Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Week 37 Another Day, We Don´t Use Dollars

Hello Friends. Family, and Avid Readers alike.

We had a great week here in El Salvador. Although there were two days or so that I thought I literally might melt into a puddle in the street. It was very hot this week. Apperantly it will start cooling down around the middle of March. So looking forward to that day. 

We have a little family here that is progressing rather well. We were able to set them up with a baptismal goal and we are going to have a Family Night tonight at our recent convert Mauricio´s house. We also have another investigator with a baptismal date, and she came to church yesterday! We are so excited for the progress that she is making, and we know that with the desire that she has to chnage her life she really can do it. 

The Sacrament meeting yesterday was certainly somthing super weird to experience. Our Branch President is out of town, the 1st counselor doesnt exist because he moved, and the 2nd counselor had to work today.... So the two people who have the Melquisidek (cant spell that word)  Priesthood werent there..... So we couldnt have Sacrament meeting until 9:00PM when the 2nd counselor got off of work. So there we were 9 at night, partaking of the sacrament and listening to talks. It felt like a really special fireside or something. 

Also big news. I have been moderatly successful in playing the piano here since Hermana Handley abandoned me (that´s right Hermana. Lookin at you.). The only problem is that the people here are so used to just making up the tune they dont really listen to the piano. And then I mess up super bad because they arent singing the right notes, and then I just screw everything up and feel like a failure.  BUT, I give a warning to all! IF  YOU USED TO TAKE PIANO AND THEN JUST STOPPED. PLAY AGAIN. THERE IS GOING TO BE SOME RANDOM TIME IN YOU LIFE WHEN SOMEONE IS GOING TO ASK IF ANYONE PLAYS PIANO AND YOU WILL BE ABLE TO STEP FORWARD AND SAY YES! HERE I AM! SEND ME!

Rant over.

But little by little I am remembering things and learning to play the piano again. Probably more for my benefit than for the benefit of the branch.....

But that is basically the week here. We have been getting a long really well as companions, we have been finding new pwople to teach through references and members, working with our recent converts (Mauricio is doing REALLY well! They are goin gto the temple this week to do baptisms for the dead! They even have researched and found their own names to take to the temple!)

I love this work. I love my companions. I love my family. I love my friends. If I have learned any thing from the mission, it is the principle of love. I knew of love before the mission, and now I am learning how really TO love. To love as Christ loves. This type of love is a gift from God. I invite you all the read Moroni 7:45-48, and ponder what this type of love really means for you. FOr your mission. For your life. Your family. Friends. Etc... This is my invitation for the week. Study what it truley means to love someone. And what it truly means to know that God is your Heavely Father and that he LOVES you. 

I love you all as well. And I am humbled by the amount of people I know love me. Thank you all for your prayers and your emails. I am constantly amazed by how my mission is not only changing my life, but the lives of everyone I love.

Dios les bendiga,

Hermana Randall


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Week 36 New Transfer, New Companion, New Adventures.

Hello World!
I hope that you all had a very Happy Valentine´s Day! Which is something that is celebrated here in Chile, but a super watered down version. SUPER WATERED DOWN. Which made it easier for the missionaries, but still is super fumé. (Lame, boring, not cool.) We have so many holidays in the States, never realized that. But we really do. Here each of the saints have a day though, and people get out of school sometimes, so that is an interesting cultural difference as well.

This week has been a pretty good week. I was able to collect my new companion Monday night around midnight, and then we left for our apartment on another two hour bus ride at 2:00 the next day. It was supposed to leave at 12:00 but that so did not happen. I got burned pretty bad waiting for the bus for two hours in the sun. It was horrible. There was no shade, and no where to sit. It was about 89 degrees outside with about 80 percent humidity.


Anyways. Hna D´Angelo is super great. She is from Argentina, just like my trainer! She is 22 years old and has a month less than me in the mission because she was only in the CCM for 2 weeks instead of 6. She is funny and loves to talk, especially about all the crap Elders pull. Thats sort of fun to listen to. She is determined to make this Transfer super great because in her own words (translated) ¨I have been a super lazy missionary, I know that. My trainer never did anything, and I didnt understand what it was to be a missionary. Then when I was with someone else that did everything the way that they were supposed to, I rebelled because I thought it was all too hard and too strict. But now I understand why and I want to be better.¨
Turns out President Dalton had a very strict interview with her about a month ago and told her to straighten up and fly right, and to not waste her mission. And now she says that she has finally caught the message. So we are working really hard. I feel a little like I am training though. She has the same time in the field as me, but less experience, and I´m helping to teach her how to be a missionary again. So as long as things keep going the way that they are going. I dont forsee any problems. I like her. And she likes me. :) And we both are here to work. 

The work is progressing rapidly here in El Salvador. We are finding new people and teaching lessons. Our shining stars for the moment are Javiera and Daniela. They are sisters, and both have children. Javiera is 16 years old and as a 12 month old. And Daniel is 22 with a 3 year old. They have had a lot of problems in thier life, and the thing that is really getting them the most is that they can be an eternal family, and that God loves them. We invited Javiera to say one prayer and Daniela to say another. Both broke down and began crying during thier prayers. They asked if they were crazy, and we were able to bear testimony of the Holy Ghost, how he helps us to feel when things are true. They both know that these things are true. Now we are just here to help them understand what to do with that feeling. They are both super cute, and progressing very well. We love them very much and I am so glad to have met them. 
In other news, we will be having another conference with an Apostle next week. Elder David A. Bednar is coming to our section of South America, and they are doing a special broadcast for all of the missionaries in our Area. We are all very excited to hear more of what we can be doing to help our area of the world progress even further. 

Love you all. I know that the work that I am doing is something precious and unique. I am so grateful to be a part of the Gathering of Israel. The time is approaching that the Savior will come again, and Im here in Chile to help our Brothers and Sisters be prepared for that great day. I love you all, and I invite you all to find one thing this week that you would like to improve on. Write it down, write the things that you are going to do to improve that thing. Stick it somewhere you will see it all the time. Then get down on your knees and take that problem, that weakness to God. He will help make ¨weak things to become strong¨ (Ether 12:27).

Thank you for all of the support and love I feel from all of you. For your prayers and for your emails. I love you very much. All of you. And I know that this gospel is something amazing and true.


Hermana Randall

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Week 35 8 Months.....

That´s right. The title is correct. I now have 8 months in the mission. How scary is that?

Time was something that I was really worried about when I first left for the mission, but that is not the problem. The problem is not having too much time. But not enough! 

This week I killed off my companion. Hermana Handley officially is just Eliza again. I had a really hard time letting her go. She´s off on another great adventure though. And I will be companions with Hermana D´Angelo. She is from Argentina and has the same amount of time in the mission as me. We left the MTC together. So I guess that I have 4 weeks more than she does. But that doesnt really matter. Im excited to get to know her better. As I type she is sittin gon a bus and heading my direction. She is coming from Arica, just like I did. 18 hours in a bus is a great way to start the transfer!

Also this Sunday, our recent convert Mauricio blessed the sacrament during sacrament meeting. It was such a beautiful experience to watch him set everything up and break the bread. And then with obvious faith and humility, bless the bread and water. I will forever be eternally grateful to have been a part of his story. 

Our water was also turned back on Monday night. So we werent without water for too long. But now another pipe has burst on the OTHER side of the yard. And that means it isnt clean water.... The sewer is spilling.... We are having tons of interesting smells at all times of the day. We are working on getting it fixed though. Here´s hoping its soon. 

There isnt much more to say. Things are progressing day to day, and the work is really moving forward here in El Salvador. I feel so blessed to have been a part of the progress here. 

Next week I will write and tell all about my new companion! Love you all and I hope this email finds you well. Let me know if I can ever do anything for you all.

Dios les bendiga,

Hna Randall

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Week 34 Priesthood Holders and New Callings

Hey there World! It´s me again!

This week there both is and isn´t a lot of things to report.

Monday was a normal day. 
Tuesday and Wednesday we did Companion Exchanges with the Hermanas in Chañaral, which meant we lost two full days in our sector. But that we were able to walk around in a hot and sticky city learning new things. It was a two days of ups and downs for sure.
Thursday we did our weekly planning for the last week of the transfer. That threw Hermana Handley a little bit, because it is her last week in the Mission Field. She freaked out just a little bit. But she really has been holding together quite well. Im very proud of her. We also did a surprise birthday party for a member and it was a huge success.
Friday was a normal day and we acutally got some work done and were able to teach a lesson to a girl named Javiera. She is 16 years old and very mature for her age. She would have to be though, considering she is the mother of a 1 year old. She has a lot of questions and is really interested in the idea of the Plan of Salvation. We have another appointment with her on Tuesday to follow up and get to know her more. 
Saturday another normal day.
Sunday however began with quite an adventure. We have been having issues with the plumbing for awhile in our apartment, and we´d had some people in to look at it. But nothing really was done, because they really couldnt find a problem. Well..... We found the problem. We woke up Sunday at the normal time, to a weird rushing noise. I opened the curtains and BOOM. The basketball court inbetween us and the church was flooded.There was a large break in a pipe somewhere underground and everything was covered. We quickly called everyone that we could and turned off the water... We were abel to have sacrament meeting, but we had to cancel the rest of church because there arent any bathrooms. Which also means..... We dont have a bathroom in our house..... No shower, sinks, toilet. Nada. Today I showered at the Relief Society President´s house. Hopefully someone will get out to fix it soon, we´ve had to cancel all further activities and such until it is fixed... And we dont have any water in the house. With the exception of the few bottles and buckets we filled. Super fun adventures!

But the best part about the whole week, and definetly the best part of Sunday. Was after sacrament meeting when our Recent Converts Mauricio and José were ordained and set apart as Priests and were given the Aaronic Priesthood. Their blessings were beautiful, and I was crying. At the same time, both of thier wives were given callings and set apart. These two little families have already increased the branch so much. The excitment and love for the work is back in the hearts of the members. We are so happy with the miracles both big and small that we are seeing every single day. 

I love you all so much. I want to thank personally all of the worthy Priesthood Holders that have been a part of my life. Especially my Daddy. I am so grateful to have grown up in a home that had this amazing unifying power. With parents who work together as a team and love with all thier hearts. Thank you for everything Mom and Dad. I love you more than you know. 

Love you all! Write you next week!

Hermana Randall