Monday, April 29, 2013

Spanish Bloopers

April 29, 2013

So this week was great I have some good stories for ya’ll for sure.

 Birthday Gifts & Thanks!
I want to thank everyone that sent me talks I have been reading them and they really have been an answer to my prayers and thanks so much Sister Carillo for your letter it was a ray of sunshine in my day. Thanks for the birthday gifts it really was the best birthday ever in the whole world!

My birthday party at the Alrencons they are the best 
They have a tradition where you are the first to bite into the cake so fun!

1.  CVC, Young Women’s, Getting Lost, Crazy Fun
CVC was this Saturday and it was an interesting experience but it all turned out well.  We traveled an hour out of our sector. I really do live in the nice part of Santiago, it is very different when you leave our sector. I love all of Santiago, it’s so neat to meet so many different people and see so many new places. The CVC is where we show the church to people and have a tour starting in the chapel where they can look at a Cristus, a statue of Christ, and listen to a recording of Christ speaking, then we take them into the cultural hall and teach them the points of the gospel of Jesus Christ with giant posters. Then they go to all the auxiliaries and the baptismal font. When we got to the church there was an activity going on and the whole church was a mess!  We started cleaning and cleaning but then one of the members told us Young Women’s had an activity in the chapel and the cultural . . .what?! Oh no we had scheduled the building but they had set up their stuff already and the decorations were so beautiful so we just improvised and used the relief society room as the chapel and the gym/kitchen for the posters. It went well in the end but let’s just say there was stress beforehand but it was so neat, as always, to teach the gospel to others even if it is hard in Spanish. We got to do it with Hermana Hernandez and Hermana Torez and I was with Hermana Torez all day.  She is so fun, I love her so much!  She said she likes me and that I am not boring like all the other gringos bhahah yes! She taught me so much and I learned new ways to teach. I love learning from all the missionaries here they truly have such strong testimonies and are such examples to me. Then after the CVC it was time to go home and Hermana Fisher was going to take us home. Well let’s just say we got so lost and got home so late (we called pres) but ya it was so fun cause we were all singing and laughing the whole way I sure love the sisters I get to serve with they really are the best ever!!!

2. Teaching Maria Jose
So this week we decided to knock on a references door again. She never has been home and all of our other appointments had fallen through so we were running out of ideas. We knocked on her door and she answered!!! It was such a neat lesson because earlier this week I was struggling more than usual with teaching and during this lesson I just prayed and turned it all over to the Lord.  I literally was amazed at the words coming out of my mouth. I know it wasn’t me, it really was the Lord using me to talk to her. She is a great lady and I think she is interested and she wants us to come back. She said she would pray sincerely if what we had taught her was true. I hope she continues to build her faith.

3. Teaching Primary
We got a call Saturday night saying that they needed a teacher for primary and that we were the only ones that could teach, so we said yes. We made sure another sister could sit in the classroom with us so we wouldn't be alone with kids. It was so funny,  we taught 2 little boys about obedience the nice thing was that they both spoke English.  So when I didn't know a word in Spanish I said it in English.  We were doing all sorts of things and in the end I think the lesson turned out pretty good.  It probably had to do something with the bag of starburst jelling beans we had!  It was so fun.  It made me miss all the little kids from home like Mark and Kellys kids, the Dennis’ kids, Liz’s kids & Riley and Rorie. Kids really are so amazing and really have a Christ like spirit around them. I hope we can all be more humble and loving as little children are this week. 

4. Another Embarrassing Story
I am not sure why I am sending this story home but it was so funny.   The word for poop and box are kinda similar in Spanish and the problem was I was talking fast and I accidently switched them.... so here is what went down. The sister was asking me how to make brownies, I was like, “Just get a box of brownies and take the box, the eggs, and the oil and mix it all together and cook it and wa la  - brownies! Ya in reality I said take the poop, eggs, and oil and mix it all together. You should have seen my companions face and this poor sister. We just laughed and laughed. Good times.
Dinner at Hermana Carmens house

So my area is good. We had a really hard time this week with people canceling appointments or just not being home or when they were home they didn’t have time. I am working hard but no one wants to seem to change their way of life. But I know that with the Lords help we can do anything. I love all of you so very much and pray for you every day.  People these days are just so lost or just mean and are always working and in a hurry like 99 percent of the people we talked to this week said I’m too busy as they walked away and we even had a few that were so very angry.  A sad story that happened was we started talking to this old man and he was so sad he started to cry as he said he had it all  -  all the possessions he wanted, yet he was so miserable. We tried to tell him our message could help but he was so depressed.   It was so sad. I think we just need to be the best we can be and try to help others.  I know that we just need to love people and pray for them cause that’s what I am doing here.  Our area is so hard, no one listens and no one takes our message seriously.  It’s a big deal, but I think most of our investigators just like us coming to visit them or want to talk, but hopefully this area will start turning around.
Birthday Gifts from Home! 

How did you know that is exactly what i wanted for my birthday haha love yall

The best ever!Like seriously I made it into a blanket haha -  so snugly!

Like seriously the best present ever!  ThanksAutumn
 Thanks for all you do and for the support! 

Hermana Jennings 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Missionary Splits

April 22, 2013

This has been a crazy week full of lots of different experiences and I learned a ton! My Birthday was Great!

My Companion and I at my Birthday Lunch.

My birthday party with the sisters in my zone

   1.      Splits with Hermana Silva

So the start of the splits has begun! My first spilt was with Hermana Silva, she is from Columbia. She is a funny person full of life and smiles. We had a good time together, and we taught some great people. The experience that really stuck out to me with Hermana Silva was when we visited one of her recent converts Luis.  He has so much faith and a huge desire to serve the Lord. He was introduced to the church through one of the senior Elders here and he now spends his Mondays working for the church for free. He said to us, “This week I got paid and I got paid a lot and it is way more than I need so I have decided to work free for the church every day all week.”  Wow, what faith what true devotion to God. I don’t know if I have ever thought that way before. It really taught me a huge lesson.  Life is so not about what you make or what you have.  He truly has the right perspective because the Lord comes first in his life. 3 Nephi 13:26-34 ( I love learning from people every day and just learning ways that I can become a better person because this gospel is about changing every day to be more like Christ!

   2.      Sometimes we Make Mistakes and Things go Wrong......

Spanish is going along great but one of my problems is I always get 6 and 7 mixed up because they sure do sound the same.   Of course sometimes I mix up the numbers but this time it was an inconvenience to someone else. We were planning a Family Home Evening around an inactive member, Andrea, who has a son who is three, Andreas, and she is a single mom. There is a sister in our ward, Miranda, that has just moved from DC with her husband and she has a son the same age as Andreas so we had a family home evening planned with both families.  I called Miranda and told her it was at 6:30 and of course it was really at 7:30 so her and her husband showed up at Carmens house an hour early and we weren’t there.   I felt so bad but there really was nothing we could do about it.  Then we went to get Andrea and she was sick so she couldn’t even come. oh darn.... yep pretty much everything went wrong!  But you know we really can’t be perfect at everything and sometimes things happen and all you can do is try to make the best of it and try not to let the same thing happen again. I am sharing this story for anyone who has had an experience like this so that ya’ll can see other people make mistakes too!  For those who weren’t at fault you just need to just shrug off others weaknesses and love them anyways. Miranda did this and was not upset about my language limitations and forgave me. Life is all about learning and growing from experiences so don’t let a bad one ruin all the good ones!  hahah Cause you will come out just fine! Just remember the gospel is the most important in the end.

   3.      Splits with Hermana Chavez

Hermana Chavez is from Peru and she really is the sweetest person ever. I loved being her companion for a day. It was an adventure because we both have the same amount of time in Chile but she speaks Spanish, but she is still trying to get to know her sector so we got lost a few times.   I think she did great cause I am in the same boat as her trying to learn el golf (el golf is so huge we walk about 12 miles every day yep fun stuff!!) We had some great experiences. It was neat how some trials I have had in my life were able to help out some of our investigators we taught that day. By helping them out it also helped me out too to heal a little bit more. We contacted a lot and usually my comp does most of the talking but I did most of the taking with Hermana Chavez because she is a little shy.  It was crazy because I was able to do it all by myself.  I  have never done that before and it was a miracle how the Spanish just flowed. We had the opportunity to go to her Stake Conference.  I loved it so much.  The Stake Patriarch spoke and talked about how one day he had a strong impression he needed to go on a vacation to the south of Chile he was like that is kind of a weird impression but he went. When he got there he stayed with some members and the members in this area lived in a district that didn’t have a Patriarch.  Some of them asked if they could get their Patriarchal blessing ( and before he knew it the branch president was called, then the district president and he was able to give blessings to members who had been waiting for a long time. For 2 days straight he gave Patriarchal Blessings to member in that area, it is amazing how the Lord answers other peoples prayers through His other children.  So listen to those promptings because the Lord has work for you to do. Another cool story is that I got a reference for someone in my sector when I was in Hermana Chavez’s sector. Right before we were about to leave to end the splits we were walking and I saw a lady and I felt like I should contact her.  I looked at her and was like there is no way she will want to listen, but I was like ok why not.   I said, “Hola  mucho gusto”,  then she started to talk and I was thinking,  “What are you saying?” My comp Hermana Chaves then said in English, “Where are you from?” Then the lady responded in English, “I am from France”  Yes that explained why I couldn’t understand her. It was so neat because she is only here for 3 weeks but she said she would love to learn more but said, “I can’t read the Book of Mormon because yours is in Spanish.  What was neat was that the Sisters in that area had a random French Book of Mormon. It was so neat because we got her information and they are going to bring by the French Book of Mormon to her. I learned that I definitely should not judge a book by its cover and that contacting in English was hard.  It was funny cause I kept accidently talking in Spanish and it was weird to switch my brain to English because I always talk about the gospel in Spanish.  haha I love talking Spanish!!!!
Sister Chavez

   4.  My Birthday - 20!!!
Family Birthday Greetings to Lauren!

I am running out of time but my birthday was so great!

Love ya’ll

Hermana Jennings

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Teaching Discussions over Skype

April 15, 2013

1. My companion was called as one of the 6 sister training leaders in our mission!

So this means that we get to go on splits 2 times a week which is awesome! but super scary because eventually I will have to  be in my area alone with someone who doesn’t know the area and my area is huge!  I am still figuring out all the street.  Pray I get over being directionally challenged soon ahhhhh!!! I am so pumped to go spend days with other sisters and get to know them better, so fun!
2. Slipper story

So another embarrassing story... shouldn’t come as a huge surprise haha. It’s starting to get cold here; well at least in the mornings so I have been wearing my slippers.  They are the best by the way. After comp study I got ready and we left the apartment and got in the elevator and then I looked down and yipes, I was all ready for the day, but I had left the house in my slippers... yepp so funny. We sure got a laugh out of that one.  Unfortunately I had to go back up to our apartment and change hahaha!

3. Huge Sister meeting

This week we had a huge sister meeting and we have over 40 sisters in our mission, crazy huh? It is so awesome!!!! Like there are not enough people to train them so some Sisters are training 2 sisters at once.  Crazy stuff, but ya it was so fun to see the new sisters and remembering what it was like to be them and how  I really didn’t know Spanish and I didn’t understand everything. Oh cool thing, a sister came up to me and told me Sister Coburn says hi, she was in the same MTC zone with Madison Coburn and I was like so happy.  I hugged that Sister and almost wanted to cry of joy that someone had seen Madison so recently!!!! I sure love that girl!!!
Madison & Lauren. Both are serving missions now.

4. Teaching Jorge the Word of Wisdom

This week we finally came by Jorge’s house when he was home!!! We taught him about the Word of Wisdom because that is what his question was. He really wants to change and he has been through a lot in his life trying to find happiness through things like drugs and bad stuff and now he realized that he needs something else in his life. Now we just have to help him come to church!!! He really is a great guy so full of life and very funny ya’ll would love him, so pray that he comes to church!!!!

5. Teaching a lesson over Skype.

Technology is amazing and it is so neat how we can use technology to help spread the gospel. Yesterday we were at a less active member’s house when her sister called her over Skype.  Her sister is also a less active member lives in Argentina.    We then proceeded to teach both of the sisters, one in person and one on Skype (who lives in Argentina) along with her daughter who has been coming to church who is the bestest ever! It was so neat! I never thought I would ever teach someone in Argentina while I was in Chile.

The mission is so great.  It is such a humbling experience. I really have learned how inadequate I am and how much I need to lean on the Lord in everything I do.  I have also learned that when you love people everything is good even if it is hard and you really should be happy. But treating people like Christ would treat them really makes you happy.  I have set a goal to always think about what the Savior would say to the person I am talking to if He were here. This helps me be more in tune with the spirit and helps me focus on my purpose of serving a mission.  I love all of ya’ll so much

Hermana Jennings

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Flaming Blow Dryer

April 8, 2014

So stories first:

1. A New Furry Friend
So on our way home today we saw a black lab-mut and she was just so cute. We named her Lillers haha!  She started to follow us all the way home for like 20 minutes. She was so cute! We took so many pictures with her.  It was so fun to have a friend walk us home in the dark. It broke my heart when we went into the gate of our apartment building and Lillers couldn’t come in.  She waited outside the gate till the elevator door closed.  It makes me so sad to think that she is out there all alone in the dark.
P.S.  Another not so friendly dog bit me today - it was a little devil of a thing, but it didn’t break the skin thank goodness!

2.  Flaming Blow Dryer
I bought a new blow dryer this week and it almost set our apartment on fire... ya not cool.... I turned it on and it made a high screeching noise and then the inside turned bright red!  It was about to be straight flames before I pulled the cord out of the wall.  Let’s just say I returned it.

3. Contacting Claudia
Today we were walking on our way to an appointment and we passed by a woman walking her dog and I felt like we should talk to her, but we didn’t. A few minutes later we walked by her again and this time I stopped and started talking to her. It turned out she had a lot of questions and that she was going through really hard time because the next day she was going to the doctor to see if she had cancer. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she said she would read it. You could tell that we made a difference in her day and gave her some peace in a time of trial in her life. I know it was the spirit that prompted me to talk to her because the Lord knew she needed a listening ear and some love today and we were happy to provide both. I know that God sends people in our lives when we need Him and it was neat to be one of those people who could help out another ones of Gods children.

The reason we are posing with a sink is cause we were doing dishes at the house of a member and the top part of the sink came lose and water was shooting straight up spraying everywhere! hahah it was so funny cause we were all screaming and trying to get the water to shut off .  It happened like three times  - so funny

4. Teaching Paulina and Pablo
This week we had our first lesson with an investigator that I believe really wants to know and has a desire to learn. It was neat how I still am terrible at Spanish but as I focused on them and on the doctrine the words just flowed and the spirit was so strong. Paulina is still a little hesitant but I know that if she reads the Book of Mormon and listens to the gospel she will know that this church is true.  Pablo is so excited about the gospel and he is only 13 and he wants to get baptized, but we don’t have a date yet. I am excited to teach them this week again!

5.  Zone Conference
We had a last zone conference meeting before transfers and we all brought desserts and I brought moms cheese cake, Oreo style and it was a hit.  Everyone was telling me when there birthday was, haha so funny. Mom your cheese cake will have impacted the world by the time my mission is over!
Last day with our Zone before transfers - We made a pyramid with skirts on!

This week has been a good one, but lots of appointments fell through. It’s just a lesson of patience. The amazing thing about this week was General Conference it was like Christmas!  I loved all the talks.  It is so neat how we can have questions and take them to conference with us and then we will receive answers. (click on the link to watch) 

Exciting news my companion is going to the on the new sister missionary council board and she will go on exchanges twice a week.  That should be fun as will get to be with other Sisters cause I don’t really know them very well. We are like the only ones that live alone. We are working hard and some other great news is that one of our investigators came to conference, Fredy.  It is crazy because we had moved him into the non-progressing pile because he never was home and always bailed when we set appointments.  I hope he is more willing to hear the message now and also Silvia, a less active member, came which is a huge step because 2 weeks ago she had told us she was going to go to another church.  Through love and prayers she is now more open than ever and I hope she continues to progress.  This church is true and I love being a missionary.  Keep the people of Santiago Chile in your prayers.


Hermana Jennings

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Companion Study with President

April 1, 2013

This week was a little bit harder than the rest but I’ll start out with some stories first.

P-Day activity.  Sorry I send so many pictures. I figured if ya'll were gone I would want to see lots of pictures so I look for every opportunity to take them so ya'll can see what its like. Sorry if they look like a vacation - it is so not!  It's actually very hard,but there are so many fun parts too and that's what I like to share.

   Companion Study with President

This week my companion was in the shower and the phone started to ring I kind of panic in these situations because I have a hard time understanding people in Spanish on the phone . . . so I looked at the caller ID and saw it was President Wright.  I calmed down and was like he speaks English, and then freaked out again because it was President. I answered the phone and he asked if he could come to our companion study that morning with his wife. Of course I said yes. He then closed by thanking me for inviting him and his wife to come... real funny pres... haha After my comp got out of the shower and we started cleaning up everything and it was in perfect shape when the president came and his wife. They are so great and they truly are called of God and live their lives to have the spirit with them at all times. It was so fun having them there and hearing their insights from their personal study. We practiced teaching during our companion study and it was scary but my comp demonstrated first and then it was my turn to practice in front of the mission president.  It went well and the mission president’s wife gave me some feedback and so I practiced again. I learned a lot from this and it was great at the end when our mission president gave us some feedback. He said that he loved how he could tell I was on a mission because I loved the Lord and how I was not offended and was humble when I was critiqued and given suggestions.  When I taught I told him I don’t believe in getting offended.  He also said my Spanish was coming along great! (I still think it’s terrible, and I don’t believe people when they say it’s really good for this early  - so don’t go thinking I am fluent right now hahah ) but ya it was a neat experience.

     A Giant Tree Full of Louie’s
     (this story is dedicated to you Autumn)

      We have a little blue parakeet named Louie and he is just so cute.  So one day this week we were walking to a lesson and we heard this really loud noise, it was like a million Louie’s chirping at once. It sounded like crazy loud! I looked up and it was coming from this massive cone shaped tree like it looks like a tree out of Dr. Seuss!  We kept walking to teach our investigator, but he wasn’t home. (that happened to us a lot this week they set a time and they are sick or just straight up not home) I was like let’s go investigate this tree and sure enough it was full with like so many Louie’s.  Autumn you would have loved it, and Louie would have died and gone to heaven!  I am so sending pictures of it so ya’ll can see it.  It was crazy just having parakeets out in the wild, like it was no big deal!

A Big nest for the Parakeets!
Be Careful What Members you Take to a Lesson

Funny story, but really not funny at all . . . We have an investigator named Cecilia and she is the saddest lady I have ever met.  She is really down and I believe the gospel will help her find the happiness she needs. We went to teach her the first lesson and we brought Yolanda.... so we all sat down and then my companion needed to go to the bathroom and I was left alone with Cecilia, who I barely understand because she doesn’t pronounce words very well, because she talks all depressed like, and Yolanda. So of course she had to ask if our church was a cult while my companion was in the bathroom. I could have helped answer her question but problem was I didn’t know that the word “sexta” means cult, so I was like I have no idea what her question was, and that left Yolanda to answer. Let’s just say that her answer did more harm than good.  It was hard to regain control after that. Next time we won’t bring Yolanda and pray that Cecilia wasn’t offended.  I think it ended well because she started to smile towards the end and even more after the closing prayer. So lesson learned have your investigators gain confidence in you before you bring new people to discussions.
When we don't have almuerzo we get to make our own food so we made pizza it was so good

Making Pizza's

   Holidays = Ghost Town here

This weekend was Easter which was great to have that extra reminder of Christ’s sacrifice for us and that we can do nothing without him. The thing that was hard was that Friday, Saturday and Sunday were holidays and literally everyone leaves Santiago and goes to the beach. Like it feels like a straight up ghost town.... and it’s really hard cause all of our lessons that we had scheduled were out of town... I am really looking forward to this week and I pray everyone is in town and we can continue to progress with our investigators.
Meet the lovely river in santiago...yum...

the really weird statue thing


    Newbies in a New sector

This week I found out that our sector was closed before my companion came which was only 2 months before me and that explains a lot!  We are making some headway and lots of inactive members are starting to come back to church and the members are becoming more and more involved as the weeks go on. It is definitely a harder area since we are in the rich part of town and we are in the progress of reactivating a sector.  It’s exciting because my mission president said there are no such things as dead sectors only dead missionaries.  So I am trying my best to not be a dead missionary. We have lots of investigators but it is hard to get them to come to church and make commitments.  I can feel this week is going to be a good one and they we will see some progress.  This work is real and is God’s work and I know that it takes time and lots of work and faith and prayer, but I love he people here so very much.


Our investigators are Cecilia, Jorge, Pablo and Paulina.  Jorge’s family are members and they live in Utah.  He has started to change his life and has started living the word of wisdom all ready and is interested to learn more about the gospel.  He was sick this week when we went to teach him.  He only wants us to come on Saturdays so let’s pray we can teach him Saturday.
Pablo is 13 and he is precious.  He has studied the gospel and ton and we just have to teach him the lessons and I think he will get baptized.  His mom is Paulina she is not as excited she is curious and thinks it is good but has some problems she is trying to work out, but with time I believe she will know that the gospel is what brings true happiness.  I already told ya’ll about Cecilia.

The weather here just started to get cold. I love it cause sweating isn’t that awesome and I even get to be my own sunshine because the sky is always gray, but it beats always being black.  Winter is coming in April...that’s a first for me.
ya i punched a car.... my atempt at a joke haha 

I Love this Family!

One neat experience that I’ve had is that I have been reading the Book of Mormon a chapter in English and then that same chapter in Spanish. It is so neat that even though I read the same chapter I learn something different each time I read it and my testimony is strengthened each time.  So if you are struggling reading the Book of Mormon it really makes all the difference to read it in two languages and puts your life in perspective.

Well I am working hard and I pray that soon we will have success.  Transfers are this week but I doubt I will get transferred cause I’m a newbie.  Life is good and I love ya’ll and all of y’all are in my prayers


Hermana Jennings