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

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Proposal

September 2, 2013

So this week was great lots of stories!

1. The Proposal

I may or may not have been asked by someone to marry them.... so funny !  I love the random experiences you have on the mission and don’t worry I said no.  haha

2. Leading in church

This Sunday the person who usually leads wasn’t there and someone asked me to lead and I was like, “OK, but I don’t know how to do that very well”... but when someone asks you to serve just say yes!  You know what by the third song I was getting a hang of it (let me just tell you that of course all three songs were in different patterns or counts haha ) it was an adventure.  It was also neat how my comp and Hermana Rivera were helping me from the audience, when I would get lost.  I am so practicing leading now but I am afraid ya’ll just don’t have a very musical daughter haha.  It was a fun experience and I learned to just over come my fears give it all I had and no one died so it’s all good!

3. The importance of the Spirit in a Home

This week we went into lots of homes that were lacking the Spirit it is not a good feeling. It is almost worse when they should be worthy to have the Spirit and it’s not there. I have learned the importance of family on the mission.  I have seen great families and ones that are struggling.  I will do everything in my power to make sure my family in the future will always have a home to come home to that is full of the Spirit and love and that is refuge from the world.  I am also thankful that I was raised in a place like that and that my family is amazing and has helped me grow and become closer to Christ

4. Empanadas and Sushi

I now know how to make empanadas.  It was so fun and it takes forever so I think I’ll just make the dough part and put like cheese mushrooms and tomatoes cause I am not too fond  of the traditional Chilean stuff they put in there. It was fun and my comp and I are learning to cook fun things!   We also got fed sushi this week it was so stinking good!  There was this one that had a fried outer covering on the sides and it was like heaven! So yummy - we are spoiled in our area haha sometimes I feel like I am in New York in Manhattan.  It’s fun and there are a lot of amazing people here too\

5. Miracles

So this week we saw a miracle with Paulina and her family.  She is married to a man that was baptized when we he was 8 and he stopped going to church when he was 11. We always invite him to join us but he always declines,  but this week he came and we taught him twice. It is pretty much like teaching an investigator but he has already been baptized. I want this family to all go to church cause they are just good people especially Paulina she got baptized in May  This week we needed someone to come with us to visit a less active member and the sister we had set up canceled the last minute and we called Paulina and she came and was happy to do it. She is amazing cause both of her parents live with her and they both have Alzheimer’s in the late stages and she cares for them every day.  She really is an amazing woman and I look up to her and love her so much!!!   I just want her and her family to be sealed in the temple and I know with time that can be a goal!

6. The Ward Activity

We had a ward activity this week and it was amazing so many people came and so many people brought their friends.  There was such a strong spirit there and I could just feel an overwhelming love.  There was one point at the end when we were all eating the refreshments and talking and I was standing by my comp alone cause we had just finished talking to someone.  I just sat there and started looking at all the people and I almost started crying.  These people are so very special to me.  They have changed my life and I have a love for them that I can’t describe.  I know I might never see them again after my mission and that makes me sad but I know that there is more than just this life.  We can work hard follow Christ and return to live with God again and always be learning and progressing with the people we love forever and ever. I love this gospel -  it truly is where we find real happiness and learn how we can become better and learn how to become more like Christ! 
All and all I love the mission and I have seen how it has been changing me for the better. It is my goal to always be progressing and be better every day cause that’s what life is about!

I love my comp so much she is like an angel sent from heaven!!!!

Keep smiling and just enjoy the journey each day!

Hermana Jennings