Monday, March 11, 2013

Church Tour & Making Chocolates

March 11, 2013


1. The Good and Bad of Missionary Work
So I’ll start off with the not so happy, we can’t get one of our investigators Raul to come to church and it makes me so sad because he is missing out on so many blessings. This must be how God feels when we choose a path that is not correct. We have tried everything and we just have to leave the rest up to the Lord and Raul. Hopefully he will come.

Another option for getting my hair dry!
Now for the good - I just love the members here. Today we ate lunch at a sister´s house in our ward and she has a daughter the same age as Autumn.  She reminds me of Autumn so much!  I sure miss her. The mom of the family was trying to set her other daughter who is 23 up with JC and she hasn’t even seen a picture of him . . . I better not actually show her a picture or she might find you JC.... So some random things about living in Chile - when we take out the trash we just throw it down a shoot in the hallway, how convenient is that?  Since I don’t have a blow dryer I use our fan to dry my hair.  It’s quite a funny sight. This mission is hard but I would not want to be anywhere else.

 2. The Morales Family

There is this inactive family in our ward that feeds us three times a week.  At the beginning I felt they didn't like me, but I think they were just going through a rough patch. Now they are some of my favorite people.  I can kind of understand them and their 2 daughters speak English so that is great. Sister Morales taught us how to make homemade chocolates with coconut filling - they were so good. We sure had such  a fun time making them and even a funner time eating them! They came to church this Sunday,  I was so pumped to see them. 

3. Chilean Culture Corner
So a funny thing I have noticed is Chileans just grab whatever food they want with their forks even if they have already used it...hmm, not sure how I feel about this . . .  We great everyone except men by putting our cheek on theirs and kissing the air.  hahah Its funny -  I’ll probably try to do that to you when I get home....sorry in advance.

4. Grapes, Jehovah´s Witness, and Kidneys

Thursday we were having a slow start.  All our appointments fell through so we then decided to go visit Hermana Medina. The Relief Society President had asked us to go visit her because she is having kidney problems and she needs to be put on dialysis, but she doesn’t want too. It was so sad because we had her read Mosiah 24:14-15 and she started to cry because she is going through a difficult time.  It just broke my heart because I wanted to help her but there is nothing I can really do but pray for her. Afterwards we went outside to her herb garden and she gave us a bunch of fresh herbs.  Then I saw the grape vines with real grapes on them - I have never seen grapes going on the vine in real life so I thought that was pretty neat.  She cut 2 bundles off and gave them to us and we ate them, but all of them had seeds and they were taking a long time to eat. We needed to leave so we quickly took the rest of the grapes off of the stems and shoved them in the bag of herbs and then shoved that into my purse. It was so funny. As we were leaving her husband told us they almost didn’t let us in because from the window he could only see me, and not my companion, standing by the gate and he thought we were Jehovah´s witness hahah So funny!  It was quite an adventure from sad to really funny.

5. Learning Spanish
At the Bus Stop - every day and all the time!
Apparently I am doing really well speaking Spanish for a missionary who is just got out here, but let’s be real I have a long, long, long way to go!  haha I can understand about 3/4ths of everything and some people I can understand everything. Still others I don’t know what they are saying to me!  It will take time, but it was neat because this week we got to eat at the bishops house and I could understand them perfectly.  It was so fun because I could also speak what I wanted to say.  It is like one minute I get it and then next I don’t. It’s fun being immersed and it’s also fun teaching English to my companion.  She pretty much understands everything I say in English. Cool, huh? 

6. Centro Visitantes en la Capilla
Saturday we got to do the funnest thing ever. We went to a ward building outside of our district and got to help with a program that starts with a Cristus in the chapel and then has 6 stations briefly describing all of the points of the gospel.  We got to be the teachers and the first time we taught it was just for practice before anyone got there. Guess who happened to show up, yep the mission president and his wife! hahah No pressure right? They were like, “You can just testify” but I have been teaching and doing wellish with the language so my companion and I decided to do halfsies like always. It went really well, people were surprised that I could do it and they said it was good especially for someone who has only been here for 2 weeks!  I truly believe that God is extra helpful to missionaries especially since the announcement.  We need to be more prepared and learn faster and be the best we can be now because the work is progressing.  While there was no one to take on tours we went out contacting to find people to invite to come take the tour. My companion and I saw 3 teenage boys in a park and they were the only people we could see so we thought why not. We went up to them and invited them to come to the tour and they came, which was a complete surprise to me. It was neat because you could tell that the experience did have an effect on them and that they felt the spirit. They smelled of straight up weed, but I am so glad we invited them.  It is not what a person looks like on the outside it is what they can become on the inside.  Who knows, they may not join the church but we planted a seed.

7. I Got to Speak English Today
Sunday was fun because I got 2 opportunities to speak English. The first time was with a lady who is in her early 20s named Miranda Lewis.  she used to live in DC ask Sara Kowallis if she knows her? She is married and has a son, she is small and blonde.  Her husband and her just moved to Chile and she doesn’t speak any Spanish. I went up and talked to her and the Relief Society President asked me to translate . . . Let’s be real, I am not quite at the translating level yet.  It takes all my mind power to just understand what is going on!  I was trying, but it was not very effective.  Then I remembered the Morales girl can speak English so I asked her to translate and it went well.  Sister Lewis even got to bare her testimony and Catalina translated and she started to cry.  It was so touching because that was probably the first time she understood anything at church.  I have no idea how long she has been here. She is looking for a Spanish tutor and that’s where my next story comes in. The next sister is a mom in our ward who is probably in her early 30’s.  She is bilingual and is looking for work.  I got to share some thoughts in English with her and it was so nice to express myself adequately. One day I will get to do that in Spanish. I asked her if she knew Hermana Lewis, but she didn’t. I told her that she is looking for a tutor and maybe they could get together. That way Hermana Lewis can learn Spanish and make a new friend in the ward also and the other sister needs a job. They could both be blessed by knowing each other.  I hope they become friends, it must be so hard for Sister Lewis.  I can understand a lot of Spanish, but I have Hermana Cisneros who is an angel and helps me out so much.
A real Lemon tree - for Autumn - it would be great to have in her Lemon  room!

I am loving the mission so much. It’s so hard but it’s so worth it.   I just love people and everything will be ok.  This life is not about us, it’s about others. P.S. I am obsessed with peanut butter now... it’s probably because it’s the one thing that I can eat that is a little bit American to me! hahah The food here is good and interesting all at the same time. Well love ya’ll have a great week and don’t forget to smile. J

Hermana Jennings

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