Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Week 29 Merry Christmas from Chile!

Hello everyone!

Hope that this email finds you all well and happy, and ready for the Christmas season!

I still stand by the fact that if it is not freezing outside with snow and such, it is not Christmas. I miss my mountains and my snow! Haha. But there is something charming about being able to eat ice cream and listen to Christmas music. 

Not a ton happened in the way of the Work this week. We still have a baptismal date for José on the 16th of January, and other people are slowing progressing. The problem is that we just officially hit summer this last week here, and all the people in El Salvador are leaving. Not even joking, half of the branch and more are going to be gone until March. Yesterday was the saddest day of church in my life. 11 people showed up, not a one a person who was in charge of teaching a class, and then they ALL left after sacrament meeting. It was just two sister missionaries staring at an empty chapel, and two hours with nothing to do. That will kill your spirits pretty quick. But we are determined to help the members want to stay. And we are excited to start really working with the members. At this point it is almost like everyone in the Branch is a Less Active member.

We also had our Christmas conference this last week! I got to go to Copiapó with my companion. We met up with both of the zones in Copiapó and had a great day. Lots of Christmas stories and singing hymns. And there wasnt a musical number prepared, so I was nominated with another sister who is an alto to sing a song.  Hermana Handley played the piano and then we sang Silent Night, it really turned out beautifully as well. We were very happy with it, and President loved it. Always a good sign. And after all of the spiritual things were done, we traded gifts. I recieved a really cool gift, that won the Most Chilean spot. Its one of those toys where you have to flip the top up onto a stick that is attatched by a string. The one I got though is basically artistic only. The Elder that gave it burned the mission logo into it. It is really cool, and I totally forgot to take a picture. (Next week).

But if I had to pick the most spiritual experience for the week, it would definetly be during the conference when we were all singing Christmas hymns together. Just the fact that about 40 missionaries were all singing songs and testifying that the Savior is born, it really brought to my mind the scripture in Luke 2, when the Angel testifies to the Shepards that Jesus is born, and then around him are suddenly all the hosts of Heaven singing and praising God. That is really what we are doing as missionaries during this Christmas season. We are the angels sounding the trump to tell the whole world that ¨Ha Nacido un Salvador¨, A Savior is Born. As much as I love my snow, my mountains, my family and friends. I wouldnt trade anything right now, to be in Utah. Here I am doing the work of the Lord. The work that I have been called to do. 

There are people here that I have been called to meet and to teach, and even if they dont initially accept the church they have been given the opportunity. And that is my purpose  here. Invitar a las personas a venir a Cristo. (Invite others to come to Christ.) Thank you all for the love and support that I feel from all of you, and for the many emails with Christmas wishes that I recieved this last week. I love you all and I pray for you always. Merry Christmas all, and may you remember the reason for the season. Remember that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ filled a manger, and emptied a tomb. Today my Savior, your Savior lives, and he loves all of us. And during this time of Christmas, remember the perfect baby, even the Christ, that was born to save the world. 

God bless us every one.

Hermana Randall

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Week 28 The Christmas Season Begins....

Hello There Everyone!

Seeing people with Christmas lights in the windows and fake snowmen in the front yard feel almost like the world is lying to me that it is December. When broiling from the inside out is the state of your body during the day, it is not Christmas. No matter what the Calender says. Although Homesickness isnt a thing, because it doesnt feel like Christmas, which I guess is a blessing in disguise. Haha. For one of the neighborhoods here, they did a Christmas party, so they pulled a trampoline out into the middle of the street, set up some inflatable pools and had a big water party. It was really fun, and I got squirted with a lot of squirt guns while proselyting, that was a new experience for me. Here when it is Christmas, it is water fights and heading to the beach. That is super different. 

Things are going really well here in El Salvador though! I did have a pretty miserable 24 hours when I  caught a stomach bug and was throwing up all night. And it just happened to be the night of Companion Exchanges, so BOTH of the Hermana Leaders were there, so I recived way more support than was necessary. I appriciate that they love me and all, but sometimes you just want to throw up and be miserable in peace. 

But our investigator José is doing great! We were expecting to have a pretty frank conversation with him and his Less Active girlfriend this week about the Law of Chastity, but we had hardly began our conversation when they announced they were getting married the 6th of January! And then they asked us if he could be baptized on the 16th of January! (My baby sister´s birthday, that will be a good day for me.) Everyone is really excited, but no one more so than José he is super excited to be a part of this Church and to have the opportunity in a year to go to the temple and be sealed to the woman that he loves. 

We taught a good number of lessons this week, had intercambios (companion exchanges) and prepared for the Mission Christmas conference on Wednesday. We all are preparing a White Elephant gift to give in 3 categories, 1. Most Missionary 2. Most Funny and 3. Most Chilean. Im going for Most Funny, Im giving a carefully written Dear John letter (Querido Juan) a pack of tissues, a type of candy called Guauitas (which are shaped like little babies), and then an acutally good Candy bar.

I would also like to point out I found a bag of Reese´s Peanut Butter cups here! I did not buy them, because converting Pesos to Dollars, it was about $9.00 I was NOT paying that much.

Anyways! That was about my week! Ups and Downs and all arounds! Hope you are all enjoying snow and the spirit of Christmas. If you havent already I highly recommend you watch the new Christmas videos that the Church put out, they are beautiful and powerful. You can find them at christmas.mormon.org . I love them!

And I love you all! Have a great week! Godspeed and stay strong!

Hermana Randall

PS. I found a fabulous manaquin that I had to share with you all. I laughed way harder than I should have.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Week 27 6 Months Has Never Been so Quick....

Hello there everyone!

Hope this email finds you all well and happy, preparing for the Christmas season no doubt!

As the title says this last Thursday I completed 6 months in the mission. A third of my mission is gone, and I closed my eyes for just one second. I have to say that if the time continues to pass as fast as it has, I dont know if I will even have time to do all that I want to do.  It really spurred me onto new heights this last week.

Companion Update: Hermana Handley and I are getting along famously. She told me yesterday that I am the first companion that she has had in 16 months that she genuinily likes and considers a friend, not just tolerates. So that was nice to hear, haha. We are both trying to prepare for Christmas in the cheapest, prettiest way possible. Something tells me that we are going to end up having a lot of paper snowflakes and handmade things on the walls. We did splurge and spend mil pesos on some glittery garlends, we plan on decorating a little bit today if we have time. 

Things here in El Salvador are progressing day-by-day. We are working as hard as we can but I got to say, walking all day in the heat (it is about 85 degree weather and the sun is really strong up here in the mountains) uphill, really manages to kill your energy level. I have learned new meanings to the saying, ¨The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.¨But despite everything we leave, and press on, and work all the days! 

We were able to find quite a few new families and investigators this last week. The only problem that we are really facing right now, is the school gets out for summer vacation next week. And here in a little mining camp.... No one actually lives here. So next week, the population of El Salvador is going to go from about 5,000 people to like 2,500, and most of them are just going to be the men that have to work over the holiday. Our chances of finding people are dropping like a stone in a lake. But we have been praying and fasting faithfully to be able to find the people who are looking for the gospel truths this holiday season, and we know that if we stay valient, we are going to find exactly who we are meant to find. 

The one story that I feel the need to share with you all this week is about a family. The mother is named Elizabeth, and the father Juan Carlos. They have 3 children, 19, 13, and almost 2. They have been sharing with the missionaries for a very long time. A couple of years actually. The problem that they have is that they have lost faith in a loving God. 14 years ago Elizabeth was nursing their brand new baby boy. And he began to turn purple, they rushed him to the Emergency room, but things here in Chile, medical wise work a little differently. It took them a long time for a doctor to have time to even see the baby, and then he refused to treat him, he said they were wasting his time and that he didnt want to look at the baby. And because of that, their son died. They had the doctor thrown out of the medical profession, but it didnt bring back their baby. So for 14 years they have been in mourning. They havent celebrated the birthdays of their other children for 14 years. It is so sad to see two people, with young children, so hurt and affected by the past, that they cant appriciate what they have.... Breaks my heart every time. They are always receptive, they say what we share is beautiful. That they want to believe it with all their hearts, but they just cant find the faith in God to believe it. 

So the question I have for all of you is this: How do you get back your faith, when you feel like you have lost it completely after such a long time? We have shared all of the typical stories and scriptures, we are working with them as much as we can, and really concentrating on the love of the Savior, plan of Salvation, all of that. But you, my family and friends, how do you go about finding the faith you used to have?

I want to leave you all with my testimony of the Savior. I know that during this time of year when the world is so commercialized we need to remember why we give gifts in the first place. Because the greatest gift to mankind was given to us over 2000 years ago in a quiet part of the city of Bethlehem. Where shepards testified of the birth of our Lord, your Savior Jesus Christ I know that Christ lives, I know he was born here, he lived a perfect life, he suffered for our sins, he gave up his own life, and then he took it up again three days later. And I know that in our days he has once again raised his church. We have a living prophet today to testify and guide each and every one of us through the trials of these last days. I love my Savior and I know he lives. I invite all of you to go to lds.org and watch the new Christmas videos that the church has produced. I also want all of you to watch the sweet little Mormon Message, The Spirit of Christmas. I have had the privledge to share  that little video with many people this week. And every time it touches my heart. Not just because I get a little glimpse of my angelic little sister at the age of 6 or so. But because it is a poignent reminder that Christmas is more than a box under the tree in pretty paper. 

I know my Savior lives. And I love him. May he bless each of you. I love you all,

Hermana Randall

Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 26 Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving world!

There isnt a ton to report this week. Nothing really earthshaking. Except for the literal Eath shaking that we had. About a 6.4 earthquake happened this week. But with Chile´s standards about what is and what isnt a bad earthquake, they are calling it merely a Temblor, which basically means, Tremor. Not earthquake. It is really funny what the standard is for an earthquake here. If is it under an 8 or 8.5, doesnt count as an Earthquake. But that is the ¨Earthshaking¨news for the week. Haha.

I want to thank you all for the beautiful emails and testimonies that I recived this last week in response to my testimony. Im happy to know that I dont need to just proselyte to help other people I love come closer to Christ. 

This week was mostly uneventful, Hermana Handley had the flu, or something similar, and we were out for the count for a couple days, we never had a full day in the apartment. We left and worked as much as we could without her collapsing (which almost happened a few times). And because we pushed through, we were able to find and teach 4 new families and really help some less actives remember that thier Heavenly Father loves them. 

We are having one problem right now though. The problem that we are having is that some of the members here, view the church as a whim, as something to participate in at thier convienience. We had a meeting with the leaders of the branch to talk about what we can do to strengthen our youth programs, and the leader of the young mens and the young womens didnt come...... But other than these few things, the ward and the work here are more animated than they have been in more than 3 years. We are all really excited about the miracles that we see every single day.

Thanksgiving was a great day here. It obviously wasnt anything close to being home with the family and eating pie until I want to throw up. But it was good. No one else was celebrating, just us, and I was really glad that day that my companion was a Gringa and that she understood Thanksgiving. We bought a rotiserrie (didnt spell that right) chicken and made mashed potatoes, veggies, fruit, and ended it all off with a suprisingly American tasting donut. I loved it. But poor Hermana Handley was pretty sick, so she ate a roll and some potatoes and pretty much called it good, and then she slept on the floor while I cleaned it all up. Fun day though.

Our spiritual experience for the week that really stands out, was a day when Hermana Handley was running a fever again, we had come back to the apartment to grab some more water for her, and we were debating about leaving again because we only had an hour more. But we left anyways, and started walking. And to be honest I wasnt sure where we were going, we just walked, I felt like I was just wandering knocking on doors, when suddenly I felt the impression to go and visit an old investigator who is never home.  We made a sharp 90 degree and began walking. And down this street we saw a GIANT house, with Christmas lights all over it. Moving in the darkness and everything. It was GORGEOUS. We stood in the street open mouthed in front of it for a good 5 minutes, and then a man on the sidewalk behind us said hello. It was his house and he was very pleased about how much we loved it. We talked about the house for a moment, and then about why two gringas were walking in the middle of the street in El Salvador Chile at 9 at night, and then he invited us to meet his wife. We went inside and just shared a lovely experience talking with this couple for awhile. We didnt have enough time to teach, but they told us to come back any time.

It was amazing to feel the spirit guide my feet like that. And even more amazing to later realize that we had listened and followed a very clear prompting. 

That was the week though. A week of rest and love and a Spirit of Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for this opportunity that I have to be serving a mission. I am grateful for my friends and family who are supporting me from all over the world, and I am especially grateful for my Savior. Without whom, we would not be here. Love you all, until next week!!! (My 6 month mark is Thursday BTW. When did that happen?)

Hermana Randall

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Week 25 Conferencia con Elder Cook

Hello there everyone!

This week has been absolutely amazing. 

After I wrote last week we went to the bus terminal and waited for my new companion to arrive. Hermana Handley is AWESOME. She is 20 years old, tall, from Orem Utah, goes to BYU, and has 15 months in the mission. She also speaks really great Spanish and has a lot of experience. Also, her Dad is the lighting designer for all of the theatre things at BYU. I met him before the mission and didnt even know it. So how is that for connections right? Haha. 

We have been getting along famously. We both have the same motivations for the work, we both want to help as many people as we can, and we both had a really hard last transfer. This transfer, so far, has been an answer to prayers on both sides. And it turns out that I might end up ¨killing her¨in the mission. (That is when your companion leaves, or dies, in the mission. If you are the companion, they say you are the one who ¨killed them¨.) So I could end up staying here in El Salvador for 6 months... That would be an interesting thing to do......

But aside from the fact that I love my companion, this week was amazing for other reasons as well.

On Friday we left El Salvador and went to Chañaral. Had Companion-Exchanges with the Hermanas there for the rest of the day, and then at 12:00AM we left and went to the bus terminal and waited for our bus to Antofagasta, which came TWO HOURS late. So after boarding the bus at around 2:30AM we tried to sleep a little on the journey. Got to Antofagasta at about 7:00AM and took a heart pounding taxi trip to the big chapel. We ate a granola bar for breakfast and then all of the Hermanas from all over the mission arrived! I got to see mi mamita, my trainer, Hermana Sclaise, saw Hermana Borges, and I saw all the people I arrived with from the CCM as well. The WHOLE mission was there. And for a really unique experience we were able to take a photo with everyone who was there (we were still waiting on a few zones). 

Then we sat down and began to sing, and prepare spiritually to hear from President Soares of the 70, Elder Gonzalez President of the South America South Area and Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, and of course all of their wives. When they all arrived the Spirit in the room was amazing. Like a concentrated force in the front of the sacrament hall. We were given the privledge to shake all of their hands and look them in the eyes and everything. It was really amazing.

They said a lot of things that applied directly to missionary work and what we are all trying to accomplish as members, And I could transcribe all of my notes directly. But I dont think I will do that. I will say one thing as word for word as I could remember it. 

Elder Cook was talking to all of us, and he was closing up his talk. We knew that he was about to bear his testimony, but it suprised us all when he began to tell us that we shouldnt share every single little detail about the spiritual experiences that we have in our lifes. That they are a sacred trust from God, and that we should guard them closely, sharing them only when the spirit directs us. And then he said,

       ¨I share very simply and without details. That I know the Savior´s Voice. That I know the Savior´s Face. And In know that He Lives. He is the one who is leading this church today.¨

I have never felt the spirit as strongly as I did then. I felt without a single doubt in my mind, that my savior LIVES. I am not here alone. I am here for a purpose. MY SAVIOR LIVES.  The spirit in the room was one of the most profound things I have felt, or will feel in my life here on this earth. The divine witness that he bore, will forever be engraved in my heart. Because now I too know these things. 

He followed his Apostolic Witness of the Divinity of the Savoir with a Blessing on all of us. 

         ¨I give you an Apostolic Blessing that you will understand spiritually the signifigance of your mission. This will bless you and every single person you love, have loved, or will love...... You will go forward with Strength, and do what you need to do......You will have your own testimony....... I leave you with my witness of the Savior, with this Special Blessing. In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.¨  

My mission, and my life, will be forever blessed because of the spirit that I felt in that room that day. I at this moment am feeling very much like Joseph Smith felt. God has given me this revelation. He knows I know it. I know I know it. And never will I deny it. 

In this world today, I have heard a lot of the different sides, the different debates about why the LDS church needs to change to conform to society. But I would like to add my witness, however small that it may be, to that of an Apostle of the Lord. I know my Savior lives. And I know that he is the one guiding the church today. 

Let us never forget, or become so caught up in the things of the World, that we forget that it is not our place to create rules of Heaven. It is our place, our calling as memebers of the church around the world, to have enough faith in the Lord to have faith in the men that he has called and ordained to speak for him. As I shook the hand, and later listened to the witness, of an Apostle of my Lord, Savior, and Redeemer, I recieved my own divine witness, that the Savior lives. He loves all of us. And he does indeed direct us in these Latter-Days. 

I love you all so very much. Thank you for all of your support and love. If you are having your own doubts about the truth or you dont know where to go or turn right now. I invite you to read the Book of Mormon, Pray to your Savior, and I know that he will answer you. Maybe in his own time. But he will answer. You dont have to meet an Apostle to recieve this witness. Im just happy that I was blessed enough to have that opportunity. 

I love you. And I love my Savior. Have a beautiful week wherever you may be.

Hermana Randall

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Week 24 Transfers... The Aftermath

Hello there Family, Friends, and intersted Fans.

This week was absolutely amazing. 


We were able to do a lot of different things and we found one investigator that is progressing more rapidly than I have ever seen. His name is José and he is the ¨Pololo¨ or boyfriend, of a Less Active names Viviana. But she has been making great strides recently to return to activity in the church. 
They started dating awhile back, about 6 months, and she has been talking to him about the church. He even came to General Conference with her (the broadcast). While he was there, the other Hermanas (this was before I got here), gave him a Book of Mormon. Turns out, this whole time, like 5 weeks, he has been reading the Book of Mormon by himself! 
When we finally were informed that he was ready to recieve the missionaries we went and visited him at his house for the first lesson. And we asked what he understood about the origin of the Book of Mormon. He began at the very beginning. He explained that there was a prophet named Lehi, and that he had a bunch of kids, one names Nephi, and that God told him to leave Jerusalem. Then he proceeded to explain both books of Nephi and the first part of Jacob, because that is where he is at right now. He is INCREDIBLY receptive. We were blown away by the spirit in the room. And then we felt like we needed to aske the million dollar question. ¨When the Lord answers your prayers, and you know that these things are true, will you be baptized by someone holding the proper authority?¨

He proceeded to cry and he told us that he didnt have to ask again. He already knows that it is true, because when he reads and when he prays he feels a kind of peace that he has never felt. He is the equvalent of an EMT here, and he told us that once he was reading in the back of an ambulance after a long day (He has the Church Library app on his phone and reads stuff on there too) that he felt the presence of someone with him that day. And he knows that this is true. He wants to be baptized so much. The spirit was incredibly strong. So we have a baptism planned for the 5th of December!!!! 

We saw a lot of other miracles this week, but that is one of the biggest ones. 

And then after everything, the transfer calls came. Hermana Borges has been transfered to Mejellones, and I am staying in El Salvador to lead the sector. My new companion is Hermana Handley. She is from Utah, USA. And is arriving on a bus in about 3 hours. So I will let you all know about her next Monday. But Ive heard she is really sweet. (Something I need right now.)

We have a lot of great things happening in this little sector, and better things are to come!

Love you all, stay strong. And remember that even though the world is going nuts right now, and there are a lot of bad people doing bad things. That doesnt mean that God isnt there, that he isnt a god of justice because bad things happen to good people. It means that people are using the gift of agency to act according to their own selfish desires. It means that we all have more of an opportunity to grow, to become the people that we were intended to be. It means that one day, because of the actions of these people, they will answer for them all. The world is crazy, but God is not. He is stronger than all of the armies men can command. And if we trust in him. That strength will become ours. 

Les amo más de ustedes entienden. 

Hermana Randall

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Week 23 Transfers!

Hello there Everyone! It is me again!

This week has gone by waaaaay to quickly. Things really are coming to a head here in El Salvador. Although basically all of our appointments fall through every single day, we have been blessed to find new investigators who are really prepared to hear the gospel. We also have been able to contact a lot of Less Actives and they are begining to understand what they are missing out on by not being completely active and taking the Sacrament every week. 

Also things with my companion are a night and day difference. This week, without revealing details. We had a real break through. In the middle of lunch the other day, literally I had just taken a bite of chicken, and she blurts out. Ï think President is going to send me home this week.¨

Im able to see things in a whole different light right now. And she told me, because of who I am, and the way that I have acted towards her these last 5 weeks, has allowed the Spirit to talk to her, and let her understand that she cant just repent by herself like she thought that she could. Turns out, the whole time that I thought I was just bearing the trials of my mission, I was helping to change the life of my companion as well. I didnt just learn a lot from this experience, but she did too. We have become pretty close this last week, as she finally opened up to me and let down her VERY large walls. And as I held her and let her cry, I really saw her as my little sister who was broken inside and hurting, and didnt know how to fix it. 

Now together we are working together to make sure that she will be okay. 

A lot of things have happened this week. And that is what was most important in the work for me this week.

I love you all. I hope you know that. I have a strong testimony that no one is too lost to use the Atonement and find joy and peace in thier lives again.  God loves you more than you could ever know. You were worth the blood of the only perfect man who ever lived. What other testimony of the love of Jesus and our Heavenly Father, than the nails prints in the hands and feet of our Savior. 

My Ponderize scripture this week was in Psalms 40:1-4 

¨I WAITED patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard me cry.
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, AND estabished my goings.
And he hath put a new song in my mouth, EVEN praise unto our God: many shall see IT and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
Blessed IS that man that maketh they LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, not such as turn aside to lies.¨

Sometimes we need to wait for the Lord. And then when we have progressed through the path that he created for us, we will be able to sing a new song. Because now we know why we experienced that. And now we can understand the happiness that we wouldnt have had without this trial.

Love you all :) And I´ll talk to you net week!

Also Transfers are this Saturday, so I´ll let you all know what happens, I may or may not be able to write on Monday, so maybe Tuesday!

Have a great week! I love you all!

Hermana Randall

Friday, November 6, 2015

Week 22 Halloween!

Hello there ravid readers, friends, family, and curious onlookers.

This week was pretty great not gonna lie. Difficult, but great. I was able to talk to one of the Sister Training Leaders, and President a little, and things are starting to work out. I still feel like Im in an episode of MASH were a jeep gets stuck in a mine feild or something and Radar keeps dropping the map so every so often we hit a mine and blow a little piece of emotion off every so often, but then Im okay again. Weird metaphor I know. But it works.

But a good week! We had intercambios and I spent a  day with the Hermana Training Leader, a Gringa from Colorado who is super nice. And that really allowed me to unwind and let go of some pent up stuff. 

We also found out that everyone in the whole mission is taking a road trip 12 hours for me in a bus, to Antofagasta, because Elder Cook from the Quorum of the 12 Apostles is coming to speak to us! Usually we cant get the whole mission together because of how big we are, but for this very special occasion, yes we are! Whohoo!  That is going to be the 21st of November and we are all very excited. And we have interviews with President and Transfers next week! Thanks are all coming to a head here. 
We also had a lesson with an investigator who is amazing, her name is Maria Alfaro. And we were a little late because we were with another investogator, and when we knocked on the door, she opened it right away and said, I thought that you werent coming! Not only did she acutally remeber the appointment, but she had made us herbal tea, pie, and sandwiches. It was not only a great spread, but a great lesson. We read 2 Nephi 31 with her and talked about the principle of baptism. And then asked the million dollar question, would she be baptised. And she said yes! She is excited to be a part of the church, we still have a lot of lessons to teach, but she is really happy to be a part of something. 

She even came to the big Halloween party that we had the next day. And brought a friend and her daughter. The work here in El Salvador is progressing, slowly, but surely. Maybe after these long years El Salvador will see a baptism!

We also found out that a member here has had her records of her baptism lost. So she has to be rebaptized and reconfirmed.  So we are figuring out all of the logistics here and now. Complicated, but fun. 

Our Halloweeen party was a success (due largley to the ffact that thanks to years of Primary and grade school I know how to make cute Halloween decorations with minimal time and effort.) We had two large families of Less Actives come to the party, and the next day they came to church! We also met a nonmember daughter of the Less Active, and she came to church the next day with them and everything! (Which was cool because our Relief Society president was a noshow, so I taught Relief Society). 

Anyways, things are not perfect here. I strive everyday to make things better with myself, my God, and my companion. And every day is another challenge. But another oppottunity for a blessing. 

Thank you all for your patience with my stories and sometimes my complaints. I love you all very much. 

My Ponderize Scripture for the week was 1st Corinthians 10:13, it talks a lot about how God will give you the strength to overcome temptations, but I changed it a little for the week. God will also give you strength to over come situations you cant control. 

¨There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God IS faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear IT.¨

I know that if we in our hearts want to do what is right and we work as hard as we can. Then will the Lord step in and help us to do what is left over. I know this, because every day when I drop to my knees, I ask him to take what I did that day, and help to make something of it. More than I could make by myself. 

I love you all very much. Thank you for your words of love and support during this time of testing for me. I have recived a mountain of emails from friends and family alike, and I appriciate and read every one of them. I love you all.

Have a wonderful week!

Hermana Randall

PS: For the people who asked I disclosed everything to President and things are going to be okay, and the mission isnt going to blame me for the loss of funds. But thanks for the concern :)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Week 21 Forward With Faith

Hello There Everybody!

This week was defiently interesting to say the least. We taught a bunch of lessons and found 7 new investigators! (Some of them were old investigators of other missionaries, but they are new to us.) One of the hardest things about this sector is that it technically is not a town. It is not a permanent place for people to live. All of the houses and such are all owned by the mine Cobresal. So when someone lives here, it is for only like 2-3 years at a time, maybe more, maybe less. So our Area Book is filled with investigators that dont live here anymore. We are basically the Rest Stop of the mission. We prepare everyone to recieve the gospel in another city.... El Salvador hasnt had a baptism in over 3 years.

(Sorry for the novel here. Be patient. If you begin to read, read to the end. If you dont want to read it, that is okay too. Its mostly my own emotions.)

On another sad note. I was yelled at pretty hardcore by my companion this week. It started earlier in the day when I found out that she was using the mission funds, not personal funds, to buy her brand new digital camera. That is a lot of money, and we are only supposed to use the money from the mission for specific things that are outlined in the Missionary Handbook. I wasnt sure if she knew the rule so I explained a little, and she got REALLY upset (the guilty taketh the truth to be hard), she told me that she knew the rule, but that it isnt really a rule, and that President knows that everyone does it, and that I could tell him if I wanted but it wouldnt change anything and I couldnt change her decisions. So I got really quiet and just let the matter drop..... But I could tell she was irritated with me.... So later I gave her my last cookie and granola bar because she was complaining about being hungry. I thought that fixed it.... But no....
Later we were leaving a house that we had entered REALLY late. Like 9:45. I was hesitant to even go in because of how late it was. But we hadnt been able to contact this person for a very long time. And we didnt even have anytime to teach them. So we just talked a little. And I didnt inturrupt and say the time, because last time I did that Hermana Borges yelled at me later as well. I just thought, Okay, we´ll leave the house and walk REALLY fast to the apartment, because we were pretty close. So we left and we both took off. I explained really quickly that we didnt have the 10:30 buffer time because it wasnt a lesson, and I thought that we were on the same page. So I was walking really fast, and she was just taking her time. I got a Little annoyed that she didnt seem to want to follow the rules. And she was obviously still peeved with me. So by the time we got to the gate in front of the house, I thought she might slap me. She was yelling how I was crazy, how I was going to end up killing myself, and how if I didnt relax and show love once in awhile everyone would hate me, and I would hate me, and I would have a horrible misión. Then she threw down her bag (we are in the apartment now) and dropped to her knees and still yelling some pretty mean things, she stopped and said, Lets pray and plan for tomorrow.
I sat in shock for a minute, I didnt want to pray with these feelings. I knew that whatever work we did would not have the spirit. Because of how angry she was, and how sad I felt. She continued saying somethings about how I could continue on this path and hate my misión if I didnt at least try to be happy, or I could change, because she has never had this problem in her misión before. I am happy to say that my response to all of this, at first it was apoligetic and confused, and a Little defensive, but by this time I hadnt spoken in a few minutes, I was just kneeling on the floor across from her and listening. My response became, ¨Im so sorry. Thank you. Im going to work on that.¨
After I said that she couldnt seem to have any other epithats to throw at me. So she prayed. It was a very angry prayer that indirectly addressed all of my percived shortcomings. And then afterwards planning for the day after took over an hour. I did all the planning by myself while she sat in silence and took off her makeup.

I dont think I ever prayed as hard as I did at that moment and the whole day after, and every day since. I recieved the impression to just ignore it, and continue doing what I´ve been doing. Just trying harder every day. Because this one incident doesnt have to be the downfall of our companionship. This was just one day.  The rest of the week went really well. I do admit it is hard to feel the Spirit in our times when it is just the two of us. Because I know she doesnt want me here. But we are both here, and both learning and growing. And I really have grown to love her, and appriciate her. My approach to everything right now is love, and the words, ¨Thank you. Im going to work on that.¨
I know that through my prayers, God has granted me a Little more humility and a Little more charity, to be able to sit back and listen to an angry list of my shortcomings and now feel angry. Not feel like I have to change her perspective and respond to what she is saying. Just to have enough emotion to say, Thank you. Im going to be better.

Sorry for the novel. I dont talk to a lot of people here. It feels good to get that out of my system. For the record, Hermana Borges, is a beautiful person. She has really wonderful qualities and a very strong testimony. She has and will change the lives of many people in her misión and in her life. I know that she is a daughter of God with unlimited Divine Potential. And I love her. And with that love on one side of the companionship, we will get through this Transfer. She doesnt have to like me, to agree with me, or want to work with me, for me to love her, to agree with her, and for me to have a desire to work with her.

But with faith and now that I talked with the Sister Training Leader and President about some rules that I knew where being broken or at least bent a little bit, our numbers have started to go up. Thing in El Salvador and our relationship are progressing. I wake up every morning ready to help her and the Lord with everything that I can.

Also as a thought for the week, the little things dont really seem like a big deal. But they are. For example, we needed to buy bread this week. And bread here is about 2,000 pesos. And we had 1,990. We needed 10 more pesos. That is like needing an extra 15 cents. And we didnt have it with us. So we had to leave empty handed. We dont ever really know when we are going to need that extra 10 pesos. Its like the commandment to read the scriptures and say your prayers every day. It is a small thing. Only 10 pesos a day for your spirit. But do you really want to get to the door of Heaven, or encounter a temptation and find that you only needed 10 more pesos to pass? It is by the small and simple things, that great things are accomplished. 

My Ponderize scripture for this week was 3 Nephi 18:24, ¨Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine until the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up – that which ye have seen me do. Behold, ye see that I have prayed unto the Father, and ye all have witnessed.¨

Jesus the Christ was perfect. In every way, shape and form. And there were days when he was tempted. When he cried out to the Father for strength to do his will. When he fell on his face because he couldnt seem to go on. And he was hated. This perfect man, who ALWAYS taught by the spirit. ALWAYS had charity and love and diligence and faith, and all of the other things we need to be perfect. And he was hated.
When we strive to follow his example and be the best that we can be. We are going to be tempted. We are going to cry to the Father because we just cant anymore. And there are people who will hate us for what we believe. But we will always have Christ as our light out of the darkness, if we pray as we know he has prayed, we will always have him with us.

I know that this is a long email that sounds like one endless complaint. I even considered deleting it. But I feel like I need to share this experience, this week with you all.

I truly feel blessed, extremely happy, and content to be here in El Salvador with Hermana Borges. I am growing in ways I didnt know posible. I have more of the attributes of Christ, at least the beginnings of them, than I did almost 5 months ago. I love the misión. I love what I am doing. And I am so very happy to be serving my God.

So, go forward with faith. Press onward saints. ¨Shall we not go on in so great a cause?¨-Joseph Smith.

Love you all. Hurrah for Israel!

Hermana Randall

Week 20 El Salvador: Scene 2, A New Perspective

Hello there world!

Yes, tis I once more!

I would like to thank all of you for the words of love and encouragement that I received from Friends and Family alike. And I would like to inform everyone that God is a God of miracles, and this week was amazing.

First off, after writing last week, I actually felt sort of bad, I felt like I had complained and sounded a Little whiney. Thank you all for being an outlet at a time when I needed to be a Little immature. Because after a lot of prayer and soul searching I have learned A LOT this week. I see why the misión changes you so very much. It really is like a spiritual bootcamp. You are given some of the hardest trials in your life, and all of the tools you need to over come them in the exact same day. After that God just askes us to use them to the best of our ability, and he´ll help us sort out the rest. And then the very next thing, or the next day, if you have used those tools, and accepted the help of the Lord, you have your eyes opened to see the Hand of the Lord in everything in the misión. Even if you only witness the Little miracles, arent they still miracles?

This week was a lot better. I wrote President about a couple rules that I had learned differently than we were doing here, and turns out that I was right. So that revelation made my companion a little more upset, but I decided that I was going to let her do her own thing as long as it didnt break the rules. So this is something I did talk to her about. But other than that I have been doing my very best to be the best companion that I can be. 

I made her breakfast a couple of times, and made her bed when she wasnt looking, and left a couple little notes where I knew that she would find them. Through the acts of service and my determination to be patient and love her, things are beginning to progress in our relationship. 

It really started after our Zone Conference last week. She really wasnt interacting with me that much. In fact she sat with a different missionary, so I had to sit with her companion. And then the leader of the Zone had to ask us to switch. That started out pretty weird. But then I gave up, and just payed attention to the lessons and added input. I felt like I talked a lot, but I kept feeling like I needed to keep talking. Later when we were back in our sector (2 hours on the bus later), she started crying and told me that during the meeting she realized why I was here, because she was tired of the sector. That she loved the sector, but that she was out of ideas, out of energy, and here I was full of energy, full of revelation, and so ready to work. That was a huge break through. She said that she could just feel my testimony, and knew I was here to help.

Then later during the week, after the Weekly Planning and during Companionship Inventory, she had a couple things that she felt I needed to change of course, but afterwards I felt really impressed to just say, Thank you, I´ll try harder. And then I spent the next couple minutes, at the prompting of the Spirit, telling her that she is a wonderful missionary, that she has done great things her, and that we are going to work together, and that we are going to see so many miracles. She started crying and I can tell that she really is just tired and a little lost. I wonder if it has to do with our level of maturities as well. Ive lived as an adult for almost 3 years on my own. And the mission is her first time. Although she has more time in the mission than I do, Im older and have a little more experience in the world and working with other people. 

I was able to see that her perspecitve is so different than mine, not only with age and experience, but culturally as well. She is from Brazil and is also learning Spanish. I cant expect my companions to be perfect and to understand me all of the time, that would be unfair and unChristlike. 

We have really made some great strides, and I really know her to be a Daughter of God. 

One experience I would like to share was really amazing and had all of us in tears. 

Hermana Borges has been having me do the Daily Planning because she says shes leaving soon and I need to learn, so I felt impressed to visit an investigator that I have never met. We went the next day and the mother of the investigator answered the door. Her name is Yasna. She had really long hair, REALLY long. And was sort of dressed like a hippie, she was really cute. She saw us and got the biggest smile on her face! Invited us in, and we began to talk. 

She told us that she had been praying to God to show her the way that she should go, to send angels to protect her house. And then she stood up and was about to clean the house, when we knocked on the door. Not even a minute later. 

We taught her about the Restoration and about the Book of Mormon, and she told us that she knew that what we were saying was true because God always answers her prayers. She wants to be baptized and read the Book of Mormon!

I just ran out of time! But things are great! And I love you all!

Hermana Randall

PS: My Ponderize was, Helaman 3:26-27

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Week 19 El Salvador

Hello There Family, Friends, and People of the Universe.

Today I am writing from my new sector in El Salvador. Things are absolutely and completely different here. The whole sector is the whole town. There is just me and my companion. The nearest other missionaries are in Chañaral, which is an hour and 45 minutes away in a bus. And we have to do that journey, there are back, every Tuesday for our District Meetings. So that´s quite a change. 
The town here is a mining town, most of the people here work in the mines, or have something to do with the mines. In fact remember the story of the 33 miners that were trapped in the mine for a couple months? One of them actually lives here in El Salvador and the mine itself is only a couple hours away from here. There is a ton of copper here. Everything is copper, because they just have so much of it. Its pretty cool. And the town only has about 5,000 people here. In fact it is about the size of my hometown, Grantsville. But with more hills, less cows, and less members of the church. 
I´m not sure how many members we have here, but it is a teeny little branch, we only have about 11 people who attend church on a regular basis. And two of them are the missionaries. It was really awkward to have a Fast and Testimony meeting where basically everyone HAD to bear their testimonies to pass the time. The excitement and unity that Im used to in other wards isn´t here right now. Im not sure if it´s just because I dont know how everything really works yet, or because that´s how it it. I should know a little bit more next week.
My new companion is Hermana Borges. She just turned 20 this last week and she is from Brazil. She has about 10 months in the mission and she speaks Spanish really well, sometimes she has a weird portugese accent, but that doesnt happen all that much. She is also really pretty and a convert to the church. You can tell that she has a solid concept of the doctrine of the church and has a strong testimony. And you can also tell that she doesnt like me. 
And I have no idea why. 
I dont think it is so much me, as it is the sector. She is going to complete 6 months here, and that is a really long time to spend in a sector. Especially one as slow moving and cut off from the world as El Salvador. Im trying my hardest to get along with her, but she likes to compare herself to me and assert her way of teaching as better. The other day I asked her why we did something a certain way instead of a way that I was used to and she told me that she was the Senior Companion and that I didnt have to teach her how to be a missionary..... A bunch of other little stuff has happened as well and for the first couple days I was constantly praying that we could go an hour without her finding something about me that she didnt like. And so  far we have made it almost a whole day without her correcting me about something. So Im feeling pretty good. 
I spent a day and a half or so with just a really sad, sick feeling in my stomach and I prayed a lot about what I could do to make the relationship better. I had already made her breakfast two days in a row and made her a paper crane and a card for her birthday, I didnt know what else I could do. And as I was sitting in  Personal study I just heard a couple words in my mind, ¨What is worth more to you right now? Your Pride? Or your Happiness?¨ 
That hit me pretty hard. 
And now Im trying the new tactic of letting her do her own thing and adapting myself to what she is telling me. Im not changing completely, but Im learning to compromise with someone who isnt meeting me halfway. We may never be great friends. But I am determined to learn what I am supposed to learn from her. And she doesnt have to like me for me to love her. 
So far that has been my experience this week, going the exra mile. I really miss Hermana Scalise and Arica, but I find little things about this town to love every day. The stars and the sunsets. And the opporunity to share the most valuable thing that I own, my Testimony. 

My Ponderize scripture this week was 3 Nephi 5:13 ¨Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.¨ That is why I am here. Sharing my testimony so that all of my brothers and sisters here in Chile, here in this little mining town way up in the mountains of Chile, can have everlasting life, and be with their families for eternity. It doesnt matter if my companion is difficult or if the sector or the work isnt what I am used to. Because I am here for a reason, and Im going to work hard to make this vision a reality. 

I love you all. Please continue to read the scripures and ponder. I promise you that it will make a difference in your life. And I loved hearing from the people that sent me thier Ponderize scriptures. Thank you for those. I love you!

Hermana Randall

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Week 18 Transfers!

Hey World!

Dont have a lot of time this week because it is the end of my training as a newbie and Im being transferred! I have an 18 hour bus ride ahead of me and a new area and a new companion! Im super excited and ready for the world! 

But I do have a challenge for all of you. Go and rewatch the conference talk of Jeffery R. Holland and go tell your mother you love her. And go watch the Ponderize talk, and then do it. And share it with the world. Facebook, email, twitter, instagram, all of it. Flood the world with the message the God loves the world. I love you all and I am so proud to be serving the Lord at this time and at this place. 

Les amo,

Hermana Randall

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 17 The Week After the Storm

A very dramatic title for a week that actually wasn´t all that dramatic.

After the adventures of last week there isnt a ton of new things to report. We taught lessons this week yes, but mostly we did a lot of walking. We found some people to teach, but mostly we did a lot of walking

I also became incredibly sick this weekend. I couldn´t keep anything down for two days, and just felt awful. We called the mission nurse and apperantly its just a bug that has been going around. She told us that about half the mission has it right now, this one Elder lost 10 kilos. I think I only had the mild version because Im feeling better today, a lot less sensitive to things. But the work moves on even if we are dying.

Not a lot of other things to report. But the thought that Im going to leave with you all is this:  

 We are all children of our Heavenly Father. He loves us. And we love him. He loves us so much that he sent his Only Begotten Son in the flesh to suffer and die for us. Who are we to judge someone here on earth, or not forgive someone for something they did to us, when our Heavenly Father is so willing to forgive us every single day of our lives.

Our Savior Jesus Christ came into the world as a baby. An innocent. And he stayed that way. Innocent and perfect, and ready to Atone for the sins of the people that so readily killed him.¨What greater sacrifice than this, that a man layeth down his life for his friends?¨

I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can all be made perfect, and we can all find peace in our souls.

I love you all. It is hard here in the mission. During these last days there is more and more opposition from forces that we can´t see or recognize. But we do know that we have the truth. That our Savior and Redemer died for his brothers and sisters, for us. And through this sacrifice we can return to live with our Heavenly Father  and our families through eternity.

Les Quiero mucho, 

Hermana Randall

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week 16 I Am Not Dead

Hey There Everybody!

Time is really limited right now. I have special permission from President to write for a couple minutes today because this week was so weird.

First of all, we didn´t even feel the Earthquake here in Arica. We were totally safe and everything. They did evacuate all of Chile though. Like literally all of Chile. The south got hit a lot with the Tsumani´s but here we didnt feel it. There may have been a little earthquake but no one felt it. The evacuation caused some panic though. Because the city shut down all the phone lines for a little while and just sent out a mass evacuation notification to all the cell phones. So then the alarm went off and everyones phones were buzzing. And we all evacuated to the giant hill and met up with the ward and our bishop and everything. But we couldn´t even go and get our emergency bags, so we literally had nothing with us. I felt so unprepared. After a couple hours at the evacuation point another bishop from the other Stake came and picked all the missionaries in our stake up and we all converged at another chapel. So we all sat in the chapel until midnight and we could go home. That was about all the excitement though. Ive never been evacuated from a Tsunami before. It was an interesting experience. 

After that though Arica hasn´t had to deal with any other repercussions, though we continue to pray for the people in Coquimbo (the epicenter). 

The week continued like normal for a bit, but then we werent allowed to proselyte on the 18th or the 19th because everyone was partying for Independance day. So we hung out with the members a lot and had a fabulous ward party. We had 11 investigators attend and I played a lot of games. And one of the members lent me a traditional dress of Chile to wear so Hermana Scalise and I had dresses and it was just a really cool cultural experience, I can actually dance The Cueca pretty decently. And I also was force fed about a billion empanadas, a ton of soda, and corn products.

Really fun though. 

And then yesterday on P-Day, we went to Lago Chungara, the 7th highest lake in the world at the foot of a volcano and you could see Bolivia from where we were. But also it was REALLY high up. Two of the sisters full on passed out an twitched for a couple seconds. That was a little scary. But just the altitude got them. But I got to tell you, having someone pass out in your arms with their eyes open and twitching, is one of the weirdest experiences that you will ever have in your life. Because Hermana Scalise was one of the sisters. 

It was a really beautiful place and there were a ton of Llamas or Alpacas (I cant tell the difference). But for 6 hours in the car one way (the car broke down so at certain points we could only go about 10 mph for extended periods of time) and the headache it caused (literally) it wasnt all that people made it out to be. It was really nice to see water in a lake, snow, actual mountains, and green again though. And parts of the places here actually look a lot like central/southern Utah. 

That was basically the week though. I will leave you with this one last little message. When we were evacuated all I could think about was the people in my life that I loved, and how unprepared I felt without my emergency bag and the things that I had prepared for an emergency such as this. And the fact that I DIDNT HAVE IT. Please everyone if you dont have an emergency plan, get one. At least have a bag with water, a change of clothes, and granola bars. You never know when something might happen. 
And on the spiritual side. Think of the future. If life ended for you right now, would you be prepared? Would yo be found lacking the basic things in your spirit? Do you have your bag of necessities? Bread and Water of life that is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Are those the things that you have stored in your soul for the time when you need them the most?
I thought about my friends and family at the top of that hill while I watched the city below me evacuate. I held a little girl as she cried because she didnt know if her mother could come to the hill because of her health problems. How are we going to feel at that last day? How are we going to great our families? Are we going to be able to use our emergency bag and last through the storm? Or are we going to fall short?

Love you all. Sorry I can´t do individaul emails today. I love you. Be safe and be prepared.

Hermana Randall

Friday, September 18, 2015

Week 15 Hey Everyone!

Sorry that I wasnt able to write yesterday, but we had a Zone Conference and our P-Day was switched to today.

This week we have been working a lot with the Members and the Less Actives in our ward, and through our efforts we have also been blessed to find a lot of people who are interested in hearing more about the church. It really has been a great week! I love this work and I love this gospel. I don´t have a lot of time today, because one of the members is making us lunch today and we have to get going, but I do want to share my testimony of the gospel and of the work that I am doing. 

I know, I dont just believe. I know that my Savior Jesus Christ, came to this Earth and he lived and died for our sins, and everything else that we suffer in this life. I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father and that he wants us to experience every happiness, and the reason that life is so hard, is because the reward after this life is so wonderful. I know that because our Heavenly Father loves us he gave us a prophet today. He called Joseph Smith in the year 1820 and restored the fullness of his gospel on the earth. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. And I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet today. I know that through the Priesthood, through this gospel, we can live with our families after this life is over. I know that death is not an end. Merely another door we all need to pass through. I know these things are true. And that is why I am here in Chile today. Why in my very broken Spanish, I testify of these things everyday. Because I know these things are true. I´ve read the Book of Mormon, and I´ve thought and prayed about the words in the Book. And through the Holy Ghost, I have recieved my own answer to these things. I know that Jesus lives, and that he loves all of us. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that we are all part of the Eternal family of our Heavenly Parents, and I know  that we can all return to live with them again someday. 

I love you all. And if you have any questions about where you came from, why you are here at this time and experiencing what you are experiancing right now, and where you are going to go after this time here on the world has ended, I invite you to ask the nearest missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And if that missionary is me. Ask away. Because although I may not have all the answers, I know that I have the way to help you find those answers for yourself. 

I love you. You are always loved. Stay strong and be of a good courage, because The Lord thy God, is with thee. 

Hermana Randall

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Week 14 ¡3 Months!

Hello Everyone!

So I´ve officially been a missionary here in Chile for 3 months. And wow. That both took forever, and not hardly long at all! Now that Im getting the hang of things, the days are passing a lot quicker. And the nights too. I never sleep enough, just the right amount. (But I want more ·Sad face·) Nah, just kidding, but things here are pretty great!

This week we had to do an unplanned companion exchange because the Sister Training Leader that is in our District needed to travel to Antofagasta for the Mission Conference (12 hours on a bus), and the President wanted Hermana Scalise (my companion) to go with her. Which meant that I was on splits with Hermana Freedman. She has the exact amount of time in the mission as I do, and we were in my Sector teaching. So I was basically the Senior companion for 2 days. Planning, teaching an all that jazz. It was stressful at points, but we also found some really great future investegators and taught 7 lessons. we got a lot of stuff done and I´m really happy with how far that my Spanish has progressed. (Although I was kissed by a drunk man. That was an experience for the memory books. Just on the cheek and we got away after that. But still..... Ugh....) 

Everything here is slowly preparing for the 18th of September which is the Independence Day of Chile. Everything is turning red, white, and blue, and flags are going up everywhere. The mission president told all the missionaries that is isn´t worth our time to proselyte on the 18th or the 19th because its a little unsafe, and no one will listen. So instead we have been told to party with members and investigators. And the ward has planned a huge 2 day party with dancing, music, empanadas, the whole deal. I´ll make sure to take a lot of photos. 

Our investigators are progressing pretty well, we had some disappointments this week because some people with baptismal dates didnt come to church this week so we have to reschedule everything and find out what happened. Part of it really is a cultural thing I think. The culture here (at least in my sector) is very similar to ¨what ever happens, happens¨. Even with the members. If they feel like doing something they will do it. A lot of the time we´ll even get a promise or an appointment with a member and they just wont show up or follow through. Not everyone and not all the time. But the mentality is definetly, ¨Whoops. Sorry about that. Next time...¨ It´s just a little frustrating from the standpoint of a missionary who has a set schedule.

But the ward here really is great and we are able to get a lot of work done with the members, they really are just so happy about missionary work right now. Do the missionaries in your area a favor where ever you live, offer to go with them to a lesson, or give an investigator a ride to church or something like that. They will be forever grateful. 

Thank you all for the prayers and the words of encouragement. I really appriciate all that you do for me and my family. Take care, and if you have a question about anything, ¨Ask the missionaries. They can help you.¨


Hermana Randall

Week 13 ¡Hola de Chile!

Hey everyone!

I dont have a super ton of things to write about this week. But we have been doing a lot with the Less Actives and such in the ward, and we have found a lot of new investigators. Talking to everyone and smiling really is the key to sharing the gospel. 

WE also have been doing a lot of teaching about the Bible. Its important for people to know that the Book of Mormon is not something that replaces the Bible. It mearly compliments and adds to our knowledge. 
And we taught a lesson completly by the Spirit this week. We had planned a completly different lesson, but instead we taught about the story of Joseph Smith and the potential that this girl has in her life. She is so cute, and so lost. And always very reserved in her emotions. But we were able to have such a strong feeling in the room, that all four of us were in tears for a long time and couldnt speak. 

The gospel is true everyone. And through the Atonement and the Charity of Christ we can all return to live with out Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and our families for Eternity. Now go read Moroni 7:45-48 and think about all the love and blessings that you have in your life. And what you can do to help others. It is a rewarding thing to study.

Love you all!

Hermana Randall

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Week 12 Baptisms!!!!

Hello There Everyone!

Hope you are all doing well wherever you are reading this!

Things are really progressing here, we have been blessed to find some really great new investigators, and have the baptisms of two more people! On a sadder note, Hermana Scalise got a call from President this week and was informed of the death of her Grandfather. We have really been studying the Plan of Salvación this week, and we really have greater testimonies of this plan. 

Remember the stories of María, Joselin, and Raúl? Well María and Joselin were baptized and confirmed this week! That was so special. Raúl has a long ways to go, but we have a lot of hope for him. 
When María and Joselin had their baptism interviews María passed without a problem. But Joselin has some mental retardation due to an accident that she had when she was 4 and some other stuff Im about to explain. So she completely shut down in the interview and forgot everything. So Elder Duke, our District Leader, decided that she really was innocent and didnt need baptism. We thought that it was probably the case, so we werent too suprised. But when we explained that Joselin was perfect and didnt need it, Joselin started to cry. Because she wanted to be baptized. And why is heartbreaking, its hard not to be blunt about this, but when she was 16 there was an incident against her will, and she became pregnant. Now remember she doesnt have the mental capacity to process this. She had a little girl, and then the government took her because of her mental state. Joselin has lived for years not understanding what happened to her. Not understanding that it isn´t her fault. And just feeling dirty.  But she did understand that through baptism she could be clean and not have those feelings anymore. So we talked to our mission president and explained and he agreed that baptism was the best course in this situation. When we explained that she could be baptized she changed so fast. She needs help praying, but she prays all the time now. And she cant read, but she opens the Book of Mormon and tried to follow us. And then when she had the second interview, more for formality than anything else, she mangaged to answer all of the questions, even if they were really simple answers. It really was a miracle. 
The baptizm was really beautiful, and when we visited after the confirmation yesterday, it was amazing. María looks 10 years younger, and Joselin never stopped smiling. And apperantly, the two sons in the family asked why they were so happy, and Marís told them it was because she was baptized. And now the two sons want to listen and be baptized so that they can be happy too. it really is a miracle. :) I love this family. 

That really is all the time that I have for right now. But I want to share my testimony that throught the gospel of Jesus Christ we can all find peace and happiness in our lives. Even when we have nothing, we can have everything through our Savior. If you have a Book of Mormon, and even if you dont its online, read Alma chapter 7, especially verses 11-14. It is a beautiful sacrifice that Our Savior, your Savior. Made for us. And through it we can find so much peace. I know that because Ive seen and felt it in my own life, and I watch and see it happen here every single day. I love you all. Thank you for letting me share my mission with you. 

Con Amor,

Hermana Randall

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Week 11

Hey guys!

Sorry I dont have a ton of time to write this week. But the week was pretty good. Ups and downs though. We found 9 new investigators this week, and 4 of them are a family that is really great and super receptive to the message. We havent even taught them a lesson yet, but they came to church! 

But on the other hand our investigator who is supposed to be getting baptized this week (María) hasnt had her interview yet! We havent been able to get a hold of her because she doesnt have a phone and her family stinks about giving messages. 

And then we had a ward baptism this week that techniqually was the wards but we taught the little boy all the lessons (his name is Kevin), but the whole thing fell apart because his uncle and aunt, the uncle is the second counselor in the bishopric, called 30 minutes after the time the baptism was supposed to have started and said that they couldnt come because they had to work. Kevin was there and dressed and everything. But we couldnt have the baptism because no one was there..... It was really sad. kevin is 8 years old and was just crushed. And then we said we were going to have it the next day after church. But we couldnt do it the next day because his Dad was too drunk to come..... Kevin is having a harder week than we are. I just want to shake his family. How could they do that to a little boy? Ugh!!!!!!!!! But it should happen this week instead. So help me it will happen. 

Those are the really big things this week though! I have so much more to say, but we have to catch the bus to go get groceries... Love you all! have a great week, and remember that we are all here on earth for a purpose. That God loves all his children, and that we can always fix the mistakes that we make. 

I love you!!!

Hermana Randall

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 10

Hey everyone!

This week we had a baptism! Katherine Ríos. She is 3 months pregnant and super cute. I dont know how much Ive explained about her before. But she is really great, and her testimony is off the charts. She is already in the lessons that she set up with the other missionaries and her sister. 
It was a beautiful service, and I am so grateful to have been a part of it. I dont have a tone of time right now, because we had to do some stuff for my companions visa this morning, but it was a great week. 

We visited El Morro and the city was gorgeous. Im really happy to be serving here in Chile. And Arica is just fabulous. 

The story that made me sad this week though, is about Pedro and his mother. Theyve been progressing really well. And Pedro even asked to talk to the bishop and confessed all his sins and says he wants to change! We havent gotten that for with Grey, his mother, yet, but we think its coming! The sad part is that his mother broke down and told us that she cant stop with the drugs and the smoking and all of that, and they cant even afford food right now. I mean, how would you feeel to have an addiction so bad that you in your addled state would rather buy drugs and cigarrets for yourself than food for you children? She feels so lost and alone. We got her in contact with the bishop and hes helping out with the situation. But it was really hard.

On the other hand we think that we might actully be making prgress with Raùl! remember him? Hes the one on drugs in his family? This week he was actually totally clean for the first time in a few months, and we taught the Wrod of Wisdom. And he was really into it. He even gave us his container of cofee for us to dispose of! Sadly, after two days of clean living he relapsed because the withdrwls were really bad. But now he knows that he can do at least a little bit. And thats the first step! 

This has been a great week, and just went by really quickly as well! This week if my anniversay of one month in the field! If the rest of the mission goes by this quickly, it will be the fastest 16 months of my life....

By the way, the lanugage is progressing really well. I have some issues with the grammar, but that is getting better every day as well! Praciting and hearing it every day is really the best way to learn a language. 

I love you all so much! THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND PRAYERS! i PRAY FOR YOU ALL! I did not realize that the caps was on. Sorry about that, but I dont have time to retype! Love you!
Hermana Randall