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