Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2nd Week in Pirque

December 30, 2013

So this week was great. It was Christmas and the New Year is coming. I am not going to lie Christmas was weird here cause it was so darn hot and I was sweating, haha but I like to think we can remember our Savior everyday so Christmas wasn’t that different.  I know that God sent us His son Jesus Christ and I know that I can come to know Him by being obedient to the commandments and through the scriptures. This week I was just randomly opening the Book of Mormon to random parts and really studying them and no matter what I read it applied to my investigators and me. So I testify that this book is true and that it is enjoyable to read because you can feel the spirit that comes from it and it really is a way that God speaks to us and helps us find answers to our prayers. 

So we are teaching a 12 year old named Piere and he is so cute. His dad just got baptized in November and  Piere has wanted to be baptized since then but his mom and dad are divorced and the mom won’t let him be baptized, but now his dad has custody of him.  

He only has custody till the 15 of January when they have the court date so we have till the 12th to teach him everything and then he will get baptized. He really has a testimony and knows a lots since his dad has taught him and he has been going to church. He really is the sweetest kid I feel so blessed to be able to teach him and I always leave our lessons uplifted with a desire to just go out and live and smile and be happy.  You know and that my friends is what I live for out here cause you know that life isn’t like that all the time, but it’s those moments that make all the sweat and tears worth it. So don’t get discouraged you just need to keep on swimming and remember the good times and try to help other have a good time and just smile and focus on the people and that is when we will be happy.

So guess who gave a talk this Sunday, this girl did!  The lovely branch president gave me 5 minute notice to my comp and I that we were going to speak.  It went well. I even pulled out a joke or too. Here’s what went down. So he was like, “The first speaker will be Hermana Huber and then the other Hermana,” (yes he wanted me to talk and hadn’t taken the time to remember my name... ) but ya i got up and was like hi I’m the other sister.... they laughed.  Dad you would have been proud -  first joke start of a talk in my life. Don’t worry Autumn I am funnier than you now. heheh 

Sure was great to talk to ya’ll on Christmas.  It was neat and ya’ll made me cry and I watch ya’lls advice all the time. 

So love ya’ll and have a great new year don’t forget to write down some goals. 

Hermana Jennings

Monday, December 23, 2013

First Week in the Country

December 23, 2013

Dear Family,

So this week goes like this

So living in the country is fun we walk about 8 miles every day so not too bad.  haha  If we are lucky we get to hitch hike - but like backwards people, really nice country folk stop and ask us if we need rides. Like this week a lady, her 4 daughters and us went to our destination.  It was so nice and reminds me of the good  ole South, miss that place so much!

This week we walked a ton and there is no shade!  Tuesday night I passed out... yep it was so weird.  We prayed and I was giving my comp a hug and after that I nailed the floor, but to me it was all in slow motion. Hey I’m just great now so don’t worry mom, but it makes  cool story and that would be a first for me.

Another first for me was when we were eating once (bread avocado and cheese) with this family we just met and their cow escaped... yes we were sitting there and the grandpa goes, “Aw, there goes the cow, Juan go get her...” bahaha it took all I had to not laugh to watch this cow try to sneak away haha it was way to big to sneak! haha
So we have lots of little doggie friends here and we have adopted one we named Kolipoki - he is so cute! Sorry I might have bought dog food for him cause he is so skinny,  but I am just feeding the poor right? haha   When we go out running in the mornings the dogs run with us it’s so funny.

Something not so funny is that the Elders and the other Sister before me were way lame and did nothing in this area but go chat and joke with people.  The area book is a joke so we have been trying to change the image that missionaries are here to teach about Christ not to chat for 5 hours.  We have been doing a tone of organizing too - which I like to do and since my comp was sick one day this week we got lots of stuff done so that’s great. I am really excited to be here cause I learn a little more every day.

Oh funny side note I was talking in my sleep like I always do and I was talking in Spanish.... yes!!!  Sorry mom I opened a Christmas present every day this week.... since they were labeled Monday to Sunday.  It really has been a tender mercy for me cause it’s been a weird, hardish transition to leave the place where I knew everyone and all their stories and the streets to here where I know nothing.  It was something small that got me going every morning and I loved all the clothes! I would be walking down a pretty country road and look down at my new skirt and think my mom sure is thoughtful and loves me and that makes me smile.  Thanks mom - I love you so much for all that you do and cause you are one of my bestest friends!!! 

But ya it’s pretty country up in here but I’ll send tons of pictures so ya’ll can see what it’s like and meet our dog hehe.  Ya we are teaching a bunch of great people but they have a hard time coming to church so we are working on that. Merry Christmas to all! I want ya’ll to know that I know my Savior lives and that he really loves us and through him we have hope. I know that this gospel is the only way and it brings joy and direction in my life and that hard work is really important too. So this Christmas season think of something you can give the Savior because he has given us everything.

Well love ya’ll
This is where we live - a big change from Santiago high rise apartment living!

Hermana Jennings

Monday, December 9, 2013

Flooded Apartment

December 9, 2013

Dear Family and  Friends

So this week was an adventure as always. 

So I guess the most recent story first... yep our apartment flooded.... so last night we were sitting on my bed Hermana Leishman, me and Hermana Diaz and we were like what is that weird noise? So we leave the room and I step into water and lo and behold we were swimming (exaggeration....) but ya we opened the cabinet under the sink and water was gushing out.  I did the only logical thing to do – I started screaming and pulling stuff out of the cabinet. I had no idea how to make it stop.  Luckily we live in a high rise with a concierge  and I was like call the concierge.  Meanwhile as I am getting soaked and trying to save all the stuff under the cabinet Hermana Talbot wakes up (she is our mom here like seriously haha  I don’t know what  I would do without her) and she runs in - being interrupted in the middle of her prayer by my screaming.  She knew how to turn the water off so then we just looked around and parts of my room the  other room the whole bathroom and the hallway were wet.... I may or may not have done some sweet slip and slide on the towels to dry things up, but we  got it all cleaned up!  haha  I thought it was a fun adventure !  Got to love the random things that happen. 

So you know how like appointments fall through and we can’t to visit people to teach well all of our people we are teaching the gospel are falling like literally !  It’s so sad.  We are teaching these 2 old grandpas and they both fell, so they are in bed now.  It was sad cause they really have a desire to learn and grow but now they are confined to bed and we can’t go see them.

We are teaching this really great guy named Roberto.  How we found him is a miracle in itself. First we helped reactivate someone who then went to a funeral of a relative who met Maricella, Roberto’s cousin, that is an inactive member. Maricella  happens to live way close to Roberto. We just started teaching Marcella’s husband but they aren’t married.. bummer. Roberto is so great -  he was like,  “Can I still come to church every Sunday even if I don’t know if I want to get baptized?”   He was like; “I love how your church is family oriented and how we get to be involved and it is not just someone talking the whole time. “  He was so neat. We had a lesson with him last night and it was so amazing we had a plan to teach him about prophets but as always the Lord had something else in mind and we talked about what it really means to pray.  He is very scientific and he has a hard time believing something he can’t see, but understands that this is something he wants to find out for himself if its true. He just has such a good spirit about him and I know that we will come to know that it is true.  Pray for Roberto and this family cause they are so amazing.  I know that the Lord has placed us in their lives at this time for a reason.  

So being a missionary is the best in the world but it’s hard (as life is sometimes) and lessons like that and people like that make all those hours walking around in the sun (it got to be 100 degrees here whoohooo sorry yall are freezing right now hahah) and having people not want to talk to you worth it.  I think this life is hard BUT we can smile and laugh and help others out and find joy in little things and then life is great and rewarding and especially with the gospel.  We need to remember that we have a purpose and that is to return to live with God and to one day become like him. SO think of that when times are hard and just keep trucking along.  Another thing is that this week I was having a hard time, but I was like, “I should go pray” and I did.  Before I even started my prayer I felt a sense of warm comfort that let me know that God is aware of me and that he loves me.  I know He is there for us always all we need to do is to pray. 

All and all this week was great! Thanks for all all do!   I love you!!!

Hermana Jennings
Letter from Hermana Coburn  Yay!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tough Week

December 2, 2013

Last week was the best week ever and this week I learned that there is opposition in all things.
Literally last week was the best and I was on cloud 9 and everything was working out but this week has been interesting. Out of the 6 of us who live together 3 of us have had a mental breakdowns.  I got in a fight with Hermana Talbot who is one of my best friends I haven’t been that angry for a long time.  The house is either full of silence because someone was breaking down which means they won’t talk to anyone or loud sobs cause I guess she can’t deal with the silence. My comp sprained her ankle but ya that’s just the background of this week. I’ve been thinking that last week you could say was a glamorous week and this week so far from glamorous it’s not even funny.  It’s made me realize that sometimes in life we get to be glamorous, but sometimes we just have to push through, help mend those that are broken, do the dirty dishes, go go go on.  Like - no sleep and function with tired eyes.  Even though this week  was so very hard and most of the time I was not feeling happy go lucky haha but the thing was that I did it even when i didn’t want to.  So I guess you could say I am building some character out here and I am still laughing my way through life and even though this week was hard we helped a lot of people and laughed a whole lot to get through the hard times. I thought I would share this story with y’all  just to show you that life is hard for everyone - no one is exempt from hard times, but we all know how to laugh. We all have times when we don’t want to do anything but we all have the choice to do it anyways and use laughter to get through it all. So go out there and make someone laugh and lighten their load this week. 

      Just another Embarrassing story with me mixing up words in Spanish...still...
So funny story so I was telling this Brother how my mom cooks the turkey for Thanksgiving.  Well she puts the turkey breast facedown or on the bottom so the juices will stay in the turkey breast so the turkey isn’t dry.  Well I said pecho (which is boobs....) instead of pechuga (I hope that’s how you spell that in Spanish but that means breast like you would use for talking about a turkey breast).  So I said put the turkey boobs on the bottom so they can soak up the juice... ya after saying turkey boobs like 5 times this Brother raises his hand and was like “Hermana its pechuga.”.... yep we laughed so hard and that is how I do it.. hahhhha

  The miracle of members in this work
It all started when we were sitting on a bench eating some dinner. Yum chilean bread... Hermana Jennings turned to her companion, Hermana Leishman and said “Can we pray cause I really don’t feel like being a missionary right now.”   We then bowed our heads as people passed us by and asked for the strength and desire to continue on. Right after we said amen, we got to our feet and got to work.  We started contacting everyone but no one wanted to listen. Right as Hermana Jennings was about to throw in the towel she contacted one last person, Ylana -  long story short she was looking for the truth but she didn’t know where to find it so the Lord brought us to her. we taught her the main points of lessons 1 through 5.  She had a lot of questions and we were all too eager to give her the answers.  She started reading the Book of Mormon and came to church the next day and that is where she met Tiago.  They both happen to be from Brazil and speak Portuguese , English, and Spanish .  We set up an appointment with Ylana the next week and Tiago asked if he could come too.  This lesson was like none other it was a mixture of Portuguese, Spanish, English, and a whole lot of  the spirit. We could even understand the Portuguese.  The spirit was over whelming when Tiago bore his simple testimony in English "I know this book to be true it changed my life and all we are asking  you to do is read it, think about it, and pray about it" Ylana accepted the invitation.  She will be heading back to Brazil in a week, but the miracle is that Tiago has friends in the town she is moving to who will continue fellowshipping Ylana.  We couldn’t have done that without Tiago. Members are essential in this work and as they say in high school musical “We are all in this together. 

I was going to send a picture of our Christmas tree but this computer isn’t working.  I love it cause it has pictures of Christ  on it.  It helps us remember the real meaning of Christmas every time we look at it. I want to tell you  the story of Rada this week. We are teaching this old man and he is so funny -  like the whole lesson he stops after every point to tell us how beautiful we are or to ask us to marry him while his dentures fall down and he puts them back in .... yep he is  a hoot.  He really is searching, but we could use a break from the excessive complements. haha It’s hard to get a word in, but all and all he is reading the Book of Mormon and praying and searching for the truth too.
So we have been teaching a  lady named Adrianna and she is working toward a date to be baptized .  She is so sweet and I love her. Pray that we can find her more than once a week and that she will come to church.It’s hard cause we teach her and she leaves on Sundays only to go to her sisters house.  So it’s like this weird teamwork think with the elders that are there but with the Lord all things are possible.

All and all this week was hard but we smiled our way through it. 

Love ya’ll

Hermana Jennings

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

There are no Coincidences in Life

November 25, 2013

Dear Family,

So this week was so great. The members really pulled through this week and our appointments didn't fall through. We had lots of great lessons and the people here are progressing and I am just loving it so much. But I am going to tell ya’ll my favorite story from this week.

So this week we were sitting on a bench eating dinner and honestly I so didn't want to get up and do missionary work.... yep us missionaries are not super humans and love everything we do all the time.  Like we just walk up to random people on the street and tell them about Jesus which is great, hahah but I am a firm believer that we can change our attitudes.  So I finished my sandwich and told my comp "I so am not feeling like doing this so let’s pray."   That we did and afterward we started heading back down apoquindo (a street) ha ha. I was just praying for a miracle and to be guided by the spirit.   We saw this lady and I was like,  "Hola somos misioneras y tenemos una mensaje sobre jesucristo." She was like, "Hi i have heard of ya’ll before” (she spoke in English)   We were like "Really?" and she is like, “I have  a friend that is Mormon and I have some questions for you."  Then she starts to ask us tons of questions and we answer. Then she is like, "Hey let's go get ice cream and we can talk more about this. She treated us to ice cream and we had a lesson with her. It was weird cause it was in English.  She is from Brazil and speaks like 5 different languages. She is so amazing and really is searching for the truth. We pretty much taught her all the lessons cause we just answered all her questions and then we gave her a Book of Mormon (this book has changed my life well that and the bible together) and she was so thankful. Then she asked if she could come to church with us Sunday and she did. She had read all the way to 1 Nephi 5 by Sunday.  She is so great, but the bummer thing is that she is going back to Brazil in 2 weeks.  We will definitely be letting the missionaries in Brazil know about her and she is such an awesome person!!!! It was a miracle because she said she had some random feeling to go get ice cream and we just happened to be there.

We got to help out with something called the CVC this week where we give tours of the church for all of those that want to see what we do on Sundays.  We got to give the tours.  It was really great because lots of people came and we met some great people.
Today I learned how to make empanadas and they are so good I'll definitely be making some for y'all when I get home!!! They are to die for!

Here's a scripture that I love.   Enjoy!

Alma 26:37
Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.

I love this scripture because: 1) God knows us and He is aware of us and 2) it says to always give thanks forever to God.  It was perfect because this week it's Thanksgiving.   We had our Thanksgiving feast last week, but eat lots of food for me!

Love ya’ll,

Hermana Jennings (Lauren)
Us making juice at the ward activity - It is super warm here right now and does not feel like November!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland Visits Chile

November 18, 2013

Devotional with Elder Holland

We woke up at 5am in the morning and put on Sundays best and headed over to the church so we could hear Elder Holland speak and we got there at 6am and there were over 200 missionaries already there!  Let's just keep in minds that the reunion didn’t start till 10am!  It was crazy.  There were 4 missions there and so many missionaries. It took me back to the MTC -  which feels like another life right now.  It was neat to see some friends that were in the other missions.   As 9am was approaching we all were seated in silence and then walked in Elder Holland. We were sitting in the second row and it was neat to be so close.   Elder Holland is a jolly man but knows who he represents and is unmovable from his faith.  We started off the meeting with a special musical number and the spirit was so strong.  I love moments like these because I tuck them away and then pull them out when times are tough.  We had some other speakers before Elder Holland and his wife and I learned so much from what the spirit was teaching me, and it had nothing to do with what they were talking about.

 I want to share my notes here:
"I think to have the enabling power of the atonement is pushing forward with faith and obedience.  When you made it through you look back and realize you didn't do that yourself and you realize that Jesus Christ had carried you the whole way. I believe the key to receive this power is to 1st pray and ask for it and then start moving.   Start working by faith and have it guide your every action and when we are all in heaven or when the trial here on this earth is over and we look back we realize that Christ carried us the whole way.  Because we relied on him we could do things we weren’t capable of other ways"

More quotes from my notes

 "My trials are tailored for me to help me grow and to become the person God has planned for me to become. We need to submit and be humble and walk by faith. I don't get to pick the blessings I want, but I get to receive the blessings the Lord knows I stand in need of"

Elder Holland’s Talk

Then it was time to hear Elder Holland speak.  I could feel the excitement of every missionary in the room with pens ready to write. Elder Holland could feel it too as he started his talk off with, "I'm so pumped I'm ready to roll" and so were we.  He told us how this influx of missionaries ranks with the 1st vision, Book of Mormon and the restoration of the priesthood. He said because of this we must be better, we must do more than the missionaries before us.  We will have more demands than the missionaries of the past. Things cannot be as they were before and we will not and cannot waste this opportunity the Lord has given us.  "We have to do it better, know it better, and work harder"  We have to do this forever. You have to be committed to this work forever" he was pleading with us to just realize that the work of salvation is not just for 18 months or 2 years.   We are signed up forever, we must actively be involved in this for the rest of our lives and yes I’m talking to you.  We must share this happiness with all that will listen. 

He then said something that was real hard. He said, "This is real life"..."nobody goes back" It’s true this is real life. My mission and sharing the gospel is real life and it will be a huge part of my life forever.  He then compared us to our investigators. He said,  “We are God’s investigators and everything we want for our investigators God wants for us, so if we want our investigators to pray harder then we must pray harder ... "Repent, study a little harder, pray with more power" the challenges of my investigators are my challenges now. He talked about his love for Chile and how when he was called to go live in Chile years ago he said to President Hinckley,  “You’re kidding ? Chile? We don’t even speak Spanish and President Hinckley said, "We don’t kid a lot in here", so funny.   He also spoke about how his mission changed his life and how dear to him it is and that he has thought of it every day since and how we should always cherish our mission and keep doing the work of salvation.   

He told us the secret to success. He told a story of an Olympic swimmer that was very successful and he was asked what his secret was and he said "Stroke when you don’t want to stroke and kick when you don’t want to kick". I loved this and we can apply it in our lives when we don’t want to do something we should, just do it and that my friend is the secret of success. He then shared 1 Nephi  1:12 with us "and it came to pass that as he read he was filled with the spirit of the Lord" and how if we read the Book of  Mormon with real intent we will be filled with the Spirit of the Lord.   We should cherish this book and how it was not easy for them to write this book because they wrote "on plates with an ice pick" (yep never heard it described that way but he has got a point hahah) he read Mosiah 27:18 but in Spanish the word astonished is asombro or amazed and then he told us to "go asombro somebody anyone you see, this only really works when you asombro" so challenge from an apostle -  go asombro someone go amaze someone with your testimony and help them come to know the truth that has changed your life. He then told us how "it will actually be ok if the only convert is you" on your mission he then talked about the question why is it so hard or why is life so hard -  he then said because salvation is not a cheap experience and it never has been easy to save a soul and that the "road to salvation always goes through gethsemane".  He said how could it be easy for us when it was never easy for him. He told us how the scriptures say "take up your cross not your feather bed" how it will be hard but it will be worth it and in his closing testimony he said on his deathbed his last words will be 1) his love for Sister Holland and 2) that this is Christ Church and that He lives. It was an amazing experience and it only helped me have a stronger testimony and a stronger desire to change. I know Elder Holland is an apostle and he was called of God and that this work that I do every day is God’s work.

Thanksgiving Feast in Chile

We had our Thanksgiving feast today and it was so fun to bake all the stuff and set the table all pretty. haha It was so funny cause we literally just went outside and cut a bunch of branches and leaves off of the stuff around our apartment building but it made a pretty mean center piece! Haha  We even did the tradition of saying what we are thankful for youngest to oldest it was lots of fun and then we made a giant bed and took a nap best thanksgiving ever! Hope ya’lls is great and love ya’ll

Hermana Jennings

Monday, November 11, 2013

Teaching a Blind Lady

November 11, 2013

So this week was full of random adventures and here are some stories for ya’ll

|1. We got Some Creepers

So the other day we were walking down the street saying hi to everyone like we always do and we said hi to this guy and his mom.  Then we continued walking about 20 more yards to the house we were going to.  As we stood out front and were calling them we saw these two guys come up.   Ok they looked exactly like the same as the bad guys from “3 Ninjas” who try to rob the house.  It’s just funny, but it turns out the guy and his mom were really a guy and his friend with long hair and they are in a band together, go figure .Ya so they start talking to us and then ask us out to dinner and I was like really firm with them and told them that we were missionaries.  Then I thought it was OK and that we should share a message with them as they are Sons of God too! So I shared a message with them and invited them to come to church and then we left.  We kind of forgot about them cause -  lets be real they so didn’t have the best intentions, but lo and behold guess who came to stake conference?  They did!  It was so funny! The best part was that they came an hour early cause I might have got the times mixed up – whoops. They were with the elders and they told them they were waiting for to Brazilian sisters... What?!!  We so did not say we were Brazilian.... but ya we are going to see them with like a giant man from our ward. We will see if they really want to learn.  Ya it was a very funny story and they kind of creep me out but hey God loves everyone.

2. The Reference

This week we got a reference to go see a woman from the office and we went to go see her.  She is this blind lady who lives alone.   We went in to meet her and she offered us empanadas, which was nice, but then she made us cook them.  This was fine but she kept trying to tell me that they were done.  I thought to myself, “OK I can see and I am frying them and how do you know they are done you are blind!” They so weren’t done, but I was like so not fighting with a blind lady today.   She kept asking me do you even know how to fry?  I was like thinking what kind of question is that to a girl from the South!!  Ya so we took the uncooked empanadas to her room and started to eat them and yes they were shellfish and uncooked and lets just say we got sick that day. Before we left we asked her if there was anything we could do for her. She said yes and then asked us to buy cigarettes for her.  I told her that I was sorry we can’t do that cause we teach people that is bad for them and we don’t smoke. Then she started screaming and calling us dumb idiots.  I was like geeez!  So we left as she was screaming “Never come back!”  Yes it was an adventure but you just got to laugh at random stuff like that haha !! 

3. Another Reference & Meeting David

We got another reference; ok this story is way better than the other one.  haha,   We went to see if the person from the reference was home and we start talking to the concierge at the building. The concierge, David, told us that he was actually member of the church, but he had not been to church in a long time.  The reference turned up to not be home, but we got talking to the concierge, David and he shared his experience with the church and how he really does have a testimony and how he wants to prepare to go to the temple.  I was like David,    “God knew you needed someone to find you and let you know that it is time you come back to church.”  He was like, “You are right” and said, “Yes I will come back to church.”  It was such a miracle!  It’s been interesting week!   I have spent a lot of time on my mission working with the less active members and helping them see that they just need to come back and that God has been waiting for them the whole time. God knew David needed us and that was a neat experience to meet him.

Love ya’ll and I am working hard and learning a ton!

Hermana Jennings

Monday, November 4, 2013


I felt an earthquake this week which was a crazy experience for sure. It was like the weirdest thing we were sitting in a lesson talking about the Book of Mormon and I looked over and the rocking chair started to rock and I was like what no one is near that (it did happen to be Halloween and I was like, "Is that a ghost... just kidding?).  Then I started feeling queezy and the room was literally moving forward and backward. We were in a high rise building and I was so confused and freaked out all at the same time. After the earthquake we pretty much had to end the lesson cause we were all freaking out. The setting was so not right for a lesson, but it was a neat experience.  9 months in chile and finally I get to feel an earthquake.

This week we did a lot of service projects which were fun.  Some things I learned: 1) don't be a pack rat like really some stuff is so unnecessary; like 8 different sets of china are unnecessary.  
  haha We  helped an elderly woman and her husband pack up her china and kitchen and it was crazy stuff; like an all day long project.  It was fun cause her daughter in law was there.  She is from Russia so we talked the whole time in English and Spanish - fun stuff.

This week I have been studying Jesus the Christ and the Old Testament a ton. I have learned so many things and I just have this desire to learn like none other. I am loving the mission so much and I love that I get to stay in my ward El Golf for another 6 weeks which is great.  All the members were excited that I got to stay. I am like one of the family and I really love them. We are working on being more united as a ward and with the missionaries and I am excited for what the future holds for sure. Sunday was so neat cause I got to translate for a new couple who moved here from England and the young wife can't speak Spanish so I translated for her in Relief Society and it is the neatest thing to translate.  I really enjoy translating cause its just a neat thing cause I have no idea how I do it,  but I do it anyways. Also I really listen to the lesson and get to hear the lesson in 2 languages and I learn so much more.

We have been finding more investigators and we are excited for this week.  haha We even got contacted (um they ended up wanting to take us out to lunch... um no.... passing that reference onto the elders haha ) All and all I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be Hermana Leishmans comp she is the best and helps me be better each day. I am learning so much and I love doing what we do everyday. I have so much to be thankful for and that is my challenge for all of ya'll this week. Be thankful for everything and have prayers of thanksgiving.  It is the month of Thanksgiving anyways. It's weird cause it is starting to get so hot here and its November, haha but love ya'll so much have a great week.

Hermana Jennings

Monday, October 28, 2013

All in the Lord's Time

October 28, 2013

A neat thing that I learned this week was that the Lords timing is perfect timing. We had gotten a reference from the other Hermanas in our area and it was a great one.   We kept trying to go by and visit them and 2 months passed by without being able to reach them.  Then one day we were in the area and we were like lets go see if Soledad is home. Gratefully they were home and they let us come up - for only 5 minutes, but we stayed for 45 minutes - best ever. We were able to meet her other daughter that has had some hard times and is just really lost.  She just moved back home this week and we showed up just 2 days afterwards.  We talked with her and then we went back the next day and she also came to church!  It was so neat.  She is ready for the gospel.    I do believe she needs time to process it and find answers, but I know that the gospel is what she needs to find light in her life. It was neat cause all the other times they didn’t let us in was for a reason cause we needed to meet Fransisca. We needed to wait so we could talk to her.

This week we got to do a service project yay! There is a mansion - literally it’s amazing, on a street that is close to our house were some of the missionaries in the MTC live.  They aren’t able to  house all of them in the MTC anymore so they use this mansion for spare rooms.   We went over there to help clean after some of the missionaries left we got the privilege of cleaning the Elders bathroom.  I got to clean the shower -  can I say, I swear no one had washed that ever!  I was scrubbing and scrubbing and I was just thinking “How could they live like this?” those poor things.  Let’s just say my future family will live in a clean environment if it’s the last thing I do!  haha 

This Sunday we got to go to the baptism of Elvira.  It was so sweet, but let’s just say it had a bumpy start. So first off the first speaker didn’t show  - our old mission leader... ya we were so disappointed in him, but then Hermana Diaz got up and gave a talk on the spot that was really great.  It was going better after that and then they went to get up to go to the font and it’s like taking forever and we were like, “What is going on?”  So I got up and started playing the piano, yes all 4 hymns I know haha, but it was better than the awkward silence.  They come back and they were like the water is too hot we can’t get in it so then the brethren  went outside and got the hose and put it through the window and started filling the font up with cold water. haha so funny!  After like 2 more times of getting up and coming back the water finally was ready and she got baptized.  It was an adventure, but you know it was perfect cause she got baptized and that is the important part. It was so sweet to see her hug her son who baptized her at the end. I know that baptism is essential.

This week I had the opportunity to go to the temple. It was amazing and very peaceful. I know that the temple really is the house of God cause you can feel the spirit there. I am sad I won’t get to go back until next year, but it was a great experience especially cause I got to go with Hermana Rivera and Hermana Talbot - I love those girls so much!

So random fact everyone here thinks my name is Jennie yep I am la Jennie to everyone.  It’s so funny or Hermana Jennie haha but I love it!  haha

This week was a great week - thanks for the letters love ya’ll so very much!
Hermana Jennings

Monday, October 21, 2013

9 Month Mark

October 21, 2013

So this week was a great one. Monday we had a miracle happen.  So we were walking to a less actives house and we passed this woman and her dog,  I then got the strongest impression to stop and talk to her.  Which was the spirit cause when I did I realized she was someone we had contacted like 2 and half months ago and had given her a Book of Mormon.  She was like thank you so much for that book. I love it,  it just brings such peace into my life and I read it all the time. We were like trying to hold in our excitement as we asked her if she had more time for us to talk more about this book. We went in and had the neatest lesson and she has totally been prepared. I love when you meet people like that and they are feeling the spirit but they don’t know what it is and it’s our job to help them recognize this, learn and come unto Christ. It was a tender mercy from the Lord to bring Carolina into our lives. We are going to teach her again today so we are excited.
This week yes I hit the 9 month mark.... sad huh?  We do this weird thing here as sister missionaries on the mission when we hit 9 months.  We stuff our shirts so we are pregnant bahah get it like 9 months? A real baby 9 months of a mission! Just a bunch of crazy sisters with fake pregnant bellies! haha It was lots of fun and kind of weird, but then we had cake and it was so good.  So it was a fun little party after a hard day’s work. I sure do love the Sisters that I live with they are like really sisters. It’s so crazy how fast the time flies so just enjoy every day cause that’s all we can do.  We can work on being a better version of the person we were yesterday. I am a little sad cause the time went by so fast and I’ll be home before I know it which is a bummer cause I really love the mission. Going back will be hard - like huge culture shock too, but ya’ll just have to come visit Chile it’s the best.
This week was so hot yep we are sweating buckets here in October, weird huh? I am proud to say I have a watch tan!! I’m using my Chilean version of a camel pack and it’s like the best invention ever - I love it.
This week we got to take some members to the temple tour where we start in the chapel next to the temple and have a tour and talk about the restoration Christ and his baptism and the prophet and then we go inside the front part of the temple, it’s just the entry way and its very small, but you can tell the difference from the outside.  We only get to go to the temple once a year so going in a little part was amazing and the spirit was so amazing.  On the bright side I get to go to the temple tomorrow I am so excited.  Something that  I learned was when we stopped in front of the first vision photo of joseph Smith, God and Jesus and we talked about the Book of Mormon  and I got to explain what the Book of Mormon is to me and to me.  That book is where I can go to feel God’s love for me. I feel a peace and a belonging like no other when I read this book and I want all of you to go read 2 Nephi 4 http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/4?lang=eng.  It is so great, it’s one of those things that makes me feel like I have so much to change to become who God wants me to b, but it gives me hope at the same time. I love the Book of Mormon as it was written for us in our day. If you haven’t had the chance to read it go read it cause it will change your life cause it continues to change mine and brings peace and love into my life.
Today we had a fun P-day experience we went out to eat sushi  which was so good?!  The restaurant we went too we got to see a Chilean celebrity... i didn’t know who he was but that kind of stuff so doesn’t happen in Fayetteville! haha   It was fun and the sushi was so good haha and it was so great to go out with my Chilean family and i sure am going to miss them if I get transferred.
Well I love ya’ll so very much thanks so much for the support and the love that you send and I am praying for ya’ll always


Hermana Jennings

Learn more about the Book of Mormon :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hiking in the Andes

October 14, 2013

Dear Family

So this week was a good learning week. We had some lows and some highs and lots of appointments fall through which was hard. We did lots of door to door knocking which was pretty much not productive at all, but I did get some great flower pictures.  We also got some pretty funny excuses why people didn’t have time for us:

                           Like -  I’m in the shower (what.... ya we so don’t want to see you if you are in the shower....)
·         I’m English and I’ll be having my dinner now ( like I am not kidding exact words English accent and all!  haha we laughed so hard)
·         Me and my dog and cat are going somewhere (hey we can come too?...haha jk) 

AND MORE.   It was funny to hear the randomest things!

To say the least -  so members if you want your missionaries to be using their time better give us your references cause we can find people by ourselves but it’s not how this work is supposed to work.  We are a team and if we don’t work together we can’t be as successful! 

This week I wanted to share a scriptures with ya’ll that I found and it is in Jacob

Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things. Jacob 4:7

I love this scriptures so much and it’s so true.  I have seen it in real life action in my life this past week. I have flaws and I have weaknesses - some bigger than others but by being able to see them in myself I realize that I can’t do this alone, not at all.  I have had to turn to the Lord and feel His grace to help me have the power to do the things he asks of me. I love this work and I love being here in Chile. I know that this is where I belong right now. I am learning and growing in ways that I couldn’t do at home. I love just talking about the gospel with all people because it is the thing that shapes us into the beings that God wants us to be. We have a purpose in this life and we can become all that we were sent here to become only in and through our Savior Jesus Christ.  He has unlocked the gate we must enter in and then through trials and obedience we will be shaped into so much more than what we could have done by ourselves. 

So today we went on a fun excursion. We went hiking in the Andes mountains haha It was amazing and we had so much fun. I LOVED  being out in nature just soaking it all in, all that God has created for us. It’s amazing and it was a great time to think and ponder about life and what direction I want my life to go. So challenge for this week -  go outside, find the beauty that is around you and remember our Father in Heaven and how much He loves you and has given us this beautiful earth to life on and enjoy. 

Well love you all so much and know that I am doing great and working hard and learning a lot too!!!

Hermana Jennings

Monday, October 7, 2013

General Conference

October 7, 2013

This week we had the opportunity to listen to conference. It was the best ever! I watched the Relief Society broadcast in Spanish and that was an experience.  I like it more when I can hear the actual people speaking, but it’s neat cause sometimes the people that are translating get touched and start to cry as they translate. This is kind of neat cause it just shows that it is so powerful.  The words that we hear they do come from prophets of God and they are what we need to hear today and in our time. I can’t wait till they are out in print so I can read them!

All of you reading this I challenge you to go watch the conference http://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2013/10?cid=HPFR100413105&lang=eng because it what God wants his children to know right now and we are all his children and he loves us. Sorry this letter is short I am running low on time. I’ll be sure to write a better letter next week. 

Hermana Jennings

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Favorite Quotes

September 30, 2013

This week was great. We got to talk to a lot of amazing people and found some new people to teach. It was an adjustment living with 2 more sisters in the apartment but they are great. Their names are Hermana Runnells and she is from Orem, Utah and Hermana Diaz who is from Argentina. They are great and they both bring something new to our little family.  We have got a lot going on here. We have a good time and I swear there is never a quiet moment. This week some stomach flu has hit the apartment so far 3 are down and I haven’t gotten it yet so I pray I don’t, but other than that we are doing great. 

I wanted to share with ya’ll some quotes I found this week:

The Holy Ghost “satisfies and fills up every longing of the human heart, and fills up every vacuum. When I am filled with that Spirit,” she continued, “my soul is satisfied, and I can say in good earnest, that the trifling things of the day do not seem to stand in my way at all. But just let me lose my hold of that spirit and power of the Gospel, and partake of the spirit of the world, in the slightest degree, and trouble comes; there is something wrong. I am tried, and what will comfort me? You cannot impart comfort to me that will satisfy the immortal mind, but that which comes from the Fountain above. And is it not our privilege to so live that we can have this constantly flowing into our souls?”  - Eliza R.Snow

I love this one cause it tells us the key to happiness when we live so the Spirit can be with us. That is how we will reach happiness even in dire situations.

“Search the scriptures—search the revelations … and ask your Heavenly Father, in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, to manifest the truth unto you, and if you do it with an eye single to His glory nothing doubting, He will answer you by the power of His Holy Spirit. You will then know for yourselves and not for another. You will not then be dependent on man for the knowledge of God; nor will there be any room for speculation.”   - Joseph Smith

I love this cause I am not here asking people to believe me cause I am nothing, but I am asking them to ask God, the one person who knows all.  How can we know God;  through his work, the scriptures, and prayer. If anyone out there doesn’t know for themselves I challenge you to read the Book of Mormon and the Bible and ask God if they are true and you will get an answer - if you ask with real intent. I know that He lives and  will answer our prayers but we must always walk by faith. 

This week was sad because we talked to Ruben and he told us that Amada doesn’t want to get married so we are literally stuck and we aren’t sure what to do but we won’t give up. This week one of the less actives that helped him come back to church gave him a blessing. That was a neat moment. We also got to teach his other daughter cause she hasn’t been to church in years and wants to be more connected to God. It has been such an amazing experience watching people come back to the church and again find joy in the things that truly bring happiness. 

We had transfers this week and I am still here.  I am guessing I will leave my sector the next transfer which makes me sad cause I love the people here so very much. I will always have a little part of my heart here in Chile in El Golf that is for sure. 

If anyone who reads these has a question they want me to answer just ask and i would love to answer.  lauren.jennings@myldsmail.net

Love ya’ll

Hermana Jennings

Monday, September 23, 2013

Day of Chile

September 23, 2013

So this week was a crazy one full of fighting sisters (scary, lots of tears and no sleep..... just love your comp and respect them) almost dying twice (ok exaggeration lets just say abandoned apartment building trying to find people on the ward list. and homeless man almost chasing after us who only wears like a million trash bags!) so that was exciting, getting new roommates so now there are six of us (party! as if we were crazy enough already hahaha ) lots of parties/lunches for the Day of Chile ( I have never eaten so much meat and empanadas in my life!)
 I no longer am eating sweets.  One of our recent converts started smoking again and now we are not eating sweets to help him not smoke.  Every time we want to eat sweets we call him and he calls us every time he wants to smoke.  Like today he called us and said, “I am feeling the spirit in my life again” and i was like aw he is growing up -  best ever.

 This week we had zone conference and a member of the Seventy came. I want to share my favorite part of his message. There are three things that can stop us progressing and they are 1) sin, 2) lack of faith, and 3) not having the desire to serve.  He talked about how all of these come from a lack of love and that really hit me hard.  We need to work on charity and all the rest will follow.  All that God does is done because He loves us and that if we want to become like God  we must learn to do everything out of love. Also in zone conference our mission president talked about how the Children of Israel wandered in the desert for 40 years and it was only an eleven day trip.  He talked about how sometimes people take 40 year trips for things that only take 11 days and asked us to self-reflect and see if we have any 40 year journeys in our life.  Cause when we think we are doing things the easy way the way, but it is not God’s will it might take us forty years, but when we submit to God’s will and live how we should we get to take the 11 day journey. It was a neat take on the story of the Children of Israel.

So this Sunday I had the neatest experience. I had a question that I really needed answered and I fasted and prayed and it was the neatest thing how everything at church was exactly what I needed to hear.  It was cool cause I was forced to pay attention cause I was translating (that is so hard by-the-way) , but with practice I’ll get better cause there is a couple that is here and they don’t speak Spanish so they stopped coming to church. Now I translate for them so they can get something out of church.  We also started to have a Sunday school class in English too so they can get more out of church.  some things that I learned was that we need to be merciful to others if we want to receive mercy and that forgiving others brings peace into our lives. That my friends is so true - others can hurt you, but you can still love them and remember that they too are children of God and that God wants to forgive them and we should too. Well I love being a missionary so much and it’s one of the hardest things I have ever done, but it is so very fun.  I love being here cause I am growing so much and I have such a long ways to go.  So something fun that I did this week was I took my eternal goals I had written and I found a scripture for each one of them.  It was neat to make sure my eternal goals were aligned with God’s plan for us.  I challenge all of you to do that too.  It’s a neat experience. Well love you so much!

Hermana Jennings

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 11th in Chile

September 16, 2013

Ward Party Barbecue!

So this week was a great one.  Lots of random stuff but lots of great stuff too!

1. September 11 in Chile
In Chile September 11th  is not a day that brings the country together in remembrance of a terrible thing that happened like in the USA.  Here it’s like crazy riots in the street and people die! So we had to go in at 6pm which was weird, but we had some crazy good companion studies so it was awesome. It was kind of frightening, but we live in such a nice area I think going in at 6pm was just to protect the other missionaries. 

2. Drug Peddlers
This week we got asked if we had drugs by someone who probably was on drugs. Yep that was a first haha he even asked us in English random huh?

3. Learning to Overcome Fears
This week I was playing some prelude music in sacrament meeting and the 1st counselor asked me if I could play the piano for sacrament meeting and asked me which songs I could play. I told him yes, but I was so nervous and my heart was in a knot the whole time!  I made it through the whole meeting alive and checked that one off my bucket list. Let’s just say I did make some errors, but hey I did it and I didn’t quit so maybe next time I wont shake the whole time and woke make errors. haha It was neat and it’s always a great feeling to finish something that was terribly frightening and come out alive.  It just goes to show that’s when we learn and grow, so I love doing things that help me grow 

4. I went on Splits
I  had the weirdest experience this week.  I went on splits to the area of our mission that is like the opposite of where I live and had some tough experiences that broke my heart.  We went to this one house that we did service at for like almost 4 hours cleaning and it didn’t even make a dent.  It was the oddest thing ever, there where holes in the walls and the smell was intense.  There were precious children of God living there and the mom was pregnant and on bed rest.  She just kept yelling the whole time it was awful.  We really are blessed and need to remember our blessings and thank God for what we have. We then went home way early cause the sister I was on splits on was sick.  I just felt so homesick for Hermana Leishman and the rest of my family Hermana Talbot and Hermana Rivera the whole time. I sure do love the Sisters I live with so very much!

P-day at Santa Lucia

5. Challenge from the Mission President.
We had our interviews from the mission president this week and he challenged us to read Mosiah 5:2-5 

2 And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually. And we, ourselves, also, through the infinite goodness of God, and the manifestations of his Spirit, have great views of that which is to come; and were it expedient, we could prophesy of all things.
 And it is the faith which we have had on the things which our king has spoken unto us that has brought us to this great knowledge, whereby we do rejoice with such exceedingly great joy.
 And we are willing to enter into a covenant with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall command us, all the remainder of our days, that we may not bring upon ourselves a never-ending torment, as has been spoken by the angel, that we may not drink out of the cup of the wrath of God.

and find the 10 evidences of conversion. For example when it says in verse 2 they believed all the words that the prophets it’s like how you feel about the words of the prophet. Our mission president said to compare how you feel about the words of the prophets now to 2 years earlier. By this we can measure our conversion and in all these areas we can see where we have grown and how we can improve.  He also compared our growth to that of a tree.  Conversion is something you can really see - like as if you watched a tree grow every day. You can see the evidences of conversion like you can see the evidence of a tree growing green leaves, strong branches etc. It was a neat experiences so I challenge all of ya’ll to do that too!. 
This is the convenience store I was in when it got robbed!

Well love ya’ll so much and I just want to stress to ya’ll it is so important to strengthen your families and that the family is the most important thing.  I have seen so much hurt and just plain train wrecks on my mission cause people try doing the family another way - a way that is not Gods way.  Another thing I learned this week is that we need to judge people by judging their circumstances instead of them because we really don’t know what is all going on and just as we want mercy others want the same too.  We should be willing to show mercy to all. As I say this I am not perfect at that, but I know that we can change and I know that this church is true and that it is where we find joy!

Love yall

Hermana Jennings

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Love of Jesus Christ

September 9, 2013

So all is good here in Santiago Chile and I love El Golf so much.  It is now my home cause I have been here for more than 6 months and I never want to leave. We have been progressing with Nelson more and more.  He really is so great and his family is the best.  His wife just joined the church in May and she is amazing.  Nelson joined the church when he was little but then went inactive so we are teaching him the gospel.  He came to the ward activity that we had this week to celebrate the birthday of Chile. It was so great to see him meeting people and just having a good time.  I love to see how the gospel changes people and brings families together.  It was so neat to see Paulina and her whole family in the church together. The ward activity was amazing!  It was just a neat feeling to walk into the cultural hall and just see so many people that I have come to love.   I love each and every one of them and they have touched my life in  different ways.  It has been great to see the people that have been reactivated and the recent converts at the activity  - it was just a neat feeling. 

So this week we went on splits. I am so thankful to have Hermana Leishman as a comp that’s all I am going to say. She really is an amazing missionary and a dear friend of mine. It’s funny cause sometimes people ask her if she understands and she is like “si” and then I whisper to her,  “Did you really understand,” and she is like,  “Not a word” haha I remember those days! Good times haha It is neat to look back and see how far I have come as a person and as a missionary on my mission. 

This week I had one of the most spiritual experiences on my mission and one of the most heartbreaking ones at the same time. We went by a members house cause the Relief Society president said that she was having a hard time.  As we started talking to her she just told me, “I have lost my faith I don’t want to do this anymore.” She really has been through so much and as I heard that I just started to cry with her.  I could literally feel the love God has for her and how He did not want her to give up.   I just started to tell her how much God does love her and how she has a divine potential. I explained that it was not all for nothing and that trials are part of this life and that I wasn’t going to let her give up. We promised we would be there for her and that we were going to take baby steps and that as a witness of Jesus Christ I know that he loved her and that he atoned for her sins and that she can find peace. It was amazing to feel such a love for someone and it made me realize that God just really loves us and he wants all of his children to make it back to live with Him. He never will forsake us and we can always feel His love.  We just need to ask for Him for his love and we will find it. I know that we do have a loving Heavenly Father that cares for each one of us, his children, and that this life is hard but it will be worth it in the end. 

My companion and I have tackled the job of fixing the ward list.  There are like so many people on there that don’t live in El Golf anymore or are inactive and no one knows them.  We have set out on the task to find everyone.  So far we have to find 80 people to fine,  but it will feel so great when we finished, because an accurate ward list with all of menos activos is really helpful for missionary work. We have also been organizing the area book because it has been crazy cause we got the Elders old one and it is nice to know that I can count on Hermana Leishman to help me.  I don’t have to do everything by myself - she has been a blessing in my life that’s for sure!  We are going to tackle that project.  I love this work so much. I love ya’ll and miss ya’ll! 

Hermana Jennings