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