Wednesday, December 13, 2017

I´ll be home for Christmas

3 John 
13 had many things to write, but will not with ink and pen write unto thee:
14 But trust shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee.
Greet the friends by name.
Love, 
Hermana Aleigha Rand


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Close to the end

Hello hello!
Fernanda


So. Its getting really close to the end. Each day that passes brings me closer. And its like a constant struggle of thinking about the things that I have to do to get ready to leave, and thinking about the people here in this sector and my companion. What I have to do to leave her feeling ready, and with people to teach. We are doing good. We feel good because we are doing our part. 

The other day, Fernanda, one of our investigators, told us that even though we helped her so much, and even though she loves the things that we teach her and knows that they are true, she could never leave her religion and get baptized. That was a really sad lesson, because she is so awesome, and the gospel could help her so much. But now isnt her time. I have confidence that at some point in the future, she will be brought back to the church or the missionaries in some form or another and will be able to accept it. Really we arent in charge here, right? As I have seen countless times in my mission, our Heavenly Father has a plan for every one of His children and He will be taking care of Fernanda in this time. 

So as I sit here writing this email and thinking about what I could possibly say, I would just like to bear my testimony I think. Ill try to sum up everything that I feel, everything I have learned but I cant promise that I will be able to fully express the gratitude I have for this time that Ive spent here. 

When I first came on the mission, I just knew that I was here because I wanted to serve. I knew that who I was as a person was in large part because of the gospel that I had in my life, the teachings I had recieved. And so I knew that I was here for a good reason, and that I would have to step up to the plate. That if I was going to serve, I was going to serve with everything I could. I would give everything I had to give to the Lord. But I never realized how very real is the love that He has for us, and how we can feel that love in a way that is so strong. Overwhelming sometimes. In this time, this year and a half, I think that is the thing I have learned most. Every time that I felt like it was too much, like I had done everything I could but it wasnt good enough, like I was alone, like I didnt know what else to do, my Heavenly Father showed me that He was there. That He cares. I can testify with all my heart, that He hears and answers our prayers. I can tell anyone who listens that our God really does work miracles in our days, that He is aware of every single one of us. His son came to this earth. Because of Him, we never have to go through anything alone. I came with the intention to give Him everything I could but really, Christ already gave everything for me. We are all in debt to Him and all that we can do to show gratitude for what He has given us, is by continuing to serve. Wherever we may be, name tag or no, we continue in debt. And so we must continue to serve. I know that Jesus the Christ made it possible for every single one of us to return to live with Him and with our Heavenly Father, if we will only do our part. The scriptures and prophets are there to help us along the way, and if we follow their counsel we will not be led astray. I know that Christ lives, that He loves every single one of us. I know that God has a plan and that plan is in effect every single day. He loves us and I love Him. I testify that the Restoration is real, and continues today. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Hermana Aleigha Rand

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Endure to the End

Hello hello!
our district

What to say. We had a meeting this last friday for all of the people that go home this change, all the people that are finishing. A meeting about finishing strong. And even though last week was really rough, and this week hasnt been easy, I have been able to see even more how the Lord blesses us for the work that we do. He always gives us little miracles, little ways to see His love for us, that help us to keep moving. This past sunday, obispo realized that they needed one more person to bless the sacrament and he asked Ricardo to do it. You shouldve seen how happy he was to serve, and how happy Carolina was to see her husband up on the stand. And the day before that, the friday before, we went to go teach Carolina. And as usual, she had something amazing to share with us. She told us about how a few days before, she had lost her job. She was the only one working, Ricardo was looking for work and so she realized that they were in a bad place. And she was talking with a member of the ward who told her "pay your tithing, its the only thing I can tell you. Pay your tithing and the Lord will bless you, I cant explain how but you will be able to see that He will help." And so she and Ricardo decided that they would do it, that night they put the money in the envelope and the next morning, Ricardo got a call saying that he had a job, Carolina got a call saying that even though she hadn't passed a test for a job interview, they wanted her to come in and have another interview anyways. And the day after that, she received the job and it was way more than what she had been earning in her other work. She shared that with us and told us how grateful she was for tithing, for the chance to gain a testimony like that. And there have been lots of things like that to keep us going. 

And so it goes. We are working hard every single day, I have holes in half my clothes and my shoes, tan lines on my arms and legs from two chilean summers, my name tag is turning yellow and has scratches all over it but I love it. I love it. Every day that I have to go out and work is another day I have to show my love for the Savior. Because at the end of the day, thats what this work is about. It doesn't matter how much time one has in the mission, how many sectors they've had, it matters the love that they have for Him who gave everything. And if we preach about enduring to the end but then we cant endure to the end of every day, the end of every month, the end of this year and a half, how are we going to endure to the end of our days on this earth? How can we expect to stay faithful to the end if we cant do it here? I cant wait to see you all but Im here for these next 20 days for a reason. I love you all and I will see you soon!

Hermana Aleigha Rand


Monday, November 27, 2017

From the Mission's FB page with link to article

"Your missionaries were recognized for all their service in the Church's Chile news web site "Sala de Prensa". What fine sons and daughters you have, generous, diligent and hard workers, not to mention lots of fun! Thank you for sharing them with us in the great Chile Santiago South Mission!"

http://www.saladeprensamormona.cl/articulo/misioneros-mormones-brindan-mas-de-700-horas-de-servicio-en-santiago



Saturday, November 25, 2017

its getting close

hello hello!!
From Sis. Gwilliam's FB page: "Pie Pday with the Hermanas....
yummy apple pies for all our missionaries. Just a little thanksgiving in Chile!!'


So it is getting real close to the end here, my comp and I are really trying our best to do our part and work as hard as we can every day. Its been hard to see the effect, as we have been experiencing lots of rejections in almost everything we do, we've had investigators tell us that they dont want to keep receiving us, we had one man invite us over and then start showing us verses in the Bible that explained why we as a church are wrong, we had a brother and sister invite us in and then start telling us that we dont know anything because we are so young, when we are older and have experienced more we will be able to understand why God doesn't exist and why all the churches are wrong, and lots of other experiences that were similar, all in one week! Woohoo!

But you know what, in Doctrine and Covenants, when Joseph Smith was in Liberty Jail, the Lord told him this: 
5 If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; if thou art in perils among robbers; if thou art in perils by land or by sea;
6 If thou art accused with all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee; if they tear thee from the society of thy father and mother and brethren and sisters; and if with a drawn sword thine enemies tear thee from the bosom of thy wife, and of thine offspring, and thine elder son, although but six years of age, shall cling to thy garments, and shall say, My father, my father, why can’t you stay with us? O, my father, what are the men going to do with you? and if then he shall be thrust from thee by the sword, and thou be dragged to prison, and thine enemies prowl around thee like wolves for the blood of the lamb;
7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
So that is what is keeping me going right now, knowing that whenever any one of us has difficulties, has problems, is frustrated, is sad, has been rejected so many times for so long, we can find peace in the knowledge that Christ has as well. That he felt all of this before we did. He knows. I testify of that and I hope that you all have a wonderful week.

Hermana Rand




Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Baptism of Carolina

Hello!!

Carolina got baptized this week!! I honestly have never seen somebody progress that fast, we started teaching her less than 4 weeks ago and this past Saturday she got baptized. Her husband, Ricardo, was able to baptize her and it was so cute to be able to see how he has changed alongside his wife, as she was learning everything that we teach, he was remembering how much the church means to him, the blessings that we are offered as we live the gospel, and when he said the words to baptize Carolina he almost couldn't speak because he was trying not to cry, just so happy. And they have already put the temple as their next goal, in two weeks to go and do baptisms together and in a year they want to be sealed. Before I met them and Rogelio, I never told the people that I would return to Chile, just because I mean, its kind of expensive to travel down here and I don't want to make promises that I cant keep, you know? But I mean, thinking about them, it would be totally worth it to come back just to see them sealed. But that is a decision for another time.

AND. Something else that happened is we got a new ward mission leader! Our other ward mission leader couldn't devote much time to his calling because of his work so it was kind of like we didn't even have a ward mission leader. But NOW. We have a mission leader who is like our age and he is awesome, he is preparing to go on a mission in about a year hopefully less and he is super excited to work hard with us and he is a convert of 3 years or so and I am so excited because I feel like he is going to be the best ward mission leader of my mission. Although all my other mission leaders have been or gone inactive hahahaha. Thats not funny. But kind of.

Anyways, this has been the first week of my last change in the mission!! Weird. But we are doing super good. Have a fantastic week!

Hermana Rand













Wednesday, November 8, 2017

THIS WEEK IS GOING TO BE THE BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE

Hello hello!


Carolina is going to get baptized this Saturday!! She had her interview on Monday and the elder who did the interview told us that she is so ready, she's perfect. So we are making all the preparations for her baptism and we are so excited! And Ricardo [her husband] is going to be the one to baptize her! They are so excited. [As a side note, Aleigha told me that Ricardo is a member, but hadn't been to Church in 23 years before he went back about 4 weeks ago. He bore his testimony last Sunday and Carolina was in tears.]

And Cliff, he is a haitiano we are teaching right now, has a baptism date for the 9th of Diciembre. His story is actually super cool, his wife is a recent convert of like 5 or 6 months i think? And he has been receiving the missionaries for all that time. The thing that impeded him from getting baptized was that he doesn't feel comfortable with Spanish so he wanted to wait until he felt comfortable and learn more. So we have been teaching him the entire time we have been here and he had a baptism date for the same day as Carolina but last week when we went to visit him, he told us that he wasn't ready, he still wanted to wait. And so we told him that was okay, that it was important that he feels ready to make the decision but that we are going to be there to help him and we would plan a new date. And then the next visit that we had with him he tells us that he was walking in the street one day and he felt like he heard God tell him, "Cliff, arrepiéntete y bautìzate." ("Cliff, repent and get baptized") And so now he knows that even if he doesn't understand 100% of the things that they say in church, he does have a testimony and is ready to be baptized. And so we are working for the 9th of December with him and we are super excited! 

Also changes happened this week but Hermana Guerrero and I are going to stay together to finish her training which is awesome! But what that means is that this is my last change of the mission. How crazy is that? Anyways, I attached a foto of us and the elders that we share a ward with trying to do a cool picture but just looking awkward. 

Enjoy! Have a lovely week!

Hermana Rand

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Hello hello everyone!

Hey so disclaimer I cant really remember what all happened this week, Carolina is doing amazing she is so excited for her baptism! She invited her mom to come visit her from Viña del Mar so that she can tell her the news and invite her to the baptism, and we have taught her almost everything that we have to teach a person before their baptism and we literally only met her like 2 weeks ago, this is the fastest I have ever seen anyone progress but it is just because she was so prepared to learn the gospel. And! We taught her about temples and family history and she is so excited, she understood immediately why it is so important and we are going to have an activity with some people from the ward tonight to help her and some investigators of the elders get started on their family history.

And turns out, the ward had a halloween activity a few days ago but we just had no idea it was happening so um we missed it? But the elders too so no worries.
But! Today we had a pday and we met up with a lot of other missionaries and dressed up with the things that we could find.

Also! Turns out I have not lost my hunting instinct because this week I killed the biggest fly I have ever seen in my life. So, look out dad.

Anyways, please keep Carolina in your prayers! Also Luis and Cliff, two of our other investigators who are progressing a lot right now.

Have a lovely week!

Hermana Rand









Wednesday, October 25, 2017

MIRACLE ROUND THREE

Hello hello!

This week we found a miracle named Carolina! Lets talk about the story of Carolina, she was raised in a certain religion but a few years back she decided to take a step back and not be a part of that religion because there were a few things actually a lot of things that she didnt like and didnt agree with. So it was really a hard time for her because she was looking for answers to a lot of questions. Her husband, Ricardo, started to answer some of the questions she had because he has been a member for a long time, but has been less active in the church. He would never tell her too many details but he and her mother in law who is also less active would help her get a new look on things. And after a few years of that, he really felt like he should return to the church and she needed so many answers that he took her to the ward that he had grown up in. That ward shares a church building with my ward, and turns out that they actually live in the sector that I am working in now. Well Carolina LOVED church and the hermanas of the ward that they attended took her address and number and sent the reference to my comp and I. We called and set up an appointment, but what we didnt know is that her husband told her "if you start recieving the missionaries, it is with the idea in mind that you are going to get baptized." Which is true, that is our purpose, to help people come unto Christ by living the gospel, and the first real step is baptism. And so she kind of freaked out and had a panic attack that day. But then the day after, she and her husband and daughter went to the church so that he could play soccer with all the men of the ward and she had had a bad day and was super frustrated but said that when she got to the church she just realized that she didnt have any of those feelings, they had been replaced by feelings of happiness and calmness and she realized that she wanted to be a part of that always, she realized that she wanted to be baptized she wanted to learn more and she was really anxious for us to visit her the day after. So when we finally met her, she let us into her house and told us this story and we were just, like wow. Before we even met her she had decided she wanted to be baptized, when we taught her about the Restoration of the church and the Apostasy she told us how much sense it makes, how shes been trying to find these answers for so long. And a few days afterwards we taught her the plan of salvation and talked about temple work and what she can do for her ancestors and she thinks it is the most amazing thing she has ever heard and is already excited to go to the temple and she hasnt even been baptized yet! Talk about prepared. And at the end of our first lesson, she said the prayer and thanked Heavenly Father for sending the missionaries that she felt are perfect for her. Just another testimony builder of how our Heavenly Father has a plan and that plan is on his timing but it is perfect. It is honestly a privilege to be able to teach her. And at the end of that first lesson we gave her a Book of Mormon and she started crying because she was so excited to be able to read it and learn and find the answers she wants and we invited her to be baptized and she THANKED us for giving her the opportunity to take this step and now she has a baptism date for the 11th of November and we are so excited! These pictures are of her and her family.

And then last night on the bus, I started talking to the lady sitting next to me, asking about her life and she tells me she is separated from her husband and that it has been really hard for her and how when she saw me come onto the bus she felt like God had sent her someone to cheer her up. She thanked me for talking to her and how she felt like God was taking care of her. Her name was Rosa and I gave her a hug as we left. Just so many things happen that we think are coincidence but really they are little answers to our prayers. There is a quote that mom always had on the fridge at home, that I have been thinking about a lot lately. Something like, "God does hear our prayers, but it is usually through other people that he answers them." We all have the opportunity to be instruments in Gods hands. Im so grateful for this time I have to meet the people I am meeting and those that I already have met. I love you all!

Hermana Rand


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

'We are just killing it together...'


Hello hello!

We are just killing it together, Hermana Guerrero and I. She is seriously so awesome, she learns super fast and loves to work! Never complains about things, the other day we were knocking on doors and she says, "I like contacting people by knocking on doors, its fun." And I was like, "I LIKE THAT ATTITUDE".

And then there was one day where we were in a lesson and the lady we are teaching says "oh its raining outside". And by the time we got out of the lesson it was time to go home. And it was indeed raining. And since both of us had forgotten our little bus card that lets us get on any city bus and get a ride home, we were like, "well time to walk home, hopefully it doesnt start raining more". And of course, our prayer was heard and it started raining even harder. Like that one time that we prayed to knock the door of 3 houses in a row and have the people talk to us but we didnt pray that they would be receptive just that they would talk to us. And we found 3 houses and at each one of them the person came out and talked to us just to tell us that they dont want anything to do with us. Or that time that we prayed that the family we had set up an appointment with would let us in and would be nice and listen to the message we had to share. And the family let us in, they listened to the message we shared, and then they told us that they were less active and didnt have intentions of coming back to church. SO if there is a lesson to be learned from all this its that yes, God hears prayers and he does answer but he also has a sense of humor. So anyways, we started walking home and since we live outside our sector it took us like half an hour of walking/running in the rain with shoes that have holes all in the bottom, my comp with a jacket that didnt have a hood and we got home and it was just the greatest we thought it was the best adventure ever. Hermana Borja had made us hot chocolate because they called us when we were on the way and we told her we were running home. So that is why we have hot chocolate and blankets in that picture, because Hermana Borja went into total mom mode :).
Anyways, other than that we have been having a great time, we are finding so many people. We taught a lady the other day who when we told her about priesthood blessings just got super excited and asked for one for her husband so we called up the elders and they came and gave blessings to her and her husband and she felt the spirit so strong.

I love being here! Life is the best. I hope you all have a lovely week!

Hermana Rand





Wednesday, October 11, 2017

My chilean grandpa

Hi, 

Rogelio got baptized this past Saturday!! He is our investigator from San Bernardo who is just the definition of a golden investigator. He got baptized this past Saturday and I got to go back to the sector and help in his baptism. Which means it was basically the best day of my life because he is just so converted. When he listened to the talks and then heard our musical number we looked at him and we was just crying he was so happy. He invited his entire family to the baptism and there were more nonmembers in his baptism than members. Granted, not very many people from the ward came out but still! It was super cool to be able to meet his family and help them get to know the church a little bit. And then after he got baptized, he bore his testimony to all of us and talked about how for years he had given excuses of why he couldnt let the missionaries in his house and had just never let them in but how when we came and knocked on the door he just knew that we were welcome in his house and how now he knows that the gospel is true and it was just so cool to be able to hear of how he has changed and how he loves the church now.

And also! Valentina got baptized this past Saturday! Valentina is the friend of Benjamin that we were working with in Quimey and it took her a lot longer to get baptized but she finally did! I dont have pics of her because Hermana Borja has them but next week!

So I had a day of baptisms and it was so fun. Now I just have to find somebody here who is ready to listen to us!

We have been doing so many contacts lately and talking to so many people, so we have a lot of faith that as we do our part, we are going to be able to see blessings.

But we are doing super good, I love my comp she is so stinking funny and we have fun together. I hope you all have a great week!

Hermana Rand




Wednesday, October 4, 2017

All the Hermanas in the mission got together for Women's Conference!


Its been a week of acting like I know what I'm doing

Hello hello! 

This week has been great! We are figuring out the area and finding people to teach. I accidentally bought paper towels instead of toilet paper so thats what we have been using for an entire week.

Speaking of which, I now live with Hermana Borja again! We live us four hermanas, Hermana Borja, my companion Hermana Guerrero, and hermana from Argentina and me. Which is so much fun!

And the ward here, San Miguel, is just awesome. The members really want to help and they are super excited to have hermanas back in the ward because for a change there werent any, there were only elders. In fact, the other day we set up an appointment with someone we had found in the area book and when we went to go meet him, he didnt have a woman in the house with him. He had received missionaries before so he knew the rule that we couldnt enter if a woman wasnt in the house and so he told us of a member who lived close to him that we could visit and ask if they could accompany us. When we went to that member, he and his family we super busy but they started giving us names and numbers of people who could help us and the first family that we called told us that they were in their house and of course they could accompany us. Just like that they dropped what they were doing and went to our appointment with us and they really helped by testifying and helping the investigator get more answers and get a different perspective on things.

And we have just had a really great response from the ward which really helps because I just came from a ward where there were only a few families who were really actively involved in missionary work.

OH! And Rogelio is going to get baptized this saturday! Rogelio our golden investigator who came to the service projects and sang the hymns louder than the members and who went and watched general conference even though he had just gotten off work and hadnt slept and who asked us to write down which lessons we were going to teach him before his baptism so that he could prepare himself for each lesson. THAT Rogelio. So I will be going back to San Bernardo to see his baptism and I am so excited.

We are doing super good here, I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Hermana Rand




Wednesday, September 27, 2017

IVE GOT A DAUGHTER

Hello hello!

So we just had changes yesterday and I am training an hermana from Ecuador! Her name is Hermana Guerrero and her name is honestly my worst nightmare because after 15 months in the mission I have yet to learn how to roll my "rr"s. So I am taking it as a 3 month long challenge to never ever ever say my companions name. I will keep yall updated on how it goes.

I am training her in San Miguel. I have officially said goodbye to San Bernardo. Between wards Quimey and San Bernardo, which are both from the stake San Bernardo, I was in that stake and zone for about 10 months. And now I have returned to zone San Miguel. I actually started my mission in this zone but I was in Departamental, which is the ward next to San Miguel. # tinymissionlife. And so I am training her in a whitewash, we opened the sector up for hermanas after it being closed for a cambio or two. So neither one of us has any idea what we are doing but it is great!

Yesterday we were able to visit a few members, and the elders gave us references of a few people that they were teaching but are part of our sector so they passed them to us and we were able to teach the Restoration to a family of colombianos and my companion did SO good she shared the first vision and it was such a cool experience to be able to hear her teach that on her first day.

And before changes day, Hermana Cribbs and I got to go do an open temple house in another sector which was fun. Oh and we got to go do service in another sector, we went with the elders of another zone to go sing for an hermana... who had a family member die. So we went and we sang to the family and it was so sad the lady who passed away had a really little son and he started crying as we sang and Cribbs and I were a mess, trying to comfort this little kid who had just lost his mom and it just made me so grateful for the knowledge we have that our families can be together forever. And we dont just know that they can, but we know how they can be together forever. The hermana who asked us to come was the only member of her family and it just made me really grateful to know that God does have a plan for us that is the reason why I am here, to be able to share that with everyone.

I hope you all have a lovely week!

Hermana Rand

pics of us at last pday, random stairs, renata (our investigator in san bernardo), and a dog that I named teancum because he is a killing machine