Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Week 8 ¡Alo el Mundo!

Hey everyone! It´s time for this weeks episode of What`s What in the World of Missionary Service in Northen Chile: Arica.

    We´ve seen a lot of miracles this week. And a lot of disappointments. 

    My Spanish is improving a little bit every day, and Im at about the level of Spanish as the sister that lives in my pension from Utah as well, and shes been out for a month more than I have. The Gift of Tongues really exists.

     We extended the bautismal commitment to 4 people this week. The first was a 16 year old named Pedro. He said yes! And now we have to set a date. Its complicated because he has a smoking probem. We are going to approach him about that during the next lesson. Another is a little 8 year old boy named Kevin. His family is Less Active, but he goes to church with his Aunt, who is an active member of the ward. He loves learning through the lessons, and he is really excited to be baptized! His date is set for the 15th of August. And the last two have sort of a sad story. The mother is Marìa and the daughter is Joselin. To start it off, Joselin is about 20 years old, but she has limited mental function because of an accident that she had when she was younger. But she can understand enough to take the discussions and to be baptized. And Marìa is amazing. The missionaries were teaching her before I came here, and on her record it literally says that she cant read. And she cant really. But when we taught this last week, she told us that she has been trying to read the Book of Mormon and the pamphlets, and her reading is improving. Enough to the point that she can understand what she is reading. Its a miracle. We extended the commitment to Marìa and Joselin and they accepted! They are going to be baptized on the 15th! But...... the husband of Marìa, Raùl is a drug addict, and alcoholic. And so is the son. And when they are under the influence they are physically and emotionally abusive to the women in the family. Its a really sad situation. Raùl was taking the discussions too. And every time we talk to him you can see in his eyes how lost he feels. How he really wants to change. He just doesn´t know how. They next appointment that we have with the family is going to be at the church and away from his home. Maybe if we can teach in a different place he`l feel the spirit even more, and finally find the strength to change. 

     Also the weather here is pretty much perfect all the time, its called The Eternal Spring for a reason. But sometime it really smells like fish or other things. My sector is really poor and dirty a lot of the time, but it has the best people in the world. The people here have so much heart. Also, everything is sold in bags here. Ketchup, maynaisse (I cant spell that right now), jam, its weird and messy. And if people are going to keep giving me gifts whenever I am new I wont have room in my suitcases for clothing.

     That´s a lot of what happened this week! I love you all so much! Thank you for everything, and I pray for you all everyday! Have a great week, and remember that we are all Children of our Heavenly Father. He loves all of us so much. 

                           Love you all,

                                             Hermana Randall

Week 7 ¡¡¡¡¡First Week in the Field!!!!

Hola Everyone!

    Wow. I have so much to say.  We had a conference with the area 70 here. Elder Zepallos, really cool conference. And another 10 hours in a bus. That took forever. But Im just going to bullet point some stuff and explain either later in the letter, or you´ll have to ask me later when I get home. Entonces....

1. I am now serving in Arica. Its about as far North as you can get without being in Peru. It is pretty great, and you can see the beach from my flat. But the bus ride was 12 hours. That was not fun. My sector smells funny sometimes though, because of how poor it is, and the plumbing isnt great, and on top of that, the world is a toliet to a dog. And there are billions of dogs. 

2. My new companion´s name is Hermana Nahir Scalise. She is from Argentina, shes 24 and she has been serving for 6 months. She was engaged, but broke it off completely because she decided to serve a mission. She was major engaged too. Like she had a dress, invitations, a date, decorations, the whole enchilada/empanada. But God told her to serve a mission. So she did. She is great. She sings all of the time, she loves music, she loves to show off her daughter in the mission. Her Hijita (That means little daughter in Spanish), and she is my Mamita (Little mother). I really like her. She is very sweet, very patient, and loves to work super hard. Its great.

3. My ward is awesome. The Bishop and the Ward Mission Leader are almost more excited about missionary work than the actual missionaries. We had 3 investagators at church this Sunday, and they were immedietly welcomed in with open arms. 

4. Every single house here has a gate over head height. Every house. Even the poorest of the poor, the people who have cardboard houses or live in tents, have gate made of something. It is so weird. And you dont knock. You stand outside and yell ALO! Super loud. Its fun. Also awkward. But mostly fun. 

5. Everything here is in varying stages of disrepair or brand new. No inbetween. The people have really nice cars, teeny dirty houses, and smart phones. Strangest comnbination that I have ever seen. 

6. My standards of what is or is not a bathroom have plummeted in the most dramatic fashion.

7. The Spanish is coming along great. Seriously. Its been hard. But I had a break through yesterday. I was having a really off day. Nothing seemed great and the last straw was at the home of a member for Family Night. They make you eat the food here. And the dishes that they were serving it in, were not clean at ALL. I was scared for my life. So I was being force fed, and everyone was speaking Spanish and I just broke a little on the inside. I just wanted to cry and be alone. But that wasnt an option. So I plastered a smile on my face and bore it. And then the lady we were visiting found out that it was my birthday. So she gave me a Santa Claus doll that she had made. Its really cute. and  such a sweet gesture. But I was just praying so hard. So when we left after that I just threw myself into the work. We taught two more lessons and the Spirit was just so there. And I could just talk to everyone! I even was in the street with my companion, and I could talk to them all, I didnt really struggle with anything! Its coming! The Gift of Tongues is real. It really is. 

8. There are some people who really need this message. There was a lady I started talking to in the street and she invited us into her home, we had asked maybe two questions, and then she broke into tears and started bawling about how her son was murdered 2 years ago. So we responded with the plan of Salvation. Sharing with her the message that she can live with her son again. It was a beautiful message. And she responded with so much hope. We have an appointment next week!

9. Every missionary needs help from the members. From anyone. Will you all reach out and help the missionaries closest to you? Dinners, attend lessons with them, ask about their homes, their invesitagators. Its not easy to be in the field, but knowing that the members are on  your side, makes a huge difference. 

10. I know that I am supposed to be here. Its hard. But I know that this is exactly where I am supposed to be right now. 

I wish that I could say more. There is not room or time to actually explain my week. But that is some of it. I love you all, thank you for the emails and the prayers, I had a fabulous Birthday! Because today is my birthday! Woohoo!! 20!!! 

I love you all! Talk to you next week!

Hermana Randall

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Week 6 Arrival in Antofagasta

¡¡Saludos de Chile!!

We are pleased to inform you of the safe arrival of Sister Shelby Jeanne Randall in the Chile Antofagasta Mission. We are thrilled to have Sister Randall serving here with us.  We were able to pick her up at the airport today and enjoyed getting to know her.

Thank you for the sacrifices you are making and the support you are giving to her while she serves. We know she will appreciate the support she receives from home and you will be blessed for having a missionary in the field. We have attached photos of Sister Randall taken in front of our signature Antofagasta landmark, La Portada, with the city of Antofagasta in the background.

The Lord is hastening the Work of Salvation and this is an amazing time to be a missionary.  Sister Randall is needed here and we are so grateful she has chosen to serve a mission, we can tell she is going to touch many hearts and change many lives, helping many to come unto Christ.  We will care for her as if she were our own.

With much love,
President & Sister Dalton
Chile Antofagasta Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Week 5

Hello Again World!

This is my last week in the MTC! My last P Day and everything. Next time you receive an email from me I will actually be in the actual field! So that is one of the most exciting and terrifying things right now. Im mostly excited though!

Not really much happened this last week. Its the last of the normal weeks here at the CCM. But now everything for us in in Spanish. Church, devotionals, everything. Its difficult, but I understand a lot of it. I also have realized that Im really good at talking about the gospel right now, but my understanding of grammar and other more worldly words like shirt, or directions are off completely. But language is coming along really well. Thank you for the prayers and fasts from my family and others. I really appriciate it and they really are helping. 

Im going to apologize again for my spelling and grammar, I have so many rules and languages boucing around in my head right now, trying to type English on a Spanish computer is really difficult.

But I have officially made it through one month in the mission. I cant believe how fast that has gone by! It was really hard at some points, but honestly, I havent had time to do anything especially not wallow or miss people.

Tomorrow is my last trip to the temple for the next 17 months. And that is a really sad thought. But what is really cool is the fact that there are about 5 Latinos from this new group that are going through the temple for the first time. They are mostly from Colombia. And they are so excited to go. We had a crash course in Temple prep on Sunday, and its really exciting. 

When the new latinas came they called my Shakira right off of the bat. Do I really look like her that much? 

And on the 4th of July we were allowed to Watch the Copa America! Latinos really take thier futbol seriously. And there were a bunch of Argentinians here, so that was a little weird. But both teams played really well. And the whole country like freaked out. For two days all of the cars on the streets honked their horns for as long as they were driving. It was nuts, and really annoying. 

Also there is a facebook page for my MTC apperantly. Its Sherman Doll at the Santiago CCM or something like that. You might have to search for it a little bit if you want to find it. But Im in some pictures there.

We had a couple little earthquakes this week and that was really cool to just be sitting in class and its like someone shakes your chair. Its amazing that those are just a fact of life here. 

Tomorrow my district is going to a park and we are going to practice contacting people. Real people. In real Spanish. Im really excited. And the next day we are going to the Santiago East mission and going on splits with the missionaries to actually help teach lessons and proselyte and everything. The work is getting more and more real. The only bad thing about this week is that we learned about President Packer. We are going to be able to watch his funeral on Friday. The whole MTC prays for his family every day. 

But the work moves on. And that is my week. I hope everything is great for you all where ever you are! I love you all! Hurrah for Isreal!

          Hermana Randall