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, February 23, 2015

Week 68: My List of Miracles

I am adjusting to the changes, so I feel a little better now. The only bummer this week is that it suddenly started to get colder, with lots of wind. I even had to pull out my winter jacket one day. This is probably karma for me laughing at Bryce last week, for being in the cold Indiana winter. Haha.

This week I am going to write all the miracles I have seen within the last two weeks because there have been a lot.

The first cool thing is that I couldn’t have gotten a better newbie companion for me to train. When I was told I would be training a new missionary I was a little nervous. I asked God if he would give me a companion that was nice, patient, and had a desire to be obedient. At the conference all of the trainers met all of the new missionaries.  My companion said she was hoping that I would be her companion because I was very happy and friendly. God answers our prayers because my newbie is everything I asked for.

Last Friday my companion and I found a new investigator who was extremely receptive. His name is Luis, and he is about 65 years old. He believes strongly in God and loves to read the Bible, but he hasn’t been very active in any church for years. We taught him about the restoration of the Church of God and he listened very attentively. Afterwards he promised to read our pamphlet. At that moment I felt the Spirit strong and thought, "I know the Spirit is here in this room right now - I wonder if he can feel it?" Immediately after, as my companion was bearing her testimony, he began to cry because of the strength of the Spirit. He said he knew it had to be true and was very grateful to us for sharing the message, and wants to know more. The only sad thing is we haven’t been able to find him since. But it was a powerful lesson and my companion was able to see the importance of obedience with exactness. Our leaders ask us to make ten contacts each day. This day was the first that she completed her ten contacts, and she realized we received blessings for being obedient.

This Friday we had a lesson planned with a less active family and a member came to help us. The appointment was canceled after we waited for them outside their house for 20 minutes.  It seemed like a bummer. We decided to call another less active that we have been trying to contact for the past month, and she was home and willing to receive us. The lesson went great and now she has suddenly been coming to church again! Later we were able to meet with the original less active family, but we went with a different member. This member was the right person to bring and had really great spiritual advice for the family. God really does have control over his work and all turns out as it should.

On Sunday, five less-active families that we have been working with attended church! For the past four months my companions and I have been visiting a less active mom and her daughter. The mom has become quite active, but the daughter was not interested in church. With the help of the young women we convinced her to go to EFY, and now she has a completely different attitude. She came to church and bore her testimony for the first time. She said she felt the spirit so incredibly strong during EFY and she realized there were many things she really wanted to change in her life. It made me so happy! Her and her mom have watched a bunch of church videos this past week because she doesn’t want to lose the spirit.


My Last Four Companions

Monday, February 16, 2015

Week 67: Training is Tough

For some reason, a ton of people in Chile have gangster hats that say CHICAGO on them. I have been tempted to buy one even though I live right near Chicago, just because it’s a fun memory of Chile. We shall see if I resist. :P

Having a daughter (that’s what we call it when we train a new missionary) is rough stuff man... so much work and patience. I thought before I never had time for myself, but now that has been amplified. I literally have no time to think about anything but my companion, what she needs to learn, helping her feel happy and adjusted, and about ALL the plans! Ugh... its quite stressful.

My companion is Hermana Fernandez from Lima, Peru. She has been a member her whole life. She has a vast knowledge of the gospel, and loves to share it all with everyone. She has been improving in all aspects quickly and she desires to be obedient. I think she will be a good missionary.

New Missionaries Conference

Me and My Newbie

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 66: Staying Put

This week was really good. We had TONS of lessons! We were running literally from one to the next, and had almost no time in the streets. It made me very happy. Even though I have finished each day feeling really tired, its ok, because I have taught and helped lots of people. I like feeling busy.

On Sunday the mission president and his wife came to our ward for church. Afterward he talked to each of us to see how we are doing. I was having a hard time speaking in English. I kept talking in Spanglish. :P  He congratulated us for helping build up the ward so much. He told us that before we came, the ward had been in a very troubled state and the missionary work was not going well. It is completely different now. Just the other day, one of our favorite families (the Fernandez family) thanked us for what we’ve done for the ward. They told us that we have been great missionaries and we helped change the attitude of the ward completely. I love this ward!

And now I get to STAY again. Yay! Hermana Wallis will be leaving. :( It has been super fun being in the same house with her again (from the MTC days). Her companion, Hermana Parkin, will still be here and will be training. My companion is leaving to open a sector in Tome with my old companion, Hermana MontaƱes. I’m sad that she will be leaving me since we got along really well. We laughed a lot together and had no problems with one another. My new companion will be…I don’t know yet. I’m being entrusted to train one of the newbie’s when they arrive tomorrow. WOW! Tomorrow I will go to the office, learn how to train, eat pizza with all the newbies, and then meet my new companion. Pray that I get a nice person to train and that I can be a very good trainer! 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week 65: My 2nd Baptism

MON- Hermano Feliciano and Hermana Blanca took us to the port in Talcahuano and surprised us with a boat tour of the port coast. It was super fun and so interesting!

THURS- We had our Zone Conference and learned how to work better with the members. We also got to see the movie Meet the Mormons. It was so good! Lots of people cried, especially at the end when it showed the missionary - tender memories. It was super inspirational and fun to watch in Spanish. I could listen to the woman from Costa Rica in her own voice and understand. The next time I listen, it will be voiced over in English. :(

This week many people told me my Spanish has improved a lot. At the beginning of my mission many times the contacts in the street said they didn’t understand me. Now that almost never happens. Yay progress! :D

SAT- Hector got baptized! He bought a new suit specifically for his baptism and so he could dress up for Sundays. He is going to be a great member. He has so much faith!

SUN- Hector was confirmed. He seems so happy! He has progressed a lot in the three weeks we have been teaching him. He went from not praying or reading the scriptures regularly to praying twice daily, reading a lot each day, and helping at church each Sunday.