Monday, May 26, 2014

Attacked by a Pack of Dogs

May 26, 2014

Not even sure where to begin…

Ok well I guess I could start with divisions. 2 stories

1.       We contacted this guy and he is just a neighborhood watchman and the Hermanas would stop by and teach him. He never has given them his address where the missionaries could go to his house and teach him. We went over and started talking to him and he was just talking and ranting about stuff and it was not productive - so I just blurted out, “Where do you live_ Do you live here?  He told me he didn’t.  We talked a little about how it would be so much better for him to really find out about what we teach if he went to church.  Randomly still don’t know how this worked out he had gone to church once - and he then described to us the church building where I go to church. I was like that’s my sector. What street do you live on_ Got the address! The random thing is that he lives like 30 minutes from that building and doesn’t live in my sector. It was a neat experience for me because I saw the hand of the Lord in my life and in this man’s life. I have no idea what I said that was different but it was what he needed to give his address and commit to go to church with the Elders the following Sunday. Miracles happen - sometimes they are small things like the investigator that wouldn’t give his reference to anyone for over 7 months and then one day give it to us this week. I think a lot of people don’t believe in miracles because one they aren’t looking for them and two they aren’t praying for them. I know that if we will pray for miracles we will see them because they are present.

2.       2nd story. The sister I went on divisions with just found out the other P day that her cousin is probably going to die and that he is in the ICU. They are more like brother and sister than cousins and she is having a hard time. We talked about peace and how we only can find peace in the Savior and how the world tries to seek peace doesn’t work.  We can just go to a spa to have find peace for maybe an hour, but true inner peace can only come from the Prince of Peace, Our Savior. We must turn to Him and strive to be like Him and live our lives according to God’s will and through this we can find peace.  I loved this quote from a talk

 "Even with the trials of life, because of the Savior´s Atonement and his grace, righteous living will be rewarded with personal peace.”

We decided to pray and we each said a prayer. And when she was saying her prayer to put her cousin’s life in God’s hands. I felt 1) that her cousin was going to die and 2) I felt an incredible peace. After the prayer she told me she felt the same thing as I did. We just sat there on the floor and cried. I put myself in her shoes and cried with her. But at the same time we felt peace.  We know that this life was meant to be hard and that death is a part of this life and it’s ok to cry but we also know that our Savior has come and He lives and through him we can return to live with loved ones again.  We felt peace from this. It was a tender moment. I learned how to really empathize with someone. We need to put ourselves in their shoes and that God loves us a whole lot because I could feel it.

Ok so Wednesday I came home from divisions (keep in mind they are all sick over there) so of course I came back sick.  We made it to lunch and I passed out at the Cabezas house. I don’t know what it was but I was all weak and achy and was freezing and a little confused. Let’s just say I remember laying down and waking up in Nicole’s bed…Nicole is the one ya’ll met on Skype. I was so sick. So Hna Molina came and picked us up and took us home in her car, she is a saint and saved us the mile walk home!!! So we get home and went to sleep and the next day I woke up and I felt a little better until like 10 in the morning and then I felt all weak again.  I was tired so I took a nap and couldn’t get up when my comp woke me up. I then made it to the couch and was wearing all the layers I could put on with like 5 blankets and I was in my sleeping bag not to mention Hna Huber and I bought those masks which have eye holes and mouth holes yes I was that cold!   So I was homebound another day… not cool right so Hermana Huber left with Hermana Portillo and I was left at home with Hermana Chavez. So after sleeping till 4 I got up and was feeling better so I was like Hna Chavez let’s go and work for a bit because I feel better. I put on like 3 pairs of leggings cause I was still cold… and we left… yep shouldn’t have left!!!   It’s just when you sit at home 1) You feel terrible cause you should be out helping people and 2) super boring! So off we went.  We ended up contacting in the middle of nowhere right and the weakness hits again and I had to just sit down on the side of the road and rest. Then the sun starts setting. I am like we’ve got to go home before I pass out. We got up and start walking to the next bus stop - it’s an hour walk away and then we would need to wait for the other bus that could take us home that passes by every hour. So we are walking and Chavez is supporting me and the sun goes down and down and it’s almost all the way dark. We are in the middle of nowhere and it was worrying me cause I didn’t feel so good so we started or attempted to flag down cars to take us home (hitch hiking is normal out here in the boonies) we didn’t have success and then out of nowhere we hear growling… yes I look behind me and see about 6 or so dogs… I have lost all fear of dogs here in Chile cause if they get too close we just scream “fuera” or get away and they leave. Hna Huber is an ex-softball player and she has great aim with rocks for the dogs that try anything.  I saw all 6 of the dogs and was like no big deal and kept walking - the next thing I know I look down at my knee and this dog has got my leg in his mouth. It’s like everything froze and I was like, “What in the world is this really happening?”  yep…Welcome to Pirque.  I started screaming and fighting this dog, I kicked if off of my leg and started kicking at it while I’m screaming at it.  Meanwhile Hna Chavez got bit too and she was fighting off 2 other dogs and the other dogs were just barking like crazy.  Hna Chavez goes “Hulk” on the two dogs and realizes I’m screaming and comes to kick the dog trying to get me and instead.  I don’t know if she kicked me or tripped me but the next thing I know I am flying through the air and I land on the pavement.  A couple things run through my head first…I’m like fetal position and then I think, “Wait I’m in the middle of the road and I’m at the level of the dogs where I could get attacked by even more dogs or I could get hit by a car.” Neither was a good idea so I just got up and started running and Chavez was right by my side. We made it out and stopped to assess the damage when we made it to “safeish” ground.  I just started laughing because the turn of events was so random I just had to laugh at what just happened it had been such a random day.

 When life throws you a bunch of lemons just laugh your way through it right haha  well by that time it’s dark like really dark and we couldn’t see if our bites were bad or not but it really didn’t hurt and there is no bus in sight so we start trying to flag down cars and someone finally stops after like 15 minutes of this.  This person took us  and takes us to the closest bus stop and we took the bus home. When we got home had to take off all my layers. I was still on an adrenaline rush and I saw my bite isn’t that bad because of my 3 layers of tights saved me… but my leg was still bleeding… and Hna Chavez´s was worse and she was bleeding more.  We cleaned them up they really weren’t bad at all but I’m thinking.  Ya they weren’t that bad but it broke the skin and bled… so that means we had to get rabies shots… cause I have no idea why they bit us.  We were just walking along normally and they came up from behind and bit us.  Not normal right?  There is no way we can find those dogs again to see if they actually have rabies. So the next day we woke up with lovely bruises and head over to interviews with President. There Hermana Wright told us that we have to go get rabies shots. I’m kind of freaking out cause I’ve always heard that rabies vaccines hurt so bad and you have to get them in your belly button so I was not looking forward to that. So they sent us to a clinic in the ghetto… not sure why we went to that one but there was a member there and he let us stay together the whole time so that was great. So Hna Chavez and I hop on a bus and head out to the sketchiest sector in our mission for our first check up and the rest we could do at a clinic in Pirque. We got there and I’m not going to lie the ghetto was freakin me out!  This nice lady walked us to the clinic from the bus. She was like are you scared to be here?  I said no we will be alright. (thinking to myself -  you bet I am hahah) it reminded me a  lot of the sketchy parts of down town Atlanta haha.  We went inside and got our shots and left. (They gave us the shots in our arms and we have to go back weekly for the next month to get more!) It was an adventure this week that’s for sure. Never thought I would be getting vaccinated for rabies in my life haha,  but it’s all good cause this whole thing was all free even got the flu shot for free whoo hoo.

Sunday was so neat because bro Coburn came to church. It was fun to see a familiar face and it was so funny one of our investigators called him the Arnold Schwarzenegger - the terminator= so funny. Our branch has come such a long way I feel like we are all family now and that we are more united. I’ve seen miracles here in Pirque. Thanks for all the stuff! Everyone loved their stuff. Hermana Portillo almost cried she was so happy. She says lots of hugs and thanks so much for the ring mom. She loves you mom she tells me that she just feels your love and how neat you are just from the photos of you and all that you send. I thought that was cute, mom - people love you and they have only seen your photo. Well I sure love you bunches too. This Sunday Andres and P aola came to church! And they blessed their baby Jaime. It was so neat cause they aren’t members yet but they wanted to bless their baby.  It was so cute cause Brother Coburn sat next to them in church and with us! This week was an adventure that’s for sure I’m ready for a normal week next week, but I think that’s what I said last week!  hehe asi es la vida and that’s just life! Well love ya’ll and know that I know that this work is so important and that Christ is our Savior and we can do all things through Him!

Love ya’ll

Hermana Jennings

Monday, May 19, 2014


May 19, 2014
Dear Family,

This week we got to do lots of service which was great!

We got to go to the family Cabezas house and with Nicol, ya’ll met her on skype, She is a recent convert and we made sopapillas with her so we could bring them to an investigator named Carla. Her home situation is hard. Her father got into an accident and he can’t work and her mother can’t either and they don’t have a bathroom that works and their kitchen is a microwave. It’s sad so we brought her sopapillas because she asked us to and it was so sweet to see her face light up as she ate them, and her mother too. She is reading the Book of Mormon but she still hasn’t come to church but her brother came last Sunday I hope she can come this Sunday. She really is the sweetest thing and needs the gospel in her life to build her up and give her something to hope in.
We also go to help border some blankets that our stake is going to send up to Valparaiso for the victims of the fires up there. It was fun. We are going to finish it up the next week.

We got to go to a nursing home thing with the relief society of our branch and we got to clean up an outdoor area that was covered with leaves. So we raked leaves - well with brooms… they do that a lot here. We founds lots of fun little critters there also. They didn’t bother me till I had to go get trash out of the huge compost pile and then I’m pretty sure I scared some old people with my screams cause there I founds lots of giant spiders… I so don’t do spiders. But it was so fun to work with the women in the branch even the presidency of the relief society came from our branch. Service really is the best. After Hermana Molina took us out to eat at an Italian restaurant it was so yummy.

The last service project almost did me in. We went to go do service for Hermana Farfan because she fell and fractured her ankle, but her sister got there before all of us did.   So all of us sisters, Nicol, and Hermana Cabezas and Hermana Marta went to Herman Gonzaleses house because her house is on the same lot as hermana Farfans and we started cleaning her house because she just got back surgery and she can sweep or mop.  I started sweeping. Let’s keep in mind that she has 2 cats that live in her house and never leave right so there is just cat hair everywhere. Its funny cause every time we go over there for lunch she has to give me an anti-allergy pill so I don’t sneeze the whole time and this time I didn’t take one and I was sweeping up all sorts of cat stuff. I started in the back of the house and I just was sneezing like crazy like for 3 minutes straight that’s a long time to sneeze without stopping by this time I had almost made it out to the living room. And every time I sneezed it has making it harder to breath and when I got to the living room I could feel my throat closing up and it was really hard to breath. I was like this is scary got to get out of this house. So I ran outside and after a minute of coughing I could get air in again. Ya I went back over to hna Farfans house to talk with her and recover. Yes I can’t clean people’s houses with cats. I sat down for 5 mins and by this time my voice was gone and in walks Marta because she couldn’t breathe either. I’m thinking I  didn’t think that this would be a dangerous service project. It was bad so she had to go home and get her inhaler and we left and I sounded like a frog when I talked but  don’t worry I survived.  It was interesting that’s for sure. But all in all it was great to serve people this week. Just remember that we are God’s hands and that He can bless others through our service.

Well we are working hard. Andres and Paola are doing the paper work so they can get married. I can’t wait for you guys to meet them and their extended family. I love them so much but they are having a rough time right now but I know that they’ll make it through. Well I hope ya’ll are having a great week and know that I love you and that I know this church is true with all my heart and that by living its principles we find true joy. Thanks mom and dad for teaching me the things that bring true happiness sure love ya’ll!

Hermana Jennings

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Rather Be Out Working

March 12, 2014

This week was a great week because I got to talk to yall! Loreto came to church and so did  Matias, he is the Hermano of Carla. Neither are members but their older siblings are and their parents. They are going through a rough time because their father got into some kind of accident and he is bed ridden and has a tube coming out of his neck to feed him and some other stuff. We finally met him this week with  President Molina and Hermana Molina and it was the saddest thing  I was fighting the tears. They have no money because the parents can’t work because the dad is sick and the mom has to take care of the dad so the branch is going to help them out and we are going to do a service Project for them son. Pray for this little family that is struggling.

This week we went out a ton with the youth from our ward it was great - shoot they are great!  Autumn it makes me think of you and how you go out with the missionaries a lot! Way to go girlie! And this week my comp was sick for 2 days so we were homebound.  We played Uno when she was awake and I finished the Book of Mormon. I testify that the Book of Mormon is true and I always learn something new from it. I would rather be out being a missionary. It’s funny cause sometimes when there is a hard day I think – I wish I could just go home and take a nap…. Ya now after 2 days of being stuck in the house I am not going to wish for that again.  It is definitely better to be out doing something than sitting at home doing nothing.

This Sunday Loreto came to church she is so amazing! She loved it so much and in gospel principles we talked about gifts of the spirit and she commented that gifts of the spirit are like a taste of what we can have after this life if we are faithful…what! She is awesome never really thought about it that way before because God has all of the spiritual gifts and we can develop a few here, but after this life we can have them all.  God wants to share with us and that he wants us to become like him but we must put in our part just praying and doing nothing or saying I have faith and doing nothing will get us nowhere. We must act work and sacrifice to become like God. I love Loreto because not only does she get to learn about the gospel from us we always learn something from her about the gospel.  Her thought process is amazing and its nice cause she thinks out loud so we know exactly what she is thinking – it’s great! I love her honesty and she doesn’t try to hide who she is and I like that about her. But ya she is progressing but we are praying for her boyfriend who lives with her to listen to us.

THIS week also we went to visit Victor - last week we went and it was a complete disaster so this week we were going by to tell him we couldn’t come back anymore. We saw a miracle because we were straight up with him, like victor we can’t help you anymore unless you take the initiative to read, and go to church. Just praying isn’t enough to get salvation - action is essential. I compared it to having a cake in front of me and I look at the cake and just pray all my little heart out that I can taste it but I never act and don’t do anything to pick up my fork place it in the cake and taste the darn cake. hhaha It sounds ridiculous right?   Well it’s just as ridiculous if all we do is pray to God  all day but yet we never act on His commandments to go to church, read our scriptures, serve others, and work  on changing who we are inside to become more like Christ etc. He was like you are right  - I will come to church next week. We will see. I hope he can see the importance of acting in this life. We cannot be passive disciples of Jesus Christ. Well I know that my savior Lives and that this is his church.

Love ya’ll

Hermana Jennings

Monday, May 5, 2014

Spiritual Insight

May 5, 2014
This week I want to share something i learned in the Book of Mormon and what it really means to take upon yourself the name of Christ. I was Reading in In Alma 14 where Alma and Amulek have to watch the horrible scene of all the ¨believers in Christ¨ get burned alive by the wicked people of the city that they were preaching in. They had to watch that horrible scene, I can’t even imagine, and then they were thrown into prison and were deprived of food and water,  their persecutors  stripped them of their clothes and came daily and mocked them and spat upon them and tried to get them to deny Christ. I can’t imagine how they must have felt in this trying time, many of the saints were murdered and they were in a cold dark dungeon having their physical and mental strengths tested to the maximum. This experience reminded me a lot of Joseph Smiths time in Liberty Jail. I bet they wondered where is God? When will this end? but they did not deny their faith in Christ. They actually found strength in Christ. 
Alma 14:26 “And Alma cried, saying: How long shall we suffer these great afflictions, O Lord? O Lord, give us strength according to our faith which is in Christ, even unto deliverance. …”
 in spite of all that was happening they held fast to Christ. They walked with him the road to Gethsemane and they were truly examples of what it means to take Christ’s name upon us.
 I don’t think I really understood the meaning of taking the name of Christ upon us. It means that we walk the road he walked. We stay true to Him and his commandments even when others make fun of us when no one listens, when its hard, when we are tired, cold and hungry. It means we lift up the broken hearted and seek after the lost sheep even if they never come back. It means always fighting for the cause of Christ even though it seems like all your work is in vain. It was never easy for Christ. Nothing he did was easy. He worked for it and he did the will of the Father even though it was incredibly hard and we are asked to take up his cross and follow him. The path may be long hard and even sometimes lonely but the thing is in the end we will triumph just like Christ did in the end when he beat death and rose again in all his glory. Just like Alma and Amulek received the strength to break their bonds and the prison walls crumbled down around them and there persecutors where destroyed. They walked out of there and their enemies fled. Christ had not forgotten them. And he has not forgotten you nor will he ever forget you. This too shall pass. Be patient in affliction and hold fast to Christ. Your efforts of service for Christ are not in vain even though you see no fruits of your work in some seasons. You covenanted to take upon you the name of Christ and walk the road to Gethsemane and even have your own Gethsemane's in this life but in these times remember that we know who will win in the end and that we are on the winning team. Christ rose from the dead. He won. We too will rise from our hard times so push on. Don’t you quit. Remember Christ is always there next to you walking the hard and long and sometimes lonely paths. And as we remember that and look for the tender mercies of God in our lives every day and the joy in the little things in life and live the gospel, we will find joy in the journey whether  it be in a path of trial or a path of prosperity. This life is a test that shapes us and molds us into the person our father in heaven wants us to be. So come what may and love it. Don’t look back continue the journey you have started when you took Christ’s name upon you.
Hermana Jennings