Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 49 Overcast Skies, and a HUGE Sector

Well, here we are at the beginning of another week. I really enjoy recieving emails from all of you every week, it brightens my day to know that things are still moving in the real world. Time is interesting here. It feels like everything should be put into pause while I am here, and then I get back and everything starts up again. But the world moves on. I was very concious of that this week when my little sister sent me pictures of her Graduation dress, and my other little sister danced in a dance recital. I dont know what the deal is with my little brother. He is super bad at writing me. But no one said he died. So Im sure he´s great, haha.

Things in Antofagasta are much different that things in Tocopilla, and even more different than El Salvador! This city is HUGE. Seriously. I have never lived in a big city before. Because you really cannot count Provo as a big city. But everything compared to my home town is big I guess. Our sector is relativly new. It used to be two sectors for one ward. But they recently spilt the ward into two wards because there were so many people that they couldnt all fit into the building for sacrament meeting (and it is a good sized sacrament hall). So the ward Las Rocas, is now Las Rocas, and Cerro Moreno, which is my sector. And the name really gets you, because cerro means hill. And it is one of the flatest sectors in the mission. Of which I am grateful haha. But our sector is in the extreme North of the city. So we have to take a city bus into town to go to the downtown to shop and write. But good news is that there is a Lider (Walmart) about 20 minutes walking from our apartment so I have access to peanut butter and maple syrup at a moments notice. And our sector is huge. Literally walking across our sector would take the entire day. In order to get to church we have to take a bus. It is a looooong distance. Never again will I complain about the largness of sectors. Haha.

My new companion is Hermana Jimenez, I was a little nervous when I heard that she would be my companion because I have a strong personality and it was even worse in the MTC because I was nervous and uncomfortable a lot of the time, and apperantly I frightened some of the Latinos.... But getting off the bus in Antofagasta and seeing Hna Jimenez, I knew that we would get along. This week has been lovely withy her. We have worked hard but not just as companions. We have become friends. Which I think is very important. Some of the missionaries that I have met here seem to think that if you open up to your companion and become friends it means that you are not being a missionary. That you are not focused. But I feel and have learned the exact opposite to be true. When you are friends with your compaions, when you are willing to open up and to share. That is when the miracles happen, not just in the work, but as people. As companions. You are all each other has in a world that more often that not rejects you. And if you feel alone with your companion, you will have a really hard transfer (been there, done that, bought the T-Shirt and outgrew it).

But seriously, I can tell that Antofagasta is going to be a wonderful time in my mission with many miracles. There are different challenges here to learn from and overcome, but there are also many people who are prepared here. Who are just waiting to hear the truth before they can follow it.

And that is why I am here. 

I love you all, I hope that you have a great week and that all of you are doing whatever you can to grow closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Sometimes we overlook the obvious things like reading the scriptures, praying, and going to church. These things are incredibly important when done in faith. And they are very easy to discard as unimportant or basic. They are basic, but never unimportant.

Les quiero mucho,
Hermana Randall

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Week 48 WHAT? Transfers? And a Happy Mother´s Day!

Hey there world!

Before I really begin the email I just want to let you know that I am alive. I survived. And I will continue to live. Haha. I had a pretty miserable week, but it all turned out fine. The tests came back negative for an infection more severe, so they changed a couple of my medications, and gave me a lovely shot in my lower back, that fixed me up pretty quick, and I was weak but walking well Tuesday in the afternoon.

The week went really well after that and we were able to help the work progress here in  Tocopilla! Then surprises of all surprises, the transfer call came as expected. But it did not send Hna Challco (who has been here for 4 months) away to another city. It sent me away! I spent the weekend packing suitcases, because tonight my bus leaves for Cerro Moreno in ANTOFAGASTA! Whoohoo! I always wanted to go to Antofagasta! But I am beyond sad that I only had 6 weeks in Tocopilla. It is truly an amazing city and the people are amazing. I have really made some wonderful friends here. And Im leaving just in time for other baptisms which we had planned for Saturday. So I will not have photos with Mariana. But Im glad to have been a part of her conversion. 

And I begin a new adventure here at night with my new companion Hermana Jimenez. She got to the mission at the same time that I did, and if Im not wrong she is from Ecuador. So here is hoping and praying that all is looking up from here!
Also I would like to wish a Happy Mother´s Day to all of the Mothers in my life. I love the definition of a mother given to us in the last Womens Conference. ¨Mother means to give life.¨ In one way or another all of you mothers have been a mother to me because of the life you have given to me. By sharing time, talents, stories, and general life and love. Thanks for everything. I love you all! 
Have a beautiful week and Dios les bendiga!

Hermana Randall

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Week 47 Sickness and Tender Mercies

Hi there family, friends, and rabid fans!

Well, another P-Day is here and I sit in a Ciber in Tocopilla with a broken keyboard to regale (did not spell that right) you all with tales of adventures.

This week had a bunch of ups and downs. The week started out super great. P-Day, planning of Skype calls, Tuesday we had intercambios with the Hermana Leaders, and they came here to Tocopilla. I was with Hna Carabine, and she only has one cambio is the mission more than I do and had completed a year in the mission.... So if the time isn't smacking me in the face right now (I complete 11 months tomorrow). We had a great day with teaching a lot of lessons and finding new investigators. I was just filled with love this day. Realizing that I could really speak Spanish, I can communicate with these amazing people in their own language and help them to know that God loves them more than they know or can understand here in this world. 

This is something that I have really experienced more than anything her in the mission, just knowing that we as humans only have a limited amount of love that we can feel, but as a gift, God bestows moments where we are so filled with love for the world, for a person, for our families, that we cannot express it. Where all we just want to do is drop to our knees and pray wordlessly, thanking God for our lives here on this planet.

I love the feeling of love.

Then Wednesday we went to Antofagasta because Hna Challco needed to have some dental work done. Let me just say, not being racist or countriest. But I am so grateful to have grown up in the United States with good Dental care. They looked in her mouth, and showed us with a camera, and there are many problems. It hurt me to look at her mouth.....  She is going to have to go back 3 or  more times to do progressive root canals on 2 different teeth. She has another infection in another tooth because whatever dentist did it didn't finish it. She has a fake tooth that is only temporary that falls out sometimes so he had to glue that back in , and then he had to remove a tooth right there on the spot because of how infected it was. And she has to have another tooth pulled another day.... Poor Hna Challco. 

We made it back to Tocopilla Thursday in the morning, planned for the next week and ate lunch. Or I tried to eat lunch I was not feeling good at all. We went out and proselyted, but as soon as we finished everything for the night I started throwing up. 

Friday I was super sick. And made worse by the fact that Hna Challco told me that it was all in my head and that I needed to work to feel better. .... So that is a great boost to self esteem.  We ended up doing divisions because I could not work. SO a member stayed in the apartment with me and Hna Challco went to proselyte. I was miserable.

Saturday, basically a repeat of Friday. I was miserable again. And the nurse and President Dalton told me to go to  the hospital. So I went. They looked at me, ran some tests and I have a pretty big infection that they think may have spread to my kidneys. Nothing life threatening, just painful and  annoying and miserable. SO I was with bed rest Saturday.

Sunday I made it to church because a member gave us a ride. But we had to leave early because I couldnt sit up anymore. And I had to go to the house of a member to sit because we couldnt find anyone to stay with me in the apartment. Luckily it was my favorite family here in Tocopilla.  And they are both returned missionaries with a little girl. So they understood exactly how I was feeling. It was nice to be understood and looked after. 

And here we are today. I am feeling better, and I have been able to eat more today and Im trying to rehydrate myself. I have no strength, but according to the mission nurse and Hna Challco, and  the inner missionary, I have to try to go out and work tonight.  And tomorrow I go back to he hospital  to see if the things they gave me are working. 

But I am fine. Sort of miserable naseaus and achy, but not dying. My spirit suffered a little this weekend too. It is amazing that we can be flying on Cloud 9 at the beginning of the week and Satan  can hit you just when you are feeling the strongest. 

So stay strong all of you. Bulid spiritual muscles every day, and never leave the house, without spiritual armor. We never know when Satan will attack.

I love you all. I'm going to finish this email because I never realized how much energy typing takes. 

Love you. Stay strong. Stay happy. Change lives. Start by changing yours if that is what is needed.

Hna Randall