Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 75 I, Hermana Randall, write this record.

An account of Hermana Shelby Randall and her 10 companions, being called, (beginning in

the MTC) Hermanas Stock, Scalise, Borges, Handley, D`Angelo, Challco, Jimenez, Samaneigo, Guzmán, and Quintero. The Lord calls Hermana Randall to depart out of the land of Utah, to preach unto the people concerning the gospel. She taketh two days’ journey in airplane into the wilderness. The account of her joys and sufferings. She teaches families in the desert wilderness of the Atacama. Her joys and triumphs in the wilderness. The course of her travels.  She serves alonside the large waters. Hermana Randall`s brethren work with (and sometimes) against her. She confoundeth them, and baptizes many. They call the name of the place Chile Antofagasta. She crossth the desert into various sectors of the promised land, and so forth. This is according to the account of Hermana Randall; or in other words, I, Hermana Randall
, write this record.

Chapter One --  MTC Santiago, Chile -- Hermana Stock

Here I began learning all that there was to learn about missionary work. I also began to learn about Spanish. This was the beginning to my mission. I loved the MTC and my wonderful teachers and companion. We learned abundantly and set the stage for the many miracles that would follow in our missions. I remember one day, we were working the the Spanish Computer lab practicing Spanish, and I asked a teacher a question about irregular verbs in Spanish. His answer was just SO COMPLICATED that I began crying, and everyone looked at me funny, and tried to make me feel better. But it just made it worse. But now I look back and smile. Because I can see the fear and the nerves I had. And now I speak Spanish! Take that!

Chapter Two -- Arica, Zapahuira ¨B¨ -- Hermana Scalise

Here I was with my Mamita! I recieved the amazing blessing of having Hermana Scalise as my trainer. She was light personafied. I learned so much from her. I loved every moment of our time together. I might not have been able to communicate with her all that much at first but I knew that she loved me. And I love her. Here I had my first 3 baptisms. Kathy, Maria, and Jaccelyn. I learned how to recite the First Vision and felt the first real whisperings of the Spirit for an investigatos and their needs. I grew to love so many people here. I feel sad that I couldnt really communicate with a ton of people here, but I know that they are forever friends anyways!

Chapter Three -- El Salvador -- Hermana Borges/Hermana Handley/Hermana D`Angelo

El Salvador, this is where I passed 6 months of my mission. I began here rather roughly. But like a stone in the river, I had a couple of my hard edges knocked off in the process. Here I had my favorite companion, and forever friend Hermana Eliza Handley (shout out). We were together for two transfers. I loved those two transfers so much. We passed the holiday season together, sharing Thanksgiving and Christmas between ¨Gringas¨. And ended everything with some of the best baptisms that I have had in my mission. Mauricio and José. It was an honor to teach these men, and see them and their wives grow in the gospel. They are both now preparing to go to the temple in January or Febuary to be sealed for time and all eternity in the holy temple of the Lord.  I loved El Salvador. The people here really became my family. I was about ready to set down roots here. But the time passed and I was once more called to move. 

Chapter Four -- Tocopilla, Tocopilla ¨C¨ -- Hermana Challco

This was a beautiful transfer. Maybe not for many reasons that I could mention. But it was a really hard time for me in my mission. I was struggling with my moral, and my whole body just seemed to give up a little bit. I got sick, and more than a sickness of body, I started feeling really badly in spirit. It was a time where I almost turned back. I heard Satan`s whisperings, and they told me that I had served a good mission, and that it was time to come home. It is a beautiful transfer, because here I grew to know my Savior. Here I learned to work even harder. I remember the first day that I was feeling better, I began reading my Book of Mormon, and I had been neglecting personal study (which is a no no for a missionary), so I opened up to the Book of Mosiah chapter 2 where I had left off and found myself reading these words;  

 ¨30 For even at this time, my whole frame doth tremble exceedingly while attempting to speak unto you; but the Lord God doth support me, and hath suffered me that I should speak unto you, and hath commanded me that I should declare unto you this day, that my son Mosiah is a king and a ruler over you.¨
I remember crying and falling to my knees knowing that I was sick, I couldnt go out and proselyte, but that I would do it anyways, and God would give my the strength to do so. I loved Tocopilla. I met many wonderful people there, and was able to teach and baptize Norma Rodriguez, a beautiful single mother from Bolivia. This was a sector of great personal growth and miracles. 
Chapter Five -- Antofagasta, Cerro Moreno ¨A¨ -- Hermana Jimenez/Hermana Samaniego/Hermana Guzmán
This was my favorite sector by far. I love Antofagasta. This ward became my ward and my family. Here I literally left family behind. Here is where I truly felt that I knew these people before this world began and was called here to find them. I know that I found who I was meant to find. And they will be my forever friends. Not just investigators, but members. I found myself a member of a family I didnt know I had. Here I was called to be an Hermana Leader, and was given the charge of three sisters. I was able to not only get to know my own companion, but to help and support two more. It was an amazing privledge to learn from them. I was also blessed to be called to train here.  I was assigned a beautiful new missionary named Hermana Guzmán, who runs in the tops of companions. I loved every minute with her. I was so blessed to help her love the mission as I love it, to share the gospel at every moment in all things. We had three baptisms together, Luzmaria, Anibal, and Millaray. Three children that are very special to me and very close to my heart. I love them very much. This sector was so hard to leave behind. I left behind my family for a second time here. Leaving them felt like I did when I left my family in Utah. I LOVED this sector.
Chapter Six -- Vallenar, Torreblanca ¨B¨ -- Hermana Quintero
Here I arrived with only 6 weeks left in my mission. Here I arrived with all motivation to work harder than ever and accomplish all that God had sent me here to do. Here I had to crack down on some laziness and basic rule-breaking. Here I passed through many things, but here I have found some of my greatest joys. This last week we were witnesses to many miracles. We ended the week with 3 baptisms! And an Open Chapel. It was the BEST Saturday ever. I was very grateful for many things on Thanksgiving. I love these special people who entered into the waters of baptisms this week. Magdalena, Marcela, and Jean. It was a privledge to be here and be a part of their eternal journey. The story of Vallenar is still progressing for one more week, and I know that there are many more miracles in store. But I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father that I am here to end my mission.
And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of Granstville, Utah, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the Salt Lake City Airport, Amen.

Love you all. Thank you for being with me through this amazing experience. I have looked back and loved EVERY MINUTE of my mission. I wouldnt trade it for the world. I love you. See you next week!
Signing off for the last time,
Hermana Randall

Week 74 JUDE

I am naming this email Jude not for anything super specific. Not a huge revelation or anything like that. But because the second to last Book in the Bible is called Jude. And this is my second to last email. So I got to make it good. Because no one ever quotes the book of Jude that I know. So I got to make it a good letter. One to be remembered.

This week went pretty well. The things with the other Sisters are A LOT better. Thank you for your prayers I know that they helped. They were very much felt this week. These weeks seem to be passing faster and faster. Our Mission President was in the District Conference in Vallenar this week and he had all of his missionaries stand up in the Adult Session in the afternoon (it was more of a conversation than a formal meeting) and he announced the we were all his best missionaries and he sent us here for a reason. And that we are there to serve with all we can. And then he announced to everyone that I only had 2 weeks left, then turned to me shrugged, looked at the audience again and said, ¨She has a cruel Mission President¨ then he chuckled to himself. It was funny.

But this week was a good one filled with many miracles. And with many eye openers for me. I have seen a lot of things in my mission that have really opened my mind and my eyes to the living situations of people and cultures. But this week I had two new ones. Two that break my heart and I feel like I need to share them. 

There is a family of investigators here that are progressing very well. We may even be helping them to set a baptismal date this week (faith!). But while we were teaching them, just the Mom and the Daughter, and finishing up the lesson. In stumbled Dad....... Completely drunk. He was still on his feet and coherent. But you could tell that he really wasn't all there..... He began apologizing to us saying it is just who he is and making jokes. And the Mom and Daughter, you could tell that they were just so sad and so embarrassed...... When everything settled down and we finished the lesson they invited us to have a little meal with them. So we did. And while we were sitting there, the father had his little grandson (who is 4 years old) bring him a cold beer. The little boy dutifully went and got it, and before giving it to him looked at his grandpa in the eyes and said, ¨The only one okay Grandpa? Just one.¨ And the Grandpa agreed and went on to drink the can. We conversed more (or he was talking and we were responding but the responses weren't really getting to him, you could tell....) And then he ran out of beer.... And he asked his little grandson again to bring him a beer. The little boy said no. He repeated the request and the little boy covered his ears with his hands so he couldn't hear his Grandpa. 

I share this experience because I know my family isn't perfect. But I am so incredibly grateful that my Grandparents, and my Dad, are active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am grateful that I never had this experience. I have such a testimony of the Word of Wisdom, and of a happy family. I could never imagine not being a member of the Church. My companion and I were talking the other day about members who go inactive in the church for whatever reason. And she said, ¨Well we can say things now, but we never know what is going to happen to us in the future to make us go inactive.¨ And I thought about that.... And NO. JUST NO. My Mother always taught me that we make the decision RIGHT NOW about whether or not we are going to be faithful. Or aren't we. I make the promise and the covenant looking forward to a future. Not until the day that I get tired of something or when someone offends me. My Mom always said, ¨Make the decision right now not to break the Law of Chastity, or try drugs, and when the situation or if the situation arises, you already KNOW YOUR ANSWER.¨ It is the same with the church. You were baptized. 

You aren't going inactive in the church. 

You are going inactive on Christ. 

You are falling into your own form of apostasy. And who knows how many people are going to be affected by your bad decisions. 

Sorry for the rant. I just love this gospel, and I know it is true and how it blesses people. And I feel so so so so sad. That people see membership in the Lords church as something as an option. It is not an option. It is salvation. 

The other experience was with a single sister with no family. She is 64 years old and her children have given up on her as a useless old lady. She built her own house out of cast off wood on the side of a hill. She doesn't have running water or a bathroom. No job. Nothing. Literally, this poor woman doesn't have anything. She has gifts of dishes and a table a little refrigerator, etc. But it is empty. She has no food. Nothing. She had to beg food from a friend to feed her little cat that shares the house with her. And you know what she told us? ¨But I don't worry. God knows me. He knows what I need. He will help me find some food.¨ That type of faith is an example to us all. We are doing what we can to help her of course. But she doesn't worry. She is more than happy to wait on the Lord with faith and patience. 

I share these stories, and this lovely rant. Because I have felt many feelings very strongly in this last week. This world is so beautiful. We have everything in front of us, ready for the taking. And when we get to the tree of life. 

What do we do?

Do we partake and WALK AWAY? 

Or do we eat, and keep eating, inviting our family and friends to partake also?

 Or do we reach the tree, look at the fruit and say, its too far, I cant reach it, and walk away. 

Or maybe we are among those who partake of the fruit, and then ARE ASHAMED AND FALL AWAY INTO FORBIDDEN PATHS AND ARE LOST. 

Make the decision NOW. Don't say what my companion said. Make the decision NOW. And pray with all the energy of your hearts that you enter not into temptation. 

I hope that this email makes sense. It is much longer than I intended. But I feel that the spirit has sent me a couple of these thoughts. So I hope that they reach the person that God wanted them to reach. Maybe they were just for me in 30 years. I don't know. But thank you for reading. For loving me and supporting me in this wonderful time in my life. My Mission. The Mission of the Lord. 

I love you so much. I will talk to you one more time next week. So until then. I love you all. Think about which decision you are taking right now. Make it now, not later. 


Hermana Randall

PS. And go watch this.

Week 73 El Fin se Acerca y Hay Poco Tiempo!

Translation of the title for all of you who don't speak Spanish, ¨The end is coming and there isn't much time.¨

This is the song that everyone is choosing in EVERY single meeting and I get looked at funny by everyone. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that I'm going to be seeing all of you soon. But the idea of coming home also fills me with a weird feeling of anxiety and I need to breath harder. So I only allow myself to think of home when I am writing emails. It`s easier that way. 

This week was SUPER dramatic. The sisters that we live with were breaking a rule that no one knew about, so we asked President if it was a rule, he said it was, so we had to be the heavy and tell the sisters about it. (They were going to a gym in the mornings, nothing serious, a good idea in other situations, just as missionaries we cant do it.) And they got really really, but I mean REALLY mad. Stormed out of the house, etc. We felt awful because it was never our intention to make them feel bad. And they lost the money that they had paid to sign up ($23,000CLP). So the house filled with a super awkward, weird, angry energy, it was so bad I literally lost my appetite and wanted to throw up. We had a couple long talks with President,and finally settled everything. It is still a little like walking on eggshells in the house, but a week later we are doing a ton better and the spirit is in the house again. So we are all really happy about that. And all trying to keep the peace.

We had a baptism planned for this Saturday, but the young woman is facing a lot of opposition from her family, so she wanted to postpone the date until her family understands a little more. We felt like it is the right thing to do, so we are still preparing her and a couple other people to be baptized. There are many miracles here in Vallenar, we just need to get out there with our butterfly nets and catch em! (Gotta catch em all! Just call me Hna Ketchem!) 

Yeah, sorry about that.

Anyways, it was a good week other than the extreme drama at the beginning. We are still all working on getting along. It was just too much to ask for a peaceful last 6 weeks. There is still much that God wants me to do. So here I go!

Les amo muchisimo, and I hope that you have a great week. I just want to share my testimony that I know that God knows you personally. Your blessings and your trials. He is going to send you blessings in your trials and trials to accompany your blessings, because these are what is going to help you grow. 

I want you all to go and watch this video: 

And then ask yourself, Who is Jesus Christ for ME. For YOU personally. WHO is your Savior? I love you! And he does too.

Have a fabulous week!

Hermana Randall

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Week 72 Traveling....Emotions.....Another Week

Well hello there World, here we are another week and another email from you favorite sister missionary named Hermana Randall :)

Well many things happened this week for sure. Our P-Day went well and Tuesday as well. WE had 7 baptismal interviews this week, and a definite baptism next Saturday! We are so excited to see the progress that Vallenar is making right now. 

We also had our last Leaders Conference before I go home.... I thought that there was going to be one more before I left... But no.... So in the middle of the meeting I had to stand up and give my last testimony in front of all of the leaders in the mission..... What a surprising time to rip out my heart and show it to everyone. sigh.

But it was a really good conference! As a mission we received a congratulations from the general authorities because we as a mission baptized 118 converts in October! The mission is so happy and as a result there are more and more people that are being able to partake of the various blessings that God has prepared for the faithful and obedient. :) It really is the time to be here in Chile Antofagasta!

The meeting was in Antofagasta so I had to travel the 10 hours in bus, back to where I just was the week before, and then take the bus back.... Ugh. It was very hectic. Wednesday we received a call from the office saying that the new elder that is in the office and in charge of buying all of the tickets, didn't buy tickets for us.... So we suddenly had to find a member who could drive us 2 hours to Copiapò so that we could take a different bus from there to Antofagasta..... So we had to leave at 6 in the afternoon, drive awkwardly to Copiapò, which we arrived at about 8:15, then wait until the bus left at 10:40PM. Then we tried to sleep but we got to Antofagasta early... Like 5 in the morning early. So we had to sit and wait in the bus terminal until the assistants woke up and came to get us. They took us sisters to the apartment of the Cerro Moreno sisters! My old apartment!  And then I was able to see a member of the ward who I love a ton. And then the conference all day. We left at 6:00 or so from the office. The bus left at 8:00, and we arrived back in Vallenar at 6:00AM Friday morning. It was a busy week. 

But a super great week! 4 investigators in the chapel Sunday, and the spirit in all directions. I love the mission. I don't even want to think about going. But I'm

glad that I am here in Vallenar! We have another busy hectic week planned, but we are going to conquer it!

I love you all, thank you for all of your unconditional support. I hate to say it, but love it at the same time, but I will see you all soon! LES AMO!

Hermana Randall

Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 71 Vallenar: The Beginning of the End

Well here we are! Now I can give more details of everything that has happened in the last week. It

has been a crazy roller-coaster of changes. Not  bad changes, but changes none the less.

First of all, I love Vallenar. This is a sector where there are a ton of miracles. We have had amazing experiences in just these few short days together. 

My companion is Hna Quintero. She is 21 years old and from Colombia (Bogota). She is going to complete a year in the mission on Friday, the day after I complete 17 months. And we get along really well, which I am happy about. It would not be so fun to end with a sour companion. But we get along really great and she is fun to be around and likes to work hard. 

Vallenar has many hills and it is getting really really hot here during the day and cold at night. There is no ocean because we are more for the mountains, so the wind is usually hot. I'm glad that I wont be here for the dead of summer. It would be a repeat of El Salvador. Its been a week and I'm about 2 shades of gold darker because of the sun. 

We had a lesson with an investigator named M. She had an amazing experience with the Book of Mormon answering a much needed prayer. And she told us with tears in her eyes that she knows that the Book is true and therefore that the church is also true. We were all very emotional, and she told us that she wants to be baptized. Her two sons were also there, and they both expressed the same desire to be baptized. It was so spiritual. I love the mission and the gospel. The light that it brings into our lives is really something that all of us should have. It really makes a difference in the lives of the people.

Anyways, I think that it about does it for this week. I have a billion things to do today. And a gazillion more to do during the next 5 weeks! I love you all, have a fabulous day, and an even better week!


Hermana Randall

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Okay this email has to be quick. As you can tell by the lack of email yesterday and the title today, I have received a transfer for my last 6 weeks, and I am writing from lovely....... Vallenar!!!!

It is a smaller city than Antofagasta, but a little bigger than Tocopilla. There are hills, and no ocean, and IT IS REALLY HOT. I stepped outside today and the sun was as if Superman was using his laser beam eyes and burning away my hair. But it is a great city, and I am excited to be here. I am super sad that I left Cerro Moreno. To be completely honest it is my favorite sector with the best people. When I was packing my suitcase I felt the same way I did when I left behind my family in the United States. But I always knew that I would be able to see them again. But with these amazing people I'm not sure. We`ll see what happens though. They really are my family now. 

But things in the sector ended on a high note, we had a ton of lessons with members, 8 investigators in the church on Sunday, and a billion hugs and kisses from everyone, except my male converts and leaders. Which sucks a little. But rules are rules. 

Other than that I can't really think of much to say. I am going to work harder than I have in my entire mission and we are going to see ALL of the miracles that God has prepared for us! I hope all of you are doing well. I'm not going to be able to answer all of your emails today, because I have just enough time to write a basic email and my Mission President. So I love you all, and I will be sending more details in the coming week! I LOVE YOU ALL! SERIOUSLY!

Hna Randall

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 69 P-Day Already?

Hello all!

This week was pretty great. We were able to find a ton of new investigators and help other people who are already investigating the church to progress even more. 

Also. I received my flight itinerary today...... It actually made me a little sick to my stomach to see it. All innocently dressed up as an email, but in reality a death sentence. So that happened.

But it was a really great week. We have an investigator that is just in a really bad situation in her house. She is mentally and physically abused by her boyfriend. But she cant leave because she doesn't have anywhere to go. It is really sad actually. But something happened that just goes to show that God knows everything and really is planning everything. We had an appointment with her and we felt that we really needed someone to come with us to the appointment. So we called our Ward mission leader and he said that he would find someone. He found a sister from the other ward and it all worked out. And then while we were in the lesson, our investigator began to tell us about the situation in more detail and with more emotion than usual. And then from nowhere our member says that she is a Social Worker for Antofagasta (we did not know that, nor did our ward mission leader) and that she (our investigator) is a victim of mental and physical abuse. And now she is working hard to help her to leave this situation. It is something so special to know that God knows these people. And he will place them in the situations that they need to know that God loves them. :)
It seriously was a great week. It went by even quicker than the last week, which I didn't think was possible. Something tells me that these last 6 weeks are going to go by even faster than I can possibly imagine. And we are going to use all of the time to the best of our advantage to do the work of the Lord!

My cousin Lynette wrote me something really beautiful this week. She said that she felt the impression to tell her Relief Society sisters that each of them should make more of an effort to follow Jesus Christ and KNOW HIM PERSONALLY. So I feel prompted to give the same invitation. I invite you all to really look at the relationship that you have with the Savior. Who is he to you? Because here in the mission he has stopped being someone in some unreachable heaven above the Earth. Now I sometimes feel him so close that I feel as if I could reach out and touch him. I know that he lives. And I know that he loves us and he loves each one of you individually. Love you all! Have a fabulous week! 

Hermana Randall

Week 68 Time Travel

Hello all. I somehow seem to be speaking to you from the future, or twice in the same week or something, because one week could not possibly have passed by so very quickly.

But aside from jokes, it is really true. I thought that the last transfer went by quickly and now we are beginning Week 5 of this transfer. I found myself looking for the pictures that I am going to put on my last Missionary Agenda yesterday while waiting for my companion.......

But other that the fact that the time went by so very quickly, we had a really great week. A very busy week. But a very great week. :) In fact I am very happy right now. I love just everything. 

We taught a ton of lessons, but few with members so we are going to be working on that. But we sent up a couple baptismal dates that look very promising. The work continues to move forward here in Antofagasta! 

I feel bad saying that there really isn't a ton to write. Because I feel like there really isn't much. Because honestly I'm not sure if I already told everyone because I'm thinking about last week instead of this week. They are all just the same LONG week now. 

One thing that was fun and funny at the same time, Saturday we got a call from Sister Marquez the coordinator of the Open Chapels (who just so happens to be in our ward as well) asking if we could go and do the Open Chapel that they had THAT afternoon in the other Stake. It requires 4 sister missionaries to do an Open Chapel, and the other Stake has 6..... But 4 suddenly couldn't do it..... So we got the call as the sisters with the most experience in the whole mission to come to the rescue. We had to cancel a couple things. But we went to the other stake and had a great time teaching the gospel and helping out with everything. There is a sister in the other zone that is from Finland, she speaks pretty good English, but she is still learning Spanish. She only got here about 4 weeks ago. It was rather beautiful to hear her try to communicate. Because although she want speaking a lot of Spanish, the spirit was there as she struggled to share her testimony. 

Also, there is a new hashtag for Christmas approaching! It looks like it is going to be a really good new initiative. So be on the look out for it. (Christmas seems a lot closer here in Chile because there really aren't two holidays in between. Halloween doesn't really exist all that much here. And Thanksgiving not at all.) 

So I hope that you all have a great week and that you are able to accomplish  many things and show your family that you live them a little more everyday. 

Hermana Randall

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 67 General Responsibility, General Conference

Hello everyone! Can I just start out by telling you all that I love you so much!? I am just filled to brimming with the amazing happiness that the mission brings. :) I know that sometimes I am so tired that it is hard to get up in the morning (even harder now that the light bulb burned out and we need to get up in the dark), but EVERY SINGLE DAY is worth it. I LOVE the mission.

This week was a hard one in the way of finding new people to teach, but we are making progress with some of our investigators and we think that there will be a baptism headed this way soon. He is a great kid. Very sincere, and very honest. The story of Joseph Smith has him fascinated. And he came to ALL FOUR sessions of General Conference this weekend. How cool is that?! 

General Conference was super amazing as well! We were spiritually edified and enjoyed every moment of it. :) I watched the first session in Spanish because we got there late, and I didn't know that they had a separate room for the Gringos to watch in English. But I got to watch the last 3 sessions in English. I can understand in Spanish, but all of the talks hit more close to home when i hear them in English. Plus when I listen in Spanish I cant watch the people talking or trying to read their lips throws me off. So I have to look down and take a tone of notes or draw pictures so that I don't loose track of what they are saying. But I love being able to understand Spanish. :) I had the realization this week that I am now bi-lingual and I felt really cool. :)

The Gringo Elders were Fun/Annoying to watch conference with. We the sisters were reverent and took notes quietly and had our little snack on the side. But a couple Elders literally brought bags of chips and a liter of soda or so. It was crazy. They cleaned it all up okay. But it was certainly interesting. (At least they shared a little.) And every so often one Elder would shout out, ¨Ya! Preach it Elder!¨ Or something else like, ¨That´s a quote! Write it! Write it!¨ And then they all realized that I write quickly, so when they weren't able to copy down a name or a quote they all asked me what it was. So there were a couple things we missed as sisters because of obnoxious Elders. But then you have to have a little mercy on them because they haven't been to a sports game in like 2 years, and these are like their favorite church stars throwing out their two pointers or a field goal to win the game (you go BYU). So I get it . :)

But that brings us to today. There weren't many things utterly exciting this week. There were always moments to remember and my journal has the details. But I get here and start writing and everything just gets so difficult to write about. So all that I can say is that I love the church. I love Christ. I love being a missionary. I know that I cam called of God to be here and this moment and in this country. And this city. There are people that we are called to find here in the world. People that we talked to before this life began. And we promised that we would find them here. We would share the gospel with them here on Earth. I am always looking for them. Just like conference said, ¨This is the truth, and I feel like I knew it before.¨ The seed of light inside of all of us begins to grow, because these are just truths that we have forgotten. They are not new. They are just forgotten. We need to remember them we need to remember that we are children of a Heavenly Father and Mother, and that we are loved every one.

I love you all! Hope to hear from you all next week! The gospel is TRUE!

Hermana Randall

PS. Played soccer today! And taught a group of Young Women this week :)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 66 Capilla Abierta and Interviews

Another week has passed by faster than I could look at it. I feel like I´m driving on the highway, and everything is passing by too fast to concentrate on them. So I'm just starting at the mountains in the background so I don't get sick. Only in this case, the mountains are appointments and things on my To Do List.

I hope that this week has treated you all well. I know that a few of you wrote that you had a hard week. Just remember that for every hard week there are always two good ones waiting.

We had a good week here in Cerro Moreno. We´ve been working hard and we are seeing the fruits of our work. The problem is that this week was a week of vacations and a ton of people were out of town. Including the majority of our teaching pool. But the good news is that they should all be getting back sometime today or tomorrow. So our numbers should be on the way back up again. 

The Women's conference was something very special. We brought an investigator, and she was taking notes the whole time. It was such a fun experience to see the progress that she is making in the gospel. She told us that she knows that these things are true. And after experiencing a bunch of different churches, she said that she has found something that she WANTS to participate in. She WANTS to be a part of this. I love the gospel. 

This weekend we weren't able to do a bunch of proselyting. Basically we were in the Visitors Center. I cant remember if I have explained the ¨Capilla Abierta¨ before. But basically what it is, is we bring the temple visitors center to different chapels. We have banners, and we have sister missionaries leading the tours of the chapel and explaining things. And then two Elders dressed in white in front of the baptismal font explaining baptism and the Holy Ghost. And all of the other Elders leave to bring and invite people to the church to come and see. :) It is a great program. And we did two different ones this weekend. One Saturday morning, and the other Sunday Night. And the one on Sunday was wonderfully attended. It was fun, spiritual, and enlightening. 

But that was basically the week. And now we are heading into the middle of the transfer. I cannot believe that I am almost done training my companion. She is more and more able to do things without me now. Every so often she still looks at me with questions, but more often than not she participates and does everything just like a super missionary. I am so proud of her. :) 

I hope that this next week is wonderful for each of you and that you are all able to accomplish various tasks and goals. Keep the Lord in mind and you will be able to do everything that you need to do. Just keep in mind something that President Uchtdorf said on Saturday, ¨Faith cannot change two things. The agency of other people, and the will of God.¨ So pray with everything you have for the things that are necessary. And then remember that if they don't happen, then they really weren't that necessary for your progress. He will always give us the things that we need to progress spiritually, sometimes the spiritual things need to come before the physical comforts of life. 

I love you all! Have a wonderful week, enjoy another day of life, and I hope to hear from you all next week!


Hermana Randall

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Week 65 ¡¡¡Feliz Cumpleaños Chile!!!

Hello from Chile!

Yesterday and today are the independence days of Chile! So we are just filled to busting with barbecue, empanadas, and chilean folk music. It was such a cool week! The new sisters that are living with us are sure nice, one I met before because I was her Hermana Leader last transfer, but Hna MacDonald is super fun. It is an enthusiasm boost to live with two other sisters. And they are clean as well, so that always helps. 

But the week went by rather normally here, but Wednesday was a little different. We had a visit from Elder Brag of the 70 and a member of the Area Presidency. Maybe the President. Not sure. And he had a special meeting with all of the leaders in the mission right before as well. We talked about obedience and how we, as leaders, help to set the ``Culture`` of the mission. It was very spirit filled. And the meeting that followed was also really cool. He speaks Spanish and his wife speaks a bit as well, so they were able to communicate with everyone that was really fun. 
And then on Saturday we had the ward party for Independence Day. It was filled with typical Chilean food and dancing. And we also played a good number of typical Chilean games. I will proudly tell you all that I won the sack race! I did however face plant it after touching the finish line. It wouldn't have been so bad if I were on grass. But cement is a different story.... My hands and knees were all bleeding and such. Ouch.... I managed to make it to the bathroom before I cried though. Haha. 

And a member made us typical dresses to wear! I got to pick the colors and she made it. It was so nice of her. :) And blue is my favorite. 

Yesterday to prevent all of the missionaries from just wasting time eating things with members or investigators, President called the whole mission and said that the Zone that had the most lessons with a member yesterday in the afternoon would win something. So we called our ward mission leader and he set everything up with his mother running us from place to place in the car, and members going for a couple hours with each of us. We taught 4 lessons in the afternoon all with members. And the other sisters as well! We had 8 altogether, and we destroyed the competition! We also found a really great investigator, new people to teach, and had a ton of fun! I love being a missionary!
Basically it was a great week filled with empanadas, fun, and miracles. A member can really make a difference in the enthusiasm and progress of the work!

Love you all! Do a missionary a favor and go spend an hour with them. They will love you for forever! Just like I do!


Hna Randall

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Week 64 Nothing Like a Suprise!

Well world, we have reached a milestone this week along with a few other miracles!

Today I write you as I begin my last 12 Weeks in the field. I say this not to be trunky, but because the office is officially doing all of the paperwork to send me home, and BYU is starting to bug me with registering again and etc.... I have a lot of mixed emotions about it to be honest, happy to see everyone at home again. But more of the truth is that I have really grown to be Chilena. This is my country now. I also am not sure if I can remember to speak English. I know that my grammar skills have lowered considerably. So I´ll have to relearn how to do some things. Haha. 

But this week was AMAZING. We have a couple investigators who are younger and they were going to be baptized on the 17th of September, but they changed the date and they were baptized on Saturday!!!!!!!!! M. and her little brother A., it was one of the most spiritual experiences that I have participated in in my mission. It was amazing. Their parents bore their testimonies and the spirit hit us like bricks. I was crying and the ward mission leader was crying, and we were all super emotional and filled with love. It was beyond words, I truly felt my Savior in the room with us that afternoon. 

The Elder that baptized A. (9 years old) is 6´4, and A. couldn't stop looking at him. He´s like a super hero, when he came to their house to to the interview A. left and brought a friend to show him how tall Elder Court is. It was hilarious to see him looking up at him. And during the baptismal service he bore his little 9 year old testimony to tell us all that he felt just like a Super Sayian (from Dragon Ball Z, don't know how to spell it in English) with a new level of power. And that he was grateful for the tall Elder and the small one too. It was hilarious. 

All the rest bore wonderful, short, powerful testimonies of the gospel as well. And how they know that the church is true. I know that their mother ( a non member) is not too far behind them now. She told us so. :)

We also were able to spend the weekend with the President´s daughter Gina. She is 18 years old, and she is super cool. We had some great lessons together and really bonded. It was nice to have here there. I really feel like all of these young women remind me of my little sisters, and it is nice to have someone like that with me after so long. (Hear that Cassidy and Emma? I LOVE YOU!) 

It was just an amazing week. I am without words. I love the mission. I love my companion. I love my calling as an Hermana Leader, I love my eternal friends, I love everything. Everything is amazing. I hope you all know that.

I love you all! Have a fabulous week!!!!!!!!!!

Hna Randall

PS. We are having 2 new sisters move into our apartment and I am their Hna Leader, they are going to be opening a new sector in the other side of our sector, which before was my sector. So if they need help I am going to be living with them. That is going to help them not get lost I think! Haha.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 63 Smile That Frown Away!

I would like to honestly confess that I don't know where the week went. I do believe that I lost it. I tried to find it. I looked everywhere. But I believe that I have possibly dropped this week in the street somewhere with one of my sweaters, and it is irreplaceably lost. So here I sit, writing once again.

This was a phenomenal week. We have set some goals as a companionship to be more focused and such, like leaving lessons faster, setting baptismal goals in the first lesson, etc. And we have really seen the difference. We had a bunch of lessons with a member this week. We are focusing on training the Ward Missionaries on how to really fulfill their callings.  And with that we are releasing and calling new ones. The ward missionaries that we have right now, aren't really much help. They don't do much, or don't follow through on the promises that they make. Which is sad, but we are picking up and moving on. 

We had a really great lesson this week with a young woman that we have shared with one before. We shared the Plan of Salvation that our Heavenly Father has planned for us now and through eternity. And what we need to do here to make it to the eternities. She absolutely lit up when we talked about baptism. How she could erase her past and start all over again. She could show God that she wants to follow him and all that. She started crying and told us that she wants to be baptized because she knows that it is something that she needs to do in order to be saved, and something that she wants to do in order to FEEL saved. We all cried at that moment, and she gave us a hug and told us that we are the sisters that she never had. It was an amazing lesson that was just filled with the Spirit, She told us that we answered all of the questions that she had always had about life. And when we asked her mother what she thought about her daughter getting baptized, she said ^Well, I now that it is something good. Something right. And I know that it will help her with all of the bad things that are going on in the world. I think that it is a goal that we are going to work for!^  So we set a date for the 10th of September and we are steadily working towards that goal. :) 

Let`s see, what else. 

Honestly this week went by so quickly that I cant really write much more. I just hope you all know how much I love being a missionary. I know that I am not the same person that went on a mission. Now I am the better version. And here I am at the part of the race where I start to sprint to finish the best of all because you can see the finish line. 

So I love you all, and I hope that you are letting God to change you one day at a time. That you take inventory and say, ^What am I doing well? What can I improve?^ And then you act on the impressions that you receive. 

You are all the best of the best of the best (sir). (Brownies to those who get the movie quote.)


Hermana Randall

PS. We played soccer with our mission president today...... He really knows what he is doing. I can tell that the way to his heart is through soccer. I'm
going to remember that. Haha.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Week 62 When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going

Hello Family and Friends!

Hope that you all had a great week watching the Olympics and enjoying the last week of summer before school starts. 

We had an interesting week here in Cerro Moreno. We worked hard, and we saw very little success. It happens sometimes, but it is always hard when it does. We had to travel a lot this week to doing things in downtown Antofagasta, so we also lost a lot of precious time where we could have been working. I realized this week that I am going to be so bored to have to work in an office again for the first little while after I get home. I was a couple hours without proselyting and I about died from the anxiety of it all.

But we did have a few fun things happen this week. We had one of the first ¨Capilla Abierta¨ here in the South America South Area of the church. That means that we had an Open House in our chapel. We had the entire Zone in our chapel, and we basically turned the entire chapel into a Visitors Center. The problem is that sometimes members are so eager to help that they scare everyone away. We had to get after a couple members for taking a lot of photos like they were in a circus and explaining doctrine that not even a member of 100 years understands. But we did contact a good number of people and the refreshment at the end were good. 

We were in charge of receiving the people that came. So they came and sat in the Sacrament Hall and we gave them a brief Welcome to the Church, please turn off your cellphones deal. We did all of this in front of a big banner of the statue of Christ that is in the North Visitors Center at Temple Square in Salt Lake. And then we listened to the audio of Jesus speaking and we bore testimonies as missionaries. 

Afterwards we directed them to the Cultural Hall where there were two other sisters with 6 other banners. They explained the 6 banners very basically with testimony, themes such as, The plan of Happiness, Jesus our Savior, The Great Apostasy, The Restoration, The Book of Mormon, and Modern-Day Prophets. 

From there the group is lead into the room which contained the Baptismal Font. There they are received by two Elders in white, where they explain the ordinances of Baptism and Confirmation by the Gift of the Holy Ghost. And testify of this sacred experience. 

Then they are lead to a table filled with copies of the Book of Mormon, pamphlets, cards, etc... And are invited to fill out an information card if they or someone they know would like to learn more about the church from the missionaries. 

From there they were able to visit each of the rooms and meet the organizations (this is where, instead of letting them look and ask questions, the members had presentations of about 10 minutes each..... Some people got so bored that they were unable to make it to the dessert at the end....) And then there was dessert.

It is a pretty cool idea, and it was very fun to participate in, I felt a little like it was opening night of a show and I wasn't ready for it...... But it all worked out rather well. :) We are going to do another one in another chapel on Friday.

That was basically the week. Running around doing things without seeing much progress. But the important thing is that we did our best. Success comes when we are faithful even if we aren't succeeding. 

We are ready and willing to work even harder this week to prove it. 

I love my companion, I love my Savior, and I love my family. My real family, and my Chilean family. I hope you are all well and having success in your various walks of life. I love you!

Hermana Randall

Week 61 No Time? Or End of Times?

Hello there everyone! I know the title sounds a bit dark, but in reality nothing super huge happened this week. It was a good week. We taught some lessons and found some people and we did missionary work!

Our little sister, L. who got baptized last week is doing amazing. She is so thrilled to be a member, she has put the names of all the missionaries that she knows up on her wall behind her bed saying that she loves us. She is studying her scriptures and is so happy with having the Holy Ghost. It is something very special to be a part of. 

We are also teaching many people who are also progressing towards baptism. Although many have their own difficulites, one of our investigators has a particularly sad story, that has lightened considerably in the weeks that we have known her. She is reading the Book of Mormon, and has prayed. She says that she knows that the Book of Mormon is true, and she knows that we are sent from God because of how she feels when she is with us, or when she merely sees or hears us. I am so privleged to be a messanger for this gospel. ;)

I had something else that I wanted to write about, but I dont remember what it is. Just know that this is the best thing I have ever done in my life. I had a pretty good idea about what I was going to do, or what I was going to be before the mission. And now I know what I need to do, or what I need to be. Because the Lord has told me, has shaped me, and the refining process continues. 

The time is running out here in my mision. I noticed it more this week because my companion is just starting her mission. Her mission stories until now are all about the MTC. And I realize that it has been a long time since I was in the MTC. Time is something that is running out on all of us though. We dont really ever seem to stop and think about it though. I see so many people running around with their busy lives that they dont have time to stop and think about the meaning of it all. Are we all just like busy ants running around getting things done? Or is there a higher purpose to what we do? I know that there is a higher purpose. And that sometimes to accomplish that purpose, we need to stop. Pause everything, Take a deep breath and get some persepective. Pray. Read the scriptures. Go to church. Go to the temple. I invite all of you to find some time every week. Or better yet once a day to breath. There is always a dead moment in the day. Brushing your hair, putting on  your shoes. Eating food. Whatever. Use that time to talk to your Heavenly Father, to memorize a scripture, etc... Use it for something more than just brushing your hair, or putting on shoes. We are here for more than brushing our hair.

I have a wonderful friend who sent me a poem this week that I would like to share with you: 

No Time to Pray

“I knelt to pray but not for long,I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work for bills would soon be due.

So I knelt and said a hurried prayer; and jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done my soul could rest at ease.

All day long I had no time to spread a word of cheer.
Not time to speak of Christ to friends, they’d laugh at me I’d fear.

No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry.
No time to give to souls in need but at last the time, the time to die.

I went before the Lord, I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
For in his hands God held a book; it was the book of life.

Good looked into his book and said, “Your name I cannot find.
I once was going to write it down … But never found the time.”

Read this. Think about it. I love you all!

Have a wonderful week. 
Hermana Randall

Monday, August 8, 2016

Week 60 It´s a Girl!

Well hello there followers! I would like to announce to you all that I officially have my Hijita :) (My daughter)
Her name is Hermana Rebeca Guzman, she is from Nicaragua, she is 24 years old and she speaks English surprisingly well. And she is amazing.
This week was filled with many different things and I know that I will not be able to describe all of it. So like Mormon, there are some things that I am just going to leave out because they would take to long and writing just a little bit would not be sufficient.
Monday -- I spent the day with a member who is super awesome (also named Rebeca, interesting), we had an amazing lesson and set a baptismal date. I made brownies, and a giant sign for my Greenie.
Tuesday -- Proselyted some more, taught a few really good lessons about the 10 commandments and other such things. Switched member companions during lunch (we had subway :) and they gave me a free cookie) , and we proselyted some more. And we were able to confirm a baptismal goal for Saturday.
Wednesday -- I was dropped off at the mission office and was temporary companions with Hna Carabine (Utah). We were the only two sisters training this whole transfer. We helped set everything up, and talked with President and Sister Ferriera until the newbies arrived. There were two sisters, mi hijita, and Hna Sorenson from Draper Utah. We all talked and had a great time together. Then the meeting began. We talked about what it really means to be a successful missionary. How we can always be the best missionary that we can be. We don't just have to evaluate ourselves at the end of our missions. But that we can evaluate, repent, and be better, EVERY SINGLE DAY. (That goes for our lives outside of the mission as well. Then we (the trainers) had a meeting with President. We talked about who really is a disciple of Christ. How Christ trained his disciples and how we can use his example to be the best missionaries that we can be, and train the best missionaries. It was a moving experience.
Finally we all got together and began finding out who would be companions. Finally it came time for the sisters. They sat together in front of the room, and read their letters of fate. And Hna Guzman read my name! It was so special! I knew that it was going to be her when I saw her!
We had another little training after we had received our companions, basically President telling all of us that we are the best of the best that he has in this mission. That he trusts us with this monumental task of training, and more importantly, the Lord trusts us. We got all jazzed up. Then we came home she saw all of the decorations that I put up, and we had a nice bonding moment. taught a few lessons that night, then we came home and went to bed.
Thursday -- Today was the first meeting that I officially had as a Sister Training Leader. It was all day long with a lunch. And we talked about the new things that we are going to do as a mission, and what things that we need to improve on as a mission. At this time I would also like to invite all of you to go on Facebook and like the page ¨Mision Chile Antofagasta¨ or maybe it is ¨Chile Antofagasta Mission¨ It is one of the two. It is a new page, and it is going to be filled with wonderful things! We came home from the meeting and had another appointment with R. and L.  L. is the little girl with a baptismal date for Saturday. It was a good day.
Friday -- We had our weekly planning, and I am teaching Hna Guzman how the mission works. (No pressure right). I am learning right along with her as well. It is pretty exciting. And that night we talked to L. again to make sure that everything was set for her baptism. Our District Leader came to the house with us, and did the interview and set everything up . it was a great experience for her. She didn't feel ready before, but afterwards she was so excited for the next day. Her mom was pretty set on no baptism until she was sure that her daughter was ready. But L. actually started crying because she was afraid that her mom didnt want her to be baptized, and tears sometimes melt hearts a lot quicker than other things. The spirit filled the room, and they began making plans for the baptism.
Saturday -- I am the leader of the sisters in Mejillones, and they have been kind of sad this last week because they haven't been able to find or teach people. They feel like they are just walking around. It is sad because they are both relatively new missionaries as well. 7 months and 5 months. So we all as the leaders (District, Zone, and Sister Training) hopped on a bus and went to Mejillones. We contacted whatever person in the street, taught lessons, extended baptismal dates, etc. And we left the Sisters full of hope. I love being a leader so far. Basically it gives me a better opportunity to help others. And that is something that I have always loved doing.
We came home, and studied a little bit and then immediately went to the chapel for L´s baptism! She was there with a bunch of members of her family and friends that are not members. (Some of them are actually opposed to the church, but they were there and they supported her. So we were really excited!) The service went really well and the spirit was there pretty strongly. It was a great day.
Sunday -- And to end the week, L. received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Her nonmember friends and family were not there. But her Step´Father who is not a member came and he brought his sister as well. It was a beautiful experience. We had 10 investigators in Sacrament Meeting! And then later that night. We were able to set 2 baptismal dates! This sector really is progressing. And we are seeing many many miracles. :)
So in conclusion. I love my sector. I love my companion. I love Chile. And I LOVE my mission!
Hope you are all well!
Hermana Randall

Monday, August 1, 2016

Week 59 Miracles, Responsibility, and What?

Well, I have way to many things to tell you all, so I am not going to start this email with a joke or something random.

This week was one heck of a week (can missionaries say heck?).

Well we started off with Monday, nothing too exciting, just super spiritual. Then Tuesday we went to a District Meeting that at the last minute was changed to another chapel entirely and NO ONE TOLD THE SISTERS. So all 4 of us were outside the chapel wondering what what going on. And the Elders called to ask where we were and we asked, ¨Well where are you?¨ They told us that last minute it had been changed and they had forgotten to tell us.... So we hopped on a bus and got there about a half and hour late. Only to discover that it was changed because the Mission President was coming to listen to all of the District Meetings and make missionary evaluations.... AND WE WERE LATE. 

So we did our piece, with President watching and making comments the whole time. And then we told the Assistants the part of our sector that would now be their sector ( I cant remember if I mentioned that we are dividing Cerro Moreno and the Assistants are now going to be working in our ward.) No pressure.

Wednesday we had a lesson with A. She was having a lot of problems with her enthusiasm for life. Not that she wanted to do anything to take her life or anything. But that she just was really tired of all of the problems and University classes, etc. So we explained about Blessings of Comfort and Counsel and she said that she would like to have one. So we came home, ate the fastest lunch ever (I made fried chicken, you should be proud), and went to the chapel to meet the Zone Leaders to give her a blessing. She arrived crying. We allowed her to calm down and then she explained to the Elders what was happening a little. They gave her a beautiful blessing and afterwards Elder Melim asked if he could talk to her. So they talked in Private (it was a secret interview) and an hour later she left smiling and told us that she was going to be baptized on Sunday..... So once we recovered from our state or awe and shock, we partied.

Thursday nothing huge happened. But A told us that no she wasn't going to be baptized. Then she told us yes. And then No again. My heart is so tired and full of feelings from this week. Wow.

Friday we were all prepared to work all day and such. We had our missionary coordination meeting with the ward mission leader and in that moment, A told us that yes she was going to be baptized! So we began planning a baptism! Which then the next day (Saturday) she said she changed her mind and she wasn't going to do it anymore. (In a couple weeks she said...) 

But the most interesting part of the week for me I believe was when Presidente Ferriera called me on Friday. The conversation went something like this; 
¨Hi Presidente!¨
¨Hello Sisters which sister am I talking to?¨
¨With both of us.¨
¨I want to speak with Hermana Randall¨
¨Yes President?¨
¨Sister, I have a very large responsability that I would like to assign you.¨
*silence on my part* 
¨Sister Randall I am assigning you to train a new missionary starting on Wednesday. *cue heart stopping, more silence* And you will be the newest Sister Training Leader of the Zone La Portada.¨

I dont rememer what I said. I accepted of course. So now I do not have a companion until Wednesday when my new trainee gets to the mission. I am beyond words. I know that I am going to end my mission working harder than ever, and I am so excited to help other missionaries love the mission just as much or more than I do. 

In the end we did not have a baptism this month. But I know that the Lord saw the type of dedication and faith with which we were working and blessings disguised as hard work have been sent my way. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord even more. 

This has been my week Brothers and Sisters. I am filled with humility and awe that has been placed on my shoulders, and I know that it is in Christ that I receive my strength. 

Thank you, all of you, for you love, support, prayers and unwaving faith in me and our Savior. I love you all very much. Have a great week and may God be with you.

Hermana Randall