for someone in our ward. In the afternoon my companion and I were walking down the street, when suddenly a car passed by and the driver motioned for us to wait. They parked the car and a guy and a girl (about 20 years old) got out. It turns out that they have a brother who had taken the lessons from missionaries about a year ago. The girl now wants to learn about the church because she has lost her confidence in her church.

Sunday, was AMAZING! These two random people came to church and the girl stayed the whole time. She really liked it and wants to come next week. Our two investigators with baptism dates came, and also the husband of the member we visited on Monday. Lots of less-actives also attended church, and our recent convert Hermano Feliciano received his first calling as ward missionary. Later in the day we contacted two people from Serbia. Then we had a dinner appointment with Hermano Feliciano and Hermana Blanca, and they made us pizza. Great day! :D

Welcome to Talcahuano!

La Universidad de Concepcion Campus

New Chilean Dress

Talk to Everyone!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 61: Happy New Year!

Can you believe that it is 2015? It’s crazy to me, especially to think that I was here in Chile for the whole year of 2014! Tomorrow I will complete 14 months in my mission, which means only four months are left. That is only two more cambios after this one, which means that whatever place I go next is where I will end the mission. It makes me sad to think it is almost the end. Although the mission has not been easy I have come to love Chile, the people, the language and culture, and the opportunity to spend all day every day trying to help others! There won’t be any other time in my life when I can do exactly the same thing. The mission really is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Friday we taught our investigators Fabiola & Barbara and their dad (Hermano Patricio) about the Plan of Salvation. They are great and really have a desire to understand and learn. I really think they are all ready to receive the gospel. We just have to help them get to church. And they showed us their Copihues, which are flowers native only to Chile. It is the national flower of Chile. They are pretty neat! 

Wednesday we had a special fun dinner with Hermano Feliciano for the New Year! We had to be in the house by 11pm, but that’s still an hour more than normal. Here in Talcahuano all the cities have fireworks at midnight. We couldn’t see the fireworks, but we could hear them. Fireworks are illegal in Chile, except for the city shows. We need to be more exciting at home. The ward got together to have a dance from midnight on, and all the YSA in the region had a big dance from 1-6 am. It’s common here to dance all night for New Years.

Copihues - Chile's National Flower

New Years Eve