Monday, August 26, 2013

Getting Wet :(

August 26, 2013

(Just a note - the governmental mail service in Santiago has been shut down for a month so email is the only way to contact Lauren at the moment)

So this week was so great! I love being a trainer my companion Hermana Leishman is the best and we just always have fun together. She really was an answer to my prayers. So this week I have some funny stories for ya’ll. First we were at a lunch appointment and we went to sit on the couch to say the prayer and I sit down and start to pray and then my butt gets all cold and wet I am like what the heck is going on?  So I start inching toward my comp... she was like,  “What does she want to do - snuggle with me during the prayer?”.... Nope it turns out I was sitting on the opening of her camel back and water was just spilling out.  I said amen and jumped up.   Maria Alicia was like, “Wow you sure felt strong about that prayer”  and i was like,  “No agua..... haha! She was like,  “You so can’t go out on the street with your whole backside all wet!”  So I borrowed a dress from her and she but my other dress in the dryer and I was just going to pick it up some other time. Then we went to the Lamartines house to practice language and my hose was still soaked so I used her blow dryer to be all dry again. Ya I blow dried my backside in a members house. I think that officially make the Lamartine family my family hahah!

So onto the next story....So I don’t know if anyone remembers the first time I got peed on by a dog, but yikes let’s just say I so didn’t learn my lesson.  I held the same dog twice and of course  the dog peed on me again and it was a lot!  It was so gross but we just laughed and laughed.  Tender mercy from the Lord is that I remembered that my dress I had got soaked the day before was at Maria Alicias house just 4 buildings down the road.  We went and I changed into my clean dress and washed my coat to the best of my abilities.  I borrowed some perfume and we went to work.  I am pretty sure I smelled bad still but we just contacted for the rest of the day and no one was home so I think that was a blessing. Ya  let’s just say this week was so not my week with clothes and liquids and don’t worry i washed my coat.... haha  Then the next day we went to go find a reference named Carmen. The address was wrong and we ended up playing where in the world is Carmen Santiago it was so funny!   We found some new investigators that way, but  still haven’t found Carmen but the search goes on....

Something I learned this week was first we need to treat everyone with tons of love cause they are our brothers and sisters and because we are all children of God.  You know when someone is going to do something that bugs you or things are just crazy.  Before you start thinking negative things about that person first think about how much God loves them and how they are your brother or sister. Remember how sometimes you do things that bug others too.  Have patience and love people cause we are all not perfect and I  think we are all doing the best we can.  Loving someone will help them change a whole lot faster than just sitting there wishing they would just change. This week I learned to be positive no matter what happened.  It was funny cause the night after I got peed on I was like this should have been the worst day ever but it wasn’t.  My comp and I just worked hard and chose to have fun and it was a great day!
This week I have felt the enabling power of the Atonement. I don’t know how I survived this week cause I was sick and between coughing all night and the heartburn I barely slept for like 4 days and somehow we just kept going.   It was a miracle cause I should have died (ok that was dramatic) and nurse Talbot (Hermana Talbot) one of the other sisters that lives with me helped me and got me some medicine that has been helping a lot. This week was great and I love being a missionary!  Ya’ll be great now and remember how much you are loved ok cause everyone is worth it everyone has something to smile about cause we are all children of God! I love all of you!!!!

Hermana Jennings

My Favorite Candy Bar

Monday, August 19, 2013

Training a New Missionary

August 19, 2013

            So first off Hermana Leishman, my new companion, is the best. I feel she came pre-trained. She is the most loving person and she has such a desire to work hard and be a great missionary and she even walks fast with me its great! She is from Lehi, Utah and she is 19. She was studying psychology before she came on her mission at UVU. She is a lot taller than me and then she told me she is like 5’8”.... i am so short but happy haha.  She is the sweetest person I have ever met and we have had some really spiritual experiences and she is here for the right reasons.  
I love training not because I am a trainer but because we have the opportunity to study the 12 week program again. My trainer like rushed through it and I really don’t think I got all I could have got out of it so I am really trying to help my comp and I learn the program and apply the principles. I love living with other sisters it is so great!
This week I saw so many miracles because we were praying for miracles and you know what we ask the Lord will give. This week I had an amazing experience; we went to a menos activos (less active member) house named Roberto.  He has been in the bishopric twice but he hasn’t been to church in three years.  We would always go by and ring on his bell and he would answer and be like, “No I in my pjs” or “No I’m tired”.  We got him to come to church 2 times in the last 3 months but he really didn’t get it so we went there this week and he let us in.  We had to sit outside but the night was nice and Hermana Leishman shared a scripture about perseverar hasta el fin (enduring to the end) and it was amazing because then I just started asking him questions.  I have really been trying to ask inspired questions this week cause they are so important.  I don’t even remember what I asked him cause I don’t think I was the one who put them in my mind. He was like, “That is exactly what I am not doing” and I was like,  “Do you know the church is true?” and he said,   “I always have, I have never doubted.” and I was just like straight up with him. I have learned a lot that we have the power to make choices and we can make big changes by making a choice and just doing it.   I then said, “Now I am asking you Roberto will you make the choice now to come back to church and do what you know you should be doing?” and he said,  “Yes”.   He then said,   “I know why you are here so you could, (pretty much he said chilean dicho) kick my butt back into shape. (Mom you would have so been the same way and I left and was like that was a mom moment.  Mom  you are going to be the best missionary ever hey when dad and you go on your mission how about I come and we will be trio).  I was so pumped.  I don’t know I was just like duro (tough),

  but in a loving way and he realized that he can change.  Then his 2 sons came out and I did the same with them and Sunday Roberto came to church and so did one of his sons that had declined my offer earlier.  I wanted to cry for joy to see these two in the church again the son said it was like a new beginning or like coming home. I know that I need to be here for a reason because there are people here that the Lord wants me to talk to and I love that I have the chance to be a missionary and that the spirit is our constant guide cause half the time the words I say are not my thoughts, but the Holy Ghost is speaking through me.
The other miracle that happened was an investigator pulled up a quote from a church authority and then asked a question.  I had no idea how to respond and I was stalling and praying for an answer and then randomly this thought popped into my mind.  I didn’t even know if it was right, but I just said it and it was right and it worked out.  It was so sweet cause Hermana Leishman was like,  “I knew he asked something tough, but I didn’t know what was going on or what he said, but I was praying for you - that was so amazing. It has been a fun experience to train someone. This week was stressful but great. It’s kind of funny that I am teaching her Spanish... but it’s weird cause I speak Spanish now so - never say never - cause you will end up doing it someday!  I am loving life so much and I am thankful for the many blessings that I see in my life everyday as a missionary. 
Another miracle that happened is that we went to visit Ruben Friday. We were just expecting to see him but Amada was there and she listened to lesson 2 and Hermana Lamartine came and she helped me teach so much and was a vital role in the lesson.  It went really well and Ruben said that Amada is reading the pamphlet we gave her and we are going to teach her again. I am so excited and now I hope that Amada can accept the gospel cause she is so great and I just love her!
This is Hermana Leishman's cool Quote Wall

I want to share some points I learned about at the trainers meeting I went to this week:

1. The spirit is everything. I have seen that this week where I didn’t know what to say but the spirit did and if I just open my mouth I will find the words to say.

2. Pride ruins. If I am prideful I cannot be a good mom to my trainie and this life is all about learning to be humble.

3. Correct with questions. When we need to correct our companions we can ask them questions that allow them to look inward and evaluate themselves and find what they need to fix and most importantly be humble and receive correction yourself.

4. Is love behind all my actions? This question is a question I should ask myself always to help me focus on the love of our Savior and how I am here to help others and it’s not about me. 

So this week at church my Abuela told me that she had found my blog but she can’t read it cause it’s in English so I am going to be writing a little bit in Spanish so that she can read my blog too.

Mi abuela Silva! eso es para usted para que usted puede leer mis cartas tambien. disculpe para mi espanol es mas dificil a escribir pero ojala usted puede entender. esta semena era buenisimo. mi nueva companera es buenisimo pero extrano hermana rivera y usted pero un lunes necesitamos visitar usted porque usted es mi abuelo. este semana tuvemos la oportunidad a ensenar muchas personas y aprendi que el espiritu santo es super importante. supe eso pero mi testimonio crecio mucho despeus este experiencia. estuvemos en una leccion y nuestra investigator nos pregunto una pregunta muy dificil pero el espiritu sant me ayudo para contestarle y toda era bien en el final. Se que esta inglesia es verdadera. Le quiero mucho

Hermana Jennings

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Miracles Do Happen!

August 12, 2013

So lots of stories

1. Miracle with Pamela Pena
So I think I have told ya’ll that we needed a new apartment and the realtor that helped us find one is now our investigator.  We are teaching her and she is so prepared. We had an appointment with her this week, but she didn’t show up so we ran to catch a bus to go to another person’s house.  We rode on the bus for a while until our stop and as everyone was getting off the bus we were in the back.  Normally I try to get off the bus as fast as possible but there was a lady sitting down in front of me and something told me to stop and let her go first - like a strong impression, the Spirit.  So I stopped and I was a little puzzled why cause my comp was behind me waiting, but I did and like 1 minute went by and then this lady got up but first she turned around and lo and behold it was Pamela Pena!  It was crazy!   We both started screaming and hugging like a bunch of girls!  haha  It was the best!   We all got off the bus and we happened to be by Jorge’s house (our recent convert) so we went to his house to get out of the cold to teach her a lesson.  It was so neat cause Jorge bore his testimony and the lesson not only helped Pamela learn about the Plan God has for her but helped Jorge’s testimony grow. It was a miracle cause God placed us in the right place, at the right time.  It was such a testimony builder for me of how important it is to listen to the Spirit and to act on promptings.  I love being a missionary and teaching people.   It is so cute  because Pamela says to me, “I am your Chilean mom” haha but the bummer is she doesn’t live in my sector. 

2. Happy birthday mom
So on your birthday I say Happy Birthday all day to you and I walked in the streets it was lots of fun and it made me think of how grateful I am to have you as a mom.  Sure do love you!

3. Crazy landlord....
This week was insane we moved apartments and had to deep clean the old one and the new one! This week was a blur of cleaning, moving, and doctors’ appointments for my comp. It was crazy!  Like Friday we spent almost he whole day trying to get the old apartment ready for the lady who owns it and she was so grumpy and mean and of course I was the translator for Elder Fisher who is in charge of the apartments.  He doesn’t speak Spanish. The lady was mean to me and I was like ok this is not my fault and she wasn’t listening – she was just freaking out. So lesson learned, “Freaking out is crazy, don’t do it and listen to people and don’t be crazy!” We finally got everything worked out around 5pm... ya lots of lost time but some things just need to get done.  We did hit the jack pot cause when we went to throw some trash away we found a sofa that someone had thrown away.  It was a nice black leather one !  I love rich people trash!  We took it and now it looks great in our new apartment hehehe.  In our storage closet we have in the bottom of our building we found like missionary Christmas pamphlets, pictures, CD’s of music and more it was great. I don’t know why we didn’t know this stuff was down there but it was so great! 

4. I’m going to be a Mom
I am going to be training a new missionary starting tomorrow. I am so pumped for this adventure and I love that new start feeling that I have right now. I hope that I can be a good example for my new companion and help her become an amazing missionary.  I hope that I can learn from her a ton too!!! I will let ya’ll know all about her next week!!!   It was so fun cause we got to go to a training meeting and I finally got to see Hermana Cisneros and it was so fun we were like screaming and hugging for 5 minutes it was good to see her. Ya I am so pumped to meet my new comp tomorrow and the great thing is that my comp Hermana Rivera is still going to live with me – as our new apartment will house 2 sets of sister missionaries -  she is a hoot and we have so much fun together! Hermana Rivera will get a new companion tomorrow also.

5.  Chilean Missionary Serving in Atlanta
OK fam there is an Elder (the son of my stake president) that is in the Georgia Atlanta mission and he is in Douglasville and his name is Elder Martinez so if ya’ll could find him or ask the mission pres about him and tell him his family says hi, that would be neat. We switched places haha! 

This week was a great week. It was neat cause like we finally got into some people’s houses that were never home and had really great lessons. Like Irma for example she said, “it’s crazy all the opposition that has been in my way in letting ya’ll in, it is like someone doesn’t want me to talk to yall.”  I was like “yep that would be satan” haha Ya she was like “I feel good when you are here” and I am so excited to teach her more cause the message we teach is true!!!! I love seeing the growth in people as they learn about the gospel and they change their lives. I know that this church is true and that this work is so important. Love ya’ll so very much!

Grandma aw she sent me some clothes and they are the cutest!  One sister missionary was like, “Dang my grandma doesn’t have style”  and i was like, “Mine does and is the best!!!” Can you tell grandma that I love the clothes so very much and I am having such a fun time wearing them.  I wish I was there to give her a hug but we will just have to rain check the hug till I come back but love you grandma thanks for thinking of me and know that I am always praying for you!!!! Love ya’ll!!!

Hermana Jennings

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Service is Fun!

August 5, 2013

So this week was a great week. 

1. The Craziest Almuerzo ever!
So this week we went to Hermana Carmens house for Almuerzo (lunch) and she was sick and was not doing so great. After we finished eating we were saying good bye to her and she went blank and started to slide down the wall. I was like, “What is going on?”  So I just guided her down to the floor and we got her some water and when she was alert again we helped her to her bed. It was some crazy stuff, but I am so thankful that we were there to help her.  I can’t imagine what would have happened if she would have been alone when this happened. 

Me and Hermana Coburn's old roommate from the MTC! small world haha

2. Moving into a New Apartment.
This week we got the keys to our new apartment which is in our same building, which is amazing!   We moved from the 7th floor to the 5th floor into our new big apartment. It was gross cause the people who left so did not clean it before they left.  So we spent all morning cleaning out our apartment. (Note to self . . . never leave a house dirty its rude... haha)  Ya we got it all clean and we moved all of our stuff in.  It is fun to live in a new place, but transfers are this Saturday and I am scared I’ll be moved out of this sector. So I am just going to enjoy this pension for the following week, but either way I’ll live with other sisters which i am really looking forward to cause I haven’t done that since the MTC and I miss it so I am looking forward to meeting some more great people. 
Me & my companion at a Temple Tour with Jorge

3, Doctors Appointment
My new goal is just really to choose to be happy all the time cause it’s the best way to live.  One day this week we went to my comps doctor’s appointment and we traveled all the way there to find out that it was cancelled and that he rescheduled the appointment for the day before. It was a bummer and at first I was bugged, but then I was like no its going to be a great day  We can choose to make situations that are kind of lame into great ones.  So just smile at everything and focus on the next task at hand. 

4. Painting Jorge’s Fence
Me being a goof!

On Saturday we did a service project and it was so fun, we got to paint the fence of Jorge, our recent convert.  It was awesome! Jorge didn’t believe I had painted before and I was like I so have painted a ton. When we were done, he was like that is better than I could have done it.  We had a great time and then we had a barbeque.  It was so good as Sunday was Fast Sunday which would be the first time Jorge was going to fast, so we all started our fasts together.  It was precious. It has been so neat seeing Jorge progress and learn about the gospel and to see all the changes he is making in his life.
Job all done!

5. Home Made Plan of Salvations
This week we taught the lesson on the Plan of Salvation a ton and we were like, “We need to make a paper Plan of Salvation to help people learn better.”  It is easier to visualize the Plan of Salvation with something concrete to look at. So we went  crafting and cute and colored and laminated missionary style. We used the clear tape, the name of it escapes me right now, haha and when we were done they were pretty cute.  I will send a picture.  So the funny thing was mine was small and I needed a tiny man to be the person in my Plan de Salvacion and it was so funny cause I found a tiny picture of JC,  and yep JC you are now a part of my Plan of Salvation and you will change lives here in Chile haha.  It’s so funny! 

6. Some Things I Learned this Week. 
This week I had my testimony strengthened on the importance of fasting and how we really can receive answers to our prayers when we fast. Also how it is so important to study our scriptures every day, because it just makes you happy and helps you keep an eternal perspective.  I love being a missionary so very much and teaching people every day is such a blessing.  I learn more and more and it is so neat to see others learn also.  I see how the Lord is really blessing us in our work and how I can speak Spanish - that in itself is a miracle! I am thankful every day for my calling as a missionary and  I never want to come home!  (well the other day I did see a Liller dog and I wanted to cry), but really ya’ll will have to come visit me in Chile, cause I love it here! I pray for ya’ll always and hope you guys have such a great week! 


Hermana Jennings