Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Happy Fiestas Patrias!!

Hello hello family and friends!

This week was great, our ward had a party for the 18 of September which is like the chilean 4th of July. So we had half a day of being with most of our ward, eating a bunch of meat, playing ping pong, and watching people dance the cueca which is a chilean dance. So it was super fun. And I realize that it still is not the 18 of September, but they decided to put the activity a week before the actual holiday because a lot of people travel and whatnot.

And then on Sunday and Monday, we had the best days of our LIVES because the 11th of September is actually a relatively dangerous day in Chile, in some sector people really start kind of going crazy and fighting in the streets and stuff (so Ive heard, we didn't see anything near where we live) so for the afternoon on Sunday and all day on Monday we had to stay inside the house. WE HAD TO STAY INSIDE THE HOUSE. It was the most chill thing in the world, we just studied, cleaned up a bit, took a few naps, oh it was GLORIOUS.

But before that, when we went to church on Sunday we had the best day ever because the family we have been teaching, Cecilia and Luis and their son and grandkids came to church, as well as Rogelio, our chilean grandpa investigator, and two Haitian investigators came to church all in the same day. THEY ALL CAME TO CHURCH. That was the most investigators Ive seen come to the church in my entire mission, and they all LOVED it. They loved the classes, they loved the sacrament meeting and we were just so happy. So that was awesome.

And guess what!! Hermana Yufra, my second comp, came to visit Chile and totally surprised me! It was super good to see her, I have pictures and everything but they are on my comps camera... so those will come later! But that is it, we had a great week full of investigators that are really progressing and it is amazing! I hope you all have a lovely week!

Hermana Rand

Monday, September 11, 2017

Divisions in Quimey [9/6/2017 email]

Hello hello!!

This week has been great! I never got to send pics from the last pday that we had, but we had a onesie pajama party! Hey when you are in the smallest mission in the world outside of Temple Square, you have to get a little creative and almost anything outside of the ordinary seems like a blast okay? So we had a onesie pajama party! I was Mike Wazowski. 

Anyways, this past Friday I think it was, we got to go to a different sector and do an activity where we go with young women from the ward and they come be like "mini missionaries" with us. And so my companion and I were walking around with 3 girls aged like 15 and 16 in a sector that we did not know at all and we accidentally went to a pretty ghetto part without realizing it. But it was great because we found some pretty receptive people and were able to pass the references to the elders of the sector.

Also, we did a breakfast for all of our Hermanas, we all met up at our church building and had breakfast and afterwards we did a little class on the importance of studying every day. Which was pretty easy because it is one of the things that I have really gained a testimony of, is that it is really important to study the scriptures every single day. Our president has been focusing this change on revelation, and how we can better receive and understand revelation as missionaries. And really as I have been able to study and focus on that, I have been able to see that really God communicates with His children all the time, it is just that we sometimes do not listen or act on what He says.

Also! This week I was able to do divisions with one companionship of Hermanas and I got to go back to Quimey, my past sector and we visited Benjamin! It was so cool to be able to see him and Jocelyn again, because they are just as strong as ever and when we taught the Plan of Salvation, Benjamin remembered EVERYTHING and was able to explain it all to us and he said that as soon as he turns 12 he wants to go to the temple and do baptisms there and oh it just made me so happy to see him and how he is still doing so good. They are my favorite miracle. Hope you all have a lovely week!

Hermana Rand

What even happened this week [8/30/2017 email]

Hola!! This week has been great, not going to lie the only pictures we have taken are with Dude, the mission dog, from when he followed us home and slept in our house. So here you go! I promise he's actually really cute, just in this picture he kind of did a face like Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes.

BUT ANYWAYS. Not quite sure if I have already told this story but literally the people right now are contacting US not the other way around. The other day, Hermana Cribbs and I were walking in the street just laughing like normal and this couple of old people come up to us and is like, "hey do you guys have magazines?" and we are like what the heck no we don't sell magazines... we have pamphlets if you want?" and they are like "yeah we do! Can we have some?" and we are just like mmmokay and we start talking to them and the lady is telling us that she wants to get baptized, there was a time when she was receiving the missionaries and was going to get baptized but then her mom got sick and just so many things happened that she wasn't able to. And they were like, "were not married but we want to get married and baptized in your church, we just love what you teach" and we are like, well that is literally our job! And they invited us over to teach them the next day and when we passed by for them it was awesome! We were able to teach them both and they are just so ready to listen! Talk about miracles.

And yeah we have been working hard, working hard working hard. It is finally getting a little bit warmer her so that is cool. Every time I talk with somebody who is from a different Spanish speaking country I learn just how many of the words I am speaking are Chilean Spanish words. Turns out a lot! But Im doing good. Everything is good. Life is good. Hope you all have a lovely week!

Hermana Rand

Photo of Entire Mission!

Here's a photo we took from the mission Facebook page, it's the entire mission together. Aleigha is in the front row, the fifth from the left...

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Miracle Round 2

Hello hello!!

This week has been good, my comp and I are together for another change and so this week we have just been killing it. We were actually able to meet the coolest girl! Her name is Gabriela. We actually knocked on her door the first time when we were looking for her uncle, because we had recieved a reference for him from another companionship of hermanas who had contacted him in the street. And the first time we talked to her, it was just for like 3 minutes and we asked her who she was and whatnot, and she told us that she recently had recieved a belief in God. And so we set up a date when we could pass by again and left. And for a few days after, I was thinking like,"we have to pass by for Gabriela, I have faith in her". And so we stopped by her house later on in the week and she let us in her house and told us her story. She had had kind of a rough life, she left her house when she was 13 because she had a really bad relationship with her parents, and had tried to commit suicide a few times, had problems with smoking and alcohol and just really always felt alone. She ended up moving in with her grandparents who are super catholic but she had never believed in God because of all the problems that she had growing up, and she had never felt anything when she went to other churches. Then at a time when she was feeling super alone and desperate, she met someone who was able to help her think more about God and one day she tried praying. And she said that in that moment she just felt something so special and so different and she knew that God didnt leave her alone. And so she then was willing to accept God in her life and started searching and trying to learn about Him. And then, a short time after that, we came and knocked on her door! And she told us that when we were talking with her, she felt the same feeling that she had when she first prayed. And she just thanked us a lot for coming and for helping her learn and she now is so excited to learn and to come to church this week and she is already stopping smoking and drinking because she knows it doesnt help her. And we had another lesson with her and her boyfriend who also is interested and it was honestly just so cool, we could feel the spirit so strong and I was reminded again of why I came to Chile, the real reason of why I am here and it is to help people find that happiness that I have gotten from this gospel, and to help them know that God really doesnt leave His children alone. I was reminded of Benjamin and his mom, Jocelyn and how really everything is in the Lords timing. And now I know that really when we feel like times are hard, the Lord always sends us miracles to see in our lives. It just matters that we can look for them. I hope you all have a lovely week, and can see the miracles of everyday life!

Hermana Rand

Remember when I adopted 3 puppies? [8/16/2017 email]

Hello hello!! 

SO this week was fun, and also not fun, but lets start off with the fun stuff!! So sunday we were helping out at a capilla abierta, which is like a chapel open house where we invite the public to come and tour the chapel of a certain sector and we were in the chapel of the ward right next to us. And literally NOBODY had come and so we decided, lets go try and see if some of our investigators can come to the capilla abierta. So we go run to our sector, visit with one of our investigators and ask if she can come and she says no but we set up an appointment with her. Then we run back to the chapel to help with some of the tours that are going on and I realize I lost my name badge. So then I had to walk around for like 2 hours with a feeling that I wasnt even a missionary anymore until the capilla abierta ended and we started retracing our steps for like an hour, visiting our investigator again to see if it got left there and finally, when it is getting dark I find part of it, like the magnet part on the back, on the corner of a street. And we are like, were close! And then after like 10 more minutes of searching we find another part. And then we prayed and were like, PLEASE just help us find this freaking name badge and I kept thinking like, we should just ask the store owner and so 10 minutes later we go and ask the owner of the store next to the corner where we found the first part if he had found a name badge and he had found it and was able to give it back to us!! And we were like, well if we had just listened to that prompting like half an hour ago we would have found it so much faster!! But man that was an adventure, so after that we went and bought sandwiches and said a prayer of thanks. 

And then that same day, we were walking around at night and we walk by a building with a huge wall and hear some meowing. And we look up and there is a cat at the top of this giant wall and its just walking amidst a bunch of barbed wire trying to get down but it cant. And we look at it and we are like, "we already did not save that cat with the burned face, we have to save this cat to make up for it". And so we are trying to put things against the wall so it could climb down but it was pretty dumb and didnt do it. And then a little old guy walks by and hes like, "we have to help this cat" and we are like yeah we know. And so he helped us do like that cheeleading looking thing where two people hoist up another person and he and I lifted my comp up the wall so that she could drag this cat off the wall and save its life. And then we tried to contact him and was very nice but was more interested in saving animals than learning the gospel. But we tried! 

Other than that, we are working really hard together. There are a lot of our missionary friends who went home, like to their houses in the states, this past monday which makes me so happy for them because now they are with their families! But it means that the zone is really weird. Ive been here for a little more than 8 months now and all people that I knew when i first got here have either left the zone or gone home so that is weird. I am staying with Hermana Cribbs for another change which is great! We are working really hard together, we are excited to be able to keep working here because we really have a few investigators who are just awesome! Anyways, I hope you all have a lovely week!

Hermana Rand

Back to basics [8/9/17 email]

Hello hello!

This week was so much fun! We got to do so much, we had service one day, weve gotten to teach so many people, weve been chased by some devil dogs, had zone conference and all kinds of things! So yeah, first off, last saturday we got to go do some service for dia del niƱo, the day of the kid, which is basically just a day, apart from birthdays, to give your children gifts. And we went to a fire station where they had planned an activity which was like a little carnival with games and stuff and they invited all the neighborhood kids over to play some games and they invited us to help them set up and run the activities. So Hermana Cribbs and I were in charge of face-painting a bunch of little kids and it was so cute. It was pretty cool because most of the kids had kind of difficult living situations and it was fun to be able to brighten their day a bit. BUT for those of you who have never tried to paint the face of a two year old who has just gotten distracted by the balloons flying around and would like a dinosaur painted on their face, just know that I will never take a job facepainting children. Talk about stress. 

Also, two nights ago we were walking in the street trying to figure out where to go after our plan A, B, and C had fallen through and we were dying laughing at some stupid joke that we had made, and there is a car on the side of the road and this lady pokes her head out and starts singing along to the song on the radio and is like "mi amoooooor de mi vidaaaa" (the love of my liiiiiife) and I was like "oh okay" and we keep walking and she goes "venga mis reinas!" (come my queens! - chileans have the habit of calling women queens, and calling people uncle and aunt even if they dont know them) and were like "oh okay" and she basically told us that she wanted us to come visit with her and teach her and her daughters. And so after that, we took her contact information and set up an appointment with her and when we were walking away we were like "she is either a miracle sent from God or she is going to kill us". And so we visited her yesterday and she wasnt even there but we were able to teach her daughter! It was a weird lesson but it was still a cool/funny experience of being called queens in the street and having someone ask us to stop by. 

Also we had zone conference yesterday and President and the assistants talked about going back to the basics as missionaries. Like, really focusing on the blessings that we get from doing the little things, like obedience to the commandments, prayer, reading the Book of Mormon, attending church, and just making sure that the people we are teaching can really understand how important those things are in being converted. Also, an hermana showed me a talk by Elder Eyring that I really really loved, it is called "Rise to your Call" and it talks about the power that we receive when we say yes to a calling to serve in the church and how we can rise to that call. I JUST LOVE IT. But there is a quote that I really love where President Eyring talks about when we feel like we are not good enough to serve in the church. He says, 

"There will be times when you will feel overwhelmed. One of the ways you will be attacked is with the feeling that you are inadequate. Well, you are inadequate to answer call to represent God with only your own powers. But you have access to more than your natural capacities, and you do not work alone.

The Lord will magnify what you say and what you do in the eyes of the people you serve. He will send the Holy Ghost to manifest to them that what you spoke was true. What you say and do will carry hope and give direction to people far beyonyour natural abilities and your own understanding. That miracle has been mark of the Lord’s Church in every dispensation."
I love this. Really, none of us is good enough to serve the Lord. But we have the promise that if we try our best, He will help us. Anyways, have just a great week! 
Hermana Rand

Heres some pics from the service we did, lets play a game called "find the creepy clown that made my companion paint a creepy face on him"​

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Earthquake, exchanges & photo with Ernesto!

Hello hello!

Have any of you ever woken up at 3:30 in the morning because there was a small earthquake shaking the apartment? Because I have! Last night! But, being in Chile, literally nobody even worries about earthquakes unless they are HUGE, and the one that we felt last night is just seen as a pretty regular occurrence. I love Chile. 

Anyways! This week was good, we had divisions with some of the hermanas and I got to do be with one of the hermanas who is now in Quimey, so I got to visit some of the people that I used to work with and see a few of the member families that I love. And ride on my bike again! Which I always love. And also we did that activity where we spend a few hours with missionaries from the CCM and we show them around our sector and teach people with them to show them what it is like to be a missionary outside of the CCM. The hermanas were both from the states, but I dont remember from which ones. And they told us that my companion and i werent allowed to split up because they wanted each companionship to have a phone so we had to walk around all four of us together, and teach our lessons the four of us together. So I mean, I thought being in a trio was weird but being with 3 other people, 2 of which dont speak spanish, was even more stressful. But it was fun. Anyways, I hope all have a lovely week!

I dont know if I ever sent a foto of Ernesto, but here is one from his baptism with him and his family and almost all of us missionaries who taught him. 

Hermana Rand

Thursday, July 27, 2017

I've been good


Renata and us, we went to lunch at the house of the marriage missionaries
This week, I got to see the baptism of Ernesto, the cousin of Benjamin who was our little miracle that got baptised a while back. He's only got 9 years, but it was cool to see his baptism because his family has been inactive for years and years and supporting him getting baptized was a big reason of why they came back to the church. It was also pretty weird because they have a lot of family in Departamental, which was my first ward, so I got to see a lot of ward members that I knew from when I was first here in Chile.

Also we are teaching an investigator who is super awesome, she is named Renata and she's got 20 years and she loves learning about the Gospel. She came to church this past Sunday and wanted to see the baptismal font and ahh she is just so great. 

And today we went to the temple which was fun, we went with about 20 other missionaries. And afterwards we went to Carls Jr. because we were in the rich part of Chile and it was the most American place I have been ever. 

Hope you all have a great week!

Hermana Rand

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Chilly in Chile

Hahahaha. Well it got a bit chilly down here at the end of the world because IT SNOWED THIS PAST SATURDAY. Thats right, San Bernardo has not gotten snow in over like, 40 years and then super early in the morning on Saturday we woke up and realized that it was snowing, and I was in divisions with Hermana Borja and it was the first time she had seen snow in her life so of course we ran outside and played in the snow it was so cool. So anyways, that was super cool. And that was the most exciting thing that happened this entire week hahaha.

And also today for pday, all the people from Arizona got together and we ate food and drank Arizona drinks (those giant cans that say Arizona on it?) and I realized that I am from a completely different world than the people from Mesa and Gilbert. But thats okay because we are all from a place where the steering wheel burns your hands if you try to drive in the summer.

Also, this week, I was on divisions with another Hermana and my companion was left in the sector, and she has only been there about two weeks, and so she was trying to call a member when I was gone and she sets an appointment with a ward member so that we can visit her the day I get back. And so when I get back in the sector, that night we go looking for this lady and she tells me the name of her, its Ximena, and Im like okay I dont think I know her, lets call and get the address. When she tells it to us, we go walking down the street where supposedly this lady should live and we get all the way to the end of our sector and are like, what in the world, the numbers of the houses dont reach that high and that is the edge of our sector. So we decide to go in the other direction hoping that it will be on the other end of the street. But then we reach the other side of the sector and we still havent found the house. So Im like okay Im going to call her. And then Im talking to the hermana and I realize that this lady doesnt even live in our sector or ward, she lives in one of the wards where you need a bike to get to her house. So basically we walked from edge to edge of our sector looking for a member of another ward and had to end up telling her that we have no idea what we are doing and we cant visit her but we will send the elders. And that about sums up our companionship, we just try so hard and then we realize that we never know what we are doing hahaha. But its great.

Anyways, I hope you all have a lovely week!

Hermana Rand

Monday, July 17, 2017

this one guy in the street and the cat from batman [07/12/2017 email]

Hello hello! 
This was from a little get-together they had at the President's
house for missionaries who just passed the one year mark

So this week we were contacting in a random street of our sector, and there is this dirty old guy pulling a little cart behind him who comes up to us because he saw that my companion is a blond and starts asking where she is from. But he was only talking to me because they always assume that I am the only one of the two who speaks spanish. So I tell this guy that she's from the United States and that I am as well, and he got all confused and tells me that there is no way I am from the United States, I must be from Argentina or Venezuela or something. And so then my comp starts explaining that actually, in the United States we've got people of all kinds of colors and whatnot. And he just, I dont think he believed us. So then he goes away and we keep on contacting and then this lil cat walks up to us and its breathing like Bane from Batman and we are like what the heck and we look at it and its got the front part of its face burnt off. And we felt so bad because it was so sad but for those of you who are caught up on my time in Chile, I once adopted 3 puppies for a day and it was the worst decision of my life so I was like "maaan we cant help this cat its going to give us so many problems".  But then we just felt so bad that my comp was like okay pick it up. So I do but then this freaking cat is so happy that it climbs out of my arms and up onto my shoulder and just sits down there. So then Im freaking out because there is a Bane cat on my shoulder breathing like darth vader into my ear and my comp pulls it off of me but then it freaks out and climbs onto her shoulder to. So then we are just two american girls freaking out and dying laughing in the street as I pull it off of her. And then we figured if it followed us to our house we would help it but it ended up crossing the street and we were like, well, we tried. But yeah so that was the story of how we tried to find new people to teach but ended up with an old man and a burnt cat.

Also my companion and I have decided that we have exactly opposite personalities. Like, I am bad at letting people help me and so this week we ended up having to take apart a bed (can we say life skills?) because I just didnt want to call elders and have them do it for us. And if it were up to my comp we would have just called them. So things like that we are completely different. But in terms of awkwardness we are exactly the same. So just imagine two Hermana Rands running around together hahaha. Anyways, I hope you all have a great week! 

Hermana Rand

Aleigha & her comp with Pres. & Sis Gwilliam

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

changes and happy 4th

Benjamin hugging Aleigha at his baptism.
This is Aleigha's favorite pic from her mission and she said
"it was worth coming on a mission just for him..."
Hello hello!

Happy (belated) 4th of July for everyone in America!!

We had changes yesterday and I am now with Hermana Cribbs! The trio is officially done, thank goodness. ​​​​She is from Las Vegas and I definitely forgot to take a picture with her... But anyways! Thats about it. That we had changes. 

OH! And that it was the 4th of July! Haha when we woke up yesterday, Hermana Johnston and I had taken Hermana De Carvalho to the airport the day before, and we were with another hermana who's comp had also gone home. And this hermana is from Argentina and we were going around the house singing the star spangled banner at the top of our lungs and she thought we were crazy. But umm working with Hermana Cribbs is great, she is super fun and I think that our personalities are 100% the opposite of each other but thats okay because I feel like we teach well together.

Umm I literally have nothing else to say so I hope you all have a lovely week! Heres some pictures from the pday last week and from yesterday, with Hermana Johnston. Love you!

Hermana Rand

This is Aleigha's new comp, Hermana Cribbs